Religion

On December 3, 2008, a theologically conservative faction of the Episcopal Church announced that it was founding a rival denomination to be called the Anglican Church in North America. Why should anyone besides an Episcopalian care about this event? After all, American Protestants are famous for their entrepreneurial instincts, which often lead them to treat disputes as opportunities to set out in new directions. And then there's the declining importance of the Episcopal Church to the broader culture.

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Heaven Sent

WASHINGTON--Normally, we might be talking about President-elect Barack Obama's Monday news conference on energy and the environment. But, no. Thanks to the Democratic governor with a wire-brush mop of hair, a crude mouth and what's alleged to be an inclination to put his state government up for sale, the political world's interest has drifted elsewhere. Rod Blagojevich has been a godsend for Republicans who have been looking on helplessly as Obama's approval ratings climb into the stratosphere.

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TNR special correspondent Joshua Kurlantzick examines the root causes of the increase of terrorism in India. In the wake of the coordinated terror attacks this week in Mumbai, many Indian and Western observers seemed shocked by the brutality and skill of the attackers. But the terror strikes should not have come as such a surprise. After years of largely avoiding the kind of sophisticated Islamist terror that has been the hallmark of Al Qaeda, in the past year India has become, as much as Europe or the United States, a frontline in the global war on terror.

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Nayan Chanda is editor of YaleGlobal Online and author of Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers and Warriors Shaped Globalization.In recent years, terrorist attacks in India have become as much a part of life as the monsoon squalls. The only difference has been their unpredictability, as opposed to the regularity of the monsoons. The well-coordinated and large scale assault on Mumbai this week are not only qualitatively different, but also came with a chillingly new message.

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Today's Washington Post carries an op-ed by Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski. They've written the same article maybe a hundred times? What is it about? Well, it's their usual wrap about bringing everything back to square one in Palestine with Israel surrendering its right of self-defense to NATO. At least, the duo realizes that there would be a continuing problem of defending Israel even after Palestine is established. But this is not peace. Is it? How would this come about? Yes, a special envoy, of course. Why didn't I think of this? Who might that be? The Duke of Edinburgh? Bono?

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The ultra-orthodox had taken over Jerusalem's City Hall in the person of Uri Lupolianski acting for a cadre of rabbis who gave him permission to do "this" or denied him permission to do "that."  This was 2003.  Formally, it was a democratically elected government.  And it's true that there were lots of matters about which the holy men did not care a fig.  Lupolianski succeeded Ehud Olmert, a man who dealt with the religious as any mayor of a demographically intricate modern city has to deal with a big and dug-in minority.  Most Arabs don't vote in Jerusalem municipal elections because they don

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Obama And... Cloning?

Weird nugget buried in today's long WashPost story about Ohio: Viars said she and another evangelical Christian have distributed to fellow church members 5,000 copies of a "voter issues guide" that describes Obama as supporting human cloning and opposing "protecting the lives of children who are born alive and survive a botched abortion," both misstatements of his record.  We've heard the infanticide stuff before but the cloning thing is new to me. --Michael Crowley

Das Kapital Is Back

Das Kapital is on the best seller list in Germany. Yes, Marx's Das Kapital. Even the cover is like the original. Oh, I almost forgot: the writer is not Karl Marx but Renihard Marx, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Munich.  The story is told by Bertrand Benoit in the weekend FT, with accompanying photo of the bearded cleric with threatening eyes and gesticulating hands. Sales of Das Kapital by the old mole Karl Marx is also rising, likely a result of the world economic crisis.

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In Ghostbusters 2, Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd discover a river of slime coursing through subterranean New York. This sticky, pink bile turns out to be a physical manifestation of New Yorkers' accumulated rage, hatreds, and resentments--a substance potent enough that the film's villain tries to harness its power to take over the city. With GOP mega-donors out of commission, one independent ad group--the National Republican Trust PAC--is tapping a similar source to sustain itself.

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"The Castro exiles that brought Bush victory in 2000 are beginning to waiver," reads an article by Daniel Dombey in Thursday's FT. Actually, I believe what brought Bush victory in 2000 was judicial larceny. But certainly the Cuban exilarchs and their followers went overwhelmingly for Bush and for whoever was the Republican nominee beforehand. Still, part of the immigrant journey in the second and third generation is to leave the beliefs and prejudices of the first. This is what has been happening to the Cuban Americans. Their lives are not about Castro any longer.

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