Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Doing My Part

I went to Chick-fil-A today to do my part for free speech and traditional marriage. The nearest franchise to my home is about twenty minutes away, and I had never eaten there before. When I got there about 11:00 they were busy, but I got waited on almost right away. I placed my order, waited a couple of minutes to get my sandwich and drink, turned around to leave and the line stretched about thirty yards behind me down the mall. People were pouring in. I'll be surprised if the restaurant didn't run out of food. I understand it was like this all across the country today.

So what's it all mean? Well, at least this: People are getting tired of being told by liberal Democrats what's right and what's not. They're tired of being told that they have to not only tolerate gay marriage, but that they have to embrace it, and they dare not speak out in opposition to it.

Average people, the "silent majority," is fed up with the liberal thought police and political correctness, and when they have a chance to show their displeasure and stick their thumb in the eye of our political ayatollahs, they'll do it.

I also learned that Chick-fil-A makes a very tasty sandwich, and I think I'm going to go back.

Altruism and Atheism

In the aftermath of the Aurora, Colorado massacre one of the things we've learned is how a number of young men shielded their girlfriends from the bullets with their own bodies, some of them dying in the process.

These wonderful and amazing acts of altruistic heroism raise a question. On naturalism (atheism) what sense does it make to give up your life to save someone else's, particularly someone to whom you bear no genetic kinship? If the whole purpose in life is to produce offspring and pass one's genes into future generations then it seems that, on atheism, the morally correct thing would have been for these men to have hidden behind their girlfriends and let them take the bullets.

In other words, the atheist has no basis for saying that what these men did was "good" or admirable. The atheist, of course, can be glad there are altruistic heroes in society since he may one day benefit from another's selflessness, but if someone were to have acted selfishly in that situation by hiding behind his girlfriend, the atheist would have no basis for saying that that would be in any way a bad or wrong thing to do.

What most people consider noble, the atheist has no grounds for thinking noble at all and considerable grounds for thinking foolish, yet I'm sure most atheists do think the actions of these men in that theater were noble. That's why it's so difficult to live consistently as an atheist.

Liberal Solutions

This article in The Daily Caller affords us an example of why liberal/progressives are so hard to take seriously, or at least would be if they didn't have the power to impose their "solutions" on the rest of us.

African-American students find themselves in disciplinary trouble in school at rates out of all proportion to their numbers in the population. This is taken by progressives, including the president and attorney general, as strong evidence of institutional racism. It's evidently racist to expect blacks to behave at the same standard as do whites and Asians.

So what's the solution? For the left it's to allow blacks to go unpunished for offenses that will get whites and Asians suspended, or conversely, punish whites and Asians more severely for relatively minor offenses so that disciplinary actions like detentions, suspensions, and expulsions are more in line with those of black students.

Think of it as race-norming for bad behavior:
President Barack Obama is backing a controversial campaign by progressives to regulate schools’ disciplinary actions so that members of major racial and ethnic groups are penalized at equal rates, regardless of individuals’ behavior.

His July 26 executive order established a government panel to promote “a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools.”

“African Americans lack equal access to highly effective teachers and principals, safe schools, and challenging college-preparatory classes, and they disproportionately experience school discipline,” said the order, titled “White House Initiative On Educational Excellence.”

Because of those causes, the report suggests, “over a third of African American students do not graduate from high school on time with a regular high school diploma, and only four percent of African American high school graduates interested in college are college-ready across a range of subjects.”
Of course not everyone sees the wisdom of giving black misbehavior a pass:
“What this means is that whites and Asians will get suspended for things that blacks don’t get suspended for,” because school officials will try to level punishments despite groups’ different infraction rates, predicted Hans Bader, a counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Bader is a former official in the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, and has sued and represented school districts and colleges in civil-rights cases.

“It is too bad that the president has chosen to set up a new bureaucracy with a focus on one particular racial group, to the exclusion of all others,” said Roger Clegg, the president of the Center for Equal Opportunity.
A similar program in Maryland was approved by the state board of education last week:
The state’s board of education established a policy demanding that each racial or ethnic group receive roughly proportional level of school penalties, regardless of the behavior by members of each group.

The board’s decision requires that “the state’s 24 school systems track data to ensure that minority and special education students are not unduly affected by suspensions, expulsions and other disciplinary measures,” said a July 25 Washington Post report.

“Disparities would have to be reduced within a year and eliminated within three years,” according to the Post.

The state’s new racial policy was welcomed by progressives, including Judith Browne Dianis, a director of the D.C.-based Advancement Project. “Maryland’s proposal is on the cutting edge,” she told the Post.
Indeed it is on the "cutting edge" since the Advancement Project is a law firm that litigates race-related questions and stands to profit from laws and regulations that create race-related legal disputes. No wonder Ms Dianis is enthusiastic. The Project's website claims that:
“The combination of overly harsh school policies ... has created a ‘schoolhouse-to-jailhouse track,’ in which punitive measures such as suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests are increasingly used to deal with student misbehavior.... This is a racial justice crisis, because the students pushed out through harsh discipline are disproportionately students of color.”
Reading this can be disorienting for anyone who thinks rationally, but that's what we get when we keep electing these people to public office.

Never mind that 7 out of 10 black students come from fatherless homes whereas only 3 out of 10 whites/Asians do. Couldn't that be the reason for the disproportionate misbehavior. Evidently not. It's no doubt racist to assume that blacks are misbehaving at greater rates than other groups. The real problem, the liberals are convinced, must be that blacks are being punished more harshly than whites by racist school officials. Thus, schools must prove that they're not punishing blacks at higher rates than other groups even if black misconduct is higher than that of other groups, which anyone who has ever spent any time at all in public education knows is the case.

What's racist is the tacit assumption of everyone involved in this farce, from President Obama on down, that blacks simply can't be held to the same standards as everyone else, that they're simply not capable of conducting themselves in the same fashion as others. I can't think of anything more insulting to black people than this, but it's precisely what's implicit in this policy.

Nor can I think of anything more likely to cause non-black students to view their black counterparts with derision and contempt than to allow them to go unpunished for infractions for which others are punished simply because they're black.

These policies make it almost certain that our urban schools will continue to decline into chaos. It's no wonder that anyone who can, black, white and brown, is fleeing them.