Thursday, April 27, 2006

Washington Post: The White House Variety Show

Never would I have guessed that I would ever find occasion to post about something written by Ari Fleischer. However, when the con-artist tells you how his con works, takes a bit of responsibility, and then clarifies the underlying causes in a reasonable fashion, you should at least hear him out.

Monday, April 17, 2006

WSJ OpinionJournal: On the Trail of Yale

This editorial has it all - from the dangers of political divisiveness to the lack of sense at the State Department. The story of Hashemi compared to this fellow Farivar makes me a bit confounded, but as usual not entirely shocked.

Washington Post: Nothing to Fear But... Reality

I do not want to sound like Lou Dobbs, but is thing guy kidding. Do not get me wrong, I am all for calming hysteria, such as the type that is frequently associated with talk about the Chinese behemoth, but if you are going to argue that American business can keep America strong in the new economy, I am not sure that WAL-MART is the right example. Forget all the legitimate PR problems that the retail giant has. If one only considers their over reliance on cheap Chinese suppliers , which furthers our enormous trade deficit, I think that would be enough to suggest that WAL-MART is the exactly wrong example to use. In fact, WAL-MART seems to love China as much as it loves cutting prices. Xenophobia is NEVER rational or productive, but I think there are some legitimate reasons for people to continue being wary of the PRC Dragon.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Boston Globe: What is Forgiveness?

This story is deserving of a few minutes of attention from everybody who can spare them.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Economist: Hu's Coming To Dinner, But Will Only Have Lunch

I think this visit, and the political ramifications on both sides of the Pacific, reveal a great deal about the feelings of insecurity felt by many regarding the relationship between China and the United States. During his trip to the States, President Hu will also visit Yale University. This visit is causing quite a stir. However, the controversy seems to stem less from a visit by the leader of China, with whom Yale has a long relationship, but because of the changing nature of the perception of and reaction to China in the US. With all that is going on in the world, I do not think this will be a central theme in the 2006 election, and perhaps not even the one thereafter; but sooner or later, how American leaders, political and otherwise, deal with their Communist Chinese counterparts will become quite important to informed citizens.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Some Stuff That Matters

Washington Post: Obstacles to a More Sane Tax Code
Washington Post: The Dangers of Industrial Farming

When moderates generally make the point that divisive politics keep serious issues from getting addressed while unimportant wedge issues get attention from voters and government, these are a few of the "important issues" to which I think we refer. Anybody who thinks that gay marriage is more important than either getting a sensible tax code or the potential dangers (viral epidemics) of crowding animals and humans together should consult new spiritual advice or perhaps simply get a clue.

NY Times Magazine: Protecting and Prosecuting the Innocent in the Americas

Obviously some of the culture described in this story is particular to El Salvador. A nation that is known for systemic abuses against women is clearly not going to have the most compassionate implementation of a complete abortion ban. However, it is important to note that El Salvador is an inspiration and model for the Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion/Anti-Choice (whichever you prefer) movement. There are some hard truths to face if Americans really want to criminalize abortion. Those allied with Tom Delay frequently state their wish to "end abortion as we know it" as part of the Culture Wars that they are so eager to fight. It would be worthwhile for reasonable abortion rights and anti-abortion advocates to make an effort at understanding one another and finding common ground so that opportunistic partisans like former Majority Leader Delay are not the ones to determine the future of this issue in America.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Washington Post: Moral Obligation Theory

The Sudanese have not forgotten about Darfur, and neither should we.

Monday, April 10, 2006

National Journal: Something New For A Tired Debate

Time: The Grinch That Stole Politics

Joe Klein presents an argument that seems irrefutable regarding the corrosive influence of professional political consultants and television on politics and politicians. While I agree with his assessment of the problems that have developed over the last 40 years, culminating in the campaign of 2004, I only wish I could share his optimism about a 2008 election that might see a new, or rather old, style of candidate win the White House.

The New State of Health Care: Massachusetts

The new legislation, which will presumably become law very quickly, presents an interesting opportunity. Some seem cautiously optimistic about the new proposal to make health insurance mandatory. Proponents of universal coverage must be excited, if only because this marks a new paradigm, wherein practical solutions to the supposed health care crisis are being tested. However, some feel that this plain is doomed to failure. Only time will tell.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

RCP: Political Shades of Vietnam

A piece by Pat Buchanan giving a relatively clear presentation of the political choices surrounding the war. Buchanan is right that the issue of troop removal is going to factor heavily in the upcoming election. However, I question how much such decisions will have a definite impact on the primary contests, especially for Democrats, in a few years.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Belgravia Dispatch: William F. Buckley Tellin' It Like It Is

It seems more and more these days like a prominent conservative is finding the errors in the ways of his disciples. As somebody who has always respected the style and discernment in the writing of WFB, even when I found little to agree with, I suggest that we should all pay some attention.

Washington Post: Let Him Live

I am not sure how well this argument is presented, but I agree with its sentiment. Their is little practical benefit to this probable execution and, as with all executions, it makes it more difficult to convince people that the taking of human life is wrong it its very essence.