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South Korea's quiet harmonizer, Ban
Ki-Moon, leading the race, the election campaign for the UN's next Secretary General is the
most transparent in history, but the politics are as murky as ever.
of The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power by James
Traub. Who is maddest, Hungary's
foul-mouthed, lying prime minister or
his nationalist enemies with their anti-Semitic pasts? Or any of the
other bitter, anti-western, anti-globalisation parties on the march
across the region?
The reality of Islam and the Republic: A standard riff is developing among the rightwing commentariat in the US when discussing Europe’s 15m
Muslims: they are the potential enemy.
Dick Cheney offers a new, blanket justification of the invasion of Iraq. In responses,
scores of leading legal scholars have sent this open letter to all members of
Behind the NIE: Michael
Scheuer parses the intelligence from the politics. Photo Finish: How
the Abu Ghraib photos morphed from scandal to law.
A meta-read is a better read: The notion that the function of journalists is to explain "the truth" is about as quaint as America's participation in the Geneva Conventions.
And from CJR, a look at how Silvio Berlusconi forged a new power paradigm, echoed today in America and
elsewhere, in which journalism is merely a political weapon; and Siva Vaidahyanthan illuminates the realm of copyright law,
where a riot of new restrictions threaten
creativity, research, and history
[Sep 29] News from around the world: From Canada, former prime minister Paul Martin sets out to refurbish his reputation. From Israel, did women exaggerate in their plea for equality? Are they now being put back into place, being downgraded from business to economy, the class they were deservedly ticketed to in the first place? Centered Right: How Scandanavia's neoliberal parties came to love the welfare state. Romania will join the EU in January 2007. Good news for the millions who will flee west for work, but Bucharest's road is the fruit of an unedifying alliance between corporate businessmen and European leftists that will benefit only a tiny elite. Gypsy communities throughout Europe not only face historic discrimination, but are being pushed out of their living spaces due to ostensible concerns about local environmental damage. More on Murder in Amsterdam. Kazakhstan's oil has made it the leading player in Central Asia, and a welcome visitor to the White House. But economic success doesn't guarantee democracy. Bye-bye poverty: Tanzania is an African country that deserves the money it gets. Who is to control Kurdish oil, and protect it from sabotage? The Kurds say they will; the central government in Baghdad begs to differ. From Al-Ahram, an interview with Paul Kennedy: The great wheel of history is turning against the US. Nuclear succession: Why Egypt's unofficial crown prince has staked his country's claim. From Open Democracy, the leftwing leaders who have come to dominate Latin American politics are the products as well as the agents of history. The social dynamics and the people who elevated them can also sweep them away. This is a key to their future. Love Lula if you're poor, worry if you're not. The world according to Chávez: Venezuela's bid for a UN Security Council seat has divided Latin America. As the Security Council takes up Myanmar for the first time, it would be good to be mindful of Burmese history. And why I should run the UN: Seven candidates for Secretary General respond
[Sep 28] From Bahrain, civil rights activist Abdullah Al Madani fights for his right to party. From Poland, controversial education minister Roman Giertych bears the standard for one side of the cultural divide. From Belarus, Valer Bulhakau, editor of Arche, reports that the Ministry of Information suspended publication of the journal for three months, leaving its future in doubt. From Thailand, banned book The King Never Smiles challenges the saintly image of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The military junta in Myanmar has been trying to bring the Karen ethnic minority under its thumb. This year, the offensive has intensified -- magnifying the ongoing refugee disaster in Southeast Asia. The UN, finally, has decided to pay more attention. The US pushes anti-Castro TV Martí, but is anyone watching? From TNR, this is guerrilla warfare, after all: An essay on protecting Venezuela from imperialist invasion; and a look at why Sen. Lindsey Graham is no maverick. Our Pathetic Congress: Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein on how little has been accomplished, too much will be left hanging and what was done was often done badly. From The New York Observer, Al Gore awakens to the sleeping booty of ’00 donors; the Clintons do well by doing good; Mahmoud and Me: Ahmadinejad’s wild week, by his translator: "I heard you sounded great!; and "Ode to Jews! How I love you groovy chosen people". Do newspapers have a future? Michael Kinsley on how the old medium is missing the bigger questions. Crying "treason": The right goes into hysterics over The New York Times. As the lefty linguist’s most recent book rises to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list, George Scialabba explains why Noam Chomsky’s all that. And an interview with Amy Goodman on Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back
[Sep 27] From Mexico, the distinction between the demand for a fair vote count and the need to redress deeply felt social wrongs has been subsumed into a general movement for fundamental reforms. From Great Britain, modern prime ministers are too busy to read your letter, let alone sign a response. That's where automated signature technology comes in. Diefenbaker would be outraged. An essay on Tony Blair, child of the Hippie Generation. The coup in Thailand is a "14-year backward step", says Southeast Asian politics specialist, but Ismail Wolff's shock at a military coup was not shared by the rest of the country. In In the Line of Fire, Pervez Musharraf expands on North Korean nuclear link. More and more and more on Ian Buruma's Murder in Amsterdam. Anne Applebaum on what we can learn from the Hungarian PM's disastrous slip-up. A look at how conservationists prop up Burma's military regime. Rogue State: Lawbreaker and torturer -- that's America, loud and proud. The FBI is casting a wider net in anthrax attacks, but it's been five years since anthrax killed innocents and fueled America's paranoia. Can we finally incarcerate the obvious suspect? From The American Spectator, a cover story on Rudy Giuliani. He's a killer strategist and nonstop fundraiser, with a style one ally likens to a "toothache." Meet Chicago Congressman Rahm Emanuel, one of the big reasons the Democrats have a shot to retake the house. The Lieberman-Lamont race gets nasty: To the list of historic feuds (Montagues v. Capulets, Hatfields v. McCoys) we can now add another: Gerstein v. Sirota. Media Matters reviews Bill O'Reilly's Culture Warrior. Organized Groping: How adults cuddle up and reveal their innermost secrets -- to complete strangers. Welcome to the Voyeurdome: Will Pink TV's brand of participatory porn be the future of the industry? In a country whose sex shops teem with bunny-shaped toys and whose porn devourers look for the rabbit icon, we who live here know next to nothing about the lagomorpha. Switch yours off for five minutes and Momus will explain why cell phones are the work of the devil. And believe what you will, but remember urban myths don’t make reality
[Sep 26] From France, in 2002, far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen managed 17 percent of the vote. This time around, he may do even better -- partly because of his charismatic, attractive daughter Marine. She's steering the party away from skinheads and toward the French countryside--so, love it or leave it? There have been signs of growing awareness of the scale of racial discrimination and the media's role in encouraging diversity. From Der Spiegel, an interview with Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany: "I Am Not Weakened"; and an interview with Syrian President Bashar Assad: "America Must Listen". Pervez Musharraf's military rule has led to growing Talibanisation and rising al-Qaida influence in Pakistan. As internal opposition to his policies mounts, how long will the United States continue to support him? A look at why Pakistan gets a nuclear pass. Japan needs to rejoin Asia and avoid unleashing its bubbling nationalism under the new hawkish prime minister, Shinzo Abe. Niall Ferguson on the insanity on a global scale. Within days, America will pass the 300 million mark in population. Behind the numbers, the changes are dramatic. A look at the biggest. From Salon, three members of Sen. George Allen's college football team remember a man with racist attitudes at ease using racial slurs (and more from TNR). Is the Chief Justice really a judicial activist? John Roberts, who likened his role to a passive umpire, may want to do more than just enforce the rules. David Remnick on Bill Clinton’s quest to save the world, defend his record on Al Qaeda -- and elect his wife. Who'd have guessed that H.L. Mencken, Baltimore's most celebrated journalist, would end up homeless in his own hometown? NBC draws protests from religious conservatives over the content of two television shows, but for different reasons: For excluding references to God and for possibly including religious imagery. A look at how Reality TV is changing our lives... for the better. From Government Executive, a look at why numbers don't tell much about how well workers perform. Why CEO pay matters: Breakthrough study examines perceptions of fairness and how over- or underpayment cascades to lower organizational levels. And if Karl Marx were alive today he'd be researching a thesis called Football: A Microcosm of Socialist Injustice in Capitalist Society
[Sep 25] From Yemen, leave your guns at home, and vote: The big surprise is that this was a real live election. From Austria, doubts are beginning to creep in about strands of Natascha Kampusch's story. From India, an article on godless Marxists & their ungodly secularism. A review of In Spite of the Gods: the strange rise of modern India. A review of Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation. His Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV reigned over the tiny but complex society of Tonga for 41 years. He deserves to be remembered. An entrepreneur sees green: Sir Richard Branson giving his money away, or investing it? We'll have to accept that development has its price instead of conveniently making others responsible for the environmental degradation. Why the firebrands get heard: My but the lesser nations are getting uppity. Hugo Chavez gave a speech at the UN that Khrushchev or Arafat or Che would admire. License to Misbehave: Why diplomatic immunity is a good thing for everyone. "Islamo-Fascism" had its moment: President Bush uttered it. The world noticed. But where has it gone? President Bush has said he will enforce the letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions. Let's hope he stays true to his word, because if America continues to erode the meaning of the Geneva Conventions, we will cede the ground upon which to prosecute dictators and warlords. Perspectives on the torture debate: Are we really so fearful? Ariel Dorfman wants to know; and dies it work? Edwidge Danticat investigates. When Ken Mehlman took over the Republican Party, his goal was to secure a G.O.P. majority for decades to come. Now he’s just trying to survive November. Howie Rich is the man behind the conservative scheme to undermine legitimate state laws. In the Year of the Gaffe: Everyone keeps saying stupid things. Is it them, or is it the technology? Creepy comb-overs. Macabre toupees. Misadventures in gel. (And that's just the women.) Radar investigates the eight worst trends in congressional coifs. Stop them before they joke again: Why does everyone try to be funny these days? My satirical self: How making fun of absolutely everything is defining a generation. And a review of The Truth, With Jokes by Al Franken
[Weekend 2e] From Canada, Nunavut has passed legislation intended to keep the Inuit language from fading. As southern culture encroaches in the North, it will be a tough fight. From Der Spiegel, the world's largest seed collection is under the permafrost on the Arctic Sea island of Spitzbergen. The tens of thousands of varieties of wheat, corn and beans stored there could even survive a nuclear war. The survival of many crop plant could depend on it. From India's Frontline, back to Gondwanaland: An article on expedition starting in Asia and across the length of Africa by road, in an effort to retrace the long-lost land link between the continents. How climate change became a burning issue: A review of books. A review of The Revenge of Gaia by James Lovelock. More on global warming and the world's vineyards. From Slate, how first-world garbage makes Africans sick, and what Washington can do to clean up its act. A review of High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health; and Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry. A review of Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontiers of Life. And father of American environmentalism John Muir had God, and other man-eaters, on his mind
[Weekend] From Mongolia, the second country to embrace Communism in the 20th century is having a hard time shaking it off in the 21st. Robert Kaplan on how the furor over Kim Jong Il’s missile tests and nuclear brinksmanship obscures the real threat: the prospect of North Korea’s catastrophic collapse. How the regime ends could determine the balance of power in Asia for decades. China marks the Cultural Revolution's anniversary with silence, as the children of the rich learn class, minus the struggle. From Asia Times, a look at why a rising China can't dominate Asia; an article on the new global populism; and a review of Democracy in Iran. Once the most progressive city in the Arab world, Baghdad has been ravaged by war and bombings. Everyone wants out, but not everyone can afford to leave, and car bomb explosions are a daily fact of life. Turkish novelist Elif Shafak was taken to court on charges of "insulting Turkishness." It's a part of the Turkish penal code often used to go after intellectuals. But do the country's politicians have the courage to change it? Sex and the city: A look at Egyptian TV's first sex education programme. Perhaps the most penetrating one-liner in the history of political philosophy is P.J. O'Rourke's observation that government is to life what pantyhose is to sex. The Prime Minister's spouse is photographed in a clinch with a gay MP. Has New Zealand's politics ever sunk so low? Is Germany ready for a gay Chancellor? An article on Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit. Josip, We Hardly Knew Ye: A review of Tito. A look at how Romania's media is a willing partner in the perpetuation of racism, prejudice and discrimination. Is Romania really ready for the EU? From New Statesman, Anthony Giddens assesses the best ideas on offer in Europe; and like Thatcher and Blair before him, David Cameron is emerging as the politician most in tune with his time. Can Gordon Brown catch him? And Christopher Hitchens on Tony Blair's long goodbye
[Sep 22] From Bolivia, the procedural disputes in the body elected to draft a new constitution reflect the country's deep social and regional polarisations. In Chile, nobody talks to Pinochet anymore. In 1980 Jonathan Power travelled to São Paulo to meet Lula, a firebrand trade unionist. Twenty-six years later, a wealthier and more democratic Brazil is preparing to re-elect him to a second presidential term. From Foreign Policy, an interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the multifaith Cordoba Initiative, on the Cross and the Crescent. An article on why the pope's speech in Germany really was outrageous, and on why science was the real target. From Der Spiegel, agriculture offers the first serious alternatives to fossil fuels: Diesel, natural gas, and petroleum could give way in the future to "biomass" energy. As development continues apace, so too do concerns about the farmed fuels' effectiveness; and an interview with President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal: "I don't want money. I want trade agreements". Rodrigo de Rato and Paul Wolfowitz on why it's time to get back to business on Doha. More on The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall. The first chapter from The Next Great Globalization: How Disadvantaged Nations Can Harness Their Financial Systems to Get Rich. Does anybody still care about offshoring? Clay Risen investigates. From Government Executive, little fixes can make a big difference in public satisfaction with government services. Rising weapons price tags cause sticker shock, but it’s escalating personnel costs that are going to cripple the U.S. military. The uses of scare-talk: The Republicans think talking about terrorism can save them from defeat in November. A new poll suggests they may be on to something. Here are three more reasons to hate Congress--as if you needed them! Molly Ivins on the Presidential Three-Year-Old, or the worst press conference in history. There's a desperate fight for control at The Washington Times, and accusations from the staff are flying that the newsroom is run by racist good ole' boys. And Ann Coulter died on Thursday at an apartment leased to Sean Hannity on the Upper West Side
[Sep 21] From Thailand, the new military leaders must move fast to fill the political space created by their overthrow of Thaksin Shinawatra, who isn't much better than the coup. From Hungary, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany is an honest liar. From Sweden, voters say nay to Social Democrats, but "the most successful society the world has ever known" will, alas, survive. We still love the Swedish model: The election turnaround is less of a shift to the right than it appears. What happens to Russia when -- not if -- oil and gas prices begin to retreat? From Prospect, Thatcherism's real triumph: The complaint from the left against Blair is that he missed the chance to push Britain further leftwards. His failure to build a new consensus, plus the collapse in trust over Iraq, means the chance has now gone; from the back streets of Birmingham via Oxford to election as an MP in 2001, Siôn Simon has been at the heart of New Labour. It was never a middle-class coup—it grew from the core of Labour's traditions; and Tony Blair is not the cause of the Labour party's fundamental problems. Their roots go back to constitutional changes made in 1981. James Wood on the men who would be Blair. From The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics, a special issue on Elections and Forecast 2006 (a special kind of registration is required). From GQ, a look at how the frenetic, heated, and borderline-insane race to oust Democratic Senate hawk Joe Lieberman brought new meaning to the term "partisan politics". Quietly, Senate Republicans have already chosen Mitch McConnell as their next leader—because Congress just isn’t partisan enough. Sen. John Cornyn meets the Racist Right's Rockford Institute and Chronicles. Sock Puppet Sinks Pundit: A look at how Lee Siegel's antics made The New Republic into an even bigger joke. A mischievous comment in an internet chatroom for new mothers gets Josephine Wall into hot water. It turns out that the Internet has unleashed the greatest outburst of mass exhibitionism in human history, and it's big business. And going to a gay nightclub shouldn't be an intimidating experience, and could prove to be the most fun straight people have had out in a long time
[Sep 20] From Thailand, Army commander Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin stages a coup and ousts Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra while he was in New York. From Georgia, authorities detain dozens of political activists who they accuse of plotting a coup. From Hungary, what started as a peaceful protest ended with as many as 200 injuries. After a day of preparations, the country is hoping to quell further violence. From Great Britain, Jack Straw argues that The Future of Socialism has vital lessons for Blair, Brown and the government's warring factions; a look at the unholy past of Anjem Choudary, the Muslim cleric demanding the Pope's execution; and Karen Armstrong and Madeleine Bunting on the Pope and ancient prejudices. From NPQ, Tariq Ramadan on the Pope and Islam: The true debate. Is the Pope a Catholic? If the "infallible" Supreme Pontiff is no longer allowed to express certain strong beliefs, what chance is there for the rest of us? Ann Applebaum on why it's time to stop apologizing and start defending freedom of speech. Ralf Dahrendorf on 9/11 and the New Authoritarianism; Ernesto Zedillo on giving globalization a hand; and Richard Falk on the UN after Lebanon. From Carnegie Ethics Online, a look at why democracy cannot be imposed by force. UN-Diplomatic: Bush goes to Turtle Bay—and says nothing. What's behind Bush's new reliance on the United Nations? The US military has created a global network of overseas prisons with 14,000 detainees beyond the reach of established law. From Raw Story, GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss says with better intelligence the South would have won the Civil War. The civic health of the US has steadily declined over the past 30 years, according to the Civic Health Index, the first-ever index of key citizenship measures unveiled by the National Conference on Citizenship. An FBI report finds New York is the safest big city in the US. From New York, an article on The New York Review of Books after Barbara Epstein; and Hipstervangelist Jay Bakker, Tammy Faye's son, lives in Wiliamsburg. And The New York Times appoints Michael Rogers as "Futurist in Residence"
[Sep 19] From Turkmenistan, journalist and rights activist Ogulsapar Muradova is found dead in prison just three weeks after being convicted in a widely denounced trial. From Moldova, voters in the Trans-Dniester region vote in favor of independence from the former Soviet republic and for joining Russia. From Sweden, voters sweep away Goran Persson and the Social Democrats after 12 years of rule in favor of Fredrik Reinfeldt of the Moderate Party. From NPQ, an interview with Rene Girard: "Pope Benedict is right. Christianity is superior." Islam is different: An interview with Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Catholic Church's ecumenical representative. Roman Catholicism's more critical posture toward Islamic fundamentalism could either push Islam toward reform or set off a global "clash of civilizations", or, perhaps, both. Spengler on Jihad, the Lord's Supper, and eternal life. Christopher Hitchens on Joseph Ratzinger's latest offense. Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, the Pope: who's next? The best thing about all those protests against the pope is the fresh outbreak of moronic placards; and was the pope wrong? From Time, an interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; and more from Nat Hentoff. Are we going to attack Iran? Fred Kaplan investigates. Ties to GOP trumped know-how among staff sent to rebuild Iraq: An excerpt from Imperial Life in the Emerald City. A tale of the perversity of the American version of a "free press" in Iraq. Jonathan Chait on Democratic doves and hawks going to war over Iraq. Head-in-the-Sand liberals: Sam Harris on how Western civilization really is at risk from Muslim extremists (and a response). Why is the Bush administration so determined to torture people? Paul Krugman wants to know. A review of Richard Posner's Not a Suicide Pact. Bruce Ackerman on all the reasons to hate Bush's wiretapping bill. And Joan Didion reviews books on Dick Cheney: The fatal touch
[Sep 18] From Greenland, people living close to the Arctic Circle are already adapting to climate change. But even the villagers of Angmagssalik were surprised when the temperature hit a record 25.3C in July. A review of The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic. Touchy subject: What makes a Canadian patriotic? Blind allegiance to our troops and their mission? Or questioning the role and demanding their withdrawal from Afghanistan? Hugo Chávez recommends works by Latin American political theorists and historians and even the occasional North American. The murder of one of Russia’s top bank regulators served as a reminder that even the upper strata of society are not immune from the vicious rules of the Russian street. Has Liberation lost its fight for freedom? France's fiery leftist paper has a banker on board, and the walkouts have begun. A review of Fritz Stern's Five Germanys I Have Known. Kultur über alles: Prewar Germans disdained politics as low-brow. There's a lesson in that mistake. Pope Benedict seemed to have mellowed. But his remarks on Islam have sparked violence and anger. They are typical of the man they once called God’s rottweiler. From The Los Angeles Times, David Rieff on how the United Nations is a mess, but it beats Plan B; James Traub on how Kofi Annan has revalidated and sharpened the UN's role, regardless of his reputation to the contrary; Stephen Schlesinger on why the US shouldn't have an ineffective bully as its UN envoy; and a defense of John Bolton by Jonah Goldberg: "Lighten up". A review of International Social Work: Issues, Strategies and Programmes. Global gun rights? A look at how the National Rifle Association is promoting a universal right to bear arms. John Yoo on how President Bush has a goal broader than even the fight against terrorism: restoring the federal structure. There's a new bad guy in town: Small-town gumshoes are increasingly beating the bushes for gun runners and terrorist cells. And on the secret life of private investigators: When you misrepresent yourself to establish a connection and achieve your real end, you are "pretexting"
[Weekend 2e] From Open Democracy, George Grayson, a Latin America specialist and biographer of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, discusses the personality and politics behind the ongoing drama. Hugo Chávez conveys an image of a leader who wants to defeat the US and eliminate the capitalist system, to accomplish what even Lenin or Stalin could not bring about. From Rabble, what will be the next issue for women in Canada, or the world? Can we call for it to arrive, or can we just keep preparing the ground? Yet another land-claim dispute turns ugly and shines a spotlight on the failure of Canada's policies towards its aboriginal people. A review of Young Trudeau: Son of Quebec, Father of Canada, 1919-1944. A review of Voting for Jesus: Christianity and Politics in Australia. A new issue of Portal is out, on Women in Asia. Can a White House visit shore up a sagging US-South Korea alliance? And Daniel Drezner on the US free trade dilemma: Free or Fair?
[Weekend] From Colombia, gang members in one of the country's most violent cities face an ultimatum: give up guns or give up sex, in what is being called a "strike of crossed legs". From Nigeria, an article on the mannerisms of a democracy. From Great Britain, a husband almost throttles his wife during a heated theological argument triggered by Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ". Tony Blair's friends have turned their attention to the next stage: Looking for cash donations to set up a US-style school of government named after him as part of his political legacy. From The Globalist, with troops now helping to secure Lebanon, are Europeans ready to accept the potential consequences of sending troops and civilians on dangerous missions abroad? Immanuel Wallerstein on the loose cannon of the Middle East. From National Journal, a cohort of US foreign-policy thinkers stood in clear, unequivocal opposition to the Iraq war to the idea of the war, not merely its poor planning. Despite being ignored back then, they are now cobbling together a strategic response to the fix America is in. TNR editors say it's time to wipe out moderate Republicans. Robert Reich offered some free advice to congressional Dems: In the event of a November takeover, think positive and don't waste time going after the GOP. Rep. Barney Frank responds. Molly Ivins remembers Ann Richards. Princeton profs hack Diebold machine. So much for ballot security. Michael Gerson spun the deceit; The Washington Post peddled it. Now they’ll operate under the same roof. The New York Times' legendary bestseller lists have expanded once again to a new category: politics. A review of All Governments Lie: The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone. From Columbia Journalism Review, a review of books about Iran and why Western reporters should re-imagine the country. And nowhere has Al-Jazeera's reporting infuriated governments more than in the Arab world. But despite its success, it has been ineffective politically because its advances have fallen into a void created by the absence of legislative and juridical institutions
From America, a review
of Does American Democracy Still Work? by Alan Wolfe.
The Democracy Alliance is taking a page from the GOP playbook by funding ideas instead of
candidates. If only they could agree on what those ideas are. From NYRB,
Frank Rich reviews The Good
Fight by Peter Beinart, The Plan: Big Ideas for America by Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed,
The Courage of Our Convictions: A Manifesto for Democrats by Gary Hart,
and America Back on Track by Senator Edward Kennedy; more
on The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. A quiet revolt is
brewing among retired
Army and Marine generals like Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who blame an
errant, arrogant civilian leadership at the Pentagon.
Why can't the right let go of Vietnam? Spencer Ackerman
wants to know.
A new issue
of Parameters is out, including an article on the
widening military capabilities gap between the US and Europe: Does
it matter?; a review essay on the Germans and the
exercise of military power; a review
of Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore
(scroll down); and an essay on Bridging the Religious Divide
on the Long War.
of God Won't Save America: Psychosis of a Nation. From Christianity
Today, where we are and how we got here: 50 years ago, evangelicals were a sideshow of American culture. Since then, it's been a long, strange
trip. Here's a look at the influences that shaped the movement (and more).
And a look at how the movie "Jesus Camp" illuminates the
political and religious education of evangelical Christian children
From The Nation, who was the real Walter Benjamin? Richard Wolin reviews
Berlin Childhood around 1900, The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire
and On Hashish by Walter Benjamin; and Fire Alarm: Reading Walter Benjamin's "On the Concept of History";
and a review
of Art Czar: The Rise and Fall of Clement Greenberg and Eyesight Alone: Clement Greenberg's Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses.
William H. McNeill reviews
The Nature of Paleolithic Art and The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World's First Artists.
The book (and now film) All the King's Men works as art, but does it work as political
of The Great War in History: Debates and Controversies, 1914 to the Present.
From Open Democracy,
Orhan Pamuk, Elif Shafak, Hrant Dink, and other leading Turkish intellectuals face prosecution for
writings that push the boundaries of legal censorship and cultural
policing. Their struggle to speak and live in truth is Europe's too.
of Eating: what we eat and why it matters by Peter Singer and Jim Mason.
From PopMatters, a review
of My Freshman Year: What A Professor Learned by Becoming a Student by Rebekah Nathan.
on What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts? by Michael Bérubé. More
on The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. And from New Scientist, recreational drugs that keep you on the right side of the law have never been more
popular, but does that mean they're safe?
[Sep 29] Potpourri: A review of Hume, Reason and Morality: A Legacy of Contradiction. A review of Hegel and the Freedom of Moderns. A review of Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz. A review of Paris: The Secret History. Parisians are all in a fury, they’re reading in the streets. The newest cause célèbre of the French fall publishing season? A 900-page novel about the Holocaust, written in French by an expatriate Jewish American, Jonathan Littell (and more on the banalisation of evil from Sign and Sight). Appeasement at the Opera: Roger Kimball on how Mozart falls victim to fear of Muslim rage. Before, and after, the birth of the cool: A review of The House that Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records. The Chicago Manual of Style marks its centennial with an online version (and more). Looping the loop: A new “theory of everything” is gaining ground. From The Harvard Crimson, depending on your point of view, 2000 was either a great year or a terrible year for Professor of Economics Andrei Shleifer. What do lectures reveal about the lecturer? An article on Zizek! Psychopaths are not a lost cause, one scientist argues. They simply suffer from a learning disability, and proper treatment could save society lots of pain and suffering. From Business Week, a special report on The Best of the Web. A Californian firm has built a virtual online world like no other. Its population is growing and its economy is thriving. Now politicians and advertisers are visiting. Researchers have simulated what would happen to Internet reliability in the US if terrorists were able to knock out various physical components of the network. Posting Truth to Power: Blogger Steve Benen is quietly rising in the punditocracy. Legislating love online: Should states mandate that online dating sites do criminal background checks of their users? A review of Beau Brummell: The Ultimate Man of Style. And Bill Clinton told the Labour conference to get into ubuntu. But what is it? Left-leaning sudoku? U2's latest album? Fish-friendly sushi?
[Sep 28] From Contemporary Aesthetics, Katharine Wolfe (Stony Brook): From Aesthetics to Politics: Rancière, Kant and Deleuze; and Todd S. Mei (Kent): Commitment and Communication: The Aesthetics of Receptivity and Historicity. From Philosophy Now, a look at the troubled relationship between art and theory; performance is the thing: A look at the nature of performance; an article on Albert C. Barnes, cantankerous freethinker; a new column on the question which plausibly must be answered before answering any other question; a review of Hitchcock as Philosopher; and look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…the Ubermensch???: A review Action Philosophers. A rare copy of Soren Kierkegaard's Either/Or will be sold at auction later this year. Bard College will host the conference "Thinking in Dark Times: The Legacy of Hannah Arendt", on the 100th anniversary of her birth, October 27-29. From Inside Higher Ed, is Michael Bérubé a profiteer in the culture wars? Scott McLemee looks at his blog and his new books and the author discusses them in a podcast. What do you know? If you're an American college student, probably not much. All aboard the charters? Chester Finn Jr. on the state of a movement. From TLS, if the controversy has dented Günter Grass’s reputation as conscience of the nation then that may be no bad thing; not even for Grass himself. In a little known story, the Nobel Prizes almost never came to be, largely because of the unsophisticated way Alfred Nobel drew up his will. From Nextbook, an interview with Anna Shternshis, author of Soviet and Kosher, on how Soviet propaganda forged a new brand of Jewish identity. And from Monthly Review, an interview with Roderick Bush, author of We Are Not What We Seem: Black Nationalism and Class Struggle in the American Century
[Sep 27] From Social Anarchism, an essay on Anarchism and the Question of Human Nature; and a series of articles on Emma Goldman. The Journal of Political Philosophy makes a series of articles available for free. A review of Searle and Foucault on Truth. A review of Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior. From The Morning News, an interview with Sean Wilentz on social studies vs. history, purple prose in founding-father biographies, and how states rights started trumping slavery in Jefferson Davis’s memoirs. From Wired, how do you get general relativity and quantum mechanics to live together? String theory is the darling for now, but other promising approaches are floating out there as well. His research has been widely misused by global warming skeptics. Now, Earth scientist Peter Doran discusses what his work means for Antarctica and the world. Did the Neanderthals become extinct only 24,000 years ago? As a new discovery shows, primeval man apparently survived in southern Spain longer than was previously known. The phrase "easy on the eyes" may hit closer to the mark than we suspected, as research finds judgments of attractiveness depend on mental processing ease, or being "easy on the mind". Linguists are calling for an online public database, similar to the human genome project, that would allow researchers to collaboratively share different studies of language impairment. It is a shame that the recent attention given to early admission programs has been so short on facts and clearheaded analysis. More on The Price of Admission. All in all, 02138 is an attractive and entertaining magazine. The only problem is this: There's too much stuff about Harvard. Letter to a Tenured Professor: Andy Crouch writes back to Edward O. Wilson about The Creation. From Great Britain, to exclude religion from higher education would be to deny students a proper cultural understanding; and the University of St. Andrews is to award an honorary degree to Iran's reformist former president Seyed Mohammad Khatami. And the US government refuses to grant a visa to Tariq Ramadan but drops earlier charges against him of supporting terrorism
[Sep 26] From Hebraic Political Studies, Gary Remer (Tulane): After Machiavelli and Hobbes: James Harrington's Commonwealth of Israel; H. Lee Cheek (Brewton-Parker): Recovering Moses: The Contribution of Eric Voegelin and Contemporary Political Science; and a review of Contemporary Jewish Philosophy: An Introduction. From the Mises Review, a review of The Ethics of War; a review of The Political Sociology of Freedom: Adam Ferguson and F.A. Hayek by Ronald Hamowy; a review of Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation by Leora Batnitzky and Heinrich Meier; a review of Norms of Liberty: A Perfectionist Basis for Non-Perfectionist Politics; and a review of Markets Don't Fail! From Boston Review, a special issue on "Seeds of Change", including Claudio Lomnitz (Columbia): Latin America's Rebellion: Will the New Left Set a New Agenda?; Michael Piore (MIT) and Andrew Schrank (New Mexico): Trading Up: An Embryonic Model for Easing the Human Costs of Free Markets; Henry Farrell (GWU): Bloggers and Parties: Can the netroots reshape American democracy?; Six Ways to Reform Democracy: a look at what can happen when members of Congress sit down with scholars; Ruth Milkman (UCLA): Organizing the Unorganizable: The Unlikely Spark for a Rebirth of Labor; Jonathan Fox (UC-Santa Cruz): Binational Citizens: Mexican Migrants are Challenging Old Ideas About Assimilation; Mae Ngai (Columbia): The Lost Immigration Debate: Border Control Didn’t Always Dictate Policy; and a review of Charles Murray's In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State. From National Review, an article on why military history is being retired. From The New York Sun (one free hit a day), Clemson University establishes a think tank devoted to studying the moral basis of capitalism. From Swans, an article on the classroom and the class struggle. From The New Yorker, top of the class: Even without early admissions, universities perpetuate America’s class system; and in string theory, beauty is truth, truth beauty. Is that really all we need to know? Jim Holt investigates. From Scientific American, that's debatable: Six debates at the frontier of science. And eat your way to better DNA: Why what your grandmother ate while pregnant with your mother might affect your children's health
[Sep 25] From the latest issue of The New Atlantis, Patrick Lee (Franciscan U.) and Robert P. George (Princeton): The First Fourteen Days of Human Life; Matthew Crawford (Virginia): Shop Class as Soulcraft; Christine Rosen (EPPC): The Self-Portrait of a Scientist; an essay on The Myth of Thomas Szasz; a review of The Limits of Medicine: Cure or Enhancement; and a look at how the Internet is changing science journals. More on EO Wilson's The Creation. More on Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion (and an excerpt). More and more on Michael Frayn's The Human Touch. A review of Europe East and West by Norman Davies. A review of Liberty: The Lives and Times of Six Women in Revolutionary France and Napoleon's Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand. A review of For Honour's Sake: The War of 1812 and the Brokering of an Uneasy Peace. A review of Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America. An interview with Niall Ferguson on The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. A review of The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn. A review of Lawrence Jacobs and Theda Skocpol (eds), Inequality and American Democracy: What We Know and What We Need To Learn. Writers on trial: Turkey's Elif Shafak on writing The Bastard of Istanbul; and she was, and still is, a nobody. He is Germany's most famous writer. But Margarete Barthel and Guenter Grass share a great deal in common. A review of Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and Those Who Want to Write Them. The Dummies books follow strict rules: no passive voice, no future tense and a laugh track of sitcom-ish humor. The media everywhere are guilty of taking dubious numbers as gospel. It's more than just a question of bad math skills. The real problem is a lack of critical thinking. Check out ENGAGE, a podcast program of global culture, transformative concepts, and engaged philosophy produced at Oregon State. And this fall, the debate over racial preferences in education returns to the national stage. But this divisive issue, Jeffrey Rosen says, just isn’t what it used to be
[Weekend 2e] Book reviews: A review of A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000-323BC. A review of Classics and Colonialism. A review of Sugar, Slavery, and Society: Perspectives on the Caribbean, India, the Mascarenes, and the United States. A review of Yankee Don't Go Home: Mexican Nationalism, American Business Culture, and the Shaping of Modern Mexico, 1920-1950. A review of Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt's America, Mussolini's Italy, and Hitler's Germany, 1933-1939. A review of The Language of the Third Reich by Victor Klemperer. A review of Seeing Hitler's Germany: Tourism in the Third Reich. A review of books on German Social Democratic Chancellors. A review of The New Development Economics; The Origins of Development Economics; and The Pioneers of Development Economics. A review of Is There a Right of Freedom of Expression? A review of Rediscovering A Lost Freedom: The First Amendment Right To Censor Unwanted Speech. A review of What Should Legal Analysis Become? by Roberto Unger. A review of Natural Law, Laws of Nature, Natural Rights: Continuity and Discontinuity in the History of Ideas. And a review of Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk
[Weekend] From Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews, a review of Thucydides and the Shaping of History; and a review of The Imperial Cult in the Latin West. From NYRB, rediscovering a lost continent: A review of books on Italy. A review of The Culture of the Europeans: from 1800 to the Present Day. A review of The Unthought Debt: Heidegger and the Hebraic Heritage. From The Moscow Times, a review of Bakunin: The Creative Passion. A review of Nonviolent Struggle: 50 Crucial Points. From Economic and Political Weekly, whither the Social Sciences? The continued development of the arts and humanities is essential to achieving a wider understanding of social systems, the interlinkages these have with other systems, and the role of the individual embedded in it pdf. From The Chronicle, opinion journals are academics' path to the fertile intellectual commons. Far too few of them venture there. openDemocracy's publication of Hossein Derakhshan's article about the release from detention of the Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo was a serious lapse in editorial judgment, says Danny Postel. Feted for fiction and drama, Michael Frayn now returns to his roots in philosophy as a writer who thinks big, but never loses the human touch. A review of Skepticism, Knowledge, and Forms of Reasoning. From n+1, the problem with autonomy and end-of-life decisions is largely a problem of information—its transmission and, more fundamentally, its adequacy. A review of Genetics and Christian Ethics. More on Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. The classic play "Inherit the Wind" has something to teach us about the intersection between science and religion at three crucial points in American history. Ten years after the publication of The End of Science, John Horgan says the limits of scientific inquiry are more visible than ever. From Inside Higher Ed, an article on How to Teach a Dirty Book. Article on how to crack the Oxbridge code. And is Google.org the future of philanthropy? And what's in it for them?
[Sep 22] From Metapsychology Online Reviews, a review of The Stoics on Determinism and Compatibilism; a review of The Bifurcation of the Self: The History and Theory of Dissociation and Its Disorders; a review of Speaking My Mind: Expression and Self-Knowledge; and a review of Like a Splinter in Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the Matrix Trilogy. From Popular Science, here's the Fifth Annual Brilliant 10. An article on epigenetics and learning without learning: The events of childhood may have an impact on the brain, even if no conventional memory is formed. From IEET, an article on Peter Singer and the fear of genetic inequality. Research suggests that better grades and greater incentives help explain why women outpace men in college degrees and that immigrant children perform as well or better than their same-race, American-born counterparts. Clever red-necks: it's not just the economy that is booming in Alberta; schools are too. A look at why Ivy League universities are not so much palaces of learning as bastions of privilege and hypocrisy. Colleges and universities should return Advanced Placement courses to their original purpose, which was not college admission, but as the name says, advanced placement. William Bennett and Rod Paige on why the US needs a National School Test. From BBC Magazine, contemporary furniture - - high-end or mass produced - - has become big business. How did it become so appealing to us? Making a happy house: An interview with Alain de Botton. Consuming Passions looks at how the spin-offs from the Industrial Revolution wrought far-reaching changes in the leisure pursuits of workers. An article on learning how to read slowly again. An article on the attraction of other people's books. From Slate, Stephen Metcalf to: Ron Rosenbaum debate The Shakespeare Wars. A review of Philosophy of New Music by Theodor Adorno. An article on artwork and the subjective theory of value. And however we choose to approach Anais Nin and Ayn Rand, it is impossible to deny that they were both writers of great force, who dared to take on some of the defining issues of their time, and who refused to sacrifice the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of their thought
[Sep 21] Science, values and religion: From The Scientist, the scientific manuscript as we know it has outlived its usefulness. Here's how to move forward. From Seed, more on Not Even Wrong and The Trouble With Physics. From Edge, Alexander Vilenkin, author of the Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes, on The Principle of Mediocrity. From New Scientist, antisocial robots go to finishing school. The New Bionics: The prosthetics of the not-so-distant future are intertwined with muscles, nerves... even neurons. An emotional control circuit of the brain's fear response is discovered, and research finds how the brain keeps emotions at bay. Everything you know about British and Irish ancestry is wrong. Their ancestors were Basques, not Celts. The Celts were not wiped out by the Anglo-Saxons, in fact neither had much impact on the genetic stock of these islands. The stunningly complete skeleton of a three-year-old girl who lived 3.3 million years ago has been uncovered in Ethiopia, belonging to the species Australopithecus afarensis like the famous "Lucy". From PUP, the introduction to Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars, and the introduction to The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. From Sign and Sight, all believers, even Muslims, should back the Pope's attempt to close the value gap brought about by the technical implementation of reason in the globalised world. Sam Harris responds to Pope Benedict XVI’s speech on the interplay between faith and reason. Pratap Bhanu Mehta on how sanity requires detaching questions of peace from historical and theological debates over what the essence of one religion may or may not be. From Open Democracy, the leading themes of Benedict's Regensburg speech – faith and reason, Christianity and Europe, the emergence of Islam as Christianity's significant "other" – will outlast the furore it provoked. A review of On the Human Condition by Dominique Janicaud. From Salon, an interview with Andrew Newberg, author of Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth. A review of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. And E.O. Wilson hopes Christians will join in preserving all God's creation
[Sep 20] Maimon Schwarzschild (San Diego): A Class Act? Social Class Affirmative Action. From Ethics & International Affairs, Bruce Jones (NYU): Bio-Security, Nonstate Actors, and the Need for Global Cooperation; Roland Pierik (Radboud) and Mijke Houwerzijl (Amsterdam): Western Policies on Child Labor Abroad; a review of Why Globalization Works by Martin Wolf and In Defense of Globalization by Jagdish Bhagwati; and a review of The Debt Threat: How Debt is Destroying the Developing World. A review of Party Funding and Campaign Financing In International Perspective. A review of Cause Lawyers and Social Movements. A review of Is There A Duty To Obey The Law? From PUP, the introduction to David Kennedy's Of War and Law; the first chapter from The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness; and the introduction to Rethinking Friendship: Hidden Solidarities Today. A review of Harvey Mansfield's Manliness. Martha Nussbaum will publish Democracy in the Balance: Violence, Hope, and India's Future which lambastes the Hindu Right. From The Chronicle, an article on The Immobility of the Associate Professor: Should a tenured faculty member buck the odds and re-enter the academic job market? Gen. Wesley Clark is set to join UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations. Yale University will make select courses available on the internet. From The Atlantic Monthly, Richard Florida on Where the Brains Are: The growing concentration of college graduates in a few cities in the US pdf; and stop the insanity!: An interview with Sandra Tsing-Loh on the elite, utopian island of urban private education. Public Opinion Quarterly finds there are more liberals than conservatives on college faculties, although the proportions aren’t as large as those found in some other reports. Here's the graphic version of Michael Bérubé's What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts? pdf. And from Writ, an article on The "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" student speech case: With Kenneth Starr seeking high court review of the Ninth Circuit decision, is someone blowing smoke?
[Sep 19] From Scientific American, a cover story on How to Blow Up a Star: It is not as easy as you would think; strangling heat and gases from the earth and sea, not asteroids, most likely caused several ancient mass extinctions. Could the same conditions build again?; will the Wall Street Journal's editorial writers accept a challenge to learn the truth about the science of global climate change? Jeffrey Sachs wants to know; Michael Shermer on why Christians and conservatives should accept evolution; and a review of God's Universe; The Language of God by Francis S. Collins; The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins; and The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan. From TAP, a look at how the latest fight over homework only underscores the basic futility of debates about education policy. An op-ed on how making SAT scores optional is the latest instance of a disheartening trend in college admissions. Any college will do: A look at how top chief executives find the path to the corner office usually starts at state university. From the dorms of Choate Rosemary Hall to the Yale Club in Manhattan: An article on The Great Preppy Revival. Princeton announces plans for the expansion of Black Studies program. From Cafe Babel, a special issue on education: crash course on globalisation. A review of Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations ... One School at a Time. From Wespennest, an interview with Indian pyschoanalyst Sudhir Kakar on the pyschoanalyst-astrologer, the female principle in religion, and globalization and fundamentalism in India. From The Moscow Times, Russian literature of the 19th century revolved around St. Petersburg, while Moscow was scantily represented. And from Bookforum, a review of The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups and Shylock is Shakespeare
[Sep 18] From The Toronto Star, an article on Ramin Jahanbegloo's prison ordeal, and his dubious state-sanctioned confession; and an essay by Jahanbegloo on bringing liberalism to Iran. Theory as politics: A look at how an engaging, participatory involvement with theory can make a difference in society. A review of Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism by Steven B. Smith. Give the dead their due: We are all made poorer when good people are trashed after they can no longer defend themselves. A review of Human Remains: Dissections and its Histories. Seizing on our increased interest in the search for meaning, Richard Dawkins, Paul Davies and Michael Frayn are getting to grips with these existential dilemmas in their new books. Could Tim Adams find the answers? More and more on Frayn's The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of a Universe. A review of Mind and Its Place in the World: Non-Reductionist Approaches to the Ontology of Consciousness. More and more on Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law and The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next. A review of Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon’s Scientific Underworld. Losing it, 200 miles above the Earth: When a bolt is lost in space, should anyone care? From Science News, Battle of the Hermaphrodites: A look at how sexes clash even when sharing the same body. A review of Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code by Matt Ridley (and more). What do you get when you cross a banteng with a zebu? You get a scientific cage match over whether its offspring, the odd-looking kouprey, should lose its status as a species. And from The New York Times, Michael Bérubé on The Academic Blues: So what if college faculties skew liberal? The classroom is just the place for bias; more on The Price of Admission; if other colleges follow Harvard, what might a world without early applications look like? Guess who wins; and an interview with Lee Siegel on TNR, the blogosphere and sprezzatura
[Weekend 2e] Entertainment and stuff: From USA Today, a look at why the race-based "Survivor" makes us squirm, and more from TNR. Celebrities are their own biggest fans: "Loveline's" Dr. Drew's scientific study shows stars really are narcissists first. A review of On Becoming Fearless… in Love, Work, and Life by Arianna Huffington. A review of My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love, and Laughing Out Loud. A review of You Can Get Arrested for That: 2 Guys, 25 Dumb Laws, 1 Absurd American Crime Spree. A review of Lost Cosmonaut: Observations of an Anti-Tourist. Has magic lost its magic? Today's illusionists attract a lot of attention but rarely give audiences a sense of wonder. Hanging with the in-crowd: Big media firms and investors are cosying up to social networking websites. And MySpace is the coolest hangout space for teens, but parents might be surprised at what their kids do there
[Weekend] From AEI, here's the latest Bradley Lecture, on The Rhetoric of Remembrance: Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. A review of Consuming Passions: Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain. A review of Amartya Sen's Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny. From Christianity Today, historian Jaroslav Pelikan thought theology was too important to be left to the theologians. A review of A History of the End of the World: How the Most Controversial Book in the Bible Changed the Course of Western Civilization. A review of Out of the Cave: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Dead Sea Scrolls Research. The science of ancient truths: Proposing an alliance between science and religion isn't as far-fetched as some sociobiologists would like to think. From The Scientist, an article on environmentally friendly flatulence: A new approach to solving the serious problem of farm animals' gas. From Financial Times, a review of The Epidemic: A Global History of Aids, Body Count: How They Turned Aids into a Catastrophe, and Aids and Power: Why There is No Political Crisis, and a review of Billy, Alfred, and General Motors: The Story of Two Unique Men, a Legendary Company, and a Remarkable Time in American History; The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer; Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age; and Robber Baron: The Life of Charles Tyson Yerkes. An article on the basic dilemma of the artist: "The psychophysical problem is long standing and, probably, intractable". John Gennari's Blowin' Hot and Cool looks at the intimate but fractious relationship between jazz luminaries and their critics. Revisiting 25 years of the MacArthur Foundation's celebrated -- and mysterious -- "genius" grants: Where are they now, and how did they spend their money? From The Weekly Standard, mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be undergraduates. And from The Harvard Crimson, Social Analysis isn’t the sexiest of Core categories, but it ain’t the dreariest either (Hello, Moral Reasoning)