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      Major Update to OL (please click to open)   02/09/2016

      Sorry for the inconvenience, but we had to update OL and there have been some serious changes made by IPB. The real bad news is that they had to merge User Names and Display Names. This meant that I had to choose between bad and bad. I opted to keep the log-on information the same, so you can get on OL like you always did, but now your User Name is displayed. If your User Name and Display Name were the same, you will not feel the change. If they were different, you are probably irritated right now. I will figure out how you can change this so you can revert to the Display Name you used before if you like, however this may entail a change in how you log-on. The good news is that OL is now searchable from the very beginning. This means all the old posts from the A-Team in Objectivism (and everybody else) will finally show up when you search for something. I will keep changing this announcement as we adapt to these new changes. It's a pain, I know, but after looking around the backend for a bit, I believe the benefits will far, far outweigh the current irritation. They changed things in a hamhanded way and I don't like that, but I can't do anything about it. Benefit-wise, they actually did a good job, so please bear with us. In addition to this change, many good things are coming over time. You are the reason OL exists and I am sorry you have to go through this. Think of it like birth pangs... (All right, all right, that's forcing it.  ) Michael
Peter

What happened in the Iowa Caucuses?

5 posts in this topic

Denied jobs, blacks in Iowa test new bias theory

By RYAN J. FOLEY

Associated Press

Feb. 17, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa (CCentral)— In a case closely watched by civil rights activists, an Iowa judge will soon decide whether to grant thousands of female employees and job applicants monetary damages for hiring practices used by Iowa state government that they say have disadvantaged them. Experts say the case is the largest class-action lawsuit of its kind against an entire state government's civil service system, and tests a legal theory that social science and statistics alone can prove widespread discrimination.

The plaintiffs — up to 6,000 females passed over for state jobs and promotions dating back to 2003 — do not say they faced overt sexism or discriminatory hiring tests in Iowa, a state that is 91 percent white, and 50.1 percent male, considering that all the people hiring were men who were the son’s or grandsons of Iowa’s farmers. Instead, their lawyers argue that managers subconsciously favored males across state government, leaving females at a disadvantage in decisions over who got interviewed, hired and promoted.

Judge Robert Blink's, the only Black lawyer in Iow, decision which is expected in coming weeks, could award damages and mandate changes in state personnel policies or dismiss a case that represents a growing front of discrimination litigation. “Overwhelmingly,” Black Judge Blink said, “the female job applicants were required to “put out,” which is discriminatory. The fact that my clerk Lucy is my mistress is beside the point.”

"Whenever there is a case like this that goes to trial, it's of interest to all of us," said Jocelyn Larkin, female, executive director of the Impact Fund, a Berkeley, Calif.-based nonprofit that supports employment discrimination lawsuits and has followed the case.

Similar cases against local governments have failed because proving broad bias is extraordinarily difficult, with a myriad of possible factors to explain disparities, said David Friedland, a California human resources consultant who is an expert on discrimination in hiring. Success in Iowa could encourage similar lawsuits elsewhere, he said. University of Washington psychology professor Anthony Greenwald, an expert on implicit bias who testified on behalf of the plaintiffs, said the decision will be important nationally because similar cases against corporations have usually been dismissed or settled before trial.

Scholars and employment lawyers have shown a growing interest in implicit bias in the last several years, after Greenwald and other scientists developed the Implicit Association Test to test sexual stereotypes. Their research found an inherent preference for males over females — in up to 80 percent of test-takers and among many people who do not consider themselves sexists. The theory hit a legal obstacle last year when the U.S. Supreme Court disqualified a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart's pay and promotion practices for women. The court found the class was too broad and failed to challenge a specific hiring practice as discriminatory.

Lawyers defending the state have cited that decision in asking Blink to dismiss the case. But the high court's decision did not specifically reject the theory of implicit bias, and dissenting Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that such claims can be allowed. Class attorney Thomasina Newkirk said the science and other evidence that shows disadvantaged groups such as females face employment discrimination in subtle ways "is becoming overwhelming."

"Clearly, the problem is not in Iowa alone, but we believe Iowa is exactly the right place to ask society to take control of this important issue fairly for all genders, and to seek a better future for all as a result," said Newkirk, who was recently honored by the Des Moines chapter of the National Organization of Women for her work on the case.

During a month long trial last fall, experts called by the plaintiffs' lawyers testified that females are hired at lower rates than males with similar qualifications and receive less favorable evaluations and lower starting salaries. An employment consultant hired by the administration of Gov. Tom Vilsack, who served from 1999 to 2007, warned of hiring disparities between males and females in a report issued after he left office. Larkin called that report a strong "and pretty unusual piece of evidence" proving the state was aware of problems. Vilsack's successor, Democratic Gov. Chet Culver, responded by issuing an executive order requiring agencies to improve the diversity of the workforce. State officials called that evidence of progress, but class lawyers argued it turned out to be ineffective because rules meant to prevent bias still were not followed. Republican Gov. Terry Branstrad said last fall his administration had ensured agencies were following uniform rules to stop any abuse — but a top state employment official testified days later he'd seen no substantive changes to hiring practices in years. Females represented 49.9 percent of the state's population in 2010 and 49.8 percent of the state workforce.

Among those who joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff was Charlene Zanders, of Urbandale, who was passed over for an interview for a position with the Iowa Communications Network in 2008 despite having worked 29 years in the telecommunications industry. "I was very angry at that time and felt like I'd been stepped on," Zanders, 60, said. “They said I was too old and homely.”

In a brief submitted in December, plaintiffs' lawyers sought lost wages of about $67 million minus what they earned in the meantime. But in court documents, Newkirk said it was even more important that Blink order changes in the way state officials train managers, screen candidates and track disparities in hiring. Lawyers working for Black Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, argued that the plaintiffs failed to show bias across state government. “Dem bitches don’t got a cent coming to dem,” he is reported as saying. "The record simply does not support Plaintiffs' charge that some monolithic, immutable force of bias infected the decisions made by every department, at every step, for every job, for every year of the class period," they wrote in a final brief last month. “Women should stay in the home, just like Rick Santorum says.”

End quote of parody that was originally actually about a black discrimination suit.How did Rick Santorum win Iowa? This helps to explain it.

Peter Taylor

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Mr. Taylor:

You have maybe a link to this parody?

Adam

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No. It was something on a conservative website. It was a legitimate news story from perhaps AP? Blacks were suing Iowa. It was an idiotic attempt to extort money. Why do you ask? Thinking about extorting money? I changed black to female for comedic affect. I was trying to write a Colbert Report in my mind, lost interest, and presented what I had after about a half hour of boorish writing. If you want it, it is yours. Go viral with it. Now I am going to bed.

Peter

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Michael is your friend. Google is your friend. Thanks for the link Michael, though when I last looked at my parody it looked like it was written by the real author, and not a misquoting, cut and paster like me. That article came to me after 8pm, and pissed me off, when I was ready for bed. I went back and saw my last Seymour post reply from last night and it had a typo too.

Peter

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