From Wonkblog, “The Tuition is Too Damn High” is a 10-part series on the causes and consequences of — and potential fixes for — the skyrocketing costs of higher education. Oh, we may say our colleges are the best in the world while we secretly believe they’re an overpriced rip-off, but leave it to Thomas Frank to ask whether they’re the best in the world at committing the rip-off. Haley Sweetland Edwards on America’s worst community colleges: The San Francisco Bay Area’s economy may be high tech, but its community colleges are the bottom of the barrel. Kevin Carey on those self-defeating lobbyists at One Dupont Circle: Higher education's representatives in Washington are making themselves vulnerable to an accumulation of outrage. Claire Goldstene on the emergent academic proletariat and its shortchanged students. Keith O’Brien on the trouble with grade inflation: It works — easy A’s really do open doors, suggests a new study. Asha Rangappa on how the path to getting into an elite school has long been shrouded in mystery — it’s up to us, the admissions officers, to lift the veil. The Complainers: Graham Hillard goes online with The Chronicle of Higher Education. The use of journal rankings to rate individual papers, scientists, and even programs has upset loads of people in academia; one paper’s solution: Get rid of journals. Michael Billig on why academics can’t write. Martin Kicho on dissertations with titles that warrant a double-take. Christina H. Paxson on the economic case for saving the humanities.

John Protevi (LSU): Evolution, Neuroscience, and Prosocial Behavior in Disasters. From Insurgent Notes, Matthew Quest on C.L.R. James’s conflicted intellectual legacies on Mao Tse Tung’s China. Charlie Smith on why a nascent Vancouver Island separatist movement matters. You can download Sociocultural Systems: Principles of Structure and Change by Frank W. Elwell. Amanda Hess on how marriage is the new middle-class luxury item. Trevor Timm on how the NSA misleads the public without technically lying. Ian Leslie on why Malcolm Gladwell is underrated: “There, I said it”. From TNR, Gordon Silverstein on how Obama just increased executive power again; and Julia Ioffe on Rand Paul's Syria Bible thumping: Why does he only seem to care about the country's Christians? The introduction to Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change by Edmund Phelps. Bruce Schneier on how the US government has betrayed the Internet — we need to take it back. Jester and Priest: John Connelly on how the great Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski went from being an anticlerical scourge to an apostle of John Paul II. From Mute, is black a colour, the absence of colour or a suspension of vision produced by a deprivation of light? Eugene Thacker considers the philosophical implications of blackness. Jonathan Chait on how Republicans and business are getting along just fine: “In American politics you go to war with the coalition you have” (and more).

Christina Kiel (UNO): Non-State Conflict Management and Civil War Duration: Do NGO Interventions Contribute to Shorter Civil Wars? Benjamin Schrader (Hawaii): Forged in War, Battling for Peace. The business of fighting: Mark Reutter reviews A Call to Arms: Mobilizing America for World War II by Maury Klein. What makes America so prone to intervention? Noah Berlatsky interviews Stanley Hauerwas, pacifist theologian, on Syria and why "humanitarianism" is a red herring. From n+1, a solution from hell: In honor of the coming Syria intervention, a piece about the Libya intervention (and a response). From Wonkblog, an interview with Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies on how Syria missile strikes might actually work; Ezra Klein on 10 things that could go very wrong if we attack Syria; Lydia DePillis on three big ways the U.S. could help Syrians without using the military; and Brad Plumer on everything you need to know about Syria’s chemical weapons. Don't worry about chemical weapons becoming the new norm. There is no better evidence of the long shadow that the Iraq war continues to case that, while in 2003 the British Parliament supported intervention against the mere possibility that weapons of mass destruction might be used, ten years later the British Parliament voted against it after they had actually been used (and more). Tom Engelhardt on Barbie, Joe, Darth Vader, and making war in children’s culture; and on Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Rambo, Red Dawn, and how a tale of American triumphalism was returned to the child’s world.