If You Think the FDNY is Ethnically Imbalanced, Take a Look at These New York City Agencies…..

TODAY, the ONLY ethnic group that is over-represented in the New York City Municipal workforce by MORE than 10% of their numbers in the city’s population is non-Latino blacks, who are 23% of NYC’s population and 36% of the city’s Municipal workforce! That’s an over-representation on the order of appx. 56% ABOVE their numbers in New York City’s population.
Merit Matters believes that people gravitate to the jobs they have an interest and aptitude for. The fact that until 2007 and over $20 MILLION spent on targeted recruitment non-Latino blacks accounted for LESS than 10% of all FDNY applicants seems to attest to that fact.
BUT IF proportionalism (“NYC’s workforce should mirror/look like NYC’s population”) is going to be the standard, than it MUST BE the standard for ALL…for ALL ethnic groups and for ALL city agencies!
By that measure the Garaufis-CCR-Vulcan Society view INSISTS on reducing the non-Latino black portion of the NYC workforce FROM its current 36% down to appx. 25%! That is what “Making NYC’s workforce look like NYC” would actually mean. While we’d rather see people gravitate to the jobs they have an interest and aptitude for, we also insist that proportionalism can’t just be targeted to one agency, when the city’s entire workforce is so ethnically imbalanced!
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Two Divergent Views on the President Obama and FDNY Diversity

“Over the past 18 months, it has come to my attention that we differ along political lines. You see the glass half full while I see it half empty. You see the homogeneous make up of the FDNY ok while I support heterogeneity, diversity and affirmative action. You see Reagan as a great President, I see Obama as the embodiment of Reagan and the greatest President since Reagan.

Because of our differences, there will be no more e mails pertaining to political chatter sent by me.

(DB)

You’re not a “glass half empty” guy, DB, you’re something else altogether.

I have to take issue with BOTH your viewpoints here. You claim you have a problem with the 90% white make-up of the FDNY’s uniformed Fire sector.

That certainly IS a 2 to 1 disparity ratio of whites compared to their numbers in NYC’s population (46%) and it definitely “doesn’t look like New York City.”

BUT, IF you really had a problem with “diversity,” you’d have an even bigger problem with the Dept of Juvenile Justice, which is 78% black a staggering 3 to 1 disparity ratio of blacks relative to their numbers in NYC’s population (26%), the Dept of Youth Services (73% black),the Dept of Corrections (68% black) – those Departments “Look even LESS like New York City than the backstep of the FDNY!”

In fact, IF you really had a problem with the “diversity” of NYC’s Civil Service population, then the fact that it is nearly 37% black in a city that is only 26% blacks would bother you greatly…and apparently it doesn’t, because you are a “racial homer,” obsessed with race. The fact that you don’t have a problem with the numerous other city agencies that “don’t look like New York City,” sort of makes clear that your passion for “diversity” is merely “a matter of convenience,” a convenient cover for a racial obsession.

As for the current administration, Barack Obama had more good will at the start of his administration than any President in recent memory, INCLUDING the great Ronald W Reagan. Unfortunately, Obama “ran as Reagan,” promising tax cuts and reducing the deficit, and has “governed like Carter,” with ever more wasteful social spending, higher taxes and record-breaking deficit spending that has ballooned the national debt from 53% of GDP to a breath-taking 68% of GDP…and rising.

YOU might see the Obama administration as “the embodiment of the Reagan administration”…WITHOUT the positive results (I suppose). After all, Reagan reduced the Misery Index every year he was in office until it reached single digits in 1986, where it remained throughout the rest of his tenure, while Barack Obama has seen the Misery Index (the Inflation and Unemployment rates added together) drop over his first five months, hitting a more than two-year low in July of 2009. Since then it went up every month until it reached double digits in November 2009, where it has stayed since.

While the Misery Index for Obama’s first year was 8.92, a 0.7 improvement over GW’s last year’s 9.61, but the Misery Index for 2010 has averaged 10.55 and shows no sign of letting up. Those numbers seem to indicate that we had a recovery early in 2009 and now the current policies, which are the same policies of Bush’s 2nd term – “Stimulate, bailout, spend, spend, spend” are delivering the expected Keynesian results.

THAT’S why the Democrats are looking at very possibly losing BOTH Houses of Congress DB…RESULTS! They have NOT delivered the promised results…the results that Reagan DID deliver!

(JMK)

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It is All Our Faults…The Weakest Generation

My father was born a scant few years before the Great Depression.

That is to say, he grew up and became conscious of life during the great suffering, lack and loss of the Great Depression. Upon graduating High School in 1942, he went right down to his local Service Center and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He spent the next eight years there, serving in WW II and the start of the Korean War.

He came home and worked briefly in a bank, where he met my Mom, then promptly took the entrance exam for the Fire Department in New York City and began that career with unbounded gratitude – for the City that raised him, for a job that gave him an opportunity to “go as far as his ambition and test-taking abilities would take…an opportunity his own father never had.

My father rose up steadily through virtually all the ranks in the FDNY and even as a Chief, even as the Asst. Borough Commander of Manhattan, whenever someone would ask him what he did, he’d simply answer, “I’m a fireman.”

My Dad worked in very busy firehouses through “the riot years” (1966 -1979), often referred to as New York City’s “Firestorm,” a time when fully ONE-THIRD (1/3) of New York City’s housing stock burned to the ground. He’d received numerous citations, NONE of which ever adorned his Class-A (dress) uniform. My father was a man of impeccable humility, it was his primary and most cherished virtue.

I give that brief background to explain why as I grew up I felt an increasingly perplexing (unexplainable?) difference between my father and I.

Sure, he could do more things, he was more self-reliant, but he was “an adult,” and I was at first…“just a kid,” and later on, “part of a generation that simply didn’t need that kind of self-reliance.”

But that difference didn’t diminish as I grew up, it only became more and more obvious and it wasn’t merely a matter of him “knowing different” things, it was an attitude, it was an essence.

He had a deeply ingrained humility, and that held despite his having accomplished many of the things he had, I had none.

He had gratitude and felt he owed the City of New York for providing the career that helped him provide his and his family’s sustenance – like many of my generation, I felt none of that…if anything, I felt the City owed me something. And like many others in my generation, I never even thought to ask, “For WHAT?!”

He expected little from others and laughed to himself when others didn’t live up to his own standards, or when such folks thought that THEY were somehow “getting over.” I, on the other hand, like most “liberal do-gooders,” very much expected others to live up to my own arbitrary and capricious standards (ones I rarely lived up to myself) or they were immediately labeled “bad people.”

But it wasn’t merely that I was a young idealistic, “do-gooding” Liberal (that’s exactly what I was back then), it was more, far more than that.

When Tom Brokaw wrote The Greatest Generation, he told, in my view, an important PART of the story, but his focus seems both too short and it leaves out the primary reason why that generation, in my view at least was instead, “The LAST Great Generation.”

I am convinced that virtually EVERY generation previous would’ve risen to the same occasion, some perhaps even more fiercely. See, my mother’s grandfather was, if anything, even more self-reliant than my Dad.

Affluence is a cancer…a soft doughy nugget that grows and expands, ultimately infecting and corrupting everything around it. It BECOMES the essence of the one who holds it.

The soft, affluent man can’t imagine hardship any more. He can’t even imagine harming another, or why someone else would want to deliberately harm him…as though he’d forgotten the very way of the world.

Because of the enormous amount of accrued affluence created by earlier generations, we are a weaker generation than our father’s was, just as they were a weaker generation than the one that came before…and so on.

That is the entropy of affluence.

The horror of confronting our own inner weakness directly is so great that we find many looking for others to blame for the problems we’ve all helped to create.

Indeed it’s all too often too tempting to resist envisioning some omnipotent “THEM,” controlling everything and victimizing all of “US.”

Sadly, I don’t believe that to be the case.

I firmly believe that if we were to find that curtain to look behind that would reveal this “THEM”….behind that curtain would lie a giant mirror, for it US…ALL of us, who are at fault.

It is WE (that is, US) who are the reason politicians lie – we virtually demand that they do. No one wants to hear the truth, that we’re spending too much and unsustainably on programs that we were never able to afford. Sure, not all of us, but certainly MOST of us, as every election pretty much makes clear. We constantly demand more stuff at no cost to us. We take issue with each other’s “boondoggles” – farmers revile inner city welfare cheats, urbanites revile government subsidized farmers, workers revile “corporate welfare” recipients and private sector workers revile fattened government workers. We ALL demand OUR “free stuff” and begrudge others theirs.

The pigs are US, not the weak-willed, sniveling politicians who’ll do anything just to remain in office…not the greedy self-centered businessmen, stocks and bond traders or commodities speculators, we are, for the most part just as self-centered and greedy as any of “THEM.”

It’s hard to blame ourselves, but to move forward I think we all (or at least most of us) have to come to do just that – accept our own culpability for everything that befalls us.

So what’s the answer?

The answer, plain and simple is to refocus ourselves on what this nation’s Founders were focused on – the INDIVIDUAL. We need to STOP blaming others and look at ourselves. We need to first perfect ourselves before offering any assistance or advice to anyone else. Too often we are tempted to look OUTSIDE ourselves and seek to improve, perfect and control others. That’s a wrong turn;

The first law of a self-responsible worldview is FIRST, PERFECT YOURSELF.

The 2nd law is PERFECT YOURSELF…and the 3rd law is PERFECT YOURSELF.

How do we perfect ourselves?

Dedicate ourselves to learning more and making ourselves more valuable in today’s economy.

Work on improving ourselves WITHOUT worrying, or even much caring about “what the other guy does.”

Accept that we can’t control, let alone improve others, we can only control and improve ourselves…at least that’s a start.

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Still ANOTHER Racial Double Standard…FDNY is NOT NYC’s Most Racially Out-of-Balance” Department!

A federal judge (Nicholas Garaufis) recently ruled that multiple choice written axams “discriminate against black applicants” and charged the City of New York with “deliberate discrimination” for continuing to use such time-tested exams.

Ironically enough, the SAME 1-standard deviation disparity in test scores exists between blacks and whites on ALL such standardized exams from the SAT’s and various Civil Service Entrance Exams, to the GRE’s and MCATSs, as well as various professional licensing exams, like the Law Boards and the CPA Exam.

How that one set of disparities “actionable,” while others remain immune from such “remedies” is an interesting dilemma, in and of itself.

The primary reason seems to be political. According to the attorney for the New Haven 20 (Karen Torre) the feds picked Fire Departments because “they believed firefighters wouldn’t fight back,” given their track record of ‘sucking it up’ and dealing with things as they come.

The main reason given for law suits against the FDNY is its vaunted “racial disparity in its makeup.” The charge is that “the FDNY should look a lot more like New York City.”

What’s really odd about this to me is that the FDNY is far from the most “racially out of balance” Department in the City of NY.

Whites are appx. 45% of the city’s population and 77% of the FDNY’s make-up, that’s a 1.67/1 ratio, or less than a 2 to 1 representation of whites within that population. Even if one takes that 77% figure and throws out the “far more diverse” office staff and takes into account only the in-field uniformed workforce, said to be appx. 90% white (with 3% black, 6% Hispanic and 1% other) that’s still a 2 to 1 ratio of whites relative to their numbers in NYC’s population!

By comparison, blacks comprise appx. 27% of NYC’s population and make-up 65% of the Dept of Corrections personnel, a 2.4/1 ratio, or nearly 2½X the black representation of their numbers within the city…and the Department of Juvenile Justice, which is 78% black is a staggering 2.92/1 ratio, or a nearly 3 to 1 representation of blacks relative to their numbers within the city!

Why aren’t those, even greater racial anomalies as large a concern as the FDNY’s much smaller racial disparity?

Is it simply because far more College educated whites take the exams for Emergency Services jobs, virtually assuring a disparate outcome on those exams? That’s certainly one possibility.

If so, then why aren’t the Dept of Justice’s and Nicholas Garaufis’ agendas not being viewed through a similar racial prism?

To do the math yourself, you’ll need two sets of statistics; (1) The racial makeup of New York city is 44.66% White, 26.59% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 9.83% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 13.42% from other races, and 4.92% from two or more races. 26.98% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

SEE: http://www.wordiq.com/definition/New_York_City and (2) the Demographics of City Agencies: http://www.citylimits.org/multimedia/257/new-york-city-s-agencies-by-race-ethnic-breakdown

Seriously, WHY shouldn’t the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice and other such Departments “LOOK a LOT MORE like New York City?”

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Conservatism Ill-Defined (A Response to Modern-day Boromirs – A Lament for the Conservatism that has Lost Itself & Umberto Eco’s take on fascism: reminds me of modern conservatism)

Conservatism, like virtually everything else is defined differently by different people…not only do its adherents define it differently, but so do its opponents.

I used to prefer to call myself a “Paleo-Libertarian,” Murray Rothbard’s term for generally socially Conservative, economic Libertarians, which, ironically enough, pretty accurately defines all of America’s Founders.

The most fundamental American principle is INDIVIDUALISM, the inalienable right of the individual to be free from the tyranny/control of others, especially from the control of government.

Today that is often seen as “the flaw of America’s Founding Design,” when it’s actually the essence of what its adherence call “the 5,000 year leap,” alluding to the view that America’s Founding Design was a gargantuan leap in sophistication by humans.

Individualism requires a basic faith in each individual member of society, that left to their own devices and forced to make their own way they will, always and everywhere find a way.

That is what the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin believed and it is what allowed America to grow exponentially in terms of economy and global influence over a remarkably short time frame (1781 to 1878).

In 1867, the great abolitionist and American patriot Lysander Spooner put the Founder’s ideals into a very clear perspective after what he saw as creeping federalism and tyranny after “the Great War” (the Civil War), when in the introduction to his No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, he wrote; “The question of treason is distinct from that of slavery; and is the same that it would have been, if free States, instead of slave States, had seceded.

“On the part of the North, the war was carried on, not to liberate slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution, to keep the slaves in bondage; and was still willing to do so, if the slaveholders could be thereby induced to stay in the Union.

The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.

“No principle, that is possible to be named, can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field, and is now assumed to be established. If it really be established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave. And there is no difference, in principle – but only in degree – between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man’s ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and [*iv] asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure.

“Previous to the war, there were some grounds for saying that – in theory, at least, if not in practice – our government was a free one; that it rested on consent. But nothing of that kind can be said now, if the principle on which the war was carried on by the North, is irrevocably established.

“If that principle be not the principle of the Constitution, the fact should be known. If it be the principle of the Constitution, the Constitution itself should be at once overthrown.” (Lysander Spooner, 1867)

Individual LIBERTY makes room ONLY for self-ownership and bars anyone from having any claim to the earnings or profits of another, just as it bars any communal claim, in the name of “the poor,” or “the children,” or “the sick,” etc. Such aid to those so distressed and disenfranchised comes ONLY in the form of alms (voluntary charity) in a free society and it’s why America, which today remains the most generous nation on earth, was far more generous still, in the days prior to the welfare state.

Spooner’s assertions about “state/political slavery” being as immoral as “chattel slavery” are undeniable., as they echo Jefferson’s assertions to the letter. Moreover, they are proven out by the travails we’ve experienced as a nation since the abandonment of the free and open market, in favor of the allegedly more “secure” government-regulated market or Corporatism, since 1912.

This regulated market has led to a pernicious and corrupt partnership between business and government that’s kept innovation and new products and advances from coming to market and allowing old jobs to be destroyed as new technologies, new industries take their place. It has delivered a modicum of security to the worker, a burdensome and crippling largesse to the slothful and indigent, while cementing the gains of the wealthiest (those “captains of industry”) in place.

Virtually ALL of today’s complaints against “Capitalism” are really complaints against the Corporatism we’ve had in place in America since 1912 and throughout most of Western Europe even longer.

The Non-Existent “Right” to Immigration

The author of “Modern-day Boromirs” either deliberately, or out of ignorance, mischaracterizes Arizona’s S-1070, which DOES NOT allow police to stop people on “suspicion of being here illegally,” but instead mandates police to ascertain the legal status of all those who are stopped by police for either criminal or traffic infractions.

Unfortunately, open borders proponents long ago ceded trying to make the “illegal immigration issue” a part of the larger “immigration issue.”

Opponents have won the argument separating the two by default, as proponents simply have never advanced a real argument in favor of open borders anywhere.

As a result, “illegal immigration” is no longer discussed as “an immigration issue,” it’s discussed either as an “illicit employer issue,” a “national security issue,” or a “criminal trespass issue.”

That was a fatal error, in my view, by open border proponents and I believe it was made out of moral cowardice. They simply dared not offend the large segment of America who wouldn’t accept the “immigration as a basic human right” argument. Regardless of the reason, that ship has sailed.

And truth be told, I WOULD support open borders with ONE single caveat, the smallest of possible concessions – the complete end and eradication of America’s welfare state, and yes, I’d include Medicare, Medicaid and SSI into the aforementioned “welfare state.” And Social Security would have to be strengthened either by drastically raising the retirement and eligibility ages to where they were originally (within 1 year of the average American’s lifespan) or draconian increases in contributions (FICA taxes).

That way, we would ONLY attract those who’d come here to work and produce.

That is the ONLY environment in which an “open border” policy can work.

But that is NOT going to happen. We are NOT going to witness the eradication of the welfare state any time soon, nor are we going to see support for far more draconian immigration laws fall below 70%.

The will of the people is clear, and since there is NO “right to immigration” enumerated in our Constitution, America’s immigration policy (which has NOT been “open” since prior to the Civil War) can be arbitrarily made as strict as the people deem reasonable.

What the vast majority of the 70% of American polled who support far stricter immigration laws, is one that benefits America first, through last. To the vast majority of Americans the term “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” does NOT include amnesty or a “path to citizenship for those already here illegally, instead it includes employer sanctions, like requiring E-Verify for employers hiring workers. It includes basing immigration on America’s needs – math teachers, physicists, chemists, yes, ditch diggers, welders, auto mechanics no. It includes ending the “anchor baby,” loophole that does not exist in any other 1st world nation’s immigration policies. It even might include requiring a sizable amount of capital as countries like Canada, Australia and Switzerland all do.

We the people have every right to put whatever strictures we deem necessary and practical on immigration….previous policies are subject to change at any time.

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