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Hacking the Governator 382

Posted by kdawson
from the call-that-a-hack? dept.
mytrip writes, "The Democratic rival to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledged that his aides were responsible for obtaining a controversial audio file, in which the Governator was heard disparaging members of other races, in a move that has led to allegations of Web site hacking. A source close to Angelides told CNET News.com that it was possible to 'chop' off the Web links and visit the higher-level 'http://speeches.gov.ca.gov/dir/' directory, which had the controversial audio recording publicly viewable. No password was needed, the source said." And jchernia notes, "As an aside, the California Highway Patrol is running the investigation — maybe the Internet is a truck after all."
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Hacking the Governator

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  • Moo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chacham (981) * on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:41PM (#16093670) Homepage Journal
    So calling someone passionate, but mentioned a way to denote tham as a group is a bad thing?

    Am i missing something here?

  • by kherr (602366) <kevinNO@SPAMpuppethead.com> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:42PM (#16093692) Homepage
    Gee, content freely accessible via URLs on the WWW? What a novel concept.

    This is simply a matter of deep linking. Just because there's no page with a link to a URL doesn't magically make the accessible URL off-limits. Security through obscurity isn't. If the governator didn't want people to get it they shouldn't have posted it on their web site. Or at least put some form of authentication on it.
  • Not "Hacking" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MarkusQ (450076) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:45PM (#16093705) Journal

    I'm sorry, this is not "Hacking," it's the way the web works. They sent the web server a URL, requesting a document, and the web server gave it to them. They didn't do anything nefarious, underhanded, or tricky. The didn't claim to be anybody they weren't, there was no phishing or pretexting or anything like that involved.

    Imagine they had called the governor's office and said "Hi, got anything incriminating about the guv on file?" and when told "Sure, would you like a copy?" they said "Yes please!" What would people think then? It's the same darned situation here.

    --MarkusQ

  • by HatchedEggs (1002127) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:48PM (#16093718) Homepage Journal
    Is it just me, or did this whole thing make you feel like you were on crazy pills? I didn't find anything remotely racist in what he said. He was giving her a compliment. I wish people spoke about me and said,"You know, its just that mix of Norwegian and German... it just makes him hot." The only person that says that about me is my wife, but I guess that will have to suffice. Regardless, Arnold, you can talk about that crazy hot blood in my veins whenever you feel the need to bud. Not that it would matter. Apparently another political candidate being offended "for" someone makes it wrong. What kind of pills were those again?
  • by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:08PM (#16093815)
    I'm just waiting until there's a move by content providers to ban popup blockers because they prevent people from seeing ads ... thus costing someone potential ad revenue and when someone is deprived of potential revenue (even if the loss of potential revenue is only in their imagination) it is now the equivalent of theft.

    There are quite a lot of people who view competent computer use as a form of magic. They are deeply scared of technology, vote people into office who don't understand technology and expect them to legislate their fears away. So if someone accesses information on a website in an unintended manner, it must be computer hacking. What's really funny is that some people who use the Internet everyday, looking at URLs everyday and think manually changing the URL is hacking.

    It is all part of an idea that if you use a product in manner which was not intended by the creator it is some sort of crime. If you look at a website in the wrong way, you're a criminal. The people running the website have no responsibility to keep their private files out of publicly accessible directories. If you use home-brew software on an electronic product, you're a criminal. Most of the time it's about a loss of potential revenue.
  • by MECC (8478) * on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:25PM (#16093889)
    "I mean Cuban, Puerto Rican, they are all very hot," the governor says on the recording. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."

    Disparaging or not, and Arnold may or may not be racist, it still attributes personality traits based on racial ethnicity. That's racism by definition. It doesn't matter whether or not said traits are good or bad - its still racism.

    'Garcia, who is Puerto Rican and the only Latina Republican in the assembly, appeared with Schwarzenegger yesterday and said she was not offended by the governor's comments. Garcia earlier told the Times that she refers to herself a "hot-blooded Latina."

    Forgiveness or acceptance by one member of an ethnic group doesn't magically make it 'not racist'. Just because Chappell might refer to himself as a nigger, doesn't mean Arnold can refer to blacks that way and have everything turn out okay. It would still be racist. Believe it or not, racism involves race and is contextual.

  • by TWX (665546) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:27PM (#16093899)
    I'd counter with the RFC for HTTP. The protocol is designed to provide content located in a designated directory structure on the file system. Anything located in that file structure that isn't specifically covered with a password is supposed to be available to any browser. And as for someone saying that it wasn't provided in an index or referrer page, I'd compare it to large college textbooks or anthologies that don't have every single entry itemized in a table of contents or index, and how published content (which I believe the Web has been acknowledged as) would compare.

    Fact of the matter is that this audio clip was put in a place that was easily found and was obviously placed there intentionally. If it wasn't there intentionally, the webmaster is responsible through negligence, not the opponent's campaign.

    Oh, there's also the little matter of it being posted on the government's web site, which is supposed to belong to every resident of California...
  • by Kreigaffe (765218) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:33PM (#16093927)
    "I mean Cuban, Puerto Rican, they are all very hot," the governor says on the recording. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it." Disparaging or not, and Arnold may or may not be racist, it still attributes personality traits based on racial ethnicity. That's racism by definition. It doesn't matter whether or not said traits are good or bad - its still racism.


    I'm sorry, that's asinine.

    You're trying to say that saying "Asian chicks are hot" is racist.

    Maybe not all asian chicks ARE hot. Maybe you're generalizing. So what.

    AMAZINGLY, people of different races have physical differences. Cosmetically different -- not 3 arms or purple noses or anything, just small differences. That's a fact. And some people find some of those differences attractive. OHNOES. What a travesty.

    Calling that racism is a step too far.
  • by cpuffer_hammer (31542) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:33PM (#16093930) Homepage
    I would say that the individual sent a request for a copy of the recoding to the governors office. The office was foolish and send a copy of the speech to the requestor. Sounds to my like a staff training problem. Staff member will have to go for reeducation, and be reprogrammed.

  • by groman (535485) <slashdot@carrietech.com> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:39PM (#16093958) Homepage
    Disparaging or not, and Arnold may or may not be racist, it still attributes personality traits based on racial ethnicity. That's racism by definition. It doesn't matter whether or not said traits are good or bad - its still racism.


    Umm, no it's not, at least about as much as targetting Cosmo towards women is sexism. Racism requires either preferential treatment, prejudice or implicit or explicit claim of superiority. Simply attributing a neutral personality trait to a broad ethnic or cultural group and using historical ethnic or cultural heritage as supporting evidence is NOT racist. It's a broad generalization, maybe, but it implies no claim to superiority nor attempt to disparage.
  • Re:Not "Hacking" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MarkusQ (450076) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:41PM (#16093965) Journal
    I'm sorry, this is not "Hacking," it's the way the web works. They sent the web server a URL, requesting a document, and the web server gave it to them. They didn't do anything nefarious, underhanded, or tricky. The didn't claim to be anybody they weren't, there was no phishing or pretexting or anything like that involved.
    I don't know how you can be so supportive of this activity as it's a dangerous and unclear line to take. Exactly what separates this from an SQL injection attack or spoofing a session ID within a URL? Afterall, you're just sending the webserver a URL/packets, how it responds is their problem, right? I don't think so. It's not like they were just choosing URLs at random. Even if the accused did the most basic form of this attack (i.e. server directory listings), they were still intentionally using URLs designed to trick the server into giving them access to material they knew they weren't authorized to access.

    The difference, as I stated, is that they were using the system the way it was designed to work. The whole reason browsers have address bars is so that you can type in URLs. The reason web servers respond with a list of the files in a directory is so that users can type in a partial URL and get a comprehensible list of alternatives to choose from.

    Spoofing, SQL injection, etc. involve using things in ways that they were never intended to be used, breaking them in order to get access to something that the system was designed to prevent access to. It is the exact opposite of what happened here.

    And as for your final point, how are they supposed to know that they aren't supposed to have access to something, when it is made available to them using the basic public interface as it was designed to be used, and none of the dozen or so ways to prevent them from gaining access were used? That seems to me to be a much more dangerous precedent, since you could retroactively criminalize almost any use of a web site by saying "Well, you should have known that you weren't supposed to look at that page!" and suddenly you've made somebody into a cyberterrorist by fiat.

    --MarkusQ

  • by Grym (725290) * on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:43PM (#16093970)

    That said, it's not a question of whether the adjectives used are 'complimentary' or not, but rather the generalization across an entire race that offends (some) people. They feel that racial generalizations (aka stereotypes) are unhelpful and inaccurate, and have a major history of abuse.

    So what? This was an off-hand remark made in private. Have we come to the point where every word one says must be parsed and examined for any trace of anything that might offend the most hypersensative among us lest he or she be branded a racist?

    -Grym

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:44PM (#16093981)
    Seriously, if not being racist means pretending like there are no racial division, then everyone is a racist and you make the term meaningless. Clearly different races are different physically, if nothing else. That's why the whole concept exists in the first place. If we all looked the same, there'd be no concept of race like there is today.

    Well, something else we know is that humans like to use generalities. We like to generalize traits, trends, whatever. Helps us deal with understanding overall patterns in data. Thus it should be no surprise that traits get generalized to races. Happens to other things too, you can see all the traits that get generalized to geeks (like not having girlfriends) here on Slashdot.

    So if you are going to get all bent every time someone makes a race related observation, ask yourself why. Is it because you think they are a bad person, with a malfunctioning brain? Or maybe is it because you yourself find that you generalize based on things like race, but don't want to admit or verbalize it?

    Look the answer to racial division in this country isn't to hide it, to try and pretend like we are all the same and make it taboo to talk about. The answer is to talk about it, to laugh about it, and to understand and accept it. We are all different, physically, mentally, socially, etc. We need to celebrate our differences and understand that they aren't a reason to hate. Trying to hide away from them and make them taboo won't do any good.
  • by merreborn (853723) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:50PM (#16094005) Journal
    Disparaging or not, and Arnold may or may not be racist, it still attributes personality traits based on racial ethnicity.

    "Hot" is a personality trait? I thought it was a set of physical features dictated by genetics.

    Which by definition, is tied to race.

    People of Asian decent are generally shorter than most people. That's not racist. It's genetics.
  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms@nOspam.infamous.net> on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:11AM (#16094098) Homepage
    The webmaster intended to make this--by all accounts--private information public?

    A directory accessible by URL-chopping is a public place. Anyone with knowledge of semantics of URLs understands how to construct chopped URLs and use them to find information on a wwebsite.

    Information placed in a public place is assumed be to be public.

    And if they did make the assumption that it was intended to be there, then why did they release it to the media? Afterall, it was already public from their point of view, right?

    Why does anyone send stories to /.? After all, they're already on the web, right?

  • by crashcodesdotcom (813209) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:14AM (#16094107)
    Generalizations or stereo-types exist for a reason. If I look at an electric range and one of the burners is red, I am going to try to avoid touching it. It is possible however that the burners are simply painted or dyed red and not currently dangerous. Now when I get closer to the range and I'm able to tell no heat is being emmitted and it's not really glowing, I probably wont be as cautious. Generalizations and stereo-types are useful in filling in some gaps of unknown information until better data is availabe; but ultimately should be treated as unreliable. People shouldn't take serious action just based on a stereo-type. Forget offensive. That's just dumb.

    Taking offense at someone voicing or defining their own stereo-type. Bah! Sounds kinda silly to me. How bout I get really pissed the next time someone offers me sunblock? "OMG, they assume because I have white skin that I'm prone to sunburns! How dare them!" Hehe, yeah that would be pretty silly.

    So, I think I get what your saying about history of abuse and all; but it's the abusers that should be punished not the concept of stereo-types.

    My two cents.
  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms@nOspam.infamous.net> on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:15AM (#16094110) Homepage
    I wish people spoke about me and said,"You know, its just that mix of Norwegian and German... it just makes him hot."

    The context was "hot" as in "hot-tempered" or "hot-blooded", not like "am I hot or not?"

    Whether "hot-tempered" is compliment or not is debatable. Certainly the accusations of being "hot-tempered" that people directed toward those of Irish ancestry in the laste 19th and early 20th centuries, the time of "No Irish Need Apply" signs, were not compliments.

  • Yes and no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phorm (591458) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:21AM (#16094133) Journal
    Well, if you go by the "black blood" as actual blood, perhaps. If you go by background or cultural origin, then perhaps not so much. Part of the issue of racism is that it usually denotes offensive racial remarks. In the majority of cases, a black or latino person would not be offended by a remark that "black people are hot," in fact it would be complimentary.

    Also, one's background (again not actual 'blood' or skin colour, but upbringing) tend to influence one's sexual behavior. In terms of actual genetics, race may also promote certain physical attributes which might be attractive. For example, many Asian nationalities tend to have smaller, more petite figures, while so-called "black" races might have more rounding, leading to the common references to 'booty' (large backsides).

    You can argue that remarks along those lines are racist as they single out a particular race, but again they lack the negetive connotations. I myself have been known to date quite a few Asians (more than most white people around here), as culturally and physically they have characteristics I find attractive. I have dated white people with similar characteristics, but they are more prevalent in various Asian groups. Were I to comment that I find asians attractive, or "hot" as it were, I doubt they'd be offended, no more than I would be for a Asian who finds paricular preference in Caucasian males.

    Calling somebody hot or sexy is a far, far cry from calling them a 'nigger' (especially with the slave references and other negetives it entails).
  • by Pantero Blanco (792776) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:23AM (#16094142)
    "They all are very hot," the governor says of Cubans and Puerto Ricans. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it." See: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2 [sfgate.com] 006/09/09/GUV.TMP

    Yeah, that's right up there with all black people can play basketball, cuz you know, it's in their blood man!


    I suppose all the anime fans that keep telling me how hot Japanese women are are racists too, then. If this is considered racism, I don't have any problem with racists. I guess we'll need a new word for the serious sort.

    I mean, if the word "murder" could mean accidentally stepping on a cricket, I wouldn't care if I lived next door to someone described as a "murderer".
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:28AM (#16094171)

    1. Republican (barely) makes SLIGHTLY off color remark that bothers no one, especially the woman the remark was about, who thought it was funny.

    2. L. A. Times prints the story from an "anonymous" source without bothering to do any verification.

    3. Despite no one with a functioning brain thinking the comment was anything to even care about, extensive media coverage is given to the blubbering hand wringing and panty soiling histrionics of various key Democrats, including Arnold's opponent, who act as if he was caught eating babies on video.

    4. It is revealed that the file was taken from a computer by members of the Phil Angelides staff, possibly illegally, and that the L. A. Times probably knew more about the source than they originally let on, suggesting political dirty tricks collusion.

    5. Not one mainstream reporter asks the Phil Angelides campaign what happpened to their pledge of "sticking to the issues".

    The leftists on Slashdot and elsewhere torture logic to the point that the UN considers issuing a stern finger wagging.

  • by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:46AM (#16094246) Homepage
    Think of your webserver as a publicist working in your stead. That publicist should know what is public and what is private. If someone goes to your publicist and asks for information, and your publicist gives it to them willingly, then YOU have implicitly given permission for that transaction to take place. Your publicist is your proxy. If the person who is recieving the information shouldn't be getting it, the fault lies with you for not giving your publicist the training they need to do their job.

    On the other hand, if someone goes up and lies to the publicist or attempts to confuse them, they are in the wrong. Your publicist shouldn't be an idiot about it, of course, and shouldn't turn over your medical history to someone claiming to be your lost half-brother's dentist. But the fault does lie with the person making the request under false pretenses.

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @01:31AM (#16094389)
    This reminds me of the time that Bill Clinton was video taped in front of some scale model of a new federal building (or was it a White House gingerbread house on display for the holidays?). Regardless - his immediate reaction on seeing the scale model was that it looked like it had been built for Robert Reich (his 4'-10" Labor Secretary, a cabinet member). Reich (just like the woman with whom Arnold was joking) took it in stride, and frequently jokes about his height himself.

    But: such media coverage as even covered a crack like that was mostly in the form of the talking heads chuckling right along with Clinton, their pet guy. If Arnold had made that same remark, he'd get lit up way worse than he has been over this recent bit of nonsense. Political Correctness is bad enough, but it's even worse when it's applied capriciously by people who are not offended, but are trying very hard to make other people feel that they should be offended, because they score some feeble political points in doing so.
  • by Kunta Kinte (323399) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @02:25AM (#16094520) Journal

    Disparaging? hardly. This is just a sensationalist way to report the news.

    The problem is that many people believe that nonesense. And the guy is the governor..., he runs the state! Don't you think it's a little worrying he attributes personality traits to race?

    There are many of these stereotypes. For instance, I read once that there is a strong 'masculine' stereotype to most things concerning the black race, and similarly a strong 'feminine' basis to most things asian. This may have it's roots in the general physical traits but has migrated into most aspects concerning race. And hence there is some cognitive disonance when we see a black man in a lab coat run experiments or a strong asian man doing manual labor. When we switch the roles around, and our minds feel more at ease.

    Now tell me, what does this little harmless stereotype do to the self image of a young black kid who first begins to encounter this 'social norm' in his/her formative years? How does this stereotype affect the black scientist, say in a compentitive field?

    Those stereotypes are anything but harmless...

    ...especially coming from a guy who once admitted to admiring Hitler.

  • by phayes (202222) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @02:41AM (#16094552) Homepage
    First off, without the context, it's impossible to dtermine whether the comments supposed derogetory nature.

    <blockquote><i>are any of your personality traits due to your race or ethnicity?</i></blockquote>

    Oh bollocks. Most of my personality traits are related to my ethnicity insofar as they usually go hand in hand with the cultural norms of the society they come from. Other than adopted children it rarely happens & even then, many people who are adopted into a different ethnic family assume some of the cultural habits of their own ethnicity on their own. Learning who I really am, etc. Being of mixed ethnic origins & growing up in the US then living in France gives me a pretty good insight on the subject.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @03:21AM (#16094645)
    I think there's a distinction to be made between traits that are in fact genetically/racially derived (as in your example above) and ones that aren't. A better example might be if someone bought you a case of whiskey for your birthday, based solely on their knowledge that you are of Irish descent, plus their idea that "Irish people like to get drunk".

    You haven't picked a very good example. The reality is that there is a substantial genetic component to the ability to metabolise alcohol, and the propensity to alcoholism. Groups like Greenlanders, Australian Aborigines and American Indians, for example, are at a much greater risk of becoming alcoholics than European populations, because of their genes.

    The old Marxist idea that each person begins as a 'blank slate', and is totally defined by the environment, has been almost completely demolished by genetic research. With each passing year it grows scientifically weaker, and yet its supporters counter this growing weakness by becoming ever more shrill in their defence of a scientifically indefensible notion.

    One of the biggest bugbears of the Marxist relics is race, because if inherent group differences exist, then it becomes impossible to argue that inherent individual differences don't exist. To this end, they insist that race is meaningless, or even that it doesn't exist, despite the fact that a cursory analysis of genetic information can reveal the race of a given individual with an extremely high rate of success, and apart from the obvious physical/morphological differences, there are even differences in susceptibility to certain diseases, reactions to various medications, etc.

    At the end of the day, it can be said with virtual certainty that many of your positive and negative traits have genetic roots. Environment is of course an important factor in developing the genetic foundation, but as with all the other animals, many of our basic characteristics come from our genes, and we're stuck with them, whether we like it or not.
  • by Oligonicella (659917) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @09:22AM (#16095585)
    Horse shit. Get some skin. Saying that Nordics sunburn easily doesn't at all imply that the Irish don't. Study some logic.
  • Re:Schwarnazi?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @09:35AM (#16095677) Homepage
    Is it possible to admire half a man? Hitler inspired people, brought them out of a crushing depression, and personally rose from nothing to the very top.

    He was also directly responsible for possibly the greatest atrocity in the history of mankind.

    Am I allowed to admire the first half, and not the second? Are the two inextricably intertwined?

    I'll admit the "...and what he did with it" is vague - but I truly doubt Arnold was referring to the Holocaust.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @10:29AM (#16096010)
    See, on the surface things like your statement seem to make sense, but if anybody actually stops and thinks about it they'll note that you're doing nothing more than arbitrarily declaring that:

    a) A thing exists
    b) It's wrong

    You're not actually providing any concrete explanation of WHAT this problem is, you're just saying there is one, that we should all believe that, and that we should all assume it's wrong if it even does exist. So let's play a little game. Let's try to define this "problem" in terms that will:

    a) Make its existance testable
    b) Make its status as a negative factor in society testable

    The idea is presumably that an individual group of people forming a minority has identified closely with a singular heritage. This singular heritage then is something that can be used to tie a disparate group of people together within a larger society that no longer represents that particular heritage (ie - not everyone in America is of African descent).

    The disparity, if we assume one exists, in the ability of a minority to create a highlighted social structure without a backlash and that of a majority to create another highlighted social structure WITH a a backlash, needs to be explained. The problem initially was that you just assumed that any such disparity existed (I'd like to see, for example, where any majority attempted to create such a thing without a focus on the superiority of that structure over others). You then also assumed that any such disparity would be unjustified.

    However, we could easily explain the backlash as such: a minority group that has a singular shared heritage is, inherently, underrepresented in that society in the sense of evenly divided time among the number of unique groupings. In other words:

    Venusians: 10%
    Martians: 10%
    Terrans: 80%

    The terran population may be represented within society's media and culture at a measure of 80%, the other two groups at 10% each. The Venusians and martians then may feel that their views as 33% each of the grouping of society are undervalued, and may band together in order to create a unified voice to attempt to place their cultural values into more of a mainstream position than couldn't otherwise be attained.

    Which, finally, brings us to the actual crux of the problem that you tried to make us assume existed:

    Is it unfair that a minority group be allowed to band together to present a unified message that helps represent its heritage more as a basis of its percentage of the number of unique groupings rather than a percentage of its population within all groupings.

    Your position is that it is unfair, and I disagree. As a white individual of European descent my history, values, and status are already well-represented by virtue of the fact that I am in the majority percentage of population in my country. I do not need any additional focus created in order to be fairly represented. However, I have NO awareness of ANY of the other cultural heritages and their current values save what their unified messages have provided to me. Were it not that they did this, I would have little to no knowledge of anything about them. Contrary to feeling threatened by this, I think it's a boon, and I encourage the establishment of such groupings in order to present a voice that otherwise would be completely drowned out by default.

    Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with my assessment the point of all that was really nothign more than to provide an actual definition for your problem that we could discuss, since your initial assumption gave no such framework. Making such assumptions does not help your case, and is exactly why people tend to think 'racism' when they're made. You may or may not have a valid point, but you do yourself no favors when you try to simply cram in someone's head rather than providing a groundwork for productive discussion that you can use as a pulpit to try and convince anyone who doesn't agree with you.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:54PM (#16097058)
    As a white male just after the baby boomers,

    I've felt my point of view, my chances of promotion, my entire standing in society has been suppressed my entire life to make up for the sins of the people 10 years older than I am. It was worse in the past- they were very blatant about even promoting imcompetant people to balance the percentages. Today, there are plenty of competant people of all races and sexes- I'm one of them- but they still need to get up to 50% female, 12% black, etc. I've seen females blatantly selected to be fast tracked into upper management.

    The role of men as parents has been completely destroyed by feminist ideology and male-hating family courts (some going so far as the put the children up for adoption rather than let a loving father with no problems take custody- thank god they got BUSTED for that-- it only took the father two years and sixty thousand dollars of course). It's gotten bad enough that young men do not casually get married since everyone knows some poor sob who is paying the rent of his ex AND her new boyfriend while not seeing any money spent on the kids.

    It won't last forever. As recently as 100 years ago- the father always got custody because a single woman was assumed to be unfit to be parent like males are today.

    The blacks "race card" has less power each time it is played. It's becoming clear to everywhere that fair "black " representation is roughly 12% and NOT 50%. You still see it from time to time tho "Why aren't HALF the "X"'s black???? -- well because only 11% of the population is black perhaps???"

    I've never played the native american card- which legally I could. I look white and my name is european.

    A bit of a ramble- but I'm just saying, YES, I do want my side of the story pushed up because there are a hell of a lot of people pushing me down and trying to take my cheese.
  • by internic (453511) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @03:22PM (#16098339)
    Men are taller than women on the average. Is it an outrage to generalize "men are taller than women"? Yet the same reasoning you just used would supposedly invalidate this. Just replace races with genders.

    It would be correct to say "men are taller than women on average." To simply say, "Men are taller than women" is dumb; it's just factually incorrect. It's probably not that offensive, because of the context. For one thing, your height is relatively easily proven, so preceptions about your height just aren't that important. Also, women probably don't like being called short, but it hasn't historically been a major reason for oppression of women or resulted in women being beaten or killed. It's the context that separates a merely dumb statement from an offensive one.

    Saying that Puerto Ricans are "hot-blooded" is presumably to say they are violent or irrational or oversexualized. This is an observation that isn't based in fact, other than perhaps the vaguest sort of anecdotal evidence. In other words, it's a dumb statement because it's complete bullshit. What makes it go from being dumb to being offensive to some people is that ideas like those have historically been something white people have thought about non-whites and it has been the basis for denying them rights or even for things like lynchings.

    As far as I know, the GP is correct that generally for many measurable characteristics there is more variance within a "race" than between "races". What this means is that it may be there are many differences that exist on average, but knowing a person's race is not a good indicator of whether it may be true for the individual. It's a situation where the population is not well described by the mean. Add to that the fact that many claims about races have no basis in fact, no scientific evidence behind them, and you can generally say that and statement of the form, "Race X has attribute Y" (without a modifier like "on average") is probably pretty stupid. If it also happens to be the case that race X was in the past oppressed, enslaved, or killed en masse with the justification given that they have attribute Y, then you also have a statement that's offensive. It's as simple as that.

    In short, the argument you used is a common one, but its a strawman that's intended to trick those who are easily persuaded by arguements that justify their prejudices.

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