Chen Guangcheng in The New York Times on China's lawless government Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese dissident whose escape to the American embassy caused an international incident, is newly arrived to the U.S. and takes to the Times to launch a critique of his government's justice system. "China does not lack laws, but the rule of law. As a result, those who handled my case were able to openly flout the nation's laws in many ways for many years," he writes, detailing that history and expressing worry for those who helped him and may face repercussions. (A Chinese version can be found here.)
Joshua Green in The Boston Globe on the birther's origins Thanks to Donald Trump, the idea that Obama wasn't born in America is back in the news. "Many dismiss it as a loopy, far-right conspiracy theory, the province of a few wild-eyed zealots and racists whom the media cannot resist. But on every level it's a much broader phenomenon. At its root, birtherism is the extreme manifestation of the belief that Obama is, by virtue of his race, name, and background, something other than fully American." This has been a political weakness that even the Clinton campaign sought to exploit in 2008, Green reminds us, proving that it's a bipartisan instinct.