Important headlines for March 7th
Bottom Line: These are stories you don't want to miss and my hot takes on them...
Excerpt: Florida International University is getting a spanking new center dedicated to all things Muslim. Philanthropists Mohsin and Fauzia Jaffer, longtime supporters of Middle Eastern studies and other programs at FIU, just donated $2 million to make this educational facility a reality.
“For a peaceful and harmonious planet we must understand all its people,” said Mohsin Jaffer, a physician and voluntary clinical assistant professor at the school. “We have to become familiar with their cultures, faiths and concerns. Muslims make up one fourth of the total world humanity and sadly are very misunderstood today.”
Hot Take: I hate to douse this woe is the Muslim community thing with cold water for a moment but let me walk you back to a pre-9-11 era. Did Americans ask for acts of terrorism to be carried out? Did subsequent acts around the world by Al Quieda, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS etc. being carried out in the name of the caliphate come because we sadly misunderstood them? Or is Islam when practiced under Sharia law simply evil (you know unless you feel women are inferior and shouldn't have equal rights and homosexuals should be stoned to death)? I'm willing to have that debate anytime you want to make it btw.
Truth is most people are generally pretty ignorant about their own faith let alone others. But here's the thing. I once was generally ignorant about Islam aside from surface level knowledge from studying world religions in college, but I haven't been in the wake of 9-11. Having read the Koran and studied sects of the religion over the past 15+ years I realized I'd become more versed in aspects of Islam than my own religion. So, here's the thing. Non-Muslims didn't invite acts of terror or the caliphate to be carried out on them. It's not their fault if there's a healthy degree of skepticism after everything they've been subjected to for simply living their lives. And btw, just because it isn't reported on doesn't mean terror attacks aren't occurring daily across the world. In the past 30 days alone here are the stats:
- 167 Islamic attacks in 25 countries, in which 953 people were killed and 1026 injured.
It's just easy to keep it out of the headlines when it happens in undeveloped country. Stop playing the victim and take care of your own house and get back to me when you've succeeded.
Don't Worry About Trump Tariffs--They Might Do Some Good Josh Bivens, NY Times
Hot Take: I provided a three-parter on trade that explained how and why we've having this conversation and why it makes sense to begin to change trade policy. With the United States not really having any essential trade, it really doesn't make sense for us to get 24% less out of our trade deals than the other countries we trade with...especially since we have the top economy and should be a net beneficiary if anyone if going to come out on top. As articulated we've already had positive economic impact since the announcement of the Asian solar-tariff.
It's extremely unlikely that the US will have any meaningful negative impact even under the potential worst-case retaliatory circumstances. Because other countries have much more to lose than us - they'd ultimately be hurting themselves more than us every step of the way. As a free-trade oriented person it seems strange to make an economic case for tariffs - however when trade isn't equitable in the first place it makes much more sense. I've heard from several people who've expressed that they don't agree with my views or position on trade based on what I stated. I want to be clear. My views on free-trade vs. protectionism haven't changed. What I've always stated is that I go where the facts take me. It's the only way to learn and truly be analytical in the process.
As I comprehensively researched the dynamics involved they supported the narratives I advanced. As the President has pointed out. We're not trading equitably. If we were it'd be a different set of circumstances. Maybe the tariff threats are enough to result in trade deals more equitable/favorable to the US and this becomes a moot point and negotiation tactic but even if they do hit - there's an economic argument to be made for them.