Tag Archives: Politics

Veterans Preference vs Language Skills

Boston civil servants have long used veteran’s preference to get returning vets into jobs such as the police and fire departments. This year, BFD has asked to set aside 15 of 50 spots in their academy class for people who speak Spanish.

And well, I let the quote speak for itself.

But a group of military veterans, normally given preference for the jobs, has challenged the decision. Alleging in legal documents that the bilingual requirement is being used to “recruit people of color into the uniformed ranks,’’ the veterans have asked the state Civil Service Commission to investigate.

(emphasis is my own)

So when did knowledge of a language determine your skin color? I’m sure this wasn’t the only line of reasoning the veterans put in their legal documents, but this quote makes them seem very racist. Later on in the article, the lawyer for them complains about how they came back from serving in Iraq/Afghanistan to find the rules have changed on them.

And there’s even more background, like how the BFD was legally bound to hire/diversify at a one to one ratio meaning for every white candidate they hired, they needed a black or Hispanic one as well. That rule was disbanded less than ten years ago and since then the department has hired a group that is 88 per cent white.

I don’t really understand why the veterans are so angry. The department finally realized they need more staff who speaks Spanish when they respond to calls from Spanish speaking people. Boston has a huge Hispanic population in one neighborhood, and significant populations in other neighborhoods that are on the other side of the city. In other words the Hispanics are basically all over. It’s time the department should diversify again.

The veterans can always apply again next year, right?

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Election Season Already?

Yep, Obama officially filed, so have numerous GOP candidates. But, interestingly enough, none of the big names, such as Bachmann, Palin or Trump (seriously?) have filed yet.

So who has filed? New York’s own Jimmy McMillan who represented the Rent is Too Damn High party in the Gubernatorial race last year. He’ll be on the GOP side, even though he is not a Republican because he doesn’t want to directly challenge Obama. The bizarre thing is McMillan wasn’t the craziest candidates during the race for Governor. There even was an ex-stripper.

The election is only 19 months away – literally! I guess potential candidates should start forming those exploratory committees and file their papers. Time’s a wasting for precious campaigning!

I’m just thankful the mudslinging hasn’t started yet. That’s the second worse part of election season after it’s length. Excuse me for not wanting to watch grown men and women, one of whom will be our future leader, degrade themselves by getting dirty for the whole country and world to see.

But… can’t help thinking here we go again!

Nov. 6, 2012 is still 19 months away. That is 580 days.For every one of those days from this point onward, politicians will be strategizing and spreading their message in preparation for Election Day. It doesn’t matter whether they are Obama, or are one of his numerous potential Republican opponents. They will form exploratory committees, amass signatures, generate press coverage and build websites.

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MSNBC fail

By suspending and then un-suspending Keith Olbermann over last weekend, MSNBC committed an epic fail. They claim to be objective, but after this stunt, I don’t think any one will believe them.

Olbermann broke the rules by donating to political campaigns. He’s a broadcast journalist, reporting on the news (trying to be objective) and this is a slap in the face of  MSNBC’s perceived objectivity.  But what I din’t get a chance to ponder over in my Chronicle Column is whether there should be a distinction between Olbermann the average citizen and Olbermann who goes on air every night. The only problem is that political donations are public record. Anyone can request that info, so Olbermann’s donations would be easy found by his viewers. While he might be objective on air, his donations would say something different. However should he be denied a chance to donate just because of his job? I can see the argument going both ways.

This experience should at least teach MSNBC something about it’s ‘objectivity. Call me a cynic, but I think objectivity in journalism is a dying practice. It’s been dying a slow death ever since the rise of the 24 hour news cycle and the network news that went along with it. Whenever we are told information or news we need to carefully examine who is giving it to us and why or else we are too easily misled.

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Fixing Congress

…this system is beginning to crack. Recent events have shown that the wedge between the Democrats and Republicans in Congress has drastically grown larger – not smaller as President Obama had hoped in the beginning of his term. One of the major signs that there was a problem was the long deliberation over the health care bill. Republicans had hoped – and some still do – to defeat it. Now the Republicans have defeated a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by filibustering. In fact, Obama has essentially given up on his campaign promise of bipartisanship as the Republicans refuse to work with him.

This two party system has got to change. Instead of a binary, either Democrat or Republican, we should consider a spectrum, with liberal, moderate, and conservative parties. Most members of Congress would fall into one of these categories. Of course there would be some who wouldn’t quite fit, such as moderates who lean liberal or conservative more often than their moderate colleagues.

Want to read more? Then head over to the Hofstra Chronicle site and read my second column. Also celebrating my byline changing from contributing writer to columnist. I’m moving up.

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My Country, Tis of Thee?

Some Patriotic themed musings to consider.

First, I found a rather grim forecast of what’s to come for America. It isn’t pretty at all. While reading it, I found I didn’t agree entirely with what the author was saying, but I could see kernels of truth. He (I’m assuming the author “lancefreeman76”  is a he) is extremely pessimistic and doesn’t think there’s hope for change. I, on the other hand. do think there’s hope, especially since we did elect Obama. (The author doesn’t mention our President or Health Care Reform at all, which is something to consider)

The second is a blog post by Tim Wise about how race affects the way we view the Tea Party. Playing a game called Imagine, Wise paints a scary picture: If the Tea Party were black, they would be seen as violent radicals if not terrorists.

Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it.

“Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black” – Tim Wise

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