From the Saturday Evening Post, Jeff Nilsson on when a big government solution worked. A million here, a million there: Why federal spending never goes down, and why that's not a problem. How to slash the state: 14 ways to dismantle a monstrous government, one program at a time. Virtually any attempt to regulate or tax any industry is a government intrusion into our lives, and candidates say they want less government — what's up with this ubiquitous, anti-government theme? In fact, how much anti-government feeling is really out there? Perhaps less than you might think. Jonathan Cohn on how, sometimes, we need big government. The Esquire Commission to Balance the Federal Budget met in New York in August, with the goal of creating an actionable plan to balance the federal budget, and they did just that. An open letter to the Tea Party: If you want to find rage-inspiring examples of government spending, there is no better place to look than the military budget. Gary Gerstle on federalism in America: Beyond the Tea Partiers. Jonathan Cohn on the moral case for asking the rich pay higher taxes. Bob Stoker on 5 myths about federal taxes. Chris Sturr on the myth of overcompensated public employees. The truth about civil servants: The shiftless paperpusher fattened on your tax dollars doesn’t really exist. The federal hiring freeze House Republicans have proposed won't save money and will jeopardize essential services. Hey America, government doesn’t suck: Hating government and dismissing its work force as incompetent has become second nature, much to the chagrin of a work force that doesn’t share those opinions. New research suggests that when faith in government decreases, belief in an all-powerful deity rises.
John Kelsay (FSU): Just War, Jihad, and the Study of Comparative Ethics. Steven L. Schooner and Collin D. Swan (GWU): Contractors and the Ultimate Sacrifice. From CJR, a rocket’s trajectory: Scott Sherman on Marcus Brauchli at The Washington Post (and more); and keeping up with Chuck Todd: “I’m in a business where I’m not allowed to miss right now”. Michael Dirda reviews Listen to This by Alex Ross (and more). September 11th and the democracy of images: How New York’s worst day led to its greatest photography exhibit ever. Time will end in five billion years, physicists predict. Berlin has been many things: glamorous, decadent, war-torn, split in half, and now poor but sexy. Re-Imagining Society: Are we trapped by old ideas? In honor of the 50th anniversary of the International System of Units, PopSci is looking at the origin and continued preservation of five of our favorite standard units: The meter, the second, the candela, the mole and the kilogram. Little Black Books: Fifteen years ago, Moleskine bet on paper and won — now it ponders its future in the digital world. A review of Hobbes and the Law of Nature by Perez Zagorin (and more). The neuroscience of jazz: Pianist Vijay Iyer has found the sweet spot where his two loves — physics and jazz — intersect. From New Humanist, a review of God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science by James Hannam (and a response by Hannam). An interview with Kevin Kelly on technology: "The Unabomber was Right; the Amish, too" (and more and more: If you hate technology, you basically hate yourself). George Soros on the real danger to the economy. Washington’s abortive scientific renaissance: The new administration was expected to usher in a new era of scientific learning infusing government policy — it hasn’t exactly worked out that way.
From Esquire, a look at the 10 best and 10 worst members of Congress. Louis Fisher on her book On Appreciating Congress: The People’s Branch. Think Congress finally started functioning? Think again: Ezra Klein on the end of the "do-something" Congress. From TAP, Mark Schmit on the "F-You" Election: Progressives lost this election — but conservatism is hardly stronger for their success; and majorities don't last forever: The Democrats shouldn't act defeated. Mark Morford writes a letter to a whiny young Democrat: "You made it all happen. Or rather, you failed to prevent it from happening, by not voting". From Alternative Right, evil, or rather, the Evil Party, was justly punished; at the same time, let us be under no illusions about the Stupid Party (and more). The Audacity of Nope: John Boehner seeks to ride the Tea Party wave, and may point to an ugly future. How the Republican Congress will abandon Tea Party ideas and legislate toward the center. Why the Religious Right will dominate. The Sore Winners: Will America's super minority sink us all? And is there any reason to be optimistic about economic policy in a GOP Congress? It's not the end of the world: We can survive a Republican Congress. No need for soul-searching: Democrats don’t need to turn left or center — they just need to fight. An interview with Rep. Alan Grayson: "Bipartisanship has become code word for appeasement". Democrats didn't lose the battle of 2010 — they won it. The failures of the two parties to achieve the dominant status has been due in large part to their basic character. Paul Waldman on how Congress became polarized. William Galston on why a hyper-polarized party system weakens America’s democracy. Those who argue that gridlock is a good check on partisanship haven't examined its policy consequences. Americans hoping to triangulate their votes to chart a course between the extremes of ideology find their representatives are sailing even faster to the fringes. Rage, powerlessness, magical thinking — why is how we think about politics increasingly mirroring the mind-set of a small child? Adam Przeworski on his book Democracy and the Limits of Self-Government.
Alexander Tsesis (Loyola): Destructive Messages: How Hate Speech Paves the Way for Harmful Social Movements. From Expositions, Noel Falco Dolan (Villanova): Of Virgins and Vampires: Twilight and the Issues of Beauty and Soul; and an interview with historian John Lukacs. Would you eat your cat?: The aim of this activity is to tell you something about how you view the morality of behaviour that many people would consider to be "disgusting". Why do contemporary choreographers insist on changing up their styles when they create works for classical ballet companies? From Standpoint, the historian Tim Blanning and the critic Jonathan Bate discuss the place of Romanticism in contemporary culture; and the future's free-for all of us: Sharing is the key moral concept of our business-friendly, post-socialist world bringing instant global access at zero cost. Despite our current global economic hard times, says a new study from banking giant Credit Suisse, the world has more than enough wealth to ensure every adult on it a significant personal net-worth nest egg. A review of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Purification through pain: A fresh look at torture in the Middle Ages. Diplomat gone rogue: When the U.N. fired Peter Galbraith for insubordination in Afghanistan, he suddenly had a reputation to defend — and nothing left to lose. Back-Office Blues: How bad is Foreclosuregate? An interview with Ted C. Fishman, author of Shock of Gray: The Aging of the World's Population and How it Pits Young Against Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against Nation. Steven Johnson on what a hundred million calls to 311 reveal about New York. A look at why today's cockroaches are the biggest ever.
Twenty-eight Northeastern students in a course called Political Science Senior Capstone spent the spring semester of 2010 exploring the major areas of research and scholarship in political science by focusing on the presidency of George W. Bush. Scott McLemee reviews The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment, ed. Julian E. Zelizer (and the first chapter). Here are 5 myths about George W. Bush. Miss him yet? Why George W. Bush's record matters less than Democrats would like it to. Here are 6 key revelations in George W. Bush's Decision Points (and more and more). Former President George W. Bush says in his new memoir that he considered running for re-election in 2004 without Dick Cheney as his vice presidential candidate, and that Kanye West's suggestion that he was racist represented an "all-time low" for his tenure in office — really, that was the bottom? No appetite for prosecution: In memoir, Bush admits he authorized the use of torture, but no one cares. The protest blog Waging Nonviolence is urging readers to move copies of George W. Bush's forthcoming memoir to the crime section of bookstores. George W. Bush's memoir debuted this week, but how will it fare? The Daily Beast analyzes the sales figures from a wide swath of politicians to find who has turned votes into books. Carolyn Kellogg on George W. Bush's memoir blitz (and more). In new clips, the ex-president talks Scooter Libby and sobriety — but did "Today Show" interviewer Matt Lauer probe deeply enough? (and more) Matt Lauer's interview revealed nothing about the ex-president — which is all we need to know. Delusion Points: Don't fall for the nostalgia — George W. Bush's foreign policy really was that bad. Haunted by a ruined economy and unfinished wars, President Bush will need more than a memoir to rescue his reputation.