Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Equal pay for equal work?

No tsank you! As Harry Lauder used to say

Most people seem to agree with the big feminist claim that there should be equal pay for equal work.  Even a non-feminist could see it as mere justice.  And it may indeed be just but is it never going to be usual.  The good old law of supply and demand tells us that it will often not happen.  And that law is one that nobody has succeeded in repealing, though many have tried

Let's do a mental experiment:  What say I am that rare being, a fair-minded feminist.  I object when females are under-represented in various jobs  -- as as all feminists do. But being fair and consistent I also object when men are under-represented in mainstream jobs such as nursing and teaching grade school.  So I agitate for more male nurses and teachers of the young.  And it only takes a moment to make a good case for both those occupations getting more males in them

So how do I achieve my goal of "balance"?  Women are the ones who are normally attracted to such jobs so I have to do something radical to achieve that.  We could of course put a quota on women being employed in those occupations but that would mean staff shortages.  No.  There is only one way to attract more men to such jobs:  Pay them more.  You would need to pay them more than women currently get to achieve balance.  So fly way equal pay for equal work!

The example I have given is unrealistic.  I have never heard of a fair-minded feminist. But there are many real situations like that. If a job is a difficult and unattractive one and it is mostly men who are found to be good at that job, it is those excelling male workers who will be paid top dollar to keep them.  Women in the job will be paid less because they achieve less 

The job market follows the normal rules of a market.  Rare things (skills) attract more money.  So there could be six different people -- male and female -- all trying to achieve the same thing but getting different results and therefore different pay.

Excellence will always be rewarded and there is no guarantee that excellence will be equally distributed between males and females.  So it's only in very easy jobs -- such as a government clerk -- that equal pay between men and women can be reasonably expected -- JR.

An Australian citizen named Khalil Eideh was barred from entering the USA

Had I been a U.S. immigration officer I might have blocked him too.  Muslims must face up to the fact that constant Muslim attacks on us have made all Muslims suspicious

Victoria's premier says Labor MP Khalil Eideh didn't deserve to be barred from entering the United States, adding there has still been no explanation from authorities.

The upper house MP was on a study tour with fellow politicians in Vancouver, Canada when he was rejected from a flight to Denver on Friday, despite having a valid visa organised through the Australian government.

"It's completely out of step with the person that I know, an outstanding Victorian, a very important part of my team and someone who did not deserve to be treated that way," Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Monday.


Research isn't tainted just because industry picks up the tab

by Jeff Jacoby

THIS FALL, the National Institutes of Health will launch a major study to determine whether regular consumption of alcohol helps prevent heart attacks. The clinical trial will comprise nearly 8,000 participants, recruited from 16 sites in North and South America, Europe, and Africa. The volunteers will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: Those in the first group will have one drink each day, while those in the other group abstain. This enormous study will come with an enormous price tag: more than $100 million.

If you're like me, news of the planned NIH study may make you wonder: Does the world really need another investigation of alcohol's health benefits? If you're like The New York Times, on the other hand, you wonder how a study funded largely by Big Alcohol can avoid being biased.

Over the years, there have been innumerable studies on this topic. Most have found that moderate drinking is linked to fewer occurrences of heart attack, ischemic stroke, and death from heart disease. The medical journal BMJ published just such a study in March. It concluded that drinking in moderation — one to two alcoholic beverages per day — "is associated with a lower risk of ... several but not all cardiovascular diseases." For eight common heart ailments, both non-drinkers and heavy drinkers were at greater risk than moderate drinkers. In short, having a little alcohol tends to be good for you; having too much or none at all tends to be bad.

Last week, a study published in Health Affairs came to a related finding. Analyzing data on 14,000 older Americans, researchers from the University of Michigan and from the Max Planck Institute in Germany determined (in UPI's paraphrase) "that individuals who consumed alcohol in moderation lived seven more years than the general population." According to Harvard's Chan School of Public Health, more than 100 longitudinal studies have reached comparable conclusions: A drink or two a day can be just what the doctor ordered, and "the effect is fairly consistent, corresponding to a 25 percent to 40 percent reduction in risk."

So why the new NIH study? Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, says it will be the first in which researchers monitor health effects that develop during the trial. Consequently, says Koob, interest in this study will range "from the World Health Organization to the beverage companies ... to regular American citizens."

The Times has a different interest. It reports that nearly two-thirds of the study's hefty tab is being picked up by five leading beverage manufacturers — Anheuser-Busch, Heineken, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, and Carlsberg. They have committed $67.7 million to a foundation that raises money for the National Institutes of Health, causing "concern among researchers who track influence-peddling in science."

But is there any good reason for industry funding to be inherently suspect? There is no indication that the corporate donors will have any involvement in the design or conduct of the study. The project's principal investigator, Harvard Medical School Professor Kenneth Mukamal, told the Times he hadn't even known about the companies' backing. "This isn't anything other than a good old-fashioned NIH trial," he said. "We have had literally no contact with anyone in the alcohol industry in the planning of this." Gemma Hart, an Anheuser-Busch vice president, concurs: "We have no role in the study. We will learn the outcome of the study when everybody else does."

Of course it is wise to be wary of conflicts of interest; when corruption in research is discovered, it should be publicized and penalized. But "industry" and "corrupt" are not remotely synonymous. Business is indispensable to scientific exploration and employment. It is no more logical to automatically distrust research funded by industry than to distrust research funded by government, advocacy groups, or opinionated philanthropists. Research is expensive and someone has to pay for it. Chase away a major source of scientific funding, and the result will be less research.

Scientific progress doesn't depend on eliminating preconceived notions or institutional predilections. It depends on testing hypotheses, and replicating earlier research. Industry dollars can and do underwrite excellent science, including when it comes to alcohol. The best system? Keep the funding transparent, and let the NIH do its work.


Palestinians Can't Make it any Clearer: There is no Peace Option

As violence erupted in Jerusalem over stepped up security measures there, Westerners all too willing to support Palestinians regardless of their actions contrary to maintaining peace were given another opportunity to see why such support is misplaced. It is misplaced, that is, if one truly seeks peace in the region.

Whenever violent disputes arise, several critical steps occur. First, obviously, is determining what triggered the incident; second is implementing measures to prevent re-occurrence; and third is holding accountable those responsible for triggering the violence.

The most recent violence in Jerusalem occurred while Muslims, Jews and foreign tourists visited the al-Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount compound. Because the site holds great historical significance to three Abrahamic religions, it has long provided a flashpoint for violence.

To protect all visitors, Israeli police provide security. On Friday, July 14, three Israeli-Arab citizens emerged from the mosque, armed with a machine gun and knives. They attacked and killed two police officers before they themselves were killed.

An immediate investigation revealed the attackers had smuggled the weapons into the compound and quietly entered the mosque since visitors were not searched at entry points.

Accordingly, making the compound safe for all future visitors demanded Israeli authorities immediately undertake step 2 - implement measures to prevent such attacks from re-occurring. For the first time since 1969, the mosque was closed down for two days as security measures, involving the installation of metal detectors and additional camera surveillance, were affected.

However, when the mosque was re-opened, Palestinians refused to enter the compound with the new security measures in place - measures they viewed as an exercise in control over them, despite the fact all visitors must undergo the process. Palestinians opted to remain outside the entry gates to pray and protest.

Rather than work with the Israelis to contain possible violence by explaining to their people the reason for the temporary closure and implementation of additional security measures, the Palestinian National Authority (PA) fanned the flames of protest by criticizing Israeli actions. Doing so gave imams additional fuel to incite protests - and retribution against innocent Israelis.

A week after the mosque attack, thousands of Palestinians were demonstrating. Tensions mounted around the city. Violence erupted, and four Palestinians were shot dead.

One young Palestinian man, Omar al-Abed, 19, acting on the imams' mandate for violence, entered the Israeli village of Neve Tsuf on the evening of July 22. Looking for a target of opportunity, he observed lights and ongoing festivities at a home. There, the Saloman family was celebrating the birth of their child. Their dinner was interrupted by a knock on the door. Upon answering it, Abed rushed in, armed with a knife. Stabbing away wildly at family members, he killed three as others managed to escape to a safe room.

Before leaving his home to launch the attack, Abed had made his intentions known on his Facebook page. He had written, "I know that with Allah my dreams will come true," adding, "I will go to heaven."

Other attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians have followed.

Concerning this latest violence, which with PA assistance was avoidable, pro-Palestinian supporters need do some serious reflection. They might wish to ponder the following:

    Unsurprisingly, despite the Temple Mount attack, the PA focuses the spotlight on Palestinian discontent with the mosque closure and new security measures as the reason for violence.
There was nothing unreasonable about Israel's actions in temporarily closing the mosque long enough to implement security measures aimed at preventing future attacks for all visitors to undergo.

    Why do Israelis need "safe rooms" while in Palestinian homes such rooms are virtually unheard of? The former exist to avoid attackers; where the latter exist, they are to avoid arrest for having conducted an attack.

    PA President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to terminate security cooperation with Israel unless the metal detectors were removed. But why would anyone oppose increased security measures seeking to protect all visitors - unless those opposed recognized it is not their security at risk?

    While Palestinians complain access to the mosque was denied, it was only for two days after the attack - which pales in comparison to access denied Israelis, for the first time in Jewish history, for almost two decades from 1948 to 1967.

    After the 1967 Six Day war and Israel's victory, it magnanimously allowed control over what is considered Judaism's holiest site to continue under the authority of a Jordanian Waqf - an Islamic religious trust. While the waqf is Jordanian, it falls under the control of the grand muftiship of Jerusalem, which is under PA control. Thus, it was an almost inconceivable act of goodwill by Israel to agree to this arrangement for which there is yet to be reciprocation by the PA.

    While Abbas has condemned the Temple Mount attack, the PA will reward the Palestinian attacker's family. The PA's "Pay-for-Slay Program" will probably earn Abed's family a monthly stipend of $3,200, most likely funded by Western donations - not bad as the average Palestinian's monthly income is about $1,800. Undoubtedly very happy with this pay-off, Abed's mother has praised her son's attack.

    Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour refused to condemn Abed's act of butchery, informing reporters, "Do not expect all Palestinians to be angels." Mansour apparently lacked sufficient compassion even to condemn the actions of one who was not an "angel."

To reduce tensions, the U.S. proposed Israel replace the metal detectors with hand-held scanners. Monday night, the detectors were removed and an improved camera system, rather than scanners, installed.

Even this concession is proving insufficient as Palestinians now demand removal of all post-July14 security improvements. They seek a return to the pre-July 14 status quo - one making a future Temple Mount attack highly likely.

There should be no doubt, however, as between the Palestinians and the Israelis, who seeks peace and who does not.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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