The fact that a major system is facing such monumental maintenance issues is stunning. However when you discover the hiring culture of Metro it all makes sense. It’s been a job program for blacks for years. So Steve while I do agree in the main that affirmative action should be targeted, it should not be used in critical areas.
* Is the DC Metro becoming a form of Atlanta’s MARTA: Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta? Pity that the system isn’t working; it was a good system when I was there between 1985 and 2004.
* I’m against affirmative action in any form. I am for every individual being treated fairly. AA is just another form of prejudicial treatment – this time directed against whites. Two blacks don’t make a white. It is not possible to make up for past transgressions by penalizing the present. Such actions simply create another class of aggrieved people who feel slighted by their government and/or officials.
* I think the libertarian objective of doing away with all anti-discrimination laws, whatever its intellectual merits, is politically unattainable in the short to medium term.
However, narrowing and targeting diversity laws to reflect “actual historic oppression” cuts back on those laws, and leads to some interesting debates with the Democratic demographics. Also, if we could change the scope, perhaps making them all applicable to business with 50 or 75 employees or more, it would take a huge level of red tape off the back of small businesses everywhere. If there is going to be red tape for small business, it ought to be in connection with a new national e-verify system.
From a GOP perspective, it would allow the GOP to set up a multiracial/ethnic coalition by targeting certain minority groups. I don’t see why there isn’t support on the populist side of the GOP for affirmative action for Blacks, because if you could make Black voters comfortable with the GOP, I don’t think they would care about immigration restrictions or lack of comparable favoritism for Hispanics (intersectionality being what it is).
You have to wonder where the Democratic party would be without being able to take out their White Racist Redneck Kachina Dolls every election cycle to frighten the children into compliance.
* It’s ironic that you choose Feynman as the poster boy for “competent white man”. When Feynman was applying to grad school at Princeton, a Princeton physics professor wrote to a colleague at MIT, ” Is Feynman Jewish? We have no definite rule against Jews but have to keep their proportion in our department reasonably small because of the difficulty of placing them.” MIT wrote back that he was in fact Jewish but that Feynman’s “physiognomy and manner, however, show no trace of this characteristic and I do not believe the matter will be any great handicap.”
* Determining who gets “reparations” based on past events cannot result in anything but a regression ad absurdam. Thomas Jefferson addressed the question of slavery in Notes on the State of Virginia and the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, and he argued that the British were to blame for slavery. He was right — slavery had been in existence in the colonies for 150 years before American independence. And it was the fault of not only the British, but the Dutch, Portugese, Spaniards, and French as well. Should they all pay reparations to blacks?
As far as the Indians were concerned, the U.S. government treated them as foreign nations, and concluded treaties with the tribes willing to do so. That was the situation until the 1920s, when Congress made the Indians citizens (which contradicts the principle of “Indian sovereignty.”)
In any case, world history is little more than one group of people killing others and taking their land. Those who win write history. Those who lose — well, they lose. Where do you draw the line? My ancestors were Polish. Am I entitled to ca$h in from the Austrians, Prussians, Germans, and Russians?
And how about the Jews of Israel? Should they pay reparations to Palestinians and Ottoman Turks? Or should Muslims pay reparations to them, since Jews lived in Israel for several millenia before Islam was even founded?
Or should the Italians pay reparations to the Jews, since it was the Romans who exiled the majority of Jews from Judea in the second century?
* Feynman pretty much admitted that he was prompted to do his little experiment by an Air Force officer on the commission. The truth was going to come out, but Feynman was allowed to be the public face of understanding the accident cause. And he really enjoyed being center stage!