Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Black women unmarried

A report from Nightline that I was able to find on YouTube.

On this same subject Zack Issacs has this to say:
Last week, ABC News featured a special report about why so many African-American professional women are unmarried . As a journalist, I felt that it was a very timely and engaging report. But as a private citizen, I have few concerns with the research.

One idea from the report that black women outnumber black men is a bit preposterous. You must take into account that the U.S. census has always been disproportionately skewed when it comes to recording minorities. According to one source, the probability for error usually comes from ambiguity in classifying ethnicity. This could be because the census employees are careless, the survey participant is not paying attention, or the country's melting pot makes it hard to choose a race.
Plus, the story omits people like me: Single, Black, Educated Men.
Still, because of my physical characteristics, a lot of those black women who complain about the dearth of eligible men will most likely look over me.

It's not always about romantic confidence if you are courting a woman, it's about social convenience. I can want a black woman to accept me for who I am all I want, but if all they care about is the height of a man- disappointment shall ensue.

Average height for a man is around 5'9 to 5'11, depending upon which source you use. So, if black women think that finding a good man alone is impossible- they will be disturbed to see how many good men are 6'3 and up.

That's the problem with specificity. When you narrow things down, that's exactly what you do: you narrow things down. Some of these women think that having standards will open the dating pool. To the contrary, those things shrink the dating pool into the relative size of a finger bowl- philosophically speaking.
Could that be the crux of this "issue"? Well it might be one aspect amongst many.

BTW, the statements in bold are what I want to emphasize!

Anyway Steve Harvey brings up an important point. The older men haven't schooled the young men on dating and relationships. I had to consider who in my life could have schooled me on that and there weren't many.

I'm not sure my dad could've been trusted to provide me with some info. Admittedly I could ask one too many questions and that could leave anyone flustered. Him included and what would happen is that if my question didn't make any sense to him he would deride it as stupid. Although the question may have been a good question it may well just be an answer he couldn't provide.

My older brother well he may have made attempts, but for the most part they didn't take. When I was 13 or so, he's 11 years older and was out courting himself, he attempted to discuss with me p*ssy money. Didn't get it. I was in no way concerned or perhaps even ready to even consider such stuff. My young mind couldn't wrap itself around such concepts of dating and such. Of course that wasn't to say I wasn't interested in girls, I just wasn't ready for the whole dating thing at that point.

Anyway, if you're a single black woman, what exactly are you waiting for before you get married?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Men shortage on campus

An issue I'm very concerned about. Especially when it comes to black males in college. I'm a rare breed because I finally got my degree, but it took me some time to complete it.
College admissions directors curious about the experience of touching a third rail can review what happened when the president of the University of Alberta suggested that Canadian males, including white males, needed a helping hand.

She got fried ... by her own students.

Last month, President Indira Samarasekera pointed to the preponderance of women in higher education in Canada (three female undergraduates for every two males) and suggested that perhaps males could need some extra attention. "We’ll wake up in 20 years and we will not have the benefit of enough male talent," said Samarasekera, a metallurgical engineer originally from Sri Lanka. “I’m going to be an advocate for young white men, because I can be,” she added, pointing to her Nixon-to-China status as a minority woman advocating for men.

A fair number of her students were not happy. Within 24 hours the campus was awash with posters poking fun at the notion of women taking over higher education. “Women are attacking campus,” read one. “Only white men can save our university! Stop the femimenace.”

Humorous, perhaps, but here’s why this is not funny to college officials in the United States: currently, the University of Alberta grants no admissions preferences to men – unlike scores, perhaps even hundreds, of colleges in the United States that for years have been turning down women for less qualified men.The preferences many colleges give to men are far less formal and less debated than those that help minority applicants, or women applying to some programs. But many, many admissions offices routinely look at male applicants’ test scores and grades with lower expectations than they have when viewing those of female applicants.

What happened to President Samarasekera is just a taste of what’s in store for these colleges when thousands of female high school students and their parents discover that the college of their dreams is a farther reach for them than for the slacker boy next door.
This story is deep!!!

I wasn't well prepared for college, but I made it. I wanted to make it. I went from community college to Morehouse. So can anyone else who wants a college degree.

One way to solve this problem is to have schools for male-students. For many this could be a problem because some guys express their misgivings about Morehouse (is not only historically Black, but also one of the few male universities in the nation). They have misgivings about attending a non-coed college although there are women around. There's an all-girl school across the street in addition to a coed school.

Of course I know there are other issues involved here. Perhaps the guys want to play sports, especially those other than football or basketball and find those programs cut because universities want to provide sports programs for the women. There are certainly ways to put a clamp on this problem.

At least this article addresses another solution to this problem:
And in all honesty, until K-12 educators can "fix" the boy troubles, which arise in the very early grades, men need that extra help getting into college.
So why are our boys in elementary and high school having issues in their studies during that time period? I want to see some studies on that. Hopefully you'll see them here in the near future!

Via Newsalert!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Take a look at this Obama poster

There may be a small chance that I may get yelled at for copyright infringement. Lawyers or law buff may or may not agree, but I did get yelled at by at artist at the Seaway Art fair last year. Thankfully that artist wasn't there at the 2009 Seaway art fair, however, my mother made an important purchase in the form of this poster I snapped a pic of the day after Christmas.

2009 has been the year of Obama. Triumph with his historic election as the first African-American  President of the United States. During his brief term as our President we have seen many ups and downs and right now it looks like his popularity isn't so high as it was when he was starting his administration.

Of course I should say that when hope is very high and when that hope isn't met there is bound to be disappointment, right?

Either way, why do I post this poster. Well to start the artist, Keith David Conner, put a lot of black history into his painting, The Journey. We see black hands in shackles, workers in a cotton field, blacks in their caps and gowns (as I was this past May), and then blacks with pickets signs supporting candidates for Mayor, Senator, then President. We see a ballot with Obama's logo and then Obama taking the oath of office for the Presidency on top of the image of the White House.

The thing about this poster is that it almost reminds me of this genre referred to as socialist realism. If you want to see one example of this genre refer to this post I wrote about a former dictator of Romania.

Since socialist realism is often used to either promote socialism or as a propaganda tool for Communist regimes, that may not be the goal that Conner was going for. If nothing else the goal was to connect President Obama's ascension to the Presidency with Black history in America.

We see slavery, share cropping, activism and enfranchisement in this painting. And this is an important record of a major milestone achieved here in The States back in November 2008. This is why I suggest to my mother that she should buy this poster.

The next question by the next election day is how will American view Obama by 2012? Will we still see paintings like the one in poster form above? What do you think?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Court Upholds State-Sponsored “Kidnapping” of Homeschooled Boy

This story is disturbing and thankfully there is outrage going around on this issue:
As most people count their blessings and prepare to enjoy Christmas with family, many others face serious struggles. Among these is the Swedish family of Annie and Christer Johansson whose only child, 7-year-old Dominic Johansson, was “kidnapped” by Swedish authorities in June of this year as the family was on a plane leaving the country for a new life and home in India. Annie Johansson is from India where her entire family lives.

The Johanssons’ lives suddenly changed, and a nightmare ensued as police officers took Dominic off the plane at the orders of local social workers. They didn’t have a warrant, and they didn’t charge the Johanssons with any crime. Their reasoning? Dominic had been homeschooled, and the authorities wanted to make sure he was receiving an education.

After some testing by Swedish authorities, it was discovered that Dominic was only slightly behind in some subjects, but that he had been making academic progress. The family had been refused school materials by their local school when they had asked for them last year. As a homeschooling family, the Johanssons lean towards unschooling, profess the Christian faith, and try to live close to nature. Mr. and Mrs. Johannson had made plans to move to India to work with several orphanages to help them to live simply and economically. Although their lifestyle is out of the ordinary to Swedish officials, nothing in their approach to family life justified such a radical state intervention. In addition to living simply, the Johanssons exercised their legal rights to opt out of vaccinations for their son as well as only taking him to the doctor when he was sick, also reasons cited by the court to allow Swedish social services to retain custody of Dominic.

Swedish press has reported that senior police officials in Sweden have criticized local police and social workers for their sensational actions. Press reports also suggest that the local social services may be caught in a trap of their own making. They must continue with their course of action or otherwise admit that they have disgracefully ruined a family and traumatized a child. Some Swedish newspapers also report that the pride and stereotyping exhibited by social workers in this case imply they are out to get this family. According to letters obtained by HSLDA, the most recent decision of the local social workers is that they will not be allowing Annie and Christer to visit with Dominic until after New Year’s Day. And then they will be permitted one-hour visits every fifth week.

Mr. Johansson expressed deep concern about the state of his wife. “Annie cannot even talk right now. We are in total shock. We had hoped the court would return our son. We have been and remain willing to cooperate with social services, but they keep telling us we are not capable of caring for our son. This is not true. We have taken care of Dominic. While we may do things differently than most Swedes, we have not broken any laws and we have not harmed our son. We decided as a family that we wanted to move to India where we could be near my wife’s family. But the government has taken over my family, and now we are living in a nightmare. I fear for the life of my wife under this torture and for the well being of my son who has only been allowed to see his parents for a few hours since he was taken. The government is alienating my son from me, and I am powerless to do anything.”

The Swedish press has reported that the court admits the family has taken care of Dominic as they thought best, but insists the government’s plan is better.

In its opinion the court noted that Dominic had some untreated cavities and had not been vaccinated. The court also said that because Dominic had not been in school he had been “socially isolated.” This, the court said, demonstrated that the parents were not aware of the impact their decision to homeschool would have on Dominic’s future development and opportunities. Social workers and the court have mentioned the psychiatric condition of Mr. and Mrs. Johansson. However, Mr. Johansson vehemently denies any such mental problems.
A former Swedish social worker who spoke with HSLDA anonymously severely criticized how current social workers are treating the Johanssons.

“This case is an absolute outrage,” the former social worker said. “From the taking of the child off a plane by uniformed police officers to the absurd visitation schedule and now the complete cessation of visits. The social workers in this case are letting their pride interfere with the best interests of this little boy. In Sweden the socialist mindset of the government is that it knows what’s best for kids—better than their own parents. And in the case where a family, like the Johanssons, may do things that are different, the government intervenes.”

The court opinion also noted that Dominic had not been to the normal child care facilities and to school.

The social worker continued, “What is normal? In whose opinion? Why should the government get to make this decision? The boy is being taken care of and not being harmed. The family had decided to move to India where the mother is from. What is wrong with this?”
There are those who are concerned about the direction of this country under President Obama. That is their belief that this nation is going into a more socialist direction as may exist in Sweden.

I don't have children yet, but when I do the last thing I want to worry about is the state deciding that how I'm raising my children is simply not up to their snuff. Of course that's not to say there aren't those parents who aren't taking care of their children. There are some awful parents out there.

I just hope that the reasoning isn't as loopy!

Via Newsalert!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Human Dog Christmas 2005 edition

Well, Human Dog hasn't been very active since maybe 2006 or so. Lately there's been a flurry of activity from the creator Chris Weagel. The activity being very short videos of less then 10 or 15 seconds.

I wanted to travel back in time on Christmas, and as such it's appropriate to show a rerun from that website. It's quite zany, but entertaining although I'm sure it'll lose you at some point.

If nothing else I hope you have a good laugh on Christmas Eve. Haven't decided if you'll see a post tomorrow on Christmas Day, but I wish you a merry and safe one.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Steven Crowder on Detroit

Detroit isn't looking so good in this video. While this video seems to take aim at the left's attempt to engage in urban policy with the conclusion only being certain failure. I believe that what happened to Detroit goes beyond left vs. right.

There was some bad policy to go around and it may well have cost Detroit dearly. The next step is to find a way to shock Detroit back to life.

Refer to the article that I posted yesterday regarding the new mayor, Dave Bing. He may not be the answer to Detroit's ills, but he may well be close to the answer.

Via Chicago News Bench!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mayor of Detroit interviewed by Wall Street Journal

Today we take another virtual ride to the great American city of Detroit. This time courtesy of the Wall Street Journal with an interview with that city's Mayor, David Bing:
Dave Bing has just signed on to four years of maybe the most futile and thankless job in America: mayor of Detroit. What in the world was he thinking?

"I wouldn't have taken this job if this wasn't doable," he tells me. "I finished basketball in 1978, then went into my own business in 1980 and did it for 29 years. . . . Now I get to the end of that career and probably should have retired. But there was a calling greater than anything that I ever envisioned, and that was to help bring this city back."
His highest priority is balancing a budget that is swimming in red ink. "We have a $325 million deficit, and 2010 doesn't look any better. Right now revenue growth is still negative. We're taking in less money each year. We can't rebuild this city by constantly cutting, but in the short term, we don't have an option," he says.

How much has to be chopped? The major says that at its peak Detroit had a $3.6 billion budget. He hopes to get it down to $2.9 billion, almost a 20% real cut.

Dave Bing is no Milton Friedman when it comes to economic solutions. He's praying for lots of federal aid to help the city pull out of its ditch, he wants to borrow against future tax revenues, and he hasn't ruled out tax increases "if they have a sunset" to pay the city's bills. He believes it's a core responsibility of government to help people.

Yet Mr. Bing is a realist, something Detroit hasn't had at the helm for a long time. "We've been paralyzed by a culture in the city of Detroit, and maybe the state of Michigan, of entitlement," by which he means ever-rising union wages. "Our people, I don't believe, truly understand how dire the situation is. There are ugly decisions that need to be made and I'm surely not going to be popular for making them. But I didn't take this job based on popularity."

One group that surely isn't a fan is the public employee unions. He grumbles that there are 17 unions with over 50 separate bargaining units. "I can give you a data sheet that will show you we've got several of those bargaining units with less than 100 people, and each one of them has a president that's paid by the city to negotiate against the city," he says. "Coming from the private sector, I find that insane."

Mr. Bing's gladiator-like brawls with the union bosses have drawn national attention. Earlier this year, he forced nonunionized city workers to take a 10% pay cut and unpaid furloughs. Now he's demanding the same pay concession from the unions. At one point the union got so fed up with Mr. Bing's refusal to buckle to their demands that they asked the courts to toss him in jail for violating their contracts. That didn't happen, but the unions did win a court challenge when the mayor refused to collect union dues out of city paychecks.

"Today in the city of Detroit," he tells me, "our union employee benefits cost 68% of what their base wage is. I don't think that happens in any other place in the country." To give a sense of how excessive those pay packages are, he adds: "When you look at one of the most dominant labor unions in the world, the UAW, they're nowhere close to what we give our city workers."
Unions! In Chicago, they're costing the Chicago Transit Authority a lot of money. They're costing Detroit a lot more apparently, of course they have some pull as well whether in Chicago or in Detroit.

At the same time Bing is a Mayor of a long suffering city and I wish him a lot of luck. It'll take a lot of time to bring Detroit back to one of America's finest cities. But MoTown has a long way to go in that regards. I look forward to more news.

Via Urbanophile!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brittany Murphy dies

News from Sunday via TMZ (hat-tip Newsalert).

For those of you who are fans of King of the Hill. I've been getting a lot of comments in a post because there are plenty of dedicated fans of that program. Murphy was the voice of Luanne Platter on that program.

If we're lucky enough to see new episodes of King of the Hill, they may have to recast that character.

Very sad story and it was said she died of cardiac arrest. What happened? May she R.I.P.

Labor Data Show Surge in Hiring of Temp Workers

We have been hearing this a lot, haven't we?
The hiring of temporary workers has surged, suggesting that the nation’s employers might soon take the next step, bringing on permanent workers, if they can just convince themselves that the upturn in the economy will be sustained.

As demand rose after the last two recessions, in the early 1990s and in 2001, employers moved more quickly. They added temps for only two or three months before stepping up the hiring of permanent workers. Now temp hiring has risen for four months, the economy is growing, and still corporate managers have been reluctant to shift to hiring permanent workers, relying instead on temps and other casual labor easily shed if demand slows again.

“When a job comes open now, our members fill it with a temp, or they extend a part-timer’s hours, or they bring in a freelancer — and then they wait to see what will happen next,” said William J. Dennis Jr., director of research for the National Federation of Independent Business.

The rising employment of temp workers is not all bad. However uncertain their status, they do count in government statistics as wage-earning workers, adding to the employment rolls and helping to bring down the monthly job loss to just 11,000 in November. Indeed, the unemployment rate fell in 36 states in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week, partly because of the growing use of temps.
I was a temp worker myself, although thankfully I have more of a long-term job now! The next question would have to be whether or not these current temp workers can remain employed in the long-term as well.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christian teacher lost her job after being told praying for sick girl 'was bullying'

Olive Jones, 54, said she had been made to feel like a criminal, and claimed that Christians were being persecuted due to 'political correctness'.

Mrs Jones, who taught children not well enough to attend school, said that after she raised the topic of prayer during a visit to a 12-year-old's house, the girl's mother lodged a complaint.

Just hours later, said Mrs Jones, her boss told her she would no longer be working for Oak Hill Short Stay School and Tuition Service, in Nailsea, Somerset.

She said managers had ruled her comments could be perceived as 'bullying'.

Mrs Jones had told the girl and her mother that there were people praying for them. She said: 'I asked the child if I could pray for her. She looked at her mother, who said, "We come from a family who do not believe", so I did not pray.'
OK, how can praying be considered bullying. She at least respected the wishes of that family who aren't Christians. It's almost as if some people can't handle those who are religious. Sounds like a gross over reaction to me! Unfortunate!

Via Newsalert!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

At Many Colleges, Early Applications Rise

I wonder how Morehouse is doing in this current environment. A NY Times article on the current rise in early decision applications.
This was the year when the frenzy to gain early admission to the nation’s most selective colleges seemed likely to subside, at least in part because a student admitted under a binding early program cannot seek competing financial aid offers as leverage to negotiate a better package.

But for many admissions offices, there appears to have been no letup.

Duke, Northwestern, Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Johns Hopkins and Dartmouth, among other highly selective colleges, received substantially more applications for their early decision programs this year than they did last.

Other colleges, including Wesleyan, Emory, Pomona and Grinnell, drew about as many early applications this fall as they did last fall, a time when the economic downturn was only just beginning. Each of those programs requires students to withdraw all other applications and attend if admitted.

“The fear of not getting in is a trump card,” said Jon Reider, director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School, a private school, and a former admissions officer at Stanford. “That fear is more powerful than any piece of factual information, such as, ‘Gee, colleges are having a hard time with financial aid, maybe we should cast our net fairly widely and not jump the gun and throw our eggs all in one basket.”’
Not sure I'd have been worth early admissions, but I wish I had known that I can get better financial aid if I had establised that other universities had admitted me and offered good financial aid. It could mean the difference between borrowing or scholarships. At that I would have to work to continue justifying that as well.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Drunk people on the Chicago L

This lady boarded the train at 47th. She decided to ask me to get to Amtrak (@ Union Station). I could smell some alcohol on her. In addition it seemed that I was agitating her because she kept talking about missing the train that she's had reservations for three weeks.

Every time she would ask me the question about where to get off for Amtrak I would tell her Jackson. Unfortunately you have a ways to go to get to Union Station. You could change for the Blue Line or change for a bus, but apparently she didn't get it or understand and she seemed to indicate that she was tired of the CTA and probably me.

Another horrible thing about this was that she spoke in a barely audible tone. I didn't exactly understand her very well. Well I told her how many stops the red line had until we get to Jackson or saying Jackson we got to Jackson and without a word I got up and exited the train at this stop. She continued to sit there.

You know there was a moment where I had to think that she might outright assault me for not giving her the directions to get to Amtrak. She wasn't exactly sober and during that time on the train she pulled out a can in a brown paper bag and sipping out of it. She was drinking, I could smell the alcohol and I even wondered whether or not she would be allowed on Amtrak because she was intoxicated.

All the same I hope she made onto the train although I didn't take much responsibility for getting her there especially at the stop where she should get off the train to get to Amtrak. Although in making my attempt to help her she didn't prove herself very nice and at that point it may well have been easier to wash my hands of this situation. The good thing is that I kept my cool when it seemed at times she was going to lose it.

Another story from the L yesterday. I got on the train at Roosevelt with some young people who sat across from me on the train. It seems all this young man wanted to say was "I DON'T GIVE A F*CK!" He did this in such a high pitched voice what I wished I could say was, "I would give a f*ck if you got off this train because I don't want to hear your convo".

After continuing to talk on his phone continuing his high pitched tirade on his phone, the young man finally got off the train at Garfield. I breathed a sigh of relief when he did!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just to say how important this news was...

Illinois Channel is re-airing the press conference by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald on December 9, 2008 regarding his arrest of then Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich who I have often referred to as Ousted governor since he was removed from the state's governorship on January 29th, 2009 will stand trial sometime next year for the accusations made in this press conference. This video has a duration of 20 Minutes.

You can click the pic to view the video.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hobbies are fun

YouTube is a wonderful contraption. You see items such as this tribute transmitted on that video sharing website a lot. I can only imagine how much different our world is because there is a warehouse of vids that are stored for our view.

This video is of Ray Glasser of Cleveland, Ohio paying tribute to a dear friend. Glasser's channel is called videoholicreturns. We may already have figured out why he has chosen that handle. I have watched his videos a lot overtime and have seen that he really likes to show off his videos and video equipment.

It's really cool to have had a significant correspondence over the years with someone who shares the same enthusiasm. Indeed very creative about how they present their video correspondence. Of course such activity is probably easier these days as no long do we have to send video via what they call "snail-mail" now.

We have social networking to share our thoughts with the world around us. We have YouTube, Facebook, and run of the mill blogs to share. Although we may have private channels so that we're not sharing everything with everyone. This may even include "snail-mail" at that.

So enjoy this treat and part 2. And enjoy the creativity of these two friends. See their "video letter" intros here & here. I certainly enjoy, but I must admit their inclusion of footage from a high-wire act going awry to the Kennedy assassination to even 9/11 are a bit troublesome. Well just saying, but never to take away from their passion and talent.

Still this is a treat worth sharing.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Recount in Atlanta mayor's race confirms winner

Well it took me long enough to find out who will be Mayor of Atlanta next year. Never fear the next Mayor is Black. Of course may the best person win the race, but this time around the best person was Black. Of course that should never matter.
A recount in the race for Atlanta mayor confirmed lawyer Kasim Reed as winner on Wednesday after an election that exposed a racial fault line in one of the leading cities in the U.S. Southeast.

City councilwoman Mary Norwood, who would have become the city's first white mayor since 1974, picked up just one vote in the recount she had requested.

She finished 714 votes behind Reed with some 84,000 votes cast, Fulton County's election office said.

Reed was declared the winner of the December 1 run-off and announced his priorities would include selecting a new police chief and shoring up city finances.

Voting mirrored Atlanta's demographics, with Reed running up big numbers in the south and west, which are majority black and include some of the city's poorest neighborhoods.

Norwood's support base was in mainly white northern council districts, which include some of the city's richest suburbs. Like many U.S. cities, Atlanta's metropolitan area spreads far beyond the city limits.

Both candidates avoided playing up race during the campaign, instead presenting themselves as outsiders best qualified to restore city finances and fight rising crime.
Kasim Reed was a state senator who visited the campus on at least two occasions during my time at Morehouse. He's a young politico who was about to be a rising star and becoming mayor of a major city can only solidify that. Being a mayor is a significant position for certain.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

College Degrees More Expensive, Worth Less in Job Market

Yeah I noticed that. College degrees are treated more as birthrights than anything else. It's not necessarily the ticket to say getting the highest paid jobs as it may have been years ago. You might have to go to grad school to get that type of job. Here's an article by Time:
Employers and career experts see a growing problem in American society - an abundance of college graduates, many burdened with tuition-loan debt, heading into the work world with a degree that doesn't mean much anymore.

The problem isn't just a soft job market - it's an oversupply of graduates. In 1973, a bachelor's degree was more of a rarity, since just 47% of high school graduates went on to college. By October 2008, that number had risen to nearly 70%. For many Americans today, a trip through college is considered as much of a birthright as a driver's license.

Marty Nemko, a career and education expert who has taught at U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Education, contends that the overflow in degree holders is the result of many weaker students attending colleges when other options may have served them better. "There is tremendous pressure to push kids through," he says, adding that as a result, too many students who aren't skilled become degree holders, promoting a perception among employers that higher education doesn't work. "That piece of paper no longer means very much, and employers know that," says Nemko. "Everybody's got it, so it's watered down."
You know what if these students came from fairly elite institution such as the Ivy League universities or even a school like Morehouse. ;)

Of course that's not to say you'll only do alright if you go to a very reputable private or public university. I just think that some degree may mean more than others. Especially if you got your degree from the top universities. Although to be sure going to a top school isn't going to help the fact that a particular student wasn't exactly a very strong one.

Here's more:
The devaluation of a college degree is no secret on campus. An annual survey by the Higher Education Research Institute has long asked freshmen what they think their highest academic degree will be. In 1972, 38% of respondents said a bachelor's degree, but in 2008 only 22% answered the same. The number of freshmen planning to get a master's degree rose from 31% in 1972 to 42% in 2008. Says John Pryor, the institute's director: "Years ago, the bachelor's degree was the key to getting better jobs. Now you really need more than that."

Employers stress that a basic degree remains essential, carefully tiptoeing around the idea that its value has plummeted. But they admit that the degree alone is not the ace it once was; now they emphasize work experience as a way to make yourself stand out. Dan Black, director of campus recruiting in the Americas for Ernst & Young, and his team will hire more than 4,000 people this year out of 20,000 applicants. There are a lot of things besides a degree "that will help differentiate how much attention you get," says the veteran hirer, who has been screening graduates for 15 years.
What does it take to get a position in today's job market:
So what does it take to impress recruiters today? Daniel Pink, an author on motivation in the workplace, agrees that the bachelor's degree "is necessary, but it's just not sufficient," at times doing little more than verifying "that you can more or less show up on time and stick with it." The author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future says companies want more. They're looking for people who can do jobs that can't be outsourced, he says, and graduates who "don't require a lot of hand-holding."

Left-brain abilities that used to guarantee jobs have become easy to automate, while right-brain abilities are harder to find - "design, seeing the big picture, connecting the dots," Pink says. He cites cognitive skills and self-direction as the types of things companies look for in job candidates. "People have to be able to do stuff that's hard to outsource," he says. "It used to be for blue collar; it's now for white collar too."

For now, graduates can steer their careers where job growth is strong - education, health care and nonprofit programs like Teach for America, says Trudy Steinfeld, a career counselor at New York University. "Every college degree is not cookie cutter. It's what you have done during that degree to distinguish yourself."
Good luck finding work out there. I will especially direct this towards the class of 2010.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It just hits me!!!

It was one year ago today that Rod Blagojevich, who if he's ever mentioned around these parts is often referred to as Ousted governor, was arrested by the FBI. From January 2003 until January 29, 2009 he was the sitting Governor of Illinois. Today his successor and running mate Pat Quinn signed some ethics legislation into law.

I covered this rather heavily at The Sixth Ward from the beginning of the end to it's eventual conclusion. I just want to share this quip just one more time. :P
“Yesterday took part in a sit in, today sitting in jail. I can’t help but wonder what’s going through his head today…”

I’m innocent?
I wrote that over at the CapFax in response to another comment. I thought it was funny and it's a shame that I never showed it here.

A video collage of events (9 minute duration) during the late Blago administration was posted on YouTube by Rich Miller who's CapFax blog was shut down at times during the day of Blago's arrest to the day of his removal from office. Kudos for this video and his coverage during almost two month time frame.

While I rather hoped Illinois could have avoided this humiliation in 2006, we are living in the future that we could've have lived in 2007. Except that Pat Quinn would never have become Governor and Quinn's stewardship of Illinois hasn't been the best of times. At the same time it's great to have an honest man in office unlike the other guy he replaced.

He's still going to trial although there might be some legal kinks to work out but he will face his trial. Blago is still clueless about his legal troubles it seems, but for right now he's still getting attention. What we can say about him is that not only might he continue to deny the charges, but he will only continue to bring attention to himself.

BTW, I got to thinking about this one day. George Ryan may have been old school, but at least we could trust him. He may not have changed with the times and realized that he may one day be held accountable for what he either did or was involved with. At the same time he was effective as a Governor and was replaced by someone who was nowhere near effective and not trustworthy.

Honestly I'm less upset about Blago's corruption than I was about his effectiveness. Corruption should never be tolerated, but let's not forget that being Governor is a job first and foremost. Ethics is part of the job, but so is doing work. Blago didn't seem to work out as Governor and the state legislature found an excuse to get rid of him. Now since he ran afoul of the law the federal government will finish the job by sending him to prison.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The future

I don't remember where I watched this, but there was a segment on visions of the future. It might have been Andy Rooney giving his commentary at the end of one episode of 60 Minutes.

The visions of the future involved bathrooms turning into lounges. What's on my mind at current is the vision of the future where it was expected that workers may have less hours at work and more leisure time. I'm sure there are those of us who really would like that type of future.

I'm not sure if that's the future we're living. In fact there are a lot of us who wishes that was the future we're living in. Surely there are reasons why workers spend a lot of time at work and less time at leisure.

I have been watching C-Span on weekday mornings and there have been callers to Washington Journal who say that they work two or three jobs to make ends meet. A lot of them do this by necessity because they have bills to pay or they need health insurance and the job doesn't provide it or they have children to provide for. One caller in particular said that she wasn't doing well at all with the arrangement of two jobs where the only thing that suffered was her sleep. She didn't even have enough time to sleep.

Surely she would like to see that vision of the future.

In any event, I used to have the view that no one really likes to work. Eventually that view has changed. Why do people work at jobs they may not really care for?

That would be exactly my point. A lot of people do it by necessity and some do it to start their working careers. Not all of us are able to get the dream jobs we wanted after college.

Well my view has gone from people don't like to work to people want to find something satisfying. As far as the world of work goes, I haven't found that yet. I may have missed those opportunity if they were presented to me. At the same time I would like to have less work and more leisure in my future.

Sadly that leisure can only result in less income. Of course another train of thought on this is all about whether or not determining income is more satisfying than enjoying what one does in life.

Hopefully we can all strike that nice balance. I hope we all have the leisure and that we all enjoy what we do for a living in our lives.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Why Congress is Furious at the Fed

This big news recently has been the hearings over whether or not Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will be able to keep his current position. Time magazine takes a look at the reasons Congress is taking a look at the Federal Reserve:
The Federal Reserve system, that mysterious organization with the temple-like headquarters just off the Washington Mall and thick-walled outposts in cities across the land, is under assault. It's "the most serious attack that I have seen on the Federal Reserve in the many, many years that I've studied it as a scholar," says Columbia economist and former Fed governor Frederic Mishkin.

Texas libertarian-Republican-obstetrician-Congressman Ron Paul--a man not known for bipartisan consensus-building--has gotten 313 of his colleagues, more than 100 of them Democrats, to back a bill that would subject the Fed to audits by the Government Accountability Office, and the Financial Services Committee has approved a version of it. On the other side of Capitol Hill, Senate Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd is pushing reforms that would strip the Fed of its power to regulate banks.

It has gotten so bad that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has resorted to the equivalent of heavy artillery, taking to the opinion pages of the Washington Post on Nov. 29 to express his concern that these measures "would significantly reduce the capacity of the Federal Reserve to perform its core functions." (For Fedspeak, this is seriously blunt language.)

The most core of the Fed's functions is running the country's monetary policy--that is, deciding how many dollars should be in circulation. Hardly anyone is calling for it to be stripped of this power. Yes, the good Dr. Paul does so in his best seller End the Fed, but this is not what you'd call a viable legislative proposal, which is why he's pushing his audit plan in Congress instead. But Bernanke and other Fed defenders argue that subjecting the organization to more outside scrutiny and taking away its side function of regulating banks would render it unable to manage monetary policy effectively.

To which a skeptic might respond, The Fed manages monetary policy effectively? Could have fooled me. That's one argument for altering the Federal Reserve's current arrangements. The other is that the Fed's current arrangements are really weird. The Fed is part government agency, part creature of the banking industry. This is by design; from its creation in 1913 (to prevent the bank panics that were periodically paralyzing the economy, as in 1907) until the early 1930s, in fact, the bankers who controlled the regional Federal Reserve banks had the upper hand. Congress changed the law in the early '30s to put Washington clearly in charge, and for almost two decades, the Fed was effectively an arm of the Treasury Department. After 1951, when Treasury restored the Fed's independence, it returned to hybrid status, with the presidentially appointed chairman wielding the most power but the president of the New York Fed--chosen by New York bankers--a close second.
OK here's the deal. I was mostly educated on this issue by a friend who is definitely anti-Fed. He like Ron Paul supports a return to the gold standard since American currency is FIAT (meaning that the currency is backed by nothing and essentially is a promise by the federal government that the currency is worth something).

My opinion, well I don't really have one. I haven't educated myself very well on economic issues. Even if I do attempt to follow them on a layman's basis. I tend to stick with taxes especially cutting taxes to economic growth. To be honest I'm not totally clear on monetary policy other than I suppose the supply of gold can only serve to determine how much currency should be minted.

Does anyone out there like to comment on any stories involving the Federal Reserve?

Via Newsalert!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Listening to audio of Dan Proft and Kirk Dillard on WVON this week

You can listen here. Courtesy of the Dan Proft 2010 campaign.

Let me be honest here. I have flirted with outright declaring myself a Republican. You can go back far enough on this blog and there will be some evidence that I have attempted to align myself in that fashion.

It's very unlikely that you will find that these days. I may still hold views that are considered conservative or even libertarian. Most of the time I just attempt to be practical with a certain does of common sense. That's the way to tackle most issues but most look at it with an ideological viewpoint.

Perhaps the reason why I would never go through with being a member of the GOP is the fact that they aren't particularly aggressive in pursuing black supporters. They aren't in the community espousing their message and sometimes their message to the black community may leave a lot wanting. That is what could the Republican Party offer to blacks that the Democrats couldn't offer.

That message is missing. In fact I think I tried to explain that position on a mostly conservative board once and I got shouted down. I became a whiner and a supporter of welfare and I'm the last person who supports that.

Dan Proft is probably close to a message that should resonate with Blacks. His message of reforming the public schools (especially in terms of funding) or otherwise unfixing Illinois to allow for economic opportunity for everyone (especially for entrepreneurial efforts) is a good message for Blacks. The only question is whether or not the Black community could listen, especially to a Republican.

With all due respect to Kirk Dillard, I'm sure black school children are responsive to the history lesson. Ultimately it's their parents who are doing the voting and also whether or not they would listen to the fact that for many years Blacks voted for the party of Abraham Lincoln (who was a Republican). I have my doubts that they would and I would say that state Sen. Dillard and other Republicans should be very mindful of creating a message that will resonate with blacks.

This audio was very good because Dillard and Proft talked about a variety of issues. As I type this Proft & Dillard are talking about CTA, certainly an issue that many blacks are keeping an eye on if they don't drive. Either way the GOP should be talking about issues of concern to at least urban Blacks and go from there.

Yeah talk about all the history that is necessary, but also focus on the here and now! If the Republicans can ever do that and eventually gain a foothold in Black communities. Indeed even find ways to elect Blacks as Republicans to office in Illinois they can count me as a supporter one day. At this moment, it's very unlikely.

Also the other Republican candidates, especially Bill Brady who paid a visit to the nearby Chatham Market during the fall on a jobs tour, need to come to WVON and talk directly to the station's predominantly black listeners!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Atlanta Mayor Hopefuls Face Unfinished Vote, Deficit

The Mayoral runoff in ATL was held on Dec. 1st. It appears that the race still hasn't been decided:
Atlanta counted the last ballots today in a tight mayoral election while the leader, former state lawmaker Kasim Reed, sought ways to pay for promised services in a city facing budget deficits.

Reed got 50.4 percent of the votes cast in a Dec. 1 runoff to lead Councilwoman Mary Norwood by 620 of the 84,076 ballots, the Fulton County, Georgia, elections office said. The outcome won’t be final until provisional ballots are counted today and results are certified Dec. 5. Norwood wants a recount.

Both Reed, 40, and Norwood, 57, promised to restore police, fire and other services cut by the current mayor to close a $140 million gap in this year’s budget. Atlanta’s revenue has grown by half the pace of spending in the last five years as the U.S. entered the worst recession since the Great Depression.

“Whoever is elected isn’t going to do a whole lot because they won’t have the money,” said Michael Owens, a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta. “It’s going to require a high degree of savvy and policy skill to address the core problems.”
So why do I care? I don't call ATL home.

Well I spent a lot of time there as a student at Morehouse College. Not only that in the lead up to this race it was a real concerned among the black community there about having a non-Black as mayor. There has been a Black as Mayor of the city since Maynard Jackson in the early 1970s.

The chatter I have seen down there in media stories almost resemble how the black community was regarding either the Mayor's office in Chicago or currently the County Board Presidency. I have my doubts that the current Pres. Todd Stroger is either going to be re-elected or is the best person to continue in that position. When he ran the first time (after being appointed by Cook County Demorats upon the incapacitation of his father who also was Cook County Board President) I never thought he was the best person. Unfortunately race and family ties prevailed.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap

Hmmm, I try to have some optimism as a college graduate. I know I have some strikes against me as I have finally graduated from college at a much older age than most. I just hate to think that race could be one of those strikes against me in the job market:
That race remains a serious obstacle in the job market for African-Americans, even those with degrees from respected colleges, may seem to some people a jarring contrast to decades of progress by blacks, culminating in President Obama’s election.

But there is ample evidence that racial inequities remain when it comes to employment. Black joblessness has long far outstripped that of whites. And strikingly, the disparity for the first 10 months of this year, as the recession has dragged on, has been even more pronounced for those with college degrees, compared with those without. Education, it seems, does not level the playing field — in fact, it appears to have made it more uneven.

College-educated black men, especially, have struggled relative to their white counterparts in this downturn, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for black male college graduates 25 and older in 2009 has been nearly twice that of white male college graduates — 8.4 percent compared with 4.4 percent.

Various academic studies have confirmed that black job seekers have a harder time than whites. A study published several years ago in The American Economic Review titled “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” found that applicants with black-sounding names received 50 percent fewer callbacks than those with white-sounding names.

A more recent study, published this year in The Journal of Labor Economics found white, Asian and Hispanic managers tended to hire more whites and fewer blacks than black managers did.

The discrimination is rarely overt, according to interviews with more than two dozen college-educated black job seekers around the country, many of them out of work for months. Instead, those interviewed told subtler stories, referring to surprised looks and offhand comments, interviews that fell apart almost as soon as they began, and the sudden loss of interest from companies after meetings.

Whether or not each case actually involved bias, the possibility has furnished an additional agonizing layer of second-guessing for many as their job searches have dragged on.
Another aspect of this problem is the name thing. I posted it in the excerpt (I hope you read the whole thing, BTW). I hope that I can give my children respectable names they could be rather ethnic, but hopefully names that won't cause anyone to pass them over in the job market.

The names I have ran across especially among black people seem to indicate an ability to create names. I think this could be a problem and these names I would see as ghetto. Of course that is only my opinion. Hopefully I can give my children rather plain names and that the names either I or my "eventual" wife would give are respectable names.

What do you think about this particular topic and "Black" names in general?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Been doing a lot of night time L riding lately

Tonight I ran into a lady who's often been on the L begging. She isn't a bad looking lately but in honing her act to get people to give money to her she may not be able to afford to look good. I noticed that she was dirty especially going towards the cuffs of her jeans and her shoes.

Tonight she was feigning crying. I saw no tears and she was even wiping the "tears" away. Not sure she was crying, since I saw no tears I thought it was all fake.

Also it's been a few years since I saw her begging on the trains. She's been on crutches for years. Not sure if it's just a lingering injury or another part of the shtick.

All the same, people will still give money to her. Those who are unfamiliar with her activity and those who are tired of her act. I won't do it.

I didn't do it tonight, but on the train much earlier I gave a young man a dollar. He was promoting a program that claims that they're young men who are turning their lives around. I don't totally believe that shtick, but I would like to say that I did my good deed for the night. That's only if this young man's shtick is genuine!