Affirmative Action Commander in Chief?

#1
I've seen Pres. Obama labelled as an Affirmative Action candidate.
What is affirmative action? Is/Was it a real institution, or just a slur?
Do the US armed forces practice affirmative action?
 
#2
Affirmative. or you could say he's a yes man
 
#3
Str8Bloke said:
I've seen Pres. Obama labelled as an Affirmative Action candidate.
What is affirmative action? Is/Was it a real institution, or just a slur?
Do the US armed forces practice affirmative action?
I worked with a large aerospace defense company before taking an early retirement a couple of years ago. One of my peers was a woman that had retired from the Army and then went to work for the defense company. She was in her 50s and had attained the rank of Lt General. She had an admin function in the Army. I think she was in charge of all personnel matters for the Army. She was functioning as a VP of Personnel with the defense company. By the way, she was a very attractive woman, even in her 50s.

She was one of the most incompetent people I have ever run across in my career. She messed up almost everything she did and finally the company fired her.

I talked to her about her career in the Army and discovered she never really did much of anything. I really think she was promoted as part of an Affirmative Action program. She was rapidly promoted during the Clinton Administration, which boasted of the commitment to Affirmative Action. Either that or she screwed her way to the top. I really think it was the AA program that got her to the rank of a 3 Star General. I suspect that any of the men that attained that rank had to be smarter and more competent.
 
#4
Coh- Lin Powell is often sited as a man greatly favoured by the promotion Gods.
 
#5
Affirmative Action:

Link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action

In the USA, especially in 'civil service' jobs it has been way over done! Where their are promotional exams people of color and/or females are taken over those who may have higher scores, etc.

Yes, to a degree, it has been used in our armed forces; however IMO, not to the degree of the civil service and other civilian employment.

I have particularly noticed improper usage of 'affirmative action' policies in US LE agencies. As I recall, many of your LE agencies have some of the same problems, etc.
 
#7
Affirmative Action is real and all government agencies have affirmative action officers to ensure rules are complied with. Much of the problem in law enforcement agencies came as a result of court decrees in lawsuits. In my community there was a decree that 1 out of every 3 new officers had to be minority until a certain percentage of minorities in the department was reached. A white applicant with a score of 100 or 99 out of a 100 would get in but a white applicant with about a 97 or below would not be hired when minority officers with scores as low as 72 were appointed. Fire department exam process was the same. A cousin of mine with a B.S. degree in criminal justice had to move from Massachusetts to Maine to get a police job. The odd thing is that some minority officers did get top scores but people still think they got their jobs due to affirmative action.

I hope this helps you understand things on the septic side of the pond.

(note: I finally understand the rhyming slang origin of the term "septic", I am now trying to think of words that rhyme with "Brit")
 
#8
DavidBOC said:
Affirmative Action is real and all government agencies have affirmative action officers to ensure rules are complied with. Much of the problem in law enforcement agencies came as a result of court decrees in lawsuits. In my community there was a decree that 1 out of every 3 new officers had to be minority until a certain percentage of minorities in the department was reached. A white applicant with a score of 100 or 99 out of a 100 would get in but a white applicant with about a 97 or below would not be hired when minority officers with scores as low as 72 were appointed. Fire department exam process was the same. A cousin of mine with a B.S. degree in criminal justice had to move from Massachusetts to Maine to get a police job. The odd thing is that some minority officers did get top scores but people still think they got their jobs due to affirmative action.

I hope this helps you understand things on the septic side of the pond.

(note: I finally understand the rhyming slang origin of the term "septic", I am now trying to think of words that rhyme with "Brit")
Right, so "affirmative action" is a prettier name for "positive discrimination"?! Which in effect is the same old racial discrimination, only this time against white people which makes it OK... Racism as an official policy of a democratic state! Parapauk, isn't democracy great?

Sorry, couldn't help it.
 
#9
DavidBOC said:
(note: I finally understand the rhyming slang origin of the term "septic", I am now trying to think of words that rhyme with "Brit")
er....how about sh*t, that rhymes :wink:
 
#10
the extreme side of affirmative action might be practised in south africa now; the best group to be in is a black woman; they get hired for jobs for which they cannot do whilst at the same time, the company hires/uses 2 "advisors" to do the job for her. Then again, it was a south african woman at work who told me this, albeit in a matter of fact way.
 
#11
Of course Bush got the Republican candidacy on sheer merit, just as he got into Yale on the strength of his intellectual brilliance. The Good Old Boy network is just as bad as Aff Act. It's just a different and slightly more transparent form of political corruption.

One of the many problems with the American system is that so many civil service jobs change when the administration changes; jobs go to those who are owed favours, not the most competent.
 
#13
Rosa_Camulodunum said:
Of course Bush got the Republican candidacy on sheer merit, just as he got into Yale on the strength of his intellectual brilliance. The Good Old Boy network is just as bad as Aff Act. It's just a different and slightly more transparent form of political corruption.

One of the many problems with the American system is that so many civil service jobs change when the administration changes; jobs go to those who are owed favours, not the most competent.
You are wrong on civil servants, they do not lose their jobs, from administration changes here in the USA. The ones who lose their jobs are the politically appointed heads of agencies, etc.

This was the very reason that 'civil service' was created.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
David's put his finger on the button. AA degrades respect for minority people who DID achieve advancement on their own merit - since the knee-jerk reaction is 'They only got there because of AA'. Worked examples of AA in action and failing to deliver can be seen in the 'Blair Babes' whose collective track record of bigoted incompetence, and damage to our country, is plain to see - but hey, we must have wimmin Govt ministers, damn the consequences.
 
#15
Rosa_Camulodunum said:
Of course Bush got the Republican candidacy on sheer merit, just as he got into Yale on the strength of his intellectual brilliance. The Good Old Boy network is just as bad as Aff Act. It's just a different and slightly more transparent form of political corruption.

One of the many problems with the American system is that so many civil service jobs change when the administration changes; jobs go to those who are owed favours, not the most competent.
Rosa:

Sorry but wrong on several counts.
Bush 43 graduated from Phillips Academy (a top independent school) and entered Yale well before his father Bush 41 entered politics. His dad was a Yale grad but being a "legacy applicant" to an Ivy is not much help (ask my son!!). At the time Bush 43 applied to Harvard Business Bush 41 was a new, junior congressman from Texas which would not help. What probably did help was that Bush 43 had worked for the family oil business. Harvard Business (and the Kennedy School of Gov't) like applicants with work experience from a variety of fields so the student body has a range of experiences to discuss. I would also note that Bush 43 had a higher grade average at Yale than John Kerry who the media portray as a genius.

As to civil service in the US, persons in civil service jobs do not change with each administration but continue on. That is the purpose of a civil service system, to eliminate patronage. Much (but not all) of the White House staff changes and the Secretary/Under-Sect'y/Ass't Sect'y positions change as well as the top policy leadership of independant agencies usually changes . Given the size of US government, the number of presidential appointments is actually quite small.

Appointments as Ambassadors used to be political plums but increasingly they go to career Foreign Service Officers with the exceptions of the major posts (UN, Court of St James, France) which usually go to experienced political allies.

Just thought it might help to clarify these points
 
#16
Really? David, let's take a look at the Bush Family for a moment...

Yale:
There are legacy kids and there are LEGACY KIDS. Dubya was a 4th Generation Yalie and a 3rd Generation Bonesman (His Bonesman dad at the time was the president- then chairman- of an oil company.) His Great-Great Grandfather (James Smith Bush) helped to found The Wolf's Head society and for 12 years (1944-56) his grandfather served as a member of the Yale Corporation- the principal governing body of the University.

Harvard:
Apart from the family connections (which were essential since his work "experience" mainly revolved around him getting pissed-up) what also helped was that in 1972-73 comparatively very few people were applying to business school. (Law School was another matter, however- and his 1970 application to UT Law was rejected.) Oh, by this time his dad was no longer a Congressman, but Ambassador to the UN- and about to become Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Politics:
Dubya is the Son of a former President, Vice President, DCI, Congressman, UN Ambassador, RNC Chair and Permanent Representative to the PRC. He's the Grandson of a former US Senator who was also a prominent Wall St banker and close friend and business partner of Averell Harriman- Governor of New York, Secretary of Commerce, and Ambassador to the USSR and the UK- a huge Democratic power broker in the 1950s and 60s.

Do you think Dubya would have had a hard time getting good letters of recommendation for college/business school? A business loan? Financial backing? Yes, there are plenty of others in similar positions- Kennedys, Gores, Rockerfellers etc. but seriously, don't sit there with a straight face and try and tell us that arsehole worked his way to the top. He fucked up his presidency just like he fucked up everything else he tried to accomplish in life. He's going to go to his grave knowing that even in his 50s and 60s, he was relying on his parents and his parents' friends to pull him out of the shit.

As for the nature of the US civil service, I think there is a bit of confusion on the part of the Brits. The fact of the matter is that the US civil service is much more politicised than it's British counterpart. It's been a while, but I think there are less than a hundred Ministers of State in the UK Government that are heading up government departments as it's normally only the top couple of echelons that are political appointments. By way of contrast, the Obama Administration is currently trying to fill about 7000-8000 posts because the top 5 or 6 echelons tend to move in and out with the change in boss.

As for Ambassadorships- about 1 in 3 are political appointees in the US. David's right in as much as the plum assignments tend to go to friends, allies and associates of the President. London has only had one career FSO as Ambassador- Ray Seitz who served under Bush 41 and Clinton. This isn't altogether a bad idea. Embassies in Russia, Paris, London etc. have a big staff and the DCM is always an extremely capable FSO, so the chances of the Ambassador being allowed to drop a bollock are minimal. The big advantage is that if the Ambassador is bezzers with the man in the White House, the host country knows that the Ambassador has a line directly to the President without the State Dept getting in the way. Part of the reason why Clinton got so caught up in the NI issue was that the Ambassador to Ireland was JFK's and Teddy Kennedy's sister, Jean Kennedy-Smith, while the warnings of the career FSO-Ray Seitz- in London (and the State Depts) went ignored.

On the other hand, political appointees also get sent to backwaters that the US doesn't really give a monkey's toss about, where they can cause all kinds of havoc and nobody really cares.
 
#17
Barack Obama - Narcissist or Merely Narcissistic?

By Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

(Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Global Politician, Central Europe Review, PopMatters, Bellaonline, and eBookWeb, a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.)

Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist. Granted, only a qualified mental health diagnostician can determine whether someone suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and this, following lengthy tests and personal interviews. But, in the absence of access to Barack Obama, one has to rely on his overt performance and on testimonies by his closest, nearest and dearest.

Narcissistic leaders are nefarious and their effects pernicious. They are subtle, refined, socially-adept, manipulative, possessed of thespian skills, and convincing. Both types equally lack empathy and are ruthless and relentless or driven.

Perhaps it is time to require each candidate to high office in the USA to submit to a rigorous physical and mental checkup with the results made public.

Link

http://www.globalpolitician.com/print.asp?id=5109
 

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