Photographer Successfully DMCAs Trump Jr.'s Skittles Image

from the copyright-and-politics dept

So, just last week, we wrote about how David Kittos, a refugee from Cyprus now living in the UK, had taken the photograph of a bowl of Skittles that Donald Trump Jr. had used in a tweet about banning refugees. Kittos said he was thinking about taking legal action, but said he wasn't sure he had the patience for it. But, of course, thanks to US copyright law, if you want something to disappear, you don't have to go through a whole litigation process, you can just use the DMCA. And that's exactly what David Kittos did (first noticed by The Washington Post, which may have a paywall).
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== Description of original work: Photography of a bowl of Skittles from my flickr library which was copied WITHOUT my permssion

== Links to original work: https://www.flickr.com/photos/david_kittos/[REDACTED]/

---

== Reported Tweet URL: https://twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr/status/[REDACTED][REDACTED]

== Description of infringement: The image of a bowl of skittles is mine and has always been set as "ALL RIGHTS RESERVED" in my flickr library It was copied and is being used WITHOUT my permission. I have never been contacted by Donald Trump Jr or any representative about the image, before of after it was used in the Tweet.

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And it worked:
Now, of course, there's a question of whether or not Trump Jr. will file a counternotice, and then if Kittos would actually follow through with a lawsuit. I'm guessing neither will happen, but who really knows? There's a possible, but not really that strong, argument that Trump Jr.'s usage was fair use. And it does seem like Kittos' takedown is much more about his objection to the speech, rather than the possible infringement -- and, once again, that suggests it's another example of using copyright to censor speech someone doesn't like. As I made clear, I think the Skittles analogy is incredibly stupid (and racist), but that doesn't mean I'm comfortable with using copyright to silence it.

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  • icon
    afn29129 (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 9:45am

    Lazyness

    Mr Trump Jr could of taken his own photo of a bowl of skittle but that would of required effort,, but he was just too dang lazy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:50am

      Re: Lazyness

      True, but this is very obvious fair use as well.

      The being said, I laugh at this because Trump deserves the abuse because he has at least visited the very same threat against others.

      Maybe this would motivate him to change the law IF he gets elected... naw who am I kidding. The plebs will only vote in a Queen/King, they have no mind of their own and require to be lorded over! The ideals of Liberty in America is long fucking dead!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      John Mayor, 28 Sep 2016 @ 6:27pm

      Re: Lazyness

      Really?... you mean everyone has access to a technoma to photograph things? Wow!... what will they come up with next!
      .
      But!... you know!... your presumption will change-- dramatically!-- if we learn that Trump Junior foreknew (and/ or, SOMEONE within his/ dad's "camp" forknew!) who David Kittos was (and is!)!... AND!... what David's POLITICS were (and are!)! Which... THEN!... puts the "Skittles hijack", in a different light! In other words!... and given any PROOF of the VERACITY of what I've just alluded to!... was there "ANOTHER MOTIVE" for Trump Junior (and company!) in using David's Skittles photo? Or!... was this just a "Skittles tale"! After all!... Trump Junior, is the son of a man R-U-N-N-I-N-G F-O-R T-H-E P-R-E-S-I-D-E-N-C-Y O-F T-H-E U-N-I-T-E-D S-T-A-T-E-S O-F A-M-E-R-I-C-A!
      .
      Please!... no emails!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 7:30pm

      Re: Lazyness

      And you can make your own wheels.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 28 Sep 2016 @ 9:54am

    For the 100th time now Mike... Copyright is not used to stifle free speech.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Killercool (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:10am

      Re:

      That's not your idea, you can't use it.

      But seriously, how many examples of copyright being abused to suppress opposing opinions does it take before it's no longer "outliers" and "exceptions"? I'm reminded of a previous election where a band was trying to sue a politician they disliked because he was using one of their songs as his anthem. All the proper royalties had been paid, but he didn't get "permission."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Killercool (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:20am

        Re: Re:

        Also, copyright, by definition, is suppression of free speech.

        It removes my right to freely duplicate anything I see, hear, or read and limits that right to one person or group. The ability to copy is a natural right (it's how we learn!), and in exchange for a perceived value, that right is suppressed for a limited time. Whether those limits are fair or not is a different discussion, but free speech is definitely stifled.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 5:50pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hey, it's all good. By allowing them a limited-duration monopoly now, they've promised that it'll be in the public domain later, where you can use it freely.

          Take Mickey Mouse, he's been public domain since 1984. It's not like they're going to stiff you on their promises when it's their turn to uphold the deal.

          (/s)

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:10am

        Re: Re:

        I find it humorous when politicians use a song that they do not understand what the song is about.

        example: Born In The USA

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Cyberleagle, 28 Sep 2016 @ 1:55pm

      Re:

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 30 Sep 2016 @ 11:41am

      Re:

      An argument is a series of connected statements intended to establish a proposition. It isn't just contradiction.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:08am

    Please explain how that image/tweet is racist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Killercool (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:14am

      Re:

      It is literally about judging all people of an ethnicity/racial group because of the actions of a few members. That's...

      How is it NOT racist?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:30am

        Re: Re:

        How is that not exactly what Dems do all day every day by labeling Repubs/Conservatives in every way possible? I never knew there were so many phobias in this world until the Dems pointed them out. Dems are the most bigoted people you will ever meet. If you don'think and act they way they do you will be called every name in the book. How is that not bigoted?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Killercool (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The phrase "two wrongs don't make a right" springs to mind. Just because the Democrats are assholes doesn't excuse Republicans from getting called out on their bad behavior.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And your opinion is not biased in any way?

          Everyone is biased, it's a matter of degrees. Anyone who denies this is being ignorant and or is lying.


          "Dems are the most bigoted people you will ever meet"

          This opinion could use some supporting evidence, otherwise it is relegated to the circular file. Whether you admit it or not, every group of people has a few assholes. The entire group should not be judged based solely upon the actions of those assholes.

          - my two cents -

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 12:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            All the support you need is to watch any debate or news story from the left where they mention the right. The labels come flying fast and furious. Fortunately those labels are appearing to lose their effectiveness. Its like crying wolf, people are starting to see through the tactics. Once enough people have, the left will be forced to address the real issues.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          orbitalinsertion (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 4:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          1) Republicans/Conservatives do this all the time.
          2) Republican/Conservative is not a race, ethnicity, or any other unchangeable outward characteristic by which one is negatively judged. Nor are they a minority class disenfranchised and suffering from the unearned privilege of others.
          3) It isn't bigotry to disagree with opposing ideas. Nor is calling names bigotry, unless it is using bigoted speech.

          Sorry all theoretical conservatives get painted with a broad brush, but bad arguments like these just tend to reinforce the whole picking sides and hating the other game. Especially when using the oppressed majority / privileged group gambit.

          Of course, anyone who identifies with R/D will tend to get labeled according to elements of that party's platform, policy, and actions. Even if it is in one's own head... #NotAllConservatives

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 30 Sep 2016 @ 5:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It doesn't help that people who want to advance an agenda tend to choose a broad-brush identity, e.g. [religion] or [political philosophy] in order to lend credibility to their cause. If they're noisy enough they end up tarring the entire [group] with the brush of their craziness.

            If only the Fascist alt-right brigade would stop calling themselves "Conservatives!"

            If only the authoritarian weirdos would stop calling themselves "Liberals!"

            If only the hard-left anarchists would stop calling themselves "Socialists!"

            It's not going to happen. And until such time as the moderates push back and label these people according to their attitudes and actions we will have to suffer a divided society in which labels alone keep people at each others' throats when they'd usually get along.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:46am

        Re: Re:

        Yo Ass Clown!

        Words have a definition, you need to look up a few.

        Muslim is a RELIGION, and a religion that contains MULTIPLE OTHER RACES!

        If disparaging Muslims is racist, so is disparaging Christians! Which we all know is the typical go to gambit of the left... which is to perpetually accuse anyone not agreeing with you as a racist, bigot, or phobic of some kind regardless of the actual argument!

        Maybe you have not figured this shit out yet, but when you call non-racist comments racist... you dilute your own argument into meaninglessness!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Killercool (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Once again, lern2reed. The image says nothing of Muslims. It says, since you can't be bothered:

          "That's our Syrian refugee Problem."

          Syrians are an ethnic group. Do you think these guys care that there are Syrian Christians in the group of refugees? I can't seem to find any evidence they do.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Syrian is a Race too, I thought that was a cuntry/nationality? I mean which fucking one do you want to call it? The obvious implication of the Syrian problem is a Muslim one... ya know, because it is a largely MUSLIM NATION, ergo... the whole Muslim point. Are you going to get with the program or just muck this shit up with juvenile concerns?

            If Canada put up the same picture but for Americans looking for asylum if their hated candidate wins are they racist too?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 1:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Only a very few of these refugees have been Christians. The majority were and are Muslims. The left has an outlier meme where they attempt to demonstrate that somewhere among this skittles bowl will be the next Steve Jobs, because Jobs' biological father was a Syrian immigrant. Never mind the fact that he gave up his out-of-wedlock oops scion for adoption by an AMERICAN couple, and that Islam was never a part of his life.

            Yet point out that if his mother had aborted him when the father took off Steve Jobs wouldn't exist either and all of a sudden you're a hateful bigot who wants to oppress women with your rape culture.

            It's the left, expect very high levels of cognitive dissonance in arguments made almost entirely from emotion.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You excel at diplomacy, ever think of becoming a diplomat?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 1:17pm

          Words do have a definition

          > Words have a definition, you need to look up a few.

          The do indeed. And like every single dictionary pedant ever, you failed to heed your own advice.

          https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/race

          1.2A group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group.
          Examples:
          ‘Christina had thought the German Swiss a hard unsympathetic race.’
          ‘For Barres, this constituted a menace to the French nation, indeed to the French race, for it was a German ideology.’
          ‘They sought to weld the country's diverse ethnicities into a Brazilian race defined in historical and cultural terms.’


          1.3A group or set of people or things with a common feature or features.
          Examples:
          ‘As a matter of fact isn't ‘redneck’ a word used in disdain to describe a race and class of people?’
          ‘He rejected environmental factors and claimed to have discovered a race of ‘born criminals’, who were marked out by certain cranial and facial irregularities.’
          ‘They treat the elderly like they treat travellers or gays or ethnic groups or women or whoever as a race apart, not as normal citizens.’
          ‘This sedentary behaviour is apparently turning our kids into a race of slothful fatties who risk a reduced lifespan and other problems.’


          Furthemore, the fact that in the 19th century the irish and the italians were not considered part of the "white race" ought to make you stop and think.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          sorrykb (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 2:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I'm not racist. I only hate people because of their religion. People from a certain place. People who look a certain way. But I'm not racist!"

          Supporting your argument that you're not racist but asserting that you're simply a religious bigot.

          First, "I'm not a bigot because I'm a bigot" is not all that effective an argument.

          Second, have you considered that possibility that you're both a racist and a religious bigot?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:25am

      Re:

      The image is fine and delicious on it own, but seriously, did you see the tweet?!

      https://i.imgur.com/AgcfR4V.jpg

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:56am

      Re:

      Ya, I don't see it. That word is thrown out so much now for everything that it's becoming meaningless!!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Chryss, 28 Sep 2016 @ 12:00pm

      Re: racist?

      All of you arguing about the bigotry behind the Skittles tweet really need to learn the history behind it - which dates back to the Nazis. I suggest you educate yourselves.

      https://www.fastcoexist.com/3063929/the-deplorable-history-behind-donald-trump-jrs-skittl es-meme

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 1:10pm

        Re: Re: racist?

        The Godwin is strong with this one. Just like when Trump put a clip art starburst on a tweet about Hillary, and everyone went all ANUDDAH SHOAH because it was a six-pointed star. I suppose sheriffs are Nazis for the same reason?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 1:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: racist?

          Well the six pointed star meme came from a white nationalist website. So yeah, Nazis.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Chryss, 28 Sep 2016 @ 1:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: racist?

          So Trump Jr. choosing to use a Skittles analogy was what? Sheer coincidence? Right.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 2:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: racist?

          You're willfully blind. The image literally came from /pol/.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Thad, 30 Sep 2016 @ 11:49am

          Re: Re: Re: racist?

          Just like when Trump put a clip art starburst on a tweet about Hillary, and everyone went all ANUDDAH SHOAH because it was a six-pointed star.


          Well, and also because it was juxtaposed with an image of stacks of money. And also because of the trivial detail that it came from a white supremacist website.

          But you're right, mostly just because it was some random star not intended to signify anything at all, obviously.

          (Did you buy Sarah Palin's explanation that those gunsights were actually survey markers, too?)

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 30 Sep 2016 @ 11:46am

        Re: Re: racist?

        I think that's a stretch; it's just another derivative of "a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch", an expression which has been used by lots and lots of different groups of people to make lots and lots of different arguments.

        In this instance, it's clearly ignorant and bigoted. But neither would I say that the nazis *originated* the analogy.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 1:03pm

      Re:

      Because it hurts someone's feelings, you cisprivileged ismphobic shitlord.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:25am

    1) Muslims are a race? I'm sure all those Arabs, Persians, North Africans, Eastern Europeans, Pakistanis, Malaysians, etc. will be happy to hear that.

    2) It's the same analogy that radical feminists use, when they call for banning all men because some men are rapists. That's where Trump supporters got it from, and that's also why they're using it, in order to troll those same feminists.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:31am

      Re:

      It is a typical diversion by the left. Everything is some kind of "ist" or "phobe". By labeling people they can avoid discussing the actual issues.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:36am

      Re:

      You cannot use knowledge to explain anything to a stupid.

      They have to get rid of the stupid first. THEN you can use knowledge to help them become more intelligent!

      Besides, racism accusations are played in every hand possible. Did you drop your egg on the floor? Don't let a leftist see that you FUCKING RACIST!

      Every person is a fucking racists, it is literally in our DNA. Blacks are just as racist against whites too, but the narrative has been hijacked to the point were only a White person is racist and NO OTHER RACE!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Killercool (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 10:38am

      Re:

      It specifically says "Syrian refugee problem." Syrians are an ethnic group. Ergo ipso facto, lern2reed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 1:22pm

      Get a Clue and Give Me a Break

      > It's the same analogy that radical feminists use, when they call for banning all men

      Except they don't. The whole "banning all men" thing is a misogynist retelling of a feminist play in which the entire point was to argue against banning all men.

      Furthermore the original m&m meme was about why it is not wise for the disempowered to trust the powerful because even if 90% of the powerful are no danger, that other 10% has the privilege of being powerful. Refugees: not powerful, not protected by privilege.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:00am

    Interesting. A broken system used to silence a broken analogy. Broken world.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob, 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:01am

    not fair use!

    So instead of arguing about political leanings let's stick to tech and legal related issues.

    I am sure there are plenty of open source bowls of skittles, or whatever candy you want, that could have been used in place of this photo.

    Now comes the time for TechDirt commentators to really show their beliefs about copyright and free speech. Do you support the actions of the photo owner or do you feel the photo use was fair use.

    I personally think Trump jr. was lazy and should have used a different image to make his point. He probably just grabbed the first nice looking image found on Google image seaech to try and help promote his father's campaign. He should either pay for the license or use something else. I don't think this is a fair use case because it wasn't posted for news or educational purposes, etc. It doesn't satisfy the court's four part test.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Kal Zekdor (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 9:50pm

      Re: not fair use!

      It is possible to think that both actions were wrong. Well, actually, all three actions.

      The "message" of the tweet was certainly idiotic. It was also offensive, though I, personally, care less about that than the actual ramifications of the policy it endorses.

      Junior should have taken the time to find a public domain or freely licensed image, or pulled out his phone and taken one himself. Using a proprietary image for your own purposes like this isn't acceptable, and just because it's about politics doesn't mean it's fair use.

      The author of the image was within his rights to take down the image. However, he did not object so much to the use of the image, but rather to the associated speech. If it had been speech he agreed with, or likely was even ambivalent towards, I doubt he would have acted in the same manner. So, here we have an individual who is using copyright not to protect the value of his works, but to stifle speech he disagrees with. That's not something that I can accept.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        John Mayor, 29 Sep 2016 @ 1:20am

        Re: Re: not fair use!

        Almost correct!... save, for the fact, that David Kittos has "QUALIFIED" his Skittles photo, with SPEECH! In other words, THE SKITTLES PHOTO IS (NOT) N-O-T A-S-S-O-C-I-T-E-D with David's EXPRESSED VIEWS AS TO WHAT THE PHOTO IS ABOUT!
        .
        If this simply!... PURELY!... UNEQUIVOCALLY!... was about a mere photo (W-I-T-H N-O A-T-T-E-N-D-A-N-T P-R-E-Q-U-A-L-I-F-I-C-A-T-I-O-N O-F W-H-A-T T-H-E W-O-R-K P-E-R-T-A-I-N-S T-O!... A-N-D A P-R-E-Q-U-A-L-I-F-I-C-A-T-I-O-N O-F-F-E-R-E-D U-P B-Y D-A-V-I-D "B-E-F-O-R-E T-H-E F-A-C-T" O-F T-H-E P-O-S-T H-I-J-A-C-K-I-N-G O-F T-H-E I-M-A-G-E B-Y T-R-U-M-P J-U-N-I-O-R!), then what you've indicated, would be a valid point! But!... given that the work is associated... BEFORE THE FACT!... with David's prequalification of its intent, then it's NOT merely a denial of Trump's Free Speech re a mere photo!
        .
        If I render a painting of a nude woman in blue tints, tones and shades!... call it Women in Blue!... then describe what its intention is!... then "observer A" has no RIGHT to proffer-- even indirectly!-- that MY intention for the painting, is other than what I've expressed as the intention for the piece! But!... if I've left to speculation what my intention has been (i.e., I've not expressed publicly!), then a "misinterpretation" in communicating its intention, is understandable! But!... the Skittles piece!... is not a "case-in-point" of a simple misinterpretation!... IT'S A DISREGARD FOR THE EXPRESSED INTENTION FOR NOT ONLY THE WORK, BUT-- ALSO!-- THE PERSON BEHIND THE WORK!

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  • icon
    Dave Cortright (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:49am

    The image in question was WAY out of scale...

    For the Skittles analogy to work (from Vox):
    adhering to Trump’s analogy, a bowl with three deadly Skittles (refugees) in it would need to contain 10.93 billion Skittles. Bump calculated this to be the equivalent of 1.5 Olympic-size swimming pools full of the candy. This would equate to a bowl of Skittles roughly 246 feet long, 123 feet high, and 9 feet deep.

    If DTJR wants to replace the image that was taken down, I'm sure Vox would be happy to give him permission to use theirs. Of course that would defeat the fear-mongering purpose of his original post.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Sep 2016 @ 12:43pm

      Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

      Now I actually want to see someone use that gigantic picture just to mock Trump. Nearly same quote and everything, just you know, based upon facts rather than baseless fearmongering.

      "If I told you that in this... uh... massive swimming pool sized bowl of nearly eleven billion skittles there were three that would kill you, would you feel safe taking a handful and eating?"

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2016 @ 11:59am

      Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

      adhering to Trump’s analogy, a bowl with three deadly Skittles (refugees) in it would need to contain 10.93 billion Skittles.


      Hogwash. There are far more than three terrorists in Syria, and far less than 10.93 billion people there.

      I'm not supporting the original quote. I'm just saying that these multi-billion numbers are dishonest. If every single Syrian refugee killed one American, the odds of being killed by a Syrian refugee would still be well under 1%, but that wouldn't mean it was a good policy. This applies, to at least some extent, if we're talking about increasing the number of refugees. (You could counter with this if you wanted to.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 29 Sep 2016 @ 1:56pm

        Re: Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

        The ten billion number is based upon this:

        A report released last week by the Cato Institute measured the risk to Americans posed by refugees. The report found that an American’s chances of being killed by a refugee in a terrorist attack in any given year are 1 in 3.64 billion. America’s murder rate — at 4.5 per 100,000 capita — is about 163,800 times higher.

        Three skittles means you triple the number, giving you just shy of eleven billion.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2016 @ 12:08am

          Re: Re: Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

          I understand how they came up with the number. I am saying that this is the wrong number to look at.

          I mean, let's say one refugee is a known serial killer who promises to kill one American per year, every year. If you use the "odds of getting killed" logic, there's only a 1 in 321 million chance of any particular person getting killed by him in any particular year. If we multiply that by 3, that gets us 963 million.

          Would you eat Skittles from a bowl with 963 million Skittles if three were poisoned? (If you want to say that 11 billion is OK but 963 million is not, perhaps we can get him to agree to only kill someone once every 12 years or so. That would put it at well over 11 billion skittles.) If your answer is yes, does that actually mean we should let the known serial killer in? Do you see why this is not a good number to be looking at? Do you think that maybe multiplying by the entire population of America is more than a bit dishonest when evaluating whether an individual or group is safe?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Thad, 30 Sep 2016 @ 11:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

            I mean, let's say one refugee is a known serial killer who promises to kill one American per year, every year.


            Erm, then you arrest that specific guy, because you know who he is.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 30 Sep 2016 @ 3:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

            The point is that the numbers make it clear the fearmongering is insanely overblown.

            Would I take a handful from a bowl of 963 million Skittles where three might be poisoned? No, I don't like Skittles. Would I do it if you replaced that with a candy I do like? Absolutely, because the odds of anything bad happening from doing so is so insignificant that if I'm going to worry about it there are probably hundreds of things I should be downright terrified of.

            I'm pretty sure I've got better odds of tripping over a cat and breaking my neck than I am of dying from a terrorist, refugee, or terrorist refugee, but you won't see me freakin' out and running in terror every time I see a cat, or calling for the deportation of all felines 'just in case one of them has a mind to kill'.

            If 1 in 3.64 billion is enough to justify keeping refugees out then the 4.5 per 100,000 means everyone needs to leave the country, because you're vastly more likely to be killed by someone already living here.

            Is it possible that some insanely dedicated and skilled terrorist/murderer/communist would pretend to be a refugee and sneak into the country that way? Sure, but the numbers make it pretty clear that the odds of it happening are infinitesimal, and as such said possibility is hardly a sound justification to freak out over refugees and bar them from entry or make an already insanely complicated process even more difficult.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2016 @ 10:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

              The point is that the numbers make it clear the fearmongering is insanely overblown.


              No. I just showed why the 11 billion number is a meaningless number. That number only matters if the only thing you care about is whether you, personally, will get killed, and you don't care if anyone else gets killed. Which seems kind of selfish, and leads to stupid results like letting in a known serial killer while deporting your family because statistically your family is more likely to kill you than this one known serial killer is.

              I'll give another example. Say I want you to buy food from me. I tell you that the odds of the typical American dying from eating my food is 3 out of 11 billion. Do you buy from me? The correct answer is that you need more information to make a meaningful decision. If thus far I've only sold one meal every ten years, then my meals are quite deadly and you probably don't want to buy from me. If instead I'm in currently charge of supplying several major supermarket chains and the entire school lunch program, then I'm probably safer than anyone else you could find. But this shows that the 3 out of 11 billion number is meaningless, because it covers everything from "certain death" to "actually safer than the average."

              Sure, but the numbers make it pretty clear that the odds of it happening are infinitesimal


              The numbers don't make that clear until you provide us with clear numbers, and not junk numbers.

              The meaningful number is not the odds of a particular American being killed by a refugee. A more meaningful number is the odds that a particular refugee will kill an American. (Or perhaps, the ratio of refugees to Americans they will kill, since a terrorist might kill more than one person.) That's still a tiny number. There's no reason to be dishonest and spout one-in-billions nonsense.

              Is it possible that some insanely dedicated and skilled terrorist/murderer/communist would pretend to be a refugee and sneak into the country that way?


              I don't know why a terrorist would have to be super-dedicated to pretend to be a refugee. Is that harder than pretending to be a tourist, businessman, or student?

              I'm pretty sure I've got better odds of tripping over a cat and breaking my neck than I am of dying from a terrorist, refugee, or terrorist refugee, but you won't see me freakin' out and running in terror every time I see a cat, or calling for the deportation of all felines 'just in case one of them has a mind to kill'.


              But if you saw a tiger roaming down the street you'd still call the police, even though the odds of getting killed by a tiger attack are probably less than the odds of tripping over your cat. The odds change when you've actually got a tiger in front of you. It would be insane to import 100 tigers and let them roam free in the city just because they rarely kill anyone. (And no, I am not saying that refugees will kill people at the rate that tigers do. I am saying that your numbers are so meaningless that if they WERE that deadly, your stupid 3 in 11 billion number would not necessarily reflect that fact, because the number is actually THAT stupid.)

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 2 Oct 2016 @ 5:00pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

                No. I just showed why the 11 billion number is a meaningless number. That number only matters if the only thing you care about is whether you, personally, will get killed, and you don't care if anyone else gets killed. Which seems kind of selfish, and leads to stupid results like letting in a known serial killer while deporting your family because statistically your family is more likely to kill you than this one known serial killer is.

                You keep making these absurd comparisons, between serial killers to tigers and so forth, so I'm just going to ask right out: How dangerous do you think syrian refugees are? If your problem with taking them in is that there's people over there that are willing to kill, well that's no different than the people over here, so what is it exactly that makes them so dangerous, and letting refugees come over such a huge risk?

                As I noted above, if 'some of them might turn out to be a risk, so we should keep them out/treat them as this huge threat' then according to the numbers the people saying so should be fleeing the country as fast as possible, as the much higher threat is already within the borders.

                For someone to be consistent they either brush off the 'threat' posed by refugees as insignificant(which is not to say that no security should be employed, merely that it be proportional and rational according to how much of a threat actually exists) as not a notable problem compared to any number of other, much bigger threats, or they treat the 'threat' posed by refugees as a notable problem worth significant attention and pay even more attention to the numerous other problems which are much, much worse.

                I don't know why a terrorist would have to be super-dedicated to pretend to be a refugee. Is that harder than pretending to be a tourist, businessman, or student?

                Extremely so, John Oliver covered the topic and the number of hoops someone has to jump through just to qualify to maybe be allowed in the US as a refugee is both numerous and highly time-consuming. 'Investigated by multiple government agencies over the course of a year and a half to two years at least, and where the first step has a less than 1% acceptance rate' numerous and time-consuming. And that was before the House voted to make the process even more difficult to get through.

                That's not just insanely dedicated, it's insanely stupid for someone planning on coming to the US to kill people to deliberately place themselves in a position of close scrutiny by multiple government agencies, in a process where the overwhelming majority of applicants are rejected, given there are much easier and less 'risky' ways to come to the US. Terrorists are stupid, but they're not generally that stupid(or perhaps more accurately 'stupid in that particular fashion).

                The numbers don't make that clear until you provide us with clear numbers, and not junk numbers.

                In which case Vox provided some 'clear numbers' as well.

                'Note: Several readers have argued that Trump Jr.'s tweet solely refers to Syrian refugees. In that case: Since October of 2015, the United States has admitted roughly 8,000 Syrian refugees. Not one has committed an act of terrorism. That's zero deadly Skittles.'

                CATO also threw together a 28 page report on the subject, with plenty of numbers for you to dig through if you care to. Short version is that out of the massive number of people coming into the country the number that turn out to be terrorists, or commit terrorist acts is minuscule.

                (You may be pleased to note that the 'clear numbers' they used place the odds of an american being killed by a foreign terrorist on US soil is 'only' 1 in 3.6 million per year, and yes, that's including the 9/11 deaths. It's still a one in several millions odds, but at least it's not billions, right?)

                (And no, I am not saying that refugees will kill people at the rate that tigers do. I am saying that your numbers are so meaningless that if they WERE that deadly, your stupid 3 in 11 billion number would not necessarily reflect that fact, because the number is actually THAT stupid.)

                If the numbers are 'stupid' it's because it's based upon an even more idiotic statement/implication. When one person makes an absurd claim it's only natural that refuting it is likely going to come across as more than a little ridiculous.

                Blame the people who implied that 3 skittles out of a bowl's worth are deadly(or even might be) for the 'stupid numbers', not the people who crunched the numbers to see just how big that 'bowl' would have to be for the original claim to be even remotely accurate.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:51am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

                  Since October of 2015, the United States has admitted roughly 8,000 Syrian refugees. Not one has committed an act of terrorism. That's zero deadly Skittles.'


                  And just to beat a dead horse: if every single one of those 8,000 Syrian refugees had killed one person in a terrorist attack, then by Vox's math the bowl would still contain 120,513 Skittles. (And maybe more, if they included previous years where there were fewer Syrian refugees.) This is my only real point. Vox's math is dishonest and you can't tell a thing from it.

                  If the numbers are 'stupid' it's because it's based upon an even more idiotic statement/implication. When one person makes an absurd claim it's only natural that refuting it is likely going to come across as more than a little ridiculous.


                  I saw a ridiculous number, and I used ridiculous scenarios that fit the number to demonstrate the ridiculousness of the number. Vox saw a ridiculous analogy, and used a ridiculous number that was just dishonest to argue with it.

                  Blame the people who implied that 3 skittles out of a bowl's worth are deadly(or even might be) for the 'stupid numbers', not the people who crunched the numbers to see just how big that 'bowl' would have to be for the original claim to be even remotely accurate.


                  No, I'm still blaming Vox and everyone who quoted them. The original Trump Jr quote might have been unsupportable, but that doesn't make the billions number any better. While they're at it, why not multiply by the population of the world instead of the population of America, and look at the hourly rate of being killed instead of the yearly rate? They could probably hit the quadrillions instead of the billions.

                  Anyway, I think both you and Vox misunderstood the analogy in the original. As I understand it, the "bowl" is the entire population of Syria. The "poisoned Skittles" are the terrorists. We are taking some and "eating" them as a country (putting them into our body.) If this is the analogy, you cannot reasonably argue that three out of every 11 billion Syrians are terrorists. There are far more than 3 terrorists in Syria, and far less than 11 billion people in Syria. What do you think the ratio is? To pick an arbitrary number, maybe 1 in 1125 that would harm us if they were here? A bowl of 3375 Skittles would be large, but not ridiculously so. (A bowl 15 skittles long, deep, and wide would contain that number.)

                  Your claim of safety via a vetting process is not really analogous to there being a billion skittles - it's more like we think we can tell which ones are "poisoned" and just avoid "eating" them. That's not quite the same thing. Would I eat Skittles from a normal-sized bowl if three of them were actually poisonous, but I knew that the poisoned ones were noticeably heavier? Maybe - but I'd certainly eat them slowly and not by the handful.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    That One Guy (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 1:36pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

                    if every single one of those 8,000 Syrian refugees had killed one person in a terrorist attack, then by Vox's math the bowl would still contain 120,513 Skittles.

                    No, the 8,000 number was a response to 'but the skittles example is only talking about syrian refugees', different than the 'risk from refugees in general' which gave them the 1 to several billions(or millions according to the CATA report) number of foreign potential terrorists in general, in which they pointed out that out of the 8,000 from syria not one has been 'poisoned'.

                    I saw a ridiculous number, and I used ridiculous scenarios that fit the number to demonstrate the ridiculousness of the number. Vox saw a ridiculous analogy, and used a ridiculous number that was just dishonest to argue with it.

                    What's dishonest about countering baseless fearmongering with actual facts? On the one side you've got someone trying to imply that there's a very real chance a given handful from a bowl will be your last, on the other you've got people pointing out just how insanely low that chance actually is, and what the odds actually are.

                    There are far more than 3 terrorists in Syria, and far less than 11 billion people in Syria. What do you think the ratio is? To pick an arbitrary number, maybe 1 in 1125 that would harm us if they were here? A bowl of 3375 Skittles would be large, but not ridiculously so. (A bowl 15 skittles long, deep, and wide would contain that number.)

                    And to pick a non-arbitrary number to date it's been 0 out of 8,000. That there may be more terrorists in Syria than there is in the US doesn't really mean much because to date the murderous idiots haven't been the ones coming over, and even if they do the odds of them doing so as refugees is insanely low as demonstrated above.

                    The US has more murders(and one would assume murderers) than European countries, does that mean that those countries would be justified in barring or setting insanely high bars for entry to anyone from the US?

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 12:39am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

                      if every single one of those 8,000 Syrian refugees had killed one person in a terrorist attack, then by Vox's math the bowl would still contain 120,513 Skittles.
                      No, the 8,000 number was a response to...


                      What do you mean, no? It's true that Vox used the 8,000 number for something else. But it's the number of refugees, according to them. Am I not allowed to use the number of refugees in my hypothetical, just because they used it first? Do you think that I am arguing that all 8,000 refugees have actually killed someone or will actually kill someone? Let me assure you that I am not arguing that, and it was purely a hypothetical to show, once again, that their math will *always* result in a very large number of Skittles no matter how dangerous or safe the people we let in are.

                      Or are you saying no to my math? But that's how they did their math. The US population is 321,368,864, according to Wikipedia. Divide that by 8,000 deaths per year for the hypothetical situation where every single Syrian refugee that entered in the past year kills one person in a terrorist attack, and you get odds of 1 in 40,171 of being killed by a Syrian refugee in a year (rounding down). Then multiply by 3 skittles, and you get a bowl with 120,513 Skittles, by their math, even though we're in the scenario where *every* Syrian refugee is a terrorist that kills one person.

                      If you think that's a dumb result, then you agree with me that Vox's math is dumb. If you think that result is perfectly fine, then we'll just have to disagree. If you have a correction to my math, I'd love to see it. If you want to make the argument that refugees are safe and Vox is arguing that refugees are safe and therefore Vox's numbers couldn't possibly be misleading, then I think you're committing some sort of logical fallacy.

                      which gave them the 1 to several billions(or millions according to the CATA report) number of foreign potential terrorists in general


                      Wait. Do you actually think that that those millions or billions numbers are supposed to represent the number of foreign potential terrorists? If you think this, then it only confirms my belief that Vox was being misleading. Because, although it would make lots of sense to use such a number, that's not what Vox's number is. Vox's number represents the yearly odds of you personally being killed in a terrorist attack by a refugee. But given the large population of the US compared to the other numbers involved, what that number MOSTLY represents is "there are hundreds of millions of people in the US, so even if a terrorist kills one, it will probably be someone else and not me."

                      What's dishonest about countering baseless fearmongering with actual facts?


                      You know what Mark Twain said about statistics.

                      You want to know what's dishonest about their statistics here? For one thing, see everything I've written about how their math would result in a high number of Skittles no matter how dangerous the refugees are or aren't. But here's another thing: why does Vox use yearly odds? You can argue about whether Trump Jr. meant it to be the odds of an individual being killed by a refugee terrorist or the odds that a Syrian is a terrorist (you and Vox apparently think it's the former and I think it's more likely to be the latter). OK, reasonable people can disagree on that. But even if he DID mean it to be the odds of a particular person being killed, what indication was there that he intended it to be a yearly number and not a lifetime number? I suspect Vox's reason for using yearly is "we wanted the result to be at least a FULL swimming pool full of Skittles, but without converting to a yearly number the pool would only be a few inches deep."

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        That One Guy (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 4:52pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The image in question was WAY out of scale...

                        It's not 'Vox's' math, it's CATO's, and as far as I can tell it's based on past numbers, and doesn't involve the total population at any point. Here's how many people have entered the country over the last four decades in different ways(visas, refugees, illegal immigrants and so on), here's how many of them have committed 'terrorist acts' and how many were injured/killed, and from there you figure out the historic odds of a person being affected by a terrorist act committed by someone in one of those categories.

                        Historical 'odds' like that can have flaws to be sure, what's happened before isn't a guarantee of what will happen in the future, but barring some reliable way to see the future it certainly seems the only real way to calculate probabilities that are based upon something more than 'gut feelings' or 'hunches'.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Joe, 28 Sep 2016 @ 2:20pm

    "As I made clear, I think the Skittles analogy is incredibly stupid"

    I agree. It was a massive, ludicrous underestimation of how many Moslems are Islamists who believe in things like death for apostasy, genital mutilation, and sharia law. If Trump Jr. used accurate numbers, it would be that every third skittle is poisoned. 30%, one out of every three Moslems, on average, holds at least some beliefs incompatible with western civilization.

    Source: Pew Research https://i.sli.mg/Vhc1ss.png

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Mayor, 28 Sep 2016 @ 3:44pm

    COPYRIGHT, SLANDER AND BLASPHEMY

    The problem... Mike!... is that David Kittos' speech (his bowl of Skittles... if you will!) is DAVID'S CONSTITUIONAL RIGHT! And it's not Trump Junior's Right... and whether we couch David's challenge under Copyright protection, or otherwise!... to PERVERT David's expression, and to make Trump Junior's "HYBRID/ HIJACKED EXPRESSION" appear SANCTIONABLE by David (i.e., alright, and/ or agreed to, by David! And to me-- at least!-- it's like taking the Bible out of context, and saying to God:... "It's OK!... it's 'FREE SPEECH'!" And if memory serves me correct, God has afforded a clear warning AND PUNISHMENT for adding to, or removing anything from the words expressed within-- for example!-- the Book of Revelation, of the New Testament (although, a similar warning-- under a different context!-- can be found under the NT's Book of Romans!)!
    .
    To end, although David's Skittles may not be on par with the prophetic words to be found within the Book of Revelation... and more akin, to "... do unto others as you would have them do unto you!..."... the message to be learned, is, DON'T SCREW WITH SOMEONE ELSE'S INTENT, AND TRY TO MAKE IT APPEAR THAT ANOTHER'S INTENT IS IN FACT YOUR OWN! For me!... this is more in the arena of SLANDER! And!... if God had sent an angel to photograph the Skittles in question, the "misuse" of same, could be couched as BLASPEMOUS! The more PERFECT the intent... the more BLASPHEMOUS the breach!
    .
    Please!... no emails!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 4:00pm

      Re: COPYRIGHT, SLANDER AND BLASPHEMY

      Wow you used all caps to make your POINT!. I'm impressed that you managed to see the screen through all the spittle that you must have covered your screen with while typing that absolute load of garbage.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        John Mayor, 28 Sep 2016 @ 5:20pm

        Re: Re: COPYRIGHT, SLANDER AND BLASPHEMY

        Spittle?... garbage? Thou intimateth (protesteth!) too mucheth! Go back to sleepeth!... you could use the "RESTETH"!
        .
        Oh!... and Trump isn't winning S-Q-U-A-T!
        .
        Please!... no emails!... OR FURTHER UNMITIGATE VILE!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 6:05pm

      Re: COPYRIGHT, SLANDER AND BLASPHEMY

      I did not read your drivel.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2016 @ 6:22pm

    Speaking of thou doth protest too much, I didn't say SQUAT about trump. Get thee behind me oh vile spittle flecked trol.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      John Mayor, 28 Sep 2016 @ 6:42pm

      Re:

      You don't have to "text" anything re Trump!... I-- at least!-- know who (and what!) you're attempting to P-R-O-T-E-C-T!
      .
      GALATIANS 6: 7, states: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return." [NIV]
      .
      Luke 10: 16, states: "Whoever listens to you (a Christian Messenger!) listens to Me (Jesus Christ!); whoever rejects you (a Christian Messenger!) rejects Me (Jesus Christ!); but whoever rejects Me (Jesus Christ!) rejects Him who sent Me (GOD!)! [NIV]
      .
      Matthew 25: 40, states: "And the King answering, will say to them, "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did it to Me." [Berean Literal Bible]
      .
      Please!... no emails!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        bob, 29 Sep 2016 @ 11:48pm

        Re: Re:

        Yeah I think the mothership mistakenly left you on earth while God was driving your family from the planet,

        Hebrews 11:34, ...[God] turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

        But really God wasn't being mean when He drove them away. He was just trolling,

        Proverbs 1:26, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob, 29 Sep 2016 @ 2:47pm

    HISHE

    So John Mayor reminds me of Voldemort from the how it should have ended video about Harry Potter.

    ... I'm going to kill you Harry Potter. I'm pointing my wand as hard as I can...

    The way he types it's like he thinks his point will become more powerful by emphasizing KEY P-A-R-T-S with caplocks and dashes. Oh, if only it worked that way.

    Here's the clip if you are interested: https://youtu.be/YsYWT5Q_R_w

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 11:42pm

    It's not 'Vox's' math, it's CATO's


    Cato did the math calculating, among other things, the yearly odds of being killed in a terrorist attack caused by a refugee, which are in fact insanely low. That much is fine; I don't object to the number being calculated. Cato, however, did not make a comparison to Skittles (at least not in this report.) The Washington Post then took this particular number from Cato (instead of a more appropriate number) and claimed this was the number of Skittles, and Vox quoted that favorably and displayed a giant bowl next to the Trump Hotel. So I guess I can primarily blame the Post, and Vox secondarily. (And if you think only the original matters, then you may want to know that Trump Jr apparently stole the Skittles quote from Joe Walsh, so maybe you should be blaming him and not Trump Jr? I don't think it matters a ton, personally.)

    and from there you figure out the historic odds of a person being affected by a terrorist act committed by someone in one of those categories.


    If you are calculating the historic odds of the average American being affected by a terrorist attack, then the "and from there you figure out" part necessarily includes the total population of America in the calculations somewhere, because that's how death rates work. What I am disputing is the appropriateness of saying that particular number is the number of Skittles in the metaphor.

    Here's how many people have entered the country over the last four decades in different ways(visas, refugees, illegal immigrants and so on)


    The 3 in 11 billion number ignores how many refugees have entered. That's exactly why it's the wrong number to use to argue whether refugees are safe or not, and why I was able to use that number in such ridiculous scenarios.

    But hey, now that I look at it, this Cato report has many of the numbers I wanted - ones that aren't skewed by the size of the entire American population. Under "Visas Issued to Nonterrorists per Terrorist", under the Refugee category, it has the number 162,625. Multiply that by 3 Skittles and you get 487,875. I still don't know what number Trump Jr intended (or if he even knows precisely what he intended), but if you consider refugees to be the Skittles and terrorist refugees to be the poisoned Skittles, this seems like a reasonable way to interpret his analogy. Or perhaps, since he specified "would kill you" and not "would try to kill you", a better number might be the "Number of Visas Issued per Victim of Terrorism" number, which in the Refugee category is 1,084,164, multiplied by 3 Skittles is 3,252,492.

    The Post assumed that one Skittle is about a third of a cubic centimeter. Using that figure, a cube of Skittles would be about 54.58 cm (about 21.5 inches) on each side if we use the 487,875 Skittles number, and about 102.73 cm (about 40.4 inches) on each side if we use the 3,252,492 number. And if I calculate correctly, a semisphere-shaped bowl holding that amount would be about 33.6 inches in diameter and 16.8 inches deep, or 63.2 inches in diameter and 31.6 inches deep, depending on which number you use. That's still pretty big, and obviously much larger than the rather small bowl Trump Jr pictured in his tweet. It wouldn't look very impressive next to the Trump Hotel, though.

    My next thought was, "this report goes back several decades... what about recent refugees?" The report had this: "All of the murders committed by foreign-born refugees in terrorist attacks were committed by those admitted prior to the 1980 act" which created the screening process. That's certainly an encouraging sign. On the other hand, the 1 in 162,625 odds of a refugee being a terrorist means the odds are actually greater than any of the other immigration categories. Even including the 9/11 attacks, the odds for a tourist are 1 in 19,351,005, according to the report.

    We could do all sorts of other things with the numbers. If 1 in 162,625 is the correct odds of a refugee being a terrorist, then if we admit 8000 Syrian refugees, the odds of one being a terrorist would be in the neighborhood of 1 in 20.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pete, 11 Oct 2016 @ 6:56am

    This is the Very Opposite of Racist

    There's a bowl of sweets and 3 will kill you.

    If those dangerous 3 were a specific colour, then of course that would be racist. I think we can all agree on that.

    But the example is the very opposite of that. Colour has nothing to do with danger. Even though the sweets are all colours, you can't tell which are dangerous by looking at them - you have to eat them.

    This is as anti-racist an example as you'll find anywhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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