THE POLICY THINKSHOP "Think Together"

Public Policy is social agreement written down as a universal guide for social action. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."

Gay Marriages Get Recognition From the I.R.S. – NYTimes.com

The United States of America today heard from the one state that matters–the federal government, our nation state, regarding fairness and equality for all its citizens under the federal tax code.

“All same-sex couples who are legally married will be recognized as such for federal tax purposes, even if the state where they live does not recognize their union, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.

It is the broadest federal rule change to come out of the landmark Supreme Court decision in June that struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and a sign of how quickly the government is moving to treat gay couples in the same way that it does straight couples.”

MORE via Gay Marriages Get Recognition From the I.R.S. – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Discrimination, Family Policy, Gender, Gender Policy, Intolerance, News, Public Policy, , ,

Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in U.S. homes, even among non-Hispanics | Pew Research Center

Do you speak Spanish?  America, like the rest of the “Americas,” speaks Spanish quite fluently, prevalently and often.  Despite the illusion that North America is monolingual and that being monolingual is somehow more “American,” the truth is that America has been multilingual for hundreds of years prior to the landing of the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, followed by May and Flower–the Mayflower, that is, much later.

The original experience of  the inhabitants of the Southwest, for example, included migration patterns by the native peoples of Central America across the Rio Grande and all the way up into the Dakotas and back.  For over a thousand years, the natives of what much later became North America spoke numerous languages and roamed what would become America.  The first settlement at St. Augustine, you could say, established the continent’s first European language–Español.

St. Augustine was founded forty-two years before the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, and fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts – making it the oldest permanent European settlement on the North American continent.

Today, America’s strong and vibrant Spanish heritage is prospering as many of us feel right at home speaking the original colonial language.  According to the Pew Foundation,

“A record 37.6 million persons ages 5 years and older speak Spanish at home, according to an analysis of the 2011 American Community Survey by the Pew Research Center.

Spanish is, by far, the most spoken non-English language in the U.S. The next most spoken non-English languages are Chinese (with 2.8 million speakers), Hindi, Urdu or other Indic languages (2.2 million), French or French Creole (2.1 million), and Tagalog (1.7 million).

The number of Spanish speakers in the U.S. has grown rapidly in recent decades, reflecting the arrival of new immigrants from Latin America and growth in the nation’s Hispanic population. Today 34.8 million Hispanics ages 5 and older speak Spanish at home.

However, not all Spanish speakers are Hispanic. According to our analysis, some 2.8 million non-Hispanics speak Spanish at home today. That places Spanish at the top of the list of non-English languages spoken by non-Hispanics along with Chinese and ahead of all other languages.

(The U.S. Census Bureau measure of non-English language use captures how many people say a language other than English is spoken in the home but does not capture how well or how often the language is spoken).

Who are the 2.8 million non-Hispanics who speak Spanish at home? Some 59% trace their ancestry to non-Spanish European countries such as Germany, Ireland, England and Italy. An additional 12% say they are of African American descent. Nonetheless, about one-in-five (18%) non-Hispanic Spanish speakers trace their heritage to a Spanish-speaking country. By comparison, among the non-Hispanic U.S. population ages 5 and older, about two-thirds (64%) trace their ancestry to non-Spanish European countries, 13% say their ancestry is African American and 1% trace their heritage to a Spanish-speaking country.

Nine-in-ten (89%) of non-Hispanic Spanish speakers were born in the U.S., a share similar to that for all non-Hispanics ages 5 and older (91%).

The racial composition of non-Hispanic Spanish speakers mirrors that of the U.S. non-Hispanic population. Overall, three-quarters (77%) of non-Hispanics who speak Spanish at home are white, 14% are black, and 9% say they belong to some other racial group. Among the non-Hispanic U.S. population ages five years and older, 76% are white, 14% are black, and 9% are some other race.

Many non-Hispanic Spanish speakers reside in a household where at least one other member is Hispanic. Overall, 26% of non-Hispanic Spanish speakers live in these types of households. By comparison, just 3% of all non-Hispanics ages 5 and older live in such households.

Three-in-ten (28%) non-Hispanics Spanish speakers who are married live with a Hispanic spouse. By comparison, only 2% of non-Hispanics are living with a Hispanic spouse.

When it comes to English proficiency, eight-in-ten (80%) non-Hispanics who speak Spanish at home say they speak English “very well”, 11% say they speak English “well”, and 9% say they speak English “not well” or do not speak English.  This compares with 96% of all non-Hispanics 5 years and older who speak English only or speak it “very well”, 2% who speak English “well”, and 2% who speak English “not well” or do not speak English.”

via Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in U.S. homes, even among non-Hispanics | Pew Research Center.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, consumers, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Discrimination, Education Policy, Education Reform, ethnicity in politics, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Intolerance, Language, Latinos, Medicaid Expansion, New American Electorate, New Electorate, News, Public Health, Public Policy, , , , , , ,

Zimmerman Is Acquitted in Killing of Trayvon Martin – NYTimes.com

Florida justice on trial as the nation watches the justification of profiling and following that led to a senseless killing.

“George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty late Saturday night of second-degree murder. He was also acquitted of manslaughter …”

More via Zimmerman Is Acquitted in Killing of Trayvon Martin – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: African American, Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Discrimination, ethnicity in politics, Guns on our streets, Intolerance, Jurisprudence, Minority Males, News, Parenting, , , , ,

Pentagon chief vows to ‘fix’ military’s sexual assault problem | Reuters

The army has relied mostly on brawn for the greater part of its existence.  Its culture has been shaped by a resilient gender segregation that the dependence on male power has perpetuated.  However, today’s army is increasingly computer and technologically driven–gender may be mattering less and less.  Drones are replacing the boys but the boy culture changes much slower than the technology.  The values and psychology of today’s army boys is tethered to the attitudes which their parents have embedded in them.  Those ties cannot be broken.  They can be mediated by rules and incentives (negative and positive), but they cannot be completely eradicated in the average soldier who joins a tradition of male discipline and aggression honored and admired by the women in their lives and expected by their male heroes.

To be sure, today’s army would look like camp scouts compared to the savage herds that define the  history and origins of war itself.   But it is an uncomfortable place for young heroic women who grew up in an age that promises them equality in all areas of their lives.  Ironically, the fight to change the deep male traditions that form our fighting forces may be more difficult than field combat itself where they can pull a trigger or a button and wipe out a dozen men they may not even get to visualize or even hear.  Such is the challenge for today’s army–we have technological power and intellectual power beyond our enemies but the real enemy our army faces today is our inability to get along as fellow patriotic Americans or simply human beings.  Of course, that is also the reason we go to war against other nations in the first place.

“Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered top military chiefs on Friday to redouble their effort to address the problem of sexual assault, saying the frequency and perceived tolerance of the crime was …”

via Pentagon chief vows to ‘fix’ military’s sexual assault problem | Reuters.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Discrimination, drone attacks, Gender, Gender Policy, Intolerance, News, regulations, Women's rights, , , , ,

Heritage Foundation Cuts Ties to Jason Richwine – from The Atlantic Wire

What do barbie dolls and the Heritage Foundation have in common?  Barbie dolls are to sexism as the heritage foundation is to racism —  they both used to be bastions of each ideology but today they appear increasingly useless and irrelevant.

The Atlantic Wire reports that the Heritage Foundation is running for cover as the facts come out about one Jason Richwine, a former Harvard student who wrote his Ph.D. thesis exploring the presumed intellectual inferiority of Hispanics in America.  The Heritage Foundation used the controversial Harvard former student to publish a recent report arguing about the so called costs of immigration for America.

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank born in the aftermath of the Nixon era when America saw itself through the eyes of a popular media, government and academia largely of European ancestry and xenophobia towards all things not “White” or of European origin.  This world view was forged at a time when civil rights at home and Vietnam abroad crushed the former American dream which was forged in a 1950s America which was being torn asunder by hippie kids and non-White civil rights marchers.

Today the modern expression of these reactionary movements are anti immigration, states rights and anti affirmative action diatribes that fly in the face of the facts of an America that needs every once of talent and muscle from its growing “brown majority.”

Recent demographic reports show that Rodriguez is now the most numerous last name held by new born babies in our country.  Tomorrow is here and the Heritage Foundation seems to be trying to cover the overwhelming historical truth with an increasingly ineffective ideological argument about the size of a broken barbie doll umbrella.

 

“Jason Richwine, co-author of a controversial report from the Heritage Foundation that criticized the potential cost of immigration reform, has resigned from the organization. The resignation follows revelations that Richwine’s college dissertation argued that …”

via Heritage Foundation Cuts Ties to Jason Richwine – Philip Bump – The Atlantic Wire.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Discrimination, ethnicity in politics, ideology, Immigration, Intolerance, Latinos, New Electorate, News, propaganda and spin, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, WeSeeReason, , , ,

Most Muslims in Region Reject Violence Against Civilians – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

The Pew Forum on Religion continues to bring us facts and figures to enlighten our view of the religious world which is often clouded by a sensationalist media and the rose colored lenses of young ambitious journalists trying to move up the career ladder or older ones stuck in yesterday’s phobias and mired in a short and myopic view of a changing modern world where the acts of the few motivate and move the masses through the loud megaphone that is our entertainment driven media establishment…. Read the Pew article and tell us what you think…

“A new Pew Research Center survey report finds high levels of concern about religious extremism among Muslims in the North Caucasus area of Russia and the neighboring Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The survey also finds that few Muslims across the region support the use of violence against civilians in the name of Islam, though there is somewhat more support for suicide bombing and similar violence among Muslims in Kyrgyzstan than in Russia or Kazakhstan.”

via Most Muslims in Region Reject Violence Against Civilians – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, Culture Think, Discrimination, ethnicity in politics, faith-based, ideology, International Relations, Intolerance, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, propaganda and spin, Pundits, Racism, Religion, symbolic uses of politics, WeSeeReason, , , , , , ,

Social policies: Time to scrap affirmative action | The Economist

Affirmative action rears its ugly head once again as the usually intellectually rigorous London Economist magazine publishes an article (link below) making an argument on the deleterious effects of affirmative action policies for beneficiaries, institutions and societies in general.

The main problem with the article is that it sees people of color (or ethnic minorities) as both the “weak classes” and the beneficiaries of these policies.  The article writer fails to understand that a good number of people belonging to the so called “majority” or “white” as the article calls them, are also tremendously disadvantaged and cyclically in poverty by region and sometimes by religious group or region of the country (Catholics compared to Episcopalians and people from the Appalachia region compared to New Yorkers).

The overwhelming majority of people in America are so called “White.”   Poverty is not simply a skin color problem.  Affirmative action is not perfect and plenty of examples can be found of cases in which it is abused or inappropriately taken advantage of.  This does not mean that there’s no need to address historical differences between groups that have experienced circumstances which precluded their development in the educational and business fields, for example.

When  society invests in the children of the poor to ensure that future generations can continue to prosper and contribute to society in greater ways we all benefit.

When specific groups have been locked out for so long that lack of education, sophistication or opportunity defines their relationship to society, then society has a responsibility to address that condition.  Whether we see that “responsibility” as a moral or as a self interested proposition, does not really matter.  The fact is that when societies invest in their citizens they benefit all of society and improve their lot vis a vis other societies who experience the drag and social dislocation caused by an underclass.  The following article in the Economist fails to understand this simple logic.  Read it and tell us what you think?

“ABOVE the entrance to America’s Supreme Court four words are carved: “Equal justice under law”. The court is pondering whether affirmative action breaks that promise. The justices recently accepted a case concerning a vote in Michigan that banned it, and will …”

via Social policies: Time to scrap affirmative action | The Economist.

Filed under: African American, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Discrimination, Education Policy, ethnicity in politics, Feminization of Poverty, Gender, Gender Policy, ideology, Intolerance, Latinos, Minority Males, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, , ,

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,253 other followers

ThePolicyThinkShop @Twitter

Health Alert!

Patriotic Clean, we're headed for deep waters!  It's your choice ...
Conflict at work: Stick to your principles

Conflict at work: Stick to your principles and they will take you far ...

Resources and Latests News: Top Clicks

Who we are:


Public Policy for the rest of us...

Provided by: PolicyABCs

Moderated by: The Policy Think Shop

Categories

We are on Twitter too!

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Recent Posts from our new PolicyABCs Blog: PolicyABCs ... "Thinks with us ..."

We cannot load blog data at this time.

Thank you for visiting. Here are ways you can stay connected to us.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,253 other followers

Goodreads

The ThinkShop promotes connections to all forms of social media to bring you resources beyond what you’ll find in your daily routine…

How Hispanics Describe Themselves

How Hispanics Describe Themselves

Poli Thinkshop

Create Your Badge

Take a "Brain Break" and visit this "fun link" by clicking this image now...

Break for Fun… click video below or have more fun by clicking the pic above…

Policy ThinkShop: Relax, we did the research for you…

Welcome to Policy ABC's ThinkShop, where getting news and public policy analysis is as easy as "A B C."

"The Policy ThinkShop team works hard researching the latests and most interesting news and reports. The resulting links will point you to the original sources so that you can spend as little time as possible getting the most news possible."

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,253 other followers

The Policy ThinkShop

ThinkShop Wordle

The Policy ThinkShop

Public Policy and Culture

Policy ThinkShop Resources

Policy ThinkShop Resources for your policy work

Our experts do the searching and serve up the best resources to help you stay on top of key public policy issues.

Featured Twitter Friend: Health Literacy ABCs

Health Literacy

Twitter Friend: MigrationPundit

Policy ThinkShop: “THINK TOGETHER”

"Policy is codified knowledge that stands as a universal guide for social action. Public policy is shaped by those who know and who act on that knowledge. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."
%d bloggers like this: