November 18, 2006

Weekend Question 2: Who Is Being Hurt by the Diversity Movement?

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government,TWUQs — Tom @ 4:28 pm

ANSWER: In academic admissions to elite schools, the answer is “other minority groups.”

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From Jonah Goldberg’s November 15 Townhall column:

It’s time to admit that “diversity” is code for racism. If it makes you feel better, we can call it “nice” racism or “well-intentioned” racism or “racism that’s good for you.” Except that’s the rub: It’s racism that may be good for you if “you” are a diversity guru, a rich white liberal, a college administrator or one of sundry other types. But the question of whether diversity is good for “them” is a different question altogether, and much more difficult to answer.

If by “them” you mean minorities such as Jews, Chinese-Americans, Indian-Americans and other people of Asian descent, then the ongoing national obsession with diversity probably isn’t good. Indeed, that’s why Jian Li, a freshman at Yale, filed a civil rights complaint against Princeton University for rejecting him. Li had nigh-upon perfect test scores and grades, yet Princeton turned him down. He’ll probably get nowhere with his complaint – he did get into Yale after all – but it shines a light on an uncomfortable reality.

“Theoretically, affirmative action is supposed to take spots away from white applicants and redistribute them to underrepresented minorities,” Li told the Daily Princetonian. “What’s happening is one segment of the minority population is losing places to another segment of minorities, namely Asians to underrepresented minorities.”

Li points to a study conducted by two Princeton academics last year which concluded that if you got rid of racial preferences in higher education, the number of whites admitted to schools would remain fairly constant. However, without racial preferences, Asians would take roughly 80 percent of the positions now allotted to Hispanic and black students.

In other words, there is a quota – though none dare call it that – keeping Asians out of elite schools in numbers disproportionate to their merit. This is the same sort of quota once used to keep Jews out of the Ivy League – not because of their lack of qualifications, but because having too many Jews would change the “feel” of, say, Harvard or Yale. Today, it’s the same thing, only we’ve given that feeling a name: diversity.

The greater irony is that it is far from clear that diversity is good for black students either. Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, notes that there is now ample empirical data showing that the supposed benefits of diversity in education are fleeting when real and often are simply nonexistent. Black students admitted to universities above their skill level often do poorly and fail to graduate in high numbers. UCLA law professor Richard Sander found that nearly half of black law students reside in the bottom 10 percent of their law-school classes. If they went to schools one notch down, they might do far better.

Well, there’s a solution to that: Let’s carry this nonsense to its logical conclusion, and establish quotas for who gets to graduate, and then for who actually gets to have jobs. Then there can be double-dip triple-dip discrimination (admissions, graduation, AND employment) against high-achieving Asians and other minorities. Employers won’t get what they expect out of college graduates, but hey, what’s more important, getting work done or being politically correct?

Conservative Culture Suddenly Sunday Trackback participant.


Weekend Question 1: What Is It About Arkansas Governors?

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government,TWUQs — Tom @ 1:05 pm

ANSWER: I don’t know for sure, but there must be something about the water in the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock that turns its occupants into cynical grifters.

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First it was the Clintons shipping White House furniture (WaPo story) to their home in Chappaqua, NY. Then it was Hillary Clinton’s stream of gifts received (NY Times original link not available; link is to a FreeRepublic post with the Maureen Dowd column contents) only days before she fell under the ethics rules of the US Senate.

Now departing Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and his wife appear to have outdone the Clintons (if not in dollars, certainly in chutzpah) by registering as newlyweds at two deparment stores so they can accept gifts for the home they are moving into as private citizens:

Monday, November 13, 2006 12:13 PM CST
Huckabees Registered For Gifts

LITTLE ROCK — “Wedding” registries in the names of Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet, have been set up at two department store chains in advance of the Huckabees’ move out of the Governor’s Mansion into a private home.

The term-limited governor leaves office in January, and friends of Janet Huckabee created the registries at Dillard’s and Target stores to help facilitate their transition to private life, Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart said Friday.

The Huckabees purchased a 7,000-square-foot home in North Little Rock this year.

“Some ladies who are friends of Janet’s are giving her a housewarming party,” Stewart said.

Arkansas law prohibits public servants from accepting any gift worth more than $100, unless the gift is conferred “on account of a bona fide personal, professional or business relationship” independent of the recipient’s official status.

“Items costing more than $100 which are given to public servants to show appreciation for their efforts (i.e., to reward them for doing their job) or to reward them for past or future action are prohibited under this rule,” the law states.

Gifts from relatives are not prohibited, nor are wedding or engagement gifts.

The Huckabees married in 1974. They entered into a covenant marriage in February 2005.

Huckabee, a Republican, appears to have presidential aspirations. Zheesh.

I suppose we should be grateful the couple didn’t register at Nieman Marcus.

Go Ahead, Make Our 24-Hour Embargoed Day

Something unusual must have been in the latte Peter Scheer was drinking at the San Francisco Chronicle when he wrote this about how to save the print newspaper business (HT Techdirt, which calls it the “Let Everyone Else Break News First” strategy):

What to do? Here’s my proposal: Newspapers and wire services need to figure out a way, without running afoul of antitrust laws, to agree to embargo their news content from the free Internet for a brief period — say, 24 hours — after it is made available to paying customers. The point is not to remove content from the Internet, but to delay its free release in that venue.

A temporary embargo, by depriving the Internet of free, trustworthy news in real-time, would, I believe, quickly establish the true value of that information. Imagine the major Web portals — Yahoo, Google, AOL and MSN — with nothing to offer in the category of news except out of date articles from “mainstream” media and blogosphere musings on yesterday’s news. Digital fish wrap. And the portals know from unhappy experience (most recently in the case of Yahoo) just how difficult it is to create original and timely news content themselves.

Scheer is volunteering to go out of business forever. Drudge, Lucianne, FreeRepublic, Pajamas Media and the blogosphere would fill the void so quickly that in a few weeks people would be asking “What’s a newspaper?” What’s more, the unfiltered news would probably be more accurate than the pablum we have to work with now as the starting point to get to the truth.

You want to see how not-indispensable you and your WORM (Worn-Out Reactionary Media, which used to be know to most as The Mainstream Media) brethren are? Go ahead and make our 24-hour embargoed day.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: The Two Flags of Iwo Jima

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:54 am

In a year where Iwo Jima is has been memorialized on film, it is quite appropriate to look at the story behind “the two flags” (the excerpt here is a small portion of the entire report; go to the link to read the whole thing and to see some great photos):

10/30/06 – Posted from the Daily Record newsroom
Remembering a forgotten flag-raising on Iwo Jima
Morris vets give new film salute, recall cheering from first event that came before famous photo

BY ABBOTT KOLOFF
DAILY RECORD

Greeley Wells carried the first flag flown over Iwo Jima in a small safe. He drove it in a Jeep across the battlefield and finally onto a ship heading to safety. He has told the story many times over the years — how he held a piece of history, the real flag from Iwo Jima.

It just wasn’t the famous flag.

Wells saw the movie “Flags of Our Fathers”last week and came away saying it got the battle scenes right — the mess on the beach, the ferocity of the fighting. He said he saw himself in a photo shown during the credits.

The movie depicts the story that he has been telling for 61 years — the story of the two flags. The first flag was raised over Mount Suribachi four days into the battle, and everyone cheered. Then a second flag replaced it, becoming famous because an Associated Press photographer happened to take a picture as it was raised.

Most men on Iwo Jima didn’t realize, at first, that a second, larger flag had been raised.

“Nobody seemed to notice that the flag’s getting bigger,” said Wells, 86, a former Harding mayor who now lives in Seattle, and a Marine lieutenant during the battle of Iwo Jima.

The film explores how the image of the second flag-raising, made famous by Joe Rosenthal’s photo, was used as a symbol of victory for selling war bonds to an American public tired of war while the men who raised the first flag largely were forgotten. It also explores the real heroism of people who sacrificed for their country, who fought and died on Iwo Jima during one of the fiercest battles ever.

Sixty-one years after that battle, which began on Feb 19, 1945, Iwo Jima veterans are mostly in their 80s. They were on the beach, or aboard ships just offshore, or engaged in battle at the airport when 40 men climbed to the top of the mountain, encountering little resistance, and raised a flag that Wells had been carrying in a map case. Wherever they were, veterans remember the sounds that followed the flag-raising — men cheering all over the island and ships’ horns blasting.

(continued at link)