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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 8, 2009 16 Tamuz 5769

A Tangled Web, Part II

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Much of the backlog of cases in our over-burdened courts has been created by the courts themselves, with adventurous judicial "interpretations" of laws that leave a large gray area of uncertainty around even the most plainly written legislation. Lawyers of course fish in these troubled waters, creating much needless litigation, but it is judges who have troubled the waters in the first place.


Nowhere is this more true than in civil rights cases. Since the Constitution of the United States and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 both decree equal treatment for all, there should not be nearly as much basis for litigation in civil rights cases as there is — at least not in cases where the facts are well known and undisputed, as in the recent New Haven firefighters' case that made it all the way up to the Supreme Court.


What was it that required three different levels of federal courts to try to figure out whether what actually happened was or was not racial discrimination — with a decision finally being reached by the narrowest possible margin of 5 to 4 in the Supreme Court?


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At the heart of much of this legal complexity and moral angst is a judge-made theory that a "disparate impact" of any job requirement on different groups is evidence of discrimination.


With two very different theories of what constitutes job discrimination — either different treatment or different outcomes — it is no wonder that courts have tied themselves into knots trying to figure out whether a particular case shows racial discrimination, even when the facts are known and plain.


The same notion — and the same confusion — applies in many other situations. If a higher proportion of blacks than whites get turned down for mortgage loans, then that too has been taken as evidence of racial discrimination.


It doesn't matter if blacks and whites are different on innumerable factors that go into mortgage loan decisions, as are Hispanics or Asian Americans as well.


All these groups have different credit scores, different incomes and many other differences. Why is it surprising that they have different loan approval rates? While the issue is often posed in terms of whites versus non-whites, whites also get turned down for mortgage loans more often than Asian Americans, who usually have higher credit scores than whites.


Only the underlying dogma that different outcomes for different groups are evidence of discrimination makes this an issue — and a source of unending controversy and polarization.


It is not that judges are incapable of seeing through the intellectual flaw in the "disparate impact" dogma. But that dogma is too central to efforts at social engineering to be given up for the sake of mere logic or facts.


That is why courts split along ideological fault lines in cases like the New Haven firefighters' case, where the crucial facts are not even in dispute. The only real dispute is over whether a test is automatically biased if different groups pass it at different rates. Apparently the groups themselves cannot possibly be different, according to "disparate impact" theory.


Facts play a very small role in such issues — including the facts as to whether social engineering — especially a lowering of standards for blacks — actually helps blacks on net balance. But empirical studies indicate that black students do better at colleges and universities where their qualifications are similar to those of the other students at those institutions and worse where they are admitted with wide disparities in qualifications.


Where in fact have blacks been most successful? Sports and entertainment come to mind immediately. These are areas where blacks have to meet the same standards as anybody else.


If Derek Jeter swings at three pitches and misses, he is out, just like any white ballplayer. If people stop watching Oprah Winfrey's program, it will get cancelled, just like anybody else's.


The biggest beneficiaries from the "disparate impact" dogma are those who claim to be helping minorities. They benefit by feeling noble, winning votes or attracting money. The actual consequences for blacks — or for the polarization of American society — seems to be of little concern.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Thomas Sowell's column by clicking here.

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