Gabriel J. Felbermayr (Stuttgart-Hohenheim) and Jasmin Groeschl (CESifo): Naturally Negative: The Growth Effects of Natural Disasters. From New York, though one in three American women will have an abortion by the age of 45, many of them will never discuss it — here are 26 women who did; and who killed Michael Hastings? Reflexively distrustful, eager to make powerful enemies, the young journalist whose Mercedes exploded in Los Angeles one night couldn’t possibly have died accidentally, could he? From the International Committee of the Fourth International, Bill Van Auken on the Democratic victory in New York and the crisis of liberalism; and Kate Randall on the debacle and the fraud of Obamacare. Noam Scheiber on Hillary's nightmare: A Democratic Party that realizes its soul lies with Elizabeth Warren, who has become a phenomenon for populist Democrats. The lowest form of humor: Teddy Wayne on how the National Lampoon shaped the way we laugh now. The Lonely Guy: He’s a community organizer who works alone; what was once Obama’s greatest strength — he kept his cool and didn’t need feedback — is now a liability. Scott Barry Kaufman on the heritability of intelligence: Not what you think. Alec MacGillis on the mother of all Nazi analogies, now available at Amazon. Will the next Nate Silver please stand up? Moon Shots: Rob Walker on the world’s billionaires and their sci-fi-tinged side projects.

Zoe Robinson (DePaul): What is a “Religious Institution”? Brett A. Geier (South Florida): Texas Cheerleaders and the First Amendment: Can You Cheer for God at a Football Game? Why I hate religion but love Jesus: Jesus>Religion YouTube Star Jefferson Bethke challenges American Christians with new book. Challenging (but promising) moment for America's religious colleges: Though they may seem vulnerable amid the threats of higher ed "disruption", this time could be a propitious one for America's colleges of faith, Thomas Albert Howard argues. Michael David on 10 popular types of black preachers you'll meet on Sunday. “John Galt is a heathen!”: Stuart McAnulla on the inconvenient atheism of Ayn Rand. Are Christians entering a new Dark Age? Richard Land wonders (and part 2). Malcolm Gladwell visits Glenn Beck, finds religion. “I've wept for America”: Billy Graham laments country's direction in final sermon on 95th birthday. Should historians weep for liberal Protestantism? A. I. Jacobs reviews After Cloven Tongues of Fire: Protestant Liberalism in Modern American History by David A. Hollinger. Hipster Jesus is coming to an atheist church near you. Amanda Marcotte on the “hip” Christian Right-wingers trying to make conservative Christianity look cool for the kids. Michael Todd on how there are hundreds of practicing exorcists in the U.S. Peter Berkowitz reviews Defending American Religious Neutrality by Andrew Koppelman. Rachel Maddow says the Bush administration was trying to bring about the end of the world.

From Peace Policy, George A. Lopez and David Cortright (Notre Dame): Suspending Sanctions: A Strategy for Reaching a Nuclear Agreement with Iran; Seyed Hossein Mousavian (Princeton): Prospects for Diplomacy to Resolve the Iranian Nuclear Dilemma; and Ellen Laipson (Stimson): Preventing War with Iran: Have Prospects Improved? Matthew K. Shannon reviews The Iran Narrative: Ideas, Discourse, and Domestic Politics in the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy Toward Iran, 1990-2003 by Christopher Joseph Ferrero. Since 1979, anti-US art has been a staple of Iran's streetscape — is this era of propaganda coming to an end? And so we have the Republican Party’s biggest donor saying that we should nuke Iran as part of our negotiations to stop Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons. Talk to Iran, it works: Based on talks in 2001, the outlines of a deal on Iran’s nuclear program and Western sanctions are clear. Michael Crowley on the incredible, absurd Iranian hostage rescue mission that never happened: "It would have been World War III". From The National Interest, Paul Pillar on mirror-image hardliners; and Usha Sahay on how Iran and the US are finally learning to talk. Michael Crowley on the Dummies Guide to Iran’s Nukes — an illustrated five-step guide to understanding what it’s all about. Obama’s secret Iran detente: Long before a nuclear deal was in reach, the U.S. was quietly lifting some of the financial pressure on Iran — how the sanctions were softened. Bennett Ramberg on on the burden of Libya and North Korea on Iran's nuclear policy. Dennis Ross on what you need to know to understand the Iran nuclear negotiations.

Andreas Wittel (Nottingham Trent): Counter-commodification: The Economy of Contribution in the Digital Commons. From The Nation, a special issue on marijuana. The eyes are increasingly dirty windows into the soul. “Today I was refused entrance to the U.S.”: Josh Alvizu and Jason Groves on Ilija Trojanow and U.S. securitarianism. How much will it cost to make these racist old men go away? Getting Richard Cohen and Ray Kelly out of public life might cost some money, but it's worth it. Comicbook superheroes live in a world where individuals can change with ease into objects, think out loud, or kill with a stare, yet they fight only to maintain the status quo — how would it be different if superheroes were the people who are oppressed? Charles Ornstein on why broke: Two competing story lines. Just how badly are we overfishing the oceans? Brad Plumer investigates. The pain of torture lasts forever: A study of Israeli veterans of the 1973 Yom Kippur War finds that torture permanently alters a person's perception of pain. Jesse Bering on five sex research pioneers you’ve probably never heard of. Mary McCarthy on the top eight things wacky conservative blogs have in common. David Catanese on the next big fight between Hillary Clinton and liberals. Andrew Beaujon on how Betsy Rothstein, Washington's strangest gossip, does not explain Washington. Dave Shilling signs up for the Ayn Rand fan club dating site, Atlasphere.

From PUP, the introduction to Dreams of Other Worlds: The Amazing Story of Unmanned Space Exploration by Chris Impey and Holly Henry. Lee Billings on the pioneering scientists who have led the hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence in their quest to answer the haunting question: Is humanity alone in the universe? Sarah Fecht on the case for alien life — the odds that we are not alone are improving. Christianity and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence: Emma Crichton-Miller reviews Science, Religion and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence by David Wilkinson. George Dvorsky on some of the most plausible scenarios for alien civilizations. How many astronauts believe aliens exist? All of them, according to former Space Station commander Chris Hadfield. Scientists used to scan the skies for messages from alien civilisations — now they go looking for their ruins. David H. Grinspoon is in search of planetary intelligence: Maybe it’s somewhere out there. The economics of space junk: Sarah Laskow on a classic tragedy of the commons — this time, in orbit. If starships are ever built, it will be in the far future — but that does not deter the intrepid band of scientists who are thinking about how to do it (and more). Kyle Hill on what the nerdiest chart of sci-fi ships says about our dreams of space. How to catch an asteroid: Astronomers ponder how to save the Earth. Veronique Greenwood on why the Moon should be an international park. This insane rocket is why the Soviet Union never made it to the Moon. Stop pretending we aren't living in the Space Age.

Elizabeth Suhay (Lafayette): The Polarizing Effect of Incivility in the Political Blog Commentsphere. Richard L. Hasen (UC-Irvine): Keynote Address to the Voting Wars Symposium. Nathan P. Kalmoe (GWU): Voting is the Best Revenge: How Violent Metaphors Shape Voter Turnout. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, is leading to a new era of voter suppression that parallels the pre-1960s era — this time affecting not just African-Americans but also Hispanic-Americans, women, and students, among others. Keith O’Brien on how better arithmetic is no match for partisan politics. Sure, Congress is more partisan, but it’s also more honest: David Weigel on what we can learn from a new political almanac. America was built on extremism: Michael Kazin on a kind word for Ted Cruz — Unpopular opinions move history forward. When polarization doesn’t happen: Seth Masket on what happens when activists and interest groups support political candidates who are not in their pocket, and give them leverage to behave more moderately. Joshua Green on an amazing chart that explains Washington's dysfunction. From The Nation, Reed Richardson on how the media’s process obsession stifles liberalism and undermines our democracy. Does public broadcasting increase current affairs knowledge? Joshua Tucker investigates. Joseph Mazor on the case for requiring citizens to engage in political deliberation. Elites are ruining America: Michael Lind on how the hype market dominates US politics (and more from Salon). Leon Neyfakh on the myth of the visionary leader: We pine for boldness and charisma — but, say experts, we should vote for something else.

The first issue of Brooklyn Quarterly is out. Matthew DeSantis (GTCC): World Without End: The Rise of Dominionism and Christian Nationalism in the United States. Colin McGinn, reviewing, and the perils of paraphrase: A philosopher known for scorched-earth polemics has made himself a bit more notorious — Scott McLemee considers the perils of paraphrase. Has civil disobedience lost its effectiveness? Philip Wight reviews Civil Disobedience: An American Tradition by Lewis Perry. The paradox of reforming the secrecy-industrial complex: Eric Posner reviews Secret Leaks: The Dilemma of State Secrecy by Rahul Sagars. To Tweet or not to Tweet: Nick Holdstock on the role of the writer as an engaged citizen. From Crooked Timber, Ingrid Robeyns on epistemic humility. Robert Paul Wolff on the secret wet dream of Paul Ryan and a host of passionate conservatives who have seized control of the rotting corpse of the Republican Party. Do Easterners and Westerners treat contradiction differently? Jim Higgins takes a look at the Best American and other writing anthologies. Meg Favreau on why being sick in the late 1800s sucked, and not just because you were more likely to die. How often do gamblers really win? New data provide some answers on the real odds for gambling. Meet, the Google of modern politics. A game studies manifesto: The introduction to The Game Culture Reader, ed. Jason C. Thompson.

David Ingram (Loyola): Does Political Islam Conflict With Secular Democracy? Philosophical Reflections on Religion and Politics. Peter O'Brien (Trinity): Islam and the Politics of Secularism in Europe. Melani Cammett and Pauline Jones Luong (Brown): Is There an Islamist Political Advantage? Peter Henne (Maryland): Religion and the War on Terror: Religion-State Connections and US-Muslim Counter-Terrorism Cooperation. The introduction to Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi'ite South Beirut by Lara Deeb and Mona Harb. From Vice, Hussein Kesvani on how leaving Islam behind is a scary prospect for Britain's ex-Muslims; and being a Muslim sexologist is a tough gig: Ian Moore interviews Heba Kotb, the Arab world’s first Muslim sexologist. Mehraj ud din Bhat reviews Islam, Orientalism, and Intellectual History by Mohammad R. Salama. Samantha Lewthwaite, a British convert to Islam, is wanted by Interpol over an alleged bomb-plot — how many people convert to Islam, and why? No ordinary violence: Sam Harris on Islam and Malala Yousafzai. Massimo Pigliucci on time to talk about Islamophobia and the New Atheists. Hussein Ibish on why Muslims should love secularism. “Homeland” has a Muslim problem: Every Muslim on "Homeland" is a credible threat — and it's beginning to look a lot like Bush-era paranoia. Shahid Javed Burki on the irresistible rise of the Muslim middle class. Christina Hellmich reviews The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamist Movement by Carrie Rosefsky Wickham. Where’s the outrage when the FBI targets Muslims? Diala Shamas wants to know. Mighty, Muslim and leaping off the page: Marvel Comics introducing a Muslim girl superhero.

From The American Conservative, Howard Ahmanson on the old regionalism vs. the new cosmopolitan hyper-localism. Just looking at map of Maryland makes it clear it's one of the most poorly-designed states. Each tree and farm, street and courthouse of Casey Cep’s home county rests on shallow-buried stories of slavery and Civil War. Zack Beauchamp on how the South really is different — and it’s because of race. Best of all possible worlds: An effort to kickstart urban renewal in Evansville, Indiana, leads residents to take sides and artists to consider the social implications of their work. Jim Russell on the Rust Belt allure of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: How do you attract world-class talent living the dream in California to a gritty city obliterated by the shadow of New York? Keep your cool, New York and L.A.: Sommer Mathis on how the millennials flocking to D.C. redefine “hip”. Whole Foods is the Lewis and Clark of gentrification: Someone has to explore a place first and put it on your mental map. Appalachia used to be simply scary — now its hipness is frightening. Why are so many counties trying to secede from their states? Claire Suddath wants to know. Patrick Buchanan on how the spirit of secession sweeps the red states. Five of 11 Colorado counties vote in favor of secession. Nate Cohn on the 61 States of America: If all those state secession movements got their way, America would look like this map. Josh Levin on the United Sports of America: If each state could have only one sport, what would it be?

Kaja Tretjak (SUNY Buffalo): Opportunity and Danger: Why Studies of the Right are Crucial for U.S. Anthropology and Beyond. From Mother Jones, a special section on data privacy. Matt Taibbi on how Chase isn't the only bank in trouble. Not so unprecedented: Randall Kelso reviews Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare by Professor Josh Blackman. Brian Beutler on how the media is blowing the Obamacare rollout. Russell Brand calls for overhaul of current democratic system in Guardian op-ed (and a special issue of New Statesman edited by Brand). Manuel Roig-Franzia on the rise of Alicia Menendez, a voice for the millennials. Al Gore predicts lawmakers will rein in surveillance. Let's face it, Bloomberg's legacy is terrible. Ian MIllhiser on how the Tenth Amendment is dead as a national political issue. Thomas Nadelhoffer will create an open-access, peer-reviewed, on-line philosophy journal called Philosophical Exchanges. John H. Zammito on the Nagel flap and Mind and Cosmos. How has scandal-ridden Rob Ford become so popular? A political scientist explains. Judd Legum 5 things Rob Ford has done that are worse than smoking crack. Jonathan Chait on four problems with Chris Christie 2016. That thing where you're a relatively high-level professional who can't help but think you don't deserve to be where you are? It's called impostor syndrome. Go hack yourself: Samir Chopra interviewed by Richard Marshall.