From the International Journal of Qualitative Methods, a special issue on health equity. Mark Humphery-Jenner (UNSW): Balanced Budget Rules and Expenditure Limits: Lessons from the US and Australia and Implications for the EU. From Arts and Opinion, is the end of literacy on the near horizon? David Solway on galloping agraphia; Donald Dewey on the Overwriting Syndrome: Saving or disserving the language?; and feedbackers of the world, unite: Robert J. Lewis on reader feedback, the new fifth column. William Galston on how Europe could sink Obama’s election chances and what he can do about it. Greg Ip is getting in on the probabilities game, this time looking at the three big risks facing the global macroeconomy. Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan: A 12-part LRC series, featuring text and iPhone Hipstamatic photography. Political watchdogs like PolitiFact and the Washington Post's "Fact-Checker" are accused of favoring Democrats — but it is the facts themselves that have a liberal bias. Atlas Obscura visits the world’s quietest place: This lab's maddening silence is good for business but bad for sanity.