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Mandate Of Heaven

Mandate Of Heaven

By Orville Schell

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U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller

There’s Nothing Surgical About Cluster Bombs

The globalist militarism that remains the dominant force among the American policy class in Washington (Democrats prominently involved) now has its members talking to the press about its new use of “the scalpel” rather than “the hammer.”

Posted on Aug 17, 2010 READ MORE


The Guns of August: Lowering the Flag on the American Century

None of America’s problems are likely to be tackled in a serious or successful way as long as we continue to spend our wealth on armies, weapons, wars, global garrisons, and bribes for petty dictators.

Posted on Aug 17, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Nahuel31 (CC-BY)

Nigel Warburton on Why Video Games Are Good

In Tom Chatfield’s “Fun Inc.,” the case is made that far from corrupting popular culture and turning its addicted users into “blinking lizards,” video games can help us be happier and live better.

Posted on Aug 13, 2010 READ MORE



Illustration based on an image by Bearas (CC-BY-SA)

Germany’s Good Fortune Tips the Scales Against Its Neighbors

The excellent second quarter export and growth results reported by Germany have set that country at an increasing, and increasingly dangerous, distance from the other members of the European Union.

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Richard Loyal French (CC-BY-ND)

Lobbying Is About Getting Nothing Done

A 10-year study of the influence business finds that the billions of dollars ($3.5 billion in 2009 alone, according to the Center for Responsive Politics) thrown at elected officials add up to a whole lot of nothing—that is, the influential spend a lot of time, energy and cash stalemating each other and keeping things the way they are.

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 READ MORE



Larry Blumenfeld on Nat Hentoff

A new collection of writings by one of America’s greatest self-described Jewish atheists distills the essence of his half-century defense of civil liberties and jazz—the nation’s most original and influential art.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Dima Gavrysh

Why the Feds Fear Thinkers Like Howard Zinn

By the end of Howard Zinn’s 423-page FBI file one walks away with a profound respect for the historian and a deep distaste for the buffoonish goons in the FBI who followed and monitored him.

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 READ MORE


The Deception of Real-World Inception

In this epoch of confusion, our society has achieved the goal of “Inception’s” idea-implanting protagonists—only without all the technological subterfuge.

Posted on Jul 29, 2010 READ MORE


Lesley Blanch

Caroline Moorehead on the Exemplary Life of Lesley Blanch

A new biography of the remarkable writer Lesley Blanch suggests that living well—which may be the same thing as living passionately—is the best way of blunting the force of time’s arrow.

Posted on Jul 29, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez

Afghanistan: The Pentagon’s Lost War

While it is unquestionable that Barack Obama made the war in Afghanistan “his” war, it also is true that it was served to him on a platter and with a gun pressed against his back.

Posted on Jul 27, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Reed Saxon

We All Live on Turtle Island

When speaking of the natural world, for good reason we often turn to Native American myth. Turtle carries the world on its back is what many of these myths tell us; we are all citizens on turtle island.

Posted on Jul 22, 2010 READ MORE



Troy Jollimore on Markets and Morality

Debra Satz’s new book, “Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale,” raises timely and morally difficult questions about capitalism and free choice and collective and individual rights.

Posted on Jul 22, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / jimg944 (CC-BY)

Will China Rule the World?

Possibly the most fashionable theme in current discussions of the future is whether China will replace the United States as the leading world power.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Maya Hitij

Calling All Future-Eaters

We sit passive and dumb as corporations and the leaders of industrialized nations ensure that climate change will accelerate to levels that could mean the extinction of our species. Homo sapiens, as the biologist Tim Flannery points out, are the “future-eaters.”

Posted on Jul 19, 2010 READ MORE


paris

Ruth Scurr on Paris

This is the Paris you never knew: From the Revolution to the present, two new books deliver a series of astonishing stories, all stranger than fiction, of the lives of the great, the near-great, and the forgotten.

Posted on Jul 15, 2010 READ MORE


Dreyfus

Peter Brooks on the Dreyfus Affair

In her rich and nuanced book, Oxford historian Ruth Harris succeeds in restoring a face to a man often seen mainly as a symbol.

Posted on Jul 9, 2010 READ MORE



ESPN

What ESPN’s Bill Simmons Superdeluxe Media Empire Means for Facts, Fans and Sports

Going bonkers, lionizing winners and dumping on losers is fun, even if the cycle is accelerating to absurdity and beyond with modern 24/7 reportage. That’s today’s price of fame. Privileged as they are, today’s starry-eyed young athletes pursue their dream through a driving shitstorm.

Posted on Jul 7, 2010 READ MORE


Hastings
youtube.com

Rolling Stone’s Hastings Bags Book Deal

Rolling Stone scribe Michael Hastings is still riding high from his big score about “Runaway General” Stanley McChrystal—who has, it should again be noted, been obliged to evacuate the scene of the story since the piece was published—and now ...

Posted on Jul 6, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Reed Saxon

Ailing Journalism in Ailing Times

The L.A. Times executive suite, desperate for company income, shows an ethics-be-damned attitude in breaching the line between ads and news.

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 READ MORE


arctic

Richard Shelton on Arctic Exploitation

Is it too much to hope that a region once revered by its native people will be respected by those who now seek its riches? Three recent books delve into the matter.

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Susan Walsh

What Kind of Supreme Court?

Although we did not discover much about Elena Kagan, confirmation hearings should remind us of what has been remarkable in our constitutional and judicial history.

Posted on Jul 1, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Francisco V. Govea II

The Land Where Theories of Warfare Go to Die

Afghanistan is the place where theories of warfare go to die, and if the COIN theory isn’t dead yet, it’s utterly failed so far to prove itself.

Posted on Jun 28, 2010 READ MORE



Best Vacation Ever

Secret FCC meetings, what it’s like to be a Canadian doctor, why modern art is in your head, and what science has to say about the best vacation ever—all after the jump.

Posted on Jun 27, 2010 READ MORE



National Geographic Films / Tim Hetherington

Into the Valley of Death Rode the ... 15?

The documentary “Restrepo” paints an empathetic portrait of U.S. soldiers at an Afghanistan outpost, but it keeps its audience at a distance.

Posted on Jun 24, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. JoAnn S. Makinano

5 Million Iraqis Killed, Maimed, Tortured, Displaced—Think That Bothers War Boosters?

The immensity of Iraqi civilian suffering is incomprehensible. How can war’s cheerleaders like Christopher Hitchens claim to fight on behalf of the people whose lives they helped destroy?

Posted on Jun 23, 2010 READ MORE


Mahmoud Darwish

André Naffis-Sahely on Mahmoud Darwish

André Naffis-Sahely looks at three volumes—“A River Dies of Thirst,” “Mural” and “If I Were Another”—that helped make poet/author Mahmoud Darwish a pillar of Palestinian literature.

Posted on Jun 18, 2010 READ MORE


Historical Lessons Warn Against Modern U.S. Foreign Policy

The lesson of modern European history—the world wars and the great totalitarian convulsions—is that trying to create a utopia invites disaster.

Posted on Jun 16, 2010 READ MORE


Gulf War Syndrome

It’s great that President Obama and his advisers finally seem to understand the atmospherics of responding to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Now if they’d only get the policy right.

Posted on Jun 14, 2010 READ MORE



Ari Mintz

A ‘Prophecy’ Worth Watching

Theater, which at its best makes us more human and humane, has become increasingly mediocre, produced as spectacle or driven by the presence of Hollywood celebrities.

Posted on Jun 13, 2010 READ MORE


capitalism and the jews

Zachary Karabell on ‘Capitalism and the Jews’

Jerry Z. Muller, a leading historian of capitalism, provides in his provocative new book a fresh look at a subject that, to say the least, has been both thoroughly misunderstood and a forbidden, even taboo, topic.

Posted on Jun 10, 2010 READ MORE


Cyberspace Dunderheads

I’ve come down with a bad case of the shallows. That’s technology writer Nicholas Carr’s term—and the title of his new book—for the invisible, invidious impact of computers on the modern brain.

Posted on Jun 8, 2010 READ MORE


Newest National Security Strategy Is an Elaboration of the Old

Even though Barack Obama writes that America cannot allow the burdens of the 21st century to “fall on American shoulders alone,” he similarly cannot accept that the United States deviate from the globalist ambitions emphasized in the published strategies of both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Posted on Jun 8, 2010 READ MORE



Two Mommies Are Better Than One, Apparently

Why researchers say lesbians make the best parents, how the Internet is affecting your brain, and why Americans are no rugged individualists. All this and more on today’s list.

Posted on Jun 8, 2010 READ MORE



Truthdig collage based on a White House photo by Pete Souza

The Christian Fascists Are Growing Stronger

Tens of millions of Americans are creating a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and shutting out all those they define as the enemy.

Posted on Jun 7, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Hussein Malla

A Warning From Noam Chomsky on the Threat of Elites

Whether in war or finance, the imperial mentality of elites is increasingly threatening the “unpeople” of the world, as Noam Chomsky writes in his latest book.

Posted on Jun 6, 2010 READ MORE


Bright Sided

Carol Tavris on Barbara Ehrenreich’s Crusade

In her recent book, Barbara Ehrenreich takes on the excesses, delusions and unsupported promises of the positive-thinking movement, tracking both its naive and its corrupt manifestations in the worlds of health, business, religion and psychology.

Posted on Jun 4, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Kai Henry (CC-BY)

You Need a Raise

The theories on which we base wages are highly flawed—and so is your paycheck.

Posted on May 31, 2010 READ MORE



AP / J. David Ake

Memorial Day and Our Discontents

Why is it that every Memorial Day we note that a holiday set aside for honoring our war dead has become instead an occasion for beach-going, barbecues and baseball?

Posted on May 30, 2010 READ MORE


book cover

Peter Stothard on Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens reveals a life in contradictions in “Hitch-22,” a brilliant memoir that is at turns comic, self-deflating and sexually frank.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE


The Texas Textbook Massacre

Our friends at Brave New Films sent us this update on the Texas Board of Education’s partisan rewriting of American history. If you haven’t been angry enough today, hop past the jump and give it a gander.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE


There Goes Palin’s Neighborhood

I’m with Sarah Palin on this one. Her new neighbor, it turns out, is author Joe McGinniss. Coincidence? I think not. McGinniss wrote an unflattering profile of Palin for Portfolio magazine last year, and he’s now writing a book about the former Alaska governor.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Jonathan Alter: Health Care Puts Obama in FDR’s League

Newsweek senior editor and columnist Jonathan Alter talks about his new book, “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” and why “Just by getting health care through ... [Barack Obama is] now standing alone with Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson in terms of domestic achievement.”

Posted on May 26, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Jonathan Alter: Health Care Puts Obama in FDR’s League

Newsweek senior editor and columnist Jonathan Alter talks about his new book, “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” and why “Just by getting health care through ... [Barack Obama is] now standing alone with Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson in terms of domestic achievement.”

Posted on May 26, 2010 READ MORE


book cover

Steve Wasserman on the Scourge of Czarist Russia

Lesley Blanch’s “The Sabres of Paradise” tells the illuminating story of Shamyl, the Imam of Daghestan, whose 25-year fight against the Russian empire left a half-million dead, and lessons still to be learned in wars from Chechnya to Afghanistan.

Posted on May 20, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Julie Jacobson

How Baseball Became America vs. the Damn Yankees

Baseball has always proceeded according to the law of the jungle with the Yankees as King Kong, but in the past even they never dominated financially as they do now.

Posted on May 19, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC2 Justin Stumberg

BP and the ‘Little Eichmanns’

These deformed individuals carrying out the global genocide against human life and the natural world lack the capacity for empathy. They possess the peculiar ability to organize vast, destructive bureaucracies and yet remain blind to the ramifications.

Posted on May 16, 2010 READ MORE


book cover

Anthony Kenny on ‘Atheist Delusions’

Can traditional Christianity survive the assault of its critics? Has it really been misunderstood and slandered by its cultural despisers?

Posted on May 13, 2010 READ MORE



Worst Popes Edition

Glenn Beck’s Mormon masterpiece theater, why humans sigh, the 10 worst popes (and no, Benedict isn’t among them) and Aaron Sorkin’s response to the Newsweek gay actor saga.

Posted on May 13, 2010 READ MORE



Lingua Franca Edition

Why assassinating U.S. citizens is a bad idea, why Americans are watching fewer foreign films, and how English became the international language of choice.

Posted on May 11, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Olivier Laban-Mattei

After Religion Fizzles, We’re Stuck With Nietzsche

The traditional religious institutions are in irreversible decline. They have nothing left to say. And their aging congregants, who are fleeing the church in droves, know it. But don’t think the world will be a better place for their demise.

Posted on May 9, 2010 READ MORE


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