The Perils of Tough Talk
The rhetoric and political optics of the Iran issue are anything but second-order determinants of the outcome. Senior Israeli policy-makers already know this. Why don't we?
The Folly of Energy Independence
The American political class is way behind the curve when it comes to thinking about energy and security. The supply and price of energy no longer move in lockstep, and that divergence is key to understanding our circumstances—and what to do about them.
A Call to Linguistic Disobedience
We have reached linguistic gridlock, in which bipartisan dialogue has been replaced by competing efforts to manipulate voters with loaded vocabularies. Nothing will change so long as Americans remain passive consumers of these vocabularies.
The Evolution of Religion
While atheists and offended believers have been holding the equivalent of a dorm room bull session over the role of religion in society, evolutionary biology has emerged as a beacon of understanding. Two recent books attempt to turn that potential into reality.
Human Rights, and Wrongs
Aryeh Neier's new history of the human rights movement manages to be dull, impersonal and evasive all at the same time. But when read carefully, it shows signs that the movement's old guard is growing more uncomfortable with the unfettered idealism of the rising generation of human rights activists.
Selfishness as Virtue
The percentage of Americans living alone has never been higher. While there is every reason to worry about the social implications of the data, Eric Klinenberg is alone and loving it—for all the wrong reasons.
Retroview: What Poverty Means
We usually think of John Kenneth Galbraith as the archetypal liberal—and not without reason. But Galbraith's late 1950s understanding of the interplay between the sources of poverty and public policy remediation was far more realistic, and in every way superior, to what came after him. A look back is both enlightening and, frankly, a bit depressing, given the profound confusion we have been mired in ever since.
The Geopolitics of Scripture
If American power recedes from the Middle East in the advancing post-Cold War era, Israel's strategic circumstances, not least its concern about a nuclearizing Iran, could start to look a lot like they did in Isaiah's time.
The Pak-Saudi Nuke, and How to Stop It
If Iran does get the bomb, there is a tight logic to military cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to match it. U.S. options for preventing a Pak-Saudi nuke may diminish sharply over time.
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