The Terracotta Warriors from the creation of China
The Terracotta Warriors from the third century B.C. underscore the longstanding power of China. (Photo by Chris Harper)

For the United States to have an effective policy with China, Americans have to stop buying iPhones. Or Apple has to move some of its production facilities from China. And a whole lot more.

The trade imbalance between the two countries is so out of whack, amounting to a deficit of more than $300 billion a year for the United States, that the American government cannot put any significant pressure on China. Moreover, the Beijing government owns more than 7 percent of the U.S. debt. China has a lot of leverage.

Sanctions and tariffs usually don’t work. It would help if Apple would move its production plants from China to South Korea, for example, but educating consumers about the implications of buying Chinese products might also work.

After visiting and teaching in China during the past two years, I offer a few insights:

–President Xi Jinping is the most powerful, politically savvy and intelligent leader in recent history.
–The pivot toward Asia under the Obama administration has been laughable, including alliances with some dreadful regimes in Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines.
–China’s so-called “belt-and-road” program to build infrastructure from mainland Asia to Europe has been a resounding success despite U.S. naysayers. For more about the economic plan, see https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/asia/china-s-infrastructure-play
–The presidential election has made the United States a laughingstock among Chinese.

President Obama’s recent Asian excursion underlines how poorly the United States is doing. The Chinese made him disembark from the back of the plane. The government restricted his access to the media, and officials got into a shouting match with his aides. The president then got dissed by the government of Laos and the Philippines.

These incidents don’t bode well for any resolution to China’s desire to control economic and military sway over the South China Sea—an issue that does matter. That route controls access to billions of dollars in fishing, minerals and petroleum for a range of Asian countries.

The most recent U.S. policy has been to confront Chinese vessels—an approach that is likely to heighten tensions rather than lessen them.

Neither presidential candidate offers much hope in dealing effectively with China. Clinton is likely to continue gunboat diplomacy, while Trump wants tariffs against Chinese products. These inept approaches are troubling because China is the leading competitor of the United States for the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of the rest of the world.


Christopher Harper, a recovering journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law.

 

 

 

 

A protestor in Tulsa with two members of the local police force (Courtesy of the Tulsa World)
A protestor in Tulsa with two members of the local police force (Courtesy of the Tulsa World)

Faith in God. Faith in the community. Faith in the system. That is why Tulsa, Oklahoma, didn’t devolve into race riots after the shooting of a black man by a white police officer.

Many residents took to the pews, while other cities, facing similar issues, took to the streets with looting and riots. Tulsa, often called “the buckle of the Bible belt,” is different because of its faith. Southern Baptists and evangelical Christians play a significant role in the community of 400,000 people. Oral Roberts University has its campus there.

The ethnic makeup of the city parallels that of the nation. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, slightly more than 60 percent of the population is white; 15 percent is African-American, and 14 percent is Hispanic.

The city has had its racial troubles, including a major riot many years ago. The police have faced both positive and negative reviews over the years.

“This is tragic–and something all of us should spend time reflecting on so we can make a better nation,” the Rev. Teron Gaddis, representing the Oklahoma Baptist State Convention, said. “This is not a race issue, a Caucasian or black issue.”

The reverend is black. Had a white leader said the shooting of a black man was not a racial issue he would have been chastised for taking up the “All Lives Matter” banner.

Even The New York Times and CNN had to admit that religion played a role in keeping the peace. Still, the media provided wall-to-wall coverage of the upheaval in Charlotte, with only a passing reference to the peaceful scenes from Oklahoma, including a Black Lives Matter protester holding hands with a white and a black police officer.

Everyone needs to look at Tulsa as an example of how to stop racial division. Riots don’t work; prayer does.


Christopher Harper, a recovering journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-04-05-amFor all of the true debaters out there, let’s face it: this was not an actual debate.

The American Debate Association describes how a debate is supposed to work. The debate focuses on a statement, such as “The United States needs a new tax system to create jobs.”

For example, Donald Trump gets first crack in the affirmative, followed by Hillary Clinton in the negative. Each has nine minutes to discuss the question rather than the two-minute soundbites of last night’s debate. Then each one gets to question the other. Then the two debaters get to rebut the other’s argument.

The argument is between the two parties rather than through a moderator. In fact, in an actual debate, there is no moderator. The judges are supposed to stay out of the way.

Since I was in high school, these rules have been the standard. I have no idea why presidential debates don’t use this approach.

It’s probably because the longstanding rules for debate would probably bring more substance without the useless presence of some media darling who has virtually no expertise in the area of domestic and foreign policies.

Despite my misgivings about the format and substance of last night’s debate, I generally think it was a draw, which probably works in Donald Trump’s favor. The MSM gives the nod to Hillary, but that’s not unexpected.

Trump did a relatively good job of explaining his policies on trade and policing, but he fumbled through his response on the birther issue. He rambled as he often does. But he had the best line: Hillary has a lot of experience, but it’s bad experience.

Clinton failed to move the needle on what to do about the self-proclaimed Islamic State and race relations. At times, she seemed robotic.

On more “substantive” matters that usually decide who won and who lost the debate, Trump’s audio was bad at many times during the discussion; both had terrible makeup jobs; the split screen clearly favored Clinton.

What’s amazes me is that the moderator, Lester Holt, failed to ask any substantive questions about emails, Benghazi or the Clinton Foundation. If anything underlines how unnecessary a star moderator is, Holt’s avoidance of certain issues demonstrates why actual debates don’t have moderators.

Howard Kurtz of Fox News provided a relatively good analysis of the debate at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/09/26/clinton-scores-by-staying-on-offense-trump-by-sticking-to-serious-issues.html

Kurtz argued that Clinton stayed on the offensive while Trump countered with serious issues.

As CBS’s Bob Schieffer put it: Trump didn’t lose any voters; Clinton didn’t gain any.

That seems about right to me.


Christoper Harper, a recovering journalist from The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law.

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-9-27-55-am

My friend has become a Facebook rock star after he posted a video of his trigger warning for his editing class at Loyola University in Baltimore.

The post got nearly three million page views.

“I have been giving a trigger warning on the first day of class every semester. This is it: This is going to be a difficult class,” said professor John McIntyre, who also works as an editor at The Baltimore Sun, “and I must say, it is incumbent on me to tell you, this course is unrelievedly, thoroughly, appallingly dull.”

At a time when college campuses have become littered with trigger warnings and safe zones, McIntyre’s captured the essence of the debate over the idiotic tilt of university life.

“Part of what is going to be difficult in this class is that if you are like the 700 or so students who have preceded you here, you are wobbly in English grammar and usage,” McIntyre said. He blamed the educational system for either not teaching the subject or blowing it badly. Repetition, he argued, was the key to learning how to use language.

McIntyre added this final point: “One of the reasons you are in a university is to experience different personality types, different senses of humor, different approaches to the word. I am not the only jackass you will ever encounter in your adult working life. Use this semester as an opportunity to polish your coping skills.”

See the entire video at https://www.facebook.com/baltimoresun/videos

His video got noticed by The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Teen Vogue. Each of them also noted the negative comments about the video. Here’s how McIntyre responded to his critics:

“I am considering a form response to non-serious negative comments:

Having read your comment, John McIntyre expresses his sympathy for your disability:

□ Lack of a sense of humor

□ Propensity to rash, superficial judgments

□ Assumption of facts not in evidence

□ Incapacity for civil discourse.”

Rock on, John!


A personal note: I had a minor rock star moment when I was inducted recently into the Iowa Music Association Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Take a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGpou67Yahw


Christopher Harper, a recovering journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at www.mediamashup.org


At the beginning of every semester, I receive several letters of accommodation for students with disabilities. Usually, the letters describe learning rather than physical disabilities.

Unfortunately, the Americans with Disabilities Act, a noble gesture to eliminate discrimination and physical barriers, has increasingly become a means for college students to game the academic system for better grades.

One of the disabilities covered by many universities is attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. An estimated 5 to 8 percent of all college students receive disability status from this difficult-to-diagnose disease. Moreover, 25 percent of all university students receiving disability status claim to suffer from ADHD.

I’m not saying that ADHD does not exist. All medical organizations say it does. But it is often misdiagnosed and abused.

Here’s what two researchers wrote in 2012: “Malingering to obtain an ADHD diagnosis may be especially pertinent to college students. Students may deliberately over-report ADHD symptoms to procure academic accommodations or feign ADHD to obtain a prescription for stimulant medication, which many students believe will enhance their academic performance.” For more information, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3441934/

The accommodations include more time for tests, excused absences, note-takers, alternative grading rubrics and a host of other items that basically make a class easier for the student.

All of this costs money—higher tuition, taxes and health insurance. For example, the test for ADHD is not based on lab results but on a psychological evaluation, which can cost more than $2,000, with individual counseling sessions at $100 to $150 an hour.

The administration for such students has grown astronomically at universities. I recently inquired about an accommodation for a student and was told there were simply too many students to evaluate each class. Therefore, I received a form letter for a student that had virtually nothing to do with the course I teach. Moreover, no one had counseled the student about whether journalism was a good subject to study for someone who had difficulty meeting deadlines and taking notes.

It’s time to follow the intent of the law rather than to allow these unintended consequences to continue. Colleges and universities should make “reasonable accommodations” to allow students to participate in courses, programs and activities. Reasonable accommodations–not extraordinary ones–are what the law prescribes.


Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at www.mediamashup.org

*****************************************

 

Flyover country may not be the battleground for the presidential election, but there are many lessons the candidates could learn from the Midwest.

Over Labor Day weekend, I traveled through South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. I found almost everyone I talked to held conservative viewpoints.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I only speak in whispers about my viewpoints in my home of Philadelphia, a city dominated by leftists.

At a party, I met someone whose business card proudly displays his email address from reagan.com. At the same soiree, I talked with two old friends from high school. One of them is a prominent businessman in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The other is a pediatrician in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Neither one embraces the candidacy of Donald Trump but will likely vote for him given the alternative.

The businessman complained about the government’s heavy hand in regulating his huge enterprise, which started as a string of pharmacies and now has dozens of retail stores throughout the Midwest. He’s amazed at how ineffectively the government performs its duties and how it spends money without much planning. If his operation were so inefficient and costly, he said he’d be out of business.

The physician noted that his practice saw fewer patients because the doctors spent so much time meeting government regulations. He has to prescribe numerous unnecessary tests just to protect himself from lawsuits.

Both of them asked me why colleges cost so much to attend. The problem at my school and others, I told them, was similar to their complaints: excessive government regulation. The administrative structure has almost doubled in the time I started teaching because of government oversight and rules. Because of their inefficiency, some colleges may be pricing themselves out of existence.

The presidential candidates would be well served if they actually listened to the issues on the minds of people in flyover country. Whatever the case, I certainly felt energized by my visit.


Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at www.mediamashup.org

*****************************************

CJ Pearson says he supports Donald Trump.
CJ Pearson says he supports Donald Trump.

He’s young, black and says he supports Donald Trump.

If you haven’t heard about him, he’s 14-year-old CJ Pearson, a ninth-grader from Georgia who has criticized Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Not surprisingly, he’s faced an onslaught of vitriol from Democrats and other leftists. But some conservatives, such as RedState’s Erick Erickson, see Pearson as a social media wannabe who should sit on the sidelines until he grows up.

In a column this week in Time, Pearson offered his view of the presidential race.

“I believe that the future of America is post-party politics. I hope that in 10 to 20 years, the near constant issue of partisanship will be a distant memory,” he wrote.

That sounds about right to me.

“As a young black male, I’ve seen my community flailing and struggling due to the disastrous impacts of the Obama political agenda, and I refuse to allow the possibility of a Clinton presidency to extend that suffering,” he added.

I can’t say I disagree with him there.

“Trump’s message to young people of color is simple: what do you have to lose?

“In my young optimistic eyes, after the last eight years of the Obama presidency, there is little left to lose. There is only room to do better, and there is only one goal: to make America great for every American.”

Check.

The entire column can be found at http://time.com/4470565/teens-for-trump/

Erickson criticized Pearson when he announced that he was leaving behind the failed campaigns of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, where he served as head of “Teens for Ted,” and joining the ranks of Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

“[S]top embarrassing yourself, shut up, and go live life. Pay attention to politics, but also pay attention to movies, sports, girls, your parents, your preacher and your surroundings. Come back when you are eighteen, your voice has deepened, and you’ve passed your final growth spurt,” Erickson wrote last December. See the entire column at http://www.redstate.com/erick/2015/12/09/dear-cj-pearson-shut-up/ 

Erickson has a point that Pearson’s conservative bent may blow with the wind, but I see the underpinning of Trump and Sanders’ campaigns as quite similar. The two presidential candidates demonstrated the disdain Americans have for the political status quo.

What’s important to me about Pearson is that he asks a critical question about the lives of black Americans: Are they truly better off under Democrats?

Pearson realizes he and his fellow black Americans are not better off. I couldn’t agree more.


Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at www.mediamashup.org

*****************************************
A note from DaTechGugy:
I hope you enjoyed Christopher Harper’s piece. This is the last week for DaMagnificent Prospects so if you like Chris check out & share his stuff. In case you missed his other pieces, here they are:

Budding reporters and politics
Give terrorists what they deserve: anonymity
The ‘BS’ factor
A Godless Olympics
A true American ally




Olimometer 2.52

Please consider Subscribing. Right now our subscribers consist of 1/50 of 1% of our total unique visitors based on last years numbers.

If we can get another 150 subscribers at $10 a month (another 1/10 of 1% of those who have visited this year) We can meet our annual goals with no trouble, with the same number of subscribers at $20 a month I could afford to cover the presidential campaign outside of New England firsthand.

And of course at that price you get the Da Magnificent Seven plus those we hope to add on and all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level



and if you want to fight the MSM company store join the Have Fedora Will Travel pledge drive to send me to cover Donald Trump on the road

A woman in the Kurdish military recently shot and killed a senior commander of the self-proclaimed Islamic State who once kept her as a sex slave.

After more than 50 people at a Kurdish wedding died in an attack by Islamic terrorists, Turkey finally decided this week to launch a serious assault against the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

The incidents underline the importance of the Kurds as a key ally in any successful attempt to rid the world of the radical Islamists.

When I arrived in the Middle East nearly 40 years ago, the Armenians and the Kurds were among the most downtrodden ethnic groups in the region. The Armenians have their own country now; the Kurds don’t but should.

In one of the most brutal results of map drawing before and after World War I, more than 30 million Kurds were split among four countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Keep in mind, most Kurds, who are mainly Sunni, consider themselves Kurds, not Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians or Turks. An independent state would be one of the largest in the Middle East–bigger than Syrian and almost as big as Iraq.

The Kurds have faced adversity many times, including the horrific 1988 chemical attack by Saddam Hussein’s government that left thousands dead in the worst incident of its kind in history.

The Kurds have supported the United States on many occasions, including the Gulf War, the Iraq War and the Syrian Civil War—much of the time later being forsaken by the Americans.

The Kurdish forces are called the pesh merga, which translated means “one who faces death.” This army has driven out Islamists from a variety of their strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

The U.S. government has thrown billions of dollars at a variety of ineffective Middle Eastern armies, but it has only been recently that the Kurds have received money for small arms shipments.

The United States should fund the pesh merga to a much greater extent because it is the only effective fighting force against the Islamic State.

Perhaps it’s time for the U.S. government to consider an independent Kurdish state in at least parts of Iraq and Syria, where it could continue its support of America.


Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at www.mediamashup.org

*****************************************
A note from DaTechGugy:
I hope you enjoyed Christopher Harper’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Christopher Harper’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar [on the right] because of it, don’t forget to mention Chris’ post is the reason you did so. In case you missed his other pieces, here they are:

Budding reporters and politics
Give terrorists what they deserve: anonymity
The ‘BS’ factor
A Godless Olympics




Olimometer 2.52

Please consider Subscribing. If less than 1/3 of 1% of our readers subscribed at $10 a month we’d have the 114.5 subscribers needed to our annual goal all year without solicitation.

Plus of course all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level



christrio

Even with the iconic statue of Jesus Christ watching over the Rio Olympics, NBC and mainstream media outlets have chosen to ignore the importance of religion among athletes.

For example, swimmer Michael Phelps, one of the greatest Olympians ever, lost his way until he found God a few years ago.

“I was a train wreck. I was like a time bomb, waiting to go off. I had no self-esteem, no self-worth. There were times where I didn’t want to be here. It was not good. I felt lost,” Phelps said.

After his second DUI, Phelps got a call from former NFL star Ray Lewis, who helped the swimmer onto the road of religious recovery.

Simone Biles, the gymnast who won four gold medals, carries a rosary in her warmup bag and lights a candle in church before an event. Instead of emphasizing her religious beliefs, NBC and others talk about her mother, a former drug addict.

Katie Ledecky, a Catholic like Biles, says a Hail Mary before each swimming event and proudly makes her religious views known. Simone Manuel, the first African-American woman to earn a gold medal in swimming, praised God after winning the 100-meter freestyle. Her reference to God got edited out when NBC put up the video on YouTube.

After Usain Bolt of Jamaica, the fastest man in the world, won his third gold medal in the 100-meter sprint, he fell to his knees to pray. The NBC commentators apparently couldn’t bring themselves to utter the word “prayer.”

Many other examples exist, but NBC and other mainstream media have focused on less significant details of athletes’ lives rather than their trust in God. Fortunately, faith-based news organizations have chronicled what the athletes themselves consider their most important characteristic: their belief in God.

The Christian Post wrote about U.S. athletes and their faith at http://www.christianpost.com/news/10-christian-team-usa-athletes-at-rio-olympics-2016-who-put-god-first-167556/

Eric Metaxas interviewed religion writer Terry Mattingly about God and the Olympics at https://soundcloud.com/the-eric-metaxas-show/terry-mattingly-5


Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at www.mediamashup.org

*****************************************
A note from DaTechGugy:
I hope you enjoyed Christopher Harper’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Christopher Harper’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar [on the right] because of it, don’t forget to mention Chris’ post is the reason you did so. In case you missed his other pieces, here they are:

Budding reporters and politics
Give terrorists what they deserve: anonymity
The ‘BS’ factor

Olimometer 2.52

Please consider subscribing. If less than 1/3 of 1% of our readers subscribed at $10 a month, we’d have the 114.5 subscribers needed to our annual goal all year without solicitation.

Plus, of course, all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.

Choose a Subscription level
Beanie : $2.00 USD – weekly
Cap : $10.00 USD – monthly
Hat : $20.00 USD – monthly
Fedora : $25.00 USD – monthly
Grand Fedora : $100.00 USD – monthly

This just in from The New York Times: Journalists are having trouble being objective about Donald Trump.

Seriously?

Here’s what the red, old lady had to say recently:

“If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, non-opinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable.”

The author, media columnist Jim Rutenberg, apparently isn’t much of a reporter or has ignored significant evidence of media bias when he served as the lead reporter on the 2012 campaign and a White House correspondent.

Note: I am not an ardent supporter of Trump. Also, I realize that the readers of DaTechGuy are not surprised by The New York Times’s arrogance and ignorance. But it is noteworthy that Rutenberg actually puts his analysis in writing at http://ow.ly/IOQg3034Bsk

NewYorkerNoted plagiarist Fareed Zakaria made no bones about his attitude about Trump. He simply called the GOP presidential candidate a “bull****” artist on CNN and in The Washington Post.

In the neck-snapping underpinning for his “astute” analysis, Zakaria quoted a Princeton University professor who actually wrote an academic paper entitled, “On Bull****.”

In case you need a definition, a BS-er, “is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all . . . except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says.”

It seems to me that the definition applies to Zakaria and many of his fellow travelers in the media.

Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at www.mediamashup.org


A note from DaTechGugy: I hope you enjoyed Christopher Harper’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Christopher Harper’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it, don’t forget to mention Chris’ post is the reason you did so. In case you missed it, his first piece was Budding reporters and politics. His second was Give terrorists what they deserve: anonymity.

Olimometer 2.52

Please consider Subscribing. If less than 1/3 of 1% of our readers subscribed at $10 a month, we’d have the 114.5 subscribers needed to our annual goal all year without solicitation.

Plus, of course, all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.

Choose a Subscription level
Beanie : $2.00 USD – weekly
Cap : $10.00 USD – monthly
Hat : $20.00 USD – monthly
Fedora : $25.00 USD – monthly
Grand Fedora : $100.00 USD – monthly