Trump v. the Border-less Left
Seth Barron writes: From illegal aliens who have committed crimes, to all immigrants, to “people of color” generally: the circle of Trump’s victims widens by orders of magnitude in de Blasio’s fantasy of total persecution. Even to ask a question about whether illegal aliens should be regarded in the same way as legal immigrants betrays an “ideological bent”; on the other hand, it is perfectly straightforward to read a legal challenge to sanctuary cities as all-out race war.
“The Left’s favorite cliché: ‘I am a Muslim. I am a Jew. I am Black. I am gay. I am a woman seeking to control her body.'”
The mayor’s expansive definition of victimhood was echoed this weekend by Governor Cuomo, who repeated the Left’s favorite cliché: “I am a Muslim. I am a Jew. I am Black. I am gay. I am a woman seeking to control her body.” This quasi-heroic affirmation of identity with the oppressed fringes of society, powered by anaphora, collapses into intersectional absurdity, and ultimately becomes the lowest form of political pandering, underscored by the repetition of the word “I.”
“This quasi-heroic affirmation of identity with the oppressed fringes of society, powered by anaphora, collapses into intersectional absurdity, and ultimately becomes the lowest form of political pandering, underscored by the repetition of the word ‘I’.”
Last Friday, Trump announced that he would extend and expand the visa restrictions that Obama established in the 2015 Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, impose a 90-day moratorium on travel from seven countries with links to organized terror, and put a halt to the Syrian-refugee resettlement program.
These policies fulfill campaign promises and have been clearly stated as temporary measures in order to make sure that migrants are being accurately screened. Read the rest of this entry »
First Apple and then Google announced that they would use encryption on new phones that wouldn’t permit them to help police execute warrants to examine data on a cell phone or other device.
For City Journal, Judith Miller writes: Law enforcement officials in New York and Washington criticized technology superpowers Google and Apple this week for selling cell phones and other devices that cannot be accessed by the government, warning that such technology jeopardizes public safety.
In his first major policy address, FBI director James B. Comey called on Congress and the Obama administration to counter the expanding use of such devices, which he and other law enforcement officials assert endanger efforts to prevent terrorism and fight crime. Without lawful government access to cell phones and Internet devices, Comey warned, “homicide cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free, and child exploitation victims might not be identified or recovered.”
“Law enforcement officials many legitimate ways to obtain the data stored on our devices. Weakening the security of smartphones and trusted communications infrastructure should not be one of them.”
— Nuala O’Connor, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology
Comey, who became FBI director last year, said that he understood Americans’ “justifiable surprise” at former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. government surveillance practices. Read the rest of this entry »
A Ferguson police officer was shot Saturday night, according to St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Brian Schellman. The officer,
a woman, is still alive, Schellman said…
UPDATE [VIDEO] NEWS 4 KMOV.COM
Ferguson, Missouri, police officer shot, official says
A Ferguson, Missouri, police officer was shot Saturday evening, according to St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman.
The officer was shot in the arm. His injuries are non-life-threatening and he is in the hospital, said Ferguson police spokesman Tim Zoll.
Police said that the officer was shot near the Ferguson community center, an area which has not been the focus of protests over the Michael Brown shooting.
The suspect remains at large, he said.
Police from multiple forces in the area responded to the scene on West Florissant Road, set up a staging area, KMOV reported…(more)
“…Such rhetoric only ensures that more young black men resist legitimate arrests and escalate police encounters into more fateful territory.”
— Heather Mac Donald
UPDATE: ABC News- Associated Press
(still not much information available..developing)
Authorities said a police officer was shot Saturday night in Ferguson, Missouri, the scene of racial unrest in the wake of the August shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.
Tim Zoll of the Ferguson Police Department told KSDK-TV that the officer was shot in the arm. Read the rest of this entry »
The idea that the Ferguson riots were the result of a predatory police force tantamount to sectarian murderers in the Middle East is a poisonous calumny. The threat to America’s blacks comes almost exclusively from other blacks, not from the police.
President Obama has announced to the world that America’s police officers are as disruptive to civil society as Middle Eastern beheaders and Russian-backed rebels.
“Obama is right about one thing: the world did take notice of the Ferguson riots, which were covered obsessively by CNN International, desperate to play up every wisp of alleged racism it could find.”
…Even a local newspaper in Salzburg, Austria, carried a fawning profile of America’s first black attorney general, Eric Holder, and his fight against police racism.
“This last Saturday, a 14-year-old girl was killed on the streets of Paterson, New Jersey, in a drive-by gang shooting. She is the sixth homicide death in the area since a 12-year-old girl was shot in the head while riding a scooter in July…Obama and Eric Holder will have nothing to say about these homicides…”
All the more important, then, for Obama to set the record straight. The idea that the Ferguson riots were the result of a predatory police force tantamount to sectarian murderers in the Middle East is a poisonous calumny. The threat to America’s blacks comes almost exclusively from other blacks, not from the police.
“…In fact, the only government representatives who work day in and day out to stop the black bloodbath are police officers.”
Every year, thousands of African Americans are gunned down by other African Americans, with no attention from the media and local government officials. The homicide death rate for blacks in Los Angeles, for example, like in most other American cities, is ten times that for whites.
“Few are the departments that don’t try to forge bonds with their communities but their officers are still met with resistance, abuse, and hatred from criminals and their associates, and from ordinary people who have been fed a steady diet of anti-police propaganda.”
It’s not whites or police officers who are gunning down black Angelenos, it’s other blacks, killing in cold blood, also at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic homicide commission combined. Read the rest of this entry »
For City Journal, Myron Magnet writes: When a British-educated Muslim terrorist beheads an American journalist to display the sentiments of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria toward the United States; when photos of a Chicago office building and the White House appear on social media with hard-to-deny evidence in the pictures that ISIS is here in our own country with ill intent; when a peace-preaching imam in Canada reports that ISIS is recruiting among his flock; when an experienced U.S. senator warns of ISIS plans to blow up an American city; and when a top ex-intelligence officer cautions that ISIS terrorists have “very likely” entered the United States along with the flood of illegal immigrants surging through our southern border, what would a responsible president do?
[Check out Myron Magnet’s book “The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735-1817“ at Amazon]
Surely, for starters, he would use the National Guard to seal the border with Mexico, as a matter of national security, let alone national sovereignty. He would surely order the Transportation Security Administration to stop at once allowing illegal aliens to board commercial airliners without the usual government-issued identification, as is now reportedly happening routinely, perhaps allowing terrorists to move freely throughout the nation. Read the rest of this entry »
For City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple writes: The French newspaper, Libération, which began as a Maoist publication, waxed indignant recently about Chinese police working alongside French cops in Paris. The article began by reminding readers about a 1974 film, The Chinese in Paris, in which Mao’s army occupied the city, and the army commander, Pou-Yen, set up his headquarters in the Galeries Lafayette. What, asks Libération, are these policemen, who in their own country act as enforcers of a totalitarian dictatorship, doing in the pays des droits de l’homme—“the country of the rights of man,” as the French, with more patriotism than historical accuracy, sometimes call their homeland?
[Check out Dalrymple’s book: “Our Culture, What’s Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses” at Amazon.com]
About 1.5 million Chinese tourists visit Paris each year. The French government hopes to double or triple that number soon. For the moment, at least, most of the tourists pay with cash, which makes them inviting targets for robbers. About 120 bags are snatched daily at the pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre, many—if not most—from Chinese. And the Louvre is only one place they visit. Read the rest of this entry »
For all the world’s problems, human beings have never had it better
For City Journal, Yevgeniy Feyman writes: Bjørn Lomborg is well-known as a climate “skeptic.” He has frequently voiced concerns that money spent battling climate change could shift scarce resources away from more urgent global problems, such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. But the most recent book by the self-proclaimed “skeptical environmentalist” does more than just voice concern; it attempts to evaluate the damage caused by a variety of problems—from climate change to malnutrition to war—and project future costs related to these same issues. In How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World?, Lomborg and a group of economists conclude that, with a few exceptions, the world is richer, freer, healthier, and smarter than it’s ever been. These gains have coincided with the near-universal rejection of statism and the flourishing of capitalist principles. At a time when political figures such as New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and religious leaders such as Pope Francis frequently remind us about the evils of unfettered capitalism, this is a worthwhile message.
[Order the book “How Much have Global Problems Cost the World?: A Scorecard from 1900 to 2050″ edited by Bjørn Lomborg (Cambridge University Press) from Amazon.com
The doubling of human life expectancy is one of the most remarkable achievements of the past century. Consider, Lomborg writes, that “the twentieth century saw life expectancy rise by about 3 months for every calendar year.” The average child in 1900 could expect to live to just 32 years old; now that same child should make it to 70. This increase came during a century when worldwide economic output, driven by the spread of capitalism and freedom, grew by more than 4,000 percent. These gains occurred in developed and developing countries alike; among men and women; and even in a sense among children, as child mortality plummeted. Read the rest of this entry »
Heather Mac Donald: The Supreme Court’s Schuette Decision Exposes the Absurdity of Racial-Preferences JurisprudencePosted: May 8, 2014
For City Journal, Heather Mac Donald writes: In a victory for common sense, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in late April that voters could require colorblind admissions to their state’s public universities without running afoul of the Constitution. Several of the justices arrived at this seemingly self-evident conclusion via tortured routes, however, and Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg rejected it. Their opinions reveal the counterfactual condition of race jurisprudence today, while also unwittingly providing a rationale for knocking down academic racial preferences entirely. Sotomayor’s long, impassioned dissent opens a disturbing window into her racialized worldview and offers an example of what might be called the black-studies-ification of elite discourse.
[See Heather Mac Donald’s book: The Burden of Bad Ideas: How Modern Intellectuals Misshape Our Society at Amazon.com]
The roots of the recent decision, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights . . . By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), were planted in 2003, when the Court upheld the use of racial admissions preferences by the University of Michigan’s law school. Preference opponents responded with a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution, prohibiting Michigan’s government from discriminating against, or according preferential treatment to, any individual or group based on race, gender, or national origin. The campaign over the initiative, Proposal 2, was highly visible and hard-fought, focusing primarily on the measure’s effect on admissions to the state’s public universities. Proponents of preferences, led by BAMN, argued that Proposal 2 would drastically reduce minority enrollment at the University of Michigan and that it was a thinly veiled excuse for racism. Voters rejected those arguments and passed the initiative with 58 percent of the vote in 2006. BAMN then sued to overturn Proposal 2 as unconstitutional. The group lost in federal district court but won in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Proposal 2’s backers appealed to the Supreme Court. Read the rest of this entry »
As the young and entrepreneurial flee, the country struggles to compete and pay for its massive welfare state.
For City Journal, Pascal Bruckner writes: Not long ago, I attended a colloquium of French scientists and philosophers in Corsica, France, called “How to Think About the Future.” With few exceptions, the astrophysicists, economists, physicians, and social theorists on hand offered dark visions of tomorrow. A new financial crisis, water and grain shortages, endless war, a general collapse of ecosystems—we were spared no catastrophic scenario.
A month earlier, as it happened, I had been invited by the environmentalist think tank Breakthrough to San Francisco, where I reflected with a group of thinkers on the Schumpeterian economic idea of “creative destruction” and its application to energy production.
“…dozens of books are published in France affecting the charm of despair. The French don’t like themselves any longer—they’re one of the world’s most depressed populations…”
My experience there was quite different. Three days of vigorous and sometimes tense debates followed among advocates favoring, respectively, nuclear power, shale gas,and renewable energy sources. Defenders of threatened species had their say, too, but no one doubted in the slightest that we had a future, even if its contours remained unclear.
“…Our beloved country, in other words, has been losing not only its dynamic and intelligent young people but also older people with some money. I’m not sure that this social model can work over the long term.”
I recall an observation that Michael Schellenberger, Breakthrough’s president, made in the proceedings: “The United States’ greatest hope at present lies in shale gas and in the 11 million illegal immigrants who will soon become legal, 11 million brains that will stimulate and renew our country.” Such a comment, whatever one’s views on the specific policies that it implied, exhibited a hopefulness completely missing in Corsica—and hard to find in
today’s France, which has outlawed not only the development but even the exploration of possible reserves of natural and shale gas, and which sees every stranger on its soil as a potential enemy. France has become a defeatist nation.
A striking indicator of this attitude is the massive emigration that the country has witnessed over the last decade, with nearly 2 million French citizens choosing to leave their country and take their chances in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the United States, and other locales. The last such collective exodus from France came during the French Revolution, when a large part of the aristocracy left to await (futilely) the king’s return. About a century earlier, almost 2 million Huguenots fled the country, frightened by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which had put Protestants on an equal legal footing with Catholics. Today’s migration isn’t politically or religiously motivated, however; it’s economic.
[Be a hero and check out Pascal Bruckner’s book “The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism“ at Amazon, and other books at Pascal Bruckner’s Amazon Author page]
Philip Seymour Hoffman, R.I.P.
Matthew Hennessey writes: Why is that when a talented and beloved actor dies, the tributes that pour forth always seem to make qualifying references to his or her “generation”? When news raced around the Internet yesterday that Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman had died of an apparent heroin-overdose at the age of 46, there it was again: He was one of the best actors . . . of his generation. It’s hardly fair to the artist—and nearly everyone seems to agree that Hoffman was an artist of rare ability—to imply that he was only one of the better ones to pop up in the last ten or 15 years. Hoffman was much better than that.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was orders of magnitude more talented than the other actors of his generation, who, like the well-known actors of most generations, tend to opt for the obvious over the obscure and a big paycheck over a big challenge. Most actors desire more than anything the respect that comes from making brave choices. But few have the horse sense to distinguish between a brave choice and a boring one. Fewer still have the commitment necessary to deliver on those choices. And almost none have the chops to pull off what Hoffman did in his too-short career. It’s no exaggeration to say that he was one of the greatest film actors of the last 50 years or more.
For City Journal, Heather Mac Donald writes: President Obama has become “acutely” conscious of the “limits of his power,”reports the New York Times, obviously sharing the president’s sense of pathos. Modern-day expectations for government have become so unmoored from common sense that a federal bureaucracy of nearly 3 million employees, erupting daily in mandates and directives, can be portrayed with a straight face as inadequate to the presidency.
[Heather Mac Donald‘s book, The Burden of Bad Ideas: How Modern Intellectuals Misshape Our Society, is available at Amazon]
Leave aside Obamacare and the unilateral Dream Act. In the last few weeks alone, the White House has alerted the nation’s schools that disciplining black students at higher rates than whites will put them at risk of a federal lawsuit and has created a new federal task force to “protect [college] students from sexual assault.” Both initiatives are based on fictions—that black students are no more fractious in the classroom than whites and Asians (despite a homicide rate among black-male teens ten times that of other ethnic groups of the same age combined), and that female college students are experiencing a rape epidemic of unprecedented proportions. Delusional or not, these directives will increase litigation, bloat already gigantic public and private bureaucracies even more, wrench schools and colleges further from their educational mission, and harden the patently counterfactual ideology of victimization.
Typical of all such churnings of the advocacy-government complex, the school-discipline and sexual-assault initiatives are drearily familiar, representing longstanding bureaucratic obsessions. But Obama’s announcement of his overstuffed sexual-assault task force for once did contain something new and noteworthy: a brief invocation of the chivalric ideal. Before examining that break from tradition, it’s worth reviewing the boilerplate that preceded it.
“The political climate here is conducive to growth,” Hart explains as he steers his truck up to the edge of a steep levee. “We are here because so much is going on in this state and this region. With the growth of the petrochemical and industrial sectors, this is the place to be.” Already, some 500 people are working on the project. When completed in 2013, the plant—which is expected to process more than 3.75 million tons of iron ore a year—will create about 150 permanent jobs immediately. Another 150 are expected after a second development phase.
Nucor isn’t alone in coming to Louisiana, or to the vast, emerging region along the Gulf Coast. The American economy, long dominated by the East and West Coasts, is undergoing a dramatic geographic shift toward this area. The country’s next great megacity, Houston, is here; so is a resurgent New Orleans, as well as other growing port cities that serve as gateways to Latin America and beyond. While the other two coasts struggle with economic stagnation and dysfunctional politics, the Third Coast—the urbanized, broadly coastal region spanning the Gulf from Brownsville, Texas, to greater Tampa—is emerging as a center of industry, innovation, and economic growth…
via City Journal
A Columbia panel on Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party doesn’t even pretend to be objective
“…It’s a travesty that such uniformity passes for free inquiry at a leading university, especially at a school aimed at educating young journalists—and the perpetrators of this mis-education are clearly unaware that there’s anything wrong with it. Gitlin, for one, rejects the notion that his panel might be biased, heatedly defending his choices as “serious people” with no ideological agenda. His attitude is summed up by the title of Bernie Goldberg’s splendid follow-up to his best-selling Bias, wherein he examined the mentality of today’s journalistic elites:Arrogance. “These people only talk to one another,” observes Goldberg. “They really don’t care about a Gallup poll, because they don’t care what the American people think. They only care about what their buddies in the media think.”
As it happens, a few days after the symposium, I received a fundraising pitch letter from the J-school (I’m an alum) over the signature of its dean, Nicholas Lemann. “This is still very much Joseph Pulitzer’s school,” it began. “One hundred years after its founding, students learn the craft and the values that he wanted the school to impart, and they fan out all over his city (and, more and more, the rest of the world) to do their own reporting under the supervision of a first-rate faculty.”
Still Joseph Pulitzer’s school? I don’t think so…”
Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong, by Edward Conard Penguin Portfolio, 310 pp., $29.50
“Edward Conard, former managing director of Bain Capital, has a straightforward explanation for why the United States outpaced other nations in generating innovation and wealth in the decades leading up to the financial crisis. It wasn’t the result of rational Americans’ choosing pro-investment policies, he thinks, but rather a cultural accident…”
Read on >> City Journal
- Book Review: Is Edward Conard’s Unintended Consequences a Scary Preview of Mitt Romney’s Economic Policies? (forbes.com)
- Dive Into A Book That Inspired Mitt Romney’s Economic Policies – Unintended Consequences (businessinsider.com)
- Capitalism for Financial Capitalists: How Edward Conard learned to stop worrying and love the financial crisis (city-journal.org)
Romney’s Stock Market Problem
by Nicole Gelinas
One puzzle about this presidential campaign is why more middle-class Americans haven’t embraced Mitt Romney’s most detailed tax proposal: his plan to eliminate all taxes on investment income for those earning less than $250,000 annually.
After all, Americans support innovation and free markets, two Romney planks that should fit well with a tax break for investments. The reason no one seems to care points to why the Romney campaign has struggled.
Romney’s idea is economically sound. First, it would eliminate a huge distortion in the marketplace. Right now, middle-class Americans can reap tax-free investment gains from the sale of their homes. This Clinton-era policy helped encourage people to put too much of their wealth into the residential real-estate market, and we know how that turned out.
Second, it would encourage more Americans—particularly younger Americans, who have never experienced a stock-market boom—to become long-term stock investors, something the economy needs. As Edward Conard, a former Romney colleague at Bain Capital, points out in his new book, Unintended Consequences, too many American investors choose to put their money in debt, rather than in stocks. The rush to “safe” financial instruments such as bonds creates a herd mentality that makes such investments less safe.
Romney’s idea hasn’t caught on, though, because Americans seem uninterested in putting their hard-earned savings into stock investments. And who can blame them? Anyone who reads newspapers can see that the stock market is rigged. Exchanges and other stock-trading venues favor high-speed, high-volume traders over the little guy or gal, as whistleblowers and congressional investigations have made clear. Stock trading is murky rather than clear: the term “dark pool,” Wall Street shorthand for activity that traders don’t want the public to see, says it all. Events such as the May 2010 “flash crash,” which sent the stock market plummeting 1,000 points within minutes for no real reason, have further harmed confidence…
More >> via >> City Journal
- Who’s better for stocks: Obama or Romney? (finance.fortune.cnn.com)