From In These Times, liberal snobs and Wall Street bankers: A third way between America’s cliched class narratives comes from an unlikely source — former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum. Stop feeling sorry for the middle class — they’re doing just fine. A mess on the ladder of success: The new divide in America is between a smaller mobile class and one that can’t quite pack up and go. The Fracturing of Pennsylvania: In Amwell Township, Pa., the dividing line is between those who are getting rich and those who are paying the price. Josh Rothman on an unexpected cost of income inequality: self-deception. Relative poverty: William Bole on the indignity of gross inequality. Income inequality is accelerating fastest at the top — who are the 0.1%? Radical solutions to economic inequality: If only Americans today were as open-minded about leveling the playing field as we were 100 years ago. Plutocracy or democracy? How bad policies brought us new Gilded Age. The .000063% Election: Ari Berman on how the politics of the super rich became American politics. Britt Peterson on why it matters that our politicians are rich.
A new issue of The Public Journal of Semiotics is out. A new issue of The Semiotic Review of Books is out. From New York, smart talk has never been such a valuable commodity — it’s spawned conferences like TED, Davos, and now a slew of upstart competitors; it has made the eighteen‑minute TED lecture a viral online phenomenon — but are we running out of things to say? War is corroding the souls of some Sarah Palin fans: On her Facebook page, an alarming number are openly calling for atrocities, mass murder, even the nuclear annihilation of a whole region. Greed isn't good: Research suggests wealth could make people unethical. A drug that wakes the near dead: A surprising drug has brought a kind of consciousness to patients once considered vegetative — and changed the debate over pulling the plug. Haterade: What are the long-term effects of being called an intolerant hack, a feminazi, a despicable pig, and a stupid little twit on a daily basis? The closing of the public square: A review of Liberty’s Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly by John Inazu and Speech Out of Doors: Preserving First Amendment Liberties in Public Places by Timothy Zick.
June Carbone (Missouri) and Naomi Cahn (GWU): Red v. Blue Marriage. Carolyn McConnell (Washington): What's in a Name? The Case for the Disestablishment of Marriage. Brien K. Ashdown (Hobart and William Smith), Jana Hackathorn (Murray State) and Eddie M. Clark (SLU): In and Out of the Bedroom: Sexual Satisfaction in the Marital Relationship (and a response). Stephanie Coontz on mating games: Changing rules for sex and marriage. Kate Manne (Harvard): Love Actually. The introduction to The Paradox of Love by Pascal Bruckner (and more on seduction). Love and death: Romantic love needs the promise of a future to survive — but that future must have an end. Everything I needed to know about modern love I learned from the Oxford English Dictionary quarterly updates. Ruth Sarah Lee (Harvard): A Legal Analysis of Romantic Gifts. Does online dating really work? It has not only shed its stigma, it has surpassed all forms of matchmaking other than meeting through friends. A look at the terrible thrill of looking at the ugliest people on dating websites. The single life: Some people never find the love of their lives — and live to tell about it.