In Today's Web Magazine
May 03, 2007

Martin Peretz praises the vision and analysis of Fouad Ajami; read recent pieces by Ajami here (a review for TNR of Ali Allawi's book on the occupation) and here (an essay for The Wall Street Journal on Iraq); David Fontana argues that Hamdan v. Rumsfeld has been a major disappointment for liberals; David A. Bell handicaps Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal for Sunday's election in France; and Peter Beinart and Jonah Goldberg ask if the GOP has inked a deal with the devil on immigration. --Adam B. Kushner

I Am Dying, Egypt
May 02, 2007

by Robert Brustein A recent report isued by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni documents what we already know: Shakespeare is no longer valued in our educational system. Of course, the beleaguered bard has never had a very strong foothold in secondary schools where many English teachers, if they teach Shakespeare at all, introduce him to students through rote memorization of a few soliloquies--hardly a recipe for lifelong devotion to blank verse.

May 01, 2007

Media Matters takes us back to May 1, 2003, when the "Mission Accomplished" banner unfurled, the president strutted onto the USS Abraham Lincoln in his parachute harness, and media figures dropped to their knees on live TV. Like this little guy: [CHRIS] MATTHEWS: What do you make of the actual visual that people will see on TV and probably, as you know, as well as I, will remember a lot longer than words spoken tonight? And that's the president looking very much like a jet, you know, a high-flying jet star. A guy who is a jet pilot. Has been in the past when he was younger, obviously.

Insight And Analysis
May 01, 2007

Courtesy of Thomas Sowell at NRO: When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can't help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup. [emph added] Uh, okay, then. Can't say I've wondered that myself.... [Thanks to reader WS] --Michael Crowley

Three Steps To Take In The Aftermath Of The Virginia Tech Massacre
April 23, 2007

by Jeffrey Herf Here are three more steps readers of the Open University can take in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre. 1. If Federal law had been enforced in Virginia, the killer would not have been able to purchase those two handguns. Faculty, students, and staff at colleges and universities and parents of students attending them should ask their administration--deans, provosts, and presidents-- how their institution complies with the federal laws that prohibit people who have been diagnosed as mentally ill from purchasing or possessing guns.

The Tragedy Of Tony Blair
April 10, 2007

The Guardian has a list of the top "ten defining Blair moments" that is part of the series it is running on the prime minister who will be leaving office by the summer. Blair is a weary man, and the most recent hostage crisis was just the latest stress-inducing event, piled on with Iraq, the cash-for-peeragesscandal, a series of incompetent Cabinet ministers unworthy of working alongside Blair--not to mention his own chancellor of the exchequer whose main activity over the past decade, next to balancing Britain's books, has been to complain that he's not PM yet. All one hears about Tony Blair

The Case For The Long School Day
March 26, 2007

by John McWhorter It can be quaint reading of ancient debates in Congress during the Depression as to the wisdom of instituting what we now know as Social Security, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and other aspects of our safety net. Certain thoughtful folk were afraid such "handouts" threatened socialism, and so on. I suspect that 70 years from now, the ambivalence among assorted educators, administrators, thinking folk, and even parents over the extension of the public school day will look similar.

Topless Taxes, Really
February 14, 2007

A proposed bill in the Texas legislature known as the "Topless Tax" would tax patrons a $5 cover charge to enter strip clubs. The cover charge would then go directly into sexual-assault prevention and counseling services. This makes a certain amount of sense to me. Just as sin taxes on cigarettes end up funding everything from health care programs to education spending, taxing strip-club patrons to support worthy state mandates like assault prevention has a certain symmetry to it. Taxing the sex trade is as natural as taxing casinos and booze.

The Politics Of Spite
February 13, 2007

A few days ago, Matt Yglesias wrote the following about global warming: One doubts that any of these various rightwingers were actually humming along and then got bribed by energy companies to come up with the outlandish conservative arguments you here on this score. Rather, the money's just sort of out there ready to flow to individuals who make outlandish arguments and to publications and institutions that associate themselves with such people and such arguments. Under the circumstances, the human mind proves remarkably supple and creative.

Who Needs Experts?
January 30, 2007

The biggest problem in Washington, of course, is that President Bush's crack team of political appointees doesn't have enough power. Luckily, help is on the way: In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries.