We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, April 1. 2013
Cave canem. The good dog warning sign via Ace
How Did Dinosaurs Have Sex?
A Generational Shift in Understanding Life With Down Syndrome
America's bastardy rate
Sleazebag men who don't give a damn about their kids
Tale of the Tape: Touré vs Ben Carson
Sorta interesting. Toure is the Oreo (like Obama), and Carson is the single Mom's kid from Detroit. I hear reverse class envy.
And worried about their grant $
Why Not Separate Marriage and State? Cultural civil war can be avoided by getting government out of marriage.
Michelle's 'Let's Move' Website: Ski for Exercise!
Walter Williams: Are We Equal?
Why Krugman is Dead Wrong on Capital Controls
An Instance of the Permanent Campaign
Chavez's legacy gains religious glow in Venezuela
Cyprus President’s Family Transferred Tens Of Millions To London Days Before Bailout
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Leon Wieseltier: Heresy: A Darwinist Mob Goes After a Serious Philosopher
Yes, if by "goes after", you mean criticize.
Graham Lloyd: Twenty-year hiatus in rising temperatures has climate scientists puzzled
That's the nature of science. Scientists live for anomalies. However, in this case, there are several reasons to believe that the basics of anthropogenic global warming are still valid. Much of the recent cooling is due to volcanic activity, which has only a short term effect, while CO2 warming has a long term effect. And a recent study shows that the 1990s were anomalously warm, but that the overall trend is consistent with model forecasts.
Allen et al, Test of a decadal climate forecast, Nature Geoscience 2013.
The short term was never an issue. The long term trend remains a significant problem.
and as we know, so-called "volcanoes" are a man-made phenom, dating back to the first Bush administration.
the short term effect of individual volcanoes is effectively long term because many different ones keep erupting.
Scott Johnson: Affirmative Action Forever ... The principle of equal treatment was adopted as the law of the land in the great civil rights legislation of 1964 and 1965, or so we foolishly thought at the time.
While affirmative action may be no longer needed, the article implies that it was never needed. The basics of common law require some amelioration of the wrongs done in order to make the victims whole. Furthermore, affirmative action has largely been replaced by new programs that emphasize ethnic diversity, something most business recognize as important for their future health and prosperity.
Any reasonable discussion of ending affirmative action has to include understanding the reasons for its original implementation.,
affirmative action has largely been replaced by new programs that emphasize ethnic diversity, something most business recognize as important for their future health and prosperity.
Meh. So comforting there are "new programs". Names change; mechanisms remain. Whether declared or not such policy, implemented by government or private organizations, will always come down to race, sex, or "ethnicity" as the job qualification that really matters.
Picking and choosing winners and losers where race is an ultimate factor is inherently invidious, whatever the motivation. There are no government institutions wise enough to handle such power for longer than an instant without becoming corrupt. Encouraging private institutions to do so, reckless at best. I understand why AA looked necessary; maybe it was. But the warnings voiced - even by supporters!! - were waved aside and forgotten, almost at once.
As for what "most businesses recognize", having practiced Title VII law for plaintiffs and defendants, most businesses are going to publicly support whatever shibboleth they must to lay the ground story for defending discrimination lawsuits.
Nothing wrong with "ethnic diversity", but outside sales / advertising and niche markets I doubt many companies could begin to quantify how or when "ethnic diversity" anchored their futures or helped them make a buck. I think you could make a stronger argument that it benefits society, just because, before you could point to bottom-line numbers.
I do know many smaller business owners who, depending on location, have directed benefited from hiring someone who speaks a foreign language shared by a big chunk of the local market. But I've also seen such business folk learn the language themselves and deftly pierce whatever ethnic veil hindered them.
Once we were hoping to live in a world where as a general rule race, ethnicity, sex, religion were not fundamentally important as data points for your resume. At this point AA and "new programs" will only take us farther away from that place.
Walter Williams: Are We Equal?
No, but you can't reasonably ignore the history of discrimination either when discussing societal differences.
Not relieved and relaxed about it because we have a black guy in the White House?
Regardless of remaining racial problems, the U.S. has made great strides.
That's odd, seeing how so many crow that we're not making progress, but, actually regressing.
Funny thing is, it seems those crowing the loudest benefit from the crowing, and not making progress.
There must be an unblocked path or access for every child's maximum achievement. We must put our most gifted, brightest children and our least gifted children with the best teachers we can find for them. The danger is mainstreaming or homogenization. We are not the same.
Argueing that affirmative action was ever needed is a self defeating arguement. It is like arguing that racial discrimination was needed or that the KKK was the first affirmative action effort. What is so difficult about understanding that you cannot fix a past wrong by committing a new wrong. Worse, you reward someone who was never discriminated against by punishing someone who has never discriminated. What the left has created is the black KKK, the hispanic KKK and the feminine KKK. You can see them demonstrate and argue for special treatment. They have only given up the bedsheet capes otherwise they are no different.
GoneWithTheWind: What is so difficult about understanding that you cannot fix a past wrong by committing a new wrong.
By that reckoning, all torts are wrong, and institutions can never be held accountable, no matter how egregious their behavior.
wrong, again. there is no remedy for some wrongs, either because the tortfeasor is dead, bankrupt, missing, vanished or the victim is dead or the tort too remote.
that's why you're not paying reparations to me. but if your fake liberal white guilt compels you to put your money where your mouth is, make a donation to the NRA in my name "pour encourager les global warmerin'" .
wirraway: there is no remedy for some wrongs
That's certainly the case.
wirraway: either because the tortfeasor is dead, bankrupt, missing, vanished or the victim is dead or the tort too remote.
The institutions that committed the harm still exist, as do many of those who were harmed.
wirraway: that's why you're not paying reparations to me.
Of course, that misses our original point, which was that while affirmative action may no longer be needed, the article implied that it was never needed. It also ignores our response to GoneWithTheWind's comment that you can never fix (in any measure) past wrongs (no matter how recent).
any individual who can show that he or she was discriminated against for any impermissible trait -- sex, religion, race, etc., might need the help of civil rights legislation to attain the right or at least be paid damages (and in the late '50s, early '60s demoncraptic-controlled South certainly did).
however, the same individual doesn't need affirmative action. the right to redress ought to belong to the individual, not to the group.
Krull has curious comment about Plessy (separate but equal) not being overruled by Brown v. Board (separate is inherently unequal); only in a hypertechnical sense, Plessy is as dead is it can be.
wirraway: however, the same individual doesn't need affirmative action. the right to redress ought to belong to the individual, not to the group.
Institutions are responsible, even if individual members are not. They gained the value of the ill-gotten gains through harm to others. Few actually advocate reparations, but it's not reasonable to say that institutions could leave an all-white workforce in place after having admitted to overt discrimination.
there are two broad methods for redressing institutional discrimination. one is to impose, with exhaustive government or judicial oversight of hiring practices, quotas and other set-asides that are less based on individual merit and more class-oriented. I understand why this is attractive to liberals, since regulation is an addiction and personal responsibility anathema.
the other way is to assist any individual with a valid claim of discrimination to get redress from the institution responsible. this can be made procedurally easier to bring and substantively easier to prove. while individual recoveries may be trivial compared to company value, punitive damages may be substantial because they are pegged to the worth of the guilty party. this gives enormous internal incentive from shareholders and other investors and market-driven reasons to reform practices before punitive damage awards destroy value.
So you would leave all-white workforces intact. Even without any overt discrimination, if they institute promotion from within, and management recommendations for hiring, it could leave the racial disparity for generations. That policy would only seem to work in the imaginary world without people clamoring on the doors demanding justice.
you underestimate the power of tort law and economic incentives. a company with an institutional problem, after paying out a massive punitive damages awards intended to make an example out of it, and exposed to your boycotts and divestment, coupled with positive economic incentives from the government, will have all the motivation to change.
a company that makes internal policy changes should be protected from exposure to punitive damages awards, as a further carrot-stick method.
sure, its not an immediate cure and problems will linger, but anything is better than government meddling to the level that liberals live for.
In a time when a white person could shoot a black person in the back and not be prosecuted, you seem to think a simple tort would be effective in a state court.
changing the topic from a tort offense to a crime will not save your failed argument. but thank you for illustrating the weak analogy flaw in reasoning. we can always count on you people.
so, padawan, accept your righteous schooling with grace and learn from the experience, however humilating.
wirraway: changing the topic from a tort offense to a crime will not save your failed argument.
You're the one who claimed that a simple tort in a Southern state could be effective in an age when blacks could be shot with impunity. It doesn't work that way. It took federal intervention. Even then, if you had merely outlawed discrimination, it would have still left all-white workforces in place. The injustice is evident.
yes, padawan, because we discourse on affirmative action, something used to redress civil, not criminal wrongs.
learn the difference, or you'll continue to look even more ignorant.
your level of government intrusion into the private sector is far more destructive than my remedy. destroying free enterprise is on your agenda, that is obvious to anyone reading your blathering love of government cures for everything.
you can't fix everything overnight and residual racial discrimination will linger, and we are reaching the point where that is your fault as much as it is the fault of institutions.
we will not allow you to use the slow remedy of these problems to justify destroying individual liberties.
using your style of BS rhetoric is fun once in a while.
wirraway: yes, padawan, because we discourse on affirmative action, something used to redress civil, not criminal wrongs.
We were discussing a moral wrong. Tort was raised in response to a specific comment by GoneWithTheWind.
wirraway: your level of government intrusion into the private sector is far more destructive than my remedy.
Perhaps, but you haven't made that argument.
wirraway: you can't fix everything overnight and residual racial discrimination will linger,
wirraway: and we are reaching the point where that is your fault as much as it is the fault of institutions.
Perhaps, but that wasn't the point raised, but that affirmative action had a role to play historically. It simply wasn't reasonable or tenable or just to leave all-white workforces intact, even when businesses admitted to overt discrimination. They had to make an effort to rectify their past wrongs.
A rational argument to end affirmative action can't be made without acknowledging this.
by proposing harsh, merit-based and market driven means of fixing a moral wrong I'm acknowledging it. I am proposing a better way of correcting it than government mandates, closer oversight and race/sex/whatever quotas.
Many businesses would have simply instituted hire and promote from within policies. After all that effort and sacrifice, leaving all-white work forces intact in 1965 simply would not have been reasonable, tenable or just.
The problem with discriminating by affirmative action is it punishes innocent people NOT institutions. But you get a twofer because it rewards people in protected classes that were never harmed. It is a left wing wet dream. Why am I not suprised that you defend it?
The truly delicious irony in the Nagel brouhaha is that many of his critics (perhaps all) themselves hold views regarding human evolution that are incompatible with Darwinism. Pinker, for example, does not believe in human races.
Nagel's real problem is that he wants a nondarwinian theory that is atheistic.
Racial subdivisions are somewhat arbitrary, and there are gradations between human populations. Pinker's views are not incompatible with Darwinism. Not sure why you would think so.
Re: Heresy: A Darwinist Mob Goes After a Serious Philosopher
Wikipedia describes Nagel as "an American philosopher, currently University Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, where he has taught since 1980. His main areas of philosophical interest are philosophy of mind, political philosophy and ethics."
he's a philosopher -- I don't see any competence here to weigh in on matters of evolutionary biology, or any related field.
he's got an opinion, so what? he's getting trashed in the media for it -- so what? if he thinks evolution is flawed, let him defend his position in the scientific journals where the real work in this field is done: Journal of Human Evolution, Journal of Evolutionary Biology etc. if his ideas have merit, they'll survive the onslaught -- just like every other revolutionary idea does that is ultimately accepted (obviously not including glorlbar warminerin). read the debate that goes on in publications like these, its vicious, worse than getting hammered in the general press (e.g., google Alvarez, iridium, meteor debate).
his supporters whine because he's not taken seriously in the regular scientific press? the same press doesn't take flying saucer buffs seriously either. yes, that's an apt ad hom.
let him muse about what its like to be a bat or the kinds of angels who dance on pins and leave science to the competent.
He's discussing the relationship of philosophy with "natural philosophy" or science. Those who are criticizing him are empiricists, and while many of them might be holders of a degree called "Doctor of Philosophy", few have any formal study or research in philosophy beyond their own little subcategory of natural philosophy.
I would hold that the lack of competence goes the other way.
We have the same old Rationalism vs. Empiricism debate, with the Empiricism side using a priori reasoning, intuition, and appeals to authority to claim that the rationalism side is not only wrong but unnecessary.
if I'm not mistaken, you're referring to the title "PhD". this is not a philosopher's degree in the sense that its a a degree in philosophy, its how the most advanced academic degree is styled. now that we've disposed of that strawman ...
... so we have a guy with apparently no hard science background relevant to "change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next" blathering an opinion and getting shut down by those who have the specialized knowledge to discuss it intelligently.
if I'm going to follow the debate on the evolution of dogs, I'm going to look at articles like this, rather than consult someone whose expertise is in political philosophy and ethics.
in fact, I'm probably more qualified than Nagel to give an opinion. while we both have doctorates in fields totally unrelated to evolutionary biology, I own gun dogs; he probably owns a goldfish.
"can for the first time be suggested."
Modesty on their part I'm sure.
I'm immensely impressed by not only your educational attainments but by your owning 'gun dogs'.
You must sleep soundly at night knowing that if we only listened to you, well, it would be rainbows and Unicorns all the way down. Turtles be damned.
thanks, and you should be impressed. but I'm just happy to get under your skin and provoke a whiny response.
even my gun dog* is laughing at you.
*ProTip: that's what they're called by us adults. google is your friend.
Your whiny just has bigger words, and excuses for using 'gun dogs' as smart commentary. You're not an example of anything I'd pass on to youngers' as a model.
Re: Cave canem. The good dog warning sign via Ace
the pic of Gandalf with a BAR is from someone who has read the Harvard Lampoon's Bored of the Rings
Darwinist Mob: Infidels and apostates must be destroyed!
Dems want Sheriffs fired: Infidels and apostates must be destroyed!
Class Action suits: basically a fraud upon all of us.
Blacks will never get ahead if Dems are to be believed. And I believe Dems don't want and actively work to prevent that from happening.
Are We Equal? I am personally being discriminated against, and i'm agonna sue somebody!
You know there are societal divides when the FOI refuses to sell ya a bean pie....
Talk about selective marketing...
re: Sleazebag men?
Why is it no one ever says "Sleazebag women who don't care about their children"? I are one. Woman, that is, though not of the sleazebag variety, in the 50 some odd years old range. I chose not to have children because I did not make a home suitable for one (one man and one woman married for life), in the face of relentless pressure from other women my age who demonized me for wanting such a quaint arrangement before I started pumping them out (just because I could). How about some props for those like me and some well-deserved demonizing of those women who put their personal fulfillment above the well being of their progeny? Good grief.
I commend you and your ken, being assured you have made contributions to our society of equal import.
AlGorebal worming: Ain't nuthin it cain't do!
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont has become the first state to let people without health insurance see how much they would pay to get coverage through the federal health overhaul beginning next year.
The state released proposed rates Monday. Examples show that a family of four with an annual income of $32,000 would pay $45 a month out of pocket. A single person making $40,000 would pay $317 a month.
Vermont's rates aren't expected to affect other states'. Andy Hyman of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says every state is expected to release theirs over the next month or so.
Vermont embraced the federal health overhaul from the outset and hopes to go further. The state is setting up what would become the nation's first single-payer health care system, to be implemented in 2017.
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
It is illogical. Logically the cost of insurance, health care or other types, should reflect the risk. A family of four should pay four times as much as a single person. A sick or obese person should pay more than a healthy person. I suppose it wouldn't be an unreasonable compromise to have a shared risk plan where everyone paid the same but it is monumentally illogical to have four people pay 1/7th what one person pays. Karl Marx would be so pleased...
Have you read the Affordable Care Act draft application?
Pure Unadulterated Craziness. The new business to start is clearly a service agency assisting individuals to complete the application - An H&R Block of ACA applications and renewals.
Especially for the many, many who will have neither access for completing, nor ability to comprehend the application process or its questions. The only thing we need now to make this the "perfect" business, is for the government to subsidize the application preparation fees.
The amount of information being collected is amazing. I fear how they could choose to use it. It could also be positively powerful if used to enforce the laws of the land - immigration, income tax....But of course it will not be used in this fashion.
Downright frightening and disheartening. Entirely outrageous.