Perhaps, this could be the future of the GOP: Yet though the role of the House of Lords was historically conservative and reactionary, and thus an easy target for criticism, the argument in our previous book, Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, suggests that it may have also played a useful role: in the sense [...]
Jack Shafer on the limits of gun-control legislation: As Noel Perrin wrote in Giving Up the Gun: Japan’s Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879, cultures can change their violent ways, but building such a cultural consensus takes more effort and persuasion that just passing new gun-control laws. Yes, but passing new gun-control legislation does a great [...]
Garry Wills expertly peels back the layers of nonsense and cynicism around the American bishops decision to make common cause with Rick Santorum: Catholics who do not accept the phony argument over contraception are said to be “going against the teachings of their church.” That is nonsense. They are their church. The Second Vatican Council [...]
A fascinating argument by Stephen Holmes and Ivan Krastev on the symbolic function of rigged elections in Russia: Thus, by far the most important political role of sham elections during the past dozen years has been the way they have allowed Putin to display his capacity for manipulating them in an orderly and predictable way [...]
One way to explain the moral panics of our day: a society governed primarily by old, rich white men of European descent apprehends an economy driven by single, working moms, weighed down by unemployed single men and traumatized by the reckless mass incarceration of the poor. Their imagined community is obsolete to an increasingly multiracial, [...]
From Daniel Voll’s The Hunter Becomes the Hunted in Esquire: Clemente arrived to interrogate the suspect, a handcuffed middle-aged man named Zaid, and underneath a napkin on the table, he found a small device, the size of a brick, with a hand crank and wires with alligator clips at the ends. Clemente shut down the [...]
Many religions offer the promise of a supreme and perfectly fair authority. Such an eternal and just arbiter offers relief for people who live daily under unjust, biased and/or inhumane authorities. Consider who is keeping Christianity and/or Catholicism alive in many parts of the United States. Undocumented migrants live in terror of being seized and [...]
toxic math labs produce synthetic highs that lead to a devastating crash, expensive cleanup. meth math teeth: before, after and the nightmare of addiction continues.
Patricia A. Turner: To suggest that bad people were racist implies that good people were not. Jim Crow segregation survived long into the 20th century because it was kept alive by white Southerners with value systems and personalities we would applaud.
If the Spanish who arrived to the Americas in the 1400s had become infected with native viruses that felled them, they might never have become the conquistadores. It was by pure chance that the native Americans were physiologically unprepared for the viruses brought along by the Spanish. That the mere presence of the Spanish would [...]