The grim morality of our realpolitik stance on Syria
For thirty years it was my custom at editorial meetings to begin my report on the next week’s issue with the words: “We have Kauffmann.” The last time I did so, I had a tear in my eye.
William James, Joel Osteen, and the Gray Lady
Steven Pinker:In his commentary on my essay “Science is Not your Enemy,” Leon Wieseltier writes, “It is not for science to say whether science belongs in morality and politics and art.” I reply: It is not for Leon Wieseltier to say where science belongs.
Comrades, we have lost. The only achievement of the Obama administration in the Syrian crisis so far has been to eliminate the humanitarian motive from American foreign policy. We have lost. After Syria, the argument about rescue and responsibility, about the uses of American power, will have to begin again. For Assad’s gassing of children has been a dazzling career move. His most recent, and most brazen, use of chemical weapons has not imperiled him. Quite the contrary. The dead of Ghouta have saved him.
Now science wants to invade the liberal arts. Don't let it happen.
Science goes where it doesn’t belong.
Obama, Moustaki, and me
The futility of one’s thoughts is no reason not to think them. The truest protest is the involuntary kind, when outrage cannot be suppressed, and the failure of one’s arguments transforms them into obsessions, and one becomes tedious, almost gleefully so, in one’s criticisms and complaints. History disobeys even statesmen and saints, and eventually you wind up making speeches in your head. The other day I was making such a speech about the diminishment of America in the world.
We must do something in Syria
The trouble with complexity in Syria
The supporters of Egypt's military aren't liberals
Cairo is no longer the capital of Arab hope. It is now the capital of Arab despair. Or so it deserves to be, except that despair does not appear to be the dominant Arab response, and more importantly, the dominant Egyptian response, to the violent destruction of the Egyptian revolution by the Egyptian army. This is the Eighteenth Brumaire of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The army has now committed three massacres. Emergency rule has been declared.
Some of us are just plain average. And that's OK.
Oprah's privileged optimism does not change the fact the failure exists.