Putin's Plight 

Putin's Plight 

Putin's Plight 

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
March 31 2000 9:30 PM

Putin's Plight 


Economist, April 7


A special report surveys the challenges that Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin must overcome. Russia's infrastructure is decaying, and the health of its populace is failing, but the economy is improving, and the nation has a well-educated work force. Putin should quash corruption in regional governments and uproot the oligarchs who have strip-mined the Russian economy. An article castigates the European Union for not providing enough aid to the Balkans. Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo desperately need economic help.


New Republic, April 10

The cover story blames "zero tolerance" policing for the death of NYPD shooting victims such as Amadou Diallo. "Broken windows" policing—prosecuting low-level offenders to prevent felonies—decreases crime without targeting innocents. "Zero tolerance" policing—stopping law-abiding citizens to catch criminals—imperils civil liberties. ...  An article attacks George W. Bush's education record. Bush claims Texas' schools are improved, based on statewide tests, but nationwide exams show no Texas improvement. Only 27 percent of Texan reading teachers believe that rising state test scores reflect increased learning. " TRB" thanks Jesus for imbuing Israel with Christian significance. Pope John Paul II's pilgrimage to the Holy Land assuaged Israelis' anxiety about their place in a Christian world.


New York Times Magazine, April 2


The cover story claims testosterone, not socialization, is responsible for the key differences between men and women: "The Big T correlates with energy, self-confidence, competitiveness, tenacity, strength, and sexual drive." Women produce one-tenth to one-twentieth as much testosterone as men do. Author Andrew Sullivan came to realize the importance of the "Big T" when he started injecting himself with the hormone to treat his HIV. A profile crowns 26-year-old MTV VJ Carson Daly the Dick Clark of Generation Y. He genially presides over Total Request Live and coyly conceals his distaste for the "bubblegum pop" that his teen audience adores. An article laments the brutal rape and murder of an 11-year old Kosovar Albanian by an American sergeant. The sergeant was a bad apple, but mediating an intractable alien conflict such as Kosovo can damage even stable soldiers.


Washington Monthly, April 2000

The cover story condemns the media for exaggerating Al Gore's exaggerations. Gore never claimed he discovered the Love Canal or asserted he "invented" the Internet. Erich Segal admits that Gore was indeed a model for Love Story's hero. The "national media's prejudice against Gore" is a disservice to the electorate.


Time, April 3


It's conventional-wisdom week in the three newsweeklies. The cover story echoes the popular view that Pope John Paul II's trip to the Holy Land was a political and spiritual triumph. A piece says that young blacks are flocking to community workshops that teach them how to cope with cops. Some parents tell their kids not to carry cell phones, so officers won't confuse their Nokias with Colts. An article reveals that Americans are traveling to Canada to buy high-flow toilets, which were banned in the U.S. by a 1994 water-conservation law.


Newsweek, April 3

Two weeks after U.S. News' cover package about turning 40, Newsweek's special report concludes that boomers are richer, better-educated, and less settled than their parents were at 40. An essay argues that boomers have created a culture that blends bourgeois and bohemian ideals. "[C]orporate boardrooms echo with the language of the Age of Aquarius." Anti-materialist millionaires wash themselves in $15,000 slate shower stalls with Mayan Fungus Soap from Fresh Fields. …  An article  reports that a growing number of dot-coms are failing. Venture capitalists are sick of companies that can't turn a profit. More than a quarter of the Net firms that went public last year are trading below their offering price.


U.S. News & World Report, April 3


The cover story says that—surprise, surprise—the "new economy" is revolutionizing Wall Street. Profitability is less important than a blockbuster business plan for Internet startups. Diversification is an outmoded investment strategy; savvy investors are cramming their portfolios with tech-sector stocks. A piece warns that the demonstrators who disrupted Seattle's World Trade Organization conference are planning chaos for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington, D.C. The "Ruckus Society's Alternative Spring Break Action Camp" trained activists in protest techniques such as "How To Hang Yourself From an Urban Structure."


The New Yorker, April 3

An article argues that "voyeuristic weather-watching … has become a condition of modern life" because Mother Nature is the only threat to the peace and prosperity most Americans enjoy. (David Plotz explained the popularity of "Weather Porn" in this " Assessment".) A writer describes his stint as a Sing Sing correction officer as an ongoing ritual of reciprocal humiliation. Prisoners rebel against intrusive strip searches by punching, ejaculating on, and hurling excrement at officers. Egocentric MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, who lost $6 billion in one day last week, is profiled. Unsatisfied with his multibillion-dollar net worth, Saylor is trying to achieve immortality by building a $100 million e-university and a neoclassical mansion modeled on the house in The Great Gatsby. (David Plotz's Assessment of the mogul also explores Saylor's delusions of grandeur.)


Weekly Standard, April 3

The cover story warns that pro-abortion elites are pushing immoral medical research on fetal tissue and stem cells. Pro-lifers should marshal a "human-rights bioethics" movement to counterbalance the liberal bioethical consensus. A piece denouncing the boom in fetal-tissue research says that fetuses are being treated as commodities.  An article argues that George W. Bush is "making a virtue out of necessity" by trumpeting his education credentials. The GOP can't complain about the economy, so it has to co-opt Democratic issues such as education, Social Security, and the environment.


The Nation, April 10

The cover story claims that the United States economy could crash unless we lower the trade deficit. The United States can't sustain "its unique role as buyer of last result." Promoting wage growth in foreign markets would stimulate developing countries' demand for excess exports, lowering U.S. imports and the deficit.