Universities V. The Internet
October 20, 2006

by Eric Rauchway Early in my career I started giving lectures using laptops and presentation software. Others at my university were doing likewise. Still others were lecturing in a form of academic dress. Some were doing both. I am therefore fully prepared to believe that Universities are strange and discordant places because they are palimpsests of the ancient and the modern.

Hill Corruption
October 18, 2006

Maybe there's no purpose in calling attention to an editorial in the New York Times. Either you get the hard copy of the paper every day ... or you can't get an editorial on the day it's printed, since it gets caught behind the maddening (but quite understandable) Times Select fence for 24 hours. On the other hand, sometimes when there's a link from one web site to another, you can jump the fence. I don't really know what'll happen here. But "The Odor From Capitol Hill" is what the Times lede is called, and you can almost smell the reek simply by reading.

They Shoot Talking Points, Don't They?
October 11, 2006

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.

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.

Depaul's Disgrace
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.