From Communio, a special issue on natural law; and Peter Candler (Baylor): The Logic of Christian Humanism. Is every Pontiff a saint? With Pius XII (controversial) and John Paul II (not very) being fitted for halos, the question of a rush to canonization arises. The first chapter from John Paul II For Dummies. From the Catholic Social Science Review, a review of The Way of Life: John Paul II and the Challenge of Liberal Modernity by Carson Holloway; a review of Karol Wojtyla’s Philosophical Legacy; and a review of Ratzinger’s Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI by Tracey Rowland. Bernard-Henri Levy, writes in defense of Benedict XVI: It is time to put an end to the disingenuousness — the bias, in a word — and the disinformation (and more). John Allen reviews What Happened at Vatican II by John W. O’Malley. A review of John Allen’s The Future Church: How Ten Trends Are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church. As the flame of Catholic dissent dies out, where are the intellectual heirs to a generation of rebels? Mark Shea on the paradox of the neo-Catholic traditionalist. From CT, a review of Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy: The Making of GKC 1874-1908 by William Oddie (and a look at how GKC subverts the subversives). An interview on the possible beatification of G.K. Chesterton. The first chapter from The Difference God Makes: A Catholic Vision of Faith, Communion, and Culture by Francis Eugene Cardinal George. Once you are already Catholic, the Church does in fact answer some questions you may need to ask. What it means to be Catholic: The first chapter from Catholicism For Dummies by John Trigilio and Kenneth Brighenti.

The removal of George W. Bush was not enough to cure what ails us. Thomas Edsall on how realignment was just an illusion. EJ Dionne on Obama's big mistake: Trying to bring the country together. Simon Schama on why Obama should play to populism. David Brooks on the populist addiction. Sam Tanenhaus on making sense of the new political anger. Right-wing flame war: Why are conservatives so freaked out by a blog called Little Green Footballs? Ben McGrath on the rise of Tea Party activism. Unify the new American tea party? An attempt to solidify the tea party movement with a convention is now looking like it could backfire. How to avoid another Waco: Keeping the peace in the 10-year standoff with the armed family compound of John Joe Gray. The Montana group Celebrating Conservatism demands local leaders boot Feds, form militia, protect guns. A very American coup: Coming soon to a hometown near you. A review of David Neiwert's The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Racialized the American Right. From HNN, a new symposium on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism, including an introduction by David Neiwert and contributions by Robert Paxton, Roger Griffin, Matthew Feldman, Chip Berlet and Michael Ledeen (and more). From Socialism and Democracy, a special issue (2008) on US fascism, including Steve Martinot (SFSU): The Question of Fascism in the United States; Jonathan Scott (BMCC): Why Fascism When They Have White Supremacy?; and Douglas Greene on The Bourgeois Origins of Fascist Repression: On Robert Paxton’s The Anatomy of Fascism. From Studies in Social Justice, Mark Neocleous (Brunel): The Fascist Moment: Security, Exclusion, Extermination. David Art on what to read on fascism. It is Facebook for the fascist set, and the typical profiles reveal expected tastes.

Why aren't we talking about the new accusations of murder at Gitmo? Dahlia Lithwick wants to know. Trevor Butterworth on what we can learn from Cicero: It's the arrangement of the words that counts — take note, Twitter users. Joscelyn Jurich on books in which a character strives for (and in many cases, experiences) the rousing, transformative jolt that is satori. Richard Hansen on how the Supreme Court killed campaign finance reformturning a corporation into a real live boy, the latest example of a Supreme Court that is increasingly solicitous to the interests of big business. Meatball surgery of the mind: A review of Danger to Self: On the Front Line with an ER Psychiatrist by Paul R. Linde. A review of Secular Cycles by Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov. An anthropologist from Mars might note that many people in the Middle East feel about U.S. drone attacks the way Richard Cohen feels toward suicide bombers. A review of Waiting on a Train: The Embattled Future of Passenger Rail Service by James McCommons. A review of The Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger by Alec Wilkinson. How people work: Despite centuries of study, the mechanics of the human body still holds a number of surprises. An interview with Laura Miller, author of The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in NarniaMore and more and more on John Ortved's The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History. A review of Seven Deadly Sins: A Very Partial List by Aviad Kleinberg. Counting counties: Wikipedia can make you feel old, rendering the skills of a lifetime obsolete.

Some scientists are convinced life is common in the universe, but intelligence rare; as for how long civilisations last — and stay detectable — few are willing to hazard a guess. An interview with Frank Drake, half a century listening for ET. Grand designs for interstellar travel: What would it take for humans to reach the stars within a lifetime? From The Space Review, an article on space fetishism, space activism’s obsession with technological and ideological saviors (and a response); instruments of God’s creation: Every field has its holy relics, imbued with almost holy significance — space is like that; Jeff Foust on the future of science and human spaceflight; to reach ever further: An article on a mission and a vision for NASA (and more on thinking a little differently at NASA); and why should humans go to Mars? While the aerospace community waits for February when President Obama will announce the 2011 budget, aerospace engineer Robert Zubrin agitates for a manned mission to Mars. Inside Astronaut Boot Camp: What does it take to prep humans for a trip to an asteroid or a martian moon? Why we should not return to the Moon: NASA recently slammed a probe into the Moon and found "abundant" water — but a return to the Moon is pointless. Learning to love the Moon: Emily Bazelon on how to appreciate astronomy. A review of Space Travel and Culture: From Apollo to Space Tourism. The first chapter from Space Exploration For Dummies by Cynthia Phillips and Shana Priwer. Secret Space Shuttles: When you’re 200 miles up, it’s easy to hide what you’re up to.