From The American Prospect, a belief in American pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mythology lies at the heart of conservative attacks on the 99 percent; and Robert Kuttner on how "we are the 99 percent" has the virtue of being true as well as mobilizing. Post-Wobegon politics: Benjamin J. Dueholm on Michele Bachmann and the moral recession. Soon voters must decide if Romney is also a man of principle — the facts suggest he is. David Sesions on why evangelicals forgive (Republican) sex scandals. The Occupy Movement's “99 percent” misrepresents global inequality — in fact, the top 20 percent of Americans are part of the world’s richest 1 percent. From New Left Review, Dylan Riley on a cooler look at Tony Judt. Want to attack a policy or proposal without looking like a bad guy? Labeling those behind it as "extreme" or "radical" should do the trick. A look at 5 terrible ideas that solved huge global problems. John Sides on Tea Party racism: Some experimental evidence. Trial of the Will: Reviewing familiar principles and maxims in the face of mortal illness, Christopher Hitchens has found one of them increasingly ridiculous: “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” Intellectuals and Politics: Good politicians don't need to be intellectuals, but they should at least have intellectual lives. A review of Free Ride: How Digital Parasites Are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back by Robert Levine. An excerpt from Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State by Dana Priest and William M Arkin. A faltering economy explains much of the job shortage in America, but advancing technology has sharply magnified the effect, more so than is generally understood. A review of The Moral Brain: Essays on the Evolutionary and Neuroscientific Aspects of Morality.


Alex Stoner and Eric Lybeck (Tennessee): Bringing Authoritarianism Back In: Reification, Latent Prejudice, and Economic Threat. Walter Block (Loyola): David Friedman and Libertarianism: A Critique. Alan Wolfe reviews The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin by Corey Robin (and more and more and more and more and more). The discrediting of good intentions: Michael Doliner on conservative intellectuals and the invisible hand. Are questions of war and peace merely one issue among many for libertarians? A review of Edmund Burke For Our Time: Moral Imagination, Meaning, and Politics by William Byrne. From CRB, a review of The Conservative Foundations of the Liberal Order: Defending Democracy Against its Modern Enemies and Immoderate Friends by Daniel Mahoney; and a review of The Conservative Assault on the Constitution by Erwin Chemerinsky. Jacob Heilbrunn on the Claremont Institute, Ron Paul, and the state of conservatism. From Breakthrough Journal, Steven Hayward on modernizing conservatism. The greening of conservatism: What ever happened to the Birkenstocked Burkeans? Here is an introduction to a "bleeding heart" history of libertarian thought — and if Herbert Spencer was no Social Darwinist, then what was he, and why have so many people misinterpreted his views? A review of Nozick's Libertarian Project: An Elaboration and Defense by Mark Friedman. What in the hell is a paleo? Paul Gottfried wants to know. The Tea Party, "constitutional conservatives" in name only: The right-leaning populist movement embraces the Founders' vision — except when it comes to national security, civil liberties and foreign affairs. What book is considered to be the opposite of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged? The Right Word: ConservativeSpeak has so infiltrated the language that we now need a glossary.


From xkcd, a look at what your favorite map projection says about you. Strange geographies: Ransom Riggs on beautiful, alien Iceland. Atlas Obscura visits New Iceland, a settlement in Manitoba established in 1875; Tristan da Cunha, the world's most remote permanent settlement; and the Republic of Molossia, the smallest country in the world. From National Geographic, a look at the ten least crowded places in the world. Researchers flying over West Antarctica were at the right place at the right time, spotting an actively growing rift that they expect will spawn an iceberg about 10 times the size of Manhattan. Why not build your own island country? An interview with Eric Klien, whose effort to create a seastead called the Atlantis Project in the early 90s fizzled out due to lack of interest. David Brin on seasteading and some problems on the way to Castle Sovereign. Sometimes, fascinating maps are resistant to exegesis — maybe because all they need to explain is right there, in the image itself. A not-so-straight story: The American-Canadian border, famously said to run straight across the 49th parallel for hundreds of miles, actually zigzags. It’s complicated: Haley Sweetland Edwards on 5 puzzling international borders. Haley Sweetland Edwards on 7 giant fences dividing good neighbors. Martin W. Lewis on contested French islands and sea-space in the western Indian Ocean. Here is the website with sample chapters from The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance. Two sunken islands almost at the site of Tasmania have been discovered in the Indian Ocean west of the Australian city of Perth. Herman Sorgel’s Atlantropa is the craziest, most megalomaniacal scheme from the 20th century you never heard of.


A new issue of Air and Space Magazine is out. Ningchuan Wang and Yuze Zou (SAU): Yin-Yang Theory and Globalization. From Cato Unbound, Paul Armentano on how cannabis’ impact on health justifies its legalization, not its criminal prohibition. Prepare to fight back, Obama: In 2012, the president will get hammered on the individual mandate and the Bush tax cuts — here’s how he can seize those issues. From TLS, here’s a suggestion about how to read the literary canon: treat it as an exercise in pretence. From the Asia-Pacific Journal, Stephen Epstein and Rumi Sakamoto on the true origins of pizza: Irony, the Internet and East Asian nationalisms. The self-attribution fallacy: Intelligence, talent? No, the ultra-rich got to where they are through luck and brutality. From NYRB, what really happened to Dominique Strauss-Kahn? Edward Jay Epstein investigates. Elizabeth Warren isn't interested in small improvements: In seeking transformational changes, the Senate candidate may squander the chance to marginally better America. Our aesthetic categories: An interview with Sianne Ngai, author of The Cuteness of the Avant-Garde. Hitch’s Rolls-Royce mind is still purring: The great polemicist is certain to be remembered, but perhaps not as he would like. Glenn Greenwald on the "We are at War" mentality. Amanda Marcotte on 6 kinds of sex scandals: What should be exposed, and what should be left private? From Discover, an interview with radical linguist Noam Chomsky. Jonah Lehrer on the psychology of nakedness. The return of states’ rights: Tom Barry on why Rick Perry is important even if he loses. Time Zero: Nobel lectures in economics can be something of an anticlimax. Here come the top-10 lists: A round table debates whether they help sort the year — or just add to the clutter.


From Standpoint, Geza Vermes on Jews, Christians and Judaeo-Christians. When atheists fib to protect God: A certain breed of nonbelievers are anxious to avoid pointing out the real flaws of religion. A review of The Law of Organized Religions: Between Establishment and Secularism by Julian Rivers. From New English Review, Richard L. Rubenstein on Islam and Christianity and the roots of Europe’s religious identity; and Rebecca Bynum on why Islam is not a religion. America’s top heathen: Odin himself might have had a hard time predicting Dan Halloran’s strange career on New York’s City Council. The first chapter from Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam by William F. McCants. A look at how sexual strategies underlie religious inclinations. A review of Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians: The Religious Roots of Free Societies by Marcello Pera. Adam Lee on Christians defending genocide and on how religion imprisons women. The claim that Christianity provides the bedrock of Western culture might serve the interests of extremists, but it is a betrayal of a far more complex history. Edward Feser on his work The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism. From Butterflies and Wheels, Leo Igwe on atheism for the world. How do you shift the Overton window? The answer is simple: You have to stand outside it and pull. A review of Divinity of Doubt: The God Question by Vincent Bugliosi. The Islamic case for religious liberty: A close reading of the Qur’an and the Prophet leads to supporting religious tolerance. Filip Spagnoli on the attractiveness of religious liberty to those who hate it. Any religious belief seeking to explain the 'how's of the universe is competing with science — and in this sphere science will always win.


James Thuo Gathii (Albany): Irregular Forces and Self-Defense Under the UN Charter. John C. Richardson (JMR): Stuxnet as Cyberwarfare: Applying the Law of War to the Virtual Battlefield. Benjamin Davis (Toledo): What War Does to Law. Tawia B. Ansah (FIU): Lawfare: A Rhetorical Analysis. Laurie R. Blank (Emory): After "Top Gun": How Drone Strikes Impact the Law of War. Fernando R. Teson (FSU): Humanitarian Intervention: Loose Ends. Jeff McMahan (Rutgers): Pacifism and Moral Theory. Moshik Lavie (Paris I) and Christophe Muller (Marseille): Incentives and Survival in Violent Conflicts. The idea of recording, identifying and acknowledging each individual victim of armed conflict — and holding to account those responsible — extends the principles underlying the laws of war. Can women change the way we think about war? A comprehensive new study, "Costs of War", suggests that the costs have been wildly out of proportion to the benefits. A review of Morality and War: Can War Be Just in the Twenty-First Century? by David Fisher (and more). Drones are a palpable option for presidents fighting terrorism, but are they making war too easy? Good Fences: Alex Rutherford et al. on the importance of setting boundaries for peaceful coexistence. "Messengers of Death": Are drones creating a new global arms race? Libya’s Punk Revolution: The fighters who toppled Qaddafi were poorly organized, but their victory could signal a new type of insurgency warfare. From TED, Guy-Philippe Goldstein on how cyberattacks threaten real-world peace.


A new issue of Essays in History is out, including Jeff Ludwig (Rochester): From Apprentice to Master: Christopher Lasch, Richard Hofstadter, and the Making of History as Social Criticism. The long life of Homo sovieticus: This week’s elections and upheavals in Russia show how hard it is, 20 years after the system collapsed, for the country to put away its Soviet past (and more from Foreign Affairs and more). Camus wrote, “Life is a sum of all your choices” — the same can be said of all the things that just happen to us, and lucky you, Hunch has correlational data for both. 254: That's how many professors could be paid $50,000 annually for 20 years if we reallocated the money the Anaheim Angels used today to sign Albert Pujols. A review of Otto Neurath: The Language of the Global Polis by Nader Vossoughian. How the potato changed the world: Brought to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers, the lowly potato gave rise to modern industrial agriculture. An excerpt from Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself — and the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future by Harriet A. Washington. Up in Smoke: Did the idea of a legal war die along with Muammar al-Qaddafi? Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson on how to free Congress’s mind: Members of Congress need to change their minds about compromise, or voters will need to change the members of Congress.


Mariana Valverde (Toronto): Seeing Like a City: The Dialectic of Modern and Premodern Ways of Seeing in Urban Governance. Dean Stansel (FGCU): Why Some Cities Are Growing and Others Shrinking. Michelle Wilde Anderson (UC-Berkeley): Dissolving Cities. From The American Conservative, a symposium on Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities. From n+1, the City by City project gathers reports from as many American cities as possible, to see how things are going and what can be done, including Baltimore, Milwaukee, Northern Kentucky, Greensboro, the District of Columbia, Cincinnati, Seattle, and Chicago. Why city rankings always get it wrong: Happiest cities, most livable cities, loneliest cities — the Web's filled with lists. Why do cities get so little respect from state and national governments? An interview with Richard Florida, author of Who’s Your City? How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life. Joel Kotkin on the demise of the luxury city. Variety show: A new way to measure a city’s diversity. Ryan Avent on one path to better jobs: More density in cities. Nate Berg on defining cities in a metropolitan world. Are freeways doomed? Several cities are tearing down highways, creating bold new public spaces — and building a future without cars. Suburban hip is where it’s at: UBS might like Manhattan — but for all the talk of an urban renaissance, most growth is happening beyond the city. Could you actually be hurting the environment by going green and moving to the suburbs?


From Spontaneous Generations, a special issue on Science and Public Controversy. The statistical error that just keeps on coming: The same statistical errors — namely, ignoring the "difference in differences" — are appearing throughout the most prestigious journals in neuroscience. Carlo Rovelli on science as perpetual revolution, from its earliest beginnings to quantum gravity. Steven Weinberg on symmetry, a "key to Nature’s secrets". The first chapter from Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen. The dangers of cherry-picking evidence: It's one thing to produce a bias-free experiment — but the second, crucial stage is to synthesise the evidence fairly. How science can become more creepy: It turns out the problem with science is that there aren’t enough theories involving prehistoric narcissistic psychopathic art mollusks. Why scientific progress sometimes goes boink: An excerpt from Lisa Randall's Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World (and more and more and more). The new Einsteins will be scientists who share: From cancer to cosmology, researchers could race ahead by working together — online and in the open. With his new book The Magic of Reality, Richard Dawkins wants to introduce children to the wonders of science. What eight years of writing the Bad Science column has taught Ben Goldacre.


Jordan J. Paust (Houston): Permissible Self-Defense Targeting and the Death of Bin Laden. The weariness of men and nations: Jean Monnet wanted both supranational institutions and the nation state — his famous method could help tackle the current crisis. From The New York Observer, Sigmund says: Analysts expand their horizon by going beyond Father Freud; and Mr. and Mrs. Shrink: Therapists in relationships with other therapists are maddeningly healthy. Using debt to crush democracy: Michael Hudson on how financiers are waging warfare against nations. Handwriting, an elegy: As more and more of our words are tapped out on keyboards, Ann Wroe celebrates a dying art. The Canadian magazine Adbusters sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement — it also has a weakness for Israel-bashing conspiracy theories. Conservative Frank Luntz has set a trap for progressives — here's how to outsmart him and boost the Occupy Movement. The first chapter from Creating Wine: The Emergence of a World Industry, 1840-1914 by James Simpson. The fallacy of the open mike: David Rovics on the cultural one-percent. The politics of TV: What Democrats and Republicans watch. What kind of society, exactly, do modern Republicans want? Robert Reich on the rebirth of Social Darwinism. The fanatics of the center: Advocates of the evenhanded middle ignore the fact that compromising with Republicans only moves politics to the right.

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