Saturday, August 24, 2013

Newest piece at National Review: "Obama’s Racial Imbalance: He professes outrage when there’s little evidence of bias against blacks, but ignores attacks on whites."

My newest piece starts this way:
Racism should make people pretty angry. But for that very reason charges of racism should only be leveled carefully. 
George Zimmerman wasn’t motivated by race in confronting Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, a Hispanic, was himself one-eighth black. The prosecution in his case produced no statements by Zimmerman showing any racial bias. 
Alas, most people didn’t have time to follow the trial’s day-to-day testimony, and obviously didn’t know that. They got summaries presented by the mainstream media. NBC selectively edited a 9-1-1 call to make Zimmerman sound racist. President Obama pronounced the killing as racially motivated, first personalizing the case by comparing Trayvon to a hypothetical son of his, then his younger self, and then suggesting Trayvon was followed because of his race. Naturally, Jesse Jackson claimed the case meant “blacks are under attack.” Martin’s parents surely believed the tragedy was about race. 
Now, race appears central in the recent murder of Australian Christopher Lane in Oklahoma, but the discussion seems to be about almost everything else, especially gun control. . . .

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Newest piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Speeches won't boost economy"

My newest piece starts this way:
President Obama arrives in Pennsylvania today to push up his sagging approval ratings. But he faces a tough sell. According to the latest Gallup poll, his job approval rating on the economy stands at just 35 percent.  
We are more than four years into the "recovery," and one thing is clear: This continues to be by far the worst recovery on record. And that goes for general growth in gross domestic product as well as for job growth.  
While the unemployment rate has fallen from its peak of 10 percent down to 7.4 percent, that doesn't mean many new jobs. People are classified as unemployed only as long as they are actively looking for work. The unemployment rate can thus fall either because people have found jobs or because they have given up looking for work. In this case, about 70 percent of the drop has been because people have given up looking.  
Job growth has been abysmal. Jobs have increased by 2.9 percent in the more than four years since the recovery started, but that is less than a third the job growth seen in the average recovery since 1970, and less than a fourth the growth seen after other severe recessions.  
The number of new jobs hasn't come close to keeping up with the growth in the working-age population, and the percentage of the population working has quickly fallen to a level we haven't seen since the 1970s. 
But a closer look shows the picture is actually even bleaker:  
A stunning 97 percent of the net jobs added this year have been part-time jobs. . . .


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Newest op-ed piece: Gun toting teachers' names must remain private

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:

Are people safer if criminals know who is carrying concealed handguns? Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel seems to think so. 
With school starting soon, he claims that if the Clarksville, Arkansas School District lets employees carry concealed handguns at school,their names must be made public. This is his second attempt to derail the school district’s proposal.
McDaniel’s demand to publicize the names will greatly limit the protection these employees can offer.
School shooters have a strategic advantage in that they determine when and where to attack.
The alternative of hiring uniformed armed guards is not only costly, with one armed guard costing more than the cost of training and equipping over 20 employees, but also relatively ineffective as they are usually the first victims shot (e.g., see . . . .


Thursday, August 1, 2013

New piece at Fox News: Blacks benefit most from Stand Your Ground laws

Here is part of the discussion from my Fox News piece with my son, Sherwin:
. . . But the debate has everything backwards over who benefits from the law. Poor blacks who live in high crime urban areas are not only the most likely victims of crime, they are also the ones who benefit the most from Stand Your Ground laws. It makes it easier for them to protect themselves when the police can't be there fast enough. Rules that make self-defense more difficult would impact blacks the most. 
Blacks may make up just 16.6 percent of Florida's population, but they account for over 31 percent of the state's defendants invoking a Stand Your Ground defense. Black defendants who invoke this statute to justify their actions are acquitted 8 percent more frequently than whites who use that same defense. . . . 
Those who claim racism as an element of Stand Your Ground laws point to data compiled by the Tampa Bay Tribune. The newspaper examined 112 cases where people charged with murder relied on Florida's Stand Your Ground law, starting with the first cases filed in 2006 up until a week ago. Their "shocking" finding: 71 percent of those who killed an African-American man or woman faced no penalty compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white person. 
Yet, explosive claims of racism require more proof than that.  
For example, just because two people are charged with murder doesn't mean the two cases are identical.  
Using the Tribune data, blacks killed in these confrontations were 13 percentage points more likely to be armed than the whites who were killed, thus making it more plausible that their killers reasonably believed that they had little choice but to kill their attacker. By a 43 to 16 percent margin, the black men and women who were killed were also more often committing a crime. 
Further, there were also more cases with a witness around when a black was killed (69 to 62 percent). . . .