One of the characters in Marshall Jevons's mystery novel Murder at the Margin is a Harvard Divinity School professor named Matthew Dyke, who at one point complains about the exploitation of low-wage workers. Dyke declares that the employers' "profit-maximizing behavior" at the expense of the workers is unethical—as is all profit-maximizing behavior.
Did Bob Kerrey commit a war crime in Vietnam when his navy squadron killed unarmed women and children? Or were the killings in Thanh Phong accidents of war, the kind of terrible mistakes that even the most careful soldiers make in the fog of battle? We don’t know the answer.
It’s hard not to feel a little sorry for Charlie Ward. Most of us get our theological lessons in private from sympathetic family, friends or teachers. He got his in public from some angry religious leaders and newspaper columnists. Ward, who plays basketball for the New York Knicks, was quoted in the New York Times Magazine uttering anti-Jewish comments.
President Bush’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Kyoto agreement on global warming amounted to a gratuitous dismissal of the decade-long negotiations on reducing greenhouse gases. With action on the Kyoto treaty permanently stalled in the U.S. Senate, Bush could easily have indicated his unhappiness with the treaty simply by letting it languish in Congress.