News roundup 08/10/13 – Tawana Brawley, Tavon White, more

Links within this post to headlines:
Tawana Brawley
Tavon White pleads guilty
Mercury and autism


Tawana Brawley hoax: Why she’s paying $627 a month
Trials of Tawana

I had not known about the defamation case.

Gang leader Tavon White pleads guilty in jail scheme

Study Sees No Link Between Mercury Exposure, Autistic Behavior

The search continues for an environmental scapegoat, for what to me appears to be a strictly genetic disease.

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The Zimmerman Verdict: Get Over It

Zimmerman protesters raid Wal-Mart, stop freeway

The world will not turn itself upside down to please you.

Neither will the law.

Neither will the facts.

Neither will the fact that the law is what it is.

Nor the fact that, under American law, a jury verdict is prima facie (Go ahead, look it up!) correct.

Under the rules of due process, the lawful evidence was presented to a competent jury. This was not so with TV news or radio talk shows.

Moreover, in civil suits, the standard of proof is “a preponderance of the evidence,” but in criminal trials — all criminal trials — it is much higher, “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This standard is so high I wonder that any criminal conviction is ever obtained. Thus in a very similar local case here in Baltimore, an off-duty police officer was recently acquitted in the strangling death of a black teen.
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News roundup 07/27/13 – Serial killers, Biggest problem with workforce, A new Bosnia?

Links within this post, to the headlines:
The Single Biggest Problem With America’s Labor Force
New serial killer in Cleveland
Troubling official statements in Burma violence
Report Finds Gradual Fall in Female Genital Cutting in Africa
T. Rowe Price raises downtown safety concerns
Rae Dawn Chong Blasts Oprah Winfrey


The Single Biggest Problem With America’s Labor Force

Underemployment

Bodies of Three Women Found Wrapped in Garbage Bags in Fetal Position in Cleveland Neighborhood

I had never heard of Anthony Sowell before.  I have to wonder whether the ethnicity of his victims plays any role in his relative obscurity as compared to, say, Ted Bundy.

Radical monk unhurt in bomb blast

Troubling quotations:
He is the chief proponent of a movement known as 969, which reformist President Thein Sein’s office has described as a “symbol of peace”.
* * *
Reuters investigations in two of the hotspots of unrest – Rakhine state and the central city of Meikhtila – have revealed the violence was on both occasions fanned by monks who led Buddhist mobs.
* * *
The president’s office, which says it wants to foster peace, tolerance and unity in ethnically diverse Myanmar, has described Wirathu as “a son of Lord Buddha”.

Previous post: “Sitra Achra, the Flipside

Report Finds Gradual Fall in Female Genital Cutting in Africa

Those who don’t know what the term means can consult this Wikipedia article.  In many nations it’s a routine practice to take a razor and shave off a girl’s clitoris, normally in early childhood.  As a result, when she becomes a woman, she will have no access to sexual gratification.  All sexual intercourse, then, is for her in effect no different from rape; all sexual gratification in relationships is the sole privilege of her male “partners.”

The report finds a generation gap in attitudes and practice:  younger women in some places are less likely to have been victims of this procedure, and also less likely to approve of it.  Yet the quotation unsettles me: “We need to create conditions so they can act on their beliefs.”  As reprehensible as the practice is, I am not sure Western folk have the right to impose Western values on anyone.

T. Rowe Price raises safety concerns as it weighs headquarters options

But Elspeth Reeve seems to me to want us to believe there is no crime in America.

Rae Dawn Chong Blasts Oprah Winfrey In A Recent Radio Interview

I never heard of Rae Dawn Chong before, and am no particular fan of Oprah Winfrey.  But for Ms. Chong to spew this language in any public forum about anyone degrades her mightily in my esteem.

I never encountered the term “field N—–” before.  Now I grasp that it is the counter-partner to the term “house Negro,” which Mohamad at the shelter used to use to dismiss the President.  The “house N—–” was a slave suitable to work in the master’s house, given her or his propensity to seemly rather than unseemly manners and conduct.  The “field N—–” would be kept in the fields, given his or her opposite propensities.

No slave has toiled on a plantation in this country since 1865, and it offends me to hear such terms used to disparage anyone.  The N-word itself simply perpetuates the slave mentality, and diminishes everyone who uses and hears it.  IMO no one has any right to use it.

“Black America’s Real Problem Isn’t White Racism”

Black America’s Real Problem Isn’t White Racism

That’s not a link.

I don’t know why Yahoo! News listed this Pat Buchanan column.

He long ago quit saying anything that merits my attention.

D.C. to implement 9th-grade rescue plan

D.C. to implement 9th-grade rescue plan

It is frustrating to me that the page titles online often differ from the hard copy headlines.

DCPS Common Core State Standards

[O]nly 9 percent of 9th grade students in DC graduated from college within five years of finishing high school. Moreover, if you’re a DC student who just makes proficiency on the DC CAS, that level of proficiency translates to only a 16th percentile score on the SAT.

This is a remarkable admission from a public school system in a public document.

Recalling what I’ve written in other recent posts, just yesterday I noted in my diary that the public schools are a ladder.”  The Chaos Factor, however, militates against any and every institution.

The plan in D.C. is to isolate first-time ninth graders from overage students, so that the highest ratio of those who want to succeed can do so, without being distracted and bullied by those who have shown they do not intend to succeed.
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Reasons for Attending College Affect Students’ Academic Success, Study Finds

Reasons for Attending College Affect Students’ Academic Success, Study Finds

Study is First to Look at Outcomes of Students Driven by Relationship Motivation

I had a real hard time in college.  I read the article principally for insight as to how motivations may affect or effect my chances for success now.  Some of the results seem predictable — Students who enroll in college principally to socialize with others don’t do as well academically as others. — but there are a number of twists along gender and color lines.  “Students of color” are more likely than others to be motivated by a desire to “give back” to one’s community or to improve one’s own financial circumstances.