Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes:" From the casebook of Brian Bilbray

Rep. Brian Bilbray (R - CA) says: You see, but you do not observe:

[A]ccording to Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), "trained professionals" can identify undocumented workers just by looking at their clothes.

Discussing Arizona's pending profiling bill on "Hardball," Chris Matthews challenged Bilbray to cite a "non-ethnic aspect" by which law enforcement agents could identify illegal immigrants. "They will look at the kind of dress you wear, there is different type of attire, there is different type of -- right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes," Bilbray replied.

Of course, law enforcement wouldn't detain people based solely on clothing, Bilbray said. They also know to look out for the ways in which illegal immigrants just act illegal.

"It's mostly behavior, just as the law enforcement people here in Washington, D.C. does it based on certain criminal activity," he told Matthews. "There is behavior things that professionals are trained in across the board, and this group shouldn't be exempt from those observations as much as anybody else [sic throughout]."

Indeed, the process is simplicity itself. For example:

"Beyond the obvious facts that he has at some time done manual labour, that he takes snuff, that he is a Freemason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a considerable amount of writing lately, I can deduce nothing else."
Sherlock Holmes
"The Red-Headed League"

"Then, pray tell me what it is that you can infer from this hat?"

He picked it up and gazed at it in the peculiar introspective fashion which was characteristic of him. "It is perhaps less suggestive than it might have been," he remarked, "and yet there are a few inferences which are very distinct, and a few others which represent a strong balance of probability. That the man was highly intellectual is of course obvious on the face of it, and also that he was fairly well-to-do within the last three years although he has now fallen upon evil days. He had foresight, but has less now than formerly, pointing to a moral retrogression, which, when taken with the decline of his fortunes, seems to indicate some evil influence, probably drink, at work upon him. This may also account for the fact that his wife has ceased to love him."

Sherlock Holmes
"The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle"

"You have come in by train this morning, I see."

"You know me then?"

"No, but I observe the second half of a return ticket in the palm of your left glove. You must have started early, and yet you had a good drive in a dog-cart, along heavy roads, before you reached the station."

Sherlock Holmes
"The Adventure of the Speckled Band"

He held it up and tapped on it with his long, thin forefinger, as a presser might who was lecturing on a bone.

"Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest," said he. "Nothing has more individuality, save perhaps watches and bootlaces. The indications here, however, are neither very marked nor very important. The owner is pbviously a muscular man, left-handed, with an excellent set of teeth, careless in his habits, and with no need to practise economy."

Sherlock Holmes
"The Yellow Face"

"I have the advantage of knowing your habits, my dear Watson," said he. "When your round is a short one you walk, and when it is a long one you use a hansom. As I perceive that your boots, although used, are by no means dirty, I cannot doubt that you are at present busy enough to justify the hansom."

"Excellent!" I cried.

"Elementary," said he.

Sherlock Holmes
"The Crooked Man"

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