EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 2, 2013

Editorial: Editorial round-up: A look at what others are saying

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Here’s a look at editorial commentary from other newspapers across New England:

Kerry’s record is lacking

President Obama has nominated Sen. John Kerry to be his new Secretary of State. In doing so, he said “John’s entire life has prepared him for this role.”

Well, let’s see. Back in the 1960s, draft bait John Kerry joined the Naval Reserve, not the Navy, and hoped for comfortable service on a destroyer far away from any danger. When he was unexpectedly assigned to dangerous river boat duty in Vietnam, he abandoned his boat and five crewmen on the shore of an enemy infested jungle. Later he apparently authored his own citations for gallantry, videotaped reenactments of his dubious exploits, and accumulated enough shrapnel in his butt from his own ordnance to get sent home after four months.

Then he wangled an early out from his Reserve obligation, testified in uniform to the Senate about largely (if not totally) fictitious atrocities that he knew nothing about, threw what proved to be somebody else’s medals over the White House fence, milked the radical left Vietnam Veterans Against the War for all the publicity he could get, rushed back to Massachusetts to run for Congress, and married into money (later annulled so he could marry into even more money).

Who’d have thought, back then, that this performance would prepare Kerry to rise to become America’s Secretary of State?

— The Caledonian Record of St. Johnsbury, Vt.

Obesity fight showing gains

It looks like 2013 might shape up to be a significant year in the fight against childhood obesity.

Indeed, there’s cause for celebration in the ongoing battle against childhood obesity with this week’s release of a new study indicating that the epidemic is slowing among 2- to 4-year-olds from poor families.

A new national study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — based on data from 30 states and the District of Columbia — found that the obesity rate among these high-risk children declined to 14.9 percent in 2010 from 15.2 percent in 2003.

While the drop in obesity rates among the 27 million children who are part of the federal Women, Infants and Children program was modest, researchers say any improvement is meaningful because this population is disproportionately at risk.

Health care experts believe a broad-based approach to the obesity fight is what is needed. We do too.

So let’s toast to the New Year with a glass of low-fat milk.

— The Republican of Springfield (Mass.)

Egypt descends into tyranny

As America’s founders understood, any government that fails to protect the rights of minorities against the power of the majority is by definition a tyranny. After the high hopes for self-government unleashed by the Arab Spring, tyranny is what seems to be unfolding in Egypt.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was hardly ever a democrat. But, as an American ally and an advocate of relative moderation in the Mideast, he kept Islamic extremism at bay.

Egypt’s new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, has taken a different path. He asserted the power, through an emergency decree, to brush aside the judiciary and rush through a vote on a constitution drafted by an Islamist-dominated panel. The country’s advocates for women’s and minority rights, including Coptic Christians, had withdrawn from the process when their concerns went unheeded.

And in a December referendum marked by low turnout and probably marred by fraud, the constitution won the approval that Morsi sought.

The Obama administration should pressure Egypt to respect the rights of women and minorities. Ultimately, a modern, pluralistic Egypt would be best for that country and the world.

— The Providence (R.I.) Journal