Monday, January 10, 2005

Tolles Civil Liberties Round Two

A week ago I posted a response to a piece Tolles had on his blog. He and I then went back and forth in a round of email comments. Here is his reply with one more from me to follow.

I was going to start out by saying I didn't have to time to post a 7 part reply, but then I realized I'd be lying. I do have the time. It's just that most of Max's post is so patently silly it doesn't justify a serious response. Click Read More.

So instead I'll diagram the right-wingers guide to micking up facts. First: Accept no data that hurts your party, country, or ideological viewpoint. Tell people that the survey response mean "nothing." Talk about general problems with weigtin in surverys, then pretend that this could account for a 40/24 Rep/Dem split on agreement with the statement "All Muslim Americans Should Be Required To Register Their Whereabouts." When that doesn't work, cite the science of "hang-ups," and pretend that this is a huge factor in survey outcomes. Insist that hang-ups is a perfectly reasonable factor in huge R/D split.

2) Insist that the requirement that particular religious minorites register their whereabouts with the government is in no way reminiscent of any sort of fascist society. Express outrage that anyone would suggest this. Then imply that such an idea is not a big deal by citing 9-11 and quoting Winston Churchill. Call the United States "our country" but don't point out that Muslims who would be affected by statement have equal lay to said term. When finished, wave the flag and sing a patriotic song.

3)Make up your own subjective criteria for what is and is not valid for purposes of surveying. State "the male/female thing [split] is not likely to be an issue", then offer cryptic comments on why data for race was not reported. Phrase in the form of rhetorical quesion for maximum confusion.

4) Determine for yourself what "religiosity" means. Toss out inconvenient definitions and data that do not match your own.

5) After denouncing "sloppiness [that] wouldn't fly for a second year grad student" equate infiltration of KKK with survey statement "Muslim civic and volunteer organizations should be infiltrated". State that survey deals with a simlilar infiltration. Don't actually quote survey statement, since equating said statement with KKK might make you look more ridiculous.

6) Finally, gather no outside anecdotal evidence. Do not go to to view trolls celebrating survey. [doubtful thread is still open] Ignore media reports of post-911 Justice Dept crackdown on Muslims. Ignore Salon report of vendors selling bumper stickers at CPAC stating "No Muslims, No Terrorism." All this might undermine hard work performed in items 1-5.


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