Davos Newbies Home

Kurtz on Krugman 

Howard Kurtz in The Washington Post writes about Paul Krugman, following up Nicholas Confessore in The Washington Monthly. Confessore has the detail: “As major columnists go, he is almost alone in analyzing the most important story in politics in recent years — the seamless melding of corporate, class, and political party interests at which the Bush administration excels.”

“It is considered the appropriate thing to say at a dinner party that, while Krugman is very bright, he’s just too relentless on Bush,” Confessore quotes James Carville. “Because to accept Krugman’s facts as right makes the Washington press look like idiots.”

Weblogs v big media 

Jenny the Librarian highlights one of the advantages weblogs have over much of major media: RSS. “Until the BigPubs figure this out, blogs will continue to be more syndicated that even the biggest media machines. With the big, fancy, very-expensive re-design that the Wall Street Journal recently went through, you’d think they would have at least gotten a few RSS feeds up and even figured out how to handle authentication for their subscribers.”

As someone who increasingly relies on RSS feeds for my information, I am frustrated by good weblogs that lack RSS (Talking Points Memo, British Politics and D-Squared Digest, that means you), and I am thoroughly baffled by major media sources that don’t provide appropriate feeds. Get with the programme people.

Extremist setback 

Most stories these days are about the rise of extremism, so it’s nice to read about Austria’s rejection of the crazies.

Dismantling walls 

Last night I went to a presentation of the Peaceworks Network initiative, which is trying to dismantle the burgeoning wall between Israelis and Palestinians.

Mohammad Darawshe, an Israeli-Arab who chairs the steering committee of the initiative, gave a particularly moving example of why such efforts are needed. A year ago, Darawshe said, his eight year-old son came to him. “Dad,” he said. “You know I said I want to be a doctor when I grow up?” “Yes, son.” “And I want to be a footballer, too?” “Yes.” “Well, now I’ve decided I want to be a martyr.”

In a room of 30 people, you could feel the chill with this remark. Fortunately, Darawshe believes he has convinced his son that he can do more for his country alive than dead.

Defining walls 

Tom Friedman has some worthwhile reflections on three walls: the Berlin Wall, the Korean DMZ and what he calls Israel’s Wall of Fear.

“[Arabs] don’t see that the wall of hostility they erected against Israel, and lately against America, has turned into a wall holding the Arabs back from modernity. And the longer the Arab wall of hostility has stood, the more it has debilitated the moderate Israeli majority and emboldened an extremist minority.”

One thought on “Davos Newbies Home

  1. Paul Kelly

    I posted a response to Jenny the Librarian about why I think WSJ doesn’t do RSS if anyone’s interested in talking about it there.


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