RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hating Charlie Janssen

Charlie Janssen is a politician on the move. On the Fremont City Council, he stood for legislation barring illegal aliens from renting or working in the city; the rental portion of this ordinance have been upheld by the courts. As a legislator, he sponsored a voter ID law that was only defeated by a filibuster. In the last session, he stood firm against Medicaid expansion and various other leftist measures beloved of the nominal Democrat minority and their RINO fellow travellers. He’s now running for governor.

What is remarkable is the extent to which he’s become a figure of hatred for the Nebraska Left. By simply noting that the rapist/killer of a 93 year old woman in Omaha was an illegal alien, he created an uproar.

Dan Moser, ordinarily a witty and apparently sane individual, wrote to the Lincoln Journal Star claiming Janssen was using "such tragedies to gin up hatred for an entire class of people -- in this case, illegal immigrants". Of course, Janssen did no such thing. He drew attention to the immigration status of one criminal, and tied it to national immigration policy.

It is entirely reasonable to draw attention to the negative consequences of illegal immigration. One such consequence is the importation of violent criminals. Nobody really knows the level of violent crimes among illegal immigrants, and that is largely because the powers-that-be don’t want us to know. We don’t collect the data. ICE does not even normally disclose the immigration status of criminals. You would think, if we wanted citizens to rationally weigh the pros and cons of illegal immigration, reliable numbers on the rate of crime among illegal immigrants would be important. One can only assume that they’re suppressed because they are unfavorable to the cause of amnesty.

In fact, Janssen expanded on this in a letter to the Journal Star

This crime is undeniable evidence that our borders are not secure and we have no idea who is entering our country. The result of the federal government’s failure here — not only criminal violence but human trafficking and drug smuggling — has cost our state immeasurably.
The Journal Star Editorial Board mendaciously accused Janssen of "making a sweeping and damaging generalization". Of course, he did nothing of the sort. This is just a lie.

Most egregiously, Ari Kohen of UNL's political science department decided the Journals Star's lie simply wasn't big enough, and expanded it.

If there’s one thing we can learn about crime from this absolutely awful case, Janssen suggests, it’s that the real culprit is every single Mexican person who wants to come to the U.S.
Janssen suggested nothing even close to this. It's just a nasty fabrication on Kohen's part. Heck, I expect Janssen, if not Kohen, is educated enough to realize not all illegal immigrants are Mexican.

Called on this outrageous slander by Janssen, Kohen shifted to interrogative mode.

(I mean, really, how stupid a question is this?)

Janssen, wisely, told him to get lost, a policy I recommend to anyone who's tempted to get down in the mud with Kohen.


  1. I was disappointed to see this thread by Professor Kohen (with Jordan McGrain and Senator Janssen). I had Professor Kohen as an undergrad and thought he was a pretty fair and reasonable guy, and really enjoyed his class. I guess I hold higher expectations for state employees charged with the duty to educate young adults and stir serious debate, not malicious and immature attacks.

  2. In your zeal to quote my egregiousness, outrageousness, and stupidity, professor, you ignored the many tweets that surrounded the tweet you embedded here.

    My point throughout my conversation with Janssen, which Janssen never addressed, was that he was generalizing from a single case and that he was implying the existence of statistical evidence where none exists. I asked this question to him and to several Janssen supporters on Twitter a number of times and in a number of different ways, but got no response.

    Here's what I wrote to Janssen:

    Ari Kohen ‏@kohenari 2 Aug
    @Charlie_Janssen But statistics don't bear out your suspicions. And you're suggesting to the electorate that your suspicions are right on.

    Ari Kohen ‏@kohenari 2 Aug
    @Charlie_Janssen A shame. Interested why you think immigration matters in this case. Seems that you think immigrants commit lots of crime.
    View conversation
    Ari Kohen ‏@kohenari 2 Aug
    .@Charlie_Janssen Facts in 1 case don't tell us about underlying issues. Do "illegals" commit more violent crimes? …

    Ari Kohen ‏@kohenari 2 Aug
    .@Charlie_Janssen Your solution to the problem of "illegal immigration" is just draconic legislation that punishes but doesn't fix anything.

    Ari Kohen ‏@kohenari 2 Aug
    .@Charlie_Janssen Are you suggesting, then, that illegal immigration is a factor in all of the rapes and murders committed in Nebraska?

    Ari Kohen ‏@kohenari 2 Aug
    .@Charlie_Janssen Using this case as your example, your claim is that "illegal immigrants" are more likely to commit crimes.

    Ari Kohen ‏@kohenari 2 Aug
    .@Charlie_Janssen I quoted it in its entirety. Nowhere in it do you address that for which you're being criticized: generalizing from 1 case

    If you want to actually engage with my argument, that would be great. All you've done here is take one quote out of context, ignore my argument about violent crime and immigration, and sling ad hominem attacks ... as you routinely sem to do in your posts about me and in your many comments on my blog (and in tweets before I blocked you).

    Surely you can do better.

  3. Well, I'd dearly like to reply to this, but I'm afraid the author has asked me not to contact him.

    But if I were to reply, I'd say he must take me for an idiot, to let think I'm going to let him beg the question. Where did Janssen generalize from a single case, I would ask. Surely if one were going to claim that Janssen had generalized from a single case, one would provide a specific citation? And claiming one is taken out of context is pretty weak, when there is a link to one's original post.

    And I would also wonder why he thinks this series of tweets does anything other than make him look even worse. "Seems that you think...". Really?