David Thompson
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July 11, 2016

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Alice

I was just reading this (also by Heather Mac Donald):

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/238352/

JuliaM

Gangs are subject to audit in the US..? Hardcore!

David

If anyone has trouble with comments not appearing, email me and I’ll give the spam filter a damn good thrashing.

R. Sherman

. . .[A] majority of black Americans believe that merit, not race, should be used for admission to a university.

Of course. Why would someone wish to have his achievements tainted by the presumption that those achievements are contrived in order to make him feel better? Of all the social institutions in the U.S. the absolutely last place one would find racial discrimination is college entrance committees. Yet, it is those committees which insist upon treating (some) racial minorities as inferior beings.

Jacob

the escalating dysfunction of black Chicago

Somewhat related, as our host would say.

jkrank

Aw. Half the fun is reading the regular commenters. Well...1/4 of the fun. Punish the spam filter accordingly, please.

Elrond Hubbard

I live in Milwaukee, 90 miles north of Chicago; like Chicago, Milwaukee's murder rate has skyrocketed in the past year. Two men were shot and killed here this past weekend but as both victims were Black and murdered by fellow Blacks the news of the homicides were buried in the in the local newspaper and unmentioned on the TV news.

Elrond Hubbard

Correction, three people were murdered in Milwaukee this past weekend. All victims were Black males, each murder got one paragraph in the local newspaper. Nobody cares, certainly not the social justice warriors.

Hal

All victims . . . Nobody cares, certainly not the social justice warriors.

Fun with numbers: Health, United States 2015---With numbers up through 2014 . . .

Something I noticed rather a bit back, and am totally unsurprised to continue to see, is that at least in the US, how everyone dies---not some people, everyone---is as follows:

Number one: Disease

A definitely smaller number: Car crashes 'n' such
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .

Rather fewer than the car deaths: Deaths by firearm, and all other forms of murder as well.

And gun deaths are having to be lumped in with the other forms of murder to get as high a number as is stated.

And these numbers come from the Centers For Disease Control, the people who keep track of these sorts of info . . . .

Turk Turkleton

In which Laurie Penny resents having to acknowledge that disgusting, bourgeois, neoliberal yoga feels better than complaining and daydreaming about revolution.

WTP

Re Sowell and Obama's perceived socialism, I would tend to agree except that I believe BO sees himself as a player in the transition to socialism, more along the lines of how some socialists favored fascism early on in a "first brown, then red" sense. I believe he, along with Hillary and Bernie and most of the American left, is moving toward a fascism without the expansionist tendencies. More like early-mid 20th century Italy, domestically. As pulled from Wiki just now...

Italian Fascism promoted a corporatist economic system whereby employer and employee syndicates are linked together in associations to collectively represent the nation's economic producers and work alongside the state to set national economic policy.[3] This economic system intended to resolve class conflict through collaboration between the classes.[4]

Totally agree with Sowell regarding politicians call the shots but blame the businesses for failure. That becomes the basis for seizing the businesses further down the line.

R. Sherman

That becomes the basis for seizing the businesses further down the line.

See, e.g. Chávez, Hugo.

Jim

Barack Obama was 2 years ahead of me at Harvard Law School. I learned in Property class, which is a required first-year course, that ownership has 3 attributes: 1. The right to acquire and dispose of something; 2. The right to the usufruct (the income the thing produces that accrues to the owner); and 3. The right to use something as you please. What we learned was that for the leftists, #1 is almost irrelevant so long as government can dictate how something is or is not to be used (#3) and if government can take its share of the usufruct as it sees fit (#2). Modern socialism focuses on regulating the use of property and taxing the owner's income; whose name is on the title is a mere detail. I am quite certain that Obama's Property class was much like mine.

David

In which Laurie Penny resents

That could be title of a series. “Laurie Penny Resents…” Like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but with more pretentious whining about “negotiating the false idols of neoliberal self-care.”

David

In which Laurie Penny resents

As so often, Laurie’s hyperbolical world is not one I recognise and with which empathy is quite difficult, but always expected. Given her reliance on tendentious language and begged questions, things that are never established or unpacked but simply assumed, she seems to be writing to the conceits of a fairly narrow demographic, one for which the term “white” is an understood pejorative, and for which terms like “late capitalism” are self-evident, and self-evidently bad, practically a shibboleth. A demographic among which the phrase “negotiating the false idols of neoliberal self-care” is met with earnest nodding.

I imagine her readership as being made up in large part of resentful graduates who expected to occupy positions of high status but wasted time and money on degrees of marginal value, or no value at all, and who dislike where that leaves them in the world.

Thomas Fuller

About Laurie Penny – that post is so up itself it's unreadable, and who gives a fig what she thinks about anything, anyway? I mean, who is she and what, in her tiny and prejudiced mind, gives her the right to tell other people what to think?

David

Why would someone wish to have his achievements tainted by the presumption that those achievements are contrived in order to make him feel better?

I’m not sure that racial favouritism in admissions achieves even that. As noted previously and illustrated quite vividly by Heather Mac Donald, by employing dramatically lower standards for favoured groups, the system often leaves its supposed beneficiaries in an alienating situation for which they’re ill-equipped.

By extending a 15+ IQ point admissions cheat to certain groups based purely on their pigmentation, the system all but ensures that other, more capable students will get an unflattering impression of the supposed beneficiaries, who will tend to be at the bottom of every class, thereby reinforcing the kinds of assumptions the policy is supposed to challenge. Many of the recipients of such favouritism then either drop out or change majors to less demanding subjects – often Angry Studies - and may still find themselves struggling, frustrated and resentful. It’s like expecting ‘C’ stream high school students to cope with ‘A’ stream work and then acting mystified when the inevitable happens. Except that in a university situation the alienation and humiliation are compounded by massive debt.

And then of course we see the advocates of this folly devising ever more bizarre excuses for the shortcomings of affirmative action students. As when Riyad A Shahjahan, supposedly an expert in “social justice theory” and “pedagogies of dissent,” claimed that we must “disrupt Eurocentric notions of time” and challenge “colonial binaries such as superior/inferior.” Because expectations of punctuality and attentiveness in class – delivering work on time and to an acceptable standard - are terribly oppressive and unfair.

Em

Why would someone wish to have his achievements tainted by the presumption that those achievements are contrived in order to make him feel better?

"Self-esteem comes from achievements, not from lax standards or false praise".

Condoleezza Rice.

abacab

@David, "thereby reinforcing the kinds of assumptions the policy is supposed to challenge"

But this is then taken as further evidence of White privilege, the system being biased, and so on. And as a way to make the other students self-flagellate about the assumptions being reinforced in their minds.

Rafi

'The notion that white Americans cannot fully understand black Americans spells the end of democracy. We’re human beings, and we should be able to understand one another. If we can’t – if everything we do or say is channeled through the prism of identity politics – then there can be no common solutions. White Americans say that we ought to wait for evidence before condemning cops as racists; black Americans then say that white Americans only say that because they’re white. There can be no facts in this environment, just feelings; to argue with someone’s feelings is to deny “their reality.”... But what if those feelings are misguided? What if the solution to supposed police racism isn’t shouting buzzwords about “systemic racism,”... but about better and more plentiful law enforcement in black communities? What if the solution to police misconduct is full prosecution of such misconduct based on evidence, rather than President Obama standing before the world and stating that we have a widespread problem in the criminal justice system – without evidence?'

http://www.dailywire.com/news/7349/buzzword-systemic-racism-bs-hurts-black-people-ben-shapiro

Rafi

"Astbury thanks his critics for ‘enlightening me that this phrase is offensive’"

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jul/12/cult-singer-ian-astbury-apologises-for-all-lives-matter

Tim Newman

I imagine her readership as being made up in large part of resentful graduates who expected to occupy positions of high status but wasted time and money on degrees of marginal value...

And people who sound awfully clever surrounded by those with whom they agree on everything, but are shown to be pretty dim when confronted with the world outside their bubble.

David

Laurie’s piece was linked approvingly, even gushingly, at Metafilter, a place that increasingly suggests the demographic mentioned upthread. The comments there are peppered with “privilege” this and “neoliberal” that.

Tim Newman

Condoleezza Rice.

I sometimes amuse myself by asking American feminists why Condoleeza Rice is not a prominent role model for young women.

David

But this is then taken as further evidence of White privilege, the system being biased, and so on.

Well, if you’ve been led to believe that you’re entitled to a place at an elite university despite your ability falling well below the lowest acceptable standard for admission, and are then told that your subsequent failing grades are a result of “structural racism” and “white privilege,” this isn’t an ideal way to develop character or to achieve success in the adult world. And if, having changed major from, say, engineering to Angry Studies, which has no standards to speak of, you’re then told that any feelings of resentment and offended vanity are both valid and invariably someone else’s fault – to the extent that criminal activity is encouraged and excused by those paid to teach you – then the ultimate results are unlikely to be positive.

Surreptitious Evil

why Condoleeza Rice is not a prominent role model for young women.

Competent, has worked in the real world, Republican. Any of these would be a disqualification for the whiny SJWs. Contrast, for example, with Penny Dreadful.

Franklin

"Late capitalism is like your love life: it looks a lot less bleak through an Instagram filter." Project much, Ms. Penny?

David

Project much, Ms. Penny?

Tsk. Such meanness.

What?

Fred the Fourth

(Rummages through contraband for eye bleach or a 50 kiloton device.)

JuliaM

If anyone can run this through a 'Guardian pseud's corner to plain English' translator and let me know what the OP is upset about, I'd be grateful:

https://t.co/DezfyM7RTQ

dicentra

The notion that white Americans cannot fully understand black Americans spells the end of democracy. We’re human beings, and we should be able to understand one another.

We would be able to understand each other if the well hadn't been poisoned so thoroughly by the discourse of Our Betters.

The little Maoist struggle sessions that college freshmen must endure (and as we saw in previous posts, primary-school children) make it increasingly likely that white people will shut down completely any time the subject is brought up. Accusing everyone who opposed Obama as president as Just Plain Racist also shuts people down.

Likewise, when white people spout off things like "race is only skin-deep" or "just get off welfare, yo," and other simplistic crap, black people shut down, too, despairing that white people can get outside our own heads long enough to realize that we don't live in exactly the same country as black people do.

Whites get defensive when we're blamed for everything; blacks get frustrated when their arguments are reduced to "blame whitey."

Almost as if there were a contingent within the nation that wanted to prevent communication between the races and to keep the wounds open and festering.

Almost as if.

Laban

ot, but I liked this Trump tweet

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/752910855939952640

"Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs"

R. Sherman

Tsk. Such meanness.

Every time that photo is republished, an angel gets its wings.

Hal

If anyone can run this through a 'Guardian pseud's corner to plain English' translator and let me know what the OP is upset about, I'd be grateful:

My main problem is with the tone and manner of the term’s use by international actors, accompanied by subtle insinuations. The field is another realm, where humanitarians go to explore and further their learning. It is where 27-year-olds are given a go at management positions, directing entire teams of senior national staff. Like a farmer, one can harvest the crops of in-country knowledge and experience, research and develop new methodologies, and all with the guarantee of being able to leave as and when one pleases.

The term that's being written about in the article is the field, where out here in reality that means the often rather randomized environment where anything through many things can happen and usually do happen, sometimes totally at random, as opposed to The lab, where everything is locked down so that very particular questions can be asked, and answered. The useful aspect of research done in the field is that it's a way of gathering an assessment of what is actually going on out in the field, testing the results from the lab, seeing what other variables can or must be looked at, testing out conclusions arrived at in the lab, and so forth . . . . or that's how things work out here in reality.

In the case of the article, the excerpted paragraph is the core bit---the writer had a fantasy of popping out from the local coffee shop for a couple of days vacation, being handed the regulatory promotion and major raise in salary, and then popping back to the coffee shop to start planning the celebratory party at the nightclub or something. Instead, reality happened, where out in the field, the only people who ever get any work done are the people who get work done. Very often, the work involves sitting on your ass in the field, staring at the puzzle pieces, trying to see what the processes are, often blatantly stating to your coworkers and the local inhabitants the rather useful phrase of: Look; let us assume that I'm an idiot, that I just don't understand what is going on here, so, what is actually going on here, and how can we sort out the or any details?

Now, the last two paragraphs being an observation and an educated guess, respectively, a rather easy test of the field is to find out if Secret aid worker is 27 years old or just turned 28 . . . .

---An actual, reality based, observation for what goes on in the field and also goes on in the lab is:

Administration---Other Recommended Administration Reading

Aspects of being The Boss, which to the horrified shock and denial of all non, wannabe, and willneverbe administrators, managers, directors, supervisors, can sometimes mean not being seen, and not getting in the way, and many times not taking credit.

"One of the disadvantages of being a patrician is that occasionally you are obliged to act like one."
--- From the movie Spartacus

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

It appears the Chinese have designed the perfect building for all Useless and Angry Studies departments everywhere.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

(Rummages through contraband for eye bleach or a 50 kiloton device.)

As our esteemed host would say, "No refunds; credit note only".

Trevor

... let me know what the OP is upset about ...
The proximate cause is unfathomable. I pity anyone who claims to be able to make sense of it.

However, that shouldn't prevent us speculating on secondary causes:
- He needs a shag but nobody will touch him with a bargepole, not even for his secret quinoa recipe.
- The useless NGO he works for has promoted a 27-year old over him, and he feels his grip on the greasy pole weakening. But he's not bitter.

Chester Draws

However, that shouldn't prevent us speculating on secondary causes:

How will people know that he works in "Teh Field" unless he tells them?

Fred the Fourth

Re: "the field"
I read the whole thing. This person should not be in the "field" or in a policy position in a "comfortable western office".
This person should be in middle school, learning to think and write. Or perhaps helping me snake out my sewer line.
Once again I shudder at the proliferation of experienceless youth expecting a career ina paternalistic government. My consolation, such as it is, is that it will be mostly my kid's problem, not mine.

redlonghorn

If anyone can run this through a 'Guardian pseud's corner to plain English' translator and let me know what the OP is upset about, I'd be grateful

It's tough to assess an article written so poorly, but it seems to me the writer is complaining that people like him, who sit in a comfy office in London writing articles and academic papers, don't receive the same level of respect as people who actually go out into the real world and do things. In other words, he/she is upset that people who go to places like Somalia and Zimbabwe, and make the obvious sacrifices that entails, in order to do aid work are considered more helpful and more serious humanitarians - and receive more respect - than people who stay in the first world writing for the Guardian.

R. Sherman

@redlonghorn

The reason academics and bureaucrats don't like the field, is that it is there where their pet theories are weighed and found wanting. Better to just pontificate in a corner office or lecture hall than acknowledge one is, in reality, full of shit.

redlonghorn

The reason academics and bureaucrats don't like the field, is that it is there where their pet theories are weighed and found wanting.

Quite so. Our anonymous writer seems almost angry that lab work is considered less respectable or important than field work. It doesn't garner him the admiration and praise he feels he deserves. In that way, he reminds me of the envy that humanities professors often feel towards more rigorous STEM fields.

K Riches

It does seem to be the case that studies in the humanities often produces - in unforseen or contingent manner - a decidedly inhumane thinking amongst the undergraduates.

PiperPaul

"Better to just pontificate in a corner office"

Even better to percolate to the top (not in the way that cream rises to there) through attrition or good ole politics and be in control of/ influence who gets paid for what! But that takes patience, cunning and at least some competence other than regurgitating cloaked Marxist dogma and fudging stats.

Alice

"Transgender woman charged with filming teen girl in Target dressing room"

http://hotair.com/archives/2016/07/14/transgender-woman-charged-with-filming-teen-girl-in-target-dressing-room/

Vince N

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands.

This is usually called "fascism".

Ownership is the right of use and disposal, so "government control" is confiscation, not the maintenance of private ownership.

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