Saturday, March 31, 2007

A businesswoman plays by the rules--and loses big

In “Immigration: When doing the right thing hurts,” published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Mark Cromer, a senior writing fellow with Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), describes the awakening and subsequent career crisis of Kirsten Stewart, a landscape designer in Santa Monica, CA.

When she first moved to Santa Monica in 2002, Stewart says she was oblivious to the problem [of mass illegal immigration] and consequently hired illegal immigrants as well.

Yet it wasn’t long before she began to feel that there was something inherently wrong with her hiring illegal immigrants. She says it became clear that it hurt her community more than it helped her bottom line.

“I realized that my foreman, who has been in the country a long time, doesn’t have any desire to be a citizen. He has such a strong allegiance to Mexico,” she says.

But it was Stewart’s pregnant nanny from Brazil, also without papers, that pushed her to make a dramatic change.

“She told me that she was so happy that she was having her baby here because (her child) would get a real Social Security number. She told me how surprised she was at all the ‘free’ neonatal care she was getting and all the other ‘free’ health services,” Stewart says. “That’s when the light bulb went off.”

Stewart fired her nanny, stopped hiring her foreman and vowed she would only use workers legally in the country.

Almost immediately, she started losing bids.
Further down in the article:

The experience of trying to do the right thing has left her feeling helpless and embittered.

“I can’t compete by playing honestly in an industry where most everyone else is breaking the rules,” Stewart says. “And they aren’t breaking the rules because Americans won’t do these jobs. They are breaking the rules because they don’t want to pay a decent wage.”

Thursday, March 29, 2007

How To Win In Iraq

According to historian Arthur Herman, it must be political as well as military. And while we ARE in fact winning militarily, we are losing politically. The Left wants us to lose politically, and they have the upperhand, sadly.

In a sense, Iraq is another Vietnam, and another Algeria. The Left, both Euro and American, want Baghdad 2009 to become Saigon 1975, or Algiers 1962.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Oakland: Ron Dellums ruins what Jerry Brown built.

Mayor’s panels report on diversity issues Committee votes to revive human rights commission, says the San Fransicko Commiecle. Try reading the whole thing without getting sick.

The citizens’ task forces appointed by Mayor Ron Dellums to look at issues of diversity in Oakland released their recommendations Tuesday, calling for improved access to services for immigrants, seniors, and gays and lesbians, and for re-establishing a human rights commission similar to San Francisco’s.

Even Jerry Brown had the sense to get rid of this star chamber of wannabe Stalinist political commissars. To his credit, Mayor Moonbeam actually knew how to run a city.

In a related development, the City Council’s Life Enrichment Committee voted unanimously Tuesday night to recommend reinstituting the city’s Human Rights Commission, which disbanded several years ago due to lack of funding. Councilwoman Nancy Nadel said she and Councilwoman Pat Kernighan decided to propose re-establishing the commission after meeting with members of Oakland’s LGBT community.

"Most likely it’s going to have to go through the budget process with everything else," Nadel said Tuesday. City officials estimated it would cost $356,000 a year to staff and operate such a commission. "We’ve been working on this idea for months and months. The idea is now ripe."

And cost much, much more to implement its Stalinist directives, and cost even morde than that in terms of business scared off....but ripe is certainly a good fruity term....

Another recommendation suggests the city require all employees and city contractors to go through annual sensitivity training around immigration, LGBT, disability and senior issues.

Here comes the Thought Police now! You must accept the gender mutilated as normal! Two And Two Make Five!

The immigration task force identified Latino immigrants as a group in need of special outreach, in part because of growing anti-immigrant sentiment toward that group. Oakland police in recent months have reported an increase in robberies and violence targeting day laborers.

Note the Commiecle's inability to call a spade a spade and use the term "illegal aliens".

Some of the tension can be traced to the city’s enforcement against employers hiring day laborers, which resulted in laborers losing work and suffering psychologically and financially, said Laura Rivas, a member of the immigration
task force.

Gee, I thought leftists WANTED a "living wage"? That requires enforcement, and kicking out the illegals who undermine it, you know...

The task force on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues recommended that the mayor form a Human Rights Commission subcommittee on LGBT issues, with the goal of raising money for LGBT social-service programs.

Aha, the Lavender Mafia's shakedown of the taxpayers....

The task force also recommended the mayor’s office help launch an annual fundraiser to benefit Oakland AIDS service organizations and that the mayor use his bully pulpit to promote HIV/AIDS awareness among all communities in Oakland.

Will the blunt advice to not shoot up and not have butt-sex be given? Of course not....

On second thought, make that FOUR atomic bombs....

Monday, March 26, 2007

YouNiVerseItEe EdYouKayShun

And I thought the drivel coming out of the Daily Californian (Berkeley student newspaper) was bad:

I am, and will continue to be, aggressively and unapologetically anti-eating disorders. I am definitely trying to attack this problem. I want to be supportive of those who are suffering, but I refuse to say that I am anything but opposed to their sickness. I am not in any way blaming people who have eating disorders; this is absurd. When I say I am furious about eating disorders, I mean that I am furious at their existence, not at the people whose lives are being ruined by them. I have nothing but sympathy and compassion for the hundreds of people on this campus that are suffering. I want to do everything I can to improve their lives. I really cannot stress enough the distinction between being against eating disorders and being against people who have eating disorders. . . .

I believe it is very possible to live in a world without eating disorders. Throughout history and across various cultures, there have been societies with no documented cases of disordered eating. It is not the presence of food that creates eating disorders, it is the presence of a slew of cultural factors that are unique to certain societies (including, obviously, ours) that encourage disordered eating. I think that while it may be scary and strange to say, "I want to live in a world with no eating disorders," it is extremely empowering and it is a statement that I stand behind completely.

Given how many people favor eating disorders, this is a brave stand indeed!

If this lady had gone out and got herself a job after high school, no matter how menial, she would have learned more about life than she ever will in her politically distorted campus bubble.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dr. Gore Recommends Leeches

In his testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday (AP), narrator of an Oscar-winning slide show and nominee for the Nobel Peace prize Al Gore (who, it turns out, is also a former Vice President) exhorted Congress to fight global warming. There is no surprise in that, since Gore has been beating that increasingly sick horse for some time now. But he did add a cute analogy to the discussion that I have not heard before.
The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don’t say ‘I read a science fiction novel that says it’s not a problem.’ [...] You take action.

And that would be fine if we had the same knowledge about global climate as we do about the human body and the same understanding about the dangers of global warming that we do about fevers. But we don't.

Al Gore is like a "doctor" from 150 years ago, when the modern understanding of the causes of disease was first developing. You take your child to Gore and he says, "The fever is a sign your child has 'tired blood'. It's critical that we apply leeches right now." More scientifically-minded doctors hesitate to agree. They caution, "We really don't know that the fever isn't just a normal thing that comes and goes. And, while tired blood may exist, we can't at all be sure that it's really the primary cause of the fever. Finally, while we know for sure that leeches will weaken the child, there is absolutely no evidence that they will work as a cure." So, what do you do?

That's where we are right now. The science is pretty solid that that the temperature has risen over the past century and particularly over the past thirty years. We don't know that it is at any sort of peak for the few thousands of years of human history, much less for the history of life on Earth. But, as weak as that may sound, that's really the best we have right now. We don't know that human activity caused any of it, a little of it, or all of it (despite scientifically ridiculous claims that "scientists are sure 90% of the rise is due to human activity"). Just as important from a policy perspective, there is no scientific backing to the claim that political solutions like the Kyoto Protocol will solve the problem anyway.

No doubt to the chagrin of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) alarmists like Gore, even scientists who worry that AGW will turn out to be real and significant are finally coming forward to say that Gore is exaggerating the science to make AGW look worse than any science concludes it will be. Gore claims that global warming will melt Greenland's ice and cause a twenty foot rise in ocean levels over the next century when even the UN's IPCC only claims a likely rise of half a foot to a foot and a half. Meanwhile, satellite data and newer studies cast doubt that Greenland is even losing its ice at the 0.4% per century rate previously supposed.

That's the problem here. We just don't know enough about whether there is a real problem, what caused it, and what real damage will result from it. To embrace any of the "solutions" being promoted, all of which will definitely be painful, is a step just not justified by the evidence at hand. Sorry Dr. Gore, save the leeches.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Clarence Page on the Affirmative Racist Fraud

Clarence Page comments on something I noted a few days ago:

(Based upon)....census data by immigrants from Africa averaged the highest educational attainment of any population group in the country, including whites and Asians.

One wonders why "the man" doesn't keep them down...

But, as Walter Benn Michaels, a professor of English at the University of Illinois, Chicago, writes in his book The Trouble With Diversity, the original intent of affirmative action morphed in the 1970s from reparations for slavery into the promotion of a broader virtue: "diversity." Since then, it no longer seems to matter how many of our colleges' black students have slavery in their families. It only matters that they're black.

Whoa, Clarence, way to let the cat out of the bag....

Clarence Page is notoriously frustrating however. Just when he's about to admit that the Great Society liberalism he was raised on was and is a dismal failure, he just can't do it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

They will only hate you anyway, Mr. President

....many (Mexicans) also blame Bush for tough anti-immigration policies.

HUH??? Bush bent over - forwards - and metaphorically took it up the rear to placate Mexico, part of a broader "Hispandering" campaign suggested to him by Karl Rove, and they only hate him anyway. Meanwhile, those of us who loyally supported Bush are banging our heads against the proverbial wall in frustration.

Another example: Bush approved the spending of more money on AIDS research than all previous administrations combined, betraying those of us who wanted the corporate welfare nanny state to shrink, and he only gets vilified by the AIDS activists anyway. Why? Because they aren't "lavender" as much as they are Reds and Pinkoes, that's why.

There are so many ostensibly "conservative" Republicans, day in and day out, who tell us in the voting base, "Well, I'd like to support or oppose policy X, but if I do so, then interest group Y will hate me and call me (blank)-ist and/or (blank)-ophobic..."
To which I can only reply, "Don't you get it? They're only going to hate you and call you that anyway...."

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Arden Arcadians Desire Incorporation

It looks like large numbers of people in the Arden Arcade neighborhood want to incorporate, with two different possible sets of city boundaries, here and here .

Good for them, I might add. Neighborhoods that have incorporated have taken control of their destinies and improved conditions for their residents, as Citrus Heights (1997), Elk Grove (2000), and Rancho Cordova (2003) have empirically shown. Nor would this shortchange the County for business tax revenue, so long as the County makes a hard (but fair) "revenue neutrality" payments bargain.

"The county isn't meant to do what a city should do," (incorporation proponent Trish) Harrington said. "A county is meant to provide social services, provide judges and the courts. It's not meant to do infrastructure and provide garbage services."

Meanwhile, when it comes to incorporation, Dan Walters, McClatchy's anointed guru of the Cali political scene, is half-perceptive and half-clueless:

"Sacramento County's flurry of incorporations reflects its unique development pattern after World War II, when -- thanks to shortsighted decisions by local civic leaders -- large residential subdivisions and major commercial areas evolved into unincorporated suburbs, served with a pastiche of municipal services by county government and a welter of single-purpose districts....One by one, these unincorporated communities in what The Sacramento Bee has dubbed the "uncity" have become frustrated with the lack of local control and cityhood movements have been mounted."

He's right on about that. However, he also injects this:

"the state's 58 counties are hobbled by their antiquated structures and bifurcated roles as units of local government and agents of the state."

Oh really? Why is that? The counties make perfect sense for implementing state programs, for the courts, and for local services in areas that are just sparsely populated farms and ranches. It's only when the unincorporated areas turn into densely populated cities and suburbs that the county government becomes too unwieldy and not responsive enough.

"Simply continuing to expand cities without dealing with counties will backfire in the long run. A strong case could be made for eliminating urban counties and merging them with cities into larger regional governments -- super-cities, in effect."

Gee whiz Danno, we already have a "super city", namely, the urbanized area of unincorporated Sacramento County. And it is sluggish, unwieldy and often out of touch with its citizens. You want a new "regional" bureaucracy instead, which I suspect would be even more unelectable and unaccountable? That's revealing. Far better to have local cities, no matter how balkanized they are, that have to respond to the local citizens.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Ding-Dong, the Bulldozer Bitch is STILL dead

Today is the fourth anniversary of the blessed bulldozer that killed that communist leftover turned Palestini-goon advocate Rachel Corrie as she tried to prevent the Israel Defense Forces from destroying a weapons-smuggling tunnel in Gaza. Her hometown paper, the Olympian, has a story about Corrie's parents:

In a sarcastic op-ed article published in The Jerusalem Post and reprinted in the Wall Street Journal [actually on] on the first anniversary of Corrie's death in 2004, Ruhama Shattan, an Israeli translator and writer, thanked Corrie for "showing the way to all those who seek peace in the Middle East."

"Unfortunately, Corrie's peace . . . means not peaceful coexistence but the elimination of the state of Israel, and death to those they call 'the usurping Jews, the sons of apes and pigs,'" Shattan wrote.

The Corries are no stranger to such criticism.

"I would ask if the people that are making those kinds of accusations, if they have been there to see for themselves," Cindy Corrie said. "What's motivating their criticism?"
Yeah, what could possibly motivate an Israeli--someone who's not only "been there" but lives there--to criticize someone for trying to help Palestinian terrorists acquire weapons? Gee, I wonder.

And of course, the Corries are trying to sue Caterpillar Bulldozers. Isn't that typical? But in a way, it is revealing. Rachel Corrie came from parents just like her. These commie kids sometimes fall prey to politically multicommunist brainwashing from "professors" in places like Olympia (and Berkeley) but more often than not they are commie spawn.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

George Will: Moving primaries forward backfires

Will is spot on.

Every campaign is shaped by two scarcities — the candidate's time and money. No candidate will have enough of either to campaign intensely, in person or even on television, in perhaps 24 states across the continent in the 22 days from Iowa (Jan. 14) to Feb. 5. As political analyst Charlie Cook says, this will raise the stakes — the free media attention and the momentum it imparts — that will accrue to the winner or winners of the first four states (South Carolina Democrats and Republicans vote on Jan. 29 and Feb. 2, respectively). Indeed, if one person wins three or all four of those, the Feb. 5 primaries might be mere ratifying echoes rather than deciding events.

See previous post about two better ideas for the primary system.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The blind spot of "Freakonomics"

The other day, former senator Zell Miller offered a practical argument against legal abortion, which the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:

Miller . . . declared that abortion has contributed to the military's manpower shortage, the Social Security crisis, and the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

"How could this great land of plenty produce too few people in the last 30 years? Here is the brutal truth that no one dares to mention: We're too few because too many of our babies have been killed," Miller said.

"Over 45 million since Roe v. Wade in 1973. If those 45 million children had lived, today they would be defending our country, they would be filling our jobs, they would be paying into Social Security," the former Georgia governor said.

Nows when it comes to illegal aliens, that actually makes a lot of sense. Illegal aliens usually fill entry level jobs, jobs that used to be taken by teenagers and younger people, who are now fewer.

This is related to The Wall Street Journal's Roe effect hypothesis (abortion makes the population more Republican because Democrats have a greater propensity to abort their babies) and to the claim by economist Steven Levitt, author of "Freakonomics," that abortion reduces crime (because mothers in crime-prone demographics are more apt to abort).

Levitt, however, says on his blog that Miller is wrong:

Miller . . . makes a key mistake in his logic. While it is true there have been many millions of abortions (although according to the official statistics more like 35 million than 45 million), even if those abortions had not occurred, there would not be that many more Americans today. The reason is that the primary impact of an abortion is not to reduce a woman's lifetime
number of children born, but rather, to simply shift the timing of a woman's fertility from early in life to later in life.

Based on a paper by John Donohue, Jeff Grogger, and I which will be out in a few weeks, I would estimate that each teenage abortion reduces lifetime babies born to the mother by maybe one-tenth of a child, or possibly even less. (For a woman who gets an abortion in her forties, the impact is obviously larger, but there are very few of those type of abortions.) The key to our abortion argument is that women shift their births to a time when they can better care for the children. So even though there is not a big change in the size of the cohort born, the kids still turn out less criminal. Miller's statement, however, is all about the cohort size, not about the unwantedness.

But Leavitt himself misses the point: In demographics, timing is also important, not just number of births per woman per lifetime. This point was addressed in the sociological journal Society:

If a woman has a child at, say, age 30 rather than 20, one additional census passes before the child counts toward his state's congressional and electoral college apportionment, and two or three presidential elections pass before he reaches voting age. The compounding element applies here as well; if a woman has a daughter at 30 rather than 20, the daughter reaches childbearing age a decade later than she otherwise would have.

Either son or daughter also enters the labor force that much later.

Let's apply this to an area Miller discusses: Social Security. Suppose Woman X has a daughter at age 20, and her daughter has a daughter at age 20. When Woman X turns 65, her 45-year-old daughter and 25-year-old granddaughter will both be of working age, probably contributing to Social Security.

Now suppose Woman Y waits till age 30 to bear a daughter, having aborted at 20, and her daughter does the same thing. When Woman Y turns 65, her daughter will be 35 and her granddaughter will be 5. The working-age population among Woman Y's descendants is 50% lower than among Woman X's.

Delayed childbearing slows population growth, which means that the population at any given time will be lower, even if every woman eventually has exactly the same number of children. It's surprising that Levitt would miss this point.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Maybe there IS hope for the New York Times?

If they can be skeptical of the Goreons, maybe so!

"Part of [Gore's] scientific audience is uneasy. In talks, articles and blog entries that have appeared since his film and accompanying book came out last year, these scientists argue that some of Mr. Gore's central points are exaggerated and erroneous. They are alarmed, some say, at what they call his

"I don't want to pick on Al Gore," Don J. Easterbrook, an emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University, told hundreds of experts at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. "But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data." . . .

Criticisms of Mr. Gore have come not only from conservative groups and prominent skeptics of catastrophic warming, but also from rank-and-file scientists like Dr. Easterbook, who told his peers that he had no political ax to grind.

"In an e-mail message, Mr. Gore defended his work as fundamentally accurate," the Times reports. Shades of "fake but accurate"?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Are the GOP pro-lifers wising up?

An interesting article in the Weekly Standard says yes. The article assumes that Giuliani is the nominee, which is WAY too premature at this time, but it applies just as well to Romney, or Gingrich, for that matter.

The deal in the works has been carefully crafted to make sure that no one loses too much. Conservatives would be getting a pro-choice nominee, but one who would not push a pro-choice agenda, and one who would give them (as far as presidents can be sure in these matters) the kind of judges they long for. Giuliani would not be required to renounce his beliefs, merely to appoint the right kind of judges and to remain more or less neutral in a policy area in which, to be honest, he has never shown that much interest. The Republicans will remain the pro-life party--as desired by the bulk of their voters and required by the workings of the two-party system--though now with a larger, more varied, and in some ways more competitive field of candidates. And it is worth noting in this altered context that the Democrats also are starting to change. One of the reasons Democrats now run both the houses of Congress is that canny recruiters defied their own culture war lobbies and rammed a number of pro-life and pro-gun candidates down the throats of their interest groups, assessing correctly that control of Congress was worth a few unhappy activists.

This is a welcome event. I know that Roe vs. Wade was and is a monstrosity of judicial tyranny, but I am pro-choice, in the sense that I just can't compel a woman to bear a child she does not want.

So let the fight to create an abortion right go back to state legislatures, where it should have stayed in the first place. That is how Women’s Suffrage, Prohibition, and the repeal of Prohibition came about, and that is the proper American way.

Honestly, I don’t know whether the Supreme Court will overturn Roe. I do know it WON’T MATTER if it does.

You see, for all the rights rhetoric (whether “right to choose”, or “right to life”), abortion is not an abstract concept. It’s a medical procedure requiring a doctor willing to perform it. In states where abortion is frowned upon - the states likely to ban abortion if Roe is overturned - abortion providers are already incredibly rare.

Most abortion providers, understandably, prefer to practice in states where people support them and where clients are more likely to be, i.e., states where abortion won’t and will never be banned.

This reality means that however much energy is spent on Supreme Court nominee battles, a Roe reversal wouldn’t change the country’s total number of abortion providers much. In fact, a year after Roe is overturned, it would be the rare woman who would notice any difference in her life at all.

In the past year, as passionate people on both sides have dug their Supreme Court battle trenches, a few pro-choice organizations have attempted to rally supporters with reports on which states would ban abortion if Roe fell. Shortly before the 2004 election, for instance, the Center for Reproductive Rights announced that 21 states were “highly likely” to ban abortion and nine “somewhat likely”.

However, I looked at the Center For Reproductive Rights’ claims more closely. Not only are 20 West Coast, East Coast, and “Rust Belt” states solidly pro-choice–population giants like California, Illinois, Michigan and New York among them–but the other problem with the pro-choice calculations is that they include pre-Roe 1973 abortion bans still on the books. Roe superseded these laws in practice. In theory, some bans would immediately become law if Roe were overturned. But this theory implies that legislators and voters in these states wouldn’t be able to debate and pass laws saying otherwise.

Given the split in U.S. politics, many would do just that. Of the 21 states the Center for Reproductive Rights claims are “most likely” to ban abortion after Roe, seven have Democrat governors. These governors would not be able to preside over new post-Roe abortion bans without risking a party revolt.

Of the other 14 states, one (Rhode Island) votes consistently Democratic in presidential races, and elects rather mild Republicans who are often derided as RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). Though not all Democrats support abortion, it’s unlikely that the 60% of Rhode Island voters who chose Sen. John Kerry last fall would be inspired to support a ban. Nor would the milder Republicans in Rhode Island–or anywhere else these mild Republicans exist–dare try one.

Another state, Ohio, is too much of a political tossup to count in the ban camp. Colorado might vote Republican, but the state’s recent election of a Democratic senator and new Democratic majorities in its statehouse implies that the politics are pretty split.

That leaves us with 11 likely states. According to data from The Alan Guttmacher Institute, these states had 122 abortion providers in 2000. That’s less than 7% of the 1,819 abortion providers - a fluid number, to be sure - in the USA. More than half of those 122 providers (65) are in one state: Texas.

In the other 10-state area, abortion providers are already few and far between. In Mississippi, Kentucky and the Dakotas, 98% of counties have no abortion providers; in Missouri and Nebraska, 97% lack them. In these Roe-unfriendly states, women already have to travel hours by car or bus to obtain abortions; in a post-Roe world of crossing state lines, going a bit further up or down the Interstates, that story wouldn’t change.

(This is also why claims of “a return to back alley abortions” are utter bunk! A boost in Greyhound Bus ridership is what will happen, not fictional “back alley abortionists”.)

Of the nine “somewhat likely” states, only three have solidly Republican governors, legislatures and voting tendencies: Indiana, Idaho and Georgia. If they banned abortion, that would affect just 48 providers. In a realistic “worst-case scenario” (for pro-choice types) of 14 states that included a Texas ban, overturning Roe would affect a maximum of 170 providers, less than 10% of the U.S. total.

And how many Republicans in these 14 states, especially Texas (65 abortion providers is a lot for an ostensibly pro-life state, even one that big) really have the stomach for such a fight? For how many of them is abortion the real burning issue? Many Republicans are pro-life, but they see the fight for tax cuts, spending cuts, and the War On Terror as much bigger issues. These Republicans are not going to act like Captain Ahabs and go down with the anti-abortion ship. I honestly would be surprised if more than 10 states enacted or retained abortion bans once Roe is overturned.

In their zeal to fight over the Supreme Court, though, neither side of the abortion debate has absorbed these numbers. Few pro-life groups realize they’ve fought a 30-year battle to put just a handful of doctors out of business. Pro-choice forces haven’t grasped that the millions they’ll spend lobbying to block Bush’s nominees could be better spent tipping a lot of state and local legislative races. Or, for that matter, to build abortion clinics in solidly pro-choice states that are near the borders of states likely to enact or keep abortion bans.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

"Importing Diversity": The Affirmative Racist Fraud

The Harvard Crimson reports on a telling trend among selective universities.

Another report can be found here.

In other words, not only does "affirmative" discrimination blatantly violate the rule of law and perpetuate racial resentments, but it doesn't even help the people that ostensibly it is supposed to help. It's bad enough that Jesse Jackson's son is counted as "disadvantaged" for university admissions, while the daughter of a dirt poor white rancher or a Hmong fruit stand vendor is not, but now this treatment extends to the elite upper classes of Nigeria or Ghana who send their kids to American schools.

But the report reveals another interesting trend: that most of the African American students getting into colleges are immigrants or children of immigrants, either from Africa or the West Indies.

According to data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen conducted in 1999, immigrants account for 26.7 percent of black students at the universities used in the AJE study. At Ivy League schools, the statistic reached 40.6 percent.

Because first- and second-generation immigrants only accounted for 13 percent of all 18- and 19-year-old black students, according to the Current Population Survey conducted the same year, the numbers show that recent black
immigrants are represented in these universities at higher proportions than in the general population, the study says.

What is clear here, though, is that, at least as measured by enrollment in elite universities, black immigrants and their children are succeeding in America far more, on average, than blacks whose families have been in the U.S. for generations--i.e., the descendants of slaves. This is a strong argument against the proposition that black underachievement in America is primarily the result of present-day white racism.

But that doesn't fit the Left's agenda, so never mind....

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Women make wage gains in California

Rah rah, siss boom bah! The LA Times gushes that "Pay for women rose a median 5.3% from 2000 to 2006, versus a 1.7% drop for men, a report says."

Among this feminist agenda driven hurrah, there is NO MENTION of why wages for men are dropping, namely, a huge influx of illegal aliens driving down wage levels in occupations men tend to predominate in (construction, agribusiness).

And the LA Times wonders why its circulation keeps dropping? When their political meta-narrative tries to utterly hide the truth about what is going on, why should we buy their rag???

A little bit of truth did sneak into the feminist meta-narrative:

But the overall wage picture is mixed, she said. That's because gains come as large numbers of male workers, particularly those in manufacturing jobs, see a slowing in wage growth or a wage decline. More of the wage growth is occurring among married than among single women, but Ross said married women might be working more hours to make up for family income lost when their husbands were laid off.

"Not all of these women are willing workers," she said.

And of course, the same old "women still earn substantially less than men" crap is trotted out:

The data are consistent with other studies showing women making wage gains against men. And though U.S. women overall still earn significantly less than men — 86 cents for every dollar a man makes — the new California numbers
indicate that the wage gap is continuing to shrink nationally,

AGAINST Men? Good lord, the more bacon my wife, or any thinking man's wife, can bring home, the better.

What is truly annoying about this crap:

1. More often than not, the various figures showing women earning significantly less than men are based upon the communistic idea of "comparable worth". Sorry, but demand for secretaries and office assistants (predominantly female) and demand for truck drivers and construction workers (predominantly male) will be driven by different market forces, no matter what your social(ist) "scientist" claims about "comparable worth".

2. Never does there seem to be there any quantifiable proof of systematic wage discrimination for a man and a woman, at the same skill level, with the same level of seniority, in the same rank.

3. Ah, but over time, men still out-earn women because they attain a higher skill level, seniority and rank, whines the feminist meta-narrative. Well, there is a very good reason for this, and it is spelled C-H-I-L-D-R-E-N. A woman typically does drop out of the work force at least for a short time to birth, nurse, and above all raise children. Meanwhile, her husband, if he's any good, works all the harder to provide for his family. And this is a good thing. How perverted the feminist (leftover communist) meta-narrative to demonize a husband who does the right thing and works harder for his wife and children.

Now is there anything wrong with incredibly hard working or professional women? Hell no; I was raised by one. And child rearing isn't for everyone, there is nothing wrong with a woman who decides to forego children and focus entirely on becoming a captain of industry or a Nobel scientist, if that is what she really wishes. More power to her.

But the realities are that men will tend to at least slightly predominate in certain fields, for the aforementioned reason.

Friday, March 09, 2007

George Will: Rudy's All Right, McCain's All Right...

And Mitt just seems a little weird.....

It's not "surrender", hard right conservatives, and we're not giving too much away....

(In other words, don't let the perfect become the enemy of the merely good)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A BILLION Dollars To Save Wetlands Near San Jose

Meanwhile, the San Joaquin Valley gets paved over, and people commute from there to San Jose and back daily in 100 mile round trips!

Personally, if it were up to me, I’d fill in ALL the precious wetlands (i.e., swamps) around the Bay Area and let a hundred Foster Cities bloom.

Oh, but that would destroy the precious ecosystem? Relative to what? Paving over acre after acre of San Joaquin Valley farm and rangeland (with countless critters displaced)? And forcing people into 100 mile round trip commutes (with countless tons of extra fuel burned and extra smog produced)?

In the San Jose and the Greater Bay Area, there has been, in effect, a concerted effort NOT to house people anywhere near where they work, at least not affordably. The ability to build new housing is the most difficult in the localities of Northern Cali that need it most.

Runaway environmentalism, starting with an "every swamp is sacred" movement in the 1960’s, compounded by an "every hill is sacred" movement in the 1980’s, reduced the available land for building, which drove up prices. Given that for local planners, housing development always comes in third behind more tax revenue lucrative industrial and commercial development, this really hit hard.

Moreover, the housing built had to be built with so many mitigating factors that the housing built was only affordable to the upper income or the already wealthy. Adding to this was good old fashioned NIMBYism, where those who already had homes didn’t want more construction disrupting what a nice arrangement they already had.

One of the unintended consequences of bay area growth control, besides pushing people out to the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley, is that it changes the dynamics of the homebuilding industry to the detriment of home buyers. In addition to boosting home prices overall, the home building industry tends to respond to growth constraints by building different types of housing than would otherwise be built in the absence of controls. When fewer homes are allowed to be built, builders typically build larger, more expensive homes to preserve their operating margins. This results in even fewer homes that are affordable to low and middle income households.

The growth controls also reduced the number of homebuilders in the Bay Area. The local homebuilding industry went from a competitive market offering the consumers the benefit of numerous producers, to a cartel-like market where a few large building companies now dominate the market. This happened because greater regulatory risk made it harder for smaller developers to compete in the area. The regulation risk serves as a barrier to entry, ultimately leading to a monopoly situation where only a few large developers are able to compete in a given market.

Some developers went further out where they were more welcome, and merrily built their subdivisions. And people drove farther and farther to their jobs, unless their jobs moved out to meet them, which in some cases has happened.

As a result, what was once arguably just a four-county "Greater San Francisco" area, quickly became a nine-county "Bay Area", and is now on its way to being a 14-county "Bay Area", in effect.

For now, there are thousands coming from Tracy (and soon even further, as Tracy reacts with its own growth controls), clogging up Interstates 205 and 580 into the Bay Area. People are driving longer and farther, burning up more gasoline and wasting more time, ironically, all in the name of "protecting the environment" and "quality of life".

Thank you, eco-fiends.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

"Free" MUNI Buses and Rail Cars In San Francisco?

At first, I was disgusted when I heard that Mayor Newsom was proposing this. This "free" service will cost the taxpayers of California (which in many ways pay for the policies of this "freestyle" community) with our tax dollars. Taxpayers are already paying 78% of the cost of this bus system.

But then again....although San Fransicko politicos are usually the commiest of commies and the craziest of crazies, here they may have a point. We are ALREADY paying through the nose for their transit system as it is.

Given that transit systems’ farebox recovery rates in most cities are less than 20% (perhaps less than 15%?) as it is, perhaps we should have free mass transit, or at least reduce fares to a nominal "keep the winos and loiterers out" fee. At last we might get more ridership out of them that way. And in effect we are ALREADY almost entirely paying for these systems whether or not we ride them.

Above all, we would end the charade that somehow the farebox is paying for anything substantial at all.

The only exception to this I can think of is the SF cable cars, which are probably raising revenues above their operating costs because of the tourist novelty factor. SF MUNI as a whole, however, is still nearly entirely paid for by we taxpayers as it is, and given state and federal monies going to San Fransicko, that’s true whether or not you live in Sodom City West.

What difference would a free MUNI really make to our taxpaying pocketbooks? Not a noticeable one. I’d rather pay for free MUNI than for in-state tuition for illegal aliens, that’s for sure. Perhaps we could drive a hard bargain with some of these city mayors and county supes.

Let’s all just ADMIT the dirty little secret: that people support (that is, people pay lip service to) mass transit because they think "the other guy will ride it" and have the roads that much less congested for them to drive on.

Of course, if there was sanity, we would get back to building real road improvements, like our massive California gasoline taxes (among the highest in the nation) were intended.

Alas, our gasoline taxes have been raided for useless and impractical and slow "mass transit" rail schemes, built as downtown beautifiers rather than people movers. And that’s in a "good" year, when we are lucky. In other years, our gasoline taxes get raided for debt service or for entitlements and boondoggles unrelated to transportation!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Gitmo's Guerrilla Lawyers

Anatomy of a phony scandal. How the Fifth Column at home works:

The Kuwaiti 12 case is a primer on the anatomy of a guerilla PR offensive, packaged and sold to the public as a fight for the "rule of law" and "America's core principles." Begin with flimsy information, generate stories that are spun from uncorroborated double or triple hearsay uttered by interested parties that are hard to confirm from halfway around the world. Feed the phonied-up stories to friendly media who write credulous reports and emotional human interest features, post them on a Web site where they will then be read and used as
sources by other lazy (or busy) media from all over the world. In short, create one giant echo chamber.

Friday, March 02, 2007

America goes it alone, because it has to....

We hear from whiny liberals, "Waah! We're alienating our allies! They don't support us, and when they do, they only contribute token forces!"

To which Max Boot astutely points out, "They don't support us often because THEY CAN'T, and when they do send token assistance, that's because that's all they can muster up."

Every NATO nation had a "peace dividend" as the Soviet Empire collapsed. But while the USA pruned back its military, the Eurotrash gutted theirs. All NATO nations roughly spent between six and nine percent of their GDP's on the military during Cold War days. But while the USA reduced defense spending to about 4% of GDP today, the rest of NATO ranges from 1.1% (Canada) to 2.3% (UK). Faced with budget crunches trying to keep their social(ist) programs going, the Eurotrash decided to cut the military severely.

This is especially true in Afghanistan, which the Left likes to fatuously claim is "the good war":

Look at Afghanistan, where NATO is always having trouble dredging up an extra helicopter or another infantry battalion to throw into the fray. The British and Canadians are doing more than their share; their willingness to fight hard and take casualties sets them apart from most NATO countries, which prefer to send troops to safe parts of Afghanistan rather than to the front lines in the south and east. But 5,500 British and 2,500 Canadian soldiers can cover only so much ground, even with another 1,500 Brits thrown in. As usual, the United States, with more than 27,000 troops in Afghanistan, is left to carry the lion's share of the burden.

Now the rest of NATO does have top-notch, well-trained and well-equipped troops,

allowing them to punch above their weight class in military affairs. But there is only so much that a handful of super-soldiers can accomplish if their numbers are grossly inadequate. Quality can't entirely make up for lack of quantity.

So when the Eurotrash complain about American "cowboy" actions, it's really resentment at their own impotence, and when the Eurotrash speak of "soft power" and diplomacy in dealing with Iran, what they really mean is no power and appeasement.

The reason there are so many Eurotrash now is that they have forgotten how to do things for themselves. They rely on Uncle Sam while pretending to not like it and acting ungrateful and critical at the same time.

How do we get the Euros to man up? I would suggest that the USA pull out of the Balkans entirely. The Euros, to keep the peace in the area, would have to beef up their own military forces, at least to the point of peacekeeping in the Balkans.

The USA even had to do the heavy lifting during THAT intervention, as the Euros lacked airlift capability. Never mind that it is right in the Euros' backyard, driving distance from Germany and Italy!