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Nothing defines our modern times better than a cleverly-titled, market-tested phrase that urges us to be “aware” of something that simply does not exist.
Today is “Equal Pay Day.” The idea is that women are routinely paid less than men who are performing the same job. A couple of years ago, this so-called “wage gap” was placed at 23% by adherents. Today’s event is based on a 20% assumption. So I guess that’s progress, of sorts.
There are individual businesses today who are offering women 20% discounts on their wares and services. Even some national businesses are joining in the fun. Hey…more power to them. It doesn’t hurt business when you appear to join half the nation in solidarity for a cause…even if the cause is suspect.
The bottom line is this. There is no “Wage Gap.” Sorry. Not when you’re comparing apples to apples. Karin Agness with Forbes Magazine published an article today with the latest information on the Mythical Wage Gap. It unveiled what many other studies have shown in recent years. It does not exist.
“Modern feminists use the statistic that women make 82 cents on the dollar compared to men as evidence of rampant discrimination, but what the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics is actually measuring with the 82 percent number is the median earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs.”
That is an important distinction. *Median* earnings. A first-year Statistics course could explain the difference. And there’s more, according to Agness.
“This statistic does not take into account significant differences in labor choices. Specifically, the statistic does not factor in many of the choices that women and men make—including education, years of experience and hours worked—that influence earnings. For example, among full-time employees, men worked 8.2 hours compared to women working 7.8 hours.”
This is what we call comparing apples to oranges. It’s a common tactic when you want the research to match your pre-conceived conclusion. It’s great for marketing and politics but it sacrifices facts and the truth. Collateral damage, I suppose.
I have had several friends and acquaintances tell me stories of pay gaps that they witnessed first-hand. In some case, they claimed they WERE, indeed, paid less than a man for the same job. Guess what. We already have laws to address such actual cases of gender bias. The Equal Pay Act in 1963 made sex-based discrimination in pay illegal. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination in the workplace based on sex illegal. What else, exactly, do you require? I know there has been legislation proposed in the past that would have put more teeth in these laws…but they also would have had the unfortunate effect of shifting the burden of proof in such allegations from the employee to the employer. That would be like forcing an accused thief to prove his innocence. Not gonna happen.
And I will close with the question I consistently ask with this red herring of an issue comes up. If the wage gap were real and legal, why would a business EVER hire a man? Why would they even bother interviewing one?
One of the many wonderful episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” featured a planet whose population had been battered by terrorists. In response, the government created a police state. People were constantly monitored and scanned before entering nearly any room. The planet’s delegation even brought their hyper-sensitivity to the Enterprise; much to the frustration of Captain Picard. Their President bragged about their lack of terrorist attacks since implementing the new policies. But it was abundantly demonstrated that they were a nervous and dysfunctional society. They were not “free” by any stretch.
That episode came to my mind as I watched the latest evidence of state-sponsored sexual assault…cloaked as “security.” A Texas mother who asked TSA agents at DFW International for alternative screening for her son with special needs said they were “treated like dogs” and forced to miss a flight during an extensive security check. The link includes a video of the pat-down. You can draw your own conclusions…and that’s fine. I see it as borderline sexual assault. AT BEST, it is unnecessary theater.
Many in the comments section, depressingly, said the agent was “just doing his job.” Where have I heard *that* defense before? They also suggested that if we do not like having a grown man rubbing his hands along the posterior of our children that we should just not fly. This is what happens when people continuously surrender basic authority to government. A perverse sort of “Stockholm Syndrome.”
Full disclosure— I am not a “frequent flyer” by any stretch. My idea of fun is not being herded like a lamb to the slaughter, through a myriad of checkpoints, with the ultimate goal being to step into a pressurized metal tube hurtling through the air at several-hundred miles per hour. Let’s put it this way—airport bars show a measurable profit on the few occasions I take to the air.
But I despise the TSA. They combine the efficiency of the DMV with the charm of the IRS. In typical government fashion, they were created in the aftermath of a highly emotional event; ostensibly as a means by which similar events could be prevented. Also in typical government fashion, they offer only the illusion of serving their purpose. They are little more than props. There have been several well-chronicled investigations that have shown these agents have failed to stop weapons from being brought on to planes.
Here’s the little secret that no one in the TSA will admit. The next great terrorist attack will almost certainly NOT be via air travel. The success of the 9-11 attacks was almost entirely dependent upon the cooperation from the passengers. I’m sure many of them were thinking, “Great—I’m going to be late for that sales presentation in San Francisco.” Flight 93 demonstrated what will happen on ANY flight when passengers know there’s a threat of terrorism.
But of course, the government will never pass over a chance to hire Barney Fifes-in-training to fully flex their amoeba-sized sliver of power over people. Not when there’s the illusion of “security” to be gained.
Keep telling yourself that you’re free.
I swear I don’t think I’ve ever seen the far left happier.
Oh, I don’t mean that they’re HAPPY-happy. You know…like the kind of happy you get when you win the lottery, solve Final Jeopardy or pop a huge zit. No, this is the kind of happy where you feel like you’re doing the Lord’s work. That contentment that comes with suffering for what you feel is a worthy cause.
We’ve seen the women’s marches this year that included vagina costumes (see picture), “p*ssy hats” and notes scrawled across tampons which were then plastered onto walls. Not exactly akin to nailing 95 theses on a Cathedral Door in Wittenberg, but hey—you make do with what ya got. We’ve also seen the far-left tactics of Antifa…a group that employs the curious strategy of using fascist tactics to fight alleged fascists. These are the bandana-faced people who have committed the more egregious acts of violence while making sure the world does not hear from people with whom they disagree. If they’re not careful, actual fascists will sue them for copyright infringement.
I say all this to make a point. I think the far left is MUCH happier now than they would have been had Hillary been elected. With Trump in the White House, they can proudly join “The Resistance ©.” They can do what liberals do best—assign altruistic motives to otherwise pointless political posturing, empty symbolic gestures and willing martyrdom. With Trump as President, they have the perfect cover to allow them to promulgate vapid rhetoric while acting like a five-year old who’s been told they cannot have a third scoop of Neapolitan ice cream.
I honestly think many of them are jealous. Protest groups in the past stood against REAL injustices. The Civil Rights movement addressed seminal race issues and questions about the very essence of humanity. Labor Unions dove head-first into very real concerns about workplace safety and the fundamental relationship between workers and management. Now that most of those issues have been addressed, there’s very little left for people to go after today. There are no more impressive dragons to slay. Goliath is already dead. The only enemies worth fighting now are not terribly formidable…so they must be played up as much as possible. You don’t brag when your football team beats a patsy…you brag when they take down the #1 team in the AP Poll.
The Far Left feels like they have a cause and I think this sense of purpose is sustaining many of them. As long as they restrict it to marches where they don costumes that resemble their private parts, I look forward to the entertainment. I will also make it a point to differentiate them from actual liberals who are truly interested in debate and maintaining their dignity. Yes, such people DO still exist.
Victories for Common Sense are becoming rarer and rarer these days. That compels me to want to spike the football when things DO go right. Such was the case today in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A jury found Rolling Stone magazine and execrable writer Susan Erdley were found liable in a civil suit filed by a former Administrator over a discredited article about an alleged gang rape at University of Virginia.
The error was that the author of the article and the magazine knew what story they wanted to tell, and needed a “good” example of it. That caused them to shy away from information that could potentially ameliorate or undermine The Narrative. When the story appeared to be of a gang-rape of at what some see as an elite southern school…well, the proponents of The Narrative could NOT pass it up.
They were told a story that appealed to their stereotypical prejudices. When one read the article, it was like each character introduced come straight out of central casting. Doe-eyed innocent “victims,” predatory “villains,” uncaring university administrators. The story made sure it included all of the elements of The Narrative…one-dimensional characters with clearly defined white hats and black hats—with all of the signs pointing to a mythical “system” that was working against the innocent.
Before to this article, whenever there was a report of a rape with sensational details, the Tawana Brawley case was among the cautionary tales trotted out. And that was nearly thirty years ago. More recently the now-debunked Duke Lacrosse rape allegations still has legs.
Given the exposure of the Rolling Stone article it’s going to join the ranks of “yeah but, remember when…” stories of false rape claims for a long time to come. That will absolutely deter many women from coming forward. Exactly the opposite effect the authors of the story were pushing.
I haven’t had to deal much with the TSA. I’ve flown twice since 9/11. Both times the only items I took on board were a paperback book with crossword and sudoku puzzles. I figured the less I carried, the less suspicious I would be. I was wrong.
I guess it was the beard that prompted the vigilant TSA agents to have me remove my shoes, empty my pockets, and submit to a visual scan of my Mr. Olympia-eqsue body before being awarded the honor of boarding a clausterphobe’s nightmare.
Look, I understand the concept of airport security and why its so important. It’s an unfortunate sign of the times. My main concern is that this is the latest instance where Americans have had to ask, “how much do we put up with and still consider ourselves a free people?” It seems we’re asking that question far too much these days.
Here’s the little secret that no one in the TSA will admit. The next major terrorist attack will almost certainly NOT be via air travel. The success of the 9-11 attacks were almost entirely dependent upon the cooperation from the passengers. I’m sure many of them were thinking, “Great—I’m going to be late for that sales presentation in San Francisco.” Flight 93 demonstrated what will happen on ANY flight when passengers know there’s a threat of terrorism.
Since that fateful day, a would-be shoe bomber and underwear-bomber have been subdued by civilians. But the classic overcorrection, as the government assures us they’re doing SOMETHING to fight terrorism, is asinine. Don’t even get me started on the profiling. Until we determine that terrorists are using elderly Asian females to carry out bombings, elderly Asian females should not be profiled for extra “lovin'” by TSA agents. Young Muslim males should be.
I think it’s also a prudent use of our limited resources. If that makes me xenophobic, so be it. as long as you don’t ask me to fly.
The Sunday night before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2004, I spent most of the evening gathering as much information as I could on the storm. Even though I didn’t live in the line of fire, I knew that it would be a critical story for our FM station’s news the next morning. The warning bulletins from the usually-reserved National Weather Service were scary. “Human suffering catastrophic by modern standards” was one that stood out. It was clear we were dealing with a monster.
We all know what happened. The storm hit. The flood waters rose. People died. Looting began. Help arrived far too late for most people’s taste.
People feel uncomfortable talking about things like this because the overwhelming majority of the victims were black. We MUST get past this “soft racism.” Fear of making people angry or uncomfortable might be our biggest obstacle to coming up with real solutions to our most vexing social problems.
I find it curious that some on the extreme left claim GOP policy proposals would put blacks back in “slavery.” What is blind and complete dependence on the state, if not slavery? Is it slavery when you are incapable of providing yourself with the necessities of life without The State stepping in? Is it charity to assist a group of people to such a degree that they have to make virtually “no” decisions about their day-to-day lives?
At the risk of sounding alarmist and melodramatic, I fear this could be what’s in store for the nation at large if we’re not careful. Under the worst case scenario, I see a nation populated by people whose lives are so closely intertwined with the Government that it is impossible to determine where one ends and the other begins. I see a once-great country with people living in the equivalent of FEMA trailers, waiting for the next check to arrive in the mail. That nightmare also includes a populace that throws up its hands and wails when disaster strikes—and the entity on which they’ve relied completely is suddenly unavailable.
A blank check from a nameless and faceless entity is NOT the answer! Engagement is the answer. We as Americans and Christians had better get off our collective asses and work directly with those in need. Sitting back and letting The State handle it is cowardly, counter-productive, and will end up costing us more than we could ever imagine in terms of our liberty and individual freedom.
“I have the right to do whatever I wish with my property. If I own a pile of wood, I can set fire to it even if it is currently nailed together in the shape of a barn.
Cigarettes may not be healthy for me in the long run, but I have the freedom to smoke them anyway. Drinking alcohol may or may not have negative side effects, but even if it does, the government has no authority to prohibit you from consuming it, even if it is “in your own best interest.”
Since when do we let the government decide what is or isn’t good for us? What the hell does Congress know about nutrition, anyway? (For that matter, what does Congress know about the Constitution?)
If the government can use force whenever something is “in our best interest” then government should force everyone to wake up at 6am every morning for calisthenics in the front yard. Fast food establishments should be torn down and replaced with bars that serve carrot juice and alfalfa sprouts, since – “it’s in your best interest.”
This paternalistic attitude that “the government knows best” and that you are merely a helpless child is insulting and reprehensible.”
– Michael Badnarik