• In Turkey, the revolution eats its own

    Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has long been content to play the role of the submissive puppet Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who reprises the role and leadership style of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. But, like for so many past enablers and apologists for the Turkish strongman, Davutoğlu’s time has come.

    Such slights are not coincidence, but are highly symbolic.

    In recent weeks, the full power of the presidential palace has turned on Davutoğlu to scapegoat him for the myriad failures Turkey now experiences. Erdoğan has long had a penchant for humiliating Davutoğlu. Consider this image published last year. At a public, filmed gathering, Erdoğan and his wife get glass water bottles and cups while Davutoğlu and his wife get plastic bottles. That’s akin to President Obama sitting at a dinner eating from fancy china, while Vice President Biden sits next to him eating off a paper plate. Such slights are not coincidence, but are highly symbolic. Turkish officials, after all, tend to be far more obsessed with etiquette and symbolism than counterparts elsewhere. READ MORE...

  • How Kulturkampf Works

    Two examples, from new releases of young people’s books, sent in by two different readers this morning. First, from the YA shelf:

    Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

    But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it. READ MORE...

  • Islamic Jihadists boo Paris Terror Attack Mastermind for still being Alive!

    As if you needed more evidence of the bloodthirsty nature of true Islam, Muslim jihadists in France have just provided that proof for you.

    Paris terror attack mastermind Salah Abdeslam was transferred to France from Belgium last week, and his arrival to the Fleury-Mérogis prison was not exactly the warm reception he may have hoped. Apparently, Abdeslam’s fellow imprisoned Muslims were not happy that he, the “mastermind” of a terrorist attack, was still alive after the attack was carried out! READ MORE...

  • Trump on U.S. Foreign and Economic Policy

    Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump laid out a foreign policy approach that—not surprisingly—“would put America first”. In his carefully scripted (and read) first serious foray into American global issues, Trump called for a major build-up of the military, a rejection of “one-sided” trade pacts, a reconsideration of the strained relationship with Russia, and a turn away from “nation-building” in troubled spots in the world. Unusual for the candidate, Trump stayed largely “on script”, reading carefully from a prepared speech that seemed to reflect more input from his political advisors than national security experts (indeed, if he has any!). READ MORE...

  • Was Sykes-Picot a bad thing?

    Sykes-Picot was a blessing for many in the Middle East.

    May 16 marks the 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret deal which divided up the heart of the Middle East (and would have divided up Turkey as well, had it not been for the intervention of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk). Robin Wright, a frequent writer on the Middle East, recently penned an article calling Sykes-Picot “a curse.” Nonsense. Sykes-Picot was a blessing for many in the Middle East.

    To look at the map of the Middle East might be to conclude that Sykes-Picot, the agreement which led to the drawing of so many contemporary borders, also created artificial countries. But just because a border is artificial does not mean that the resulting county is. READ MORE...

  • Tennessee: Campus Carry Recognizes Staff and Faculty Rights, Ignores Rights of Students

    Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed new legislation that recognizes faculty and staff have the right to arm themselves while on public colleges and campuses.

    In April, Guns in the News reported that the House and Senate campus carry bills, which were introduced by state Representative Andy Holt (R-76) and Senator Mike Bell (R-9), passed both the House and Senate.

    At that time, Governor Haslam had ten days to sign the bill. He did so on May 2.

    ABC reports:

    Gov. Bill Haslam said in a statement that he disagreed with the bill for not allowing institutions “to make their own decisions regarding security issues on campus.”

  • When It Comes to Politics, Corruption Is Subtler Than You Think

    In the now infamous case of Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court corrected a 20-year-old mistake that, if allowed to continue, threatened to consume the First Amendment. The mistake was made in Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce in 1990, when the Supreme Court upheld a Michigan restriction on corporate spending to independently run ads supporting or opposing a candidates for state office.

    In Austin, the court endorsed a stunningly broad theory of corruption. In the words of Justice Thurgood Marshall, corruption was expanded to include “the corrosive and distorting effects of immense aggregations of wealth that are accumulated with the help of the corporate form and that have little or no correlation to the public’s support for the corporation’s political ideas.” READ MORE...