One of my daily reads is the English version of the People's Daily. Their use of the English language often leaves something to be desired but it is certainly better than my Mandarin.
At any rate, their opinions are a great read - both informative and entertaining (to a degree.) They speak with the voice of the Beijing government and sometimes they can cut to the heart of the matter far better than the American press, so long as you keep in mind that they do indeed have an axe to grind. And make no mistake, pretty much all of their articles are opinionated and not straight journalism, but again because they speak for Beijing they are really worth listening to.
Today's article on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina feels like a body blow. They call our 'civilized country' to task for the looting and violence and other man-made calamities that followed this human tragedy and natural disaster. I think it bothers me because there is enough truth to what they say (mixed in with a bit of over-the-top editorializing) that we as a country look weaker, less secure, and less civilized to the outside world.
Events like these have traditionally brought out the best in America and even in our darkest hours we have been the envy of the world. I am hopeful that over the next few weeks, months, and yes years, we will find a way - through shared sacrifice and compassion - to restore the luster and make articles like this one look humorously irrelevant.