America should take note of this dilemma when it comes to immigration, assimilation, and the Muslim community in the United States. We must find a middle ground between the extreme multiculturalism of Britain, where the state allows parallel Sharia courts to mete out justice according to Islamic law, and French Universalism, which forbids even asking questions about religion, ethnicity, and race in its official census.
For the most part, America has struck a healthy balance. We require some level of assimilation but also insist on the separation of church and state while allowing individual differences and protecting religious liberties. However, we should be on alert, because this balance can easily slide.
France has made a series of dangerous mistakes that immigration reform can’t fix. They have alienated a community of Muslims five million strong, and the youths in this community are doubling down on their Muslim identity. Because radical Islam considers itself at war with the West, it appeals to young people who want to reject the Western culture and society they feel has rejected them. So they turn to a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, often finding their inspiration in prisons, where Arab youths are frequently radicalized. As the French prime minister to the U.S. said in an interview this week, this gives them a raison d’être.
I have no ties to the University of Virginia, the state of Virginia, or really anywhere close to the East Coast, yet I’ve fallen head over heels in love with this year’s Hoos. They’re what you’d get if a basketball instructional manual from 1980 came to life. They’re the German national soccer team of college basketball. You could call every basketball junkie over the age of 50 and tell them ESPN is airing porn, and when they flipped over to see Virginia playing, they wouldn’t even notice the difference.
Another Coburn strength was his skill at practicing politics, without being political. He knew every arcane rule in the Senate and was willing to use them to force a clarifying moment. When he first arrived in Washington, some accused him of grandstanding—until they realized his interest was in shining a light on everyone but himself. The pity is that history rarely hands out awards to those who stop bad things. Tom Coburn blocked more bad ideas and lousy legislation in Congress than most Americans will ever know.
He understood power structures, and public outrage, and the long game. Despite his reputation as “antiestablishment”—cast as a precursor to today’s Ted Cruzes or Rand Pauls —he was anything but. He had an old-fashioned belief in the true power of the Senate—of convening, of finding answers—and co-wrote legislation with nearly every Democrat in office. And he was savvy. It took him a decade of floor speeches and amendments—and the phrase “Bridge to Nowhere”—to get the GOP to swear off earmarks, but he got it done. He played off Barack Obama ’s stated interest in transparency to create USAspending.gov, designed to inform the public on federal outlays.Yet it wasn’t about his image.
He wasn’t cute or coy, and he didn’t engage in fool’s errands. In a recent conversation I asked Mr. Coburn about the limits of standing on principle. “There are all kinds of tactics that the right can use, but they only work if you have the leadership, courage and vision to hold until you win,” he says. He doesn’t think the GOP is there, and it is why he opposed last year’s government shutdown.
Coburn was one of the few members of congress I truly respected. A crusader for liberty and the Constitutional principles. He’ll be sorely missed.
Not only does the Democrat myth that Republican donors buy elections fall apart under deeper scrutiny, but so does the idea that money correlates to successful outcomes in elections, period. Donors who gave $1 million or more sent 60 cents of every dollar to left-leaning organizations, yet Democrats still got their hats handed to them at the polls.
Yes, right-leaning groups like the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity raise millions of dollars without having to abide by the same disclosure rules as overtly political groups. But voters did not throw out Democrats during the midterm elections because they saw ads from Americans for Prosperity. No, voters rejected Democrats because they doubted the competence and honesty of an unpopular president.
(Since so much ire is consistently directed at the Koch brothers, it should be pointed out that the $4.6 million they personally gave to Republicans and conservatives pales in comparison to the $74 million that billionaire hedge fund operator and Keystone XL pipeline opponent Tom Steyer singlehandedly gave to liberals and Democrats. But we digress.)
Couldn’t have happened to a more despicable fella.
‘Let’s be clear,’ Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, told The Guardian,’there are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t…The [use outside of drug rehabilitation] is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.’
If the Russians are getting ready to cave, they aren’t showing it. Putin remains defiant and Russian military assistance to the Ukrainian rebels continues. The Russian leadership has been rejecting Kerry’s overtures both in public and private. Diplomatic sources said that Lavrov has refused to even discuss Kerry’s conditions for partial easing of sanctions. And Putin has made a hobby of bashing the U.S. in public remarks.