30 March 2008

(Late) Sunday Night Links

These are the stories we've been reading this weekend.

- From the Daily Press, the unintended consequences--black market goodies--of public schools' crackdown on high calorie snacks. Libertarians & econ enthusiasts like us will love this one. (hat tip: Matt Lybbert)

- The Guardian reports on an female Iraqi sprinter who will compete in the Olympics this summer. Our feel-good story of the week, this definitely wouldn't have happened when Saddam was chairman of the Iraqi Olympic Committee.

- Before the Supreme Court is a very interesting case regarding the criminal trials in Iraq of men holding dual citizenship (US/Iraqi & US/Jordanian). Spiker, what say you?

- Writing in the LA Times, former Ambassador to the UN, and a man for whom we hold a great deal of respect, John Bolton, addresses Taiwan's complicated position. We know very little about this area of the world--what we learned in our Chinese history course at BYU and what we've read since then. Hopefully resident China/Taiwan expert, Dallas Stahle, will weigh in.

- Last, but never least, the only columnist we read every week no matter what (okay, we pretty much always read Daniel Henninger, too)--Mark Steyn. This guy is great. Smart, clever, and insightful. We're sure our liberal friends wish they had someone like him.

This week Steyn analyzes the state of Hillary's campaign. Writes Steyn,
The other day I gave a talk and a Democrat in the audience demanded that I disassociate myself from the sleazy attacks of some Republicans who’ve been referring to “Barack Hussein Obama.” I said I’d be happy to disassociate myself from (Clinton supporter) Bob Kerrey who’s been floating the whole nudge-nudge-Hussein-the-secret-Muslim thing, and to disassociate myself from (Clinton supporter) Bill Shaheen who’s been pushing the Obama-spent-most-of-the-Seventies-selling-cocaine rumors, and to disassociate myself from (Clinton supporter) Andrew Young who’s boasted that Bill Clinton has slept with more black women than Obama. And golly, after I’d got through disassociating myself from all the Democrat sleaze about Obama, I had no time to peddle any sleaze of my own.
Pretty much sums up how we feel.

*UPDATE 31 March 2008 4:38pm MST: Check out Ryan Decker's review of WFB and one of his recent books.

If you have tips, questions, comments, suggestions, or requests for subscription only articles, email us at lybberty@gmail.com.


Spikers said...

I don't know much about this area of the law, but based on what I know, I think they are in big trouble. I highly doubt that this S.Ct. will bail them out. They will likely be turned over to local authorities, as in my opinion, they should be.

D’s Nuts!! said...

Wow Jake, you're putting a lot of pressure on me :) I hope I can say something worth while. I'm always fascinated with the Taiwan/China feud, and will say that I'm very biased towards the Taiwan side. I'm from the US and lived in Taiwan longer. The mainlanders that I've spoken with that still live in mainland are just uninformed because where else will they learn about the situation. Thus I feel a lot of the time, they don't grasp the situation to it's full extent. Those that have moved away from the mainland, have a little different perspective about the situation. The same goes for Taiwanese people. I could spend way too much time talking about this as well.

I think Bolton's assessment of the situation was one of the best unbiased pieces I've read on the situation (I guess there will always be a small bias if you're a supporter of democracy and not communism/socialism). I'm not implying that I read a ton on this, but I do talk to a lot of my Chinese and Taiwanese friends when I travel to Asia. It's fascinating the difference in opinion that Mainlanders have towards Taiwanese and vis versa. It's a situation that all seem to regret wished it had never happened. The Taiwanese always thought they would return to the mainland and rule the country from Taipei, but that never happened.

As a missionary, I tried to steer clear of political talk, but there was definietly a venom towards the mainland that some people would always talk about. You never want to ask a Taiwanese person if they are from mainland China or a mainlander if they are from Taiwan. They resent you mistaking where they might be from.

But as Bolton says, the Taiwanese are not looking to "reunify" with the Mainland. They are looking to improve their situation while using the mainland. they are looking for a win-win situation that wouldn't compromise their freedoms that they enjoy. I believe that they would never accept anything that would change that.

The Chinese people are very shrewd thinkers and are always looking for the upper hand in any situation. Their society is built on relationships and pulling on those strings when it benefits you the most.

I have friend who's parents are "well connected" in China. They told her to go to school and work hard, but not in order to get a good job. They said she should focus on becoming well connected, because that is where you'll find your success in the future.

I think Taiwan is trying to position themselves to be well connected because they do have so much to offer the mainland and vis versa.

D’s Nuts!! said...

A follow up comment to my above comment is how fascinating it is to be in Taiwan during any election cycle. Taiwanese love the democratic process and are very involved with it. People are glued to their TV sets and everyone is talking about it. You see campaign propaganda every where and no one is left in the dark. As you see from Bolton's article, there is a HUGE turnout of voters when they have an election.

MJ said...

very interesting D!