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Current Topic: Society

'Spying on the Bomb,' by Jeffrey T. Richelson
Topic: Society 9:19 am EST, Mar 26, 2006

Jeffrey T. Richelson's history of American nuclear intelligence, including our attempts to learn about Iraq's nuclear program, could hardly be more timely.

In "Spying on the Bomb," Richelson has brought together a huge amount of information about Washington's efforts to track the nuclear weapons projects of other countries.

This may sound like heavy going, but Richelson writes with admirable clarity. And along the way he has fascinating stories to tell.

'Spying on the Bomb,' by Jeffrey T. Richelson

'America at the Crossroads,' by Francis Fukuyama
Topic: Society 9:19 am EST, Mar 26, 2006

His resignation seems to me, in any case, a fairly notable event, as these things go, and that is because, among the neoconservative intellectuals, Fukuyama has surely been the most imaginative, the most playful in his thinking and the most ambitious. Then again, something about his departure may express a larger mood among the political intellectuals just now, not only on the right. For in the zones of liberalism and the left, as well, any number of people have likewise stood up in these post-9/11 times to accuse their oldest comrades of letting down the cause, and doors have slammed, and The Nation magazine has renamed itself The Weekly Purge.

Nowadays, if you are any kind of political thinker at all, and you haven't issued a sweeping denunciation of your dearest friends, or haven't been hanged by them from a lamppost -- why, the spirit of the age has somehow passed you by.

'America at the Crossroads,' by Francis Fukuyama

Cellphones in Flight? This Means War!
Topic: Society 9:19 am EST, Mar 26, 2006

there is a decision pending within the bowels of the federal government that may be the single most incomprehensibly wrongheaded decision of the century. It's small when compared with Iraq, but it's still maddening. It involves allowing passengers to talk on their cellphones while they are in flight.

Cellphones in Flight? This Means War!

A Momentary Pause
Topic: Society 9:19 am EST, Mar 26, 2006

In the country it's easy to find yourself leaning forward all through the year, always waiting on the next season, getting through your life as though you were walking into a stiff wind. This is one of those days when I catch myself in that posture — pitched forward into the gale of time. So I'll try to slow down and straighten up. I'll walk down to the barnyard later this morning and fix the gate on the horse corral, which has sagged since the warm weather last month. It should be good for another year once I am done.

A Momentary Pause

Bill O'Reilly's Baroque Period
Topic: Society 8:01 pm EST, Mar 25, 2006

When O’Reilly’s day has passed, though, he certainly will have left a lasting stamp on cable news, which is increasingly a medium of outsize, super-opinionated franchise personalities. It is hard to remember, without taking a minute to think about it, who delivers the morning and evening news on the cable networks, or who the main reporters are. Cable is not a medium for providing information, and it is not going to become one anytime soon. Cable is the world that Bill O’Reilly made. National politics will change long before that does.

Bill O'Reilly's Baroque Period

Classy Economist
Topic: Society 8:01 pm EST, Mar 25, 2006

Thomas Sowell's excuse for limiting interviews to an hour is that it helps him "avoid stress." But one suspects the real reason is that he has better uses for his time than to humor nettlesome journalists.

Classy Economist

Foreign policy | How to go global |
Topic: Society 8:01 pm EST, Mar 25, 2006

Between the lines of the new security strategy and the Pentagon's earlier Quadrennial Defence Review is a recognition that military force is not going to be the most useful means to achieve what Ms Rice has called “a balance of power that favours freedom”. America fully intends to remain the world's pre-eminent military power. But the most thoughtful talk now is of more coherent diplomacy, with soldiers and diplomats working more closely both in conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction. And this from a team that used to insist, disparagingly, that America didn't “do windows” (or, as others would put it, nation-building).

Above all, allies are back in vogue.

Foreign policy | How to go global |

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