The Great Debate

from Jack Shafer:

The guy who reads crap on the Web so you don’t have to

By Jack Shafer
June 4, 2014

click777

You know that annoying guy in the office who steps on all of your punch lines? Who deflates with a concise quip the shaggy dog stories you're trying to tell? Well, that buttinski has taken his act to Twitter where, under the username SavedYouAClick, he's razoring the guts out of the often misleading and exploitative click-bait tweets posted by Huffington Post, Vice, Mashable, Cosmopolitan, Business Insider, TMZ, Drudge Report, and others designed to drive you to their stories.

Why reparations for slavery could help boost the economy

By Michael Maiello
June 4, 2014

A man is silhouetted in the "Door of No Return" at the House of Slaves on Goree Island near Senegal's capital Dakar

In the May 21 issue of The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates re-opened the question of whether the United States government should pay reparations to African-Americans for the crimes of two and a half centuries of slavery, 60 years of Jim Crow-style segregation and decades more of racist housing policies, zoning and community development. His conclusion — that a great accounting of wrongs must take place, as well as a decision about how to make amends for them– has inevitably sparked disagreement. But set that aside. Imagine we have decided yes, as a society we must pay a price for these injustices, and it must be large. Those payments could well constitute the stimulus that the U.S. economy needs to take it into the next century.

Leave no soldier behind – no exceptions

By Charles J. Dunlap Jr.
June 4, 2014

dunlop -- top!

The deal for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s return has hardly generated the praise the Obama administration might have hoped. Hard questions abound.

from Breakingviews:

Fed fundamentalists deserve fresh listen

June 3, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

America’s nonintervention is a vote for Syria’s Assad

By Wendy Pearlman
June 3, 2014

 Syriaelection77

Many Syrians who voted for Bashar al-Assad in today’s presidential elections did so in the belief that the alternative to the current regime is a takeover by Islamist radicals.

from Stories I’d like to see:

More questions for Snowden and the GOP establishment takes on the 2016 primaries

By Steven Brill
June 3, 2014

Accused government whistleblower Snowden is seen on a screen as he speaks via videoconference with members of the Committee on legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg

1. Snowden questions NBC missed:

In his interview with NBC’s Brian Williams last week, Edward Snowden tried to bolster his credentials this way: “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word -- in that I lived and worked undercover, overseas, pretending to work in a job … and even being assigned a name that was not mine …. Now, the government might deny these things. They might frame it in certain ways, and say, ‘Oh, well, you know, he's a low-level analyst.’”

Why the federal government should help bail out Detroit

By Allison Schrager
June 2, 2014

detroit101

Starting last month, and continuing through July, Detroit’s 170,000 creditors will vote on the terms of the “Grand Bargain” that will end the city’s bankruptcy.

from Hugo Dixon:

EU needs more non-bank finance

By Hugo Dixon
June 2, 2014

The European Union needs more non-bank finance. Banks are on the back foot. On their own, they won’t be able to fund the jobs and growth the EU is desperate for. Non-bank finance needs to take up the slack.

Senate must rein in the NSA

By Elizabeth Goitein
June 2, 2014

An illustration picture shows the logo of the U.S. National Security Agency on the display of an iPhone in Berlin

The House of Representatives seemed poised last month to rein in the government’s ability to spy on its citizens by prohibiting the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records. On the eve of the vote, however, the Obama administration and House leadership intervened. In secret negotiations, they took a carving knife to the bill, removing key privacy protections.

Let Japan help defend America — and itself

By Clyde Prestowitz
June 2, 2014

Members of Japan's Self-Defence Forces' airborne troops stand at attention during the annual SDF troop review ceremony at Asaka Base in Asaka

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is now following through on actions laid out in his recent bold speech calling for Japan to defend allies who might be under attack.