Friday, July 31, 2009 \PM\.\Fri\.
It always annoys me when I am confronted with a form which demands to know my “race or ethnicity” and offers no “mixed” option. Being exactly half “white” and half “hispanic”, it seems tiresome to have to pick one or the other. “Just pick the one you feel represents you most,” a nice lady at the DMV once told me. But of course, what I think represents me most is being half each — not picking one over the other. I would certainly not say that I “am” Hispanic, yet the experience of having a large Mexican-American half to the family is hardly accidental to my life experience.
One of the areas I knew this would make a more than usually substantive difference in my life was deciding how to fill out college application forms. I objected to the idea of racial quotas (something that was still going on fairly explicitly in 96/97) and I figured that with an English last name even if I were tempted to try to take advantage of “Hispanic” status, I wouldn’t pass the laugh test. So I put myself down at “Hispanic” on the PSAT and “white” on the SAT, and simply refused to pick on all my college applications.
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Thursday, July 30, 2009 \PM\.\Thu\.
Hattip to Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings. Personally when it comes to dental care I normally do not quibble about price, no pun intended, although I do understand that there are people, like this fellow here, who disagree with me.
On the subject of dentistry, the video below is probably not one to view if you have a dental appointment today.
Thursday, July 30, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.
It’s not unusual for people attempting to smooth over a contentious discussion to say that they’d of course be willing to get together for a friendly beer some time. Apparently, when one has the resources and media visibility of the President, it’s possible to actually pull this off, but trouble can ensue.
When President Obama called Cambridge police officer Crowley last week to try to smooth over tension resulting from Obama’s declaration that Crowley’s arrest of Professor Gates had been “stupid”, Officer Crowley suggested that the three men should get together for a few beers. It seems that Obama thought this was a good idea, and a beer summit between the three men is currently scheduled to take place are scheduled to get together at a White House and knock back a couple cold ones.
However, this morning’s Wall Street Journal reveals that peace making is never simple, American brewers are upset over the likely offering at the beer fest: Read the rest of this entry »
Thursday, July 30, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.
Hattip to Alberto Hurtado at Southern Appeal. The myth of the Population Bomb is a cautionary tale of the dangers of politicized junk science. Paul Ehrlich’s best seller in 1968 helped propel public policy in an anti-natalist, pro-abortion and pro-contraceptive direction. As I hope all of our readers know, the book was a heap of rubbish, making wild alarmist predictions about the dangers of population growth, none of which came true. Good articles on Erhlich’s bomb of a book are here, here, and here. Rather than a population bomb, we have a population implosion throughout most of the world, including in Muslim states.
Now why would a book that was so spectacularly wrong headed have so captured the imagination of policy makers for generations? Because books like Erhlich’s truly have nothing to do with science. Science jargon is merely a wrapper for a political agenda; in Ehrlich’s case one which was both radically pro-environment and anti-human, with a heaping dollop of hatred for people who had more than two kids. I have a great deal of respect for science, and little but contempt for those who attempt to claim the mantle of science for political agendas through the use of junk science. Read the rest of this entry »
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.
Barring some political miracle, National Health Care is dead. Many current polls indicate that a majority of the public is now against it. There is no chance of having a vote in either chamber of Congress before the August recess. Considering the high popularity numbers that Obama had coming into office, and the wide majorities that the Democrats enjoy in Congress this is astounding. What caused this debacle? A few thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »