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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"In recent months there has been a steady increase in polemics in the United States and China, with each side accusing the other of pursuing economic policies that run contrary to accepted international rules. Each has described the other as selfish. Longstanding differences between the American and the Chinese notions of human rights were accentuated by the awarding of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident. Moreover, each side has unintentionally intensified the suspicions of the other. Washington’s decisions to help India with nuclear energy have stimulated China’s unease, prompting increased Chinese support for Pakistan’s desire to expand its own nuclear energy potential. China’s seeming lack of concern over North Korea’s violent skirmishes with South Korea has given rise to apprehension about China’s policy on the Korean peninsula. And just as America’s unilateralism has in recent years needlessly antagonized some of its friends, so China should note that some of its recent stands have worried its neighbors. The worst outcome for Asia’s long-term stability as well as for the American-Chinese relationship would be a drift into escalating reciprocal demonization." (ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI /NYTimes)


"Late Wednesday night in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria, 27 young women of distinction from the United States and abroad made their bow to society at the 56th annual International Debutante Ball. The young women represented England, Sweden and ten American states. Due to canceled flights Scotland, France and San Antonio, Texas, could not attend" (NYSocialDiary)


"Archaeologists on the Greek island of Crete have found startling evidence that early humans could navigate across open water thousands of years earlier than previously thought, officials said Monday. A team of US and Greek archaeologists reached that conclusion after finding stone tools and axes dating from at least 130,000 years ago on Crete, which was already an island at the time, the Greek culture ministry said. 'The findings not only prove marine travel in the Mediterranean existed tens of thousands of years prior to what was known until today, but they also change calculations about early man's cognitive abilities,' the ministry said. It noted that the chiseled shards found in the areas of Plakia and Preveli in 2008 and 2009, and attributed to the Homo heidelbergensis and Homo erectus species, 'constitute the most ancient sign of early navigation worldwide.' Greek archaeologists working with the Athens-based American School of Classical Studies had originally been searching for the remains of Stone Age settlements in the island's southwest dating to 10,000 BCE." (AFP)


"Of the countless reasons why this revival of this Prohibition that looks so quaint in Boardwalk Empire should be erased with all deliberate speed, one is that with no War on Drugs there would be, within one generation, no 'black problem' in the United States. Poverty in general, yes. An education problem in general—probably. But the idea that black America had a particular crisis would rapidly become history, requiring explanation to young people. The end of the War on Drugs is, in fact, what all people genuinely concerned with black uplift should be focused on, which is why I am devoting my last TNR post of 2010 to the issue. The black malaise in the U.S. is currently like a card house; the Drug War is a single card which, if pulled out, would collapse the whole thing. That is neither an exaggeration nor an oversimplification. It comes down to this: If there were no way to sell drugs on the street at a markup, then young black men who drift into this route would instead have to get legal work. They would. Those insisting that they would not have about as much faith in human persistence and ingenuity as those who thought women past their five-year welfare cap would wind up freezing on sidewalk grates." (John MacWhorter)

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