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1
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Can YOU spot a pattern?
« on: August 15, 2006, 11:53:10 PM »
I was watching the news today about a plot to blow up 10 jetliners, and they kept referring to 20 young British born men.  That's really interesting, because it means that all Britons should be given closer scrutiny.  I wonder if there's a way to narrow it down some more?  Any ideas?

I think we should also keep an eye on white CEOs, as they seem to be the leading culprits in securities fraud. ???

because cooking the books at morgan stanley is morally equivalent to crashing a plane into a building destroying 22 of its floors. feminine hygiene product.

You're right. Cooking the books is much worse. It harms many more people than a single terrorist strike. .

cause of course the number of people affected is the only important measure not the magnitude. how did you even get into sttt. john's.

2
Affirmative Action / Re: AA feelings..topic beaten to death.
« on: August 15, 2006, 01:26:44 AM »
Quote
That's because the majority of the people in America are still WHITE.  Use those critical thinking skills by looking at the percentages of each race/ethnicity who live under the poverty line.  It's a completely different story, isn't it?

i agree, but being white or asian and being under the poverty line doesn't mean you are any less poor just because of the fact that your overall race is doing better on average then some.  Averages and percentages doesn't mean sh*t to the guy who's struggling to make ends meet.  Makes no sense why AA should not help these people out.  It also makes no sense how it helps those that have clearly do not need help.  I'm not bitter about it, just think a couple changes should be made so it's more fair.  Isn't that was this is all about?  Making things fair.

Because if AA was solely economic based, those numerous poor white people previously mentioned would crowd out the poor urms and the end result would still be mostly white schools.

why? you and all the others have been saying all along that economics explains urm's poor performance in school. now you're saying that even with this equalized, there is a difference. you need to get your story straight.

Actually I haven't said that once.  Don't put words into my mouth.

so you admit that as a whole you guys aren't smart enough to compete with the big boys. you'll always need affirmative action, just like a midget will always need a weapon to beat a 6'4 bball player.

3
Affirmative Action / Re: AA feelings..topic beaten to death.
« on: August 15, 2006, 01:25:00 AM »
I think what's most unfair is that the way schools decide what's "diverse" or not makes it seem like being black is the most diverse, being hispanic is somewhat diverse, and being white or asian means nothing. Just because you're white or asian doesn't mean you haven't suffered hardship or discrimination. My great-grandfather came to this country at 13 and worked in a coal mine to pay for the rest of his family to be able to come to America...I'm also the first person in my immediate family to go to college, nevermind law school. Ask any  Italian-American my grandfather's age and they will tell you the crap they had to take from the cops, getting beat up in the street just for being Italian in an Irish neighborhood. But none of that counts, since I have to check off the "white" box. Meanwhile, the black kids that I went to high school with, in upper-middle class liberal New Jersey, where they were treated fine and were as wealthy, if not wealthier than the white families in town, reaped the benefits of AA and got into better colleges than the other white students with better numbers. It's simply unfair.

Life's not fair.  Oh no, I'm white and my numbers weren't strong enough to get me into Stanford!  Poor me, how will I ever manage at my TTT?

but some colored with bad numbers should get in anyway, yup.

4
Affirmative Action / Re: AA feelings..topic beaten to death.
« on: August 14, 2006, 03:06:02 PM »
it doesn't have to be purely economic based i agree.  why not take the current URMs (black, hispanic, native american) and only give AA treatment to those that have 1) had financial hardship  or  2) extraordinary experiences in direct relation to the fact that you are a particular race.  I'm guessing that 1 and 2 will overlap many times, which is fine.   

Like I have said in my previous posts, I have no problem with AA existing, I just don't like it when it helps BOTH the poor black guy who's family had to work 4 jobs to put him through college AND the rich hispanic guy who went to private school for many years.  People say that the latter is very rare, and I'm sure that is true, but just in my experience going to private school I have seen so many people get helped by AA who didn't need the help.  Not only did they not need the help they laughed at the thought that they were getting help even though they did not ask for it. 

I know I haven't thought this out really well...just stating some random thoughts

But how do you define financial hardship?  Attending a private school does not mean that you did not have financial hardship.  My cousin attended an elite private school while her single mother worked long hours to support her and her brother.  She's since won a scholarship that covers her tuition and living expense for college.  Should she have not have aa if she decided to apply to law school.  My grandparents managed to send all three of their kids to boarding school and college on a gas station attendant and hotel maid's salaries.  It becomes subjective, because tax returns don't tell the whole story.

How do you define extraordinary experience for your race?  How would an adcomm define it?  Do they really know what is extraordinary for a black person.  Is there a 'standard' experience for a race.  This would require a group of outsiders (adcomms) to try and define or normalise a race in order to determine what is extraordinary.  Do you see how this is problematic?  Within a race there are a variety of 'typical' experiences.  In fact, this criteria is more likely to help the black kid from the burbs because that can be seen as an extraordinary experience for his race, being the only (or one of a few) black people in his school.  By this criteria, my friend who grew up in suburban FL with only 2 other black people in his school, who first experienced racism in his (mostly White) Methodist church would get more of a boost than the black kid from the 'ghetto', despite the fact that his parents were doctors.

What you fail to realise is that the purpose of AA is not just to help those who are poor or economically disadvantaged.  As with the example of my friend above, wealth does not protect you from discrimination.  Wealth does not ensure that people won't say stupid sh*t to you like, You're smart, unlike most black people.  Wealth will not necessarily protect you from being waaaaaay more likely to be labelled a 'problem' child than the kid who sits next to you and is exactly like you except for race.  In addition, wealth does not mean that you don't have diverse experiences to bring to the table.  Wealth does not make a person any less of a URM.  You still represent an underreresented race and can still help that race, if only by serving as a role model to other URMs.

i know this may come as a shock, but blacks do not have a monopoly on bad experiences. someone whose parents die in a car accident is surely deserving of a boost then.

5
Affirmative Action / Re: AA feelings..topic beaten to death.
« on: August 14, 2006, 03:03:44 PM »
Quote
That's because the majority of the people in America are still WHITE.  Use those critical thinking skills by looking at the percentages of each race/ethnicity who live under the poverty line.  It's a completely different story, isn't it?

i agree, but being white or asian and being under the poverty line doesn't mean you are any less poor just because of the fact that your overall race is doing better on average then some.  Averages and percentages doesn't mean sh*t to the guy who's struggling to make ends meet.  Makes no sense why AA should not help these people out.  It also makes no sense how it helps those that have clearly do not need help.  I'm not bitter about it, just think a couple changes should be made so it's more fair.  Isn't that was this is all about?  Making things fair.

Because if AA was solely economic based, those numerous poor white people previously mentioned would crowd out the poor urms and the end result would still be mostly white schools.

why? you and all the others have been saying all along that economics explains urm's poor performance in school. now you're saying that even with this equalized, there is a difference. you need to get your story straight.

6
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Can YOU spot a pattern?
« on: August 12, 2006, 09:08:03 PM »
I was watching the news today about a plot to blow up 10 jetliners, and they kept referring to 20 young British born men.  That's really interesting, because it means that all Britons should be given closer scrutiny.  I wonder if there's a way to narrow it down some more?  Any ideas?

I think we should also keep an eye on white CEOs, as they seem to be the leading culprits in securities fraud. ???

because cooking the books at morgan stanley is morally equivalent to crashing a plane into a building destroying 22 of its floors. feminine hygiene product.

7
Affirmative Action / Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« on: August 10, 2006, 05:07:31 PM »
to further your logic, why not round up all 35 million american blacks and put them in concentration camps? crime will go down. our education statistics will look better when compared to japan and europe, illegitimacy will go down, obesity will go down. what's the cost?

You're confusing "logic" with "rhetoric," and poor rhetoric at that.  If you really think that your sentence follows logically from what I said, then God help you.  Try thinking sometime, it might help.

it does. you're arguing that even if aa discriminates its okay because the ends justify the means. you could make a similar argument for detaining all blacks.

8
Affirmative Action / Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« on: August 10, 2006, 10:44:59 AM »
yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.

It's a simple question: would you prefer to be what you consider "morally" pristine and have a racially stratified society, or would you prefer to be "morally repugnant" and have a society with equal opportunities for all.  I'd certainly prefer the latter.  It's obviously not such a cut-and-dry issue, but that's what you would like to make it, apparently, by drawing such precise and unflexible moral lines.

But I can happily answer your example: generally speaking, I would rather set free 10 guilty men than incarcerate 1 innocent man, even if that made me, in your mind, "morally repugnant" (though I understand you don't think that, you very easily could).  Mostly, though, your analogy is ridiculous and ambiguous.  Certaintly, it is not true, as you wrongly assume, that "by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man."  If you gave me specifics (which would be silly since its an unrealistic hypothetical---obviously if we knew which people were guilty or innocent we would treat them accordingly), for instance that the 10 guilty men to be set free were serial killers, or 10 of the 9/11 bombers, and the innocent man was only going to be in jail overnight, then I might very well say that it would be "morally repugnant" to free the 10 guilty people.  Or, if you said the 10 guilty men were petty theives or drug dealers, then i would prefer to set them free instead of wrongy imprisoning for decades one innocent man for some serious felony.

The point is, calling something "morally repugnant," or even deciding that something is a "moral issue" does not necessarily make it so.  Furthermore, the way you're throwing around the term "morally repugnant" without saying precsisely what is repugnant and why it is so implies that you object to AA but you don't know why, or you can't say way, which suggests the sort of fuzzy theoretical thinking I find useless when discussing concrete policy issues. 

I shouldn't have even wasted these 5 minutes responding to this post, but I already did, so I'll post it anyways.

to further your logic, why not round up all 35 million american blacks and put them in concentration camps? crime will go down. our education statistics will look better when compared to japan and europe, illegitimacy will go down, obesity will go down. what's the cost?

9
Affirmative Action / Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« on: August 10, 2006, 01:15:32 AM »
yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.

It's a simple question: would you prefer to be what you consider "morally" pristine and have a racially stratified society, or would you prefer to be "morally repugnant" and have a society with equal opportunities for all.  I'd certainly prefer the latter.  It's obviously not such a cut-and-dry issue, but that's what you would like to make it, apparently, by drawing such precise and unflexible moral lines.

But I can happily answer your example: generally speaking, I would rather set free 10 guilty men than incarcerate 1 innocent man, even if that made me, in your mind, "morally repugnant" (though I understand you don't think that, you very easily could).  Mostly, though, your analogy is ridiculous and ambiguous.  Certaintly, it is not true, as you wrongly assume, that "by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man."  If you gave me specifics (which would be silly since its an unrealistic hypothetical---obviously if we knew which people were guilty or innocent we would treat them accordingly), for instance that the 10 guilty men to be set free were serial killers, or 10 of the 9/11 bombers, and the innocent man was only going to be in jail overnight, then I might very well say that it would be "morally repugnant" to free the 10 guilty people.  Or, if you said the 10 guilty men were petty theives or drug dealers, then i would prefer to set them free instead of wrongy imprisoning for decades one innocent man for some serious felony.

The point is, calling something "morally repugnant," or even deciding that something is a "moral issue" does not necessarily make it so.  Furthermore, the way you're throwing around the term "morally repugnant" without saying precsisely what is repugnant and why it is so implies that you object to AA but you don't know why, or you can't say way, which suggests the sort of fuzzy theoretical thinking I find useless when discussing concrete policy issues. 

I shouldn't have even wasted these 5 minutes responding to this post, but I already did, so I'll post it anyways.

affirmative action does not ensure equal opportunities. it ensures equal outcome which is a very different ballgame. yes, my moral lines are inflexible. there is no circumstance in which imprisoning an innocent man is morally justifiable. flexible morals are amoral.

10
Affirmative Action / Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« on: August 09, 2006, 06:49:41 PM »
However, I also offered a critique of your contention that AA alleviates racial inequity, or racial stratification to use your term, without significant costs. There are indeed significant and deleterious costs associated with AA as it is currently practiced in the US. I noted: (1) It stigmatizes URMs and reinforces the negative stereotypes that our society has perpetuated about certain groups lacking the innate ability to compete; (2) It actually serves to reduce the number of blacks who graduate (and graduate with above median grades) because the attrition rates at elite school for less qualified minority candidates far exceed those of their white and Asian peers; thus an URM student who may have performed admirably and graduated in a timely fashion at a less selective institution fails to obtain a degree at all; and (3) Affirmative Action fails to help those who most need it—truly disadvantaged (i.e. poor) blacks (who actually constitute a minority of the black population despite what some of you seem to think). If our goal is to limit racial inequity (which is inextricably linked to economic inequity), how does it profit society to lavish all the rewards of AA on middle and upper-class black students who should be able to compete on their own merits, rather than genuinely disadvantaged black students, who actually rarely perform well enough to qualify for even an AA admit.

Now this is a good argument.  I'm not convinced by it, but at least its clear, reasonable, and on topic.

You make 3 points, so I'll respond to each.  But, let me first say that, at this point, as soon as the debate is about the empirical question of whether AA works at an acceptable cost or not, most of my work is done.  I'm not an expert on AA, nor am I familiar with all the relevant data as to who it affects and what its costs are, so on these points I am easily persuadable if compelling arguments\data are presented.  The best I can do is see whether such arguments may be compelling if there is data to back it up one way or another, and hope others can supplement my understanding.  To take your points in reverse order.

3) Whether or not AA overlooks economically disadvantaged is irrelevant as that is not AA's purpose.  By arguing that AA fails to consider economics, you're suggesting that only an economic AA is justified because that alone would be "fair" (or "meritocratic," or whatever).  This is the the type of argument i don't care for.  AA's purpose is not to help out the underprivileged (other policies can tend to that) but to lessen racial stratification.

2) This is interesting, and I would like to see the figures on it.  However, as you present it, your point is ambiguous: higher dropout rates for black students (what about other underrepresented races???) in comparison to white and asian students when they are "less qualified" raises many questions of how much greater and the attrition rate is and whether or not the greater attrition rate is balanced by the greater opportunities available to those who do graduate.  We can at least speculate on the counterfactual: if the students who drop out would, in a non-AA world, have been admitted to lesser law schools, would they have dropped out there as well?  Perhaps they would not have dropped out at lower law schools, but the students who drop out would, I imagine, not have made great contributions to society had they gone to a different law school, whereas, those who do graduate from a better law school have a greater opportunity to make important differences owing to the increased prestige of their J.D. institutions.  Thus it seems to me that a higher attrition rate, although unfortunate, may be a necessary cost for increasing social fluidity for all races.

1) Certainly this stigmatization occurs, as numerous leaders have discussed it (e.g. Clarence Thomas, as i mentioned in a previous post).  And this is a problem.  My inclination, though, is that so long as AA increases the number of leaders who would not otherwise be there, this is an acceptable cost since without AA, there would be fewer such leaders (I do not think that stigmatization has held many people back from achieving great things...as with Clarence Thomas).  It might hurt people's self-esteem, which is undesirable, but it must be borne until there is less stratification.

And, in general, to 1) and 2): certainly these are costs.  Nobody says AA doesn't have costs.  But do you truly believe that these costs outweigh AA's benefits?


yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.

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