Monday, September 14, 2009

A conversation about Race relations

Spoke to my sister yesterday, and we had an interesting conversation about Race relations in America. As I recall, the whole thing started when I mentioned that her oldest son was going to be 18 in a few years, and if he was considering his future after High school. She said that while R**** had considered going into the military, he would not do so while President Obama was in office. I pressed her on this, did she feel it was political, or was it because of the "O" man's skin color? She said she did not know, but if it was about politics then she was surprised, her son never seemed to have any political thoughts.

This eventually led to our discussion on race. Like my 2 brothers, my sister is born again and hard right, so conversations with her can be similar to those I had with my father before he passed away. We talked about Rodney King, and the New Haven Firefighters, and how my Sister believed that the Firefighters were "victims of reverse discrimination because the were white". She was disturbed because I disagreed, and that I sounded like a ?Racist? or someone who was ashamed of being white because I supported Affirmative Action. She quoted Martin Luther King, and judging people by the "Content of their Character". And when I tried to explain about segregation de facto rather then de jure, she did not get it.

Anyone who has read any of my previous post's on women's rights, civil rights and voting rights knows where I stand on these issues. The New Haven decision became a rallying cry for the followers of the Southern Strategy, but an article in shows that when Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected the New Haven firefighters' claim she was following established precedent:

    ...the city (New Haven) rejected the firefighter exam because the test violated Title VII..Title VII requires employers to consider the racial impact of their hiring and promotion procedures in order to prevent discrimination that's inadvertent as well as intentional. Ricci's claim is that the city's effort to comply with Title VII is itself race discrimination...

    An employer can also discriminate by using a selection process that has a disparate impact—in other words, that screens out a particular group for no good reason...Eight black, 25 white, and eight Hispanic firefighters took New Haven's test for promotion to captain; three black, 16 white, and three Hispanic candidates passed. Nineteen black, 43 white, and 15 Hispanic firefighters took the test to become lieutenant; six black, 25 white, and three Hispanic candidates passed. This result counts as discriminatory under the rules of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. New Haven was right to worry about the possibility of a lawsuit from black firefighters if it accepted the results of the tests.

    The city was also in a bind because its agreement with the firefighters union required that the exam count for 60 percent of the decision about whether to promote each candidate and because a city charter rule required that every promotion go to one of the three top-scoring candidates. These rules magnified the disparate racial impact of the exam—no black candidate and only one Hispanic candidate was eligible for promotion, even though several of them passed the test. More reason for the city to worry about a lawsuit by the African-Americans who were to be passed over.
Like his previous ruling against the Seattle school District, Johnny the Robber is determine to dismantle 40 years worth of Civil Rights protection under the guise of "reverse discrimination". Reading her descenting opinion from the bench, Justice Ruth Ginsberg stated the obvious:

    The white firefighters who scored high on New Haven’s promotional exams...attract this Court’s sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them. New Haven maintains that it refused to certify the test results because it would be vulnerable to a Title VII disparate-impact suit if it relied on those results.
    By order of this Court, New Haven, a city in which African-Americans and Hispanics account for nearly 60 percent of the population, must today be served—as it was in the days of undisguised discrimination—by a fire department in which members of racial and ethnic minorities are rarely seen in command positions.
A 60% minority population, and yet they have only one African American captain and no battalion chiefs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

But he is a Conservative Activist Judge, so it is okay...

The O man nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice "Silent" Souter on the Supremo's. As predicted, the RWNM is in full rant mode (Great Stuff Joe), with the lead attack centering around that most favorite phrase of Movement Conservatives: Judicial Activism (oh the horror).

As typical, the lazy members of the news media cheerfully spread this manure without: "explain(ing) what that means, give any examples, or explain why it would be a bad thing".

An excellent article by Jeff Toobin in the New Yorker on The Chief Justice of the Supremo's Johnny the Robber Roberts shows that being a Judicial Activist is acceptable; as long as your a Conservative Activist:

    (Chief Justice ) Roberts said at the time. “Umpires don’t make the rules. They apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules...His jurisprudence as Chief Justice, Roberts said, would be characterized by “modesty and humility.” After four years on the Court, however, Roberts’s record is not that of a humble moderate but, rather, that of a doctrinaire conservative... In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party (emphasis mine).

The majority on the Court who are affiliated with The Modern Republican Party not only believe in Judicial activism, they consistently practice it.

It is the activism that allows a Corporation to pay a women less money as long as she does not find out about it within 180 days of the offense (never mind what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has previously ruled).

It is the activism that will ensure that non white students will continue to remain in the substandard schools as a matter of fact if not law (Brown Vs. Board of Education was so 1950's).

It is the Ultimate in Judicial Activism that allows the Majority Conservative members of the Court rather then the Majority of Voters to decide who will be the next President of the United States; in an unsigned one page opinion that must never be used as precedent.

With Spector flipping to the D's, the Republic Party is left with on 40 seats in the Senate and 178 in the House. Any attempt to block the nomination of Judge Sotomayor as only two outcomes (slim and none), so the R's are not even going to make the attempt.

What they will do is continue to ram home the talking points and make sure that they are constantly regurgitated by a media that does not do analysis, only Stenography. They are thinking long term (Elections of 2010, 2012 and 2016) and believe this may rally the base.

Unfortunately it may also rally the growing Hispanic Community in the United States.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Let Them Eat Bonuses

So the pheasants seem to be in revolt. Who could have predicted?
    FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Pillars of the community are now pariahs fearing for their safety in a ritzy area of Connecticut home to many executives at American International Group Inc., hit with a backlash over bonuses it paid to top brass even as it accepted federal bailout money.
    FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Remaining employees in AIG's financial products group are worried that the angry America mob will tear them limb from limb.
    They watched quietly as members of Congress referred to them as greedy and incompetent. They heard more than one demand that their names be released to the seething American public. They heard the chairman of American International Group, Edward M. Liddy, tell lawmakers that people, in e-mails sent to AIG-FP, suggested that the firm's leaders "should be executed with piano wire around their necks."
Your old Sarge has a day job working security at a local military post. Most of my coworkers are right of center, and exist on a steady diet of right wing talk radio. The vast majority buy into the talking points that have permeated American Society for the last 29 years, starting with Saint Ronnie.

It has been this constant flow of propaganda, coupled with a News media that has been bought and paid for by the corparates that has always insulated the 1/100th from any negative consequences of their actions. No act of theft, no matter how brazen or outrageous could get people to stop paying attention to the next American idol.

Thus it comes as somewhat of a shock to the New American Royalty that ordinary Americans might start to reject “bidness as usual”:

And the idea that the system might possibly be rigged so that those on top got their money not by being the most productive, but simply because they were the most successful at gaming the system.

While not quiet as long as the first one 100 years ago, the 2nd gilded age enjoyed a remarkable run in the face of one scandal or another that resulted in the Screwing of the Average Man (Read the book if you can find a copy).

Its time, however, may be past.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good News in Iraq. Who knew?

Read the most recent article by Chucky:

    Iraq: Good News Is No News
    By Charles Krauthammer
    Friday, February 13, 2009; Page A17

    Preoccupied as it was poring over Tom Daschle's tax returns, Washington hardly noticed a near-miracle abroad. Iraq held provincial elections. There was no Election Day violence. Security was handled by Iraqi forces with little U.S. involvement. A fabulous bazaar of 14,400 candidates representing 400 parties participated, yielding results highly favorable to both Iraq and the United States.
Krauthammer is right about one thing, there was no election day violence. Instead, we just have the ordinary every day violence:

    Suicide bomber kills 23 in Iraq
    By Jim Heintz, Associated Press Writer

    An explosives-strapped man slipped into a luncheon gathering at a tribal leader's home and blew himself up yesterday, killing at least 23 people and wounding dozens.

    Suicide car bomber kills five policemen in Iraq

    A suicide bomber drove a car loaded with explosives into a police checkpoint northwest of Baghdad Saturday, killing at least five policemen a week before provincial elections, police said.
    Suicide bomber kills 4 U.S. soldiers in Iraq
    By Tina Susman February 10, 2009

    Reporting from Baghdad -- A suicide bomber detonated his car bomb near a U.S. Army patrol Monday in the northern city of Mosul, killing four soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter.
    They are the first American military deaths blamed on hostile action in the country since Jan. 18. An Iraqi interpreter also dies in the attack in Mosul, a city that remains a trouble spot.

    Iraq suicide bomber kills 8 near Karbala shrine
    Associated Press
    February 13, 2009

    Baghdad -- A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt packed with nails among Shiite Muslim worshipers Thursday in Karbala, killing eight pilgrims and wounding 52, police and hospital officials said.The blast was about 200 yards from the Imam Hussein shrine, the focal point of ceremonies that culminate Monday and draw hundreds of thousands of worshipers.
    Iraqi police: Female suicide bomber kills 40
    By HAMID AHMED, Associated Press Writer
    Fri Feb 13, 10:18 am ET

    BAGHDAD – A female suicide bomber attacked a tent filled with women and children resting from a pilgrimage to a Shiite holy city south of Baghdad on Friday, killing 40 people and injuring 60 others, said officials. It was the deadliest attack in Iraq this year and the third straight day of bombings against Shiite pilgrims.
My God Krauthammer is such an idiot.