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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cruising the Web

Michelle Malkin profiles Ben Carson's wife, Candy, and draws a powerful contrast between her and Michelle Obama's attitude toward America and race relations. I hadn't heard anything about Candy Carson before, but she sounds like a remarkable woman.
In addition to raising the Carson children, co-founding the Carson Scholars Fund charity (which has awarded nearly 7,000 scholarships across the country to academically gifted students of all backgrounds who give back to their communities), and serving as sounding board and co-author of three of the Carsons’ New York Times bestsellers, Mrs. Carson worked in trust administration, insurance, and real estate. She also found time to earn a master’s degree in business from Johns Hopkins and conduct the University of Maryland Medical Center Chamber Players.

Like the Obamas, the Carsons have experienced their share of racial discrimination and prejudice. But it does not define them. Neither have they let their phenomenal success get to their heads. “Did I ever imagine I would live in a place like this?” Mrs. Carson reflected in an interview at her elegant home with Baltimore magazine. “Of course not. Growing up poor, you try to be a good steward of the money you have.”

What a refreshing change from the arrogant profligacy that has marked the past two presidential terms in Washington. The most common refrain you’ll hear from people who meet the couple is how humble and gracious they are. They’ve made sure to instill the values of thrift, personal responsibility, and private philanthropy in their children. Both Carsons emphasized in our visit their profound concern for their grandchildren’s future, the abandonment of constitutional principles, and the fiscal cliff that young generations of Americans now face.

Attitude is everything. The narcissism and nihilism of the Beltway stand in stark contrast to the faith of the Carsons in God, their country, and each other. However their political adventure turns out, they are “ready to follow . . . whatever He has in store for us next,” Mrs. Carson writes.
I don't vote for leaders based on their spouses, but I would take Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, and Ann Romney over Hillary Clinton, Teresa Kerry, or Michelle Obama for First Lady any day.

This is quite a clever gimmick of Trump - to demand that CNN donate its increased revenues from hosting next week's debate to veterans' services. Trump humorously tell them that he's not bragging because he would never do that, but he knows that the increased viewership allowing CNN to increase their advertising rates for the debate stem from his presence in the debate. So he figures he should be able to tell them to donate that money to help veterans. You have to admire that move. Though Ed Morrissey does have some qualms amid his admiration.
Now on the flip side, this does have a rather strong whiff of the kind of authoritarianism that runs counter to American conservatism. Since when do conservative politicians make normal business profit a vice? Of course, Republicans tried to defend big-business profits in 2012, and that … didn’t work out very well for them, either. Would a President Trump make similar demands of corporations enjoying short-term profits off of cultural moments? It’s also worth noting that Trump’s had plenty of windfall profits in his life (as he reminds people constantly); how much of that went to veterans groups before his presidential runs in 2011 and 2015?

It’s probably best to look at this as a momentary trolling opportunity rather than a solid indicator of a Trump campaign direction, though — and in that context, it’s yuge. Say what you will about Trump, but he’s not stupid, and he’s having fun while sticking thumbs in the eyes of the establishment on all sides. It’s no wonder that people are having fun with Trump too, even if it may eventually wear off as people start taking the primary choice a little more seriously in the fall.

I know that nothing Trump says can shake the loyalty of his supporters, but do they really like this sort of boorishness as revealed by his interview with Rolling Stone?
When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump's momentum, Trump's expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina. "Look at that face!" he cries. "Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!" The laughter grows halting and faint behind him. "I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not s'posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"

And there, in a nutshell, is Trump's blessing and his curse: He can't seem to quit while he's ahead. The instincts that carried him out to a lead and have kept him far above the captious field are the same ones that landed him in ugly stews with ex-wives, business partners, networks, supermodels and many, many other famous women. At 69, he can still carry on like the teen who was yanked out of prep school and delivered to Col. Dobias, the take-no-shit instructor at the military academy. After I met Ivanka and praised her to her father, he said, "Yeah, she's really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren't happily married and, ya know, her father . . . "
Note that he doesn't criticize Hillary Clinton. Just his Republican rivals. And he can't seem to slam her on her positions, but on her looks. Thus speaks the man with an orange combover. Lovely.

Jim Geraghty comments,
Oh, I see. Donald Trump thinks Carly Fiorina isn’t physically attractive enough to hold the office of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, William H. Taft, Grover Cleveland, and Rutherford B. Hayes.

Roger Simon argues for the upcoming debate to be "an audition for commander-in-chief." I like that idea. I remember when debates would be divided into domestic and foreign policy issues. I would like to see that again. With the world the way it is today, I want to hear the candidates speak to what he or she would be facing in 2017.

To add to the disaster that has been Obama's choices in the Middle East, Lee Smith explains how Obama delayed doing anything in Syria in order to get Iran to accept our giveaways in the Iran deal.
Obama decided to steer clear of the Syrian conflict not just to avoid doing anything, but just as importantly, to avoid damaging Iranian interests in Syria. As Obama wrote Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, “the U.S.’s military operations inside Syria aren’t targeted at Mr. Assad or his security forces.” Obama didn’t do anything to bring down Assad because he was afraid it might anger the Syrian president’s patrons in Iran, and getting a nuclear deal with Iran was Obama’s foreign policy priority. //ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

There is plenty that Obama might have done to support Syrian rebels— an opposition he derided as “former doctors, farmers, pharmacists”—without ever risking putting American forces on the ground in Syria. By 2013, all his national security cabinet officials—Leon Panetta, David Petraeus, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Thomas Donilon, et al.—argued for supporting Syrian rebel units.

Obama however kept his eyes on the prize: the Iran deal. Same when it came to enforcing the red line he drew against Assad’s use of chemical weapons. No one in their right mind believes that firing missiles on Assad regime facilities was likely to compel the White House to land forces in Syria. Obama’s concern rather was that if the United States signaled that it was no longer protecting Assad it might turn the balance of power against the Syrian regime. But that of course would anger the Iranians, and all Obama wanted was an accommodation with the regime—and now he has one in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

According to the White House’s negotiating partners in Tehran, it’s not their fault if Assad has to keep killing people. No, says Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, it’s those demanding Assad’s ouster who "are responsible for the bloodshed in Syria." Of course, it’s Zarif and Iranian allies—from Assad and Hezbollah to Iraqi and other foreign Shiite-majority militias—who, as the Washington Post reported recently, are still responsible for the vast majority of the deaths in the Syrian conflict. It’s Assad and his Iranian patrons who are responsible for turning what started as a peaceful protest movement against the regime into a civil war that has cost around a quarter of a million deaths in four and a half years.

When John Kerry joins Zarif in accepting the Nobel prize for the JCPOA, he’ll be well advised to remember that the Iranian foreign minister is standing on stacks of Syrian corpses, stacks that are still growing by the day. And now the stench cannot help but reach Kerry as well as Obama, for the price of the nuclear deal, what it cost to leave Assad alone, is lots of dead Syrians, including drowned Syrian children washed up on the shores of Turkish beaches.

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John Podhoretz has an excellent column exposing how Obama has twisted the Constitution around so that he doesn't have to get the required 2/3 vote or even a majority vote for awful deal with Iran.
In the matter of his Iran deal, President Obama and his team have spent two months working relentlessly to secure 41 percent — and now they’re claiming an enormous victory even though by any other standards what they’ve achieved is nothing but a feat of unconstitutional trickery.

They worked throughout the summer to browbeat Senate Democrats so they could get 41 of them to say they would support the Iran nuclear deal. They’re up to 42 now — that’s a mere 42 percent of the Senate.

Why is the number 41 so magical? Why is a failure of this magnitude being greeted as a triumph?
Welcome to the Bizarro World that is Barack Obama’s Washington.

Under the Constitution, treaties require the support of two-thirds of the Senate. The deal with Iran is a treaty in every respect — a legally binding long-term agreement between sovereign powers, in which hundreds of billions of dollars will flow and billions of dollars in nuclear materiel will be destroyed.

Since this is a treaty and we have 100 senators, Obama should have been obliged to secure the backing of 67 senators, not 41.

But Obama knew he could never get his treaty through Congress. You see, the American people have given the Republican Party majorities in both the House and the Senate.

The very fact that the American people did so to put a brake on Obama’s outsized ambitions just wasn’t going to hold this guy back.

....That’s why for months people have been saying the president has turned the Constitution on its head — because instead of 67 senators having to support the deal to make it legal, 67 senators have to disapprove of it to render it null and void....

With 42 senators saying they will support the deal, Obama may have the raw numbers to block even the first vote.

Thus, it may well be that for the first time in American history, a president will simply impose a treaty on the country without even the pretense of seeking and obtaining the advice and consent of the Congress.

And how? With 42 percent.

To call this a scandal doesn’t even begin to do justice to what it is. It really does suggest we are fast turning into a banana republic, whose leaders feel free to spit on a Constitution whose central purpose is to restrain the ambitions of strongmen and their shameful toadies.
As Paula DeSutter, a former assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, writes it says something truly despicable that Democratic senators are going along with insult to the Constitution just to unite for partisan reasons.
First, the president has refused to follow the Constitution’s procedure for agreements like the Iran nuclear deal by submitting the agreement to the Senate for its advice and consent. The last-ditch effort of Congress to be allowed some sort of review of the agreement resulted in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, sponsored by Senators Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D., Md.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This legislation is a poor substitute for constitutional advice and consent, which requires that before the United States can be bound to a treaty two-thirds of the Senate must consent to the agreement. Under threat of a veto, Congress was forced to accept terms under which a two-thirds majority of both houses would be required to stop the agreement.

With the Corker/Cardin legislation as the only vehicle for congressional review of the Iran nuclear deal — known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the president then failed to comply with its terms. Corker/Cardin requires submission to Congress of all documents, including side deals, relevant to the agreement. Congress and the American people are supposed to believe that two “separate arrangements,” referred to publicly by IAEA, have not been made available to the president or the secretary of state, and thus could not be made available to Congress or the American people. A recent Associated Press report — which the Obama administration has not disputed — reveals that pursuant to one of these side deals, Iran will inspect its own Parchin military site, where nuclear testing activities are believed to have been undertaken. The substance of the other IAEA “separate arrangement” is unknown, and other side deals may exist.

Third, the Obama administration has consistently misrepresented the JCPOA and what it does or does not do. One example concerns the IAEA Additional Protocol (AP), which gives the IAEA enhanced powers to inspect nuclear sites and acquire data. Secretary Kerry, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that under the JCPOA, Iran must ratify the AP and must comply with the AP pending ratification. This is simply not true. Iran has agreed to “provisional application” of the AP, but it also agreed to that in 2003, and complied for only two years. It can cease its provisional application of the AP at will, with no consequences. Moreover, Iran has not agreed to ratify the AP. It has only agreed that after the IAEA says Iran is in compliance, it will submit the protocol to its legislative body to seek ratification.
Anyone following along would know this. The Democrats in the Senate and House know it, but they're still bowing their heads in submission to Obama to preserve such an abomination of a deal. They showed with their vote for Obamacare that they don't care about the Constitution and the ordinary rules of their institution; now they're again figuratively spitting again on the Constitution and Congress. It used to be that members of the First Branch took that responsibility seriously and worked to preserve their powers against those of the president. Now they're putting party before everything else. They'll vote to support an agreement that is terrible and they'll tear asunder the Constitution as they do it.

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Poor Ron Fournier. As he tells us repeatedly, he likes the Clintons. So he almost takes Hillary's dishonesty personally. He's not impressed by her less than apologetic apology. Now he has 19 questions that he'd like to get the answer to. I hope he's not holding his breath. The questions are tough and, therefore, not the type she's likely to get from Ellen Degeneres or Andrea Mitchell. Here's a sampling:
1. While apo­lo­giz­ing in an ABC in­ter­view on Tues­day, you said, “What I had done was al­lowed, it was above board.” You must know by now that while the State De­part­ment al­lowed the use of home com­puters in 2009, agency rules re­quired that email be se­cured. Yours was not. Just nine months in­to your term, new reg­u­la­tions re­quired that your emails be cap­tured on de­part­ment serv­ers. You stashed yours on a home-brewed sys­tem un­til Con­gress found out. Why not ad­mit you vi­ol­ated policy? Why do you keep mis­lead­ing people?

2. If what you did was “above board,” then you wouldn’t ob­ject to all ex­ec­ut­ive branch of­fi­cials at every level of gov­ern­ment and from both parties stor­ing their email on private serv­ers – out of the pub­lic’s reach. Tell me how that wouldn’t sub­vert the fed­er­al Free­dom of In­form­a­tion Act and “sun­shine laws” in every state?

3. If what you did was “al­lowed,” then you wouldn’t ob­ject to all ex­ec­ut­ive branch of­fi­cials at every level of gov­ern­ment and from both parties us­ing secret serv­ers to shield them­selves from le­gis­lat­ive over­sight. Wouldn’t that un­der­mine the le­gis­lat­ive branch’s con­sti­tu­tion­al au­thor­ity? Wouldn’t it lead to more polit­ic­al cor­rup­tion?

4. If what you did be­came a na­tion­wide pre­ced­ent, his­tor­i­ans would be left with ex­po­nen­tially less archiv­al ma­ter­i­al to ex­plain the ac­tions of polit­ic­al lead­ers. You would have helped to erase the pub­lic memory. OK with that?
Wouldn't it be delicious if one of the tame journalists she goes to for interviews asked her these sorts of questions?

Jonah Goldberg is amused at Hillary's endless attempts to remake her image.
Consider what you just read. The Clinton team is responding to the fact that Clinton is inauthentic and scripted by floating a trial balloon to the New York Times about her plan to be spontaneous.

The Clinton campaign is officially only five months old. But the real campaign is closer to 20 years old. People have been talking about — and plotting — her run for president since her husband said a vote for him was also a vote for her and amounted to getting “two for the price of one.”

In that time, Hillary Clinton has had any number of makeovers. The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto recently catalogued many of Clinton’s rebranding efforts. In 1999, as she planned her Senate run, her image consultant, Mandy Grunwald, and the rest of the team tried to “humanize” her. “Be real,” Grunwald advised her in a memo. Oh, and “look for opportunities for humor. It’s important that people see more sides of you, and they often see you only in very stern situations.”

In February of this year, the Washington Post reported that Clinton had assembled an A-team of branding consultants to help “imagine Hillary 5.0.”

....The number of Americans who view her unfavorably has doubled since she was secretary of state. An elderly socialist from Vermont with a Brooklyn accent is beating her in New Hampshire and is poised to overtake her in Iowa. The percentage of Democrats who say they’ll vote for Clinton has dropped 18 points since April.

In July, New York Times writer Mark Leibovich wrote of the difficult effort to get voters to see the “real” Hillary. In his essay “Re-Re-Re-Reintroducing Hillary Clinton,” he noted how friends of Hillary see a different person from the one who’s on the stump. No doubt that’s true.

But there’s a huge assumption behind such talk. It’s a well-known fact that friends and supplicants of very powerful people tend to be biased about how fantastic those people are. No doubt members of Justin Bieber’s entourage think he’s one of the world’s great musical talents....

The simple fact is that the Hillary Clinton you see — controlled, defensive, out of touch — is the only Hillary Clinton there is or ever will be, and no amount of re-re-re-re-branding will change that.

Charles C. W. Cooke thinks that the project of humanizing Hillary may well be "the impossible dream."
“The major question” for the “Clinton team in Iowa,” the Times proposed, was this: “Did it wait too long to try to humanize Hillary?”

Given that the venture was supposed to begin in earnest in the late 1990s, the answer may well be a resounding “Yes.” At Buzzfeed earlier this year, Ruby Cramer and Megan Apper attempted to chronicle the ups and downs of what they described as the “20-year Hillary Clinton Humanization project.” They were helped in their investigation by the release of 4,000 previously sealed documents from the Clinton Presidential Library — documents which show, among other things, that Hillary’s reputation for humorlessness, penchant for stern censoriousness, and tendency toward a “defensive” “bunker mentality” have been vexing confidantes since the Spice Girls were showing us how it’s done. When running for office for the first time in 1999, Reuters records, Clinton was instructed repeatedly to be “chatty, intimate, informal,” and, above all, “real.” Four Manhattan Projects later, and she still hasn’t got close to this goal. Time to hope that one of those insurgent OFA kids has been working on a patch.



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David W. Brady & Douglas Rivers of Stanford and YouGov have an interesting analysis of whom Trump is taking votes from and who might benefit if Trump were to lose support.
What do these results tell us about the Trump candidacy?

First, that most of his support comes from candidates already in the race and not from newly inspired voters. Second, his campaign drew from both the front-runners and the second-tier candidates and hurt Ted Cruz among the front-runners and Rick Perry among the second-tier candidates the most.

Third, his support comes from across the full range of Republican identifiers but is slightly higher among those who are less well educated, earn less than $50,000 annually and are slightly older.

Fourth, Tea Party respondents supported Trump at slightly lower levels than the totals for Cruz and Fiorina but higher than for the rest of the field.

Fifth, if his candidacy falters or he quits the race, no single candidate benefits in more than the low double digits, and those he hurt the most—Cruz and Perry—probably do not make up their losses, notwithstanding Cruz’s machinations.

Typical bureaucratic authoritarianism.
After a disabled VA employee and Army veteran reached out to Congress for help locating his lost benefits folder, the VA fired him out of retaliation.

Bradie Frink, a clerk at the VA's regional office in Baltimore, had written a letter to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., in Feb. 2013 when the agency misplaced Frink's benefits folder. Two weeks later, his superiors moved to fire him for alleged misconduct, despite having no concerns about Frink's performance prior to his congressional complaint.

The Office of Special Counsel announced Tuesday that Frink had been wrongfully terminated following his attempt to get help from Mikulski's office. Because the VA could not find Frink's file, the agency had stopped making certain payments to his family, according to the OSC report.

"No veteran who has fought for America should have to fight the backlog of bureaucracy to get the care and benefits they've earned and deserve," Mikulski told the Washington Examiner. "And no federal employee should fear retaliation for seeking assistance from their elected representatives. I will continue to fight for federal employees as hard as federal employees fight on the front lines each and every day for America."

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Rich Lowry and Eliana Johnson explore what has gone wrong with the Scott Walker campaign.
What happened? Unaffiliated political strategists, operatives from rival campaigns, and Walker allies — almost all of whom requested anonymity to speak frankly — describe a number of challenges and mistakes. Walker’s rise came so early that he didn’t yet have a campaign in place and hadn’t fully studied up on national issues, and it showed. His Iowa bounce played into a key strategic decision to make the Hawkeye State central to his campaign, and relatedly, to compete directly for the Right of the party, which for him required changes in tone and position. Walker is a conservative but not a fire-breather. That made his attempt to straddle the grassroots and the establishment — which would have been difficult for any politician — harder to pull off.

Above all, the past few months have amplified questions about whether Walker’s campaign and, more importantly, the candidate himself are built to thrive on a stage larger and less forgiving than Wisconsin. Political observers had long worried about whether he had the charisma to succeed in a presidential contest. Now, there are doubts about his substance. At times, the candidate and his operation have appeared accident-prone and politically immature.
One major problem is that Walker chose to run to the right in the primaries and that's crowded territory this year among Republican candidates.
The schematic of competing “lanes” in the GOP nomination fight can be overly simplistic, but Walker’s largely Iowa-driven shifts have placed him in the insurgent lane more than anyone would have expected. They have also put him in direct competition with candidates who are more naturally suited to that role. “He’s not going to out-Cruz Cruz,” says a Republican strategist who is neutral in the 2016 race. His attempts to do so, meanwhile, have made him less appealing to the establishment.

“He made a strategic error that’s fairly fundamental,” argues a strategist for one rival candidate. “What happened to Walker is that he started off fairly well-positioned, with a good story to tell about his record in Wisconsin, but he moved very far to the right, where he ran into other candidates who were more appealing to that audience. . . . He didn’t look like the best guy to that audience in comparison to those alternatives, and by making that move he abandoned the center of the Republican electorate, so now he’s left with neither the center nor the right.”
The good news is that he can still recover. Remember where John McCain was in 2007. I'd like to see him recover though I don't know if the voters who left him would return to him or go back to someone else.

The WSJ has some words of wisdom for those panting for a government shutdown over funding Planned Parenthood.
But let’s say the House GOP takes Mr. Cruz’s advice again and dares Senate Democrats and Mr. Obama to bend on funding Planned Parenthood. What if they refuse and the shutdown drags on for two weeks, or four, or eight? Sooner or later the government has to be funded.

If public opinion doesn’t turn and Mr. Obama won’t bend, will Mr. Cruz and Heritage Action give Republicans credit for trying? Or, like the last time, will they accuse House leaders of premature “surrender” and say public opinion would have turned, eventually, if only the GOP held out longer?

We can guess the answer to that one. Mr. Cruz in particular knows Congress can’t win a shutdown showdown with Mr. Obama. His purpose is to pose as a relentless fighter so he can ride frustrated GOP voters to the presidential nomination. Swing-state Senators are tolerable collateral damage.

The political reality is that the real GOP problem isn’t John Boehner or Mitch McConnell. It’s James Madison, who designed a government of checks and balances that is hard to overcome without the White House. GOP leaders have made mistakes in the Obama era, but the party simply doesn’t have the votes to pass most of its preferred policy outcomes, much less to override a Democratic President.

They should still fight and frame the issues to educate the public. They can even use budget reconciliation to send a budget to Mr. Obama’s desk with only GOP votes. But the project for the next 14 months should be to achieve what they can within divided government while showing voters how important it is to elect a GOP President in 2016. Another failed government shutdown will make that harder and only hurt the antiabortion cause.
It might feel good for a while to have Republicans stand up for something conservatives believe in, but in the end, they would be doomed to lose and to lose public support while the public grows tired of the spectacle of a shutdown. And how would that help the Republican senators who are facing tough elections next year?
Rob Portman, Ron Johnson, Kelly Ayotte, Pat Toomey and Mark Kirk are excellent Senators who are crucial to holding a majority, which is in turn crucial to being able to advance the conservative cause. If a Republican wins the Presidency but Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren run the Senate, don’t expect any movement on Planned Parenthood—or ObamaCare repeal.
Politics is a long game. It's comforting to stamp our feet and blame Boehner and McConnell. But reenacting political Pickett's Charges might be momentarily satisfying, but losing such battles will doom long-term prospects.

The Washington Examiner profiles conservative women and what they think about the issues facing the country. These are women who can get past the traditional "women's issues."

While the world struggles with coming up with a solution to the Syrian refugee crisis, this is an interesting fact to note.
As European states labor to rescue, feed and shelter hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers from the Middle East, readers may be wondering what the wealthier states of the Arabian peninsula are doing for their desperate brethren. The answer is, pretty much nothing.

The office of the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees reports that in 2014 Saudi Arabia had accepted a grand total of 561 refugees and 100 asylum seekers. The United Arab Emirates has roughly the same number, with even fewer in Qatar and Bahrain. Only Kuwait does a little better, with about 1,700 refugees and asylum seekers.

Such are the kingdoms whose princes and diplomats routinely profess the brotherly solidarity of the Arab nation. And the policy is, if anything, more dismaying than the numbers. The Saudis stopped issuing work permits to Syrians in 2011 when the uprising against the Assad regime began. Gulf states also refuse to sign the U.N. convention governing treatment of asylum seekers. The Saudi contribution to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs amounts to a little more than $18 million—as compared to $1 billion from the U.S.

The Gulf states’ nonfeasance hasn’t gone unnoticed in the region. The twitter hashtag #Welcoming-Syria’s-refugees-is-a-Gulf-duty has gone viral in recent days. Gulf leaders see it differently, worrying that a large influx of refugees will upset the political balance of their brittle kingdoms.

But don’t think the Saudis and their brethren are completely unwilling to help. On Tuesday the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Riyadh is preparing 200 mosques for the Syrians arriving in Germany. If that’s Saudi moral comfort, it’s no comfort at all.
Just as they do nothing to help Palestinians except heap bile on Israel, they'll do nothing to help this new generation of refugees except to try to radicalize them in their new homes.

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Jonathan Haidt, who co-authored the powerful article, "The Coddling of the American Mind," follows it up by reporting on an article about the origin of microaggressions by sociologists Bradley Campbell1 and Jason Manning. Haidt gives a thorough summary of the article and what it says about how people, especially in diverse societies such as academic settings, seek to stand out by emphasizing their victimhood rather than their strengths. and people seek some third source of authority to protect them and their victim status.
The key idea is that the new moral culture of victimhood fosters “moral dependence” and an atrophying of the ability to handle small interpersonal matters on one’s own. At the same time that it weakens individuals, it creates a society of constant and intense moral conflict as people compete for status as victims or as defenders of victims....

7) CONCLUSIONS
The emerging victimhood culture appears to share [dignity culture’s] disdain for risk, but it does condone calling attention to oneself [as in an honor culture] as long as one is calling attention to one’s own hardships – to weaknesses rather than strengths and to exploitation rather than exploits. For example, students writing personal statements as part of their applications for colleges and graduate schools often write not of their academic achievements but instead – with the encouragement of the universities – about overcoming adversity such as a parent’s job loss or having to shop at thrift stores (Lieber 2014). And in a setting where people increasingly eschew toleration and publicly air complaints to compel official action, personal discomfort looms large in official policy. For example, consider recent calls for “trigger warnings” in college classes or on course syllabuses to forewarn students they are about to exposed to topics that cause them distress… [This is a clear link between microaggressions and trigger warnings — both make sense in a moral culture of victimhood]
If you haven't read the original article, "The Coddling of the American Mind," I strongly recommend it. Haidt and his co-author Greg Lukianoff laid out so much of what is wrong with our attitude towards young people today and how the fear of some sort of microaggression is depriving many in a generation of being strong and independent adults.

2 comments:

Phil Brown said...

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Betsy Newmark said...

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