From Open Democracy, an article on disarmament as the forgotten issue: "Peace on Earth" by 2020? It's possible — here's how. Abnormals of all nations, unite! What is worrying is not so much the number of failed democracies as the extensive misuse of democratic institutions, symbols, and practices. Poof: An article on the post-revolutionary disappearing act — and its dreadful consequences. A review of Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming by Paul Hawken. The introduction to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium by Ronald Findlay and Kevin H. O'Rourke. A review of The Politics of Free Markets: The Rise of Neoliberal Economic Policies in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States by Monica Prasad. From Global Law Books, a review of Trade, Aid, and Arbitrate: The Globalization of Western Law by Ronald Charles Wolf; and a review of The Human Rights Impact of the World Trade Organisation by James Harrison. A review of Cultural Products and the World Trade Organization by Tania Voon.


From Democracy, lift every voice: A review of Ralph Ellison: A Biography by Arnold Rampersad; Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign by Michael K. Honey; and New Orleans After the Promises: Poverty, Citizenship and the Search for the Great Society by Kent B. Germany. From Colorlines, from Missouri to Arizona, Ward Connerly targets the ballot box in five more states. The greasy ladder: Middle-income blacks are downwardly mobile — why? High-profile cases of racial insensitivity rile the nation, yet studies affirm that a deeper bias festers, afflicting even those who seem to know better — as soon as we accept this truth, perhaps we can direct our outrage at inequities that really matter. Meet Mr. Hoptoit McNegropants: A review of A Practical Guide to Racism by C.H. Dalton. Race against time: Evolution isn't making people in different parts of the world more distinct — there are no human races, just the one species. No tolerance for human nature: Jonathan Derbyshire reviews Amy Chua's Day of Empire.


From Counterpunch, an open letter to the antiwar Left: Joshua Frank on why Ron Paul's campaign deserves our attention; and Sherry Wolf on the freedom to starve Why the Left should reject Ron Paul. Meet the press: John Edwards begs the media to look in his direction. Despite the widening gap between rich and poor in America, the presidential candidates' populist appeals are falling on deaf ears. Why the Democrats could lose in 2008: Democrats think the public is just interested in new social programs, but voters are looking for something more inspirational. That does not compute: Mitt Romney has a passion for data — a great president needs a passion for principle. And everybody hates the atheists: Romney tries to get ahead by climbing over unbelievers. Huckabee's religious beliefs are just as wacky as Romney's, so why should we care? What does Hillary believe? She is in lockstep with the United Methodist Church on almost all issues, says Paul Kengor, author of God and Hillary Clinton (and an excerpt). Believe it or not: Atheists are a frustrated group of Americans. If we want to make humanist beliefs truly meaningful we need to go beyond simply individual political involvement to a collective effort, and strive to make Humanism a political and philosophical force in our society.


From Wired, a look at how scientist Brad McRae is employing "circuit theory" to protect endangered species. The calculus of cat and mouse: A review of Chases and Escapes: The Mathematics of Pursuit and Evasion by Paul J. Nahin. Animals do the cleverest things: The chimp who outwits humans; the dolphin who says it with seaweed; the existential dog — the more we learn about other animals the harder it is to say we're the smartest species. An article on looking to dolphins for human therapy. What's the future for circus animals? The cuteness stops at age four: A review of Bears: A Brief History by Bernd Brunner.


Tony Cutler (London): A Necessary Complexity: History and Public-Management Reform. From Dissent, an article on renewing Britain's New Labour project. The essence of Orwellianism: It isn't the spycams that make Britain Orwellian - - it is New Labour's taste for intervening in our lives. It's very unlikely that your vote will ever change the result of an election, but your right to vote is not to be given up lightly. Shlomo Ben-Ami on Britain’s new internationalism. From Prospect, fatuous leftism: Some of the hostile responses to Andrew Anthony's book, Fall Out, exemplified the very attitudes the author aimed to expose. Here's the preface to the new edition of What's Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way by Nick Cohen. For 150 years, John Stuart Mill has been the intellectual icon of the British left - but his ideas address few of the problems we face today, and more on John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand by Richard Reeves.


Sunny dazed: Carl Pope on why optimism alone won’t save the environment — a response to Gregg Easterbrook. The environmental establishment continues to peddle the notion that we can solve the climate problem — we can't. An interview with Richard Posner on planning for a climate catastrophe. Policy considerations of a carbon tax: To warrant a new tax, policymakers should be sure that the tax is designed to meet the non-revenue goals and that a tax is a more efficient way to reach those goals compared to alternatives. The Norwegians have forced their hand: It is time for the Swedes to give a prize in environmental economics. Energy guru Amory Lovins, author of Winning the Oil Endgame, lays out his plan for weaning the US off oil and revitalizing the economy in the process. A review of Energy Autonomy: The Economic, Social and Technological Case for Renewable Energy by Hermann Scheer. All you need to know about ethanol: Corn-based fuel is a step in the right direction, but it won’t single-handedly solve our energy crisis.


From Financial Times, Fred Bergsten on how to solve the problem of the dollar: Countries with dollars they deem excessive would receive an asset denominated in a basket of leading currencies. Don’t bet against the dollar: Don’t let all the chatter about the “incredibly shrinking dollar” fool you — the Almighty Greenback is here to stay, and there are far more serious dangers lurking for the global economy. From Portfolio, an article on the evolution of an investor: Blaine Lourd got rich picking stocks, but then he realized that everything he thought he knew about the markets was wrong — and he's not alone. From The Wall Street Journal, Alan Greesnpan on the roots of the mortgage crisis: Bubbles cannot be safely defused by monetary policy before the speculative fever breaks on its own. If Greenspan was so prescient, why did permit the housing bubble to get so out of hand, before retiring as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in 2006? James Surowiecki on Paulson’s Plan: Treasury offers a Band-Aid for the mortgage crisis. Daniel Gross on the future of real estate and the cockeyed optimists of the National Association of Realtors. When boom goes bust: A look at how sprawl eats its young.


From TLS, a review of Obelisk: A history of Jack Kahane and the Obelisk Press by Neil Pearson. There are worse things than not reading a book; buying a book and not reading it would be one of those — that is a real tale of woe. More on How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard. Books of the new world and the old: An immigrant comes to America—through the library. Paperspine is trying to do for books what Netflix did for DVDs. "Soon to be a major motion picture": An interview with Brian Morton, author of Starting Out in the Evening. Of Dickens and Darwin: Despite appearances, scientists and literary authors have spent centuries mirroring each other, albeit indirectly. Why don't we love science fiction? There is nothing artificial in its ability to convey apprehension about the universe and ourselves.


From Physics and Philosophy, Helge Kragh (Aarhus): The Controversial Universe: A Historical Perspective on the Scientific Status of Cosmology; Richard Dawid (Vienna): Scientific Realism in the Age of String Theory. From TED, Murray Gell-Mann drops some knowledge about particle physics, asking questions like, Are elegant equations more likely to be right than inelegant ones? Can the fundamental law, the so-called "theory of everything," really explain everything? His answers will surprise you. A review of Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness by B. Alan Wallace. A review of Concepts of Simultaneity: From Antiquity to Einstein and Beyond by Max Jammer. In a parallel universe, this theory would make sense: If only we could prove that the multiverse was real, we could explain the contradictions of quantum mechanics. A review of Tales of Mathematicians and Physicists by Simon Gindikin; and a review of The Pythagorean Theorem: A 4,000-Year History by Eli Maor. A strange new family of algorithms probes the boundary between easy and hard problems. Mathematical police find security bug: Cryptographers uncover potential weakness in encryption algorithms.


From Dissent, sand castles and snake pits: An article on homelessness, public policy, and the law of unintended consequences. The American Dream is alive and well... in Finland. A review of The Unaffordable Nation: Searching for a Decent Life in America by Jeffrey Jones. A review of Outsourcing Sovereignty: Why Privatization of Government Functions Threatens Democracy and What We Can Do about It by Paul R. Verkuil. A review of How the Republican Party and its Corporate Allies Are Taking Away Your Right to Sue by Stephanie Mencimer (and an excerpt). As the Bush administration turns a blind eye to consumer crises, state attorneys general are picking up the slack—and making powerful enemies in the process. From Democracy, twentieth-century government was all about public goods —this century will be all about public bads; and wiki-government: How open-source technology can make government decision-making more expert and more democratic. These days you can Google just about anything, from your favorite celebrity's pet to your boss's middle name, but using the biggest search engine to get information about the government often falls short.

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