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Comment Re:Under what authority? (Score 1) 292 292

If you're saying rights don't exist if they can be violated, then there are no rights. Freedom of speech does exist, and the court system is generally pretty sensitive about it. The courts will not side with the illegal action by the police.

No, I'm saying that rights do exist, but they can be violated.

We do have freedom of speech in the U.S., but the government favors some peoples' freedom of speech over others.

The mayors of New York City, particularly Bloomberg and Giuliani, have let the people they agree with express their freedom of speech much more than the people they don't agree with.

For example, Bloomberg wouldn't let demonstrators against the Iraq war hold a rally in Central Park. There was no other public space in Manhattan that could have held all those demonstrators, and the park had been used for other large events, such as free music performances (which were also commercial promotions). Bloomberg claimed that it would "damage the grass," which is an old excuse that goes back to Robert Moses, but Jimmy Breslin, a columnist, called up a groundsman in Kentucky who said that he's had crowds like that with no problem to the grass.

Even worse, the cops arrested demonstrators (and bystanders who had nothing to do with the demonstration), and charged them with assaulting a cop, a felony. The charges were later dismissed when videotapes turned up showing that the cops had falsely sworn charges against them, also a felon. The cops weren't disciplined.

Bloomberg also kicked out the peaceful political demonstrators from Occupy Wall Street from Zucotti Park, which was probably the most deserted, under-used park in lower Manhattan.

This is in a city that has turned over public parks like Bryant Park over to commercial businesses, like restaurants and fashion shows.

Giuliani actually wrote regulations that would have permitted demonstrations by sports fans, but not political demonstrations.

Comment Re:Insisting on organization and safety is reasona (Score 1) 292 292

Insisting that the event be sufficiently organized to ensure the safety of the attendees and the community and the rights of all are respected is hardly unreasonable and frankly is well enshrined in our laws. You are making the mistake of presuming the first amendment rights of those attending the event are the only rights in play. They aren't.

How is insisting that Chief Keef couldn't appear, even by hologram, a reasonable restriction to assure the safety of the attendees or protect any competing rights?

Comment Re:Restrictions on free speech (Score 1) 292 292

It doesn't matter what the terms of the permit are; those terms are illegal.

That is for a court of law to decide. You may be right but that has not yet been decided to my knowledge.

I can decide that too. What are you saying -- I don't have a right to make a decision if I'm not a judge?

I suppose you think there was freedom of speech in the Soviet Union, because their courts also decided that their law guaranteeing freedom of speech wasn't violated when they put dissidents in jail.

The government may only enact reasonable content-neutral restrictions on speech. Saying that a specific person cannot perform or a specific viewpoint cannot be expressed runs afoul of well-established First Amendment case law.

That is not remotely true. I refer you to FCC v Pacifica Foundation, better known as the case over George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words broadcast which was upheld by the Supreme Court and restricts viewpoints based on their content.

The Supreme Court upheld a lot of things. That doesn't mean they were right.

The Supreme Court decided in Dredd Scott that Negroes couldn't be citizens, and that slave owners couldn't be deprived of their property rights.

I don't agree with that either.

Comment Re:Under what authority? (Score 1) 292 292

In this case, you need a permit to use the park. Their permit said that they would not have this wanted fugitive perform. They violated the terms of their permit, so were shut down. This is pretty straightforward and they had to know this would happen - they probably wanted the publicity.

I once heard a talk by an ACLU lawyer about that. If a park is a public space, commonly used for public performances, you don't need a permit. A permit is merely a convenience that makes things easier for the the City, the police, and the people who are giving the event.

When the City gives you a permit, they're not bestowing you a privilege or favor like a king would do. They're giving you the paperwork for something you have a right to do whether they like it or not.

And the Constitution doesn't allow them to give or deny a permit based on the content of what you're going to say.

Of course they do it anyway. That just supports the parent's point: freedom of speech doesn't exist.

Comment Non-tariff barriers? (Score 4, Interesting) 96 96

What about the non-tariff barriers? https://www.wto.org/english/tr...

That's where they sneak in the provisions about intellectual property rights, "market pricing," "investor-state dispute settlement"?

Is this like the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Are they going to settle disputes by private arbitrators, whose decisions can't be reviewed by courts or changes by national legislatures?

Comment Re:$805M budget (Score 1) 229 229

No, they're not the VA... That's just government funding through the universities that uses the VA as test subjects.

The VA is involved to the extent that they provide people with those injuries along with the funding from the federal government to do the work. But the actual brains are supplied by the universities and the private medical firms.

That's not true. I've read the studies. I've talked to the doctors.

What do you know? Have you read the studies?

Comment Re:$805M budget (Score 1) 229 229

Basically, Obama and the advisers he picked decided that the only way to pass a health care bill was to give the Republicans and the corporations everything they wanted.

Riiiight. Which is why every single Republican Senator and Congressman voted against it.

  If you read that Washington Post article I linked above, you will see that the complaint of the progressives is that Obama gave the Republicans everything they said they wanted, but they still opposed it. The progressives thought that Obama was making a stupid, unnecessary compromise that wouldn't even work, and they turned out to be right. Even when Obama gave away the store, the Republicans still opposed him in every way they could.

What really happened was the exact opposite of what you say. Obama and his advisors crafted a heath care bill which was so liberal, not only did it lose all the Republicans, it was in danger of losing a good chunk of the moderate-center Democrats as well. All the compromises you claim were made to appease Republicans, were in fact put in to appease moderate Democrats. Most of them didn't like it either, but were under enormous pressure by the far-left wing of the Democrat party to get this passed while they still had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (10 months from 2009-2010).

I don't know where you get your idea of "far-left wing." I went to City College of New York at a time when I could sit at one lunchroom table with the Communists, another table with the Trotskyites, and another table with the Socialist Workers Party. Those were the people who were supporting Fidel Castro, fighting against the Vietnam war, and sitting in with Martin Luther King (and getting arrested in the process). So maybe you could call them far-left.

The left wing of the Democratic Party in Congress is probably represented by the Progressive Caucus, which includes Bernie Sanders and John Conyers. I don't know why you call them "far" left, unless it just makes you feel good to throw out inflammatory adjectives.

The Progressive Caucus supports a single-payer, Canadian-style system, where the government replaces the insurance companies, and negotiates with drug companies. That's not Obamacare. The Progressive Caucus members weren't even allowed into Obama's White House Health Care Summit in 2009, until they complained. Obama first promised them a single payer option, and then took it back when Karen Ignani, head of the insurance industry lobbying organization, threatened to pull another "Harry and Louise." Rahm Emanuel, Obama's chief of staff, was always hostile to the Democratic left and in one famous incident called them "fucking retarded." (Which you can look up on Google.)

You can't blame this one on the Republicans. Its legacy will rest entirely upon the Democrats because it was 100% Democrat-drafted, passed, and signed.

Obamacare was modeled on a Heritage Foundation plan. I can blame it on the conservatives, Democrat and Republican:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Busin...
The irony of Republican disapproval of Obamacare
The Democrat's version of health insurance would have been cheaper, simpler and more popular. But we enacted the Republican version. So why are they so upset? Because it an achievement for the Obama administration.
By Robert Reich October 28, 2013

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/the...
The Heritage Foundation disowns its baby
08/21/13 09:32 PM—Updated 09/25/13 05:40 AM
facebook twitter like save share group discuss
By Timothy Noah

The progressives in that Washington Post article blame the centerist Obama Democrats for being stupid enough to believe that if they gave the Republicans everything they said they wanted, the Republicans would support it. As it turned out, the progressives were right and Obama was wrong. So now we're still spending twice as much on health care as Canada.

Submission + - IRS switch to online-only help is a disaster

nbauman writes: The Internal Revenue Service's attempt to save money by moving its customer services online has turned into a disaster, said the IRS's Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson. http://www.usatoday.com/story/... http://journalofaccountancy.co... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/... http://www.taxpayeradvocate.ir...

Most taxpayers like to get information online. But sometimes they need to talk to a human. As a result of budget cuts, the IRS cut back on phone and walk-in services and steered people to irs.gov. For people who needed help from a human, this filing season was "the worst in memory" and "not ... acceptable," Olson said.

"It may be tempting to migrate taxpayer service towards superficially lower-cost self-assistance options," Olson wrote in her annual report. But "any efforts to significantly reduce personal service options (both face-to-face and telephone) may ultimately impair voluntary compliance and undermine the taxpayer's right to quality service."

Even technically savvy people who prefer the Internet may need to ask a question, but this year, they usually couldn't reach anyone, Olson said.

"It is wishful thinking, if not foolhardy, to expect taxpayers to rely on computer-driven systems for resolution of tax problems that, if not resolved fully, could lead to devastating financial consequences," Olson wrote. Taxpayers need to talk with IRS employees, she said.

Cutting off person-to-person assistance was particularly hard on those over 65, and those with less than a high school education, only half of whom are online.

The IRS also cut tech support for its own staff, as they were switching from Windows XP to Windows 7, which kept crashing. Some IRS workers called their children for help.

Under Obama, Congress approved an IRS budget of $12 billion for 2010. After the Republicans won the House, they cut the budget to $10.9 billion in 2015. The Republicans got mad after the IRS investigated Tea Party groups that filed as nonprofits, which aren't supposed to engage in political activity.

Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), who heads the subcommittee in charge of their budget, said the IRS had enough money and should become "more efficient."

The good news is that it’s easier to cheat. The bad news is that the U.S. is becoming more like Greece.

Sources:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/...
Report: IRS taxpayer service goes from bad to terrible
Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY
July 15, 2015

http://journalofaccountancy.co...
National taxpayer advocate: IRS falling down on the job of helping identity theft victims
By Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
Journal of Accountancy
July 2015

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/...
An Emotional Audit: IRS Workers Are Miserable and Overwhelmed
Devin Leonard, Richard Rubin
Bloomberg Business
April 8, 2015

http://www.taxpayeradvocate.ir...
www.TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov/2016ObjectivesReport
OBJECTIVES REPORT TO CONGRESS
Fiscal Year 2016, Volume 1
National Taxpayer Advocate

Comment Re:$805M budget (Score 1) 229 229

1. I don't believe that it is impossible to find equal or superior care for those sorts of injuries outside the VA.

I'd like to know where. All the major research is published by people from the VA (and they collaborate with the best people around the world). I read the studies and I really am impressed by the work of the VA.

Can J Surg. 2015 Jun;58(3):S104-7.
Cervical spine injury in dismounted improvised explosive device trauma.
Taddeo J1, Devine M2, McAlister VC3.
Author information
        1The Maine Veterans' Affairs Medical Center, Augusta, Maine.
        2The Canadian Armed Forces Health Services, Ottawa, Ont.
        3The Canadian Armed Forces Health Services, Ottawa, Ont. and the Department of Surgery, Western University, London, Ont.

PLoS One. 2015 May 11;10(5):e0126110. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126110. eCollection 2015.
Cognitive Improvement after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Measured with Functional Neuroimaging during the Acute Period.
Wylie GR1, Freeman K2, Thomas A2, Shpaner M2, OKeefe M2, Watts R2, Naylor MR2.
Author information
        1Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center, Kessler Foundation, West Orange, NJ, United States of America; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rutgers University Medical School, Newark, NJ, United States of America; War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, Department of Veterans' Affairs, East Orange, NJ, United States of America.
        2Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, United States of America.

JAMA Neurol. 2014 Dec;71(12):1490-7. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.2668.
Dementia risk after traumatic brain injury vs nonbrain trauma: the role of age and severity.
Gardner RC1, Burke JF2, Nettiksimmons J3, Kaup A4, Barnes DE5, Yaffe K6.
Author information
        1Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco2Department of Veterans Affairs, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California.
        2Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor4Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management and Research, Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
        3Department of Veterans Affairs, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California5Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco.
        4Department of Veterans Affairs, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California6Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco.
        5Department of Veterans Affairs, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California5Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco6Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisc.
        6Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco2Department of Veterans Affairs, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California5Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of.

Ann Biomed Eng. 2015 May;43(5):1071-88. doi: 10.1007/s10439-014-1171-9. Epub 2014 Oct 25.
Head rotational acceleration characteristics influence behavioral and diffusion tensor imaging outcomes following concussion.
Stemper BD1, Shah AS, Pintar FA, McCrea M, Kurpad SN, Glavaski-Joksimovic A, Olsen C, Budde MD.
Author information
        1Department of Neurosurgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI, USA, bstemper@mcw.edu.

2. All you're saying here is that the military budget got cut and there were consequences people didn't anticipate. I agree. What is more, why don't you think the same thing would happen if we nationalized healthcare. Government cuts spending... and boom.

These were anticipated consequences. An adequately-funded VA system is well run. Other countries do it. Are you saying that the American government is incompetent, because they couldn't fund a nationalized healthcare system like other countries? You may be right, but I hope not.

3. As to medical research, it would be more accurate to say that funding for research through the universities is appropriated through the VA budget.

No, I've met the doctors who did the studies. Most of those studies are managed by doctors who work for the VA hospital system. They're studying VA patients, the same ones they treat.

Comment Re:$805M budget (Score 1) 229 229

First, the hospitals do not bid rates generally. They only tell the insurance companies what their price lists are and that is the only place those prices are really negotiated.

Virtually all insurance companies negotiate with all hospitals. http://www.npr.org/sections/he... (You can also look up Steven Brill's articles about the Chargemaster.) That's the way the free market works. If I buy ketchup from Heinz, they'll charge me $5 a bottle. If McDonald's buys ketchup from Heinz, they'll negotiate.

If I needed a certain type of treatment... not right now... but in a week or two... I'd have time to shop around. And the medical system could offer rates just like anything else is offered with rates. The fact that they're not is one of the reasons the market has a hard time controlling costs. Lets say a hospital 400 miles away is willing to do an operation that would cost me 50k where I am for only 25k? Now assuming quality is comparable, I then do a cost benefit analysis...

I've talked to doctors and economists about this. I've read their articles (and written a few myself).

Here's the flaw in your reasoning: "Now assuming quality is comparable"...

You can't possibly tell whether quality is comparable (unless you know as much about medicine as a doctor, and maybe not even then).

For a coronary bypass operation, some surgeons will have a death rate of (say) 1%, and some surgeons will have a death rate of 2%. How do you find out their death rate? Do you think you can call their office and ask their secretary? Try that some day.

Let's assume you can find out their death rate. In socialist U.K., they're required to post their death rates on the hospital web site, so patients can make their own choices. In the U.S., you can sometimes get Medicare data.

Are you going to pick the doctor with the lowest death rate, the way you'd pick a hard drive with the lowest failure rate? That doesn't work.

A British surgeon told me, "It's very easy for me to get good numbers. Just operate on easy cases."

Younger patients have lower death rates. Older patients have higher death rates. Smokers, people with lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and other diseases, have higher death rates.

Some doctors specialize in tough cases. So if one surgeon has a 2% death rate, and another has a 1% death rate, the 2% surgeon may be the one who does the tough cases, and the 1% surgeon may be a worse surgeon.

Some people say, "Well, we'll correct for all those risk factors." The problem with that is, there's no way to correct for all those factors. Do you think a surgeon can print out a list for you of all of his patients, with their age, lung function, kidney function, blood sugar, and everything else you need, so that you can compare it to all the other surgeons? Ask his secretary and tell me what she says. Doctors don't even agree on what factors are important, or how much weight to give them. How important is age, smoking, diabetes? Nobody knows.

Surgeons get the best results in patients who are absolutely healthy. That is, they get the best results in patients who don't actually need surgery in the first place. They get the best results with unnecessary surgery. That happens a lot, for example in carotid artery surgery, in prostate cancer surgery, in hysterectomies. The suckers don't know the difference. The surgeon says, "The operation was a success!" The patient says, "This is the doctor who saved my life," and recommends the doctor to his friends.

The best thing that could happen to you is to go to a doctor who examines you and gives you tests and says, "You know, you're healthy. You don't need this surgery." Of course, in the free market, surgeons like that will make less money. So the invisible hand will replace them with surgeons who operate on people who don't need surgery. That's a problem with free market medicine.

So you can't compare quality. All you can compare is prices. If doctors compete on prices, then the worst surgeons will lower their prices, to get more customers. That means if you shop by price, you're going to get the worst surgeon. That's known as "the curse of the lowest bidder." That's the free market.

This notion you have that medical treatment can't be subjected to conventional market forces is in error.

That's very interesting. I wonder what evidence you used to come to that conclusion. Because most economists, including several with Nobel prizes, came to the opposite conclusion. For example:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...
Why markets can’t cure healthcare
Paul Krugman
New York Times
July 25, 2009

Judging both from comments on this blog and from some of my mail, a significant number of Americans believe that the answer to our health care problems — indeed, the only answer — is to rely on the free market. Quite a few seem to believe that this view reflects the lessons of economic theory.

Not so. One of the most influential economic papers of the postwar era was Kenneth Arrow’s Uncertainty and the welfare economics of health care https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/top... , which demonstrated — decisively, I and many others believe — that health care can’t be marketed like bread or TVs. Let me offer my own version of Arrow’s argument.

There are two strongly distinctive aspects of health care. One is that you don’t know when or whether you’ll need care — but if you do, the care can be extremely expensive. The big bucks are in triple coronary bypass surgery...

This tells you right away that health care can’t be sold like bread. It must be largely paid for by some kind of insurance. And this in turn means that someone other than the patient ends up making decisions about what to buy. Consumer choice is nonsense when it comes to health care....

The second thing about health care is that it’s complicated, and you can’t rely on experience or comparison shopping. (“I hear they’ve got a real deal on stents over at St. Mary’s!”) ....

There are, however, no examples of successful health care based on the principles of the free market, for one simple reason: in health care, the free market just doesn’t work. And people who say that the market is the answer are flying in the face of both theory and overwhelming evidence.

But this gets to the real issue. You are a free-market ideologue. You believe that the government can't do anything right, and the free market can do everything better. When you come upon overwhelming evidence of how the government does better than the free market, like health care, you have to come up with a tortured argument to show how the free market will actually work better. The only way you can do that is to ignore the facts.

I've known socialist ideologues and free-market ideologues. They're really very similar.

Comment Re:$805M budget (Score 4, Insightful) 229 229

Here is the best model I can find for what you'd get in the US.

The VA hospital system. This is a medical system set up for US soldiers in the US. It is entirely operated by the US federal government and it is widely regarded to be some mixture of corrupt and incompetent. There have been quite a few scandals with it recently.

Mostly stuff about putting people on wait lists forever. A lot of soldiers die waiting for treatment in the system.

When I hear "lets socialize the US healthcare system"... I think of the VA hospitals.

I've studied the VA system, and they're getting a bad rap.

First, you have to judge them by their main purpose: When a soldier comes back from Iraq with a brain injury, their job is to keep him alive and get him functioning as well as possible. They do the best job in the world. There is no place in the world that can treat head wounds as well as the U.S. military. Nobody. Same with the guys who have a foot blown off by a land mine.

If some 60-year-old vet comes in with trouble urinating because of an enlarged prostate, they're going to take care of him, yes. But he may have to wait for somebody with a more urgent problem. Like a coronary bypass or stroke.

Second, Congress wanted to cut taxes. But they wanted first-class service from government agencies. They wanted everything but they didn't want to pay for it. So they ordered the VA to cut their waiting times. But they didn't give them the money to hire more doctors to do it. So what do managers do when you tell them they have to do the impossible or they'll be fired? As any MBA will tell you, they cheat. They fudged their appointment records, just as any private business manager in the same situation would do. (Hello Enron?)

Third, the VA system does some of the best medical research in the world. When they do a treatment hundreds of thousands of times a year, they do a study to find out which treatment works better, which hospital gets better results, and which doctors get better results. (No, they don't fire the doctors with worse results, they retrain them.) They do that for heart disease, stroke, cancer, eye disease, amputations, everything. I went to a lot of medical conferences, and they're always talking about "the VA study" in their field, which is usually the best study available.

For example, I just read a study about how the VA was trying to figure out how to give pain-killing drugs to vets in severe pain. If you don't give them enough drugs, they're in pain. If you give them too much, and if you give them opioids, they can die from an overdose. The VA doctors figured out how to optimize it.

So yes, if I had a heart attack outside a VA medical center, I'd feel comfortable that I was getting the best care in the world. I'd trust them to make a tough diagnosis, and to treat a serious, life-threatening disease. If you were crippled, I'd trust them to get you walking again, if anybody could do it.

Don't whine to me because you can't get an appointment this month. Tell Congress to give them enough money to hire more doctors.

Comment Re:$805M budget (Score 4, Interesting) 229 229

We spend about 834 billion a year on government healthcare subsidies.

Actually, plenty of people do want to cut that budget, but can't for ideological reasons.

The US spends just over 17% of GDP on health care, which is a figure only exceeded by Tuvalu. Most developed countries (e.g. most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan) the figure is around 9-10% of GDP. Even France spends less than 12%.

So, yes, you could cut that figure by a third simply by building a real public health system.

For every dollar in premiums you pay your insurance company, they spend 15-20 cents in administrative costs and profits. (You can see that if you read an insurance company annual report on their web site. The "loss ratio," usually 80-85%, is the money they pass on to the doctor or hospital.)

Then your doctor gets 80 cents. He has to spend another 20 cents in administrative costs to deal with the insurance company. (Compared to less than 5 cents on Medicare.)

So if you just cut out the insurance companies, you'd save 35% right there. Other big expenses here are the cost of drugs, hospital services, and doctor services.

I don't know if Obamacare has helped or will help in any significant way. Given that the AMA supported it, probably not.

There was a good story in the Washington Post, based on a Netroots Nation meeting, which gave a reasonably good brief explanation of how Obamacare got here and why it will fail.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
Liberal activists see Bernie Sanders as champion for causes failed by Obama
By David Weigel
July 20, 2015

Basically, Obama and the advisers he picked decided that the only way to pass a health care bill was to give the Republicans and the corporations everything they wanted. They struck a deal with the insurance companies, the drug companies, the hospitals, the doctors' organizations, etc. to give them everything they wanted. So you have to buy your Obamacare through a private insurer, instead of having the choice of a public option.

The problem with Obamacare is that the premiums and copayments are enormous. A single person making $27,000 a year would have to pay one month's income a year for the premiums. Then (depending on the plan) the insurance wouldn't kick in until she spent $2,000 or $3,000. Then she might have to pay 20% or 40% of the costs, until she reached the maximum, which is $8,000. It benefits somebody who has more than $8,000 a year of medical expenses.

In other words, you wind up paying twice as much as they do in Canada. And in this country, the burden falls most heavily on the lower middle class. It's a regressive tax.

Comment Re:$805M budget (Score 1) 229 229

And what you'll find is that they started to get bad when a lot of welfare programs were released that disincentivized work, disincentivized a stable household, undermined the quality of inner city public education, and a tediously long list of things that really hurt those people. And it was all government action. And it was all with good intentions.

Are you saying that the the center city neighborhoods throughout the country were filled with happy, hard-working black people until Lyndon Johnson's Great Society program came along in the 1960s and gave them government money?

You don't know too much about segregation in the U.S. Black people couldn't even vote in most parts of the formerly Confederate states until the Voting Rights Act of 1964, and even then they were often killed when they tried to register to vote. Black schools were far worse than white schools. When the courts ordered them to integrate their schools, they shut down the public schools entirely and opened private "segregation academies."

The federal government efforts (and money) to improve minority education had good results. Black (and hispanic) math and reading scores rose from 1971-2012, and narrowed the gap with whites. http://nces.ed.gov/nationsrepo...

The reason the "problem" is concentrated in minority districts is that black people started out as slaves, and after they were freed, they were suppressed by the white power structure whenever they showed hard work and skill -- especially when they showed hard work and skill. Read Ida Wells, who was the subject of last week's Google Doodle:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

In 1889 Thomas Moss, a friend of Wells, opened the People's Grocery in the "Curve," a black neighborhood just outside the Memphis city limits. It did well and competed with a white-owned grocery store across the street. While Wells was out of town in Natchez, Mississippi, a white mob invaded her friends' store. During the altercation, three white men were shot and injured. Moss, and two other black men, named McDowell and Stewart, were arrested and jailed pending trial. A large white lynch mob stormed the jail and killed the three men.

Comment Re:Disabled (Score 1) 155 155

Yes, the law asks for that. In practice, once every single group asks for a "reasonable" accommodation, sometimes pushing the limit of the definition (but even if it wasnt), it fucking adds up. A lot.

Actually, it doesn't cost a lot.

Myth: Providing accommodations for people with disabilities is expensive.

Fact: The majority of workers with disabilities do not need accommodations to perform their jobs, and for those who do, the cost is usually minimal. According to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service from the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, 57% of accommodations cost absolutely nothing to make, while the rest typically cost only $500. Moreover, tax incentives are available to help employers cover the costs of accommodations, as well as modifications required to make their businesses accessible to persons with disabilities.
http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/f...

Comment Re:Disabled (Score 1) 155 155

The disability acts in many countries have created situations of "if the disabled cannot have it, no one can", like ebooks in schools, and this.

Point of fact: Disability laws in the U.S. require a reasonable accommodation.

If a company can put braille numbers on elevator buttons for essentially no additional cost, they have to do it.

If a landlord has a 6-story walkup building, he doesn't have to install an elevator.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.

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