Links for 3-10-2009

I found Light-skinned-ed Girl via Acmegirl's blogroll. Lots of good stuff about the process of writing, quotes from writers, and the experience of being biracial. I like her idea about the Oscars for books. That is an awards ceremony I would definitely watch!

Black on Campus has a post about Lisa Jackson, chemical engineer, and head of the EPA, with links to several articles about her. Also check out the post on (Not So) Affirmative Action, wherein names are named of the selective admissions schools who admit Black students at a lower rate than other students. You don't hear the likes of Roger Clegg and David Horowitz complaining about that though, now do you?

Via Urban Science Adventures! I found The Urban Birder. Don't tell Grrl, but until recently I was not very much for birds. My younger sister has been a big fan of birds for a long time, though, and a few years ago she moved to a place where she is not allowed to erect a bird feeder or even have a waterbath for the birds. (I think this sort of restrictive renter's rule should be illegal.) When I was still living in Kansas, I acquired a birdbath and a feeder and pole, and began ministering to the local birds in a haphazard fashion, mostly in honor of my sister who could not feed them. Being the complete bird idiot that I was, I did not realize that it was a bad idea to start feeding the birds for the winter unless you were going to dedicate yourself to tending to them regularly all winter long. So this past winter I invested in more and better feeders, a wider variety of feed, and set myself to a feeder replenishment schedule. And darn if the little birdies haven't captured my heart. My sister gave me a bird book and I have even been using it to identify a few of the creatures who've shown up at my feeder, including the American Goldfinch and the common woodpecker. There's another woodpecker who's come by a few times but I haven't identified what kind yet. Of course I get cardinals, male and female, and there are some sort of largish dove-like creatures that search the ground for feeder-droppings. So I've started putting out a plate of seed for them. (They share with the squirrels.) Mr. Z has taken to calling me Bird Mama. I'm really completely ignorant about birds, except I know that watching them at the feeder gives me pleasure and lowers my blood pressure. And when the folks come from Yellow Springs Farm in two weeks to do my landscape consulting, I'll be asking them to consider how to make the yard more bird-friendly. Wow, this totally turned into a bird post! Here's a picture of the critters at my feeder during the last snowfall we had.

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More like this

Wow! That's a great flock you've got there. I've recently erected a bird feeder in hopes of attracting more to my garden. However, the bird-brains flit around in the surrounding trees acting like they're hungry and they haven't touched the feeder! It's driving me nuts - a friend of ours has so many birds at the feeders on his deck that he can't keep filling them fast enough. I'm going to try moving our feeder to another location (the cats will love watching from the bedroom window), and perhaps getting a different feeder/food.

Dear Zuska: If we saw evidence of antiblack discrimination, we would oppose it just as we oppose any racial preference. Here's what I just posted on the "Black on Campus" website, though: "These rates don't control for relative qualifications (most basically, high school grades and SAT/ACT scores). They also don't control for state residence (which is relevant since many state schools, in particular, give a preference to in-state applicants) or legacy status. Accordingly, these numbers don't tell us much about the role that race plays." Thanks for listening. /s/ Roger Clegg, Center for Equal Opportunity

Dear Roger: You wouldn't recognize evidence of antiblack discrimination if it walked up and hit you over the head, because in your world, such a thing just doesn't exist. You twist words and meanings so as to have virtually defined it out of existence.

So, if these lower admit rates for blacks unable to tell us anything about race, then why get all up in arms when you see higher admit rates for blacks at other schools? Why aren't those admit rates just as meaningless? Seriously, you are only concerned about data when you can bend it to your ideology.

Dear Zuska: When the Center for Equal Opportunity does its studies, we control for these other variables. We never claim to have found discrimination because of differences in simple admit rates. See our website: Also, we don't deny that antiblack discrimination exists; we just think that it's rare in college admissions in particular, and we think that racial discrimination is wrong no matter who the "beneficiaries" (and victims) are. Thanks again for the opportunity to explain our point of view. /s/ Roger Clegg, Center for Equal Opportunity