Boycott the Beijing Olympics and other commentary

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Libertarian: Boycott the Beijing Olympics

As China prepares for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, a boycott of the event is the only way to forestall “a propaganda showcase” for “one of the worst human-rights abusers in the entire world,” argues Ilya Somin at Reason. If all or most democracies refuse to participate, it would “focus attention on the Chinese government’s human-rights abuses, while simultaneously reducing any p.r. and economic benefits the regime might earn from the games.” Ideally, the International Olympic Committee would revoke the Commies’ hosting rights as a step toward “eliminating the dark side of the Olympics,” but Western countries could organize an alternative winter games for their athletes “if the IOC refuses to see reason.” After all, “no opportunity for athletic achievement is valuable enough to justify promoting the propaganda interests of a regime that has become one of the most brutally oppressive in the world.”

Fiscal watch: Progs Put Politics Above Progress

The “divisive class warfare that has characterized New York politics in recent years must end” if we’re to recover from the pandemic, argues Kathryn Wylde at Empire Report. Gotham “alone has suffered a net loss of half a million jobs,” and tax revenues “are expected to decline nearly $3 billion” next fiscal year. But politicians and pundits advocate “punitive budget and legislative proposals that are bound to alienate the state’s most prolific job creators and taxpayers.” A wealth tax or significant millionaires’ tax hike would drive out high earners. We shouldn’t let New York’s “essential pragmatism” be “drowned out by zealots.”

Albany beat: How Cuomo Foils the FOIL

Team Cuomo “continues to frustrate attempts to gain public information,” even when the Freedom of Information Law requires it be disclosed, charges Chris Bragg at Albany’s Times Union. Bragg cites numerous examples of Cuomo’s “stonewalling” — glaringly on display when the governor released new nursing-home-death numbers just hours after Attorney General Letitia James showed he had massively underreported them. Cuomo staff have refused FOIL requests to disclose paperwork showing he followed ethics rules while writing two books. His inspector-general office has yet to provide information on its “investigation” of an alleged leak by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. And aides nixed a request for info on the state’s own nursing-home probe, claiming it would invade “personal privacy” — though they won’t explain why the info can’t be redacted.

Diplomat: RIP, George Shultz, Cold Warrior

At Commentary, Elliott Abrams traces the remarkable career of his late boss, former Secretary of State George Shultz, whose “life gave meaning to the phrase ‘the greatest generation.’ ” A Marine who “stormed the beaches of Palau” in World War II, he then rose to the top of academia and the business world plus four Cabinet positions. “A man of great ­intelligence” and managerial skill, he also had “the very old-fashioned virtue of good character” and “the desire and the ability to see far ­beyond the problems of the day.” As “the most consequential secretary of state since Dean Acheson,” he “helped Ronald Reagan design and execute an end to the Cold War.” Reagan set the goal as victory; Schultz was the president’s “wingman . . . who shared his confidence in America, and who could turn that strategy into the everyday reality of diplomatic life.”

Conservative: America’s Spartan Oligarchy

Some 2,400 years ago, the Spartans defeated democratic Athens and installed there “a high-spirited military aristocracy ruling over a permanent servant class,” writes Tablet’s Lee Smith. “The pro-Sparta oligarchy used its patrons’ victory to undo the rights of citizens and settle scores with . . . domestic rivals.” Sound familiar? Across a generation, US elites “disenchanted” with democracy “impoverished American workers while enriching themselves,” looking to China “as a model — which was not surprising, given that the Chinese Communist Party ­became their source of power, wealth and prestige.” The elite conscience was unbothered: “Workers hurt by the deal deserved to be punished,” for “who could defend a class of reactionary and racist ideological naysayers?” Plus ça change.

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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