Five Best Tuesday Columns

Young-Ha Kim on the lasting impact of South Korea's ferry disaster, Brian Krebs on the Target data breach, Jane Mayer on Ronald Reagan's Benghazi, Ralph Richard Banks on why the NBA should be selling an education, Esther Breger welcomes 'Louie' back to TV. 

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Young-Ha Kim at The New York Times on the lasting impact of South Korea’s ferry disaster. “Just as Chun Doo-hwan (South Korea’s former military dictator) promised, the South Korean economy took off. In 1988, we were host to the Summer Olympics in Seoul. South Koreans’ sense of national pride soared. The Sewol tragedy has called into question all of these great achievements,” Kim writes. “Many South Koreans have begun to wonder if the unfettered growth — and the lax government regulation that accompanied it — has come at too high a price. To outsiders, the Sewol disaster may seem like another tragedy that we will inevitably overcome. But here in South Korea, it feels like the country may never be the same again. It has traumatized our national psyche and undercut our self-image. It’s unlikely South Koreans will ever again trust the voice on the intercom when a disaster is unfolding.”

Brian Krebs at the Guardian on the Target data breach. “Target wants you to know that you can trust it again. But Monday's mea culpa papers over problems still endemic throughout the American retail industry: an over-reliance on in-store technology rather than cybersecurity experts in the boardroom, and a tendency to underestimate the lengths to which bad guys will go to steal anything that isn't properly nailed down," Krebs writes. "It's now clear that Target and other major retailers have been spending money in the wrong places – and that they've left a gaping hole in the internet for hackers to keep stealing yours. The retail industry has long viewed physical security as a more present and costly problem than cyber crime. But the distinction between physical and cyber security is quickly eroding, if indeed there ever was one. “

Jane Mayer at The New Yorker on Ronald Reagan’s Benghazi. “Ever since militant jihadists killed four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador, in an attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in that remote Libyan town two years ago, House Republicans have kept up a drumbeat of insinuation. I found myself thinking about another tragedy, thirty years ago, that played out very differently," Mayer writes. "Around dawn on October 23, 1983, I was in Beirut, Lebanon, when a suicide bomber drove a truck laden with the equivalent of twenty-one thousand pounds of TNT into the heart of a U.S. Marine compound, killing two hundred and forty-one servicemen. There were more than enough opportunities to lay blame for the horrific losses at high U.S. officials’ feet. But unlike today’s Congress, congressmen did not talk of impeaching Ronald Reagan, who was then President, nor were any subpoenas sent to cabinet members.”

Ralph Richard Banks at The Los Angeles Times on why the NBA should be selling an education. “Spurred by outrage from fans and players alike, new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acted with admirable swiftness in addressing the blatant racism of Donald Sterling. Now the NBA should turn its attention to a more subtle and pervasive form of racial inequity. I love basketball and derive great joy from my son's involvement with the sport. But I am also saddened to see that most Amateur Athletics Union programs fixate on basketball, with little if any mention of academics," Banks writes. "This is at a time when some 50% of black boys fail to graduate from high school, and black men without high school degrees have a nearly 70% chance of being imprisoned by the time they reach their mid-30s. Instead of nurturing aspirations to enter professional sports, we should be pushing black boys toward college, and using basketball to do it.”

Esther Breger at the New Republic welcomes ‘Louie’ back to TV. “In the 19 months since 'Louie' aired its last episode, Louis C.K. has transformed from our most celebrated comedian to the culture’s foremost stand-up philosopher. In 'Louie,' it’s never clear—or even important—whether something is really happening. More than any other show on TV, 'Louie' proudly flaunts its lack of continuity," Breger writes. "Next week, Louie’s brother appears for the first time since season one; in the interim, he’d been erased out of existence. In one season two episode, Louie took in his abandoned niece; she was never seen again. The third season, with Parker Posey’s arc and its 'Late Night' storyline, stretched the show’s aversion to serial storytelling, and it was also the most thematically unified. Tonight was the familiar 'Louie' we’ve known, loved, and missed, but I’m hoping the season goes in ever more ambitious, ungainly directions.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.