Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 1, 2015
After last week’s tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina, significant focus has been on Confederate Flag often visible in the South. Many have expressed the strong opinion that the flag should be removed from both public and private venues. While this Blog believes the Confederate Flag can be divisive, attacking inanimate objects and denigrating freedom of speech is a slippery slope that has potential negative consequences that far outstripped potential benefits.
Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young has impeccable Civil Rights credentials including marching with Dr. Martin Luther King. He points out in the video below that; “The problems we face don’t have anything to do with the flag. The fact is that 93 percent of the black people killed are killed by other black people. So if black lives matter, let us start believing that we matter.” Look for Mr. Young to be attacked by Progressives for not towing the Leftists line.
Today’s society often deflects from addressing complex problems. When faced with significant challenges, society may seek simple solutions that include attacking symbols, rather than addressing underlying causes for the problems. A high profile murder likely leads to the opportunity to promote gun-control. The death of an African-American at the hands of the police will lead to an indictment of the entire police force. A racist attack, such as occurred in Charleston, focuses on the Confederate Flag. Similar to any of these simplistic solutions, banning the Confederate Flag will not eliminate racism.
Ambassador Andrew Young is to be commended for his desire to seek real solutions to social problems that affect various parts of our society. President Obama would do well to bring in clear-thinking people like Young to his cabinet instead of the divisive radicals he has often brought into his Administration.
Posted in Racism | Tagged: Andrew Young, Atlanta, Charleston, civil rights, Confederate, Flag, Mayor, Racism, Young | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 23, 2014
California Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu made a ruling with broad implications for the education system, teachers and society. The ruling found that teacher tenure violated the State Constitutional civil rights by not offering poor inner-city students equal opportunity for a quality education. In essence, the Judge found that tenure protected teachers at the expense of damaging the quality of education in inner-cities stating:
“Substantial evidence presented makes it clear to this court that the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students.”
“The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience.”
Judge Treu specifically criticized California’s inability to fire incompetent teachers stating: “All sides to this litigation agree that competent teachers are a critical, if not the most important, component of success of a child’s in-school educational experience,” and “there is also no dispute that there are a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers currently active in California classrooms.”
The negative reaction from teachers’ unions was immediate with California Federation of Teachers president saying: “We believe the judge fell victim to the anti-union, anti-teacher rhetoric and one of America’s finest corporate law firms that set out to scapegoat teachers for the real problems that exist in public education. There are real problems in our schools, but this decision in no way helps us move the ball forward.”
This is a typical unionists/leftist response, attacking the opposition’s integrity. To accept that there are “real problems” in America’s schools and exonerating teachers unions and their parochial interests from any part of the problem defies logic. The union’s real intent is clear; protect its members irrespective of the needs of greater society.
Tenure in the educational field came into existence to protect teachers with dissenting views from being harassed or fired. Tenure was therefore not for the protection of teachers, who currently in California received ten-year after 18 months of service, but instead for the protection of freely expressed knowledge and its related discourse. The result of tenure, however, has been much different. Not only has it helped incompetent teachers retain jobs, but it has not broaden political views within educational institutions with teaching positions, especially in universities, controlled by the Progressives.
With the decline of many American schools and the poor results graduates have performed in standardized test, the debate about tenure will continue to grow. There can be no more of a justification for teachers’ tenure for job protection than for any other American worker.
In recent decades the judicial system has become activist, inflicting Progressive dogma on society. That activism is now coming full circle with more conservative judges becoming willing to use judicial power to change society. The implications of this activist court are no more dangerous today than they were decades ago. To my friends on the Left, I say what goes around comes around.
Posted in Education | Tagged: California, civil rights, Judge, Rolf, tenure, Unconstitutional, Union | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 12, 2011
Just when you think it couldn’t get any loonier, along comes a storey published yesterday on myfoxny.com that takes lunacy to new heights. Martin Kessman, a 64 year old from Nanuet, NY, has sued hamburger chain White Castle over the size of their seats. Kessman, who weighs 290 pounds, does not fit comfortably into their chairs. In the suit filed in Manhattan federal court, Kessman claims that the uncomfortable seating violates the civil rights of fat people. In addition, he claims that The Americans with Disabilities Act is applicable, stating: “I just want to sit down like a normal person.”
Kessman’s remarkable belief that private businesses owe him special accommodations because he chooses to eat too much is a natural extension of the nanny-state mentality Progressives have foisted on America. It has replaced personal responsibility and with self-indulgence without individual consequences. However, the consequences for are huge and cumulative. In this case, a few lawyers will make some extra doe that will be paid for through higher-priced burgers by the mainstream public who purchase White Castle burgers and fit into standard size chairs.
It would seem that the last thing Kessman needs is more White Castle hamburgers. It’s but a matter of time before he sues the producer of his bedroom mirror claiming: “I just want to look like a normal person.”
Posted in Law | Tagged: ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, burgers, civil rights, hamburgers, Martin Kessman, Nanuet, Overweight, Seat size, White Castle | Leave a Comment »