Shorter Glenn Reynolds

When a platoon my “Army of Davids” acts like a bunch of stupid, bigoted vigilantes, it must be somebody else’s fault.

When my “Army of Davids” acts like a bunch of stupid, bigoted vigilantes, it must be somebody else’s fault. If governments are insufficiently racist, the people will have to take racism into their own hands.

Footnote The truly disgusting part of the story is that the airline caved in to the bigots and tossed two British citizens off the flight for no better reason than that their fellow passengers thought they “looked dodgy.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

5 thoughts on “Shorter Glenn Reynolds”

  1. My god. I hope that these guys were given more than a night in a airport hotel and a different flight the next day. I suppose they are at least lucky that no one took the word of the Britih police from the last time and decided that it was absolutely necessary to destroy their brains. Sigh.

  2. I suppose we should take the fact that the men weren't beaten or lynched as evidence of the progress of civilization or British grace under adversity?
    Note to Prof Reynolds: did you notice that this incident comes, not in the wake of failures of the British government to protect it's citizens but after a highly visible activity purported to have foiled a terrorist plot?

  3. This is a fine line to walk. One of the leads to the British bomb plot came from someone who called in a concern about a neighbor. If you do not pay attention to citizen concerns then you lose that form of intelligence when it is correct, not just when it is hysterical and wrong. You can't tell people to complain only when they are right because they don't have the feedback about when their fears and right and when they are wrong.

  4. Mark, I think you missed the point of Glenn's post. He writes that "[t]he two guys were likely entirely innocent, and didn't deserve this, but this is the kind of thing that happens when people don't trust the authorities to protect them."
    In other words, he's explicitly disowning his "army of Davids" thesis, and arguing that ill-informed spur-of-the-moment action by ordinary citizens is no substitute for the reassuring vigilance of competent, well-coordinated, well-supported government security personnel.
    I, for one, agree with him. Don't you?

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