Thursday, January 19, 2012

Diversity Thursday

This will continue to spread and spread until good people stand athwart its progress and yell, "Stop."

This should be one of these lines.
From: [redacted] [mailto:[redacted]] On Behalf Of Nikki Dell'Ara
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2012 11:14 AM
To: SDCBA Business & Corporate Law Section
Subject: [sdcbabusiness] Fwd: Diversity/Veterans Bar Association Event on January 19th

SDCBA Community Message Sent by: Nikki Dell'ara. To reply privately to Nikki Dell'ara, Click Here

Dear Members,

We are pleased to co-sponsor the following program:

They're Back! Now What?: Diversity and Inclusion of Veterans in the Legal Profession

Ted Gizweski, Senior Counsel at Microsoft and former Marine will provide insights and discussion of current events of veterans returning from active/reserve duty overseas; discuss the basis of veterans as "diverse" members of the legal profession (including the diversity of veterans as ethnic, disabled, and LGBT) and the elimination of bias against veterans; discuss the laws that relate to veteran hiring, employment, and reserve commitments; discuss the benefit of hiring veterans into the legal profession; and provide recommendations for the legal community to increase hiring of veterans and/or the pipeline for veterans in the legal community.

Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

San Diego County Bar Association
Bar Center
1333 7th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Veterans Bar Association; the Ethnic Relations & Diversity Committee of the SDCBA; the Business & Corporate Law Section

EOB CLE Credit cost $15

For registration is open at:

Thank you,

Nikki Dell'Ara & Tristan Higgins
Co-Chairs, Business & Corporate Law Section
I don't know what is worse here:

... insights and discussion of current events of veterans returning from active/reserve duty overseas
That everyone that comes back from deployment is returning - WWII draftee style - to the civilian market? No. Having done this in the last three years, I know the drill; but this just builds on the already high and thick wall of ignorance about what being a veteran is. This archiac understanding is unhelpful.

... discuss the basis of veterans as "diverse" members of the legal profession (including the diversity of veterans as ethnic, disabled, and LGBT)
OK, what are we talking about here? At first glance, it seems that they want to just add having a DD214 as another "Diversity" check in the block. No thank you.

At second glance, it looks more like they are looking for a twofer, almost as if someone with a DD214 is even better if they can help you fill another box to justify your job. We also need to define "disabled." Defined by who, VA? What percentage? If you say 50% VA rating - you know you just covered someone with hemorrhoids, flat feet, tinnitus, and a trick knee. Is that a pile of goo you really want to wade in to? No - so lets give that a pass. LGBT - you are going to ask someone that? So, what if you are a heteronormative, male, caucasian with a DD214, or you less desirable?

...elimination of bias against veterans...
That does exist. I'll discuss my experience over beers with you some time.

Sponsors: Veterans Bar Association; the Ethnic Relations & Diversity Committee of the SDCBA; the Business & Corporate Law Section
Please tell me that the VBA is going to run as fast as possible away from the Diversity Bullies. If not, they are pathetic and worthy of nothing but scorn.


DamnJAG said...


With regard to the VBA running away from the diversity industry, there could be a strategy to the madness. If veterans becomes a special class, then the other classes influence is diluted. Perhaps the strategy is to add so many classes as to make any class worthless. Sort of the "everyone is special, so no one is special" strategy.

I am open to discussion on this...

LT Rusty said...

This sort of thing is a little ridiculous. 

I'll tell you though, I've seen discriminatory employment behavior involving veterans.  I've actually got my current job because of it: my boss was a Vietnamese refugee rescued by the US Navy off the coast, sponsored for immigration and citizenship by a retired USN Captain and his wife, and these days he's a degreed engineer with patents and kids at Stanford.

My job experience and qualifications didn't get me into this job ... my SWO pin did.

I'm not complaining.  For once, being a veteran in California paid off.

Cupojoe said...

This is one of the few times I disagree with you Sal.  I don't think that many would dispute that organizations are better served with people with different viewpoints.  The problem with diversity as we know it are (a) we presume that a different race or gender automatically equals a different viewpoint, and (b) that we are willing to sacrifice merit for the sake of this diversity.

Looking for veterans is neither one of these.  It is a certain life experience that is not related to racial backgrounds (in fact you might have trouble identifying the veterans in a photograph), and you are generally not sacrificing quality by hiring one. 

I do agree that there is subtle discrimination against veterans.  They tend to be older and more assertive (neither of which many corporations like from their workforce), not to mention the negative stereotypes that are attached.  If you're a reservist, the possibility of mobilization is always there.  What employer wants do deal with an employee suddenly leaving for a year when they counted on them to do their share.  Somebody will have to make up for the veteran's absence.

John said...

Lawyers.... that profession alone is enough to deserve heaps of scorn.  Diluting that with diversity just makes it more execrable.

cdrsalamander said...

Back up with me a bit and look at the forest.

You need to look at this in the context of popular-front political maneouvering.  Diversity is a Cultural Marxist construct, and as such it uses many of the Marxist methods.  A key to successful popular-front tactics is that when your position is stagnant or weak, you bring on more "acceptable" partners who have more ligitimacy than you do and can tap in to a sector of support you don't already occupy. By their association with you, they have to adopt or at least give a nod of approval to your core concepts.  You use them for what they are needed for, and then continue on with your main effort.

Vet programs have a longer record and a lot of good will.  The Diversity industry wants to tap in to that.  Re-read the email; they showed their hand. I don't know about you - but I am careful who I crawl in to bed with.

DeltaBravo said...

reminds me of a story...

Several years back in the town I lived in (known for it's freaky loopiness) a large contingent of the local chapter of GLBT lawyers had a party on a ferry cruise at the local lake. Which went by a local nude beach.  When the ferry got close to the shore all the lawyers went to the side of the boat closest to the beach to have a better look.  Causing the boat to behave much like the Costa Concordia.  200 lawyers had to be fished out of the lake.  I remember at the time thinking "What do you call 200 GBLT lawyers dumped in the lake?  A good start..."

Grumpy Old Ham said...

<span><span><span>Hmmm...let's check Mr. Gizewski's CV, shall we?     
Theodore M. Gizewski, Senior Attorney, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond,  WA  U.S.A.</span>   
Military:  Lt., U.S. Marine Corps, 1990-1993; Capt., U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1993-1999
Perhaps Mr. Gizewski would elaborate on his recent deployments, which undoubtedly "<span>will provide insights and discussion of current events of veterans returning from active/reserve duty overseas"...</span></span></span></span>

DamnJAG said...

I see your point, Sal. I'm not convinced they are aware of the issues, or if they are simply trying to be do-gooders.

John- remember the comment from my client: "All lawyers are bad, except MY lawyer...especially when I REALLY need him."

Just sayin'

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Wannt LGBT sposta be excluded from "diversity"? 

That didn't take long, did it?

Byron said...

Wonder if he ever heard a shot fired in anger?

The Usual Suspect said...

<span><span><span><span>Theodore Gizewski...</span></span></span></span><span>Theodore Kaczynski...coincidence???</span>

The Usual Suspect said...

<span>In addition to his technology transactional work, Ted is chairman of Microsoft’s legal department’s Diversity Team.  His team consists of more than 70 legal professionals and serves a multitude of national organizations and events focused on promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.</span>

The Usual Suspect said...

microsoft corporation Q3-2011 Bellevue, WA $250 donation to romney for president, inc.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

I believe protocol dictates that I be offended at the perceived insult to Polish people, as you seem to intimate that most Polish people are anti-technology whack jobs or Diversity Nazis. 

But I just can't get too excited about it.

The Usual Suspect said...

It is OK on many levels, I being of thick skin, Polish, German, English, Scandhoovian, and of course, Cherokee descent.  I don't take offense; I give it.

Chris G. said...

I never got that memo. Sorry for slowing down the class...did somebody *actually* say LBGT wouldn't be part of the Diversity parade?

I mean of course we all knew it would be.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

It was as predictable as the tides.   There is money and influence to be gained from self-identifying.  For activists and advocates, it was NEVER, EVER about serving honorably and quietly.  It was about promotion of a cause and pushing an agenda.   And about forcing the Defense Department into the de facto role of being an advocate, as well.

Mission accomplished.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

I like that last line.  Can I steal it and act like I made it up?

The Usual Suspect said...


Retired Jag said...

Thoroughly concur.  It has been my experience that Big Industry is not really particularly interested in Veteran's, it is just popular at the moment, and their purported interest makes them look good in terms of PR.  When you look at most public advertisements for jobs for veteran's it is for landscaping and security guard positions.  I have yet to be convinced that Big Industry is sincerely interested in what Veteran's can bring to the table.  That is their loss.  I think that they worry that Veteran's will not be able to get along with their vast LGBT constituency and that they will have opinions that are not popular in SF or Cambridge.  The civilian work place, even a fairly conservative federal one, can be a shock to people who are used to selflessness, devotion to duty, and suborning personal preferences for the betterment of the larger group or organization.   

Aubrey said...

Retired JAG, you are painting with an awfully big brush there.... You are essentially accusing all businesses in the US of not only being essentially "anti-veteran", but also "pro-LGBT". That seems a foolish argument to even try to make.

LCDRLDO6440 said...