by Eric Rauchway I'd like to root for Steven Pinker in the Pinker/Lakoff quarrel, if only because Steve's a fellow Open U faculty member. (Go, Virtual Dons!) But then he trotted out this point: Whose Freedom? shows no trace of the empirical lessons of the past three decades, such as the economic and humanitarian disaster of massively planned economies, or the impending failure of social insurance programs that ignore demographic arithmetic.
Monday, October 9 Dear Damon, On your blog, which you've recently shut down, you posted links to two diametrically opposed reviews of your new book, The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege. One, by Adrian Wooldridge in The New York Times, calls your tone "admirably restrained, dispassionate and scholarly when it could so easily have been rank and recriminatory." The other, by Commonweal Editor Paul Baumann, accuses you of being "exaggerated and alarmist," not to mention "tendentious" and "frequently cartoonish" in your portrait of your former compatriots on the religious right.
The Democrats are lucky to have had the Mark Foley affair thrown in their laps. Now, we will see how not different they are from the Republicans. This scandal has about as much to do with Dennis Hastert as it does with Tip O'Neil.
by David Greenberg Reading David Bell's post about military history, another thought occurs to me. Every day, social, political, and cultural historians pay heed to the importance of war. It's in what we call by the ungainly name periodization.
by Richard Stern Foley, Foley, Foley! Congressman Almighty! Early in October our song doth rise to thee. Foley, Foley, Foley! Lascivious and lusty. In three-legged government, a fourth empowered thee. Foley, Foley, Foley! All Democrats adore thee. Casting votes upon thy filthy sea, Pages and other cherubs harkening to thee Which wert, and art, and evermore shall be. Foley, Foley, Foley! Though the darkness hide thee, Our eye thy sad sick self shall see. Only thou, Rep.
by Eric Rauchway Further to David's point below, war doesn't just inflect American history, it runs all through it and often informs discussion of the nature of the American republic. An example: If it's October, it must be the 1860s, at least in my lecture hall. Each year around this time we get to the factors that hastened Redemption, or the end of Reconstruction in the South: southern white resistance, including the Klan; national Republican weakness and division; and the Supreme Court.
by Richard Stern Who says Bush et al want to 'win their War on TERRORRRRR' or their war against Iraq? I think that they would prefer the latter to be at a lower level, just to justify the permanent US bases astride the oil supplies but not so intense as to give traction to the bleeding-heart liberals and the traitorous wing of the Protestant clergy.
If they didn’t hate each other so much, David Sirota and Dan Gerstein might be friends. They certainly have a lot in common. Both are in their thirties. Both are Jewish. And both are Democratic operatives. But their greatest similarity is their shared love of vicious political combat.
According to a Reuters dispatch in Haaretz online today, Hamas massed a huge rally in Gaza earlier today to "denounce the state of Israel and declare that they would never recognise its right to exist." So what else is new? "We ask God to punish the so-called Israel and the allies of Israel ... We vow to God that we will never recognize Israel even if we would be all killed." In the case of the last contingency, of course, no one would care. This is the rhetoric of nutcases, although I know that since their passions emerge from Muslim religious belief I should treat them with respect.
by Alan Wolfe Did it finally happen here? I've always been a skeptic of Sinclair Lewis's sloppily written novel of 1935--and equally skeptical of all those left-wingers who predict, sometimes with barely repressed glee, a fascist takeover of the United States. But there is no doubting that something finally happened this week. It is not just that Congress is about to give the president the authority to collect anyone, including an American citizen, off the street to be indefinitely imprisoned as an enemy combatant.