Some of the biggest action on the legal/cultural front these days has been coming from America’s institutions of higher learning.
On June 22nd, the US Supreme Court released two decisions concerning the admissions procedures of the undergraduate and law school programs at the University of Michigan.
In Gratz v. Bollinger (the undergrad case), the Court ruled 6-3 that the university’s policy, which automatically allocated 20 points to every minority applicant out of a possible 150 points required to guarantee admission, violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution. But, in Grutter v. Bollinger (the law school case), five of the Court’s justices ruled that the law school was justified in ensuring that a “critical mass” of minority students was admitted to the school, even if that meant that qualified white students with higher scores or grades were excluded.
In her majority opinion, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who cast the deciding vote, argued that the Constitution “does not prohibit the law school’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.”
You will note that it has never been specified just exactly what these “educational benefits” are, other than the welcome lowering of the grading curve resulting from the admission of less qualified candidates. One could argue that a diverse faculty might provide an educational benefit, but even here, that would logically mean a faculty with diverse expertise, rather than diverse ethnicity.
It is somewhat sobering that the 1930’s class warfare tactics of FDR, which morphed into the 1960’s race warfare divide and conquer tactics of the Left, have received a new lease on life from a “conservative” Supreme Court. Such, regrettably, is the power of an idea—diversity—as devoid of reason as it is endlessly proclaimed throughout the land.
Of course, any white student applying to college or professional school could claim status as a “Native American.” No doubt, many so-called whites really do have some Indian heritage, and who could prove otherwise, in any event? If this deception caught on, it would be quite educational and entertaining to see to what extent the colleges would perform Nazi-like investigations of each applicant’s racial background.
If diversity is vital to college life, it is certainly well expressed in the variety of musical titles being downloaded via peer-to-peer networks . Citing decreasing sales, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that it will be going after copyright scofflaws.
“The law is clear, and the message to those who are distributing substantial quantities of music online should be equally clear—this activity is illegal, you are not anonymous when you do it, and engaging in it can have real consequences,” RIAA president Cary Sherman said. “We’d much rather spend time making music than dealing with legal issues in courtrooms, but we cannot stand by while piracy takes a devastating toll on artists, musicians, songwriters, retailers and everyone in the music industry.”
Some clarification is needed here. Sherman was formerly the general counsel of RIAA, and is rather clever at using language. RIAA, representing the record companies, does not, in fact, make any music at all. The music is created by the artists and writers, and the welfare of the music makers is not exactly a priority of the record companies.
As it is, unless a particular recording has incredibly high sales, the artist’s take is surprisingly meager. Most of the money made by the creators is derived from radio airplay royalties, and that is directed toward the writers. For those few bands that use outside material, their main source of revenue is from touring and merchandising. Although the companies must maintain decent relations with the retailers, they have been competing against them for decades with their record clubs, and did all they could to drive the Wherehouse chain—that bought and sold used CD’s—out of business.
Ever since the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 became law, the price of each music CD-R and CD recorder contains a fee to supposedly compensate the creators for lost revenue. The only problem is that no one can seem to find a single artist who has ever received compensation. The money from the blank media is collected by the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (a group that shares office space and employees with the RIAA, but is “not affiliated” with them), while the CD recorder fee goes directly to the RIAA.
During the early days of file-sharing, the companies could have established fee download sites. Instead, they sued mp3.com, collected $158 million, and apparently forgot to compensate their beloved artists and writers. Apple’s iTunes is way too little, way too late, affecting only a tiny percentage of computer users, but the RIAA wouldn’t have it any other way.
The world of music will be much improved when the record companies—rapacious and useless middlemen that they are—simply disappear, allowing the creators to sell their music directly to the public. Likewise, our country will be much improved when the race baiters—rapacious and useless parasites that they are—simply disappear, allowing all the people to actually try to live together in harmony.