Thursday, January 27, 2011
FDNY Case Undermines Work Ethic
The Washington Times
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Federal Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis and the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Vulcan Society want minorities hired through a quota system instead of achieving the job on merit ("Justice Department undermines FDNY," Comment & Analysis, Monday). The judge attributed the ruling to the fact that a slightly lower percentage of minorities passed the firefighting entrance exam.
According to a census in 2000, the total proportion of lawyers in New York City was 87 percent white and just 6 percent black. Does this mean the bar exam - the same one that Judge Garaufis passed - is discriminatory as well?
How about medical school or professional sports leagues? Whatever happened to the idea that if you work hard, you can achieve your goals?
The Vulcan Society and Judge Garaufis certainly are working hard to erase any type of honest work ethic.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
We’ve offered groups and individuals who disagree with us the opportunity to address the premise; “Merit Matters is wrong because...” and pledged to post the winning essay on our website and offered a reward of $100 to go to an agreed upon charity to the winner.
Entries were welcome via this website. Our contact information is clearly posted on the left-side margin. At least one of those opposed to our viewpoint has found that information and contacted us more than once.
We also stated back in November (http://meritmattersusa.blogspot.com/2010/11/merit-matters-essay-contest.html) that if no entries were received by mid-January – “The deadline for entries (which may be e-mailed to our website) is January 13th, 2011, the one year anniversary of the ruling by Judge Nicholas Garaufis...” we would post that fact instead and consider that debate won by us – a debate concerning whether standards and equal treatment are important or not.
Apparently, none of the various groups, fraternal organizations, activist lawyers and journalists who oppose us, were able to organize their thoughts on the matter and write them down during the two-month period provided for entries.
While the contest is over, we continue to make our website available as a forum for ANY individual who might believe that the FDNY’s standards should be lowered and that candidates should be judged NOT on their abilities and preparation, but on their skin color and/or gender.
As stated earlier, we have no need, nor intention of censoring opposing viewpoints.
Bring them on!
The charitable donation we offered to the winning essay will still be made. It will go to the Teddy Atlas Foundation, which our attorney, Keith Sullivan is very involved with.
Needless to say, we are disappointed that those who have themselves demanded censorship of articles, ideas and opinions that they disagree with did not avail themselves of this offer to make their case and put their own views forward in a convincing form to those they disagree with.
Perhaps they aren’t confident that those thoughts and opinions could stand up to public scrutiny (we believe their views CANNOT stand up to scrutiny), but in any event, we’ve taken the liberty of crafting one possible essay utilizing some actual quotes from some of those who’ve opposed our view – the comments in bolded parentheses are made by us;
Merit Matters is Wrong Because...
Higher written and physical standards are not necessary because they fail to prove one (higher scoring) candidate is actually better than any of the lower scoring ones. Moreover, such standards, deliberately or not, have been shown to produce an unfair barrier to blacks, females and others. (Actually tests that determine basic reading comprehension and logical skills [basic math] do prove that higher scoring candidates are better qualified than those whose skills in those areas are not as good. This job is fundamentally an information-based job. We are trained in Probie School with voluminous amounts of reading, and subsequently every run we get is based on the ability of the firefighters to read, understand, interpret and logically utilize the written information provided from the Housewatch Teleprinter.)
Besides, there’s no reason for the FDNY to insist on such standards because “fires go out eventually, so it really doesn't matter who fights them”. (The people of the City of New York don’t want fires to go out “eventually”, they want them to be put out as fast and effectively as is possible, hence the poles in all firehouses, the lights and sirens on all our apparatus – ASAP is better than “eventually”.)
Moreover, "we’re not timed at fires...and being timed (faster) doesn’t necessarily make you a better firefighter”. (Really? Then why do dispatchers constantly remind us how long we’ve been operating at a fire. Speed DOES make a difference – a faster response and attack gets water on the fire faster and avoids letting the fire gain more momentum.)
The fact is, “while there is some danger involved in the job, but not nearly as much as people think”. (This is observation is based on what, exactly? Fact is, firefighting is still one of the most dangerous professions in the world, with exceptionally high cancer rates and an incredibly high rate of personnel line-of-duty injuries.)
“The FDNY has been all white, lily white for almost 150 years now, that has to end”. Yes, the truth is that “We just want more black firefighters on the job”, and “we are not averse to the most radical methods of (integrating the FDNY).” Judge Garaufis’ decision makes clear that “Mayor Bloomberg is a new version of George Wallace, who said, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”, because he has deliberately discriminated against blacks by relying on tests that have been known to have a “disparate negative impact on black applicants”. (Given that the City of New York has spent over $20 MILLION on recruitment and numerous initiatives designed to integrate the FDNY, that entire assertion is obviously absurd upon its face.)
Well, judging by that attempt, it’s no wonder our opponents would have a hard time in trying to make a strong, compelling, affirmative argument for their views!
The staff at The Washington Times has been in contact with Merit Matters' President Paul Mannix and has written this editorial and there may be more from this newspaper to come on this issue.
Justice Department Undermines FDNY
Race-based lawsuit over quotas hurts lifesaving mission
Monday, January 17, 2011
The next Merit Matters meeting will be held on Staten Island at the Labetti Post at 390 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305 on Thursday night 7pm - 11pm. (718) 442-9312
There will be an address by President/Deputy Chief Paul Mannix and by Keith Sullivan of Sullivan & Galleshaw LLP and a Q&A at the end of the meeting.
The results of the Merit Matters essay contest ("Merit Matters is wrong because...") will be announced that night.
ALL are welcome!
Friday, January 7, 2011
An arson trial began this week in Yonkers over the death of Yonkers FF Patrick Joyce, the brother of FDNY FF Martin Joyce of L-56.
The UFA has issued a 65-2 encouraging members to attend this trial. The trial will be held at the Westchester County Courthouse at 111 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, 9:30am to 4pm weekdays.
An Official Communication from the UFA
#3 of 2011 • January 4th, 2011
Trial begins Thursday, January 6th from 9:30am-4pm against Rafael Roldan for arson. The trial is expected to last approximately 2 weeks. It will take place at the Westchester County Courthouse located at 111 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in White Plains, NY. Metered Parking can be found at the Galleria Mall (1 block away).
The family has requested available Firefighters to show their support by attending, and to wear a shirt identifying yourself as a Firefighter.
Stephen J. Cassidy
Joseph A. Miccio
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The deadline to submit an entry for the Essay Contest is a week from tomorrow; if you plan to criticize us please do so soon. As of today we have not received any entries which is puzzling because many different groups and individuals are involved in efforts which are in direct opposition to the stated goals of Merit Matters- you'd think at least one of them would eagerly take this opportunity to set us straight. Here's a thought- make it a group project; brainstorm; pool your talents. If no entries are received, the next time someone complains about the posting of ideas and opinions they disagree with the complainer will do so without the credibility of someone who welcomes the exchange of ideas but will instead be seen as someone who demands censorship.
We will announce the winner of the Contest (or the fact that we have won the debate because there were no entries) at our next meeting. Here are the details once again:
Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 7pm
Labetti VFW Post
390 Hylan Boulevard
Staten Island, NY
All are welcome to attend- especially those who disagree with us. Come on down. All will be treated with respect and all opinions will be heard.