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Updated: 2016-09-29T20:47:39.214-04:00

 



Cruising the Web

2016-09-29T06:56:04.435-04:00

David French explains how pernicious Hillary's answer about how everyone has implicit bias meaning that we're bigoted and just don't recognize it unless we have help. Like many of the most dangerous progressive ideas, “implicit bias” or “unconscious racism” seems reasonable enough at first glance: Aren’t we all shaped by our environment and upbringing to make snap judgments about people? Aren’t those judgments often wrong? Couldn’t we all use exposure to different cultures and ideas to help us get past preconceived notions and casual bigotries? What could be wrong with that?Indeed, in the debate Monday night, Clinton framed her discussion of “implicit bias” as a malady we all suffer from, telling Lester Holt: “I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police. I think, unfortunately, too many of us in our great country jump to conclusions about each other.” Hillary argued that we need to spend more money on training the police to recognize their biases.Wait. What? If we’re all biased, who’s training whom? Let’s be very clear: When it moves from abstract to concrete, all this talk about “implicit bias” gets very sinister, very quickly. It allows radicals to indict entire communities as bigoted, it relieves them of the obligation of actually proving their case, and it allows them to use virtually any negative event as a pretext for enforcing their ideological agenda.Hillary uses implicit bias to say that the recent police shooting in Tulsa was the result implicit bias.This is extraordinarily irresponsible. How does Hillary possibly know that Crutcher’s shooting had anything at all to do with race? I don’t recall her being in Tulsa that night. There is no “we” about a police officer’s decision to pull the trigger. So why are we talking about collective guilt?Ah, but that’s the magic of “implicit bias” and “unconscious racism.” Skepticism of its existence is proof of its existence, and you can just “know” that Crutcher or Philando Castile or Michael Brown or Keith Scott would be alive today if they had been white. In other words, the very existence of the incident proves the racism. The denials of racism prove the racism. And everyone who’s “keeping score” or “gets it” knows the real truth.Indeed, it is this politicized metaphysical certainty that breeds premature calls for “justice” and for “retraining.” If you don’t believe what the radicals think you should believe, you must be taught to believe something different — on the government’s dime, of course. Hillary wants to fund the retraining, and the NAACP wants to make it mandatory — complete with sanctions if your perceived biases don’t disappear.How will the thought police know the actual police are biased? If they don’t believe the “right” things. Spend any time on campus, in diversity training, or on progressive websites, and you’ll see that disagreement with leftist cultural critiques is all the proof anyone needs of racism and other forms of bigotry. Evidence, experience, and probabilities are completely irrelevant when it comes time to cleanse the mind of “bias.”There are those on the Left who simply refuse to look at a case on the facts. They insist that they have knowledge about the inner lives and motivations of the relevant parties that is unknown even to the parties themselves. They use this alleged knowledge to stoke unrest and violate civil liberties. And they have an ally in Hillary Clinton. She’ll fund all the re-education we need.Shop Amazon Devices - All-New Fire HD 8Shop Amazon Prime Exclusive Phone - Moto G Play $50 OffShop Amazon Devices - All New Echo DotThe Washington Post looks at how Hillary has responded to Bill's infidelities over the years. Sure, her first response is to attack and blame the women. But they interview friends to talk about how painful every episode has been for her. I'm sure they have. No one wants to have a cheating spouse. But it still is annoying to have her pontificating about how we should always believe the[...]



Cruising the Web

2016-09-28T06:40:25.003-04:00

A lot of analysts of last night's debate have been saying that Trump did well in the first part of the debate, but unfortunately for him, there were two other parts of the debate. However, I was not impressed with what he was saying in that first part of the debate. Yes, he was less bombastic and calmer. But a lot of what he was saying was economic nonsense. He was blasting NAFTA and what a terrible deal it was. Simon Lester at CATO wonders if Trump even knows what NAFTA is. Patrick Gillespie factchecks Trump on his claims on NAFTA.Tearing up NAFTA would be "horribly disruptive. The fear would be that we would lose jobs, and we wouldn't regain jobs," says Doug Irwin, a Dartmouth College professor who worked in President Reagan's administration on trade deals. He believes ending NAFTA would hurt U.S. companies that ship products to Mexico and wouldn't guarantee jobs come back.American firms sent $236 billion in goods to Mexico last year, up about 470% from the pre-NAFTA export value in 1993, according to the U.S. Trade RepresentativeMost economists support the deal.While Trump delivered a harsh rebuke of the deal, NAFTA actually passed with bipartisan support. The bill passed in the House of Representatives, 234-200, with 132 Republicans supporting the measure and 102 Democrats supporting it. It passed in the Senate, 61-38, with 34 Republicans and 27 Democrats supporting the deal. It was signed by President Bill Clinton on Dec. 8, 1993. The bill has also been hailed by economists. In 2012, 41 of the world's top economists at the IGM Economic Experts Panel at the University of Chicago agreed that the gains to freer trade are much larger than any costs. Many have agreed that NAFTA's passage did not prompt huge job losses that many detractors had predicted."I'd say NAFTA was an overwhelming success," Sara Johnson, an economist told IHS Global Insight, told NPR.org in 2013. "There are strong, two-way trade flows now."In the January/February issue of Foreign Affairs Magazine, NAFTA was praised for creating "what is today a $19 trillion regional market with some 470 million consumers. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce figures that some six million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico and another eight million on trade with Canada."Sadly, Hillary's lies about her praise of TPP as "the gold standard" for economic deals and her flip-flopping on supporting the deal isn't any better. It's pretty depressing that neither nominee for either party supports free trade.If Trump understood economics and economic history better, he might have been able to refute Hillary's deceptive claim that the Great Recession "was as in large part because of tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off of Wall Street, and created a perfect storm.” As Jack Cashill responds, those factors she just listed had little to do with the recession. In fact, policies by her husband had a whole lot more to do with it. It's a story most economic historians are aware of, but it's a whole lot easier to just blame George W. Bush.To make the racism story line work, the Clintons had to ignore another significant set of data, namely, default rates. A comprehensive HUD study of FHA loans for the years 1992-1999 found that blacks were defaulting more than twice as frequently as whites, and Hispanics were defaulting three times more frequently. If minorities had been held to a higher standard, their default rates should have been lower than whites, not higher. This was obvious.No matter. As early as 1993, HUD began to bring legal action against those mortgage bankers who declined a higher percentage of minorities than whites. In 1995, the Clinton administration put teeth in Jimmy Carter’s 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which had merely “encouraged” financial institutions to “help meet the credit needs of local communities.” Under Clinton, regulators moved from encouraging to strong-arming.The regulators were backed by the street-level bullyboy tactics of the late[...]



Cruising the Web

2016-08-30T18:20:01.912-04:00

Instead of baseless rumors about Hillary's health and parsing her opening a pickle jar on a comedy show, maybe it's time to have independent medical exams of presidential candidates. Then we wouldn't have a ridiculous letter that some doctor wrote out boasting about how Trump would be the healthiest president in history in five minutes while Trump waited in a limo. I really like this idea.The idea of asking candidates to undergo an independent medical review isn’t new; it’s kicked around medical conferences and academic journals for years. But the concept has gained traction this campaign season as conspiracy theories about Clinton’s and Trump’s health have gone viral. Caplan and others argue that a panel of a half-dozen doctors could do a comprehensive workup of the candidates—checking everything from their bloodwork to physical fitness and even mental health—and share a summary that voters could find trustworthy and useful. “They don’t have to get down to psychoanalysis,” Caplan caveats.Here’s the drawback with our current system: We don’t actually know how healthy Clinton or Trump are. Candidates don't undergo any kind of independent examination and they aren’t obligated to release their medical records, either. And what they do share isn’t always the full story, given the risk of political damage. “The things that we’d want to know are the things, unfortunately, that people won't want to reveal,” says internal medicine doctor Connie Mariano.As the White House physician to three presidents, Mariano has seen the rigors of the job up close, and she ticked off the list of conditions that candidates might be tempted to hide. “Mental illness, like being treated for depression. Seizure disorder. If they have cancer—will there be a reoccurrence. Have they ever had a stroke, or heart disease.” Fairly or not, those conditions have been perceived as disqualifying.I'd much prefer some sort of independent panel of doctors than depending on some vague letter released by a doctor friend of the candidate. We wouldn't have to rely on silly accusations telling us to read the internet to diagnose the health of a candidate.So make it like the presidential debates, says NYU’s Caplan: Have an independent, non-partisan commission set the terms. “We trust the fairness of the presidential debates, generally,” he points out. “And at least you’d have everyone looking at the same information, minimizing conflict.”Now Trump is challenging Clinton that they should both release detailed medical records. Why should he wait for her? He should release his records and try to shame her into releasing hers. And she could answer that she's still waiting for his tax returns. But I have to say that I wouldn't trust either of them for the records they release. Summer Event - Soak up Summer - On sale for just a few days moreShop Amazon Devices - All New Kindle 6-inch Office and School SuppliesAndrew Malcolm has some questions to ask Hillary if she ever held a press conference.▪ Violently ousting Moammar Gadhafi was a plan you pressed as secretary of state. Was that really a good idea and example for Iran? He’d given up his nuclear weapons program as requested. Now, Libya lives in lawless chaos with feuding terrorist clans.▪ You heartily supported the hasty withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011. Was that really a good idea given the rise of ISIS in the vacuum? How do you feel about hundreds of thousands of Iranian troops taking their place?▪ Would you repeat Obama’s $400 million hostage ransom deal? How would you patch the wobbly nuclear pact with Iran, given its continued support of global terrorism, seizing of Americans and attempted maritime intimidation of U.S. ships, four times just last week?▪ North Korea expands its nuclear weapons program again, now claiming it can deliver warheads to mainland United States…. Maybe true. Maybe not. What would you do?▪ And China’s militarization of the South China Sea?▪ Now, abo[...]



Cruising the Web

2016-08-29T07:14:02.069-04:00

I haven't seen much about the revised GDP numbers that came out on Friday, but they were pretty dismal. We got revised GDP numbers from the Commerce Department on Friday and the economy actually did slightly WORSE than originally estimated. Growth was 1.1 percent in the second quarter of this year and less than 1 percent for the first six months of 2016. The business sector of the economy has sunk recession territory. Profits are srinking (down 2.4 percent last quarter) so how long can the stock market rise? The consumer is keeping the economy out of negative territory, but that's only because we are spending more than we are earning.How long can that go on? About as long as the housing bubble could inflate without bursting. For years the polls have shown that Americans are hyper-concerned about the economy and job security. That was when the economy was growing at a meek 2 percent. Now at 1 percent, we aren't just treading water, more families are being plunged underwater. This is a topic that the candidates for the presidency should be talking about. Hillary seems to be planning to double down on Obama's failed economic policies: more regulation, more dependence on government-provided jobs, government funding of infrastructure, more taxes, more spending. And who knows what Trump would do on any day. They're both demagoguing on trade. We should be hearing debates on whose plans would be better for the economy. Instead, the campaign seems to just be a cacophony of personal attacks. The Obama administration would like to pretend that the cash settlement they sent the Iranian government was not big deal, as if we normally pay debts of $400 million in cash. But, it turns out that such behavior is as unlikely as you might suspect.A $400 million cash delivery to Iran to repay a decades-old arbitration claim may be unprecedented in recent U.S. history, according to legal experts and diplomatic historians, raising further questions about a payment timed to help free four American prisoners in Iran...."There's actually not anything particularly unusual about the mechanism for this transaction," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said this week of the initial cash payment.But diplomatic historians and lawyers with expertise in international arbitration struggled to find any similar examples.Asked to recall a similar payment of the U.S. using cash or hard money to settle an international dispute, the office of the State Department historian couldn't provide an example.Just another lie from this administration about the transaction. The whole thing stinks.And then the Obama administration tries to tell us that all this is necessary for the improved relationship we are going to have with Iran because of the nuclear deal. We had to pay that ransom in order for the nuclear deal to go through. But, of course, the Iranians don't seem to believe that they have to do anything to maintain this supposed improved relationship. In fact, they seem to be going out of their way to be more confrontational with us.A pair of dangerously close encounters between the Iranian and U.S. navies in the Persian Gulf this week have raised fresh questions about Tehran’s intentions, a year after Obama administration officials hoped the much-touted nuclear deal would moderate the behavior of the Islamic republic and its military.Iran’s military is going to “warn” and “confront” any foreign ships entering its territorial waters, the nation’s top defense official said Thursday, after four Iranian fast-attack craft buzzed the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, and the USS Squall, a coastal patrol ship, fired three warning shots a day later to deter boats under the command of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at the northern end of the heavily trafficked waterway.Pentagon officials called the Iranian craft’s behavior “unsafe and unprofessional,” but the challenges on the high seas point to a bigger diplomatic[...]



Cruising the Web

2016-08-26T07:27:33.586-04:00

Rich Lowry comments on Trump's sudden Kempification. Trump can't even give a clear answer as he twists and changes his positions on immigration from his hard-line position that helped him take the lead in the primaries to one that could have been one that Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio might have enunciated - and with more clarity. Trump is also trying to appeal to African Americans by pointing out to them how little the Democratic Party has done of the past few decades of leading most big cities in the U.S. Trump is hoping to convince people that he's not a racist as he suddenly starts courting African-American and Hispanic voters.Trump is planning trips to urban areas — with stops at churches, charter schools and small businesses in black and Latino communities — and is developing an empowerment agenda based on the economy and education, aides said. Under consideration is an early September visit to Detroit, where retired neurosurgeon and former Republican primary rival Ben Carson would guide him on a tour of the impoverished neighborhoods where he grew up.I'm not sure how many blacks will buy Trump's efforts. Perhaps what he is really after is persuading white college-educated voters that he is not as odious as they seem to think he is. I suspect it's too late for that.Those arguments trying to reach inner-city blacks are an important message. Paul Ryan has been doing this for years, but he does it beneath the radar. Lowry pauses to think of what could have been.Trump's turn is an implicit acknowledgment that the Republican Party can't just be a Trump party and hope to win. It has to have broader reach than working-class whites, and avoid positions and rhetoric that convince people already inclined to believe such things that the GOP is thoughtless and retrograde. In other words, the party needs the likes of Paul Ryan—so scorned by Trump allies—who has invested the time in coming up with a serious anti-poverty policy agenda.If Trump loses, one of the tragedies of the campaign will have been that a more populist Republicanism could, in theory, have won over working-class voters of all races. This is something that should have been a focus of the campaign many pivots ago, if not when Trump first descended his escalator.Summer Event - Soak up Summer - On sale for just a few days moreShop Amazon Devices - All New Kindle 6-inchWhile thoughtful people around the world at horrified by the Turkish government's mass round-ups of anyone they could label as a rebel after the failed coup attempt last month, Joe Biden is not one of them. He's full of praise for the courage that Erdogan has shown in crushing the rebels.Standing at the side of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during an Ankara press conference today, Vice President Joe Biden tried to soothe relations with the Islamist government by slamming last month's coup attempt as "a violent betrayal by a small group of folks who were sworn to defend the very people that they say they care and love.""The attempted coup went to the heart of who your people are -- principled, courageous and committed. And for a people who have struggled so long to establish a true democracy, this was, from my perspective and the president's perspective, the ultimate affront. So my heart goes out to not just the government, but to the Turkish people," Biden said...."I personally, the president personally, the American people stand in awe of the courage of your people," Biden gushed during the press conference. "And we understand, Mr. President, the sensitivities the Turkish people feel about international security. That's why the United States is committed to doing everything we can to help bring justice for all those responsible for this coup attempt while adhering to the rule of law."Reports are that Erdogan has rounded up more than 40,000 people since the coup attempt.Erdoğan's purge since the coup attempt has included basically any secular opponent to his Islamist gover[...]