Saturday, July 31, 2004

  Moral Hazard: Part 1 Basics :from Half Full
The idea is simple. If you are continually willing to protect people from the consequences of their own errors, your benevolence will be factored into the future decisions of the persons rescued. In the long run, they will make even more errors. The principle exists at all levels. The teacher who changes grades when students plead hardship isn't helping in the long run. The teacher is rewarding and thereby encouraging poor study habits. He is creating moral hazard.

  Surely not 80 percent better
Maybe blacks judge Kerry's record on issues of highest concern to their population – jobs and the economy, followed by education, according to the BET/CBS News survey – to be better than that of George W. Bush.

But surely not 80 percent better – the gap between the Democrats' black support and the Republicans'.

Bush's support for small business enterprise, his promotion of what he calls "the ownership society," has been particularly beneficial to black entrepreneurs. In fact, Small Business Administration loans to blacks are up 75 percent from last year.

On the education front, Bush has increased K-12 funding by a whopping 49 percent since he took office. And on his watch, funding for historically black colleges is at an all-time high.

The Republican also signed into law legislation creating a taxpayer-funded voucher program for disadvantaged students in predominantly black Washington, D.C., who are mired in the city's underperforming public schools.

If Bush were a Democrat, many if not most blacks would find his record commendable. But because he is a Republican, he gets no credit for the positive initiatives he has undertaken that have benefited black Americans.

That dichotomy is attributable, in part, to the black leadership, which has sold itself to the Democratic Party, which slanders blacks who vote Republican as traitors.

After a half-century of unconditional fealty to the Democratic Party, it is time that the black population get a little more sophisticated in its voting habits.

In a nation where Republicans control the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, most of the governorships, and a number of state legislatures, it makes no sense to be so uncivil toward the majority party.

Friday, July 30, 2004

  How the Iraq disaster is making the U.S. Army stronger

An excellent must read article:

The Army's chief of staff, Gen. Peter Schoomaker, likes to call the March 2003 ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company--during which Jessica Lynch was taken captive--part of the Army's "report card." He doesn't mean it as a compliment. That engagement revealed an unfortunate truth about many of the Army's support units: They were poorly-led, badly-equipped, and unready for the brutal rigors of combat.
Because American troops in Iraq must both beat back the insurgency and rebuild a war-torn nation, they can't stay behind barbed wire. And unfortunately, the Army doesn't have enough troops to both take the offensive and secure logistics units that can't protect themselves. So, it has returned to the old maxim, long embraced by the Marines, that every soldier--regardless of occupational specialty--must be able to fight as an infantryman. In practical terms, this means that every soldier must be physically fit and tactically competent enough to fight his or her way out of a firefight when necessary, to patrol on foot when necessary, and to kill the enemy when necessary.

This new training regimen has yet to reach all 482,000 soldiers in the Army, but there are more tangible signs of progress. Before Iraq, support units often did not participate in large-scale, live-fire exercises with real bullets the way their combat brethren did. Now, every support unit preparing to deploy to Iraq goes through a convoy-ambush exercise with real bullets. Before Iraq, support units lacked enough war-fighting equipment--heavy machine guns, truck-mounted grenade launchers, night-vision goggles, and GPS devices--to protect themselves. Now the Pentagon has shipped these items to support units in the field and revised plans so that future deployments include the right equipment as a matter of course. Before Iraq, most Army Humvees and trucks had nothing but canvas and thin aluminum for armor--which keeps out the rain, but not bullets. Today, the Army is rushing thousands of armored Humvees into the field, and retrofitting other vehicles with armor plates and sandbags.
Despite dire predictions about recruiting and retention, the Army Reserve has largely met both sets of targets since 2001, even with the extremely high operational tempo. If anything, today's deployment pace has been a reality check for prospective recruits and those already in uniform; they now know that joining or reenlisting is not a good idea if you're hoping to avoid deployment overseas.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

  Clueless at Opinion Journal
Later, a "celebrity," Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, gets up and says a few words, among them: "I want to give a shout-out to my daughter." What in the devil is a "shout-out"? Our incomprehension makes us feel young again, as we realize that the 56-year-old senator must be using slang from the 1920s or '30s that didn't reach remote North Dakota until Conrad's youth.

We thought about getting into the spirit of things and shouting out, "Groovy, Daddy-O." But it had been a long day. The time had come to bid our fellow bloggers a fond 23 skidoo.

How can you not know what a shout out is, maybe there really are Two Americas. It looks like the brotherhood has a lot of work to do.

  Education Based Minimum Wage: from Half full
Here is how its works. Higher your educational attainment higher your minimum wage. So for people who haven't graduated high school $4 hour or $8,000 a year. For high school graduates $6 hour or $12,000 year. For associates degree $8 hour or $16,000 year. Bachelors $10 hour (20k). Masters $12(24k) PHD $14(28k).

It would be a simple way to make sure people who have done their best of getting a good education get paid a living wage.

Half full is my original Blog

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

  I am not poor: But I am Still Black

But if you look at politics people seem to thing they are synonymous.
If you don't do shit for the poor, then you are not doing anything
for blacks.

We need to move beyond this. Even Cosby and Oprah are black. Black politics
need to take into account all of us.
  Racism Still Exist : Understand it and work against it everyday

On a personal note, when I was last looking for a job, many of the recruiters wanting to represent me asked to see me before they set me up for an interview. I decreased my chance of being discriminated against by only having phone interviews with recruiters unless they scheduled an interview with the hiring company on the same day. One must be vigilant to protect ones own interest.

The study by Vanderbilt University business professor Mark A. Cohen found that 43.3 percent of Honda's African American borrowers were charged a markup, compared with 22.2 percent of white borrowers.

Of those charged a markup, blacks paid an average $557, compared with $227 for whites. The study found that the disparities occurred even when borrowers of different races had the same creditworthiness.

Cohen's study of 383,652 AHFC loans between June 1999 and April 2003 said black borrowers paid $24.7 million in markups, nearly a quarter of the total, although they were only 12 percent of the company's customers.

thanks to P6 for linking to this story

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

  Richard Nixon and the origins of affirmative action

A little history lesson:

"Incredible but true," declared Fortune magazine at the time of Richard M. Nixon's death in 1994. "It was the Nixonites who gave us employment quotas."(1) Until recently, many scholars and journalists have credited Democratic Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson with initiating affirmative action. Yet it was a Republican president who first sanctioned formal goals and time frames to raze barriers to minority employment. Nixon, recalled civil rights leader James Farmer, was the strongest president on affirmative action--up to that point."(2)
Many labor unions effectively resisted opening their apprenticeship programs to minorities, and lacking enforcement powers as well as personnel and funds, the President's Committee on Government Contracts secured few skilled jobs for blacks. To show good faith, AFL-CIO officials often cited statistics showing incremental progress in admitting black members. Meanwhile, George Meany, a member of the committee, defended its tame policy of persuasion, mediation, and conciliation and refused to compel union locals to alter their admission practices.

  Pissing into the Wind : PDF

Bush has given us blacks in powerful positions, government funded scholarships for Washington D.C. , No Child Left Behind act to make our schools accountable. But his poll numbers among blacks are even worse than in 2000. I suspect in this election 95% will go to Kerry and Bush will win, and the republicans will just write off black America for ever and we will be stuck being represented by an equally corrupt but loser party.

Monday, July 26, 2004

  It Just Sucks Being Black

"The July 6-15 telephone poll of nearly 1,000 African Americans is the most comprehensive survey of registered African-American voters this year."

What the fuck, Election has been going strong for over a year, and less than six months before the election is the first time someone could use their fucking cell phone minutes to call 1000 African-American voters. We had two black people running for president and people don't even bother to poll us. Why ? Because our votes don't matter. Because the democratic nomiee is decided before a single state with a black population even gets to vote.

I am so fucking pissed right now.

  Black Power(less): The Decline of Black Politics in America
Little wonder, then, that “Kerry received virtually a hero’s welcome at the convention,” as CNN put it. But exactly for what reason? Seemingly because Kerry attended the convention and Bush did not. Every president has attended an NAACP convention since the 1930s except Bush, who visited it as a candidate during his “compassionate conservative” campaign days.

Kerry’s appearance, to correct CNN, was more symbolically than politically significant, since Kerry did not offer the assembled blacks anything beyond merely appearing and spouting boilerplate pro–civil rights rhetoric.

That Kerry could get away with so little before the NAACP — essentially offering no substantial policy initiatives that would benefit African-Americans — underscores the grim reality that 50 years after Brown v. the Board of Education, effective black politics in America has utterly bottomed out. No real agenda drives politics beyond having the Democratic candidate show up.

By any evidence, established black leadership, in this case the NAACP, isn’t offering black America anything much better. The way the organization has barked and clapped like trained seals before John Kerry, a man whose campaign has essentially articulated the standby stale and dry formula of civil rights, doesn’t bode well. Blacks will play their predictable booster-rocket role in John Kerry’s presidential campaign, only to be — if he does win — jettisoned later.

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