Logic and identity politics are clashing as tech workers openly question the dogma of diversity.
Quartz reported on an internal conflict at Microsoft as employees accused the tech company of discriminating against Asian and white men. The comments were written by an anonymous female Microsoft program manager and have received a perfect storm of both support and condemnation.
She continued by asking “does Microsoft have any plans to end the current policy that financially incentivizes discriminatory hiring practices?” She clarified by then elaborating that what she is criticizing is that “leadership is awarded more money if they discriminate against Asians and white men.”
“I have an ever-increasing file of white male Microsoft employees who have faced outright and overt discrimination because they had the misfortune of being born both white and male. This is unacceptable,” she continued in a later comment.
Microsoft responded that it does not tolerate discrimination of any sort, but that the company values diversity. “Our board and executive leadership team believe diverse and inclusive teams are good for business and consistent with our mission and inspire-to culture,” she professed. “Linking compensation to these aspirations is an important demonstration of executive commitment to something we believe strongly in.”
The problem here is the diversity politics they are espousing are the direct cause of the discrimination accusations. As Quartz observed, this is part of a larger phenomenon among big tech in general:
It is also a powerful glimpse into internal dissent against efforts by the world’s biggest tech companies to increase the number of women and people of color on staff, in the face of criticism that those groups are underrepresented, especially in the leadership ranks.
The unnamed female employee gave some comments that were remarkably conservative in nature,
We MUST immediately cease the practice of attaching financial incentives and performance metrics to ‘diversity hiring’ – as long as we give more money and higher annual reviews explicitly for NOT hiring/promoting white men and Asians, this will continue to be a serious problem at the company.
As Quartz attested, one of the posts written in January had “more than 625 comments, and the other was written on April 4 and had more than 175 comments, according to Microsoft employees who wished to remain anonymous.”
Similar to the massive controversy around former Google employee James Damore, cultural conflicts like this put a company’s priorities against each other.
This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
With vote counting coming to an end in Ukraine’s presidential election, television comic and political newcomer Volodymyr Zelenskiy seems certain to gain a landslide victory over incumbent President Petro Poroshenko in a strong rebuke of establishment politics in the face of a struggling economy and a five-year-old conflict with Russia.
With over 98 percent of the ballots counted in the April 21 second-round vote, Zelenskiy had 73.2 percent, compared with just 24.5 percent for the 53-year-old billionaire businessman, mirroring exit polls.
Zelenskiy has described his candidacy as “a simple man who has come to destroy this system,” in a reference to public perceptions that Ukraine’s politics and society are mired in corruption and nepotism against the backdrop of a draining five-year war against Russia-backed separatists.
Poroshenko, who conceded soon after an early National Exit Poll was released, had cast himself as the candidate capable of blunting Russian aggression.
“I want to say that I am very grateful to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who just congratulated me on my victory,” Zelensky said at a press conference shortly after polls closed in the April 21 runoff. “I thank him. He said that I can count on his help at any time. He acknowledged my victory and my team’s.”
European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on April 22 sent a joint letter of congratulations to Zelenskiy that praised Ukraine’s “strong attachment to democracy and the rule of law.”
“This is a major achievement in the complex political, economic, and security environment, against the backdrop of continuous challenges to Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” the letter stated.
“As president of Ukraine, you can count on the EU’s strong support to Ukraine’s reform path…” it continued. “You can also count on the EU’s continued and steadfast support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt also congratulated the apparent election victor.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also congratulated Zelenskiy and confirmed that “Ukraine is a valued NATO partner,” in a post on Twitter.
Ukrainska Pravda reported that U.S. President Donald Trump had spoken with Zelenskiy by phone to congratulate him.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrote on Facebook that the election showed “a clear demand for new approaches in solving Ukraine’s problems” and said he sees “chances for improving cooperation” between Russia and Ukraine.
After polls closed, Zelenskiy said he intends to bring “new people” into Ukrainian politics, adding that he would turn to Poroshenko for advice “if I need it.” He said he would make personnel announcements “in the near future.”
He said that his top priority as president would be to secure from Russia the release of all Ukrainian prisoners of war and other prisoners and pledged to “reboot” the Minsk process for resolving the conflict in parts of eastern Ukraine.
“Our first task is the liberation of our prisoners,” he said. “I will do everything to get our boys home. All our prisoners, without exception.”
Earlier in the evening, about a minute before the exit-poll result was announced, Zelenskiy strode to the stage at his campaign headquarters with a wide smile and to the theme song from his popular TV show, in which he plays a schoolteacher who accidentally becomes president. He counted down from five…four…three….
At one, the exit-poll figures flashed, suggesting the actor-cum-candidate would become Ukraine’s sixth elected president since it declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
“Thank you, everyone!” Zelenskiy shouted into a microphone as a crowd of supporters cheered and confetti fell.
“We did this together,” he said. “I promise that I will never let you down. And since I am not yet president, I can speak just as a Ukrainian: Let the entire former Soviet Union look at us and see that anything is possible.”
Voters appeared unpersuaded by billionaire businessman Poroshenko’s appeals for a second five-year term to bring a more seasoned political and diplomatic hand to the country’s problems.
In his concession speech, Poroshenko vowed to remain in politics.
“In any political role, I will do my best to counter revanchism and to ensure that Ukraine does not change its course,” he said. “However, the outcome of the election leaves us with uncertainty, unpredictability, and a big question mark on whether the strategic course of Ukraine toward the EU and NATO will be secure and democratic reforms will continue.”
He also called on the international community “to help Ukraine secure its recent achievements and the strategic course of the nation for integration into the European Union and NATO.”
“Please, stay with Ukraine, no matter what,” he said.
During his concession speech, Poroshenko tweeted from his official account that “everything will be fine” and suggested that the common goal of those in power and in opposition was to ensure that Ukraine becomes “a big, successful, European country.”
Five years after street unrest unseated pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych when he spurned closer integration with the European Union, outsiders are hoping for renewed stability in a country that remains a major energy transit route to Europe and a key ally in efforts to keep a resurgent Russia in check.
Zelenskiy won handily across the country, according to the National Exit Poll. It showed him winning 57 percent in western Ukraine, compared to Poroshenko’s 41.3 percent. In central Ukraine, the poll shows Zelenskiy with 70.3 percent and Poroshenko with 28 percent. In the south, Zelenskiy polled 85.4 percent and Poroshenko 13.4 percent. In eastern Ukraine, the preliminary exit poll gives Zelenskiy 87.7 percent and Poroshenko just 11.2 percent.
Zelenskiy won the first round of voting on March 31 with 30 percent of the vote in a field of 39 candidates. Poroshenko took second with 16 percent.
A 41-year-old comic who shot to fame playing an accidental president in a TV sitcom, Zelenskiy joked with reporters as he voted in Kyiv early on April 21 that his wife had put him in a good mood ahead of time by playing him a song by American rapper Eminem.
“Today will be a victory for Ukrainians, a victory for Ukraine,” he said. “We have united Ukraine.”
Asked by RFE/RL what would be his first order of business if elected, Zelenskiy answered, “War and corruption.”
Poroshenko, a 53-year-old chocolate mogul, also cast his ballot in Kyiv early in the day, urging voters to take their decision seriously and praising the conduct of the election.
“I am proud of the way the elections have been organized this year,” Poroshenko told journalists. “Our citizens can freely express their will. Our democratic tradition is protected. This is what characterizes Ukraine as a European state.”
“It’s important to be guided by reason, not laughs,” the president added, saying “it might be funny at first, but pain may come later.”
Pollsters said in the months leading up to the voting that a majority of voters were hoping for dramatic changes after the election.
Outside the Maritime Academy where Zelenskiy voted, Kateryna Chala, the founder of an IT company, told RFE/RL that she had voted for Poroshenko.
Chala said Poroshenko has made mistakes since coming to power following pro-EU unrest and a Russian invasion in 2014 but has put Ukraine on a path toward the West she hopes will eventually lead to membership in the European Union and NATO.
“We have a lot of problems…like high gas prices, [high] prices in the shops…” she said. “I understand it’s not possible to create a miracle and fix everything in just one day.”
Zelenskiy ran his campaign mostly on social media and largely avoided substantial policy discussions, benefiting from Ukraine’s slumping economy, endemic corruption, and fatigue over Kyiv’s ongoing war in parts of eastern Ukraine. Notably, he even sought to crowdsource a possible cabinet.
Some of Zelenskiy’s critics, including Poroshenko, have questioned his ties to the foreign-based Ukrainian oligarch whose TV station airs Zelenskiy’s programs, Ihor Kolomoyskiy.
After an inauguration slated for early June, Zelenskiy and his allies could face an early test in national parliamentary elections in October.
Both Poroshenko and Zelenskiy are widely regarded as pro-Western.
Zelenskiy says he supports Ukraine’s eventual membership in NATO but only if it is approved in a referendum. He has insisted that Russia must return the Black Sea region of Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, and pay reparations.
Zelenskiy has called for direct talks with Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has claimed more than 13,000 lives. In the past, Moscow has rejected such proposals, claiming the conflict was an internal matter for Ukraine and urging Kyiv to negotiate with representatives of the Moscow-backed separatist formations.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled in November 2016 that the war in eastern Ukraine was “an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.”
Opponents of constitutional amendments that could see Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stay in power until 2030 urged people to vote “no” on Monday, the third and final day of a referendum on the proposal.
The amendments would also bolster the role of the military and expand the president’s power over judicial appointments. The constitutional changes were approved by parliament last week.
>> In Sissi’s Egypt, a tweet can make you public enemy number one ■ Sissi wants West to pay for Egyptian brainpower. But its writers cannot return home
While the amendments are expected to be passed in the referendum, observers say the turnout will be a test of Sisi’s popularity, which has been dented by austerity measures since 2016. He was re-elected last year with 97 percent of votes cast.
Sisi’s supporters say he has stabilized Egypt and needs more time to reform and develop the economy. Critics fear changing the constitution will shrink any remaining space for political competition and debate, paving the way for a long period of one-man rule.
Ahmed al-Tantawi, one of a small number of opposition members of parliament, said the referendum was being held against a backdrop of intimidation and “vote buying”.
The electoral commission said on Monday afternoon it had not received any formal complaints so far about any irregularities.
“We can say that the first two days of voting were held under the slogan, the ‘ticket and the cardboard box’,” Tantawi said, referring to reports that grocery boxes were being handed out to people in exchange for casting a vote.
“But there is a chance on the third day of voting for Egyptians, particularly the youth, to return things to their natural course,” he said.
Activists have posted photos on social media that appeared to show white cardboard boxes packed with groceries being handed out to people after they voted.
A Reuters reporter saw some voters receiving vouchers for groceries after leaving a central Cairo polling station, which they then exchanged for packages of cooking oil, pasta, sugar and tea at a nearby charity.
It was not immediately possible to verify who was distributing the food.
When asked about the boxes, Mahmoud el-Sherif, spokesman for Egypt’s election commission, said it was monitoring for any violations. But he added: “The commission has received no notifications or complaints of this kind so far.”
The commission says it has strict measures to ensure a fair and free vote, posting judges at each polling station and using special ink to prevent multiple voting.
If approved, the amendments would extend Sisi’s current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024.
They would also grant the president control over appointing head judges and the public prosecutor from a pool of candidates, and give Egypt’s powerful military the role of protecting “the constitution and democracy”.
Cairo’s streets have been adorned with banners encouraging people to vote, some of them backing a “yes” vote.
Ahmed Maher, a founder of the April 6 Movement, one of the youth groups behind the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, said Egyptians still had a chance to make their voice heard.
“Try to change the result, even by a small ratio,” he wrote in a message posted on social media. “Tell your relatives, friends and acquaintance to go down and say ‘No’.”
Some 61 million of Egypt’s nearly 100 million population are eligible to vote. The result is expected within five days.
Ibrahim Issa last week discussed Islamic terrorism in a monologue on his talk show, which is aired on the American Al-Hurra TV. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports that Issa said ISIS, Al-Qaeda, terror, and extremism will only come to an end if Muslims get rid of the “black triangle”.
This “black triangle”, described by Issa, is comprised of three edges. The first edge is “the undisputed belief, held by Muslims in general, that their past was a dream come true, an age of angels and glory.”
The second edge is the belief held by “most Muslims” that this golden age must be restored.
The third edge is the belief held by “some Muslims” that this past must be restored even at the price of “violence, coercion, cruelty, brutality, swords, and bombs.”
He concluded by saying that the only way to get rid of this triangle is for the Muslims to accept that the past was comprised of both good and bad and to make peace with the fact that “there is no need to restore that past. It is gone.”
“We must live our lives in our times and in our world, according to our renewed understanding of religion,” he said.
Dear Madam or Sir:
I write in response to the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) February 22, 2019 request for comments on its proposed revision of Declaration for Federal Employment Optional Form (OF) 306. The proposed revision would, among other changes, expand reporting requirements related to applicants’ criminal record. Specifically, it would ask applicants to list charges for which they have been placed into a pretrial intervention or other diversionary program. This revision is a change for the worse for three reasons.
First, it works to undermine the purpose of these programs, which is, in part, to keep defendants from undergoing further prosecution and suffering the consequences thereof, including incarceration and long-lasting damage to employment prospects.
Second, it expands the class of workers whose labor market prospects are limited by their criminal record. Recent economics research has shown the remarkable success of “Ban the Box” type measures, which operate to limit reporting requirements related to applicants’ criminal records, in increasing employment and reducing recidivism among workers with such records (Shoag and Veuger, 2019; Yang, 2017). Shoag and Veuger, in particular, show that such policies have increased employment in the highest-crime neighborhoods by as much as 4%.
Finally, this change is out of step with developments in both the private sector and the state and local public sector. Over the past decade or so, more than 30 states, over 150 localities, and major corporations including Walmart, Target, and Koch Industries have implemented policies that restrict inquiries regarding criminal records in the early stage of application procedures (Shoag and Veuger, 2019). The federal government should not diverge from these norms and practices adopted by the rest of society without a more substantive rationale than that offered in the notice of proposed revision, which is merely that it “closes a gap.”
Resident Scholar, Economic Policy Studies
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Shoag, Daniel W., and Stan A. Veuger (2019) “’Ban the Box’ Measures Help High Crime Neighborhoods,” AEI Economics Working Paper 2016-08. (Attached)
Yang, Crystal S. (2017) “Local Labor Markets and Criminal Recidivism,” Journal of Public Economics, 147: 16-29.
Read the PDF of Shoag and Veuger (2019) here.
Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call | Getty Images
The Supreme Court has agreed to rule on whether or not the Civil Rights Act needs further clarification to include LGBT people specifically as a protected class.
What’s the background?
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act “prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.” The question before the Supreme Court now is whether or not this protection for employers against sex-based discrimination already extends to sexual orientation, making it a protected class.
One of the plaintiffs in the cases being brought before the court involves a New York skydiving instructor named Donald Zarda. According to the lawsuit, Zarda told a female skydiving client that he was gay to ease her mind about being strapped to him while skydiving. He claimed he was fired in 2010 for divulging this information after the woman’s boyfriend complained to his employer.
Zarda would later die in a BASE-jumping accident in 2014, four years before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that he had been wrongfully terminated under Title VII.
Along with Zarda’s case, the court will hear the case of a Georgia child welfare services coordinator and a transgender funeral home worker from Michigan, who both attest that they were fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Lower courts have disagreed about whether or not Title VII protections apply in these cases, with the 6th Circuit Court ruling they do, and the 11th Circuit Court ruling that they do not. The Trump administration has also argued that Title VII only applies to discrimination based on birth gender and not orientation or transgender identity.
In addition to answering more general questions about discrimination, this ruling could also determine whether or not religious organizations or business owners have a right to refuse to employ or do business with gay or transgender people on the basis of their personal convictions.
The Supreme Court had refused to hear a similar case in 2017.
These cases are scheduled to be heard when the Supreme Court reconvenes for its next term in October.
Author: Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella is a writer at TheBlaze and Conservative Review. Originally from New Jersey, he stopped by northern Virginia for a few years before finally arriving in Texas. Find him on Twitter: @mikeciandella. You can also contact Mike at [email protected].
The special will also be hosted by progressive darling Jimmy Kimmel.
On May 22, 2019 at 8pm ET, ABC will air a live show called Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All In The Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’ to honor television producer Norman Lear.
As reported by Deadline:
“Woody Harrelson will play Archie Bunker, with Marisa Tomei as wife Edith in the recreation of All In The Family. Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes take the roles of George and Louise Jefferson in the All in the Family spinoff, The Jeffersons.”
The special will also be hosted by progressive darling Jimmy Kimmel.
In 2019, an All in the Family special stinks a mile away. The show as famous in its day for its a portrayal of a conservative father figure as a stodgy, ignorant bigot to the point where the term “Archie Bunker” is used as an insult.
The now 96-year-old television writer Norman Lear is a famous progressive activist who founded the leftist organization People for the American Way. His work has always carried an overt leftist slant.
Bringing back a show with this central narrative dynamic reeks of modern knee-jerk progressive activism. One can probably assume this will be the anti-Roseanne wherein Archie Bunker’s ignorant beliefs will likely be meant to reflect the left’s modern prejudices about the American right.
If comments from ABC Entertainment’s President Karey Burke mean anything it seems this would likely be the mission of the show, as she’s stated that the two series the special will be rebooting are “as culturally relevant today as they’ve ever been.”
As Deadline describes the original show:
“All in the Family shaped political and social conversations in American homes in the post-civil rights era. From 1971 through 1979, the series about conservative working class Archie Bunker, his liberal son-in-law and daughter, and his wife Edith tackled such hot-button topics as women’s rights, racism, and homosexuality.”
We won’t know for sure if this turns out to be the case until next month but it’s fair to say that following the Roseanne debacle, were in the lead actress promoted Trump and subsequently dropped a racial slur on Twitter that resulted in her show being canceled, ABC is likely willing to virtue signal to the far-left for attention.
For reasons I don’t entirely understand, the Daily Caller sent a “fake Michael Moore” to a Beto rally, and the extreme levels of butthurt are seriously cracking me up.
According to Daily Caller:
Michael Moore crashed Democratic presidential primary candidate Beto O’Rourke’s rally in Arlington, Virginia, but the crowd quickly turned on the left-wing documentary filmmaker.
Moore surveyed the crowd looking for free fast food and comments on O’Rourke as attendees met him with boos. The scene escalated when one man took matters into his own hands, literally.
“He just smacked my camera, Beto,” shouted Moore.
“Oh, really big man?” he added.
O’Rourke stopped the rally to address the fracas personally, and it only became more intense from there.
This is trollery of the highest order, but for some reason, I can’t stop laughing.
The Spanish was clearly a nice touch.
Also – the guy in the white hat was TOTALLY high, right? I suppose that’s what it takes to be a big “Beto” fan.
The worst thing you can write on the Internet is “I can see both sides of this” but oh well.
Some righties were annoyed by these tweets yesterday after the Sri Lanka bombings.
“Yeah, we’re actually called ‘Christians,’” sniffed NRO’s Alexandra DeSanctis. “The Pittsburgh shooting wasn’t ‘Shabbat celebrators’ and the New Zealand shooting wasn’t ‘Friday prayer adherents,’” added Karol Markowicz. It figures that the leaders of a secularizing party, committed fanatically to expanding abortion rights, whose taxonomy of victimhood forever places Christians in the role of persecutor despite evidence to the contrary, would choke on frankly identifying them as the victims of a terrorist atrocity. Who the hell ever heard of the term “Easter worshippers” anyway?
Answer: Uh, Fox News did.
That’s an Associated Press headline but Fox obviously had no problem rolling with it. Erick Erickson, a guy not known for looking the other way at leftist affronts to Christianity, kindly encourages everyone to chill out already:
A lot of people, including a few of the politicians who tweeted, only show up to church on Easter Sunday. And while the phrase “Easter worshipper” is not common, it is also not unheard of. Ironically, had Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama not tweeted to express concern for the dead and condemn the attacks, a great many of the people outraged now would have been outraged by their silence.
This is a silly controversy. Conservatives exhaust themselves pointing out how frequently progressives get outraged over minor things on social media and now are doing it themselves. The only people who care already noticed and do not need others to scream about it. It makes conservative complaints about social justice warrior insanity seem cheap.
“Easter worshipper” may simply have been an allusion to the fact that the bombings didn’t merely target Christians, they targeted them on the holiest day of the year, while celebrating the resurrection. If Obama and Hillary had wanted to minimize the Christian angle to the attack, specifically mentioning Easter is a funny way to do it. They could have omitted Easter entirely and just said “people” or “victims.” Which, per Reason, at least one other notable politician did:
This is the right-wing counterpart to that bogus attack last week on Ben Shapiro for acknowledging Notre Dame’s significance of “Judeo-Christian heritage,” notes Reason’s Christian Britschgi. In both cases the objection to anodyne terminology is a proxy for a grand disagreement about how much Christianity should influence western culture going forward. Shapiro’s critics see its influence as largely pernicious, Obama’s and Hillary’s critics see it as largely virtuous. Which is why it’s hard to form a hot take in this case: What do you do if you’re in camp two but wary of picking fights where there’s no evidence of ill intent by camp one? Do you pick that fight to win a point in the grand disagreement or take Erickson’s advice and “Maybe exercise some grace here”? There’s always a new dilemma for culture warriors.
One Border Patrol sector expects to spend around four times as much on basic necessities as more illegal family units descend on the U.S.-Mexico border.
$300,000 was spent on food, formula, diapers and basic medical care by Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector in fiscal year 2018, according to a report by the Washington Examiner. In an indication of how much more agents are forced to spend to care for illegal migrants in its custody, agents in the Yuma Sector have already spent $600,000 on those very same services and items for the current fiscal year — and it’s only halfway over.
Yuma Sector expects to dole out $1.2 million, four times as much as last year, by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. The precipitous rise in costs comes after agents caught 25,000 illegal migrants traveling in family units through southwestern Arizona in the past six months.
(Article Continues Below Advertisement)
“We only have one hospital, and that’s to serve the whole community, which is the whole Yuma County,” Yuma Border Patrol agent Justin Kallinger told the Washington Examiner. “We have snowbird season — our population goes from 100,000 to 200,000. It doubles. Most of that age group still needs medical attention quite a bit. Our ERs [emergency rooms] are stacked already before we start with the illegal aliens we have to take to the hospital.”
Law enforcement agents working across the entire U.S.-Mexico border have seen a monumental uptick in illegal migrants in the past year.
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) announced that their agents have made 418,000 apprehensions this fiscal year to date, a number that already surpasses the 404,142 nationwide apprehensions seen in the entire 2018 fiscal year. A vast majority of the captures are taking place on the southwestern border.
Yuma, one of nine Border Patrol sectors on the southern border, has been hit especially hard.
(Article Continues Below Advertisement)
The mayor of Yuma, Arizona declared an emergency on April 16, begging the federal government to assist his border town with the migrant situation. The very next day, New Mexico’s Otero County declared an emergency and asked the governor to deploy the National Guard and re-open CBP checkpoints.
Unlike years prior, many of the migrants currently reaching the U.S. southern border belong to family units. However, there are rising numbers of “fraudulent families” being detected by immigration enforcement officers. Over 3,000 fraudulent family cases have been identified by Border Patrol within the past six months alone.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected]