Saturday, July 27, 2013

On Remembering Conversations

Something I have noticed lately in many venues are statements of the following kind (with my thoughts on the statements beneath them):

  • I said X and nobody listened to me
    • Just because someone didn't agree, that doesn't mean you weren't heard.
  • I have principles
    • Just because you have principles it does not follow that you were the only one in the conversation with them.
  • My idea would have worked better and I said so at the time. (Usually accompanied by a disingenuous retelling of the conversation)
    • This is the most pernicious because missing a tape recording of the conversation it is nearly impossible to counter. The worst part is that it poisons future dealings with the person because of lack of trust both ways.
  • I was ganged up on (or "I was attacked")
    • You were wildly wrong and wouldn't let go of the bone so person after person had to explain to you why you were wrong and eventually folks lost their patience.
Yes, there are other possibilities but this is what I am seeing a lot of lately. 

Comment of the Day - Balloon Juice Edition - Bankster Edition

Corporate America Lacks Creativity » Balloon Juice:
"First they came for the corporate lawyers.
And I said nothing. 
Next they came for the MBAs. 
And I said nothing. 
Then they came for the bankers. 
And I said nothing. 
Because they were right."

'via Blog this'

Even as a joke this is dumb

Insider trading enriches and informs us, and could prevent scandals. Legalize it.:

 "But that understates the case. Insider trading is actually an active good. Markets work best when goods are priced accurately, which in the context of stocks means that firms’ stock prices should accurately reflect their strengths and weaknesses. If a firm is involved in a giant Enron-style scam, the price should be correspondingly lower. But, of course, until the Enron fiasco was unearthed, its stock price decidedly did not reflect that it was cooking the books. That wouldn’t have happened if insider trading had been legal. The many Enron insiders who knew what was going on would have sold their shares, the price would have corrected itself and disaster might have been averted."

'via Blog this'

I think this is supposed to be a Swiftian Modest Proposal but it is very poorly executed

Why Larry Summers should never be Fed Chairman in one sentence

Opposition mounts to Summers as possible Fed chief | Reuters:
 "When he served as Treasury chief under Clinton, Summers helped clinch the law that revoked the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment banking activities from those of commercial, deposit-taking institutions."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Allen West's New fans - Stormfront

you just can't make this shit up  (caution, link is to a white supremacist site)
Allen West has all my respect. 
The black community needs more black leaders like West and Larry Elder who don't put up with the victimhood mentality most in the liberal left paint blacks as and how race baiters like Obama, Sharpton and Jackson love to play up to.

and for those that don't know who Stormfront is, this is what the SPLC has to say about them

Created by former Alabama Klan boss and long-time white supremacist Don Black in 1995, Stormfront was the first major hate site on the Internet. Claiming more than 130,000 registered members (though far fewer remain active), the site has been a very popular online forum for white nationalists and other racial extremists. But a 2008 assertion by Black's wife that she opposes racist beliefs damaged Black's standing in the white supremacist movement. 

On Big Data

precisely the kind of BS I was talking about earlier :

Google Glass is For Porn


Comment of the Day - Balloon Juice Edition - Weiner Division

Gimme danger » Balloon Juice:
"Well, since he’s a pure progressive who regularly bashes the most liberal president in our lifetimes, President Obama, I think us white folks should stand by our Weiner-man. Never mind the fact that he seems to be a pathological liar to his various mistresses and wife who was home with their infant child while he was out trying to buy condos for his mistresses and getting them jobs at Politico.  
That’s it, maybe President Obama should start having affairs and lying about them, then make sure Michelle stands by him even after that, and THEN he’ll finally get support from the white privilege progressives. Seems to have worked for the Clintons and Wieners. I suspect though that President Obama will continue improving the lives of millions around the world, especially those in extreme poverty, and re-building America’s middle class, and leading by example in his personal life and on and on, instead of following the Clinton/Weiner paths, so he’ll just have to keep doing without support from white privilege and online progressives. To each their own!"

'via Blog this'

On The Weiner Thing

One of these days we will grow up and not give a damn about the sex lives of our politicians. Until that day any politician that engages in risky sexual behavior is a moron and not deserving of holding office.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on The National Review

It's the Racism, Stupid - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic:
 "These two strands -- stupidity and racism -- are inseparable. The pairing seem to find a home at National Review with some regularity. It's been a little over a year since the magazine cut ties with self-described racist John Derbyshire for basically writing the same thing that Victor Davis Hanson writes here. Hanson couldn't even be bothered to come up with anything new. He just ripped off Derbyshire. His editors could evidently care less. A few days later the magazine cut ties with Robert Weissberg for offering pro tips to white nationalists. I'm not quite sure why they bothered with the kabuki. You are what your record says you are and at some point one must conclude that these are not one-offs, that the magazine which once blamed the Birmingham bombing on "a crazed Negro," is dealing with something more systemic, something bone-deep."
'via Blog this'

yes, that is sexist

If you wonder out loud why it is relatively ok to call someone a prick but not ok (in north america) to call someone a c*** then yes that is sexist. It doesn't make you evil, but it should make you think.

yes, that is racist too

If you are white and wonder out loud (or even to yourself) why you aren't allowed to drop n-bombs, you are racist. It doesn't mean you are evil, but it should make you think.

Yes, that is racism

If you cross the street when coming up on a couple of black teenage boys, yes that is racism. It doesn't make you evil but it should make you think

Sunday, July 21, 2013

On Privilege - It isn't all or nothing

Some that far too many people have a problem with is the idea of privilege. It isn't a get out of jail free card for a member of the privileged group. It is a sliding scale and you can be privileged in various degrees by being part of a particular in-group.

  • If you are from a first world country you are privileged as compared to most folks in a third world country
  • if you are rich and in any country you are privileged as compared to most folks in your country
  • In North America and Europe and most of South and Central America
    • if you are a white male you are privileged
    • if you are male you are privileged
    • if your parents were upper-middle class or better you are privileged
    • if you are Christian you are privileged
    • if you are heterosexual you are privileged
    • if you went to an Ivy League university you are privileged (irrespective of your grades once there)
None of those things means that if you are not part of an in group you cannot possibly succeed. It just means it is harder and I see far too many people try to deny this reality because it makes them uncomfortable. I especially see this denial coming from so-called Centrist types (who oddly enough tend to come from privileged groups) because accepting it means that there actually isn't always a middle ground and sometimes there is shit that is simply wrong and needs to be fixed.

Stiglitz on Socio-economic mobility in America

Equal Opportunity, Our National Myth -
 "The gap between aspiration and reality could hardly be wider. Today, the United States has less equality of opportunity than almost any other advanced industrial country. Study after study has exposed the myth that America is a land of opportunity. This is especially tragic: While Americans may differ on the desirability of equality of outcomes, there is near-universal consensus that inequality of opportunity is indefensible. The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity. "

'via Blog this'

Is Michael Cutler Pro-slavery then?

Fox Guest Wants More Cheap Labor to Exploit | Video Cafe:

"CUTLER: I had a front-row seat to the '86 amnesty. If you give lawful status to a bunch of illegal aliens who are being exploited, guess what, they will no longer be willing to be exploited. They will demand to be paid on the books, they will have the right to expect that they will be treated equally as Americans, but more importantly, they will have an equal standing in a labor pool that's already unable to find work. An alien who is naturalized or given employment authorization legally cannot be discriminated against, so they could get the same jobs that Americans desperately need to avoid losing their homes to foreclose."

'via Blog this'

A Test

All of the information that you know about this scenario is contained in this post. There are no other hints available.

  • There are six applicants for a job as director of an IT unit. 
  • The position has been vacant for 6 months and the acting director is getting ready to retire.
  • They all have similar educational backgrounds and similar career achievements. 
  • After interviews there is no clear winner in any regard and when all is said and done any of the applicants would be perfectly capable of doing the job at hand and would be a great fit with the team and corporate culture.
  • 1 of the applicants is a white man in his early 40's
  • 1 of the applicants is a white man in his early 50's
  • 1 of the applicants is a male Indian immigrant in his early 40's
  • 1 of the applicants is a female Indian immigrant in her mid 30's
  • 1 of the applicants is an african american man in his early 50's
  • 1 of the applicants is a white woman in her late 30's
which would you choose and why? Note that there is no right or wrong answer. This is just an exercise in how people make decisions.

Is David Brooks As Clueless As This?

Week In Politics: Obama On Race And Trayvon Martin : NPR:
"I had some sympathy for the laws because as, you know, as Americans we should be independent, we should be able to defend ourselves, be strong. But the argument he made about, you know, do we really want all sorts of people, do we really want what happened here, people walking with guns feeling free to shoot off without legal protections, without the normal legal process? Now, that's a compelling argument, which he put very well. And so I think if people hear that, there will be - you know, I think in my heart I certainly felt a little more desire, yeah, maybe something does have to be done about these laws."

'via Blog this'

He was ok with SYG laws as long as only the right kind of people could take advantage of them. A trained monkey has more ability to analyse laws for potential downsides than David Brooks does.