Wednesday, December 22, 2010

True Charity Doesn’t Foster Dependency.....

I’ve always had a hard time understanding the "do-gooder" impulse.

In my experience virtually all humans are motivated by self-interest, even if it is the motive to feel important, or needed, or powerful...and no situation delivers more of that sort of feeling of importance and power over others (of being “needed”) than that of "the helper".

No impulse has been more abused either. (Jeffrey Dahmer is said to have been motivated by the desire to create a group of "devoted and dependent zombies") Most politicians and career bureaucrats elicit the same impulse in seeking to “improve” (by micromanaging) the lives of others.

It's always easier for each of us to see the other person's flaws, in fact it's often easier to see our own faults when they’re projected onto others.

Personally, I don't believe we're here (in this life) to "help" others, but instead to develop and perfect ourselves.

The crux of Jesus' message was "Treat others as you'd want to be treated yourself", and since most of us wouldn't want to be treated as helpless victims, we probably should refrain from treating others that way ourselves.

Why do so many self-professed "Christians" overlook Jesus admonition that "Before you would remove the (splinter) from your neighbor's eye first remove the (plank) from your own"???

Truly "helping" a poor person isn't feeding, housing &/or clothing them, but teaching them how to do those basic things for themselves.

The fact that most of the human "help" offered comes in the form of directly doing for others what they must learn to do for themselves shows that most "helpers" aren't ready to, or prepared to really help others.

Take the case of Haiti, for instance. Haiti has had a lot of systemic problems and it’s had them looooong before this past summer's earthquake.

Consider that Chile was struck with an even powerful earthquake a few months later and neither needed nor accepted much international aid.

Even the other nation that shares the SAME island with Haiti, the Dominican Republic, is far more economically viable, more productive, prosperous and less corrupt than Haiti.

The problem with giving alms (money, food, supplies) to places like Zimbabwe and Haiti is the same problem witnessed thousands of times when poor people win he lottery - within a scant few years most are even poorer (even more in debt) than before they won.

Giving a poor man a meal makes the giver feel generous, kind, even important/needed, and it does at least temporarily sustain the poor man, but it ultimately leaves the poor man much WORSE OFF than before. Not only hasn't he learned how to sustain himself, he's begun being conditioned to believing that he can be, even "should be" taken care of by others.

That's NOT real "help"...that's NOT virtuous charity. It’s inculcating dependency in order to make yourself feel powerful, benevolent and needed...and there’s no virtue in that.

Florida Busts Pro-Pedophile Author!....

Phillip Ray Greaves, a 47-year-old retired nurse's aide living in Pueblo, Colo., was arrested Monday at his home by sheriff's deputies from Florida's Polk County on charges of violating Florida's obscenity law - a third-degree felony.

Mr. Greaves waived his right to fight extradition during a brief court appearance on Monday,

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said his office arrested Greaves because he sold and mailed the "horrifying" book - "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-Lover's Code of Conduct" - directly to undercover deputies at an address in Lakeland, Fla., after being paid $50.

While some seem to believe Sheriff Judd’s charges against Phillip Ray Greaves to be “an overreach”, that’s almost certainly untrue. States have differing laws concerning what constitutes things like “Endangering the Welfare of a Child” and individual states have been able to prosecute various individuals for disseminating bomb making instructions in print and even the possession of things deemed "child porn" as defined by the individual states, so the 1st Amendment does not appear to offer the “blanket protection” for “all speech” that some purists think it does and believe it should.

For instance the New York State Troopers’ website makes clear;

Promoting the Sexual Performance by a Child - If a person transmits, sells, offers, trades, or otherwise provides images of a child less than 17 years old engaged in sexual activity or "lewd exhibition," they are guilty of promoting the sexual performance by a child. The most likely occurrence of this conduct is via E-mail, posting images to computer bulletin boards, newsgroups, the web, etc.

Endangering the Welfare of a Child

"Endangering the welfare of a child" means acting in any manner that is likely to be injurious to the physical, mental, or moral welfare of a child. As you can see, some conduct that might not meet the criteria of the crimes listed above may still be conduct that is likely to be injurious to the child's physical, mental, or moral welfare.

A person can be arrested and prosecuted in new York State for merely disseminating any information in print or electronic form that either promotes child/adult sex or “endangers the welfare of a child”, leaving the specifics of those statutes to both law enforcement and the various state judges to define and enforce.

Obama Embraces “Laffer Curve” and Endorses “Massive Tax Reform”....

According to the NY Times, “President Obama is considering whether to push early next year for an overhaul of the income tax code to lower rates and raise revenues in what would be his first major effort to begin addressing the long-term growth of the national debt.”

Not to be outdone by those tax-cutting Conservatives, Obama’s fiscal commission has proposed eliminating almost all deductions and credits and going with a three-tier income tax (8%, 14% and 23%) and have a corporate income tax of 26%. It also offered some other rates depending on what deductions and credits were allowed to stay in.

If the Obama administration didn’t understand and accept that lower tax rates deliver higher tax revenues, they’d never approve the report of this fiscal commission and that report would’ve never seen the light of day.

Now that appears to be a refreshing change of view.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Does The “Race Debate” Need to be “Rescued”?

In a recent New York Times article by Charles Blow (“Let’s Rescue the Race Debate”: - pictured above) he charges, in effect, that whites who oppose race-based preferences and arbitrary and questionable challenges to long-existing, and verifiably necessary standards are motivated by anti-black bigotry.

There are a number of major flaws to Mr. Blow’s viewpoint.

First, the article by Charles Blow is predicated upon the highly questionable validity of a test (the IAT) that its own creators can’t even agree upon. (SEE:

Second, his defense of “rescuing the race debate” (reinvigorating the black grievance viewpoint) is predicated on both that questionable test and two very flawed arguments; The first is, “ question is the same one used by the right to defend the Tea Party against claims of racism: Where’s the proof? There’s a mound of scientific evidence a mile high that documents the broad, systematic and structural discrimination against minorities. Where’s the comparable mound of documentation for discrimination against whites? There isn’t one.”


Fact is the ONLY form of government-sanctioned racial discrimination to exist in this country over the last half century has been the various affirmative action program’s that have granted preferences (discrimination) and set-asides based on race.

Beyond that, the current assault on standardized tests, despite the mountain of unquestionable scientific evidence AGINST the claims of “test bias”, based on the legally dubious criteria called “disparate impact” is based on blanket racial bigotry, by the proponents of disparate impact who are seeking to eviscerate useful, even necessary standards.

The second flawed charge is, “In fact, some on the right seem to be doing with the race issue what they’ve done with the climate-change issue: denying the basic facts and muddying the waters around them until no one can see clearly enough to have an honest discussion or develop thoughtful solutions.”

This is a very poorly framed argument, especially in light of what’s gone on within the global warming, or more aptly, the “anthropomorphic global warming” (AGW) debate.

Today, a growing majority of scientists disagree with the idea of AGW. Even Dr. Reid Bryson (the father of Climatology) refutes the view that man has caused or even exacerbated global warming over the last century. So it’s NOT “the Right-wing”, a charge that makes Mr. Blow’s ideological biases all to clear, but the vast majority of scientists who’ve challenged the idea of AGW.

Moreover, the evidence in the skeptics favor has increased, while the evidence in favor of AGW has waned, especially in light of the info dump at the CRU at East Anglia University, that showed how much of the research bolstering the “Al Gore view on AGW” was bogus, even retrofitted to pre-conceived outcomes.

In that regard, the AGW debate IS similar to the race debate that Mr. Blow looks at, in that in both instances, the purveyors of “man is bad” (in the AGW debate) and “whites are bad” (in the race debate) predicate their arguments on flawed data, questionable and highly subjective tests and then smear those who question that flawed data as “Right-wingers”, “Deniers” and “Skeptics”, when, in fact, it is they who are actually denying the actual verifiable evidence all around them.

Beyond all that, Charles Blow’s entire argument would, ironically enough, seem to boil down to an endorsement of the objective and identity-blind standardized exams like the SAT, the various professional licensing exams and the kinds of exams used in the Civil Service Merit System, as a way around the largely subjective interview process. At least those criteria would eliminate much of the unconscious, subjective biases that most concern Mr. Blow.

Moreover, what Charles Blow conveniently overlooks is how the parameters of “the race debate” have changed.

Where is “the race debate” today?

Lacking any verifiable charges of overt racial discrimination against blacks, “the race debate” has taken to challenging long-established and existing standards that certain ethnic groups tend to be less competitive on.

The “New Haven 20” weren’t Tea Party members claiming “anti-white discrimination,” they were a multi-ethnic group of New Haven, Connecticut firefighters who’d passed a Lieutenant’s exam and were denied promotion because “not enough blacks scored high enough to be promoted”.

The New Haven test was engineered by an outside consultancy that specializes in testing procedures, at great expense to that city and nothing on the exam itself was challenged as being in any way “biased”.

In New York City, another major front on the current “race debate”, the situation is even clearer. Black firefighters have claimed discrimination on the FDNY’s entrance exams and a Federal judge (Nicholas Garaufis) agreed citing that the exams have the same one standard deviation “disparate impact” that the Law Boards, the MCATs, the CPA Exam and other such professional standardized exams have.

The group opposing this, Merit Matters is also a multi-racial group that merely supports higher standards for the fire service. They have yet to charge anyone with any kind of bigotry or discrimination.

All such charges have been leveled by those looking to circumvent the existing (and already very lax) entry level standards.

Ironically enough, the Vulcans (a fraternity of black firefighters) would have you believe that New York City deliberately discriminates against blacks!

But if that’s so, how is New York City’s Municipal workforce 38% black, when only 25% of its population is black?

They’d also like you to believe that the FDNY (77% white) is “the single greatest embarrassment, in terms of ‘not looking like New York City’ among New York’s Municipal agencies”.

That too, is absolutely untrue.

Even if you take only the FDNY’s uniformed firefighting workforce (leaving off the EMS and office staff) and compare only that portion of the FDNY (90% white), they are nearly double their numbers in the city’s population (46%) and admittedly “don’t look like New York City”.

Fact is, there are no less than 7 New York City agencies in which there are twice as many black employees as there are blacks in New York City’s population. Starting with the Human Resources Administration is 61% black. (2.2X their numbers in NYC's population), the Equal Employment Practices Commission is 63% black (2.3X their numbers in NYC's population), the Department of Homeless Services is 64% black (2.3X their numbers in NYC's population), the Department of Probation is 65% black (almost 2.5X their numbers in NYC's population), the Department of Corrections is 65% black (also nearly 2.5X their numbers in NYC's population), the Administration for Children's Services is 67% black (over 2.5X their numbers in NYC's population), followed by the REAL "singular embarrassment", as far as "looking like the population of New York City" goes, the Department of Juvenile Justice at 78% black (nearly 3X their numbers in NYC's population)!

The closer you look at the modern “race debate”, the more Charles Blow looks like Al Gore, a layman, claiming that a scientific debate is over (no scientific inquiry is EVER over, as they’re all open to new information), while ignoring how dramatically the parameters of the subject have changed over the last few years.

In fact, Al Gore has recently come out and retracted his support for corn-based ethanol subsidies that he’s long supported as part of his environmental agenda.

Mr. Blow seems equally out of touch with how the “race debate” which he’d “save” has changed...and yet, he seems to feel comfortable blindly adhering to the “war on standards” that the proponents of “disparate impact” are currently waging.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

President Obama’s New Found Fondness for Globalism.....

Lost amidst the hoopla of the dramatic midterm elections and buried beneath speculations (often wild) about the cost of Barack Obama’s trip to Asia in their wake was the spectacle of Barack Obama, once thought to be the champion of the anti-Globalists and anti-free traders embracing that globalism loud and clear.

The old saying, “Always stare at a spectacle” went unheeded this time. "For America, this is a jobs strategy," he said, adding "There still exists a caricature of India as a land of call centers and back offices that cost American jobs. That's a real perception."

But Obama noted that the relationship between the countries is much more symbiotic, "creating jobs, growth, and higher living standards in both our countries. And that is the truth."

In the wake of the U.S. elections, which saw the Democrats lose control of the House and Obama's ability to connect with his country called into question, the president said one lesson learned was the need to set a better tone with business leaders. He was effusive on that front in Mumbai, gathering with top U.S. executives and studying up on their commerce with India.

"Just around this table you're seeing billions of dollars in orders from U.S. companies, tens of thousands of jobs being supported," he said. "We're a potential that has barely been scratched."

The White House arranged for four U.S. chief executives who are in India for the occasion to brief reporters traveling with the president. They seemed happy to play up the importance of India as a trading partner and praised Obama's decision to come to the country to underscore that point in person.

While noting that India’s infrastructure was an impediment to progress and urging that government to take on that issue, his larger message was one of the shared values and missions of the two largest democracies in the world.

In making that point, the President even generated a bit of laughter at his own expense, offering those in attendance a reminder of his political travails back home, "Our countries are blessed with the most effective form of government the world has ever known: democracy," he said. "Even if it can be slow at times. Even if it can be messy. Even if, sometimes, the election doesn't turn out as you'd like."

Many in India seemed more hopeful after the visit. One Indian executive, Onkar Kanwar, the chairman of India's largest tire manufacturer, Apollo Tyres, said he appreciated that the new President made it a point to visit India during his first term noting that, "Ties are getting closer and closer, which needs to be done....This demonstrates his commitment to another large democracy where he sees a lot of synergies," Kanwar said. "He's done all right."

It remains to be seen if the anti-globalist Left in America sees this kind of rhetoric as “doing all right.”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

America’s Corporatist Partnership....

There’s been a very strong partnership between business and government here in the U.S. since 1912. That means (and you can look this up) there has long been a deep and widespread interbreeding between “the political class” and the “industrialist class”.

Look at the boards of directors of America’s largest businesses and industries;

Al Gore is on the board of directors of Apple and Google, he is also co-founder and chair of Generation Investment Management, and is the co-founder and chair of Current TV, Gore is also a partner in the venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Vernon Jordan a major figure in the Carter and Clinton administrations has served as a senior managing director with Lazard Freres & Co. LLC, an investment banking firm. He is also currently a member of the board of directors of multiple corporations, including American Express, J.C. Penney Corporation, Xerox, Asbury Automotive Group and the Dow Jones & Company. He is formerly a member of the board of directors of Revlon, Sara Lee, Corning and RJR Nabisco.

Dan Quayle (Bush Sr’s VP) is the Chairman of Cerberus Global Investments, LLC and had chaired the international advisory board of Cerberus Capital Management, where he recruited former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, who would have been installed as chairman if Cerberus had successfully acquired Air Canada. Quayle also serves on the boards of Aozora Bank, K-2 Inc., Bell Automotive and IAP Global.

Walter Mondale (Carter’s VP) served on the corporate boards of BlackRock Advantage Term Trust and other BlackRock Mutual Funds, Cargill Incorporated, CNA Financial Corporation, the Encyclopedia Britannica, First Financial Fund and other Prudential Mutual Funds, Northwest Airlines and United HealthCare Corporation...and these are just a few.

Many of the very same politicians so many liberals claim to love ARE the SAME Corporate executives they claim to revile.

No American administration going back over 100 years has reduced government...the best administration's (the Reagan administration and the Gingrich Congress) merely expanded the state LESS than their hyper-Keynesian liberal Democratic and Rockefeller Republican cohorts.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It’s OUR Fault as Well!....

With hard times getting harder and lots of public sector employees, long impervious to recessions, facing layoffs, a lot of us are looking for someone to blame.

Some want to blame “corporate greed” or “greedy bankers”, others blame the government, a government that allowed all this to happen. Even worse, a government filled with members of “the political class” who moonlight as corporate denizens. That’s right, the corporate boards are filled with the likes of Al Gore (Google and Apple, to name a few), Vernon Jordan a senior managing director with Lazard Freres & Co. LLC, an investment banking firm. He is also currently a member of the board of directors of multiple corporations, including American Express, J.C. Penney Corporation, Xerox, Asbury Automotive Group and the Dow Jones & Company. He is formerly a member of the board of directors of Revlon, Sara Lee, Corning and RJR Nabisco, even old Walter Mondale, who served on the corporate boards of BlackRock Advantage Term Trust and other BlackRock Mutual Funds, Cargill Incorporated, CNA Financial Corporation, the Encyclopedia Britannica, First Financial Fund and other Prudential Mutual Funds, Northwest Airlines and United HealthCare Corporation and these are but to name a few.

But the truth is that we’re all somewhat culpable.

The people (as voters) over-demand...and politicians over-promise and the result is this familiar but inane bit of kabuki theater we’re all engaged in. Certainly there is rampant fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid, as well as in many of our Military contracts and most of the other “entitlement” programs we’ve all (to one extent or another) supported.

BUT the people will ONLY support such expenditures up to a given cost.

Where is that point, or cost line?

It probably differs from individual to individual, but there’s little room now for added expenses being favored by a majority of Americans in favor of maintaining the current level of “service”.

If there was a willingness on a the part of a majority of the electorate to pay more for more services, that would’ve already been, it can’t be advanced because there isn’t enough support for that, so we can be pretty sure there is even less support for paying more for the same, let alone paying more for less.

That’s the dilemma America now faces. We’ve borrowed pretty much to the max, so we're faced with major cuts in government expenditures, especially in the major expenditures, our "sacred cows" (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Military) have to be made OR taxes and other costs/revenue-enhancers have to go up and our overall quality of life will fall precipitously and as unpalatable as the former (deep cuts) might be, hiking costs (taxes, etc.) and decreasing the quality of life of most Americans is even less palatable.

A lot of people like to blame (over-promising) politicians for all these ills, but they’re only one part of the equation...our (the general public’s) excessive demands have also played a part.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Proof’s in the Pudding/Results – Socialism Simply CANNOT Work.....

We’ve seen the failure of the Command Economies of the former USSR and Mao’s China, and today we’re seeing the failure of big government, Keynesian economic policies and the vaunted "Public/Private Partnership" called Corporatism.

Sad economic experience has shown us over and over and over again that, as well-intentioned as they may be, public sector/government workers can’t grow food, produce clothing, cars, housing, etc, at even half the efficiency of the private sector...because the private sector is CONSUMER-driven (focused on benefiting the customer), while the public sector is worker-driven (focused on benefiting the worker)...and THAT is why the command/government-run economy CANNOT work.

It’s not the workers fault, it’s the fault of the orientation of each system. The most motivated private sector worker would probably become a “me-first”, “pay me more, for doing less” public sector worker if he/she wound up working for the government, where there are no incentives for those who work harder and smarter and work isn't anchored to productivity and generating wealth.

And yes, under the right conditions an unmotivated public sector worker could become a highly motivated private sector worker, if given both the motivating incentives and the fear of losing one’s job should you fail to produce, but all too often we see many potentially good workers debilitated by the “worker-driven ethos” of the public sector.

Of course, today in America, as in most of the West, we have a “private sector” that is so tethered to and partnered with government that this semi- or pseudo-private sector has adopted most of that public sector ethos and that is the disaster we're seeing all around us today.

Commerce is merely another term for a mutually beneficial exchange, generally a sum of money/currency in exchange for a given product or service. Commerce is predicated on buyer and seller being able to come to a consensus or “meeting of the minds” in regards to things like quality and price.

Ideally, every customer would like goods of the highest quality at the lowest possible price (approaching zero) and likewise, the merchant or seller wants to get the highest quality price for the least quality (cheapest to produce) goods and services. The same sort of dynamic goes on when each of us looks to buy and sell a buyer, we want the most (or highest quality) house at the lowest possible price, while as seller, we want the reverse, we want the highest possible price for our home regardless of its relative quality or value.

In that regard and for that reason, every would-be worker is a salesperson of an inanimate commodity (his skills or labors) and each job, or skill has its own “optimum price”, the price at which the most exchanges will take place, sustaining consumer demand and maintaining an optimum profitability for both the worker and the entity he/she works with/for producing specific goods and/or services.

As an example, if a farmer grows peas, for instance and can sell 100% of his peas at 68-cents/pound, when he pays his field workers (pea-pickers) $5/hour, or 92% of his peas at 88-cents/pound when his workers are paid $6/hour, or 80% of his peas at $1.04/pound when his workers are paid $7/hour and 64% of his peas at $1.27/pound when his workers are paid $8/hour...his workers are really WORTH somewhere around $5/hour as that’s the optimal price of their labor that’s most beneficial to their primary customer (the farmer) and his customers (all those pea consumers).

In that light ANYTHING that raises the cost of that farm labor (and subsequently the price of peas, and thereby decreasing demand for those peas) is “BAD”.

It’s bad for the farmer (because fewer of his crops get sold), it’s bad for the pea consumers (as the price of peas and dinner goes UP)...and ultimately its bad for all those pea-pickers who’ll soon see a decrease in the number of pea-picker jobs, as pea production falls in response to that falling demand.

That should illustrate why every worker is merely a salesman of an inanimate commodity called labor (the sum total of the skills and effort that worker can bring to the job).

Given that, it follows that no worker has a “right” to any job or any set salary UNLESS that’s agreed upon as “optimal” by those buying that labor so that they can maximize the sales of the end product that they provide.

A worker selling a commodity called skills/labor can no more demand that his commodity be bought at a given price over the duration of his/her choosing, any more than the local merchant demand that his customers buy all those peas at whatever price they’re being sold at. In each case the customer (the pea-shopper in the store and the labor consuming business) has a right to “refuse to buy” at the elevated price.

If consumers didn’t have that freedom to use their money as they see fit, then even jobs that no longer need doing would be protected by unilateral “worker demand”!

For instance, let’s say that Jay is an expert saddle maker...his father was an expert saddle maker and so was his grandfather, but Jay (unfortunately for him) lives around the turn of the last century, when cars are quickly replacing horse-driven transportation.

Jay is working for the Acme Saddle Company, which has been paying top dollar for saddle makers (the equivalent of $110,000/year in today’s currency), but cars are eroding demand...and government has piled on lots of new “safety regulations for saddles”...and lots of “workplace safety” regulations, as well, so even IF cars weren’t dampening demand, all those costly regulations have combined to DEVALUE Jay’s commodity – his expertise in saddle making.

How so?

Because again, there is an optimal cost to Jay’s labor at which the amount of saddles produced by the Acme Saddle Company can be sold. As the cost of Jay’s commodity (his skills/labors) rises, either through his own salary demands or via “outside influences” (ie. government regulations, taxes, etc.), the demand for what his labors produce diminishes. That means the Acme Saddle Company needs less saddle that case it sucks to be Jay!

But while the Acme Saddle Company has every right to adjust to changing market conditions (lower demand due to competition and innovation, added costs from government, added worker demands, etc), poor Jay DOES NOT have any “right” to a job. Jay does not have any more “right” to demand that the Acme Saddle Company pay him whatever salary he needs to survive, whether they need his labors or not, any more than our local retailers can force us to buy things we neither want nor need.

Jay’s employment, like that of all workers is contingent upon him producing more value to the entity purchasing his labor, so that the final product that entity sells can be sold at a price that keeps both them in business and completely sells out their inventory.

IF Jay thinks of himself as “a victim of the Acme Saddle Company” or worse yet, “a co-owner” he’s going to wind up very unhappy and unemployed man.

IF however, he realizes that he’s really an independent seller of an inanimate commodity (his skills/labors), then he’ll quickly realize that just as the business he works for must please its customers by delivering the best value at the lowest possible price...he must do the same for the entity he works for. Jay must find ways to “work smarter” to help innovate new saddle ideas, etc., to keep Acme profitable...that’s IF he wants the saddle making business to stay viable and he wants to continue to find work there.

In other words, as competition erodes Acme Saddle Company’s market share and government adds costs to his existing labor costs, Acme will have to shed cost to compete (actually, to even stay solvent), so they’ll trim the workforce, reduce work-hours AND pay!

Other than just docilely accepting all that, Jay’s got few other choices. One would be learning new skills so he can get a job making those new fangled cars, another would be to innovate the saddle to such a degree that sales don’t fall off...OR perhaps going into business for himself making vintage saddles, BUT one thing’s for sure, Acme has no obligation to Jay once their exchange is no longer mutually beneficial.

The consumer-driven economy is what provides intrinsic value to any given work. It’s also why some skills (patent law, for instance) are valued very highly and others (like agricultural work, as one example) are valued very cheaply.

But that’s not, in and of itself, a bad thing and Jay’s way of looking at things is the key. If he sees himself as a victim of malicious “others” he’ll seethe with an indignant rage that’ll ultimately sap and distract his mental strength and acumen and erode his natural ability to innovate.

If, however, he sees how markets work and how changes in competition and other outside factors can change his own viability, he’ll be more involved to make sure government doesn’t overstep its bounds and he’ll also be freer to innovate and create and see new opportunities when old ones disappear.

Once a person understands this dynamic...everything else about the employer/employee dynamic falls easily into place.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Court Restrains Affirmative Action Activist for Threatening Prop. 107 Supporter

Court Restrains Affirmative Action Activist for Threatening Prop. 107 Supporter

October 15, 2010

 Court issues restraining order against anti-Prop 107 spokesperson who threatens to assault Ward Connerly.
A Maricopa County Court official today issued a legal restraining order against the spokesperson of the group opposing Proposition 107 after he threatened to physically assault a pro-Prop 107 leader.
Anti-Prop. 107 spokesperson Steve Russell was ordered to stay more than 100 feet away from anti-affirmative action leader Ward Connerly after Russell sent a message threatening to assault Connerly Thursday night.

Proposition 107 would ban race and gender based affirmative action in Arizona. Connerly is nationally known for opposing government race and gender preferences and was participating in a debate on Prop. 107 hosted by the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix. Russell is a spokesperson for ‘Protect Arizona’s Freedom’, the group supporting Arizona’s existing affirmative action programs and opposing Prop. 107.
Russell was not part of the Goldwater debate.

Maricopa County Justice of the Peace Clancy Jayne issued today’s court order after Russell sent out a threatening electronic message late last night following the debate. Russell’s public message on his Twitter account stated that he “would not hesitate to punch connerly (sic) in the face if I saw him…”

At the taping of a televised Secretary of State Town Hall Meeting in September, Russell publicly accused Connerly, who is black, of being financially supported by the Ku Klux Klan during his official Prop. 107 opposition statement.

“Unfortunately, I must take violent threats seriously, especially when they are in the context of other inflammatory rhetoric, such as has been characteristic of Mr. Russell” Connerly stated. “A few affirmative action supporters are quite radical and I have been threatened before. Mr. Russell has attempted to incite hatred against me with his bizarre KKK smears, and now feels compelled to brag about his willingness to assault me physically. I don’t know how stable Steve Russell is. I call on the Mayor of Phoenix, Representative Kirsten Sinema and other high profile public officials who are opposing 107 to condemn Mr. Russell and disassociate themselves from his threats. I have been threatened before and have had a pellet gun fired at my office building because of my stance in favor of the principle of equal treatment for all. No one should be threatened with violence in our nation because of their views."


Article II, Section 36

A. This state shall not grant preferential treatment to or discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.

B. This section does not:

1. Prohibit bona fide qualifications based on sex that are reasonably necessary to the normal operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.

2. Prohibit action that must be taken to establish or maintain eligibility for any Federal program, if ineligibility would result in a loss of Federal monies to the state.

3. Invalidate any court order or consent decree that is in force as of the effective date of this section.

 C. The remedies available for a violation of this section are the same, regardless of the injured party's race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin, as are otherwise available for a violation of the existing antidiscrimination laws of this state.

D. This section shall applies only to the actions that are taken after the effective date of this section.

E. This section is self-executing.

F. For the purposes of this section, "state" includes this state, a city, town or country, a public university, including the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, a community college district, a school district, a special district or any other political subdivision of the state.

The FDNY is NOT New York City’s "Most Racially Out-of-Balance” Agency!...

A federal judge (Nicholas Garaufis) recently ruled that multiple choice written exams “discriminate against black applicants” and charged the City of New York with “deliberate discrimination” for continuing to use such time-tested exams. That charge of “deliberate discrimination” sprang from the fact that “other remedies” (like replacing written exams with oral interviews) were suggested to the city after racial quotas (“1 in 3”) were used on the 1971 entrance exam.
As insulting and racially defamatory as the view that "blacks are somehow handicapped just by being black" is, there's still MORE!
How one set of such "ethnic disparities" is wrong and legally “actionable,” while others are never even mentioned, thus remaining immune from such “remedies” is an interesting dilemma, in and of itself.
The primary reason for that seems to be political.
According to the attorney for the New Haven 20 (Karen Torre) the feds picked Fire Departments to challenge because "they believed firefighters wouldn't fight back,” given their track record of 'sucking it up', soldiering on and just dealing with things as they come.
The main reason given for such law suits and the remedies they result in is that, “Our institutions should look more like the communities that they serve.” Certainly the primary reason behind this current lawsuit against the FDNY, as in all the previous ones has been over the vaunted “racial and gender disparities in its makeup.” The charge has long been that, “the FDNY should look a lot more like New York City."
What's really odd about this is that the FDNY is far from the most "racially out of balance" Department in the City of New York! According to current demographics (SEE:, whites make up appx. 45% of the city’s population and account for 77% of the FDNY’s make-up - that’s a 1.67/1 ratio, or less than a 1 2/3X their numbers within New York City's general population. Even if one takes that 77% figure and throws out the “far more diverse” office staff and the EMS Units, and takes into account only the in-field uniformed workforce, said to be appx. 90% white that’s still a 2 to 1 ratio of whites relative to their numbers in NYC’s population!
By comparison, while blacks comprise appx. 27% of NYC’s population, they comprise 65% of the Dept of Corrections personnel, a 2.4/1 ratio, or nearly 2½X the black personnel relative to their numbers within the city's general population...and blacks account for a staggering 78% of the Department of Juvenile Justice, which amounts to a 2.92/1 ratio, or a nearly 3 to 1 representation of blacks relative to their numbers within the city!
So, why aren’t those, even greater racial/ethnic anomalies at least as large a concern as the FDNY’s much smaller racial disparity?
Is it simply because far more College educated whites take the exams for Emergency Services jobs, virtually assuring a disparate outcome on those exams? That’s certainly one possibility.
If so, then why aren’t the Dept of Justice’s and Nicholas Garaufis’ agendas not being viewed through a similar racial prism?
To do the math yourself, you’ll need two sets of statistics; (1) The racial makeup of New York city is 44.66% White, 26.59% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 9.83% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 13.42% from other races, and 4.92% from two or more races. 26.98% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. SEE: and (2) the Demographics of City Agencies:
There are TWO agencies in New York City that have over 1.5X the number of white employees than there are in New York City's general population. They are the FDNY and the Landmark's Commission, which, it turns out, actually has FEWER blacks and Hispanics in its employ than the FDNY does! There is only ONE other New York City agency in which whites comprise 60% of its workforce and that is the Office of Emergency management (OEM), which has a workforce that is exactly 60% white - a 1.3/1 ratio relative to the number of whites in new York City's population.
Interestingly enough, despite blacks being only about 27% (26.59%) of New York City's population, or about 3/5ths or 60% of the number of whites in the city of New York, there are at least 7 agencies in which blacks comprise 60% or more of the workforce! In fact, black New Yorkers are the most OVER-REPRESENTED ethnic group in New York City's workforce.
It turns out that New York City’s Civil Service is rife with far more startling ethnic anomalies than exist within the FDNY. There is even ONE New York City agency that records 0% Hispanics - the Office of Actuary, in a city that is 27% Hispanic! Moreover, there are at least TWELVE New York City agencies in which Asians are 1/2 or LESS than their numbers in New York City's population, including TWO agencies (The Civil Service Commission and, ironically enough, The Equal Employment Practices Commission) each with 0% Asian employees and ONE agency with just 1% Asian employees in a city in which Asians comprise appx 10% of the population!
However, there are no less than 11 New York City agencies in which blacks are more than 1.5X their numbers in New York City's population!
* The Department of Aging is 42% black. (appx 1.6X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Department of Youth and Community Services is 43% black. (1.6X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Department of Housing Preservation and Development is 45% black. (over 1.7X their numbers in NYC's population)
* NYC Parks Department is 49% black. (over 1.8X their numbers in NYC's population)
There are at least 7 New York City agencies in which there are more than double the number of black employees than their numbers in NYC's population.
* The Human Resources Administration is 61% black. (2.2X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Equal Employment Practices Commission is 63% black (2.3X their numbers in NYC's population - Now there's an irony...AGAIN!)
* The Department of Homeless Services is 64% black (2.3X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Department of Probation is 65% black (almost 2.5X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Department of Corrections is 65% black (also nearly 2.5X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Administration for Children's Services is 67% black (over 2.5X their numbers in NYC's population)
* and the REAL "singular embarrassment", as far as "looking like the population of New York City" goes to the Department of Juvenile Justice at 78% black (nearly 3X their numbers in NYC's population).
So, if written and physical standards aren't appropriate barometers for Municipal employment (and if they aren't, what good are such "services"?) and the primary goal in such hiring is to have the various city agencies "look like New York City", then why are there still agencies with 0% of some very visible ethnic groups and why are there so many more New York City agencies that are far MORE "racially unbalanced" than the FDNY?!
If "looking like New York City" is key here, than it appears that there are dozens of New York City agencies that SHOULD HAVE been spending millions on recruitment decades ago, just as the FDNY has!
Even just a modicum of consistency would be very much appreciated here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Herbert Hoover Started the New Deal...and a Political Trend....

Beware “Moderate” Republicans Bearing Gifts

Herbert Hoover (pictured above) was the first “Progressive” American President. His progressive mantra was, “Every problem has a scientific solution, best implemented by a competent and benevolent government”.

That mantra is completely antithetical to the mantra of America's Founders, "He governs BEST who governs LEAST".

In fact, Herbert Hoover, like Jimmy Carter, was a hapless egghead who handicapped whatever great intelligence he may have had with a stultifying lack of common sense, each delivering Keynesian inspired economic disasters of mammoth proportions.

Much like today’s “progressives”, Hoover canceled private oil leases, began the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) and signed onto the Federal Home Loan bank Act. His one major voluntary initiative, the National Credit Corporation (NCC) was quickly replaced by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC).

Ironically enough, it was Hoover who signed the Glass-Steagall Act into law, as well as the ill-fated (but loved by protectionist liberals) the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act AND he actually RAISED the top personal income tax rate from 25 to 63 percent!

Even the ardent New Dealer Rexford Tugwell later remarked that although no one would say so it at the time, "practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started."

Andrew J. Dunar, who teaches history at the University of Alabama in Huntsville adds, “The Bureau of Reclamation began planning in the 1920s for major dams, and supervised their construction in the 1930s. President Hoover's Reconstruction Finance Corporation remained a vehicle for financing projects under the Roosevelt administration.”

Professor Dunar added, “Historians now acknowledge (Hoover’s) progressive inclinations, and his commitment to counter-cyclical planning and the belief that the nation ought to have a reservoir of big projects in the planning stages that could be executed when the time was right. Programs begun during the Hoover years, such as the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, were forerunners of the New Deal."

Look at some of the “other hallmarks” of Hoover’s progressive administration; his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, unlike previous first ladies, came to the White House, having already carved out a reputation of her own, having graduated from Stanford as the only woman in her class with a degree in geology. “Although she had never practiced her profession formally, she remained very much a new woman of the post-World War I era: intelligent, robust, and possessed of a sense of female possibilities,”...WoW! That’s just great.

Hoover’s Vice President Charles Curtis was the nation's first Native American (from the Kaw tribe in Kansas) Vice President. Sadly, all Charles Curtis was “famous for” was being the 1st Native American VP. Unfortunately the times required far more than a mere “First”.

Hoover publicly supported Prohibition (the Volstead Act), calling it an “experiment noble in purpose” and in 1928, when he ran against the only slightly more Libertarian Al Smith (who opposed it) he did so by labeling Smith as an “anti-Prohibitionist drunkard” and a “Papist”, to cash in on the widespread anti-Catholic sentiments across much of America at the time.

The most dangerous political transformation was the Democrats’ embracing the fascism of the European “Christian Democrats” (the “Social Democrats” of an earlier age) and signing onto the post WW II fascist strategy of de-emphasizing ethnicity, while pushing for consolidating more and more power in a central authority (the federal government here in the U.S.) in the guise of “advancing aid to the poor, improving overall health (via smoking and trans fat bans, etc.) and the environment”.

Hoover was a prototypical “Country Club Republican, a man who’d fit in perfectly with the so-called “Moderate-wing” of the GOP today. He was an ardent Keynesian and an advocate of big government “Corporatism” – a partnership between business and government.

The Hoover-FDR (GOP Keynesian to Democratic Keynesian) trend has been often repeated since that time, with the predictable disastrous results.

In 1976 Jimmy Carter (D) followed Republican Richard (“We are ALL Keynesians now”) Nixon and both inflation and unemployment kept on rising, along with interest rates! By the end of Jimmy Carter’s star-crossed one term, the Misery Index (the inflation and unemployment rates added together) was at a post Great Depression high of 22 points and the prime lending rate stood at 23%!

The dreaded term “Stagflation” (double digit inflation, unemployment and interest rates) had crept into the American psyche.

As a result, Ronald Reagan inherited the REAL “worst U.S. economy since the Great Depression”).

Today, in the wake of G W Bush’s six-year Keynesian spending orgy, Barack Obama has found the solution to Keynesianism...MORE Keynesianism! Very much like the old Saturday Night Live skit with Christopher Walken (“More Cow Bell”)...only a LOT less funny.

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