Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 8/7/17

Good Morning!

1. “Data from the Association of American Medical Colleges indicate that race is a substantial factor in medical school admissions, not one of many. For example, from 2013 to 2016, medical schools in the United States accepted 94 percent of blacks, 83 percent of Hispanics, 63 percent of whites and 58 percent of Asians with top MCAT scores of 30 to 32 and grade-point averages of 3.6 to 3.8; for MCAT scores of 27 to 29 (G.P.A. of 3.4 to 3.6), the corresponding figures are 81 percent, 60 percent, 29 percent and 21 percent. For low-range MCAT scores of 24-26 (G.P.A. of 3.2 to 3.4), 57 percent of blacks were admitted, 31 percent of Hispanics, 8 percent of whites and 6 percent of Asians.” (New York Times, August 4, 2017) Yet the announcement that the Trump Administration Justice Department Civil Rights Division will be looking at illegal discrimination in university admissions was condemned across the progressive spectrum as an effort to bolster white supremacy and proof of the President’s “racism.”

Those statistics are res ipsa loquitur to me; no further evidence is needed. How can they be otherwise? Medical school admissions are discriminating on the basis of race. A similar set of statistics in any field where blacks rather than Asians were at the bottom would be treated by courts as “disproportionate impact” discrimination no matter what the explanation was.

In the same issue of The Times where this appeared, the paper devoted its entire letters section to readers expressing indignation that any Times writer could praise the President for anything.  Micheal Kinsley had triggered them with a tongue-in cheek (Michael has only one tone) “he’s not all-bad” column. This shows the blindness and bias of “the resistance,” Democrats and the Left generally. They cannot even see that open, blatant discrimination based on color, which would have certainly been embraced by a Clinton Administration, is a blight on  democracy, and that striking it down will be an absolute good for which any President responsible would warrant praise.

2.  When the NFL is involved, all ethics alarms freeze up, apparently. In September, former NFL quarterback Michael Vick will be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. Vick is a convicted felon and confessed animal abuser as a central figure in a dogfighting ring. The case study by the Animal Legal Defense Fund states, “After his three co-conspirators pled guilty and began cooperating with authorities, Vick also pled guilty, admitting to funding the dogfighting operation and the associated gambling operation. He admitted to knowing about four dogs that his co-conspirators killed in 2002, and he admitted to agreeing to the hanging and drowning of 6-8 dogs who underperformed in 2007. Vick admitted he provided most of the operation and gambling monies, but he claimed he did not gamble by placing side bets or receiving proceeds from the purses”.

As I have noted before, admitting athletes like Vick is defensible for Halls of Fame that make it clear that only what a player does on the field matters. The athlete can be a child-molester, serial rapist, mass murderer or airplane bomber, but as long as he could hit his receiver 70 yards down field, he should be held up  as a great role model for kids and fit to represent the entire sport forever.

Oops!  The Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame has a character clause, unlike the NFL’s Hall. It says an admittee “must be of good character and reputation [and]not have been a source of embarrassment to the university in any way.”

I guess we can assume that the school isn’t embarrassed in any way by its alum being responsible for this…

and this…

or even this…

Good to know.

3.  You know when people in the news for saying incriminating or outrageous things claim they were quoted out of context? THIS is quoting out of context. TIME deliberately took a single sentence out of a full statement by conservative activist and business mogul Charles Koch to make him seem like a monster, when the point of his actual statement was exactly the opposite:

Nah, the news media isn’t biased! Of course it’s trustworthy. “Fake news” is just a Republican lie so they can deny the awful things these people do and say.

4.  From The New York Post:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is investigating up to $6 billion in legal settlement money that the Obama administration steered toward progressive causes and allies in left-wing advocacy groups.

A memo sent to US attorneys on July 28…ordered a review of a decade’s worth of payouts that Congressional Republicans have called a political slush fund.

Former Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch regularly arranged for major corporations to make large “donations” to left-leaning groups like UnidosUS — formerly the National Council of La Raza — and NeighborWorks America during settlement negotiations to end banking, environmental, civil-rights, and other federal lawsuits….The groups getting the money were not victims in the cases or parties to the lawsuits…

The list included UnidosUS, which advocates for illegal immigrants; the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a left-leaning housing lobbyist group; Operation Hope, which pushes banks to lend to unqualified mortgage applicants in Los Angeles; and the Mutual Housing Association of New York, a spinoff of the controversial community-organizing group ACORN.

Why wasn’t this investigated by the watch-dog news media before now? Why is the conservative New York tabloid the only source that finds this corrupt practice newsworthy?

The corruption, unethical practices and incompetence of the Obama administration is going to come out despite the efforts of the complicit news media to protect their favorite President.


5. From the “I told you so” files:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fox News on Saturday suspended host Eric Bolling following a media report that he sent sexually inappropriate text messages to colleagues, marking the third high-profile harassment case to rock the conservative, highly rated cable news outlet.

Reuters can’t count: Bolling is the fourth high-profile harassment case for Fox: founder Roger Ailes, ratings king Bill O’Reilly, Fox Business Network host Charles Payne, and now Bolling. There will be more. As I predicted before the lawsuits came and the secret settlements were exposed, any organization that broadcasts daily such a sexist, misogynist view of the world, costuming its female professionals and over-aged cheerleaders and Mamie Van Doren impressionists,  has a seriously unethical culture, and when someone like Roger Ailes is the rotting fish head, the corruption within such an organization will be deep and widespread.

15 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 8/7/17

  1. It doesn’t just apply to medical schools according to this reporter. Affirmative Action is a classic example of good intentions gone wrong:

  2. “Affirmative Action is a classic example of good intentions gone wrong:”

    Want to see some serious hand-wringing, brow-furrowing, and spittle-flecked slobbering?

    Wait’ll Lefty gets wind of that “take the boxes off applications” idea.

    • If it’s illegal to discriminate based on race, then the race question should never be part of any application. Maybe asking the question on any application should be considered illegal.

  3. Regarding #1, I am not entirely convinced that the statistics are not deceptive.

    For instance, if they block off spots according to percentages of the population, it might be that there is a smaller pool of blacks who achieve the high levels. 94% is 15 out of 16. Theoretically, that could fill 12% of the class to fit the demographics. Asians, however, may be so disproportionately represented at that level of achievement that a much lower percentage is accepted to fill their demographic percentage.

    Of course, the lower ranges look worse. They may still fit into this formula, though.

    And, you are dealing with medical schools across the country, where there may be no uniformity in standards. In that environment, if there is a lack of highly achieved black candidates, they will be in higher demand by any school attempting to achieve a demographic mix of students. A surplus of qualified asian candidates would not be as much in demand.

    Is the desire to create a demographically representative class a racist goal? Is it still a racist goal if all candidates are “equally” qualified?

    Of course, “equally” qualified is a squishy concept. It presumes that blocking off certain MCAT scores and GPAs is okay because, at some point, you have to ignore the differences between the apples and the oranges. That is, is a 32 MCAT with a 3.6 GPA a better candidate than a 31 MCAT with a 3.8 GPA? Or, can you treat them as the same? If so, can you then say that you want to configure a class that more closely matches the overall demographics of the population? If so, then creating a mixed demographic of “equal” candidates would not be racist, or, at least, not more racist than creating a class of “equal” candidates that is racially imbalanced (all white, for example). If all this is the case, these numbers may not surprise me.

    Consistent with discrimination? Yes, that is possible. Res ipsa loquitur? Not to me.


    • Boy, by the standards used in “disproportionate impact” cases, it would be res ipsa loquitur. Percentages that extreme? I guess I should have added the restof the stats, which showed that whites with lower scores were admitted far lass often than blacks with similar scores.

      Nothing squishy about equally qualified at all. If colorblind admissions would yield a significantly different class, then applicants are being discriminated against by race.

      • Three points:
        1. Maybe so on disparate impact cases; I think that logic is pretty bad on its own.
        2. Like I suggested, delving into the data might make the case for me. I just know how statistics can be abused and manipulated, so I am hesitant to trust them.
        3. Equally qualified is a squishy concept, because you have to come up with a mechanism or formula. Is every 32 MCAT equal? How do you distinguish between them? GPA? Or, is GPA more important than MCAT scores (does it matter if you can ace the MCAT if you are a crappy student, while a 30 MCAT with a 4.0 GPA beats a 32 MCAT with a 2.5 GPA anytime)? Any decision-making process requires judgments and trade-offs. Equality is an illusion.

        • 1. That logic is terrible, but that’s the definition of discrimination the courts use to strike down policies that appear to discriminate against blacks, so under the current definition, it’s discrimination.

          2. Of course they can be abused, but if those are in fact the stats, I see very few roads, and obscure back roads at that, through them that would not lead inevitably to discrimination. You’re the one doing the stretching and spinning here. In fact, every pool of applicants I saw when I was a virtual assistant Dean at Georgetown Law Center indicated that the pools of applicants were of better quality, higher scores, grades and extras in the exact opposite order than the med school admission stats: Asian-Americans the strongest, whites second strongest, Hispanic-Americans and blacks. I’d be stunned if the med schools proportions were any different. If the proportions of applicants accepted is in exact reverse order of the groups with the strongest applicants as a group, what does that tell you?

          3. Uh-huh. But that’s tap-dancing and you know it. You sound like Bill Clinton. Yes, it’s apples vs oranges vs bananas, with is why score are a baseline. This is why school like Harvard are eliminating scores. It makes it harder to prove discrimination by race.

          • 1. Appeal to authority. A fallacy. I do not care what the courts say. They are only an authority on what they say. When they say dumb things, they are still dumb. I don’t have to accept them.
            2. Maybe you see very few roads, but you are overly confident in your perceptual skills. I am much less confident in them. I am not the one spinning here. I am just not buying what is being sold. That I am skeptical does not mean that I am stretching or spinning, just because you believe whatever was put in front of you.
            3. Not tap dancing. Don’t ascribe motives to me (we all know how you get your panties in a bunch if someone ascribes motives to you if which you do not approve); you don’t seem to appreciate it when others do that to you. I simply disagreed with the opinion you stated; I simply stated that I did not agree with your interpretation. Apparently, you can’t tolerate the idea that people hold opinions that differ from yours.

            • No, I expect those who disagree to come up with something better than “the statistics mean something other than what they obviously mean to someone who isn’t searching for an excuse not to believe them.” I am happy to identify my faulty perceptions when I’m given something substantive. “Maybe its not what it seems to be” isn’t.

              Spin is when rhetorical vagueries and deceits are offered instead of facts. “It depends on what you mean by equal” is a classic. In determining fitness for grad schools school, markers are pretty clear. There is no discrimination within the margins for error, which can be (and should be) large. The differences between “equal” and “not equal” are usually obvious.

              Go ahead, without resorting again to “How dare you!” and Tu quoque, explain how “For low-range MCAT scores of 24-26 (G.P.A. of 3.2 to 3.4), 57 percent of blacks were admitted…and 6 percent of Asians” can be explained other than by color-based discrimination or quotas. I can’t wait. This means, by the way, just to eliminate confusion, that over half of all black applicants with low MCATs were admitted, whereas 94% of Asian Americans with equivalent scores were rejected.

              And in the law, the courts ARE the authority. When one says “this is what the courts say is discrimination,” that is an appeal to law and fact. Appeal to authority is when one uses the opinion of an “authority” as proof that something is true.

              Get your fallacies straight.

      • There was a process in… I want to say the Sweedish government.. that was doing gender blind hiring, that is the applicants submitted their resumes and those resumes had their contact info scrubbed so potential employers could view applicants without names or genders. Theoretically, hiring would therefore be based more on merit, and less on discrimination, and because we all know that women and minorities are the victims of discrimination, this should have helped promote workplace diversity.

        What happened?

        Hiring numbers started to skew white and male, theoretically because white, male applicants were more qualified.

        The progressive response?

        Take a guess.

        I need to find the actual story…. It was too good.

        I was wrong! Australia!

        “Leaders of the Australian public service will today be told to “hit pause” on blind recruitment trials, which many believed would increase the number of women in senior positions.”

        “”We anticipated this would have a positive impact on diversity — making it more likely that female candidates and those from ethnic minorities are selected for the shortlist,” he said.”

        “The trial found assigning a male name to a candidate made them 3.2 per cent less likely to get a job interview.

        Adding a woman’s name to a CV made the candidate 2.9 per cent more likely to get a foot in the door.”

        “APS [Australian Public Service] officers generally discriminated in favor of female and minority candidates,” the forward to the study says. “This suggests that the APS has been successful to some degree in efforts to promote awareness and support for diversity among senior staff. It also means that introducing de-identification of applications in such a context may have the unintended consequence of decreasing the number of female and minority candidates shortlisted for senior APS positions, setting back efforts to promote more diversity at the senior management levels in the public service.”

  4. Those pictures of dogs! It seems the NFL supports all kinds of violence. It’s not surprising they don’t have a character clause.

    Like Trump when it comes to the Koch brothers progressives reveal blood flecked rabid foam around their mouths.

    Is there a theme this morning

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