Thursday, June 28, 2018
If I were a Justice I suppose I would have concurred in part and dissented in part. On the one hand I clearly understand and agree with the court's First Amendment finding. Because public sector unions are dealing with state employees and employers that have higher First Amendment bars than private organizations, compelled speech is a serious issue. Since it has already been determined that financial transactions are a form of speech, the court really didn't have any other choice, if it wanted to follow the law. On the other hand unions, including public sector ones, provide a service. Employees who are beneficiaries of the services provided for by a Union should compensate those unions for their efforts. To do otherwise is theft of services, IMO. When a union negotiates a raise for employees at, say, a university, even those who oppose the union's political shenanigans benefit. They should contribute towards the union. Otherwise, it would be proper for those employees to NOT get the benefit of the pay raise. Same goes for other benefits. Thus, if I understand the ruling, employees who do not pay into the unions can still benefit from union activities that benefit them. I think many unions are going to be revisiting this state of affairs and stipulating that anything they negotiate on behalf of their members only apply to their members. Then we have to deal with why this case came up in the first place: Union political activity. I've seen for myself that unions are essentially arms of the DNC. This last election showed that there is a disconnect between union leadership and the membership. Many union members were not happy with Clinton and voted for Trump while the union leadership spent union dues on political campaigning in favor of Clinton or other Democrats. I know that I personally received e-mails regularly speaking ill of Trump (some deserved and some not) from the union I belong to. I eventually asked to be taken off the mailing list. I'm disinclined to pay dues to an organization that not only fail represent my political positions but doesn't have the curtesy to recognize that it has dues paying members who do not agree with the politics of the leadership. To that end, my suggestion for unions going forward is that they stick very closely to issues that directly affect it's membership. That unions cease to align themselves with any political party but rather let their members organize among themselves for whatever causes they wish. That dues not be used for any political purposes. Instead members should be asked if they wish to further contribute (or whatever language is appropriate) to the political campaigning done by the union. This would resolve the conflict that created the case and return unions to their primary function.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
So, in keeping with the law, as passed by congress, The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the executive in regards to the travel ban. There are a couple of points made in the decision that I think should be noted (since the MSM won't do it): 1) Foreign Nationals Have No Constitutional Right to Entry:
Nonetheless, although foreign nationals seeking admission have no constitutional right to entry, this Court has engaged in a circumscribed judicial inquiry when the denial of a visa allegedly burdens the constitutional rights of a U. S. citizen.Direct blow to the "open borders" crowd. And no, a US Citizen does not have the constitutional right to bring a foreign national into the country. 2) The Courts Cannot Substitute it's Own Assessment for that of the Executive
More fundamentally, plaintiffs and the dissent chal- lenge the entry suspension based on their perception of its effectiveness and wisdom. They suggest that the policy is overbroad and does little to serve national security inter- ests. But we cannot substitute our own assessment for the Executive’s predictive judgments on such matters, all of which “are delicate, complex, and involve large elements of prophecy.”Justice Thomas deals with this later. 3) The Use of Irrelevant Events:
Finally, the dissent invokes Korematsu v. United States, 323 U. S. 214 (1944). Whatever rhetorical advantage the dissent may see in doing so, Korematsu has nothing to do with this case. The forcible relocation of U. S. citizens to concentration camps, solely and explicitly on the basis of race, is objectively unlawful and outside the scope of Pres- idential authority.Since foreign nationals have no constitutional right of entry (among other things) internment camp examples, where the rights of citizens were violated are not even relevant. That we have Supreme Court judges that do not understand this, is quite troubling to say the least. Now let's turn to Thomas' concurring remarks:
Section 1182(f) does not set forth any judicially enforceable limits that constrain the President. See Webster v. Doe, 486 U. S. 592, 600 (1988). Nor could it, since the President has inherent authority to exclude aliens from the country.That is exactly right.
Further, the Establishment Clause does not create an individual right to be free from all laws that a “reasonable observer” views as religious or antireligious.This too.
The plaintiffs cannot raise any other First Amendment claim, since the alleged religious discrimination in this case was directed at aliens abroad.Duh. It's as if Thomas shares my belief that this case is and was a total waste of time and should have been stopped dead in it's tracks in the lower courts.
District courts, including the one here, have begun imposing universal injunctions without considering their authority to grant such sweeping relief. These injunctions are beginning to take a toll on the federal court system— preventing legal questions from percolating through the federal courts, encouraging forum shopping, and making every case a national emergency for the courts and for the Executive Branch.Indeed this is the real issue. Even today we have a new ruling with a nationwide injunction against the executive on extremely dubious grounds. This issue takes up most of Thomas' concurrence which I won't repeat here but you should read it. Lastly Sotomayor....
Just weeks ago, the Court rendered its decision in Mas terpiece Cakeshop, 584 U. S. ___, which applied the bed rock principles of religious neutrality and tolerance in considering a First Amendment challenge to government action. See id., at ___ (slip op., at 17) (“The Constitution ‘commits government itself to religious tolerance, and upon even slight suspicion that proposals for state inter vention stem from animosity to religion or distrust of its practices, all officials must pause to remember their own high duty to the Constitution and to the rights it secures’”Yes. Yes it did...in regard to a US Citizen who's constitutional rights were abridged. Foreign nationals have no constitutional rights. How does she not understand this? And then we have this footnote:
7 It is important to note, particularly given the nature of this case, that many consider “using the term ‘alien’ to refer to other human beings” to be “offensive and demeaning.” Flores v. United States Citizenship & Immigration Servs., 718 F. 3d 548, 551–552, n. 1 (CA6 2013). I use the term here only where necessary “to be consistent with the statutory language” that Congress has chosen and “to avoid any confusion in replacing a legal term of art with a more appropriate term.” Ibid.Political correctness in the court system. Never mind that "alien" has been used in reference to any foreign national since before "space aliens" of the "Aliens" franchise kind were stuck into the national consciousness. If I were on the court, I would say "alien" at any and every occasion I could find.
Monday, June 25, 2018
The New Left Crow:
traitor US representative, Maxine Waters, who should know better, told a crowd of people that Trump staff should be harassed anywhere they are seen in public. So yes, the Left Crow is back to the behavior shown at the head of this post.
I'm just wondering when the lawn burnings start up again.
In addition to that the New Left Crow has an entitlement complex. Just as Jim Crow operated to keep the undesirables in line, the Left Crow increasingly leverages the law to enforce it's on privileges. No longer is it the case that you should leave those one dislikes or disagrees with alone. One must also endorse that which they do.If you do not you are to be sanctioned. Do you own a store that happens to make wedding cakes. If you don't make one for a gay wedding you get to have a day in court and possibly get run out of business. Is it because you told the gay couple to get out your store?... That businesses have a legitimate reason to decline services in such a way that is not legally discrimination. A business may not be allowed to decline a person of service because of that person but a business can decline to provide service to behavior they do not wish to be associated with. Of course what is also entirely different here is that none of the Knights of the KKK would bother to BOTHER such a group to begin with. But not for these folks. The Left Crow says it's OK to purposely invade other peoples spaces and force themselves on them.Over the weekend The Left Crow upped it's game by refusing service to Trump's spokesperson Sarah Sanders. Many on The Left Crow have made the specious claim that it is not different than the Christian baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple. So let's review for the hard headed: The Christian baker, as discussed in previous posts did not decline service to a gay couple. He/they refused to associate themselves with a behavior which the gay couple were asking him to associate with: Their upcoming marriage. The baker told them, which is in all the relevant transcripts, he would sell them (AKA: Provide service) cookies, brownies or anything else in the store. He told them he would gladly make them a birthday cake. In other words, the Christian baker, who was morally opposed to the gay couple's behavior, was in fact willing to provide services to the couple. In stark contrast, Sarah Sanders was seated in a restaurant and was told flat out to leave. She was declined any and all service, in what should be regarded as a blatant violation of her civil rights. The owner has allegedly claimed that her [gay and supposedly immigrant] wait staff and cooks were bothered (read: being total drama queens), by the prospect of serving niggers, sorry, Sanders. Sanders hadn't asked the restaurant to do anything special for her. She did not ask for a special "immigrant" meal. She did not ask for a special "fuck the gays" meal. She did not enter the premises without a shirt. She did not enter the premises without shoes. She was not being loud and obnoxious (like repeatedly using the word "nigga" in public like so many black people do). No She was denied any and every service because of who she was and for behavior that the restaurant was not a, nor asked to be a party to. Rather than object strongly to this blatant violation of civil rights, one
Monday, June 18, 2018
The headline grabbed me:
Jury Awards $45 Million to Woman Struck by Falling Shopping CartFirst: Falling what? Shopping carts fall? When exactly do they leave the ground? Have you ever seen a shopping cart in the air? Overhead? Ever? This is some "when pigs fly" kind of stuff. So I had to read:
Nearly seven years after two boys pushed a shopping cart off a walkway at a Manhattan mall, severely injuring a woman four stories below, a jury decided to award more than $45 million to her and her family.Ohhhhhhh. So the shopping cart didn't fall. It was pushed off a walkway. But how do you push a cart off a walkway? No city inspector who wants to not only keep his job, but not be sued would sign off on a walkway without a railing or fencing to keep people (as well as things) from falling off the edges. Right?
The woman, Marion Hedges, had just shopped for Halloween candy with her son, Dayton, then 13, at the East River Plaza Mall in East Harlem in October 2011 and was at a parking kiosk when the two boys hoisted the cart over a railing above. It plummeted more than 70 feet and struck Ms. Hedges on the head.Oh...So the cart was not pushed off the edge. It was picked up and THROWN over a railing. So let's review: Woman was minding her business on the ground floor of a mall. Two boys on an upper floor picked up a shopping cart, went to the walkway. Picked up the shopping cart and threw it over the edge, hitting the woman who was minding her business. Quick: Who's at fault? 1) The Boys 2) The Shopping Cart 3) Gravity 4) The Mall owner 5) The security guards 6) Anyone remotely connected with deep pockets Well if you picked 6. You get the gold star.
Court documents show that Ms. Hedges and her family sued the mall and Planned Security Service, which was under contract to secure the mall’s common areas, including the walkway where the boys pushed the shopping cart over the edge.Conspicuously absent are the parents of the boys or the estate of the boys who picked up a shopping cart and threw it over a walkway, nearly killing someone.
On Friday, the six-person jury decided to award about $41 million in damages to Ms. Hedges, $2.5 million to her son and $2 million to her husband. It said the boys who threw the cart — ages 12 and 13 at the time of the injury — were 10 percent responsible, the security company was 25 percent responsible and the mall was 65 percent responsible.So lets understand what this jury thinks: The boys who picked up the shopping cart and tossed it over the edge were only 10% responsible for their own behavior. However, the mall who supplies the shopping carts, for it's customers is 65%m responsible. Because what? They cannot control each and every individual? Because they didn't have the foresight to think that civilized people do not need to be encaged so that they do not throw shopping carts off walkways? The security company is responsible because it cannot control the actions of every individual who enters the mall?
In his statements to the court, Mr. Moore said the security company knew about repeated instances of objects being thrown from the pedestrian walkways, presenting a danger to passers-by below that was never adequately addressed.This is common?
Video footage shows that three boys were together on the fourth-level walkway just before the cart was tossed. One appeared to try stop the other two from throwing the cart. Then he ran away, and the other two lifted it over the railing. It got stuck, just for a moment, before one boy gave a final shove to send it hurtling over the edge.Kudos to the one boy who tried to stop the others and declined to participate. This jury though, got this entire thing wrong. Now when the people (mostly black and "hispanic") end up behind a fence and feel like they are in a cage, they can thank this jury. Imagine, a company had the gall...unmitigated gall to think that they could build a facility where they did not have to worry about the patrons throwing large objects over the guard railing...what kind of neighborhood did they think they were in?
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
So a number of outlets have reported on the NAP report: Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. I have a few issues with the report and the way it has been reported on. Firstly, at almost 200 pages, I seriously doubt that most, if not all commentators have read the entire report. This is common in popular media so I'm not surprised. If one has read the report, in particular, the data collection portion, a few very important things should jump out at you: First:
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
So SCOTUS handed down a decision in regards to Ohio removing *inactive* voters from it's rolls. Headlines blared that "minorities" and "the poor" would be disenfranchised, the sun would explode and all life on earth would cease to exist. Except roaches, because they can survive anything. So, per usual, I decided to read the actual decision rather than trusting the talking heads to tell me what I should think about it. As usual I found that the talking heads are intent on insulting my intelligence and negating the agency of the black and the poor. So let's first look at what the decision actually said in regards to the law:
The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) addresses the removal of ineligible voters from state voting rolls, 52 U. S. C. §20501(b), includ- ing those who are ineligible “by reason of” a change in residence, §20507(a)(4). The Act prescribes requirements that a State must meet in order to remove a name on change-of-residence grounds, §§20507(b), (c), (d). The most relevant of these are found in subsec- tion (d), which provides that a State may not remove a name on change-of-residence grounds unless the registrant either (A) confirms in writing that he or she has moved or (B) fails to return a pread- dressed, postage prepaid “return card” containing statutorily pre- scribed content and then fails to vote in any election during the peri- od covering the next two general federal elections.So to summarize, it is the law, already that if you fail to vote in two federal elections, that if you fail to respond to a postcard asking if you still live in the district, you can be removed from the rolls. Here's the important part:
fails to return a pread- dressed, postage prepaid “return card” containing statutorily pre- scribed contentThe state, at taxpayer expense, sends an individual a pre-addressed and PRE-PAID postcard. All the voter has to do is indicate that they are still living in the district and drop the card in the postbox. No money need be expended. No writing is needed. Check the box, drop in mailbox. How hard is this?
In addition to these specific change-of-residence requirements, the NVRA also contains a general “Failure-to-Vote Clause,” §20507(b)(2), consisting of two parts. It first provides that a state removal pro- gram “shall not result in the removal of the name of any per- son . . . by reason of the person’s failure to vote.” Second, as added by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), it specifies that “nothing in [this prohibition] may be construed to prohibit a State from using the procedures” described above—sending a return card and remov- ing registrants who fail to return the card and fail to vote for the req- uisite time. Since one of the requirements for removal under subsec- tion (d) is the failure to vote, the explanation added by HAVA makes clear that the Failure-to-Vote Clause’s prohibition on removal “by reason of the person’s failure to vote” does not categorically preclude using nonvoting as part of a test for removal. Another provision makes this point even more clearly by providing that “no registrant may be removed solely by reason of a failure to vote.” §21083(a)(4)(A) (emphasis added). Respondents contend that Ohio’s process for removing voters on change-of-residence grounds violates this federal law. The Ohio pro- cess at issue relies on the failure to vote for two years as a rough way of identifying voters who may have moved. It sends these nonvoters a preaddressed, postage prepaid return card, asking them to verify that they still reside at the same address. Voters who do not return the card and fail to vote in any election for four more years are pre- sumed to have moved and are removed from the rolls.So to get kicked off the Ohio voter rolls, you have to have NOT voted for 4 years in addition to not returning the pre-paid and pre-addressed postcard that was sent to your house at the expense of the taxpayer. Let's just pause here and think about that. Now lets look at the arguments that were made:
(4) Respondents’ additional argument—that so many registered voters discard return cards upon receipt that the failure to send cards back is worthless as evidence that an addressee has moved—is based on a dubious empirical conclusion that conflicts with the congression- al judgment found in subsection (d). Congress clearly did not think that the failure to send back a return card was of no evidentiary val- ue, having made that conduct one of the two requirements for remov- al under subsection (d). Pp. 15–16.So lets understand here. People who are being represented by these groups are soooooooooo interested in voting that when they are sent a pre-paid and pre-addressed postcard, at taxpayer's expense to verify their address, they toss the paper in the garbage. It's almost as if these people don't give a damn about the process of voting. How do you stand up in court with an argument that your clients didn't care enough about the issue you are representing them for to actually respond to a pre-paid and pre-addressed card sent to them in regards to the issue? Hey, if you're too lazy to ensure you are registered to vote in addition to not voting then why are we even having the discussion?
those 1.5 million notices, Ohio only received back about 60,000 return cards (or 4%) which said, in effect, “You are right, Ohio. I have, in fact, moved.” Ibid. In addition, Ohio received back about 235,000 return cards which said, in effect, “You are wrong, Ohio, I have not moved.” In the end, however, there were more than 1,000,000 notices—the vast majority of notices sent—to which Ohio received back no return card at all. Ibid.If 1.5 million notices went out and of that 1 million of them went unresponsive AND failed to vote in any district in 4 years, how important is voting to these persons? Serious question. I'm having a hard time being sympathetic to people who claim to value their vote who fail to vote in any federal election and do not take the small effort to confirm their residency. Here's Breyer again:
the failure to respond to a forwardable notice is an irrelevant factor in terms of what it shows about whether that registrant changed his or her residence. To add an irrelevant factor to a failure to vote, say, a factor like having gone on vacation or having eaten too large a meal, cannot change Ohio’s sole use of “failure to vote” into something it is not.How is it irrelevant? Breyer spent a lot of time contradicting himself in his dissent. If you get a notice saying, in effect: "Hey we noticed you didn't vote in the last election. Do you still live here?" and you fail to respond and then continue not to vote, that it is not reasonable to think that the person no longer lives at that address? That they may be deceased (you'd be surprised at the number of deceased people voting). They may have moved a block over, which threw them into a new district. The district may have been re-mapped and the voter no longer is in the same district as before. It is not solely the act of not voting. It is the act of not voting in addition to the lack of response to the residency query. What Breyer wants to do is the programmatically equivalent of: if [ Person != Vote ]; then can't do shit. exit fi Rather than what the law actually allows: if [person != vote]; then check residence if [ !$response ]; then TwoElectionCycles elif [ $response = "non-resident" ]; then purge elif [ $response = "resident" ]; then exit fi else exit fi TwoElectionCycles() if [ $twocyclesmissed ]; then purge else exit fi Fun for you programmers out there. But clearly the two programs show that Ohio is not using nonvoting as the reason to remove a voter. Rather not voting is a trigger for a query in regards to residency which is then used in conjunction with continued non-voting as grounds for removal. Now I do think Breyer has a point in regards to forwardable mail. If Ohio is not using forwarded mail, then it may have an issue. But now onto Sotomayor....*eye roll* First, as also mentioned by Breyer:
‘[r]estrictive registration laws and administrative proce- dures’ came to use across the United States.” Ante, at 1–2 (opinion of BREYER, J.). States enforced “poll tax[es], literacy tests, residency requirements, selective purges, . . . and annual registration requirements,” which were developed “to keep certain groups of citizens from voting.”This is not the 1950s or 1960s. Enough of this.
“discrimina- tory and unfair registration laws and procedures can have a direct and damaging effect on voter participation . . . and disproportionately harm voter participation by various groups, including racial minorities.”Because racial minorities are to lazy to put a pre-paid and pre-addressed postcard in the mailbox like "racial majorities" can. OK.
while States are required to make a “reasonable effort” to re- move ineligible voters from the registration lists, §20507(a)(4), such removal programs must be developed in a manner that “prevent[s] poor and illiterate voters from being caught in a purge system which will require them to needlessly re-register” and “prevent[s] abuse which has a disparate impact on minority communities,” S. Rep. No. 103–6, at 18.Poor people cannot put pre-paid and pre-addressed postcards sent to them at taxpayer expense into the nearest postbox. Minorities cannot put pre-paid and pre-addressed postcards sent to them at taxpayer expense into the nearest postbox. I know this seems repetitive but this is the crux of the statement. All the legalese is cover for the above, oft repeated statement. Oh and notice the "disparate impact" statement. Wherever lefties want to avoid having to explain how something is actual discrimination, they roll out "disparate impact".
At best, purged voters are forced to “needlessly reregister” if they decide to vote in a subsequent election; at worst, they are prevented from voting at all because they never receive information about when and where elections are taking place.So we are to believe that the 1 million people who Breyer previously said were extremely likely to still be living at the address they originally registered in, who didn't give a good damn about voting in no less than 3 federal elections AND failed to put pre-paid and pre-addressed postcards sent to them at taxpayer expense into the nearest postbox are so concerned about being "prevented from voting". Seriously. Now watch this:
It is unsurprising in light of the history of such purge programs that numerous amici report that the Supple- mental Process has disproportionately affected minority, low-income, disabled, and veteran voters. As one example, amici point to an investigation that revealed that in Ham- ilton County, “African-American-majority neighborhoods in downtown Cincinnati had 10% of their voters removed due to inactivity” since 2012, as “compared to only 4% of voters in a suburban, majority-white neighborhood.” Brief for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People et al. as Amici Curiae 18–19. Amici also explain at length how low voter turnout rates, language-access prob- lems, mail delivery issues, inflexible work schedules, and transportation issues, among other obstacles, make it more difficult for many minority, low-income, disabled, homeless, and veteran voters to cast a ballot or return a notice, rendering them particularly vulnerable to unwar- ranted removal under the Supplemental Process.First: Why are people with " language-access prob- lems," voting in American elections? English proficiency is a requirement of naturalization and English is the default, though not official, language of the United States. Nobody voting in American elections should have "language access problems". If they do, then someone committed fraud when bestowing citizenship on said person. Second: How exactly does "inflexible work schedules" prevent a person from dropping a pre-paid and pre-addressed postcards sent to them at taxpayer expense into the nearest postbox? Even if you're disabled. I you can get mail, you can send it. If you are homeless, then you have no residency and therefore you can't vote. How does being a veteran prevent you from putting a pre-paid and pre-addressed postcards sent to them at taxpayer expense into the nearest postbox? Seriously. Do we expect anything from citizens other than taxes these days?
Our democracy rests on the ability of all individuals, regardless of race, income, or status, to exercise their right to vote.I missed the part where the Ohio law said that it was only going to pick on non-white residents. Or maybe the part about only white residents were to be targeted. I'm missing the part of the evidence that Ohio was systematically messing up the black residents by sending them different postcards or changing the mail pickup and delivery schedules so that the postcards couldn't be sent or returned.
Communities that are disproportionately affected by unnecessarily harsh registration laws should not toler- ate efforts to marginalize their influence in the political process, nor should allies who recognize blatant unfairness stand idly by.Because "communities" that are not white should not be expected to drop pre-paid and pre-addressed postcards sent to them at taxpayer expense into the nearest postbox. Because that's just too hard. In the end, Sotomayor thinks that black people are lazy. That's the bottom line. If you require black people to make any effort whatsoever it's discrimination. Lastly, per the CNN article:
Just last week, Sotomayor appeared before the liberal American Constitution Society and spoke about her style. She was asked if she felt the "weight of being the only woman of color on the court." "Yes," she responded. "To the extent that I speak frankly in my decisions, and directly, it's because I want people to understand what I am saying, not in legal terms, but in legal terms that touch the heart. I want people to understand the consequences of law and how it affects them."Never mind that Clarence Thomas " who grew up in a sharecropper's shack in Georgia" is on the court. You'd think the opinion of a person who actually lived the segregation of the US would be also be given consideration. But CNN didn't even think to consider that 'cause you know, if you don't think a certain way your opinion (or facts) on a matter don't matter.
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
For those of us who grew up pre-internet and pre call waiting, we understand that there was a time when a person simply could not be reached. A time when a busy signal meant the other person had no clue that we tried to reach them. Where you had nothing else to do other than what you could come up with and if that wasn't watching TV, it usually had to involve being outdoors and/or involve other people...in the flesh. It meant alone time. It meant think time. It mean reading non-trivial stuff. Indeed it was a lot less distracting. So I was watching this guy on YouTube and wanted to share because it highlights just how much technology and modern life has changed how we live and how fast we live. Are you unable to sit down, by yourself and not be "doing" anything?
Tuesday, June 05, 2018
So in my last post in regards to preparation for HS in NYC I mentioned the following:
This is what's going to happen to a lot of these students who get in because of the wish to "diversify" the schools. They will find themselves out of their depth. They will need tutoring. They will get low grades (or inflated grades). They will have a really hard time and not a few will fail out and have to transfer to a less advanced school. Luckily they won't have thousands in debt to pay off for this experiment.So I just ran across a posting by Walter Williams which really underscores this problem.
The atrocious NAEP performance is only a fraction of the bad news. Nationally, our high school graduation rate is over 80 percent. That means high school diplomas, which attest that these students can read and compute at a 12th-grade level, are conferred when 63 percent are not proficient in reading and 75 percent are not proficient in math. For blacks, the news is worse. Roughly 75 percent of black students received high school diplomas attesting that they could read and compute at the 12th-grade level. However, 83 percent could not read at that level, and 93 percent could not do math at that level. It's grossly dishonest for the education establishment and politicians to boast about unprecedented graduation rates when the high school diplomas, for the most part, do not represent academic achievement. At best, they certify attendance.I have discussed testing results before but it really hadn't hit me the extent of the fraud involved. It does explain the number of "woke" people who have a hard time understanding basic statistical problems and issues of scope*. But here's the kicker:
. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of white high school graduates in 2016 enrolled in college, and 58 percent of black high school graduates enrolled in college. Here are my questions to you: If only 37 percent of white high school graduates test as college-ready, how come colleges are admitting 70 percent of them? And if roughly 17 percent of black high school graduates test as college-ready, how come colleges are admitting 58 percent of them?Indeed. ---- * Issues of scope relate to the whole demographics arguments that are often presented by liberals. If the population of a country has 13% blacks, they say that 13% of all engineers should be black. However they don't understand that the number of blacks engineers is constrained by the population that is bright enough to be engineers. That population is far less than 13%. Such commentary also underscores that many people underestimate what kind of intelligence is needed to work in the highest level of engineering. To make it simple I compare this to the 100 meter dash or a marathon. Personally I'm better than 85% of the people out there who run either distances. However the gap between me and Olympic level 100 meter runners and marathoners is huge. We're talking times that are at least half my best times. That an Olympic level athlete will blow by me as if I was taking a stroll while I will blow by most people as if they were taking a stroll shows how far the elite level is compares to even the "top quartile". If one has graduated school without such a basic understanding, one cannot be trusted to properly comment on "disparities" much less be put into a position where one can influence or dictate policy.
Monday, June 04, 2018
No, that's not the actual name of the case decided by The SCOTUS today but it may have well been. This is probably going to be a long post so if you're short on time I suggest coming back later. That said, there are a few items in the decision that I want to bring attention to.
In 2012 a same-sex couple visited MasterpieceCakeshop, a bakery in Colorado, to make inquiries aboutordering a cake for their wedding reception. The shop’sowner told the couple that he would not create a cake for their wedding because of his religious opposition to same-sex marriages—marriages the State of Colorado itself did not recognize at that time.In my opinion this statement of fact, that not even the state recognized homosexual marriages, should have been grounds for immediate dismissal of the complaint. Particularly since you cannot retroactively apply laws. For a state that did not recognize homosexual marriages to punish a citizen for essentially doing the same is the height of hypocrisy.
Phillips informed the couple that he does not “create”wedding cakes for same-sex weddings. Ibid. He ex-plained, “I’ll make your birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don’t make cakes for samesex weddings.” Ibid . The couple left the shop withoutfurther discussion. The following day, Craig’s mother, who had accompa-nied the couple to the cakeshop and been present for their interaction with Phillips, telephoned to ask Phillips why he had declined to serve her son. Phillips explained that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddingsbecause of his religious opposition to same-sex marriage, and also because Colorado (at that time) did not recognizesame-sex marriages. Id. , at 153. He later explained hisbelief that “to create a wedding cake for an event thatcelebrates something that directly goes against the teach-ings of the Bible, would have been a personal endorsement and participation in the ceremony and relationship that they were entering into.” Ibid . (emphasis deleted).I have made the argument that the shop owner did not decline service to the couple. The shop owner declined to perform a service that he does not perform. The owner was fully willing to provide service to the customers (birthday cakes, cookies...), he simply did not want to be involved in a homosexual wedding. That is his right. It is your right. None can force you to associate with an event. Most certainly not the government. I also pointed out that the objection was the association with the wedding and not the homosexuality of the potential customers. We know this because the mother called, whom we assume to be heterosexual. Had the store owner been against homosexuals period he could have sold her the cake. But he did not. It didn't matter what the "orientation" of the customer was. He wasn't going to associate with the event. More on that later.
The Commission affirmed the ALJ’s decision in full. Id. , at 57a. The Commission ordered Phillips to “cease and desist from discriminating against . . . same-sex couples byrefusing to sell them wedding cakes or any product [they]would sell to heterosexual couples.” Ibid. It also ordered additional remedial measures, including “comprehensive staff training on the Public Accommodations section” of CADA “and changes to any and all company policies to comply with . . . this Order.” Id. , at 58a. The Commission additionally required Phillips to prepare “quarterly com-pliance reports” for a period of two years documenting “the number of patrons denied service” and why, along with “astatement describing the remedial actions taken.” Ibid.What we had here was an attempt by the state to dictate to it's citizens what they must do. Not only that but they ordered what amounts to re-education camps. This is how the govt. has grown and how it is abused by those on the left.
Our society has come to the recognition that gay personsand gay couples cannot be treated as social outcasts or asinferior in dignity and worth. For that reason the laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect them in the exercise of their civil rights.This is clearly Kennedy writing. How does he say that "society has..." when sitting on a case which clearly shows that what he said is not the case? In any case, we move to the meat of the decision and why the Court found for the baker:
The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward thesincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection. That hostility surfaced at the Commission’s formal, public hearings, as shown by the record. On May 30, 2014, the seven-member Commission convened publicly toconsider Phillips’ case. At several points during its meet-ing, commissioners endorsed the view that religious beliefs cannot legitimately be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain, implying that religious beliefs and persons are less than fully welcome in Colorado’s businesscommunity. One commissioner suggested that Phillipscan believe “what he wants to believe,” but cannot act on his religious beliefs “if he decides to do business in the state.” Tr. 23. A few moments later, the commissioner restated the same position: “[I]f a businessman wants to do business in the state and he’s got an issue with the— the law’s impacting his personal belief system, he needs to look at being able to compromise.” Id ., at 30....The commissioner stated: “I would also like to reiterate what we said in the hearing or the last meeting. Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimi-nation throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the holocaust, whether it be—I mean, we—we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to—to use their religionto hurt others.” Tr. 11–12... The commissioner even went so far as to compare Phillips’ invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defensesof slavery and the Holocaust. This sentiment is inappro-priate for a Commission charged with the solemn respon-sibility of fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law—a law that protects discrimination onthe basis of religion as well as sexual orientation.The record shows no objection to these comments fromother commissioners. And the later state-court rulingreviewing the Commission’s decision did not mentionthose comments, much less express concern with their content. Nor were the comments by the commissioners disavowed in the briefs filed in this Court.Here's what did the state's case in. They openly derided the Christianity of the baker. Indeed, it appears that had the state commissioners not been on their SJW warpath and were professionals, they may have prevailed. People put under the state gun should be sure to note any and all arguments that are presented to them. This case shows that SJW type of talk that is regularly found on social media and even MSM can be used in court. This is a very good thing. The downside of this decision is that it failed, spectacularly to support the idea that enumerated rights trump these so called "protected classes" and the privileges they are afforded. Clarence Thomas discusses this in his concurring opinion.
Court of Appeals concluded that Phillips’ conduct was not expressive and was not protected speech. It reasoned that an outside observer would think that Phillips was merely complying with Colorado’s public-accommodations law, not expressing a message, and that Phillips could post a disclaimer to that effect. This reasoning flouts bedrock principles of our free-speech jurisprudence and would justifyvirtually any law that compels individuals to speak. It should not pass without commentThank you Justice Thomas. Imagine the state telling you to post a sign to disclaim something the state forced you to do.
“[A]s a general matter,” public-accommodations laws do not “target speech” but instead prohibit “the act of discriminating against individuals in the provision of publicly available goods, privileges, and services.”Id., at 572 (emphasis added)I recently had to point this out to the local "diversity" office which offered "training" in which certain speech and actions were "suggested". I pointed out that state agents may not compel speech. But understand that many lefty types who inhabit these offices seem to be unaware of their constitutional limits.
While this Court acknowledged that the unit’s exclusion might have been “misguided, or even hurtful,” ibid., it rejected the notion that governments can mandate “thoughts and statements acceptable to some groups or,indeed, all people” as the “antithesis” of free speech,id., at 579; accord, Dale,supra, at 660–661.And..
Forcing Phillips tomake custom wedding cakes for same-sex marriages requires him to, at the very least, acknowledge that same-sex weddings are “weddings” and suggest that they should be celebrated—the precise message he believes his faithforbids. The First Amendment prohibits Colorado from requiring Phillips to “bear witness to [these] fact[s],” Hurley, 515 U. S., at 574, or to “affir[m] . . . a belief withwhich [he] disagrees,”id.,at 573.I had to make this same exact point to the diversity officer. Their "training" "suggested" that employees "celebrate" whatever it is that the state was trying to push on us. It is not the state to tell citizens what they should or have to celebrate, particularly under threat of punishment.
Phillips routinely sacri-fices profits to ensure that Masterpiece operates in a waythat represents his Christian faith. He is not open on Sundays, he pays his employees a higher-than-average wage, and he loans them money in times of need. Phillipsalso refuses to bake cakes containing alcohol, cakes with racist or homophobic messages, cakes criticizing God, and cakes celebrating Halloween—even though Halloween isone of the most lucrative seasons for bakeries. These efforts to exercise control over the messages that Masterpiece sends are still more evidence that Phillips’ conduct isexpressive.Same could be said of Chic-fil-A.
The Colorado Court of Appeals also erred by suggesting that Phillips could simply post a disclaimer, disassociating Masterpiece from any support for same-sex marriage. Again, this argument would justify any law compelling speech. And again, this Court has rejected it. We have described similar arguments as “beg[ging] the core question.”Tornillo,supra, at 256. Because the government cannot compel speech, it also cannot “require speakers toaffirm in one breath that which they deny in the next.” Pacific Gas & Elec., 475 U. S., at 16; see also id.,at 15, n. 11 (citing PruneYard, 447 U. S., at 99 (Powell, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment)). States cannot put individuals to the choice of “be[ing] compelled to affirm someone else’s belief ” or “be[ing] forced to speak when [they] would prefer to remain silent.”Id., at 99>That this needs to be said is sad. Now what follows should be noted by all:
States cannot punish protected speech because somegroup finds it offensive, hurtful, stigmatic, unreasonable, or undignified. “If there is a bedrock principle underlyingthe First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”Johnson,supra, at 414....If the only reason a public-accommodations law regulates speech is “to produce a society free of . . . biases” against the protected groups, that purpose is “decidedly fatal” to the law’s constitutionality, “for it amounts to nothing less than a proposal to limit speech in the service of orthodox expression.”Looking at any and all those laws like the one in NYC regarding calling a man a man regardless of whether he believes himself a woman. These laws are made for the strict purpose of making [enter group member here] to not feel bad. There is no constitutional right to not have your feelings hurt. Lefty types wish it were so and will act like it is so and enforce such wishes when they have power, but it is not lawful. Now here comes Thomas's master stroke:
Concerns about “dignity” and “stigma” did not carry the day when this Court affirmed the right of white supremacists to burn a 25-foot cross,Virginia v. Black, 538 U. S. 343 (2003); conduct a rally on MartinLuther King Jr.’s birthday,Forsyth County v.Nationalist Movement, 505 U. S. 123 (1992); or circulate a film featuring hooded Klan members who were brandishing weapons and threatening to “‘Bury the niggers,’” Brandenburg v.Ohio, 395 U. S. 444, 446, n. 1 (1969) ( per curiam ).Nor does the fact that this Court has now decided Ober- gefell v.Hodges, 576 U. S. ___ (2015), somehow diminish Phillips’ right to free speech. “It is one thing . . . to conclude that the Constitution protects a right to same-sexmarriage; it is something else to portray everyone who does not share [that view] as bigoted” and unentitled to express a different view.Id., at ___ (ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting)In other words, Thomas is asking why are homosexuals being afforded extra constitutional rights that were not extended to blacks who faced far greater problems. Of course lefty types will say that those decisions were wrongly decided and that the courts should have found against those who prevailed then. Why? Because "legal for me and not for thee". But really though this is about these fringe groups being given more and more power and normal people being afraid to be labelled racist, bigot or whatever.
In Obergefell, I warned that the Court’s decision would “inevitabl[y] . . . come into conflict” with religious liberty,“as individuals . . . are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sexcouples.” 576 U. S., at ___ (dissenting opinion) (slip op., at 15). This case proves that the conflict has already emerged.You and me both.
It is a known that many left white persons believe that black people are children who are not to be held responsible for their own actions. In addition lefty white people believe that that black people are generally less intelligent and capable than white people and therefore need white assistance in order to make it. This is in contrast to many on the right who also think that black people are children and are less intelligent than white people. While both parties believe the same things, the latter do not make excuses. Those on the right with the stated position, believe that black people need to stop behaving in such a manner if for no other reason that they do not want to pay taxes to support said behavior or be victims of crimes perpetrated by those persons. Similarly, in stark contrast to the left, righty types do not want to lower standards. Rather they are pretty much accepting (if not liking) of black people who can hold their own without artificial props. Again for no other reason that if you work a job, the presence of un or under qualified persons can in many cases be a life threatening situation. Indeed, being careless about you job in say space travel or vehicle development can result in many deaths. This brings us to the topic at hand. Meet NYC Mayor De Blasio. He thinks that the post prestigious and most difficult NYC public schools to get into should "reflect the demographics of the city". And by that he doesn't mean the academic demographics.
In the face of growing pressure to tackle New York City’s widespread school segregation, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Saturday a proposal that would change how students are admitted to eight of the city’s specialized high schools, a group of highly sought-after institutions where students gain entry based on a single test.Let me repeat for the hard of hearing: Segregation is not legal in the United States. There are no segregated schools in NYC. Schools are attended by students in a district. You live in a district you go to the local school unless you test into a different school. There are no laws on the books that says that black students cannot go to x, y or z schools. There is a difference between separation and segregation. Learn it.
Black and Hispanic students, who make up 67 percent of the public school population, are grossly underrepresented at the specialized high schools, which include Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science.Who makes up the majority of students at these elite schools. If you said "white" you got the big X. Also, of the black students that make the grade, did you know that most of them are children of immigrants?
Mr. de Blasio campaigned on the issue when he first ran for mayor in 2013, saying the specialized schools should “reflect the city better,” but he has yet to make a dent in the problem. This year, black and Latino students received just 10 percent of the offered seats at specialized high schools, a percentage that has held essentially flat for years.What does "reflect the city better" mean? Since admission offers are based on results of an exam open to any student, the schools do in fact "reflect the city". What they reflect is the academic performance of the various groups in NYC. For example, the above quote contains a link to another NYT piece where it is stated:
At Stuyvesant, the most competitive of the schools, only 10 black students and 27 Latino students received offers this year; last year, the comparable numbers were 13 and 28.There are 3,356 students in Stuyvesant. 13 black students? In a school that takes an exam to get into? The problem is not "segregation" people.
“The Specialized High School Admissions Test isn’t just flawed — it’s a roadblock to justice, progress and academic excellence,” Mr. de Blasio wrote in an op-ed published Saturday on the education website Chalkbeat.Expecting black students to pass an exam that Asian and white students pass is an "injustice" and a roadblock. We have certainly moved on from the whole content of character thing haven't we? In the linked ChalkBeat article we find the following:
There’s also a geographic problem. There are almost 600 middle schools citywide. Yet, half the students admitted to the specialized high schools last year came from just 21 of those schools. For a perfect illustration of disparity: Just 14 percent of students at Bronx Science come from the Bronx.If only 21 of the 600 middle schools in NY are producing half the entrants to the elite high schools, then it means that a large number of the middle schools in NY have not too bright students in them.
Can anyone defend this? Can anyone look the parent of a Latino or black child in the eye and tell them their precious daughter or son has an equal chance to get into one of their city’s best high schools? Can anyone say this is the America we signed up for?I didn't sign up for an America where the NYC Mayor can make speeches about how my people should not be expected to meet the standards that everyone else has to meet. Also, any parent who tells their kid that the reason they didn't get into any of the elite high schools is "racism" rather than that they failed to meet the standards is a failure of a parent. Then we get the double talk:
So let me be clear. The new system we’re fighting for will raise the bar at the specialized high schools in every way. The pool of talent is going to expand widely and rapidly. That’s going to up the level of competition. The students who emerge from the new process will make these schools even stronger.The city already messed with the test and saw no change in admissions. Now they want to set aside seats for students who cannot qualify under the exam that every other student must meet. Yet this is called "raising the bar". If you're dumb enough to believe that double talk, you deserve to have your fellow employees or fellow students look at you as an unqualified Affirmative Action case.
The most significant change Mr. de Blasio proposed was replacing the test, called the SHSAT, with a new method that would admit students based on their class rank at their middle school and their scores on statewide standardized tests.After telling us that most of the 600 middle schools are basically shit when it comes to graduating students prepared to do elite level school work, we are to believe that the top students of all these shit schools are just as good as anyone who passed the test. Really.
Beginning in the fall of 2019, the city would set aside 20 percent of seats in each specialized school for low-income students who score just below the cutoff; those students would be able to earn their spot by attending a summer session called the Discovery program. Five percent of seats for this year’s ninth graders were awarded this way, the city said.The only reason they are using the term "poor" is because if it was explicitly "black" the courts would be forced to strike it down. Did you know that Queens county has perhaps the largest high income black population in NYC? Yet there is no discussion of getting these relatively well off black students into this pool. Why not? Let me close this post with a personal account. I took the test for the elite schools. I did not do well. I was and am brighter than most but I was not material for that group. I did test into another school and did well there. I graduated with a decent GPA. I was accepted to all colleges I applied for save Cornell. They gave me a deferred admission. So I went elsewhere for two years. I beat up all classes at that level except for calculus which kicked my entire ass. I transferred to Cornell and proceeded to have the worst academic year of my entire life. I can excuse some of it to the fact that I fell ill (hospitalized) for a good week during my first semester with a total two weeks where I couldn't do much of anything. But I'm grown enough to admit that I was in way over my head. I recognized almost immediately that I was with an entirely different level of student. I was simply not prepared to go at the rate and depth that they were. No shame in that. I would have done better to stay where I was. This is what's going to happen to a lot of these students who get in because of the wish to "diversify" the schools. They will find themselves out of their depth. They will need tutoring. They will get low grades (or inflated grades). They will have a really hard time and not a few will fail out and have to transfer to a less advanced school. Luckily they won't have thousands in debt to pay off for this experiment. These calls to "diversify" schools, businesses and whathaveyou where standards are lowered flies in the face of equality. Equality of outcome is not equality it is like segregation in that it forces an outcome regardless of what people can or want to do. The best way for black people to get respect is to stop asking for special favors and to buckle down and do the work. Get your kids off the phones. Keep your kids off the TV and the internet equivalents. Make 'em read. Stimulate the minds and hope they have the right genetics.