The EU

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Discrimination in High Ed

For John, BLUFBack in the early 1970s, when the Air Force was sending all of us to "Social Actions" classes, some viewed them as teaching Air Force members how to discriminate.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The College Fix, by the College Fix Staff, 12 JANUARY 2020.

Here is the lede plus three (Note that this is the UK, but I expect it transfers to the US):

A professor of education and social justice at the University of Birmingham says college trainings designed to help minorities advance are ineffective, and may even bolster “white privilege.”

Kalwant Bhopal examined 30 interviews of those who attended programs designed to support BMEs (Black Ethnic Minorities), and found that many believed “structural inequalities” were not sufficiently addressed.

According to Times Higher Education, at present only 80 of the United Kingdom’s 14,000-plus professors are black.

Bhopal, who published her findings in the British Educational Research Journal, said diversity/inclusion programs “benefit higher education institutions rather than contributing to a commitment to inclusion, equity and creating a diverse workforce.”  They also “perpetuate and reinforce white privilege.”

Frankly on this day after the Martin Luther King, Jr, Holiday, it might be time to reflect on if it is time to make generous assumptions about how most of us have a more mature view of race relations.  And to accept that some people just never grow up and thus are abusive of all the people they meet.  At the same time, too much banging of the kettle can become irritating.

Perhaps yesterday's Second Amendment demonstration in Virginia's Capitol, Richmond, can serve of an example of everyone pulling together for the same goal.  Notwithstanding some in the Press billing the demonstration as a "White Supremacist" meeting, it was people of all races and orientations advocating against what they see as proposed new laws that are not only self-defeating, but unconstitutional.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Homelessness in the Big Apple

For John, BLUFWhile Homelessness is not a major issue in Lowell, it is a problem.  Just not the big problem it is out on the Coast, in major cities, or along the Eastern Seaboard, from Boston to DC.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Fox New, by Reporter Emily DeCiccio, 20 January 2020.

Here is the lede plus eight:

New York City’s homeless shelters are overloaded as an estimated 80,000 people sleep in shelters or on the streets, but Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has failed in its attempts to solve the problem -- and other cities are suffering from the Democrat’s policy, according to critics.

In 2017, the city’s Human Resources Administration implemented the Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) program in attempts to take a bite out of the Big Apple’s homelessness crisis.  Kathryn Kliff, an attorney for the Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Rights Project, told Fox News that SOTA was meant to be used as one of many tools for New York City to help homeless people and families get out of shelters and find permanent housing -- often outside the city.

“SOTA is a program that gives families that have a future ability to pay rent, a year's worth of rent upfront to help them get settled,” Kliff said.  “It was created with the idea that once the program ends, they'll take over the rental payments because they have some designated source of income.”

Arianna Fishman, a spokesperson for New York City’s Department of Homelessness (DHS), explained to Fox News that SOTA “provides the extra help needed to get back on the path to permanency and stability through one-time assistance for those households with income that have identified housing, both within and beyond the five boroughs of New York City.”

Kliff added that SOTA has been used for families who may not qualify for other housing vouchers, and is meant to help them move out of shelters because housing in New York City has been so expensive.

The cost of living in Manhattan reportedly was 148 percent higher than the average cost for major U.S. cities in 2019.  The average rent in Manhattan for the month of December 2019 increased by 0.29 percent, from $4,108.24 in November to $4,120.20, according to M.N.S. Real Estate NYC.

David Salvatore, a member of the Providence City Council in Rhode Island, explained that while the concept of SOTA was positive, the implementation was lacking.

“I heard about it through various news outlets,” Salvatore, a Democrat, said.  “It was news to many of us that new residents would be moving in who received a one-year rent subsidy from New York City.”

Fishman noted that the de Blasio administration was in contact with other jurisdictions, but did not indicate whether local governments previously had received a heads-up regarding SOTA.

So, New York City has a major homeless problem.  In fact, their homeless problem is almost the size of Lowell (well, about 75% of Lowell).  And they are dealing with it, in part, by exporting the problem.  They are giving people money to live elsewhere.  Elsewhere, as in not New York City.

The New York City homeless solution is abusive of other political entities and fails to consider the various reasons for homelessness.  Not everyone is homeless because their rent went up but their income didn't.  (And some of that is due to short sighted actions by local governments in the area of zoning and use of incentives to housing builders.)  Some are homeless due to addiction.  Some are homeless due to untreated mental illness.  Some suffer from both.  Some lack the socialization that allows them to be productive members of society.  Some just want the freedom of not being tied down by a home.  There is no one size fits all solution.

On the other hand, there is this about New York City:

Here is the sub-headline:

Approximately half of the luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still unsold.

From The Atlantic (via Apple News), by Reporter Derek Thompson, 16 January 2020.

Here is the lede plus six:

In Manhattan, the homeless shelters are full, and the luxury skyscrapers are vacant.

Such is the tale of two cities within America’s largest metro. Even as 80,000 people sleep in New York City’s shelters or on its streets, Manhattan residents have watched skinny condominium skyscrapers rise across the island.  These colossal stalagmites initially transformed not only the city’s skyline but also the real-estate market for new homes.  From 2011 to 2019, the average price of a newly listed condo in New York soared from $1.15 million to $3.77 million.

But the bust is upon us.  Today, nearly half of the Manhattan luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still unsold, according to The New York Times.

What happened? While real estate might seem like the world’s most local industry, these luxury condos weren’t exclusively built for locals.  They were also made for foreigners with tens of millions of dollars to spare.  Developers bet huge on foreign plutocrats—Russian oligarchs, Chinese moguls, Saudi royalty—looking to buy second (or seventh) homes.

But the Chinese economy slowed, while declining oil prices dampened the demand for pieds-à-terre among Russian and Middle Eastern zillionaires.  It didn’t help that the Treasury Department cracked down on attempts to launder money through fancy real estate. Despite pressure from nervous lenders, developers have been reluctant to slash prices too suddenly or dramatically, lest the market suddenly clear and they leave millions on the table.

The confluence of cosmopolitan capital and terrible timing has done the impossible:  It’s created a vacancy problem in a city where thousands of people are desperate to find places to live.

From any rational perspective, what New York needs isn’t glistening three-bedroom units, but more simple one- and two-bedroom apartments for New York’s many singles, roommates, and small families.  Mayor Bill De Blasio made affordable housing a centerpiece of his administration.  But progress here has been stalled by onerous zoning regulations, limited federal subsidies, construction delays, and blocked pro-tenant bills.

We have a social problem.  And we have a moral problem.  This is a local problem, to be solved locally.  When we get Federal money to solve this problem we are just taking money from one region to help another region.  That is a shifting of burden.  Fixing this problem will involve more than Federal Government (Department of Housing and Urban Development) "Housing First" program.  Mental Health support is needed, as well as help with addiction.  Perhaps of equal importance is helping people change their cultural approach to work, housing and family life.  A problem is that today not everyone sees work as a human good.

In the mean time, all of us need to be supportive of our local government and any non-governmental organization involved in helping the homeless.  Volunteer somewhere.  Attend meetings of your local Hunger and Homeless Commission.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

This Day in History

For John, BLUFThank God there is the Hallmark Channel, including Magnum reruns.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Babylon Bee, 21 January 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

President Trump's historic impeachment trial began today, but nobody noticed as everyone was too excited about Taco Tuesday to care.

"Oh, I guess there's some impeachment thing happen--oh man!  I almost forgot:  it's taco Tuesday!" one man in New Mexico remarked.  "Man, as soon as I get off work, I'm going to get some delicious street tacos for half-off.  I can never decide between the carne asada and the pork.  Ugh--aw, who am I kidding?  I'll get both!"

Similar sentiments were expressed by Americans everywhere as people checked the news and were irritated by another mention of impeachment but then were happy when they remembered it was Taco Tuesday at Mexican restaurants all around the nation.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, January 20, 2020

Knowing What Really Happened

For John, BLUFFreedom requires a certain degree of informational accuracy in order to be effectively exercised.  It seems to me that News institutions have a duty to provide the unvarnished facts.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Twitchy, by Sarah D., 20 January 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

NBC News correspondent Gabe Gutierrez is on the ground in Virginia today to cover today’s gun rights rally. And what he heard will shock you:

[Then the article cuts to the Tweet]

Chants of “we will not comply” from gun rights protesters in Richmond.
The problem is, it sure sounds, in the video Reporter Gabe Gutierrez provides, like the US Pledge of Allegiance.

I am thinking that this isn't so much on Reporter Gutierrez as on his production team.  Still, it is on NBC as a media institution.  Alternatively, it is a deliberate distortion for the purposes of influencing political sentiments.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, January 19, 2020

A Free Media

For John, BLUFBy accident President Trump does more for world freedom than his predecessor did on purpose.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Powerline Blog, by Blogger John Hinderaker, 13 January 2020.

Here is the lede:

More fallout from Iran’s shooting down of the Ukrainian airliner:  a news anchor on Iran’s state television has resigned, apologizing to the people of Iran for “lying to you on TV for 13 years.”
Does it not appear that President Trump, by his actions against Iranian Major General Sulimani, provided space for Iranians to exercise some freedom?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Impeachment Explained

For John, BLUFThe House Democrats can't seem to explain it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Althouse Blog, from Professor Ann Althouse, 19 January 2019.

Click on the link.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

For John, BLUFSomething interesting happened in Iran.  With the downing of the Ukraine airliner, and the Iranian Government's initial coverup, the protestors in the Iranian streets flipped from Anti-American to Anti-Iranian Government.  Not everyone got the memo.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Victory Girls, by Ms Nina Bookout, 13 January 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Nancy Pelosi had her own “some people did something” moment yesterday.  She made it clear that she could care less about the Iranian protestors while talking with George Stephanopolous on ABC’s This Week.

Nancy literally “whatevered” Iranians who are courageously standing up to one of the most evil and oppressive regimes in the world.  She completely dissed Iranian citizens who know that they could be killed for what they are doing.

It isn't like the Press picked up the protest flip, so maybe Speaker Pelosi is just uninformed.

Kudos, however, to the President, who did get the memo, and tweeted out support, in Farsi.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff