Ross Mackenzie

Washington Post Foreign Service reporters Jill Drew and Maureen Fan: “Beneath the shimmer (of new construction) and behind the slogan (‘One World, One Dream’), China is under criticism for suppressing Tibetan protests, sealing off large portions of the country to foreign reporters, harassing and jailing dissidents, and not doing enough to curb air pollution. It has not lived up to the pledge in its Olympic action plan released in 2002, to ‘be open in every aspect,’ and a constitutional amendment adopted in 2004 to recognize and protect human rights has not shielded government critics from arrest.”

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Forbes writers Neil Weinberg, Michael Maiello and David Randall, in an article entitled “Paying for Failure”: “In 2007 chief executives overall took a 15 percent pay cut, rightly so, as the return on the S&P 500 fell nearly two-thirds to 5.5 percent. Average salaries came in at $1.1 million and total pay at $12.8 million. But, as is evident in our annual performance-versus-pay survey (which weighs shareholder returns against pay over six years), plenty of bosses rake in large sums for mediocre work.”

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the new “National Defense Strategy”: “Iraq and Afghanistan remain the central fronts in the struggle (against islamofascist terror), but we cannot lose sight of the implication of fighting a long-term, episodic, multi-front, and multi-dimensional conflict more complex and diverse than the Cold War confrontation with Communism. Success in Iraq and Afghanistan is crucial to winning this conflict, but it alone will not bring victory.”

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Former longtime columnist Robert Novak: “I’ve been covering presidential campaigns since 1960. I have always said I have never seen the media as much entranced by a candidate as when they were in my very first campaign, in 1960, when they were for JFK. But I’m telling you right now, the enchantment with (Barack) Obama beats the JFK syndrome.”

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The New York Sun: “If $1,000 gold and Bear Stearns aren’t enough of a wake-up call for the dollar, try the latest news out of communist Vietnam, where the dong, like many other national currencies, is soaring as the greenback falls. Nearly 35 years after the communist conquest, Vietnam’s currency is getting more respect than the dollar.”

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Former world chess champion and Russian pro-democracy activist Garry Kasparov: “Russia’s invasion (of Georgia) was the direct result of nearly a decade of Western helplessness and delusion. Inexperienced and cautious in the international arena at the start of his reign in 2000, (Vladimir) Putin soon learned he could get away with anything without repercussions from the European Union or America.”

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Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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