- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 4, 2006

‘Yes, dear’

“While we were cleaning up dinner leavings the other night, I heard my wife explaining to our son Bud what the secret was of having a good marriage.

“‘You have to learn how to say, “Yes, dear,”’ she said. …

“You say, ‘Yes, dear’ not only to your spouse but to God who dispenses all things and sometimes hands out inexplicable suffering. You say, ‘Yes, dear’ to blessings, like windfall salary increases or lottery winnings, and you share without a thought. …

“If you go into marriage determined to protect your territory and your rights, determined that this or that transgression will break the deal, not only is the deal very likely to be broken, but you and your spouse know that the deal is likely to be broken and never really commit to one another.”

— Lawrence Henry writing on “Yes, Dear” June 30 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

China’s future

“Communist China has experienced a monumental capitalist revolution in the last two decades, with an economy that is now six times bigger than it was 20 years ago. A minor player in the global economy in the 1980s, China today is the world’s third-largest trading power. But if these stunning economic statistics make you think that so much capitalist development must also have brought more democracy to China, think again.

“Most Westerners believe in a theory of liberal evolution, according to which sustained economic growth, by increasing wealth and the size of the middle class, gradually makes a country more democratic. While the long-run record of this theory is irrefutable, China’s authoritarian ruling elite is not only determined to hold on to power, but it also has been smart enough to take adaptive measures aimed at countering the liberalizing effects of economic development despite unprecedented economic prosperity and personal freedom.”

— Minxin Pei writing on “Will China’s Capitalist Revolution Turn Democratic?” at www.project-syndicate.org

Fan fever

“As an American, I like for my rivalries to resemble a clan feud rather than a struggle between sovereign states. There is more humor and fellow feeling between the Hatfields and McCoys than the Germans and the Poles. So give me an Alabama/Auburn football game any time. After the game, the drunks are much nicer. …

“Fans at American sporting events will, from time to time, get out of hand in their enthusiasm. They will tear down goalposts after a big college game or burn up some cars in Detroit when the Pistons win an NBA championship. But these things seem trivial compared to the kind of riots and street thuggery that often follow when soccer emotions reach a boil. The cops have busted hundreds of rioters during the World Cup matches this time around, but so far nobody has been killed, which has been known to happen. …

“Soccer, for all its stupefying aimlessness, just punches the buttons that cause hysteria among its fans.”

— Geoffrey Norman writing on “The Cup Underfloweth” June 29 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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