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Monday, May 6, 2013

David Brooks, "Beyond the Fence": A New JG Caesarea Challenge Round! Win Yourself a . . .

Hey, you're in luck! It's time for a new JG Caesarea Challenge Round!

I want each of you to go to the home page of The New York Times and tell me what's missing. As I sit here writing in my underwear, socks and t-shirt, it's just past midnight in the Big Apple, and among the lead stories being proffered by the Gray Lady: Chinese cyberattacks, the Syrian crisis, farm reliance on immigrants, psychiatry out of touch with science, transgender students and sports, and, further afield on the opinion pages, David Brook's latest op-ed entitled "Beyond the Fence" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/07/opinion/brooks-beyond-the-fence.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=0). More on the Brooks opinion piece in a moment. For now, you must stay focused on what's most important, the Challenge Round, of course!

Three, two, one. Sorry, time's up, all pencils down! Not enough time? I wasn't "fair"? Life's not fair, as more and more depressed middle-aged men (see: (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/study-suicide-rate-for-middle-aged-americans-up-28-percent-over-decade-40-pct-for-whites/2013/05/02/cb339740-b341-11e2-9fb1-62de9581c946_story.html) have come to learn! Get over it!

You want the correct answer? Do a search of the Times home page using the word "Benghazi." My computer tells me: "No matches found."

Odd.

A top story at The Washington Post is "Special ops halted from responding to Benghazi attacks, U.S. diplomat says" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/special-ops-halted-from-responding-to-benghazi-attacks-us-diplomat-says/2013/05/06/c3f311d4-b677-11e2-aa9e-a02b765ff0ea_story.html?hpid=z1). Moreover, if you go to WaPo's "Opinions," you will immediately see a link to Mark Thiessen's opinion piece entitled "A Benghazi bombshell" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-a-benghazi-bombshell/2013/05/06/d7a4e3fe-b651-11e2-92f3-f291801936b8_story.html?hpid=z3). Thiessen writes:

"The Obama administration wants to consign the Benghazi terrorist attack to the history books, but this week three State Department officials will tell Congress that the Obama administration’s version of history is false — and that the falsehoods it told the American people were willful and deliberate."

Heck, that sounds like a "bombshell" to me. Why is there no mention in The New York Times? Is this so much less important than psychiatry out of touch with science, or the content of its editorial, "Corruption in Albany"? My goodness, this could prevent Hillary from running in 2016, but I suppose we don't want to contemplate anything as unseemly and disturbing as that . . .

And now back to Brooks's most recent opinion piece that provides us with a laundry list of the goals sought by opponents to immigration reform, which in turn threaten the demise of the Republican Party. In a nutshell, according to David, these opponents are seeking to restrict:

  1. "the flow of conservatives into this country."
  2. "assimilation."
  3. "love affairs."
  4. "social mobility."
  5. "skills."
  6. "the inevitable," i.e. the United States becoming "a much more cosmopolitan country than it is now."
Why do I smell a straw man? No mention by Brooks of unemployment. If Brooks were to go his own newspaper's home page, he would read under the link to the article "Workers Claim Race Bias as Farms Rely on Immigrants" that "Americans, mostly black, who live near large-scale farms say they are illegally discouraged from applying for work and treated badly by employers who prefer foreigners’ malleability."

Also, no mention by Brooks of heightened concern over the violent radicalism of certain immigrants. According to a new Pew Research Center survey (http://www.pewforum.org/Muslim/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-exec.aspx):

"Few U.S. Muslims voice support for suicide bombing or other forms of violence against civilians in the name of Islam; 81% say such acts are never justified, while fewer than one-in-ten say violence against civilians either is often justified (1%) or is sometimes justified (7%) to defend Islam."

Only 1% of US Muslims "say violence against civilians is often justified" and only 7% say that such violence "is sometimes justified"? What a relief . . .

What's that? You correctly answered today's JG Caesarea challenge round and want to know what you won? Sorry, but in the aftermath of Benghazi and Boston (I know, I shouldn't make too much of the Boston Marathon bombing, because it was carried out by that tiny 1% of violent US Muslims), it's time you learned that today there are no winners, and there are only losers.

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