Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Myths of ‘Diversity’

THE PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY REPORT
by John and Andy Schlafly

The world’s fastest human, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, retired last week from the sport of track and field.  He won multiple gold medals in three consecutive Olympic games, setting world records in both the 100-meter and 200-meter events.

Like most Jamaicans – and most sprinters – Usain Bolt is of West African descent.  No white or Asian man, and no woman of any race, is good enough to compete at his level.

Is it fair that in more than 30 years, no white man has won an Olympic medal in the 100-meter dash?  In every Olympics since 1988, every finalist in the 100-meter dash has been a black male.

Usain Bolt’s amazing career provides a useful corrective to the politically correct assumption that all types of human activity must be “diverse.”  Wherever competition determines the outcome, we see differences in human achievement. 

We can all work to improve our skills with the talents God gave us, but not everyone can excel at the highest level of competition. Talents are not equally distributed, and some human differences are too great to overcome, even with hard work.

The same week that Usain Bolt retired, we learned that a woman dropped out of training to become a Navy SEAL.  The unnamed female midshipman (can we still use that word?) failed to complete the initial three-week qualifying course, or “pipeline,” which is followed by six grueling months of training. 

No woman has ever been good enough to become a Navy SEAL.  Among other things, you have to lift yourself from the ocean into a small boat, a feat that requires upper-body strength that women just don’t have.
Women can excel in many fields that don’t require upper-body strength – writing computer code, for example.  But as we learned from the 10-page memorandum written by James Damore, the 28-year-old engineer recently fired by Google, not that many women are interested in doing that kind of work.

Google has been under federal investigation to explain why only 21 percent of its technical workforce is female. In his well-researched paper seeking to explain that disparity, Damore mentioned various reasons why more men than women gravitate to tech work.

Researchers have found gender differences in infants, which suggests a biological origin.  Baby girls respond more to faces, while baby boys respond to shiny objects.  A few years later, girls seek relationships with people, while boys are interested in trucks, battles and adventures.

For a host of reasons, Damore wrote, “women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things.  Women on average are more cooperative.  Women on average look for more work-life balance, while men have a higher drive for status on average.”

Damore’s memo did not sit well with Google’s vice president for diversity and inclusion, who said it “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.”  The next day Damore was fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes” and escorted off the premises, known as the Googleplex, with the promise that his personal effects would be mailed to him.

The Google engineer was careful to concede that “I’m not saying diversity is bad, or that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases,” but that wasn’t enough to save his job.  The feminist dogma is that anything less than 50-50 representation can only be the result of discrimination, oppression and sexism.

Damore pointed out, “When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.”  He added that at Google, and presumably other major corporations, there is “an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.”

The CEOs of some of the biggest American corporations are “grandstanders,” as President Trump puts it, by quitting his Manufacturing Council in feigned protest over Trump's supposed lack of sensitivity to diversity issues.  But fortunately, Trump does stand up for freedom of speech, and the CEOs of companies like Google that profit from freedom of speech should be the first to defend him.

It is ironic that Google wants freedom on the internet and insists on what is called "net neutrality" to defend Google's own self-interest, but at the same time censors speech among its employees.  Google itself would never have become so profitable without the free speech that is allowed on the internet, and yet becomes the censor that it urges government not to be.

The most competitive math contest for college students is the annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, sometimes called the "Olympics" of that field.  So rarely do any women place among the top contestants that there is a separate award for women who do well on the grueling exam.

Phyllis Schlafly had granddaughters who excel in math and engineering, including one who became an actuary and another who majored in Mechanical Engineering.  But Phyllis Schlafly was always the first to point out that there are important differences between men and women, and boys and girls, and it is harmful to pretend otherwise.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Chicago Leads the Resistance

THE PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY REPORT
by John and Andy Schlafly

With a rising level of violence and urban decay plaguing Chicago, you’d think Mayor Rahm Emanuel would be working overtime to police his city.  More than 400 homicides have been recorded there so far this year, more than New York and Los Angeles combined.

Mayor Emanuel should be using all available resources to protect Chicago’s law-abiding residents from the violent crime.  Instead of doing his duty, Mayor Emanuel has decided to sue the Trump administration by filing a 46-page lawsuit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions.   

Mayor Emanuel wants a federal judge to stop Sessions from withholding federal grants from sanctuary cities.  But a federal law (8 U.S. Code Section 1373) provides that no State or local government may “prohibit, or in any way restrict” its officials, including the police, from providing the federal government with information regarding the citizenship or immigration status of persons they have in custody or even at a brief traffic stop.

Mayor Emanuel’s lawsuit claims that the federal government has to abide by something called the Welcoming City Ordinance, which was announced by previous Chicago mayors in 1985 and 1989 and then passed by the city council in 2006 and 2012.  Someone should remind the mayor that he took an oath to support the U.S. Constitution, which provides for the supremacy of federal law over local ordinances. 

Justice Department lawyers will respond to Mayor Emanuel’s lawsuit in due course, but the attorney general is not backing down. “No amount of federal taxpayer dollars will help a city that refuses to help its own residents,” Jeff Sessions said in a statement. 
“To a degree perhaps unsurpassed by any other jurisdiction, the political leadership of Chicago has chosen deliberately and intentionally to adopt a policy that obstructs this country’s lawful immigration system,” Sessions added.

Thomas Homan, the no-nonsense head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), spoke out against Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia as cities that harbor illegal immigrants.  “Sanctuary cities, in my opinion, are un-American,” he said in a recent interview.

“In the last year, I’ve read all these stories of how the crime rate has exploded in Chicago, and the president’s trying to help them. We’re stepping up our game in Chicago. Is Chicago doing everything that it can to decrease the criminal activity up there? I say no,” Homan said.

“I say no because if you’re an illegal alien, and you get arrested in the United States for a crime, and you get booked in Cook County, Chicago, my officers aren’t allowed in the jail. They don’t accept our detainers. They don’t share information with us,” he said.

“Why would Cook County not want my officers, federal law enforcement officers, to go talk to somebody that committed yet another crime against the citizens of this country? It’s ludicrous,” the acting head of ICE continued.

“These jurisdictions, these cities, are choosing to shield people who violated the laws of this country. So, what’s next? Sanctuary cities for people who don’t want to pay their taxes?”

San Francisco became America’s best-known sanctuary city when Kate Steinle was shot and killed there on July 1, 2015 by an illegal immigrant who was released from custody by the sheriff despite 7 felony convictions and 5 orders of deportation.  In accordance with a city ordinance, the sheriff refused to honor a detainer from ICE so federal officials could intercept Juan Francisco López-Sánchez while he was in custody.
A few months after Kate Steinle’s preventable death, another illegal immigrant, Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno was in police custody for an outstanding warrant.  Perhaps because outrage over Kate Steinle’s unnecessary death was bringing unwanted attention to San Francisco, this time the police turned the alien over to federal authorities for deportation to El Salvador.  

Like many people who were ordered deported, Pedro didn’t actually go home when ordered to do so.  He remained in San Francisco while continuing to resist deportation, and in 2016 his next hearing was scheduled for 2019.

Last week, the San Francisco city attorney announced an agreement to settle a lawsuit by paying Pedro $190,000.  So the illegal immigrant not only gets to stay, but if the city council approves the settlement, he’ll also get a lump sum from the taxpayers to enjoy life while waiting for his deportation hearing. 

Seattle is another sanctuary city where local officials have joined the resistance against federal immigration laws, but that may change following a horrible crime committed in a Seattle suburb by a so-called Dreamer.  Salvador Diaz-Garcia is accused of brutally attacking and raping a 19-year-old woman while she was on the treadmill of the gym in her apartment complex.

The crime occurred in the small suburb of Burien, which had its own sanctuary policy, but residents there are up in arms.  Following a petition signed by 3,600 of Burien’s 33,000 residents, the city council has just voted 6-1 to allow the voters in November to decide whether to repeal the sanctuary ordinance.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Amid Staff Changes, the Trump Train Rolls On

THE PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY REPORT
by John and Andy Schlafly

During a week in which the media were obsessed with reporting on a handful of personnel changes among the White House staff, the Trump administration moved forward on several fronts to implement policies the president campaigned on.  Here are some welcome actions that you may have missed.

Fulfilling Trump’s promise to crack down on sanctuary cities, last Tuesday Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced exactly how that will be done. The Justice Department awards $380 million annually in grants to local police departments, and at least 10 percent of that money has been going to agencies with sanctuary policies.

That same evening, the president went to Youngstown, Ohio, one of the areas where Trump attracted the support of thousands of people who had previously voted for Obama.  Some 15,000 supporters crammed into an auditorium that was designed for 6,000.

“American cities should be sanctuaries for law-abiding Americans,” Trump said to the cheering crowd.  “The predators and criminal aliens who poison our communities with drugs and prey on innocent young people will find no safe haven anywhere in our country.” 

The next day, Trump’s policy was reinforced by Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Homan is now the nation’s top immigration enforcement officer, after working his way up through the ranks of the Border Patrol.

Homan is the point man to enforce the deportation policies previously issued by the outgoing secretary of homeland security, General John F. Kelly, who is now the White House chief of staff.  We say “point man” advisedly because arresting criminal aliens is a man’s job, and the burly Tom Homan is clearly fit for the task. 

Homan created a stir back in June when he told a House appropriations subcommittee that “If you’re in this country illegally, you need to be worried.  No population is off the table.”  The next day he said he had “no regrets” for that statement, based on the experience of finding the bodies of 19 illegal immigrants, including a 5-year-old boy, who suffocated inside a locked tractor trailer in Victoria, Texas in 2003.

“Sanctuary cities are a criminal’s biggest friend,” Homan declared, hinting that local officials risk being prosecuted for violating the federal law that punishes anyone who tries to “conceal, harbor or shield” someone who is in this country illegally.  

On Friday, President Trump went to a section of Long Island, NY, where the Salvadoran youth gang called MS-13 has been running wild.  “Since January 2016,” Trump said to a crowd of 500 uniformed local police officers, “MS-13 gang members have brutally murdered 17 beautiful young lives in this area on Long Island alone.”

Murder is normally a local issue, but not in this case.  MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, is a transnational organization almost entirely composed of young citizens of other countries, primarily El Salvador.  

MS-13 had been a declining problem until the summer of 2014 when 150,000 unaccompanied alien minors from Central America illegally crossed our southern border.  Instead of turning them back to their own countries, Barack Obama treated them as refugees and released them into unsuspecting communities all over the country, including 4,000 to that area of Long Island.  

No good deed goes unpunished, and Trump’s speech was predictably protested by groups that advocate amnesty for illegal immigration.  “We are outraged to see President Trump use local tragedies to fuel his hateful agenda,” said community agitators who claimed that “what’s really causing this” is “the severe underfunding of our public schools and the lack of access to programs.”  

As if on cue, the enforcement agenda of Donald Trump and Tom Homan was justified by the news that a criminal illegal alien named Sergio Jose Martinez broke into a 65-year-old woman’s home in Portland, Oregon, tied her up and sexually assaulted her, and then stole her car, after local authorities refused to honor an ICE detainer.  Next he allegedly assaulted a second woman at knifepoint that same day.

Martinez was known as a meth-using street person with a long record of arrests, and had previously been deported at least 20 times, yet he was released by the local sheriff in defiance of ICE’s request.  Earlier this year the Multnomah County Sheriff sent a letter to reassure illegal immigrants that “The sheriff’s office does not hold people in county jails on ICE detainers or conduct any immigration enforcement actions.”

To round out the week of good news, on Sunday Chuck Todd of Meet the Press went to Kenosha, Wisconsin to sample the opinion of “everyday voters” on the question, “Has Donald Trump been a successful president?”  One of Kenosha’s everyday voters, Rosemary Brunner, spoke for many when she replied:  “I think with him, God has given this country a second chance to redeem itself.” 

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.