From National Journal, an interview with Zalmay Khalilzad on the Middle East. A letter to President Bush on the Middle East by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Lee Hamilton, Carla Hills, Nancy Kassebaum-Baker, Thomas R. Pickering, Brent Scowcroft et al. Why is Syria taking so many strategic and political risks? An article on understanding the Israeli attack on Syria: We now know a little about what happened, but it'll be a long time before we know what it means. Jerome Slater (SUNY-Buffalo): Muting the Alarm over the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The New York Times versus Haaretz, 2000–06. From Forward, talk grows in Israel about splitting Jerusalem. Israel's rising right wing: Together, an enigmatic billionaire and a resurgent Bibi Netanyahu could put Israel on the war path. Dick Cheney, AIPAC and Iran are all watching closely. Dennis Ross on the only way the peace talks will accomplish anything. The business of reconciliation: While Israeli and Palestinian politicians dither, businessmen on both sides have begun to create their own facts on the ground. A review of Lords of the Land: The War for Israel's Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007 by Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar.
From Zenit, an interview with Georgetown's James Schall on Benedict XVI's Regensburg lecture. An interview with Kevin Vanhoozer, editor of Everyday Theology (and an excerpt). An interview with Dinesh D'Souza on What's So Great About Christianity. A review of The Bible: The Biography by Karen Armstrong. A review of How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now by James L. Kugel. A conversation with AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically (and more and more). From Secular Web, a review of Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by William Lane Craig; a look at Christianity as the ultimate conspiracy theory; and the war of ideas: An article on atheism as a mass movement.
From 49th Parallel, Katerina Prajznerova (Masaryk): Emma Bell Miles’s Appalachia and Emily Carr’s Cascadia: A Comparative Study in Literary Ecology. A review of Beechcombings: The Narratives of Trees by Richard Mabey (and more and more). A review of Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet by Oliver Morton (and more). Back to nature: A review of The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane (and more). A review of The Ends of the Earth: An Anthology of the Finest Writing on the Arctic and the Antarctic. The British are coming—to Antarctica: As nations jockey for the North Pole, London starts a race for the South, just in case there are minerals to exploit. Memo to Congress: The Arctic is on thin ice—and so are you. Inuit culture on the brink: Arctic natives fight cultural extinction. From Orion, losing home: Place is physical before it is emotional, which is why losing one feels like a punch in the gut.
From Rolling Stone, Star Wars began as a Reagan-era fantasy. Under Bush, it is now the most expensive weapons system in the history of man. It has never been successfully tested. It will never be finished. And it is completely unnecessary. Beyond the Bomb. An article on the Pentagon plans for a new Hundred Years' War. From Discover, an article on the most important future military technologies: Super lasers, binoculars that read minds, manipulating the "human terrain". From Slate, the Jihadsons: An article on technology lessons from the Iraq war. The Phraselator II: A high-tech military device is helping to preserve the tribal languages of American Indians. Ph.D.'s in uniform: Does modern war require better-educated leaders? Medals of honor, wars of no honor: Americans no longer have any idea what to do with soldiers who perform above and beyond the call of duty. The introduction to Neorealism, States, and the Modern Mass Army by Joao Resende-Santos.
From the conference "In Defense of Academic Freedom", lectures by Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Tony Judt, Norman Finkelstein, and others. The study "The Social and Political Views of American Professors" was produced with the goal of moving analysis of the political views of faculty members out of the culture wars and back to social science. A review of Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life by Anthony T. Kronman (and more). From The Minnesota Review, an interview with Adolph Reed, Jr. on “class matters”. A review of Color and Money: How Rich White Kids Are Winning the War over College Affirmative Action by Peter Schmidt. Meet Joseph Massad, the Columbia professor who also doesn't think gay people exist in the Middle East. Stanley Fish on political correctness on campus. Is it time to revive the GI Bill? How much should we offer the troops?
From Nerve, more on the history of single life: Infidelity. What does it mean to be a virgin nowadays and is it important? A review of Virgins: A Cultural History by Anke Bernau. An interview with Tyler Cowen on the economics of dating. "Passion and Power: The Technology of Orgasm" offers up a disturbing history of the first vibrators and shows that sex toys aren't just for pleasure — they're political. Will a time ever come when women are as obsessed about vibrator design as they are about handbag design? An interview with Lou Andrea Savoir, author of Sex in Design. The New Girl Order: The Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle is showing up in unexpected places, with unintended consequences. From The New York Observer, hey, middle-aged men! Think twice about that eye lift, lest you resemble power lesbians. From American Sexuality, an article on plastic surgery and the new standard: Unnatural beauty. A study finds whether we are seeking a mate or sizing up a potential rival, good-looking people capture our attention nearly instantaneously and render us temporarily helpless to turn our eyes away from them. A cultural history of that certain something: nameless charm: A review of Joseph Roach's It. Charm by any other name: How do you say charisma in Chinese? From chutzpah to joie de vivre, different cultures have their own words that describe the X-factor.
From the Mises Institute, an article on Albert Jay Nock, the forgotten man of the Old Right. A review of A Political Philosophy: Arguments for Conservatism and a review Gentle Regrets: Thoughts from a Life by Roger Scruton. Christopher Hitchens on an Anglosphere future: How a shared tradition of ideas and values—not bloodlines—can be a force for liberty. If Hitchens hates conservatives, why does he break bread with them at so many political gatherings, and why does he side with them in our present war with militant Islam? From TAS, an article on the liberaltarian delusion: Given how liberals govern, there was no way any marriage with libertarians could last. An article on Rand and the Right: Reflections on the 50th anniversary of Atlas Shrugged. Chris DeMuth, hack extraordinaire: The leader of President Bush's favorite think tank bids adieu (and more). It's long past time for people to stop treating Fox-style, Malkin-style, Limbaugh-style conservatism as merely a "political" phenomenon — as of this millennium, it's nothing but a hate movement with neckties. Know your right-wing speakers: Domino's Pizza's Tom Monaghan. Tom Tomorrow goes inside the world of right-wing bloggers.
From The Village Voice, a special issue on the Best of NYC 2007. If you want to understand the psyche of 21st-century New York, there's probably no better guide than Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York by Adam Gopnik. Reading Janet Malcolm's more than 30 years' worth of cultural reporting for The New Yorker is to watch a writer take full possession of a form and make it her own. The literary style that ate Brooklyn: Brooklyn is a multifaceted and many-splendoured borough, but you wouldn't know that from today's writers. An article on the canon according to n+1. From New York, everybody sucks: An article on Gawker and the rage of the creative underclass.
Osvil Acosta-Morales (Miami): Courage, Evidence, and Epistemic Virtue. Scott Kimbrough (Jacksonville): Philosophy of Emotion and Ordinary Language. From The Global Spiral, an article on empirical and theoretical laws: Empirical laws may be explained by concept driven laws, but how are we to explain concept-derived laws? A review of The Metaphysics of Ceteris Paribus Laws by Markus Schrenk. The introduction to Mind and Supermind by Keith Frankish. The introduction to Representation Reconsidered by William M. Ramsey. A review of Four Views on Free Will by John Martin Fischer, Robert Kane, Derk Pereboom and Manuel Vargas. A review of Values and Virtues: Aristotelianism in Contemporary Ethics. A review of Ethics and Qualities of Life by Joel J. Kupperman. Is great happiness too much of a good thing? Shankar Vedantam investigates. Philosophy Now readers answer the question: "Why should I be good?" Philosophical problems are called perennial with good reason: Consequentialism vs. deontology. Here's the tale of Logical Lo and her reasoning. An interview with Anthony Kenny on the history of Western philosophy. A review of The Death of Socrates by Emily Wilson (and more).
From Scientific American, countries are altering their nuclear arsenals, prompting the US to refurbish its own warheads; and a look at strike capabilities worldwide and how a bomb would affect single cities and people. From American Heritage, a review of Richard Rhodes’s Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race (and more). Jimmy Carter on undermining peace: By abandoning nuclear arms agreements the US has been sending mixed signals to nations with the ability to create nuclear weapons. A review of Deception: Pakistan, the United States and the Global Nuclear Weapons Conspiracy by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark. Should the IAEA stay out of politics? Can it?