From The Medieval Review, a review of Arabic Literary Salons in the Islamic Middle Ages: Poetry, Public Performance, and the Presentation of the Past by M. Samer Ali. From FiveBooks, Tariq Ramadan on Islam in the West. From New English Review, Emmet Scott on a series on Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited. From Rorotoko, Stephen J. Shoemaker on his book The Death of a Prophet: The End of Muhammad's Life and the Beginnings of Islam. From LPBR, a review of The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East by Timur Kuran. From Frontline, “terrorism has no place in Islam”: An interview with Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, scholar of Islamic theology and jurisprudence and author of Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings; and it is not surprising that the legend of Saladin as a liberator who restored Arab pride and honour has acquired a renewed vogue. Sex and Islam do mix, but not in America. A review of Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into Islam's Obscure Origins by Robert Spencer (and more). The King, the Mufti and the Facebook Girl: Who decides what is licit in Islam?
A new issue of International Viewpoint is out. The secret ingredient: Liquor companies love to claim they use closely guarded, centuries-old recipes — usually it’s just marketing. From Conversations with History, an interview with Stuart Altman on the struggle to reform healthcare in the US (from March 2012). An interview with Gideon Lewis-Kraus on pilgrimage, authenticity and traveling in a world of infinite choices. How hard can it be to measure a wall? Julian Champkin on the wonderful ever-lengthening Great Wall of China. David Sessions on how kids are not the best thing in the real world. A review of Celebrity Inc.: How Famous People Make Money by Jo Piazza. Jonathan Krohn, CPAC's boy wonder, is bucking the received wisdom that people become more conservative as they get older, a shift he attributes partly to philosophy (and more). The Library of Congress says it will preserve everything from a tinny 1888 recording of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to Prince’s incendiary album “Purple Rain” as part of its latest slate of entries to the National Recording Registry. From America, Adam D. Hincks on wonders of the universe: New scientific discoveries and old truths.
From Christianity Today, do pets go to heaven? An author, a professor, and an animal advocate weigh in. Scientists have found the secret recipe behind the spectacular variety of dog shapes and sizes, and it could help unravel the complexity of human genetic disease. World's ugliest dog: Kastalia Medrano on the evolution of Mugly's frightful features. Can the bulldog be saved? The short, brutish life of the bulldog is putting the future of the breed at risk. Colin Dayan reports on a legal case that may lead to the elimination of pit bulls nationwide. "Dog bites man" is not supposed to be news, but in Kashmir a barbaric man-animal conflict is playing out in the streets of Srinagar. Dog domestication may have helped humans thrive while Neanderthals declined. A look at why some wild animals are becoming nicer. Why can't all animals be domesticated? Ferrets eat babies, shred human tissue and drink blood — The hush-hush life of forbidden pet ownership. No pet for you: Want to adopt a dog or cat? Prepare for an inquisition at the animal rescue. Cats iPhone Kardashian Osama bin Laden: Cats are the mass entertainment of our time — how did our feline friends get bigger than Jesus?
Pavlos Vasilopoulos (Athens): Political Sophistication in Greece: Explaining the Paradox of a Politically Knowledgeable Electorate. Caitriona Coen and Mark Maguire (NUIM): Death of a Tiger: The Collapse of Irish Property Dreams. Vytautas Kuokstis (Vilnius): What Type of Capitalism Do the Baltic Countries Belong To? Mikolaj Turzynski (Lodz): Bookkeeping in Manor Farms of Polish Gentry in 17th Century. From Comparative Population Studies, Michaela Kreyenfeld, Krystof Zeman, Marion Burkimsher and Ina Jaschinski on Fertility Data for German-speaking Countries: What is the Potential? Where are the Pitfalls? Jean-Pierre Gouzy on Robert Lafont and Political Occitanism. Christiania’s rejection of Danish society: Hippies (and Germans) all the way! It seems there’s one little piece of Spain that we’re all still hungry for: tapas. Hen: Sweden’s new gender neutral pronoun causes controversy. Who's afraid of Greater Luxembourg? Norway's Dilemma: How to punish Breivik and stay liberal. If it were a business, the Mafia would be one of Italy’s most successful and one of the largest in Europe — but how did it come to be so powerful?
Elke Schwarz (LSE): @hannah_arendt: A Hypothetical Exploration of Hannah Arendt’s Perspectives on Social Networking. Al Mauroni (USAF): Nuclear Terrorism: Are We Prepared? From Reddit’s “Explain Like I’m Five”, what exactly is Obamacare and what did it change? Jack Goldsmith on how post-decision leaks will change the Supreme Court. At Jacobin.com, Slavoj Zizek responds to his critics. From TELOSscope, Sunil Kumar looks at Theodor W. Adorno's "The Stars Down to Earth: The Los Angeles Times Astrology Column," from Telos 19 (Spring 1974). A review of The End of Illness by David B. Agus. From Worldwatch, a look at five great grains with promise for the future. A review of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work by Belen Fernandez. 50 years of Walmart: A look at ten ways Walmart changed the world. From Monthly Review, Ellen Brun and Jacques Hersh on faux internationalism and really existing imperialism. Investigative reporter Greg Palast is back — and this time, it’s personal. There’s a prospect on the Right: Ted Cruz might become the next Ronald Reagan — if he can just win an election first.
What’s eating the NYPD? Ray Kelly has built the best police force in the country — now it is turning on him. William K. Black on applying James Q. Wilson's “broken windows” theory and policies to elite white-collar crime. A look at the ugly history and repressive role of Neighborhood Watch. Are crime reporters guilty of fear mongering and, if so, does that derail the development of good public policy? Theodore Dalrymple on how forgiveness is a kind of wild justice. What if prison is the disease, not the cure? Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson on the US penal system; and who supports the US penal system? Crime and punishment: Bruce Western on how public safety doesn’t require more inmates. Are too many people in prison? Gary Becker on how putting lawbreakers behind bars is one way to cut crime, but it’s hardly the only way. Since the 19th century, attitudes to drugs have been in constant flux, owing as much to fashion as to science. The right to pursue pleasure gives us reason to legalize drugs, while addiction and self-harm fail to give us good reason to prohibit them — that is the essence of a strong moral argument against the war on drugs.
Frank J. Garcia and Lindita Ciko (BC): Theories of Justice and International Economic Law. Isabelle Baker (Sydney): To What Extent Can We Overcome the “Bystander Effects” of Collective Responsibility in Matters of Global Injustice? Lisa M. Austin (Toronto): Possession and the Distractions of Philosophy. From Public Reason, a special issue on Public Services on the Market. A review of Design for Liberty: Private Property, Public Administration, and the Rule of Law by Richard A. Epstein. A review of Group Agency: The Possibility, Design, and Status of Corporate Agents by Christian List and Philip Pettit. Here is Bleeding Heart Libertarians symposium on John Tomasi’s Free Market Fairness (and more and more and more and more and more). Chris Lehmann reviews Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets by Debra Satz and What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J. Sandel (and more and more and more and more and more). How markets crowd out morals: A forum with a lead essay by Michael Sandel and responses by Richard Sennett, Matt Welch, Anita Allen, John Tomasi, and others.
From Dark Matter, a special issue on Post-Racial Imaginaries, including Christopher Kyriakides (UC-Irvine): Post-Racial Pessimism: Therapolitics and the Anti-Utopian Present; Daniel McNeil (DePaul): “Mixture is a Neoliberal Good”: Mixed-Race Metaphors and Post-Racial Masks; and Benjamin Balthaser on the racist roots of Ron Paul’s anti-imperialism. From The Humanist, he is often called Orwell’s heir because of his fervent love for the writer — in the end, Christopher Hitchens was the most important Orwellian thinker since Orwell; and was Adam Smith a Marxist? C.W. Griffin wonders. From The Fortnightly Review, a spring-summer serial on The Invention of the Modern World by Alan Macfarlane. The republic is finished and the America we knew is gone; the path of the free West now follows the path of Russia under the Soviets. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals, it seems — this is one of the laws of human stupidity. Here are five Fox News Magazine articles that will change your life. What if all the toilets were flushed simultaneously? Stephen Winchell on Cracked: From MAD ripoff to the Internet's nerdy older cousin.
From Wired, one one-hundredth of a second faster: Mark McClusky on building better Olympic athletes. From Plus: Living Mathematics, when is a goal not a goal? John Rocker now throws political hardballs: Drummed out of baseball for interview, he's as outspoken as ever (and more). Why clutch is overrated: Sports fans shouldn't value the fourth quarter more than the second but they do. Financial Times interviews 24 living legends from every Olympic Games since 1928. Michael Kazin on why baseball is the best and least exploitative American sport. Would I lie to you: Tyler Cowen and Kevin Grier on the problem with buying sports "experiences". Ultimate Fighting vs. math: Leon Neyfakh on one man’s quest to bring statistical analysis to the chaos of mixed martial arts. Team spirit: Adam Gopnik on the Olympics and the true significance of synchronized swimming. Freedom from quant: Franklin Foer on soccer versus Moneyball. Playing for nationhood: The VIVA world cup is an obscure soccer tournament designed for often even more obscure national, ethnic and cultural entities.
From Geocurrents, Martin W. Lewis on Robert Kaplan’s problematic theory of Pakistan’s geographical destiny. Does size matter in Pakistan? The trailer of Pakistan’s most expensive film yet, Waar, is slick, shiny and exciting viewers on both sides of the border — but what does Lollywood think? The Playboy: Former cricket star Imran Khan may become Pakistan’s next ruler. I’ll be your mirror: What Pakistan sees in Imran Khan (and more). “Most Pakistanis don’t want the Army in politics”: Unrepentant Marxist, writer, journalist, filmmaker and political campaigner, Tariq Ali is still searching for socialism with a human face. What are the odds of a coup in Pakistan? Struggle for democracy: Shakhawat Liton on Bangladesh and Pakistan perspectives. A debate rages after the Bangladesh Army's disclosure that it thwarted an attempt for a coup by pro-Islamist forces. Khalid Bhatti looks back at the tumultuous time of uprisings, military coups and international intervention out of which Bangladesh was born. From Himal Southasian, Laxmi Murthy on the Birangana and the birth of Bangladesh: Women and wombs during, and following, the Liberation War; and the Sultanate’s return: Zeeshan Khan traces the origins of Islamic Bangladesh.