From Around the Blogroll

From The Wall Street Journal:

Harvard Accused of Bias Against Asian-Americans
Complaint alleges university sets higher bar for applicants to limit Asian enrollment
By Douglas Belkin | Updated May 15, 2015 9:26 p.m. ET

A complaint Friday alleged that Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants by setting a higher bar for admissions than that faced by other groups.

The complaint, filed by a coalition of 64 organizations, says the university has set quotas to keep the numbers of Asian-American students significantly lower than the quality of their applications merits. It cites third-party academic research on the SAT exam showing that Asian-Americans have to score on average about 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students and 450 points higher than African-American students to equal their chances of gaining admission to Harvard. The exam is scored on a 2400-point scale.

The complaint was filed with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights.

“Many studies have indicated that Harvard University has been engaged in systemic and continuous discrimination against Asian-Americans during its very subjective ‘Holistic’ college admissions process,” the complaint alleges.

The coalition is seeking a federal investigation and is requesting Harvard “immediately cease and desist from using stereotypes, racial biases and other discriminatory means in evaluating Asian-American applicants.”

More at the link. But, the complaint will, and must, fail, at least as long as Barack Hussein Obama, or any Democrat, is President of the United States, because if the complaint is upheld, then the systematic discrimination against white applicants, in favor of blacks, must fall as well.

Harvard University is a private college, and, as such, it is your Editor’s opinion that the school can do whatever it wants; Harvard can exclude all Asian applicants, or all white applicants, or all black applicants, if it so chooses. Yes, I know, that isn’t how the law reads, but it should be. My opposition to Affirmative Action is based on the Fourteenth Amendment, which states that the government cannot discriminate on the basis of race. The Supreme Court, in Grutter v Bollinger, approved the use of race-based considerations in applications to the University of Michigan Law School, as long as they weren’t hard quotas, but even the majority were uncomfortable with that decision, as Associate Justice Sandra O’Connor note in the conclusion of her majority opinion:

We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.

That decision was announced on June 23, 2003, just five weeks short of twelve years ago; the majority’s opinion is closing in on the half-way point of that twenty-five year exception to the clear requirements of the Constitution the Court thought it wise to approve. Anyone want to be that, on June 23, 2028, Affirmative Action will be ended?

Naw, me neither.

And now, on to the blogroll!

That’s it for this week!

Rule 5 Blogging: A gun weapon and a smile!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for our version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacy McCain described as putting pictures of pretty women somewhat deshabille, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Natalie Portman in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude. This week: a weapon and a smile. Call it a “gun,” and your drill sergeant will be . . . displeased. Your M-16 is your weapon or your rifle; it is never your gun.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: A gun weapon and a smile!’ »

Thought crime

A tweet from Jessica Valenti:

Hat tip to Sister Toldjah, on Facebook, who copied the image, just in case Miss Valenti chooses to delete it.

I went to the original tweet, to make sure that there wasn’t an embedded story telling us more, but did not find one; Miss Valenti was defending her actions on Twitter.

Now, imagine her umbrage had a man been looking over her shoulder, to check out her Twitter feed, to see who she follows. She’d have thought that he was “creeping,” checking out her personal stuff surreptitiously.

Of course, she does not tell us enough. Perhaps they were having a pleasant conversation, and he was showing Miss Valenti his twitter feed, and that’s when she noticed. But, if that is the case, then she violated rules of common courtesy by publicly slamming someone with whom she was having a conversation. There’s only one thing that we do know: regardless of how the situation developed, Miss Valenti was in the wrong.

And just how did she know that the gentleman in question didn’t follow any women? Unless he showed her his follow list, the only way she could tell was by not seeing any women in his feed, at the time she was looking at it; it’s certainly possible that he followed some women on Twitter, but they didn’t have any tweets up during the time he was checking. Nevertheless, Miss Valenti seems to have assumed that, because she saw no women on his feed, he didn’t follow any.

But the real problem for Miss Valenti is that she has assumed some sort of injury from this man’s thoughts; she documented no hostile actions on his part at all. Somehow, some way, Miss Valenti, and, I assume, women in general, have been harmed by however this gentleman thinks. Maybe he really doesn’t follow any women on Twitter; so what? Unless Miss Valenti can come up with some actual action that he has taken which harms others, she has, basically, accused him of a Thought Crime.

And we know that, to the left, a thought crime is a real crime; the gentleman obviously needs to be sent to a Re-Education Camp.

Where are the marchers supporting Brandon Dixon?

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

From Juniata Park to Harvard on a full ride
Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer | Last updated: Sunday, May 10, 2015, 1:09 AM

Brandon Dixon and his mother, Virginia Dennis, pose for a photograph, Friday, May 8, 2015, outside their home in the Juniata Park section of Philadelphia. ( Joseph Kaczmarek / For The Inquirer ) Click to enlarge.

When the letter from the Gates Foundation landed on Lawndale Street in April, Virginia “Ginny” Dennis and her son Brandon started screaming.“Is Miss Ginny OK?” a neighbor asked as they stepped out of their Juniata Park rowhouse. “Because we heard her hollering.”

More than OK.

Miss Ginny’s son had just been awarded a full scholarship to both college and graduate school.

He’s going to Harvard.

At 17, Brandon Dixon is used to defying the odds.

With the guidance of Dennis – a spirited, single mother who worked as a medical lab technician – he won a spot at Girard College in fifth grade and has received a free, college-prep education at the private school in Fairmount.

Now, the student body president who helped lead the fight to preserve the secondary and boarding programs that have been hallmarks at Girard since it opened in 1848 has made history of his own: He has been named a Gates Millennium Scholar and the cost of the rest of his education will be covered by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The first in his family to attend college, Dixon has been talking about Harvard since he was 4. He’ll head to Cambridge in August to study government.

There is a lot more here.

Juniata Park is not the poorest section of Philadelphia, but it’s far from the wealthiest. What young Mr Dixon has done is to show that growing up poor and black is no reason not to succeed.

I have said, many times, that while I had little hope for Barack Hussein Obama to be a good President — and he has validated my doubts rather spectacularly — there was one very solid hope that I had for him: I had hoped that he would serve as a strong example to the black community that the unfortunate cultural norm that studying hard and doing well in school was not somehow “acting white” and should be avoided, but the path to success, and one which should be taken. Freddie Gray in Baltimore, was, as the euphemism goes, “well known to the police,” a common, petty criminal, who is now stone-cold graveyard dead. Michael Brown was just beginning on his criminal career, having robbed a convenience store ten minutes before he was killed, taking the thug route in life, and now he’s just another moldering corpse. When they were killed, a whole bunch of black Americans, and not a few of the less intelligent whites, were outraged and marched and protested and, in some cases, rioted, all in support of petty criminals.

Where, then, is the black community, marching in support of Brandon Dixon, showing their pride in the early accomplishments of a young man who has done things the right way? Well, we can see how the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Robinson Obama, feels about it:

Pampered Michelle Obama tells black grads: America’s tough on ‘folks like you and me’

Michelle Obama had her racial resentment act on full display Saturday when she turned a graduation celebration at a historically black university into another opportunity for identity politics.

The first lady put her penchant for racial division to work when she gave the commencement address at Alabama’s Tuskegee University.

“Generation after generation, students here have shown that same grit, that same resilience to soar past obstacles and outrages — past the threat of countryside lynchings; past the humiliation of Jim Crow; past the turmoil of the Civil Rights era,” she said.

“And then they went on to become scientists, engineers, nurses and teachers in communities all across the country — and continued to lift others up along the way.”

Obama cited the situations in Ferguson and Baltimore as she pandered to the audience.

“The road ahead is not going to be easy. It never is, especially for folks like you and me,” she said. “Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is those age-old problems are stubborn, and they haven’t fully gone away.”

The First Lady is, as she almost always is, wrong. She was speaking to the graduates at the Tuskegee University, the ones who have taken the path that her husband and she took, the path of education, the path of college. It is an entirely superficial judgement to think that because the graduates are mostly black, they are somehow the same as Michael Brown or Freddie Gray. It isn’t the color of their skin which is important, but the path they choose to take through life, and it’s as certain as anything can be that the vast majority of those graduates won’t turn out to be criminals like Messrs Brown and Gray.

She said black people have a “Fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds. The agony of sending your kids to schools that may no longer be separate but are far from equal. The realization that no matter how far you rise in life, how hard you work to be a good person, a good parent, a good citizen — for some folks it will never be enough.”

The First Lady doesn’t seem to understand: if you work hard to be “a good person, a good parent, a good citizen,” you will be appreciated, because so many people these days don’t do that.

What the First Lady ought to be saying, what her husband ought to be pushing, is that taking the right path in life is the key to success, and that it is those who choose the wrong path who hold back the rest of black America. The problem is that so many young black American men choose the wrong path, choose to become the Freddie Grays and Michael Browns, that their actions have led to police profiling, have led to the police being more suspicious of young black men, because that is a reasonable response; if the police focus more heavily on young black men than other people, they will catch a greater number of criminals.

That’s a rough thing to say, but statistically, it’s the truth, and the black community knows that as well as anyone else. Jesse Jackson once said, “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps… then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” The Reverend Jackson was doing what everybody does, he was admitting to profiling, admitting that when we lack specific information about a particular person or situation, our brains just naturally fill in the blanks with knowledge from previous situations. The Reverend Jackson was saying exactly what he knows and everybody knows: the probability that a man walking down the street behind him would turn out to be a mugger is greater if that man is black than if he is white.

And that is why the black community needs to stop making martyrs and heroes out of young men like Messrs Gray and Brown, and start making more of a celebration about people like Brandon Dixon.

Rule 5 Blogging: Glamour Girls

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Linor Abargil in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

This week, it’s back to the Levant, and the women of the IDF! Real women, in real danger, who can handle it!

Relaxing, but still on duty. Note that they have magazines in their weapons. Click to enlarge.

Relaxing, but still on duty. Note that they have magazines in their weapons. Click to enlarge.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Glamour Girls’ »

Housing prices

From The New York Times:

Really great, huh? Some Manhattan neighborhoods are less expensive than Brooklyn, but the picture that the Times used shows bars on the windows and door. If I wanted to put myself in jail, I could do it without spending a million bucks!

Our New Kentucky Home

Looking from the front of the property, across the soybean field (a neighboring farmer leases part of the land) toward the Kentucky River. The tree line marks the river. Click to enlarge.

In the meantime, as As I’ve noted previously, we bought our retirement home1 last year: 7.92 acres, with 500 feet of frontage on the Kentucky River, for a whopping $75,000. The house is a bit of a fixer-upper as far as we are concerned, but it’s livable now, enough so that we have been able to rent it out, and it actually rented the first day our agent put it on the market.

38 Gramercy Park NOf course, it’s not Manhattan, where for a mere $425,000 you can buy this 375 ft² studio apartment in Gramercy Park!2 Gramercy is one of the areas the article lists as less expensive than some neighborhoods in Brooklyn, so it must be a deal!

Manhattan is an interesting place to visit, but I sure don’t see how anyone who has to actually work for a living can afford to live there.
_________________________

  1. We’re not actually retiring until 2019.
  2. The address is 38 Gramercy Park North, and I won’t list he apartment number in this footnote. I’m adding this for reference, since zillow.com will drop the listing once the apartment is sold.

Civil War Memorabilia

Make Extra Money Selling Military Memorabilia

The collectibles market is one that changes fairly often. What is hot one year isn’t hot the next, and market trends often dictate the selling price of those collectibles. Military memorabilia is one of the few fields that remains stable. Even in the midst of the recession, collectors still spend millions of dollars on the items they needed to complete their collections. Whether you have memorabilia from the Civil War or another era in history, you can sell those items for big bucks.

Authenticating Your Item

If you want to sell items through a traditional auction house, online or at memorabilia shows, you need to authenticate every item you sell. Buyers want to know the history behind those items and that the pieces really do come from the appropriate era. Authenticating experts go over your item with a fine tooth comb to look for any errors and to get an idea about the condition of the piece. You’ll receive a certificate that authenticates your piece.

What About Conservation and Preservation?

When it comes to Civil War memorabilia and items from other eras, condition always matters. Pieces that are in better condition sell for more than items in poorer condition do. Many companies offer conservation and preservation services that can restore and protect those pieces for years to come. This is a good option for those who want to hold on to some items and sell those pieces later. Battleground Antiques, Inc. and other similar companies can assist you with authenticating, conserving and preserving all the memorabilia in your collection.

From Around the Blogroll

Dick the butcher, from Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene II:

The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

While that line is often misinterpreted, I can think of one attorney, a law professor no less, about whom even the resticted meaning of the corrupt, unethical lawyers certainly applies.

Complaint says crosses at Catholic school offensive, prevent Muslim prayers

Crosses in every room at Washingon D.C.’s Catholic University of America are a human rights violation that prevent Muslim students from praying.

That’s the complaint to the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights filed by a professor from rival George Washington University across town.

GWU Law School Professor John Banzhaf takes the Catholic institution to task for acting “probably with malice” against Muslim students in a 60-page complaint that cites “offensive” Catholic imagery all over the Catholic school, which he says hinder Muslims from praying.

Baffled Catholic University officials say they have never received a complaint from any of the schools Muslim students.

Banzhaf, who already has a pending lawsuit against the university over ending its policy of allowing mixed-gender dormitories and has a history of filing civil rights suits on such topics as childhood obesity and smoking, filed the complaint alleging that Muslim students are not given their own prayer rooms.

He alleges that the university, “does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion,” according to the Tower, Catholic University’s student newspaper.

More at the original.

I, of course, wouldn’t actually want to see him killed, but ridiculous attorneys such as Mr Banzhaf could be put quickly in their place with one simple doctrinal change: the institution of loser pays. If the loser in a lawsuit was require to pay the legal bills of the winner, people like Mr Banzhaf would cease filing frivolous lawsuits.

Catholic University is, as the name ought to indicate to all but the most stupid, is a Catholic university. Catholic institutions tend to have Crucifixes all over the place. If someone is offended by Catholic art and Crucifixes, he is perfectly at liberty to attend some other college.

And now, on to the blogroll!

That’s it for this week! I apologize for the sparsity of my posting, but I worked 68 hours this past week, and things don’t look to be letting up any time soon.

We Have No Control, Send More Money Is Basically Baltimore Now

I find this very interesting.  The Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlins-Blake, has ADMITTED by welcoming this review by the DOJ, She can not, and will not govern the City.  In  a city where the Minority is in the Majority practically across the board, and Democrat, she all but says We Have No Control, Send More Money.  This is specifically hurtful to me since I grew up in Baltimore.  The city I KNEW before the 1968 MLK Riots broke out, does not exist anymore.  I sorta wish it was Baltimore 1789-1968 for the real history of the City, and whatever it is now post LBJ’s Great Society killing the city afterwards.

Back in the 50’s the population was just under 1 Million.  And for crime, if they had 100 homicides a year, it was a lot.  By the early 2000’s the population dropped to over 600,000 and 300+ homicides a year.  People voted with their feet and left.  I know, I was one of them.  The City years ago was known as the Monumental City for having so many firsts, military ability, and industry.  It was Blue Collar in every way shape and form.  IT’S GONE.  Then they tried calling it the City That Reads as illiteracy rose.  The running joke then was informally calling it The City That Breeds due to the illegitimacy rate brought on by LBJ’s the Great Society and drugs.  That didn’t work, so they called it Charm City.  OOOPS, the (C) was added by mistake.

When you see Baltimore in Sporting Events like Football and Baseball you see a “Vibrant City” as portrayed in the aerial shots.  What’s not seen is outside the 2 mile radius of the Inner Harbor.  For what Baltimore WAS, it is not the City I knew and I doubt I will see that city again.

I lived in Baltimore City until 1972, then to Baltimore County until 1974, then moved to PA.  However, I worked in Downtown Baltimore until 2011 and my parents lived there until 2009.  So, I was in it every day and week.

 

FROM THE LIBERALLY BIASED BALTIMORE SUN.

After Freddie Gray death, U.S. starts civil rights probe of Baltimore police

In the wake of Freddie Gray‘s death in police custody, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Friday that the Department of Justice will launch a full-scale civil rights investigation into Baltimore’s police.

“This investigation will begin immediately,” Lynch said, adding that investigators will examine whether police violated the constitution and the community’s civil rights. “Our goal is to work with the community, public officials and law enforcement alike to create a stronger, better Baltimore.”

The community’s mistrust with the police didn’t develop over night, and will take time to mend the fractured relationship, Lynch said. “We have watched as Baltimore has struggled with issues that face cities across our country today,” she said.

Her announcement came after local officials and community leaders pressed the Justice Department to launch an inquiry similar to investigations into police departments in Ferguson, Mo., and Cleveland that examined whether officers engaged in patterns of excessive force. In both of those cities, unrest erupted after unarmed black people were killed by police.

Moron this story here:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-justice-announce-20150508-story.html#page=1