October 29, 2003
What is Not to be Done
'The time has come to think the unthinkable." It is almost an iron law of intellectual life that any idea that is advertised as unthinkable has been thought many times before. The promotion of an idea to unthinkability says nothing about the merit of the idea; many "unthinkable" ideas are not worthy of serious thought. It is not the veracity of the thought that the appeal to unthinkability seeks to establish, it is the courage of the thinker. Only truly free minds think the unthinkable. The rest are shackled by dogmas and sentiments and cliches and interests.
October 06, 2003
Michael Levi on how the IAEA enables Iran.
September 29, 2003
Mad About You
I hate President George W. Bush. There, I said it. I think his policies rank him among the worst presidents in U.S. history. And, while I'm tempted to leave it at that, the truth is that I hate him for less substantive reasons, too. I hate the inequitable way he has come to his economic and political achievements and his utter lack of humility (disguised behind transparently false modesty) at having done so.
September 01, 2003
How good an ally is Yemen's government?
August 11, 2003
Washington Diarist: Survivor
There's still no definitive answer to the question, "What do you give the man who has everything?" But there does appear to be some consensus about what to give the man who has testicular cancer. Which is why last November, after I was diagnosed with the disease, I became the owner of several copies of Lance Armstrong's autobiography, It's Not About the Bike. Armstrong is the poster boy for testicular cancer.
June 23, 2003
In the next two weeks, the Supreme Court will rule, in Lawrence v. Texas, on the constitutionality of Texas's law criminalizing consensual homosexual sodomy. The case involves the arrests and convictions of John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, who were discovered having sex in Lawrence's bedroom when police responded to a false report by a neighbor that a man was "going crazy" in the apartment. The two men were arrested, convicted, fined, and jailed.
Chris Van Hollen came to Washington to make a difference. Running for the House of Representatives in suburban Maryland last year, he called himself a candidate "for people who care about issues." The Washington Post agreed, raving that he had "the makings of an exceptionally effective member of Congress." Although he was an obscure state legislator at the time, Van Hollen worked furiously to defeat three strong opponents in a September primary, including the handsome and stupendously well-connected Mark Shriver, who happens to be the nephew of a president named Kennedy.
June 09, 2003
Lawrence Kaplan on how not to handle a nuke threat.
May 19, 2003
Ryan Lizza's 2003 look at the Democratic jockeying in the Palmetto state.
May 12, 2003
Shot In The Arm
To anybody who has followed the course of biomedical science over the last two decades, the progress being made in understanding severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) appears nothing short of miraculous. SARS emerged as a global health threat in March, and now, just two months later, scientists have isolated the virus causing the disease and published a complete map of the pathogen's genes. By comparison, the sequencing of the human genome, an admittedly larger task, has taken more than a decade. Meanwhile, a diagnostic test for SARS, which will be produced by F.