Ironed Curtain
October 08, 2009

After the Russo-Georgian War in August 2008, the European Union found itself in a difficult position. Moscow had not only invaded a neighbor for the first time since the Soviet assault on Afghanistan in 1979. In recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, it had also broken the cardinal rule of post-cold war European security: that borders in Europe would never again be changed by force of arms. Yet Georgia, too, had clearly made mistakes, not the least in embroiling itself in a military conflict with Russia that Georgia's own allies had repeatedly warned against.

Accusing Judge Goldstone. The Accuser is a Facially Disfigured Gynecologist From Ashkelon.
September 29, 2009

There were more than 100 others wounded in the 2008 Palestinian rocket attack on the doctor's clinic.  She herself has had eight surgeries on her face.  Goldstone doesn't give a damn. There were more that 100. (Pictured: Rocket attack victim, Dr. Mirela Siderer, testifying before UN.) From UN Watch:  "Why Didn't You Tell Me U.N. Council Declared Israel Guilty From the Start? Why Did You Humiliate Me?" Geneva, September 29, 2009 - The U.N.

The "Lifestyle" Taboo
September 28, 2009

It's not considered the height of political savvy here in the United States to point out that European lifestyles are greener than our own. Don't expect that line in an Obama speech anytime soon.

Erreur de Conrad *
September 28, 2009

Most of the recent talk about overseas health care systems has not been terribly charitable. You'll wait in long lines, you'll die from curable cancer, etc. But during last week's markup hearings at the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Kent Conrad offered a different, more nuanced take: I urge my colleagues to read the book by T.R. Reid, The Healing of America. I had the chance to read it this weekend. He looks at the health care systems around the world. And what he found is in many countries they have universal coverage. They contain costs effectively.

Deep, Deep Geothermal Runs Into Trouble
August 20, 2009

On paper, at least, "enhanced" geothermal is an incredibly alluring concept. The idea is to bore down, really deep down into the Earth's crust—say, 12,000 feet below the surface—and then pump water through the cracks in the hot bedrock, creating steam to generate electricity.

Lifting the Shadow Off the Tax System
August 20, 2009

The fact is that it did not happen until Barack Obama became president. It was a standing offense to American tax justice that probably hundreds of thousands of our very rich countrymen brazenly avoided the reach of the Internal Revenue Service simply by transferring (much of) their wealth to foreign banks in Switzerland and about 15 other countries, which protected the identities of these depositors by their laws. We know why this long-time structural injustice was of no interest to either of the Bush administrations. Let's say roughly that both George H.W. and George W.

The Shah of Venezuela
April 01, 2009

The ideas that keep Hugo Chavez in power.

The Man Without Categories
June 11, 2008

The Assistant By Robert Walser Translated by Susan Bernofsky (New Directions, 301 pp., $16.95) I. By now the snapshot of the dead Robert Walser has become one of German literature's most often reprinted and commented-upon photographs, its unstaged, accidental existence only reinforcing the image's iconic charge: the last moments of an almost-forgotten great author in an age of mechanical reproduction. Not surprisingly, descriptions of the photograph all bear a striking resemblance to one another.

I'm Not Here
November 21, 2007

How can you pack a life as multifarious and contradictory as Dylan's into a biopic without blasting the whole glib genre to smithereens?

Creative Destruction
November 12, 2007

The best case against universal health care.