Blow on MLK
Charles Blow praises Martin Luther King, and wonders where the new leaders are?
I thought Barack Obama was going to get far more done than he has so far accomplished. I don’t really blame him though. The right wing of the the Republican party has decided to stop any progress from the President if they can, at the expense of the country. I believe that their opposition is primarily racist. Paul Krugman has already pointed out how vacuous is their argument about the threat of deficit spending to our immediate future.
They are against enough stimulus to get our economy going, reforms of lifestyle to combat climate change, and reforms of taxes and regulation of wall street, to reduce growing income inequality, and reckless gambling with tax payers dollars.
Bill McKibbon, of 350.org, calls for more protest, even civil disobedience. He suggested in Hamden, CT, that the young can’t afford to get arrested as much as retired folks can. He challenges us old couch potatoes to get active again.
I just finished reading all 1279 pages of Shui Hu Zhuan, or Water Margin or All Men Are Brothers, translated by Pearl Buck, it is one of the four most famous Chinese novels from the 1400’s. It is the stories of 108 famous martial artists who all become bandits in the south. They had a mountain lair at Mount Liang, surrounded by marshes and lakes. The great purpose of these adventures was to show how good men were punished, branded and sent to prison if the officials of a regime were corrupt. These great warriors, through their skill and honor, escaped to fight again.
I wonder if this book, in its various formats, is banned in China today, since it is about successful rebels against corrupt officials. Professor Peter Perdu at Yale criticized my novel on 18th century Vietnam, saying the young Vietnamese men should swear. His source for this idea, was this novel. On rereading the novel, I see that the Professor was right. There is a lot of swearing, but it is not like our swearing today. Examples would be: that old biting insect, let your mother pass her dog’s wind, you false piece of skin and bones, ah bitter, ah bitter. These were examples of swearing in Shui Hu Zhuan.
Milton Friedman, Unperson By PAUL KRUGMAN
Not only a great piece, but the comments marked NYT picks are also good.
Eric Holder tries to reduce prison sentences
Justice Dept. Seeks to Curtail Stiff Drug Sentences
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. will announce new steps intended to curb soaring taxpayer spending on prisons and help correct what he regards as unfairness in the justice system.