Such warnings proved ineffective in 1998, when North Korea fired a missile over Japan despite the Clinton administration's protestations. North Korea agreed to a moratorium on long-range missile testing in 1999 and has not fired one since.
But if North Korea goes ahead with another similar test—launching a missile over another country's airspace—James Robbins at the conservative National Review's blog The Corner actually sees an opportunity: "Sounds like a great opportunity to test our missile-defense technology." Liberal Kevin Drum, the Political Animal of Washington Monthly writes: "Hell, I could almost sign up for that. After 20 years, it's time for the missile defense guys to put their money where their mouths are."
Drum also asks whether this latest North Korean crisis constitutes grounds for another pre-emptive strike. Andrew Olmsted answers: "We would doubtless prefer they not test a missile capable of striking the United States, but doing so is hardly grounds for war. And war is what we would have if we struck a target inside North Korea."
Read more about North Korea.
Everyone's a winner: Forty-one students were honored as valedictorians this year at a high school in Fairfax, Va., continuing a trend in which schools are increasingly recognizing as valedictorians every graduate who earns a 4.0 grade point average or better. Bloggers aren't fooled.
Law blogger Ann Althouse rails against this supposed scourge, including the phenomenon of weighted grades that contributes to it. "The title of valedictorian is a terrific prize, and it becomes meaningless if every great student wins it," Althouse opines. "Why replicate the message that is already present in the academic records? Just give the prize to the person with the highest GPA and be done with it." A commenter at her site has a novel idea: "I read a suggestion that high schools use the system colleges use: Everybody with a 4.0 is summa cum laude and so forth," writes reader Jim C. "That's better than watering down the meaning of valedictorian."
The very term valedictorian, writes Houston Chronicle writer John Whiteside at his personal blog, By The Bayou, "is commonly understood to mean the top student in a school. If educators really believe that the competition for that spot is a bad thing, they should just stop recognizing it altogether."
Read more about the valedictorian debate.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
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Why all cracker names sound alike.
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A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.