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[Weekend] From Der Spiegel, 242 jihadists, 31 attacks, 28 networks. After examining militant Islamism in Europe, researchers have found that self-recruitment is on the rise among terrorist leader Osama bin Laden's Eurofighters, and that there is no such thing as a standard terrorist. A US citizen is charged with joining al-Qaida and conspiring to bomb European tourist resorts and U.S. government facilities and military bases overseas. An interview with Joschka Fischer: The US should not leave Iraq before establishing a regional consensus. In theory, President Bush could say he invaded Iraq because the United Nations hadn’t yet evolved to a point where it could address the nefarious nexus between states and non-state actors. But in fact, this evolution was taking place before his eyes, and he aborted it. Peter Beinart on the Kosovo conundrum: Blairism still has a lot to recommend it, but when it comes to foreign policy, Democrats can no longer party like it's 1999. Learning from Ike: Dwight Eisenhower's brand of cold-blooded foreign policy has never been more relevant than it is today. President Bush's successor could learn a lot from Eisenhower's balance of force and diplomacy. A review of Zbigniew Brzezinksi's Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower. Congressional Dems, getting bolder by the day, have won the first round in their fight with the president over Iraq. The stakes are higher in the next round. Fickle Attraction: An article on the Bush administration's four-year history of erratic meddling in search of an Iraqi "savior". Fred Kaplan on why no one wants to be Bush's war czar. McCain doubles down: He's not just pro-war, he's anti-Democrat. The faces of Democratic oversight? Note to conservatives: A congressional hearing is not a "show trial". For future administrations, here's a chart designed to help categorize and evaluate vice presidential meltdowns in terms of severity (scroll down). From TNR, a unified theory of scandal: Jeffrey Rosen on the real roots of the U.S. attorney firings. Prosecuting the Prosecutor: Did the DA in the Duke lacrosse case commit a crime? Mike Nifong, meet Alberto: What the rape case fiasco and the U.S. attorney scandal have in common. Stop Those Girls!, or: The Don Imus and Nancy Pelosi Show: When it comes to foreign policy under the Bush Administration, is it Men Only, No Girls Allowed? The larger meaning of the FOX boycott and the Imus fracas? It's time for liberal multi-millionaires to get with it and start a cable news channel. PBS at a Crossroads: A controversial series on the post-9/11 world isn't exactly fair and balanced—and that’s why it works. And new and old media, often cast as enemies, vet one another's work in a process that helps consumers to unclutter and winnow the content from the other side

[Apr 13] From Mozambique, in the climactic scene of what has been the most popular play showing in Maputo, the citizens of a crime-ridden suburb take matters into their own hands.  Would South Africa send troops to help Mugabe? James Kirchick investigates. Benin has successfully braved the odds of liberal democracy; it now has the arduous task of delivering the dividends of such democracy in the form of social democracy.The upcoming elections in Nigeria could signal an important turning point in Africa's troubled road to democracy. From The Economist, sinfully rich: Behind every great fortune in China may lie a crime. Things Fall Apart: An essay on China and the decline of US imperialism. Close, but not too close: A review of China and Iran: Ancient Partners in a Post-Imperial World. From The New Yorker, James Surowiecki on India’s skills famine. From Outlook India, a review of Disappearing Daughters: The Tragedy of Female Foeticide. A review of The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence and India’s Future by Martha Nussbaum; Planet India: How the Fastest-Growing Democracy is Transforming America and the World; and Inhaling the Mahatma. A review of The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857. Change is constantly perceptible in Bombay. But what is change, if it means you are no longer necessary. Quebec & Kashmir: India must heed the lessons from the spirit and skills that underlay Canada's efforts at nation-building. Over the past decade one million Burmese people have been captured by the army and sent to forced labour camps. Their slavery helps support one of the world's most repressive regimes. Stateless, with borders all around: Hidden in the back corners of Southeast Asia is a scattered population of millions of nobodies, citizens of nowhere, forgotten or neglected by governments. From The Observer, here's a list of the ten defining Blair moments. Violent, antisocial, beyond redemption? The UK has launched an unprecedented programme to reform society's most dangerous members. Gordon Brown's definition of Britishness is at times as nostalgic as John Major's England. It is almost entirely meaningless to most people under the age of 40. You know a country is serious about Marxism when there are so many Marxist candidates that the Trotskyists are listed separately from the garden-variety Communists. N'est-ce pas? It's worth questioning the assumption that the French are ruder than everyone else. The French Connection: A look at how a new Reaganomics is taking hold in Europe, with grave implications for progressive politics everywhere. And the introduction to In Gold We Trust: Social Capital and Economic Change in the Italian Jewelry Towns

[Apr 12]  A. Rashied Omar (Notre Dame): The Right to Religious Conversion: Between Apostasy and Proselytization pdf. From Reset, "Islam is perfectly compatible with women rights: An interview with Martha Nussbaum; and "intellectuals like Hirsi Ali play into the mullahs’ hands": An interview with Shirin Ebadi; and Fred Dallmayr on Islam and democracy: A Third Way. A liberal Muslim’s letter to the west: You are losing your friends, says Tarek Osman. Muslim journalists and bloggers across the Arab world are speaking out to promote civil society and women's rights in Islamic societies. But it is a hard struggle at times, with societal pressure and even fines to contend with. From Harper's, Parties of God: An article on the Bush doctrine and the rise of Islamic democracy. World is watching Sudan on Google Earth and an online mapping initiative designed to call attention to conflict in the Darfur region. Michael Levi on how Iran isn't that close to building nukes. Laura Rozen on Kurdistan’s covert back-channels: How an ex-Mossad chief, a German uberspy, and a gaggle of top-dollar GOP lobbyists helped Kurdistan snag 15 tons of $100 bills. Marc Lynch on insurgents against al-Qaida: Growing hostility towards al-Qaida in Iraq could be a good sign - but only if the US withdraws. Cheney lied, again: Senator Carl Levin on how the vice president is still trying to convince us that Saddam Hussein conspired with Al Qaeda. On impeachment, why stop at Bush? If Bush committed high crimes, then he was aided and abetted by more people than you imagine. The flap over Nancy Pelosi's Syria trip echoes a 20-year-old fight with a previous Democratic House Speaker, and is being driven by the same right-wing Republican hawks. Failure to Relaunch: Republicans seem unable to comprehend even the most obvious lessons of their 2006 election defeats. Barack Obama's slump: The Illinois senator's reformer shtick may sound great in theory. But it's killing him on the campaign trail. Health class with Professor Obama: John Dickerson on how to look substantive without a policy. John Judis on why Democratic candidates should boycott Fox. More money, no problem: An article on the death of taxpayer-financed campaigns. Electric Boogaloo: It's good guys vs. good guys in the complicated legislative fight over regulating voting machines. A recent polling controversy has again shined a light on how the phrasing of survey questions has the potential to influence results. It also suggests that, for some issues, it may be particularly difficult to sway public opinion. What do Don Imus, David Hicks, and the 15 British sailors have in common? QubeTV is a YouTube for conservatives, starring the vast right wing conspiracy. From Britannica, an essay on the blogosphere at ten, and an article on the dark side of the “Citizen Media” revolution. And a look at how blogging can help you get a new job

[Apr 11] From German Law Journal, Jihad totalitarianism, international security and the West: A review of Joschka Fischer’s Die Rückkehr der Geschichte. An interview with David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, on weighing the Iranian nuclear threat. From The Atlantic Monthly, sodomy is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, but gay life flourishes there. Why it is “easier to be gay than straight” in a society where everyone, homosexual and otherwise, lives in the closet; the inside story of how the interrogators of Task Force 145 cracked Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s inner circle—without resorting to torture—and hunted down al-Qaeda’s man in Iraq; and the Activist Soldier: Andrew J. Bacevich on the increased politicization of the American military and its troubling potential consequences. SATs for Soldiers: How hard is the aptitude test for U.S. military recruits? Packing for the ineffable: What do you give a soldier bound for Iraq? Two Ways Out: Fred Kaplan on Iraq plans Bush won't consider, but his successor should. With sectarian strife tearing the country apart, a different method of enacting laws in the Iraqi National Assembly might encourage more cooperation between the various sects and ethnicities. James Fallows awaits a version of The Fog of War starring Paul Wolfowitz. From The New York Observer, the Iraq-eteers: Nine Candidates need to gin up stances on war; Democratic wonks lunching with Dick Holbrooke, McCain aide recoils at Mitt message; Rudy asks Bolton; and Chris Lehmann on The Global War on Words. Gary Kamiya on why the media failed on Iraq: Afraid to challenge America's leaders or conventional wisdom about the Middle East, a toothless press collapsed; but do national journalists agree with Kamiya? Cheney's Nemesis: For forty years, Seymour Hersh has been America’s leading investigative reporter. His latest scoop? The White House’s secret plan to bomb Iran. Matt Taibbi on The Return of Evil Campaign Journalism: The "Sweet n' Blow," a no-calorie substitute for real journalism, a gossip column masquerading as political reportage. The Politics of Pundit Prestige: Media bigwigs are taking a beating as bloggers challenge their accuracy, integrity and transparency. Most politicians endure barrages of questions from the press. Now, C-SPAN is giving lawmakers an opportunity to sit on the other side of the mic. Political candidates have tamed the blogs: As a force in the 2008 presidential race, the Internet is just getting started. Candidates have already turned their sites into portals with video and blogs, but can they tame the Web's wild side? The Internet: a never-ending nightmare where the same tortured poem of talking points is read endlessly by a mob of brain-dead zombies. Timothy Noah on The Wit and Wisdom of Don Imus: A guide for Washington's power crowd. The secrets of successful racism: Why Eric Cartman can tell a joke and Don Imus can't. And they never mean it, do they? A look at what is revealed by a crack in the "good person" facade

[Apr 10] From Canada, a review of The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic. A review of House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest. From Dissent, in the Mexican Labyrinth: Angel Jaramillo on the elections, the Left, and the fight for the Mexican soul; and a review of A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America by Aristide Zolberg. Barbarians at the wall: A review of The Great Wall: China Against the World, 1000 BC–AD 2000; The West Bank Wall: Unmaking Palestine; and Fugitive Landscapes: The Forgotten History of the U.S.–Mexico Borderlands; and a look at life on the line: The Arizona-Mexico border. Newt Gingrich on how immigrants deserve the government's strongest effort to give them opportunities to acquire English. Illegal? Better if you're Irish: An estimated 30,000 undocumented immigrants who aren't Latino live a more native-born life in New York. From American Heritage, Boise, Idaho, like all American cities, has its ethnic groups. But unlike almost all other American cities, its main ethnic group is one much less familiar to most of us—Basques. The greenest city in the USA: A confluence of geography and demography has made Vermont a model for greening. Jonathan Yardley reviews Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City. A new issue of The Next American City is out, including an article on city slogans, old and new; a review of Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York; and what happens in Vegas? Minnesotans have been known to embrace unlikely candidates. Remember Jesse Ventura? And at the moment, Al Franken is well positioned to become the state's Democratic nominee. Do you want a receipt with that? Americans might take a lesson from the French presidential campaign: Instead of 1040s, perhaps our candidates should submit their expenses. From New York, behind the hedge: Isn’t it time you stopped pretending to understand what a hedge fund is? We tell you all you need to know, in plain English; and Limbaugh for Lefties: Keith Olbermann fumbled his way through sportscasting and talk-show gigs with varying degrees of success. Now he’s found his niche as a truth-telling, Bush-bashing accidental liberal hero. A review of Framing the Debate: Famous Presidential Speeches and How Progressives Can Use Them to Change the Conversation (and Win Elections). A look at how Democrats' cause is tempered by political realities in Congress. And over the past few months, the constitution of the US has been quietly amended. We’re not talking here about the written, capital-“C” Constitution

[Apr 9] With the elections in France just two weeks away, a quirk of the language seems to capture the front-runner's dilemma -- and the country's. The French Exodus: Why a growing number of talented and ambitious young people are leaving France behind. It is the epitome of romance and style. But Paris is in the grip of an unprecedented "flight of the young", with the disenchanted looking to London and New York for a new life. "I really want to revive politics": John Bird, a former prisoner and founder of the Big Issue, aims to be a politician; and more on Over to You, Mr Brown: How Labour Can Win Again by Anthony Giddens. From Foreign Policy, an interview with Mark Bowden, author of Guests of the Ayatollah, a bestselling book about the 1979 crisis, on Iran's actions in 2007. Tony Blair said Britain had managed to secure the release of the Iran hostages without any deal, negotiation or side agreement. So what exactly did we do? Everyone in Washington seemed to agree that the Iraq Study Group’s ideas for fixing Iraq were duds. So, why are the White House and Capitol Hill rushing to implement the very recommendations of the ISG that they once dismissed? G.I.’s are back to knocking on doors, seeking Iraqis’ trust. It isn’t quickly given — or easily kept (and a video). Downsizing: Andrew Bacevich on what the surge really means and on why "Your Iraq plan?" is a pointless question: Candidates should acknowledge that Bush's war is a failure and look beyond Iraq. The Undeparted: No matter who’s elected in 2008, our troops will probably remain in Iraq. More on Divided America: The Ferocious Power Struggle in American Politics by Earl Black and Merle Black. How might Mitt Romney defend himself against the charge that, as president, he would be vulnerable to direction from the prophet of his church? Some years ago, an actor named Ronald Reagan ran for president. This year an actor named Fred Thompson is considering running for president. Here, a sampling of their acting careers. Acting Like a President: Most politicians who make it to the White House have also become masters of the art of performing. From The Weekly Standard, kitsch on Capitol Hill:  Two large, unfamiliar, and bulky three-dimensional bronze fasces are an unlikely symbol in the House. A review of The New American Story by Bill Bradley.  The K Street denizens aren't all Jack Abramoffs: Toby Moffett says he doesn't do anything unethical and represents his clients honestly. The joy Paul Light gets from bureaucracy is like that a coroner might feel, were it possible to dissect a live body, yet have that body suffer no pain. From Business Week, nastiness online can erupt and go global overnight, and "no comment" doesn't cut it anymore. Here's how to cope. A call for manners in the world of nasty blogs: High-profile figures in high-tech are proposing a blogger code of conduct to clean up the quality of online discourse. And are search engines stealing newspapers' content? Who cares? They're driving traffic and smart newspaper employees ought to find ways to take advantage

[Weekend 2e]  From Harvard International Review, toward a fundamental reform: Willem JM van Genugten on the role of the United Nations in a divided world; the missing dimension of UN reform: Peter Utting on regaining the intellectual high ground for social development; no such thing as humanitarian intervention: Alex de Waal on why we need to rethink how to realize the “Responsibility to Protect” in wartime; Jacqueline Bhabha on the obstacles to protection facing unaccompanied and separated child migrants today; Sarah Lischer on winning hearts and minds in the Horn of Africa: Humanitarian aid in the war on terror; and Michael Blake on duties across borders: Why should we care about international poverty? Norman Geras reviews Crimes Against Humanity: A Normative Account by Larry May.  A review of Questioning Globalized Militarism: Nuclear and Military Production and Critical Economic Theory. Winging It for World Peace: Additional donors and a knack for teamwork have helped Ted Turner's UN charity thrive. From The Mises Institute, an article on Bono the Capitalist Exploiter. From Economic and Political Weekly, an essay on Genealogies of Globalisation: Unpacking the ‘Universal’ History of Capital pdf. For the roving economics adviser Jeffrey Sachs, the big global challenges are easily solved. From Foreign Affairs, C. Ford Runge and Benjamin Senauer on How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor. From The Wall Street Journal, a look at how as globalization’s benefits grow, so do its skeptics. From the Eritrea Institute of Technology, rather than acting as an equalizing force, globalization has instead widened the gap between rich and poor, both in the developed and developing worlds. Why the rich get richer: A new theory shows how wealth, in different forms, can stick to some but not to others. The findings have implications ranging from the design of the Internet to economics. It all adds up: Why we should lower tax rates for the wealthy and make the middle-aged pay more. The rich are more oblivious than you and me: Without power, people tend to play it safe. Given power, we would end up living large and acting like idiots. The world's happiest people are always other people. In a survey last year asking people to rate their levels of joy, Denmark topped the list; the year before, it was Puerto Rico. Solana Larsen is therefore one of the happiest people. Fools' paradise: Finland leads the world in weird sports and pranks. Protectionism is alive and well in Europe, as evidenced by German utility company E.on's failed attempt to take over Spanish utility Endesa. Governments are increasingly obstructing foreign takeover bids, and Brussels is seemingly powerless to stop them. "But they have other positive features": Two Polish journalists undertake hazardous journeys into the depths of the Czech soul. The Orange Revolution has left a deep rift in Ukraine, with one half facing the EU and the other looking to Russia. Neither, though, seems to be able to help the country itself. Ukrainian politics can be a drag: Is Verka Serdyuchka -- a drag queen and Ukraine's representative at Eurovision -- anti-Russian or pro-churned butter? And Dmitry Shlapentokh on the death of Russian womanhood

[Weekend] Ian Bremmer on how Tehran is not Pyongyang: In all likelihood the decision for the west is this: military action or a nuclear Iran. All 15 of them had been blindfolded, handcuffed and pushed against a wall by their Iranian captors. Then they heard the sound of guns being cocked - and believed they were about to be shot by firing squad (and more). Nicholas Schmidle is waiting for the worst: Baluchistan, 2006. Indonesia is a nominally secular democracy. But the influence of conservative Islam is gaining in the world's biggest Muslim country. A further step away from tolerance may be just around the corner. The Last King of Java: An interview with Indonesia's former president Abdurrahman Wahid on a model of Muslim tolerance. Has Mahmood Mamdani, the pre-eminent African scholar, become an Arab supremacist apologist? In a new sign of internal dissent, an influential nationalist group writes an open letter to Osama bin Laden asking him to rein in his Islamist extremists in Iraq. From Strategic Insights, a special issue on The Iraq Study Group Report: The way forward or backward? Honoring the warriors, ending the war: Why "support the troops" no longer works as a Bush administration trump card. An interview with Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Self-inflicted wounds: Here's a memo to the anti-war movement: don’t blame the media. No Time To Hate: John Dickerson on why he didn't hear much about George Bush in New Hampshire. Bush is still popular with roughly three-quarters of the GOP's most loyal activists and many of them are still opening their wallets to elected officials and candidates. Rudy Giuliani says that the standard for judging his troubled personal life should be how it affected or did not affect the job he did as mayor of New York. From Salon, an interview with John Edwards (and more). A dreamers' ticket? Gore and Obama as running mates in the US presidential election may look attractive. But is the idea realistic? From The Black Commentator, when will Sen. Barack Obama of the Joshua generation stand in defense of those in despair, the least among us, as well as those who represent the “all of America”? The real race between Clinton and Obama is not about who will raise more funds or who will get to the White House, either. Rather, the real race takes the two leading candidates back to their law school days. We're in the money: Political reporters' fixation with the race for cash is tantamount to a donation to the front-runners. The American media's fringe ideological view of Pelosi's trip: The media's coverage of Pelosi's Syria trip demonstrates that it takes its cues from fringe ideologues whom it mistakes for the mainstream. From Editor & Publisher, here are the Top 30 most popular newspaper sites. Can open-source journalism succeed? Bet you can't report this story. And from Wired, the TV is dead. Long live the TV; a look at TV through the ages, and more on playing the media field

[Apr 6] News from around the world: From Yemen, so-called "jihadi" movies, used as al Qaeda recruiting tools, which feature scenes full of murder and mutilation, are readily available in markets located throughout Sana’a. A look at how the Left can criticize Muslim human rights hypocrisy. From Le Monde diplomatique, what happened to the defence of vital national interests? Bernard Cassen on France’s foreign policy. From New Statesman, a series of articles on France, including an introduction; the days of grandeur are over: Whoever wins France's presidential elections will enjoy more power than any other western leader. Expect big changes in foreign policy, from America to Africa; we don't need your foreign models: Jacques Attali says France must modernise but not copy others; Agnès Poirier explains why so many French have moved to London; young French people are deeply frustrated by lack of opportunity and a lack of respect from their parents' generation; Lyons, city of outsiders: Beneath the civilised, bourgeois exterior of the "gateway to the south" lie the sharpest racial and social divisions in France; and an interview with French lit idol Florian Zeller on Islam, fortune-telling and his precocious success. From Eurozine, a tale of two communities: While business may be the great integrator, cultural tensions have not disappeared in two Asian communities in the UK. Understanding these means dropping multiculturalist clichés about "the Asian community". Since the famine of the 1840s Ireland has been a net exporter of economic migrants, who have settled round the world in search of a better life. Now immigrants from the world have arrived to do the same in booming Ireland. Transatlantic tensions: America may not applaud the European Union's next 50 years as warmly as its first 50. From Salon, the thesis articulated in Tonio Andrade's How Taiwan Became Chinese: The Dutch are ultimately responsible for the Sinification of Taiwan. Democracy's Enemies: America's leading corporations appear even more committed to surpressing the rights of workers in China than the communist regime is. Hungry tiger, dancing elephant: A look at how India is changing IBM's world. From Open Democracy, new Russia, old Russia: The oil-rich city of western Siberia Khanty-Mansiysk has the secret of Putin's staying power. Birthday thoughts on the road to Thika: How the infrastructure of many African states has now shrivelled away. And a new populism is rising across Latin America and Cuba faces what could be a tough transition period. After years of neglect, it's time for Europe and the United States to reengage a trans-Atlantic dialogue on Latin America

[Apr 5] From Nepal, Maoists and ministers: Former rebels join the government. From Bosnia, a magazine alleges former Bosnian Serb leader and top war crimes indictee Radovan Karadzic made a secret deal with the United States in May 1996 to spare him from prosecution in return for abandoning politics and withdrawing from public life. Ukraine faces yet another tense standoff between the forces of the two men whose battle for the presidency in 2004 brought the country to the breaking point. Ségolène Royal is fighting to become France's first female president. In doing so she is taking a page from François Mitterrand's book -- the grand master of political theater. She is now almost neck-and-neck with her right-wing opponent, Nicolas Sarkozy. From Open Democracy, the historic deal between the hardline representatives of Northern Ireland's two political blocs is an occasion to banish global sentimentalism about Ireland, says Fred Halliday. These men are "peacemakers"? Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams make Christopher Hitchens want to spew. Just a short and cheap EasyJet or Ryanair flight away from London, Western European tourists are storming Eastern European cities like Tallinn and Riga. Unfortunately, British binge drinkers are too. Here's what you need to know about London's crazy Russian expats. The majority of Britons believe in God, pray and think of ourselves as Christian, despite not going to church. But if you cut out the middle man, isn't it cheating? Albanians rediscover God, if not old-time religion. Stephen Holmes reviews Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance by Ian Buruma. How Iran played the hostage "crisis": The captured British sailors ate decent meals and were set free in business suits -- as Tehran used them to score political points on the Arab street. The 15 British hostages in Iran were released more quickly than was feared. They were the pawns of higher powers, and of a president who staged their release as a perfidious performance. What we can learn from Britain about Iran: Just as Iran will meet confrontation with confrontation, it will respond to what it perceives as flexibility with pragmatism. Doves 1, Hawks 0: The peaceful conclusion to the Iran hostage drama suggests that the US and UK could achieve more with diplomacy than with threats of force. Despite its decision to free the British sailors, Iran remains a problem. Even if he wanted, Bush couldn't settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. James Baker III on a path to common ground: More than 100 days after the Iraq Study Group, we are further than ever from a consensus. Robert Wright wishes some people on the left had a deeper respect for the military, but lately the left isn’t where the most consequential disrespect has come from. From Flak Magazine, an article on The Tom Tancredo Show: The search for America's next crazy presidential contender. And why is Fred Thompson such a hot commodity? O.K., he’s no Ronald Reagan, but Republicans want him

[Apr 4] From Yemen, the government is struggling to crush a deadly three-year uprising by Shiite Muslim rebels. The insurgency’s leader has recently promised to open up new fronts in the conflict; and a new corruption-busting prime minister is appointed. Aid workers in global hot spots risk being the targets of violence. Is the modern blurring of military and humanitarian functions worsening that danger? French and other European intellectuals are mobilizing for intervention in Darfur. Who are they really writing about, asks KA Dilday. An excerpt from Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil by John Ghazvinian. Saudi Balancing Act: King Abdullah has one of the toughest jobs in the world. Is secularism the best antidote to Islamism? Amitai Etzioni invesigates. The Trouble with Islam: Sadly, mainstream Muslim teaching accepts and promotes violence. Muslim countries are reconciling with Islamists, not fighting them: The United States draws the line at any meaningful role for Islamists in political life -- yet it prescribes nothing for achieving a peaceful consensus within fragile Muslim states. One of the least endearing features of Washington’s political/media hierarchy is its propensity for selective outrage, like what is now coming from George W. Bush about the “inexcusable behavior” of the Iranian government in holding 15 British sailors whom Bush has labeled "hostages". From Foreign Affairs, the latest results from the Confidence in U.S. Foreign Policy Index show that public anguish over Iraq is spilling into other areas of U.S. foreign policy in ways that are likely to curtail the freedom action of the Bush administration and its successors. The history at the end of history: Francis Fukuyama on how those who link his work to the foreign policy of George Bush have not been listening to what he's been saying about democracy and development. Who'll blink first? President Bush plays chicken with the Democratic Congress. From Reason, public servants or masters? How George Bush is like a crooked cop. Fox-in-the-Henhouse Government: There is something in the "loyal Bushies" mind-set of this administration and its fundamental scorn for government that contributes to their arrogant misbehavior. Doin' the Karl Rove Dance: Elizabeth de la Vega on a chorus line of "Loyal Bushies". Charmless Offensive: Would John McCain intentionally antagonize his fans in the national media to help his presidential campaign? McCain denies secret overture to Kerry in 2004. Another conservative has a change of heart: Former Clinton inquisitor Bob Barr explains why he left the Republican Party and why he shouldn't have voted for the Patriot Act. Eric Rauchway on how the GOP has spent more than a century demonizing Democrats. Edwards' Emotionalism: John Dickerson on the candidate and his family in New Hampshire. Is Hillary a progressive who will blossom with presidential power, or a centrist with a liberal reputation that only diminishes her electoral chance? Three Prospectors, two answers. And on how David Axelrod, the king of Chicago political consultants, has spent the past 15 years learning, recording and shaping Barack Obama’s life story

[Apr 3] From World Press, Palestinian schoolchildren are being taught to hate Israel and to see fighting Israelis as a holy Islamic duty, according to a report by an Israeli media monitoring group. Is Hamas preparing for war? Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has called for a regional conference to discuss peace in the Middle East, and he wants Saudi Arabia to take the lead. Why is Saudi Arabia suddenly so chummy with Iran? Rachel Bronson investigates. Fareed Zakaria on why sanctions are working. The botched US raid that led to the hostage crisis: The Independent on how a bid to kidnap Iranian security officials sparked a diplomatic crisis. Iran's hostage politics: Tehran's high-stakes hard line is backed by cold political logic. From PINR, an article on the U.K.-Iran crisis: The West confronts a rising Iran. Will Britain's quiet diplomacy work? Juan Cole on Iran's new hostage crisis: By seizing 15 British sailors, the embattled Iranians aim to rally anti-Western sentiment and force the Brits from Iraq. From The Progressive, an interview with Lewis Black: "Every day these guys do something more outrageous. I just start yelling about this stuff, and there is my act”. If the Bush administration were a stock, it would be plummeting. Paul Krugman has a theory about the Bush administration abuses of power: They were driven by rising income inequality. Obviously, Gonzales should resign. But who should replace him? Benjamin Wittes ants to know. In December eight U.S. Attorneys were dismissed; now Congress wants to find out why. There may be a scandal brewing, but the details are still murky: A primer. Matthew Dowd's attempt to portray himself as a victim of a betrayal is nonsense. He knew as well as anyone who Karl Rove and George Bush were, and more on Dowd, the world's wussiest turncoat. From The Politico, an interview with Richard Harwood on a new kind of candidate; and more on A Mormon in the White House? by Hugh Hewitt. From The Weekly Standard, a cover story on the unlikely frontrunner: Is the GOP in for a Rudy awakening?; and an article on McCain and the conservatives: Can't they just get along? The Decoy Effect, or How to Win an Election: If Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ever took a break from fundraising to bone up on psychology, they might realize the need to talk up John Edwards. Once homeless, infamous pornographer Al Goldstein of Screw sets sights on White House. Strife of the Party: Meet Matt Sanchez, GOP darling, former gay porn star. From The Raw Story, CNN reporter Michael Ware slams Drudge's charge that he "heckled" McCain; exclusive video confirms his claim. The real Fox News Democrats: How the "Fair and Balanced" network pits Democrats against their own party. Stop the Presses: When our country's top news organizations cover campaigns, providing readers with relevant information isn't even on the agenda. From Truthdig, an interview with Mark Green, the new president of Air America. And wondering what's all the rage for spring? Rage: Dahlia Lithwick on lessons from an improbable collaboration

[Apr 2] From Australia, a review of Colonial Ambition: Foundations of Australian Democracy; and Ross Gittins is a reconstructed economic rationalist in free-market clothes: A review of Gittinomic$. A tale of two island states, Fiji and Tonga, and of their contrasting attitudes to democratic reform. From Japan Focus, Chris Burgess on multicultural Japan: An article on discourse and the myth of homogeneity; and cartoons for peace: An article on the global art of satire. From Foreign Policy, we got tubed—again:  The Bush administration didn’t just hype flawed intelligence on Iraq. It got North Korea wrong, too. Now Kim Jong Il has the bomb—and the last laugh. More on Danny Postel's Reading Legitimation Crisis in Tehran: Iran and the Future of Liberalism. President Hamid Karzai’s decision two weeks ago to swap five Taliban captives for a kidnapped Italian reporter should make perfectly clear the disaster unfolding in Afghanistan. From TAP, though many have denied it for years, the fact remains that engaging the Israel-Palestine issue first would greatly improve America's position in the Middle East on every other front. The Rich Texture of Shiite Institutions: An excerpt from Hezbollah: A Short History. A review of In the Footsteps of the Prophet by Tariq Ramadan. Mitchell Cohen reviews Why the French Don’t Like Headscarves. A review of Cameron: the rise of the new Conservative (and more); and more on Welcome to Everytown by Julian Baggini. Worried their city might become an overblown museum packed with visitors, Florentines are working to ensure it has a residential pulse too. A tunnel of superlatives: The Swiss are not generally given to hyperbole, but a new tunnel being carved under the Alps has already been hailed as "the crowning achievement of the 21st century". "Forest Man" discovered in woods with weed: German authorities arrested an American hermit found in the woods of the Rhineland-Palatinate. He has allegedly been living in a hidden camp for years, but isn't your average recluse. A look at how Germans' fundamental hypocrisy about the US suggests that it's high time for a new bout of re-education. To Russia with Realism: By treating Moscow as a defeated adversary rather than a natural ally, Washington risks a new Cold War. Do Russian women shave their legs? What's the deal with homosexuality in Russia? These are among the questions tackled in Russia!, a new glossy magazine. Peering into the future is a tricky business. Soothsayers and prophets risk being proven embarrassingly wrong, or going uncredited if their predictions avert catastrophe. A look at five dates that just might change the world. From The New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch on Zimbabwe, the sick man of Africa (and more); and a profile of Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank and the next crusade. And reverse foreign aid: Why are poor countries subsidizing rich ones? 

[Weekend 2e] The Americas: From Canada, au revoir separatism, bonjour “autonomy”: Quebec's voters have turned their province's politics upside down, and may have reshaped those of Canada; fresh thinking is good for democracy. That's because some long-held assumptions about our political system can impede true "government by the people"; and an article on the security certificate conundrum: If you can't detain and you can't deport, what do you do? The barbaric primitiveness of the hunt-slaughter, or cull, contrasts jarringly with the "nice guy" image Canada wishes to project abroad: "We're not a cruel savage race that came out of the forest somewhere." From The Nation, a review of Toussaint Louverture: A Biography. Revolutionary threads of slavery: An article on the birth of Caribbean nationalism. From The Washington Monthly, Castr-ated: The Bush administration’s aversion to dealing with Cuba is reducing our influence on the island—just when there’s a chance to encourage change. The Odd Couple: Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro may be bosom buddies, but a close look at their respective nations reveals some gaping disparities. Letter from Caracas: How oil madness has struck Venezuela and its comandante. Rumbles in the revolutionary ranks: Hugo Chávez's move to leftist autocracy faces some unexpected opposition from some of his own supporters. Leaders vs. Loonies: Latin America has more responsible presidents than the example of Hugo Chavez suggests. From In These Times, an article on Colombia’s Third Way: With the FARC having devolved into little more than bandits, a new left-wing party has emerged. The perils of “parapolitics”: After four years in which he transformed his country, Álvaro Uribe is running into problems. Some of them are symptoms of success. Rafael Correa is winning in his struggle to reform Ecuador's outdated and oligarchic political system. An article on the International Conference for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases that took place in Ecuador earlier this month. Between insurrection and reaction: An article on Evo Morales' pursuit of "normal capitalism". Vino's twin peaks: Argentina is catching up with Chile—but not as fast as it might. Argentines, who once imagined themselves more sophisticated, or more European, than the citizens of neighboring states, are more open to the idea of pan-Latin American solidarity. Anti-American sentiment, always strong in Latin America, has only grown more acute in recent times, largely because Washington has treated them with indifference and disrespect since 9/11. And Benjamin Barber on a Latin Third Way, not restricted to the Washington Consensus or populist grandstanding

[Weekend] Tax Pride Day: An article on countering the idea that taxes are something that we should be "free" from. The Coming Tax Crash: Are federal tax revenues on the brink of collapse? A Few Good Lawyers: The tax system can be only as strong as the people who run it, so the government has to recruit and retain the most promising talent. A review of Overdose: How Excessive Government Regulation Stifles Pharmaceutical Innovation by Richard A. Epstein. Jonathan Cohn & David Gratzer debate whether universal health care means limiting access. Secure biometric Social Security cards are an essential ingredient in any comprehensive immigration reform, and why cracking down on illegal immigrants isn’t the answer. Immigration is a feminist issue: If there is one thing that the pundits at National Review want for the American people, it is self-sufficiency in lawn care. How will economic pressures soon change the U.S. debate over immigration? From The New York Times Magazine, Thomas Friedman on the power of green: What does America need to regain its global stature? Environmental leadership (and an interview). Sustainable development’s next trick: It entered the lexicon twenty years ago. Has it lost its way? Are biofuels promise or peril? The answer depends on how governments regulate the industry. The pressure for economic growth around the globe is pushing gas and oil prices higher. The solution seems deceptively simple: conserve energy by using it more efficiently. So why aren't more people doing exactly that? "Scheer Nonsense": An article on the damage idealistic environmentalists can do. People proselytize for hybrids and fuel efficiency, but they buy fat, gas-guzzling autos. Why do drivers, businessmen and politicians have such a hard time saving gas to protect the environment? If the new movement against global warming is going to get Congress to act, it will have to do more than pose an inconvenience to the likes of Dingell, Boucher and Inhofe. It will have to work to kick the bums out. The Supreme Court as umpire? How the global warming decision illuminates the role we ask the Justices to play. A look at why the Court's EPA ruling won't clean up our air. From Dissent, the authoritarian reflex: Murray Hausknecht on the preferred response of the Bush administration. Robert Kuttner on conservatism's third failure. Paul Krugman on how many Bushies were appointed to promote a religious agenda. From Christianity Today, an article on the road to healing: Battling homosexual attraction one day at a time. Consenting Adults: The next frontier in the legal battle over abortion is whether women need protection from themselves. From Nerve, an article on the 30 sluttiest athletes of all time. From LA Weekly, they’re handsome, charming and so good to their mothers. They’re Mexican American Princes, and they rule Los Angeles. And from The Boston Phoenix, here's a list of the 100 unsexiest men 2007: These guys couldn't turn on a radio

[Apr 13] The establishment rethinks globalization: William Greider on Ralph Gomory, author of Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests, an unlikely dissident who has proposed a new way to understand, and reform, the world economy. Sachs sucks: Celebrity economist Jeffrey Sachs is worshipped by Bono and Co, but his first Reith lecture showed up his painfully low horizons for the world’s poor. Kenneth Rogoff on the way forward for global financial policy. Clive Crook on how the age of the dollar has been great for America—but it may end soon pdf. One of the most pervasive and apparently self-evident assumptions of development economics is that sustainable investment and growth requires the rule of law. But is this conventional wisdom always right? Why America's airlines are the world's worst: British travellers beware: the US airline industry is in a tailspin, and passenger service and staff morale are hitting rock-bottom. From Reason, ghetto capitalists: A review of Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor. The rules that determine whose story leads the front page and who gets buried on page 14 can be racist, sexist, chauvinist and snobbish, but the readers are as much to blame as the editors. The Ho Industry: Alexander Cockburn on how, in the larger context, the flap over Don Imus's racial slur is only one tiny square in our dirty national quilt, and as Media Matters documents, bigotry and hate speech targeting race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity continue to permeate the airwaves through personalities such as Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Michael Smerconish, and John Gibson. From Details, Meet the Mandingos: They're gentlemen in the street, thugs in the bedroom, and your wife's steamiest fantasy. Girls to Men: Young lesbians in Brooklyn find that a thug's life gets them more women. An essay on LGBT politics and sexual liberation. From The Nation, Victor Navasky on Hiss in History: Although many historians have condemned Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy, the facts of his story remain obscure; Scott Sherman on how the pugnacious, money-losing New York Sun has won friends and influenced conservatives; and on the coming party realignment: Public anxiety over the economy could lead to a permanent restructuring of America's political parties. Michael Tomasky on what Rudy believes: Gun control? Welcoming immigrants? A woman's right to choose? Never mind his past positions. The only -ism that Rudy Giuliani believes in is sadism. From The Village Voice, an article on a different kind of US attorney scandal: Or, how to stay in the good graces of Karl Rove. Had enough? An excerpt from Where Have All the Leaders Gone? by Lee Iacocca. And how many cold, hard facts are needed to kill tired Beltway orthodoxies? David Sirota on five orthodoxies that jump out from just this week's news

[Apr 12]  An interview with Mariano Fazio, author of A History of Contemporary Ideas: a reading of the process of secularisation. A review of Can God and Caesar Coexist? Balancing Religious Freedom and International Law. From National Review, religious leaders have a unique and vital role to play in the public square, but only if they avoid speaking (Leftist) nonsense. Questions of faith: Christians are divided about evolution and creation. Abbas Raza is taking sides in the recent religion debates. An interview with Linda Seger, author of Jesus Rode a Donkey: Why Republicans Don't Have the Corner on Christ. Members of the radical Christian End Times movement are being taught to believe that America is ruled by evil, clandestine organizations disguised as liberal groups. As a result, the fearful are hoping for the end. The introduction to In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution. More on Leviathan on the Right: How Big Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution. A review of Freedom's Power: The True Force of Liberalism by Paul Starr. From American Heritage, a review of Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America. More and more on Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life. The United States of Amnesia: Historians are the ones who can separate the wheat from the chaff in the winnowing of history. "We're contemplating a similar experiment in the Middle East": Have they ever given the Nobel Medicine Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize to the same person? An interview with Michael B. Oren, author of Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776-Present. From Military Times, something about that swish of dirty blond makes the airman’s eyes flicker. Is it her? Airman who lost job for posing nude speaks out. A review of The Sister Knot: Why we fight, why we're jealous, and why we'll love each other no matter what. After squawking about sex ed for years, Democrats turned prude once they took power. You'll find no better examples of the Bush administration's preference for hacks and ideologues than the personnel overseeing women's health and reproductive policies. Unnatural Selections: Barry Schwartz on what T.G.I. Friday’s can tell us about mammograms. From New York, Charles Cullen, who may be the most prolific serial killer America has ever seen, is serving eighteen consecutive life sentences in a New Jersey penitentiary. Behind bars, he can no longer take life, yet he’s found a way to give it—in the form of an organ transplant. But no one wants to give him the chance to play God again. From A Public Space, an elegy to the telegram and starflight: On the graying of technology. Marshall Brain, founder of HowStuffWorks, on how brain uploading would work. And you can download The Perfect World Tour: An Imperfect Guide to the Perfect World

[Apr 11] From Newsweek, is the push to save the planet a fad, or a turning point? A series of articles. The Age of the Climate Refugees? The picture painted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is one of blighted nations and millions of desperate immigrants fleeing climate disaster. But experts disagree about whether the bleak vision will ever come true. An interview with NASA climate expert James Hansen: "We need to take action soon". George Monbiot on how global warming scientists are under intense pressure to water down findings, and are then accused of silencing their critics. Bill Scher reports from the global warming debate between Newt Gingrich and John Kerry (while conservatives go apeshit over The Greening of Gingrich). The Ethanol Hoax: Corn is the magic cure of the moment, which Bush and the global-warming naysayers contend will save the planet. Don't buy it. Uncle Sam wants sustainability: Environmentalists must decide whether they should accept that stinger missiles will always be with us. According to conventional wisdom, we need government central planners to provide us with military defense, but private defense is no laughing matter. The introduction to The Society of Captives: A Study of a Maximum Security Prison. H.O.P.E. for Reform: What a novel probation program in Hawaii might teach other states. From The Economist, an article on The Pursuit of Busyness: Are you, or have you ever been, a capitalist? From American, a free market case for the minimum wage: Feel-good policies, though economically harmful in themselves, could be justified if they avoid the harmful policy impacts of income envy; and on a new valuable airline service you may not have noticed: By making their pricing structures transparent, discount airlines are forcing candor and efficiency on the whole industry. Robert Kuttner surveys the wreckage of our housing and mortgage lending policies. The first chapter from Snipers, Shills, and Sharks: eBay and Human Behavior. CEO Window Undressing: Disclosure of CEO pay isn't enough. It's time to bring democracy to corporations. Fix the AMT (But Not Yet): Daniel Gross on the looming Alternative Minimum Tax catastrophe, and why the Democrats shouldn't try to prevent it. The Econoclast: James Kenneth Galbraith on Bush's beltway boom. Paul Johnson on how the greatest threat to democracy today comes not from totalitarian ideology but from within itself--from the ever-increasing power of well-organized lobbies. From TNR, a look at what Jacques Chirac could teach us about health care. A review of The Stem Cell Controversy: Debating the Issues. The Sanguine Sex: Caitlin Flanagan reviews The Choices We Made and The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade. Should incest be legal? A 2003 Supreme Court case striking down sodomy laws is being used by plaintiffs as a defense against incest. But courts are balking. And pas de deux of sexuality is written in the genes: Human sexual behavior is not a free-form performance, biologists are finding, but is guided at every turn by genetic programs

[Apr 10]  From VQR, a symposium on "That Grotesque and Laughable Word": David Caplan on rethinking patriotism in time of war; and more on the Walt Whitman controversy: A lost document. Eric Foner reviews The Road to Disunion: Secessionists Triumphant: 1854-1861 by William W. Freehling. A review of Violation: Justice, Race and Serial Murder in the Deep South. More on Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America. Charles Ogletree and Johanna Wald on the lessons of Dred Scott. Newspapers, too, find it hard to say sorry: History may resist them, yet expressions of regret are on the rise. The Long Tail of Politics: In the digital revolution, everyone can inherit the earth. Cassandra Wilkinson explains how. A review of Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu. From Swans, an essay on schizoid comedy & Stephen Colbert. Christopher Hitchens on The You Decade: There's a new narcissistic pronoun in town. For nearly 30 years, Matthew Engel has kept notebooks of quotes and quirky facts that spoke to him about life. But when his young son died of cancer, they took on another meaning. Leslie Bennetts, author of The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?, on a woman's dream of loss. Wrinkles in Living Color: Can Dove sell a new line of beauty products by telling women that aging is OK? Two jobs versus no jobs: The effect of lone-parent families on child poverty figures is well understood. But another factor is underplayed: the polarisation between two-wage and no-wage households. Roots of Insecurity: Horst Brand on why American workers and others are losing out. Usury for Beginners: How Prosper.com helped Jonathan Last become a loan shark. Brad DeLong on the secret language of central bankers. Bruce Bartlett on how supply-side economics trickled down: There is no longer any meaningful difference between supply-side economics and mainstream economics. From Newsweek, the 90 Percent Solution: When it comes to the need to reduce carbon emissions, how far is far enough? With wind farms, the NIMBY factor or, in one case, NOMB (“Not On My Beach”), is particularly conspicuous. An energy-hungry nation is turning to an alternative source of power: the methane gas building up under dumps across the country. Can man improve on nature’s fishbowl? In the age of the superaquarium, a debate over who owns the ecoconscience. In order to reduce the number of abandoned dogs put to death — now some two million a year — shelter workers have become interspecies matchmakers. And for centuries we wrongly believed that only man has intelligence: A review of Animal Architects

[Apr 9] From Dissent, getting right with the Cold War: A debate with between Kevin Mattson and Joanne Barkan. A review of George Kennan: A Study of Character by John Lukacs. More on Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower by Zbigniew Brzezinski. A review of The Silence of the Rational Center: Why American Foreign Policy Is Failing. More on Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic by Chalmers Johnson. A review of Can Might Make Rights? Building the Rule of Law After Military Interventions. A review of The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism From the Assassination of Tsar Alexander II to Al-Qaeda by Matthew Carr. From The New York Times Magazine, a cover story on Keeping the Faith: Pope Benedict XVI says he believes that the Roman Catholic Church in Europe faces a dire threat in secularism and that re-Christianizing the Continent is critical not only to the fate of the church but to the fate of Europe itself. Pope Benedict XVI has decried the spiritual and material "plundering" of Africa by the wealthy in his first book as pontiff, Jesus of Nazareth, and he says humanity must rediscover how to be good. A review of The Roman Catholic Church by Edward Norman. A review of Christianity and the Transformation of the Book: Origen, Eusebius, and the Library of Caesarea; and The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the Making of Christian Scholarship doc. More on Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know -- and Doesn't. From TAP, Scott Lemieux reviews Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court by Jan Crawford Greenburg. For the Chief Justice, a dissent and a line in the sand: The portrait of John Roberts as a builder of consensus may need a bit of adjustment. The Drifters: U.S. Supreme Court Justices may come to the bench with an ideological point of view, but it changes. From Cato Unbound, Darrin M. McMahon on The Pursuit of Happiness in Perspective. A nonfiction account of the life of a latter-day Don Quixote: A review of The Happiest Man in the World: An Account of the Life of Poppa Neutrino. A review of Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis — and the People Who Pay the Price by Jonathan Cohn. This time, we want healthcare reform: If reformers learn from the Clintons' mistake, overhauling healthcare shouldn't be such a tough sell. A review of Overdose: How Excessive Government Regulation Stifles Pharmaceutical Innovation by Richard Epstein. Latte laborers take on a latte-liberal business: In the case of Starbucks: a corporate do-gooder vs. unhappy workers vs. concerned consumers. Barry Schwartz reviews Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole by Benjamin Barber (and more). Western shoppers get them free and throw them away. In China they are big business. Tracing trace plastic bags from factory to supermarket to rubbish dump to factory. John Livingston, author of The Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation, is the greatest environmentalist you've never heard of. And a review of Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas

[Weekend 2e]  Dan Overmyer (UBC): The World as a Holy Place pdf. From The Economist, as the evidence of global warming proliferates, so do the nasty consequences. A moral obligation: The s report confirms that those contributing the least to climate change are the ones set to suffer most. Rich states must act, and act now. The new report on global warming, though denounced by some, still makes a strong case that the planet is in danger — and that a consensus for action is needed. The picture painted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is one of blighted nations and millions of desperate immigrants fleeing climate disaster. But experts disagree about whether the bleak vision will ever come true (and more). A report by Britain's Channel 4 News warns that climate change could provoke border conflicts and social collapse. Newt Gingrich and John Kerry are set to square off on climate change next week. From Le Monde diplomatique, where ecology meets a disappearing and precious culture: The long tale of the donkey. An interview with Marlene Zuk, author of Riddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites That Make Us Who We Are. A review of The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating. Skidproof your SUV: An article on the greatest life-saver since seat-belts. From Mclean's, is God poison? A new movement blames God for every social problem from Darfur to child abuse. Charles Moore on militant atheists: too clever for their own good. "We Christians need more persecution": An interview with Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. From Commonweal, don't blame the Zeitgeist: An article on why people leave the Church. Christian unity? The Apostles Creed’s “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church” seems remote and almost duplicitous. From Salvo, a special issue on The Way of All Flesh, including an essay on Porn in the USA: Examining our national addiction; Sex & the Witty: Marriage, morals and the TV sitcom; Animal Urges: Who's to say that bestiality is wrong?; and Hooked on a Feeling: Is gender just a state of mind? pdf. From National Review, Robert P. George on families and first principles: the conservative fight to protect life and defend marriage. Phyllis Schlafly on equal rights for women: wrong then, wrong now. From National Journal, Member Moms: Reps. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., share not only a rowhouse, but also the challenges of juggling motherhood and congressional careers. A review of Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would Be President. Why can't a woman... be a man? That may be the only way females can get good roles in today's blockbuster movies. Why vanity keeps us poor: Wanna save an extra $5,000 a year? Become a man. Hostages to family fortunes: Those who argue that traditional mothers are the be-all and end-all are making fathers seem expendable. When it's time to hang up on Mom: If his quiz proves you're a "mama's boy", Dr. Kenneth Adams has some urgent advice. The gay mogul changing US politics: No, it's not David Geffen. Colorado multi-millionaire Tim Gill is spearheading a national strategy to support gay causes — and has already made a major impact in his home state. And Out magazine ranks the Top 50 gays in the US

[Weekend] From The Public Interest, Peter Berkowitz reviews Freedom’s Power: The True Force of Liberalism by Paul Starr. From Human Events, Marvin Olasky on how some conservatives hurt conservatism. A review of Andrew Sullivan's The Conservative Soul. An interview with Bob Altemeyer, author of The Authoritarians (which you can download free), on Tom DeLay's new autobiography, No Retreat, No Surrender. Lawrence Dennis was a leading light in the American fascist movement of the 1930s. He was a fan of Hitler and a self-avowed anti-semite. Now The Colour of Fascism reveals that he was actually black - although even his wife didn't know (and the preface pdf). From National Review, Thomas Sowell is an intellectual black belt with a warm and sensitive heart. From NYRB, Frances FitzGerald on The Evangelical Surprise. A look at the Christian Right's legal muscle leading the fight to end the separation of church and state. Chastity fashion, paintball theology, golf-course mansions, and a Vatican-approved college: Domino's pizza billionaire Tom Monaghan builds a city on a swamp. Teenage Holy War: Jesus is really, really pissed -- at Hollywood, at the media, even at most Christians. But BattleCry, the nation’s largest and most radical youth crusade, is recruiting a new generation of Christian soldiers to fight back. Blogging for Jesus, political junkies turn to CBN.com: David Brody, a journalist for Pat Robertson's TV network, develops a real web base among followers of the presidential races. Evangelist face or O-face: Are they giving glory to the Father or bringing it home to Daddy? Take our online quiz to find out. Here are 5 alternatives to Christianity to consider this Easter. A review of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as eyewitness testimony. More on God: The Failed Hypothesis by Victor Stenger. A card trick and a religious hoax: What may seem like divine intervention is rooted in the principles of a card trick. From New Statesman, in an uncertain age, writes Mark Vernon, we need to question our beliefs; and where have the lefty Christians gone? Nowadays going to church is something to keep quiet at left-liberal social gatherings. With God, or without: Atheists and religious people can fight oppression together. Et tu, EJ?: " The problem with the neo-atheists is that they seem as dogmatic as the dogmatists they condemn". From New Humanist, you don’t have to be religious to experience inexplicable moments of epiphany. Humanists should welcome the life disdainful of intellectual tranquility because it’s precisely this that keeps us on guard against the false comfort of the unexamined life, the life of faith. Einstein & faith: An excerpt from Einstein by Walter Issacson. Brooke Allen, author of Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers, on a moral minority. And a review of The Jamestown Project; Jamestown: The Buried Truth; Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America; A Land as God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America; and Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown

[Apr 6] From World Public Opinion, a study finds publics around the world say the UN has a responsibility to protect against genocide. From India Times, former Undersecretary-General Sashi Tharoor on reflections on a changing United Nations. From Policy Review, a review of The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power by James Traub; a look at why we fight over foreign policy: Different perspectives yield different conclusions; an article on the myth of the invincible terrorist: Vulnerabilities of an elusive enemy; and War 2.0: Let there be no misguided enthusiasm: new means of communication neither “annihilate space” nor disperse the fog of war; on the contrary, the web makes warfare even more chaotic, messy, and deadly. Just as the telegraph once did. From The Nation, Andrew Bacevich reviews Commander in Chief: How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power Into a Threat by Geoffrey Perret; Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America by Cullen Murphy; Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced by Matthew Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg; Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror by Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr. and Aziz Z. Huq; and The Matador's Cape: America's Reckless Response to Terror by Stephen Holmes. It’s time for Congress to investigate the ties between the Bush family and Osama bin Laden: An excerpt from A Game as Old as Empire. US agencies in Iraq claim that extraordinary sums have been spent on reconstruction projects; that thousands have been completed and that many more are under way. But the cash (some of which was Iraq’s own) has gone to shady contractors who have done a bad job or none at all. America's broken-down Army: A look at what the Iraq war has done to our fighting force — and what can be done to fix it. The United States has waged countless wars without formal declaration. Is it time to amend the Constitution and eliminate the language about declaring war in Article I Section 8? John Yoo and Bruce Ackerman debate the wrangling between Congress and the president over wartime authority. Noam Chomsky on stopping the showdown with Iran. Dealing with a nuclear Iran: Some timely changes will help us cope with the unknown. Behind the Denials: Patrick Cockburn on the de facto hostage exchange. Geoffrey Wheatcroft on how Blair botched the Iran hostage crisis ( Hint: Take a look at Iraq). A review of The Evil Empire: 100 ways that England ruined the world. And several countries are poised to snag the title of “International Big Dog” from the reigning champ, so Cracked compiles an “it” list of the contenders. Only time—and World War III—will tell!

[Apr 5] From TNR, global-warming denialists in denial: As the consensus on climate change has hardened, skeptics have tried to adapt. From TLS, the world's problem: A review of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth: The planetary emergency of global warming and what we can do about it; Climate Change and Biodiversity; Nicholas Stern's The Economics of Climate Change; George Monbiot's Heat: How to stop the planet burning; Solar Revolution: The economic transformation of the global energy industry; Children of the Sun: A history of humanity’s unappeaseable appetite for energy; and Green to Gold. Beacon bird of climate change: A look at how penguin poop reveals secrets of the Antarctic climate. Denial in the Desert: Abrupt climate change is rapidly turning the American West into a desert. But a culture in denial, fueled by the delusion that water is inexhaustible, continues to build and build. James Howard Kunstler on why we must imagine a future without cars. How to live a low-energy lifestyle: Americans can cut consumption and keep their affluence, but it will take a change in priorities. A Long, Strange Trip: Thirty years ago, The Farm was the archetype of a model community. Today, it has shed communalism for capitalism. A writer visits a place of the past to learn its future. From The Wilson Quarterly, off the road: When did the travel bug become such a plague? Don’t Forget the Astrolabe: Global positioning — the ability to know exactly where you are — has the potential to provide a false sense of security. Will we have enough workers? In the near future, the U.S. may be begging people to cross the border. By common consent, the most influential figure setting the economic course of the Democratic Party is banker Robert Rubin. But his counsel isn't likely to help either the Democrats, their constituents, or the economy. When Chris Cox became chairman of the SEC, the Washington and Wall Street smart guys were sure what he would do. Instead, he fooled them by acting like…well, like Chris Cox. From The New York Observer, the Times Machine: Hot off the non-presses! As Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. packs up paper to futuristic, transparent tower, Times becomes out-of-body news. Bad News Bearers: An article on ranking the New York Times's worst reporters. From Slate, an article on helping The New York Times pick Barney Calame's replacement as public editor. If newspapers are dead, the corpses are oddly popular. Jack Shafer writes in defense of the Anna Nicole feeding frenzy and other pulp journalism run amok. Making Blogging Pay: As bloggers gain strength as the political voice of the left, how can they compete with well-funded mainstream media? Diagram of a Blog: Paula Scher offers a visual depiction of the life of a blog. New outlets for political junkies: Big Internet sites are rolling out features and tools to help the average Web user engage in political debate. The sites are hoping the move will help bring traffic -- and presidential campaign-advertising dollars. And in the tanks for the Democrats: Back from the political wilderness, left-leaning thinkers are having their day

[Apr 4] From National Journal, although Democrats promised ethics reforms when they assumed control of Congress, lobbyists now face a hodgepodge of ambiguous rules — and pressure to raise campaign money. The critics will ignore the numbers and play to the ideologues. Norman Ornstein and Anthony Corrado Jr. will open up a fine vintage wine to celebrate five years of a more vibrant and fair campaign process. Making the popular vote a winner: Momentum is building toward making the Electoral College work as it should. EJ Dionne on bypassing the Electoral College: The American way of electing presidents is antiquated, impractical and dangerous. The winds of secession are blowing in the Green Mountain State: Vermont was once an independent republic, and it can be one again. From TAP, for years, drug companies have steadily co-opted the FDA while oversight and enforcement have lagged. Might this year finally see some change? How advocates of Prohibition exploited anti-immigrant sentiment: A review of Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City. Gone is the swaggering Prince of Prosecution: The geography of prosecutorial power has shifted since the days of Morgenthau and Giuliani; today’s Justice Department holds a far tighter leash on its attorneys of state. An interview with Ron Jacobs, author of The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground. From The Objectivist Center, an interview with Michael Shermer on reason, science, pseudo-science, and politics. A review of Victor J. Stenger’s God: The Failed Hypothesis — How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist. Peter Steinfels reviews The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith’s Invention of Secret Mark and The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled. From Salon, an interview with Elaine Pagels on The Gospel According to Judas. A review of A Match Made in Heaven: American Jews, Christian Zionists, and One Man's Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical Alliance. A review of The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalypic Sect. Karaoke for the Lord: An article on the recipe for success at American megachurches. Linda Hirshman on why "Don't ask, don't tell" is a strictly Christian policy. From New English Review, Theodore Dalrymple on the virtue of freedom; and the verdict on Marxism-Leninism: “Case Closed”. The libertarian-conservative alliance is undergoing significant strain of late: An article on the political Right's separation anxiety. An interview with Brian Doherty, author of Radicals for Capitalism. Overselling capitalism: Benjamin Barber on why today's markets are headed for disaster unless there is a shift in focus. From Business Week, an article on the richest zip codes, and how they got that way. A review of Inequality: Social Class and Its Consequences. Are secret ballots the fairest way to make democratic decisions? A look at why card check neutrality is good for workers. From New York, a survival manual on the many meanings of the workplace; and an article on the 13-Year-Old Prostitute: Working girl or sex slave? Power and sexual harassment: Research finds men and women see things differently. Dude Awakening: Is The Average American Male brutally honest, or just woman-hating? For the articles? Butt magazine finds a straight guy readership

[Apr 3] From Newsweek, is God real? Jon Meacham investigates. The Passion of the Passover: Shmuel Rosner on why Easter doesn't overshadow Passover. From Commentary, Jewish Genius: Charles Murray on how Jews are extravagantly overrepresented in every field of intellectual accomplishment. Why?; and an article on how to win in Iraq—and how to lose: Campaigns like the current "surge" in Baghdad have a record of battlefield success—when they are not undermined at home. From Democratiya, an article on Iraq’s Future 101 and the failings of the Baker-Hamilton Report. From New English Review, all that glitters is not gold: An article on Bernard Lewis and the Irving Kristol Prize (and more from The New Criterion); would it be immoral for Americans to leave Iraq, or to allow it to dissolve? Never have so few done so much damage to so many; an article on secularism and Islam; here are ten things to think when thinking of Muslim moderates. The U.S. has now been in Iraq for more than four years. More than 3,000 American soldiers are dead. Who’s to blame? The Sum of Our Fears: The money we've wasted on unseen terrorists, nonexistent WMDs and phantom pedophiles could have been used to address any number of legitimate threats. From The Common Review, a review of Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror; and a review of What Makes Women Happy by Fay Weldon; The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine; and The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability by Laura Kipnis pdf. More on Stacked: A 32DDD Reports From the Front. A review of The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much? by Leslie Bennetts. It's all feminism's fault (again): The newspapers have been telling us that equality makes us ill. We've heard it all before. Baby Lust: Since when did having a child become a feminist imperative? We used to know how to get together and really let our hair down. Then, in the early 1600s, a mass epidemic of depression broke out - and we've been living with it ever since. Something went wrong, but what? Barbara Ehrenreich unpicks the causes of our unhappiness. From E Magazine, here are ten things wrong with sprawl. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court said the Clean Air Act gives the E.P.A. the authority to regulate the emissions of greenhouse gases from cars (and more). From The Atlantic Monthly, Gregg Easterbrook on global warming: Who loses--and who wins? The Climate Divide: There is a growing consensus that the first world owes the third world a climate debt. Ways to Avoid a Climate Catastrophe: The rapid change in the world's climate and shrinking oil and natural gas reserves are forcing a radical shift in the way we think about energy. Declining prosperity seems unavoidable unless the global community chooses a more sustainable approach to producing and consuming energy. Skyfarming: Columbia professor Dickson Despommier believes that converting skyscrapers into crop farms could help reduce global warming and make New York cleaner. It’s a vision straight out of Futurama—but here’s how it might work. And an interview with Gavin Schmidt of RealClimate

[Apr 2] Poor nations to bear brunt as world warms: Wealthy countries spend far more to limit their own risks from global warming than to help the world’s most vulnerable regions. Elizabeth Kolbert reviews Deep Economy by Bill McKibben. More on Radicals for Capitalism by Brian Doherty. What’s the one thing Big Business and the Left have in common? Believe it or not, it could be a desire for universal health care. If the butler does it, you'll pay: The rich need more servants. How does $80K a year sound. A review of Benjamin Barber's Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole. Can poor people be taught to save? A network theory for building a savings account. Urban puzzle: The gentrification of rundown city neighborhoods conjures an image of well-off whites displacing poor minorities. What's actually going on is far more complex, and the winners and losers can be hard to predict. A review of Ghettonation: A Journey into the Land of the Bling and the Home of the Shameless (and an excerpt). A review of The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn't, and Why. Bill Bradley on how we can get out of these ruts: Once we face the truth about our abysmal voter turnout, our oil addiction, our health-care and education crises, and our inadequate national savings, there is good news. Beware the politician who won't flip-flop: Great presidents -- Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt -- changed their positions when it was appropriate. Democrats reach a critical stage: Washington is at a tipping point between Democratic calls for "A New Direction" in government and the need for Congress and the White House to show results soon. The Complicated Power of the Vote to Nowhere: It’s not a straight line from Congressional action to the end of a war. See Vietnam. The War of the Words: The "war on terror" as a phrase could be nearing its final days. When the Bush administration goes, it may, too. A review of A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902. A review of Witch Hunts: From Salem to Guantanamo Bay and Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy Against Global Terror by Ian Shapiro. Rulebooks for the next war: A review of Preemption: a Knife that Cuts Both Ways by Alan M Dershowitz and Target Iran: the Truth about the US Government's Plans for Regime Change by Scott Ritter. A review of A Good War Is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America. Make love and war: A new comic, though satirical, raises a good question: What should the Pentagon do about our troops' sexual needs? A review of It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush. GOP Insider Vic Gold launches a broadside at the state of the party in Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP. And Matthew Dowd became a symbol of George W. Bush’s early success at positioning himself as a Republican with Democratic appeal, but now Dowd has lost faith in Bush

[Weekend 2e] Africa and Asia: From Mauritania, the recent presidential elections, while inconclusive yet, show that the country is moving positively towards political democracy. Anthony Giddens on how Libya could end up as the Norway of Africa. Asking for the earth: A functioning system of land registration in Africa could help to ensure stability and provide collateral for investment and development. From World Press, the distant dream of unity: Members of ASEAN envision a future for the region which includes economic integration, passport-free travel, and even a common currency. Nearly four years after Congress pulled the plug on what critics assailed as an Orwellian scheme to spy on private citizens, Singapore is set to launch an even more ambitious incarnation of the Pentagon's controversial Total Information Awareness program. The military government in Myanmar allows foreign journalists into its new capital of Naypyitaw, which is being built from scratch in the jungle. Japan sex slaves' problem: An interview with Gerald Curtis on why Japan has so much trouble moving beyond its past. Now that Japan has withdrawn its troops from Iraq perhaps Bush will speak plainly to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about his inflammatory behaviour? Francis Fukuyama wants to know. Lunch with the FT: An interview with Masahiko Fujiwara, author of The Dignity of a State: "Japan should reject western values". So far the world has come to China, but now a rising China is beginning to reach out to the world, starting with Asia. Is that a good thing? An interview with James Mann, author of The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression (and a review). China's great game in Asia: Why are there so few takers outside China for its self-proclaimed doctrine of “peaceful rise”? Genocide games: In the summer of 2008, the world will turn its gaze to China and the Beijing Olympics. A growing number of activists want to make sure the shadow of Darfur, and China's complicity, are what the world remembers. Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang is guaranteed a second term. Will he be able to do anything meaningful with it? (and an interview). An interview with Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland, authors of Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid, and Reform. Exiled in India, he is Tibet's most successful international spokesperson. The Dalai Lama receives pilgrims from all over the world -- but the future of Tibet remains bleak. And Beijing is calculating that international interest in Tibet will dwindle once he dies. It's a fragile peace for now as Nepal's Maoists try to achieve their goals through the processes of parliamentary democracy. And as popular protests and Islamic militants create the worst crisis since Pervez Mushaffaf took power, democratic reform is the Pakistani president's only course of action

[Weekend] Peter Yu (MSU): Ten Common Questions About Intellectual Property and Human Rights. Edward Foley (OSU): The Future of Bush v. Gore? A review of Interstate Disputes: The Supreme Court's Original Jurisdiction. A review of From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America. A review of Natural Moralities: A Defense of Pluralistic Relativism. From Sign and Sight, a final rejoinder: Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash set Pascal Bruckner straight on a few last points. This is what the clash of civilisations is really about: Julian Baggini on how relativism has made liberal openness appear weak, empty and repugnant compared with the clarity of dogma. From Edge, an interview with Philip Zimbardo on the heroic imagination (and more). A review of The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 by Saul Friedländer. A review of Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che. From Slate, Clive James on Ludwig Wittgenstein: In search of the real artichoke. In an entry from The Salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors, Dave Eggers summarizes and notates Vonnegut's literary output. High-School Vonnegut: Some authors you never outgrow. A review of Touchstones: essays on literature, art and politics by Mario Vargas Llosa. The dark legacy of Carlos Castañeda: The godfather of the New Age led a secretive group of devoted followers in the last decade of his life. His closest "witches" remain missing, and former insiders, offering new details, believe the women took their own lives. John Gribbin on scientific works that are also literature of a high order. Strange but true: It may seem round when viewed from space, but our planet is actually a bumpy spheroid. From Encyclopedia Britannica, humanity has had a love-hate relationship with numbers from the earliest times, and more numbers 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, and the entry on number symbolism. From Wired, an interview with Tim O'Reilly: "Web 2.0 is about controlling data"; and a look at the 10 real reasons why geeks make better lovers. The world is a wondrous place, filled with humans and other bizarre creatures, and the folks who write the Findings column in Harper's magazine give us the latest inside info on just about all of it. From Newsweek, that night at Duke: They spent a year accused of kidnapping, assault and rape. Now, though, the three Duke lacrosse players were told they were innocent. The inside story of the infamous evening. A national study debunks stereotype of self-absorption: College students know more about politics than pop culture. A review of The Beatles and Philosophy. And Kant, Not Cant: Actually, morning talker Bill Bennett has a much better taste in philosophers than that, but you’ve got the idea

[Apr 13] From International Socialism, a special section on reclaiming Gramsci for revolutionary Marxism on the seventieth anniversary his death, including an article on the Turin years, hegemony and revolutionary strategy, the Prison Notebooks and philosophy, and Gramsci’s Marxism and international relations; a review of Political Descartes: Reason, Ideology and the Bourgeois Project by Antonio Negri; a review of Louis Althusser, Politics and History; and a review of Marx, Lenin, and the Revolutionary Experience: Studies of Communism and Radicalism in the Age of Globalisation. From New Statesman, intellectuals, society and the left: An article by Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm provides valuable insight into how he saw society in the late seventies. UC Irvine revives suit against Derrida's widow: The school reinstates legal action against the widow -- at her request -- as the dispute over the late academic's papers continues. A new issue of The Village Voice "Education Supplement" is out. From The Chronicle, trapped by education: How the discipline became the predominant one for black scholars, and what it's costing them. A review of The Power of Privilege: Yale and America’s Elite Colleges. From Skeptical Inquirer, an article on The Coulter Hoax: How Ann Coulter exposed the Intelligent Design movement. The earliest life on Earth might have been just as purple as it is green today, a scientist claims. Psychedelic Space Plants: Scientists predict plants with wild colors on distant planets. A review of Plutonium: A History of the World's Most Dangerous Element. From Wired, the "pipe dream" is UNESCO's point-to-point vision of global cultural flow from any point to any other. The world we live in today, though, is still a hub-and-spoke world. We consider the "primitive" music of blues singers such as Leadbelly to be more authentic than that of the Monkees. But all pop musicians are fakes: A review of Faking It: the quest for authenticity in popular music. A review of Jeff Chang's Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop. A review of Sexual Decoys: gender, race and war in imperial democracy. A review of Guernica and Total War by Ian Patterson. A review of Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations. From FT, a review of Decency and Disorder: The Age of Cant 1789-1837 (and more and more). Two tales of a city: A review of The Ghost Map: The Study of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World, by Steven Johnson and The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump: John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera, by Sandra Hempel. And on Primo Levi's alchemy: Don't read the Holocaust into everything he wrote

[Apr 12] Gerardo Munck (USC): The Past and Present of Comparative Politics pdf. A review of The Philosophy of Science and Technology Studies by Steve Fuller. A review of Philip Zimbardo’s The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. Some of Reuven Kaminer's friends have expressed concern that he has recently become slightly obsessed with Hannah Arendt. They really have no cause for concern. The growing capacity of today’s forensics seems likely to undermine the law’s time-ingrained notions, embodied in statutes of limitations, about how long people should be liable to criminal prosecution. Robin Hoods: A laboratory game shows people will give up some of their own wealth to ensure equality within a group. Incongruity thy name is Hells Angels: Of tattoos, toy drives and merchandizing. More on the earliest printed books in select languages: 1501-1879. William Safire on three quite different meanings of "existential". From Bloomberg, why can Harvard borrow in the tax- exempt municipal bond market? For that matter, why can Penn, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, Princeton and Yale borrow money with municipal bonds, at tax-exempt rates? It's a good question, and someone now is asking it. As Congress and some states probe questionable dealings between colleges and lenders, Sallie Mae, the leading student loan provider, adopts a new code of conduct. Some students believe that economics lessons are necessarily dull. Here is a fairly exciting lesson about income and expenses, prepared by Newt Gingrich. A bitter spat over ideas, Israel and tenure: Alan Dershowitz and Norman Finkelstein are trying to undermine each other’s careers. From The Situationist, Harvard's Jon Hanson and Mississippi's Michael McCann on Hoyas, Hos, & Gangstas. From Rolling Stone, a look aback at Sex & Scandal at Duke: Lacrosse players, sorority girls and the booze-fueled culture of the never-ending hookup on the nation's most embattled college campus. William F. Buckley on the high cost of loving Dartmouth. Groping for God and Country -- and School: Is chivalry dead in high school wrestling and the US military? Undervaluing teachers: As their pay continues to drop, teachers are increasingly asked to make up for all the shortcomings of education. A former teacher is opening an anti-evolution Creation Museum in Kentucky. Will its appeal extend beyond the believers? Hundreds of girls at a Mexican boarding school run by Roman Catholic nuns have been hit by a mystery illness that the authorities say is psychological. After testing 700 variations, British scientists say the ideal bacon sandwich may be divined by a formula: N = C + {fb(cm) · fb(tc)} + fb(Ts) + fc · ta. More on Monopoly: The World’s Most Famous Game—And How It Got That Way. And a look at the six freakiest children’s TV rock bands

[Apr 11] Cass R. Sunstein (Chicago): Illusory Losses. A review of The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth Century Science. A review of Rethinking Mill's Ethics: Character and Aesthetic Education. From Christianity Today, a report on a symposium devoted to Nicholas Wolterstorff's forthcoming magnum opus, Justice: Rights and Wrongs. Welcome to Pop Goes Philosophy by various authors with Open Court Publishing; where philosophers find deep meaning in the depths, and at least a tiny ray of reflection in the shallows, of all that is pop culture. Whoa! What am I doing here? It's the ultimate human question if you think about it. Here are more than 20 stories by and about people living out that question. A review of 10 Good Questions about Life and Death. From Seed, more on Michael Frayn's The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of a Universe. If a team of scientists crossed the DNA of Edmund Wilson with Pauline Kael, and added a dash of Wilfrid Sheed, they would come up with Clive James. Christopher Hitchens reviews Cultural Amnesia. More on Freud's Wizard: Ernest Jones and the Transformation of Psychoanalysis. A Sociologist of Sex, for the Benefit of the Masses: Pepper Schwartz is both a respected sociologist and a sex columnist for magazines and the author of more than a dozen popular books about love and relationships. A dish best served cold: Shakespeare wrote one of the most savage plays in the canon. Scott McLemee visits the dark side. From Political Affairs, an article on Plekhanov, Marx and Engels on freedom and necessity. Education is once again highly valued in China, with the Communist Party leadership aiming to make the country one of the most scientifically advanced in the world. But achieving that goal would require giving students more freedom to exercise their creativity, and less overcrowded universities. From Global Politician, can socialist professors of economics teach capitalism? The student-loan scam: Under a Republican Congress, for-profit lenders pursued their own interests -- often with the help of colleges. Do College Republicans hate Allah? Or are sensitivity mavens at San Francisco State a little too zealous? Smackdown at MIT: College credit for watching TV? Area students dig into the "cultural significance", and the water-cooler back stories, of popular shows. Publish or Parent? A look at how the tenure process favors men. In Praise of Small Conferences: You don’t need thousands of people and academic superstars to learn a lot. The Internet, not content with merely changing the way people communicate, is now changing the way we interact with our own libraries. From Discover, shapes in other dimensions: A lifelong obsession leads to the mysterious hedecatope—a seemingly impossible geometric form that, in its own small way, links together the whole universe. A review of Letters to a Young Mathematician. A review of The Emergence of Numerical Weather Prediction: Richardson's Dream. And water has been detected in the atmosphere of an alien world for the first time, a new analysis of Hubble Space Telescope data suggests

[Apr 10] From American Scientist, a dialogue between two of the makers involved in creating astronomy's first maps of the "dark matter" of the cosmos; fat tails: Sometimes the average is anything but average; neatness counts: Messy computer code is normally frowned on—but not always; open access and the progress of science: The power to transform research communication may be at each scientist's fingertips; what makes science successful? A review of The Intelligibility of Nature: How Science Makes Sense of the World, by Peter Dear; a review of I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstader; is biology reducible to the laws of physics? A review of Darwinian Reductionism: Or, How to Stop Worrying and Love Molecular Biology, by John Dupré; and a review of The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness, by Lee Dugatkin, Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved, by Frans de Waal and The Evolution of Morality, by Richard Joyce. Birds do it. Bees do it. People seek the keys to it: The definitions of sexual desire can be as quirky and personalized as the very chromosomal combinations that sexual reproduction will yield. Memorializing a Master Mathematician: Leonhard Euler is remembered as having discovered three of the top five most "beautiful" mathematical equations in the world. More on Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson (and more and more). A £2 billion project to answer some of the biggest mysteries of the universe has been delayed by months after scientists building it made basic errors in their mathematical calculations. From Great Britain, a new breed of international student: Student Eurocommuter, noun, a person who studies at a UK university during the week and takes the first economy flight home to Europe at weekends; and for the love of lecturing: Guess who's at the bottom of the heap in a new study of low-paid, overworked professionals? Student Stuntmen: A French import has college hipsters going head over heels, but some campus cops think it's a little too fly. Parents want their daughters to go to single-sex schools, but not their sons. The result is that mixed schools are often anything but. Does the imbalance matter? Chips with everything: An interview with Jim Orford, a psychologist who sees nothing but trouble in the rise of casinos and internet betting. How to Win MySpace Friends and Influence Readers: Writers who still traffic in dead trees are just beginning to figure out how to promote their books in the online networking universe. And reflections on digital communication from the last generation that remembers uni-tasking, reluctantly admitting that text messaging isn’t destroying society

[Apr 9] The inaugural issue of International Journal of Social Sciences is out. A review of Interstate Disputes: The Supreme Court’s Original Jurisdiction. A review of Reflections on Constitutional Law by George Anastaplo. Gordon Wood reviews Inventing Human Rights: A History. A review of Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives by David Sloan Wilson. Michael Sandel on embryo ethics: As the debate over stem cell research resumes in Washington this week, the moral principle on which the White House bases its position remains largely unexamined. More on The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph From the Frontiers of Brain Science. Information chips implanted in the brain. Electromagnetic pulse weapons. The middle classes becoming revolutionary, taking on the role of Marx's proletariat. This is the world in 30 years' time. Nicholas Lezard reviews Political Ideas in the Romantic Age: Their Rise and Influence on Modern Thought by Isaiah Berlin. A review of Freud's Wizard: Ernest Jones and the Transformation of Psychoanalysis. A review of Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Rethinking the History, Science, and Meaning of Auditory Hallucination. Bad thoughts about The Secret: Some people are finding the self-help phenomenon is actually screwing them up, and more on Secrets and Lies and The Wrath of the Secretrons. From NYRB, a review of The Bonus Army: An American Epic; Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation; and Over Here: How the G.I. Bill Transformed the American Dream. Who's the Boss? Dahlia Lithwick on how Pat Robertson's law school is changing America, and more on how scandal puts spotlight on Regent University Law School. Laptops vs. Learning: David Cole's first-year students were a bit surprised when he announced at the first class this year that laptops were banned from his classroom. Sampling, if not digesting, the digital library: Though Edward Rothstein doesn’t read Finnish, Portuguese or Icelandic, it is of some comfort to know that hundreds of books in these languages are now stored on his computer. Why read books at all: More on How to Talk About Books Which You Haven't Read. Novel gazing: James Parker on the writer's guide as self-help genre. A review of The Triumph of the Thriller: How Cops, Crooks, and Cannibals Captured Popular Fiction. More on Cultural Amnesia by Clive James. A review of The Power of Art by Simon Schama. The Lessons of Fat Albert: A TV cartoon is going to save black America. That was the message of Bill Cosby's doctoral thesis 30 years ago at UMass, a paper that lies at the root of Cosby's rants today. From n+1, apologia's halfway house: On the Robert Moses exhibits. Billboards are designed to be eye-catching spectacles, not works of street art; subtlety is a bad idea: A review of books. Joshua Bell is one of the world's greatest violinists. If he played for spare change, incognito, outside a D.C. Metro station, would anyone notice? 

[Weekend 2e] Potpourri:  Patrick J. Deneen (Georgetown): (1) Against the Grain: The Alternative Tradition of Wendell Berry; (2) "A Better Sort of Love”: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity in the Thought of Wilson Carey McWilliams; and (3) The Alternative Tradition in America (and part 2). A review of Look Homeward, America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists by Bill Kauffman. A review of The Vertigo of Late Modernity by Jock Young. A review of Magic and Impotence in the Middle Ages. A review of In the Garden of Evil: The Vices and Culture In the Middle Ages. We know that technology moves fast. The once essential landline telephone already looks like a relic from a bygone era, but it’s not the only familiar product that has become an endangered species. Here are four goods that might not live to see the next generation. Are consumer products made to break? An interview with Giles Slade, author of Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America. From Mute, an article on the creativity of the creative industries: Some reflections. Criteria for depression are too broad, researchers say: Guidelines may encompass many who are just sad. We all spend a big chunk of our lives dreaming—we obviously need to do it for some reason.. A review of The Eye: A Natural History. Design, by any other name: Do we accede too much when we allow that life appears to be designed? From Inkling, evolution’s bumper sticker war against Intelligent Design: There's a growing menagerie of creatures and beliefs vying for a place on your car bumper; recycling for Jesus: An interview with Joel Hunter on building a Christian groundswell to save the planet; and confessions of a failed mathlete: Why brains go boom during stressful math tests. From Smithsonian, Cutpurses! Blackguards! Fallen women! The Proceedings of the Old Bailey is an epic chronicle of crime and vice in early London. Now anyone with a computer can search all 52 million words. Sales go to the dogs: A century after its Victorian heyday, pet portraiture is enjoying a lucrative renaissance. A Brief History of the Orient Express: Spies used it as a secret weapon. A president tumbled from it. Hitler wanted it destroyed. Just what made this train so intriguing? An article on why the Allies didn’t bomb the death camps (and part 2 and part 3). An interview with Elliot Jaspin, author of Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America. Don’t kid yourself, we can all be evil: Three devastating experiments suggest we are all capable of terrible acts. But Bryan Appleyard asks the man who devised one what it proves. Animals attacking reporters: It’s cruel to even want to watch these videos. You do know that, right? From Dissent, Günter Grass and the Secret: Dagmar Reese is looking for a reason for the author's silence. Julia Kristeva may be considered the high priestess of cultural theory, but her work - including psychoanalysis, novels and biography - has been as varied as her past. And from Open Court, publishers of the series "Pop Culture and Philosophy", a series of podcasts on Hitchcock, South Park, Star Wars, The Sopranos, James Bond and Monty Python

[Weekend] Adrian Vermeule (Harvard): Common-Law Constitutionalism and the Limits of Reason. A review of Nicola Lacey's A Life of H.L.A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream pdf. From the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, a series of papers on neuroeconomics. A look at how Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction, by Thomas C. McCraw, rescues the great man from playground battles over the role of the public sector and places him on a plane where he truly can be compared as a public figure to his rival. Charles Taylor reviews A Different Kind of Courage Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation by Jonathan Lear. A review of Speaking of Freedom: Philosophy, Politics, and the Struggle for Liberation. A review of After Rorty: The Possibilities for Ethics and Religious Belief. A review of For a Future to Be Possible: Buddhist Ethics for Everyday Life. From Political Affairs, it will turn out that disloyal daughter Hannah Arendt is truly faithful because of her contribution to the “right side” in the battle of civilizations, a contribution that is sorely needed these days. Why Dr. Johnny won't go to war: An essay on anthropology and the war on terror pdf. An exchange of letters on Andrew Delbanco's " Scandals of Higher Education". Battle for top colleges escalating: A look at how future applicants face an array of competitors. From VQR, the accidental plagiarist: Eric Campbell on the trouble with originality. Publish locally, publish globally: An excerpt from Publishing Without Boundaries: How to Think, Work, and Win in the Global Marketplace. A look at how the public's taste for nonfiction has publishers playing fast and loose with labels. A review of We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction by Joan Didion. Here's a list of the earliest known printed books in various languages. Can you tell a lot about debut novelists from their Times Book Review covers? Wit Lit 101: Here's a list of five classic novels that bring the funny. Steve Donoghue assesses all of twentieth century literature. That’s correct: all of twentieth century literature. Don’t believe it? Hard Wordes in Plaine English: The first English dictionary was published long before Samuel Johnson. Scott McLemee consults the first reprint in 400 years. An essay on Shakespeare’s Widows of a Certain Age: Celibacy and Economics pdf. A review of The Mind According to Shakespeare: Psychoanalysis in the Bard's Writing. Was Shakespeare a crypto-Catholic? People are prepared to believe any old rubbish about Shakespeare. From the latest issue of The Common Review, an editorial, sympathy for the Devil: The Life and Afterlives of Christopher Marlowe pdf. An interview with Steven Johnson on The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. And the physics of pedestrian flows could help prevent stampedes such as the one that killed hundreds during a pilgrimage to Mecca in 2006

[Apr 6] David J. Gauthier (LSU): Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, and the Politics of Dwelling pdf. Richard E. Baker (Adams State): Sartre and Camus: Nausea and Existentialist Humor. A review of The German Gita: Hermeneutics and Discipline in the German Reception of Indian Thought. From Prospect, Simon Blackburn on Jean Baudrillard: The last of the great French postmodernists has gone. His ideas were often mocked, but many of them were less ridiculous than they seem. A review of Jacques Derrida: A Biography. Michael Bérubé reviews What Should the Left Propose? by Roberto Mangabeira Unger. A review of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Legal Theory, and Judicial Restraint. Julian Baggini on Eric Hoekstra, the Dutch philosopher who's spending a week in a barrel. From Inside Higher Ed, colleges should put the growing pool of talented retired people in their areas to good use on their campuses. Officials at three universities profited from the sale of shares held in a student loan company that each of the universities recommends to student borrowers. A high-powered academic team's work for a billionaire executive facing charges of improper accounting has raised questions about the appropriate relationship between academic consultants and the businesses they advise. Peter Sacks, author of Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American Education, on America's best college scam. Two recent rankings of graduate schools published by U.S. News and CNN Money required corrections, highlighting how faulty numbers can compromise any study. A great year for Ivy League schools, but not so good for applicants to them: It was the most selective spring in modern memory at America’s elite schools, according to college admissions officers. An interview with Howard Gardner on Five Minds for the Future. From Wired, James Surowiecki interviews Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Study demonstrates remarkable power of social norms: Despite the fact that we want to be normal, most people are very bad at estimating what normal human behavior really looks like. A review of Deadly Vices. A review of Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom. Ecstasy really does unleash the love hormone: Studies in rats suggest the drug causes a brain surge of oxytocin - the hormone that helps bond couples, as well as mothers to their babies. And researchers identify gene involved in dog size: Discovery may help efforts to better understand genetic influences on stature in humans (and more on why small dogs are small)

[Apr 5] Marion Fourcade (UC-Berkeley) and Kieran Healy (Arizona): Moral Views of Market Society pdf. From Scientific American, a brain image of a microeconomic theory: Poor people get it faster than wealthier ones when there is a small financial reward. Getting serious about happiness: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi establishes the world's first Ph.D program that focuses on positive psychology. Come on, get happy: Martin Seligman thinks the oft-overlooked key to preventing depression is promoting joy. Those who hoard bear the weight of their mess plus a mental disorder are only now being understood. Treatment programs are just beginning. Alwyn Ruddock was the world expert on John Cabot’s discovery voyages from Bristol to North America. What she was said to have found out about these voyages looked set to re-write the history of the European discovery of America. Yet, when Dr Ruddock died in December 2005, having spent four decades researching this topic, she ordered the destruction of all her research. Much of the study of African Americans and Jews relates to relationships between the two groups. But Lewis Ricardo Gordon, a Jamaica-born, Yale-educated author and Temple University professor, is studying African-Americans who are Jews. A review of The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin, edited by Henry Louis Gates Jnr and Hollis Robbins. From Sign and Sight, politicians ban the pleasures of the working man in order to feel they have power over something. President Bush intends to bypass the Senate in order to name Susan Dudley, the former head of regulatory studies at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Three Yale University students were arrested for burning an American flag on a pole attached to a house in New Haven. Bad education: Twisted teachers! Suicidal students! Courses on "Silence!" and "Leisure". Here's an exclusive tour of the worst colleges in the country. Do they really want to be like Rutgers? Building a big-time sports program at SUNY may hurt, rather than help, the schools’ reputations for excellence. High school is more than their love; it's become their vocation. From In These Times, an article on resisting the war on science. From Discover, whatever happened to Chaos Theory? The hype has subsided and now chaos theory is a ubiquitous part of science. The first chapter from Sneaking a Look at God's Cards, Revised Edition: Unraveling the Mysteries of Quantum Mechanics. A review of The Scientist as Rebel by Freeman Dyson. Science bloopers: Books, movies and other media are full of mistakes about the natural world. Robert P Crease wonders how harmful such errors really are and asks for your examples of "science bloopers". A review of The Cat Orchestra and the Elephant Butler: The strange history of amazing animals. And what is it about dull- as-ditchwater webcam footage that can be so strangely gripping? On the cult of banality on the net and some of the classics of the genre

[Apr 4] George Bragues (Guelph): Wiki-Philosophizing in a Marketplace of Ideas: Evaluating Wikipedia's Entries on Seven Great Minds. An interview with NYU's Don Garrett, author of Hume. A review of Philosophy of Mind and Cognition: An Introduction. Complexity in social worlds: The first chapter from Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life. From Law & Politics Book Review, a review of Hans Kelsen's General Theory of Law and State; a review of How Law Knows; a review of Changing International Law to Meet New Challenges: Interpretation, Modification and the Use of Force; a review of Reconstructing the Fourth Amendment: A History of Search and Seizure; and a review of Institutional Games and the U.S. Supreme Court. The first chapter from Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy: The Presidency, the Supreme Court, and Constitutional Leadership in U.S. History by Keith E. Whittington. A paper on the rationality of law students' career choices. Daniel Drezner has a draft of a chapter on how to be a successful political science blogger doc. Understanding Economics and Economists: The introduction to The Making of an Economist, Redux by David Colander. That may be all very well in practice, but how does it work in theory? A review of The Soulful Science: What Economists Really Do and Why It Matters by Diane Coyle. A review of The Cambridge Companion to Keynes. Bubbles, booms and busts: An article on selling the history of financial speculation. From Inside Higher Ed, Norman Finkelstein has been more controversial off his campus than on it. But the debate over Finkelstein is now hitting his home campus — and in a way sure to create more national controversy. Here's a map of where (and how) evolution is taught in the US. A review of Grand Avenues: The Story of the French Visionary Who Designed Washington, D.C. Joseph J. Ellis reviews Alexis De Tocqueville: A Life by Hugh Brogan. A review of The First Total War by David A. Bell. From Literary Review, John Gray reviews After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire; a review of Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna; and a review of Hubbub: Filth, Noise and Stench in England, 1600-1770. From Seed, trans-science railway: A Chinese initiative sets out to train 1.3 billion scientists--one farmer at a time. A review of Beyond the Horizon: The Great Race to Finish the First Human Powered Circumnavigation of the Planet.  From CT, an article on serendipity: In praise of accidental sagacity. From The Toronto Star, in an age of irony such as ours, there is no room for an artist like Canadian sculptor Walter Allward. A review of Killed Cartoons: Casualties From the War on Free Expression. As the award-winning satirical cartoon South Park celebrates its 10th birthday, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the powerful duo behind this surreal universe, have lost nothing of their ability to shock, enrage and entertain. But for how much longer? And an interview with Douglas Hofstadter

[Apr 3] From The New Criterion, Andrew Roberts reviews Talleyrand: Betrayer and Saviour of France; and Martin Gardner reviews The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next and Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law. The Universe's Weird Bio-Friendliness: Explanations for life on earth have included divine intervention and incredible luck. But the real answer may be as strange, and as natural, as quantum physics. From Discover, here are 20 things you didn't know about robots. Time in the Animal Mind: Several recent experiments suggest that animals can visit the past and future in their minds, in ways similar to humans. Remember a previous life? Maybe you have a bad memory: Familiarity with an idea makes some people more likely to forget where it came from—and confuse fact with fiction. A review of Leslie Paul Thiele's The Heart of Judgment: Practical Wisdom, Neuroscience, and Narrative. An interview with Philip Zimbardo on finding hope in knowing the universal capacity for evil. The evolution of sex roles: Anthropologists are looking at how prehistoric tasks were divided, perhaps indicating the moment when we became truly human. The archaeology of table manners: A review of Feast: Why Humans Share Food (and more). How writers used to write: A review of The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of the Typewriter. Pushing a New Writer Upstream: More publishers are finding the pre-publication book tour as an indispensable part of their marketing plan. More on Clive James' Cultural Amnesia. Missing passage: Young scholar Wendy Anne Warren pushes the boundaries of history to re-create the life of a slave in Puritan New England. Pretty Words, Jane; Would That You Were Too: The novelist created so many lovely, lively and even hot characters. It is time to put Jane Austen herself among them. From Sign and Sight, an interview with Andre Glucksmann, the philosopher who made a career out of rage, on his autobiography Une rage d'enfant. From n+1, an article on Orhan Pamuk and the Turks (and part 2). Is an academic boycott of Israel justified? Michael Yudkin investigates. Rising up against rankings: Think it’s impossible for educators to fight a popular magazine’s irresponsible rating system? Look north, and you’ll see it can be done. A prize for cutting red tape: We don't like bureaucracy, but we can't do without it, says Jonathan Wolff. Nothing inspires first-time author and Harvard Lampoon alum Simon Rich more than his own insecurities, and an excerpt from Ant Farm: And Other Desperate Situations. The Brave New World of MySpace and Facebook: Social networking sites pose risks for students and challenges for colleges that try to monitor them. Stop the Email Madness! Forget spam -- it's our own unnecessary email that threatens to drown us in apathy and distraction. Five modest proposals for badly-needed reform. And from Wired, are you ugly? stupid? a jerk? Relax, your worries are over

[Apr 2] From Postmodern Culture, Judith Butler and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak on a Dialogue on Global States; Karen L. Kopelson (Louisville): Radical Indulgence: Excess, Addiction, and Female Desire; Melinda Cooper (East Anglia): The Unborn Born Again: Neo-Imperialism, the Evangelical Right, and the Culture of Life; and a review of History Out of Joint: Essays on the Use and Abuse of History. A review of The Jesus Family Tomb: The Discovery, the Investigation, and the Evidence That Could Change History. A review of The Existential Jesus. A review of Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity. A review of Thinking Medieval: An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages. A review of AC Grayling's Descartes. A review of The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-Hatred, and the Jews by David Mamet. How we make monsters: A review of The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo. More on Charisma: The Gift of Grace and How It Has been Taken Away From Us by Philip Rieff. A review of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. Climate of fear: Michael Crichton isn't the only science fiction writer who's taken catastrophic climatic change as his theme. You can understand quantum mechanics! More on The Universe: A Biography by John Gribbin. Chasing the "God particle": In an audacious experiment, scientists are hoping to create an elusive atomic fragment that could account for the mass of everything in existence. From Mexico, after 30 years of tinkering with homemade rocket belt, daring handyman Juan Lozano flies in his own backyard. From Japan, textbooks reflect revised history: New high school textbooks will no longer acknowledge that the Imperial Army was responsible for a major atrocity in Okinawa. From Great Britain, never mind French and Spanish: Mandarin is the language of the moment in primaries, secondary schools and universities up and down the country. Lucy Ward on the rush to learn China's official language. Can China create schools that foster openness, flexibility and innovation? And what happens to China if it does? For girls, it’s be yourself, and be perfect, too: At one high school, dozens of girls are high achieving, ambitious and confident (if not immune to the insecurities of adolescence). Sindergarten: Radar investigates the twisted, drug-fueled phenomenon that's sweeping Manhattan prep schools. And a review of The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and Other Stories From a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing; Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism; and Bipolar Kids: Helping Your Child Find Calm in the Mood Storm

[Weekend 2e] Religion: From Der Spiegel, until the end of World War II, Shinto was the state religion in Japan. Even today, pilgrims still throng to the 80,000 shrines, praying for the fulfillment of their personal dreams. The religion, which has no sacred texts, also venerates trees, mountains and rocks (and part 2); and a recent ruling by a German judge who cited the Koran underscores the dilemma the country faces in reconciling Western values with a growing immigrant population. A disturbing number of rulings are helping to create a parallel Muslim world in Germany that is welcoming to Islamic fundamentalists. The first chapter from Identity and Religion in Palestine: The Struggle between Islamism and Secularism in the Occupied Territories.  A review of Peace Be upon You: The Story of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Coexistence and To be an Arab in Israel. Hell is a place where sinners really do burn in an everlasting fire, and not just a religious symbol designed to galvanise the faithful, Pope Benedict XVI has said (and more).  Does Protestantism threaten Central Asia? Igor Rotar investigates. Living the good life in booming India, one can almost forget social inequality, the conflict with Pakistan, and fundamentalist violence. From Reset, reason's greatest rival is not religion, but revolution, writes prominent Iranian philosopher Abdolkarim Soroush: "The first resource that is squandered in a revolution is rationality and the last thing that returns is rationality. If it ever returns". What is it like to grow up in a house with no religion? An excerpt from Nothing: Something to Believe In (and short essays: "Forget about separation of church and state, let’s start with a separation of church and baseball"). You can listen to the debate on “We would we be better off without religion”, with Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling on one side and Rabbi Julia Neuberger, Roger Scruton and Nigel Spivey on the other. Religion Without Truth: Stanley Fish on how the truth claims of a religion are not incidental to its identity; they are its identity. Are the religious discriminated against? Susan Jacoby investigates. Age of atheism or religious revival? An interview with Father Thomas D. Williams, author of Spiritual Progress: Becoming the Christian You Want to Be. Religious right-wing activist Joe Murray was drawn to the American Family Association because of its "prolife" positions -- and soon he started bashing gays without giving it "much thought". They call themselves the most hated family in the US and they picket funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq. So what did Louis Theroux make of the Phelpses after three weeks? And faith and work collide in Minneapolis: Somalian immigrants create a stir by declaring certain jobs offensive to Islam