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Week in Review

Via Meadia featured several essays this week:

In China, the Bo Xilai saga continued unwinding, with allegations of murder mixing with critical reappraisals of his tenure as mayor Chongqing. Meanwhile, a survey of American businesses pointed to a growing consensus that the Chinese economy might be slowing down, even as internal unrest may be on the upswing and China’s policy of nonintervention may be undermining its business interests abroad. Nevertheless, Chinese president Hu Jintao was angling for advantage in the Asian game of thrones by courting India at the otherwise uninspiring annual BRIC summit.

As the noose around Iran continued to tighten thanks to Turkey and India, Tehran doubled down on supporting its only Arab ally, Syria. And yes, Mr. Kristof, the geopolitical calculus around Iran is a lot more complicated than you think. In Syria, rebels were caught staging videos (an act both unhelpful and unnecessary), as Arab leaders met in Iraq (an emerging U.S. strategic ally?) to discuss what is to be done, without recourse to tired Arab nationalism. And the sunny Western narrative for the Egyptian chapter of the Arab Spring saga took another hit this week, as two leading liberals quit the a constitutional panel in protest for it being over-staffed by Islamists.

Back in the USA, last year’s cheating scandal seemed to be going national, a serious moral and systemic failure of our educational system. In higher ed, a California college was experimenting with tiered demand-based pricing for its courses, an interesting though not necessarily flawless approach to meeting budget shortfalls. And the mainstream media caught on to an emerging trend we’ve been covering for a while: Democrats are turning against some of their key constituencies in order to try to make government more efficient.

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  • Luke Lea

    I didn’t look beyond the headlines the “Anti-Semitic habits of mind die hard in Europe” story, assuming this was actually a case of Islamic or Muslim anti-Semitism. rooted in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not the 20th century European variety, which was largely racial (and economic) in character. Looking a little deeper I see little reason to change my mind.

    Sure, there are a few left-wing European anti-Israel Palestinian sympathizers, but does that have anything to do with those murders in France? The NYT seems to have assumed so at first but turns out they were mistaken. (I believe this was the third time in a month the NYT had jumped the gun on what it assumed was a racial hate crime story: they seem to live off this stuff and it is not good for the country (our country) or their own credibility. God they piss me off sometimes.

    Also, I took exception to this sentence: “Europeans have committed an act of criminal folly: they opened their doors to an immigrant population they were not prepared to accept,”

    It turns out to have been folly perhaps, but unless they had knowledge aforethought (or whatever the phrase is) it was hardly criminal. They didn’t know how hard the challenge of human biodiversity really is, on both sides, and not only in Europe but anywhere. We’ve been kidding ourselves or deluding ourselves with wishful thinking — that’s folly — but it only becomes culpable when you have enough evidence to know better. There’s no going back however and the centuries long slog of assimilation and integration has barely begun. I don’t think we should encourage more immigration however. That just makes the problem more difficult and suits nobody’s interests.

  • Luke Lea

    Suits nobody’s interests? I take that back. Multi-racial multi-culturalism does suite the interests of our plutocratic elites since it makes it almost impossible for ordinary working people to come together to defend their interests. Divide and conquer and all that. I wish the NYT would write that story up.

  • Luke Lea

    Greed knows no limits.

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