The Downsides Of Academic Moneyball
October 10, 2006
by Daniel Drezner In celebrating the Oakland A's sweep of the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, the Volokh Conspiracy's Ilya Somin explains why he is rooting for the A's--it's because he's a member of George Mason University's law school faculty: As described in Michael Lewis' book Moneyball, A's General Manager Billy Beane pioneered the use of statistical analysis to guide personnel decisions in major league baseball.... I am a big fan of Beane and his methods, all the more so because George Mason University has used a similar approach in hiring faculty for our law school and economics departme
Kofi Annan: Not Camera Shy
October 10, 2006
In a Spine of October 2, titled "Opera Buffa," I pointed out that Kofi Annan had been a featured photographed personage in last week's Sunday Times society section. Well, what do you know? He was a featured photographed personage in this Sunday's Times, too. God, it makes you yearn for Mrs. Astor. Kofi looked a bit grimmer in the latest Times, in fact, no grins at all, unlike a week before.
War And The Historical Profession
October 09, 2006
by Jeffrey Herf I agree with David Bell's observations about the conceptual grounds in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century social theory for the lack of interest in and knowledge of international relations among many historians. Yet on the margins of the domestic, internal mainstream neglecting international politics, there was a minority current in social theory that sought to integrate the study of society with that of war between states. Clausewitz's On War, and Raymond Aron's Peace and War are two key classics of this tradition.
October 09, 2006
Please, I don't mean to offend anyone. But the Catholic college and university is not one of the faith's big achievements in America. Look at any one of the ratings charts (there are many) and see how low these institutions fare on the competitive scales and how few of them rate at all. It's true that there are two or three Catholic law schools in the middle range. But that's it. Catholic institutions certainly haven't made a mark in the life or physical sciences, or, for that matter, the social sciences either.
American Liberalism And The Euston Manifesto
October 08, 2006
by Jeffrey Herf This past March, a group of intellectuals, scholars, and journalists in London posted a statement on the Internet calling for a "new political alignment" among those ranging from the democratic left to "egalitarian liberals." A month ago a group of us wrote "American Liberalism and the Euston Manifesto" and were able to post it on the Euston Manifesto website.
Robert Welch Lives
October 07, 2006
by Sanford Levinson Needless to say, I have been interested in the vigorous response provoked by my article in last week's TNR attacking the presidential veto as anti-democratic.
Iran's Power Struggle
October 05, 2006
This morning's New York Post carries an important story that was written by Amir Taheri, a columnist from whom I have learned a good deal over the years. The article is about a struggle in Iran between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the current president, and Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a previous president and the funny little man's defeated opponent for the post last year. The story is about a smoking gun, two smoking guns, in fact, and it goes back to the time when Iran was losing a desperate war to Iraq. That is, there are two letters: one is from Brig. Gen.
by Sanford Levinson On October 2, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would, as described in the extraordinarly brief story published in the October 3 Times on the veto, "that would have automatically allocated all the state's 55 electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate received the national popular vote." An earlier, and extensive, story in the Times accurately noted that the bill, devised by a computer scientist, John r.
I.f. Stone's Radical Journalism
October 04, 2006
I wrote a few days ago about I.F. Stone and a review of two books (one a biography and the other yet another--there are now seven--collection of his writings) by Paul Berman in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. I've now read the books. They are dreadful: The first for not really grasping the ideological maelstrom in which Stone immured himself; the second, well Stone only told the truth--and a very partial truth, at that--one way. He could give it to the United States. But he was a patsy for its enemies.
Total Failure In Lebanon
October 04, 2006
The United Nations never fails to fail. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has failed for decades. (And what do they mean by "interim"? Interim between when and when?) I knew (yes, knew; not suspected; not thought) that Security Council Resolution 1701 would go the way of its predecessor, Security Council Resolution 1559. It's not because I'm a seer. It's because the United Nations is the United Nations, and fights over language are what it does best. But the language is not what failed this time. It was the intentions of the parties.