Whether you consider Rudolph Giuliani a visionary or a failure, it cannot be denied that he left an indelible mark on New York City. His record as mayor has come under close scrutiny as Giuliani begins his run for the Republican nomination, with pundits and campaign watchers searching for hints of what kind of candidate-or President-he might be. He has proved to be just as controversial a subject now as he was during the years he headed and transformed the city’s government. For this weekend’s reading we offer our best articles on Giuliani’s tenure as mayor.
Fred Siegel—January 2002
Giuliani and After
Dan Seligman—November 2000
The War on the War on Crime
Arch Puddington—May 1999
Can Giuliani Save New York?
Irwin M. Stelzer—December 1995
The Making of the Mayor 1989
Scott McConnell—February 1990
At midnight, July 1, it will have been exactly a decade since the great city of Hong Kong passed from one sovereign to another. One moment it was a British Dependent Territory of the United Kingdom; the next it was a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. (Why the fancy terminology? Neither London nor Beijing, apparently, liked using the word “colony.”)
Colony or not, Hong Kong was handed from a democracy to an authoritarian regime. It was a disgraceful exercise of state power for both countries involved. This was not the mere transfer of a “barren rock,” as Hong Kong was once known. The city had become, by the late 90’s, a major international center for trade, finance, and culture. More than six million citizens woke up on July 1, 1997 as subjects of a new regime—without their electoral consent. It was clear that, had there been an election, the people of Hong Kong would have voted not to return to the motherland. So it’s no surprise that the city’s Chinese rulers, who do not believe in elections (especially those held among uncontrollable populaces), have blocked the development of democratic institutions in Hong Kong for the past decade.
Ray Bowyer, a captain on Aurigny airlines, which services the British Channel Islands, has been flying commercial aircraft for 20 years. He’s a man who knows the skies. Last week, while flying over the channel, he spotted an enormous cigar-shaped object through his cockpit window. He told a British newspaper, the Sun, that “it was a sharp, thin yellow object with a green area. It was 2,000 feet up, stationary, and approximately 40 miles from us. It could have been as much as a mile wide.” This report has set the worldwide aviation community talking about what the Unidentified Flying Object might have been.
Not all that far away, at approximately the same time, Jimmy Carter was addressing a human-rights conference in Dublin, Ireland, where he branded the Bush administration’s refusal to accept Hamas’s 2006 election victory as “criminal.” The United States and Israel, he continued, “decided to punish all the people in Palestine and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah.”
Investor’s Business Daily called Carter’s statement “nutzpah” and “so malevolent and illogical as to border on insane.” But is there another possible explanation for the former President’s increasingly bizarre conduct, one connected to the cigar-shaped object in the sky over the channel?