55 thoughts on “News/Politics 8-13-17

  1. Ricky, thanks for unpacking yesterday’s statement about the Google CEO for me. I had misunderstood and thought you were praising him as “perfectly rational”. I get it now.

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  2. Mueller is big with Washington insiders, both D and R. But he’s also a Clinton buddy, his team donated almost exclusively to Democrats, and he has packed his team with other partisans like himself. In a fair world, this wouldn’t happen, but this was never about fairness.

    https://www.axios.com/members-of-muellers-investigation-team-donated-to-republicans-democrat-2447091192.html
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    https://www.axios.com/meet-bob-muellers-dream-team-tackling-the-russia-investigation-2443472267.html

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  3. And there’s also nothing fair about bringing the full weight of govt.and it’s unlimited resources to bear on a private citizen. Some of these people will go broke trying to defend themselves against this, without ever being charged with a crime. Trump has the resources, personal and presidential to fight these so far baseless accusations. Few others do. They will take these folks to the poor house. Is that fair?

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/muellers-targets-face-financial-strain

    “Hiring the high-powered Washington lawyers necessary to respond to a deep-dive Justice Department investigation can be extraordinarily costly. And Manafort—despite his past lucrative contracts with foreign governments, and despite the fact that he owns numerous properties around the country—is feeling the pinch. Sources say that’s part of the reason he is no longer retaining WilmerHale; the firm is known for handling Congressional investigations, but Mueller’s probe has now shifted its focus to international tax issues—which meant Manafort needed lawyers with that expertise. So he has brought in Miller Chevalier, a boutique Washington law firm full of international law experts, and has parted with WilmerHale.

    David Rivkin, a longtime conservative Washington attorney who worked in the Justice Department under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, said Mueller’s probe is undoubtedly straining the finances of all its targets.

    “It’s obvious that it has morphed into an open-ended investigation that is way beyond the Russian collusion, and the only unifying principle seems to be that it covers people who are close to Trump or worked with Trump,” he said. “And that is a classical definition of a fishing expedition.”

    Mueller’s legal team has 16 attorneys, as well as other support staff, and it’s funded by the Justice Department. Mueller’s team includes former federal prosecutors with broad-ranging areas of expertise who are highly motivated and aggressive.”
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  4. Once again the anti-American bias from Arnold’s base of support is clear in last nights discussion of the Google incident.

    Arnold’s biased narrative paints the CEO as a victim and ignores the good actor in this mess: The pure-as-the-driven-snow Indian American, Sundar Pichai, was raised in India in an honorable, middle-class, two room apartment, but was seduced and corrupted by the perverted Americans. And thus tricked and blinded, he sandbagged an employee who spoke the truth about diversity and gender differences. Poor, poor Sundar—let’s all bow our heads in a moment of silence for this poor victim of America [for the sake of this shameless America-bashing commercial of a narrative, we’ll pretend we don’t know his annual salary was 199 million last year].

    What you won’t hear from Arnold is the more obvious narrative: James Damore, a very accomplished native of Illinois, a chess champion with a Masters Degree in Systems Biology from Harvard worked at Google too. He was fired for writing a memo supporting more traditional yet scientific ideas of why there are differences in the number of women in the workplace at Google. It was a documented and accurate internal memo meant to be a platform for internal discussion of a subject Google’s CEO claims to care about. Sundar Pichai had him fired. In this narrative, there is no need to sweep away the obvious in order to place blame or “discover” the reasons for the CEO’s action: there are 199 million of them in plain sight. The concentration of money and power corrupts, so we don’t need to look further for the root cause….unless we don’t want to address it.

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  5. I read the memo, and thought it was poorly organized and rambling and its scientific statements had very little relevance to women working in Google and other STEM fields. In the words of the Christian apologist and mystery novelist Dorothy L. Sayer, who was one of the first women to graduate from Oxford, from her 1938 address Are Women Human, in which she argued that when it came to things like occupation, women should not be regarded as a class, but as individuals with varied interests and abilities:

    What is unreasonable and irritating is to assume the all one’s tastes and preferences have to be conditioned by the class to which one belongs. That has been the very common error into which men have frequently fallen about women-and it is the error into which feminist women are, perhaps, a little inclined to fall about themselves.
    Take, for example, the very usual reproach that women nowadays always want to “copy what men do.” In that reproach there is a great deal of truth and a great deal of sheer, unmitigated and indeed quite wicked nonsense. There are a number of jobs and pleasures which men have in times past cornered for themselves. At on time, for instance, men had a monopoly of classical education. When the pioneers of university training for women demanded that women should be admitted to the universities, the cry went up at once: “Why should women want to know about Aristotle?” The answer is NOT that all women would be the better for knowing about Aristotle – still less, as Lord Tennyson seemed to think, that they would be more companionable wives for their husbands if they did know about Aristotle – but simply: “What women want as a class is irrelevant. I want to know about Aristotle. It is true that most women care nothing about him, and a great many male undergraduate turn pale and faint at the thought of him – but I, eccentric individual that I am, do want to know about Aristotle, and I submit that there is nothing in my shape or bodily functions which need prevent my knowing about him.”
    …I do not know that women, as women, want anything in particular, but as human beings they want, my good men, exactly what you want yourselves: interesting occupation, reasonable freedom for their pleasures, and a sufficient emotional outlet. What form the occupation, the pleasures and the emotion may take, depends entirely upon the individual.

    Speaking of Indians in STEM fields, the Indian-born nurse who spoke in my Global Health class recounted the results of a study she had done (she held a Ph.D.) on how men and women code (process new information) and decode (apply said information). She said her results showed that while men and women used different parts of their brain in coding and decoding, the conclusions they reached in the end were the same. So, men and women reach the same conclusion, but through different pathways. That would argue that the biological differences in male and female brains are ultimately irrelevant, since the results are the same. That irrelevance is nowhere seen so clearly as in Paul’s statement that in Christ, there is neither male nor female. One’s salvation depends on whether one believes in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. How a man or a woman reaches that point of belief through their thought processes is completely irrelevant. That they believe is what proves that they are a Christian.

    I don’t think Damore needed to be fired for his memo, but Pichai, whos duty is to Google’s shareholders, thought differently. I don’t see how calling for Pichai’s resignation – essentially saying about him what people were saying about Damore, that he is unfit for the job – helps the situation. It rather seems like calling for “an eye for an eye”, and to quote Tevye, “that way, the whole world will be blind.”

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  6. Debra, are you and Ricky speaking in code again? I think I finally figured out who Arnold is but I puzzled over it a long time looking for any reference to an Arnold in last night’s discussion. 😀

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  7. Roscuro – I didn’t think Damore’s main point was that women are not as good as men in their chosen field, but that the reason there are fewer women in that field was due to choice, not ability. He thinks that Google’s efforts to show equal treatment to women & minorities is done in a way that is unfair. He also mentioned, “Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race”.

    As for there being neither male nor female in Christ, I believe that refers to our equality before God, not that we are exactly the same. (Maybe that’s not what you meant, but that’s how it sounded to me.)

    Here is a link to an article with four scientists who back up Damore’s views:

    http://quillette.com/2017/08/07/google-memo-four-scientists-respond/

    But beyond whether all his views are accurate or not is the matter that his views cannot be discussed openly within Google, let alone our society in general, but must be silenced.

    As for Pichai, although I would not call for him to be fired, I do think that as the company’s leader, his words & actions have more bearing on his ability to do his job than Damore’s had on his own ability to do his job.

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  8. Kizzie, on your question about what I meant by saying there is neither male nor female in Christ, you might see it more clearly on a second reading, but I will give some more explanation of that paragraph.
    Those who are concerned about the current transgender movement may overcorrect in the opposite direction, and overemphasize male and female to the point of obscuring men and women’s common humanity. As I’ve mentioned before, when my professor made a slip of the tongue and called men and women different species, I thought that the mistake actually made a glaring statement about the erroneous mindset behind both sides of the gender debate. That error is assuming that men and women have more differences than similarities, as if, to draw an analogy between two creatures that look similar but are different species, men were donkeys and women were horses, and the awkward offspring of them working on any project together would be the stubborn and infertile mule.

    Women and men have important physical and mental differences, but God created them both in His image, making only the woman the equal of the man of all the living creatures he created. In the fallen world of the Old Testament, women and men were divided by bitterness and injustice; but in the New Covenant Christ, their sex makes no difference to their standing before the King of Kings. Women prophesied, evangelized, and discipled alongside men in the early church, repeatedly earning praise and commendation from the apostles. That was unprecedented in a culture where the Greek titles of philosopher and student only existed in the masculine. Peter calling women fellow heirs of the kingdom would have sounded strange to a culture where only sons inherited their father’s property. That idea of women operating in equality with men slowly trickled from the Church into the surrounding culture – Christians are to let their good works shine after all. So, in that context, by 1938, Sayers’, who believed in that common created humanity of men and women, could make the point to a secular audience that women are human, and therefore, when it comes to chosen occupation, they operate under the same motivations as men, i.e. what interests the individual woman, what the individual woman is good at. As she says in the same address:

    I am occasionally desired by congenital imbeciles and the editors of magazines to say something about the writing of detective fiction :from the woman’s point of view.” To such demands, one can only say, “Go away and don’t be silly. You might as well ask what is the female angle on an equilateral triangle.”

    Mathematical operations, such as using an equilateral triangle, are a good example of how men and women, doing the same operations, will reach the same answer, even though the man and the woman may think through the calculation using different methods (there is some room for variation in solving an equation). It can also be seen in the world of literature, both Charles Dickens, and his colleague, Elizabeth Gaskell, both criticized the inhumanity of factory conditions in their work, but they used very different stories – Dicken’s Hard Times and Gaskell’s Mary Barton – to illustrate their point. Men and women share the common goals of humanity. They are both fallen and both in need of salvation. To quote Sayers again:

    We are too much inclined in these days to divide people into permanent categories, forgetting that a category only exists for its special purpose and must be forgotten as soon as that purpose is served. There is a fundamental difference between men and women, but it is not the only fundamental difference in the world.

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  9. Maybe it’s because I’m too tired, but I’m not seeing where anything I have written, nor what Damore wrote, contradicts what you have written.

    If I understood his words correctly, Damore is not saying that women are not capable of doing the particular work at Google, but that the discrepancy in numbers (80% male) was due to women not generally being drawn to that kind of work, not that they lack the ability if they are drawn to it. He also pointed out that some of his generalizations are seen in cultures worldwide, not only our Western culture.

    I think he also made the distinction that he was describing women & men in general, but noted that not all individual men & women fit his descriptions. (Although I may have read that elsewhere, from someone else.)

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  10. Kevin, I’m sorry for the confusing comment. Arnold was a big deal on this thread during the election and had many supporters. In fact, Samster [see my gravatar, or click my name] toyed with the idea of supporting Arnold at one point even though they had areas of sharp disagreement: Arnold was tough on crime, and Samster had a felony conviction for egg theft. There were some sour grapes and minor name-calling. And in the end, no one was happy. Arnold was forced to concede defeat as Trump swept the polls, and Samster stayed home on election day pouting over the unfairness of election rules and destroying a perfectly fine squeaky.

    I do not know whether or not Ricky allows Arnold to write his comments for him, but judging from some of the content, I suspect he does. Samster is a felon and a bit of a thug, so I do not ever allow him to comment for me. However, if Ricky keeps calling me a Democrat, I may have to revisit that decision. ;–)

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  11. Kizzie, the error is making the assumption that women are not drawn to the profession because they are women. I am a member of a profession which is dominated by women, but I was not drawn to that profession because I am a woman. In fact, I wanted to be a doctor (a profession until recently dominated by men), but my lack of a high school diploma prevented me from taking that route, so I went into nursing, which accepted my GED. My career choice had nothing to do with my sex, and everything to do with my prior education and economic resources. I have since met men who entered nursing for much the same reasons I did – one such man was uncannily similar, as he too was homeschooled and wanted to become a doctor.

    In establishing causation in scientific studies, it is necessary to examine and control for every possible variable that might affect the outcome. Women do face barriers to entering certain employments, barriers which are related to their sex but have no bearing on their abilities to carry out the job. Such barriers, such as the lust of an employer or fellow employee, are a result of the fall – the modern world is not beyond treating women the way they were treated in the final chapters of the book of Judges. In order to accurately determine why women do not enter a field, looking at biological differences of the sexes alone is inadequate, and may help to mask the real problem of sinful behaviour.

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  12. Roscuro, God made each of us as unique creatures. The problem that many of us have with the actions of the Google Indian as well as the policies of most Western governments and major corporations is that they do not recognize obvious general differences between the genders. I have a niece who was an aeronautical engineer before she became a mommy. She is unusual and employers were lined up to hire her. Men as a group have a natural advantage over women in higher mathematics. Women have natural advantages in many other fields. Generally, they are more intuitive, better listeners, more empathetic, better writers, etc. This is a general rule and there are many, many exceptions. It all shows up graphically in SAT scores. Next month I will be sixty. For my entire adult life, American governments and big corporations have had major affirmative action programs trying to force feed women into male dominated fields. This is stupid. It is disgust with this type of stupid politicallly correct behavior that caused America to do something even more stupid: Elect Donald Trump as President.

    My point yesterday is that people around the world from Tonga to Mongolia to India to Mexico understand these basic gender differences. The poor Google Indian had to be miseducated in the US before he became ignorant about such matters. Even Arnold Weaver the dog understands gender differences. His two favorite things are to be petted and to be given treats to eat. He intuitively knows that females are more likely to provide these items and he always gravitates toward our women.

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  13. The term “poor Google Indian” applied to a naturalized American working for a global behemoth making 199 million a year is a misnomer on so many levels I am almost certain Arnold has co-opted the keyboard. Bad dog.

    The only person who might in any way be considered “poor” is the unemployed American engineer. And that is precisely the person corporate America and her crusaders have no use for. If you had paid more attention to these facts last year, you might be the first dog to choose the drapes in the oval office (if you discount the Clintons). At the very least, debate could have been generated around the real problems of people working in the US, and one of the more refined contenders on the Republican dais might have had a chance. Shame on you. Now go to your crate, think about what you’ve done, and stay until dinner.

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  14. Ricky, on the idea that people around the world understand the gender differences which keep women out of STEM fields: a couple of months ago, I shared a TED talk video on here, from the founder of the Barefoot College in northern India. I remind you that in that video, he noted that he focused on teaching women from places such as The Congo and Afghanistan electrical engineering for solar, because he found the women much more teachable and intelligent:

    I repeat, other factors act to keep women out of the STEM fields other than their natural aptitudes. I know two different young women, one an acquaintance, one a distant relative, both passionately interested in cars, both took mechanic courses due to their interest. Both did well in said courses. Both left the profession due to the nasty way the men in the profession treated them because they were women.

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  15. Debra, You are always telling us that there is more to life than money. How can you deny that the Google Indian is poor when he has lost his common sense?

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  16. Roscuro, I know nothing of Canada. However, in the US I have heard of persons who were members of favored groups receiving “nasty treatment” from co-workers who wrongfully assumed they obtained their jobs because of their ethnicity. It is one of the many problems caused by affirmative action.

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  17. I am often not particularly sympathetic to white male Trumpkins who aren’t working. However, if we are to be honest, we must concede that such people are a true minority group who have been the victims of systemic and pervasive discrimination by all levels of government and most major corporations for at least 40 years.

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  18. Ricky, as my mother would say when we pleaded the she-started-it clause, that is no excuse. Furthermore, I don’t believe it. Women were mechanics, engineers, code breakers, technicians, and test flight pilots during WWII. My grandmother, who couldn’t be a nurse due to health problems and because, according to her female supervisor in the hospital, she was too tender hearted, worked on the line in a munitions factory. Women handled dangerous and delicate material and technology, doing an excellent job and helping to win the war from behind the scenes: http://wartimecanada.ca/sites/default/files/documents/Women%20after%20the%20war.pdf. Returning those jobs to men returning from combat was a kind of affirmative action in the post-war era: https://www.workforce.com/2012/02/22/fighting-for-employment-veterans-in-the-40s-and-today/. You often wax nostalgic over the post-war era when men were masculine and women were feminine, and you try telling me that mechanics who are men might feel justified in being nasty because they wrongfully assume mechanics who are women got the job because of affirmative action?

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  19. Roscuro, I don’t know any women mechanics, but I do know white women who felt justified being nasty because they wrongfully assumed minority women got their jobs because of affirmative action.

    Here is where you need to be careful. People like you who are good advocates for women get into trouble if they fail to acknowledge general differences between the genders. For example, I have seen about 250 different roofers and 100 furniture movers at work around my home during the last year. None of them has been a woman. There are biological reasons for those facts. Are there a tiny handful of women who could have performed those extremely physically demanding jobs? Yes. Are men and women equally suited for those jobs? No. Are women a lower form of humanity because they aren’t as likely to be roofers or movers? No. Are men a lower form of humanity because they aren’t as likely to be good elementary school teachers? No.

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  20. Ricky, where have I failed to acknowledge general differences between the sexes? I have studied human anatomy and physiology at the university level. I know about the differences, and I know about the similarities. In furniture moving, most men would have a physiological advantage, but the STEM fields generally do not require that physiological advantage. I can, moreover, think of a profession in which considerable bodily strength is daily required that has historically been done by women. Have you ever tried to assist a 6 foot+ man weighing about two hundred pounds with a broken limb transfer from a stretcher to a wheelchair? I have. It is not an uncommon scenario in nursing, in addition to other physically challenging jobs like restraining an adult male made psychotic by delirium, or changing the beds sheets of a bed ridden person who is obese, or lifting metal trays full of metal surgical instruments weighing many kilograms while dressed in full surgical garb (it is the job of the scrub nurse, not the surgeon, to set up the instrument tables). Such experiences lead me to believe that said physiological differences account for very little. But then I was raised by a woman who could lift a whole feedsack of chicken feed.

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  21. Roscuro – Damore acknowledged that there is some discrimination against women, that sexism exists, but said that those other factors needed to be discussed. That was really what the whole memo was about – advocating open discussion, not shutting down dissenters out of hand.

    I don’t think anything I’ve said (& maybe not anything Damore said) claims that women are incapable of doing those tech kind of jobs, but that we do have differences in what we are drawn to. And yes, often, women are kept from the jobs they feel drawn to by discrimination & nasty attitudes.

    Considering Google is a company run by progressive ideas, wouldn’t they have a 50%/50% distribution of men & women in these tech jobs if enough women were applying?

    As for those jobs that women did so well in wartime, we must ask if they would have pursued those jobs as a career if there had been no war going on, or did they pursue those jobs in order to contribute to the war effort, to fill in for the missing men?

    FTR, I did not agree with everything Damore wrote, & felt he did push it a little hard.

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  22. Roscuro, The differences are not just physiological.

    http://www.aei.org/publication/2016-sat-test-results-confirm-pattern-thats-persisted-for-45-years-high-school-boys-are-better-at-math-than-girls/

    This article talks about math, but girls tend to do better in reading and writing. This is nothing to be defensive about. It is simply the way we are made. I am related to women who are strong physically and to some (being exceptional) who are very good at math. The most spiritually mature person I have ever known was a woman.

    However, if we are going to be honest, we really need to admit that most of what Damore said was correct. To do otherwise promotes resentment from millions who are sick of the “gender is a social construct” garbage that surrounds us.

    The White supremacists who fought in Charlottesville today are wrong just as the black rioters in Detroit in 1967 were wrong. However, both groups had legitimate grievances. In modern America, it is white men who are discriminated against and it has been that way for as long as most of them have been in the work force.

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  23. Kizzie, I think you would find it interesting to read the first link in my post about wartime women. It cites some very interesting statistics. Things are not always as we assume they are.

    Ricky, I am aware of the academic differences as well, but I do not think they are significant in comparison to other factors. The link you provide also notes that girls tend to outperform boys academically, being more likely to graduate in the top 10%. Some might attribute this to feminine academic superiority; others might blame it on affirmative action policies. I say it is neither, as there are many other factors causing such results. The interesting fact that Asian women outscore every male ethnic group in math SAT scores except Asian men is further evidence that correlation between SAT scores and sex is not the only factor at play in determining SAT scores. Ethnicity itself is also of doubtful value, as culture and socio-economic status may dramatically effect the education of different ethnic groups. The point I have been seeking to make is that people are human beings before they are a specific sex (or ethnicity), and for the woman who pursues a career in math or computer sciences, her sex should not be considered an obstacle to using numbers; just as a man should not consider, when pursuing a career in languages, that his sex is an obstacle to using words. The crude stereotyping of men as practical and scientific, and women as communicative and artistic is destructive (I can think of several boys of artistic bent who were mocked as effeminate), as well as being ridiculously out of touch with human history (which sex has dominated classical art, music, and poetry since the Renaissance?). This past semester I took statistics as well as Greek and Latin. My statistics professor and head of the particular statistical field I was studying, who was very good at explaining concepts, was a woman; my Greek and Latin professors, who were also very good at explaining concepts, were men. Until just now, I hadn’t considered that according the statistics on how boys and girls perform in math and language, the sexes of the professors should have been reversed.

    I do think that men and women have different mental abilities, but that those abilities are not related so much to individual academic subjects. Rather, I have observed that women are better at integrating concepts from different fields – the fact that girls’ overall academic scores are better than boys would support this – while men are better at focusing in on the details of one topic – the higher academic scores in math, which is a very detail-oriented topic, in addition to how men historically dominated the fine arts, which require a high degree of concentration, would support this. Incidentally, women’s integrative abilities may be further confirmed by that old saying about women’s intuition, as I have observed that when I use what some would call intuition, I’m actually integrating concepts from many different fields to reach a conclusion. The difference in the area of concentration between the sexes agrees with what I began by saying, that men and women process information differently, but reach the same conclusions.

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  24. Roscuro, You pointed out many things that are correct. However, there are major differences between “crude stereotyping” and truthfully acknowledging that differences exist between genders.

    You are also correct that there are many different types of intelligence and that people process the same data differently. A number of studies have confirmed these two conclusions. However, neither of those two conclusions negates the fact that there are general differences in aptitude between the genders and (as you pointed out) even between ethnic groups.

    I think the important thing for Christians to stress is that no person or group is more important or valuable to God just because they are better at math or faster or better at English or stronger. All have equal value to Him, and Scripture teaches that He is more likely to use a person with less natural ability in order to more clearly demonstrate that He is the one who is ultimately at work.

    The problem with Affirmative Action is that it treats people as members of a group rather than as individuals. Like you, I also was taught statistics by a brilliant woman and Greek and Latin by gifted men. Although that was not the most likely scenario, Mrs. Sobol (the statistician) could have proven that it was not particularly unusual given the relatively minor differences in math and verbal scores between genders and the fact that those jobs don’t require the highest levels of aptitude.

    Alternatively, consider that my heroine Dafne Schippers (the fastest woman in the world over 200 meters) is 10% slower than the fastest males over the same distance. That is a huge gap. The physiological differences are most critical in jobs (like sprinting) that do require the highest levels of physical aptitude. This is why it is stupid and demoralizing to force feed women into programs such as the Navy Seals. It is also why I see no women movers or roofers in my neighborhood.

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  25. Good thoughts on gender differences. Too bad Google is screaming so loudly for ‘diversity’ it can’t hear them. There are always unscrupulous people who will be unjustly biased based on gender or race (witness Charlottesville yesterday). When these people (whether alt-right or left) are in positions of power in publicly traded companies their activities become more transparent and observable. So their policies can be tailored for public consumption or manipulation.

    However, I have thought a primary reason for the lopsided representation of women is probably more mundane. The fact is, women have babies. And it’s natural to want to leave the work place for a period of time to care for them—sometimes months or even years. This virtually never happens with men. Although there are places where men are being given a few weeks off after child birth or adoption, they do not usually disappear from the workforce for extended periods of time. So an employer looking at 2 people of roughly the same age, education, ability, and experience might be inclined to consider those kind of factors, and all the more so if they have lost employees to family matters in the past. This is unfortunate when so many women are now the breadwinners in the family.

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  26. Ricky, you said, The problem with Affirmative Action is that it treats people as members of a group rather than as individuals. That is precisely my objection to the memo, that it treats women (i.e. people) as members of a group rather than as individuals. Damore tried to criticize the programs for women using exactly the same argument as those who advocate for such programs, that the differences between men and women as a group is the thing which keeps women out of the workforce. It is a pattern which I see repeated over and over in political arguments, both sides using the exact same arguments, just with a different emphasis. The pattern makes me think there is another way around the problems that each side, in its bitter intensity and tunnel vision, is missing.

    I have not said anything regarding affirmative action program, because, as a member of a profession that is dominated by women, such action is more likely to be directed towards members of minorities and, incidentally, men – several of my nursing teachers, all women, have touched on the need to make men feel welcomed to the profession, saying the numbers of men who are nurses should be more representative, and they often give more marked attention to the men in the class. I know little about the internal process of picking applicants for the nursing programs, but I do know that there are more funding benefits and scholarships offered to minorities and other special interest groups.

    I’ve mentioned before how immigrants obtained jobs in a specialty nursing field before me due to such programs, and also why it did not bother me that they did so. One of my fellow students is a man and part of a minority group, and I know that he receives more funding than is available to me. None of it bothers me. That man is a good student and knowing the history of his minority in this country, the greater funding would seem due compensation. I view each member of the opposite sex and member of an minority ethnic group in my class as individual humans first. That way, one sees the similarities, which far outweigh the differences, before one sees the differences. The men and ethnic minorities in my class want the same things I want, to improve their skills and to work in the field of their preference. Most are good students, who deserve to succeed. I have two choices when I see others placed before me – I can feel bitter and angry over being left out, or I can be pleased that others are being helped. I know which one we are told to do as Christians.

    Envy is, as the Proverb says, rottenness in the bones; a canker which not only consumes those who indulge in it but also causes them to destroy others: “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous, but who is able to stand before envy? (Proverbs 14:30, 27:4; Job 5:2; Mark 5:10). Most here can see the danger of encouraging minorities to be envious of the majority; but the danger in encouraging the majority to be envious of the minorities is just as real. Be careful about feeding the flames of outrage against affirmative action.

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  27. Roscuro, You have again made many good points. However, be careful not to ignore the valid complaints of those who have been harmed by Affirmative Action for their entire working lives (some of whom are now approaching retirement age).

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  28. DJ, what did happen in Virginia yesterday? Was it an act of terror? I don’t think so. I think some expressers of their opinion got into conflict with the anti their opinion people. In the land of free speech, they are free to express their views. When the anti’s get too close, things can get ugly. Pro life groups and pro death groups come to mind. Conservatives and liberals come to mind. I may not agree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it, comes to mind.

    On the other hand, the car thing was a murder and attempted murder unless “the brakes failed” or some such thing but don’t think anybody is claiming that.

    Then again, isn’t any murder a hate crime?

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  29. Link posted by a friend on FB today:

    _______________________________________

    quoting from John Pavlovitz

    Today is not the day for talking in churches about violence on “many sides”. It is a day for calling out a clear, very specific evil in our world.

    White supremacy and racism are fully incompatible with the life and ministry of Jesus, and Christians need to name, condemn, and resist these in our individual hearts, in the institutional Church, and in the systems that govern this country.

    If you don’t hear it from your minister today, hear it from this one.
    _________________________________________

    My response: Faithfully preach the law and the gospel, every week, and you’ve got it all covered, amen?

    (my friend won’t like that response, though, is my guess)

    Liked by 2 people

  30. A lot of things and ideas are incompatible with the life and ministry of Jesus. Faithfully preach and live the law and the gospel every day.

    No, your friend will not appreciate your evident support of white supremacy and your totally obvious intolerance.

    Like

  31. Yes, I’m annoying like that sometimes 🙂 But seriously, when one is in a church (with ears open and heart willing to follow) where the gospel is faithfully preached, it really does cover all of these “issues” without ever being political, on the left or right. Unfortunately, many churches no longer preach and teach so faithfully and so political messages, either left or right, tend to fill the void from the pulpit.

    But from a political standpoint and approach … There’s this from Powerline (Stolberg used to work for the LA Times and we’d often cover the same stories, she’s done well for herself; we were sitting next to each other chatting away while waiting to cover an LA city councilperson’s speech when I got a tap on my shoulder & word that my mom had been rushed to the hospital the day she died, so many years ago now):

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/08/evil-losers-on-parade.php

    __________________________________

    …. New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg was on the scene yesterday. She noted on Twitter: “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.” The “evil losers” formulation comes to mind here as well.

    Byron York reviews the events and finds President Trump’s statement condemning events in Charlottesville yesterday wanting. Byron writes: “Nobody has an obligation to denounce every kook and racist in the country. But when a prominent racist declares, at a rally featuring people wearing your campaign slogan, that he is carrying out your agenda, and you are the president of the United States, there is an obligation to speak out.” This seems fair to me.

    Trump has an important contribution to make going beyond the condemnation of hatred and bigotry on “many sides” that he issued yesterday (video below). More needs to be said, if not just about the “white nationalists” and their ilk.
    ___________________________________

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Ricky, my friends and family have tried to suggest to me that I might have been harmed by affirmative action, but on careful examination, I simply do not see that. In that incident of the immigrants getting OR jobs when I did not, I also knew a Canadian-born woman in the same class, who trained in the same hospital as I, who was successful in getting at least an interview and, I think, a job. I, who was personally informed by a top OR official (who, incidentally, was an immigrant) that I would be an asset to that hospital, did not even get an interview despite submitting my resume. Clearly, some other factor, rather than affirmative action was at play – in light of subsequent events, I’m inclined to think it was God’s will. The fact that I did not find a job in my field, ending up going abroad to practice my profession, can be attributed to many factors, but affirmative action is not one of them.

    I examine the lives of all my family and friends around me, and cannot think of an instance where affirmative action was the factor which cost them a job or educational position, and I am part of a extended family which was long part of the working class and also nearly always in the low income bracket. My father was a skilled labourer, respected by his coworkers, who never earned more than enough to live on. He was twice let go by two different companies due to his increasing age, which caused great hardship – so I have seen how unjustly companies can treat their workers, but it was not due to affirmative action. I have two relatives who work in banking, which is an occupation at risk both from automation and foreign workers, but the foreign workers are not part of any affirmative action program, rather the desire of the bank to pay less to their employees. One of those relatives suffers considerable economic stress, but once again, that stress is in no way due to the presence of foreign workers – family factors play the biggest role. Being part of the majority in this country means that the effect of any affirmative action is seldom not felt due to the fact that the majority will still be the majority – an economist could probably explain the phenomenon better than I, but I see it.

    Something else is at play with the prevailing joblessness in my generation of millennials. It isn’t a collective laziness or irresponsibility – I know too many of my peers who work hard when they can find work. It isn’t an unwillingness to move – many did move out to Alberta’s oilfields, only to be forced back by the tanking oil prices. One factor that probably did affect me was that I graduated the year after the economic downturn, and in that year, across all academic fields in the West, only one-third of graduates found work in their area of employment. When I went into school in 2007, the premier of the province was promising to create 30,000 nursing jobs; when I was about to graduate in 2009, that same premier was saying those jobs could not be created due to the recession. Being a new graduate gives you an edge on the job market for about six months, and after that, you have to compete against those with work experience. In my last months of training, I encountered older nurses who had delayed retirement because of fear over whether their husbands pensions (many seemed to have worked in the auto industry) would be there. That probably also contributed, but in the case of the OR jobs, I knew having sat in on team meetings, that there were several job lines sitting empty, but the number of job postings the hospital put up were less than the empty job lines, 50 percent less.

    I say all this to point something out, not only about affirmative action, but also about the wider discussion of jobs and joblessness – the factors that go into getting or not getting a job are myriad. It is easy to jump on a bandwagon and say this factor is the problem or solution. It is harder to truly understand the complex web of how “human incompetence and thoughtlessness” (to quote a phrase by Carl Trueman from this: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2013/04/17/the-secret-reason-behind-conspiracy-theories/) contribute to a dwindling job market, amongst other societal evils. Life, as the old saw goes, is unfair. We could call what happens kismet (luck) or karma (fate); I find it much more comforting to think that there is a wider pattern being traced, and I can either willingly obey the commands – to love God and love my neighbour – of the One who draws that pattern, or offer a futile resistance and try to save my own life which, He once warned, would only end in me losing it.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Well said, Roscuro. Like you, I can’t say I have ever been harmed by Affirmative Action. In fact, like you I can affirm that Affirmative Action may have been used by God. In my case it may have prevented me from taking a government or corporate job which would have made me miserable and for which I would have been completely unsuitable.

    Nevertheless, I believe we should as a society seek to be a color-blind society which treats each person as an individual. I also acknowledge that Affirmative Action has been an injustice to millions over an extended period of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. The Charlottesville incident and Trump’s multiple war threats are very disturbing and sad at many levels, and I really didn’t feel like laughing at anything this morning.

    Then Mini Trump Scaramucci reappeared. Since Trump allowed Kelly to fire Mooch, I think Mini Trump is going to forever be like the midget who rides around on his master’s shoulder, making trouble for his bigger version at every turn.

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.nydailynews.com/amp/news/politics/scaramucci-trump-harsher-va-neo-nazis-article-1.3408033

    Like

  35. By the way, Ricky, your conversation helped me get through a hard day yesterday – I’ve not been feeling well due to problems with asthma, and thinking about something other than my breathing was helpful. I too find the question of war with NK incredibly saddening, thinking of the potential cost of human lives, and can only pray. I was only born at the tail end of the Cold War, and can dimly remember the announcement of the fall of the Berlin Wall – but I imagine that during some of the crises, it must have felt like something like this.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I hope you are feeling better today, Roscuro. My wife has also been struggling with recurring respiratory issues, but she seems to be doing a little better this morning.

    Like

  37. Here is an excellent summary on what happened in Charlottesville and what led up to that tragedy by Ben Shapiro.

    As Shapiro said and has been predicted here for many months, we are living through a repeat of the Weimar Republic. No, Trump is not Hitler. As Peggy Noonan noted a couple of weeks ago, Trump is a Woody Allen character minus the humor.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. A friend of a friend on Facebook asks: If it is terrorism when a Muslim drives his car into a crowd, isn’t it also terrorism when a young white man, who reportedly was fascinated with Nazis & Hitler, does the same?

    Liked by 2 people

  39. White supremacists, Nazi sympathizers, and the KKK should be roundly condemned. And they were, even by Trump, despite what some in the media are saying. And he’s right, more than one side acted poorly here.

    But at the same time, the leftist Antifa brown shirts and their tactics need to be as well.

    The videos coming out clearly show they are just as responsible for how out of hand things got.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/white-house-pushes-back-criticism-trumps-charlottesville-response-194640699.html

    “After coming under fire from all sides of the political spectrum for his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., the White House said on Sunday that President Trump “condemns all forms of violence” — including hate groups.

    “The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred,” read the statement issued by an unnamed White House spokesperson. “Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.””
    ———————

    “Trump responded to the incidents during a previously-scheduled press event at his golf club in New Jersey Saturday afternoon, saying “many sides” were to blame. The president later tweeted “condolences” to the families of the victims. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle blasted Trump for not explicitly condemning the white supremacists involved.

    “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides,” the president said on Saturday. “On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”
    —————————

    And it’s also time to admit that Antifa and BLM are just the reverse side of the same coin. All are hate groups. It’s time for police to respond to them appropriately, the same way they did this weekend, rather than accepting stand down orders and letting certain groups riot.

    Liked by 1 person

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