January 16, 2007

In the Times Today: Egypt, the 2nd Amendment, and Planting Trees

Three articles of interest in the New York Times today. Two of them are op-eds, the other is news analysis. I'll take the last one first.1) Michael Slackman paints a grim portrait of the prospect of democracy in Egypt with his analysis of the political context of Secretary Rice's recent visit. I understood Slackman's purpose to be twofold. To show how slow democracy's march actually is in Egypt and second, to show how America's involvement in Iraq ties its hands in lobbying their less-than-democratic allies to reform their authoritarian ways. I think he does an admirable job on both.2) Ken Caldeira, a scientist at the Carnegie Institution, has written a persuasive piece on the impact of trees on global warming. It's not what you'd expect.3) Finally, a professor from the University of Tennessee Law School argues for local ordinances that mandate gun ownership. As someone who considers gun control to be one of the great moral issues of our time, I found my blood boiling far earlier in the day than it usually does. It's interesting that the author makes his title, "A Rifle in Every Pot", into an oblique reference about Herbert Hoover. I think following the author like following Hoover would be disastrous for this country.