From Cato Unbound, Robert Levy on District of Columbia v. Heller: What’s next? Forget veepstakes: The consideration of potential Cabinet picks would create a better presidential race. A blog, a flight attendant, and a firing: When a Delta employee had a little fun on her personal Web diary, her career was forced to make an emergency landing. What’s left of Confucianism? Daniel A. Bell wants to know. From FT, a review of books on China, Tibet and the Dalai Lama. In decades of linguinsania, Deirdre McCloskey has tried to learn a second language, everything from French, Greek and Latin to German, Scots Gaelic and Sanskrit, with no success — but she's still not resigned to monolingualism. Why does anyone learn Esperanto? Overgrown frat boys, cheesy pick-up artists, overly sensitive cry-babies? What's going on with straight men's sexuality? One-armed vegetarian live-in boyfriends: The quest for this year's sexy swing demographic. How bad will it get? An interview with William Poole, former president of the Federal Reserve of St. Louis. A new model explains why we overestimate our future choices. Katharine Weymouth tells Portfolio how she plans to save the family's flagship brand and—she hopes—reinvent the industry. Want Obama in a punch line? First, find a joke. A survey of Obama in pencil, ink and paint shows artists are struggling to get the brother right.
From The Wilson Quarterly, the abolition of slavery was the great cause of 19th-century humanitarians; in the 21st century, it needs new champions (while thousands still live in slavery in northern Mali). From Boston Review, Elias Khoury on imagining justice in Palestine; outside the Big Box: who speaks for small business?; and a review of Counter-Revolution of the Word: The Conservative Attack on Modern Poetry, 1945–1960 by Alan Filreis. He was long a jewel of the MIT faculty; now, after a devastating brain injury, mathematician Seymour Papert is struggling bravely to learn again how to think like, speak like, be like the man of genius he was. Post-PC dignity: Political correctness has come in for a battering, but ethically sensitive language remains crucial. Free Textbooks: A pilot project aims to upend the publishing industry, and help strapped students, by offering textbooks free of charge online. From TAS, David Mamet sent shockwaves through the lefty literary world when he declared himself an admirer of America and the Constitution — how could this be? A review of Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage by Jenny Block. A review of The Darker Nations: A Biography of the Short-lived Third World by Vijay Prashad. New Digg.com feature on Digg.com allows Digg users on Digg.com to Digg more stuff than ever Dugg before on Digg.com.
From The Philosophers' Magazine, Jean Kazez tests Kwame Anthony Appiah, philosophy’s most readable writer; Julian Baggini interviews philosophy’s best kept secret, TM Scanlon; and what is wrong with Socrates? Emily Wilson questions the legend of the wisest man in Athens. A look at how the social psychology revolution is reaching its tipping point. The case against Christopher Hitchens can be summarised, broadly, in a kind of comic list as done by the British satirical magazine Private Eye. From TNR, Leon Wieseltier on Christopher Hitchens, Damien Hirst, and our Golden Age of the Pseudo-Meaningful Stunt; Frank Kermode reviews How Fiction Works by James Wood; and a review of Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800 by Chris Wickham and Origins of the European Economy: Communications and Commerce AD 300-900 by Michael McCormick. A review of Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson by Ian Goodwillie. From Guernica, Crisis Darfur: A conversation with Mia Farrow and Bernard-Henri Levy. Joseph Stiglitz on the end of neo-liberalism. From Natural History, a look at how dogs came to run the world. Daniel Gross on the hot business catchphrase of 2008, and what it really means. The latest issue of Edge is out. An article on the future of babies: Artificial wombs and pregnant grandmas.
From Reason, a review of The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot by Naomi Wolf and Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. A review of Sociology in America: A History, ed. by Craig Calhoun. A review of White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement by Allan J. Lichtman. A review of Steven Teles's The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement (and more). From the Claremont Review of Books, an essay on civil rights and the conservative movement. Nastier, noisier, costlier — and better: Why letting judges speak out during political campaigns enhances democracy and serves justice. From Communio, Jorg Splett on freedom as the serenity of letting go. Turning their Backs on Jihad: More and more prominent terrorists are defecting from the cause. Buying into Brand Borat: A look at Kazakhstan’s cautious embrace of its unwanted "son". A look at how charades reveals a universal sentence structure. Long tails and big heads: Why Chris Anderson's theory of the digital world might be all wrong. Facebook never forgets: How all those scandalous photos lingering on the Internet may affect future elections. Self-described CIA "Manchurian candidates" gather to share fractured memories. From The Moscow Times, it was as much by good luck as good judgment that the Cuban missile crisis was resolved.
From CrossCurrents, Gary Dorrien (Columbia): Imagining Social Justice: Cornel West’s Prophetic Public Intellectualism; and revising Night: An article on Elie Wiesel and the hazards of Holocaust theology. From Crisis, James V. Schall on the young tyrant; or how the modern notion of democracy becomes in practice the ancient notion of tyranny. How do you fix a broken society? As conservatism tries to find its moorings after the long wilderness years in Britain and the debacle of George Bush’s presidency, this is becoming the question. Artists have appropriated images from advertising for decades; what happens when the tables are turned? And is art running out of ideas? Artists forced to explain modern art. The reviewers come in from the cold: At Publishers' Weekly, a tradition of anonymity is abandoned; herewith, a brief review of the reviewers. We all produce a rich resource in our homes and then spend millions of dollars to throw it away; a new movement says there are smarter ways to think about waste. Vegetarianism a key ingredient in the new life of peace, compassion and nonviolence. Carl Zimmer on how your brain can control time: The three methods your mind uses to reverse, speed, and even slow the minutes. Where did modern conceptions of heredity come from? A review of Heredity Produced: At the Crossroads of Biology, Politics, and Culture, 1500-1870.
Stale R. S. Finke (Trondheim): American Exceptionalism: Carl Schmitt and the Neoconservative Justification for the Sovereignty of Politics. A video of a detainee being questioned at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay has been released for the first time. A review of The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals by Jane Meyer (and more and more and more and more and more and more and an more). Displacing the blame for the human condition: A review of Complaint: From Minor Moans to Principled Protests by Julian Baggini; Credit and Blame by Charles Tilly and Trust: Self-Interest and the Common Good by Marek Kohn. From FT, a review of Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Archaeology and the Wrath of God by Amos Nur, Energy in Nature and Society: General Energetics of Complex Systems by Vaclav Smil, and The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present by Jan de Vries; an interview with New Yorker editor David Remnick: "We can’t live without the goose prosciutto". From CJR, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is racing to transform the embattled New York Times for the digital age; is he up to the job? From Vanity Fair, why do people love to hate The New York Times? Times-bashing isn’t just for conservatives anymore. Katharine the Second begins reign at WaPo.
From Common-place, H. Robert Baker (GSU): The Supreme Court Confronts History Or, habeas corpus redivivus. Ben Cohen on Bush's banned interview: An insight into insanity. A review of When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge by K. David Harrison. A review of A World of Wealth: How Capitalism Turns Profit into Progress by Thomas G. Donlan. If economics is the study of the allocation of scarce goods and services, what could be scarcer or more precious than love? Habits may be good for you: Social scientists have learned that there is power in tying certain behaviors to habitual cues through relentless advertising. Some bloggers have pondered a severe question about Joe Liberman: Can you recall a sitting Senator? If Barack Obama is the most admired black man in America right now, it may be no exaggeration to say that John McWhorter is a candidate for the unpopularity prize. Obama, Shaman: The candidate’s post-masculine charisma tempts America in the age of Oprah. From The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza on how Chicago shaped Obama; the lion and the mouse: Jill Lepore on the battle that reshaped children’s literature; and Americans can’t live without their lawns—but how long can they live with them? More and more and more and more on The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria.
From CQ, an article on the vice presidency, an office under scrutiny. From Dissent, Lillian Rubin on the untold health care story: How they crippled Medicare; Leonard Fein on reflections of a sometime Israel lobbyist; and a review of Nixonland by Rick Perlstein (and an excerpt at Bookforum). The cartoon epic "Y: The Last Man," the most entertaining satire about gender in recent memory, comes to its triumphant conclusion. From Miller-McCune, environment becomes heredity: An article on the field of epigenetics; and can scientists and journalists learn to beat the doubt industry before our most serious problems beat us all? A review of A Shadow of Red: Communism and the Blacklist in Radio and Television by David Everitt. God save New Zealand from the cannibals: Its military is certainly no longer up to the task. From The Globe & Mail, Cynthia McDonald on sex and the male novelist. Nathan Robinson on what it's like to watch FOX News for 24 straight hours. Stop reading this trivia: Few things annoy John Blyth as much as being told there are more important things to worry about. From Economic Principals, what are the chances that, in this moment of genuine peril, we might go blind? A review of Havana Nocturne: How The Mob Owned Cuba And Then Lost It To The Revolution by T.J. English. A sociological analysis shows the emergence of a "rights revolution" in China.
From The New York Review of Magazines, a review of Meatpaper, and a review of Modern Dog. From Philosophy Now, Jeremy Barris enlists the help of Plato, Ortega and pragmatist philosophy to argue that love at its deepest is our connection with ultimate truth, and that this connection is found in our love for our dogs; a review of Capers in the Churchyard: Animal Rights Advocacy in the Age of Terror by Lee Hall; turning the tables: Joel Marks writes that we matter because we are animals; from loving to wolfing: Peter Cave toys with love, sex and other objects. Should apes be treated like people, and which apes, and which people? A review of Intimacy and Responsibility: The Criminalisation of HIV Transmission by Matthew Weait. From the winter issue of The Common Review, Michael Berube on Richard Rorty and the politics of modesty. From TAP, liberal institutions that once imitated conservative ones are now far surpassing their role models; and what does Stuff White People Like tell us about race in America? From Intelligent Life, an American collector's attempt at philanthropy has reaped unexpected rewards. Where does the "terrorist fist jab" come from? Mysterious graffiti artist Banksy is a 34-year-old former public school pupil called Robin Gunningham. Friction over fan fiction: Is this burgeoning art form legal?
From Economic Analysis and Policy, Birger Nerre (GTZ): Tax Culture: A Basic Concept for Tax Politics. On Chicago campus, Milton Friedman’s legacy of controversy continue. From TED, Clay Shirky on institutions vs. collaboration; and how would you feel if you lost everything? From World Affairs, Adam Bellow on Skin in the Game: A Conservative Chronicle. From National Journal, Democratic lawmakers are already thinking about how to deal with a president of their own party in 2009; in fact, some of them seem almost overwhelmed; and supplies of rice, corn, and wheat—crops that yield half of the world's food calories—could shrink dramatically by 2050 because of global warming. A review of The Ecstatic Quotidian: Phenomenological Sightings in Modern Art and Literature by Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei. The new smart self-help book Nudge is shaping political debate; Pat Kane on the rise of big ideas for busy readers. Hot for the Wrong Teachers: Why are public schools so bad at hiring good instructors? A review of Sticks and Stones: The Philosophy of Insults by Jerome Neu. A review of Immortality Defended by John Leslie. From The Weekly Standard, a review of Spiritual Enterprise: Doing Virtuous Business by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch; and laughter at the Supreme Court: Yes, the justices tell lawyer jokes.