The US needs no-holds-barred debate on the Middle East
In regard to the May 1 Opinion piece, "Arab forum tackles a Washington taboo": I was unaware of the Doha Debates, but very glad to hear they exist. And I'm somewhat dismayed to hear that there were concerns about conducting them in the US, when they have been conducted peacefully in the Middle East for the last six years.
We have for entirely too long been held hostage to an "Israel can do no wrong" political mind-set. It's long past time to examine the issues in the Middle East, free of concerns that doing so somehow makes us anti-Semitic. There is plenty of blame to go around, but so long as the US government takes a one-sided viewpoint, it's ludicrous for us to blather on about being an honest broker.
I watched the debate that was refereed by Tim Sebastian. Such "town hall" debates are badly needed in all countries; they would be platforms where issues could be raised and would fill the discussion voids we quite often see on social, economic, or political matters.
Taxpayers should not support private companies
Regarding the May 5 Opinion piece, "Forget tea parties. Bring a pitchfork to a shareholder meeting": How can you hold a company accountable when the only reason they survive is because the taxpayer is forced to prop them up?
Metaphorically speaking, we are being forced to hand over our lunch to companies that can't produce anything edible. Better TARP oversight will just ration the food that's left. In the end, as history has shown, we will all starve under this system. Bringing a pitchfork to a shareholder meeting is already standard practice. I suggest using the pitchfork to defend freedom.
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