From Sojo (re. req.), America the Exceptional: What kind of nation are we called to be, arrogantly superior or humbly exemplary? The Greatest Country on Earth: What the United States can learn from the tiny island nation of Mauritius. Is the United States too big to succeed? Roman Skaskiw investigates. A review of The World America Made by Robert Kagan (and Kagan on why the world needs America). Colum Lynch on reflections from the far reaches of the American empire. How empires fall (including the American one): An interview with Jonathan Schell, author of The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People. Andrew J. Bacevich on why the American Century is over — good riddance. “Losing” the world: Noam Chomsky on American decline in perspective (and part 2). From Foreign Policy, the rise or fall of the American Empire: Daniel Drezner, Gideon Rachman and Robert Kagan tackle the great decline debate; and the debate over American decline is missing the point — all this talk about projecting U.S. power abroad means nothing if we can't fix our severe problems at home. America is the best country in the world at being last — how can we change that?

Edward Dutton (Oulu): Towards a Scientific Model of Culture Shock and Intercultural Communication. From Phenomenology and Practice, Erika Goble (Alberta): Facing the Ugly Face. From the International Journal of Motorcycle Studies, a special issue on the future of motorcycling. Steve Clemons on the real defense budget. If you are in the magazine business and you are not excited about all the changes taking place today, you need to exit the business. Superheroes around the world: CarrieLynn Reinhard on how people around the world view superheroes. Richard Dawkins on The Magic of Reality and how we know what's really true. David Limbaugh laments "the radical display of hate and intolerance" directed at his brother, Rush. So, Lenny Dykstra is finally going to prison. Billionaire rankings: Bloomberg launches daily list of the world’s richest people. Chris Arthur on financial literacy education for citizens and financial literacy education and freedom. If governments want to encourage good citizenship, they should try making the desired behavior more fun. Get Shortey: He thinks there’s a plot to slip human foetuses into the food chain.

From Bad Subjects, Joseph Natoli on the neoliberal/right-wing psyche. The Republican Brain: Chris Mooney on why even educated conservatives deny science — and reality. From FDL, a book salon on The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin by Corey Robin. What sets conservatives apart from authoritarians and fascists? As the term "conservative" is co-opted more and more by true reactionaries, the whole supposedly "conservative" outlook is rooting itself more and more in the past, and an increasingly distant past at that. What is a conservative? Right-leaning thinkers answer one of three questions to help define both their ideology and their challenges for the future. Can conservative intellectuals go home again? Know your gnostics: Gene Callahan on how Eric Voegelin diagnosed the neoconservatives’ disease. From The University Bookman, a review of Edmund Burke For Our Time: Moral Imagination, Meaning, and Politics by William F. Byrne; a review of From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin: Evangelicals and the Betrayal of American Conservatism by D. G. Hart; and a review of Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America by Benjamin L. Carp.