From Newsweek: ‘Singh’s War, No Mercy For The Maoists’

Full article here.

So, how do you prevent growing tribal grievances and anger by the people left out of India’s recent economic growth from becoming support for the violent and revolutionary hard left..?

“This time, India has to get the mix right. For the tribal people, there will soon be opportunities; for the Maoists, there will be no mercy.”

See Also On This Site:  Martha Nussbaum In Dissent–Violence On The Left: Nandigram And The Communists Of West Bengal

So, where did Marx get his ideas, anyways?  Peter Singer discusses Hegel and Marx

A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty”

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From Althouse: ‘The Atrocity That Is Empire State Plaza’

Full post here. (with photos)

Of course, it may not be an atrocity in your opinion (and could be quite nice), but it is presented as a top down, anaesthetic, or compromised aesthetic, piece of architecture placed there by the government in the name of the people…regardless of what came before.

It reminded me of Brasilia:  Brasilia: A Planned City

Also On This Site:  Roger Scruton In The City Journal: Cities For Living–Is Modernism Dead?

Le Corbusier’s work here, examples of Modern Architecture here.

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Nicolas Lemann At The Chronicle Of Higher Ed: ‘Journalism Schools Can Push Coverage Beyond Breaking News’

Full article here.

As you may have noticed, the economic models that sustained traditional media are in serious trouble.  The technology is now available to publish and communicate ideas much more cheaply.

Nicolas Lemann argues that the vital work of keeping citizens informed about how and what their government does and how their society actually functions (how would you achieve this second goal, anyways…through compulsory education?) is always necessary, and can be explored further by journalism schools like his at Columbia.

“Journalism schools not only can replace the original reporting capability that news organizations have lost, but also can raise the level of sophistication in the practice of journalism.

A new curriculum can be forged out of the current circumstances that can be a win-win for journalism students and the communities they live within:

“Like teaching hospitals, journalism schools can provide essential services to their communities while they are educating their students.”

That could work…at least he’s thinking on his feet.

Also On This Site: Bill Virgin says newspapers built up their value, and slowly let it die: From The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Via Sound Politics: Why Did The PI Die?..Who Reads The Newspapers?

Two previous two posts which might have some links of interest:  From The New Yorker: Malcolm Gladwell’s “Priced To Sell”From The Becker-Posner Blog: The Future Of Newspapers.

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Leslie Gelb At The Daily Beast: ‘The Secret Details Of Obama’s Afghan Plan’

Full post here.

On the ‘secret details’ of what will likely be the new Obama plan:

“His goal up to now has been to “defeat” al Qaeda. The new mission: to “dismantle and degrade” the terrorists.”

So he’s sending 30,000 to 36,000 new troops over the next year, with maybe up to 10,000 after that…which is close to what McChrystal wanted…

“The strategy to govern the employment of these forces, Mr. Obama is expected to say, will be much like the counterinsurgency approach he originally approved back in March—the approach McChrystal reaffirmed in his recent “secret” leaked report. That means clearing areas and holding them with military force, followed by civilian and economic programs.”

Half-hearted compromise…a pragmatic, well-considered strategic re-allignment?  And what about Pakistan?:

“It’s unclear at the moment just how tough Obama will be with Pakistan. In effect, Islamabad has provided a safe haven for Afghan Taliban for more than a decade as a hedge against Indian encroachments into Afghanistan.”

We do know that the Karzai government is badly corrupt.  We know it’s likely that any Afghan government would likely have to overcome many, many hurdles (including the long process of education and peace enough for economic development, a war-torn infrastructure) to overcome that corruption.  At the end of the day what the Afghans chose (despite all the mitigating factors, which are many, and whose lives our choices affect) will be up to them.

It’s reasonable to have concerns about sending more troops, and wonder how to use force judiciously.

We also know that there are some followers of Islam who are willing to plan, plot and carry out violent, terror attacks in the name of their cause and their religion.  They are part of a loosely affiliated global network, which can take the discontent of young Muslims in Muslim countries and some in the West ( and there are many peace loving Muslims who find themselves with nothing but difficult choices…and do not follow this path) and lash out against real and perceived injustices.

Feel free to comment and highlight my ignorance.

Related On This Site:  From Bloomberg: More Troops To Afghanistan? A Memo From Henry Kissinger To Gerald Ford?From The NY Times Video: ‘A Schoolgirl’s Odyssey’From The WSJ: Graham, Lieberman and McCain “Only Decisive Force Can Prevail In AfghanistanFrom Commonweal: Andrew Bacevich “The War We Can’t Win: Afghanistan And The Limits Of American Power”

See Also:  Philip Bobbitt Discusses His Book ‘Terror And Consent’ On Bloggingheads

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From KeithHenessey.Com: ‘The House-Passed Bill’s Effects On Health Insurance Coverage’

Full post here.

Surely you trust our government to control health-care costs by potentially extending coverage to 30 million new people…

Thanks to a friend for the link.

We’ll have to see how this plays out.

Another link sent to me:  Why am I complaining?  The health care bill meets many health care economist projections…this isn’t a intellectually confused left come into power and vastly expanding the role of government…it’s in the best centrist tradition to rein in our jerry-rigged system and control costs…:  Ron Brownstein at the Atlantic:  A Milestone In The Health-Care Journey.

Sure, if you say so…

Also On This Site:  From Clive Crook: Is Health Care Reform On Track?From The New Yorker: Atul Gawande On Health Care-”The Cost Conundrum”

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Cathy Young At Reason: The Rise Of Communist Nostalgia

Full article here.

Young suggests that for some East Germans recalling Communism:

“According to an analysis in the German magazine Spiegel, what drives this rose-colored view—shared by many young people who barely remember life under communism—is a peculiar sense of pride and humiliation.”

We’ve all moved on Young seems to be arguing, and it’s important to point out the problems we do have and attempt to define them. Perhaps Young, much like Fukuyama, thinks that the overall trend is toward progress and liberal democracy, and that few who lived under communism regimes would really go back:

Communist nostalgia is overrated. But, recalling the fall of the Berlin Wall, one does feel nostalgia for a time when one could celebrate an uncomplicated victory of good over evil.”

Also On This Site:  Would some at the NY Times agree?:  From CATO: ‘New York Times “Celebrates” The Fall Of The Berlin Wall’From The Christian Science Monitor Via A & L Daily: An Interview With Francis Fukuyama, Obama’s Decision On Missile Defense And A Quote From Robert Kagan’s: ‘The Return Of History And The End Of Dreams’

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Repost-Roger Scruton on Kant: A Response To Hume?

“It is a common empiricist assumption that I can know my experience simply by observing it. But this is not so. I do not observe my experience, but only its object. Any knowledge of experience must therefore involve knowledge of its object. But I can have knowledge of the object only if I can identify it as continous. Nothing can have temporal continuity without also having the capacity to exist when unobserved. Its existence is therefore independent of my perception.”

-Roger Scruton here.

This is part of a brief summary of Kant’s transcendental deduction, of which Scruton later says:

“It is fair to say that the transcendental deduction has never been considered to provide a satisfactory argument (boldface mine). In all its versions it involves a transition from the unity of consciousness to the identity of the subject through time. Hume pointed out that the slide from unity to identity is involved in all our claims to objective knowledge; he also thought that it could never be justified. Kant did not find the terms with which to answer Hume.”

Also On This Site:  A Few Responses To Kant’s Transcendental IdealismLink To An Ayn Rand Paper: The Objectivist Attack On KantA Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty”

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From The City Journal Via Arts & Letters Daily: ‘Who Needs Mathematicians For Math, Anyway?’

Full article here.

In the City Journal,  you know some of what to expect:  we’ve moved away from our best moral and intellectual traditions in favor of excessive egalitarianism.   Some of the culprits are on the political left and they need to be stopped.

“Some influential educators sought to dismiss the traditional curriculum altogether, viewing it as a white, Christian, heterosexual-male product that unjustly valorized rational, abstract, and categorical thinking over the associative, experience-based, and emotion-laden thinking supposedly more congenial to females and certain minorities.”

This, of course, has some truth to it.  There are a large mass of educrats and vague-thinking do-gooders who can end up seeking a set of political, social and educational goals instead of well…math:

“The math educators’ rising influence over the last few decades is reflected in the content of, or response to, two influential national reports.”

You’ll have to click on the link for those reports.

I would also argue that there seem to be a set of social, cultural and economic reasons that at least India and China (and at least right now) have an advantage. These reasons tie learning mathematics (as the basis for the sciences at least) with a good job and social respect…money…family and national pride…a way out of poverty…a way to get married…etc.

Some will doomsay, but these are very real and difficult problems.

Also On This Site: A Shortage Of Skilled American Workers At Microsoft?

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From The Atlantic Wire: ‘Ambassador’s Cable Prompts Afghan Strategy Shift’

Full post here.

“U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry sent two cables to the White House last week urging against deploying more troops. The cables come at the last moments of President Obama’s deliberation on strategy in Afghanistan.”


“Eikenberry’s request puts him at odds with General Stanley McChrystal, the current top commander in Afghanistan, who is seeking 40,000 or more troops for an aggressive counterinsurgency strategy. Many pundits had argued that Obama should follow whatever strategy his military commanders request.

I’d like to think that the long delay in making a decision had some strategic component to it…

Matthew Hoh’s resignation here.

Stanley McChrystal’s original report here.

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