Former sixties radical launches ‘National Campaign to Take Back Our Campuses’: ‘You can’t say “he’s baaaack”… because he hasn’t gone away. He’s a (virtual) bomb thrower who pays little attention to casualties or collateral damage. His campaigns, as numerous as they are notorious, are long on launch and short on staying power. If his latest effort was a CD, it might be called the “Greatest Hits” album as he returns time and time again to one of his favorite targets — campus “radicals.” ‘ WorkingforChange
“Twice now in the past decade, the overwhelming military and economic dominance of the US has given it the chance to lead the rest of the world by example and consensus. It could have adopted (and to a very limited degree under Clinton did adopt) a strategy in which this dominance would be softened and legitimised by economic and ecological generosity and responsibility, by geopolitical restraint, and by ‘a decent respect to the opinion of mankind‘, as the US Declaration of Independence has it. The first occasion was the collapse of the Soviet superpower enemy and of Communism as an ideology. The second was the threat displayed by al-Qaida. Both chances have been lost – the first in part, the second it seems conclusively. What we see now is the tragedy of a great country, with noble impulses, successful institutions, magnificent historical achievements and immense energies, which has become a menace to itself and to mankind.”
Anatol Lieven, a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC, is the author of Chechnya and Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry. London Review of Books [via Miguel]
Abstract: “This article reports an
…libertarianism? ‘Apparently someone’s curse worked: we live in interesting times, and among other consequences, for no good reason we have a surplus of libertarians. With this article I hope to help keep the demand low, or at least to explain to libertarian correspondents why they don’t impress me with comments like “You sure love letting people steal your money!” ‘ The Mutaverse [via Walker; thanks!]
Rumble of a Coming Ice Age: “A remarkable change in the waters of the North Atlantic has thrown what one leading oceanographer is calling a “curve ball” into thinking that the planet will gradually warm due to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Instead, there is a real possibility that global warming may soon trigger the sudden onset of an ice age that could last hundreds of years.” National Post [via Red Rock Eaters]
Place, Morality, and Art in Human Worlds
by Ciarán Benson:
”Wherever you are you are right now having the experience of being somewhere: here. Sometime: now. Someone: you” (Kolak, 1999). Being located somewhere and its bearing on the sense of self identity is the main theme of Benson’s Cultural Psychology of Self. He suggests that self is a locative system with both evolutionary and cultural antecedents. He relies on the idea that body’s very structure shapes our conceptual systems in important ways and that one of these influences in the creation of centredness constitutive of self as being a primary means for navigating human worlds. The understanding of the identity of self as a woven narrative is a central claim of cultural psychology of selfhood.
“Our bodies are designed for people who used to walk 20 miles each day looking for food and water”, says Professor Randolph Nesse.
People become ill because their bodies are unable to cope with the pressures of modern Western life, according to a leading scientist.
Professor Randolph Nesse believes that conditions like heart disease, obesity and drug abuse can all be explained by the fact that the human body was not designed for the 21st Century.
He suggests many serious illnesses occur because the human body has failed to evolve and is still designed for a much simpler existence.
Dr Nesse, who is professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, is one of the leading proponents of evolutionary or Darwinian medicine.
Mind-control trials were the secret inspiration: “Anthony Burgess was inspired to write his most famous novel A Clockwork Orange by his real-life involvement in CIA-run mind-control experiments, a new biography claims.
The revelations, published next month, come as the controversial film version gets its first mainstream British television screening.” Independent UK
Redheads may be more resistant to anesthesia, study finds: “A new study suggests people with naturally red hair need about 20 percent more anesthesia than patients with other hair colors.” The Nando Times
A Word for Brainy People: “…(M)ost scientists believe that a neuron stuck in a boring brain will also die. So keeping your cranial neuron colony frisky but relaxed seems to be the key to successful living and aging.” Wired
United Nations Security Council Resolutions Currently Being Violated by Countries Other than Iraq; there are an extimated 91 being violated by countries other than Iraq. Test yourself: what country or countries do you expect to be at the top of the list? “This raises serious questions regarding the Bush administration’s insistence that it is motivated by a duty to preserve the credibility of the United Nations, particularly since the vast majority of the governments violating UN Security Council resolutions are close allies of the United States.” Foreign Policy in Focus
“It’s the hottest newest game in Hollywood and top mathematicians are playing it too. The new world record holder is a professor from Columbia University, and there is speculation that Gwyneth Paltrow might be on the verge of becoming a major player who could steal the champion’s crown. Welcome to the exclusive world of the Erdos-Bacon number game.”
Celebrity Stock Exchange: “Celebdaq is the new online share trading game, where you can buy and sell shares in the hottest celebrities.
Watch the papers for your chosen celebs: the more press they get, the more they pay out.” BBC
“Zombie brains could soon become a powerful tool for drug developers. A biotech company has developed a way to keep slices of living brain tissue alive for weeks, allowing researchers to study the effect of chemicals on entire neural networks, not just individual cells.” EurekAlert!
“A century after their first sighting by Europeans, central Africa’s mountain gorillas are slowly increasing. Despite fears that they faced imminent extinction, the gorillas’ numbers have risen by nearly 9% in 13 years. Conservationists say a vital way to protect them is by attracting more tourists. They believe the gorillas can help to rebuild the economies of the war-shattered countries where they live.” BBC
Christopher Hitchens reviews Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy
by Matthew Scully:
There is a certain culture of humor in the speechwriting division of the Bush Administration—a culture that involves a mild form of hazing. For example, David Frum, the Canadian Jewish neo-conservative who helped to originate the phrase “axis of evil,” was tasked with writing the welcoming address for the first White House Ramadan dinner. And last Thanksgiving, when the jokey annual ritual of the presidential turkey pardon came rolling around with the same mirthless inevitability as Groundhog Day, the job of penning the words of executive clemency on the eve of mass turkey slaughter was given to Matthew Scully, the only principled vegetarian on the team. Scully is a Roman Catholic, a former editor at National Review, and, I should add, a friendly Washington acquaintance of mine. He left his job in the executive mansion to forward this passionate piece of advocacy. Who can speak for the dumb? A man who has had to answer this question on behalf of the President himself is now stepping forward on behalf of the truly voiceless. The Atlantic
The Classics According to Kenneth Rexroth:
“Rexroth (1905-1982) was a poet and essayist, an influence on the spread of Beat poetry (though not a Beat himself), and a student of languages. His translations of Chinese and Japanese poetry make many beautiful poems accessible to those of us who only know English.
In a series of short essays, he reviewed the classics of world literature from his perspective, which valued art for its involvement with living human beings. In 1985 and 1989, New Directions published 101 of these essays in two paperback volumes, titled Classics Revisited (NDP621, ISBN 0-8112-0988-1) and More Classics Revisited (NDP668, ISBN 0-8112-1083-9). …
In my opinion, publishers of the works that Rexroth recommends should subsidize these two books, and give them away free. And put them on the Web.
…Rexroth’s essays are fascinating, and the reading list is as rewarding as it is challenging. (And you will be appalled at how hard it is to find many of these works in public libraries.) The essays concerning the individual works or authors are the main attraction in these two books, but the introduction to Classics Revisited is also interesting, describing what makes the classics classic. I have provided the entire copyrighted Introduction; please don’t sue me; I mean well.
I have (also provided) a combined list in (approximate) chronological order (the years are not in the original reviews).”