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[Aug 31] From Azerbaijan, whether struggling to
materials for children or teaching adults how to read, the Lezgi are
trying to keep their identity alive. From Turkey, this week's
terrorist attacks highlight the
country's ongoing struggle against Kurdish militants. But more than
two decades into the fight, Turkey is as far from victory as
ever. From Australia, on liberation as a marriage
of rights and obligations: The welfare state needs to become an
enabling state. From Thailand, critics
of Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra say that they must destroy democracy in order to save
article on why Japan's
neighbors secretly love the Yasukuni Shrine; and here's a history
lesson for Koizumi.
From Open Democracy,
an interview with
Wole Soyinka on Nigeria. Obituary:
Alfredo Stroessner. From New
Statesman, Anthony Giddens on
Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi and his Third Way. An
excerpt from The New Lion of Damascus: Bashar al-Asad and Modern Syria. A
review of Ted Honderich's Humanity, Terrorism, Terrorist War.
interview with former Mossad chief Efraim
Halevy on the war in Lebanon and who won and who lost. An article on the
fulfillment of prophecy right before our eyes: Walking among Lebanon's
Ehud Olmert Lyndon
Johnson all over again? From Der Spiegel, more refugees from Africa
made their way to the Canary Islands in August than during all of
are believed to have died making the journey and Europe is expanding
its efforts to combat illegal immigration; too much of a good thing: Many countries with
reserves of oil, gas or precious metals are plagued
with disproportionate poverty, corruption and mismanagement. Would the
people in Nigeria, Congo or Russia be better off without their natural
gifts?; and Greenland is feeling the
effects of global warming as rising
temperatures have expanded the island's growing season and crops are
flourishing. For the first time in hundreds of years, it has become
possible to raise cattle and start dairy farms. A remarkable global phenomenon is being obscured by
headlines about the Middle East: The ancient
scourge of war has disappeared, at least in the sense of one
government's army doing battle with another. And mark William
Calhoun's words: War
will come. It is just a
matter of time
[Aug 30] From Uganda, the signing of an agreement to cease hostilities gives both sides new hope that a comprehensive agreement was in sight, although they acknowledged the need for continued vigilance. From Pakistan, the aftermath of killing tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti exposes Pervez Musharraf's difficulties in trying to control the country's volatile regions. From Mexico, tensions are rising between government security forces and thousands of impoverished supporters of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a restive constituency to which political parties and process are increasingly irrelevant. From South Africa, there is a growing consensus among policy makers, researchers, and NGOs that the root cause of the violent crime problem is availability and abuse of firearms. From Canada, Christian zealots destroy ancient Arctic petrolyghs. An Italian exorcist says demonic influence is strong in today's world: "I am convinced that the Nazis were all possessed by the devil". In Burma, a band of heavy metal Christians speaks of liberty between the lines. An article on Russia's Great Game in Central Asia. Assyrians experience slow cultural revival in southeastern Turkey. From Der Spiegel, an article on Iran's growing power in the Middle East; and an interview with Shirin Ebadi. Rednecks and realists in Australia: John Howard has been extremely adept at simultaneously appearing "middle of the road", while throwing regular bones to the hard-line conservatives who still form his core base. From TAP, is our president learning? Rarely was that question asked, until now. But the new push to present Bush as a bookworm is as desperate as it is dubious. In government as in music, White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten is happy to provide unobtrusive, but steady, backup. These people are working for us? Congress is supposed to keep the president in check, not be his legislative lapdog. From Government Executive, a celebration of its 10th online anniversary, in five parts. History shows that, however commendable the reasoning, efforts to control how people drink or eat, or smoke tend to backfire. An article on beer as the midwife of civilization. The new Web geniuses pages: A look at how slackers with one dopey idea are getting rich. And an article on Google-Earthing the Hermit Kingdom
[Aug 29] From Fiji, it has become clear that the events of the past two months have created ill feelings and bad blood among many members of the FLP. From China, a sex blog by an expatriate English tutor triggers a manhunt in Shangai. From Spain, the Basque people may disapprove of ETA’s tactics, but they are still determined to gain independence. From Cafe Babel, squatters lose their militant spirit, immigration policy is every day tougher, and legalised prostitution is becoming a tourist attraction. Is the Dutch capital still the most liberal city in Europe? Five foreign journalists investigate. Without giving in to the worldwide skyscraper madness, Europe should start thinking - and living - vertically. First the EU said it would send thousands of troops to Lebanon. Then member countries balked. And now some nations are pledging troops again. What gives? Look who's fair and balanced: Arab media leads the way in avoiding incendiary terms for describing conflict throughout the Middle East. From Smithsonian, sleeping with cannibals: A reporter ventures deep into the rain forests of Indonesian New Guinea to meet some of the last people said to eat their fellow tribesmen. The new UN Human Rights Council approves a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Ralf Dahrendorf on parties and populists: "This is not a good time for political parties, especially those with traditional orientations". Perhaps towns meeting can ease the world's ills. From Asia Times, an essay on American idolatry. Five Years Later: Tourists flock to the World Trade Center site, but for New Yorkers, 9/11 is history. From HNN, can "peace" be a winning issue in presidential campaigns; and have our presidents made good warriors? See Dick Run (the Country): Cheney's the real president. It'd be nice if the press noticed. Signs of a possible power shift in Congress have unions going all out to reach voters. You'd never guess it from his conservative views and straightlaced demeanor, Republican Congressman Joseph "Jeb" Bradley of New Hampshire was quite the iconoclast as a younger man. For many years election officials have kept the machinery of American democracy running in the face of sometimes overwhelming difficulties. But this November's elections will pose unprecedented challenges to them. And effective and fun political advertising? A new kind of political ad incorporates the ironic humour familiar to fans of Jon Stewart
[Aug 28] From Japan, where have all the young men gone? It's an old folks home out there. Unasked Questions: Does Japan have a right to exist as a Japanese state? An interview with Sunny Lee, a top Chinese government think tank scholar on South Korea and the 21st century. A look at why sex offenders thrive in Bangkok. Still recovering from the December 2004 tsunami, Sri Lanka is once again enmeshed in a civil war. Sunita Narain, an Indian environmentalist, has dented two of the world's glossiest brands. From The New Federalist, calls for a "Social Europe" have become ever stronger. Yet what does this term actually mean? And how might it be achieved? In Great Britain, open-air pools are finding favour again with an urban public longing to go back to nature. Gary Younge argues that fundamentalists thrive only when their communities feel under threat. They offer not just the easy way out but what can seem to be the only way out. From Dissent, an article on French crisis, Left crisis: Report by a compromised Social Democrat. Notionally a leftwing movement, the Anti-Germans were born after the collapse of the Berlin wall. While most Germans rejoiced at the end of the cold war, the Anti-Germans feared that a united Germany might lead to a fourth Reich and a return of antisemitism. Tzvetan Todorov on Europe's naturalized killers. In its role as EU president, Finland has inherited the Cyprus conflict. But the problem can only be solved if it is delinked from the question of Turkey's future membership in the EU. Historical amnesia: An essay on the Romani Holocaust pdf. A review of La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind. From Opinion Journal, Shelby Steele on how Western guilt blinds us to the nature of Islamic extremism. With the failure of the US and Israel to achieve decisive victories in Iraq and Lebanon, the age of Western military dominance in the Middle East appears to be ending. Andrew Bacevich says it's time for a new strategy. And Mount Weather is a top-security underground installation an hour's drive from Washington DC. It has its own leaders, police, fire department - and laws. A cold war relic, it has been given a new lease of life since 9/11. And no one who's been inside has ever talked
[Weekend 2e] From Open Democracy, a symposium on The End of History: Francis Fukuyama responds to critics. Globalization of the forces of production, a law of motion of the world economy, is not the problem, but the relations of production under which forces of production are put to work. From Internationalist, an interview with Jeffrey Sachs on The End of Poverty. Surprise: The world's ports experience an unexpected boom. Somalia's Islamist militia has taken control of a major base of piracy north of Mogadishu. The waters off the Horn of Africa has long been a dangerous region for shipping. Now, the militants said they will put an end to the seaborne threat. From Navy Times, if they don’t already, expect your leadership to start talking like they’ve got degrees in business management. And you may need a Wall Street dictionary to understand them. Kendrick Ledet, a former Marine who sparked a furor in Okinawa for the abduction and rape of a schoolgirl, is found dead in a suspected murder-suicide. Ambassador Training: What are we teaching 600,000 foreign students about the U.S.? From The Hill, in the House, sometimes they hold a vote open to reason with people. Nobody can be reasoned with in the Senate. Peter Beinart on why Democrats should be the party of no ideas. Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, James Madison, John Courtney Murray, John XXIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and... Ned Lamont? The Left seeks to revive the "common good" as new strategy. Will the Libertarian Party be the Texans or the Mexicans in this year's electoral Alamo? Molly Ivins on the new activist judges. And a review of The Devil is a Gentleman: Exploring America’s Religious Fringe; American Theocracy; The Politics of Jesus; and Thy Kingdom Come
[Weekend] The Anglosphere: From Canada, Michael Ignatieff say he welcomes criticism--just don't call him Iggy; and a review of Labour Left Out: Canada's Failure to Protect and Promote Collective Bargaining as a Human Right and Against Judicial Activism: The Decline of Freedom and Democracy in Canada. From Australia, a century after the Dreyfus Affair shook France, on the similar slide towards secret trials and blind prejudice in Australia; an article on author Robert Manne, reviled for going from the right to the left; what's needed so we focus on ideas that really matter, and avoid the 'tabloidisation' of the everyday?; and what Republicans could learn from Australia's conservative prime minister, John Howard. New Zealand's social progressivism is at odds with the respect for tradition embodied in its influential Maori community. From India's Economic and Political Weekly, Occidentalism, the Very Idea: An essay on the Enlightenment and enchantment pdf. Why are British Pakistanis so angry? In a word, Kashmir. Theodore Dalrymple on how "social" housing encourages antisocial egotism, and were Britons unreasonable to refuse to fly with Muslims? From New Statesman, is our multicultural society a myth? Across swaths of the country, it barely exists. Yet many migrant workers and people from ethnic-minority backgrounds are moving into rural areas. Will this intensify latent racism or disarm it? A look at why David Hume's battle with extremists is not won yet. A review of The Idea of the Castle in Medieval England. The introduction to Slumming: Sexual and Social Politics in Victorian London. Sex-act training courses for women have gained ground in major North American cities. The trend is either a sign of greater sexual freedom or a new emphasis on service, depending on whom you ask. The Security and Prosperity Partnership was signed in 2005 as a plan to replace existing governments with state corporate rule over the entire North America continent. A review of In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security by Tom Tancredo. How the Electoral College creates a white, Christian and conservative advantage in presidential elections: An excerpt from Welcome to the Homeland: A Journey to the Rural Heart of America's Conservative Revolution. And a review of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism
[Aug 25] From the Democratic Republic of Congo, gun battles in the capital do not augur well for the next round of voting, while the inconclusive result of the first round of the election is proving a test for its democratic path. The Pentagon will approve a command for Africa, where poverty and corruption make it a vulnerable area for extremists and terrorists. The first chapter from Making War and Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations. From the UN, here are 10 stories the world should hear more about. The International Commission on Missing Persons forges ahead to identify genocide victims. Global cooperation and international law are becoming increasingly important. But many argue that the war on terror and the current Israel-Lebanon conflict are international humanitarian law's newest tests of resolve. The search for natural resources is becoming increasingly difficult. But future growth of the world economy depends on these natural resources and some will soon disappear forever. The mystery of capital deepens: Giving land titles to the poor is no silver bullet. A new issue of the IMF's Finance and Development is out. The Death of Doha: The WTO model has collapsed. What’s next? Economists are working hard to fill the gaping hole in our (and their) knowledge about the linkages between capital mobility, economic growth and financial crises. From The Bulletin, an article on US nuclear threats: Then and now; and a review of Total Cold War: Eisenhower's Secret Propaganda Battle at Home and Abroad. From Foreign Policy, the US received hundreds of millions in foreign aid, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. But what happened to the money? When government shrugs: Adolph Reed on the lessons of Katrina. An article on how to rebuild New Orleans: Start with a visit to Denver. Abbott and Costello rebuild New Orleans: A legendary comedy skit reimagined post-Katrina. America's welfare state: How Alaska's rugged pioneers wallow in unearned cash. Here's a helpful guide for reporters writing about George Allen, as the "macaca" fracas illustrates what Allen doesn't understand about the country. Will the Club for Growth wind up shrinking the GOP? In style and substance, Harold Ford Jr. channels Bill Clinton. And what happens if Hillary whiffs in ’08?
[Aug 24] From Bolivia, a new farmers' market provides a short-term solution for poor farmers. Without profound reforms and government investment, however, stress on land resources will only worsen. An article on Hugo Chavez's revolution in foreign policy. Canada's ragtag arctic forces: Flying the flag and hunting for seals with the Canadian Rangers. A review of Only By Struggle: Reflections on Philippine Culture, Politics and Society. The first chapter from Beyond Liberal Democracy: Political Thinking for an East Asian Context by Daniel A. Bell. Making sense of the "great disorder" of the Cultural Revolution: A review of Mao's Last Revolution. From Dissent, an article on China on the capitalist road; and an essay on show business and "lawfare" in Rwanda: Twelve years after the genocide. It is time for the world to realize that aid alone is becoming a failing solution, and that it is vital for Africa to begin shaping its own destiny. Can regional integration save Africa? A review of Economic Justice in an Unfair World: Toward a Level Playing Field. A review of The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy and Bigger Box Boats: How Container Ships Changed the World. From TNR, the End of Free Trade: Despite emphasizing the importance of open markets, the Bush administration has ushered in an era of protectionism, tensions, and global economic instability. American architecture is still reeling from the 9/11 attacks. Critics and architects say that security now trumps design, as barricades and mall-like plazas are sucking the soul out of urban life; and UK cities are enjoying a renaissance, but which branch of the urban evolutionary tree to follow? Continental cities are much beloved, but policy-makers look to the States for inspiration. From The Progressive, an interview with Stephanie Miller, liberal radio host. Which party plays better poker? A review of Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11. Can Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa change Los Angeles? A review of Inside Life: Behind Bars in America. And an excerpt from What Works in Corrections: Reducing Recidivism
[Aug 23] From The New Presence, politologist Jiri Pehe asks why the Czech Communist Party (KSCM) attracts votes despite subscribing to an ideology that is clearly unfeasible. Echoing Bush, the North Korean military says it "reserves the right to undertake a pre-emptive action for self-defence against the enemy". From Foreign Affairs, John Mueller (OSU): Is There Still a Terrorist Threat?; Walter Russell Mead on God, religion and foreign policy; a review of The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq by Fouad Ajami; and could the U.S. government really destroy all of an adversary's nuclear weapons in a nuclear first strike? Europe ignored Winston Churchill's warnings and got WWII as a result. You don't have to have Churchillian prescience to see that what happened once in Lebanon can happen again. From Open Democracy, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Iran to Israel, a new geopolitical region, "Greater West Asia", is in a crisis comparable to Europe in 1914, says Fred Halliday; and the historic contest between two visions of what Lebanon is and should be will shape the country's direction after Hizbollah's war with Israel. Fred Kaplan on why the U.N.'s Lebanon resolution is already collapsing. From Slate, a graphic adaptation of The 9/11 Report by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón. Former hostage Jill Carroll's 11-part series continues, while some of the most telling aspects of her ordeal have come from her response to questions sent in by readers. Monday's press conference leaves one wondering what on earth George W. Bush is thinking. A howler from President Bush: "Nobody’s ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack". OK, maybe not in those words, but how 'bout in these? Bush needs a fact-check, not a gut check: Sure, intuition can develop with experience. But trusting your hunches has perils, too. From Government Executive, a decline in traffic to conservative political Web sites could be viewed as a sign that the right wing is struggling. Jack Shafer on what Time magazine's new publication date means. The corporate media is worried about falling audiences among people of non-western backgrounds. It only has itself to blame. And the promotion of "darknets" is one response to corporate surveillance of personal data. But there is a better way to ensure privacy online
[Aug 22] From The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, if you think video games are child's play, meet the growing community of scientists, policy makers, and game developers who beg to differ. Paul Kennedy on the United Nations as the world's scapegoat. From The Hindu, can India save its natural spaces and its wild elephants as it pursues the goal of rapid economic growth? India is determined to build a new base in Antarctica in the face of stiff opposition from environmentalists. A review of In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India. A review of The Bloodless Revolution: Radical Vegetarians and the Discovery of India (and an excerpt). A review of The High Road to China: George Bogle, the Panchen Lama and the First British Expedition to Tibet and Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present. A review of Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China. On a military base in Afghanistan, a cold war of sorts between a son and a stepfather begins to thaw. An excerpt from History and the Culture of Nationalism in Algeria. An article on women's rights and status in Turkey. Abkhazia, a popular retreat for Russian tourists, is also one of the thorniest issues dividing Russia and Western-supported Georgia in the volatile Caucasus. From Open Democracy, here are excerpts from a 1990 interview with Alfredo Stroessner, former dictator of Paraguay. What most vividly illustrates Venezuela’s latest oil boom may be its Scotch whiskey sales, which are soaring. From Newropeans, an article on European wines and comparative advantage theory. A look at how Europe wrote the rules of global finance. The legal feud between a leading Scottish politician and a tabloid newspaper is a farcical footnote to an epic, unfinished story: the decline of Scotland's self-confidence and the withering of the British union. And what’s behind Ireland’s economic miracle--and G.M.’s financial crisis?
[Aug 21] From Great Britain, BBC film "Shooting the Messenger" is raising a storm with its portrayal of black people as their own worst enemies. Some blame religion and talk of "the enemy within". Others point to alienation and Britain's foreign policy. An article on the reality of the new wave of radicalism. Iran says it wants nuclear energy to fuel its economy. The US says it wants to build an "Islamic bomb". But what do Iranians think about the deepening crisis? The prevailing view in the Middle East is that where Arab nations failed to stand up to Israel and the US, an Islamic movement succeeded. Drawn to ballots not bombs, America's Muslim community shows few signs of the radicalism seen in Britain. But with anger over US policies at home and abroad, a younger generation may be up for grabs. How many and where were the nukes? What the US government no longer wants you to know about nuclear weapons during the Cold War. A review of Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission by Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton. From The Village Voice, Nat Hentoff on how, reprimanded by the Supreme Court, the Bush administration is rushing to evade punishment. To get his friends and allies out of the mess he created, George W. Bush is going to have to issue a slew of pardons. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel says GOP has lost its way. Jonathan Chait on how Republicans truly believe that Democrats are soft on terror. Scare them back: John Dickerson on a better Democratic response to GOP fear-mongering. You may think you want a Democratic Congress. But if you care about your wallet, watch what you wish for; and a peek into the Democratic mind. From The New Yorker, read it and weep: An article on President Bush’s summer bookshelf. Announcing the president's current reading list, presumably to demonstrate a restless intellect, is comparatively new. August, usually the sleepiest month in politics, has suddenly become raucous, thanks in part to YouTube, the vast videosharing Web site. The danger for political campaigns is that the Web, and digital photography and video, make phony or unfair charges easier. What's the solution? From Business Week, an article on Gawker's snarky success: Nick Denton's media company dominates the blogosphere. And a review of Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide
[Weekend 2e] Internet culture: From Cafe Babel, generation precarity, cyber-lovers, blogo-mania: Catch up with the latest trends. What are Web surfers seeking? Well, it's just what you'd think. You are what you search: AOL's data leak reveals the seven ways people search the Web. Should Web search data be stored? A debate. An excerpt from Protecting Information: From Classical Error Correction to Quantum Cryptography. From Editor & Publisher, an article on Blogs and the Law: Experts' tips on avoiding trouble. The neutrality of this article is disputed: Reason goes inside Wikimania2006. Surfing the Web for profits: An article on AOL, Google and the Battle of the Web Giants. Google is bringing some of the biggest traditional content owners into its camp and sharing revenue with them. Google it in Quechua: More power for an ancient language. Comment is Free, but designing communities is hard: The Guardian's attempt to build an engaging group blog further illustrates the cultural differences between running a newspaper and an online conversation. Here is Time's list of the 50 coolest websites. The Observer's Net specialist charts the web's remarkable early life and tells the story of the 15 most influential websites to date. And it started as a free online noticeboard helping people find babysitters and rehome old sofas. Now Craigslist has become a global phenomenon
[Weekend] From Germany, large advertisments are no longer safe in Berlin. Models and consumer products are being "kidnapped", completely cut out of posters and billboards. Those responsible say their aim is to reappropriate commercialized public space. From Israel, leaders are facing fierce, even vitriolic criticism in a country accustomed to swift and decisive battlefield triumphs against Arab enemies. From Gambia, who is afraid of Yaya Jammeh? In 2004, a mix of rich white men and mercenaries attempted to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea. Why? More on The Wonga Coup. Europe and America are forging plans for the future government of Congo. The Africans will either agree to strict economic and political conditions or the Western powers will cut off aid to the strife-torn country. Christianity is thriving amongst the burgeoning populations of Africa and Latin America. Will it become the Big Idea of the 21st century? And more from Latin America and Kenya. A review of The New Faces of Christianity. From Der Spiegel, on the coming conflict: Natural resources are fuelling a new Cold War. Jagdish Bhagwati on how a global warming fund could succeed where Kyoto failed. The US and China, the two nations now most responsible for climate change, have comparatively little reason to do anything about it. An excerpt from The Making of the Chinese State: Ethnicity and Expansion on the Ming Borderlands. A podcast that aims to teach people Mandarin is part of a potentially lucrative revolution. A global e-government study has South Korea climbing to top rank. G. John Ikenberry on how Japan has a serious geopolitical problem--and increasingly it is an American problem as well. An article on the rape of freedom in Burma. More mythical numbers: The GAO debunks the official human-trafficking estimates. From Government Executive, if a call for change comes from the ranks, does it really make a sound? Bruce Ackerman on giving New York's poor what they need most: a voice. The CIA-Contra-Crack connection, 10 years later: Reporter Gary Webb was the victim of his own hyperbole, but he never got credit for what he got right. If action isn't taken, the system limiting the impact of special-interest money on elections for our highest office will collapse. And can Joe Lieberman make it on an indie label?
[Aug 18] From Indonesia, a new history of the brutal military occupation of East Timor has led the country to re-examine an era that had become a taboo. From India, an interview with Georges Vendryes, French nuclear scientist; and a spectre haunting India: Maoist rebels are fighting a brutal low-level war with the Indian state. From Poland, President Lech Kaczynski proposes that the EU bring back the death penalty. A close look at Bulgaria's political institutions casts doubt on the country's fitness to join the European Union in January 2007. Ukraine is in post-orange political meltdown while Russia is reinventing itself as a successful energy superpower. Right? An interview with Hasan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah. Jihad 101: In the new al-Qaida, offices and training camps are a thing of the past. All a would-be recruit needs is an Internet connection. Al-Qaida's virtual university will take care of the rest. An article on why the antidote to terrorism in the Middle East is sovereignty. From Vanity Fair, by attacking The New York Times, the White House has evoked the government-defying glory days of the "paper of record". But even as the Times builds a soaring $850 million headquarters, its newsroom, its leadership, and its business are in a crisis of confidence. An interview with Congressman John Conyers on the 350-page report titled "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War, and Illegal Domestic Surveillance." After months of biting her tongue, Duke Cunningham's wife, Nancy, breaks her silence and reveals the secret life of the most corrupt congressman in US history. Rahmbo's Plan: The House Democrats' chief enforcer offers some "Big Ideas for America". Does Ned Lamont's victory over Joe Lieberman mean McGovernism has returned? Peter Beinart finds out. And what Bob Casey's populism means for the Pennsylvania Senate race
[Aug 17] From Japan, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine has angered both China and South Korea. From Der Speigel, an interview with Zhang Qingli, Tibet's Communist party chief: The Dalai Lama "deceived his Motherland". The fourth annual CGD/Foreign Policy Commitment to Development Index ranks 21 rich nations on whether they’re working to end global poverty or just making it worse; and a look at some of the world’s biggest pools of black gold and the dangers that could take them offline. From New Statesman, for Osama Bin Laden there is nowhere quite like Britain, while persuading Britain’s Muslims will be no easy task; and so wanted: a new foreign policy. Rolling with the punches: Londoners carry on with life after last week’s terrorism scare. Immanuel Wallerstein on five reasons why great military powers lose wars. So there will be a UN force, but who will disarm Hezbollah? From The Globalist, the current political situation is reversing roles in Pakistan, where families would now rather send their daughters to the West. An article on the benefits and complications of US-Pakistan relations. From American Diplomacy, an analysis of the options open to the US and the West regarding the threat of nuclear weaponry in Iranian hands. What would happen if you took 10,000 refugees from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe and resettled them in a small, rust belt town in upstate New York? In towns that host military bases, local newspapers have adapted their coverage accordingly, offering strong support for troops. But now those papers face a daunting challenge in the wake of disturbing charges being brought against several soldiers. Political hacks like Joe Lieberman have run the country for decades, but now that that they've fucked up Iraq and everything else so badly they've made "McGovernism" mainstream. Will the Democratic Party repeat the political mistakes of the Vietnam era? The Democrats mean business: Ned Lamont on why Washington needs an entrepreneurial approach. Liebermania and the Party of Reagan: Why is the GOP supporting liberal Joe Lieberman? From Salon, more on George Allen stepping in "macaca". And former Republican representative Joe Scarborough considers the question: "Is Bush an idiot?"
[Aug 16] From Transitions, new tensions arise between Sofia and Skopje over identity and history; and new video footage of war crimes gives Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks an opportunity to roll out their myths about the Bosnian war. Fidel Fatigue: Long live the revolution? That's the last thing Latin America needs. From Japan Focus, Saskia Sassen on locating cities in global networks: Tokyo and regional structures of interdependence; and an article on the future of Korea: An Asia-Pacific perspective. From Social Research, issues on China and South Africa, and a special issue on "Their America", including an introduction by Jonathan Schell, and perspectives from Egypt, Europe, the Islamic world, South Africa, Southeast Asia, Russia, Africa, China, and Great Britain. Not surprisingly, Western media outlets and their Islamic counterparts offer completely divergent views on many of the events unfolding in the Middle East. From Power and Interest News Report, an article on the strategic implications of the Lebanese cease-fire. The UN ceasefire is a disaster for Israel. Now, after the government squandered weeks restraining the army and fighting a pretend war, a long list of reckonings awaits. Can the UN pass the test it has set for itself? Fred Kaplan wants to know. An excerpt from The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect. An interview with Jimmy Carter: "The US and Israel stand alone". George Will on how Kerry had a point on the law enforcement approach to terrorism. What lessons can we draw from the recent foiled plot to bring down US-bound airliners with liquid bombs? Richard Posner investigates. Matthew Yglesias on the case against the new airport security measures. Molly Ivins on the pols who cried wolf. A Few Bad Men: Ten years after a scandal over neo-Nazis in the armed forces, extremists are once again worming their way into a recruit-starved military. Stranger and Stranger: Why is George Bush reading Camus? Once a boob, always a boob? George Allen's biggest problem isn't racial insensitivity. There was Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. Salon has a list of six states where vote suppression could cost voters their voice -- and Democrats the election -- in 2006. And an excerpt from Multiparty Democracy: Elections and Legislative Politics
[Aug 31] The first
chapter from Expert Political Judgment: How Good is It? How Can We
Know? by Philip E. Tetlock. From Christianity Today, an interview with Nicholas
Kristof on evangelicals, China, and human rights.
How does the Christian publishing industry get away with
representing the figure of Christ as
perhaps as destructive as his polar opposite, the
Antichrist? A study finds
Southern religion makes people fat. From Tradition, Family and Property,
an article on "Virgin":
It's not a dirty word! How we conceive conception:
Why it took so long to understand sperm and eggs. A German study
reports that women's sexual desire for
their partners dwindles with time. What's a monogamous gal to do? A
review of Same-Sex Marriage: The Cultural Politics of Love and Law.
From Nerve, a female Episcopal priest interviews a Roman
Catholic who got herself ordained -- and ousted from the
Church. Not God's Party: A new poll shows Democrats are losing (more)
religious voters. The liberal revolt
against the NRA: Fed up with the gun lobby's conservative politics, environmentalists
and gun-control advocates take up arms under a new banner.
The first chapter
from Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in
voters have unambiguously repudiated the Bush doctrine. The
same can't be said for Democratic foreign policy elites. From Truthout, an article on the militarization
of the American language. From Mother Jones, Lie by Lie: Chronicle of a
War Foretold: August 1990 to March 2003. From Salon, more
on Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.
More on Without Precedent The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission
by Thomas H. Keane and Lee H. Hamilton.
The first chapter
from Jihad in Islamic History: Doctrines and
Practice. An interview with
Rolf Tophoven, Germany's leading terrorism expert (and
part 2). An interview with Gabriel
Weimann, author of Terror on the Internet: The New Arena, the New
Challenges. Iraq isn't the Philippines: A
decades-long U.S. occupation eventually brought democracy to Manila,
but analogies overlook historical American brutality and Iraq's
comparative strength. A review of
books on the war in Iraq. From In These
Times, let’s be realists, let’s demand the
Zizek on why pragmatic politics are doomed to fail in the Middle
East. And Osama Been Laid?: Pent-up libido and the future
[Aug 31] Sharon Street (NYU):
Constructivism About Reasons doc. David
Three Human Rights Agendas pdf.
issue of Borderlands is out, on Regimes of Terror,
including Dinesh Joseph Wadiwel (UWS):
Sovereignty, Torture and Blood: Tracing Genealogies and Rethinking Politics;
Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee (South Australia):
Live and Let Die: Colonial Sovereignties and the Death Worlds of
Necrocapitalism. From TLS, a review
of Claus Offe's Reflections on America: Tocqueville, Weber and Adorno in the United States.
A review of The Retreat of
Reason: A Dilemma in the Philosophy of Life.
of Ethics: Twelve Lectures on the Philosophy of Morality by David Wiggins. An
excerpt from The British Moralists on Human Nature and the Birth of
Secular Ethics. A
review of Ancient & Modern: Time, Culture and Indigenous Philosophy
and Reports From a Wild Country: Ethics for Decolonisation.
of Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and
Their Global Quest for Liberty.
A review of Contested
Citizenship: Immigration and Cultural Diversity in Europe. A
review of Rhyming Hope and History: Activists, Academics, and Social
of Kenji Yoshino's Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights.
From Wired, string theory was supposed to reconcile
the subatomic world with the vast reaches of spacetime. Now Lee
Smolin wants to unravel it. From Seed, do landscapes influence
human behavior? From Discover, are we trapped on Earth? Is getting off
our home planet an impossible journey?
Newsflash: We're all going to die.
But here are 20 things you didn't know about kicking the bucket.
Mahfouz. From Slate, witness for the prosecution? The New York Times is
still victimizing innocent
Dukies. It’s not a surprise
that neither the Naval Academy nor the Coast Guard Academy were even
close to being ranked among the best party colleges, but it may
raise eyebrows that both finished in the top 10 on the "Stone Cold
Sober Schools". The introduction
to One Hundred Semesters: My Adventures as Student, Professor, and
University President, and What I Learned along the Way. And dear teachers and
students, as the
new school year begins, let us reflect. Let us reflect on our
reflections about reflecting
[Aug 30] Katherine Sheehan (Southwestern): Caring for Deconstruction. An excerpt from The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger. From The Chronicle, Richard Wolin on Foucault, the Neohumanist? An excerpt from Reason's Grief: An Essay on Tragedy and Value. From PUP, a sample chapter on Chicago Law and Economics, from Economics and the Law, Second Edition: From Posner to Postmodernism and Beyond. An excerpt from The Cambridge Companion to Keynes. From The Hindu, more on Deepak Lal's Reviving the Invisible Hand. A review of Kwame Anthony Appiah's Cosmopolitanism. The author of the Greek epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey was probably a woman, according to British historian and linguist Andrew Dalby. Was she a scheming stepmother or a strong and effective ruler? History's view of the pharaoh Hatshepsut has been revised (and an interview). Before Schama and Starkey, the stage for popular historians was dominated by two giants of their time: AJP Taylor and Hugh Trevor-Roper. So why is one now lauded and the other slated? From spiked!, what inspired you? An overview of a survey of scientists aged 19 to 93, ranging from new talent to Nobel laureates, on what made them take up science. A look at how companies are using online scientific talent to augment their in-house research and development staff in finding solutions to vexing problems. Market Forces vs. Traffic Jams: New research shows that making drivers pay higher tolls at peak times and tracking their location with RFID or GPS technology can eliminate traffic jams. Get Wiki With It: Peer review – the unsung hero and convenient villain of science – gets an online makeover. How do you create an online encyclopedia when few native speakers have access to the Internet? From Inside Higher Ed, New Hampshire professor of psychology William Woodward is under fire for his 9/11 views. Professor-professors are professors whose first and last names are identical. Here are some who are currently making a name for themselves. Obituary: Delba Winthrop Mansfield. From Slate, thirtysomething: An article on Claire Messud and the robust genre of the very-late-coming-of-age novel. And an interview with literary critic Frank Kermode
[Aug 29] Religion, science and education: From Ars Disputandi, Bill Ferraiolo (SQDC): Free Will, Determinism, and Stoic Counsel; and an article on a deontological solution to the problem of evil. Is God good? Rebecca Bynum wants to know. More on Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death. From Infidels.org, a review of Jesus After 2000 Years: What He Really Said and Did. More on Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell. Why is there something rather than nothing? From TNR, Edward O. Wilson on a scientist's plea for Christian environmentalism. From Writ, if Pluto's not a planet, is ketchup a vegetable, a fetus a person, or same-sex marriage an oxymoron? An article on natural kinds in science and law. An essay on ruminating on the Stephen Hawking phenomenon, the origin of the universe, and the "Two Cultures". From Seed, the Big Bang is about as likely as billions of coin tosses all coming up heads. Explaining why that is might take us from empty space to other universes--and through the mirror of time. From Skeptical Inquirer, a look at why SETI requires a skeptial reappraisal, since the cosmic haystack is large; and a look at a new approach to SETI. On why scientists shouldn't be surprised by the popularity of ID. How do you spot a bad scientific argument? Teaching Pigs to Sing: An experiment in bringing critical thinking to the masses. What do you do with a high-school student who thinks she has paranormal abilities? In early America, there was no separation between church and state. Tenets of Christianity were embedded in almost every lesson and book, including spelling, reading, history, grammar, arithmetic and science. A review of Educating Psyche: emotion, imagination and the unconscious in learning. From The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell on zero-tolerance programs; and Big Men on Campus: An article on the lacrosse furor and Duke’s divided culture. From National Review, Carrie Lukas on why serious students shouldn’t take women’s studies. A review of The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids. Sending children to public instead of private school is about investing in community, and working to make it good for everyone -- at least, that's the idea. Colorado teacher Eric Hamlin quits over a foreign flag dispute. And America is raising a generation of young people who are by-and-large historically illiterate, warns David McCullough
[Aug 28] Potpourri: From The Skeptic, an article on the futile quest for artificial intelligence. From Salon, an interview with Michael Shermer, founder on the Skeptics Society. A review of Unfinished Dialogue and Political Ideas in the Romantic Age by Isaiah Berlin. A review of Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (and more). If you've ever had a princess complex and dreamed of the good life in a royal European court, think again: A review of Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics. From The Hindu, that his ideas still resonate today, a century and a half after his birth, is a measure of Bernard Shaw's lasting impact. More and more on The Reluctant Mr. Darwin. A break from reality: Do incoming freshmen really need a year off before beginning the rigors of college? Please. The Mystery of the Missing Novel: It’s difficult to prove libel in fiction, but that hasn’t stopped at least one publisher from worrying about it. A review of When Sex Goes to School: Warring Views on Sex -- and Sex Education -- Since the Sixties by Kristin Luker. When it comes to artists' colonies, some say the sex is better at Yaddo but the work is better at MacDowell. Richard Rorty reviews Moral Minds by Marc Hauser. A review of AC Grayling's Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan. A review of Revolution on My Mind: Writing a Diary Under Stalin. An interview with Amartya Sen on Identity and Violence (and part 2). More on Pankaj Mishra's Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet and Beyond. From Financial Times, a review of Mao's Last Revolution. A review of Human Nature: Fact and Fiction. A review of Postmortem: How Medical Examiners Explain Suspicious Deaths. Julian Baggini on teaching children to challenge religion. Is there a sign of some kind of philosophical renaissance today? A review of Symmetry and the Monster: One of the Great Quests of Mathematics. A review of Jean Baudrillard on new media. Putting psychoanalysis on the couch: More and more and more on Side Effects. More on Happiness: A History. And a review of Reconstructing the Cognitive World: The Next Step
[Weekend 2e] Media and technology: From The New York Observer, here's a Rough Guide to NY Times Endorsements. From The Economist, the most useful bit of the media is disappearing. A cause for concern, but not for panic, and tough newspapers are making progress with the internet, but most are still too timid, defensive or high-minded. The days of genuine "citizen-generated" media may be numbered. Suddenly big business is all over the blogosphere, paying armies of willing recruits to praise products. There are still some hero-journalists out there standing in front of the schoolyard bullies and fighting the good fight. From Green Left Weekly, a review of Unspeak by Steven Poole. It was a very false year: The Center for Media and Democracy hands out the 2005 Falsies Awards. Does it matter that iconic images of victory might have been staged? Norman Solomon on how mainstream news reporting accepts and propagates the basic world view of the Bush administration. David Igantius on Al-Jazeera's tricky balancing act. A look at how cellphones and text messaging are changing the way political mobilizations are conducted around the world. The Air Force has joined the Internet’s largest social networking site by launching a profile on MySpace.com. Forget "phishing" for bank account passwords. The deepest threats to online security are the weaknesses in the fundamental protocols that run the Internet. Making sense of the Web's structure: Pioneering studies of social networks and the Web's structure lead to a prestigious prize. A look at what happens when the internet and Google collide. And some experiences with Microsoft help to explain why Bill Gates is stepping down. Perhaps Windows is not the only fulfilling religion one can follow
[Weekend] Scott Soames (USC): Analytic Philosophy in America pdf. A review of Quine on Meaning: The Indeterminacy of Translation. From Scholia Reviews, a review of Ancient Colonizations: Analogy, Similarity & Difference. A review of The Invention of Art History in Ancient Greece: Religion, Society and Artistic Rationalisation. A review of Reading Plato's Theaetetus. From The Medieval Review, a review of Postmodern Medievalisms; a review of Queenship and Political Power in Medieval and Early Modern Spain; a review of Popular Protest in Late Medieval Europe: Italy, France, and Flanders; a review of Boundaries of the Law: Geography, Gender and Jurisdiction in Medieval and Early Modern Europe; and a review of Looking at the Renaissance: Essays Toward a Contextual Appreciation. A review of The Past as Prologue: The Importance of History to the Military Profession. From Der Spiegel, an interview with Philip Roth: "Old age is a massacre". Lee Siegel on what Albert Camus would make of Bush. Librarians are on the front lines protecting our constitutional rights every day. Here are five who are making a difference. Aficionados rank the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica among the finest ever produced, but the information is slightly coloured by prejudice. From In These Times, an article on Students for a Democratic Society, new and improved. Place your bets in the next Harvard president, as gambling website has declared the odds. An article on rejecting the Ivies before they reject you. Too few overachievers: Jay Matthews on how academically stressed students aren't the country's norm. The Pedagogy of Oppression: Here's a brief look at "No Child Left Behind". From Seed, a look at how human sexual behavior may influence pathogen strains; and "I can't believe it's science": Low levels of testosterone don’t just decrease a man’s sex drive, lower his energy and up his depression; they can also foretell his untimely demise. The spectacular find of the frozen remains of a Scythian warrior in Mongolia could shed new light on ancient life. How tasteful is it to name a bar after a Russian dictator responsible for up to 60 million deaths? And from Prospect, a brief history of air-conditioning: It has avoided the opprobrium attached to cars and planes, but as use of the technology grows rapidly so does its contribution to climate change
[Aug 25] The first chapter from Mussolini's Intellectuals: Fascist Social and Political Thought by A. James Gregor. The first chapter from Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for a New Political Debate by Ronald Dworkin. An excerpt from Off Center The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. The first chapter from Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Fight over Taxing Inherited Wealth by Michael J. Graetz and Ian Shapiro. From The Economist, a review of Günter Grass' Peeling the Onion, and Grass explains his silence on Nazi past. An author, world-famous, yet in possession of a secret that he knows will come to light one day and cast a shadow over everything he has accomplished -- what material for a novel! A review of The Things That Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say About the Stages of Life. How postmodern protagonists live: Not happily ever after. Or even at all. China is the world's leading center for mass-produced works of art. One village of artists exports about five million paintings every year, most of them copies of famous masterpieces. Roger Scruton on the music of America: Ask the world--there's nothing like it. An interview with Daniel Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. The field of psychology has ignored fame as a primary motivator of human behavior, but a small number of social scientists have begun to study and think about fame in a different way. Hippy sex fiends and brutal Machiavellians: An interview with Frans de Waal on bloodthirsty chimpanzees, sex-crazed bonobos, and the nature of human beings. Fatherhood alters the structure of your brain—if you are a marmoset. From The New Yorker, manifold destiny: An article on Grigory Perelman, the Fields Medal and the Poincaré conjecture. There is now proof that dark energy really does exists. The theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking will receive the Copley medal. In a surprise decision by the International Astronomical Union, Pluto was stripped of its planetary status. The Future of Robots: Ray Kurzweil explains how the boundary between man and machine is quickly disappearing. And from The Scientist, the shape of Armageddon: Sure, the world will end. What will rise up to take the place of human civilization?
[Aug 24] From Prospect, the right dialectic: Despite the appearance of consensus between the two main parties, the contest between equality and liberty has not disappeared; Peter Bergen on how five years on, everyone has a theory about the real causes of 9/11; why did the proxy war in Lebanon happen and whose interests did it serve? A symposium; why it's time to move on from the idea of British Muslim "community leaders", as the response to the recent alleged terror plot shows that British Muslims are getting stronger and wiser, but universities are fertile recruiting ground for extremist Islamist groups. From spiked!, A review of Marx’s Das Kapital: A Biography by Francis Wheen. From TLS, a review of Roger Scruton's Gentle Regrets: Thoughts from a Life; and an essay on Graham Greene, uneasy Catholic. Christopher Hitchens on the pompous, hypocritical hucksterism of Günter Grass. Myself as fiction: Hungarian Nobel Prize-winning author Imre Kertesz on his latest novel, Dossier K., a dialogue with himself. An interview with John Updike on Terrorist. From The New Yorker, George Saunders imagines a linguistic jihad. From Discover, an article on wishful seeing: Visual perception versus reality. We may be taught not to judge a book by its cover, but when we see a new face, our brains decide whether a person is attractive and trustworthy within a tenth of a second. They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. And scientists have discovered why. Requiem for a Heavyweight: Harriet the Tortoise led a slow and steady--and exceptionally lengthy--life. A review of The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution. From The Chronicle of Higher Education, educators question the absence of evolution from a list of majors eligible for new grants. Medicine’s focus on evidence is not "fascist": A call to arms against a sea of "evidence-based logic" flounders in bad faith. A review of Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine. And a review of Six Myths about the Good Life: Thinking About What Has Value
[Aug 23] Science - academic life: From Scientific American, an editorial on why the U.S. should lead by example on global warming; an article on a climate repair manual: Global warming is a reality. Innovation in energy technology and policy are sorely needed if we are to cope; on the nuclear option: A threefold expansion of nuclear power could contribute significantly to staving off climate change by avoiding one billion to two billion tons of carbon emissions annually; and a review of The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next by Lee Smolin and Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law by Peter Woit. It is not for want of effort on the part of British scientists that the public seem increasingly unmoved by the mysteries of the universe. The Fields Medals, the world’s most prestigious prize for mathematics, have been awarded to four researchers, including Grigori Perelman, who turns it down. An interview with Tom Kelley, an American innovator behind many things that make life easier, from the laptop to the talking defibrillator. The skeletal remains found in a cave on the island of Flores, Indonesia do not represent a new species Homo floresiensis as then claimed. Fake, mistake, replicate: A court of law may determine the meaning of replication in science. What do social scientists do if their research turns up a criminal confession? An interview with Mark Israel of Australia's Flinders University. From Inside Higher Ed, UCLA scientist Dario Ringach gives up his research involving animals in the face of activists’ pressure on him and his family; and two articles on rethinking the Culture Wars: Donald Lazere writes that liberal and conservative academics should have a common agenda in defending educational values; and Joseph Reisert writes that the real problem with ideological imbalance is its impact on academe’s influence in society. From Dissent, an article on debt education: Bad for the young, bad for America. A look at why the nation's colleges and universities should support Google's controversial project to digitize great libraries and offer books online. With $10 million in new funds and a second patent, Friendster has big plans for an improved site to rival MySpace. And from Campus Progress, try an orange ribbon: How a band of fabric promotes civil discourse
[Aug 22] From Theory & Event, Christopher Robinson (Clarkson): Why Wittgenstein is Not Conservative: Conventions and Critique; and a review of Alain Badiou's Being and Event. A review of Remembering Socrates: Philosophical Essays. An excerpt from Metaphysics and Method in Plato's Statesman. An excerpt from Descartes and the Passionate Mind, and an excerpt from Spinoza's Ethics: An Introduction. An excerpt from Saving Persuasion: A Defense of Rhetoric and Judgment by Bryan Garsten. How Rousseau invented reality TV: A review of Rousseau's Dog: A Tale of Two Great Thinkers at War in the Age of Enlightenment. A review of Personal Autonomy: New Essays on Personal Autonomy and Its Role in Contemporary Moral Philosophy. A review of Secession: International Law Perspectives. A review of Ideology and Social Science. A critical reading of the work of Karl Marx now requires us to lay to one side the myths and legends which have obscured his ideas over the past one hundred and twenty years. From Inside Higher Ed, the Rise of the Social Sciences: the book Restructuring the University: Worldwide Shifts in Academia in the 20th Century uses some unusual data sets to trace disciplinary shifts over a century and around the entire world. Mary Warnock on how undergraduates and school-leavers are being short-changed by a system that fails to nurture intellectual excellence. From Opinion Journal, Tom Monaghan goes from pizza delivery to educational deliverance: An interview. Gene Edward Veith seeks to redirect Patrick Henry College as the new dean of academic affairs. The Return of Grammar: The revisions to the SAT have gotten attention because of the new essay portion. But the real news lies elsewhere. And schools receiving federal lunch subsidies must now create wellness plans. But will replacing Tater Tots with sweet-potato fries really lead to healthier, slimmer children?
[Aug 21] Potpourri: From Russia, an article on the problems Westerners seem to have with the Cyrillic alphabet. Thomas Jefferson's reputation has taken a battering in recent years, but his towering intellect and secular rationalism wouldn't go amiss today. More on Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death. Who cares about Poincaré? Million-dollar math problem solved. So what? Puzzling Names in Boxes: An ingenious search strategy leads to a death-defying feat. In 1909, unheralded in Europe and virtually unknown here, Sigmund Freud made his only trip to the United States. There he met James Jackson Putnam, the Boston Brahmin who would introduce him to America. Have you ever struggled with a turgid political biography when secretly you'd rather get stuck into The Da Vinci Code? Put the book down, says Nick Hornby: Reading should be a joy. Freedom of information: An article on copyright and its discontents. From The Nation, an article on the strange silence of Gunter Grass. An article on the fictions of Grass. On how Grass as a prisoner of the Nobel. We're all living under a fatwa: you just have to get on: Salman Rushdie on why his experience of fundamentalism now has relevance for us all. Is a world where the Kool-Aid Man wears pants also a world where the Kool-Aid Man has genitals? Could 10 percent of men really be deceived about the paternity of the children they're raising? Evolutionary psychologists want to know. A review of The Politics of Sexual Harassment: A Comparative Study of the United States, the European Union, and Germany. Queen and harlot, dark and fair, heroine and murderer, Cleopatra has been an object of fascination for writers, artists and film directors down the centuries. Beethoven didn't roll over: If you think protest music is a new thing, you’re off by a few. Novelist Thomas Hettche travels to the Swiss resort of St. Moritz in search of the elusive spirit of the place that has drawn tourists for over a century. David Denby reviews books on Upton Sinclair. An article on smokers as the new deviants. Women, men and the beds they make: There is more to sharing a pillow than sleep and sex. Plus it makes a great hot beverage! Or maybe not. But freeze-dried blood could save a lot of lives and money. And a review of The Grilled Cheese Madonna: And 99 Other of the Weirdest, Wackiest, Most Famous eBay Auctions Ever
[Weekend 2e] From Social Research, a special issue on busyness, including Liah Greenfield (BU): When the shy is the limit: busyness in contemporary American society; Arlie Russell Hochschild (UC-Berkeley): On the edge of the time bind: time and market culture; Robert Levine (CSU-Fresno): A geography of busyness; Alan Ryan on keeping busy; and more. From PS: Political Science and Politics, April Kelly-Woessner (Elizabethtown) and Matthew Woessner (PSU-Harrisburg): My Professor is a Partisan Hack: How Perceptions of a Professor's Political Views Affect Student Course Evaluations pdf. From Chicago Magazine, a former U. of C. colleague has sued Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics, for defamation in a case growing out of research on gun-control laws. A review of Social Neuroscience: People Thinking about Thinking People. The first chapter from Racial Culture: A Critique. From The Atlantic Monthly, a flashback: So You Want to Be a Writer? Wallace Stegner, Francine Prose, John Kenneth Galbraith, and others offer advice to aspiring wordsmiths. What if drugs, besides easing pain, could also make "near" death closer to "now"? The Empress loved mauve: A look at how today's chemical industry was invented. A review of Horse: How the Horse Has Shaped Civilizations. And on the study of "hedonic ethology": A review of Pleasurable Kingdom
[Weekend] From Review of Law & Economics, Francisco Ramos (UAB): The Establishment of Constitutional Courts: A Study of 128 Democratic Constitutions. Daniel Solove (GWU): The First Amendment as Criminal Procedure. Lori Ringhand (Kentucky): Judicial Activism and the Rehnquist Court. Richard Neumann (Hofstra): The Revival of Impeachment as a Partisan Political Weapon. An excerpt from Reconceiving the Family: Critique on the American Law Institute's Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution. An excerpt from Public Accountability: Designs, Dilemmas and Experiences. The first chapter from Religion and the Constitution: Volume I: Free Exercise and Fairness by Kent Greenawalt. An excerpt from Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil. An excerpt from Norms and the Law. A review of An Introduction to Kant's Aesthetics. An excerpt from Aesthetics and Cognition in Kant's Critical Philosophy. A review of Jacques Rancière's The Politics of Aesthetics. A review of The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews From the Nazis. He was born in Liverpool in 1911, a product of the romance between the Fuhrer's brother and his Irish sweetheart. Now the extraordinary story of William Patrick Hitler is coming to the stage. Many Poles are reacting bitterly to Günter Grass' admission: "We always knew it", they say. "There are no good Germans". Here's an open letter to Grass, while Salman Rushdie jumps to his defense. From Inside Higher Ed, an article on new ideas for PhD education. Arab nationalism runs rampant at Middlebury College. In Europe, universities struggle to compete and adapt. Knowledge is about power, and sex and power are inextricable bedfellows. What happens when you triangulate all three in a university teaching scenario? How to rescue the lost boys: If statistics are anything to go by, boys are second-class citizens, at least educationally. Shakespeare studies - a discipline fraught with conflict - has long been a battleground for academics who show no signs of making peace with one another. The deepest diggers: An article on experiencing firsthand the glamour--and backbreaking labor--of archaeology. And head down to your local bookstore or library, where the shelves are bending from the weight of books packed with fluffy nuggets
[Aug 18] From Rhetorical Review, a review of Woodrow Wilson and the Lost World of the Oratorical Statesman; a review of Adam Smith: The Rhetoric of Propriety; and a review of Rhetoric in Antiquity pdf. A review of A Companion to Socrates. A review of The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization. An excerpt from Barbaros: Spaniards and Their Savages in the Age of Enlightenment. A review of Unto A Good Land: A History of the American People. A review of The Civil War as Theological Crisis and Upon the Altar of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War. Benedict XVI says in an interview that Catholicism is not a "collection of prohibitions". From Der Spiegel, criticism continues to mount, but the ranks of those defending Gunter Grass are also growing. From Sign and Sight, the same old issues, the same old voices. A plea for less Grass and more debate on the Middle East. From Edge, Einstein, Moe, and Joe: An excerpt from My Einstein by John Brockman. Meet the cleverest man in the world (who's going to say no to a $1m prize). The gene that makes us human? Scientists have identified a gene that just might be the key to the unique evolution of the human brain. Man, deconstructed: On the DNA that may have driven the evolution of the human brain. Here's evidence that creativity could be the result of a complementary process known as sexual selection. Researchers find some of the large and hugely popular online video games actually have socially redeeming qualities. From Newsweek, an eguide to public service at America's law schools. Advice for the law school class of '09: Ten key principles that will help you succeed; and there are some things you need to know about going to university that, often, nobody tells you. Textbook prices are soaring into the hundreds of dollars, but in some courses this fall, students won't pay a dime. The catch: Their textbooks will have ads (and more). And with a new classification system, the New York Public Library makes a change for the clearer
[Aug 17] Douglas W. Portmore (ASU): Are Moral Reasons Morally Overriding? pdf. A review of Phenomenology and Imagination in Husserl and Heidegger. The first chapter from Pessimism: Philosophy, Ethic, Spirit by Joshua Foa Dienstag. A review of Dimitri Nikulin's On Dialogue. The introduction to Merit, Meaning, and Human Bondage: An Essay on Free Will. A review of Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism: New Essays. A review of A History of the Classical Greek World, 478-323 BC (Blackwell History of the Ancient World). A review of The Democracy Advantage: How Democracies Promote Prosperity and Peace. More on Paul Kennedy's The Parliament of Man. The first chapter from Why We Vote: How Schools and Communities Shape Our Civic Life. The first chapter from Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism. Are academic elites communists? Walter Williams investigates. This year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe is taking place in a climate of heightened inter-faith sensitivity. So how are the comedians handling this touchy subject? F rom Truthdig, Sam Harris reviews The Language of God by Human Genome Project head Francis Collins. Fastest evolving human gene linked to brain boost. A look at how artificial intelligence is set to exceed human brain power soon. Grisha Perelman has quite possibly solved one of mathematics biggest mysteries, Poincaré’s conjecture, but has since disappeared. Earth's Fourth Dimension: A gravitational rainbow points to our planet's invisible topography. There will be at least 12 planets in our solar system, and probably many more, if a new definition of the word "planet" is adopted. Pluto’s qualifications may be more cultural than scientific, but we’ve fully embraced it as a planet in good standing. From The New York Observer, a review of The Things That Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say About the Stages of Life. Novels, once the undisputed stars of the bookshelves, are getting muscled to the side by a brash ingenue -- nonfiction. From In These Times, an article on why Hemingway is chick-lit. How to own an artefact: A review of Rescuing the Past: The cultural heritage crusade. A review of review of The Playful Crowd: Pleasure Places in the Twentieth Century. And a review of Under Arrest: a history of the 20th century in mugshots
[Aug 16] The inaugural issue of William James Studies is out. From Cambridge University Press, an excerpt from Rational Choice and Democratic Deliberation: A Theory of Discourse Failure by Fernando Teson and Guido Pincione; an excerpt from Rationality and the Ideology of Disconnection; and an excerpt from A Realist Philosophy of Social Science: Explanation and Understanding. The first chapter from Explaining the Cosmos: The Ionian Tradition of Scientific Philosophy. A review of The Theatre of the World: Alchemy, Astrology and Magic in Renaissance Prague. From Butterflies & Wheels, here are things CNN will never tell you about religion. From Christianity Today, a review of The Wisdom of Wilderness: Experiencing the Healing Power of Nature; a review of The Liberating Image: The Imago Dei in Genesis 1; and an essay on trivializing the transcendent: What can science really tell us about faith? An excerpt from Darwinism and its Discontents by Michael Ruse. An excerpt from Evolutionary Ethics and Contemporary Biology. An essay on how to make sure children are scientifically illiterate. From PUP, the introduction to A Cultural History of Causality: Science, Murder Novels, and Systems of Thought. The Da Vinci Coda: Here are Retrospective Reflections on a Pop Culture Phenomenon. From Germany, Roman Bucheli is anything but relieved by Günter Grass' recent exposure of uncomfortable truths. An excerpt from Germans, Jews, and Antisemites: Trials in Emancipation. In the midst of the pain inflicted by genocide, healing is not complete without forgiveness; and an article on genocide machines: Is the computer age the same as the age of genocide? From Slate, found in translation: An article on reading the classics with help from the Loeb Library. If:book, then what? Progress in digital publishing -- some of it impressive, some of it not -- does not mean traditional books are disappearing. From the Annals of Improbable Research, an article on how Bedouins know that black is cool. Snoring, spooning, stealing the sheets and sleeping in the nude: A review of Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing. And a review of Three Sheets to the Wind: One Man’s Quest for the Meaning of Beer and The Longest Crawl