The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Schuette decision

As expected, the editors of The Philadelphia Inquirer were disappointed with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Schuette v Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigration Rights By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), but understood it just enough to dance around what the ruling actually was.

The 6-2 decision suggests a nation that no longer needs to directly address the vestiges of past discrimination, which have left minority communities poorer, sicker, and educationally deprived.

No, that’s not what it means. The ruling in Schuette very explicitly stated that the previous decisions allowing state schools to employ race-based considerations for Affirmative Action purposes remained in force:

(It) is important to note what this case is not about. It is not about the constitutionality, or the merits, of race-conscious admissions policies in higher education. The consideration of race in admissions presents complex questions, in part addressed last Term in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, 570 U. S. ––– (2013). In Fisher, the Court did not disturb the principle that the consideration of race in admissions is permissible, provided that certain conditions are met. In this case, as in Fisher, that principle is not challenged. The question here concerns not the permissibility of race-conscious admissions policies under the Constitution but whether, and in what manner, voters in the States may choose to prohibit the consideration of racial preferences in governmental decisions, in particular with respect to school admissions.

The decision in Schuette concerns, directly, whether the voters have the right to decide the question in he first place, and, indirectly, whether race-conscious decision-taking must be a part of any plan to address the effects past discrimination. 1 In places where Affirmative Action plans which contain preferences or other methods to assist minority applicants, the ruling leaves those plans untouched.

The Editors continued:

That is not to say America hasn’t made progress since that sad period when no black person realistically expected to be treated according to the content of his character rather than his skin color.”

That’s a sadly amusing sentence, given that the programs the Editors want to see very explicitly discriminate on the basis of skin color.

But as Sotomayor so eloquently put it in urging her fellow justices to reconsider, “We ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society.

I have somewhat less respect for the Justice who once stated that, as a “wise Latina,” she would reach better conclusions than a white male who hadn’t had her experiences, because, as a judge, she is supposed to apply the law, not set policy, but setting policy is exactly what she wished to do here. The political process in the state of Michigan reached a decision, by the most direct democracy there is — a question put to the voters — which stated that the state, including state colleges, would not discriminate on the basis of race; the (not so) wise Latina thought that her voice ought to outweigh the decisions of the voters.

Colleges give preferences to athletes, children of rich alumni, and others they want on campus. Why not do that for students still struggling to overcome past barriers to opportunity?

Some still can: colleges in states which allow Affirmative Action can, and private colleges anywhere can do exactly as the please. But that does not mean that every state, everywhere, must comply, and it does not mean that the public, either directly through the initiative process (as happened in Michigan) or indirectly, through their elected representatives, must choose to have race-conscious standards for anything.

A ruling against affirmative action suggests an ideal world that has yet to exist.

The boxed quote was visible, as a sidequote, only in the print edition yesterday morning,2 but it demonstrates the not-very-good thinking of the Editors: the ruling was not one against Affirmative Action, something the plurality decision directly stated was not an issue, but whether the democratic process allows states and other government entities to take decisions concerning what their policies will be. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote:

It has come to this. Called upon to explore the jurisprudential twilight zone between two errant lines of precedent, we confront a frighteningly bizarre question: Does the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment forbid what its text plainly requires? . . .

Even taking this Court’s sorry line of race-based admissions cases as a given, I find the question presented only slightly less strange: Does the Equal Protection Clause forbid a State from banning a practice that the Clause barely—and only provisionally—permits?

Justice Scalia has it exactly right. The Court has, through some convoluted reasoning, and the applications of tests such as strict scrutiny, previously allowed things which the actual words of the Constitution explicitly prohibit.3 That it has become a muddled mess is hardly a surprise. And if we had had three more “wise Latinas” on the Supreme Court, we’d have had just what Justice Scalia said: a ruling which held that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits what it explicitly requires.
____________________

  1. Left unmentioned is whether states, cities or schools must address such concerns, or whether they may or may not choose to do so.
  2. The Philadelphia Inquirer, Thursday, April 24, 2014, page A-21.
  3. Thanks to Justice Sandra O’Connor and her attempt to be moderate, we have the twin cases of Gratz v Bollinger and Grutter v Bollinger, which tell us that racial discrimination is unconstitutional if it’s done too explicitly, too rigidly, but is acceptable if state institutions try to be subtle and sophisticated about it.

Wealthy leftists who keep getting wealthier keep telling us how terrible income inequality is

One of my bigger nitpicks about Donald Douglas is that so many of his posts reference other people’s writing without giving us enough of what he has to say; that’s not the case with his latest:

Bill Moyers and Paul Krugman Use Thomas Piketty’s Capital to Attack America’s ‘Ugliness’ and ‘Racism’

Well, I’m sure most readers have read my initial piece on the Piketty book by now, “The Misguided Resurgence of Marxist Collectivism.”

It turns out I was on to more than I realized at the time.

Every now and then you have a book that catches the moment’s zeitgeist, and Capital in the Twenty-First Century sure has the makings of another earth-shaker. (I’m finding myself reminded of the urgent reception of Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers back in 1987, a time when the country’s was awash in massive Reagan-era deficits and frightened to death of the prospect of Japan as No. 1.) At the very least members of the Washington establishment will be gleefully brandishing this tome while demanding an increase in top tax rates reminiscent of the “glory” days of the Roosevelt administration.

And right on cue, the big bloviating, hypocritical luxury leftists are pumping this book like there’s no tomorrow. I watched this full 20-minute Bill Moyers interview with far-left economist Paul Krugman earlier today. It’s a classic “highbrow” PBS joint. Behold these two left-wing know-it-alls pontificating on how horrible is the U.S. economy in this new “Gilded Age” of allegedly extreme economic inequality. And not long into the discussion we get to the root of the left’s disgusting and divisive racism and class warfare. At around 14:30 minutes Moyers bemoans society’s alleged “ugliness,” an obviously coded attack on those conservatives in particular who’ve worked to prevent a return to the confiscatory tax rates of last century. And not to disappoint, Krugman intercepts the dog whistle and launches into a typical attack on certain groups in society (ahem, tea party types, cough, hack) who are animated by those ever-present “underlying racist” motivations that are the standard fall-back trope of the congenitally stupid MSNBC crowd.

More at Dr Douglas’ original.

As American Power noted, Mr Moyers has received at least $20 million in taxpayer dollars, but declines to disclose his income, while Dr Krugman, who is oh-so-concerned about income inequality, is going to be paid $225,000 by the City University of New York for doing very little work. That perhaps these two wealthy men really don’t understand that not everybody can be paid as much as they are is the most charitable view that one could put on it, though your Editor believes it far more likely that these two very-well-connected men know exactly how things work, and are simply tremendous hypocrites.

Dr Douglas also noted CBS This Morning’s fawning interview of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), that strong advocate of higher taxes on the wealthy, who, after criticizing then-Senator Scott Brown for voting against the “millionaire’s tax” proposal, admitted that she chose not to use the voluntarily pay higher rates option on her state income taxes. And our esteemed President, who has been able to send his daughters to private schools, has steadfastly opposed education voucher programs which would allow the children from poorer families to use private schools. In the meantime, studies have revealed that very blue New York has the most segregated public school systems in the country. Why, it’s almost as though the Democrats really don’t mean a single word of what they say.

Good news!

The Supreme Court decided, in the case of Schuette v Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigration Rights By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), that the convoluted reasoning that Michigan’s Proposition 2, which outlawed discrimination based on race by state agencies, including state universities was actually racially discriminatory in itself, was a stinking pile of bovine feces wrong. Patterico has a good discussion going on this case.

The decision was 6-2 (Justice Elena Kagan recusing herself), with Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Ginsberg saying, in effect, that since the Constitution (supposedly) allows Affirmative Action (see Grutter v Bollinger) that Affirmative Action is not only allowable but practically mandatory.

I’ll have more on this in the comments as time allows.

The First Street Journal endorses Governor Tom Corbett (R-PA) for re-election

Governor Tom Corbett (R-PA) isn’t exactly the flashiest politician around, which I suppose really, really matters to some people. What matters to the Editor is that Mr Corbett campaigned in 2010 on a promise to balance the Commonwealth’s shaky, very much unbalanced budget, and to do so without raising taxes. Governor Corbett, capably aided by a Republican-controlled General Assembly, kept that promise.

It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t painless; hard choices faced the state government, and tough decisions had to be taken. They were, and this is the result:

UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT

Posted by Chris Pack 10pc on April 18, 2014 · 

logo[1]HARRISBURG, PA – The Corbett-Cawley campaign today released the following statement from Governor Tom Corbett following another positive jobs report for Pennsylvania.  According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the state’s unemployment rate has fallen to 6.0 percent – the lowest level since 2008 and far below the national average of 6.7 percent.

“When I came to Harrisburg, I came here with the promise of less taxes and more jobs, and we are now seeing those jobs reflected in our state’s improving unemployment rate,” stated Governor Tom Corbett.  “I have fought hard to restore fiscal order in our State Capitol, and that is creating the fiscal certainty and stability needed for the creation of good private sector jobs.  I will continue making the tough decisions that the people of Pennsylvania elected me to make, because they didn’t send me to Harrisburg to make friends, they sent me here to make a difference.”

For more information on the Corbett-Cawley campaign of less taxes and more jobs, please visit www.tomcorbettforgovernor.com.

The First Street Journal is not impressed with flashiness, and we are not impressed with promises and style; what impresses us is performance, what impresses us is when a leader tells the public and the voters what he is going to do, and then does it. Governor Corbett kept his promises, and should be re-elected.

Site attack

While the Editor does not support capital punishment, he would be willing to make an exception for spammers and hackers. The First Street Journal, as well as the older site, Common Sense Political Thought, which remains up as an archive only, and even Bridging the Gap, were hit by a fairly serious hacking attack, which showed up as a known virus on Norton. It has been fixed.

The simple virtue of common sense

From The Wall Street Journal:

Ignoring an Inequality Culprit: Single-Parent Families
Intellectuals fretting about income disparity are oddly silent regarding the decline of the two-parent family.
By Robert Maranto and Michael Crouch | April 20, 2014 5:38 p.m. ET

Suppose a scientific conference on cancer prevention never addressed smoking, on the grounds that in a free society you can’t change private behavior, and anyway, maybe the statistical relationships between smoking and cancer are really caused by some other third variable. Wouldn’t some suspect that the scientists who raised these claims were driven by something—ideology, tobacco money—other than science?

Yet in the current discussions about increased inequality, few researchers, fewer reporters, and no one in the executive branch of government directly addresses what seems to be the strongest statistical correlate of inequality in the United States: the rise of single-parent families during the past half century.

The two-parent family has declined rapidly in recent decades. In 1960, more than 76% of African-Americans and nearly 97% of whites were born to married couples. Today the percentage is 30% for blacks and 70% for whites. The out-of-wedlock birthrate for Hispanics surpassed 50% in 2006. This trend, coupled with high divorce rates, means that roughly 25% of American children now live in single-parent homes, twice the percentage in Europe (12%). Roughly a third of American children live apart from their fathers.

Does it matter? Yes, it does. From economist Susan Mayer’s 1997 book “What Money Can’t Buy” to Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart” in 2012, clear-eyed studies of the modern family affirm the conventional wisdom that two parents work better than one.1

More at the link.

We have mentioned previously that liberalism cannot stand questions about itself, that if putting together the small pieces, the individual problems, into a larger whole raises questions about the validity of liberal ideology, such connections cannot, must not, be made.

Maureen Dowd, the columnist for The New York Times, and a woman who has neither married nor had children, wrote a book entitled Are Men Necessary: When Sexes Collide.2 The problem is, for people like Miss Dowd, the title question is being asked by someone wealthy — she lives in a “stately Georgetown home” — with no children for whom she is responsible, a life status which is very foreign to most women; as much as I dislike the “1%” construction by the Occupy movement, it’s handy here, for Miss Dowd is clearly one of the 1%ers.

Vice President Dan Quayle rather famously got in trouble over the “Murphy Brown” question, because, well because you just can’t say that bearing children out of wedlock is wrong, even though Mr Quayle was noting the obvious, that for most women bearing children out of wedlock means a greatly increased personal and financial burden on them, and on their children. The linked article noted that Mr Quayle was right, but that was twenty years later; it was still a hammer to be used against the elder President Bush and him in the 1992 election.

Everything we know about human history has shown us that every culture and every society of which we are aware has developed heterosexual marriage as an institution, because it was required for bring up children. The wisdom of every society which has preceded our own was that children needed both a father and a mother, in the home, responsible for child rearing. Nevertheless, the oh-so-very-wise left elites decided that that was just so much (patriarchal?) hokum, just the remnants of bygone times, and not necessary for truly modern life!

The problem with that thinking was that it was developed by the elites, by people who had resources, by people who were not living paycheck-to-paycheck. The fictional character Murphy Brown could afford a child out-of-wedlock precisely because she was a fictional character; she was written as having a very successful professional job, written as being able to afford a plumber or an electrician if there was a problem. Murphy Brown still had to work, but she could easily afford child care. Vice President Quayle attacked an illusion built on a fictional character, saying, quite accurately, that the fictional character had real world connotations.

Well, your Editor can tell you that bringing up children is real work, and it’s work that requires more than one adult. The superwoman notion that mothers can work outside the home and be good mothers to their children as well ignores some pretty basic facts: it doesn’t matter how super the woman is, she doesn’t have the power to make the day last longer than 24 hours, and hours spent away from her children at work are hours in which someone else has to be responsible for taking care of them. Murphy Brown basically turned over child rearing to a babysitter, and the networks and the left said It Was Good, and millions upon millions of American women are turning over the rearing of their own children to minimum wage day care personnel, who are trying to care for 14 other kids at the same time.

We already know that:

  1. Children from homes without two parents are far more likely to commit crimes; and
  2. Children reared in single parent homes are far more likely to live in poverty,

but if you dare to say that single motherhood is bad for children, socially, educationally and economically, if you connect the very obvious dots, why you are a misogynist pig and advocate of the cisheteronormative patriarchy. It’s simple: if you connect the dots, if you look at the blatantly obvious evidence, you are attacking the liberal prescription for the way life can reasonably be lived.

For all of the thousands of years of known human civilization, we have lived, we all have lived with the societal and cultural assumption that normal people matured, and married other people of the opposite sex, and that sex was expected to be confined within the marital union. It wasn’t always equal: in most societies, men had more freedom to stray beyond the marital bond, while for women, such was more frequently a crime, and in some cases, even treason. But the importance of the family unit as the nurturer of children remained of primary importance.

To the left, it’s all so much garbage. But their prescriptions for how we should live have produced societal and cultural chaos; they have failed utterly. Oh, there are a few women who have been quite successful under the new rules, if anarchy can be called rules at all, women like the above-mentioned Miss Dowd.

But for every successful, elite, modern woman, there are hundreds more in our country who have all of the freedoms to have children out of wedlock and bed as many men as they wish, who are paying the price for that freedom in hopelessness and poverty. Of course, the left don’t see them as the victims of the culture the left created, but as somehow being the victims of the right, victims of the people who were correct all along. To have them apply simple common sense would be for them to challenge everything they believe, and they can’t have that!
__________________________________
Related Articles:

__________________________________

  1. The hyperlinks to the books were added by the Editor; they do not appear in the original.
  2. Here is Howard Kurtz’s review of the book and of Miss Dowd’s life.

My Own Take on BLM vs. Bundy

I’m sure Bundy doesn’t have much standing on his case of owing grazing fees. However, there is case law were land owned by one party is used by another party for their use, the other party gains rights to the land since the first party deemed to have abandoned it. And it may apply here since the Government’s last action was 10 years ago. But this whole case does not seem to be about that to me. To me it’s another Nail in the Coffin of a Tyrannical Government action disguised as the gummint wanting its money, but it’s, at least to me, about gummint control. In Bundy’s area there were 53 other cattle farmers. All have been bought using grazing money. Bundy is #54 and the last one standing.

Being the last one, and the gummint wanting clear ownership unencumbered by pesky cattle farmers, the BLM went to extremes to take possession. As it stands now, the Feds own around 90% of Nevada. So one wonders why they have to take repossession of this .000001% (made up to show its meaningless to the whole) of land.

Then there is the father and son Reids with their hand in the cookie jar. (I have read the Chinese solar deal may already be dead.) And remember the new head of BLM has ties to Hairy Reed.

So, as with everything with this Maladministration and Dirty Hairy and Son, what is really going on? As it stands with me, if a Progressive is involved, someone other than a Progressive is going to be screwed. Not a little, but a lot.

The current odds on the second raid with tanks and air assault is just after the 2014 elections. Waco and Ruby Ridge just wasn’t enough.

http://www.westernjournalism.com/graphic-photographic-evidence-slaughtered-cows-bundy-ranch/

BTW, Utah’s Governor told BLM not to ship Bundy’s cows there for sale and slaughter.

Media Bias: The professional media are attempting to normalize transexualism

This was the story on the Huffington Post:

Army General Upholds Chelsea Manning’s 35-Year Sentence
Posted: 04/14/2014 1:41 pm EDT Updated: 04/14/2014 2:59 pm EDT

WASHINGTON — An Army major general has denied Chelsea Manning’s request for clemency and upheld her 35-year sentence for leaking sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks, in a move that will kick off the appeals process in the high-profile case.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan’s decision was announced in a Monday press release from the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. As the commanding authority for Manning’s court martial, Buchanan had under military law the power to approve or reject the results of the trial judge, Col. Denise Lind.

Manning’s supporters had flooded Buchanan with over 3,000 letters of support, but his move was nonetheless widely expected.

“It’s no surprise that the convening authority denied this request. We anticipated it, and we’re prepared to go forward with the appeal,” said Nancy Hollander, Manning’s recently selected appeals lawyer. “We did not expect any relief from the general. But we do believe that we will go forward with the appeal, and that was always what we intended to do.”

Manning has been held in military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas since shortly after she was sentenced in August 2013 for leaking the military reports and other documents. Formerly known as Bradley, she began legal proceedings last month to formally change her first name to Chelsea. She is seeking treatment for gender dysphoria from the Army, which currently bans service by transgender persons.

A bit more at the link.

But, note the silliness: the HuffPo — or PuffHo, as John Hitchcock refers to it — cited The Washington Post story which noted that Prisoner Manning has applied fore a legal change of name, and that story states that the hearing on his request is scheduled for April 23rd, which hasn’t arrived yet. Mr Manning’s legal name is Bradley Manning, and that is the only proper way to refer to him. I’d note here that the Post went along with the same silliness, referring to Mr Manning with feminine pronouns and the name he wishes to be called.

But Mr Manning has not had his name changed, legally, nor has he undergone any “gender reassignment” treatment; he remains a male.

Unfortunately, the problem isn’t just silliness: it’s a leftist attempt to nudge people into accepting Mr Manning’s illness as somehow normal. Our (supposed) newspaper of record, The New York Times used the Reuters story as its version, a version which used the wrong name and the incorrect pronouns exclusively, and made no reference at all to Mr Manning having been born male and wishing to become female:

Ms. Manning was an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2010 when she gave WikiLeaks 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts. She pleaded guilty to 10 charges but was convicted on 20 counts, including espionage and theft.

Even if someone foolishly accepts Mr Manning’s claim that he is really female, as Reuters seems to have done, at the time Mr Manning pleaded guilty on some charges and was tried on others, he had made no (public) mention of his desire to emasculate himself. The Reuters, and hence The New York Times, report is simply false.

Other supposedly mainstream news sources going along with this included MSNBC (hardly a surprise), The Guardian, (again, not a surprise) ; UPI at least tried to get it correct, but also erred with a single use of the female pronoun.

Many of the mainstream press sources I searched used wire service copy rather than their own.  The Philadelphia Inquirer published, on page A-7, with a five column-wide headline, part of the Associated Press version, cutting it short of the point at which the AP version mentioned Mr Manning’s declaration that he was female, which left the Inquirer’s story as one referring exclusively to “Chelsea” Manning and using the feminine pronouns.  And even Fox News used the Associated Press version uncritically.

The left, when it was trying to make its case against President George Bush, used to call itself the “reality-based community,” and say that everyone is entitled to his opinion, but nobody is entitled to his own facts.  Well, the facts are that:

  • Mr Manning was born male, complete with male genitalia;
  • Mr Manning has the XY chromosome structure which separates males from females in all of earth’s sexually differentiated species;
  • Mr Manning spent his entire life as a male;
  • All of Mr Manning’s experiences are as a male, and of other people responding to him as a male;
  • Mr Manning still has male genitalia, and still has XY chromosomes; and
  • Mr Manning has received none of “sexual reassignment” treatment hormones.

By all objective measures, Mr Manning is male. The only indication that he might be female is his expressed desire, and that makes him no more female than my desire to be Tsar of All the Russias has given me the throne. Even if someone believes that hormone treatments and “sexual reassignment” surgeries can transform a male into a female, those things have not happened in Mr Manning’s case.

Simply put, the professional media are lying to you.