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Belmont Club

Context Change

February 16th, 2011 - 11:12 am

The Berkeley City Council, after passing a resolution  calling for the resettlement of detainees released from Guantanamo in the United States, voted against inviting such persons to live in their fair city, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Earlier, an organization called “Move America Forward, proposed in a statement that Berkeley City Council members ‘go live in GITMO where they can hang out with hundreds of terrorists.’ The group said it would pay for their air fare.”

Meanwhile, Nir Rosen, who scoffed at Lara Logan’s assault in Tahrir Square, was fired from his position as fellow at the NYU’s Center on Law and Security. Jim Geraghty at the National Review says he never thought to see the day, but is glad the Center on Law and Security did it anyway.

From Karen J. Greenberg, Executive Director, Center on Law and Security

Nir Rosen is always provocative, but he crossed the line yesterday with his comments about Lara Logan. I am deeply distressed by what he wrote about Ms. Logan and strongly denounce his comments. They were cruel and insensitive and completely unacceptable. Mr. Rosen tells me that he misunderstood the severity of the attack on her in Cairo. He has apologized, withdrawn his remarks, and submitted his resignation as a fellow, which I have accepted. However, this in no way compensates for the harm his comments have inflicted. We are all horrified by what happened to Ms. Logan, and our thoughts are with her during this difficult time.

Why the outbreak of reason? A succession of recent events, from the financial crisis to the wave of unrest sweeping the Middle East, has created a new sense of mortality in everyone. Dick Morris, in an article titled “The Damage Obama Has Done,” presents a table, which while not entirely the best source for identifying the various factors which went into causing the change,  nevertheless gets the point across: reality hurts. For all its shortcomings, Morris’ table best explains our new psychological world.

Things look different to frightened, 60 something year old people facing an uncertain future than to 18 year olds at Yasgur’s farm on their way to Paradise. The idea of actual terrorists living down the block from the drugstore and the idea that a newspaperwoman can be raped like an animal being eaten alive by wolves terrify them.

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