Where Culture Comes From
There's this common misconception that culture is some sort of randomly occurring set of behaviors that just falls out of the sky and then gets spread by, oh, television.
AJ Figueredo at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference (at dinner on Thursday night): "Culture doesn't happen by itself. It coevolves with genes."
AJ research is here.
Penile Colony: The Latest In Research On Penis Size
I'm at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference in Columbia, Missouri.
Geoffrey Miller presented research on penis size Thursday morning, and here's the part you really care about:
Personally, I was "triggered" by how they used 3-D-printed blue "silos" (rather than 3-D-printed actual penises) to represent penis size in their research -- one of which they nicknamed something like "Papa Smurf."
How Crazy That It's A Crime To Withdraw Your Own Money From The Bank In Government-Unapproved Amounts
Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was paying loads of blackmail money to somebody, and I have to suspect it was for doing something truly terrible.
Monica Davey writes for The New York Times that he was paying $3.5 million to someone for his "misconduct" from years ago.
He has been indicted -- charged with lying to the F.B.I. and making cash withdrawals from banks in a way that was designed to hide the money he was paying. He was accused of "structuring" -- withdrawing less than $10K at a time to avoid bank questions.
About the person he was paying off, Davey reports:
Mr. Hastert, who was once a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Ill., had so far paid $1.7 million to the person, who had lived in Yorkville and had known Mr. Hastert for most of his or her life. Mr. Hastert worked in Yorkville from 1965 to 1981.
In 2010, during meetings between Mr. Hastert and the unnamed individual, the two discussed "past misconduct" by Mr. Hastert against the person, according to the indictment.
In those meetings and in later discussions, Mr. Hastert agreed to provide money to the person "in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct," the indictment said. It said he was structuring the cash withdrawals in increments designed to avoid bank reporting requirements. The indictment does not provide details of the misconduct.
...Each of the two charges carries a penalty of as much as five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the prosecutor's office said.
Again, really does sound like he did something creepy-horrible.
But about the banking law-breaking, it is just insane that we have laws that tell you how you can and cannot withdraw your own money from your own bank account.
It's one more way our rights are being yanked away from us in the name of crime-stopping.
This law on "structuring" -- which has been used to allow government to steal the money of people who are not paying other people off for some prior misconduct -- needs to be repealed.
Very, very old links.
Govt As Thief: Toys In The Yard Earns You A Ticket In Pagedale, MO
We see this in LA. Jerks on our City Council vote in costly measures we can't pay for, so they just raise parking ticket rates until sleeping in on "street cleaning" morning becomes a financial hardship for anybody who isn't an exec at a hedge fund.
Jennifer S. Mann writes about Pagedale in STLToday about the offenses being ticketed:
Pants worn too low or grass grown too high. Children riding bikes without helmets. Barbecue pits or toys in front yards. Basketball hoops in the streets.
...Vincent Blount, 54, and Valarie Whitner, 55, have lived in Pagedale for 20 years. For at least the last seven, they've been battling Pagedale's municipal court.
The couple say they've been ticketed for everything you can think of: high grass and peeling paint, an overgrown tree, not recycling and more.
"Every year. Every year," said Blount, sighing. "They just got me again."
The latest citation was for a tree limb that fell onto their garage during a winter storm, the couple said. They waited until their insurance company assessed the damage, then placed the chopped up limb on the empty city lot next door. Before a tree service could pick it up, the city's housing and sanitation inspector arrived.
The couple explained the situation but said it didn't matter. They received another ticket.
In April, the inspector sent a list of 17 demands for the property.
The couple were given a 30-day deadline to, among other things, add screens and curtains to the windows; remove a dead branch from a tree out back; replace a missing shingle; use weedkiller; finish repairing the garage; install a rear screen door.
The repairs cost money -- money the couple have been using to pay the court. They pay $100 a month on a tab that has grown to $1,810. About $1,000 of that was due to nontraffic violations. They still have $800 to pay off.
Reps for the city claim this isn't intended to be a revenue-raiser. Meanwhile, the high grass warnings give people just one day to fix the problem.
Advice Goddess Free Swim
It's Wednesday night, and I've just arrived in Columbia, Missouri, for the big annual ev psych conference -- where -- drum roll...I will actually be speaking.
As for here in blogland, you pick the topics. I'll post more on Thursday morning.
P.S. One link per comment or my spam filter will eat your post.
Backwards Day? Democrats Seek To Stop GOP Senators From Making Birth Control OTC
Elizabeth Price Foley posts at Instapundit:
So let me get this straight: A coalition of GOP Senators is trying to make contraceptives more readily available to women by making them OTC, but liberal/progressive groups like Planned Parenthood oppose the idea, simply because women might actually have to pay for their contraceptives rather than get them free?
She also points out possible self-interest on the part of Planned Parenthood:
Far fewer women (especially young women) will need to go to Planned Parenthood if they can just go to the local drugstore and obtain contraceptives. That would leave Planned Parenthood mostly in the business of STD testing, pregnancy testing and abortions.
Fascinating Long Read: Skyping With The Enemy
"I went undercover as a jihadi girlfriend..." writes the pseudonymous French journo, Anna Erelle.
Her book about this, In the Skin of a Jihadist: A Young Journalist Enters the ISIS Recruitment Network, seems to be in Audible format only in the USA. (On second thought, it seems to be mislabeled as Audible, and seems to be in paperback.)
Enterprising 16-Year-Old Photographer Gets Lesson In Lying, Coercive Assholism From Asst. Principal
Nick Gillespie writes at reason that Anthony Mazur, a 16-year-old student at Texas' Flower Mound High School, who's also a photographer for the yearbook, took pictures of athletes and other students and then posted them on a Flickr account where he sold some of them to parents.
As it happens, according to his school district's policy, there's no issue with that and Mazur apparently owns the the copyright to work he produces.
Cue administrative outrage:Back in March, Mazur says he was called into FMHS Assistant Principal Jeffrey Brown's office, where he saw that Brown had his website pulled up on a computer there. He said that Brown was angry at him, and told him that posting the pictures online was illegal, and violated copyright. According to Mazur, Brown also worked the angle (contrary to the policy listed above) that the camera belonged to the district. When Mazur argued that the copyright belonged to him, he says that Brown changed his tune and said that it violated student privacy. Brown allegedly told Mazur at the time that a parent had complained.
Mazur alleged that Brown told him in a coercive tone "I'm just asking you to take the website down, I'm not asking you to return any money." Mazur said he assumed Brown meant the school, with regards to returning money. Mazur said Brown told him that he "wouldn't report [Mazur] to the IRS" over the money he earned from selling the photos. Brown told Mazur that he was issuing an "administrative directive" to take the photos down. At this point, Mazur said he requested that his parent be brought into the discussion.
The assholministrator first claimed privacy concerns, then said the profit was the problem.
And note the stupidity and/or creepy lies, like that posting pictures online somehow violates copyright. (Copyright belongs to the creator unless it is signed away.) Then there's the threat of reporting him to the IRS. What a toadish bully, this guy is.
No, wouldn't want a kid to earn money through his work and learn all the ensuing lessons from that. No, keep him penniless so he can be appropriately humble while getting a degree in Tibetan feminism.
Gillespie gets it:
And then try to re-imagine school as a place that is not the equivalent of a minimum-security prison (attendance is mandatory!) but is instead actually interesting, challenging, and effective in reaching most kids in some sort of individualized way.
Whole story is here, by Steve Southwell, in the Lewisville Texan. A relevant bit:
Mazur said he and his yearbook class had gone to a journalism convention in San Antonio back in October, and at that convention, one of the speakers was a teacher from Argyle High School, who told them of a student who was selling their work. Inspired by the possibility, Mazur asked the speaker about the copyright issues, and the teacher explained to him that as the photographer, he owned the pictures he took, and was entitled to the rights. Lewisville ISD's own policy (CY Local) states explicitly that "A student shall retain all rights to work created as part of instruction or using District technology resources."
...Although the Mazur family is fighting the decision, Anthony says he is undeterred. He has since obtained his own camera, and is continuing to photograph sporting events, where he says he has the same access as other members of the public, and members of the media. "They're not going to stop me, I'll keep doing what I love," said Anthony.
Linkie with haw.
Thought Crimes: The Time To Investigate Whether Someone's Committing Them Is Before They Create Custom-Made Jewelry For You
I joke that I'm so much for gay rights and gay marriage, I should have a girlfriend.
However, I'm against forcing people to do creative work -- for any reason -- and especially when they have some religious opposition.
I'm also against customers deciding after the fact -- after they've already ordered a good or service -- that they aren't going to pay or they're going to return some item on grounds of somebody not sharing their beliefs.
In other words, there's a time to decide that you don't want to do business with somebody, and it's BEFORE they do a bunch of work for you.
That's the fair thing.
If you don't do that, and subsequently learn that their beliefs offend you, well, you can throw away what they've made, but in what universe is it fair to demand your money back?
Well, that's what happened. Rod Dreher writes about Esau Jardon, a Christian jeweler in Canada who made rings for a lesbian couple who subsequently demanded their money back after learning that he, personally, believes marriage should be limited to heterosexuals:
This Christian jeweler agreed to custom-make engagement rings for a lesbian couple, knowing that they were a couple, and treated them politely. But when they found out what he really believed about same-sex marriage, even though the man gave them polite service, and agreed to sell them what they asked for, the lesbian couple balked, and demanded their money back -- and the mob threatened the business if they didn't yield. Which, of course, he did.
You understand, of course, that this is not about getting equal treatment. The lesbian couple received that. This is about demonizing a point of view, and driving those who hold it out of the public square. Just so we're clear about that.
I bought some olive oil not long ago at a tiny grocery store owned by an Arab Muslim immigrant. If I find out that the merchant supports ISIS, am I entitled to declare my jug of olive oil tainted, and demand a refund? Is a fundamentalist Christian permitted to send her osso buco back to the kitchen if she discovers that homosexual hands cooked it? Of course not.
More from the CBC, including video.
I think this is just so childish, the notion that a person you buy a product from must share your vital beliefs. Do these women interrogate the supermarket manager? The shoemaker?
Still, I can understand how they might see a wedding ring maker differently, but again, if this matters to them, there's a time to figure that out, and it's beforehand. Realize afterward that it's a problem, well, the graceful thing to do is to let it be on you. Give the wedding rings to Goodwill and go order new ones from a LGBTQ jeweler, and you'd better check that he or she is also in lockstep on eating vegan and anything else that might be a line you just won't cross.
Oh, and in the video, one of the two women speaking called the jewelers "anti-gay." Ridiculous -- especially considering the lovely treatment they, as two out lesbians ordering wedding rings, got from the business.
The reality is, because people have religious beliefs that gay people should not marry -- beliefs that I, as a strong supporter of gay marriage, am entirely opposed to -- does not mean they're anti-gay. Sure, they might be, but it is just bullshit that every person who believes that gays and lesbians shouldn't be allowed to marry is a hater.
Unintended Consequences: The Govt Response To The Nail Salon Exposé
William McGurn makes some good points in the WSJ about the "two-part exposé in the New York Times, one focusing on the lousy pay and the other on the health threats" and the leap to action by politicians to regulate change:
Like so many other bursts of progressive passion, chances are that while their bid for more government will make the pols and activists feel better about themselves, it will do little to improve the lives of these women.
That's because most of what they propose does nothing to resolve the fundamental issues the Times rightly identifies as making these women workers vulnerable to abusive bosses: They don't speak English, they don't have skills, and about a quarter of them are here illegally. All this greatly limits their job opportunities.
To put it another way, will a crackdown on licensing really help women who will need to complete the 250 hours of study for a New York state license? What about closing down the salon of a rotten employer because he doesn't pay the women sick leave?
In a 2001 column, no less than Paul Krugman noted a similar case of good intentions that had terrible unintended consequences, citing a bill proposed in the 1990s by Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) to outlaw child labor in products made overseas. The threat of the legislation succeeded in the sense that some companies in Bangladesh stopped hiring children.
But Mr. Krugman noted that follow-up research by Oxfam found that the displaced child workers ended up in even worse jobs, or on the streets--and that a significant number were forced into prostitution.
Links tumbling down the stairs.
Thanks To All Who've Served In Our Military
And our deep condolences to those who didn't come home or who came home with terrible injuries -- mental and/or physical.
A link to my previous post on my trip with Gregg to trace the steps of his uncle, who died in the hedgerows in Normandy.
Parenting Is About Judgment Calls -- And They Should Be Made By Parents, Not The Government
My mother often left us in the car at the grocery store when we were kids. And not for two minutes. While she did all of her grocery shopping.
She did this in temperate weather -- and because we could read (me) and color (my younger sisters) instead of dragging around the store with her, bored (and probably whining, at least a little).
Well, there's a case before the Supreme Court in New Jersey to decide whether leaving a kid in a car for a few minutes equals child abuse. It's a "zero tolerance" question. No, "Well, it was just a minute while I went in to get eggs at 7-Eleven and left her strapped, sleeping, in her car seat."
If the case goes against the parent here, the government will get to decide -- to act in loco parentis, even though you're right there, just paying quickly for your eggs and getting back in your car -- and you'll be marked for life as a child-abuser. No pleading. No evidence. No discussion.
Lenore Skenazy writes at Yahoo
A mom left her son in the car for what everyone agrees was under 10 minutes to run an errand. The toddler slept through the whole "ordeal," but the mom was found guilty of neglect, even upon appeal, when the three appellate judges ruled that they didn't have to list the "parade of horribles" that could have happened to the child. Which is, of course, fantasy as policy again: Just because the judges could imagine a kidnapping, or carjacking, or a big bad wolf, doesn't mean that these are at all likely. They aren't. As the Washington Post just wrote:
"There's never been a safer time to be a kid in America."
...To label all parents as "negligent" because they let their kids wait in the car during an errand is just like labeling the Meitivs in Maryland "negligent" for letting their kids go outside unsupervised: Nothing bad did happen to those kids as they walked home from the park. Nothing bad was likely to happen to the kids -- we are at a 50-year crime low and Silver Spring is hardly a hotbed of crime, as it was recently voted "the most caring" suburb in America. But because some cops and CPS workers could imagine something terrible happening, the parents are under investigation.
Fantasy cannot be the basis for policy. If it is, any made-up idea can be used as rationale to lock folks up or put them on a list.
Parents must be allowed to make decisions -- even ones that others consider sub-optimal -- so long as they are not putting their children in immediate, obvious, and indisputable harm's way....
Like letting them get anywhere near those delusional New Jersey appellate court judges.
Per lawyer David Pimentel, who, with Lenore Skenazy, filed an amicus brief on behalf of the mother:
We remain hopeful that the Court will uphold the mother's right to defend herself, and that it will allow the lower court to consider the reasonableness of the mother's action, the likelihood of harm, the imminence of the danger, before labeling her as a child abuser, stigmatizing her for life and making it virtually impossible to ever to get a job working with children, to adopt a child, etc.
If the N.J. Supreme Court upholds the lower court, child-left-in-car cases in New Jersey will be very straightforward. Even if the investigation shows that no criminal child endangerment occurred (so charges are dropped), absent extenuating circumstances, it will be virtually automatic that the parent will be branded as a "child abuser" for the rest of his or her life. Not only is the parent presumed guilty, the parent is not even entitled to a hearing to prove his or her innocence.
Again, we're seeing our country slowly but surely being transformed into an English-speaking, McDonald's-eating Mini-Me of the USSR. We need to speak up -- and how great that Pimentel and Skenazy are volunteering their time in this case -- before we wake up in a country we really, really do not want to live in.
Advice Goddess Free Swim
It's Sunday night, and I'm sleepy. You pick the topics. I'll post more on Monday morning.
P.S. One link per comment or my spam filter will eat your post.
Advice Goddess Radio, Tonight, 7-8 pm PT: Dr. Todd Kashdan On The Upside Of "Dark Side" Emotions
Amy Alkon's Advice Goddess Radio: "Nerd Your Way To A Better Life!" with the best brains in science.
*"Best Of" replay tonight for Memorial Day weekend in the USA.
This is a show on how the negative can be positive -- on how we actually need the emotions that make us uncomfortable. They make us whole, balancing the "positive" emotions.
On tonight's show, Dr. Todd Kashdan lays out the science on how anger, anxiety, and other "negative" feelings can actually be motivating, illuminating, and helpful -- giving us our best shot at success and fulfillment.
Dr. Kashdan's myth-busting book he'll be discussing, co-authored with Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener, is The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self--Not Just Your "Good" Self--Drives Success and Fulfillment.
Listen to the show at this link at showtime or download the podcast afterward:
Join me and my fascinating guests every Sunday, 7-8 p.m. Pacific Time, 10-11 p.m. Eastern Time, at blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher.
Please consider ordering my new book, the science-based and funny "Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck," (only $10.90 at Amazon!).
Orders help support my writing and all the work I do to put out this show and are much-appreciated! (Also, along with positive reviews in the WSJ and other publications, Library Journal gave the book a starred review: "Verdict: Solid psychology and a wealth of helpful knowledge and rapier wit fill these pages. Highly recommended.")
Women Now Demanding To Be Treated As Eggshells, Not Equals
Camille Paglia gets it right on sexual harassment, from Playboy from 1995:
"[You can't have] the Stalinist situation we have in America right now, where any neurotic woman can make any stupid charge and destroy a man's reputation. If there is evidence of false accusation, the accuser should be expelled. Similarly, a woman who falsely accuses a man of rape should be sent to jail. My definition of sexual harassment is specific. It is only sexual harassment-by a man or a woman-if it is quid pro quo. That is, if someone says, "You must do this or I'm going to do that"-for instance, fire you. And whereas touching is sexual harassment, speech is not. I am militant on this. Words must remain free. The solution to speech is that women must signal the level of their tolerance-women are all different. Some are very bawdy."
Actually, a law professor with an evolutionary orientation, Wayne State's Kingsley Browne, argues that men shove each other around with language; it's a form of exercising dominance.
And if women are actually men's equals, their response to language isn't filing suit -- or trying to bring down a man's career through social media because he makes a joke.
In fact, Browne points out, men using language to shove women around the same way they do to other men involves treating women equally.
It used to be that women marched around claiming that they weren't fragile little dollies; that they could handle what men could. Now just the opposite is the case. Women get men fired over jokes overheard at conferences.
In 2008, Rebecca Solnit sniveled in the LA Times that men won't "let her" talk. Me? I just talk. Nobody stops me. Not even by trying to sue me for $500,000 (though I did have help from a man, First Amendment lawyer Marc J. Randazza, on that one).
I've also been writing here about the awful injustice done to Bora Zivkovic. Many science writers who proudly proclaim themselves skeptics unquestioningly swallowed the notion that Zivkovic was guilty of harassment.
Here's an example of his "crimes." While out for a drink with his wife and one of the women who later accused him, he bought a rose for his wife. He then asked the seller for one for the woman (who was standing beside him at the time), saying he'd also take one for his (heh heh) "concubine."
Say that to me and I'll laugh; I won't file charges against you. It wouldn't even occur to me. (I suspect that women who think this way are those who have not accomplished much in the world and realize that their only source of power -- and, especially power over men -- is the unearned power they can have through sexual harassment charges.)
If this sort of crack is something you can't take, you are not men's equal or anything close. You don't belong in the workplace; you belong at home where your biggest challenge is getting the brownies out of the oven without overcooking them.
Playboy quote via @instapundit
World War II Hero At Lincoln Memorial
Moving photo, tweeted by presidential historian Michael Beschloss.
As I tweeted back to him:
@BeschlossDC Thanks. Important to be mindful that this weekend isn't just about beer, hotdogs, and a day off.
The First Generation That Comes With Its Own Fainting Couch
Peggy Noonan in the WSJ (but link is to PatriotPost so non-subscribers can read) gets it right about the mewling for "trigger warnings" and emotional safety on campus:
What in your upbringing told you that safety is the highest of values? What told you it is a realistic expectation? Who taught you that you are entitled to it every day? Was your life full of ... unchecked privilege? Discuss.
Do you think Shakespeare, Frieda Kahlo, Virginia Woolf, Langston Hughes and Steve Jobs woke up every morning thinking, "My focus today is on looking for slights and telling people they're scaring me"? Or were their energies and commitments perhaps focused on other areas?
I notice lately that some members of your generation are being called, derisively, Snowflakes. Are you really a frail, special and delicate little thing that might melt when the heat is on?
Do you wish to be known as the first generation that comes with its own fainting couch? Did first- and second-wave feminists march to the barricades so their daughters and granddaughters could act like Victorians with the vapors?
Everyone in America gets triggered every day. Many of us experience the news as a daily microaggression. Who can we sue, silence or censor to feel better?
Finally, social justice warriors always portray themselves -- and seem to experience themselves -- as actively suffering victims who need protection. Is that perhaps an invalid self-image? Are you perhaps less needy than demanding? You seem to be demanding a safety no one else in the world gets. If you were so vulnerable, intimidated and weak, you wouldn't really be able to attack and criticize your professors, administrators and fellow students so ably and successfully, would you?
Are you a bunch of frail and sensitive little bullies? Is it possible you're not intimidated but intimidators?
This is how I see it -- that it's a way to have unearned power over men, as well as women who do not think or speak in "approved" ways.
A Far Bedder Deal
I have one of these mattress plusher-uppers, and I love it. It's basically cloud-sleep, and unlike a featherbed, it has this elastic compression "sock" attached all the way around so it stays in place. And now it's on substantial sale at Amazon -- just today. It's the
Extra Plush Rayon Bamboo Fitted Mattress Topper, Queen Size. Regular $214.99; today only, $89.99.
To buy stuff you don't see in my links and give me a wee kickback (that costs you nothing), Search Amy's Amazon here. (For stuff not listed above.)
And thanks to all who shop through my links! Every purchase you make is much appreciated!
Soldier On What Would Have Happened If He Used Email Like Hillary Clinton Did
At IJ Review, Chad Longell writes that his ass would have been chewed grass:
If I had discussed classified missions, on a compromised server, with someone who did not hold a security clearance, the consequences would be harsh and career ending, far different from the protected status Clinton has enjoyed thus far.
A senior intelligence analyst for the Army discussed the matter further with IJReview, enumerating the standard punishments that await those who disseminate classified information. Due to the sensitive nature of the analysts' work, they had to speak on condition of anonymity.
"There are no limits for the consequences that can be imposed on those who disclose classified information," the analyst told IJReview, "Depending on the severity, punishments can range from large fines to heavy prison sentences. At the very least, you will lose your security clearance for life and never be able to work in the public sector again."
While not the same situation, the analyst then described the fate of a colleague who was found to be leaking classified information:"Every device that he owned that could transmit data was seized. Then he was detained, tried and found guilty. His clearance was stripped from him and he spent 2 years in jail. He was also fined $20,000. This person will never work in anything other than retail for the rest of his life."
These strict consequences for releasing classified information are a daily reality for anyone inside the U.S. government. We are held to the highest of standards, and we should be.
It is disheartening that those in positions of power who abuse these rules are held to a different standard than the common soldier.
How Much Is That Obamacare Doggie In The Window?
Maybe double the price it was last year, if you live in New Mexico. Peter Suderman writes at reason of premium increases for Obamacare plans:
It looks increasingly like insurance premiums for many of the most popular plans sold through Obamacare's exchanges are on track for significant hikes next year. Earlier this week, I noted reports of requests for double-digit premium hikes--in some cases more than 30 percent--in dominant plans for the states of Maryland, Oregon, and Tennessee, as well as smaller but still significant hikes in a few other states. Today, The Wall Street Journal adds another, reporting that New Mexico's biggest individual market insurer is requesting a 51.6 percent increase in premiums for the coming year.
The primary reason for all of these giant hikes is the same, according to the Journal: "high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act." As noted in a previous post, Moda Health, which insures about 100,000 people Oregon, says that its costs exceeded its premium revenue by 61 percent.
...In any case, it goes back to what has been one of the chief worries about Obamacare for a long time--whether enough younger and healthier individuals will sign up for coverage to offset the higher costs incurred by older and sicker beneficiaries. So far, it looks like they're not, or at least not in numbers sufficient to support current premiums. And that's why it looks more and more like significant premium hikes are on the way, at least in some states, for some of the more popular plans.
Why is it that voters seem so incapable of doing the most rudimentary math?
Linky hanging around smoking, out by the Dumpster.
Government Built That! (How Government Policy Created Black Ghettos)
At NPR's Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviews Economic Policy Institute research associate Richard Rothstein, who studies the history of residential segregation in America.
"We have a myth today that the ghettos in metropolitan areas around the country are what the Supreme Court calls 'de-facto' -- just the accident of the fact that people have not enough income to move into middle class neighborhoods or because real estate agents steered black and white families to different neighborhoods or because there was white flight," Rothstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
"It was not the unintended effect of benign policies," he says. "It was an explicit, racially purposeful policy that was pursued at all levels of government, and that's the reason we have these ghettos today and we are reaping the fruits of those policies."
Some of the highlights from the interview:
On how the New Deal's Public Works Administration led to the creation of segregated ghettos
Its policy was that public housing could be used only to house people of the same race as the neighborhood in which it was located, but, in fact, most of the public housing that was built in the early years was built in integrated neighborhoods, which they razed and then built segregated public housing in those neighborhoods. So public housing created racial segregation where none existed before. That was one of the chief policies.
On the Federal Housing Administration's overtly racist policies in the 1930s, '40s and '50s
The second policy, which was probably even more effective in segregating metropolitan areas, was the Federal Housing Administration, which financed mass production builders of subdivisions starting in the '30s and then going on to the '40s and '50s in which those mass production builders, places like Levittown [New York] for example, and Nassau County in New York and in every metropolitan area in the country, the Federal Housing Administration gave builders like Levitt concessionary loans through banks because they guaranteed loans at lower interest rates for banks that the developers could use to build these subdivisions on the condition that no homes in those subdivisions be sold to African-Americans.
Related: How welfare ruined the black family.
via Reason Foundation's Manny Klausner
I want somebody to endorse me on Linked In for professional basketball or working on an oil rig. Or both, if you're feeling generous.
Updated: Love this. I tweeted this yesterday and somebody followed through.
(I guess they don't have a "professional basketball" category, so he did the best he could.)
Asian Groups File Fed Complaint About Policy Of "Diversity" Over Merit At Harvard
Yamiche Alcindor writes at USA Today about a policy at Harvard of keeping Asians out in favor of "diversity":
A coalition of Asian-American groups filed a federal complaint against Harvard University on Friday alleging the school engaged in "systemic and continuous discrimination" against Asian Americans during its admissions process.
More than 60 Chinese, Indian, Korean and Pakistani groups came together for the complaint, which was filed with the civil rights offices at the justice and education departments. They are calling for an investigation into Harvard and other Ivy League institutions that they say should stop using racial quotas or racial balancing in admission.
"We want to eliminate discrimination of Asian Americans, and we want procedural justice for all racial groups," Yukong Zhao, one of the chief organizers and a guest columnist with the Orlando Sentinel, told NBC News. "All racial groups should be treated equal."
...Robert Iuliano, Harvard University General Counsel, said in a statement that the university uses a "holistic admissions process" that is "fully compliant with federal law" to build a diverse class. He added that over the past decade the percentage of Asian American students admitted to Harvard College has increased from 17.6% to 21%.
"We will vigorously defend the right of Harvard, and other universities, to continue to seek the educational benefits that come from a class that is diverse on multiple dimensions," Iuliano said.
They aren't keeping the rich kids out to let the poor kids in, are they? "Sorry, Mr. Captain Of Industry. The fact that you put a wing on the hospital is immaterial..."
Boy Meet Grill
Girls can also meet grills, of course, but that would have made for a crappy headline. These grills are Webers, discounted at Amazon.
And for weather nerds, the Netatmo Weather Station for Smartphones or the Rain Gauge for Netatmo Weather Station, also on sale -- 19 percent off and 24 percent off respectively.
There's also a special deal on boosting your wireless signal to hard-to-reach areas of your house. The #1 best-seller in its area, the TP-LINK N300 Wireless Range Extender, is 50 percent off, $19.99 instead of $39.99, and all you have to do is plug it into an outlet.
To buy stuff you don't see in my links and give me a wee kickback (that costs you nothing), Search Amy's Amazon here. (For stuff not listed above.)
And thanks to all who shop through my links! Every purchase you make is much appreciated!