Friday, February 29, 2008

Elusive Racists

Sister Brenda Walsh writes a lengthy piece in the JT about combating racism. "We can address racism in a holistic way-name it, face it, denounce it and dismantle it" she writes. Great, let's do that.

The problem with this and every other local commentary on the subject of racism is that they inevitably fail to identify an actual racist individual or institution. How can we face and denounce racism without facing and denouncing a racist?

So please Sister Brenda Walsh, identify the racist individuals and institutions that are so harming our community.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Question of the Day

Who will encounter the most discrimination, a person coming out as a homosexual, or a person who announces that he is a Christian?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Study Proposal

Racine Unified apologists believe that there is one thing preventing Unified from being a great school district. That one thing is sucky parents.

I propose a study of our local sucky parents. A sucky parent would be defined as one with sucky children who cause problems in school if they bother to show up. Let's gather some cold hard facts about these sucky parents. Criminal records, work histories, educational accomplishments etc...

My guess is that what we would find is a correlation between parental suckiness and exposure to Racine Unified or other dysfunctional school systems. And if my hunch is correct, we would know that Unified has played a significant role in shaping the sucky parents that now plague Unified.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Private Schools and Accountability

One of the frequently heard criticisms of private schools (or the private sector in general) is that there is a lack of accountability.

Today I was attended a focus group hosted by my high school alma mater. The school wanted to know how to reach alums, how to get them involved in the school, and, let's be honest, how to get them to donate money.

Now there is absolutely no way that someone would donate money to a school if he/she didn't learn anything there or if the overall experience wasn't a positive one. As such, a private school, if it is to survive in the long run, must provide a good education.

If a private school is unable to provide a good education, or at least one that is better than the free alternatives, it will cease to exist. And you can forget about alumni donations.

Now contrast this with public schools. Public school systems do not have to hustle for private donations. They will get funded regardless of whether they offer a decent education or not.

A public school can offer a subpar education and still survive. A private school that does not offer a decent education will disappear. A private school therefore is accountable for educational results while public schools are not.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Question of the Day

This should be an easy one. Why isn't anyone complaining about the amount of money being spent by the presidential candidates?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Save the Children

A Case High School teacher laments, in a JT letter, that "teachers are blamed for a society that fails children before they even get to school." Children are poor, can't afford college, they don't know what to do as adults, some face the difficulty of family illness and still others have "an addictive parent" that holds them back. Teachers can't "heal all the broken children" but they do "yeoman's work encouraging children from both good as well as broken or destroyed families to do the best they can." Pettit is proud of the successes of teachers.

And he concludes by asking the reader "How are you helping at your house?"

Oh that is an easy one. I am keeping my son as far away from whining, ineffective, hypersensitive, praise-deprived, excuse-making, blame-projecting teachers as I possibly can.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Free Trade For Me, Restrictions For You

I have been in the retail business for 15 years or so and I am still waiting for a customer to offer me more than the asking price. And home sellers will never propose a counter-offer that is less than the buyers original offer.

It is undeniable that people wish to buy at the lowest possible price and sell at the highest possible price. This is human nature and it makes no difference whether you area liberal or a conservative.

On the other hand, it is also true some want free trade for themselves but trade restrictions or regulations on others. They want to buy low and sell high for themselves but also force others, via government, to buy high and sell low.

Examples. The minimum wage forces some to buy labor at artificially high prices. Universal health care forces health care prices down for the buyer, or rather the receiver, of the service. Public education eliminates the cost of education entirely for some. Trade unions lock competitors out of job opportunities, which forces others to pay a higher price for labor.

Free trade for me. Restrictions for others. If this not hypocrisy, what is it?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Harborfest Downtown?

So Harborfest is a no go this summer. To bad. The organizers have stated that the costs of bands and the cost of renting the festival grounds ($28,000?) are too high. I think they are right.

The streets of downtown would be a far better venue and the costs could be reduced dramatically. They could shut down Main Street for far less money. They could rope off the side streets and collect donations at a few locations. They could save money on bands by having many of our local bands perform for far less $. And I believe people would prefer to have a big party on the street where they could also shop in stores, eat in restaurants, drink at bars etc... Full disclosure- this would be good for my business. But that is not the point. I think people would prefer to have the venue on the street.

Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Change, Hope and Strict Constructionism

I met Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Mike Gableman the other day. He has broad shoulders, an infectious smile, and a firm handshake. He is hopeful and he likes change. I think I heard some rattling around in his pocket. Yes we can bring more change and a spirit of hopefullness to Wisconsin. I am sooooooo excited!

Oh, and one more thing. He believes that a judges job is to judge in accordance with the Wisconsin Constitution, irrespective of his personal views.

Or maybe I just thought that is what I heard as I looked into those soft, dreamy eyes....

Friday, February 15, 2008

High on Obama

Is there a difference between a Barack Obama speech and mood elevating drugs?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thoughts of the Day

I have often heard people state that they want no part of religion because of the many horrendous acts committed in the name of God.

Yet I have never heard of anyone fasting until death because they once got food poisoning.

I have yet to hear anyone push for anarchy because of the government of North Korea.

The residents of New Orleans still use water.

There may well be valid reasons to swear off religion. But because someone detonates retarded people in the name of God is not one of them.

White Guilt

I had a recent post on the subject of bogus racial discrimination lawsuits. Two posters suggested that the way to eliminate bogus discrimination lawsuits would be for employers not to discriminate. Huh? By that way of thinking, bogus discrimination lawsuits only occur after actual discrimination. Or to put it another way, there is no such thing as a bogus discrimination lawsuit. If we proceed logically down this illogical path, we realize that a white person is guilty of whatever accusation is leveled at them by a minority. If you are white, you must be guilty.

White equals guilt is the absurd conclusion one must reach if you think the way to end bogus discrimination lawsuits is to first eliminate discrimination. But I am afraid that what I consider absurd- that white equals guilt- is actually believed by many many people, including large numbers of white people.

Question of the Day

A recent Wall Street Journal poll indicated that Americans are far more uncomfortable with the idea of electing a Mormon or an evangelical Christian than they are a women or a black person.

Is religious bigotry a greater probem than sexism or racism?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Nature or Nurture

"African-Americans make up 6% of the state's population but account for 45% of the adult prison population. These numbers suggest that either blacks are more criminal by nature or some whites seldom get punished for lawless behavior. Either way, it demonstrates a clear imbalance in the way the law works."

Those words belong to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane.

If "blacks are more criminal by nature", this would not be evidence of "a clear imbalance in the way the law works." If blacks are "more criminal by nature", then their increased incarceration rates would make perfect sense and this would not necessarily indicate any failure "in the way the law works." So Kane is wrong.

And Kane is wrong again in presenting us with the false choice of either "blacks are more criminal by nature or some whites seldom get punished for lawless behavior." If we agree that blacks are more criminal by nature, then we are surely racists. I don't believe for a second that blacks have a more criminal nature than whites.

I believe we all have a criminal nature regardless of the color of our skin and that it is up to parents and ultimately ourselves to control our base instincts.

If there are indeed more crimes being committed by blacks, it is not a result of a criminal nature. I suspect a nurture problem. Children having children, single parent families, no male role models etc...

Now if Kane would recognize the possibility of a nurture problem, he might begin to understand and address the incarceration problem.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Walk This Way

The city of Waterford recently received a $57,000 Department of Transportation grant to encourage children to walk. Read it about it here:

Waterford's gum chewing grant application is pending.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Collateral Damage

An assistant professor at Parkside was fired recently for not showing up for work for five months. The professor, a black man of Nigerian descent, was recently denied tenure. He also had filed a federal lawsuit alleging that he was discriminated against because of his race. This matter will be settled in court.

Now imagine you are an employer that, unlike UW Parkside, does not have access to taxpayers cash. You have to spend your own money when you get sued. Now imagine two job applicants that appear to be equally competent, one black and one white. If you hire the white employee, it is exceedingly unlikely that you will face a discrimination lawsuit if you fire him for incompetence. But if you hire the black employee, you face the possibility of getting sued for racial discrimination. Even if the chances of getting sued are remote, the potential damage could be devastating to a business. It is entirely reasonable for an employer to factor in the potential cost of a lawsuit when hiring, even though I suspect that doing so would be illegal.

Now suppose you are an applicant for a job and you happen to be black. You are a reasonable person with no axe to grind. You would never file a bogus discrimination suit. Yet you know that your chances of getting a job are hampered by discrimination lawsuits filed by other black people.

Regarding the Parkside case, I don't know if the lawsuit is bogus or not. But if it is, the Parkside professor will not pay the price. The price will be paid by a decent, competent minority who doesn't get the job.

Money Well Spent

I was out of town for a while but I saw in the USA Today that Joshua Dyess was sentenced to 30 years for his sexual assault of a six year old boy. It is not cheap to incarcerate someone for 30 years - I would not be surprised if the bill will exceed one million dollars.

And this is where the thinking ends for most liberals. They know well the costs of incarceration but they tend not to consider the cost of NOT incarcerating criminals. In this case, the cost would be having more children raped.

I am glad to pay my share to protect the children of our community.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Your Turn

I will be taking a blogging holiday for a bit. Feel free to amuse yourselves and others here in my absence.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Blaming Victims

Rosie Carothers went to work on June 4th of last year. It was not a good day. She was shot at her bar when she asked a customer to leave. And she might lose her liquor license because of this incident.

"Who else is going to be responsible?" asks Racine Alderman Q.A. Shakoor, chair of the Racine Public Safety and Licensing Committee. Apparently not the shooter.

Suppose Rosie had been raped instead of shot. Should she still lose her license?