From Action Yes, an essay on Wittgenstein, Deleuze, and the Political Grotesque; and an article on Comixs and the Lowbrow. From Secular Web, John W. Loftus on why he's not a Christian: A summary of his case against Christianity. From New Humanist, struggling to choose the top religion? Can't decide between Bible-thumping evangelism or benign, gentle Buddhism? Make the process fun and easy with "God Trumps"; and fifty years of solitude: Half a century after the revolution, is Cuba turning to new gods? Americans are slowly waking up to the scientific consensus that climate change is a man-made phenomenon — why is it taking so long? Curing Diversity: The new medicine shows that we’re biochemically separate and unequal — and regulators are starting to catch on. From NPR, here's a history of museums, "the memory of mankind". A review of Desire: A History of European Sexuality by Anna Clark. The Medium: An article on Virgil Griffith, Internet Man of Mystery. From Time, can Michelle Rhee save our schools? No one is attacking Washington, D.C.'s stagnant culture more boldly than Michelle Rhee, head of the city's failing schools — is there a lesson here for our nation's leaders? (and more) From Citizen Economists, an article on true economic democracy: Can you have a free country without elections? Here's an A-Z of English words with surprising origins.

From Conversations with History, an interview with Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side: How the War on Terror Turned into A War on American Values; an interview with Philippe Sands, author of Torture Team: The Rumsfeld Memo and the Betrayal of American Values. From Reason, Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch on The Libertarian Moment: Despite all leading indicators to the contrary, America is poised to enter a new age of freedom; and are you better off than you were 40 years ago? Government has grown, but freedom has grown faster. The GOP's McCarthy gene: Think Goldwater is the father of conservatism? Think again. Conservatism's hope, the tubes: Republicans need to embrace the same netroots base-building that the left has mastered. An interview with Travis Johnson, the founder of Progressive Republicans. A review of Theodore Roosevelt: Preacher of Righteousness by Joshua David Hawley. Step aside: What does the Obama generation mean for the old heads? Who are the better managers, political appointees or career bureaucrats? The Next FEMA: Barack Obama must begin rebuilding federal agencies fast or risk seeing his entire agenda undermined. Thomas Frank on why government by contractor is a disgrace: Many jobs are best left to federal workers. Danielle Allen on Citizenship 2.0 in the Internet. An article on James Zogby and the politics of perception.

From Arion, Clinton W. Marrs on Paideia in America: Ragged Dick, George Babbitt, and the Problem of a Modern Classical Education; Maria Rybakova on two genders of the soul regarding the love of God; an article on the mystery of Socrates’ last words; a look at the singular circumstance of an errant papyrus. Art and apocrypha: An article on the fraught beauty of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Suketu Mehta on what they hate about Mumbai. From TNR, Joshua Kurlantzick on what's behind the rise of terrorism in India — and why it won't end soon; and why are conservatives heaping praise on Hillary Clinton as Obama's new secretary of state? From The New York Times, a look at Barry McCaffrey’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex. Jacob Weisberg on loyalty, the most overrated virtue in politics. From The Salisbury Review, an article on the suicide of cricket; and there is probably no more damning indictment of British society than the fact that thousands of prisoners each year refuse the offer to be released early from prison. Theodore Dalrymple on the quivering upper lip: The British character, from self-restraint to self-indulgence. We have a f@%king indecency problem — what's the Supreme Court to do? Tim Harford on why it's so hard to predict how bad the recession will be. More and more and more and more and more on Niall Ferguson's The Ascent of Money (and an excerpt and a video).

From The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik reviews books on Samuel Johnson (and more); policing Afghanistan: An ethnic-minority force enters a Taliban stronghold; an article on Naomi Klein and the new new left; the only compelling argument the automakers can make at this late date is that they will not suffer alone; and James Surowiecki on Obama’s economic team. From New York, of all the villains to emerge in the financial crisis, none has been quite so reviled as Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld. UFO enthusiasts call on Obama to release X-Files. He's not black: Unless the one-drop rule still applies, our president-elect is not black. The Hillary Clinton of private schools: Michael Schaffer on what Sidwell Friends says about the Obamas. The gloom that has fallen over the book publishing industry is different from the mood in, say, home building — at least people know we’ll always need houses. A genius guide: An excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers (and more).  In the unlikely event that Gladwell is stuck for an idea for his next book, perhaps he could tackle the notion of the elastic limit. An article on the dumb, dumb world of Malcolm Gladwell: A guru for the brain dead. From Samar, the terror of the aftermath: As the smoke lifts from Mumbai, skepticism must prevail over those conjectures which support the official state narrative. An article on Tristan da Cunha, the most remote place on Earth.