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.
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