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Monday, July 20, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Administration Considering Forcing Men Out of Science, Engineering and Math Classes

The Obama Administration is considering the possibility of applying Title IX of the Civil Rights Act to force colleges and universities to mandate that half of all students taking science, engineering, math and technology classes be female.

Since it is illegal to force women to take these classes, the most practical response to this mandate by colleges would be to limit male enrollment in these courses.

Title IX is the law under which numerous men's college sports programs were closed so that the number of women and men participating in college sports programs could be made equal.

An article in BusinessWeek in 2004, "America's Failure in Science Education" by William C. Symonds, says America already has a shortage of science and technology graduates and explains how this shortage hurts the nation.

I'd suggest that President Obama might want to read it, but as he said at a March 24, 2009 press conference that "if we're not making serious investments in science and technology and our infrastructure, then we won't grow 2.6 percent, we won't grow 2.2 percent. We won't grow," I guess he already knows.

Hat tips: Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal and Walter Olson on Overlawyered.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:24 AM

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Open Letter to Senator Barbara Boxer

Dear Senator Boxer:

I read with interest your letter urging people to send an e-mail to President Obama urging him to select a woman for the U.S. Supreme Court.

I don't often agree with you, but I think you are half right this time. The President should definitely pick either a woman or a man.

But I'm concerned that your position overlooks the fight against another terrible form of discrimination.

You wrote:
Women make up 51% of our nation's population.

Yet only 17% of the seats in Congress are held by women. Only 3% of corporate CEOs are women. And just one out of nine Supreme Court justices is a woman.
Women have been discriminated against, and continue to be discriminated against, so the President should choose a woman for the Supreme Court. That's your position in a nutshell, right?

Have you considered that you may not be going far enough?

Let's face it, Senator. It isn't just women who are discriminated against. It's older women.

Older women are definitely discriminated against more than younger, more beautiful women.

If the President is going to use his Supreme Court pick to take a stand against discrimination, the President shouldn't just pick a woman for the Supreme Court. He should pick one of the women who are discriminated against the most.

That is, an older woman.

And the older the woman he chooses, the stronger a statement he'll make.

So please join me in urging the President to nominate someone really old to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The older the better.

Like 98 or so.

The noble fight against sexism and ageism requires no less.

With all due respect,

Amy Ridenour


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:38 PM

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On Michael Savage and Autism, an Appeal for Calm

Those of us who follow talk radio and/or autism-related issues are aware that a campaign has sprung up calling for the firing of syndicated radio host Michael Savage.

Speaking on his July 16 broadcast, Savage claimed that 99 percent of autism cases are fake; that they actually are examples of kids misbehaving and bad parenting.

According to Media Matters, Savage said:
I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.' " Savage concluded, "[I]f I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, 'Don't behave like a fool.' The worst thing he said -- 'Don't behave like a fool. Don't be anybody's dummy. Don't sound like an idiot. Don't act like a girl. Don't cry.' That's what I was raised with. That's what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You're turning your son into a girl, and you're turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men. That's why we have the politicians we have.
In response, Savage says his comments were taken out of context by Media Matters. He explained his views more fully this week, telling Jacques Steinberg of the New York Times, for example, that the 99 percent fakery figure was "hyperbole." On his own website Savage called on people not to make a rush to judgement about his views based solely upon the charges of critics. He added that his comments were actually in support of truly autistic children, who, he said, lose out on services and funding they need because money is "pilfered by those who are not autistic." "The truly autistic child needs as much help as he or she can get," he said; what he opposes is "fakery."

Nonetheless, calls for Savage to pay a severe professional penalty continue. A big advertiser stopped advertising, a seven-station radio network in Mississippi dropped the show, and there have been calls for Savage's firing.

The group AutismLink circulated a letter Monday evening saying it is calling on autism organizations to sign a petition calling for Savage's firing. Tuesday afternoon the group circulated the following list of organizations and individuals it said have called for Savage's firing:
AutismLink, National Autism Organization
Autism Centers of Pittsburgh
FEAT of the Carson Valley, Minden, NV
National Autism Association
Mary D’Angelo, Parent, St. Louis Missouri
Autism Society of West Virginia, South Central Region
Henderson Homeschoolers
Las Vegas Special Needs Homeschoolers
Autism Society of York PA Chapter
Janice Bachert, New Berlin, WI
Mary Neumeier, Walden, NY
Aware4Autism, PA
Autism Connection, Marion Ohio
Autism Society of , Harrisburg, PA Chapter [sic]
Daniel J. Cavallini, Attorney at Law, Indianapolis, IN
FEAT (Families for Effective Autism Treatment), Louisville
Mary Pat and Steven Cantando, New York
Queens County Parents Autism Coalition (QCPAC) in Queens, NY
Autism Resource Network, Inc., Hopkins, MN
Brookings Area Autism Support Network, South Dakota
Autism Show U Care
Autism Spectrum Support Group of Lebanon County, PA
PEACE (Parental Encouragement for Autism in Chidren Everywhere), Lakeland FL
The FUZZ Foundation, Indianapolis, IN
Organization for Autism Spectrum Information & Support, Inc., Ohio
Lyme-Autism Organization, Portland, OR
My sense of this is that those who are calling for Savage's firing should calm down. Savage clearly has sympathy for children disabled by autism. His greatest offense was that his disgust over what he believes is people using autism for financial gain encouraged him to exaggerate the extent to which autism is overdiagnosed and the ease with which genuine autism (which presently is incurable) can be cured. The hyperbole was not helpful, but it should not be confused with an attack on the genuinely disabled.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:44 AM

Monday, July 07, 2008

Idiots

If your kid says "yuk," he's a racist.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:19 PM

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Irena Sendler v. Al Gore

Irena Sendler v. Al Gore.

How would you have voted?
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:19 PM

Monday, May 12, 2008

Project 21's Borelli Chides California Lawmakers for Coerced Giving Proposal

By David Almasi:
People already hate it when the government tells them what they can buy. Now, California lawmakers are mulling over a proposal that would tell people how they can give to charity.

In a commentary published in the May 11 Washington Times, Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli has criticized alifornia's "The Foundation Diversity and Transparency Act" (AB 624), which would, she points out, "require charitable foundations with assets of $250 million or more to report the race, sex and sexual preferences of its staff, board of directors and grant recipients in the foundation's annual report and on its website."

Deneen further noted:
One group supporting AB 624 is The Greenlining Institute, a left-wing public policy organization headquartered in the radical enclave of Berkeley. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the group alleges that minorities are not sufficiently represented in California policy debates. Operating on the notion that this is because minority groups don't have enough money, AB 624 being sought as a tactic to "shame" foundations into donating more money to minority-led entities.

Why rely on merit when charitable giving can be mandated through the force of law?

The Greenling Institute agenda is clear: use the race card to hijack the power of the state and force charities to fund liberal organizations under the guise of helping minorities.
Besides the bureaucratic costs and hassles involved and the ability for it to become a model for other state and federal lawmakers, Deneen notes the chilling effect AB 624 could have on charitable giving:
Implementation of AB 624 may also deter individuals and companies from establishing philanthropic foundations in the first place. The Greenlining goal is to "shame" foundations. Why establish a foundation with advance knowledge that it will be harassed if it doesn't give away its money in the prescribed, politically-correct manner?

Ironically, by seeking to increase donations to certain groups, this legislation may actually result in a chilling effect on overall philanthropy and harm all deserving grant recipients.
Deneen's complete commentary can be found here.
To contact author David Almasi directly,
write him at [email protected]

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:20 AM

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Racial Bias Is What Some People Want Us to See... No Matter What

Townhall.com has published an op-ed by our David Almasi on the Vogue magazine-LeBron James-Gisele Bundchen mini-scandal (covered on this blog previously here):
Racial Bias is What Some People Want Us to See… No Matter What

Comedian Chris Rock used to play a recurring character on "Saturday Night Live" named Nat X. During the humorous, nonsensical rants of this Black Nationalist talk show host, Nat X would sometimes be chased by his studio's "white-man cam.” When it caught him, bars would appear on the screen and Nat X would yell "That's what you wanna see!"

April's cover of Vogue magazine, featuring an Annie Leibovitz photo of basketball phenomenon LeBron James and supermodel Gisele Bundchen promoting its "shape issue," is drawing fire for what magazine critic Samir Husni calls an image that "screams King Kong."

Leibovitz's photo featured James, dressed to play and bouncing a basketball, looking like he is yelling while clutching a smiling Bundchen around the waist.

Adding to Husni's criticism, University of Maryland assistant professor Damion Thomas told the Associated Press that the Leibowitz photo "reinforce[s] the criminalization of black men."

This criticism turns a high-end fashion magazine with a circulation of around a million into an international news story and a potential flashpoint for racial hostility.

The controversy over the photo is the creation of conspiracy theorists willing to find a racial angle in just about anything.

The alleged victim James' response was one of indifference. He told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "who cares what anyone says?" and that he was "just showing a little emotion."

Darryn "Dutch" Martin, a black conservative with Project 21 (full disclosure: a group with which I work), said in a press release: "There are people who are, and probably forever will be, racially hypersensitive for either personal or professional reasons. Nothing that reasonable people say or do will convince them otherwise. I believe critics are using this canard of racial stereotyping as a smokescreen to hide their true disdain for any images of interracial closeness or intimacy between black men and white women."

Hours after Project 21's press release hit the Internet, I received an e-mail from liberal blogger Rogers Cadenhead suggesting I visit his blog. A fellow liberal blogger had already gone to the trouble of tracking down a World War I-era army recruiting poster that closely resembles the Vogue photo. On his "Watching the Watchers" blog, Cadenhead reproduced the magazine cover and the poster and opined: "Leibovitz, who has a history of referencing iconic images in her photographs, appropriated the composition from a famous poster that's believed to be an inspiration for the film King Kong… I wonder if James, presented with the two images, would be as generous."

Leibovitz has not yet said this is what she did – it is only speculation. And the poster was comparing Germans to apes (and not necessarily King Kong).

Vogue's cover didn't personally make me draw a comparison between LeBron James and King Kong until I read Husni and Thomas's criticism. Nor was I aware of the recruiting poster until Cadenhead contacted me. Despite now being exposed to it, I don't think of James as an ape not do I hold him in the same contempt as I do Kaiser Wilhelm II and the German empire of nearly a century ago.

To be honest, the first thing I thought about when I saw the photo was how it resembled the way James looks on the bottle of Powerade that is sitting in my refrigerator. James is an endorser of the sports drink.

LeBron James is a noted basketball player who is at the peak of his physical prowess, which is what Vogue was celebrating by featuring him on the cover with one of the world's top supermodels. Rather than judging James – and, by extension, other blacks – by the content of their character, skills or intellect as Vogue intended, the race-mongers instead seem more interested in bringing things down to the lowest common denominator. There never seems to be a party where they don't want to be a skunk.

After all, Nat X said that's what we wanted to see.
Go to Townhall.com if you'd like to make a public comment on this op-ed or this issue generally. To contact author David Almasi directly, write him at [email protected].
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:27 AM

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Government Health Care Threatens Burgers and Fries?

Three Mississippi state lawmakers have introduced legislation to ban Mississippi restaurants from serving food to obese people.

We've written before how government bans on tobacco use in bars and resturants have reduced customer traffic in those establishments (here and here, for example). One can only imagine how few customers restaurants would have if they had to do height and weight checks on all patrons at the door.

As reported in the Junkfood Science blog, the bill's lead author, Republican W. T. Mayhall, Jr., says one of the reasons he wrote the bill is to "call attention to the serious problem of obesity and what it is costing the Medicare system."

I'm well aware of the way government health care systems deny people access to health care through waiting lines, cancelled operations, rationing of expensive drugs, etc. (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here for some examples), but this is perhaps the first case of it threatening access to burgers and fries.

Doggone government health care fanatics not only want to end our lives early, they want to cut out half the fun of what life we'll have left!

But perhaps I fret needlessly. The bill bans serving food to obese people, but says nothing about serving alcohol.

Hat tip: Q and O.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:01 AM

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Don't Let Al Sharpton Hold English Hostage

National Center for Public Policy Research Executive Director David Almasi says Project 21's Mychal Massie is right to take on Al Sharpton in the recent Tiger Woods - Golf Channel controversy. Says David:
When Golf Channel commentator Kelly Tilghman used the term "lynch" as part of a facetious strategy for young pro golfers to get an advantage on her friend, Tiger Woods, the poor choice of words went largely overlooked. After her employer took action and suspended her, Al Sharpton found out. He wants her fired.

Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie, a Golf Channel fan, knew about the controversy from the beginning and points out in a recent New Visions Commentary that Sharpton is trying to blow the situation out of proportion for his own benefit. After all, Tiger Woods dismissed any real controversy before Sharpton even hit the scene.

Among other papers, the Philadelphia Inquirer has published Mychal's commentary.

An excerpt:
...I probably watch an average of ten hours a week of the Golf Channel (more when there is an interesting tournament). I am well-acquainted with Tilghman's work, and I've never heard her speak an ill word about Woods. In fact, I distinctly remember her lavishly praising him and his family just last month. This indicates to me that Sharpton's rant only seeks to create conflict where none exists.

Tilghman's words were offensive only to those who trade on race-mongering and/or capitalize on creating strife for personal gain. The Golf Channel viewers owe it to themselves to stand with Tilghman or risk having the network destroyed by someone who, until last week, might not have even known such a channel exists.

The English lexicon should not be held hostage by self-serving individuals who trade on race and immiseration. We should be able to speak freely, within reason, without fear of harsh consequences for utilizing innocuous and jocund adjectives that are in no way intended to cause harm or offense.

It is time for America, all the young golfers gunning for Tiger and Golf Channel viewers to "lynch" those who would subject our nation to unreasonable and fallacious accusations of malicious intent. Such should be "hung" by their thumbs in the town square for provoking racial discord where none exists and none was intended.
New Vision Commentary op-eds by Mychal and other Project 21 members are available online at the National Center for Public Policy Research website here.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:29 PM

Friday, September 07, 2007

Congressman Jefferson's Racial Sensitivities...

...are decidedly one-sided.

He has had his attorneys file a motion (subscription may be required) asking a federal judge to move his trial on corruption charges from Virginia to either the District of Columbia or to New Orleans. Jefferson's motive is to try to influence the likely racial make-up of the jury:
Lawyers for Rep. William Jefferson entered a motion in federal court today claiming prosecutors filed the corruption case against the Louisiana Democrat in a U.S. court in Virginia only to avoid the predominantly black jury pools that would be available to them in Washington, D.C., and New Orleans.

Jefferson's attorneys asked the court to order the case moved from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and asked for an investigation of the decision-making process that led the Justice Department to file its charges there...

...Jefferson’s motion for change of venue argues that there is no reason for the case to be tried in Virginia, and that it appears “the prosecution used forum selection to affect the racial make-up of the jury in this case.”

The bulk of the alleged crimes took place in D.C., where Jefferson’s Congressional office is, or in New Orleans, where Jefferson resides. The primary connection to Virginia is that an FBI informant, at the direction of the FBI, invited Jefferson to Virginia for a meeting to hand over cash, the motion argues.

“The defendant is African American, and the government’s chosen venue has a markedly lower percentage of African Americans in the potential jury pool than the District of Columbia, where the case fairly belongs,” his lawyers wrote.
If Jefferson objects to the (alleged) practice of attempting to influence the racial make-up of a jury, why is he attempting to influence the racial make-up of a jury himself?

What constitutes a true "jury of his peers" when it comes to the trial of a Harvard-educated Member of Congress is an interesting question. Any given person may be black or white or Asian or some combination thereof, but that's not all he is.

More coverage of the story here.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 4:19 PM

Being PC More Important Than Welfare of Children

This pathetic story shows what happens when people -- in this case, local government employees in Britain -- place a higher priority on being politically correct than being morally right.

I hope the people who put their fear of being thought politically-incorrect over the welfare of children are, at the very least, fired, though in a big-government strong-public union country like modern Britain, I suppose it is unlikely. Governments everywhere take care of themselves first, and never more so than when public employees are permitted to unionize.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:27 AM

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