As I

[with contributions from Matthew O'Brien and Darius Tahir] Robert Bork is not a sitting justice on the Supreme Court. And there is a very good reason for that. During his lengthy career as a legal scholar, he was an outspoken critic of modern constitutional interpretation – arguing, among other things, that the Civil Rights Act was coercive and that Griswold v. Connecticut, the decision that established a right to privacy, had no legitimate basis. This didn’t make Bork a racist and it didn’t suggest he wanted to ban contraception, as the Connecticut law under review in Griswold did.

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For those who missed it on the TNR home page, I have an article in our latest print edition about Durant Tuuri Mott Elementary School in Flint, Michigan. DTM serves a low-income, high-risk student population in the middle of one of the most distressed communities in America. But it’s kids are performing well on tests and, based on what I observed over a series of visits, those test scores are no aberration. The kids are really learning. The article’s main purpose is to convey some first-hand observations about the effects of No Child Left Behind.

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Stories for Boys

Despite the temptation, I'm not going to write about the new Spider-Man musical without seeing it. I just really, really, really do not want to pay several days' salary to watch three hours of staging stunts accompanied by rock show tunes by Bono and the Edge. As I recall, a critic once lost a lawsuit brought by David Soul, the beloved costar of Starsky and Hutch, for a critical review of a play starring Soul, which the writer said took place on a night the theater was dark.

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Rinse, Wash, Repeat

I don’t think anyone would mistake me for a big fan of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the main (as they put it) “pro-Israel” lobby in Washington. The only organization of that kind that I’ve ever given money to is Americans for Peace Now. And I have defended critics of AIPAC, including Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, the authors of The Israel Lobby, from charges of anti-Semitism. But I think Walt and Mearsheimer have been dead wrong in trying to blame the Israel lobby or the Israeli government for America’s invasion of Iraq.

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Rinse, Wash, Repeat

 I don’t think anyone would mistake me for a big fan of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the main (as they put it) “pro-Israel” lobby in Washington. The only organization of that kind that I’ve ever given money to is Americans for Peace Now in Israel. And I have defended critics of AIPAC, including Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, the authors of The Israel Lobby, from charges of anti-Semitism. But I think Walt and Mearsheimer have been dead wrong in trying to blame the Israel lobby or the Israeli government for America’s invasion of Iraq.

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Our culture lives virtually without its history, which makes it a very weird culture, indeed. In France, on sabbatical a few years back, I listened to a dinner conversation about Marshal Foch. Who? Marshal Foch. How did we come around to him? Someone at the table said she'd been born in Tarbes, a small town known primarily for its proximity to Lourdes. Another guest noted that Foch had been born there. And then followed a long, discursive conversation about Foch.

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