Editorial: End racial discrimination in all iterations

Let’s face it. Racial discrimination is racial discrimination. Calling it affirmative action is just swinging the pendulum the other way.

The Department of Justice recently joined a group of Asian-American students in their lawsuit against Harvard University that claims the school’s use of a subjective “personal rating” in determining admissions discriminates against Asian-Americans.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “No American should be denied admission to school because of their race.”

Harvard officials put out a statement this past week saying they are “deeply disappointed” in Justice’s action, but concluded it was to be expected “given the highly irregular investigation the DOJ has engaged in thus far.” A Justice official said the investigation is still ongoing and might result in a separate lawsuit or other action.

The personal rating is supposed to be based on character and personalty traits, but the lawsuit claims an analysis of data found Asian-Americans had the highest academic and extracurricular ratings of any racial group, but the lowest score on the personal rating.

The Supreme Court upheld affirmative action policies in 2016 in a case out of the University of Texas at Austin. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement earlier this year, wrote the opinion, which said “considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission.”

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to replace Kennedy, once described a government program pushing diversity as a “naked racial-spoils system,” and he predicted in a newspaper column that the Supreme Court eventually would rule that “in the eyes of government, we are just one race.”

Earlier this year Trump’s Justice Department rescinded an Obama-era policy that encourages colleges and universities to promote diversity by considering racial quotas.

In his “Dream” speech Martin Luther King, Jr., did say, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Racial discrimination is abhorrent in all its iterations.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

‘Most surprising result of my career’ warrants only second graf in NYT

Roland G. Fryer Jr., a professor of economics at Harvard. (NYT photo)

Did The New York Times bury the lede?

The news of the day is about cops shooting blacks and a black man shooting cops in retaliation, but, when the Gray Lady gets its hands a study by a Harvard economics professor, it ledes with the fact that cops are more likely to use non-lethal force on blacks than whites.

The fact that there is no racial bias when it comes to shootings is relegated to the second graf.

“It is the most surprising result of my career,” said Roland G. Fryer Jr., the author of the study and a professor of economics at Harvard, of the facts in the second graf. The study looked into more than 1,000 shootings in 10 police departments.

Also online the lede graphic element is about the use of force, while the shootings graphic is buried far below.



A rare example of how tax money should actually be spent


Hey, Warren Buffett, how’s the rhubarb crop this year?

The Nevada Legislature set up Buffett to make millions in profits from his newly acquired toy, NV Energy, by passing a law that requires lots of capital investment in new power plants — mostly wind and solar. The more investment by the monopoly utility the more return on equity.

But for how long?

As I’ve suggested in the past, who needs a power grid when everyone can produce — and store for later — their own power? People could generate power with wind and solar technology. They just need the ability to cheaply store the power when the wind doesn’t blow or sun doesn’t shine.

I quoted the Edison Electric Institute awhile back as saying:

“While we would expect customers to remain on the grid until a fully viable and economic distributed non-variable resource is available, one can imagine a day when battery storage technology or micro turbines could allow customers to be electric grid independent. To put this into perspective, who would have believed 10 years ago that traditional wire line telephone customers could economically ‘cut the cord?’”

So, where’s rhubarb, Bub?

Greenwire is reporting today that Harvard University researchers have created a low-cost battery that could power a home or backup wind farms and solar panels.

The battery uses quinones which are common organic molecules that plants and animals use to store energy. The team sorted thousands of quinone molecules to find the best for a battery, and the one they settled on is almost identical to one found in rhubarb, the common bitter vegetable.

“The whole world of electricity storage has been using metal ions in various charge states, but there is a limited number that you can put into solution and use to store energy, and none of them can economically store massive amounts of renewable energy,” Greenwire quotes Roy Gordon, a professor of chemistry and materials science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy provided $590,000 for the project — much less than was blown on all those “green” energy companies that went bankrupt. That’s where tax money should be spent — research, not padding the pockets of cronies of Obama and Harry Reid.

The team’s findings were published today in the journal Nature.