May 15, 2004 Letters

first_img May 15, 2004 Letters Letters Diversity So, the entire Florida Bar is off on the road to diversity. Reminds me of the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby movies of comedic knights — errant on their way to some exotic location, except, of course, that Bob and Bing were a lot funnier than The Florida Bar, and had a better idea of where they were going.The Florida Bar leadership has been in lock-step, tooting its diversity horns and banging its diversity drums for the last 20 years, and the parade has gone nowhere. So, that having failed, they have resolved to try more of the same without even remotely considering whether the underlying premise of their errant efforts is sound. Their underlying premise is that somewhere “out there” there is a vast, untapped pool of “incredibly talented” minorities who are all just dying to become lawyers, except that racism, sexism, homophobia, or some other sort of politically incorrect barrier is thwarting their upward ascendancy to the land of esquiredom and billable hours. The removal of those barriers will open the floodgates to a true egalitarian society where what you do is a lot less important than how you appear to the person viewing you; if you look like each other, justice has been achieved.Would any sane person agitate for a society whose members had to be divided up into racial and gender groupings, and then equally distributed among every trade and profession according to the ratio between any such group and the general population? “I’m sorry little boy/girl, you can’t be an astronaut, we need 3.25 percent more left-handed, Latino lathe-operators to make our society just. Get along to shop class, now.” Sound just a little Orwellian?The simple fact is that there is no such vast pool of legal talent “out there,” anymore than there is a vast pool of potential physicists, chemists, engineers, physicians, accountants, architects, or any other professionals, “out there.” Why does The Florida Bar think differently about the availability of legal talent? Because, it will tell you, lawyers and the law are different. Lawyers and the law are the natural born leaders of society and all its institutions. Only we make a difference, only we can change this pathetic society into something grander, and only we have the vision and judgment to discern grandeur. A cursory glance at the next billboard bearing lawyer advertising should dispel that poppycock.You politically correct “leaders” have it backward. Diversity does not need to be achieved; it is already here and has been since the Twelve Tribes split up. It is not by achieving but by overcoming diversity that progress toward a “juster” society is made. When diverse peoples who recognize the legitimacy of different cultures and values nonetheless come together to achieve a common goal, understanding is reached, respect is earned, and progress is made. When we, by our deeds, return the legal profession to a position of respectability in our society, more kids of every race, creed, and culture may, just may, want to become lawyers. There’s your talent pool. Michael H. Davidson TallahasseeThe Florida Bar Board of Governors apparently doesn’t understand the loss of credibility to reputation by its unimaginative methods for involving women and blacks in this law group. Witness the reported selection process for identifying finalists for a public member seat being vacated by a black woman. Three white males, including a man of Hispanic origin, were deemed to be the best qualified for the position. But what were the qualifications?The Bar News described the three as follows: one approaching my near retirement age is an executive in a title company and bank. Another has extensive government and business experience in Canada, and the third is a native of Cuba who owns a court reporting service and serves on a local grievance committee. Those certainly are formidable qualifications, but for what exactly?I wonder which of them is qualified to address the issue of representation of children so near and dear to the heart of the current Bar president? Which of these white men can address issues of racism and gender bias which arise on occasion or even more often in local courts throughout the state? Which has any experience in hiring and retention of blacks who make up a meager 2 percent of the Bar’s membership? The comparable population in the state exceeds 12 percent.As for the self-congratulatory but failed efforts of board members to “recruit minorities and women into Bar leadership positions on committees and commissions,” the historically and predominantly white males on the board seem unwilling to consider that a hard time is had by all because its own professional makeup reflects adversely on the effort. Simply put, more qualified minorities and women might be attracted if there were more qualified minorities and women on the board to attract them. The new qualified public member does not meet that qualification.But we know Floridians can do the right thing, if pushed to do so. A recent cover of Florida Trend magazine reflects a success story in the Florida Blue Key leadership, an organization in which white males reigned exclusive and supreme years after women and blacks were accepted into the University of Florida, the base of its operations. In the ’70s and ’80s, years after others were doing so, FBK gave grudging if token admission to women and minorities. But it took a major scandal in Gainesville to wake up the university. This year the FBK leadership is all female. Can minorities be far behind?In my younger days. I actually wasted five years of time and money to persuade Florida Bar members who sit as judges that I should not be made to associate with its ilk, in light of historic intolerance to discrete minorities. Older if not wiser 15 years later, I still stand apart from the board’s members who wonder why their Southern charm doesn’t attract, say, people who are not like them. But I smile when I think how little the board has changed despite evidence of increasing diversity elsewhere in Florida.So keep going. Waste your time and money. I no longer care. After all, since the 2000 presidential election, some of us have many more important things on our minds. Gabe Kaimowitz Gainesville May 15, 2004 Letterslast_img read more

Alcohol, tobacco and drug consumption all report increases

first_imgThe Portugal News 21 September 2018Family First Comment:  Drug proponents always quote Portugal as a success story…“The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and illegal psychoactive substances, mainly cannabis, have increased in the last five years in Portugal, according to a study by the Intervention Service for Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD) 2017. The study saw an increase from 8.3% in 2012, to 10.2% in 2016/17, in the prevalence of illegal psychoactive substance use (cannabis, ecstasy, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms and of new psychoactive substances).” The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and illegal psychoactive substances, mainly cannabis, have increased in the last five years in Portugal, according to a study by the Intervention Service for Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD) published earlier this week.According to the 4th National Survey on the Use of Psychoactive Substances in the General Population, Portugal 2016/17, there has been a rise in the prevalence of alcohol and tobacco consumption and of every illicit psychoactive substance (essentially affected by the weight of cannabis use in the population aged 15-74) between 2012 and 2016/17.The study focused on the use of legal psychoactive substance (alcohol, tobacco, sedatives, tranquilisers and/or hypnotics, and anabolic steroids), and illegal drugs (cannabis, ecstasy, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms and of new psychoactive substances), as well as gambling practices.According to the study, alcohol consumption shows increases in lifetime prevalence, both among the total population (15-74 years) and among the young adult population (15-34 years), and among both men and women.Tobacco consumption shows a slight rise in lifetime prevalence, which, according to the report, “is mainly due to increased consumption among women.”The study also saw an increase from 8.3% in 2012, to 10.2% in 2016/17, in the prevalence of illegal psychoactive substance use.READ MORE: read more

Sparks deal for Sun’s All-Star, ESPN analyst Chiney Ogwumike

first_img WNBA, CBS Sports agree to 40-game TV deal Chiney Ogwumike will join former MVP Candace Parker, Alana Beard and Baylor star Kalani Brown — the No. 7 overall pick in this year’s draft. LA is also expected to re-sign point guard Chelsea Gray.The Sparks will open their season on the road versus the Aces on May 26 and then turn around and host the Sun for their home opener on May 31. The Sparks’ roster just got deeper.LA added Connecticut All-Star and former No. 1 draft pick Chiney Ogwumike, the team announced Saturday. Ogwumike, who is also serving as an ESPN analyst released a video on Twitter sharing the news and her thanks to the Sun’s organization and ESPN. “Chiney Ogwumike is one of the most athletic, versatile and efficient frontcourt players in the WNBA,” Sparks executive vice president and general manager Penny Toler said. “Chiney provides us additional inside scoring, rebounding and rim protection. She will be a great addition to our roster.” In the deal, which reportedly includes a 2020 first-round pick, Ogwumike will be reunited with her sister, Nneka. They will become just the second pair of sisters to play on the same WNBA team together, following Kelly and Coco Miller in 2010 for Atlanta Dream.Chiney Ogwumike, a two-time WNBA All-Star, had been plagued with injuries until last season. In her return, she earned her second All-Star bid and averaged 14.4 points and 7.3 rebounds. She finished 2018 shooting 60.3% from the field, the third highest mark in the league. Related Newslast_img read more