T. A. Frank

Confessions of a Sweatshop Inspector

remember one particularly bad factory in China. It produced outdoor tables, parasols, and gazebos, and the place was a mess. Work floors were so crowded with production materials that I could barely make my way from one end to the other. In one area, where metals were being chemically treated, workers squatted at the edge… Read more »

Why Is Bob Herbert Boring?

The first thing you need to know about New York Times columnist Bob Herbert is that he’s always right. No, not in the way a drunk in a bar is always rightHerbert’s genuinely right, or at least close enough that it’d be petty to look for exceptions. When the majority loses its bearings, Herbert sticks… Read more »

Popularity Contest

decade ago, many of us would have viewed the terms charm offensive and Peoples Republic of China as an odd pairing, a bit like marriage counseling and Henry the Eighth, or sex appeal and Mercury Sable. But times change. China, formerly uncouth in the world of diplomacy and public relations, has now turned suave. In… Read more »

Look Who’s Hitched

Some couples you dont want to mess with. Maybe they trap you in a corner at parties, or maybe they call each other Bushie, or maybe the wife is a covert operative at the CIA specializing in weapons of mass destruction. In such cases, particularly the last of these, its best to keep a prudent… Read more »

Asian Persuasion

These days, reading a book about a former presidentany former presidentcan be painful. One is reminded that the Oval Office, historically, has been restricted to occupants with the capacity for something resembling thought. Now that our current chief executive has broken this barrier, its a time of reassessments, and even Richard Nixon has begun to… Read more »