Kirk Packwood (North Texas): Sports Commentators and Late Monopoly Capitalist Indoctrination in the United States. James W. Satterfield and Michael Gary Godfrey (Clemson): The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Football: A Metaphorical, Symbolic and Ritualistic Community Event. Why you should always go for it on 4th and short. From Scientific American, an in-depth report on the science of pro football. Football wasn’t always as dangerous as it is now — it used to be far, far worse. How college bowls got over-commercialized: Like many sports traditions, the college football bowl system keeps getting bigger — and sillier. Game of Numbers: How the BCS rules college football (and more). A look at the argument against college sports. For the US academy, sport — particularly American football — isn't a matter of life and death: it's much more important than that. Whose best interests does the NCAA serve? College players are being deprived of some basic American labor rights. Susan Ferguson on Marxist theories of sport: Nation, commerce and pleasure. Major League Soccer foolishly ignores the sport's American history. The meaning of Russia 2018: What the World Cup says about the world. The ugly prejudice that casts a shadow over the beautiful game: Twenty years after Justin Fashanu came out football remains out of step with the real world. GeoCurrents on the Nations of Rugby.


Jude P. Dougherty (CUA): Two Treatises on the Acquisition and Use of Power. From Skepsi, a special issue on literature and violence. Mapping the malaise of modernity: A review of The Geography of Good and Evil by Andreas Kinneging. An interview with Simon During, author of Exit Capitalism: Literary Culture, Theory and Post-Secular Modernity. In 140 characters or less, White Girl Problems tweets about everything from wardrobe meltdowns (“Fuck. I left those shoes in Dubai.”), to general laziness (“I don’t want to.”), and has become the ultimate guide to crises that affect the privileged and oblivious. Roger Scruton on Multiculturalism, R.I.P. From Open Democracy, Michael Gardiner on "English Literature" as ideology. A new role for an old political philosophy: A review of Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination by Benedict Anderson and The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia by James C. Scott (and more at Bookforum). U.S. rethinks strategy for the unthinkable: The Obama administration wants to convey how to react to a nuclear attack but is worried about seeming alarmist. An interview with Joshua Phillips, author of None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture. The iconography of Lady Justice and her blindfold: A review of Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms by Judith Resnik and Dennis E. Curtis (and more).


Chauncey DeVega on the cult of Ronald Reagan and the racist origins of American conservatism. Robert C. Smith on his book Conservatism and Racism and Why in America They Are the Same. The American “precariat”: What role does racism play in fueling support for the Tea Party movement? Joe Palmer thinks he knows what informs the Tea Party. John Dean on Sarah Palin and the dumbing down of the American presidency. Sarah Palin, Anyown, and the Constitutional Reformation: Normal America and free America are at war with the Left, and anyone one who is not ready to fire back when fired at need not apply. A look at how the Tea Party was foretold by Sinclair Lewis' classic It Can't Happen Here. Spengler on how longevity gives life to Tea Party. The Tea Party's Vendetta: After two years of Obama's foreign policy pragmatism toward Latin America, Republicans in Congress are threatening to turn back the clock to Cold War times. Critics of the Tea Party movement might think the only college at which the conservative activist group belongs is the virtual Glenn Beck University, but students who have started Tea Party organizations at a number of campuses might beg to differ. R. Christopher Whalen's Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream could be the Das Kapital of the Tea Party Revolution. The Tea Party Troubadours: Meet the artists providing the soundtrack to patriotism. Bedtime for little patriots: The rise of the right-wing children’s book.


Jeremy Waldron (NYU): Torture, Suicide, and Determinatio. Vassili Zaitsev was the Soviet Union’s greatest sniper; these 10 sniper tactics are based on Zaitsev’s own memoir. The contest between rival “Soviet” and “European” discourses fuels a dead-end debate about Belarus’s elusive national identity — it is time instead to change the question. Belarus Betrayal: Why is the West cozying up to Alexander Lukashenko, Europe's last dictator? (and more and more from Foreign Policy) Federal Deficit Disorder: Why the tax-cut deal won't solve America's fiscal or economic crises. What's the purpose of taxes? Many are wondering if it is time to construct a better system. Enough humbug: Deck the halls with Christmas cliches. The Legacy of High-School Cliques: How the labels we get as teenagers shape the rest of our lives, and why social networking and the economy are changing the way a generation deals with those early stereotypes. Privacy is over: Computers start to read minds. HiLobrow’s Joshua Glenn published a book titled The Idler’s Glossary, in which he claimed that idlers can be very busy and productive, indeed — in 2010, he set out to prove it. Michael Kinsley reviews Decision Points by George W. Bush. Ezra Klein on how health-care overhaul's individual mandate makes all the difference. The 10 Worst Predictions for 2010: Ten pundits and politicians whose prognostications for this year completely missed the mark.


Susanna Mancini (Bologna): To Be or Not to Be Jewish: The UK Supreme Court Answers the Question. From the Jewish Review of Books, an article on the curious case of Mark Zborowski and the writing of a modern Jewish classic. It is no accident that Simone de Beauvoir wrote The Second Sex while having an affair with Jewish novelist Nelson Algren. From Tablet, recent right-wing rejections of Einstein’s theory of relativity echo Nazi dismissals of what they called "Jewish Physics"; and Harry Houdini exhibited two very different public faces — master of escape and anti-mystical firebrand — that were united by his Jewishness (and more). From Forward, Arthur Green on how Hasidism went astray; and an article on spelling "G-d": By golly, it’s the deity again (and more). An interview with Abraham H Foxman on anti-Semitism. Barry Rubin on Friedrich Nietzsche, the strangest antisemite of them all. Early Zionist writing evoked the tragic male hero, bound by the cruel destiny of his people and himself — it’s true of many contemporary works, including Kushner and Spielberg’s Munich. A video extolling the American Jewish World Service plays on stereotypes that may have been offensive in the past. Saul Austerlitz on the evolution of the Jewish Comedy Nerd. Yabba Dabba Jew: Fred Flintstone was voiced by a New York Jew who modeled his delivery on the immigrants he grew up among. Jews and the Booze: Brewers for thousands of years and we’re still sober.


Your Child Left Behind: A new ranking shows that even privileged kids in our best public-school systems do poorly compared with their peers in other countries. A blue-ribbon panel decides that teachers should be trained the same way we train doctors — through clinical practice. Contrary to conventional wisdom on the right — and now the left — teachers' unions have actually been at the forefront of education-reform efforts. Efforts to adjust school start times face logistical and political obstacles concerning after-school activities, transportation schedules and sporting events. Can provision of free school uniforms harm attendance? Heather Horn on the trouble with for-profit education. The corporate takeover of American schools: The trend for appointing CEOs to the top jobs is symptomatic of a declining commitment to public education and social justice. Should students be rewarded for citizenship, hard work and organization, or should grades represent only a mastery of the material? The constant stream of stimuli offered by new technology poses a profound new challenge to focusing and learning. What’s the best way to grade teachers? Gates Foundation research found that students who rated their teachers highly also scored better on standardized tests than their peers. An interview with two education experts about the promise and betrayal of diversity in the charter school movement. The fate of Ross Global Academy shows that charter schools are suddenly susceptible to the rules of political gravity.


Ioan Alexandru Tofan (UAIC): On the Possibility of Mystery: Philosophy and Esotericism. A geneticist's cancer crusade: James Watson says the disease can be cured in his lifetime — he's 82. The world doesn't need more entrepreneurs — it needs more people for entrepreneurs to hire. "Imagine Better": Can Harry Potter change the world? How military campaigns get their names: Research shows the names of Israeli military campaigns are cleverly designed to push the citizenry’s emotional buttons. Outbreak agents: Officers in the Epidemic Intelligence Service expend shoe leather and stamp out disease. Prohibition ended more than 90 years ago, but it lives on in our palates. No tree, no gifts, no family visits — bah, humbug, or a perfect Christmas? From The Exiled, meet John Agresto, the corrupt neocon labeled a “mediocrity” by 16 academic organizations. Drawn to the mud: Jack Anderson's obsessive coverage of Nixon marked the beginning of our modern scandal culture. The fact-checking explosion: In a bitter political landscape marked by rampant allegations of questionable credibility, more and more news outlets are launching truth-squad operations. Don’t count on global governance: Everybody agrees that the world economy is ill, but the diagnosis apparently depends on which corner of it you happen to inhabit. An interview with Frederik Ramm, author of OpenStreetMap: Using and Enhancing the Free Map of the World.


Margaret A. Berger and Lawrence M. Solan (Brooklyn): The Uneasy Relationship between Science and Law. From Spectrum, G. Pascal Zachary on why engineers must try to save the world — and scientists also should heed the messianic impulse; and Henry Petroski on how engineering is not science — and confusing the two keeps us from solving the problems of the world. How to buck up the science ladies: Amanda Schaffer on an easy way to boost women's scores in physics. From The Science Creative Quarterly, an article on science's best jokers. A look at five of science history's most bizarre hoaxes and delusions. A look at 5 famous scientists dismissed as morons in their time. An excerpt from They Called Me Mad: Genius, Madness and the Scientists Who Pushed the Limits of Knowledge by John Monahan. From Popular Science, a look at five contests that recognize the science achievements of the everyman. Campaigns against "inconvenient" science can succeed in sowing doubt — and nothing works quite like playing the man and not the ball. An interview with Adam Hart-Davis on popular science. Stephen Hawking’s radical philosophy of science: Is Hawking right to claim that reality is dependent on the model used to describe it? (and more on God's equations) David Berreby on political orgasms and the scientific method. Evolving the scientific method: Kevin Kelly on how technology is changing the way we conduct science. The truth we'll doubt: Does the "decline effect" mean that all science is "truthy"?


A new issue of Commentary is out. Jeremy Waldron (NYU): Secularism and the Limits of Community. From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on the Year in Ideas 2010. The Top 10 Everything of 2010: In 50 wide-ranging lists, Time surveys the highs and lows, the good and the bad, of the past 12 months. From FT, an interview with Rachel Maddow. What makes one team of people smarter than another? A new field of research finds surprising answers. In the Time of Not Yet: Marina Warner on the imaginary of Edward Said. Aside from a small cadre of foreign policy scholars, a few foreign national intelligence services, and Jon Stewart, who benefits from the Wikileaks release? We might not like Mark Zuckerberg or Julian Assange, but we’re going to have to learn to live in the world they’re making. In Defense of DDoS: Denial-of-service attacks are just another form of civil disobedience. If an island state vanishes, is it still a nation? Twenty-five years after his death, Michael Bywater revisits the sacred texts of the pulp science writer turned prophet L Ron Hubbard. The David Epstein incest case: If homosexuality is OK, why is incest wrong? MFA vs. NYC: America now has two distinct literary cultures — which one will last? It's a great time to be rich: The next two years will be the best in living memory for many wealthy Americans to shield their income and fortunes. Why Hollywood hates bad sex: That which the MPAA would have you not see.


A new issue of Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements is out. From New Proposals, William K. Carroll (Victoria) and R. S. Ratner (UBC): Social Movements and Counter-Hegemony: Lessons from the Field; and Arpad Kovacs (Oulu): Learning a Lesson: An Anarchist's Defence of Marxism-based Socialism. From Counterfire, an article in praise of the Far Left. From Platypus, Osha Neumann, Mark Rudd, Tim Wohlforth, Alan Spector on rethinking the New Left; and an interview with Max Elbaum, author of Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao, and Che. From the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Gloria La Riva on why we continue to defend the Soviet Union. The left cannot ignore China’s achievements, but neither can it be too celebratory. From News & Letters, Kevin Michaels on Raya Dunayevskaya's place in the history of the Left. Elitist revolutionary strutting: The Coming Insurrection was greeted by two of Germany's leading feuilletons as exhiliarating, important left-wing theory — but it is an anti-modern, right-wing re-import. A review of The Socialist Alternative by Michael Lebowitz. Isabel Parrot assesses the continuing relevance of In and Against the State. Andy Lewis on anarcho-primitivism vs. peace, justice, and the Christian Left. A review of The Enigma of Capital: and the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey. A review of In and Out of Crisis by Greg Albo, Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch. The crisis now, and possible futures: John Steele attends the Global Crisis: Rethinking Economy and Society conference.

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