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  • Ouch! You got me, John. Recently I spent three weeks traveling in Africa and another two weeks in Eastern European preaching the gospel of t good journalistic practices. One line I delivered frequently was: Journalists are as bad as doctors and politicians: they hate admitting their mistakes. If you make a mistake, I told my fellow hacks, fess up to it. So:

    I was wrong here. When I double checked my facts (something I also told journalists they should do BEFORE writing), it became abundantly clear that Bond is indeed a conservative and a right wringer. John’s right. I’m wrong. I hope I can eat my humble pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

    However, allow me to make two points:

    In Bond’s new book, “The Next Front,” which will be published in September, he and his co-author, Lewis Simons, advocate the use of “smart power,” a blend of diplomacy, development aid, cultural and educational exchanges, and where appropriate, military aid. This is a break from the Bush Doctrine of “for us or against us” hard power. And surely this soft power position led him to become a strong supporter of Peace Corps which gets a favorable mention in his book. (It’s not too early to order your copy from Amazon!)

    Secondly, John says I was from the “wealthy side of Chicago.” Please. At least I grew up in the city, albeit the north–Cub–side of the city, and not in the suburbs, as John did. My Uptown Chicago neighborhood, loaded with brick two-flats, was hardly wealthy. And even if John wishes to claim roots on the south–White Sox–side of Chicago, where does that get you these days? I mean the South Side is loaded with Harvard Law School grads living in big houses, when, that is, they are not commuting to Washington.

  • Barry–you know the SouthSiders….they are all jealous of the NorthSide. And it is true we are getting lots of Harvard types flying off to D.C. But when was the last time that a NorthSide was elected president, or for that matter, when did your baseball team win a World Series.

    You are right about Kit’s book. You are ahead of the curve there, so have a double scoop.

  • Conservative or not, I hate to say anything negative about any support for the Peace Corps, but Sen. Bond doesn’t appear to “get it.”

    The United States should be sending out Peace Corps volunteers even if we didn’t have an “enemy” in the world.

    The poor people in the world do have an “enemy” and that “enemy” is a many-headed beast. The “many heads” are disease, hunger and malnutrition, and a grinding lack of the necessities of life – clean water, decent food, education for their children, decent housing, unpolluted land and air, decent working conditions, and a government that represents them as faithfully as it represents the rich.

    They (the poor) deserve to have volunteers who help them fight for a change in their situations that peacefully defeats the enemy/beast.

  • Peace Corps is widely accepted because it is seen as a people-to-people program. To the degree that people around the world see it as an American program, they see it as a program of the American people, not the American government.

    Peace Corps is a government program and it works, but it works because it doesn’t work like a government program (when you can take the pebble from my hand, Grasshopper…). Others sense Peace Corps is about them, not us, and they respond positively to our asking not.

    Peace Corps is America’s gift to itself and to the world. Self-serving gifts, however, do not serve anyone well. Let’s keep Peace Corps free of self-serving entanglements.

  • Who says conservatives don´t support the Peace Corps? Last I heard Senator Leahy is the one who opposes increasing the Peace Corps budget.

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