Washington Free Beacon
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said Sunday that Senate Democrats had shut down the government "with no end game," calling the impasse "baffling."
While Senate Democrats—the majority of whom opposed the House's spending bill Friday due to it not addressing DACA recipients— have cast blame on Republicans since they control the government, the GOP has dubbed it the "Schumer Shutdown" after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), since the vote couldn't meet a 60-vote threshold without more Democratic support.
"You can't blame Donald Trump for the Senate Democrats shutting down the government. They shut down the government with no end game in sight," Ryan said pn "Face The Nation," adding he thought Democrats felt the House wouldn't pass their spending bill in the first place.
Republicans have said the immigration debate—the deadline to address the DACA recipients isn't until March—should be separate, and Ryan said congressional Republicans are working with Democrats on that debate. The White House has stated there will be no negotiations on immigration while the government stays shut down.
"That's what's baffling about this," Ryan said.
Ryan also said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) was going to offer a bill to fund the government through Feb. 8. The House's bill that the Senate voted down—44 Democrats and four Republicans voted against it—funded the government through Feb. 16.
"What Leader McConnell is going to offer is one that has a different date on it," Ryan said. "He is going to bring up a bill keeping funded to Feb. 8, and we’ve agreed that we’re going to accept that in the House. So, we will see sometime today whether or not they have the votes for that."
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ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) Sunday if it was right for his party to "hold the government hostage" and create "chaos" in the form of the government shutdown.
"But is it right to hold the government hostage?" Stephanopoulos asked Durbin.
The ABC host played a widely shared clip of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) in 2013, when he decried Republican shutdown tactics and said Democrats shutting the government down over immigration reform would be "governmental chaos."
"You know we could do the same thing on immigration," Schumer said at the time. "We believe strongly in immigration reform. We could say, ‘We’re shutting down the government. We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling until you pass immigration reform.’ It would be governmental chaos."
"So aren't you all creating chaos now?" Stephanopoulos asked.
Durbin said Stephanopoulos had to concede Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.
"In the Senate, though, with a 60-vote margin, there's a need for bipartisanship," Durbin said. "That's all we've asked for. Sit down at the table and let us work this out in a bipartisan fashion."
All but five Senate Democrats voted down a stopgap spending bill Friday passed in the House because it didn't address DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) recipients.
The deadline to keep the government funded expired at midnight on Friday, and since 60 votes were needed to overcome a filibuster, and all but four of the chamber's 51 Republicans voted for the bill, the GOP is calling the bill the "Schumer Shutdown."
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CNN reporter Maeve Reston said Sunday that the news network only seems to talk about the Russia investigation and the average American voters tell her that they "don't care" about it.
CNN's coverage over the last year has focused heavily on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether Donald Trump's presidential campaign colluded with the Kremlin to win the 2016 election.
Reston said on "Inside Politics" that fears about the economy appeared to be evaporating in the electorate.
"Remember, even in 2016 when we went out to these swing states and talked to voters, there was still this fear that things were suddenly going to turn down again," Reston said. "You don't feel that as much anymore, and I'm so interested to see how the Russia investigation affects things, because so far, out in these districts when you talk to people about Russia, and that's all we talk about at CNN basically, they say they don't care."
"It doesn't have any effect on their lives," Reston added.
The network regularly brings in Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, to discuss the investigation, despite him often not being able to "comment" on sensitive matters surrounding the probe.
President Donald Trump said Sunday that Senate Republicans should use the "nuclear option" to pass a long-term budget without a continuing resolution if Senate Republicans and Democrats cannot reach a compromise to end the government shutdown.
The Republican-controlled House passed a spending bill on Thursday night to fund the government through Feb. 16, including the extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years. However, the Senate failed to pass their bill during a late-night vote on Friday.
Senate Republicans needed 60 votes in order to overcome a filibuster and pass the bill, but only five Democrats voted for the bill, effectively guaranteeing a shutdown since the Republicans hold a slim majority with 51 seats, and all but four of them voted for the bill.
Trump castigated Senate Democrats for voting against the spending bill to keep the government open and that they care more about protecting illegal immigrants and the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program—which expires in March—than the military and border security.
"Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our Military and Safety at the Border. The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.’s!" Trump tweeted.
Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our Military and Safety at the Border. The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.’s!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2018
Sen. Christopher Coons (D., Del.) voted against a spending bill to keep the government open on Friday, but he said Sunday "the government should not be shut down" and he was not a legislative "arsonist."
All but five Senate Democrats voted against a spending bill Friday to keep the government funded through Feb. 16, mainly due to their objections to it not addressing the "Dreamers," the young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who were protected from deportation by Barack Obama's 2012 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) executive order.
President Donald Trump rescinded DACA in September and gave Congress until March to find a legal solution, meaning it did not need to be addressed this month.
Since 60 votes were needed in the Senate to overcome a filibuster and keep the government open, Republicans—all but four of whom voted for the continuing resolution—Democrats forced the shutdown in their near total unity.
Coons was one of the "no" votes, and he defended his decision on "Fox News Sunday."
"The government should not be shut down," Coons said. "That's why I spent all day yesterday listening to, working with—
"You voted to shut it down," host Chris Wallace interjected. "You voted against the CR."
Coons retorted he voted against a "30-day CR," saying in his defense that Pentagon chief James Mattis also opposed that kind of stopgap spending bill.
Wallace then played clips of current Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) in 2013 blasting Republicans for forcing a government shutdown in a futile effort to defund Obamacare.
At the time, Pelosi called them "legislative arsonists," and Schumer said shutting down the government to try to pass separate immigration reform, for instance, would be "governmental chaos."
"Senator, right now, aren't you the legislative arsonist? Aren't you, right now, taking the government hostage?" Wallace asked.
"Chris, just because a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans voted Friday night, including me, against a 30-day CR, doesn't mean I'm an arsonist," Coons said, saying he did want to keep the government open.
"It's the same point," Wallace said. "They shut down the government because they didn't like Obamacare. You're shutting down the government because there are certain things you were insisting on."
Coons didn't dispute Wallace, saying he wasn't spending his time pointing fingers at the White House or anyone else.
"Seventy years after the Holocaust, which saw Nazi Germany propaganda turn the entire Jewish people into a monster threatening the world, a new industry of lies has arisen. … But this time it is not the goose-stepping Nazis pushing the lies. It is liberal-minded academics, intellectuals, and human rights activists."
So writes Ben-Dror Yemini, an Israeli journalist and former opinion page editor of Maariv, who thoroughly debunks these defamations in Industry of Lies. Yemini is at his best when he stands long-held assumptions on their head. Thus Israel has often been accused of forcibly evicting the Arabs from Palestine in 1948 in what the Arabs term the Naqba or "catastrophe." Yemini not only shows this is nonsense (the Arabs mostly fled at the behest of their own leaders), but he puts Israel's accusers in the dock. He describes the Jewish Naqba—a forcible eviction that actually happened—in which some 800,000 Jews were driven from Arab lands and their property stolen.
Similarly, while debunking accusations that Israel practices apartheid, Yemini talks about Arab apartheid, which Arabs practice against their Palestinian brethren. Arab countries from Egypt to Lebanon force Palestinian Arabs into ghettoes, deny them citizenship, and restrict their employment, all to keep the refugee problem alive for use as a weapon with which to bludgeon Israel.
What Yemini calls the "Big Lie" is that Israel carries out genocide. "If a Palestinian was killed for every time the word ‘extermination' is used in relation to Israel, there would indeed not be a soul left." Yemini's strength is in focusing on the context Israel's detractors ignore. He points out that huge numbers are killed annually in conflicts around the planet, while the world barely notices. But although the relative contribution of the Israeli-Arab conflict to violence and to the number of refugees worldwide is marginal, Israel "has mysteriously become ‘the most dangerous country to world peace.' The focus on it is nothing short of obsessive."
Another of Yemini's strong suits is that he painstakingly examines the most outrageous slanders. Take Nobel laureate Jose Saramago's disgusting claim that "what is happening in Palestine is a crime we can put on the same plane as what happened in Auschwitz." Most would wave this remark away as the ravings of an unhinged anti-Semite. Yemini calmly looks at statistics in this supposed new "Auschwitz," including life expectancy, infant mortality, literacy rates, education, even access to clean water. And his numbers come from organizations that can scarcely be accused of pro-Israel bias—UNESCO, the U.N., the World Health Organization among others. What they show is that the lot of Palestinian Arabs has improved dramatically since Israel took over the territories in the Six Day War. Then the average life expectancy of a Palestinian Arab was 48; in 2000, it had jumped to 72. In terms of education, a 2006 World Bank Report found that "the Palestinians are the most educated population in the MENA [Middle East North Africa] region," with a 91 percent adult literacy rate. Before Israel took over there were no universities. Now there are 10 with an additional 20 community colleges. Israel set up these universities, though it gets no benefit from them. Those university degrees allow Palestinian Arabs to join faculties abroad where they can spread variations on the "Big Lie."
The author emphasizes academia's role in defaming Israel. He lines up the usual suspects, like Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, Judith Butler, and Ilan Pappé, the last of whom Yemini holds responsible for "introducing the libel of ‘genocide' in describing Israeli policies." Yemini notes that these are not fringe characters at tiny colleges but major academics with large followings. Of John Mearsheimer, coauthor of the feverish The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, and Juan Cole of the University of Maryland who said Israel's actions in Gaza were second only to that of the Belgians in the Congo, Yemini writes: "They embody the web of falsehood that is taking over the study of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and are providing the fuel for a much larger impetus to demonize Israel and ultimately isolate and destroy the country."
Unfortunately Yemini skirts exploring the reasons all this malice is unleashed against Israel, saying for example that "the complicated issue of the link between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is relevant here, but lies beyond the parameters of this book." As for the prominence of Jews, including Israelis, among the defamers, Yemini observes that "every democracy allows room for the privileged elites who, for one reason or another, see fit to publicly critique the foundations of society in the name of academic freedom." Yemini says the difference in this case is that there is a global movement that delights in promoting these outliers. True enough, but why are there so many Jewish "outliers" for the global movement to exploit? This is a question Yemini does not even raise. He is clearer-eyed on the Arab motivation: "the Arab world could not tolerate the challenge that a Jewish state presented to the idea that Jews should remain weak and powerless." Worse still, Jews were thriving in Al-Sham. "This term, which refers to the geographic region of the Levant, actually has a deeper meaning: a Muslim sphere of domination under Allah," Yemini explains.
Much of the subject matter in Industry of Lies will be familiar to those on the right of Israel's political spectrum. Professor Efraim Karsh of King's College London—whose excellent work Yemini writes has been largely ignored—covered the Arab flight of 1948 in great detail in Palestine Betrayed. What sets Yemini apart is the fact that he is a man of the left, making him, if not sui generis, then certainly a rare breed.
Still, Yemini's leftwing viewpoint is the one glaring weakness of the book. Yemini still supports the two-state solution, incredible given his sophisticated understanding of the danger Israel faces and the Arabs' intentions. His policy prescriptions are so out of touch with reality that he argues that the Jews of Judea and Samaria could remain as citizens of a Palestinian state. In fact, a vulnerable Jewish minority wouldn't last a day. Evincing a major intellectual disconnect, Yemini has this to say of the "naïve humanitarian" supporters of Hamas: "[P]erhaps they are right: Despite everything said here about Hamas' character, Israel should extend its hand in peace. Mutual recognition and reconciliation is needed, and certainly the end of global anti-Semitic and racist incitement and violence." On the very same page, he writes: "Hamas wants a world without basic freedoms, human rights, and equality for women and minorities. The Global Jihadists don't attack the West because of what it does, or did, in the past, but because of what it is: free, liberal, and democratic." Such statements abutting one another lead the reader to ask: Will the real Ben-Dror Yemini please stand up?
It's a testament to how fine a job the author has done in his dissection of anti-Israel lies that his cognitive dissonance doesn't ruin the book. It should be passed out to every college student entering a Middle Eastern studies course as a kind of intellectual inoculation against the lies they're about to hear.
Nor are the lies confined to Middle Eastern studies courses. Perhaps nothing better underscores how badly this book is needed than the debate the Oxford Union held in 2015 on the proposition "Hamas is a greater obstacle to peace than Israel." U.S. author and talk show host Dennis Prager, assigned to support the proposition, says he initially thought there was a mistake, given that this offered no possibility of debate. He found out how wrong he was. Despite his eloquence and knowledge of the subject, he and his partner, an Orthodox rabbi, went down to defeat at the hands of Oxford emeritus professor (and former Israeli) Avi Shlaim and an Iranian former student of his, who promoted the Big Lie (to warm applause), i.e., that Israel was doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis had done to the Jews. That the majority of roughly 300 Oxford students, among them Britain's political leaders and future opinion shapers, should have voted in favor of Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel's extermination and declares that "peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement," as Prager says, shows the moral sickness that pervades our universities.
Ben-Dror Yemini is clearly right when he declares the lies are winning and that anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli propaganda exactly parallels the trajectory of Nazi propaganda. And we know where that leads.
Americans will never tire of comparing America to Rome. Such comparisons are carved in stone in the foundations and facades of our capital, and only slightly more subtly in the construction of our country. Which is perhaps unfortunate for a scholar such as Kathryn Tempest, senior lecturer in Latin literature and Roman history at the University of Roehampton in London. What in England can be read rightly as an impressive and accessible work of academic biography, must here seem a mirror to our strange and troubled times. Such is the fate of Tempest's excellent Brutus: The Noble Conspirator.
Tempest could hardly have known she would bring forth an authoritative accounting of the life and legacy of Marcus Junius Brutus into a world where a production of Julius Caesar—a play more about Brutus than its titular hero—would cause international furor for its allusions to the Oval Office. What she has written is a very fine work of scholarship as much about how we know what we know of Brutus as it is about the man himself. Plutarch, Cicero's letters, Brutus' replies, and all the other fragments and hints and later works we have are taken up, considered, assessed, and pieced together for our benefit. Writes Tempest:
"It would be dangerous to claim we can see Brutus for the man he actually was; even to his contemporaries he was an unfathomable character. But a far more interesting tale is waiting to be told about how the story of Brutus' life has been interpreted and transmitted from antiquity to the twenty-first century."
It is indeed an interesting tale. But, the world the life of Brutus reveals to us—a res publica in crisis, a broken toy no sooner put down by Sulla than picked up by Pompey, then by Caesar, then by … Brutus? No, by Octavius, who would be Augustus—that story is even more interesting.
And Brutus is there in medias res. It is hard not to tell his story just so, in the middle of things, considering his part in the most famous assassination in history. We cannot examine Brutus without killing Caesar. For this deed Dante damned Brutus and Cassius as gristle in the maw of Satan, Shakespeare portrayed him a tragic hero, and others extolled him the guardian of liberty. Brutus sought that last identity his whole life; in our celebrity parlance it was his brand, one he cultivated aggressively even before relations with Caesar so spectacularly soured March 15, 44 BC. And that is what Tempest's account makes so obvious about Roman politics: It was entirely built on brands. Brutus possessed a driving consciousness of his family history, descended as he supposedly was from that Brutus who had expelled the Tarquins and fathered the res publica. Tempest tells us that regardless of questions concerning the actual historicity of that lineage, Brutus "embraced this aspect of his heritage above any other consideration. For the name came with serious political cachet, and it gave Brutus an enviable advantage which he used to pronounced effect throughout his career." The legend of Lucius Brutus created a role for Marcus Junius to play.
On what stage? To ascend the ranks of power in republican Rome meant completing the cursus honorum, the course of offices, a series of military and public service positions that led to the consulship. This required money, advantageous if not mercenary marriages, a rhetorical education, commensurate skill in oratory, important friends, patronages upon patronages, and the favor of the masses. Brutus had all in abundance by means fair and less fair, with a bonus reputation as a literary man and serious philosopher. Plus the admiration of Cicero, of Caesar, even of Pompey at one point, though the man had killed his father—Brutus was the foremost man of his generation. And his generation of players sought what everyone in the game wanted, but no one could have, because Caesar had it all:
"In short: if we want to understand what united the men who conspired to kill Caesar, we need to consider the one thing they all shared in common: political ambition, the desire to accrue dignitas and win glory—both in their lifetimes and beyond."
Tempest argues that while Brutus' role in the conspiracy to kill the dictator was motivated by philosophical reflection and a desire to fulfill his family script as enemy to kings, many of his companions were not so much ardent republicans as claustrophobic, restless under a Caesar who turned what they saw as a meritocratic contest into a collection of appointments to be granted as his personal favors.
Brutus' career—defined by individuals and conspiracies taking the republic into their hands—uncovers the nakedly personal lying ever just under the clothes of politics. Recognizing this reality in Federalist 51, James Madison wrote "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition," advocating for our system of checks and balances. Rome's res publica had supposed checks and balances, too, with Consuls and Senators and Tribunes sharing power and the affections of the ever-fickle, ever-needed mob. But by Brutus' day SPQR, the Senate and people of Rome, were not healthy, and when Rome was sick, it bled.
"‘The res publica depends on Brutus,' Cicero had written to Atticus in May 44 BC—a point he reiterated to the young man in the year that followed. But what kind of res publica did Cicero have in mind: the theoretical and cherished model of government, which had arguably never really existed even in his own lifetime, or the mess of a system he once referred to as ‘the gutters of Rome'? It is perhaps not necessary to push the point too far; in either case, the res publica for which they were fighting was but a distant dream. The real fight was for supremacy at Rome…"
With that, Tempest unintentionally slaps her American readers. There was a dream that the United States' federal system would diffuse personal power through the dignity of offices, harness ambition, and create a politics of representation and not of Great Men. But especially in the office of the presidency, an executive with imperium as powerful as any consul or triumvir, it failed nearly immediately. The real fight in Brutus' day was for domination in Rome itself; it is impossible to pretend things are not much the same in America. Washington, D.C., with its leviathan bureaucratic agencies and feckless legislature, has produced a national politics obsessed, not unreasonably, with the presidency and the president.
Rome's great men combined in themselves wealth, celebrity, and office. There was a time in our country when those seemed distinct means to power: N.Y., L.A., D.C., pick your pair of letters. Finance, entertainment, politics, a menu for the ambitious. But while Brutus and his peers would still be exceptional today—go to the best schools, make a killing on Wall Street, serve in Afghanistan, act as attorney in high-profile litigation, be a TV talking head, probably have a podcast, all while running up the ladder of elected offices—when ex-presidents are basically rockstars and current presidents are reality stars and all are very, very wealthy, we are past pretending national politics has not collapsed into celebrity. Still, our politics is a celebrity that remains severed from the military, and that is perhaps our saving grace.
Since we do not have a Caesar in possession of the loyalty of the army and the passions of the mob, we do not need a Brutus to philosophize his way from his ancestor's expulsion of the kings to a mandate for tyrannicide. We do not need a Brutus to choose between the death of one man and a purge, where prudence could make both seem best. We do not need a Brutus to plunge the country into civil war. But we do have many could-be Caesars in possession of power on a scale never seen, who from their offices in Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and of course D.C., create the conditions in which America's plebs and equites live.
Medicaid expansion has enrolled twice as many able-bodied adults as what was originally projected, according to a report from the Foundation for Government Accountability.
The group has been tracking Obamacare's Medicaid expansion since the program's implementation and found that one year into expansion, states exceeded their projections by an average of 61 percent.
"By the end of 2016, states had enrolled more than twice as many able-bodied adults than they said would ever enroll," the report states. "To date, more than 12.7 million able-bodied adults are now dependent on Medicaid as a result of 31 states' decisions to expand Obamacare."
As a result of higher than expected enrollment in Medicaid, resources are now being crowded out for the truly needy who can benefit from the program. The report finds that there are roughly 650,000 Americans who are on Medicaid waiting lists.
Because states that have expanded Medicaid underestimated potential enrollment, the report says it is likely that other states that haven't expanded Medicaid yet would experience similar high rates of enrollment.
"States have already enrolled 55 percent more able-bodied adults than the Kaiser Family Foundation projected would sign up by 2022," the report states.
Based on these projections, the study projects that 11.4 million more able-bodied adults would be dependent on Medicaid if the non-expansion states decided to expand. This additional expansion would also cost taxpayers more than $676 billion.
"Congress should repeal Obamacare expansion's enhanced funding for all states including current expansion states," the report states. "After all, every single dollar spent on Obamacare's Medicaid expansion is a dollar that cannot be spent on the truly needy."
Nicholas Horton, research director and author of the report, says that Obamacare's expansion has trapped millions of able-bodied adults in welfare, wasted billions of taxpayer dollars, and put the truly needy at risk.
"States that have rejected expansion should be proud—they have saved themselves from this nightmare," Horton said. "But states that did expand Obamacare have some work to do. They need pursue commonsense solutions to unwind this failed program, like work requirements and enrollment freezes, while Congress should immediately stop new expansions in order to reduce dependency and prioritize the truly needy."
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A Washington Examiner columnist told the Washington Free Beacon on Friday he planned to purchase a gun and obtain a Washington, D.C., gun-carry permit in the wake of being robbed.
Tim Young, who hosts the No Things Considered show for the paper, said he was accosted by two young black men wearing parkas and winter gear that covered their faces around 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday. He was walking near the intersection of 6th and M streets near the city's Wharf district when one of the men grabbed him from behind and the other threatened to shoot him if he didn't hand over his phone.
"When they came up behind me, of course, I fought it," Young said. "Then they threatened me and I said ‘take the cellphone.' Whatever. I'm not going to be a hero. As soon as they got it from me they ran."
As the robbers made off with Young's Galaxy S7, bystanders at the well-lit intersection in the newly rejuvenated waterfront neighborhood called the police. Of the half dozen or so people nearby, Young said an elderly couple walking their dogs were the only ones who tried to help him after the robbers fled. That couple called 911 and handed Young their phone so he could talk to police.
"They handed me the phone and I'm like, ‘okay, thanks guys.' I mean, it's like a weird moment," Young said. "There were like two other guys that were standing there and the old couple were like ‘you saw that, right' and they were like, ‘yeah' and the guys just walked off like nothing happened."
Young said he felt completely powerless during the robbery.
"When you're initially grabbed, you want to fight back, but when you're threatened and you have nothing to defend yourself with? You're powerless," he said. "Honestly, I've never felt like that before. All of the ‘be a hero' stuff that you dream would happen where you could do roundhouse kicks and things goes right out the window as soon as you're threatened with a weapon."
Young said he doesn't currently own a gun and never has, but the attack has changed everything.
"I would've been able to defend myself. I know that." he said. "I'm certain that they would have run had I been able to concealed carry and was armed. I am 100 percent certain that had I been concealed carrying I would have been able to protect myself."
His robbery, a few blocks from the first district police station at a time of night when many people are on the streets and in a newly refreshed neighborhood the city is hoping will attract diners and entertainment-seekers, is proof to Young that robbers can strike throughout any part of the city.
"Anyone can be robbed anywhere in town and you should, as a citizen, have the right to defend yourself, but it's going to be damn near impossible to be able to obtain a weapon to do so," he said.
Young now plans to navigate the process of legally obtaining a handgun and gun-carry permit in D.C. A recent federal court ruling striking down a clause in the city's law that allowed officials to deny permits to anybody they felt didn't have a good enough reason to carry a gun will make Young's task easier. The gun-carry permitting process, however, remains among the longest and most expensive in the nation with costs likely totaling more than $350.
He said he hopes others will learn from his ordeal in the same way he has.
"It's scary as shit, and I hope nobody else has to go through it," Young said. "I think my big point to a lot of people is, people who are anti-Second Amendment and anti-concealed carry probably have never been held up with a gun or had their life threatened. I took a lot for granted, but once you're in a situation like that you turn around and go, ‘Wow, was I stupid.' My career is based off of calling people stupid and laughing at them, and then I look at this and I think, ‘This is the time I was really stupid,' and I don't want other people to be as dumb as I was in this instance."
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Over 200 Columbia University faculty, students, and alumni have pledged to boycott a New York bookstore after its owners apologized for promoting and selling a children's book that praised Palestinian violence against Israel.
The petition condemns Book Culture, an independent bookstore with a location near Columbia, for apologizing after Jewish and non-Jewish communities objected to its selling P is for Palestine by Golbarg Bashi, a book for young children that glorified the intifada.
The petition, first reported by Campus Reform, includes a refusal to buy books from or order course materials through Book Culture and a promise by faculty to remove their course books from the store.
The petition calls on the bookstore owners to "retract their statement and issue an apology for choosing to participate in the censorship and slander of already-underrepresented Palestinian voices."
The co-owners of Book Culture, Chris Doeblin, Annie Hedrick, and Rick MacArthur, apologized in a statement published Nov. 29 on the website of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue for the "pain and distress" caused by its funding the publication of and hosting an event for author Golbarg Bashi‘s book.
Of particular concern was the entry in the children's book for the letter "I," which celebrated the intifada as "Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or a grownup."
Periods of violence running from the late 1980s through early 2005, known as the first and second intifadas, were marked by Palestinian suicide bombings, shootings, and stabbings of Israelis on buses and in open-air markets and restaurants. Over 1,200 Israelis were killed.
"There was nothing romantic about the Intifada," read a letter to Book Culture from the Rabbis at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. "It was not some grand uprising to usher in an era of human rights, tranquility, and peace. It was not freedom fighting. The Intifada was the purposeful targeting of men, women, children, and babies in schools, hospitals, restaurants, pubs, dance halls, buses, trains, theaters, hotels hosting weddings, bar mitzvahs, and Passover seders—any place a crowd of Israelis gathered."
Doeblin, Hedrick, and MacArthur, subsequently affirmed that they "oppose terrorism or other forms of violence perpetrated against Israeli civilians during the intifada or thereafter." They also clarified that they do not endorse the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement to delegitimize Israel.
The Columbia petitioners insist a conflation of "‘intifada' with ‘terrorism,' distorts the complexity of the first and second intifadas as massive, multifaceted periods of grassroots mobilization against Israeli apartheid, occupation, and ethnic cleansing."
"The term ‘intifada' cannot be provincialized to acts of violence, nor can it be reduced to ‘terrorism.' Such a notion is better suited to describe decades of state-sanctioned terror and colonization that have characterized the Palestinian experience of Zionism," reads the petition.
Most of the faculty signatories are affiliated with the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies—including Iranian studies professor Hamid Dabashi, husband of the author of P is for Palestine.
The effort to boycott, organized by Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine and Barnard/Columbia Jewish Voice for Peace, would likely lead to the closure of Book Culture, according to store co-owner Doeblin.
Doeblin told Campus Reform he and his co-owners' mission is to offer customers "books that both support and oppose any and all of one's ideas."
"The ground between Israeli and Palestinian views is a difficult place to find footing," he said. "We refuse to be used and politicized by any side."
Bashi is currently attempting to fund a second run of her book.
In response to Bashi's book, an early childhood educator and Zionist activist Melissa Landa published I is for Israel. The volume, targeted to a similar audience of children aged 5-7, includes entries like "‘A' for Israel's army, the IDF," and "‘E' is for Ethiopian Jews, for whom Israel is home."
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