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+ - Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Ban On Affirmative Action in College Admissions

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "CNN reports that the Supreme Court by a vote of 6 — 2 has upheld a Michigan law banning the use of racial criteria in college admissions, finding that a lower court did not have the authority to set aside the measure approved in a 2006 referendum supported by 58% of voters. "This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy. "Michigan voters used the initiative system to bypass public officials who were deemed not responsive to the concerns of a majority of the voters with respect to a policy of granting race-based preferences that raises difficult and delicate issues." Kennedy’s core opinion in the Michigan case seems to exalt referenda as a kind of direct democracy that the courts should be particularly reluctant to disturb. This might be a problem for same-sex marriage opponents if a future Supreme Court challenge involves a state law or constitutional amendment enacted by voters. Justice Sonia Sotomayor reacted sharply in disagreeing with the decision in a 58 page dissent. "For members of historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights, the decision can hardly bolster hope for a vision of democracy (PDF) that preserves for all the right to participate meaningfully and equally in self-government."

The decision was the latest step in a legal and political battle over whether state colleges can use race and gender as a factor in choosing what students to admit. Michigan has said minority enrollment at its flagship university, the University of Michigan, has not gone down since the measure was passed. Civil rights groups dispute those figures and say other states have seen fewer African-American and Hispanic students attending highly competitive schools, especially in graduate level fields like law, medicine, and science. “Today’s decision turns back our nation’s commitment to racial equality and equal treatment under the law by sanctioning separate and unequal political processes that put undue burdens on students,” National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel said in a statement. “The Supreme Court has made it harder to advocate and, ultimately, achieve equal educational opportunity.""

Comment: Re:Excuse me... (Score 1) 399

by dave420 (#46821125) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science
People are not ignorant or stupid because they question evolution - they are irrational. All the evidence points to it being real, and the current explanation of it seems to describe its workings wonderfully. Evolution doesn't have "lots of problems to solve for itself" - you should probably learn a bit more about the subject before attacking it, lest you look foolish.

Comment: Re:Experimental science vs narrative science (Score 1) 399

by dave420 (#46821095) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science
No, he will be modded down for claiming something practically all the evidence says is false. And quite rightly so. Ignoring evidence because you can't understand it or because you don't like the consequences is not "questioning theories" - it's being lazy and/or dishonest.

Comment: Re:You are going to see that where Science conflic (Score 1) 399

by dave420 (#46821077) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science
The reason we have the scientific method is that common sense is useless when trying to discern fact from fiction. The world is constantly more bizarre than common sense dictates. It sounds like you simply don't understand what scientists claim happened back then, and so to deal with that, instead of accepting the limits of your intellect, are attacking those scientists (and those who *do* understand, or who realise the experts might know more than them). You are the ignorant twit, it seems.

Comment: Re:You’re using the wrong defn of doubt (Score 4, Insightful) 399

by dave420 (#46821071) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science
The hubris is strong with this one. First, your "logic" and "reason" are telling you something evidence does not, and secondly you still think it matters that your boss calls you a senior systems engineer/architect. And yes, you are anti-science, as you are making assumptions about reality, claiming they are scientifically valid, and then getting upset when people point that out to you. You aren't questioning theories - you are ignoring them and putting your own hypotheses in their place, devoid of supporting evidence beyond urban myth and lazy thinking. You are the Glenn Beck of science. I hope you are happy with yourself - judging by your ego, you probably are.

+ - The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World's Richest->

Submitted by gollum123
gollum123 (810489) writes "The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades. After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans. The struggles of the poor in the United States are even starker than those of the middle class. A family at the 20th percentile of the income distribution in this country makes significantly less money than a similar family in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands. Thirty-five years ago, the reverse was true."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:units (Score 1) 223

Regardless of what you just said, imperial units are still ridiculous, and it sounds like someone touched a nerve to get that response from you :) Yes, every country on the planet has a unique quality - trying to explain the joke of still using imperial units in the 21st century as a quirk of character is ridiculous. Units are designed to ease the recording and/or transmission of measurements, meaning the more people use them, the more useful they are. Using imperial units is as sensible as using an Iroquoian language as the national language, and explaining it as a quirk of character when people point out that no-one can understand you. Bashing America is not always good - in fact, it's rarely good - but pointing out an anachronism which is actively hurting the US's participation in the world stage is not bashing. The fact you seem to think it is speaks more about your insecurity than the veracity of your claims.

Oh, and heavier-than-air flight did not originate in the US, fyi. The only thing that originated in the US in that regard was having a flight surrounded by journalists.

Comment: Re:Well considering that.. (Score 1) 389

by mc6809e (#46800331) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

There is not a SINGLE European country with a worse ratio than the US. Granted, the aforementioned Georgia along with Portugal and the UK are coming close to it, but none of them is actually WORSE. Most central European (and let's also lump in the Scandinavian) countries revolve around a disparity factor of about 5-8.

That means that we're looking at about three times more equality in Europe than the US.

I'm not saying you don't have a point. Maybe you do. Maybe you don't. But if you're going to compare inequality in Europe to inequality in the USA, you can't compare the USA with individual European countries.

Smaller inequality in all individual European countries doesn't imply smaller inequality in Europe as a whole.

Inequality inside Albania, for example, might be small, but there's a great deal of inequality between Albania and the Netherlands.

+ - Anti-tech protests in San Francisco turn out to be underhanded ploy by union

Submitted by execthis
execthis (537150) writes "In the news over past weeks and months have been stories about protests in San Francisco in which buses for Google have been blocked by protesters. Today it is revealed that a union is behind these protests, which amount to a dirty tactic on their part to attempt to humiliate the City and County of San Francisco government into giving raises to their employees. In other words, they have been faux protests staged by the Service Employees International Union as an underhanded attempt to gain leverage and force the city to give them wage increases. Its interesting to note that there recently were other seemingly faux protests in front of Staples stores, this time by the postal workers (I say seemingly because they did not appear to openly reveal that they were in fact postal workers)."

The first version always gets thrown away.