October 18, 2018

Affirmative Action on Trial

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

On Monday, the trial began in a lawsuit alleging that “Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants in order to limit how many it admits."


See past issues

From the Left

The left posits that affirmative action is a way of leveling the playing field for historically disadvantaged groups, and promoting diversity on campus.

“In a nation still wracked by glaring racial inequalities, a ruling permitting the controversy over Asian-American admissions to serve as a wedge enabling the foes of affirmative action to realize their long-cherished goal of abolishing it would be a serious mistake."

Huffington Post

“[They] can talk all they want about level playing fields and race neutrality, but their legal and policy efforts all point in the same direction—toward less power and influence for groups that are disproportionately affected by the disadvantages of poverty and low incomes."

The New Yorker

“Does the racial and ethnic diversity at Harvard enhance the quality of the education there? My answer is a resounding yes. The best college education includes intellectual and social interactions among thoughtful people from a broad range of cultural and racial backgrounds, both inside and outside the classroom. Restricting diversity efforts will ultimately reduce the quality of education."

New York Times

Only through a process that takes a well-considered look beyond an applicant's test scores and GPA can Harvard achieve the intellectual transformations it was founded to create... There are certainly many parts of American higher education that are broken and require greater public scrutiny and reform. Holistic admissions isn't one of them."


Trump's “goal, it seems, is to put so much pressure on Tehran that it has no choice but to completely change its behavior — but he could end up leading the countries to the brink of war in the process… Now is typically the time when cooler heads prevail, but it’s unclear if there are cooler heads around… It’s hard to overstate how avoidable this situation was.”
Alex Ward, Vox

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

From the Right

The right condemns racial preferences in admissions and argues that they harm the very students they are meant to help.

From the Right

The right condemns racial preferences in admissions and argues that they harm the very students they are meant to help.

“The key fact is undeniable: Affording preferential treatment to those of one race necessarily penalizes others for their racial identities. It is fundamentally un-American... [Moreover] one of the dire effects of universities’ use of racial preferences is that they encourage us all—university officials, policymakers, commentators, ordinary citizens—to ignore the underlying social problems that led universities to embrace affirmative action in the first place...

“It’s a sensitive subject, but elite liberal commentators and academics do underperforming minorities no favors by avoiding any mention of the cultural pathologies that keep many highly capable minority students from academic success. Thanks largely to the grievous dissolution of the two-parent family, a breakdown abetted by well-meaning state and federal welfare policies, too many black children show up for their first day of school at a major disadvantage.”

The Weekly Standard

“Studies have documented the negative effects of racial preferences on African-American and Hispanic students, including lower college graduation rates and increased attrition from the hard sciences. After California passed Proposition 209 banning the use of race in admissions, African-American students’ enrollment at University of California at Berkeley initially declined, but eventually their graduation rates doubled.”

Daily Signal

“We've got to suck it up. Indeed, we must be bold here. Chinese President Xi Jinping's tariffs escalation reflects his bet that he can spike U.S. domestic fears over the economy, and a corresponding popular pressure on Trump to back down… if we stand firm, Xi will have to back down because China's economy is already weakened by foreign investor doubts, caught between rural poverty and urban wealth, and vulnerable to low-cost labor competition from the region.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

“The broader context here is North Korea's crop crisis. If Kim hasn't got sanctions relief by August's end, a painful winter is coming… Absent Kim's commitment to suspend all ballistic missile tests, the U.S. should not support the provision of food supplies to the North Korean people. A North Korean long-range nuclear strike capability poses an existential threat to American society… Trump must not allow North Korea's coming suffering to dictate his decisions. Supporting North Korea with food will both prolong North Koreans' suffering under Kim and directly undercut U.S. interests.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

“The Democrats want to talk to Don McGahn, and maybe they will ultimately prevail in court to get his testimony, but what’s the point? McGahn talked extensively to Mueller, and surely everything remotely damaging is already in the report

“Congress has the report, and now it is up to it to decide. But it doesn’t want to. It’s too painful to admit that the Mueller report was a bust on Russia and that the obstruction material, while damaging to Trump, is hardly a slam dunk; that the public doesn’t support impeachment; that if the House goes through with it anyway, it will end with a whimper in the Senate; and that it’s better for Democrats to focus on beating Trump in 2020 than a forlorn impeachment.”
Rich Lowry, National Review

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

New Zealand votes tipsy pigeon bird of the year.


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