Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Beginning next Monday, the online New York Times is placing Op Ed & apparently a lot of other stuff on a subscription service, TimesSelect. Those inclined to complain need only recall (if old enough) when one had to actually purchase the newspaper or go to the library to read it. The big carrot of the new service is access to up to 100 articles per month from the archives, which the Times insists will soon extend back to 1851. An open question is how well Times columnists (including one great, Frank Rich; some hit-or-miss writers like Maureen Dowd, Robert Kristof & John Tierney; & then there's David Brooks & strange Thomas Friedman) will weather the change. Fact is, the Times doesn't have an especially distinguished, interesting stable right now.

Today is my Virgoan sister's birthday. One year she threw a party for herself, hired a clown, invlted the neighborhood kids. Grownups couldn't attend unless accompanied by a child.

Brooks and Friedman are my two favorite Times columnists; Friedman has long made the argument that democracy building works best when you convert people's hearts and minds with words and actions, not necessarily with a suicide bomb or F-16.
I can probaby predict what Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd are going to write about 48 hours in advance, and Ms. Dowd's headshot looks like a caricature of the stereotypical rich, smarmy limousine liberal the right wing loves to lampoon. Please inform them to tell me something I don't yet know.
I like when a columnist takes what I already know & articulates an argument I can use against Republicans or Democrats. Angry liberal Frank Rich is very good at this. So for that matter is angry conservative Paul Mulshine at the Star-Ledger. Thomas Friedman recently admired Singapore's efficiency (as a reaction to a communist insurgency) without detailing the draconian laws required to achieve such cleanliness of public place & personal behavior.
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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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