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April, 2016


Expressions of the people

We have not ended up where we began, with democracy. Our institutions of government, business of lawmaking, and notions about successful popular rule do not resemble all that closely the storied originals from Athens. The broad outlines of democracy are certainly still here—elections occur; liberty and rights are invoked—but democracy’s substance has changed. Democracy has become an expression, an imposition, even, of the self over other selves. It is not a call to order—it’s an impassioned cry. Twenty20 License The foregoing are not stated premises of Victoria Coates’s new book, David’s Sling: A History of Democracy in Ten Works of Art, butRead More

When our reason is hijacked by an uncontrollable urge

What made the acclaimed American writer David Foster Wallace doubt his talent so profoundly — and, ultimately, take his own life? Why would a university president make obscene phone calls to prospective babysitters? How can we understand a beloved comic actor who relentlessly consumes cocaine, endangering himself, his family and his career? In his ambitious but problematic new book, “Capture,” David A. Kessler — a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner and a retired medical school dean at Yale and the University of California at San Francisco — tries to answer these questions. “What happens when our rational minds feelRead More

America incarcerates but doesn’t rehabilitate

To learn more, read “Help ex-inmates lead productive lives,” by Gerard Robinson. Source: New AEI Feed America incarcerates but doesn’t rehabilitate

The Zika virus threat: Scott Gottlieb on CNBC’s ‘Power Lunch’

Source: New AEI Feed The Zika virus threat: Scott Gottlieb on CNBC’s ‘Power Lunch’

Feinstein-Burr encryption bill is too clever by half

A couple of weeks ago, in response to the FBI versus Apply fight over an encrypted iPhone, US Senators Diane Feinstein and Richard Burr released a draft of their legislation titled, “Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016.” The reaction to the proposed legislation has been all over the map, with some lambasting the legislation as “ludicrous, dangerous, technically illiterate.” I actually think the Burr-Feinstein bill is as clever as it is underhanded. Nevertheless, this legislation is dangerous. Encryption, while used by terrorists, also protects everyday Americans. Mandated backdoors will make your private information more vulnerable to hacking, will drive tech companiesRead More

Getting Realpolitik

This article will be published in the May 9 edition of the Weekly Standard. A good historian is inevitably a revisionist. Why write if you have nothing new to offer? But of course, not all revisionists are good historians. Whole forests have been cut down in the name of publishing some novel insight that obscures the past rather than enlightens. John Bew, a professor in the War Studies Department of King’s College, London, is a revisionist for sure but one whose works never fail to deepen knowledge of the past. In 2012 Bew published Castlereagh: A Life. Rapidly received asRead More