What the Hell is Going On?

Xerox follows Enron and Worldcom.

The wildfire of accounting controversies engulfing Enron Corp. and tech-sector companies such as WorldCom Inc. is scorching another company. According to a report Friday in the Wall Street Journal, Xerox Corp. could have to restate its 1997 to 2001 earnings to the tune of more than US$6 billion.

Is this going to take us into another great depression? Will the American public be able to look past the dishonesty of the (hopefully) few?

Arafat Must Go

I hate to say it, but I agree with Jeff Jacoby.

As a prerequisite to peace, Palestinian culture must be drastically reformed. The venom of the Arafat era must be drained. Persons implicated in terrorism must be punished and ostracized; democratic norms must be instilled; the virtue of tolerance must be learned. There is only one way to effect such wholesale changes: The Palestinian Authority has to be dealt a devastating military defeat, one that will crush Arafat and his junta and shatter forever the Palestinian fantasy of *liberating* Israel and driving the Jews into the sea.

Then the Palestinian territories must be reoccupied, the terror chieftains executed, and the putrescence of Arafat and Hamas flushed away. That will make it possible to rebuild the structures of civil society – the legislature, the courts, the police, the media, and, above all, the schools – from the ground up. The Palestinian polity can become a true liberal democracy, one committed to pluralism, civil rights, competitive elections, and the marketplace of ideas. When that happens, peace with Israel will be a given, and no one will fear a Palestinian state.

A pipe dream? Not at all. There is a model for just this sort of transformation: the US occupation of Japan.

The whole problem with the Middle East peace process is that there’s no desire for peace from the Palestinians. I hate the idea of war and violence, but some times reasonable people have no other way to deal with unreasonable people. Maybe someday we’ll be able to give peace a chance, but not until **everyone** decides that it’s better than the alternative.

Please Don’t Raise the Tolls!

We all know that toll roads are the worst possible way to raise money. So why are the pols so intent on it?

It’s just so brutally unfair. Why do the working people of MetroWest and Worcester County have to take a $10-a-week paycut to buy a brand-new road for all the BMW-driving millionaires from Cohasset and Deluxebury?

Eventually, it’s supposed to cost $13 to drive from Framingham to Logan. The money will be used to buy a new road for South Shore swells, who will pay the goose-egg, the doughnut, zero, nada, zed.

You got that right Howie! I don’t even pay the tolls, nor will I use the Big Dig (i.e. The Money Pit) very often. But every once in a while, I have to pick someone up at Logan, or fly out from there myself, and I end up getting screwed the whole way.