Quotes of Note

December 16, 2005 Things Were "More Secure" Under Communism "Now, the westerners are unhappy because the disappearance of all that money is seen as the root of Germany's economic stagnation and high unemployment. The easterners are notoriously unhappy because life is less secure than it used to be under Communism, and, as this cycle continues, the westerners are irritated that the easterners are unhappy." -Richard Bernstein reporting from Berlin, December 6. "Conservative" Andrew Sullivan? Since When? "To torture or not? In the Dec. 5 issue of the conservative Weekly Standard, Charles Krauthammer argued for the legalization of torture under strictly... continue reading
December 2, 2005 You Only Think It's a Strong Economy "By most measures, the economy appears to be doing fine. No, scratch that, it appears to be booming. But as always with the United States economy, it is not quite that simple.It all means the economy is likely to end the year with a splash. But before you splurge on a new car, consider this: Many economists do not expect the party to continue, especially if the Federal Reserve continues taking the punchbowl away and raises interest rates. That could further slow the housing market, damp consumer spending and crimp... continue reading
November 18, 2005 Hollywood Left too Smart to be Fooled by Bush's Iraq Lies "[Hollywood activists] were willing to accept - in fact, they recognized almost viscerally - that the president's story about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction was too richly timed and too tightly wrapped, and they understood that once a storyteller began to tinker with facts, there was no end to the scenarios he might invent that he might dubiously claim to be 'based on a true story.'" - Contributing writer Matt Bai, writing about the Hollywood left in the November 13 New York Times Magazine. Passing... continue reading
November 4, 2005 "Mao's Legacy Is Not All Bad" "My own sense is that Mao, however monstrous, also brought useful changes to China.But Maos legacy is not all bad. Land reform in China, like the land reform in Japan and Taiwan, helped lay the groundwork for prosperity today. The emancipation of women and end of child marriages moved China from one of the worst places in the world to be a girl to one where women have more equality than in, say, Japan or Korea. Indeed, Maos entire assault on the old economic and social structure made it easier for... continue reading
October 21, 2005 Failing Pumps in New Orleans? Reagan's Fault "We have repeatedly been reminded in recent weeks of how Congress rejected a proposal in the late 1990's to shore up the city's levees and wetlands. And the crisis only deepened later as the government continued to reduce the corps's budget. This represents more than a loss of nerve. It is an outgrowth of the campaign against 'big government' that helped propel Ronald Reagan to the presidency 25 years ago. And it was fueled by uglier motives, including a latent fear of cities, a myth of the city as a... continue reading
October 7, 2005 Hillary's "Conservative Leanings"? "It would be nave to think that Clinton doesn't have a national campaign very much in mind as she stacks up one centrist credential after another.As first lady, it was Clinton's job to placate the party's base, even if that meant obscuring some of her more socially conservative instincts.Assuming that Clinton is serious about a 2008 campaign, it's never too early to begin redefining her image in the minds of independent and conservative voters. And the thinking among her closest advisers holds that unlike other prospective candidates with conservative leanings, like Senator Evan Bayh... continue reading
September 23, 2005 Penguin Family Values? Ludicrous. Monkey Socialism? Profound "Those who start looking outside the human family for old-fashioned values, in fact, will need to quickly narrow their search terms. They will surely want to ignore practices observed in animals like dolphins (gang rape), chimpanzees (exhibitionism), bonobo apes (group sex) and Warner Brothers cartoon rabbits (cross-dressing). Casting a wide net for chaste and saintly creatures, the mind flails, then comes up mostly empty. Yowling tomcats? Lazy, sexist lions? Preening peacocks? Better stick with the penguins." - From a September 18 editorial, "Penguin Family Values," mocking conservatives for hailing the... continue reading
September 9, 2005 Maybe They Were Reading Times Editorials "Why were developers permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier islands that could have held back the hurricane's surge? Why was Congress, before it wandered off to vacation, engaged in slashing the budget for correcting some of the gaping holes in the area's flood protection?" - New York Times editorial page, September 1. vs. "Anyone who cares about responsible budgeting and the health of America's rivers and wetlands should pay attention to a bill now before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The bill would shovel $17 billion at the... continue reading
August 30, 2005 Bill Keller Preens Over His Paper's "High-Minded" Journalism "First, and weirdly, [law professor Richard Posner] makes almost no distinctions within the vast category of American media, between those that are aggressively partisan and those that strive to keep opinion sequestered from news, between outlets that invest in serious reporting and those that simply riff on the reporting of others, between the sensational and the more high-minded, between organizations that hasten to correct errors and those that could not care less, between the cartoonish shout shows on cable TV and the more ambitious journalism of, say, the paper... continue reading
August 12, 2005 What Nerve "One soldier fought off scores of elite Iraqi troops in a fierce defense of his outnumbered Army unit, saving dozens of American lives before he himself was killed. Another soldier helped lead a team that killed 27 insurgents who had ambushed her convoy. And then there was the marine who, after being shot, managed to tuck an enemy grenade under his stomach to save the men in his unit, dying in the process. Their names are Sgt. First Class Paul R. Smith, Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester and Sgt. Rafael Peralta. If you have never heard... continue reading