From PopMatters, High-Minded Bullshit: Philosophy itself is often regarded as part and parcel with the bullshit of popular culture. But it is philosophers who been trying to determine exactly what bullshit is and how it works its magic. Scenes From An Obscenity Conference in Iowa City: Shit is not happening at this academic meeting—but not for lack of trying.

From AFT, an article on the myth of the tenured faculty; and do high presidential salaries hurt the academy? A debate. Profs show hostility toward evangelicals: An interview with Gary Tobin on "The Religious Identity and Behavior of College Faculty". From TNR, why don't we study military history? David A. Bell investigates. Gen. John Abizaid, who spent three years as the top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, will start his retirement as a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

50 years later, Little Rock can’t escape race: An Arkansas school district is still riven by racial conflict, and some question how much progress has been made. From Australian Book Review, an essay on Making the World Safe for Diversity: Forty Years of Higher Education. Exporting Idiocracy: Sending American-style education to China could stunt the dragon’s rise.

A review of Buddhists, Brahmins, and Belief: Epistemology in South Asian Religion. A review of Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction. A review of Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization. A review of The Veil of Isis: An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature.

From Humanist Perspectives, an interview with Michael Shermer, author of The War on Science & Reason pdf. From The Scientist, an article on watching the brain lie: Can fMRI replace the polygraph? From Bookslut, an interview with Mark Solms, a founding figure of neuro-psychoanalysis and the co-director of the International Centre for Neuro-Psychoanalysis.

From Portfolio, the Ka-Ching! Dynasty: How bubbly is the Chinese art market? That might depend on how "Chinese" the art looks; Marianne Boesky—yup, Ivan's daughter—has found that selling contemporary art can be an ugly business; a review of Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich; and when Dad's got too much cash, turning 13 can be a seven-figure affair. Here’s a sampling of the past year's most extravagant bar and bat mitzvahs. Exercise in excess: How did the prom become such a pricey pageant? In her new book on the American wedding industry, Rebecca Mead speaks on the garish events that weddings have become, and what it tells us about ourselves. Dress Sense: Virginia Postrel on why fashion deserves its place in art museums. You Say Renoir, I Say Cézanne: A review of The Clarks of Cooperstown. Nothing like this Picasso: The "ugly" Les Demoiselles, which turns 100 this spring, may be art's most influential work.

Lofty Ambitions: Once upon a time, lofts were cheap spaces for struggling artists. Today they are phony and pricey, and that¹s just fine. From Frieze, what's Left? How the political divide between democratic socialists and romantic anarchists impacts on the art world. From Politics and Culture, a series of essays on Neoliberal Culture. And Give My Returns to Broadway: How a new crop of investors is applying Wall Street ideas about risk reduction to one of the riskiest investments of all

From the inaugural issue of Condé Nast Portfolio, The Sheik Who Would Be King of Horse Racing: How the ruler of Dubai came to dominate — with one very large exception — the lucrative business of Thoroughbreds; Weapons of Mass Production: As the debate rages over the ultimate cost of the Iraq invasion, a look at some of the companies that are getting combat pay; and on the $300 Trillion Time Bomb: If Warren Buffett can't figure out derivatives, can anybody? The Wizard Drops the Curtain: The capitalist faithful from all over the world came to Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting, to worship the past and wonder about a future without company chairman and investor in chief Warren Buffett. Genocide in the boardroom: A moral dilemma interrupts Buffett's love-in.

From CT, not so exceptional after all: American evangelicalism reassessed; can you reason with Christians? A response to Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation; and "Is Christianity good for the world?" Theologian Douglas Wilson and atheist Christopher Hitchens debate. From Skeptic, a review of God is Not Great (and more). Mark Oppenheimer on Hitchens' glaring error. Defiance is his raison d'etre: Just don't expect any mild sentiments from combative public intellectual Christopher Hitchens.

From Briarpatch, why Feminism isn’t for Everybody: Will gender-based oppression end if we ask politely? Not bloody likely. A review of The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much? A review of How To Hepburn: Lessons on Living From Kate the Great. A review of The Sister Knot: Why We Fight, Why We’re Jealous, and Why We’ll Love Each Other No Matter What.

From History of Intellectual Culture, Yvon Grenier (St. Francis Xavier): Milan Kundera on Politics and the Novel; Susan M. Purviance (Toledo): Hutcheson's Aesthetic Realism and Moral Qualities; and Popular Cultural Studies and Accelerated Modernity: An interview with Steve Redhead, author of Paul Virilio: Theorist for an Accelerated Culture; a review of Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 1450-1830; an a review of Form and Meaning in the History of the Book: Selected Essays.

From Australian Book Review, Testosterone in Spring Street: A review of The Victorian Premiers 1856-2006; a review of Janette Turner Hospital's Orpheus Lost; a review of Adib Khan's Spiral Road; a review of Rodney Hall's Love Without Hope; a review of Tom Keneally's The Widow and Her Hero; and a review of Life Class: The Education of a Biographer.

From The Believer, an essay on The Codex Serpahinianus: How mysterious is a mysterious text if the author is still alive (and emailing)?; with its dark green Mercedes, Glenn Gould records, and spare but imposing furniture, Thomas Bernhard's house in Upper Austria is a creation as deliberate and public as any of his novels or plays; an interview with Dana Spiotta, author of Eat the Document: "I always think the novelist should go to the culture's dark places and poke around"; a review of A Bridge Dead in the Water by James Thomas Stevens: Is the disease part of the cure?; and a review of Varieties of Disturbance: Does Lydia Davis say more with what she says or with what she doesn't say?

From Axess, support that hinders: Should literature be a tool of the state? Essays on manoeuvring cultural policy in Sweden, state-sanctioned subjectivity in Germany, and art's middle-managers in France. From Australian Book Review, a review of Bad Dreaming: Aboriginal Men's Violence against Women and Children; a review of J. M. Coetzee's Inner Workings: Literary Essays 2000–2005; a review of The Best Australian Poetry 2006 and The Best Australian Poems 2006; and a review of Terry Eagleton's How to Read a Poem.

The Poetry Foundation brings Donald Hall and Andrew Motion together in Chicago in what it called the first-ever joint reading by sitting poets laureate. In his prose as in his politics, a passion for radical expression: A review of Tales of the Out and the Gone by Amiri Baraka. Michiko Kakutani reviews Falling Man by Don DeLillo. Twenty years after The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe takes on the new Masters of the Universe.

A review of A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories of Primo Levi. God's Frozen People: Michael Chabon carves out a Jewish state in Alaska. An interview with Cassandra Clare, author of City of Bones. From Bookslut, an interview with Tao Lin, author of Eeeee Eee Eeee. And you and her and everything she knows: Miranda July—now an author, too—discovers the fine art of the epileptic fit

From the European Journal of International Law, Andrea Bianchi (GIIS): Assessing the Effectiveness of the UN Security Council's Anti-terrorism Measures: The Quest for Legitimacy and Cohesion; a review of The UN, Human Rights and Post-conflict Situations and Honoring Human Rights under International Mandates, Lessons from Bosnia, Kosovo and East Timor; a review of Between Light and Shadow, The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund and International Human Rights Law and The IMF, The World Bank Group and the Question of Human Rights; and a review of United Nations Law and the Security Council and Le Pouvoir normatif du Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies: portée et limites pdf.

A review of Blind Oracles: Intellectuals and War from Kennan to Kissinger and The Parliament of Man: The United Nations and the Quest for World Government. Global governance and the division of labor: National governments need to be responsive and effective to fulfill their part of the “social contract” within a national society. The Gospel According to Sachs: An economist lectures the world on how to solve the problems of good and evil. Rich countries and their leverage on Africa: The African continent, with its abundant supply of mineral and natural resources, has suffered tremendously from the rapacious exploitation of those resources.

From TAP, The Trouble with Helping Iran's Dissidents: Iranian reform activists have a love/hate relationship with the Western NGOs that often advocate on their behalf. We need a strongman: Back to "Saddam without a mustache"? After all, the US eyes still on the Iraqi prize. The real tragedy of Iraq? Never mind the death and destruction - damage to the cause of liberal interventionism is what worries one columnist. In the face of disastrous policies and administrative incompetence, the president has an answer every time: Appoint a new "czar." Street Without Joy: Will Bush’s surge secure Baghdad’s bloodiest block?

From The Atlantic Monthly, The Army We Have: To fight today's wars with an all-volunteer force, the U.S. Army needs more quick-thinking, strong, highly disciplined soldiers. But creating warriors out of the softest, least-willing populace in generations has required sweeping changes in basic training (and an interview with Brian Mockenhaupt on the men and women who enter basic training today, and how the Army has adapted to meet their needs); and with Rumsfeld and Powell gone, and Cheney's power diminished, this is Condoleezza Rice's moment. Can she salvage America's standing in the Middle East—and defuse the threat of a nuclear Iran? Behind the curtain in Washington and Jerusalem with the secretary of state (and an interview with David Samuels on Rice and her ambitious efforts to secure peace in the Middle East).

The real reason we went to war: Don't listen to George Tenet: It wasn't because of Dick Cheney's wiles or Tenet's embarrassment about the "slam dunk", and one couldn't help but think of the peevishness of King John in 13th-century England. Cheney and the Saudis: For a glimpse at hidden power plays, keep your eye on Vice President Cheney's trip this week to Saudi Arabia. And King of the Plastic Rambos: More on Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy by Andrew Cockburn