Trump’s Dream Come True: Trashing Obama and Iran in One Move

Trump, by taking a hard line on Iran, drew some needed attention to Iran’s bad behavior and created an opportunity to improve the nuclear deal. But to do so would have required Trump to admit that there was merit in the deal Obama had forged and to be content with limited, but valuable, fixes that our European allies likely would have embraced.

.. Instead, Trump pushed for the max, torched the whole bridge, separating us from Germany, France and Britain, undermining the forces of moderation in Iran.

.. Color me dubious that a president who has not been able to manage his confrontation with a stripper, or prevent leaks in his White House, can manage a multifront strategy for confronting Iran and North Korea and trade wars with China, Europe and Mexico.

.. Obama’s view of the Middle East was that it was an outlier region, where a toxic brew of religious extremism, tribalism, oil, corruption, climate change and mis-governance made positive change from outside impossible; it had to come from within. By the end of his eight years, Obama was skeptical of all the leaders in the Middle East — Iranian, Arab and Israeli — and of their intentions.

.. It made Obama a policy minimalist on the Middle East: keep it simple and focus on the biggest threat.

.. By lifting sanctions on Iran as part of the deal, Obama hoped Iran would become integrated into the world and moderate the regime.

.. By contrast, Trump’s team is made up of maximalists. They want to limit Iran’s ballistic missile program, reverse its imperialistic reach into the Sunni Arab world, require Iran to accept terms that would ensure it could never ever enrich enough uranium for a nuclear bomb, and, if possible, induce regime change in Tehran.

.. in almost every country the alternative to autocracy turned out not to be democracy, but disorder or military dictatorship. If Iran, a country of 80 million people, was to go the way of Syria, it would destabilize the entire Middle East, and refugees would pour into Europe.

.. Iran has projected its power deep into the Arab world. But that was not because of money it got from the nuclear deal and sanctions relief, as argued by Trump & friends. It was because of the weakness of the Sunni Arab states and their internecine fighting, which created power vacuums that Iran has filled

.. Israel gets censured for implanting settlements deep into the West Bank. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates get censured for contributing to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. But the Iranians have gotten away with murder, mass murder, at home and abroad — with virtually no censure.

.. In Syria, Iran’s special forces and its mercenary recruits — Hezbollah militiamen from Lebanon and Shiite hired guns from Central Asia — have helped President Bashar al-Assad perpetrate a ruthless genocide against Syrian Sunnis, including the use of poison gas, in order to maintain a pro-Shiite, pro-Iranian dictatorship in Damascus.

.. “The aim … is changing the demography” of Syria by settling Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen “from Afghanistan, Lebanon and other countries in the region … to fill the demographic vacuum” left by the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have fled their civil war.

.. Rather than scrapping the deal, he should have told the Europeans that all he wanted to stay in the deal were three fixes:

1. Extend the ban on Iran’s enriching of uranium to weapons grade from the original 15 years Obama negotiated to 25 years.

2. Europe and the U.S. agree to impose sanctions if Iran ever attempts to build a missile with a range that could hit Europe or America.

3. The U.S. and Europe use diplomacy to spotlight and censure Iran’s “occupations” of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

20-Somethings Embrace Clean Living

Young adults seeking control in uncertain times find their fun in knitting, meditation, vegetables

They drink less alcohol, eat more vegetables, cut back on meat, meditate often, enjoy knitting and make their own pour-over coffee. Meet the “clean lifers,” the young adults who revel in dodging the indulgences of their elders.

.. Many young adults, having grown up during the recession, pursue healthful living as a way to find balance amid the global uncertainty that continues today.

.. So-called clean lifers, typically educated 20- to 29-year-olds, pursue healthy living as a way of asserting control and finding comfort in an unstable world

.. “They feel they can make a difference, and this influences their spending choices,”

.. “This means more saying no: no to alcohol; no to unhealthy habits; no to animal-based products and, increasingly, no to unmeasured or uninformed spending.”

..  In the past people ages 35 to 50 were the biggest users of Calm.com Inc.’s meditation app, but recently those in their 20s have matched them in numbers.

.. “This age group is influenced by their peers, especially on social media, and within that there’s this echo chamber continuously talking about meditation, mindfulness and healthy living,”

.. “Talking about how drunk you got the night before used to be a badge of honor, but this new generation would roll their eyes at that.”

.. Ms. Brown isn’t a vegetarian, but says she likes having the option and lately has asked friends for vegan cookbook recommendations. She visits farmers markets about twice a month for produce and regularly makes her own peanut butter. “It’s nothing too special, but it has less sugar and it tastes a little fresher,” she says.

.. Consumers aged 18 to 34 increased their annual per capita consumption of vegetables by 7% last year over the year before, according to market research firm NPD Group. Meanwhile consumers aged 55 to 64 decreased their vegetable consumption by 13% over the same period.
.. Young adults are in particular need because many of their parents didn’t cook meals from scratch, Mr. Ediger says. “They might not have learned recipes or how to follow recipes.”
.. Young adults now use pour-over coffeemakers at twice the rate of the general population and are replacing their electric-drip machines with the simple porcelain devices
.. “There’s nothing more minimalist than a pour-over cone on top of a cup with a filter and coffee and pure water poured on top of it,” he says. “It’s a very Zen-like, ritualistic process.”
.. Young knitters and crocheters, ages 18 to 34, are learning the craft at about twice the rate of those aged 35 to 54
..  Most yarn crafters say it gives them a sense of accomplishment and helps them cope with stress, she says.
.. Young adults seeking to balance indulgence with portion control helped drive sales of Chicago Metallic’s Slice Solutions brownie pan set, which includes dividers to create 18 brownies.
.. “Millennials and Gen Zers have a much greater sense of balance, they’re less guilty about indulgences because they’re better to their bodies every day,” says Mr. Mirabile. “With boomers, we didn’t start working out until things started falling apart.”
.. When hanging out with friends, Ms. Desai prefers doing an activity, and has hung her completed artwork in her home. “There’s a sense of accomplishment when you have a good time and you complete something,”
Comments:
.. Reluctant millennial here. Some of this behavior, as commenters pointed out, is virtue signaling, and I have to roll my eyes at transparently hipster activities like yoga and urban knitting, but other than that, much of this seems healthy and indicative of people who are a lot more conscientious about their lifestyle. Some of this is a reaction to the shallowness of the smartphone-addicted lifestyle.

But it’s also a reaction to the Boomer generation, which for the most part is terribly unhealthy (and set an awful example for their progeny.) My parents are both in good shape, but they’re outliers who barely qualify for the Boomer label, anyway (being a teenager at some point in the 60s is a prerequisite.) Growing up around obese, leather-skinned Boomers who make lots of bad decisions (and threw their offspring under the Debt Bus) has a way of motivating young people toward a better lifestyle.

.. I’m trying to understand why this is news. Didn’t we BabyBoomers:Start the health and fitness trends that have morphed into today’s  yoga, cross fit, etc.?

Shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes before they omnipresent?

Cook from the vegetarian Moosewood Cookbook?

Eat at Greens and other vegan restaurants 25 years ago?

Say no to smoking, on airplanes, restaurants and in the workplace, so that non-smoking is now the norm rather than the exception?

Macrame, grow our own spices, make our own granola, bake our own bread?

Maybe  I’m indulging in self-protection of my own generation…but then again, I think not.

 

.. You know, back around the mid-60’s we had a group of young people who were going to ‘change the world’, they protested the Vietnam war, advocated lots of free sex,  along with all the other hippie nonsense of the day.  Those people are now running many of our universities and businesses.  Didn’t work out that great for the rest of us, nor will these twits be of much benefit.

Wonder how they feel about the legalization of weed and other drugs?

.. Like every post-WWII generation in America, they think they know better than their parent’s generation. The truth is they are just as self-absorbed. One day they will mature and wake-up to how the world works and how individually insignificant they are. Meanwhile the world marches on. They are 21st century yuppies, except they can’t write well, nor read cursive handwriting. But just like Boomers, Xers, etc., they lack a sense of humbleness and respect for older generations. Let’s just call them the “Namaste-generation.” It’s more colorful than “Millennials.”
.. Consuming less, perhaps, but every bit as self-absorbed as Millennials and Boomers.