Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Could Genetic Engineering end racism?

There is a rather lightweight article here which asks the above question but arrives at no clear conclusion. Jay Feierman [] comments below:

"Racism" did not exist until a few hundred years ago. Before that, almost no humans saw anyone of any different race. Racism is a kind of in-group favoritism, which is a requirement for eusociality. It is eusociality that made us who we are. Eusocial species are the most successful species on earth. There are only three eusocial vertebrates and we are one of them. Eusociality requires multiple generations to live together, defense of a home territory, usually containing food stuffs and juveniles, cooperative care of the young and specialization of labor. In loose eusociality, specialization of labor is sufficient. In strict eusociality, there has to be non-breeding "worker" specialists.. We have been there (i.e., strict eusociality) before (see Laura Betzig's chapter in the forthcoming The Evolution of Religion book) and we are heading there again.

Without in-group favoritism, we as a species would not be what we are today. The first in-group favoritism was to genetic kin, then came tribalism and today nationalism. However, even within nationalism there is in-group favoritism evidenced by some people's devotion to particular sports teams or one's loyalty to the company in which one works, which is competing with similar companies for market share. And let's not forget different religious in-group breeding populations competing for market share within multi-cultural industrialized societies.  Who can forget Europe's Thirty Year War (Protestants versus Catholics) or the Sunni/Shia conflicts today, not to mention Islam against all non-Muslims.

One cannot eliminate racism without eliminating in-group favoritism. Most so called "races" (really genetic clines) see themselves as special. That's especially true for Chinese, Japanese and Ashkenazim even after the diaspora. I suspect that Sub-Saharan Africans also think they are special based on their superiority in most types of athletic competitions. What would the American NFL or NBA be without the amazing sports skills of the Sub-Saharan African American athletes.

Racism is also just a temporary blip in human history. In 1,000 years all the people of the world will all be tan and speak the same language.  Then, we will find other things to divide us. Religion used to divide us in the western industrialized and wealthy democracies. Today, that no longer occurs because of secularism. I could not tell you the religion of anyone living in my neighborhood except my next door neighbor, who I know is a Protestant minister. So when religion ceases to divide us, politics takes over. Today, the USA has not been as divided politically since the Civil War more than 150 years ago. A liberal university student is not going to be a close friend with a conservative university student (as rare as they may be) and certainly the two will not be romantic or intimate with one another.

The human pattern is to form groups that divide and then compete with one another. It has worked so far to get us to where we are today.. And yes, there are problems in that to have winners, one also has to have losers. I'm personally willing to accept that to keep us on the trajectory responsible for our phenomenal success as a species.

Email from Jay R. Feierman, M.D.,

AG Barr’s DOJ Preparing Anti-Trust Investigation Of Google For Targeting Conservatives

Anti-discrimination legislation is the key to taming the media giants

The U.S. Justice Department is preparing an investigation of Alphabet Inc’s Google to determine whether the tech giant broke antitrust law in operating its sprawling online businesses, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Officials from the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and Federal Trade Commission, which both enforce antitrust law, met in recent weeks to give Justice jurisdiction over Google, said the sources, who sought anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

The potential investigation represents the latest attack on a tech company by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has accused social media companies and Google of suppressing conservative voices on their platforms online.

One source said the potential investigation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, focused on accusations that Google gave preference to its own businesses in searches.

A spokesman for the Justice Department said he could not confirm or deny that an investigation was being considered. Google declined comment.

Early in 2013, the FTC closed a long-running investigation of Google, giving it a slap on the wrist. Under FTC pressure, Google agreed to end the practice of “scraping” reviews and other data from rivals’ websites for its own products, and to let advertisers export data to independently assess campaigns.

Google’s search, YouTube, reviews, maps and other businesses, which are largely free to consumers but financed through advertising, have catapulted it from a start-up to one of the world’s richest companies in just two decades.

Along the way, it has made enemies in both the tech world, who have complained to law enforcers about its market dominance, and in Washington, where lawmakers have complained about issues from its alleged political bias to its plans for China.

TripAdvisor chief executive and co-founder Stephen Kaufer welcomed news that Google could face Justice Department antitrust scrutiny.

“TripAdvisor remains concerned about Google’s practices in the United States, the EU and throughout the world,” Kaufer said in a statement.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has pushed for action to break up Google, as well as other big tech companies. Senator Kamala Harris, who is also running for president on the Democratic ticket, has agreed.

“This is very big news, and overdue,” Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican Google critic, said on Twitter, regarding the investigation.


SCOTUS Rejects Trans Bathroom Case

The Supreme Court rejected a case regarding school policy in a district which allows transgender students to use bathrooms of their choice.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court denied cert to Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, a case concerning a gender identity bathroom and locker room policy at a Pennsylvania high school.

In declining to take up the case, The Supreme Court let stand the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit’s decision, which dismissed the concerns of students who did not wish to share intimate spaces with members of the opposite sex.

As long as this policy remains in place, the problems with the policy remain too. High school girls like Alexis Lightcap will continue to have to share women’s spaces with biological males.

“I don’t want a man in the bathroom with me. I’m already uncomfortable in my body, trying to grow up,” said Lightcap.  “I have a thirteen-year-old sister who goes to this school. I don’t want her going into a bathroom where a male is allowed to just walk in there.”

“I wish that the school had protected my privacy somehow. It felt like a specific group of people were protected while the greater population was not,” Lightcap said.

Policies like the one at Boyertown Area School District leaves girls vulnerable to emotional trauma–or worse. At a school in Decatur, Georgia, a gender identity bathroom policy similar to the one at Boyertown enabled a boy who identifies as gender fluid to sexually assault a kindergarten girl.

Girls deserve to feel safe and have privacy in women’s only spaces.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg understood this. When she penned the majority opinion requiring Virginia Military Institute to admit women, she stipulated that VMI would need to “afford members of each sex privacy from the other sex in living arrangements.”

Why? As she wrote in an op-ed at The Washington Post while she was a law professor at Columbia, “Separate places to disrobe, sleep, perform personal bodily functions are permitted, in some situations required, by regard for individual privacy. Individual privacy, a right of constitutional dimension, is appropriately harmonized with the equality principle.”

Privacy and equality are not mutually exclusive. In fact, upholding the former is essential to preserving the latter—especially for women.

The #MeToo movement is a prescient reminder that women still face unique social challenges. Taking away women’s privacy from the male form and the male gaze directly by forcing them to share spaces with males is a step backwards in the fight for equality.

This problem is not going anywhere. As Ginsburg pointed out in her VMI opinion, “[p]hysical differences between the sexes are enduring,” and quoting Ballard v. United States, “[t]he two sexes are not fungible.”

The difference between the sexes is here to stay; so too are the problems with gender identity policies like the one at Boyertown.

Everyone deserves privacy and safety in private facilities. However, one-size-fits-all policies like Boyertown’s fail to take into account the very real needs of countless girls.

Better solutions exist. In the absence of a Supreme Court decision, it is on school administrators to find them.


No Border Wall, but This Will Have to Do for 1 Texas City

LAREDO, Texas—Pulling up in an SUV outside the 10-foot-tall fence at Laredo College, Narcizo Ramos recalls the problems the school used to have with unwanted visitors.

“I actually came to this college as a student,” Ramos, a special operations supervisor for the U.S. Border Patrol, told The Daily Signal. “I can tell you, this little fence that seems like it’s small—before that, you would actually see illegal immigrants and drug mules running through the school campus.

“And you would see Border Patrol agents and you would see campus police chasing them,” Ramos added.

The local college, with an enrollment of 12,000 students, finally had enough, said Ramos, a Border Patrol veteran of 19 years.

“It became such a nuisance to the college that they said, ‘We’ll erect our own fence,’” Ramos, 41, recalled. “It is actually pretty tall. It served its purpose. It did push the traffic they were seeing around it.”

Border Patrol officials and other advocates for a security wall along the southern border contend that although it wouldn’t stop illegal immigrants, it would slow them down and force them to cross the border in areas where they can be captured more easily.

Laredo, a city of 250,000, is a densely populated urban area along the southwest border that has no sections of wall to block entry by illegal immigrants who cross the Rio Grande River.

“We have no wall at all,” Joel Martinez, the Border Patrol deputy chief for the Laredo sector, told The Daily Signal during an interview at U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Laredo station.

“We have maybe one or 1.2 miles of aesthetic wall that surrounds the [college] here, which is right on the river banks. But it’s exactly that; it’s just aesthetics,” Martinez added.

“It’s not a security wall at all, in no form or fashion. But no, we have no infrastructure here at all, whatsoever, unlike the rest of the border.”

The college erected the barrier around the school in 2007, according to the Border Patrol.

“It has served a purpose for them, to keep the movement of aliens limited through their college,” another Border Patrol special operations supervisor, Rafael Garza, told The Daily Signal as he stood outside the 10-foot barrier.

Some Laredo residents, as well as activists, have put up significant resistance to construction of a border wall in Laredo.

Laredo College’s security fence was a collaboration between the city government, the school, and the Border Patrol.

The office of Rep. Henry Cuellar, R-Texas, refers to the structure as 1 mile of fencing in a fact sheet about border barriers in Texas. The project began in 2005 under the college’s president at the time, Ramón Dovalina, according to news reports.

Laredo College’s media relations office, reached Wednesday by phone and email, did not provide an immediate comment for this report. Sandy Lugo, a public relations specialist, said the appropriate spokespersons were out of town.

The school’s 200-acre main campus is near the bank of the Rio Grande, a high traffic area for illegal border crossings.

The Border Patrol has captured 24,000 illegal immigrants in Laredo since October 2018, the beginning of the federal fiscal year. The daily catch varies between 120 and 150.

Laredo College, established in 1947, initially was known as Laredo Junior College. It became Laredo Community College in 1993, before adopting the current name in 2018.

The main campus used to be a military base, set up in 1849 to protect Laredo’s frontier. First known as Camp Crawford, it was renamed Fort McIntosh in honor of Civil War soldier who fought for the Confederacy, Lt. Col. James McIntosh.

The Fort McIntosh campus kept its historical origins. The college established a 60-acre campus in south Laredo in 2004 that features more contemporary architecture, according to the school’s website.



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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