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Elite Campuses Offer Students Coloring Books, Puppies to Get Over Trump

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The post-election freak-out on elite campuses is total, and is made all the worse because students on these campuses never meet anyone who disagrees with them.

soaveRobby Soave writes: In the wake of the election, many college students at elite colleges and universities have come down with serious cases of PTSD: President Trump Stress Disorder.

Their inability to anticipate this outcome—the election of Donald Trump—should prompt the Ivy League to consider whether it’s really preparing students for life outside the liberal bubble of campus.

To equip students with the resources they need to refute Trumpism, colleges have to stop shielding them from ideas that offend their liberal sensibilities. They have to stop pretending that shutting down a 200181253-001discussion is the same thing as winning an argument. Silence is not persuasion.

“There were actual cats and a puppy there. The event as a whole seemed to be an escape from the reality of the election results.”

— UPenn student, Daniel Tancredi

Elsewhere, at campuses across the country, students begged professors to cancel classes and postpone exams, citing fear, exhaustion, and emotional trauma. Such accommodations were frequently granted: Academics at Columbia University, Yale University, the University of Connecticut, and other institutions told students to take some time to come to terms with what had happened, as if the election of Donald Trump was akin to a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

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That wasn’t all. Law students at the University of Michigan were provided with a post-election “self-care with food and play” event, complete with “stress busting” activities like play dough, coloring books, legos, crying-little-girl
and bubbles. Columbia University’s Barnard College offered hot chocolate and coloring. The University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution, created a healing space: more coloring books, and also puppies.

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Beast]

“There were actual cats and a puppy there,” one UPenn student, Daniel Tancredi, told The College Fix. “The event as a whole seemed to be an escape from the reality of the election results.”

One wonders whether some campuses have routinely provided too much of an escape from reality, if the election has reduced their students to tears, play dough, and a whole lot of coloring books.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Mollie Hemingway: Anatomy Of A Smear: The Media Vs. Republican Senators On Iran Letter

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The claims in the Daily Beast story are completely 100% unsubstantiated

mollie writes: This week, a group of Republican senators led by Tom Cotton of Arkansas (pictured above, with a kitten, in Iraq) issued a very brief open letter to the leaders of Iran explaining the differences between mere executive agreements and international treaties ratified by the Senate. It’s a fairly basic letter that includes reminders about the Constitutional system under which we operate. I couldn’t begin to speculate why, but the media lost their collective minds over this letter. Along with other Democrats and progressive activists. You can read the breathless, outraged, totally-over-the-top headlines if you’d like to see this melt-down in action.

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Now, that’s fine. That’s their business. To be completely honest, and not that you care, I’m not the biggest fan of such letters myself. I mean, they’re not as bad as Nancy Pelosi going to Syria to undermine Bush’s foreign policyJimmy Carter helping North Korea get nuclear weaponsTed Kennedy secretly asking the Soviets to interfere in the 1984 election or any of the many other interjections we’ve seen, but I think it’s generally a good idea to yield to the president on foreign negotiations, even if it’s a really bad president who couldn’t negotiate his way out of a paper bag if the stakes involved, oh I don’t know, going ahead with Iran as a nuclear power.

“What he sure as MOTHERFREAKING FREAK doesn’t say is that he’s a senator, that he thought it was a dumb idea to sign the letter, that he signed it and then realized it was a bad call or that he represents the ‘some’ in the headline.”

But let’s look a little deeper at just one part of this media campaign against Republican senators. It comes from Tim Mak of the Daily Beast and it looks like he’s got an explosive story:

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Whoa. Check that out. Republicans now “admit” that the letter was “a dumb idea”! That’s huge. And “some Republicans who signed on” are now “realizing” it was a bad call? I can’t wait to read this story — taglined “HINDSIGHT” for extra flair — can you?

“Other than this low-level staff aide who didn’t even say he thought the letter was a bad idea, much less a dumb one, we have two Republican Senators who always opposed the letter and then also a Democratic Senator who didn’t like the letter…”

What are their names? Which of the senators are changing their minds and “admitting” and “realizing” that the media were right after all? Who are they?

[read the full text here, at The Federalist]

Oh dear. That’s … weird. Very weird.

“So, in other words, we have a story that in no way supports the headline. Not even close…”

Hunh. Tim Mak’s story doesn’t even claim a single senator changed his mind. Not even close. Yikes.

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Um. So it turns out that the only people quoted in the story against the letter are people who always opposed the letter. There’s also a quote from an unnamed, completely anonymous “Senate Republican aide” who doesn’t in any way say anything even remotely close to the claims made in the headline or anywhere else in the piece. Read the rest of this entry »


Psychedelics: Poised for a Comeback

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In an interview with The Daily Beast, author Tom Shroder explains why psychedelics are so important to veterans, and the roadblocks researchers face getting it to them.

Abby Haglage writes: LSD, an illicit drug with a serious stigma, was once the darling of the psychotherapy world.Synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann in 1938, the two decades following its birth were populated with study after study showing positive effects. With its ability to reduce defensiveness, help users relive early experiences, and make unconscious material accessible, it proved tremendously successful in therapy.
Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, nearing retirement, is reportedly using LSD regularly. Pictured here is one of Reid's drug-inspired pause to study his own hand during a floor speech

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, nearing retirement, is rumored to be using LSD regularly. Seen here is one of Reid’s characteristic pauses to observe chem trails from his undulating hand during a floor speech

In a plethora of studies from the 1950s, researchers found the drug, and other psychedelics in its family, to be successful in treating victims of psychosomatic illnesses ranging from depression to addiction. With fear and hesitation stripped away, psychologists could help their patients dive headfirst into a painful memory, feeling, or thought, and work through it. For some, it sped up a process of awakening that may have taken years. For others, it opened a door that mayacid test book never have been found otherwise.

[Check out Tom Shroder‘s book “Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal” at Amazon.com]

But with the widespread recreational use of LSD beginning the 1960s, came both fear from both the general public and the government. After 1970 (when LSD was put on the schedule 1 substance list) it wasn’t technically illegal to do research with psychedelics but rather virtually impossible, given the professional and regulatory hurdles.

More than 40 years later, the criminalization of Hofmann’s drug still persists. The means and approval to research the psychedelic on humans is few and far between. The freedom of sufferers who may benefit to access it is all but nonexistent.

Nowhere are the negative effects of psychedelics’ fate more pronounced than in the story of America’s veterans. Of the many illnesses for which the psychedelic-assisted therapy showed promise, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was one of the most profound.

[Also see – LSD, Reconsidered for Therapy]
[More – New Drugs May Help Heal Old Psychological Traumas]

An estimated 500,000 Iraq-Afghanistan military veterans are suffering from PTSD, an excruciating illness that is believed to fuel the estimated 20 suicides that result from that demographic per day. In FDA sanctioned studies using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat veterans with PTSD, the success rate has been astounding. Why has no one noticed? Read the rest of this entry »


Putin Poised to Retaliate by Trashing Iran Deal

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Now that the U.S.-Russia relationship has broken down, Moscow could throw a wrench into the teetering nuclear negotiations with Iran.

For the The Daily BeastJosh Rogin writes: The escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow, brought to fever by theMH17 airliner disaster, are finally to the point where they threaten to spoil the number one item on President Obama’s foreign policy agenda: the nuclear talks with Iran. The man doing the threatening is Russian President Vladimir Putin.Earlier this week, Putin promised to retaliate against the United States for new sanctions targeting his friends and business associates, as well as large Russian defense, energy, and financial firms.

 “If Putin decides that retaliating against the U.S. and ruining Obama’s foreign policy legacy is more important than sealing a pact with Iran, the whole thing could unravel.”

On Thursday, Putin called President Obama to alert him a civilian jetliner had crashed over Eastern Ukraine, a tragedy the U.S. says was caused by a missile shot from a Russian-made SA-11 mobile surface to air missile system located in a separatist-held area.Putin’s next call was to none other than the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.“Mr. Putin and Mr. Rouhani exchanged views on the state of talks on Iran’s nuclear program,” stated the Kremlin readout of the call. “The two leaders also examined bilateral cooperation matters of mutual interest, including joint projects in the oil and gas sector and in peaceful nuclear energy.”

“An extension is the only thing the Iranians need to complete their bomb work. The whole point of the sanctions was to make sure that time is not on the side of the Iranians.”

U.S. officials, lawmakers, and experts, have been watching and waiting for Putin to use the Iran negotiations as a way to mess with Obama ever since the tit-for-tat sanctions began in March.

Moscow and Tehran have been negotiating a $1.5 billion oil-for-goods exchange, which could undermine international pressure on Iran to make a deal with the West. But overall, Moscow has continued to be a reasonably constructive part of the international coalition pressing Iran to roll back its nuclear program. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] CNN Panel: Daily Beast’s Keli Goff Compares Deporting Jose Antonio Vargas to Sending Blacks Back to Africa

“If you dropped me off in Africa, I couldn’t speak the language, I wouldn’t have any cultural ties to the continent, even though it is the continent of my origin”

—  The Daily Beast’s Keli Goff

National Review OnlineAndrew Johnson has this item: Deporting immigration activist and documentarian Jose Antonio Vargas, who famously revealed he was an illegal immigrant in a New York Times op-ed in 2011 and was arrested trying to leave McAllen, Texas, this morning, would be like sending black Americans back to Africa, according to one CNN guest.

Wright immediately called it a false equivalence because enslaved Africans were forcibly brought to the Americas and did not break the law, but that didn’t stop Goff from continuing to make the case for Vargas.

Read the rest of this entry »


Losing the Argument on Merit, Liberal Media Turns to Wu Wu: ‘Religion’ and ‘Mythology’

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Two headlines in the last few weeks at Brietbart.com form an interesting duet…

Tony Lee writes: The New York Times editorial board believes the border crisis is merely “a myth.”

In a weekend editorial, the Times said the “White House is getting it mostly right” on immigration and blasted Republicans, who are “throwing up roadblocks” with “dangerous overreaction.” The Times praised the Obama administration’s request for $3.7 billion in aid to deal with a crisis they think is a “myth.”

“The besieged border is a myth, and the arrival of a few thousand weary refugee children on buses does not make the myth true,” the Times wrote…(read more)

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Jack Schwartz at The Daily Beast argues in what is surprisingly not a metaphor that the Tea Party is for all intents and purposes a religion – and as such has crossed lines that endanger American democracy:

America has long been the incubator of many spiritual creeds going back to the Great Awakening and even earlier. Only one of them, Mormonism, has taken root and flourished as a true religion sprung from our own native ground. Today, however, we have a new faith growing from this nation’s soil: the Tea Party. Despite its secular trappings and “taxed enough already” motto, it is a religious movement, one grounded in the traditions of American spiritual revival. This religiosity explains the Tea Party’s political zealotry. Read the rest of this entry »


Dawn of the Age of Oligarchy: the Alliance between Government and the 1%

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Thanks to their cozy relationship with the Obama administration, a new class of super-wealthy oligarchs keeps getting more powerful while the country’s middle class shrinks.

For The Daily BeastJoel Kotkin writes: When our current President was elected, many progressives saw the dawning of a new epoch, a more egalitarian and more just Age of Obama. Instead we have witnessed the emergence of the Age of Oligarchy. The outlines of this new epoch are clear in numerous ways. There is the diminished role for small business, greater concentration of financial assets, and a troubling decline in home ownership
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[Also see A Glimpse into the Political Future – city-journal.org]
On a cultural level, there is a general malaise about the prospect for upward mobility for future generations.Not everyone is suffering in this new age. For the entitled few, these have been the best of times. With ever more concentration of key industries, ever greater advantage of capital over labor, and soaring real estate values in swanky places such as Manhattan or San Francisco which , as one journalists put it, constitute “vast gated communities where the one percent reproduces itself.” The top hundred firms on the Fortune 500 list has revenues, in adjusted dollars, eight times those during the supposed big-business heyday of the 1960s.
This shift towards oligarchy well precedes President Obama’s tenure. It was born from a confluence of forces: globalization, the financialization of the economy, and the shift towards digital technology. Obama is not entirely to blame, it is more than a bit ironic that these measurements have worsened under an Administration that has proclaimed income inequality abhorrent.
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[Check out Joel Kotkin‘s book The New Class Conflict at Amazon.com]

Despite this administration’s occasional rhetorical flourishes against oligarchy, we have seen a rapid concentration of wealth and depressed conditions for the middle class under Obama. The stimulus, with its emphasis on public sector jobs, did little for Main Street. And under the banner of environmentalism, green cronyism has helped fatten the bank accounts of investment bankers and tech moguls at great public expense.

Read the rest of this entry »


After Cochran’s Win: Red-State Socialism Must Be Stopped!

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The hidden message of Thad Cochran’s big win is that politicians can always get reelected by bringing home the bacon. This must end.

For The Daily BeastNick Gillespie writes: I get why Mississippi voters of all parties, races, and creeds pulled together at the very last minute to give Sen. Thad Cochran a win in his GOP primary and thus effectively another six years in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body™ (also known as the League of Unextraordinary Gentlemen).The short version: Cochran has been very, very good to the Magnolia State, first as a congressman (1973-1978) and then as a senator (1978-forever). Not because he has authored or championed legislation that has expanded the scope of human freedom and flourishing. No, he’s just one of the great elder statesmen of what should be called out as “Red State Socialism,” the process by which supposedly conservative states—typically filled with politicians and voters who rail against welfarism in all its manifestations—are gifted massive subsidies courtesy of mostly blue-state voters.By any measure, Mississippi has been on the government teat longer and more fully than the kid on that creepy Time magazine cover about attachment parenting. According to the Tax Foundation, Mississippi has never been lower than fourth in the amount of federal taxes paid vs. the amount of federal money received.  In 2005, Mississippi received a jaw-dropping $2.02 in federal money for every $1 of taxes its residents sent to Washington.

By 2010, that had jacked up further still to $2.47. That same year, the Tax Foundation calculates that fully 49 percent of Mississippi’s state general revenue comes from federal taxpayers who will never step foot in Morgan Freeman’s and William Faulkner’s beloved stamping grounds. Read the rest of this entry »


ISIS Leader: ‘See You in New York’

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When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi walked away from a U.S. detention camp in 2009, the future leader of ISIS issued some chilling final words to reservists from Long Island.

For The Daily Beast, Michael Daly reports: The Islamist extremist some are now calling the most dangerous man in the world had a few parting words to his captors as he was released from the biggest U.S.  detention camp in Iraq in 2009.“He said, ‘I’ll see you guys in New York,’” recalls Army Col. Kenneth King, then the commanding officer of Camp Bucca.bad-guys-sidebarKing didn’t take these words from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a threat. Al-Baghdadi knew that many of his captors were from New York, reservists with the 306 Military Police Battalion, a unit based on Long Island that includes numerous numerous members of the NYPD and the FDNY. The camp itself was named after FDNY Fire Marshal Ronald Bucca, who was killed at the World Trade Center in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

King figured that al-Baghdadi was just saying that he had known all along that it was all essentially a joke, that he had only to wait and he would be freed to go back to what he had been doing.

“Like, ‘This is no big thing, I’ll see you on the block,’” King says.

King had not imagined that in less that five years he would be seeing news reports that al-Baghdadi was the leader of ISISthe ultra-extremist army that was sweeping through Iraq toward Baghdad.

“I’m not surprised that it was someone who spent time in Bucca but I’m a little surprised it was him,” King says. “He was a bad dude, but he wasn’t the worst of the worst.”

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King allows that along with being surprised he was frustrated on a very personal level.

“We spent how many missions and how many soldiers were put at risk when we caught this guy and we just released him,” King says.

During the four years that al-Baghdadi was in custody, there had been no way for the Americans to predict what a 20131214-173711danger he would become. Al-Baghdadi hadn’t even been assigned to Compound 14, which was reserved for the most virulently extremist Sunnis.

“A lot of times, the really bad guys tended to operate behind the scenes because they wanted to be invisible,” the other officer says.

“The worst of the worst were kept in one area,” King says. “I don’t recall him being in that group.”

Al-Baghdadi was also apparently not one of the extremists who presided over Sharia courts that sought to enforce fundamentalist Islamic law among their fellow prisoners. One extremist made himself known after the guards put TV sets outside the 16-foot chain-link fence that surrounded each compound. An American officer saw a big crowd form in front of one, but came back a short time later to see not a soul.

“Some guy came up and shooed them all away because TV was Western,” recalls the officer, who asked not to be named. “So we identified who that guy was, put a report in his file, kept him under observation for other behaviors.” Read the rest of this entry »


Nick Gillespie: Now Let’s Replace All the Other Big-Spending Eric Cantors

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Eric Cantor was a noxious, cookie-cutter, U.S. Chamber, GOP hypocrite. We need legislators who don’t just talk limited government but do it.

For The Daily BeastNick Gillespie writes: Will anybody really miss Eric Cantor? Probably not. Despite (or maybe because of) his position in the House Republican leadership and the historic nature of his primary loss, there was virtually nothing remarkable about him as a politician or a policymaker. The Republicans have dozens or hundreds or thousands more just like him. He’s like a Dorito corn chip in those old Jay Leno ads: They’ll make more.

“On spending and economic issues, he was atrocious and hypocritical in all the ways that a Republican can be.”

Cantor exemplifies what Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) just denounced as a “Chamber of Commerce”-style GOP legislator, Gillespie book“the same-old, same-old,” standard-issue Republican who has brought the party to a historically low level of self-identification among voters.

[Order Nick Gillespie‘s bookThe Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America from Amazon.com]

Cantor was what passes for a small-government conservative. Which is to say that Cantor was in favor of shrinking the size and scope of  government…except for the endless list of exceptions that allowed him to help grow federal spending by more than 50 percent in real terms, and regulatory spending by even more, during the Bush years.

You know the drill: As a “conservative,” Cantor wanted the government out of people’s lives because FREEDOM-FOUNDING FATHERS-CONSTITUTION. Yet Cantor was anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion (he even wanted to prohibit adults from transporting minors across state lines if they were getting abortions). Because the federal government really should dictate all that, right? He endorsed a constitutional amendment against flag burning because free expression doesn’t mean you can actually express what you mean. He was pro-gun or, more specifically, pro-National Rifle Association. He was pro-drug war. Nothing unique or interesting there. Read the rest of this entry »


The VA’s Socialist Paradise

Eric Shinseki

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 15, 2014, before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing to examine the state of Veterans Affairs health care. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

For POLITICO MagazineRich Lowry writes: For the left, the Department of Veterans Affairs is how health care is ideally supposed to work. No insurance companies, no private doctors, no competition — just the government and the patient.

“people die every day.”

—  Socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders

Paul Krugman, The New York Times columnist, has held up the VA as a model for the entire country. The Washington Monthly ran a famous article in 2005 arguing that the VA was leading the way for U.S. health care. The socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, is such a reflexive defender that in an instantly notorious interview on CNN he pooh-poohed the burgeoning scandal that may involve fatalities with the undeniable observation that “people die every day.”lincoln-unbound

[Rich Lowry‘s book: Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved the American Dream–and How We Can Do It Again is available at Amazon.com]

The VA is an island of socialism in American health care. It generally provides adequate care — to a limited universe of people and for only certain conditions — but has been plagued by scandal for decades. It is perhaps the worst bureaucracy in the federal government. As with all such single-payer-type systems, the cost of the notionally free health care is in the rationing, in this case the wait times that have had desperately ill vets hung out to dry for months. Read the rest of this entry »


Geller: According to The Daily Beast, Boko Haram Terrorists Are Not ‘Islamic’

boko-haram-ReutersPamela Geller writes: On the very day that the devout Muslim group Boko Haram released a video of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, clad in burkas and being forced to recite the Qur’an, author Dean Obeidallah declared in the Daily Beast that “The Nigerian terrorist group that kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls has nothing to do with Islam, and it’s grotesquely irresponsible of the media to suggest it does.”

Mr. Obeidallah, it’s not the media that suggests it; it is Boko Haram that declares it.

“The reason the media use the rather silly term ‘Islamist’ or ‘Islamic radical’ is because the devout Muslims engaged in jihad are citing Qur’an chapter and verse. They are identifying themselves as such.”

It is not grotesque to tell the truth. What is grotesque is that the widely-read Daily Beast would run such damaging propaganda by a failed yet self-described “comic.”

[Geller‘s book: Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance is available at Amazon.com]

The Daily Beast is doing an end run for Islamic jihad when these girls’ lives hang in the balance. That is a different kind of savagery. The Beast is more worried about Islam’s PR than it is in educating the public on the most grave threat to freedom, not just in Nigeria but across the world.

“Disinformationalists like Obdeillah don’t have a theological leg to stand on.”

Clearly, the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is just more empty rhetoric from hypocrites, not an honest clarion call for action.

Read the rest of this entry »


An Atheists Case For Religious Liberty

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I’ve yet to see an atheist from the secular right emerge to make this case, it’s long overdue.

 writes:  I am an atheist, which puts me firmly on the secular right. There aren’t a whole lot of us, but we’re out here, in some surprising places.

Yet I consider the current campaign against religious liberty—the attempt to coerce Christians into providing service to gay weddings or to provide abortifacient drugs to their employees, against the dictates of their faith—to be a deep cultural crisis.

Why? Above all, because the sight of a bully using a club to force someone else to violate his conscience is inherently repugnant. As a humanist, what I regard as “sacred” is the power of the human mind to think and make judgments. To put this in terms borrowed from religion, when someone uses coercion to overrule the judgment of their victim’s mind, they are defiling my temple.

But there is another, more practical reason. History shows that the only way to fight for freedom of thought is to defend it early, when it comes under threat forothers—even people you strongly disagree with, even people you despise. So I’m willing to fight for it for people who are much worse, by my standards, than your average Christian.

Read the rest of this entry »


Study: Can Boys Be Coerced Into Sex?

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The notion of teenage boys as sexual aggressors is so engrained, the results of a new study, which reveal that they are being coerced into sex by girls and young women, will surprise many.

Lizzie Crocker writes:  There was nothing outwardly headline-grabbing about Bryana H. French’s latest study, published in the august and largely unread pages of Psychology of Men and Masculinity, an academic journal that typically reaches an audience of dozens. While her findings were depressing, they were depressingly banal: according to French and her team of researchers at the University of Missouri, “sexual victimization continues to be a pervasive problem in the United States.” Well, we know that.

“This study should be a wake-up call to parents and educators everywhere…”

— Dr. Barbara Greenberg

So why the media scrum? Because the authors concluded that “43 percent of high school boys and young college men”—yes, boys and young men—“reported they had an unwanted sexual experience and of those, 95 percent said a female acquaintance was the aggressor.”In a press release, French pointed out that “the victimization of men is rarely explored” and concluded hopefully that her team’s findings could “help lead to better prevention by identifying the various types of coercion that men face and by acknowledging women as perpetrators against men.”

The idea that boys (those sex-obsessed little monsters) could be victims of “sexual coercion,” while young girls (so often on the receiving end of clumsy and aggressive sexual advances of the sex-obsessed little monsters) could be perpetrators is, to many, both counterintuitive and unlikely.

“This is such an under-discussed topic,” clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Greenberg told The Daily Beast. “We’ve been grossly negligent when it comes to talking to teenage boys about sex because society makes the assumption that young adult men are sex-crazed maniacs. But men and teenage boys have tender feelings too, and we often neglect them when it comes to sexuality.”

That females can be sexually aggressive—and young men and teenage boys can sheepishly submit to sexual aggression—is considered peculiar because “coerced sex” is narrowly imagined as violent or forced sex. But according to French’s research, only “18 percent [of respondents] reported sexual coercion by physical force” while 31 percent said “they were verbally coerced [and] 26 percent described unwanted seduction by sexual behaviors.”
Read the rest of this entry »


Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry: ‘The Republican Party is becoming the party of ideas again’

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And it’s amazing how quickly and quietly it’s happened

Don’t get your hopes up. This guy says more insulting and bizarre things about conservatives and Republicans, on a word-by-word basis, than we normally see from writers that describe themselves as “right-of-center”. Why? Because the markers on the field are different in western Europe than they are here.

When Pascal mentions “innovative conservative policy ideas” that he supports, I shudder to think. Watch closely as he agrees with the Left about how Republicans are perceived. Because, you know, their critics are right. About how dumb Republicans are. And spends most of the article exploring different ways to call them stupid. Until, you know, recently. Sorta.

In France, a “conservative thinker” is probably somewhere in the range of a ‘big ideas’ Hillary Clinton-wing-of-the-party policy wonk here. Just a guess. Perhaps my judgement is too hasty. Let’s give Pascal the benefit of the doubt. He is writing for The Week, so, here goes…

From across the pond, in ParisPascal-Emmanuel Gobry writes:

Perhaps the worst sin of the GOP during the Obama era has been the party’s lack of interest in serious, innovative policy.

Thanks to the notion that opposing the White House was enough of an agenda, and the inchoate enthusiasm of the Tea Party, the GOP, it seemed, was great at sound and fury but had no ideas. Anything the GOP did manage to propose was either an old idea from the ’80s, just plain awful, or (most often) both.

“…but basically their sense was that the problem was that Republicans are dumb. Republican politicians would never take on innovative policy ideas because their base is made up of a bunch of backward troglodytes and their paymasters are robber barons only interested in tax cuts…”

If this narrative seems familiar, it’s because left-of-center pundits have been hammering these ideas for years. And they were right.

“…And in any case, to be a Republican is to have little interest in new ideas — or ideas, period…”

But now, these same pundits are conspicuously silent about how the trend is reversing — and fast.

Read the rest of this entry »


Putin Smashes Washington’s Cocoon

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For The American Interest, Walter Russell Mead writes:  A Politico report calls it “a crisis that no one anticipated.” The Daily Beastreporting on Friday’s US intelligence assessment that “Vladimir Putin’s military would not invade Ukraine,” quotes a Senate aide claiming that “no one really saw this kind of thing coming.”

“Well bred and well read Americans live in an ideological and cultural cocoon and this makes them fatally slow to understand the very different motivations that animate actors ranging from the Tea Party to the Kremlin…”

Op-eds from all over the legacy press this week helped explained why. Through the rose tinted lenses of a media community deeply convinced that President Obama and his dovish team are the masters of foreign relations, nothing poor Putin did could possibly derail the stately progress of our genius president. There were, we were told, lots of reasons not to worry about Ukraine. War is too costly for Russia’s weak economy. Trade would suffer, the ruble would take a hit. The 2008 war with Georgia is a bad historical comparison, as Ukraine’s territory, population and military are much larger. Invasion would harm Russia’s international standing. Putin doesn’t want to spoil his upcoming G8 summit, or his good press from Sochi. Putin would rather let the new government in Kiev humiliate itself with incompetence than give it an enemy to rally against. Crimea’s Tartars and other anti-Russian ethnic minorities wouldn’t stand for it. Headlines like “Why Russia Won’t Invade Ukraine,” “No, Russia Will Not Intervene in Ukraine,” and “5 Reasons for Everyone to Calm Down About Crimea” weren’t hard to find in our most eminent publications.

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‘We Should’ve Told You We Track Your Calls’

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty

Now the Director of National Intelligence admits it would have been better if Washington had acknowledged the surveillance in the first place…

Even the head of the U.S. intelligence community now believes that its collection and storage of millions of call records was kept too secret for too long.

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but I will. Had we been transparent about this from the outset, we wouldn’t have had the problem we had.”

The American public and most members of Congress were kept in the dark for years about a secret U.S. program to collect and store such records of American citizens on a massive scale.The government’s legal interpretation of section 215 of the Patriot Act that granted the authority for this dragnet collection was itself a state secret.

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Obamacare Quote of the Day

“…the White House and its friends don’t want you to think that it will be the young, fit, and fancy-free who will be the ones most likely to go on welfare—I mean Obamacare.  No, instead they want you to believe that those who would work less are 55 year olds who would stay home to care for a sick parent, simultaneously embark on a second or third career, and become Pulitzer Prize-winning writers…”

–Lloyd Green, The Daily Beast

Obamacare Is Wayne’s World

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Scandal! The Media’s Cuckoo Bananas Uproar Over Ted Cruz’s Scholarly Harvard Law Review Essay

cruzhed-600x350

Mark Whittington  writes:  It is a rare occurrence that an essay in The Harvard Law Review can cause political controversy. But Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas and a Harvard Law Graduate himself, seems to have managed it. The essay in question is entitled “Limits on the Treaty Power” which explores the possible use of international treaties by an unscrupulous federal government to acquire power for itself and to take away power from the states.

devilcruz

The essay has lots of citations and footnotes, particularly in reference to a case before the Supreme Court called Bond v. the United States. Carol Anne Bond is a woman who attempted to poison a love rival by smearing a chemical on a door knob. The attack failed, but Bond is now serving a six year stretch for violating an anti chemical weapons treaty signed by the United States in the 1990s. The Supreme Court is to decide whether that conviction was constitutional. Cruz would like the court to place limits on the use of treaties to supersede state law.

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From Soft Power, to Fragile and Powerless: Obama’s Secret Iran Détente Revealed

Rouzbeh Jadidoleslam/AP

Rouzbeh Jadidoleslam/AP

Long before a nuclear deal was in reach, the U.S. was quietly lifting some of the financial pressure on Iran, a Daily Beast investigation reveals. How the sanctions were softened.
The incredible shrinking presidency

The incredible shrinking presidency

 report: The Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran’s new president in June, months before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva or the historic phone call between the two leaders in September.

While those negotiations now appear on the verge of a breakthrough the key condition for Iran—relief from crippling sanctions—began quietly and modestly five months ago.

A review of Treasury Department notices reveals that the U.S. government has all but

President Jimmy Carter announces new sanctions...

stopped the financial blacklisting of entities and people that help Iran evade international sanctions since the election of its president, Hassan Rouhani, in June.

On Wednesday Obama said in an interview with NBC News the negotiations in Geneva “are not about easing sanctions.” “The negotiations taking place are about how Iran begins to meet its international obligations and provide assurances not just to us but to the entire world,” the president said.

But it has also long been Obama’s strategy to squeeze Iran’s economy until Iran would be willing to trade relief from sanctions for abandoning key elements of its nuclear program.

One way Obama has pressured Iran is through isolating the country’s banks from the global financial sector, the networks that make modern international commerce possible. This in turn has led Iran to seek out front companies and cutouts to conduct routine international business, such as selling its crude oil. Read the rest of this entry »


Run, Elizabeth, Run

David Frum at The Daily Beast, and Alex Pareene at Salon.com, each write about Elizabeth Warren and Ted Cruz, and 2016.

David Frum at The Daily Beast, and Alex Pareene at Salon.com, each write about Warren, Cruz, and 2016.

 writes:  Frum sees a Warren run ending in defeat at the hands of the Clinton machine, How Ted Cruz Can Win in 2016:

Democrats liked Hillary personally. But they could see that a Clinton nomination implied a course correction to the right from an administration they already condemned as too conservative. And so, even as the front-runner led the fundraising race through 2015, Iowa and New Hampshire were filling with volunteers canvassing for Elizabeth Warren and her message: “She’s in it to win it. I’m in it for you.”

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EXPOSED: Anonymous White House Tweeter Revealed, Fired

Jofi Joseph, an official in the National Security Staff at the White House, was fired last week after being caught as the tweeter behind @natsecwonk, a feed that’s been leaking internal information since 2011. 

Josh Rogin reports: A White House national security official was fired last week after being caught as the mystery Tweeter who has been tormenting the foreign policy community with insulting comments and revealing internal Obama administration information for over two years.

“I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me” 

Jofi Joseph, a director in the non-proliferation section of the National Security Staff at the White House, has been surreptitiously tweeting under the moniker @natsecwonk, a Twitter feed famous inside Washington policy circles since it began in February, 2011 until it was shut down last week.

“My friends call me Batman,” he once tweeted.

Two administration officials confirmed that the mystery tweeter was Joseph, who has also worked at the State Department and on Capitol Hill for Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Joe Biden. Until recently, he was part of the administration’s team working on negotiations with Iran.

1382500065082.cachedDuring his time tweeting under the @natsecwonk name, Joseph openly criticized the policies of his White House bosses and often insulted their intellect and appearance. At different times, he insulted or criticized several top White House and State Department officials, including former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, Secretary of State John Kerry, and many many others. Read the rest of this entry »


Revolving Door Update: 16th Journalist Joins the Obama Administration

 reports: Former Washington Post writer Laura Blumenfeld on Monday became the latest in a long list of journalists who have joined the Obama administration when she took up an appointment in the State Department’s Middle East office.

A speaker of Arabic and Hebrew, Blumenfeld will now be in charge of strategic communications in the State Department’s office handling negotiations for Secretary of State John Kerry’s Middle East Peace Process. Kerry has tapped former Ambassador to Israel and Brookings Institution scholar Martin Indyk to lead that effort inside the Obama administration. Read the rest of this entry »


O’Bagy: Doctorate program? What Doctorate program…

DoctorObagy

State Dept-cited expert on Syrian rebel “moderates” never was in doctorate program

That would be 26-year-old Elizabeth O’Bagy, who worked her way up from intern at the Institute for the Study of War to the house expert on Syrian rebels — providing helpful analyses to those arguing for American intervention on their behalf against Bashar al-Assad.  Both John Kerry at State and John McCain in the Senate relied on “Dr.” O’Bagy’s conclusions that al-Qaeda affiliates comprised only “15-20 percent” of the Syrian “oppositionists.”  After the discovery last week that O’Bagy had misrepresented her doctoral status, ISW fired her, but Josh Rogin gets O’Bagy to admit that she’d never been accepted in the doctoral program at Georgetown at all (via Mediaite):

Elizabeth O’Bagy, the Syria researcher at the center of a week-long controversy surrounding her academic credentials and her work with the Syrian opposition, admitted for the first time to The Daily Beast she was never enrolled in a Ph.D. program despite representations she made to the press and multiple organizations for whom she worked.

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Tina Brown Departs The Daily Beast

tina-brown-leaves-daily-beast

Tina Brown, the star editor-in-chief who five years ago launched the Daily Beast, is parting ways with investor IAC and launching a new media company.

Brown’s new company, Tina Brown Live Media, will produce live events, panel discussions, summits and debates. That will include the Woman in the World Conference that she has produced since 2010, with sponsorship from The Daily Beast.

News of Brown’s departure first broke on Buzzfeed and was confirmed on the Daily Beast site this afternoon. Read the rest of this entry »


The Continuing Saga of “Living with the Gun”

Glock 17 Night firing to catch muzzle flash.

When Heidi Yewman first published her highly controversial piece in Ms. Magazine, I thought she was a bit irresponsible with how she approached the topic of gun ownership. After reading her continuing drama, now published by the Daily Beast, I believe she lacks the moral clarity, level headedness, and common sense required of someone being a gun owner. On this we agree. Where we disagree is that the government’s job is to enforce responsibility, and that training can fix the problem for someone like her. Training will not help Heidi Yewman; she quite simply lacks the emotional makeup necessary for gun ownership. Perhaps that is her point, but her real problem is not something the government can successfully evaluate, and she should really stop projecting her own inadequacies onto other people. I thought a bit how to deal with her article, but a good old fashioned fisking is about all I can come up with.

I put my purse on the counter and then spent the next hour out on the back deck. Walking into the kitchen to refresh our drinks, I noticed my purse with the 9mm Glock still inside it. I’d forgotten to lock it up! Panic set in as I realized my teen son was playing videogames just 10 feet away.

If you’re a forgetful person, off body carry is not the correct option for you, and this is why. Also, your 15 year old son is old enough to be trained in responsible gun handling. If he had proper training, if he managed to find your Glock in your purse, it would be no danger to him. If you have small children, or unruly children, you quite simply need to learn to be more responsible, and perhaps consider a different carry option.

A gun in a home is 43 times more likely to be used to kill a family member than kill someone in self-defense.

No, it’s not. This is based on a study that has been long discredited as junk science.

 I lie awake thinking: “Is someone breaking in? How fast can I get to the gun? Will they hear me? How much time do I have before they get to my bedroom? What if they go to my son’s room first? Will I shoot them in the face or heart or stomach?” And then I think: “How in the world would I live with myself knowing I took a life?”

I generally encourage anyone buying a firearm for self-defense to give serious thought as to whether they are capable of killing another in self-defense. Not everyone has the emotional makeup to do it. It is a serious question, and I don’t blame her for giving it thought. But nonetheless, she seems awfully fearful. As her article continues, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that her fearfulness rises to the point she ought to consider counseling.

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The Rancid, Self-Destructive Perversity of Rich Lowry’s Bizarre Libertarian-Hating Smear

dumbhate

The foul stench of deep personal anti-Libertarian HATRED, combined with a twisted, rage-filled anti-Conservative bigotry, threatens to poison the already questionable reputation of Lincoln biographer Rich Lowry.


Claim: Holder Beginning to Feel a Creeping Sense of Personal Remorse

Better than a tingly feeling, a thrill, up his leg? — The Butcher

by Daniel Halper

via Weekly Standard


Why the Long Face, Democrats?

If Democrats are so convinced that President Obama will win, they why are they so depressed? Michael Medved on the scenario everyone’s ignoring—a Romney landslide

by  | November 1, 2012 

When leading pundits, pollsters and prognosticators seem to agree that the re-election of President Obama is all but inevitable, why do grassroots Democrats seem so anxious and depressed?

Obama SupportersSupporters listen at a rally for President Barack Obama on November 1, 2012 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

If the president’s most ardent supporters feel soul-deep certainty that their candidate has richly earned another term in office, then how is it that they universally acknowledge that he’ll draw far fewer votes than he did as an untried freshman senator four years ago?

A revealing report by Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chroniclefound local liberals “so freaked out about the prospect of President Obama losing his re-election bid that they can’t sleep at night. Can’t talk about anything else. Can’t stop parsing the latest polls.” In a particularly alarming confession, one retired educator said she’s become “so distraught she can’t exercise.” David Plouffe, a top Obama strategist, found such panic attacks so common among his fellow Democrats that he’s even coined a name for the victims: he calls them “bed-wetters.”

In a sense, the recent media mantra about Chris Christie “rescuing” or “saving” the Obama campaign reflects the same sense of desperation about the president’s prospects. Why would a confident, successful chief executive who has masterfully concluded his triumphant term ever require rescue from the boisterous governor of New Jersey? If a few warm words about from a combative, partisan Republican look like a life preserver for Barack Obama, it would seem to suggest that he was, in fact, previously drowning…

More

via The Daily Beast


Andrew Sullivan Experiences a Genuine Crisis

“The Pew poll is devastating, just devastating…”

Did Obama Just Throw The Entire Election Away?

 Totally Away?

This is devastating…devastating…

I‘m … I’m… Did I mention that I’m devastated?

>> Andrew Sullivan


Bombshell: US knew Stevens assassination was work of terrorists within 24 hours of attack

Sep 26, 2012 9:21 AM by Ed Morrissey

Five days after the attack on the Benghazi consulate that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the Obama administration sent UN Ambassador Susan Rice onto five Sunday talk shows to insist that the sacking of the consulate was the result of a protest over a YouTube video that “spun out of control.”  The government of Libya was already scoffing at that story, and by the end of the next week the White House began reluctantly admitting that terrorists had attacked the diplomatic mission.  Today, however, Eli Lake reports for the Daily Beast that the Obama administration knew within 24 hours that the attack had not been a spontaneous event, but a well-planned terrorist attack:

Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya…

…The intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast did so anonymously because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press. They said U.S. intelligence agencies developed leads on four of the participants of the attacks within 24 hours of the fire fight that took place mainly at an annex near the Benghazi consulate. For one of those individuals, the U.S. agencies were able to find his location after his use of social media. “We had two kinds of intelligence on one guy,” this official said. “We believe we had enough to target him.”

Another U.S. intelligence official said, “There was very good information on this in the first 24 hours. These guys have a return address. There are camps of people and a wide variety of things we could do.”

A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment for the story. But another U.S. intelligence official said, “I can’t get into specific numbers but soon after the attack we had a pretty good bead on some individuals involved in the attack.”

In other words, either Susan Rice lied to the press, or was lied to by the Obama administration and sent out to the press deliberately.  That leaves the national media in a quandry.  Clearly, with only a couple of exceptions, the media hasn’t wanted to address the implications of a successful terrorist attack on an American diplomatic installation … at least not during the Barack Obama presidency…

More via >>  Hot Air.