Meeting Report - Our Author’s Severe Bias and Slant

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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Meeting Report - Our Author’s Severe Bias and Slant

Post by johnkarls »

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I feel forced to write this report.

Because all of my comments in the exchange of e-mails posted by Solutions under the title of “Bill Clinton and Our 30% Permanent ‘Untouchable’ Under-Caste” in this “Suggested Discussion Outline” section of our website were heartfelt -- but especially --

“We are engaged in classic TRIAGE on a battlefield (for your convenience, “triage” is prioritizing whom you will save since you cannot save everyone). And the children, whose lives can still be transformed, should be the priority!!! ….. But if the Chris Matthews’ and Gwen Ifill’s of the world are ONLY willing to promote the resurrection and enlargement of the Aid For Dependent Children Program, anything would be better than nothing!!!”

And our author was reprehensible by presenting a terribly-biased picture in order to support his call for “the resurrection and enlargement of the Aid For Dependent Children Program” (my characterization of his proposal as stated in the foregoing quotation).


We rarely post meeting reports, but the foregoing explanation is why an exception is being made in this case.

Meeting attendees =

1. Dr. Ted Gurney – Retired U/Utah Biology Professor (and retired expert skier).

2. Dr. Elizabeth “Tucker” Gurney – Retired U/Utah Biology Professor and wife of Ted Gurney (and retired expert skier).

3. John Karls – Self-Proclaimed Expert Skier.

4. George Kunath – retired NYC attorney who regularly participates in our meetings by Skype from his home in NJ (George is a former partner of Yours Truly when George was our worldwide coordinating tax partner on Mobil Oil -- he and I have had a weekly multi-hour gabfest for 28 years, over NYC lunches for 10 years, followed for 8 years by cell phone when I was based in London, and the last 10 years by Skype). And no, George does not ski.

5. Bill Lee – Artist and Art Dealer and Moving Force in the SLC Atheists’ Society though he claims to be only an agnostic (and retired expert skier).

6. Vicky Norton-Strong – retired public school teacher (skiing expertise/history unknown).

7. Claudia Olson – retired public school teacher (skiing expertise/history unknown).

8. June Taylor (aka Utah Owl) – U/U Radiology Research Professor (and still an expert skier).

9. Leslie Urry – Traffic Department Manger & Data Conversion Operator for Telemundo Utah (skiing expertise/history unknown).


His proposal to Resurrect and Enlarge the 60-year Aid For Dependent Children Program (my characterization) which was abolished by Bill Clinton in the middle of his 1996 re-election campaign in order to honor his 1992 campaign pledge to “end welfare as we know it” -- is contained in “Epilogue: Home and Hope” (pp. 293-313).

He argues extensively, both asserting and implying, that our 30% Permanent “Untouchable” Under-Caste which we have studied so often, can be largely mainstreamed if only the parents can be provided with decent housing from which they will not be evicted and the cost of which will not consume the majority of their income.

Digressing momentarily, each time we have studied America’s 30% Permanent “Untouchable” Under-Caste, we have been reminded of the following statistics confronting the 178 “I Have A Dream”® Programs in 51 American inner cities which provided tutoring/mentoring from third grade through high-school graduation with a guarantee of college tuition --

1. SINGLE-DIGIT high-school graduation rates for the class immediately preceding the Dreamer class and the class immediately following the Dreamer class.
2. 99% of children living in single-adult households.
3. 95% of total households headed by a single adult who was a drug addict.
4. 75%-80% of total households headed by a single-adult drug addict who turned over any receipts to the pusher so that the kids had to steal just in order to eat.
5. Virtually-universal recognition by 5-year-old inner-city children that their only realistic career objectives were to be a pimp or pusher, or a girl friend of a pimp or pusher graduating to whore.

So did Matthew Desmond talk much about drug addiction???

Of course not!!!

Because it would have undermined his thesis that providing housing vouchers will enable parents to provide adequately for their children!!!

And all of our attendees seemed genuinely shocked when Yours Truly pointed out that in addition to Matthew Desmond’s small handful of vignettes involving certain individuals who were using drugs, he buried on p. 179:

“Mrs. Mytes was the only adult there [living in a trailer park with 200 residents] who didn’t do drugs or have a history with them.”

And the trailer park was NOT even in Milwaukee’s inner city!!!

So did Matthew Desmond talk much about single-adult households???

Not per se!!!

The reader had to focus on the anecdotes to form an accurate impression!!!

And many, if not most, of the anecdotes related to the trailer park which was NOT even in Milwaukee’s inner city!!!

So did Matthew Desmond talk AT ALL about GANG VIOLENCE???

Not a word that I could find!!!

[And there are no references to gangs in his extensive index!!!]

However, according to a 2014 article in the Milwaukee’s Journal-Sentinel (which won Pulitzer Prizes in 3 of the 6 preceding years) -- Milwaukee’s inner city has one of the nation’s worst gang-violence records and one of the nation’s worst murder records!!!

[The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article will be posted in a “Reply” to this posting -- please see below.]

We have studied many times how inner-city gangs function much like they did in Rogers’ and Hammerstein’s West Side Story to provide protection for their members and the residents of the geographical area comprising their “home turf.”

So it is understandable that Matthew Desmond would “turn a blind eye” to the gang memberships of what were probably many, if not most, of the adults he was describing.

So did Matthew Desmond talk much about insanity???

Not per se!!!

Which caused our meeting to focus for 15-20 minutes on this subject.

Starting with George Kunath’s speculation that when several decades ago America famously emptied out its psychiatric institutions to live as homeless people “on the streets,” that was the cause of virtually all of what Matthew Desmond was describing and, in George’s opinion, Matthew Desmond should have shifted the focus of his book (1) to claim that this was virtually the sole cause and (2) what that implied for trying to solve the problem.

Yours Truly tried to contribute from his 15 years of experience (1976-1991) with Fairfield County CT’s first homeless shelter of which he was the co-founder, and from his 1992-2001 experience researching conditions in the 51 inner cities in which the “I Have A Dream”® Foundation operated as part of his fund-raising responsibilities as the volunteer national IHAD Treasurer (such research accomplished primarily with the “on the ground” assistance of our 178 project sponsors) -- that the percentage of inner-city adults that you or I would consider “insane” as defined as someone who should be institutionalized before America emptied out its psychiatric institutions, was SINGLE DIGITS.

Tucker Gurney immediately volunteered that she had seen national studies that claimed that 40% of inner-city adults are “insane.” And Vicky Norton-Strong immediately Googled a Wikipedia article that she reported to claim that 30%-40% of inner-city adults are “insane.”

June Taylor then began attacking all of the statistics, claiming (like George) that virtually all inner-city adults are “insane.”

Yours Truly was only able to restore order by suggesting that all of the statistics are a function of the problem of how “insane” is defined.

And that society commonly defines being suicidal as “insane” and that Yours Truly has never encountered an inner-city resident, adult or adolescent, who is NOT suicidal, at least in the sense of often thinking about suicide.

And that yes, Fifth Avenue Psychiatrists could probably find something on which to invite 40% of inner-city residents to “take a couch” if the inner-city residents could afford the fees of the Fifth Avenue Psychiatrists.

But that is far from saying that the overwhelming majority of inner-city residents do NOT fight courageously against the circumstances in which they subsist -- AS SO BEAUTIFULLY AND POIGNANTLY DESCRIBED BY MATTHEW DESMOND!!!


So why is my heart so “sad and heavy” about feeling forced to write this report???

Because I agree wholeheartedly with Matthew Desmond that decent housing should be provided for every inner-city resident at a cost which does not exceed 30% of the resident’s income, if any.

And I am fearful that the residents of our inner-city ghettos will probably even see drastic cutbacks in their Food Stamps, rather than an easing of their housing predicaments.

But, if asked, I believe Matthew Desmond would agree that even if the Chris Matthews’ and Gwen Ifill’s of the world could be shamed into caring about the residents of our inner-city ghettos, The Establishment is NOT going to provide all of the resources that are NECESSARY and, therefore, we are engaged in BATTLEFIELD TRIAGE.

Though I am guessing from Matthew Desmond’s proposal, that in the TRIAGE PECKING ORDER, he would rate DECENT INEXPENSIVE HOUSING FOR ALL INNER-CITY RESIDENTS higher than finally, after more than a half century, MAINSTREAMING OUR 30% PERMANENT "UNTOUCHABLE" UNDER-CASTE by transforming SINGLE-DIGIT high-school graduation rates to more than 90% by enclosing an entire inner-city grade in a protective cocoon from third grade through high school graduation -- a protective cocoon in which education and accomplishment are worshipped rather than ridiculed, and inside which the tutors and mentors become SURROGATE PARENTS.

I have the highest respect for the love that virtually all inner-city Moms have for their children -- that even though many, if not most, head single-adult households and struggle with drug addiction, I have never met one during my 25 years of experience with inner cities that did NOT want the best for her children regardless of her ability to provide them with the conditions to succeed!!! If nothing else, her efforts are typically overwhelmed by the inner-city ghetto conditions in which her children are forced to try to survive, and in which they recognize by age 5 that their only realistic career objectives are pusher or pimp, or girl friend of a pusher or pimp graduating to whore!!!

So I'm with Matthew Desmond in wanting "all of the above" -- but if battlefield triage forces a choice, I'm for saving and transforming the lives of the children.

After all, since the Identical Twin Studies have continually and consistently shown over the decades that when our inner-city twins are orphaned before their first birthday and one is adopted by a suburban family, the identical twins adopted by the suburban families develop by adulthood measured IQ's equal to average suburban measured IQ's while their identical twins adopted by another inner-city family develop average inner-city measured IQ's -- America has no excuse for condemning yet another generation of inner-city children to a fate worse than death!!!

Respectfully submitted,

John Karls

Posts: 1709
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Article Referenced Above

Post by johnkarls »

Currently available from

Milwaukee Wisconsin
Journal Sentinel
Pulitzer Prize Winner – 2008/2010/2011
Part of the USA Today Network

Crime: Gang infighting helped fuel 16% increase in Milwaukee homicides -
August and September were deadliest months in 2013

By Ashley Luthern of the Journal Sentinel – 1/2/2014
(Ashley Luthern covers crime and breaking news)

An explosion of violence in August and September — driven in part by gang infighting — led to a 16% increase in Milwaukee homicides during 2013 compared with the prior year.

"We had two dreadful months that drove this significant crime category, and we reacted as quickly as we could and in the ensuing months we had a leveling off of this serious phenomenon," Police Chief Edward Flynn said Thursday in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Milwaukee's total of 106 homicide victims in 2013 is the first time homicides have exceeded 100 since Flynn's tenure began in 2008.

The 2013 total is still fewer than the 122 homicides recorded in 2005, and the 1990s when homicide totals regularly exceeded 100.

Much of the violence occurred in August and September, which saw 21 and 14 homicides, respectively, a result of gang infighting, police officials said Thursday.

"The gangs were not necessarily fighting over gang turf or gang wars," Assistant Chief Kurt Leibold said. "It was over silly neighborhood disputes that erupted into gang violence."

In August, the department developed a list of targets, who weren't necessarily homicide suspects but had intelligence about who associated with whom in the neighborhood. The FBI and Milwaukee Police District 5 Central Gang Task Force led the effort.

"The whole idea was to take them out of the equation, and we've slowly been doing that and you're seeing the violence decrease," Leibold said.

An analysis of 2013 homicides provided by the department Thursday showed that victims and suspects were overwhelmingly male and had median ages of 27 and 25, respectively. Most victims died by gunfire, and many homicides stemmed from arguments or fights.

The majority of homicide victims — 82% — had some relationship with the suspect. Many suspects (89%) and victims (77%) had at least one past arrest by Milwaukee police.

Like Milwaukee, Baltimore and Indianapolis also recorded more homicides this year than in the past several years.

Year-to-year declines were noted in cities such as Detroit and Boston, but none has gathered more attention than Chicago, which went from 503 homicides in 2012 to 415 in 2013.

Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy attributed the drop in homicides to adding officers in high-crime areas, using intelligence to prevent retaliatory shooting, moving more officers from administration to the streets and working with community partners.

Flynn acknowledged that he and McCarthy share similar policing strategies and said he believes Chicago's success is due in large part to turning research from Andrew Papachristos, an associate professor of sociology at Yale University, into action.

Papachristos' work has centered on the "social distance" between homicide victims, finding the closer an individual is to a victim, the greater the risk that individual will become a victim.

"The network analysis (Chicago investigators) were able to achieve in 2013 really enabled them to refine their focus on the right offenders and the right potential victims and to disrupt those networks," Flynn said. "This is something we wanted to do, and now we're hopeful that we have the software that will get us to that place."

The department recently trained investigators on the software and expects to use it regularly in 2014, he said.

Remembering the victims

Evon Young, 22, was the victim of a gruesome gang slaying; Japhet Moore, 14, was killed at a summer party where a gunman opened fire on a crowd. Xavier Melgoza, 18, died after being shot when he tried to stop the theft of two 24-packs of beer from a south side grocery store.

They are just a few of the 106 victims who left families and friends behind this year. The personal toll was not lost on those who gathered for a candlelight vigil Monday night at St. Gabriel Church of God in Christ on the north side.

Marilyn Wilson Shaw spoke on behalf of the victims' families. Her daughter, Marielle Fisher, 27, was one of four people killed when bullets sprayed a street party on July 4, 2008. Fisher was sitting in a car and died from a single shot to her head from an assault rifle.

Time, Shaw said, has not lessened the loss.

"You are members of a club that no one wants to join," Shaw said. "...There's a void in my heart that will never be healed. When they closed my child's casket, I had to trust in the Lord."

The vigil has been an annual community event for more than 20 years, and speakers from faith, political and law enforcement organizations urged greater cooperation across all areas of life.

"We can't depend on police officers and sheriff's deputies and law enforcement. We have to get involved," said the Rev. Moses Fuller, pastor at St. Timothy Baptist Church.

A new initiative between the Police Department and faith leaders is in the works and will include a gun buyback and expanded Cease Fire Sabbaths, Mayor Tom Barrett said.

The mayor said he's confident the Police Department will put its resources where they are most needed based on analysis. He also noted the planned increase in ranks, with 120 more officers to be hired next year in addition to the 50 officers who were retained in 2013 after federal grant funding dried up.

"I am not pleased with the homicide numbers because of the progress we have been making," Barrett said. "They are lower than historic numbers, but I don't like to see the slippage. These are lives. They look like numbers, but they're lives."

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