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From Somalia, warring factions are destroying their country.
Who or what can bring them to the negotiating table?
From Pakistan, had God wanted sexless objects to inherit the earth
He would have despatched angels to this planet and kept human beings in
From Russia, the State Duma is considering
removing the "none of the above" option from ballots in national
A secret U.S. plan to attack Chinese nuclear weapons sites
prompted Mao Zedong to temporarily abandon efforts to improve living
Der Spiegel interviews
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the
apocalyptic religious zealot takes on the world.
Neo-Nazis in Germany have an elaborate infrastructure
and a carefully crafted public relations strategy. Extremist populism
seems to be working.
The EU's foundations are
imperiled by a surge in economic nationalism and protectionism, and a
look at its
Muslim dilemma. From Cafe Babel, is Europe turning its back
on international justice? A series of articles.
Talk of a 'right' and a 'wrong' left in Latin America
obscures more than it illuminates, as Peru shows us.
With a national team that is a microcosm of the country itself,
on a high wire between agony and ecstasy, anything could happen for
Argentina at this World Cup. Politics and sports often aren't meant to mix.
But many in strife-torn Ivory Coast believe the national soccer squad
can help end the country's civil war.
From Foreign Policy, a list of the
world’s water crises; and seven questions on
supporting the veterans. From National
Rep. Rahm Emanuel and his band of young lieutenants have won praise for
running a more aggressive and high-octane DCCC. But can their efforts
lead Democrats to a House takeover in November?
An article on how
Hillary Clinton is a politician not easily defined.
Talk of Nancy Pelosi as
House Speaker delights both parties.
Jabari Asim has the
top five progressive rock songs. And here's what
New York City will look like in just ten years
[May 30] From Worldpress, an article on The Ruin of Nations: The destabilization of West Africa. The United Nations estimates that the human smuggling industry is a $10 billion a year global enterprise. The sudden death of the director general of the World Health Organization, Dr. Lee Jong-wook, is a major loss to the global health community. Joseph Stiglitz on the IMF's America problem. A country's borders should not be confused with those familiar dotted lines drawn on some musty old map of nation-states. From TNR, a look at what Hillary can learn from Gore; and do you detect a difference among conservatives these days? Could the US be better off with a Democrat in the White House in 2009? Here are a couple of reasons the answer might be yes, even if you're not a Democrat. An interview with Roy Moore, the "Ten Commandments Judge" and candidate for Alabama governor. GOP jams democracy: How high did the Republicans' New Hampshire phone scheme reach? Political amnesia is the enemy: No wonder some studies find that news viewers rapidly forget what they have just seen -- that's the intention. Jonathan Alter on the new open source politics: Netroots politicos may redesign our nominating system. And caught up in the 'Net: How the Internet has quietly changed our lives
[May 29] From Canada, PM Stephen Harper is copying George Bush's tactics with his allegation of liberal media bias; in mid-summer 1968, Yorkville became the very "festering sore" that conservatives had claimed it to be and hosted an "unusual number" of patients suffering from hepatitis; and the dual nature of the black Canadian is about space and race. From Great Britain, Michael Portillo on how the happiness principle could change politics. John Pilger reports on the scandal of Diego Garcia and the islanders' long battle for justice. Europe, Jan Zielonka suggests, is best characterised not as a state at all but as a hulking great empire. The introduction to Design for a New Europe. Can a Jewish guy from Newton Mitchell Reiss nudge Northern Ireland toward the promised land? The power and cost of dissent: An article on Shirin Ebadi and her country's past and future. Forty years after Mao Zedong's cultural revolution, few Chinese want to talk about it. Who actually painted Mao's official portrait? And why is it still up in the square, when many Chinese seem more eager to buy Gucci bags than Mao suits? A 25-year-old true believer chronicled the Cultural Revolution and discovered the revolution's true face. Afghanistan has been a war of great clarity, the opposite of the war in Iraq with all its troubles and cloudy origins. Or so Americans thought. When Chuck Norris joined the National Guard, he wasn't expecting to end up in one of the worst corners of the Sunni Triangle. Now he's home in Pennsylvania, with his fellow guardsmen and memories he just can't shake. David Addington of the office of Vice President routinely reviews pieces of legislation before they reach the president's desk. Now that earmarks have been tainted by scandal, what's a self-respecting pork barreler to do? Fight back, of course. Akhil Reed Amar on what the framers would say about raids on congressional offices. Matt Bai on a message to the Netroots: All politics is corporeal. What do 18-year-old guys want to watch on their cellphones? MTV grapples with creating entertainment for the smallest screen. What does it mean when consumers become producers of commercials? The boss of global advertising behemoth Publicis, Maurice Levy is the Napoleon of advertising. And in 1985, the Communist party in Ukraine named 38 "ideologically harmful" foreign groups. The dangerous agents were, among others, Village People, Black Sabbath and Tina Turner
[Weekend 2e] News from around the world: The recent violence in Sao Paulo may just be the tip of the iceberg: In many parts of Brazil and indeed across Latin America, governments have capitulated to gangsters, and the rise of organized crime could end the recent leftward shift across Latin America. Here are five surprising facts about starvation that could change the international agenda. Y. Euny Hong’s blueblood forebears used to dine with kings.... now they are waiters. Flying Here: Alexander Cockburn on the Red flag, from Berlin to West Bengal. The Brits often assume that Germans have no sense of humour. In truth it's a language problem. The peculiarities of German sentence construction simply rule out the lazy set-ups that British comics rely on. Heaven for Germans is filled with orderly rows of binders. Collecting and storing certificates documenting every aspect of life is a national pastime. And if you don't have the right one, you may not exist. Germans love to complain. Indeed, if you listen closely, it seems as though the country is about to completely fall apart by day's end. But why? Germans have a staring problem. Either the grandma on the first floor is watching your every move or the guy across from you in the subway can't turn away. And a symposium on the World Cup 2006: Reflections, predictions and hopes
[Weekend] From Chile, former Nazi soldier Paul Schäfer, who founded an extremist religious cult, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing children. From Venezuela, the global oil-price boom is fuelling Hugo Chavez's domestic political project, a modern twist on a familiar national pattern. From Canada, economic boom is boosting top salaries of wealthy CEOs at expense of working poor-- the job description for the role of "conservative politician" is pretty clear: Socialism for the rich. From Great Britain, Geoff Mulgan is the ultimate New Labourite. He used to be head of policy at No 10 and founded the Blairite thinktank Demos. But now he's intent on radical social change. Twelve months after the "No", the EU has yet to rediscover its purpose. Turkey has long been seen as a role model for Islamic nations wanting to curb fundamentalism. But a recent attack on several Turkish judges has the country in turmoil. Richard Haass on India, Iran, and the case for double standards. Certain indigenous groups of people could disappear forever if global development targets are not reformed to better include them. The coming threat to gun-owners: The NRA takes aim at global bureaucrats in the UN. With a policy of "expedited removal" and the pressures of national security, the United States has seen a drastic drop in its asylum numbers. From Tripoli to Beijing, President Bush has abandoned his bold pledge to support democracy. Editor in chief of The American Enterprise Karl Zinsmeister is named top domestic policy adviser to Bush. It seems to some mainstream pundits that Sen. John McCain, by doing practically nothing at all, is doing everything right. Gosslings, Bacon, and a Kobe beef cow: The media misreports the Porter Goss story. An article on the problem of knowing what a pundit is going to say a few sentences into his column. A review of Eric Boehlert's Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush. Interns? No bloggers need apply. And Rockin' the Right: John Miller has the 50 greatest conservative rock songs
[May 26] From the Solomon Islands, newly elected prime minister Manasseh Sogavare, hits out at Australia for interfering in the internal affairs of the nation. Australia sends troops to East Timor amid fears of civil war. The Persian Complex: An op-ed on Iran’s centuries-old quest for respect. From Prospect, Arab countries argue that Islamic practices protect them from HIV. How true is this?; and Hamas is set to change the face of Islamism and then the middle east. From Boston Review, an article on Hamas' next steps; how far will Egypt's Islamists go?; an article on Argentina's campaign against the past; and The Rebel and Mr. Danger: Is Bush’s nightmare Venezuela’s salvation? Oliver Stone is planning to film a movie about the 2002 coup in Venezuela that briefly ousted Chavez. From Democracy Now!, an interview with Eduardo Galeano on Latin American affairs. An article on South America's indigenous movements: Between neoliberalism and leftist governments. Some in Mexico see border wall as an opportunity. A comment on "Mexico’s Wasted Chance" in The National Interest. From TAP, an interview with Nancy Pelosi. Myth of the Anointed: History shows that vice presidents usually don’t win the top spot. Lay and Skilling aren't the only guilty ones: Have CEOs learned nothing from the Enron scandal? Is Chief Justice Roberts correct that unanimous Supreme Court opinions are inherently desirable? A comment on "Life Tenure on the Supreme Court: Time for a Change?" in Judicature. A review of Reforming the Court: Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices. Eric Alterman on how Time is on their side. From The Chronicle, an article on The Lure of the List: "Lists today, no matter how titillating, are like pornography". A look at the world's snappiest comebacks: Some people keep their wit about them. And Enlightenment philosophers, polar bears and pirate ships all feature in "Lost." But if the series is about anything, it's about contemporary America
[May 25] From Afghanistan, a Taliban comeback? Re-emergence of the ousted group threatens US-Pakistan alliance and triggers a new Great Game. From Iceland, Naval Air Station Keflavik will be shuttered by October. From Uganda, an interview with Andrew Mwenda, Political Editor of the The Monitor. From Palestine, Hamas and Fatah are Brothers at War. From Israel, an article on the many faces of treason. An interview with Kosovo's Prime Minister Agim Çeku on independence. Newly unearthed reports reveal how the Soviet Union was bent on destroying its allies in the Spanish Civil War. An article on Britain’s Euston Manifesto as ex-liberals for imperialism and war. The anti-anti-war left has a new manifesto. Scott McLemee feels dialectical and somewhat dizzy. Philosopher Andre Glucksmann diagnoses the ailment that has been troubling the French Republic for decades. An interview with Jed Babbin, author of Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States. Ken Silverstein on oil, EHRC, and the Democratic Republic of Soã Tomé, and on the Professor of Repression, S. Frederick Starr, Uzbekistan’s friend in Washington. From New York Observer, hope for the Democrats: How-To for the Hustings; and a look at why the Right is wrong to embrace Hillary. Will the movers and shakers connected to Bill Richardson help or hinder him? Tom DeLay is using Stephen Colbert to raise funds. Restoring oversight: A look at why there’s nothing wrong with partisan investigations. Regular tormentors of the judiciary are back, circling around the robed flock these days with their latest bad idea. Obituary: Lloyd Bensten. Buying Tech Performance: For TSA, it's a tough climb to contract results. Should reporters who use classified information be treated like spies? Should the Net be neutral? Mike McCurry and Craig Newmark debate. Bloggers 1, Mike McCurry 0: The blogosphere swallows Mike McCurry on net neutrality. And an article on deconstructing the official media "Lib Speak"
[May 24] From Italy, a left-wing minister just appointed by Prime Minister Romano Prodi has outraged his opponents with a plan to legalize any foreigner with a job. Montenegro's voters have chosen independence over union with Serbia. Is a separatist hangover on the way? (and more and more) Here are some reflections on Europe's newest state by a human-rights expert who observed the referendum in Montenegro. An interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on leaving the Netherlands, her book project, and the AEI. Osama bin Laden says Zacarias Moussaoui had nohing to do with 9/11. Environmental activists are still enraged 12 years after work began. But despite all protests, work has finished on China's Three Gorges Dam. It is scheduled to begin operations in 2008. A review of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It. When the subject of Bill and Hillary Clinton comes up for many prominent Democrats these days, Topic A is the state of their marriage (and more from Slate). From The Progressive, an interview with John Dean. An interview with John Conyers, the most tenacious man on Capitol Hill? Covering religion is something the American media do badly, and reporting on controversies involving religious ideas is one of the things they do worst of all. More on The One That Got Away by Howell Raines. Blog Bog: Should journalists lose their naming rights online? People argue that the music someone listens to says a lot about who he is, but that discussion rarely concludes in descriptions like "cracker" and "racist". When it comes to athletic prowess, don’t believe your eyes: Malcolm Gladwell reviews The Wages of Wins. Dr. J's reverse layup. Doug Flutie's Hail Mary. Kirk Gibson's World Series walk-off. Legendary plays, but are they also beautiful? A review of Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games. And despite its world-saving image, open source software has not made much real revolution. But there is hope in new software "for human beings"
[May 23] From France, a look at why Europe and the United States are condemned to pretending to agree. From the Netherlands, Ian Buruma on hard luck for a hard-liner, Rita Verdonk. Christopher Hitchens on Holland's latest insult to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Danish cartoon editor Flemming Rose argues that failed multiculturalism is killing Europe's liberal values. An article on The Euston Manifesto. Tony Blair on the fight about civilization. Rashad Akhtar, a 27-year old British Muslim alleges that the graphic used on the lid of Burger King ice-cream cones resembles the Arabic spelling of "Allah". An article on demagogues and the dangerous tide of anti-immigrant populism in Europe. Pakistan's classification as a "failed state" reflects the collapse of Pervez Musharraf's authority. The US is hoping to transform Moammar Gadhafi's regime from rogue state to model Muslim partner. Hezbollah has attracted Iranian friendship and US hostility since its emergence during Lebanon's civil war. The Islamist group is now at a crossroads. Here's an open letter to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Ramin Jahanbegloo. Iranian-Americans oppose any attack on their motherland. Such action would be catastrophic for both Iran and the US's reputation. An article on how a 2003 secret overture from Tehran might have led to a deal on Iran’s nuclear capacity, if the Bush administration hadn’t rebuffed it. Who are you calling? Seymour Hersh on what the NSA wanted to know. An article on the new secrecy doctrine so secret you don't even know about it. A pro-Iraq war ex-soldier defends the generals who took on Rumsfeld. An article on why public disenchantment with the war likely won't matter come November. In politics, attack ads are fast approaching - and with it come the predictable complaints about negative advertising. With sinking poll ratings, Bush has taken the rare step of mixing politics with an issue of personal significance. From US News, Kenneth Walsh on What History Has to Say. Secretary Who? A look at the President's Invisible Cabinet. The Pruner: Is Rep. Jeff Flake the House's John McCain? He's barely known outside Washington, but David Addington is the most powerful man you've never heard of. And more on Mark Felt's A G-Man's Life
[May 22] From Canada, after 35 years of mixing the metric with the Imperial, citizens have invented their own way of measuring stuff. From India, does the Ken-Betwa Link Project, that aims to link rivers, signal the beginning of the privatisation of water resources? An article on the problem with schools in Muslim countries. Saudi Arabia's public schools have long been cited for demonizing the West as well as Christians, Jews and other "unbelievers", but that was all supposed to change, and an article on perpetuating the Protocols. Here are 5 myths about US-Saudi relations. Reza Aslan on the truth about Iran's failed theocracy. The Vatican disciplines Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, over abuse charges. Seeking a united Latin America, Venezuela's Hugo Chávez is a divider. Religious groups helped resolve Puerto Rico' s budget crisis, but at what cost? Kremlin control over vast gas supplies and the revenue it brings are allowing Putin to flex his political muscles on the world stage. A review of books on Palestine and Israel. An excerpt from The War of the World by Niall Ferguson. Unless the US acts now, Anthony Lake and Francis Fukuyama say, the only peace in Darfur, Sudan, will be on paper. The secret key to driving down the rates of poverty and population growth is female. More on The White Man's Burden by William Easterly. Kirkpatrick Sale on how Columbus knew he was a conquerer, even if the magnitude of his discovery was lost on most of his contemporaries. Clearly, it' s time for some radical ideas about solving global warming. But where's the radical realism when we need it? An old communist confesses: the class war is over and even Rupert Murdoch makes sense… what do lefties do now? Hardcore Eurovision-sceptics will doubt it, but there was a time when Eurovision, the continent's annual music-fest, did actually produce good music. An article in Slate entitled ''The Perils of Poptimism" has triggered a webwide tizzy over popism and rockism. And perhaps a primordial, Lévi-Straussian opposition of categories is in play here: a dry shave will never equate to a wet one
[Weekend 2e] Postmodern spaces: From Carnegie Reporter, an article on Eurasia: A New World Order? From Foreign Affairs, on The New Middle Ages: Now that capitalism is operating globally, those states are eroding and a new medievalism is emerging, marked by multiple and overlapping sovereignties and identities. The EU has faced an apparently unresolvable territorial conflict ever since Cyprus became a member state. The union of Serbia and Montenegro may soon be no more: An inconclusive result in Montenegro's referendum on independence could, paradoxically, lead to a more workable relationship with Serbia and the EU. Ignore a problem long enough and it will go away. That seems to have been the strategy of the Macedonian government when it comes to the case of Khaled El Masri. The EU has frozen the bank accounts of Belarus as a delayed response to President Alexander Lukashenko's suppression of political dissent and his questionable election victory. And George Soros on a new bargain for UN reform
[Weekend] From Great Britain, Ross McKibbin on why Gordon Brown should resign. An interview with Hong Kong's Cardinal Joseph Zen. A look at Japan's lurch to the right. At Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, 18,000 black widow spiders have been caught in last six years. From The Washington Monthly, Investi-Gate: An article on what's really at stake in the November elections. To hell with a substantive, positive agenda. What the Hill needs is a backward-looking, subpoena-happy Democratic majority. When conservative Republicans such as Hastert and Frist jointly sponsor Voting Rights Act amendments with such liberal Democrats as Conyers and Kennedy, be suspicious. Justice Scalia tells Congress to stay out of high court business. As they watch President Bush's approval ratings tumble, conservative activists are offering a surefire strategy for presidential recovery: Bush should move to the right and "rally his base." John McCain, like Colin Powell, is so admirable and likeable that people convince themselves against all evidence that he agrees with them on big issues. An advocacy group with an unusually broad antiunion message is now bringing its marketing campaign to television. Obituary: Peter Viereck (and more from The New Yorker). Jack Shafer reviews Howell Raines' The One That Got Away. While print publications have always had a code suggesting which stories are most important, in the online domain it's up to reader to decide. An interview with Michael Kinsley on journalism in the digital age. A free press is wasted on us -- it is needed most where corruption is rampant. And who is the most influential commentator in China? Or the most powerful voice in Iran? Or Britain? FT foreign correspondents give their picks
[May 19] From Canada, a new biography asserts that Pierre Trudeau was a fascist sympathizer in his youth. From Israel, a decision by the Supreme Court has reignited the Jewish state's debate about how it should keep itself Jewish. From Denmark, the government is spending millions for bridges and tunnels to connect the Faroe Islands. But with fewer than 50,000 people on the north Atlantic achipelago, many in Copenhagen aren't happy. From Chad, Idriss Deby wins third term as opposition cries foul. From the Dominican Republic, reform rewarded: More power for an effective president, Leonel Fernandez. The battle for Latin America's soul is a fight between democrats and populists. An article on West Papua’s forgotten asylum seekers. The return to war in Sri Lanka makes it essential that the international community helps create a new peace process from the ashes of the old. A look at why Gaddafi's now a good guy. Three official reports into the July 2005 bombings suggest that Britain's establishment is evading the connection between the attacks and the Iraq war. Rep. Jack Murtha warns that the details of a reported massacre in Iraq last year will prove "a very bad thing" for the US. The widow of a Wiccan soldier killed in Afghanistan threatens to sue over a memorial plaque. The real reason Karl Rove is scared: The Christian right is moving left. Stymied in Washington, environmentalists cultivate Republican allies on the farm. Who isn't a "values voter"? George Will wants to know. Why did Luttig quit? How Bush alienated one of his most compliant judges. Former Bush campaign official James Tobin is sentenced to prison. What was Abu Ghraib guard Jennifer Scala thinking when she brought the book Cunt into the courtroom? Todd Gitlin looks back at the creation of Open Democracy. More on Where the Truth Lies: trust and morality in PR and journalism. And an editor at The New Republic on how to write an op-ed
[May 18] From Brazil, the wave of assaults in São Paulo by a sophisticated crime organisation exposes the absence of legitimate authority for millions of citizens. From United Arab Emirates, welcome to the city of other people's dreams: Dubai has emerged as the Arabian Gulf's premier commercial hub. From Germany, head of the Axel Springer publishing empire Mathias Döpfner answers a speech by media magnate Rupert Murdoch. An article on the Ayaan Hirsi Ali case: "Voltaire and Erasmus are spinning in their graves". The EU accepts Slovenia's bid to join the euro zone, but rejects Lithuania, and will consider whether Romania and Bulgaria are ready to join in January 2007. Getting to Europe through Morocco has become much more difficult. Now, African refugees have turned to Mauritania, and the dangerous ocean journey to the Canary Islands. Why are the countries of sub-Saharan Africa the poorest in the world? From The Nation, an article on using soccer to kick Iran. Does Sen. Clinton have a secret plan for war in Iraq? From Harper's, an article on Dick Cheney, Dove: The Vice President’s changing tune. Is Bush a lunatic? Molly Ivins speculates. As the Republican Party abandons its commitment to small government, how politically impotent are libertarians? Democrats can't have it both ways. They can't say that Bush's actions are egregious, and then say that censure for those actions is beyond the pale. The Democratic Party should stop pandering to the South's most conservative elements. Markos Moulitsas and Stuart Stevens debate Politics Lost: "The media is to blame, too". From Slate, Jack Shafer on auto-editorial stimulation and the magazine anniversary problem. What does an editor do, exactly? A new report finds that people under 35 get the majority of international and national news from Web portals. Can a computer read you like a book? And The Da Vinci Decoy: A look at Sony Pictures' strategy to co-opt the Christian critics
[May 17] From Comoros, Iran-trained Islamic leader Ahmed Abdullah Mohamed Sambi wins the presidency. From Iraq, is that "Freedom Radio"? Well, turn it up. The Moroccan model is a beacon of hope in the Islamic world. The parched conditions in the Kenya - Somalia - Ethiopia borderlands are devastating the lives of Turkana and Oromo herders. From The Globalist, an article on 12 common poverty traps, some of which are deliberately set by the rich to ensnare the poor; and a look at how to help the poor out of poverty. Columbia's Edmund Phelps on subsidies that save. Ground rules for research: Technology won't help developing countries if it is not tailored to local needs. Costas Kyriakou is promising Cypriot voters Utopia--and that means sex. Pierre-Andre Michaud, chief of Adolescent Health at Lausanne, dismisses the idea widely held in the US that sex constitutes risky behavior for teens. New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves, and to be treated by the health care system, as pre-pregnant. Bush has been criticized for being verbally challenged, but a new rhetorical analysis of the Bush White House argues that he and his colleagues have demonstrated an impressive facility with the language. Why do parties field flawed candidates? Building a better doghouse: Mainstream liberals take on the media. Bloggers speculating over Rove's indictment underscore how the net's reporting dynamics provide grist for the rumor mill. Condoleezza Rice picks her ten top musical favorites for Bono's newspaper. Forty years ago, on May 16, 1966, American rock music grew up. A blond walks into a blog: Daryl Hannah makes a splash with her new eco-blog. Who knows what the next big fashion hit will be? Coolhunters know. And who was the original Aunt Jemima and what did she do?
[May 16] From Canada, the Green Party is about to go through a major shake-up that could have quite an impact on the unstable federal scene. From Germany, optimists are idiots: Nobody can beat the Germans when it comes to pessimism. And forget about being happy: here it's merely a sign of stupidity. From the Netherlands, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is planning to resign from her elected office and leave for the US. The Washington Post interviews Gordon Brown. When did the English stop being real men? A woman is pregnant with Britain’s first designer baby selected to prevent an inherited cancer. Britain's left-wing aristocracy greet their hero Chavez: He is a populist, not a socialist, but the people of Venezuela deserve better; and he is a threat because he offers the alternative of a decent society. From The Atlantic Monthly, Franklin Foer on The Talented Mr. Chavez. Can a Westerner understand the Russian people's love of strong leaders? It only seems normal, but what does the Kremlin want in Chechnya? The U.S.-Soviet nuclear rivalry was scary enough. Now imagine a world with multiple atomic antagonists. From Counterpunch, Mickey Z on why impeachment is too good for Bush; and capital punishment for gays? That's the battle cry of G.I. Jesus. Kevin Phillips on God's Own Party. Some of President Bush's most influential conservative Christian allies are becoming openly critical of the White House. Republicans seek to revive their activists with a focus on court nominees and social issues. Robert Kutner on why Hillary Rodham Clinton ought to be ashamed for cozying up to the right. A scientific inquiry on Richard Cohen: Is he funny? Is he courageous? A profile of Helen Thomas, the veteran White House correspondent who terrorises presidents. An interview with investigative journalist Murray Waas. A review of David Remnick's Reporting: Writings From The New Yorker. The personalized newspaper was dreamed up two decades ago, but we're getting closer and closer. Research finds young Americans' political views are negatively impacted by watching the popular " The Daily Show with Jon Stewart". And an interview with Metta Spencer, author of Two Aspirins and a Comedy: How Television Can Enhance Health and Society
[May 15] From France, a look at the murky mix of school and scandal; the bestseller The President's Tragedy breaks a taboo by exposing Jacques Chirac's private life; and could Ségolène Royal, a 52-year-old mother of four, be the next president? From Pakistan, an article on a new chapter of the capitalist narrative; and General Pervez Musharraf is now the Karl Popper of the Islamic world. Many Muslims now hope for the restoration of the Caliphate. Could this actually occur? Lithuanian political scientist Raimundas Lopata says Kaliningrad can be detached from Russia. With Russia's population shrinking, will cash incentives work? The data would say: Not quite. Is Bosnia a single country or an apple of discord? Timothy Garton Ash argues that the EU will be neither a federal superstate nor the plaything of its powerful nations. As energy-rich countries feel empowered by high oil prices, they are increasingly using the power of the pipeline to make their influence felt. From Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria on the real story of pricey oil. A review of Blue State Blues: How a Cranky Conservative Launched a Campaign and Found Himself the Liberal Candidate (and Still Lost). Jewish and Latino Democrats have long stood on common ground. But tensions are starting to show between old-line liberals and conservative newcomers. Is it really in the best interest of the Democratic Party to win control of the House and Senate in November? An interview with Ned Lamont, the man who's gunning for Joe Lieberman. It's all relatives: With their spouses or siblings termed out, wives, a husband and brothers are vying to keep the legislative seat in the family. Ana Marie Cox on why Congressmen are such easy marks. Researchers writing in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease have concluded that half the presidents in US history suffered from mental illness. And presidents often lean on intellectuals for advice. But history says that's not always so smart
From TNR, an interview with
Peter Beinart on The Good Fight.
An interview with Penn's
Ian Lustick, author of Trapped in the War On
The Last Orientalist: An article on
Bernard Lewis at 90.
Asia Times' Spengler
reviews Londonistan. From Seed,
the US sends pollution to Europe; they send it to Asia.
But what happens when China starts sending more to the US?
Do we know what's happening with global warming or don’t we? It seems like everyone knows—the news
is out, the science corroborates our senses, until it seems impossible not to
know—but we refuse to believe it.
An interview with
Al Gore on global warming (and
more), and all that buzz invites the question: Will he audition again for
President? And what
does he think of Bush?: An interview
with Jonathan Freedland. From Brainwash, now that many conservatives are looking again at their movement
and asking where did it go wrong?, they should consider James Burnham's
A look at
what the American Right must do to keep this Presidency from imploding.
One way to come to terms with the Bush administration is to
understand the US as a society in the grip of four fundamentalisms.
Evangelical Christianity, the
largest and most powerful mass movement in the nation, has set out
to destroy secular society.
Stanley Kurtz on
why you can't have both polygamy and
The Marriage Protection Amendment remains
as unwise substantively as when it first came up in 2004. Since then,
moreover, the case for its necessity has disintegrated. An essay on
the unfortunate side effects of religious pressures to marry too soon.
Twenty years since the infamous "terrorist" line,
states of unions aren't what Newsweek predicted they'd be.
From The Wilson Quarterly, a
comment on "Conservatives, Liberals, and Medical Progress" in The New
Atlantis; and a comment on a
debate on health care in Boston Review. Is medical research
targeting the wrong diseases?
And a sample chapter
from Dispelling the Myths of Abortion History
Richard E. Redding (Villanova): Adult
Punishment for Juvenile Offenders: Does It Reduce Crime?
A review of
The Stoic Life: Emotions, Duties, and Fate.
A review of
Efficace: Études sur la philosophie de l'action
A review of
The Birth of Europe by Jacques Le Goff.
Among the Dead
Cities by AC Grayling.
Spellbound: the improbable story of English spelling exults in the 1,500-year
history of the culture of the English-speaking
A review of
Roger Scruton's Gentle Regrets. Britain's largest lecturers' union
votes for a
boycott of Israeli lecturers and academic institutions, and
What did Ben Kessler say to
incite hysteria at a University of St. Thomas crowd and compel an
official apology from the president of his Catholic university?
This course may make you uncomfortable:
How do you say "gutter" in Bulgarian? An article on
how to tell if you are a problem researcher.
The science of desire:
As more companies refocus squarely on the consumer, ethnography and its
proponents have become star players.
to A Free Nation Deep in Debt: The Financial Roots of
Democracy. From Edge,
Jaron Lanier on digital
Maoism and the hazards of the new online collectivism.
Across the globe,
politicians are embracing open-source software, but it may disappoint
those with outsized hopes (and more on
Crashing the Gate).
Does Meg love Jason? An article on
the fate of a pioneering blog couple.
It appears to be dawning on the geniuses of TV journalism that
the way they used to do news at the nets was kinda smart.
Serendipity casts a very wide net:
It is no accident the web does a lot to promote chance discovery.
And from Smithsonian, scientists are only now beginning to decipher
the intriguing clues left behind by people who lived in the Grand Canyon more than 8,000 years ago;
and seventeen years after its fall, the barrier that divided East and West still casts a long, menacing shadow
[May 30] From Cambridge University Press, the introduction to Order and Anarchy: Civil Society, Social Disorder and War; the introduction to The Logic of Violence in Civil War; the introduction (by Jon Elster) to Retribution and Reparation in the Transition to Democracy; and the introduction to Human Rights in International Relations. A review of books on the French Revolution. Listen to a podcast of Duncan Ivison from University of Sydney on the concept of freedom. A review of Why Truth Matters. An article on the art of the book review. Cathy Young on Todd Gitlin and the collapse of reason in academia. A grading strike at British universities is sending ambitious students a clear message: apply to Harvard. What PhD students really have to fear. From Reason, is genetic modification of people moral? Ronald Bailey investigates. Statistics are used for everything from advertising shampoos to political arguments over health spending. But how much do we understand about what they mean? From Sign and Sight, Russian-born author Wladimir Kaminer tells the Survival Bible about the strangely warm welcome he received in Germany in 1990. Is the lifting of library fines long overdue? And mightier than the sword, and now with a parabolic ink window! The passion for pens in a digital age
[May 29] Daniel Esty (Yale): Good Governance at the Supranational Scale: Globalizing Administrative Law. Brian Leiter (UT-Austin): Why Tolerate Religion? A new issue of Borderlands is out, on the theme Gandhi, Nonviolence and Modernity, including Debjani Ganguly (ANU): Convergent Cosmopolitics in the Age of Empire: Gandhi and Ambedkar in World History; a review of Political Reconciliation; and a review of The Culture of Exception: Sociology Facing the Camp. The introduction to Aristotle and the Rediscovery of Citizenship. A review of Rousseau's Dog (and more and more). A review of Adam Smith and the Pursuit of Perfect Liberty. A review of Passionate Minds. More on Gordon Wood's Revolutionary Characters. An interview with Simon Schama on Rough Crossings (and a review). The introduction to The Unfinished Peace after World War I: America, Britain and the Stabilisation of Europe, 1919–1932. An article on historian Richard Hofstadter's enduring appeal. An article on The Society for Military History: A report from the front. The introduction to The Past as Prologue: The Importance of History to the Military Profession. The University of Chicago Law School loses profs to rival institutions. A review of Excellence Without a Soul: How a Great University Forgot Education. A comment on "A Decade of Effort", "A Second Front" and "National Standards" in Education Week’s Quality Counts 2006. From The New York Times Book Review, a special issue on Food, including a review of Peter Singer's The Way We Eat (and more). From The Stanford Review, an article on Promoting Science and Useful Arts: The Growth of Copyright Since 1976. Scientists and thinkers focus their attention on cosmic questions, from the monumental to the infinitesimal: A review of books. Scientists prefer evolutionary explanations for animal behavior. How an animal may be consciously experiencing his or her world is generally reserved for after-hours chats. A review of Stephen Jay Gould's The Richness of Life. The revelation that RD Laing used to treat Sean Connery has reawakened interest in the controversial, LSD-prescribing psychiatrist. The first chapter from Psychology and the Natural Law of Reparation. And Douglas Coupland on how we each have an internet alter ego, why irony is America's last hope and why he worries about the lonely lives of sea containers
[Weekend 2e] Potpourri: From Salon, a new Web site allows you to borrow money from strangers in cyberspace. It may even free you from credit card debt and the usurers at the local payday loan center. Disintermediation? Bah to a Buzzword: This digital life is full of middlemen. An interview with John Derbyshire, author of Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra. The point of the pyramid: It is the Egyptians’ mysterious spirituality, as much as scientific genius, that inspires awe today. Research finds stereotypically 'black-looking' criminals more likely to get death sentence, your name can lead to housing discrimination, and differences in sexual desire can be attributed to genetic variances. An interview with Peter Singer on animal rights. From The American Prospect, since 1998, New York’s Working Families Party has been that rare thing: a third party that doesn’t run spoilers and has real-world impact. Now, the party is testing the waters beyond the Empire State. And from The Wilson Quarterly, a comment on "Of Polls, Mountains: U.S. Journalists and Their Use of Election Surveys" in Public Opinion Quarterly, a comment on "Public Images of Political Parties: A Necessary Evil?" in West European Politics, and a comment on "The Truth About Term Limits" in Governing
[Weekend] Ethan Leib (UC) and David Ponet (Columbia): Citizen Representation and the American Jury. A review of Paul Ricoeur's The Course of Recognition. A review of Songs of Experience: Modern American and European Variations on a Universal Theme. A review of Bonaparte à la conquête de l'Egypte. A review of Edward Said's On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain. (and more). From Reason, an article on the weird movement to boycott Israeli academics. The federal appeals court in Atlanta declines to rule on the constitutionality of controversial Cobb County evolution disclaimers. Stopping Suicide 101: The dilemma of college students who threaten to kill themselves. More liberal arts colleges do away with SAT requirements, making them options. Teach For America sees record number of applicants, and is becoming more competitive than many top law schools. Are libraries taking advantage of the increasing digitisation of antiquarian books to sell off their valuable stock? Loiterature, following in the footsteps of someone famous, has become a popular literary form: A review of books. Michael Fishwick knows both sides of the story about the cut-throat book industry. The overwhelmingly liberal trade managed to make time for conservatives during BookExpo America. An article on a spate of books that have collectively been dubbed "lad lit", the male riposte to "chick lit". Just asking: What do Page Six veterans think they can do for literature? From Seed, seven sites across the globe facing radical alteration due to climate change. A new superbug, Clostridium difficile, is stalking the world. Mouse finding violates laws of heredity: RNA may itself pass traits down through the generations. Rhythm method criticised as a killer of embryos. How two philosophers and a farmer cracked an age-old conundrum: It was the egg that came first, not the chicken, according to a study of the poultry pecking order. And the loyalty of football fans and their willingness to pay high prices to support their club is the subject of new research
[May 26] From a new initiative called The International Political Theory Beacon (most links will lead to articles available for free temporarily), Daniel Weinstock (Montreal): The Real World of (Global) Democracy; Whitley Kaufman (UMass-Lowell): What’s Wrong with Preventive War? The Moral and Legal Basis for the Preventive Use of Force; Iris Marion Young (Chicago): Responsibility and Global Justice: A Social Connection Model; Allen Buchanan (Duke): Institutionalizing the Just War; and a debate at Philosophy and Public Affairs on Thomas Nagel's "The Problem of Global Justice" with responses by A. J. Julius and Joshua Cohen and Charles Sabel. A new issue of The New Atlantis is out, including Eric Cohen (EPPC): Biotechnology and the Spirit of Capitalism; Jonathan B. Tucker and Raymond A. Zilinskas (CNS): The Promise and Perils of Synthetic Biology; a review of Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell; a review of When Computers Were Human; and an essay on Jules Verne: Father of Science Fiction? Harvard's Susanna Siegel says consciousness determines perception. What mind–body problem? A look at why understanding consciousness may be easier than we thought. Why your mind has a mind of its own: Recent discoveries about the human brain are leading to new understandings about how we make decisions. On his 150th anniversary, Freud's legacy is being dismantled by the ideas of his greatest challenger, Aaron Beck. From Great Britain. employers need highly skilled social science PhDs. Brent Staples an why American college students hate science. The move to a teaching position at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown by Douglas Feith sets off a faculty kerfuffle. Is speech on campus after 9/11 less free than it used to be? And from American Daily, the New School for Social Research was founded in 1918 with the emphasis on the word social, as in socialism, by John Dewey, James Robinson, and Charles A. Beard
[May 25] Ilan Saban (Haifa): Minority Rights in Deeply Divided Societies: A Framework for Analysis and the Case of the Arab-Palestinian Minority in Israel. Caroline Anne Forell (Oregon): Gender Equality, Social Values and Provocation Law in the United States, Canada and Australia. A new issue of Philosophy Now is out, including an editorial, an essay on the place of medical ethics within bioethics and in relation to philosophy; is ethics a science? Massimo Pigliucci finds out; an article on Xenotransplantation: For and against; a review of Choosing Children; a review of Terry Eagleton's After Theory; here's a moral moment; and some philosophy news. Thomas Nagel reviews (scroll down) Michael Sandel's Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics (and a response at Political Affairs). A review of Concepts and Reality in the History of Philosophy: Tracing a Philosophical Error from Locke to Bradley. A look at how conflicting opinion is what drives scientific advance. From The Mises Institute, an article on economics and its ethical assumptions. Biographer Stacy Schiff has won the second annual George Washington Book Prize for A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America. An article on a meeting in Washington on The University and the Jewish Community. Harvard prof Vincent Cannato reflects on the hollowness of higher ed. A speaker at St. Thomas calls use of the pill "selfish", prompting some shocked students to walk out on their own graduation. From CT, a review of Daniel Dennett's Breaking The Spell. From the Voice Literary Supplement, Chain Reaction: Do bookstores have a future? Up the lazy creek: The more things change, the more they're not the same. From Knowledge @ Wharton, do statistics tell the entire story? Managers must make effective use of the numbers they generate. Here are five tips to help ensure that you can rely on the numbers. And research finds if all drivers were polite, they would get where they're going faster
[May 24] From Dissent, Susan Jacoby questions Michael Kazin's call for a left-wing moral revivalism and a response by Kazin; an essay on Hurricane Katrina and Robert Kennedy; and a review of Ira Katznelson's When Affirmative Action Was White. A review of Gordon Wood's Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different. A review of The Inverted Mirror: Mythologizing the Enemy in France and Germany, 1898-1914. A review of John Martin Fischer's My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility. From Economic Principals, a review of The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information; an article on Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht and Other Citizens of the Twentieth Century; a look at four new specimens of economic journalism; and the AEA authorizes the creation of four new topical journals. From Metapsychology, a review of John Searle's Mind: A Brief Introduction; a review of Other Minds: How Humans Bridge the Divide between Self and Others; a review of Is Human Nature Obsolete? Genetics, Bioengineering, and the Future of the Human Condition; a review of Liberal Eugenics: In Defence of Human Enhancement; and a review of Taboo Subjects: Race, Sex, and Psychoanalysis. From Edge, an interview with Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness. From New Scientist, here are 13 things that do not make sense. One good use for avian flu would be the destruction of pigeons. But, what's the likelihood of that? Computers fly our airliners and run most of the world's banking, communications, retail and manufacturing systems. Now powerful analysis tools will at last help software engineers ensure the reliability of their designs. No one would accuse Bill Maher of selling out. Maybe just of taking a vacation. Many a guest has Bill O’Reilly intimidated. Dave Frohnmayer, president of the University of Oregon, however, was neither a guest nor intimidated. And here's New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.'s graduation address at SUNY New Paltz
[May 23] Martin Stone (Leuven): Positivism as Opposed to What? Law and the Moral Concept of Right pdf. From The Huffington Post, New School student Jean Rohe on why she spoke up against Senator John McCain during commencement; top McCain aide Mark Salter insults entire college graduating class; a response by Rohe; more by Matthew Cooper of Time (and more); and here's McCain's speech. Public vs. Private: An article on rethinking the debate after the Duke scandal. Cathy Young on the absurd overregulation of sexual conduct on campus. More on Diana York Blaine, USC's topless professor. Dirty Old Women: Teenage boys have always lusted after attractive teachers, but what happens when the teachers lust after the boys? The male obsession with size appears to be universal: Sexual ornaments – such as antlers or a peacock's feathery display – become disproportionately large as body size increases. Peter Singer on the Great Ape Debate, and an interview on animal liberation and more. One animal rights advocate visits Quantico to bridge the gap between activists and the government. Did she name names? From Discover, Megadeath in Mexico: Epidemics followed the Spanish arrival in the New World, but the worst killer may have been a shadowy native, a killer that could still be out there. Here's a pricey way to determine health risks: 250 blood tests at once. Pending legislation could require all government research to be freely available to the public that funded it. The Universe Before It Began: Scientists use quantum gravity to describe the universe before the Big Bang. From Australia, an article on teaching happiness, not dogma. A review of Stumbling on Happiness, The Happiness Hypothesis and Happiness: A History. Mahzarin Banaji can show how we connect "good" and "bad" with biased attitudes we hold, even if we say we don't. Especially when we say we don't. David Gray is a million-selling rocker. John Gray is a respected academic. Other than a shared surname, what is it that draws David to John? And from B&W, of Professorial Pimps and Humanist Harlots: A new form of superstition blends historical implausibility with a modern passion for intrigue and a postmodern indifference to truth
[May 22] From The Longevity Meme, an article on Why Cryosuspension Makes Sense (and part 2). A review of books on bioethics. A look at why people are so bad at predicting what will make them feel good. More on Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. Animal rights protesters are right on one thing: there's no middle way on drug testing. More on Horse: How the Horse Has Shaped Civilizations. From Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, a review of Vagueness in Context. More on Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. A review of Passionate Minds: The Great Enlightenment Love Affair. Forced to learn Greek at 3: it's no wonder Mill hated authority. From UCLA, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi draws wild applause and a few taunts at a speech. More on Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West. From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on architecture; and at the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson's original campus is sacred ground. Does that mean you can't build something modern near it? Carlin Romano reviews What Good Are the Arts? by John Carey. Orson Welles's politics landed him in all sorts of trouble. But they are the key to understanding the film-maker. Let's face it: Ours is an era of rampant TMI (Too Much Information) and chronic "oversharing", as if being seen from the outside were not enough. More on The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You'll Never Read. Michael Powell's daughter, Emily, will be transitioning into the leadership role of the Northwest icon, Powell's Books, in Portland. In a market dominated by the big chain stores, if a novel doesn't sell well in its first two weeks, its chances of gaining longer-term momentum are slim. Most mall visitors probably wouldn't expect to find a giant Möbius strip, particularly one disguised as a public bench, sprawled across a courtyard. From Canada, social sciences' serious image problem: Academics will soon gather to hear papers on such topics as "doorology" and "the sock in society". And on that note, check out the webpage for the International Journal of Motorcycle Studies
[Weekend 2e] Book reviews: From Law & Politics Book Review, a review of Law, Culture, and Ritual: Disputing Systems in Cross-Cultural Context; a review of Confronting Sexual Harassment: The Law and Politics of Everyday Life; a review of Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why; a review of Borrowing Constitutional Designs: Constitutional Law in Weimar Germany and The French Fifth Republic; a review of Debt’s Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America; and a review of The Judicial Process: Realism, Pragmatism, Practical Reasoning and Principles. A review of Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution. A review of The People's State: East German Society from Hitler to Honecker. A review of Don't Mention the War: The British and the Germans Since 1890. A review of Dusty Warriors: Modern Soldiers at War. A review of On the Road to Kandahar: Travels Through Conflict in the Islamic World. And a review of Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico by Claudio Lomnitz
[Weekend] Matt Zwolinski (San Diego): Sweatshops, Choice, and Exploitation. Jailed Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo on going beyond the clash of intolerances. A review of The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society. A review of The Gospel of Judas from Codex Tchacos. A review of Theological Bioethics: Participation, Justice, Change. A review of Language: A Biological Model. New research hints that our ape brethren may share our ability to think ahead. An interview with Christof Koch, author of The Quest for Consciousness. A C Grayling reviews Rousseau's Dog. From The Atlantic Monthly, most of management theory is inane. If you want to succeed in business, don’t get an MBA--study philosophy instead. From BBC, " The Simpsons" is more than a funny cartoon, it reveals truths about human nature that rival the observations of great philosophers from Plato to Kant... while Homer sets his house on fire. Thoroughly modern Mill: Roger Scruton on a utilitarian who became a liberal--but never understood the limits of reason. So, six things made the west great but now civilisation is 'drifting' towards suicide. In 42 years, Stuart Jeffries will prove that's wrong. The human side of math: Astrophysicist Mario Livio explains why we should care about natural symmetry. How come scientists are famous in Asia, and we get Kevin Federline? From Slate, why is Beloved beloved? After all the plaudits, it's time to look at the novel's merits. From Der Spiegel, in sex positive Germany, millions of teens first learn the ins and outs of flirting, falling in love and having sex in a wildly popular column in Bravo magazine. "Dr. Sommer" has been teaching kids how to do it since 1969. And at just 21, Turkish German singer Muhabbet is the new pop icon of Germany's immigrant youth
[May 19] Ingrid Creppell (GWU): The Liberal Democratic Enemy. A new afterword of Why People Obey the Law. John Gray reviews Martha Nussbaum's Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership. From Bookforum, Robert Boyton reviews Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography and The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual. Kenan Malik reviews Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain by Stefan Collini. A review of The Progressive Era and Race: Reform and Reaction, 1900–1917. A review of The Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism. From Human Events, a list of the Top 10 Conservative Colleges. From Writ, a look at how the push for religious consensus is putting academic freedom at risk. Who’s in charge of Catholic colleges? Tensions exist over actual lines of authority. From Harvard Magazine, a review of The Chosen by Jerome Karabel. UCLA's law dean Michael H. Schill on why UC profs aren't overpaid--they require market prices. An article on Mars and Venus in the classroom. A look at Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement. A review of How Language Works. Research suggests gossip creates friendships, it does not break them. New research suggests "hobbit" Homo floresiensis was not a new species but a modern human with a pathological condition (and more). Retired pathologist Frank González-Crussí says we have more than one body. From Australia, a profile of Raimond Gaita, the philosopher and writer who finds much light amid the dark.A review of Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences. The summary of a paper on Unhappiness After Hurricane Katrina. From TLS, a review of books on marital happiness. And from New Statesman, a review of The Secrets of Happiness, A Brief History of Happiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: self-control and well-being in the United States and Britain since 1950; and a cover story on heroes of our time: the top 50
[May 18] Kaushik Basu (Cornell): Labor Regulation in a Globalizing World pdf. Norman Daniels (Harvard): Global Health Inequalities: A Matter of Justice? pdf. Oren Gazal-Ayal (Haifa): Economic Analysis of Law and Economics. From PUP, the first chapter from Beyond Individual Choice: Teams and Frames in Game Theory; and the first chapter from The Structure and Dynamics of Networks. A review of Consciousness and Mind. A review of The Origin and Evolution of Cultures. A review of Postcolonial Approaches to the European Middle Ages: Translating Cultures Series. From TLS, where Edward Said was wrong: A review of For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies; and Robert Conquest reviews Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union. From Salon, a review of Rebecca Goldstein, author of Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. Enough with Da Vinci Code already! Scott McLemee champions Athanasius Kircher, a Renaissance man whose time has come. Science and the First Amendment: If you can lie about science and get away with it, you can lie about anything. Our human ancestors were still interbreeding with their chimp cousins long after first splitting from the chimpanzee lineage. Ancient Etruscans are unlikely ancestors of modern Tuscans, statistical testing reveals. From The Chronicle, an article on the value of teaching from a racist classic, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Whatever happened to Ward Churchill? (and more on truth and consequences) From New York Observer, if hypocrisy and doublethink were Olympic events, New York’s academic community would be awash with gold medals; and Lila Azam Zanganeh represents a curious phenomenon in the New York literary world: the intellectualite, a person with highbrow aspirations who attends enough parties to make David Patrick Columbia’s head whirl. And from Spain, Pedro Almodovar is awarded the Prince of Asturias prize
[May 17] From Open Democracy, an article on the meaning of philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo’s arrest. Esprit launches a petition for his release, signed by Lefort, Negri, and Rorty, among others (and more). A review of The Undiscovered Wittgenstein: The Twentieth Century's Most Misunderstood Philosopher. A review of Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind. A review of Critical Resistance: From Poststructuralism to Post-Critique. A review of Adorno and the Political. An article on how drug experiments illuminated Walter Benjamin's thinking. A review of The Enlightenment and the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Culture. A review of Conspicuous Criticism: Tradition, the Individual, and Culture in Modern American Social Thought. A review of Toward a Global Community of Historians: The International Historical Congresses and the International Committee of Historical Sciences, 1898-2000. A review of A History of Public Law in Germany 1914-1945. More an more on Jaroslav Pelikan. Does your life lack meaning? Dig up a grave: One-issue fanatics get their kicks from feeling morally superior while doing evil. Irrational capuchins and humans are both more scared of losing than economics would suggest. Brain imaging sheds new light on moral decision making. An interview with Michael Stebbins, author of Sex, Drugs & DNA: Science's Taboos Confronted. Diane Ravitch on how PC textbooks full of skewed history. Despite the opposition of publishers and their lawyers, the world's texts are being electronically copied, digitized, searched and linked. And everything we thought we knew about books is going to change. What are independent bookstores really good for? Tyler Cowen says, "Not much". And here's a webpage where you can buy philosophy t-shirts
[May 16] From The Philosophers' Magazine, Simon Critchley on Fear and Fantasy; a debate on The Righteousness of Blasphemy; a review of The Spiritual Dimension: Religion, Philosophy and Human Value; an interview with Ted Honderich on torture and regicide; and an essay on The Tyranny of Common Sense. A review of Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification. A review of Why Truth Matters by Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom. From Sign and Sight, are there British intellectuals? Are they better than the rest? Or do they just happen to be speaking the right language at the right time in the history of public debate? From Inside Higher Ed, an article on the exhausting job of teaching. Obituary: Yale theologian Jaroslav Pelikan. Debating the Fundamentals: More on the professors who left Patrick Henry College in rift. From Le Monde diplomatique, articles on Britain’s academic underclass and France’s precarious graduates. Rebecca Solnit, author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost, puts a little glow in the air, a little bounce in the step in a commencement speech at Berkeley. India's top-ranking B-schools are at a crossroads. More on Identity and Violence. Meet Amartya Sen and his rapper son, Kabir. They are political messengers via different media. The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences holds a session on the theme "Vanishing Youth? Solidarity with Young People in an Age of Turbulence." From Nextbook, Baruch Spinoza inspired Rebecca Goldstein. So why is she out to betray him? An article on Emilie du Châtelet, the scientist that history forgot. The new Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex at MIT brings scientists closer to solving the mystery of the mind, while questions about the nature of the soul have long sparked heated religious debate. A review of Sean Carroll's Endless Forms Most Beautiful. Was Columbus really Italian? A DNA discovery could rewrite 500 years of history. Archaeologists have found an ancient stone structure in a remote corner of the Amazon. Go bananas while you still can. The fourth most important food crop of any sort is in deep trouble. And why things end badly with asparagus: An article on the science of the unique properties of a popular spring vegetable
[May 15] Notes from the Anglosphere: Fifty years ago, in The Power Elite, C. Wright Mills called the idea that public opinion still guided political life a "fairy tale." There is a certain mystique to Richard Hofstadter, a historian who saw the future. Russell Jacoby's Picture Imperfect is as good an example as any of the new breed of books on utopias. Intellectual heavyweights: and moral reasoning: A review of Gertrude Himmelfarb's The Moral Imagination. A review of The Last Days of the Renaissance. A review of The English Civil War: A people's history (and more). A review of Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World. A review of Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution. A review of Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by Gordon Wood. A review of Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation. A review of Victoria's Wars: The Rise of Empire (and more). A review of Disraeli: The Victorian Dandy Who Became Prime Minister. Thuggery, buggery, hunger and war: A review of Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism, Speaking for England, and Haw-Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret Joyce. Carlin Romano reviews AC Grayling's Among the Dead Cities. A review of Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a "Desk Murderer". A review of Britain's Power Elites: The Rebirth of Ruling Class (and more). From Australia, Treasury, that dour bastion of selfless public service, has trained its eyes on the Nobel Prize for Economics. A hot paper muzzles Harvard: Controversial "Jewish lobby" paper raises nary a peep on the cowed campus (and fury as Israeli writer AB Yehoshua criticises US Jews). A hard year for college presidents is ending. And a clash of ideas at evangelical college: Five of Patrick Henry's 16 faculty members leave over its mission and curriculum