Monday, January 31, 2011

Tiger Mothers? Not Much Unusual There

I just read the now infamous Tiger Mother op-ed by Amy Chua. I'm not quite sure that the Tiger Mother way isn't already pretty common model for coaching in the United States. It's hard to think of any football coach now that wouldn't qualify as a "Tiger Mother" at this point.

The New Republican Politics of Inhumanity

As the House Republicans settle into leadership, it's evident that they're going to be aggressively pandering to their Tea Party/Social Conservative base. The first evidence of that is an effort to make the definition of rape even more narrow than it is now.

With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to "forcible rape." This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible.

For example, if a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would
no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. Rep. Smith's spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.

All part of the vision for a poorer, narrower, and more vindictive America that the Republicans are promoting.

Egypt: Some Permutations

It looks like Egypt is going to be turning away from the Mubarak government over the last few days. What are some of the permutations?

1. The Noose Tightens around Israel. Along with Turkey, Egypt had been one of the few Islamic countries that was in alliance with Israel. Israel's friendship with Turkey went down the drain when a new Islamist government in Turkey proved to have little patience with Netanyahu and the settlement movement. Egypt will probably go the same way.

2. The Gaza Embargo. In particular, the Mubarak government had cooperated with the Israelis in maintaining an embargo of the Gaza Strip. If a new government gets established in Egypt, I imagine that will be one of the first things to go.

3. A New Wave of Repressions. The demonstrations in Egypt are not being greeted with enthusiasm by authoritarian governments in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran. Expect new waves of repressions in those countries, especially Iran.