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    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #1

    Jun 28, 2007, 12:49 PM
    More SCOTUS decisions
    The Supreme Court ruled today that race cannot be used to decide where students go to school except in limited circumstances, a decision that advocates fear could jeopardize roughly 20 voluntary desegregation plans in Massachusetts.

    By a 5-4 vote, the court struck down voluntary programs adopted in Seattle and Louisville, Ky. to attain racial diversity in public school classrooms.
    Chief Justice Roberts said, "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

    Wasn't that refreshing?

    Clarence Thomas added, "What was wrong in 1954 cannot be right today... The plans before us base school assignment decisions on students' race. Because 'our Constitution is colorblind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,' such race-based decisionmaking is unconstitutional."

    And here I would have thought that was obvious.

    On the other hand...

    Supreme Court OKs retail price fixing by manufacturers
    By David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
    10:43 AM PDT, June 28, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- Manufacturers may set a fixed price for their products and forbid retailers from offering discounts, the Supreme Court said today, overturning a nearly century-old rule of antitrust law that prohibited retail price fixing.

    The 5-4 ruling may be felt by shoppers, including those who buy on the Internet. It permits manufacturers to adopt and enforce what lawyers called "resale price maintenance agreements" that forbid discounting.

    Until today, the nation has had an unusually competitive retail market, in part because antitrust laws made it illegal for sellers or manufacturers to agree on fixed prices. The Supreme Court, in a 1911 case involving Dr. Miles and his patented medicines, had said that price-fixing agreements between manufacturers and retail sellers were flatly illegal.
    It looks like the consumer got screwed on this one...

    Comments?
    shygrneyzs's Avatar
    shygrneyzs Posts: 5,017, Reputation: 936
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    #2

    Jun 28, 2007, 01:45 PM
    And how much are these Justice's paid per minute to make these 25 cent decisions? Yes, the consumer has been screwed on this one.
    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
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    #3

    Jun 28, 2007, 03:52 PM
    I agree with their decision on not allowing race to factor into decisions.

    I for one am against affirmative action. It had a purpose 50 years ago, but not anymore.

    We treat all races equally, and laws that give special treatment to other races just makes the problem worse.

    Education is the way to go, to teach people about tolerance.


    As for the second one, I think they are absolutely nuts. The customers will get screwed royally.
    inthebox's Avatar
    inthebox Posts: 787, Reputation: 179
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    #4

    Jun 28, 2007, 06:41 PM
    First one - agree, common sense
    Based on content of character, merit, qualification rather than
    Appearance.

    Second one ? Does that mean I can't get a "rolex" on the street for $10 - ha ha




    Grace and Peace
    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
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    #5

    Jun 29, 2007, 12:28 AM
    It has been brought to my attention that perhaps I am looking at this with a Canadian perspective and not with an American one.

    Here in Canada, racial discrimination doesn't really happen…well, it does to a degree, mainly with Arabs these days post 9/11. But the whole black/white issue isn't really a huge factor like it is south of the border.

    Furthermore it has been brought to my attention that it is a huge issue in terms of the quality of schools that black's go to versus that of whites.

    Now while I don't know for sure what is true or not, in my opinion, as a Canadian, I stand by the Supreme Courts decision but I understand if some don't.
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,741, Reputation: 342
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    #6

    Jun 29, 2007, 04:49 AM
    Steve

    Juan Williams wrote an editorial in the NY Slimes that acknowledges that the time of Brown V Board of Ed utility has passed.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/29/op...nt&oref=slogin

    It would be much better to find ways to make the under performing school districts more competitive . The truth is that parents would prefer to send children to quality schools in their own neighborhoods .

    In 1990, after months of interviews with Justice Thurgood Marshall, who had been the lead lawyer for the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense Fund on the Brown case, I sat in his Supreme Court chambers with a final question. Almost 40 years later, was he satisfied with the outcome of the decision? Outside the courthouse, the failing Washington school system was hypersegregated, with more than 90 percent of its students black and Latino. Schools in the surrounding suburbs, meanwhile, were mostly white and producing some of the top students in the nation.

    Had Mr. Marshall, the lawyer, made a mistake by insisting on racial integration instead of improvement in the quality of schools for black children?

    His response was that seating black children next to white children in school had never been the point. It had been necessary only because all-white school boards were generously financing schools for white children while leaving black students in overcrowded, decrepit buildings with hand-me-down books and underpaid teachers. He had wanted black children to have the right to attend white schools as a point of leverage over the biased spending patterns of the segregationists who ran schools — both in the 17 states where racially separate schools were required by law and in other states where they were a matter of culture.

    If black children had the right to be in schools with white children, Justice Marshall reasoned, then school board officials would have no choice but to equalize spending to protect the interests of their white children.

    Racial malice is no longer the primary motive in shaping inferior schools for minority children. Many failing big city schools today are operated by black superintendents and mostly black school boards.

    And today the argument that school reform should provide equal opportunity for children, or prepare them to live in a pluralistic society, is spent. The winning argument is that better schools are needed for all children — black, white, brown and every other hue — in order to foster a competitive workforce in a global economy.
    Besides ;the way Brown was enforced was the real problem with the ruling . The case decided that a girl could attend a school near her ;that she could not be excluded due to race. In that aspect it was the right call .It over-ruled a ridiculous activist decision by SCOTUS in Plessy V Ferguson..

    After the Civil War: Plessy v. Ferguson

    Brown banned forced segregation. This ruling bans forced mixing.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~
    I am not an economist so I will defer to what someone like Elliot's with a financial backround opinion . I do not have a firm opinion on the pricing ruling .

    I wonder how this ruling will affect bulk purchasing retailers like Walmart which gets a volume discount on it's purchases and passes it along to the customer. Ah heck ;why should we care about Walmart..?. no one likes them anyway. My guess is that Walmart will still be able to dictate prices to the manufacturer .

    I think we can already look at the costs of price fixing in dairy and the gasoline industry .They are hardly the model of competitive industries.

    The court said that min. pricing was legal if it promotes competition. I need someone to explain to me how fixed prices encourages competition. If I'm a low end retailer with almost no overhead I can turn a profit if I sell products for less than say a huge retail place like Macy's . Why shouldn't I ?

    Until today, the nation has had an unusually competitive retail market, in part because antitrust laws made it illegal for sellers or manufacturers to agree on fixed prices. The Supreme Court, in a 1911 case involving Dr. Miles and his patented medicines, had said that price-fixing agreements between manufacturers and retail sellers were flatly illegal.


    Then again... Harley's are marketed and sold as premium motorcycles and I'm sure that there are many similar high end goods that are marketed specifically towards the high end buyer where pricing agreements have been in place for years . That has not inhibited competition by other brands of motorcycles and I kind of doubt that these pricing agreements were flatly illegal.. There has to be more to this ruling than I understand .
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #7

    Jun 29, 2007, 05:35 AM
    Yes, greatly unloved Wal-Mart will continue to pressure manufacturers and other retailers to keep prices down. The prices most likely to go up will be strong brands, perhaps ones not available now at Wal-Mart. Those consumers not needing the validation of a strong brand name will still be free to buy other brands at competitive prices.

    In some cases I am already choosing to pay a higher price in order to support local retailers. If you buy everything you can at Wal-Mart or Lowe's, eventually you won't have any place to buy the things you can't buy there. The other day when I was buying a bag of Pro Plan, I made a point of thanking the owner of the store for sponsoring a youth baseball team. Check some of the Home and Garden threads and you will find I frequently suggest Ace and other small hardwares.

    The ruling will allow the manufacturers to set a higher price. It will not prevent consumers from choosing not to pay them. Those manufacturers pushing up prices, will lose sales. Those of us believing the free market, will welcome the removal of government interference. Consumers will continue to vote with their dollars.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,284, Reputation: 10853
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    #8

    Jun 29, 2007, 05:58 AM
    "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
    Another feel good slogam that sounds good, but doesn't solve any problems and affects peoples lives in a negative way. But they had to come up with something to replace "seperate but equal" we all know what that was about too!


    Until today, the nation has had an unusually competitive retail market, in part because antitrust laws made it illegal for sellers or manufacturers to agree on fixed prices. The Supreme Court, in a 1911 case involving Dr. Miles and his patented medicines, had said that price-fixing agreements between manufacturers and retail sellers were flatly illegal.
    What a novel way to run the little guys out of the market. Does anyone for one minute think that big business, is promoting competition?? Its always about the money. The big guys can't stand the little guy to make a dollar because they think it's their dollar to begin with.
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,741, Reputation: 342
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    #9

    Jun 29, 2007, 06:28 AM
    Generally people have spoken on matters of segregation . Defacto they prefer it like it or not . You find this not only in middle class white flight ,but also in the black middle class suburbs surrounding major cities of the nation . Now that may indeed be an indictment of human nature ,but it does represent an legitimate choice. Forced integration has been a failed policy. Brown v Board of Ed reversed de jure segregation and was the proper ruling for it's time. Inequities in the quality of education has to be addressed in means beyond forced integration ;a policy that people have demonstrated they reject.
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #10

    Jun 29, 2007, 07:36 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainForest
    We treat all races equally
    I thought that was the point, not treating them differently. :)
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,284, Reputation: 10853
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    #11

    Jun 29, 2007, 07:41 AM
    Inequities in the quality of education has to be addressed in means beyond forced integration ;a policy that people have demonstrated they reject.
    I can only tel you the very sad story of then Govenor Bush yammering on about no child left behind and then point to the 50% dropout rate that Texas enjoys. Put that and the 2 billion dollar surplus the state has, and something smells to me. There is a lot we don't know.
    Now that may indeed be an indictment of human nature ,but it does represent an legitimate choice. Forced integration has been a failed policy.
    The legitimate choice is for those that can afford it, the rest get kicked to the curb. Not just kids get left behind it seems. As far as forced integration, no such thing, as no one gets on the bus with a gun to their heads. They go to get better, just like immigrants. Does the problem start when they get off the bus??
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,741, Reputation: 342
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    #12

    Jun 29, 2007, 07:49 AM
    As far as forced integration, no such thing, as no one gets on the bus with a gun to their heads
    Huh ; I guess you are unfamiliar with all the court ordered integration that was done and the trouble it caused to ultimately achieve nada .

    The legitimate choice is for those that can afford it, the rest get kicked to the curb.
    I'm very sorry to inform you that the Constitution does not guarantee equality of results .
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,741, Reputation: 342
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    #13

    Jun 29, 2007, 08:02 AM
    Steve ; when you have the time read Justice Thomas' concurring opinion starting on page 49 of the opinion .

    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-908.pdf

    Rock on!
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #14

    Jun 29, 2007, 08:03 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainForest
    It has been brought to my attention that perhaps I am looking at this with a Canadian perspective and not with an American one.
    We appreciate all perspectives :)

    Furthermore it has been brought to my attention that it is a huge issue in terms of the quality of schools that black’s go to versus that of whites.
    Well that's the excuse anyway. The responsibility for the quality of public schools lies with the administration... and the parents and students. What I'm about to say is not very politically correct, but then no one can accuse me of ever being very PC because I don't mind saying the things that need to be said. Too many blacks (and others) in this country are trapped in a culture of victimhood instead of taking responsibility for themselves - it's all the white man's fault. Bill Cosby took a lot of heat for going around the country with this message that people didn't want, but needed to hear. I have as much sympathy as the next guy for those in need, but I have no sympathy for people that won't do what it takes, what's within their power to change, and take responsibility for bettering their lives and the lives of their children. If kids don't learn respect, integrity and hard work at home it's difficult to succeed at school and it makes it that much more difficult for those who are there to learn.

    Thanks for your response.
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #15

    Jun 29, 2007, 08:45 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by tomder55
    Outside the courthouse, the failing Washington school system was hypersegregated, with more than 90 percent of its students black and Latino. Schools in the surrounding suburbs, meanwhile, were mostly white and producing some of the top students in the nation.
    And that's the fact that drives them crazy, and the one they seem to want to refuse to deal with because of the racial aspects of it. You can't say black schools are failing - even if they are - because it's racial profiling. That highlights the folly of this anti-profiling nonsense the left demands, just like extra screening for young Arab males in airports. My position is who cares as long as it achieves the desired, beneficial result? If people in those groups don't want to be proifiled then maybe it's time they do something to erase the perception.

    I thought this was very revealing:

    His response was that seating black children next to white children in school had never been the point. It had been necessary only because all-white school boards were generously financing schools for white children while leaving black students in overcrowded, decrepit buildings with hand-me-down books and underpaid teachers.
    Ok, so wouldn't it have been more prudent to attack the problem? If the problem was school districts discriminatory funding practices then address that directly and emphatically while also correctly ruling a student couldn't be excluded because of race. Integration in the hope of equalizing funding was a specious way to achieve the desired result.

    On the second, I hope Elliot weighs in. I can see the pros and cons. For instance, we are the exclusive distributor for a particular fire alarm and extinguisher manufacturer. If they set a reasonable retail price we had to follow it would simplfiy things and we wouldn't have to discount so much. On the other hand it would hamper our bidding on projects that allow an "or equal" in lieu of what's specified. We may have the best extinguishers and state of the art fire alarms, but they're certainly not the most economical. Say you wanted that new Toyota FJ Cruiser, there would be no more shopping for the best deal, but then again it would also prevent a dealer from sticking it to an unwitting buyer. I disagree with the decision but I have doubts it will affect most of us too much. I have no plans on buying my wife a Leegin handbag or shopping for a Louis Vuitton man bag any time soon so they can sell them for whatever they like.
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #16

    Jun 29, 2007, 09:10 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by talaniman
    I can only tel you the very sad story of then Govenor Bush yammering on about no child left behind and then point to the 50% dropout rate that Texas enjoys. Put that and the 2 billion dollar surplus the state has, and something smells to me. There is a lot we don't know.
    There is a lot we don't know, but we do know the dropout rate in Texas is NOT 50% or even close. It was about 50% in Brownsville, a border city, but not statewide:

    For 2005, the most recent figures available from the TEA, 84 percent of Texas students graduated with a full diploma in 2005 while 3.8 percent earned their GED, 7.9 percent continued high after four years and 4.3 percent dropped out.
    50% - 4.3% is not a subtle difference.
    ETWolverine's Avatar
    ETWolverine Posts: 934, Reputation: 275
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    #17

    Jun 29, 2007, 10:06 AM
    I can't believe that I am agreeing with Breyer, Stevens, Souter and Ginsberg against Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Roberts. This must be a first.

    I need to read the entire decision and the dissent before I can really give my opinion. It can be found here:

    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06pdf/06-480.pdf

    But on the face of it, based on the article posted by Steve, I find myself in opposition with the conservative members of the court on this price-fixing issue.

    Kudos to the court on the affimative action ruling, though.

    Elliot
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #18

    Jun 29, 2007, 10:14 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by tomder55
    Steve ; when you have the time read Justice Thomas' concurring opinion starting on page 49 of the opinion .
    In case someone might like to read a few exceprts from Thomas' opinion...

    Disfavoring a color-blind interpretation of the Constitution, the dissent would give school boards a free hand to make decisions on the basis of race—an approach reminiscent of that advocated by the segregationists in Brown v. Board of Educa-tion, 347 U. S 483 (1954). This approach is just as wrong today as it was a half-century ago. The Constitution and our cases require us to be much more demanding before permitting local school boards to make decisions based on race...

    Racial imbalance is not segregation. Although presently observed racial imbalance might resultfrom past de jure segregation, racial imbalance can alsoresult from any number of innocent private decisions, including voluntary housing choices...

    Unlike de jure segregation, there is no ultimate remedy for racial imbalance. Individual schools will fall in and out of balance in the natural course, and the appropriate balance itself will shift with a school district’s changing demographics. Thus, racial balancing will have to take place on an indefinite basis—a continuous process with no identifiable culpable party and no discernable end point...

    As these programs demonstrate, government uses racial criteria to “bring theraces together,” post, at 29, someone gets excluded, and the person excluded suffers an injury solely because of his or her race. The petitioner in the Louisville case received a letter from the school board informing her that her kindergartener would not be allowed to attend the school of petitioner’s choosing because of the child’s race. App. InNo. 05–915, p. 97. Doubtless, hundreds of letters like this went out from both school boards every year these race-based assignment plans were in operation. This type ofexclusion, solely on the basis of race, is precisely the sort of government action that pits the races against one an-other, exacerbates racial tension, and “provoke[s] resent-ment among those who believe that they have beenwronged by the government’s use of race... ”

    Finally, the dissent asserts a “democratic element” to the integration interest. It defines the “democratic element” as “an interest in producing an educational environment that reflects the ‘pluralistic society’ in which ourchildren will live.” Post, at 39.15 Environmental reflection, though, is just another way to say racial balancing. And “[p]referring members of any one group for no reason other than race or ethnic origin is discrimination for itsown sake.” Bakke, 438 U. S. at 307 (opinion of Powell, J.). “This the Constitution forbids.” Ibid.; Grutter, supra, at 329–330; Freeman, 503 U. S. at 494... Simply putting students together underthe same roof does not necessarily mean that the studentswill learn together or even interact... "

    Most of the dissent’s criticisms of today’s result can betraced to its rejection of the color-blind Constitution. See post, at 29. The dissent attempts to marginalize the no-tion of a color-blind Constitution by consigning it to meand Members of today’s plurality.19 See ibid.; see also post, at 61. But I am quite comfortable in the company I keep.
    Rock on! Indeed, it's refreshing to see so much common sense.

    Al-AP's view today in our paper has (naturally) been to highlight the court's right turn and the left's pain. They went so far as to publish a graph of which justices agree with each other and how often.

    Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer shook his head. He rolled his eyes. He even grimaced once or twice as he listened to Chief Justice John Roberts read the majority opinion in the school diversity case on Thursday... He punctuated his words by jabbing his right hand into the air. He told the hushed courtroom three times that the majority was wrong.
    Waaaaa!
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #19

    Jun 30, 2007, 07:13 AM
    Hello its:

    I think it's all bunk. I don't know how you can cure segregation without mentioning race. And, I don't see you can avoid the mention of race if you're going to cure segregation.

    I don't know. I have the answers to all the world's problems, except this one.

    excon
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,284, Reputation: 10853
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    #20

    Jun 30, 2007, 08:23 AM
    If you had dug deeper, you would know that the TEA statistics are under fire for the way they have skewed the numbers to hide the problem of drop out rates, so let me catch you up a bit,
    MySA.com: State Government
    And let me add this to clarify your perception.
    Education Working Paper 3 | Public High School Graduation and College Readiness Rates in the United States
    So the education system is broke, and no amount of busing will fix that, as a lot more must be done to make all schools give students a credible education, and let me clarify another point as the turnover rate for teachers is 50% as of 2006, in Texas, and the ISD's here depends on their funding from the state, and local schools can only administer what the state gives them, and that could use some oversight as well.

    As to the Supreme courts new ruling, for now it only applies to the Seattle and Louisiana school systems specifically, and other districts are already on notice to modify there integration policy, as they must use other factors besides race, to determine the make up of schools in their jursdiction. The ruling fixes nothing, and until they get to the root of he problem, which is economics, not race, the problem will grow, as it has in the past.

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