"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

The Chinese leadership is digging the Communist Party's grave, by giving the Chinese people broadband.

Death by a Thousand Blogs
Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times Original Article

The Chinese Communist Party survived a brutal civil war with the Nationalists, battles with American forces in Korea and massive pro-democracy demonstrations at Tiananmen Square. But now it may finally have met its match - the Internet.

Agenda 2010 reforms are a step in the right direction; however, they did not have an associated tax cut with them.

Schroeder shocks Germany with early election call
Noah Barkin, Swiss Info Original Article

Germany looks set to hold a national election within a few months after Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder shocked the country by calling for an early vote in the aftermath of a crushing regional poll defeat. Schroeder announced his dramatic gamble after voters in the large regional state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) kicked his Social Democrats (SPD) out of government after 39 years.

By not focusing on respondents' party affiliations, the news media are failing to fully explain the significance of opinion surveys.

There's lot more to polls than just numbers
Meg Kreikemeier, Chicago Tribune Original Article

In early October 2004, Newsweek released a poll immediately after the first presidential debate, which showed a dramatic shift in public opinion in favor of John Kerry. Did Kerry narrow the gap with his debate performance? Was he really the closer that many in the media had suggested he was? Newsweek was basing its headline "The Race is On" and accompanying story on a comparison between its two most recent polls. The problem, though, was that the polling data was inconsistent.

If your children are failing, blame it on money and not failed programs.

School-budget ads don't tell the truth
Tom Sirmons, LA Daily News Original Article

"There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics." What Mark Twain did not say, when he quoted British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli in the 19th century, was how often statistics are used to bolster the second kind of lie.

I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity

Leaving the left
Keith Thompson, SFGate Original Article

Nightfall, Jan. 30. Eight-million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos.

The Middle East embraces democracy--and the American president.

Bush Country
Fouad Ajami, WSJ Original Article

"George W. Bush has unleashed a tsunami on this region," a shrewd Kuwaiti merchant who knows the way of his world said to me. The man had no patience with the standard refrain that Arab reform had to come from within, that a foreign power cannot alter the age-old ways of the Arabs. "Everything here--the borders of these states, the oil explorations that remade the life of this world, the political outcomes that favored the elites now in the saddle--came from the outside. This moment of possibility for the Arabs is no exception." A Jordanian of deep political experience at the highest reaches of Arab political life had no doubt as to why history suddenly broke in Lebanon, and could conceivably change in Syria itself before long. "The people in the streets of Beirut knew that no second Hama is possible; they knew that the rulers were under the gaze of American power, and knew that Bush would not permit a massive crackdown by the men in Damascus."