Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for October 10th through October 13th:
- American Creation: Should We Celebrate Columbus Day? – However exciting it may be for us to remember Columbus as a pure-hearted explorer, the historical record cannot be ignored. As a result, it is plainly clear that Columbus was not the benevolent explorer we often consider him to be in American popular culture. Instead, Columbus was very much a tyrant who used religion to justify his acts of violence towards the native people of the "New World." Again, Alan Taylor points out what Columbus' real intentions were when it came to the native people of the "New World:"
- Columbus Day | culturekitchen – Together, Columbus Day and Thanksgiving are the foundation myths of America. I have been ambivalent, in the litteral meaning of the word, towards Columbus Day for years now. I celebrate America and Columbus' "discovery" of the "New World" because the result of his discovery and the ultimate founding of America is that my family, myself included, is alive and thriving today. Without America, my family would have been exterminated in the genocide of Nazi Germany if not before that in the genocide of the pogroms in Tsarist Russia and later Stalin's genocide in the Soviet Union. But I am reminded every Columbus day of the genocides on which the founding of America was based. My family had a refuge from genocide because of a previous genocide committed against the natives of America. How's THAT for ambivalence?
- Better to Be… – Swampland – TIME – Watch the tape of the guy screaming, "He's a terrorist!" McCain seems to shudder at that, he rolls his eyes… and I thought for a moment he'd admonish the man. But he didn't. And now he's selling the Ayres non-story full-time. Yes, yes, it's all he has. True enough: he no longer has his honor. But we are on the edge of some real serious craziness here and it would be nice if McCain did the right thing and told his more bloodthirsty supporters to go home and take a cold shower. But McCain hasn't done the right thing all year. His campaign is appalling, as the New York Times editorial board said today–and more, it is a national disgrace.
- Deborah Hargreaves: We should take the axe to these architects of downfall | Comment is free | The Guardian – Banks are supposed to be risk-averse institutions. They are custodians of our money, and we expect them to protect it. But it seems the current generation of bankers has forgotten this age-old adage and become carried away with the idea of turning their retail networks into international powerhouses. Now that gamble has not worked, they have come running to us to help them out.
- Kristof: Can this be pro-life? – International Herald Tribune – The Bush administration this month is quietly cutting off birth control supplies to some of the world's poorest women in Africa. Thus the paradox of a "pro-life" administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year – along with more women dying in childbirth. The saga also spotlights a clear difference between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.