Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Asian-Americans, affirmative action, and the “political restructuring” doctrine: Does the doctrine work when there are minority groups on both sides of the issue?

From the Washington Post: "Today’s Supreme Court decision upholding Michigan’s state constitutional amendment banning racial preferences in state university admissions turned on the “political restructuring” doctrine, which holds that shifting a decision on a public policy issue from one level or branch of government to another is sometimes unconstitutional if it disadvantages minorities. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor put it in her dissenting opinion, the doctrine applies in cases where the state “reconfigur[es] the existing political process… in a manner that burdened racial minorities.” In the 1982 Seattle case, the Court explained that the doctrine forbids “a political structure that treats all individuals as equals, yet more subtly distorts governmental processes in such a way as to place special burdens on the ability of minority groups to achieve beneficial legislation.” Sotomayor argues that the amendment should have been invalidated because, by adopting a state-wide ban on racial preferences by referendum, the voters shifted the decision on affirmative action policies from university administrators and thereby disadvantaged minorities in the political process.

"But, in reality, banning racial preferences in admissions affects different minorities in different ways. It may well burden African-Americans, Hispanics, and other groups favored by affirmative policies currently practiced in universities (though the literature on educational mismatch suggests that the benefits are not unambiguous). But current affirmative action policies also often harm those minority groups that score well on conventional academic admissions standards, most notably Asian-Americans. Thus, it cannot be said that the Michigan amendment is a straightforward case of burdening racial minorities while benefiting the majority. In reality, the policy affects different minority groups in different ways." Read the article: Asian-Americans, affirmative action, and the “political restructuring” doctrine: Does the doctrine work when there are minority groups on both sides of the issue? By Ilya Somin, Washington Post, April 22

Related links:

"A legislative bid to partially reinstate preferential treatment for racial minorities in the college admissions process was defeated in California earlier this month, thanks to a grassroots campaign spearheaded by Asian Americans who had no desire to watch deserving applicants cast aside by racist, progressive social policy.

"The proposal would have put an amendment on the November general election ballot to exempt colleges and universities from a portion of Proposition 209 – passed in 1996 – that prohibits discrimination or preferential treatment based on race, ethnicity and national origin.

"But a robust effort led by Asian Americans already weary of having to score “140 points more than whites, 270 points higher than Hispanics and 450 more points than blacks” on the SAT college entrance exam defeated the partisan effort." Asian Americans Defeat Progressive California Effort To Institute Affirmative Action In College Admissions by Ben Bullard, March 24, 2014 Personal Liberty Digest

Are white women the biggest beneficiaries of affirmative action? Affirmative Action Debate - By Caroline Kinder, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, Jan. 12, 1996

Affirmative Action Has Helped White Women More Than Anyone - Their successes make the case not for abandoning affirmative action but for continuing it. By Sally Kohn, TIME June 17, 2013

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter! My April Fragrance Top Favorites List




Happy Easter! This is going to be another short and sweet Top Favorite Fragrances List, but my taste hasn't changed all that much since the last time I did this, anyway. I'm still in love with L'Instant de Guerlain, which I wear practically every day. However, I'm finally back to wearing Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie which is my first Malle purchase (aside from the mini sprays of the others I often mention wearing: Musc Ravageur, Iris Poudre, etc.). I wonder if this is the kind of "spicy floral" that's supposed to make you smell thin - LOL! Actually, I've been pretty good in that department, getting closer to the weight I was at during my TV days. Well, I still have ways to go, but any progress is reason to celebrate.

Enjoy your holiday, and eat all the Lindt bunnies and Creme Eggs in the world for me! I've already had too many!

April Top 7

1. Guerlain L'Instant
2. Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie
3. Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto
4. Crazylibellule and the Poppies Shanghaijava Blue Orchidee
5. Creed Fleurissimo
6. Serge Lutens Un Lys
7. Chanel Chance



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Catholicism, George W. Bush, and the cluelessness of the religious right

From The Week: "Once upon a time, the religious right's leading intellectuals told themselves an inspiring story. It went something like this: From the time of the Puritans all the way down to the early 1970s, American public life was decisively shaped by the moral and spiritual witness of the Protestant Mainline's leading churches: The Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, and Episcopalians.

"But then the Great Collapse began, as these venerable churches sold their souls to the counterculture, abandoned the moral and religious tenets of historical Christianity, embraced a series of increasingly left-wing and anti-American causes, and saw their numbers (and then their cultural influence) plummet. Today these churches are an intellectual and demographic shell of their former selves.

"This was a potentially disastrous development, depriving America of the theologically grounded public philosophy that it needs in order to thrive. But as luck — or providence — would have it, the decline of the Mainline churches set in at the precise moment when two other monumental cultural and religious developments unfolded: The rise of a politicized form of Protestant evangelicalism and a revival of intellectual and spiritual energy in the Catholic Church under Pope John Paul II. The time was ripe for evangelicals and Catholics to come together to form a successor to the Mainline churches." Read the article: Catholicism, George W. Bush, and the cluelessness of the religious right - Bush's theological-political vision lies in tatters. But many on the right are unable to understand why. By Damon Linker | April 11, 2014 The Week

Monday, April 14, 2014

Affirmative Action Has Helped White Women More Than Anyone

From TIME: (...) "The original lawsuit was filed on behalf of Abigail Fisher, a woman who claims that she was denied admission to the University of Texas because she is white. But study after study shows that affirmative action helps white women as much or even more than it helps men and women of color. Ironically, Fisher is exactly the kind of person affirmative action helps the most in America today.

(...)"As for Fisher, there is ample evidence that she just wasn’t qualified to get into the University of Texas. After all, her grades weren’t that great, and the year she applied for the university, admissions there were actually more competitive than Harvard’s. In its court filings, the university has pointed out that even if Fisher received a point for race, she still wouldn’t have met the threshold for admissions. Yes, it is true that in the same year, the University of Texas made exceptions and admitted some students with lower grades and test scores than Fisher. Five of those students were black or Latino. Forty-two were white." Read the article: Affirmative Action Has Helped White Women More Than Anyone - Their successes make the case not for abandoning affirmative action but for continuing it. By Sally Kohn, TIME June 17, 2013

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The law isn't there to protect us from Dieudonné's odious views

From Guardian: "The greatest test for those who claim to champion liberty lies in their attitude to its opposite. How far will they tolerate the intolerable? Do they line up with Gandhi's followers and invite the soldiers literally to hit them over the head? Do they see the Pussy Riot performers as prisoners of conscience or as hooligans causing deep offence to Russia's state religion? The answer in such cases is never simple, but one principle is clear: the more confident a society is in its values, the greater can it tolerate intolerance. A robust community can handle the stresses of pluralism. It can take on board, challenge and defeat odious opinions without having to take refuge in law or state authority." Read the article: The law isn't there to protect us from Dieudonné's odious views - Our banning of Dieudonné shows that the UK has grown feeble. A robust society should be able to handle the stresses of pluralism. By Simon Jenkins 4 February 2014 Guardian.uk

Sustainable land grabs? Large-scale land transfers are not a development option

Sustainable land grabs? Large-scale land transfers are not a development option - At root, hunger is an issue of distributive justice. By Roman Herre, Rural21 06.12.2012

Common Core and UN Agenda 21: Mass Producing Green Global Serfs

"UNESCO calls it “Education for Sustainable Development.”" Common Core and UN Agenda 21: Mass Producing Green Global Serfs by Alex Newman, The New American, March 27, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Jeb Bush: Common Core critics care too much about kids’ self-esteem

"You tell me which society is going to be the winner in this 21st Century: The one that worries about how they feel, or the one that worries about making sure the next generation has the capacity to eat everybody’s lunch?” Jeb Bush: Common Core critics care too much about kids’ self-esteem By Valerie Strauss, March 24 Washington Post

Jeb Bush: Many illegal immigrants come out of an 'act of love'

From AP: "An early GOP establishment favorite, Bush has long urged his fellow Republicans to show more compassion for those who enter the country illegally. But when he described illegal immigration in an interview as an "act of love" by people hoping to provide for their families, the backlash from his own party was swift and stinging.

(...) "In a speech Thursday night to an annual gathering of Connecticut Republicans, Bush noted the negative response to his remarks but said he sees no conflict between enforcing the law and "having some sensitivity to the immigrant experience."

(...) "For Bush, the debate is personal. His wife, Columba, was born and grew up in Mexico. The two met while Bush was an exchange student there; she is now an American citizen.

(...)"On Sunday, in an interview with Fox News before an audience at the George Bush Presidential Library in Texas, Bush said immigrants who enter the country illegally should, in fact, pay a penalty. But he added that he viewed such a violation as "a different kind of crime."

"Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony," he said. "It's an act of love."

(...) "Some see a new opportunity for the GOP to appeal to Latinos, many of whom have soured on President Barack Obama because of his administration's record-setting number of deportations." Read the article: Jeb Bush Remarks Expose GOP'S Immigration Problem By Michael J. Mishak — Apr. 10, 2014 AP

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Visit PINK MANHATTAN Music Blog




Happy Spring! Visit PINK MANHATTAN Music blog to hear music by today's featured artist. Image: Darmon Meader (New York Voices), DarmonMeader.com