Today, Fox News reported
:"Immigrant rights groups were planning to serve Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca with a summons seeking information about arrests in connection with the law enforcement department's partnership with immigration officials. The National Day Labor Organizing Network, the National Immigration Law Center and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles asked for statistics that outline the cost of participating in federal programs to the county and its taxpayers, and arrest records they say might be evidence of racial profiling."
Am I having a dream? (Or more accurately, a nightmare?)
Today, MSNBC summarized
a report by Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.
They report that the final bill for the American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will total between $4.7 and $5.4 trillion. Trillion!
I'll provide my take on what MSNBC reports:
On June 28, CNN published an article
written by Fareed Zakaria. Zakaria is the author of the best-selling book "Post-American World". The CNN article is titled:
"America risks losing its immigration advantage"
If you're American, it doesn't matter what your background is...if you're a knowledgeable person, and you want your country to do well, you should be horrified by the title of Zakaria's article!
This article is currently unpublished, because I'm shopping it around to major newspapers.
If the article is already published here, it might ruin my chances of getting published by major media!
If it turns out that no major media will publish it, I plan to publish it here!
Keep your eye out! It's quite a clever piece of original thinking, written by the 74th smartest person in the world
!Editor's note: The article has since been published.
On Wednesday, MSNBC reported
the findings of a new study:"Woolley and Malone randomly assembled 18 to 60-year-olds into teams and had them solve a complex problem. After team members brainstormed, made decisions and completed visual puzzles, they were given an intelligence score based on their performance.The study’s findings showed that the difference between low scoring and high scoring teams had nothing to do with an individual's intelligence, but rather with an individual's gender.""If you want to make a team smarter, just add women."
The finding wasn't surprising to me. I already believed there to be a strong likelihood that women excel more than men when it comes to team related work.
I was glad to see the results of this study, because not only did it support my beliefs, it supported my previous writing!
New readers might be interested in seeing me connect the new study to previous writing of mine. Let me review some writing that shared common topics with the study!
Let's look at an article I published November 11, 2010:Should everyone be allowed to vote?
1) I wrote the following about women: "Well, their genetic makeup (compared to men) involves more searching for consensus and reaching out to individuals to foster group harmony (this is probably evident by the common example: When a woman is in a bad mood she often wants to hear supportive words, not a solution)."
So, is there something in the new study that supports my statement?
Yes:"While researchers have replicated their findings twice, another researcher who worked on the project was hesitant to flat out say that groups of women are smarter than men.'It’s not that I don’t trust the data. I do,' Woolley, who is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, told HBR. 'It’s just that part of that finding can be explained by differences in social sensitivity, which we found is also important to group performance.'"
So, the study confirms my belief that women are more socially sensitive than men.
2) I wrote: "The ideal situation is to allow only the best voters to vote, regardless of whether there are more women or men in this group."
Is there something in the new study that's supportive of my claim?
When it comes to group performance, "...what's really important is to have people who are high in social sensitivity, whether they are men or women."
So, we agree: Don't select only from the group that is best at a given task. Select only the people
that are best at a given task, regardless of which group they come from!Conclusion
Given that corporate work includes a significant amount of teamwork, and given that it appears women are better at such work than men, I wonder why there aren't more women in the corporate world? After all, isn't money supposed to be the bottom line? In the final analysis, don't corporations want to hire the people who will make them the most money?
Is gender discrimination so great that corporations are willing to overlook the teamwork advantage women have? Or is it that people in corporations are typically unaware of the advantage women have, thinking them to be weaker since they are less overtly aggressive and and less masculine?
Is it possible that things have evolved to the point that immoral or corrupt action tends to advance one in the workforce, and is it possible that women are less immoral and corrupt
than men? Is it possible that women are more represented within corporate teams than they are relative to their representation among individual
These are all interesting questions, questions that I intend to explore in future articles!
On Thursday, it was announced
that president Obama's administration, along with Europeans, decided to immediately release oil from the strategic oil reserves into the market.
I'm shocked, because an increase in oil supply reduces
the price of oil!
Wouldn't you think that a liberal radical like Obama wouldn't
want lower oil prices?
After all, the higher the price of oil, the more likely it is that people will embrace alternative, relatively cheaper, environmentally friendly energy solutions!
Don't liberals usually want that? (Note: I want alternative energy too, but I don't necessarily want to get there by having oil prices skyrocket!)
Regarding another aspect of his energy policy, didn't Obama say that "electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket" under his cap and trade system? Didn't he say that industry would have to retrofit and pass the costs on to consumers?
Yes, he did:
Again, I'm shocked by the oil release!
Almost every time that Obama's administration has made a significant policy decision, I immediately notice that 1) The policy is either not the optimal policy choice for America or 2) The policy is actually destructive
In contrast, when it comes to the oil release, I don't notice any glaring, destructive aspects!
In fact, I believe the oil release might actually benefit
most Americans, because there is reason to believe that the release will reduce the effect of corruption that is very likely artificially inflating the price of oil!
Aside from criminal Wall Street traders who manipulate prices, there are also speculators trying to profit by buying and selling oil in a non-manipulative
These speculators are also an area of concern, because they trade oil contracts yet don't actually take possession
of the oil, as an oil company would. As a result, one could easily argue that the price of oil, even absent criminal, manipulative trading, doesn't represent a fair price based on the supply and demand of oil itself
reports: "Chasing speculators out of the market could have a substantial and rapid impact on prices.'Over 60 to 70 percent of the oil market is speculative,' said Gulf Oil chief executive Joseph Petrowski. 'When the market starts to perceive for one reason or another that either supply is getting more ample or there's going to be less demand or the economy is weaker, you flush out the speculative interest. So prices grind up and then we bang down.'"
Even if the price of oil wasn't
artificially high, one could argue that it would still be fair to lower oil prices and redistribute some money from oil companies and oil exporting countries to the American middle and lower classes.
Why? As a remedy to the theft of the middle class
that's been occurring. (In this case, the redistribution should be temporary and of an amount that is only enough to reverse the theft and, perhaps, inclusive of an additional amount as a penalty).
Note by the editor: Readers of mine might be surprised to see me advocate redistribution of wealth, given that I often appear to be conservative. However, I've long made it clear
that I am not conservative nor liberal. I am simply logical. I support whichever policies make the most sense. In the example above, redistribution makes sense, but only because it's a method of remedying an injustice. I almost certainly wouldn't support redistribution of wealth under fair
Now, back to the topic of the oil release. The article did not make it clear as to who actually had the authority to release the oil. Regardless, I would think that Obama very likely influenced the decision or made the decision himself!
Assuming that to be the case, why did Obama make a decision that would appear to benefit Americans? Doesn't he normally make decisions that harm Americans? Yes, he does!
Perhaps he wants to improve the economy temporarily, feeling he must in order to increase his chance of winning re-election in 2012? That way, if he wins, he could revert to his usual ways and spend an extra four years
One positive act by Obama is certainly not enough to overcome his many destructive policies. It's certainly not enough to make me believe that he wishes to help America.
However, it's important for me to call things as I see it: Obama has done something positive!
On Thursday, CNBC provided an update
regarding plans to introduce a bill legalizing marijuana.
Writing about Jeffrey Miron, senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, CNBC states: "Miron estimates that the US would be around $88 billion a year better off if drugs were legalized, with $41.3 billion saved on enforcement of drug-related laws and $46.7 billion garnered in tax revenues."
I was incredulous that a senior fellow at the Cato Institute would actually make such an absurd claim!
So I double-checked the original source
. CNBC's claim is accurate!Here's where Miron errs:
If legalization generates $46.7 billion in annual tax revenues, how could the US become $46.7 billion "better off"?
I'm sure that much, if not most
, of those marijuana purchases would be made by Americans. Therefore, when these people pay tax on the purchases, they simply shift money from themselves to the government. Therefore, America is no richer overall! The money stays
Similarly, if the cost of US law enforcement is reduced by $41.3 billion, America is not likely to become much, if at all, richer! Although government costs would decrease, that would be partially offset by the loss of income by Americans who lost their job in law enforcement due to budget cuts!
Now, I'm not claiming that it isn't beneficial to legalize marijuana. I actually think it's likely that legalization would be very
beneficial to the USA!
But if one wants to get into the economics of the matter, the logical framework must be there!
Regular readers of mine should have little doubt that Obama is a left wing radical. After all, my six part series
extensively made that clear.
Now, is Al Gore a radical? Well, I know he's left wing. Yes, many left wingers are irrational, but I wouldn't assume most are radical
. Many left wingers could have good, but irrational, intentions.
Al Gore certainly may
be a radical, however. After all, a judge ruled
that his movie “Inconvenient Truth” included nine significant untruths. I find it hard to believe that a filmmaker would make so many errors, unless they were made intentionally! So, I think it's plausible that Al Gore is a climate change radical.
If Obama and Gore are both left wing radicals, wouldn't you think they would agree on things and be nice to each other?
Wednesday: "Former vice president and environmental advocate Al Gore sharply criticized President Obama's 'failed' approach to global warming Wednesday, forcing the White House to defend its record on climate change.Gore was supportive of Obama's action in the first six months of his administration, but the former Democratic presidential nominee said the administration has not made the case for action among the American people.""Obama, he said, has not defended the science of global warming..."
Well, perhaps Obama thinks the science of global warming is not defensible
. After all, 31,487 scientists signed a petition
agreeing in part that:"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."
If Obama isn't attempting to defend the science behind global warming, again, is it possible that's because he thinks it's not defensible?
Well, since when has Obama let a few lies stop him from pursuing an agenda? And isn't global warming a left wing issue?
What are the odds that Obama, the man selected as 2007's most left wing Senator
, would choose not to defend global warming?
I think I may know the reason.
First, back to Al Gore, for context:"Obama, he said, has not...provided a 'presidential venue' to bring the data before the public."
Well, perhaps he doesn't want to convene a press conference about it. If he does, he might end up in the position White House Press Secretary Dana Perino was in:
When it comes down to how far he's willing to go, perhaps Obama does have his limits!
On Tuesday, Salon.com published commentary
by Piper Hoffman, an employment lawyer, regarding the Supreme Court having squashed the WalMart class action lawsuit:"On Monday, the Supreme Court sounded the death knell for Dukes v. Wal-Mart, the class action lawsuit accusing Wal-Mart of paying and promoting women less than similarly- or less-qualified men. "
I haven't read the entire, lengthy, forty-two page judgment
. But I can make observations about the validity of the logic Piper uses, based on the information she provides. Right?
Let me make a few observations about some of Piper's comments: "One of the plaintiff's central arguments was that Wal-Mart has a policy of leaving promotion and pay decisions to the discretion of individual managers, and that these managers have made discriminatory decisions.If the women suing Wal-Mart had prevailed, every American employer would have been on notice that it is not enough to sit on their corporate hands and allow gender discrimination to take its natural course in this way. Instead they would have had to make it their business to ensure that their managers treated women fairly. But the Court didn't want that, as the majority feels that 'allowing discretion by local supervisors' is 'a very common and presumptively reasonable way of doing business.'"
Sit on their hands and allow gender discrimination to occur?
Should a company take extra measures to attempt to minimize gender discrimination? Or should a company simply make employees aware of what the gender laws are? (Page 13 of the ruling: "Wal-Mart’s announced policy forbids sex discrimination").
I don't know. You'd have to create a cost-benefit analysis that, among other things, compares the cost of the extra efforts to the reduction in discrimination, if any.
But why does Piper say that the Supreme Court "didn't want" American businesses to "ensure that their managers treated women fairly"? She justifies her belief by implying that it's not reasonable of management to allow hiring discretion by local supervisors.
Without presenting a cost-benefit analysis, how can Piper convince readers of this?
Off the top of my head, I can think of a few benefits of allowing hiring discretion: Retail managers are close to the product and service, since they often roam the stores and/or work in the departments themselves. Therefore, companies might be best served to be allow them to use their discretion in salary/promotion/hiring related matters (of course, they shouldn't be allowed to gender discriminate).
If companies took extra measures, how would companies attempt to reduce gender discrimination? They could review promotion and salary decisions after
the fact. But as I wrote earlier, it's unclear whether the benefits of those measures would outweigh the costs.
Companies could also attempt to promote more females, to pay them more than they do currently. If they implemented policies meant to do this, that would, by definition, override the total discretion given to managers.
By removing discretion from the hands of those close to the company's products and services, they could dramatically reduce their effectiveness as a company!
I'm certainly not suggesting that these costs would necessarily outweigh the benefits of reduced discrimination. I'm simply declaring that this is an extremely complicated topic that requires extensive analysis, analysis that would vary depending on several company factors, including its size and its proportion of males vs. females.
Piper continues:"In his opinion for the majority Justice Scalia also announces, without citing any evidence, that most managers work carefully to avoid discrimination in their pay and promotion decisions when left to their own devices. That makes it all the more puzzling why the higher one gets in the corporate hierarchy in the U.S., the fewer women there are."
Piper implies that, due to the progressively limited numbers of females in corporate positions, Scalia may be incorrect in claiming that "most managers work carefully to avoid discrimination...when left to their own devices".
What's puzzling about that logic? If "most" managers work carefully to avoid discrimination, I'd say that it's certainly plausible that enough
managers could cause any discrimination that might cause the gender imbalance we see today. Don't you think?
Think about it in terms of the following example, hiring. If only 10% of male managers prefer to hire males over females, they can impact the demographics of the company quite a bit
if they discriminate unfairly against females not once, but several
Piper continues:"One of Rule 23's prerequisites is that '[o]ne or more members of a class may sue ... as representative parties on behalf of all members only if there are questions of law or fact common to the class.'"
and "The Court used this previously clear 'common questions of law or fact' requirement to thwart the Wal-Mart women by redefining the requirement beyond recognition. According to Justice Scalia, 'common questions of law or fact' now means that plaintiffs must 'demonstrate that the class members have suffered the same injury.' In no universe that I have visited do these two phrases require the same thing."
How did Piper come to this conclusion?
Here is the text of the ruling
On page 12, it provides text from another Supreme Court case, Falcon
. I've bolded some text, for emphasis:
"'Conceptually, there is a wide gap between (a) an in-dividual’s claim that he has been denied a promotion [or higher pay] on discriminatory grounds, and his otherwise unsupported allegation that the company has a policy of discrimination, and (b) the existence of a class of persons who have suffered the same injury as that individual, such that the individual’s claim and the class claim will share common questions of law or fact and that the individual’s claim will be typi-cal of the class claims
.' Id., at 157–158."
So, the Supreme Court mentions "common questions of law or fact".
"Falcon suggested two ways in which that conceptual gap might be bridged. First, if the employer 'used a biased testing procedure
to evaluate both applicants for employ-ment and incumbent employees, a class action on behalf of every applicant or employee who might have been preju-diced by the test clearly would satisfy the commonality and typicality requirements of Rule 23(a).' Id., at 159, n. 15. Second, '[s]ignificant proof that an employer oper-ated under a general policy of discrimination
conceivably could justify a class of both applicants and employees if the discrimination manifested itself in hiring and pro-motion practices in the same general fashion, such as through entirely subjective decision making processes.' Ibid. We think that statement precisely describes respon-dents’ burden in this case.
So, the court makes it clear that they they would accept evidence that the company operated under a "general policy of discrimination" or used "biased testing"!
I wouldn't think that the court's ruling means, as Piper wrote, that "plaintiffs must 'demonstrate that the class members have suffered the same injury.'"
Instead, I interpret the court's ruling as meaning this: Class members don't need to prove that they, individually, were refused a raise or promotion as a result of their gender. Instead, they need to merely show that the company used biased testing methods or operated under a general policy of discrimination!Conclusion
I'd be curious as to how Piper Hoffman, an employment lawyer and blogger, would respond to the points I make!
Before I get into the title's topic, you need a bit of context first.
A brief overview
of the Secure Communities program, from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement website:"Secure Communities, an information sharing partnership between two federal agencies – ICE and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – prioritizes removal resources on individuals who are found to be illegally in the country after being arrested for other crimes. ""Only federal officers make immigration decisions, and they do so only after an individual is arrested for a criminal violation of state law, separate and apart from any violations of immigration law."
Keep this in mind while you read the following gem, published by MSNBC.
It was reported
today: "...New York State followed the lead of Illinois and opted out of the federal Secure Communities program, which is designed to identify and deport illegal immigrants in US jails who are convicted of certain felonies. They have criticized the program as casting too broad a net, deporting even 'busboys and nannies.'"
So, New York State feels that jailed criminals who used to be a busboy or a nanny are more desirable than other jailed criminals? How does that make sense?
Shouldn't the relative desirability of a criminal (for lack of a better term!) be determined by the severity of the crime they committed
, and not the occupation they had while they committed the crime?
The report continues:"In the broadest terms, states with a long history of assimilating foreign-born migrants are largely defending the ideal of the United States as a 'nation of immigrants,' legal or illegal. Meanwhile, states that have before been largely isolated from immigration patterns are now taking a 'the law is the law' approach."
So, there could be at least three factors that influence the tendency of states with a long history of immigration to go easy on illegal immigrants:
1) There could be an effort by these state governments to act in a manner that would pander to immigrant communities, in an effort to get their vote
But would pandering to the illegal immigrants themselves help these politicians in future elections? After all, these illegals can't vote themselves, can they? Well, they aren't supposed
to be able to vote, but that doesn't mean that some fraud doesn't occur!
And remember, these illegals often have children who automatically become US citizens. Who do you think these children will vote for when they become eighteen? The party that is pro-illegal immigrant, or the party that is pro-law enforcement?
These state governments may also be pandering to the ethnic legal
immigrant communities, expecting them to be pro-illegal immigration. However, they'd be wrong
on that one: 52% of Hispanics support enforcement of illegal immigration, while another 34% support conditions being placed on illegals in return for amnesty.
2) Given that the states in question have a greater percentage of ethnic persons than have the other states, it's possible that their state governments are also composed of a greater percentage of ethnic persons. As a result, their decision as to whether to support the Secure Communities program is more likely to be in favor of the pro-illegal immigration choice.
3) Since these states have seen the effect of heavy illegal immigration on their economy, perhaps they believe illegal immigration to be positive for the economy, and hence are more likely to be in favor of it?
Well, it's hard to say whether they genuinely
believe illegal immigration favors the economy.
One thing is for sure: If they genuinely believe illegal immigration favors the economy, they are certainly not intelligent enough to be the ones that should be given the power to make those decisions!
Illegal immigration does not
favor the economy!
And how could
illegal immigration provide a net benefit to the economy?
By definition, illegal immigrants are taking jobs that some unemployed Americans could be hired for!
Americans might not be willing to take some of the jobs that illegals do, but many
certainly would, considering that a large percentage of unemployed Americans don't have a high school degree. Those without a high school degree are certainly the ones that are more likely to be hired for the jobs illegals tend to do!
But what about illegals stimulating the economy? When they do
get paid the salary that they take from Americans, aren't they stimulating the economy just as Americans would, by spending their salary?
No. They are not! They don't stimulate the economy by nearly as much as Americans employed by those same jobs would have! Here's why:
Illegals send a large portion of their earnings back to their home country, to support their family. Therefore, not only is that money not
making its way back into the USA economy, it is actually a drain
of wealth from the US economy to one of their competitors!
Also, many, if not most illegal immigrants, don't pay income tax. Therefore, the government is missing out on revenue! In the meantime, those illegals are benefiting from government action while not paying for any of it!
And even if
illegal immigrants stimulated the economy as much as Americans would...it is, of course, wrong to reduce the quality of life of an American by providing the job to someone in the country illegally!
Keep these three points in mind as you read more from the report. It's clear that some people just don't get it: "'There is some party politics, some short-term electoral gains at hand, but by and large it has to do with the fact that [people] are a lot more receptive to anti-immigrant laws in places where they're not used to immigrants – and the opposite in places where they're used to having immigrants and where people understand the value proposition' behind welcoming immigrants, says Allert Brown-Gort, associate director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind."
So, Allbert Brown-Gort believes that there is a "value proposition" behind welcome immigrants? I assume he's including illegal immigrants, considering that's the context of the discussion, right? If so, does he believe it's valuable about allowing illegals to take jobs from Americans and drain America's wealth back to their home country?
Here's another doozy:"Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has rejected this line of thinking. 'We will give up more than we get' with Secure Communities, Mr. Patrick said recently. 'We run a serious risk of ethnic profiling and, frankly, fracturing incredibly important relationships in communities that are important for law enforcement.'"
So, does he believe states give up more than they get by preventing illegals from draining wealth away from America?
So, does he believe it's wrong to ethnically profile and prevent wealth from draining from America, because it would fracture relationships needed by law enforcement? I doubt the negative effects on law enforcement, if any, would outweigh the massive damage done to the economy by illegals draining the economy!
the damage done to law enforcement were
great enough to warrant avoiding participation in Secure Communities...the choice to participate in the program itself
would then result in greater numbers of illegals remaining in and coming into the country; and since illegals commit much greater rates of crime than do Americans, law enforcement problems would end up rising anyway! There'd be a negative effect on law enforcement regardless
of whether states participate in Secure Communities!Conclusion
This article is representative of the shape America is in today. I'd say it shows that there just aren't enough people in power who are capable enough, or willing enough, to make decisions that benefit America! Don't you think?