From LRC, forcing ourselves to vote: As fewer Canadians turn up at the polls, compulsory voting is a choice to consider; and a review of Harperland: The Politics of Control by Lawrence Martin. What defines white people in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver? Christian Lander holds forth (and more and more). Never mind the acclaim of Canadian writers abroad and this fall’s wealth of literary festivals and big book prizes — there’s a shocking disconnect between the international success of Canadian writing and how Canadian literature is viewed in our schools. The Lost Canadians: They should be living in Manitoba, but due to a map-maker’s error they’re living in Minnesota — the Americans of Angle Township. The real signal of Canada’s recovery from the inferiority complex will come when we don’t even notice what the Americans are saying about us. A review of Getting Back in the Game: A Foreign Policy Playbook for Canada by Paul Heinbecker and Open Canada: A Global Positioning Strategy for a Networked Age by Edward Greenspon. Montreal is now home to a growing population of French newcomers, but what’s the allure of Quebec, and does it live up to expectations? A review of Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking by Benjamin Perrin. Canadian Political Science Missing in Action: A practitioner wonders why the progressive side of the discipline has gone mute.

From ARPA, in search of intellectual history: A review essay on law, empire, pirates, and revolutions. From e-flux, could it be that contemporary art is neoliberalism in its most purified form? Neoliberalism and the Spirit of the 60s: Perhaps the Tea Party is a rejection of the neoliberal politics of anti-politics, the politics of tolerance? From First of the Month, Benj DeMott on Sean Wilentz, Lawrence Goodwyn and the burden of Southern history (and the future of an idea); and more on What Was the Hipster?: A Sociological Investigation (and more). The redistribution of hope: Optimism is on the move — with important consequences for both the hopeful and the hopeless. From World War II, Laurence Rees on Stalin the Puppetmaster. Dan Ariely tells Matthew Taylor why it's only by understanding our weaknesses that we can learn to anticipate and avoid mistakes. What does it means to be a libertarian in the digital age? Tim Lee is just the man to ask. While Christian novelists or poets are real enough, it is somewhat more problematic to speak of Christian, as opposed to pagan, literature (and a response). Overall people looking for romance online actually behave very much as they do in face to face dating and relationships. New Zealand proposes to turn its tiny Polynesian neighbour Niue into a retirement village for Australasian pensioners. Is the choice between lots of consumer comforts and lots of liberal democracy a false dichotomy?

Aside from the occasional drama backed by a superstar like Oprah Winfrey, the thoughtful Hollywood film about and by black people went out with the pager. Menthol madness: Why ban blacks' preferred cigarette? Black girls rock: With all the harsh criticism lobbed at black women over the past few weeks, it's time to celebrate their accomplishments and contributions. Negritude 2.0: An article on Jimi Hendrix, the Patron Saint of Alt-Blackness. An interview with Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the new director of the Schomburg Center, the premier research center for African-American culture, on his famous great-grandfather, coming of age during the Rodney King beating and his plans for the Harlem library. The "do-it-yourself foreign aid" movement is an exciting opportunity for young people to bring help directly to children in poor countries, so where are the black humanitarians? Henry Louis Gates, Jr., on the image of the black in Western art. FDNY's black firefighter problem: Meet the black candidates who aced the FDNY supposedly racist entrance exam — and still can't become firefighters. Siobhan Brooks on how black exotic dancers are undervalued and underpaid. Reverse passing: A report that biracial people are denying their white parents seems absurd — in this country, "black" has always been a mongrel affair — but checking a census box that says "black" doesn't mean you're denying your white ancestry — it's just how we roll in America. Blacks & Whites turned out to be one of the most controversial board games of all time.

From M/C Journal, a special issue on "coalition". Pseudo-scientists, pseudo-shamans and mass delusion: Jim Chaffee on contemporary US culture. Maurice Blanchot's journal Revue Internationale was an attempt at an engaged form of publishing in a world shaped by decolonization and bloc confrontation, yet its internationalist ambitions proved to be its downfall. Cosma Shalizi reviews The Calculus of Selfishness by Karl Sigmund. Most Anglo-Protestant Economies (APEs) do not pass the idealized Weberian test of financial probity and capitalist accountability, not even when compared with some PIGS — look at the recent record and compare some APEs and other up-and-coming animals with one of the PIGS: Spain (and part 2). From Catapult, what’s good about branding and where has it gone wrong? A look at how beautiful people really are more intelligent. Are you a Neutral Zonian? The mother of all geographical pull-down menus may well be that maintained by the CIA World Factbook, labeled “select a country or location”. From The New Yorker, a review essay on Mao and the Maoists. Luciano Floridi gets intimate with the machine language of love. Do other countries have a constitutional right to bear arms? Terry Castle, critical outlaw: Her astringent, self-revealing writings are Grade-A cultural commentary in disguise. A profile of Avinash Dixit, author of seminal work on monopolistic competition, trade, and development.

From Inside Catholic, a look at 12 myths every Catholic should be able to answer. Here are excerpts from Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times, Peter Seewald’s book-length interview with Pope Benedict XVI. A review of When Values Collide: The Catholic Church, Sexual Abuse, and the Challenges of Leadership by Joseph P. Chinnici. A look at how Christianity arguably the most persecuted religion in the world. Herding cats on Sola Scriptura: A Truly Reformed guy has to periodically engage in the Sisyphean labor of trying to herd all the Protestant cats back into the Calvinist bag. What would Jesus do? Conservatives claim Christ as one of their own, but in word and deed, the son of God was much more left-wing than the religious right likes to believe. Among the Evangelicals: Academics were slow to get around to studying this American subculture — better late than never. Save the date: Jesus is scheduled to make his second coming appearance on May 21, 2011 — are you Rapture Ready? Dealing with crazy Christians: When you want to say, "I'm a Christian, but not like them". Is just believing enough? Craig Groeschel explores the fine line between believing like a Christian, but living like an atheist. From Secular News Daily, Andrew Zak Williams on how to debate God's existence with a believer; and is religion a kind of racism? Yes and no. Is your life complete without a rock-climbing Jesus action figurine? We didn’t think so.