A new issue of Amsterdam Law Forum is out. Susannah Camic (Wisconsin): Everything is Tax. Elitism in online dictionaries: Free dictionaries on the internet are often bland and incomplete, while those that are complex and exhaustive require a credit card — quality comes at a price. If you think Mitt Romney is too mild, too "golly gee," too Mormon, to survive the shark tank of a modern presidential campaign, his answer is Eric Fehrnstrom. From From n+1, of the 5 million books held at the New York Public Library’s main building, only about 300,000 were requested last year; that means that the rest of them just sat around, taking up space in one of the most prized neighborhoods on the planet. Osama Bin Laden’s papers show he wished Obama would continue Bush’s “war on terror” (and more). From The Washington Monthly, predatory lending still poses a systemic risk to the economy; will Obama's new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau succeed in taming it, or will the agency be strangled in its crib? Mark Judge, now at RealClearBooks, is something of a book snob, but dislikes a lot of people who identify themselves as book fanatics.

From Religions, a special issue on "Between Religion and Ethnicity: Twentieth-Century Jewish Emigres and the Shaping of Postwar Culture", including Daniel Bessneremail (Duke): “Rather More than One-Third Had No Jewish Blood”: American Progressivism and German-Jewish Cosmopolitanism at the New School for Social Research, 1933–1939; Matthias Bormuth (Tubingen): Meaning in History: A Comparison Between the Works of Karl Lowith and Erich Auerbach; David Kettler (Bard) Volker Meja (Memorial): Karl Mannheim’s Jewish Question; and Arie M. Dubnov (Stanford): What is Jewish (If Anything) about Isaiah Berlin’s Philosophy? Jews, the Left and the rest: How political history shapes today's Jewish narratives. From Forward, why are Jews so liberal? Every few years, the question gets asked, often with the unspoken follow-up “and what can we do to change that?” (and more); and Jews are a race, genes reveal: A review of Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People by Harry Ostrer. From Geocurrents, are the black Jews Jewish? A review of Called to Controversy: The Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews for Jesus by Ruth Rosen.

From Economic Sociology, a special issue on Russia. Mazbaev of the Antarctic: A 57-year-old geographer goes through icy hell to plant Kazakhstan’s flag at the South Pole. Patrick Kingsley on how tiny Estonia stepped out of USSR's shadow to become an internet titan. Scott Horton on Uzbekistan as a values challenge for NATO. What happens to traditional culture when an isolated town in the Caucasus is reshaped in the image of a Western tourism center? A review of Internal Colonization: Russia's Imperial Experience by Alexander Etkind. Kyrgyzstan is in the midst of building a Western-type democracy in an undemocratic regional environment. Tara McKelvey on cozying up to Central Asia’s most brutal regimes. The ongoing tension between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is causing headaches and heartache for many Tajiks. Figuring out right from left: In post-communist politics, the leftists and rightists continue to shape-shift. With the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko staining its global reputation, can Ukraine find a way out of its political purgatory? A review of Eight Pieces of Empire: A Twenty Year Journey Through the Soviet Collapse by Lawrence Scott Sheets.

Scott Brenton (Melbourne): When the Personal Becomes Political: Mitigating Damage Following Scandals. These 600-year Old World heritage sites might be rubble by August: An extremist group has seized the African city of Timbuktu, systematically destroying its monuments. Suzy Khimm on how Occupy the SEC, an offshoot of the large movement, has burrowed deep into the regulatory process. An interview with Dan Hind, author of Common Sense: Occupation, Assembly and the Future of Liberty. If humans engage in homosexuality, it's no surprise that other animals do too — but how do you explain the rejection of sexual reproduction in terms of Darwin's theory of evolution? Technological progress is accelerating faster than ever before — are robots going to “take our jobs?” and do we require a Basic Income to solve this? Deconstructing books literally: Just in case you’re wondering, the books that deconstructionist philosophers write are not blank. From the Independent Institute, Patrick Adams on a brief history of checkpoints (and what to do about them). A review of Robin Blackburn’s An Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln.

Matthew Bloom (Concordia): Cities Large and Small Together: The Subregional Model of Economic Change in the Nineteenth Century. From the latest issue of Americana, Livia Szelpal (CEU): Images of the American Suburbia. Behind the cellar door: Not all the Texas wine you buy is made from grapes grown in the state — in fact, most of it isn’t. 15 square miles in New Mexico, population 0: A shiny new city rising in the desert is designed to be a testing ground for everything from wireless networks to self-driving cars, but there’s one catch — it's totally empty. From Contexts, a series of essays on Learning from Las Vegas. Science be damned: How Texas managed to export its energy policy to the rest of the United States. Tax haven next door: Delaware exposes corporate secrecy. From the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a look at America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Aaron Renn on the collapse of Chicago media. "The Lost Civilizations of North America" documentary is one in a long line of failed attempts to populate America’s ancient past with the denizens of lost tribes, lost cities, and, as its title indicates, lost civilizations (and part 2).

From the Journal of Social Research and Policy, a special issue on migration and happiness. Roger Roots (FPI): Who Benefits from Terrorism? The Common Interests of Terrorists and Governments of Terrorized Societies. From New Left Project, is porn hijacking our sexuality? Richard Hansen on why Washington can’t be fixed — and is about to get a lot worse. A review of Why Beer Matters by Evan Rail. World War 3.0: Looking toward a year-end negotiation in Dubai, where 193 nations will gather to revise a U.N. treaty concerning the Internet, Michael Joseph Gross lays out the stakes in a conflict that could split the virtual world as we know it. Obama and Romney are debating policies and ideas — if you are willing to look. Colin McGuire writes in defense of David Simon and the legacy of The Wire. Rachel Maddow, America's leading lefty wonk, has seen the enemy, and it's not just the GOP — it's the battles she fights every day with herself. Joshua Mackin on the democratic pleasures of the NYC Health Department rating system. Chris Mooney reviews Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll (and more and more and more).

A new issue of Real-World Economics Review is out. From Socialist Review, where does profit come from? Here is the first in a regular series of columns explaining key concepts in Marxist economics; and Jack Farmer on the myth of crony capitalism: Those who suggest that we are witnessing a crisis of "crony capitalism", rather than capitalism itself, are wrong. Our popular economic wisdom says that capitalism equals freedom and free societies, right? Well, if you ever suspected that the logic is full of shit, then check out a book called The Invention of Capitalism, written by an economic historian named Michael Perelman. Sado-monetarism, or the role of the Federal Reserve System in keeping wages low: An excerpt from The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism by Michael Perelman. Hey, look it over: Public ownership is the most effective way to fix America’s economy. An interview with Ha-Joon Chang on what they don’t tell you about capitalism (reg. req.). Jason Hickel on a short history of neoliberalism (and how we can fix it). From Platypus, crisis of the eurozone and the Left: Responses to the global economic downturn.

What most people want (but usually do not say) is more mobilization by the groups they support and less by the groups they oppose: Matt Grossmann on his book The Not-So-Special Interests: Interest Groups, Public Representation, and American Governance (and more). Research suggests voters who know the parties’ platforms are more likely to support Democrats. Everyone agrees American politics have become completely polarized; perhaps more remarkable is another change: over the past half-century, the two parties completely switched roles, with the GOP turning into rebels and the Democrats defending the status quo. From Mother Jones, Andy Kroll on the down and dirty history of secret spending, PACs gone wild, and the epic four-decade fight over the only kind of political capital that matters; Kevin Drum on the GOP's 10-year campaign to gin up voter fraud hysteria — and bring back Jim Crow at the ballot box; and a look at the quick way to end the vote-fraud wars: A National ID card. The Mega Millions Solution: Would thousands line up to vote if they knew they had a chance of winning money?

Cary Coglianese and Evan Mendelson (Penn): Meta-Regulation and Self-Regulation. From The Fibreculture Journal, a special issue on Networked Utopias and Speculative Futures. The UN report “World Economic and Social Survey 2012: In Search of New Development Finance” proposes an international tax to raise more than $400 billion annually for development and global challenges such as fighting climate change. From Businessweek, Peter Coy on the case for way more mandates. Life without sex: Rachel Hills on the third phase of the asexuality movement. A review of Creating Wine: The Emergence of a World Industry, 1840-1914 by James Simpson. Post-colonial killing fields: Conrad Black on the world picture, after independence. A review of Maps of Utopia: H.G. Wells, Modernity and the End of Culture by Simon J. James. Kenneth Waltz is not crazy, but he is dangerous: Nuclear weapons in the Middle East. From The Royal Forums, here are news from the latest Royal genealogy threads. Following Barclays' scandal, Joseph Stiglitz says “send bankers to jail”. Soccer and the key to the universe: You didn’t have to look very hard to read the fortunes of Europe in the Euro 2012 tournament.

From Academe, here is the annual report on the economic status of the profession, 2011-12. A new issue of the AAUP Journal of Acadmic Freedom is out. From Academe blog, John K. Wilson interviews Norman Finkelstein about his thoughts on the 5th anniversary of being denied tenure by DePaul University (and more by Matthew Abraham and more by Peter Kirstein and an interview with Alan Dershowitz). From Minding the Campus, Ron Lipsman on the coming decline of the academic left; and here is a survival guide for the Right in Leftist academia. From The Humanist, was it fair to expel a conservative Christian counseling student who refused to discuss relationship issues with a gay student? Boondoggle U: With taxpayers struggling to support the University of California, why did the state build a tenth campus in the middle of nowhere? Robert Birgeneau, the man who kept Berkeley from sinking as California slashed its budget, will step down this year; he tells Zoe Corbyn how disaster was averted even though huge challenges remain. Harvard decides its doctorate in education, the country’s oldest Ed.D. program, will be a Ph.D. — does the shift raise broader questions about the degree the university is ending? Paul Trowler on rethinking academic tribes and territories.