The Need to Lead
June 07, 2012
Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global PowerBy Zbigniew Brzezinski (Basic Books, 208 pp., $26) When it comes to offering a vision to guide American foreign policy, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s latest book, unlike so much other literature of this type, refuses to lament or exaggerate the alleged decline in American power and influence. Instead Strategic Vision offers a kind of blueprint—a path that Washington must take, in Brzezinski’s view, to ensure a secure international order, in which free markets and democratic principles can thrive.
If Only Nathaniel Branden Had A GPS
August 13, 2010
Say what you will about Ayn Rand -- I am not a huge fan -- but she has some very devoted followers: One man drove 12,238 miles and across 30 states in the U.S. to scrawl a message that could only be viewed using Google Earth. His big shoutout: "Read Ayn Rand." Nick Newcomen did a road trip over 30 days that covered stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. First, he identified on a map the route he would need to drive to spell out the message. He put a GPS device in his car to trace the route he would follow.
March 12, 2010
As is often the case with tales of great discovery, the details of how buried treasure came to be found beneath the rolling countryside of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, have grown a little gauzy over the last 30 years. But here is the story as the prospectors tell it. One day, in March 1979, a man named Byrd Berman, a geologist by training, was driving down a road through cattle pastures when the scintillometer sitting on the dashboard of his Hertz rental car began to beep. The device, similar to a Geiger counter, was designed to detect the gamma radiation naturally emitted by uranium.
Seeing and Believing
October 30, 2009
Are representations of the Prophet Muhammad permitted in Islam? To make or not to make images of the Prophet: that is the question I will try to answer. It is an unexpectedly burning question, as the newspapers regularly demonstrate. But both the answer to the question and the reasons for raising it require a broader introduction. There have been many times in recent years when one bemoaned the explosion of media that have provided public forums for so much incompetence and ignorance, not to speak of prejudice. Matters became worse after September 11, for two additional reasons.
Blair Ghost Project
August 12, 2009
The haunting of Gordon Brown.
The Two Faces of Bensonhurst
July 02, 1990
Twentieth Avenue in Bensonhurst starts in the Hudson River, where it's called Gravesend Bay, only a couple of miles from the Atlantic Ocean. You can see the ocean across the Belt Parkway, but Bensonhurst rarely looks. The neighborhood focuses inland, toward the hub of 86th Street, with its railway track suspended some sixty feet above the road, and beyond all the way down to 50th. On a summer afternoon on 86th, youngsters hang out on the street corners, near clothing stores called Male Ego and Women's Dreams.
A Blueprint for Mutual Withdrawal
March 24, 1958
DISENGAGEMENT is no longer a dirty word in the Western diplomatic vocabulary. In principle, most NATO governments now recognize that disengagement might offer a way out of their current dilemmas. But so far, most of the supporters of disengagement have either left their ideas too vague for serious discussion or have arbitrarily tied disengagement to other conceptions which are even more controversial. George Kennan, for example, in his Reith Lectures, did as much as any other single person to awaken international interest in the idea of disengagement.