Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Scott Heard 'Round the World

Yes, I have shamelessly ripped off my title for this post, because I thought it was a great line!

For the last day or so I have been enjoying the delicious irony of a Republican taking over Chappaquiddick Ted's recently vacated Senate seat, and I most heartily congratulate Senator-elect Brown on his victory. You are symbolic of the fight being waged to overthrow the facist-in-chief and his band socialist tyrants, and you are a message to all Congresscritters about just who they work for.

However, in listening to Senator-elect Brown in news reports yesterday, a note of dissonance began to form as he talked about health care. His campaign rhetoric was all about being the 41st vote against Obamacare, but his remarks yesterday went something like this: "I want everyone to have health care, just not this way."

This leaves a very big door wide open in my mind. Government intrusion into the health care system is what has made it so ponderous and expensive (that and the ambulance chasers), and Senator-elect Brown's remarks give the impression that he is OK with continued government intrusion, or even a government program, just not the Obamacare monstrosity.

Now, at this point I am willing to give him a slight benefit if the doubt. Perhaps his exuberance at his miraculous win has caused him to misspeak, or perhaps the press has edited out some disclaimers he might have made (Noooo. That would never happen. Would it?)

But it would behoove us all to keep a weather-eye on Senator Brown, and if he strays too far out of line, remind him of why he was sent there . It wasn't to give us Obamacare-lite, that's for darn sure.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

For Legal Scholars out there...

...if you beat the crap out of some Jihadi while your plane is still in the air, when do you officially come under the jurisdiction of US law enforcement?

Just wondering.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Foolishness of the "Rooney Rule"

I haven't done any sports commentary in a while, but I got a topic this week that really set me off. The National Football League has imposed the "Rooney Rule" (named for the late owner of the Pittsburg Steelers, Art Rooney) on its teams when they are searching for new head coaches (and perhaps other football positions as well). The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to include minority candidates in the interview processes when they are looking to hire a new coach.

Now, I understand that the NFL is a private association and can impose whatever rules it wants to on its members. I don't have a problem with that. All I am saying is, as with all other "affirmative action", their hearts may (may!) have been in the right place, but the practical results are not at all what they wanted to achieve. I give you this week's hiring of Pete Carroll as head coach by the Seattle Seahawks as exhibit A.

Mr. Carroll has NFL head coaching experience, but only around a .500 winning percentage with the New York Jets and New England Patriots. Past record may or may not indicate future performance (see Joe Torre before he took over the Yankees), and he does have a nine-year track record of success at the University of Southern California, including a National Championship. So objectively you would expect some level of competence from him, and you wouldn't necessarily argue with the selection.

Ahh, but there's that Rooney Rule. News reports over the weekend indicated that Mr. Carroll's hiring was being held up because the Seahawks had to interview their token minority candidate. Everyone, including this minority candidate, knew what was going on, and that he had no chance of getting that job, that Pete Carroll was the guy the Seahawks wanted. But this poor guy had to schlep all the way to Seattle, and the Seahawks brass had to pretend like they were interviewing him, just to show that they were "diverse". And of course, so they didn't get a hefty fine from the NFL.

I feel sorry for the "minority" guy. How must he have felt after being used this way? If I were a minority with an ounce of self-respect, I would tell any team who wants to use me like this to kiss off. It might damage my career, but at least I have my self-respect. Which is more important?

Anyone who thinks that this kind of thing is good for either party, really, you need to pull your head out of the little imaginary world you live in. Perhaps you have had a recent head injury?

Now, before the race baiters swoop in and accuse me of being some kind of white supremacist, let me state that I in no way believe in any kind of segregated society whatsoever, nor do I believe in any kind of privilege for anyone based on what are described as racial characteristics. Indeed, the science of genetics tells us that the physical characteristics that we humans use to group people by "race" (skin color, eye shape, etc.) account for a difference of 0.012% between us. * Folks, that is twelve one-thousandths of one percent. And that is statistically insignificant. So we can say that there is really only one race - the human race. Yes, there are variations within humankind, just like there are variations between dog-kind or horse-kind or camel-kind. But they're still dogs, horses, and camels. And humans.

So, since we're in Obama's "post-racial" America, perhaps the NFL will scrap its ill-conceived "Rooney Rule" as being un-necessary, and get down to the business of evaluating coaching talent based on achievement and not the outmoded concept of race.

*S.C. Cameron and S.M. Wycoff, The destructive nature of the term race: growing beyond a false paradigm, Journal of Counseling & Development, 76:277–285, 1998 (via Answers in Genesis website)