Americans Are Fools If They Accept This

From Mark Steyn:

I’ll be talking about today’s Hillary Clinton press conference later tonight with Sean Hannity on Fox News, but it was an amazing performance. Amazingly wooden and unconvincing, of course, but in a sense that was part of its brazenness. Its sheer implausibility underlined her central message: Yeah, and what are you gonna do about it?

Most political figures would be terrified at having to advance this thin a defense in public:

Oh, well. I didn’t have a government email address because I didn’t want to be forced to carry “two devices”. Who’d she get that one from? Bill? “Aw, honey, you know I couldn’t possibly be arkansashorndog@yahoo.com, and distinguishingcharacteristics@gmail.com, and cigaraficionado@aol.com, and hotmale@hotmail.com, and youmightwanttoputsomeiceonthat@clintonmentoring.com, and all the rest, because I’d have to have 12 different devices. And, if I had 12 different desktops on the desk, there’d be no room for the intern, would there?”

But apparently it’s easier to set up your own email domain on a personal server at your home than ask a State Dept underling if there’s anybody there who can figure out how to get two email addresses on one “device”. And apparently your reluctance to carry two “devices” trumps anything so footling as the law. And, in any case, you said on camera just two weeks ago that you had an iPhone and a Blackberry.

Hillary announced today that she’d deleted everything other than the 55,000 pages of emails she handed over to the government. And, while 55,000 sounds like a lot, it boils down to fewer than 38 a day for a four-year term. The average person in work has over 120 business-related emails a day. So Hillary’s 55,000 sounds a little on the low side. Happily for her, she handed them over to the feds as print copies only, so Trey Gowdy is going to have to wait until some State Dept minion has scanned them all in in a searchable form before he can enter search terms like “Benghazi”.

The risibilty of these defenses is the point. To reprise one of my favorite Theodore Dalrymple quotes:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.

That’s why all this stuff is coming out now. If Hillary can get away with something so obviously and uniquely and intentionally wrong, and that compromises national security to boot, and for which she offers nothing but the most laughable explanations, then she will have set the rules for the next 18 months. If she can make the court eunuchs of the media and the Democrats’ own base complicit in this absurd and unconvincing lie, they’re hardly in a position to complain about all the others in the months ahead.

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A Pretense of Oppression

From Heather Mac Donald:

Just when you’d gotten the hang of LGBTQ, they go and triple the number of categories. Wesleyan University is now offering a “safe space” (formerly known as a “dorm”) for students of the LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM persuasions, or, for those who need things spelled out, for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism student acolytes. If you are so heteronormative as to see the word “FAG” in the center of that jumble, you will surely not be allowed into the “safe space,” known as Open House.

At this rate of exponential increase in student gender identities, there will soon not be enough paper in college bureaucrats’ offices to provide official recognition and “safety.” Parents concerned that their little darlings may come home with bruises and abrasion from the whips and leather handcuffs need not worry, though. This proliferation of in-your-face sexual identities is all posturing, just part of the dance between students desperate to find one last means of being transgressive and college bureaucrats eager to show their sensitivity and to justify their six-figure salaries. Students who should be studying European history and the roots of the novel—would that such subjects were still taught—are instead combing the farthest reaches of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Manual for ways to distinguish themselves. By posing what they hope will be rejected demands on their administrations, they seek only to prove that they are living a life of oppression.

Despite the seemingly all-inclusive aspirations of the LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM acronym, the university recognizes that not every student will feel comfortable in this new “safe space.” To accommodate still further variations in student interest, Wesleyan’s Office of Residential Life offers a variety of unique living options. Farm House provides students “interested in the politics and culture of food production and sustainability a place to cultivate a mutualistic relationship with the earth that provides them with their lunch everyday.” Residents of Earth House can “espouse the values and principles of social ecology, deep ecology, and eco-feminism” while simultaneously “challenging traditional social structures and replacing them with new, creative and egalitarian alternatives.” African-American upperclassmen are welcome to apply to live in Malcolm X House, where they can dedicate themselves to “the exploration and celebration of the cultural heritage of the African Diaspora, both for themselves and for the larger Wesleyan community.” Turath House is for Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim students looking “to articulate their views and express and affirm their culture and religion without fear of harassment and discrimination.”

With so many marginalized groups on campus, one wonders who is left to do the discriminating and oppressing.

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The Honesty Gap

From Thomas Sowell:

There may be some poetic justice in the recent revelation that Hillary Clinton, who has made big noises about a “pay gap” between women and men, paid the women on her Senate staff just 72 percent of what she paid the men. The Obama White House staff likewise has a pay gap between women and men, as of course does the economy as a whole.

Does this mean that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both discriminate against women, that they are themselves part of the nefarious “war on women” that so many on the left loudly denounce? The poetic justice in the recent “pay gap” revelations is that the fundamental fraud in the statistics that are thrown around comes back to bite those who are promoting that fraud for political purposes.

What makes such statistics fraudulent is that they are comparing apples and oranges.

Innumerable studies, going back for decades, have shown that women do not average as many hours of work per year as men, do not have as many consecutive years of full-time employment as men, do not work in the same mix of occupations as men and do not specialize in the same mix of subjects in college as men.

Back in 1996, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that young male physicians earned 41 percent higher incomes than young female physicians. But the same study showed that young male physicians worked over 500 hours a year more than young female physicians.

When the study took into account differences in hours of work, in the fields in which male and female doctors specialized and other differences in their job characteristics, “no earnings difference was evident.” In other words, when you compare apples to apples, you don’t get the “gender gap” in pay that you get when you compare apples to oranges.

This is not peculiar to the medical profession. Nor was this a new revelation, even back in 1996. Many studies done by many scholars over the years — including female scholars — show the same thing, again and again.

A breakdown of statistics in an old monograph of mine — “Affirmative Action in Academia” — showed the pay differential between women and men evaporating, or even reversing, as you compared individuals with truly comparable characteristics. This was back in 1975, forty years ago!

There might have been some excuse for believing that income differences between women and men were proof of discrimination back in the 1960s. But there is no excuse for continuing to use misleading statistics in the 21st century, when their flaws have been exposed repeatedly and long ago.

Many kinds of high-level and high-pressure careers require working 50 or 60 hours a week regularly, and women with children — or expecting to have children — seldom choose those kinds of careers.

Nor is there any reason why they should, if they don’t want to. Raising a child is not an incidental activity that you can do in your spare time, like collecting stamps or bowling.

If you trace the actual history of women in high-level careers, you will find that it bears no resemblance to the radical feminist fable, in which advances began with the “women’s liberation” movement in the 1960s and new anti-discrimination laws.

In reality, women were far better represented in professional occupations in the first three decades of the 20th century than in the middle of that century. Women received a larger share of the postgraduate degrees necessary for such careers in the earlier era than in the 1950s and 1960s.

The proportion of women among the high achievers listed in “Who’s Who in America” in 1902 was more than double the proportion listed in 1958. The decline of women in high-level careers occurred when women’s age of marriage and child-bearing declined during the mid-century “baby boom” years.

The later rise of women began when the age of marriage and child-bearing rose again. In 1972 women again received as high a proportion of doctoral degrees as they had back in 1932.

The truth is not nearly as politically useful as scare statistics. The “gender gap” is not nearly as big as the honesty gap.

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