Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bias and bigotry in academia

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=181357

July 19, 2010
Pat Buchanan

A decade ago, activist Ron Unz conducted a study of the ethnic and religious composition of the student body at Harvard.

Blacks and Hispanics, Unz found, were then being admitted to his alma mater in numbers approaching their share of the population.

And who were the most underrepresented Americans at Harvard?

White Christians and ethnic Catholics. Though two-thirds of the U.S. population then, they had dropped to one-fourth of the student body.

Comes now a more scientific study from Princeton sociologists Thomas Espenshade and Alexandria Radford to confirm that a deep bias against the white conservative and Christian young of America is pervasive at America's elite colleges and Ivy League schools.

Wake up! This is the reality of what Christian students face in the secular world of academia.

The Espenshade-Radford study "draws from ... the National Study of College Experience ... gathered from eight highly competitive private colleges and universities (entering freshman SAT scores: 1360)," writes Princeton Professor Russell K. Nieli, who has summarized the findings:

Elite college admissions officers may prattle about "diversity," but what they mean is the African-American contingent on campus should be 5 percent to 7 percent, with Hispanics about as numerous.

However, "an estimated 40 percent to 50 percent of those categorized as black are Afro-Caribbean or African immigrants, or the children of such immigrants," who never suffered segregation or Jim Crow.

To achieve even these percentages, however, the discrimination against white and Asian applicants, because of the color of their skin and where their ancestors came from, is astonishing.

As Nieli puts it, "Being Hispanic conferred an admissions boost over being white ... equivalent to 130 SAT points (out of 1,600), while being black rather than white conferred a 310-point SAT advantage. Asians, however, suffered an admissions penalty compared to whites equivalent to 140 SAT points."

"To have the same chance of gaining admission as a black student with a SAT score of 1100, a Hispanic student otherwise equally matched in background characteristics would have to have 1230, a white student a 1410 and an Asian student a 1550."

Was this what the civil-rights revolution was all about – requiring kids whose parents came from Korea, Japan or Vietnam to get a perfect SAT score of 1600 to be given equal consideration with a Jamaican or Kenyan kid who got an 1150? Is this what it means to be an Ivy League progressive?

What are the historic and moral arguments for discriminating in favor of kids from Angola and Argentina over kids whose parents came from Poland and Vietnam?

There is yet another form of bigotry prevalent among our academic elite that is a throwback to the snobbery of the WASPs of yesterday. While Ivy League recruiters prefer working-class to middle-class black kids with the same test scores, the reverse is true with white kids.

White kids from poor families who score as well as white kids from wealthy families – think George W. Bush – not only get no break, they seem to be the most undesirable and unwanted of all students.

Though elite schools give points to applicants for extracurricular activities, especially for leadership roles and honors, writes Nieli, if you played a lead role in Future Farmers of America, the 4-H Clubs or junior ROTC, leave it off your resume or you may just be blackballed. "Excelling in these activities is 'associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds on admissions.'"

Writes Nieli, there seems an unwritten admissions rule at America's elite schools: "Poor Whites Need Not Apply."

For admissions officers at our top private and public schools, diversity is "a code word" for particular prejudices.

For these schools are not interested in a diversity that would include "born-again Christians from the Bible belt, students from Appalachia and other rural and small-town areas, people who have served in the U.S. military, those who have grown up on farms or ranches, Mormons, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, lower- and middle-class Catholics, working-class 'white ethnics,' social and political conservatives, wheelchair users, married students, married students with children or older students just starting into college and raising children."

"Students in these categories," writes Nieli, "are often very rare at the most competitive colleges, especially the Ivy League."

"Lower-class whites prove to be all-around losers" at the elite schools. They are rarely accepted. Lower-class Hispanics and blacks are eight to 10 times more likely to get in with the same scores.

That such bigotry is pervasive in 2010 at institutions that preen about how progressive they are is disgusting. That a GOP which purports to represents Middle America, whose young are bearing the brunt of this bigotry, has remained largely silent is shameful.

Many of these elite public and private colleges and universities benefit from U.S. tax dollars through student loans and direct grants. The future flow of those tax dollars should be made contingent on Harvard and Yale ending racial practices that went out at Little Rock Central High in 1957.


Pat Buchanan was twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the Reform Party's candidate in 2000. He is also a founder and editor of The American Conservative. Now a political analyst for MSNBC and a syndicated columnist, he served three presidents in the White House, was a founding panelist of three national TV shows, and is the author of seven books.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Interesting Comparison Between Bernie Madoff and Social Security:

Why did Bernie Madoff go to prison? To make it simple, he talked people into investing with him. Trouble was, he didn't invest their money. As time rolled on, he simply took the money from the new investors to pay off the old investors. Finally there were too many old investors and not enough money from new investors coming in to keep the payments going.

Next thing you know Madoff is one of the most hated men in America, and he is off to jail.

Some of you know this... but not enough of you. Madoff did to his investors what the government has been doing to us for over 70 years with Social Security. There is no meaningful difference between the two schemes, except that one was operated by a private individual who is now in jail, and the other is operated by politicians who enjoy perks, privileges and status in spite of their actions.

Do you need a side-by-side comparison here?

BERNIE MADOFF: Takes money from investors with the promise that the money will be invested and made available to them later.

SOCIAL SECURITY: Takes money from wage earners with the promise that the money will be invested in a "Trust Fund" and made available later.

BERNIE MADOFF: Instead of investing the money, Madoff spends it on nice homes in the Hamptons and yachts.

SOCIAL SECURITY: Instead of depositing money in a Trust Fund, the politicians use it for general spending and vote buying.

BERNIE MADOFF: When the time comes to pay the investors back, Madoff simply uses some of the new funds from newer investors to pay back the older investors.

SOCIAL SECURITY: When benefits for older investors become due, the politicians pay them with money taken from younger and newer wage earners to pay the geezers.

BERNIE MADOFF: When Madoff's scheme is discovered, all hell breaks loose. New investors won't give him any more cash.

SOCIAL SECURITY: When Social Security runs out of money, they simply force the taxpayers to send them some more.

BERNIE MADOFF: Bernie Madoff is in jail.

SOCIAL SECURITY: Politicians remain in Washington .

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Analyst: Obama has U.S. economy in 'death spiral'

http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=173169

'Simple math' confirms unemployment won't be solved by government hiring

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Posted: July 04, 2010

By Bob Unruh

A new analysis of the U.S. economy shows that since 2007, the private sector has lost 10.5 million jobs while the public sector has added 720,000 jobs, creating a "death spiral" for the nation's economy.

The study comes from The Free Enterprise Nation, a nonpartisan national membership/advocacy organization for individuals and businesses that make up the private sector.

The analysis was done using statistics about employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Don't wait until a collapse happens, get "Killing Wealth Freeing Wealth: How to Save America's Economy and Your Own" now!

The recession of the last two years exacerbated the larger problem that already was in place, it revealed.

"Over the 10-year period between March 2000 and March 2010, the private sector lost over three million jobs, while the public sector gained nearly two million jobs," the analysis concludes.

Among the changes were California's loss of 665,800 jobs in the private sector. But government in the Golden State added 163,800 jobs.

Also, Michigan lost 791,700 private-sector jobs, a "staggering" 20 percent. Government bureaucracies, however, kept all but 7 percent of their positions.

Jim MacDougald, president and CEO of The Free Enterprise Nation, recently appeared on the Fox News Channel to talk about a new campaign called "I own you."

North Carolina showed a 10-year loss of 138,200 private-sector jobs, or 4 percent of its private-sector workforce, while adding 127,100 government jobs, a 20 percent increase.

Colorado's population increased by 17 percent in the past decade while losing 3 percent of its private-sector jobs. Government employment increased by more than 17 percent during the same time frame.

Tennessee lost 157,300 private-sector jobs while adding 13,900 in government agencies.

While Texas added 616,000 private-sector jobs, it also added 295,200 government jobs, almost one bureaucratic position for every two positions in private enterprise.

Florida also added private-sector jobs overall – 39,600. But it also added 127,100 government positions.

Massachusetts lost 168,700 private-sector jobs but still found the need to add 7,500 government jobs.

Wisconsin lost 149,400 private-sector jobs; added 22,300 to government payrolls.

"The consequence of this employment shift is that a smaller number of private-sector employers and workers are saddled with the tax burden of financially supporting a growing government workforce," said MacDougald.

"Since public-sector workers are paid more on average in compensation and benefits than private-sector workers, it is financially unsustainable for the government to continue to grow while the private-sector workforce shrinks," he said.

He explained to WND that while the problem is massive, there is the potential for a solution.

"There are 89,000 taxpayer-supported entities that make up the 'public sector,' and no one is in charge of their collective efforts. About one-half of the 22 million public-sector workers are in public education. (And only about one-half of the people employed in public education are teachers!)" he said.

"It is possible that the federal government thinks it can solve the unemployment problem by hiring more people, but, if so, it would be another indication of just how far removed from reality the federal government's economic policies are," he said.

"Our population grew by 25 million from 2000 to 2010. We needed to create at least 20 million new jobs. Instead, we lost 3 million in the private sector. The 'shortfall' of 23 million jobs could not possibly be made up by government hiring, as they would have to double in size in order to do so," he said.

The real problem is not necessarily with the number of government jobs but the cost of their "huge pensions, early retirement and health-insurance benefits."

"That is where the real 'cost of government' is," he continued. "As numbers of workers in the private sector decrease, and public-sector hiring increases, it places an impossible burden on those individuals and businesses left who actually pay taxes.

"Unfortunately, the current approach is to charge more taxes to those who actually pay federal income taxes (one-half of tax filers), and businesses. Businesses (employers) have no choice but to reduce overhead, which means fewer domestic workers. A death spiral," he warned.

The solution would be a hard pill to swallow for many, he warned.

Among the moves that would help would be to terminate all government pension plans, "vesting everyone 100 percent in benefits accrued to date." Pensions could be replaced with a type of 401(k) retirement plan that is funded by employer contributions.

Then there would be need for a hard look at what government actually does.

"Do we NEED government to do that for us? If not, stop doing it," he said.

Next would be to ignore – or better yet banish – public-sector unions.

A "zero-based" staffing and budget plan would require officials to review what work is required and how many workers are needed to do it.

"Public policy-makers must ask: How many people do we NEED to do what we are hired to do? Do we really NEED one administrative/management employee for every teacher? Once those questions have been asked and answered, we must rebuild each public-sector entity from scratch," he said.

"We have to 'reinvent' the public sector, based on a fundamental requirement that it serves the taxpayer, not the other way around. It is a huge job to do, and it will take years. There is no silver bullet. But it can be done," he said.

WND columnist Dan Mangru also has criticized the government's "fuzzy math".

And longtime top-rated radio talk-show host Roger Hedgecock said more and more federal spending just depresses the economy.

"Three professors at the Harvard Business School, in a study titled 'Do Powerful Politicians Cause Corporate Downsizing?' have concluded, based on 40 years of data, that federal government spending does not stimulate local business spending. In fact, the opposite occurred. The more federal spending, the less corporate spending," he reported.

"And the same results show up whether the state is large or small, whether the firms are large or small over a period of 40 years. In fact, the study shows the results 'most pronounced in geographically concentrated firms and within the industries that are the target of the spending.' In plain speech, federal 'bacon' is toxic to economic growth in the private sector," he wrote.

Climategate - Don't Believe The Independent Reviews!‏

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704075604575356611173414140.html

JULY 12, 2010

The Climategate Whitewash Continues

Global warming alarmists claim vindication after last year's data manipulation scandal. Don't believe the 'independent' reviews.

By PATRICK J. MICHAELS

Last November there was a world-wide outcry when a trove of emails were released suggesting some of the world's leading climate scientists engaged in professional misconduct, data manipulation and jiggering of both the scientific literature and climatic data to paint what scientist Keith Briffa called "a nice, tidy story" of climate history. The scandal became known as Climategate.

Now a supposedly independent review of the evidence says, in effect, "nothing to see here." Last week "The Independent Climate Change E-mails Review," commissioned and paid for by the University of East Anglia, exonerated the University of East Anglia. The review committee was chaired by Sir Muir Russell, former vice chancellor at the University of Glasgow.

Mr. Russell took pains to present his committee, which consisted of four other academics, as independent. He told the Times of London that "Given the nature of the allegations it is right that someone who has no links to either the university or the climate science community looks at the evidence and makes recommendations based on what they find."

No links? One of the panel's four members, Prof. Geoffrey Boulton, was on the faculty of East Anglia's School of Environmental Sciences for 18 years. At the beginning of his tenure, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU)—the source of the Climategate emails—was established in Mr. Boulton's school at East Anglia. Last December, Mr. Boulton signed a petition declaring that the scientists who established the global climate records at East Anglia "adhere to the highest levels of professional integrity."

This purportedly independent review comes on the heels of two others—one by the University of East Anglia itself and the other by Penn State University, both completed in the spring, concerning its own employee, Prof. Michael Mann. Mr. Mann was one of the Climategate principals who proposed a plan, which was clearly laid out in emails whose veracity Mr. Mann has not challenged, to destroy a scientific journal that dared to publish three papers with which he and his East Anglia friends disagreed. These two reviews also saw no evil. For example, Penn State "determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community."

Readers of both earlier reports need to know that both institutions receive tens of millions in federal global warming research funding (which can be confirmed by perusing the grant histories of Messrs. Jones or Mann, compiled from public sources, that are available online at freerepublic.com). Any admission of substantial scientific misbehavior would likely result in a significant loss of funding.

It's impossible to find anything wrong if you really aren't looking. In a famous email of May 29, 2008, Phil Jones, director of East Anglia's CRU, wrote to Mr. Mann, under the subject line "IPCC & FOI," "Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith [Briffa] re AR4 [the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report]? Keith will do likewise . . . can you also email Gene [Wahl, an employee of the U.S. Department of Commerce] to do the same . . . We will be getting Caspar [Amman, of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research] to do likewise."

Mr. Jones emailed later that he had "deleted loads of emails" so that anyone who might bring a Freedom of Information Act request would get very little. According to New Scientist writer Fred Pearce, "Russell and his team never asked Jones or his colleagues whether they had actually done this."

The Russell report states that "On the allegation of withholding temperature data, we find that the CRU was not in a position to withhold access to such data." Really? Here's what CRU director Jones wrote to Australian scientist Warrick Hughes in February 2005: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it[?]"

Then there's the problem of interference with peer review in the scientific literature. Here too Mr. Russell could find no wrong: "On the allegations that there was subversion of the peer review or editorial process, we find no evidence to substantiate this."

Really? Mr. Mann claims that temperatures roughly 800 years ago, in what has been referred to as the Medieval Warm Period, were not as warm as those measured recently. This is important because if modern temperatures are not unusual, it casts doubt on the fear that global warming is a serious threat. In 2003, Willie Soon of the Smithsonian Institution and Sallie Baliunas of Harvard published a paper in the journal Climate Research that took exception to Mr. Mann's work, work which also was at variance with a large number of independent studies of paleoclimate. So it would seem the Soon-Baliunas paper was just part of the normal to-and-fro of science.

But Mr. Jones wrote Mr. Mann on March 11, 2003, that "I'll be emailing the journal to tell them I'm having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor," Chris de Freitas of the University of Auckland. Mr. Mann responded to Mr. Jones on the same day: "I think we should stop considering 'Climate Research' as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues . . . to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board."

Mr. Mann ultimately wrote to Mr. Jones on July 11, 2003, that "I think the community should . . . terminate its involvement with this journal at all levels . . . and leave it to wither away into oblivion and disrepute."

Climate Research and several other journals have stopped accepting anything that substantially challenges the received wisdom on global warming perpetuated by the CRU. I have had four perfectly good manuscripts rejected out of hand since the CRU shenanigans, and I'm hardly the only one. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama, Huntsville, has noted that it's becoming nearly impossible to publish anything on global warming that's nonalarmist in peer-reviewed journals.

Of course, Mr. Russell didn't look to see if the ugly pressure tactics discussed in the Climategate emails had any consequences. That's because they only interviewed CRU people, not the people whom they had trashed.

Mr. Michaels, a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia from 1980-2007, is now a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.