Saturday, January 21, 2006

Blogging the Economist

I love the Economist. It is a wonderful magazine. I get news from everywhere, and there are always lots of little things that make me think. So, lucky you! I'm going to give you some of my soundbite responces to things in the magazine. I'll give you guys links to the website, so you can follow along, at least with the non-subscriptions stuff. If you don't have a subscription, get one! Or just borrow one from's a great read.

Bolivia takes on the superpower:

WHATEVER else you may think about Evo Morales, the leader of Bolivia's coca-farmers who will become his country's president on January 22nd, he cannot be accused of underestimating his own importance in the scheme of things. The man about to inherit the problems of a chaotic, dirt-poor country of fewer than 9m people in the Andes boasts that he is the worst nightmare of the United States (see article). The boast, of course, is preposterous.
That's enough to get the point...all I have to say to Evo is, "Sweet dreams!"

Evolving Faith:
It's cool that they print different opinions in their letters section. The NYT doesn't even try...they cherry pick the ones that make them look good. (that and the obvious liberal bias). I think I fall most nearly to the first letter, from Stephen Brahm. I think the second guy, needs to take a chill pill. I also want to say that the opinions that make up Christianity may be the most extensively peer-reviewed pieces of work ever. They are continualy re-read and re-formed, and people argue discuss extensively the smallest points. That is why there are so many sects of Christianity in the world today. There are comparable sects in Darwin's camp, but obviously not as many, since it hasn't been as extensively peer-reviewed. The point here, is that the peers who review the work already agree with the premise, in most cases, so you're not going to get much that contradicts the basis.

From the Special report:
The report is about all the different non-violent changes in power from the past few years, and how well they seem to be working out compared to Iraq. They say this is something to keep in mind in the comming dealings with Iran...
You should at least buy the magazine to read this part, if nothing else. It is a very interesting spin of things...especially comming from a magazine that supported the invasion of Iraq.
I think they make a few good points - there have been a lot of non-violent revolutions in the past few years. However, none of them have worked out quite as well as the authors suggest in the article. They also mention a lot of countries that went from a nominaly free democracy to an arguable freer form (like Ukraine, and Georgia). None of these have worked out perfectly, and in each case there was an obvious government that was ready to step up and take control.
That strategy wouldn't have worked in Iraq. Anyone who tried to organize an opposition to the government was cut down, so no one was able to form anything substantial.
I think that a non-violent revolution is obviously the prefered motiff for regime change...but it's not always possible.

From Charlemagne:
This is a review of hard-power(War/santions) and soft-power(Talks/negotiations)
I think the conclusion of the editorial is pretty obvious: Soft-power only works in conjunction with hard-power. Soft-power leaves us feeling good about ourselves, but it doesn't really work well with tyrants who don't care about niceties. For tyrants, like Iran and North Korea, you need a combination. We should always try the soft approach first, but not be afraid to get tough when we fail. Like the EU did in Iran, and like we're (along with others) doing in North Korea.

Bagehot: (non-subscription)
I think we could use some David Camerone style re-branding for the Right, here in America...along with some cleaning up of corruption.

Middle East and Africa:
Damn it Hamas! (non-subscription) Come on PA! you need to clean up your act! Israel can't give you what you want until you stop killing Israelies! So why are you supporting a terrorist organization?

The America's:
Rebuilding the American Dream machine: (Non-Subscription)
I think this is awesome. Congrats to CUNY! I think more colleges should take this approach...with scholarships given on merit. I think that the 'elite' colleges should especially take this approach, but definately more of the State run schools...

I like what Coburn is doing. I don't like earmarks. I don't like spending. I wanted more from Bush. But he keeps the checkbook open, and the veto-pen in his pocket. Bad form.

That's all I've read so far...there's about half the magazine left. I might keep going, but probably not. I should have some more original stuff tomorrow...I need to get my study abroad application done.

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