Thursday, May 16, 2013

Progressive Group Admits IRS Gave Them Conservative Groups' Confidential Documents

This goes from bad to worse

Now that the public is fully aware of the IRS’s corrupt practices back in 2012 election cycle, more information is coming to light by the minute. We have now become aware that not only did the IRS scrutinize tea party groups more than others, but they also leaked some of that info to liberal groups. “The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted and harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave the progressive group nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending.”

Although this is a surprising admission, it is a commendable one from one of our liberal counterparts. The group said:

    "The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year... In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)"

The group also says that they did not receive any information on pending applications for liberal groups during the cycle. ProPublica is a well-known liberal group, with many donors following the Democratic Party lines.

The House Ways and Means Committee is set to have a formal hearing on the IRS conservative targeting scandal next week. Top officials from that organization will be making an appearance to testify.



The Heretic at Heritage

Pat Buchanan

Jason Richwine, the young conservative scholar who co-authored the Heritage Foundation report on the long-term costs of the amnesty bill backed by the "Gang of Eight," is gone from Heritage.

He was purged after The Washington Post unearthed his doctoral dissertation at the JFK School of Government.

Richwine's thesis:

IQ tests fairly measure mental ability. The average IQ of immigrants is well below that of white Americans. This difference in IQ is likely to persist through several generations.

And the potential consequences of this?

"A lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market."

Richwine defended his 166-page thesis before Harvard's George Borjas, Richard Zeckhauser and Christopher Jencks, who once edited The New Republic. But while his thesis was acceptable at Harvard -- it earned Richwine a Ph.D. -- it has scandalized the Potomac priesthood.

Our elites appear unanimous: Richwine's view that intelligence is not equally distributed among ethnic and racial groups, and is partly inherited, is rankest heresy. Yet no one seems to want to prove him wrong.

Consider Richwine's contention that differences in mental ability exist and seem to persist among racial and ethnic groups.

In The Wall Street Journal last month, Warren Kozak noted that 28,000 students in America's citadel of diversity, New York City, took the eighth-grade exam to enter Stuyvesant, the Bronx School of Science and Brooklyn Tech, the city's most elite high schools. Students are admitted solely on their entrance test scores.

Of the 830 students who will be entering Stuyvesant as freshmen this fall, 1 percent are black, 3 percent are Hispanic, 21 percent are white -- and 75 percent are Asian.

Now, blacks and Hispanics far outnumber Asians in New York. But at Stuyvesant, Asians will outnumber blacks and Hispanics together 19-to-1.

Is this the result of racially biased tests at Stuyvesant?

At Berkeley, crown jewel of the California university system, Hispanics, 40 percent of California's population and an even larger share of California's young, are 12 percent of the freshman class. Asians, outnumbered almost 3-to-1 by Hispanics in California, have almost four times as many slots as Hispanics in the freshman class. Another example of racial bias?

The 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA, which measures the academic ability of 15-year-olds worldwide, found the U.S.A. falling to 17th in reading, 23rd in science, 31st in math.

Yet, Spain aside, not one Hispanic nation, from which a plurality of our immigrants come, was among the top 40 in reading, science or math.

But these folks are going to come here and make us No. 1 again?

Is there greater "underclass behavior" among Hispanics?

The crime rate among Hispanics is about three times that of white Americans, while the Asian crime rate is about a third that of whites.

Among white folks, the recent illegitimacy rate was 28 percent; among Hispanics, 53 percent. According to one study a few years back, Hispanics were 19 times as likely as whites to join gangs.

What about Richwine's point regarding "social trust"?

Six years ago, in "E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the 21st Century," Robert Putnam, author of "Bowling Alone," wrote that after 30,000 interviews he found that ethnic and racial diversity can be devastating to communities and destructive of community values.

In racially mixed communities, Putnam wrote, not only do people not trust strangers, they do not even trust their own kind.

"People living in ethnically diverse settings appear to 'hunker down,' that is, to pull in like a turtle ... (to) withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more but have less faith they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television."

With the immigration bill granting amnesty to 12 million illegals, an open door to their dependents and a million new immigrants each year, almost all from the Third World, America in 2040 is going to look like Los Angeles today. Yet, it was in L.A. that Putnam found social capital at its most depleted and exhausted.

If Richwine is right, America in 2040 will be a country with whites and Asians dominating the professions, and 100 million Hispanics concentrated in semiskilled work and manual labor.

The issues Richwine raises go to the question of whether we shall survive as one nation and one people.

If our huge bloc of Hispanics, already America's largest minority at 53 million, is fed by constant new immigration, but fails for a couple of generations to reach the middle-class status that Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians and Poles attained after two generations, what becomes of our "indivisible" nation?

Rather than face this question, better to purge and silence the Harvard extremist who dared to raise it.



The licensing effect

Green/Left "hypocrisy" explained

Good intentions rarely make good laws. Those who do evil almost always think they are doing good for goodness’ sake. Nobody sees himself as evil. As Will Smith, the American actor, once quipped, “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good.’” Friedrich Hayek took this idea a step further, writing: “It is indeed probable that more harm and misery have been caused by men determined to use coercion to stamp out a moral evil than by men intent on doing evil.”1

There is little to prevent do–gooders and their actions from unexpectedly metamorphosing into holocaustic bloodbaths, especially when considering the “licensing effect.” Under this effect, people can rationalize bad conduct, if they first do something good. Whether in dieting, consumer choice, or politicking, the licensing effect permits people to be wicked after they have performed something deemed good.

According to Dale Miller, a psychology professor at Stanford Business School, “With licensing, the first act doesn’t commit you, it liberates you.” This liberating euphoria permits the human psyche to do what it supposedly is against. Miller’s experiments uncovered business managers who publicly declared their lack of bias in hiring minorities, for instance, but in practice showed a strong prejudice against minorities. Since these managers had declared their support for minorities, they were now free to be extremely biased.2

A major study by a sociologist at the University of Arizona exposed the twisted dilemmas and unintended consequences of the licensing effect. The 2007 study provided clear analytical evidence of the ineffectiveness of involuntary diversity training in the workplace. It would be reasonable to presume that by the late 20th Century, encouraging diversity within the workplace had become an easy sell. But after reviewing 31 years of data from 830 mid–sized and large corporations, sociologist Alexandra Kalev concluded that involuntary diversity training was “ineffective and counterproductive.”

How counterproductive? The figures are shocking. A comprehensive review of data revealed that those businesses’ mandated diversity training exercises for their managerial staff were followed by a “7.5 percent drop in the number of women in management.” For black female managers, the decrease was 10 percent, with a 12 percent drop for black men. “The effect was similar for Latinos and Asians.”3 So what is going on?

This study shows that mandatory enforcements routinely backfire, because they are set up with unrealistic and artificial expectations. Real change comes when people voluntarily modify their opinions. Any other way makes people feel that they have been imposed upon. Professor Kalev confirmed this reality by noting: “When attendance is voluntary, diversity training is followed by an increase in managerial diversity.”4

When companies with government contracts are put under the gun to teach diversity, managers get the impression that, having taken a course, they’ve performed their good–citizen duty. They’ve been trained by experts to be a lean, mean antidiscrimination machine. And yet, the sacrifice they made in taking the compulsory training shouts out for compensation. They have been put upon to do something good. They have spent long, boring hours in the classroom. They can now subconsciously overlook or avoid the hiring of minorities. In Kalev’s words, “Forcing people to go through training creates a backlash against diversity.”5

Many corporations also bring diversity training into the workplace for legal protection. In this case, the training becomes an exercise in public and legal relations, instead of reaching toward true, long–term change. After all, companies understand that their diversity training bestows some legal protection, if later they are hit by a discrimination lawsuit. In short, preventing lawsuits is more important than efficacious training. Bill Vaughn, cofounder of Diversity Training University International, confirms what the study foreshadowed. “If they are doing it for legal protection, they don’t care whether their training is successful.

The licensing effect affords us an explanation for a time–honored way to justify violating principles. For instance, if someone is always condemning greed, he is now entitled to a binge of overt self–indulgence. Having cleared his conscience of any avarice, he can waltz into a Mercedes–Benz showroom and splurge like a rapacious man of wealth. Further, he can brand others as greedy SOBs while taking comfort in the fact that the saintly blood of altruism flows through his own noble veins. For the virtuous, to act self–centered is impossible, as such behavior is unthinkable to the enlightened mind; therefore, narcissistic greed can run wild. Habitually, the greediest are blissfully unaware of their own selfish motives.

In an interesting article in Psychological Science, two researchers argued that people who feel morally virtuous have a tendency to engage in the “licensing (of) selfish and morally questionable behavior,” also known as “moral balancing” or “compensatory ethics.” The researchers, Canadian psychologists Nina Mazar and Chen–Bo Zhong, revealed that when people try to save the planet or do noble deeds, they become less kind to others and more likely to cheat and steal. They wrote: “Virtuous acts can license subsequent asocial and unethical behavior.”

 The licensing effect is also found among public employee unions who act as if they still represent government employees receiving little compensation for their work. For over 150 years, that was true of American civil servants, but no longer. According to economist Chris Edwards, “As of 2008, the average federal salary was $119,982, compared with $59,909 for the average private sector employee. In other words, the average federal bureaucrat makes twice as much as the average working taxpayer.”8 Despite this disparity in pay between the public and private sectors, the political and bureaucratic classes routinely accuse opponents of greed. They condemn tax–averse corporations and taxpayers as selfish pigs obsessed with money. And yet, as columnist Steven Greenhut observed: “there are few things as greedy as running up debt and lobbying for more taxes from the peons so that an elite class can keep retiring earlier with ever–greater pension and other benefits.”

But this greedy disposition is just the tip of a bloating iceberg. Many government and union–operated retirement programs have no qualms about taking big risks in the stock market. Why? Because the political class always holds the winning hand. Applying a Las Vegas metaphor, Greenhut asked: How would you bet if you could keep all your gains at the casino, but dump your losses on someone else? But this is exactly how many of these public retirement systems operate. If a Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) fails to make a profit, the taxpaying public is often responsible for making up the deficiencies. So, who are the real greedy profiteers here?

In the electoral politics realm, the licensing effect grants politicos the prerogative to flip–flop their principles. When President Richard Nixon, fervently anticommunist, visited Red China in the 1970s, political pundits came up with a proverbial apothegm: “Only Nixon could go to China.” Fluent in altruistic doublespeak, those in control of command–based systems rely on the fulcrum of well–respected virtues. Since they are public servants—supposedly hired to serve up healthy scoops of community goodwill—they find themselves confronted with a license to act contrary to stated purposes. This situation supplies a politico the license to sabotage principles of good governance by becoming a player in society, instead of a referee.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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