Jewish World Review May 3, 2002 /21 Iyar, 5762

Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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Musings, random and otherwise | Stop me if you've heard this, but:

To glimpse the cruelty that has always been a hallmark of Communist regimes, you don't have to read "The Gulag Archipelago" or "The Black Book of Communism." You need only gaze at pictures of the elderly Koreans who were permitted this week to briefly visit loved ones they hadn't seen since the Korean War divided their families 50 years ago.

The reunions, which were televised in South Korea, were wrenching. The joy of embracing a mother or brother after nearly a lifetime of enforced separation quickly gave way to the agony of trying to make up for so much lost time in just a few hours -- and then to the crushing realization that after this day, they would almost certainly never see or hear from each other again.

Communism's savagery is not only measured in murder and torture. It is also reflected in the heartbreak of millions of amputated Korean families, whose suffering serves no cause other than the sadism of North Korea's rulers -- rulers for whom totalitarian power justifies everything, and ordinary human love, nothing.

A federal judge trying to reverse decades of overfishing has imposed severe new limits on catching fish off the New England coast. The ruling cuts to 70 the number of days allowed per year for catching ground fish like cod and haddock, and closes some areas to fishing altogether.

None of this would be necessary if ocean fisheries were treated the same way we treat farmland. Because farmers own their land, they have every incentive to rotate crops and keep the soil fertilized. No one has to forbid "overplanting;" farmers don't let their land become depleted because they have a vested interest in its future productivity.

But ocean fishing areas are owned by no one. Fishermen own only what they catch, so they have every reason to catch as much as possible -- and no reason to conserve for the future. But if fisheries were privately owned, overfishing would cease. Fishermen would have an economic stake in protecting stocks; no longer would they rush to outfish their competitors. Property rights work on land. They would work just as well at sea.

Okay, so the Boston Marathon is a Boston tradition. But where is it written that tradition has to paralyze traffic and bring the city to a standstill? You want to run 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Copley Square, be my guest. But why can't you do it on a day when the rest of us don't have to work? New York runs its marathon on Sunday. It's long past time Boston did the same.

"Newspapers fall short of diversity goal," read the headline over a recent story.

Do they ever. Intellectual diversity in the mainstream media is indeed in short supply. On the staff of most big-city newspapers, you'll find very few conservatives and only a smattering of Republicans. There are almost no evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, or devout Muslims. The ranks of reporters and editors rarely include military veterans or pro-life activists or Rush Limbaugh fans. No question: When it comes to America's leading news media, diversity of opinion is pitifully hard to find.

But that headline was about something else. Sad to say, the only kind of "diversity" the major news media care about is the trivial kind: diversity of color. Hiring editors jump through hoops to recruit journalists of the "right" race or ethnicity; rarely if ever do they consider what their staff lacks in values, ideology, or political outlook. The result is newsrooms filled with people who look different -- but who mostly think alike.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

04/29/02: The canary in Europe's mine
04/15/02: Powell's crazy mission
04/12/02: The slavery reparations hustle
04/08/02: Peace at any price = war
03/26/02: Decency matters most, Caleb
03/22/02: The U.S. embargo and Cuba's future
03/19/02: The keepers of Cuba's conscience
03/15/02: A walk in Havana
02/26/02: Buchanan's lament
02/12/02: What 'peace' means to Arafat
02/05/02: Antismoking: Who pays?
02/01/02: Turn the Saudis
01/25/02: Making MLK cry
01/21/02: Ted to tax cut: Drop dead
01/18/02: Musings random and otherwise
01/14/02: An ultimatum to Saudi Arabia
01/11/02: Friendship, Saudi-style
01/07/02: Shakedown at Harvard
01/04/02: More guns, more safety
01/02/02: Smears and slanders from the Left
12/28/01: Congress gives to others -- and itself
12/24/01: The littlest peacemakers
12/20/01: How to condemn terror
12/18/01: Greenland once was
12/14/01: Parents who never said ''no''
12/11/01: Wit and (economic) wisdom
12/04/01: The war against Israel goes on
11/30/01: Tribunals, motorcycles -- and freedom
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11/12/01: The Justice Department's unjust monopoly
11/09/01: Muslim, but not extremist
11/02/01: Too good for Oprah
10/29/01: Journalism and the 'neutrality fetish'
10/26/01: Derail these subsidies
10/22/01: Good and evil in the New York Times
10/15/01: Rush Limbaugh's ear
10/08/01: With allies like these
10/01/01: An unpardonable act
09/25/01: Speaking out against terror
09/21/01: What the terrorists saw
09/17/01: Calling evil by its name
09/13/01: Our enemies mean what they say
09/04/01: The real bigots
08/31/01: Shrugging at genocide
08/28/01: Big Brother's privacy -- or ours?
08/24/01: The mufti's message of hate
08/21/01: Remembering the 'Wall of Shame'
08/16/01: If I were the editor ...
08/14/01: If I were the Transportation Czar ...
08/10/01: Import quotas 'steel' from us all
08/07/01: Is gay "marriage" a threat?
08/03/01: A colorblind nominee
07/27/01: Eminent-domain tortures
07/24/01: On protecting the flag ... and drivers ... and immigrants
07/20/01: Dying for better mileage
07/17/01: Why Americans would rather drive
07/13/01: Do these cabbies look like bigots?
07/10/01: 'Defeated in the bedroom'
07/06/01: Who's white? Who's Hispanic? Who cares?
07/02/01: Big(oted) man on campus
06/29/01: Still appeasing China's dictators
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06/19/01: The feeble 'arguments' against capital punishment
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05/31/01: The settlement myth
05/25/01: An award JFK would have liked
05/22/01: No Internet taxes? No problem
05/18/01: Heather has five mommies (and a daddy)
05/15/01: An execution, not a lynching
05/11/01: Losing the common tongue
05/08/01: Olympics 2008: Say no to Beijing
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05/01/01: Another man's child
04/24/01: Sharon should have said no
04/02/01: The Inhumane Society
03/30/01: To have a friend, Caleb, be a friend
03/27/01: Is Chief Wahoo racist?
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03/20/01: They're coming for you
03/16/01: Kennedy v. Kennedy
03/13/01: We should see McVeigh die
03/09/01: The Taliban's wrecking job
03/07/01: The No. 1 reason to cut taxes
03/02/01: A Harvard candidate's silence on free speech
02/27/01: A lesson from Birmingham jail
02/20/01: How Jimmy Carter got his good name back
02/15/01: Cashing in on the presidency
02/09/01: The debt for slavery -- and for freedom
02/06/01: The reparations calculation
02/01/01: The freedom not to say 'amen'
01/29/01: Chavez's 'hypocrisy': Take a closer look
01/26/01: Good-bye, good riddance
01/23/01: When everything changed (mostly for the better)
01/19/01: The real zealots
01/16/01: Pardon Clinton?
01/11/01: The fanaticism of Linda Chavez
01/09/01: When Jerusalem was divided
12/29/00 Liberal hate speech, 2000
12/15/00Does the Constitution expect poor children be condemned to lousy government schools?
12/08/00 Powell is wrong man to run State Department
12/05/00 The 'MCAS' teens give each other
12/01/00 Turning his back on the Vietnamese -- again
11/23/00 Why were the Pilgrims thankful?
11/21/00 The fruit of this 'peace process' is war
11/13/00 Unleashing the lawyers
11/17/00 Gore's mark on history
40 reasons to say NO to Gore

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