March 25, 2005

Let her go home. Jesus is waiting for her with open arms.

My position on the Schiavo matter has vascilated back and forth over the past few days as I've agonized over the matter.

Should she be given a chance at life? If so, what kind of life are we talking about? Is there a chance at rehabilitation? Is Michael Schiavo an evil S.O.B., or is he simply a heart-broken man?

Conversely, is she truly in a vegetative state? A virtual zombie with eyes open, and nothing inside? Are her parents and family in denial about her pain and suffering? Are the evangelicals coming to her aid getting so worked up that they are looking past the true nature of this situation?

Difficult questions these. Who wins? Who loses?

There is no winner here. This situation is heartbreaking at the core. A vibrant woman struck down in the prime of her life. A myriad of doctors, most of whom have indicated that much of her brain tissue has deteriorated and possibly even liquified inside her skull. CAT scans that support that diagnosis.

Conversely, we see her eyes focusing on a balloon, we see her apparently responding to people entering her limited field of vision.

What do we believe?

After 22 different judges have agonized over this, they all have come to the same decision: that her husband has the right to make that agonizing decision.

Talk show host Neil Boortz has taken the stance that Terri Schiavo has earned her place in heaven, and that we, as a people, should let her go home.

Do you believe in God’s promise of everlasting life? Do you believe that the reward for a life well spent on this earth is a life with God in heaven after you die? If you do, then a few more questions if you will.

Do you believe that the human soul can make the transition to everlasting life while the human body that carried that soul through life clings to life on this earth? If you do, then you must surely believe that Terri Schiavo has earned and is already enjoying her reward in heaven. That being the case, why is it so important to you that the now-unneeded body of Terri Schiavo is kept alive?

But perhaps you believe, as I do, that the human soul is so connected to and integrated with its earthly body that any transition will not be made until that body ceases functioning -- until death occurs.. That being the case, why do you so ardently desire that the soul of Terri Schiavo spend five, ten, perhaps 30 years or more trapped in a useless and non-functioning body, unable to move on to whatever reward awaits her? Isn’t 15 years enough?

Where do your concerns truly lie, with the eternal soul of Terri Schiavo, or with her earthly body?

Jesus awaits Terri Schiavo at the gates of heaven with open arms. He will grant her eternal rest. He loves all, no matter which side of this sad story the people are on.

Let her go home. We can only commend her spirit among the angels for the journey.

Sadly, those who damn the judges and politicians and those of us who wish her spirit to move on are going to fracture the fragile fabric of the conservative wing of the GOP. In their zeal to ignore the rule of law and the Constitutional process, they are sliding down the slippery slope of anarchy toward mob rule.

This is a land of laws, not men. And the political problems that are surfacing -- on both sides -- point toward the deterioration of our constitutional republic. Are you ready for that? Are you ready for that will mean in the future?

I weep for Terri Schiavo today. But I fear for more tears in our future, thanks to those who would wad up the Constitutional protections and freedoms wrought by the notion of ignoring the rule of law, simply because those in power didn't get their way.

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March 24, 2005

SCOTUS refuses to review Schiavo case

BREAKING 1030A - Flash from all the networks/wires: The US Supreme Court is declining to hear the Terri Schiavo case. The feeding tube will not be re-inserted.

This exhausts the legal avenues for Bob and Mary Schindler in terms of this case.

There are many who would suggest, however, that a significant wrongful death civil case is most likely in the works.

UPDATE - 2:05P Governor Jeb Bush's motion to take have the Florida Department of Children and Families custody of Terri Schiavo has been denied.

That decision coming down from Judge George Greer in Florida.

UPDATE - 2:40P The Schindlers are now going back to Federal District Court asking for all the issues to be heard as opposed to simply injunctive relief. Apparently Judge Whitimore is set to rule by 6P ET.

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Jailed Zimbabwe MP defies Mugabe

Roy Bennett is a white member of Parliament in Zimbabwe's crippled government. Bennett, like all other white farmers in that country, has had his land siezed by the corrupt thugs belonging to the regime of dictator Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe has declared virtual war against all whites in Zimbabwe, in an effort to "right past wrongs," as he puts it.

But then why would Mugabe fear Bennett?

One of the most hopeful signs for Zimbabwe's future is that many of its people openly reject the racist propaganda regularly trumpeted by the brutal and thuggish President Robert Mugabe.

As one of three whites in Zimbabwe's Parliament, Roy Bennett enjoys broad support among his mostly black constituents.

Why? Because his voters know it's about freedom, food on the table and hope for tomorrow, not Mugabe's racism and oppression. Bennett is a Movement For Democratic Change (opposition party) backbencher.

Mugabe has worked hard to punish Bennett for his political success, using his crooked ZANU-PF cronies in parliament to vote to place him in jail, after a floor fight Bennett maintains was part of a set-up.

Now Mugabe is trying to bar Bennett from running again from prison, but a high court ruling giving him a green light has the dictator fuming and working to undo it.

The Radio Equalizer's Brian Maloney chronicles the trials and tribulations of Maloney and his efforts to bring Zimbabwe into the 21st Century, and out from under the boot of Mugabe and his fellow thugs.

Take a look. If you are among the few that still think that Mugabe is not the vicious thug of a dictator that he actually is, this very well may open your eyes.

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March 23, 2005

Jeb Bush to take custody of Terri Schiavo?

With most other avenues for potential salvation exhausted, Florida governor Jeb Bush is looking to take formal custody of Terri Schiavo as soon as this evening to get a feeding tube back into her.

This is on the heels of the Florida Senate voting down a measure to have the state Department of Families and Children to forcibly remove her from the hospice where she's presently ensconced in order to save her life.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to grant a full review to the appeal brought by Terri's parents earlier in the day.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Schiavo had gone five full days without food or water; doctors have said she could survive one to two weeks.

Supporters of Schiavo's parents grew increasingly dismayed, and 10 protesters were arrested outside her hospice for trying to bring her water.

Refusing to give up, Gov. Jeb Bush sought court permission to take custody of Schiavo.

The desperate flurry of activity came as President Bush suggested that Congress and the White House had done all they could to keep the severely brain-damaged woman alive.

The spectre of the Elian Gonzales saga looms mightily over the entire situation.

If everyone remembers, the government intervigned to remove little Elian from Miami relatives after he was found adrift. His mother had died trying to get him to America, while his father remained in Cuba. The father, backed up by Fidel Castro, demanded his return, while Miami relatives insisted on keeping him.

The ensuing philosophical battle of wills divided people across America.

This case looks to be doing the same thing.

Polls by newspapers and television stations across the nation point toward most Americans wanting Terri to be released from her torment and allowed to die peacefully, while many others wish for her to receive additional treatment that very well may speed her on the road to recovery.

President Bush has stated that in a case like this, we ought to err on the side of life.

I can't argue that point, though I'm seeing plenty of grandstanding on both sides of this equation that truly has no winners.

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Denied in the overnight hours

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals here in Atlanta denied the appellate motion brought by the parents of Terri Schiavo in a 2-1 decision handed down in the wee hours this morning.

In a 2-1 ruling early Wednesday, a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the parents "failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims" that Terri's feeding tube should be reinserted immediately.

"There is no denying the absolute tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo," the ruling said. "We all have our own family, our own loved ones, and our own children. However, we are called upon to make a collective, objective decision concerning a question of law."

In his dissent, Judge Charles R. Wilson said Schiavo's "imminent" death would end the case before it could be fully considered. "In fact, I fail to see any harm in reinserting the feeding tube," he wrote.

An appeal was still pending in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on whether Schiavo's right to due process was violated.

This leaves the US Supreme Court as the only option for the Schindler family. However, the SCOTUS has turned down appellate motions in this case twice before, which does not bode well this time.

Still, the Schindlers have vowed to move forward with an appeal to the Supreme Court some time today.

In the meantime, time continues to tick and health continues to wane for Terri Schiavo, who has been without a feeding tube since last Friday.

Text of the decision from the 11th Circuit can be found in PDF form here.

UPDATE: (12:20P) - Terri's parents have opted to have the entire 11th Circuit Court panel of judges hear the case and respond, as opposed to the three-judge panel which responded early this morning.

Terri's condition continues to worsen. Her tongue is beginning to swell, and she appears to be very ill, on this, her fifth day without food or water.

UPDATE (3:30P) - Word down from the 11th Circuit here that they will not reconsider the Schiavo case. So now the Schneiders will run this up the ladder to the US Supreme Court. The SCOTUS is not likely to consider; though we may get word from Washington before the end of the day.

UPDATE (6:30P) Florida state DCF (Department of Children and Families) officials are considering taking custody of Terri Schiavo and removing her from the hospice where she has been ensconced -- by force if necessary.

Lucy Hadl, secretary of the Department of Children and Families, said Wednesday morning that her staff is relying on a state law that gives the department the authority to intervene on behalf of a vulnerable adult who is 'suffering from abuse or neglect that presents a risk of death or serious physical injury.'

Hadl said that the DCF would have to file a petition in order to remove Schiavo, but that 'it doesn't mean we'd have to have judicial approval in advance of taking the action if we believed it met the threshold for doing it.'

Hadl said that seven years of court rulings backing Schiavo's husband Michael, in his contention that Terri Schiavo did not wish to be kept alive artificially would not stop the DCF from taking action.

'We're not compelled to look at prior judicial proceedings,' Hadl said.

Hope springs eternal, but time continues to move inexorably forward.

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March 22, 2005

Parents demand renaming of Berkeley's Jefferson ES; cite slavery as reason

Parents, students and teachers soon will get to vote on the renaming of Berkeley, CA's Jefferson Elementary School.

Why? Because the former US President owned slaves. At least that's the reason cited by several black teachers, including one who is the mother of three former Jefferson students.

A list of potential new names has been released by Jefferson principal Betty Delaney, which includes former UN diplomat Ralph Bunche, Hispanic migrant rights leader Ceasar Chavez, late Berkeley city councilwoman Florence McDonald, 19th Century abolitionist Sojourner Truth, Ohlone - based on the name of the Indian people who lived in the Bay Area prior to the settling of the area, Peace, Rose, and Sequoia.

Marguerite Talley-Hughes, a kindergarten teacher at Jefferson who is African American, said she thinks it is reasonable to want a name that is not offensive to some in the school community.

"It's very clear that the name is offensive to a significant part of the population,'' said Hughes, who lives in the neighborhood and sent her own three children to Jefferson.

"There's no reason we can't have a name that everyone likes and can feel good about,'' she said.

So they figure that naming the school after a former US President is offensive.

And people wonder why I refer to the place as "Berserkley."

Just damn.

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Federal judge refuses to allow Schiavo's feeding tube to be reinserted

A federal judge in Florida has refused this morning to allow Terri Schiavo's feeding tube to be reinserted.

The ruling, handed down at about 6:30 this morning, denies the emergency request from lawyers representing Schiavo's parents.

U.S. District Judge James Whittemore denied the request by Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who sought to restore feeding and hydration for the 41-year-old woman while the legal arguments over her fate moved forward. The judge said the parents had not established a "substantial likelihood of success" at a future trial on the merits of their arguments.

Rex Sparklin, an attorney with the law firm representing Terri Schiavo's parents, said lawyers were immediately appealing to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to "save Terri's life."

The 11th Circuit is said to have announced a 9A ET ruling in the appeal on this case.

UPDATE (10A): Terri's parents have appealed to the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.

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March 21, 2005

Congress comes to the rescue of Terri Schiavo

Shortly after midnight last night, the US House passed a measure -- which was quickly signed by President Bush -- which asked a federal court to step in and consider whether or not to reconnect Terri Sciavo's feeding tube.

I mentioned Friday that I was not comfortable speaking out on this case, but, as you would imagine, I took the time this weekend to learn more about Terri's tragic plight.

Michael Schiavo (and by extension Judge Greer, the original judge adjudicating this case) has not permitted outside doctors from examining Terri. Michael Schiavo has an outside relationship with another woman.

The magic questions are plenty. Among them, if Michael Schiavo wanted a relationship with someone else, why hasn't he sought a divorce from Terri? Given her condition, a divorce court in Florida would quickly grant it, freeing him to galivant with whatever woman he wishes.

Also, why wouldn't he want to have any other physicians examine Terri? Why wouldn't he want a CAT scan taken to see if there were any medical advances that might help her? Why wouldn't Judge Greer mandate that any additional medical resources be brought to bear in this case?

After all -- if you are not 100% sure that she is completely and inescapably in a hopeless state, even given medical advances from the finest medical minds on the planet, why not err on the side of caution?

First term US Congresscritter Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Moonbat-FL) has been loudly vocal in support of the starvation of Terri, stating on television appearances all over the dial this weekend, "It is not the Congress' place to say 'yes' or 'no,'" about Schiavo's fate.

But the larger question is that if Congress "does not have the place," as Wasserman Schultz claims, why not err on the side of caution until and unless all the other medical questions have been answered?

(More coverage all over the place including Michelle Malkin, Myopic Zeal, LaShawn Barber, Wizbang, Slant Point, and others)

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Ving Rhames is Kojak in USA remake

USA Network is remaking the classic 70s detective series Kojak with Ving Rhames in the role of the detective made famous by Telly Savalas.

The new series, updated for the 21st Century, portrays Theo Kojak as the son of a jazz musician and a doggedly determnied NYPD detective. Chazz Palminteri plays Kojak's former partner and present boss, Capt. Frank McNeil.

Considering the track record of excellent original cable series over the past few years (The Shield, Nip/Tuck, Monk, Battlestar Galactica), I'll be more than happy to give the new series a try.

The two-hour pilot airs Friday night at 9 ET on USA.

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March 20, 2005

Woman is arrested after threatening to "pull an Atlanta"

36 year-old Nicole James of Armo, SC was arrested this week for threatening the life of a Richmond County (SC) judge.

An arrest warrant states that in November of 2004, James relayed a threat over the telephone to a witness saying that if she had the money, she would hire someone to kill Judge Donna Strom. The warrant says the threat was made because James was unhappy with the results of a court hearing.

A second arrest warrant states that on March 15th, James relayed a threat over the telephone to a witness saying that everyone at the courthouse should watch out because she might "come and pull an Atlanta" on them or pay someone to do it.

James was booked Thursday on two charges of threatening a public offical and two counts of "unlawful use of a telephone."

You'd think some idiots would learn.

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March 18, 2005

Terri Schiavo liveblogging links

I've purposefully stayed away from the Terri Schiavo case - I truly don't understand the entire case from either side, so I can't make an informed decision one way or the other.

There are others who have very strong opinions on either side.

In any event, Chris Short is liveblogging the events surrounding that family tragedy.

Additional liveblogging can be found at Blogs For Terri and at My Pet Jawa.

(More coverage from LaShawn Barber, Michelle Malkin, Neil Boortz, Neognosticos & others)

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March 17, 2005

Nichols follow-up: Five carjacked vehicles inside of fifteen minutes

According to Atlanta Police, Brian Nichols carjacked a total of five vehicles in the fifteen minutes between 9:05 and 9:20 last Friday morning in downtown Atlanta.

The locations of the vehicles are noted on this map. My wife's office is adjacent to the 3 on the map below, and less than five minutes before he came through there, my youngest daughter (3 years old) and I dropped off my wife at work there.

Pretty damn sobering if you ask me.

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Boxer & Byrd? I did NOT need that picture in my mind...

Senator Barbara Boxer (Moonbat-CA) got a bit carried away at yesterday's rally against conservative judges. one point referred to the event's keynote speaker - former Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd - as "the love of my life."
I don't know about you, but that quote is just plain frightening.

Someone get me some Comet to scrub that image out of my head...

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Legendary SF/fantasy author Andre Norton dies

The legendary and prolific author of the "Witch World" series and many other titles, Andre Norton, died this morning at her home in Murfreesboro, TN.

Her death was announced by friend Jean Rabe, who said Norton died of congestive heart failure. Norton was born Alice Mary Norton on February 17th, 1912 in Cleveland. She penned more than 130 novels during her career of nearly 70 years.

The "Witch World" series, which detailed life on a planet reachable only through metaphysical gateways, included more than 30 novels.

Her last complete novel, "Three Hands of Scorpio," is set to be released in April.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America recently created the Andre Norton Award for young adult novels, and the first award will be presented in 2006.

Norton was 93.
(More coverage from Dead Pool & others)

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March 16, 2005

NAACP seeking injunction against City of Myrtle Beach before Black Bike Week

The NAACP is seeking an injunction against the City of Myrtle Beach, SC, in hopes of getting what it terms "racist traffic rules" lifted in time for this year's Black Bike Week this coming Memorial Day weekend.

You read that right. The so-called"racist traffic rules" are comprised of turning Ocean Boulevard, the main drag along the beach in Myrtle Beach, into a one-way street, in order to better facilitate traffic along the 60-block stretch.

Mind you, there are 350,000 people expected in this stretch of road on that particular weekend.

"To prevent further violations of plaintiffs' constitutional rights during Black Bike Week in 2005, the plaintiffs request this court to enter a preliminary injunction prohibiting the city from using its oppressive one-way traffic pattern along Ocean Boulevard," said the motion.

The suit alleges traffic enforcement discriminates against black bikers and that Ocean Boulevard, the hotel-lined street closest to the beach, is limited to one-way traffic, causing congestion.

It contends that policy is discriminatory causing blacks to feel unwelcome and that there are far more police on hand than during the Harley rally.

City officials have said the Harley-Davidson rally draws about 200,000 people to the 60-mile Grand Strand, the black biker rally attracts as many as 350,000 people to a smaller 60-block area of the beach.

Waitaminit -- 200,000 people in a 60-mile stretch of shoreline, versus 350,000 people in a 60-block stretch of roadway? Heck, that's less than 10 miles!

I've been through my share of spring breaks and Freakniks. The police have to change traffic patterns to keep an orderly flow of traffic.

Besides -- I didn't see them screaming racism when they changed Peachtree Street to a one-way street during multiple Freakniks here in Atlanta.

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Senate votes to drill in ANWR for oil

The US Senate, weathering a 51-49 vote to prevent a Democratic measure to stop it, decided to permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil.

Treehuggers and others are upset that critters will be disturbed while they go about their daily duties, or that the "evil, rich Republicans" will get more money. None of them seem to remember that we, as a nation, are at the beck and call of the Saudis and OPEC.

The action, assuming Congress agrees on a budget, clears the way for approving drilling in the refuge later this year, drilling supporters said.

The oil industry has sought for more than two decades to get access to what is believed to be billions of barrels of oil beneath the 1.5 million-acre coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the northern eastern corner of Alaska.

Current USGS research indicates that there is at least ten billion barrels sitting untapped in Alaska, which would replace Saudi imports for at least 30 years.

But the treehuggers and liberals would rather see us twist in the wind at the behest of the Saudis and other entities.

Let's put this into perspective: ANWR, itself, is the size of the state of South Carolina. The area proposed for drilling is a mere fraction of that -- 2000 acres. The vast majority of ANWR will remain untouched.

Now. Isn't that worth ensuring energy for ourselves and our children?

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March 15, 2005

Rachel "Our Lady of the Divine IHOP" Corrie's parents suing IDF & Caterpillar

Remember Rachel Corrie? She's the college student from Washington state who thought it would be a good idea to stand in front of a moving IDF bulldozer, ostensibly to keep it from knocking down a Palistinian house.

But as I always say, "all ties go to the bulldozer."

Corrie became scattered, smothered and covered (it's a Waffle House thing) by said 'dozer two years ago tomorrow (3.16.03). Now her idiot parents have gone lawsuit-happy and filed a wrongful death suit against the Israeli government and Caterpillar, Inc. I guess we now know where "Our Lady of the Blessed Waffle House" got her "smarts" from.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court here, alleges that Caterpillar violated international and state law by providing specially designed bulldozers to Israeli Defense Forces, knowing the machines would be used to demolish homes and endanger people.

"The brutal death of my daughter should never have happened," her mother, Cindy Corrie, said in a statement released by the Center for Constitutional Rights, one of the law firms handling the case. "We believe Caterpillar and the (Israeli Defense Forces) must be held accountable for their role in the attack."

Cindy and Craig Corrie, who have moved to Olympia from Charlotte, N.C., since their daughter's death, are pursuing separate claims in Israel against the state of Israel, the Israeli Defense Ministry and the Israeli Defense Forces.

Caterpillar made the tractor. I guess now we're going to have other dumbassed moonbats coming out of the woodwork suing McDonald's for making fatty food.

Oops! Too late!

Just damn.

(More coverage from Full Of Crap, Barking Moonbat & others)

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Nichols arraigned on rape charges; denied bail

Brian Nichols, the suspect at the center of the largest manhunt in the history of the state of Georgia, was arraigned this morning on the rape charges that were the subject of the trial he disrupted when this whole mess started last Friday morning.

Nichols was charged more specifically with rape, aggravated assault with intent to rape, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment, burglary and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

A handful of fully armed Fulton County depties escorted Nichols into a magistrate courtroom at the Fulton County Jail, where two public defenders waited to defend him.

Wearing a navy blue jail uniform, Nichols walked into the courtroom with his feet shackled and his hands cuffed and chained around the waist.

A total of 15 Fulton sheriff’s deputies were in the courtroom at the time. Ten of them came from the special tactical unit and were armed, while five other sheriff’s deputies did not have guns inside of their holsters.

Two public defenders, Chris Adams and Gary Parker from the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, represented Nichols. They presented a motion challenging the Fulton magistrates’ appointment of Judge Cox to preside at the status hearing.

To that end, all Fulton magistrates had recused themselves from the case on Monday, but not before appointing Cobb County Magistrate Judge Frank Cox to preside at the status hearing.

At the hearing, the public defender claimed Cox should never have been appointed by the Fulton court officials. Judge Cox denied the motion and continued Nichols’ denial of bond.

Fulton Assistant District Attorney Michele McCutheon said that the DA's office will file murder charges along with a laundry list of other charges at a later date. That investigation is ongoing, and is being taken slowly enough to ensure that no mistakes are made.

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The Ides of March: International Eat An Animal For PETA Day

I'm planning a wonderful day of critter-eating. Had some eggs and sausage for breakfast, I'll have a turkey & cheese sandwich for lunch, and I'm going to make a fantastic homemade spaghetti dinner, complete with plenty of meatballs!

Meryl Yourish, the originator of IEAPD, has a roundup of how folks are celebrating around the world. She also has the lowdown on where IEAPD came from.

(More coverage from Wizbang & others)

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Study says getting government jobs harder in "post-affirmative action" period

I got quoted in a new AP piece on a study by the Albany (NY)-based Center for Women in Government & Civil Society at the State University of New York at Albany.

The study's author and the Center's director, Judith Saidel, claims that blacks and Hispanics are not able to rise to managerial and directoral spots in state and local government across the nation in what she calls a "post-affirmative action" period.

"I don't know if I would call it tokenism as I would occupational segregation," said report author Judith Saidel, director of the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society at the State University of New York at Albany.

"There's a number of possible reasons at play here," Saidel said. "We are in a post-affirmative action period. In general, there's a climate less supportive of proactive efforts to identify people of color for various positions."

Michael King, an Atlanta resident and member of the national conservative black group Project 21, said the report, out last month, seemed like it was "engineered to justify an argument."

He noted that with battles ongoing over affirmative action in California, Michigan and Georgia, there is "no logical way you can call this a post-affirmative action period."

King also disputed the suggestion that any advancement by minorities has stopped. "When you look at the number of individuals across the nation both in elective and appointed office, the numbers are certainly increasing," he said.

One of the other points I pointed out was that the study neglected to take into account the larger concentrations of blacks in and around urban areas nationally. You are far more likely to have concentrations of blacks working in government in Chicago or Atlanta than you are in Boulder, CO or Albuquerque, NM.

And to call this a "post-affirmative action period" is just plain silly. Affirmative action, as a whole, is alive and well in this nation. I have insisted in the past that the institution of affirmative action is "broken" -- it largely does not take into account the differences and disparagements between smaller versus larger minority-owned businesses, for example -- but the entity that is affirmative action is certainly in effect across the nation.

Ms. Seidel's report appears to be specifically designed to bolster an overall arguement that qualified minorities are not able to acquire jobs in government.

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