"Ellen DeGeneres Is Not Racist"

Nice piece by John McWhorter.

It is hard to miss a certain joy in this ritual, stylized witch hunting. A certain Blue American type these days is consumed with a lust for being offended, never feeling so alive as when finding something “problematic.” Some may consider this a sign of enlightenment. But enlightenment to what end? Is this endless outing of people as moral perverts designed to change something, or is it merely a kind of ritual piety designed to demonstrate our goodness to the PC gods?

 


"China Doesn't Kill American Jobs, Politicians Do"

"If politicians want to know why lower-skilled laborers struggle to find employment, they need to look past imports from China and Mexican immigration and look at their own policies that are making it more and more expensive for businesses to hire people in this country."

Link courtesy of a comment by JK Brown.

Related: "Globalization isn't killing factory jobs. Trade is actually why manufacturing is up 40%."


"Does 'Ban the Box' Do More Harm Than Good?"

Tentatively, yes. The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again.

“Ban the box” forbids public and often private employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history until late in the hiring process. Such policies have been adopted in cities and states across the country. Late last year, President Obama even banned the box on applications for many federal government jobs. Proponents of second chances for ex-offenders have rejoiced at this apparent progress.

Here’s the problem: employers still don’t want to hire ex-offenders. Many ex-offenders would make good employees, and some were convicted of relatively minor crimes. But on average, ex-offenders are more likely than non-offenders to have engaged in violent, dishonest or otherwise antisocial behavior, and are more likely to engage in similar behavior in the future. (About two-thirds of released prisoners are rearrested within three years.)


"Stuck Between Stations"

Not the David Bowie song, but the one by "the greatest bar band in the world," The Hold Steady. (Though Google informs me that there are several contenders for that title.)

And I tip my cap to Wikipedia, whose article on The Hold Steady informed me that there is a label for a good chunk of the music I most like: "Heartland rock". Two of the primary influences were Dylan and Van Morrison. Four primary exemplars are Springsteen, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, and John Mellencamp. And among the musicians grouped under the label are (depending on the source): BoDeans, Lone Justice, John Hiatt, The Hold Steady, John Cafferty, Little Steven, Southside Johnny, Los Lobos, Bruce Hornsby, Neil Young, Tom Cochrane, The Killers, and Iron City Houserockers. A pretty good group.