Monday, July 26, 2010

SCOOP DOG says Listen to This!!

Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege.........

America still owes a debt to its black citizens, but government programs to help all 'people of color' are unfair. They should end.
The NAACP believes the tea party is racist. The tea party believes the NAACP is racist. And Pat Buchanan got into trouble recently by pointing out that if Elena Kagan is confirmed to the Supreme Court, there will not be a single Protestant Justice, although Protestants make up half the U.S. population and dominated the court for generations.
Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future.
Present-day diversity programs work against that notion, having expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white.
In an odd historical twist that all Americans see but few can understand, many programs allow recently arrived immigrants to move ahead of similarly situated whites whose families have been in the country for generations. These programs have damaged racial harmony. And the more they have grown, the less they have actually helped African-Americans, the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action as it was originally conceived.
How so?
Lyndon Johnson's initial program for affirmative action was based on the 13th Amendment and on the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which authorized the federal government to take actions in order to eliminate "the badges of slavery." Affirmative action was designed to recognize the uniquely difficult journey of African-Americans. This policy was justifiable and understandable, even to those who came from white cultural groups that had also suffered in socio-economic terms from the Civil War and its aftermath.
The injustices endured by black Americans at the hands of their own government have no parallel in our history, not only during the period of slavery but also in the Jim Crow era that followed. But the extrapolation of this logic to all "people of color"—especially since 1965, when new immigration laws dramatically altered the demographic makeup of the U.S.—moved affirmative action away from remediation and toward discrimination, this time against whites. It has also lessened the focus on assisting African-Americans, who despite a veneer of successful people at the very top still experience high rates of poverty, drug abuse, incarceration and family breakup.
Those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa did not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs. The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans, including those whose roots in America go back more than 200 years.
Contrary to assumptions in the law, white America is hardly a monolith. And the journey of white American cultures is so diverse (yes) that one strains to find the logic that could lump them together for the purpose of public policy.
The clearest example of today's misguided policies comes from examining the history of the American South.
The old South was a three-tiered society, with blacks and hard-put whites both dominated by white elites who manipulated racial tensions in order to retain power. At the height of slavery, in 1860, less than 5% of whites in the South owned slaves. The black historian John Hope Franklin wrote that "fully three-fourths of the white people in the South had neither slaves nor an immediate economic interest in the maintenance of slavery."
The Civil War devastated the South, in human and economic terms. And from post-Civil War Reconstruction to the beginning of World War II, the region was a ravaged place, affecting black and white alike.
In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt created a national commission to study what he termed "the long and ironic history of the despoiling of this truly American section." At that time, most industries in the South were owned by companies outside the region. Of the South's 1.8 million sharecroppers, 1.2 million were white (a mirror of the population, which was 71% white). The illiteracy rate was five times that of the North-Central states and more than twice that of New England and the Middle Atlantic (despite the waves of European immigrants then flowing to those regions). The total endowments of all the colleges and universities in the South were less than the endowments of Harvard and Yale alone. The average schoolchild in the South had $25 a year spent on his or her education, compared to $141 for children in New York.
Generations of such deficiencies do not disappear overnight, and they affect the momentum of a culture. In 1974, a National Opinion Research Center (NORC) study of white ethnic groups showed that white Baptists nationwide averaged only 10.7 years of education, a level almost identical to blacks' average of 10.6 years, and well below that of most other white groups. A recent NORC Social Survey of white adults born after World War II showed that in the years 1980-2000, only 18.4% of white Baptists and 21.8% of Irish Protestants—the principal ethnic group that settled the South—had obtained college degrees, compared to a national average of 30.1%, a Jewish average of 73.3%, and an average among those of Chinese and Indian descent of 61.9%.
Policy makers ignored such disparities within America's white cultures when, in advancing minority diversity programs, they treated whites as a fungible monolith. Also lost on these policy makers were the differences in economic and educational attainment among nonwhite cultures. Thus nonwhite groups received special consideration in a wide variety of areas including business startups, academic admissions, job promotions and lucrative government contracts.
Where should we go from here? Beyond our continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need, government-directed diversity programs should end.
Nondiscrimination laws should be applied equally among all citizens, including those who happen to be white. The need for inclusiveness in our society is undeniable and irreversible, both in our markets and in our communities. Our government should be in the business of enabling opportunity for all, not in picking winners. It can do so by ensuring that artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes. Drop the Procrustean policies and allow harmony to invade the public mindset. Fairness will happen, and bitterness will fade away.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


What Hell & Affirmative Action Hath Wrought:

These pseudo scholars specialize in political correctness, reverse racism, and are clear benefactors of "externalities" or "Spillover Costs" (Negative Externalities).

Heaven help us all because as Jean-Paule Sartre said in Huis-clos (No Exit), "L'enfer, c'est les autres" or "Hell is other people."

Racism is never warranted and they are clear examples where factors, other than the color of one's skin, give us reason not to like them. There is no hop to their hip.

Ironically and paradoxically, law school sharpens your mind by narrowing it. As the old joke goes, we can't have national standards of decency because the right hates "national" and the left hates "standards."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Barack Obama - the 44th president

The change we need is to get rid of black racism, and Barack won the election because he wouldn't deal with the black racists.
For example, the Obama campaign faced a fundamental challenge: it had to make those pilsners of the Democratic electorate—true independents, Reagan Democrats, and working-class whites—culturally comfortable with Obama while simultaneously increasing African American participation. To do this, Obama would have to decouple a century’s worth of political antagonisms because whenever the political engagement and intensity of African American voters has grown, so have racial polarity among voters.
Even during the 2008 primaries, a discomfiting pattern had emerged: Barack Obama did his best overall in the states with the largest or the smallest percentages of African American voters—think of South Carolina, where blacks made up 55 percent of the Democratic-primary vote, and Vermont, where they made up less than 2 percent. Obama won in states where black Democrats had already attained a measure of political power, or where whites had never competed with blacks. In states where black voters made up more than 20 percent of the general-election vote, the political scientist Charles Franklin found an inverse relationship between the proportion of black voters and the share of Obama’s vote among whites. The greater the proportion of blacks in a state’s population, the smaller Obama’s share of the white vote.
Obama refused to accept this late-20th-century model of racial politics, and he had no intention of fighting the general election with the same bolo punches and taunts that had stopped working decades ago. He had written a memoir about the labyrinthine complexities of racial difference. He wasn’t afraid to acknowledge the psychological effects of, say, race-based affirmative action on poorer whites. He had an exotic name. He was new. He was young. Most of his advisers weren’t black.
“There was a period when it was not at all clear that Obama would be able to win the vast majority of the African American vote,” as David Binder, Obama’s focus-group guru stated after the election. “The biggest problem we had with African Americans would be that they didn’t think he could ever win.” In the focus groups, black voters told Binder that they didn’t believe whites would ever vote for Obama. “That all changed with Iowa,” he said. “The Iowa results proved to many African Americans that Obama had broader-based appeal and was not just someone who was going to be a token African American candidate.”
Last February, the black pseudo-journalist Tavis Smiley held his annual State of the Black Union forum in New Orleans. For the second year in a row, Obama declined to attend. (The 2007 forum took place on the day he launched his campaign.) Smiley was angry about the slight and criticized Obama openly. The backlash against Smiley was intense. This was just after Obama had won the South Carolina primary, after African Americans had united around Obama in part because the Clinton campaign seemed to be writing him—and them—off. Smiley quit The Tom Joyner Morning Show, one of the country’s most popular radio programs among African Americans, because, as Joyner explained to his audience, “He can’t take the hate he’s taken over Barack Obama. He’s always busting Barack Obama’s chops.” [Guess why? He's jealous. Barack is a very intelligent man whereas Smiley thinks he is!]
The Smiley backlash was evidence to Obama’s inner circle that, in the words of one adviser, “Barack became untouchable in the community,” in much the same way that civil-rights heroes such as John Lewis had earned a lifetime’s worth of goodwill and benefit of the doubt. “Tavis Smiley was the object lesson for everyone,” said Anita Dunn, a senior campaign strategist.
“We came to realize that the black community, politically, had moved into a different era,” as another senior Obama adviser stated shortly after the election. “You could get intensity in the African American community by giving them a candidate they could see as being able to win. You didn’t have to speak to them in a way that would make white people nervous.” Obama shared the antipathy of liberal whites and younger blacks toward the hand-to-hand, transactional politics that had characterized the relationship between the Democratic Party and many African American leaders.
It took the campaign a while to figure out the right course. “We did not have an organized strategy around this,” says Michael Strautmanis, a counselor to Obama. “It was like a series of constant recalibrations.”
In the winter of 2007, the campaign entered a bidding war with the Clinton campaign over the endorsement of State Senator Darrell Jackson, the pastor of one of the largest congregations in South Carolina. The Obama campaign offered him a $5,000-per-month retainer, and Jackson said he would soon endorse him. But then he sent word that the Clinton campaign was offering a more lucrative contract, implying, at least to the Obama team, that he would endorse Obama only if they would tender a more generous offer. Through his deputy campaign manager, Obama refused. It would be the last time that Obama negotiated with black pastors this way. (Jackson endorsed Clinton.) [Duh! Doh!]
A few weeks before the general election, aides to a pastor contacted the Obama campaign and laid out a political battle plan. The pastor would mobilize 300,000 volunteers and dispatch 72 church vans to battleground states on Election Day. He would touch more than 2 million voters. All he needed was $5 million to pay for it. The Obama campaign thanked him and said no. The pastor threatened to go public with the refusal. The Obama campaign pointed to examples of other black leaders who had confronted Obama in public, and invited the pastor, in essence, to bring it on.

So Obama won the election because he was a black man who was honest; had integrity; would not stoop to the level of racist politics; and did not hold a racist attitude toward whites.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Once touted the as centerpiece of the National Counterterrorism Center's efforts to upgrade the government's terrorist watch list, “Railhead” program floundering after contractor turf battles over using an Oracle relational database or an Extensible Markup Language (XML) model. House Science and Technology Committee's Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee also faults program management and oversight by National Counterterrorism Center officials. Representative Brad Miller calls “Railhead” on the brink of collapse after a $500 million investment of taxpayer dollars.

The U.S. House of Representatives is investigating what it calls the technical failure and mismanagement of one of the government's top counterterrorism programs. Dubbed "Railhead," the program was intended to upgrade the U.S. terrorist watch list and improve the integration of U.S. terrorist intelligence from the nation's 16 separate intelligence agencies.

Located at the NCTC (National Counterterrorism Center) in Northern Virginia, the Railhead program was the highly touted centerpiece of the NCTC's counterterrorism programs. The House Science and Technology Committee's Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee, though, claims the program is on the "brink of collapse" after an estimated $500 million in taxpayer funding.

According to the investigative panel, the majority of more than 800 private contractors from dozens of companies working on Railhead have been laid off, and NCTC officials have "drastically curtailed" the program.
"The program not only can't connect the dots, it can't find the dots," Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight Chairman Brad Miller, D-N.C., said August 21, 2008. "This is a critical national security program that has been plagued by technical design and development errors, basic management blunders and poor government oversight."

The original plan for Railhead called for it to update and enhance the NCTC's terrorist intelligence database called TIDE (Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment) that provides the backbone of the FBI's consolidated terrorist watch list. Originally designed by Lockheed Martin in the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, TIDE is built in Oracle as a relational database.

"This original database, however, suffers from basic design, management and maintenance inefficiencies and problems," states a Subcommittee memo on the Railhead program. "For instance, only about 60% of the data, including names and addresses, mentioned in CIA cables provided to NCTC are actually extracted from these messages and placed in the TIDE database."

As private contractors and government employees modified the program, TIDE was further hamstrung by dozens of tables or categories for identical fields of information that significantly limits search functions. In addition, TIDE uses SQL (Structured Query Language), which the Subcommittee calls a "cumbersome computer code," to query the tables, rows and columns of the database.

"Without a detailed index of the data stored in each table in TIDE, the SQL search engine is blindfolded, unable to locate or identify undocumented data," the memo states. Although the original Railhead design team suggested building a new database in Oracle, Railhead government program managers decided to move forward with the XML model.

A June program "gap analysis" by SRI International found serious shortcomings in the Railhead program. "The ability to search e-mail and discussion threads, and the ability to search for images and attachments will be absent," the report states. "Advanced search capabilities such as selecting a timeframe for FININTEL [Finished Intelligence] searches and allowing Boolean keyword searches of results will be absent."

The report concluded, "Without these major functions, the system will not fulfill its information sharing mission for the counterterrorism community." Therefore, Representative Brad Miller has said even if the program is abandoned, he wants an investigation into what happened with Railhead.

"The problems on the Railhead program appear to be depressingly similar to programs on other major IT initiatives which have resulted in schedule delays, increased financial costs and ultimately failure on some projects," Miller wrote to Edward Maquire, Inspector General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, on August 21. "Turf battles among contractors, particularly between the design and development team, have hampered the sharing of critical technical data that has impaired the success of the Railhead program."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Games of the XXIX Olympiad

What hath hell wrought?
Concerns over the games include the potential for boycotts from pro-Tibetan organizations such as Students for a Free Tibet as well as from organizations such as Amnesty International upset with China's involvement in the crisis in Darfur.

Additionally, China had pledged that it would allow open media access during the games, but Human Rights Watch alleges that it has failed to do so, and one IOC committee member commented anonymously that "Had the I.O.C....known seven years ago that there would be severe restrictions...then I seriously doubt whether Beijing would have been awarded the Olympics".While some estimated 20,000 journalists had been assured unfettered Internet access by the IOC's Jacques Rogge, Sun Weide (孙伟德) of the Beijing Organizing Committee announced in late July that China would allow only "convenient" access —still blocking sites which reference controversial content.

Also in late July, U.S. senator Sam Brownback announced that he had received evidence (in the form of an official memo from China's Public Security Bureau) that foreign-owned hotels in China had been ordered by the Chinese government to comply with electronic surveillance of guests by installing special equipment (called the Security Management System for Internet Access from Public Places), or face "severe retaliation.”

China has also been battling problems with air pollution both in the city of Beijing and in neighboring areas, which the Beijing Organizing Committee (BOCOG) says it hopes to remedy before the games. The head of Interpol warned China on April 25, 2008 that there is a "real possibility" that the Beijing Olympics will be targeted by terrorist groups, as well as potentially violent disruption from pro-Tibet protestors. Ethnic Tibetans have been banned from working in Beijing during the duration of the Games, for fear that they may participate in anti-government protests.

If it wasn't for politics in the first place, the 2008 Summer Olympic Games would never have been awarded to China. Won't the human race ever learn?

Monday, May 26, 2008


"I believe.....
That to have a friend, a man must be one.
That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
That 'this government of the people, by the people, and for the people' shall live always.
That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
That sooner or later...somewhere...somehow...we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
In my Creator, my country, my fellow man."

OR ---

Ralph: When she put two potatoes on the table, one big one and one small one, you immediately took the big one without asking me what I wanted.
Norton: What would you have done?
Ralph: I would have taken the small one, of course.
Norton: You would?
Ralph: Yes, I would.
Norton: So, what are you complaining about? You got the small one!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Death of the Chillura Family Business

I was not disturbed by a post on Nepotism in the Harvard Business Online, but feel that I must talk about it. Although it was written in August 2007 it was featured the morning of October 17, 2007 in NPR. While I agree with many of the sentiments about nepotism I think there is a distinction to be made between Nepotism and a family business. A distinction which Gill Corkindale, the author of the post, does not go into at all. Let me present you with some very strong statistics about the importance of family business in the USA, from a Business Week article:

Some 35% of Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled. Family businesses account for 50% of U.S. gross domestic product. They generate 60% of the country’s employment and 78% of all new job creation. Therefore, we can see that family businesses are extremely important to the american economy, and are part of what makes America what it is today. So how do you reconcile a family business and these negative attitudes and stereotypes with nepotism? You can not pass a family business from one generation to the next, unless family members work and run the business. Family succession planning is very important to the health of a family business. Good family succession planning means the difference between a healthy business that keeps growing and running from one generation to the next, and a business that burns out and fails, or worse gets sold out of the family (often for a bargain price in which the family business is dissolved for assets).

I think there are right ways to bring family members into a business, and there are wrong ways to do it as well. But I don’t agree that all nepotism is bad, and that family members should never hire other family members. I think its a strategic dance, and it has to be done for the good of the business, but it can be done well. And when it is done well it means the difference between the life or death of a family business.