1 A Not Exactly Hypothetical… A family member is getting married, and the social justice warrior spouse has decreed that no gifts should be sent, just contributions in the happy couples’ name to designated charities and causes, all political, partisan, and ideological. Does this obligate guests to give money to causes and organizations they object to or disagree with? One might be tempted to teach a life-lesson in abuse of power, and pointedly give a contribution to, say, The Family Research Counsel, the NRA, or Paul Ryan’s re-election campaign, but that would be wrong. Wouldn’t it?
2. “Progressive fines” poll update. The percentage of readers who regard so-called “progressive fines” as fairer than fining all law violators the same amount regardless of resources is about 6%, in contracts to 40% who think this is less fair. As I suspected, the schism is driven by the long-standing (and resolvable) arguments over what constitutes “fair” government policies, and whether it is the government’s job to try to make life less unfair. Is it “fair” to treat everyone the same, when we know that life doesn’t treat everyone the same? Are those who argue that life’s unfairness should be addressed by individuals, not society, taking that position because they are winners in life’s chaotic lottery? Can society and governments be trusted to address “unfairness” and inequality without being influenced by the conflicts and biases of the human beings making and carrying out laws and policies. I don’t generally care to spend a lot of Ethics Alarms time or space on abstract ethics questions, but some of them can’t be avoided. You can take the poll, if you haven’t already, here.
3. On the topic of fairness, here is a study that will make you bang your head against the wall: Following on the heels of this discouraging study I posted about on March 3 is this report by researchers at Stanford, Harvard and the Census Bureau, as described here by the New York Times. A taste sufficient to ruin your day:
Even when children grow up next to each other with parents who earn similar incomes, black boys fare worse than white boys in 99 percent of America. And the gaps only worsen in the kind of neighborhoods that promise low poverty and good schools.
According to the study…income inequality between blacks and whites is driven entirely by what is happening among these boys and the men they become. Black and white girls from families with comparable earnings attain similar individual incomes as adults…The study, based on anonymous earnings and demographic data for virtually all Americans now in their late 30s, debunks a number of other widely held hypotheses about income inequality. Gaps persisted even when black and white boys grew up in families with the same income, similar family structures, similar education levels and even similar levels of accumulated wealth.
The disparities that remain also can’t be explained by differences in cognitive ability, an argument made by people who cite racial gaps in test scores that appear for both black boys and girls. If such inherent differences existed by race, “you’ve got to explain to me why these putative ability differences aren’t handicapping women,” said David Grusky, a Stanford sociologist who has reviewed the research….
The research makes clear that there is something unique about the obstacles black males face. The gap between Hispanics and whites is narrower, and their incomes will converge within a couple of generations if mobility stays the same. Asian-Americans earn more than whites raised at the same income level, or about the same when first-generation immigrants are excluded. Only Native Americans have an income gap comparable to African-Americans. But the disparities are widest for black boys….The new data shows that 21 percent of black men raised at the very bottom were incarcerated, according to a snapshot of a single day during the 2010 census. Black men raised in the top 1 percent — by millionaires — were as likely to be incarcerated as white men raised in households earning about $36,000.
4. But this pretty clearly doesn’t work…Broward County’s school system didn’t just fail to stop Parklamd shooter Nikolas Cruz despite
…counselors visiting Cruz’s home multiple times in a single month (September 2016)
…Department of Children and Families conducting an investigation into Cruz’s conduct
…multiple psychiatrists advising that Cruz be placed into a residential treatment family when he was 14
..a psych memo being prepared and filed decribing him as angry, attention seeking, and threatening to hurt others.
But the NRA has blood on its hands. Why do students think that banning guns will keep them “safe” when those operating the schools place them at risk through incompetence and negligence?
But I digress…
Broward also administered a “re-engagement” program for serious juvenile offenders, “transitioning” back to school almost 2,000 incarcerated students according to district data obtained by RealClearInvestigations. These offenders had (and have) a high risk of committing more crimes. Another initiative, the Behavior Intervention Program, mainstreams “students who exhibit severe, unmanageable behavior,” according to a 2017-2018 program handbook, including those who are “convicted of a serious crime such as rape, murder, attempted murder, sexual battery or firearm related [offense].” You will not be surprised, I hope, to learn that this was all part of an initiative of the Obama administration and its relentlessly wrong-headed Education Department:
“With the encouragement of the Obama Education Department, Broward County schools in 2013 signed a pioneering agreement with law enforcement that made the police and schools partners in a social experiment of relaxed juvenile-crime enforcement to reduce racial disparities in arrests and incarceration. The agreement called, in many circumstances, for the police to speak with school officials before deciding whether to arrest any student, white or minority, for misdemeanor crimes that had previously warranted arrest. In thousands of cases, the offenders were not sent to court but to counseling, which included participation in “healing circles,” obstacle courses and other “self-esteem building” exercises.
Cruz, who now faces the death penalty for allegedly murdering 17 people last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, benefited from this policy. He was never booked for a series of arrestable offenses, which is one reason he could pass a background check and purchase the weapon he used in the mass shooting.”
5. In Washington, D.C., here is an Incompetent Elected Official so ridiculous that I don’t want to waste a whole post on him. D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. decided to tell constituents that Jews were controlling the weather.
“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” he said in a video. “And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”
Nice English there, dude.
Now I may have to write a whole post on the disturbing growth of anti-Semitism among African American Democrats, which the mainstream news media is soft-peddling while the conservative news media focuses on it. At least eight members of the Congressional Black Caucus have met with are Louis Farrakhan, who calls Jews “satanic” (he has also said that white people “deserve to die.”)
Among them is Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, who earned a “four Pinocchio” rating from the Washington Post over his public denials of a relationship with the demagogue.
6. The ultimate ingratitude. Last August I wrote about a growing movement to remove Tom Yawkey’s name from a street leading to Fenway Park in Boston:
Red Sox owner John Henry wants Boston to change the name of the street that borders the legendary park, Yawkey Way, and he is trying to exploit the .current political correctness mania that has cities pulling down statues of war heroes in the dead of night to accomplish his goal….Henry told the Boston Herald that he is “haunted” by the racist legacy of previous owner Tom Yawkey, who led the team from 1933 to 1976. Because he is haunted, he thinks that it is fair and right that the man who beyond question saved the team, ran it as a Boston institution and public utility, and is as responsible as anyone for the fact that Henry owns one of the prestige franchises in all of sports, should be dishonored and shunned because he wasn’t enlightened about civil rights long before Martin Luther King began marching.
Such disgraceful moral grandstanding and self-righteous ingratitude are seldom seen.
It’s done. The Red Sox have asked the city to remove the honor from the street. As Marc Anthony would have said, if he were a Red Sox fan,
“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”
Now that’s unfair.