From The New Criterion: ‘Christopher, for better & for worse’

Full piece here.

Peter Collier offers a remembrance:

‘But the memoir gives solid hints about the elements of his composition: the adventure books for boys that made him a Romantic; first encounters on the Darwinian English schoolyard where he, a small boy deficient in physicality (sports was always near the top of his hate list along with God and Israel) learned that words were the best fists; independent socialist politics that left him with what he once called, apropos of Saul Bellow, a “trotskisant dialectic” even after his days as a self-identified leftist were over; the decision to cultivate a droll Wodehousian side to go along with the moralistic Rosa Luxemburgian one’

Related On This SiteRelated On This Site:  Via Youtube: Christopher Hitchens On Faith And Virtue……From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’From Michael Totten: ‘An Interview With Christopher Hitchens’

From ABC News: ‘Afghans Lob Grenades at US Base, Clash With Police’

Full piece here.

I doubt the public apology from the President will have the intended effect.  Maybe advise and assist was just a cover for withdrawal, a bump on the road to the currently planned way out.  There is a high likelihood of leaving Afghanistan much as we found it:  very poor and tribal, wracked by conflict, and a strategic backyard for other interests.  The Taliban and other militia groups could gain back political control, making it hard to have enough political stability for greater economic opportunity (the Chinese will likely just take what they need, capitalizing on our efforts).  A space for terrorist activity could appear again which neither the Jirgas nor the current Afghan government would have incentive/interest enough to stop, even if they could.

Tom Ricks offers a possibly new strategy, but the underlying logic remains: no sitting U.S. President can allow a place where known terrorists have safe haven to plot and carry out attacks on our soil, without taking some action.

Related On This Site: This blog is at least two years behind events in Afghanistan, if it’s on them at all. From March 27th, 2009 At WhiteHouse.Gov: Remarks By The President On A New Strategy For Afghanistan And PakistanStephen Biddle At Foreign Affairs: ‘Running Out Of Time For Afghan Governance Reform’

Repost-From Michael Yon: ‘The Battle For Kandahar’Dexter Filkins Book On Afghanistan And Iraq: “The Forever War”Monday Quotations-Henry Kissinger

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From The Hoover Institution: ‘Nature Fakery’

Full piece here.

Our author points out two myths underlying the environmental movement. The topic is hot given the influence of the Greens on our politics at the moment:

‘The Noble Savage is that inhabitant of a simpler world whose life harmonizes with his natural surroundings. He does not need government or law, for he has no private property, and hence no desire for wealth or status, nor for their byproducts, crime and war. His existence is peaceful, free from conflict and strife. He takes from nature only what he needs, and needs only what he takes’

On this site see Roger Sandall in Australia: ….Roger Sandall At The New Criterion Via The A & L Daily: ‘Aboriginal Sin’Roger Sandall At The American Interest: ‘Tribal Realism’

Also, our author argues:

‘The myth of the Golden Age, which the West has inherited from Ancient Greece, is another idealization of the lost simplicity of living in a complex society. This myth imagines a time before cities and technology, when humans lived intimately with a benevolent nature that provided for their needs and for lives of leisure, health, and happiness, free as they were from the unnatural desires and appetites created by civilization’

As posted on this site previously:

I would offer that there are many to whom environmentalism serves as a kind of religion.  On this view, man has fallen away from Nature, and built civilized society atop it through harmful, unsustainable means.  He must atone, and get back in harmony with Nature, as he has alienated himself from his once graceful state (tribal? romantically primitive? collectively just? equal and fair? healthy?  ”spiritually aware?” morally good?).

Related On This Site:  Did Jared Diamond get attacked for not being romantic enough…or just for potential hubris?:  Was he acting as a journalist in Papua New-Guinea?:  From The Chronicle Of Higher Education: Jared Diamond’s Lawsuit

Instead of global green governance, what about a World Leviathan…food for thought, and a little frightening: At Bloggingheads Steven Pinker Discusses War And Thomas Hobbes

Ronald Bailey At Reason: ‘Delusional in Durban’A Few Links On Environmentalism And LibertyFrom George Monbiot: ‘How Freedom Became Tyranny’…people who argue the earth is warming sure don’t live like it:From The American Spectator: ‘Environmentalism and the Leisure Class’

Repost-‘Philip Brand Reviews Kay Hymowitz At Real Clear Books: ‘Women on Top, Men at the Bottom’

Full review here.

Man-children?  A war against men? The products of feminism?  An erosion of religious values?:

‘The thrust of Manning Up is different. In her new book, Hymowitz puts economic conditions first — along with the increasing professional accomplishments of women. Preadulthood, she says, is “an adjustment to huge shifts in the economy, one that makes a college education essential to achieving or maintaining a middle-class life.” 

That’s preadulthood for men:

Preadulthood — most common among men in their twenties, though it can easily extend to one’s thirties and beyond — is a consequence of two related economic trends that are reshaping the coming-of-age experience for young Americans, both men and women. The first trend is the extended period of training — college and beyond — deemed necessary to succeed in the modern economy. The second trend is women’s participation and flourishing in the new economy.’

Related On This SiteFrom Will Wilkinson-A Response To Kay Hymowitz: ‘The “Menaissance” and Its Dickscontents’Kay Hymowitz In The The City Journal: Love In The Time Of DarwinismKay Hymowitz In The City Journal: Child-Man In The Promised Land?Kay Hymowitz At The City Journal: ‘How Brooklyn Got Its Groove Back’

From The Chronicle Of Higher Ed Via A & L Daily: Christina Hoff Sommers “Persistent Myths In Feminist Scholarship”Wendy Kaminer At The Atlantic: ‘Sexual Harassment And The Loneliness Of The Civil Libertarian Feminist’

Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

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From PhysOrg: ‘New Research On Japanese Quake Ominous For Pacific Northwest’

Full piece here.

‘The longest record for a subduction zone is from Cascadia, where scientists have linked buried marshes and submarine landslides with a series of about 22 megaquake quakes going back 10,000 years. The time between quakes ranges from 200 to 1,000 years, with an average of about 500 years’

Related On This Site:  The last big Cascadia subduction zone earthquake likely occurred on Jan 27th, 1700, at magnitude 9.0. The article suggests an occurence anywhere from 300-350 year intervals up to 400-600 year average intervals (new research suggests the former). It’s just over 311 years and counting.

USGS info here.  Some earthquake preparedness FAQ’s also from the USGS.

From The USGS: February 14th, 2011 Earthquake Near Mt. St. Helens-4.3Seattle Earthquake-January 30th 2009-4.5 On The Richter ScaleFrom The Seattle Times: ‘Hard Lessons Learned Since The 2001 Nisqually Quake’From OregonLive.Com: ‘Big Earthquake Coming Sooner Than We Thought, Oregon Geologist Says

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Repost-‘From Jaltcoh: ‘Do Addicts Have Self-Control?’

Full post here.

Addiction is a disease?  Our author reviews a few reviews and discusses the following fallacy:

1. A certain behavioral/mental problem — call it “X” — is associated with brain activity in ways that can be observed and predicted.

2. Therefore, the solution to “X” must take the form of psychiatric/medical assistance; the solution cannot be individual free choice. (Indeed, even invoking that concept may be detrimental.)

There are other potential consequences:

‘…Satel also says that the people who came up with the idea that addiction is a disease and is incompatible with self-control were motivated by political and financial concerns (and probably emotional impulses)’

Worth pointing out.

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From The New Republic: ‘A Tour Of Egypt’s Half-Finished Revolution’

Full piece here.

‘There is a correlation, I’ve noticed, between the volume of mosques’ loudspeakers in a country and its radical Islamists’ ambitions and aggressive claims to power. Thirty-three years ago, one of the first hints of rising religious despotism in Iran was the sudden increase in the volume of loudspeakers in every neighborhood mosque. Piety was no longer private and voluntary, but public and mandatory.’

Related On This SiteJames Kirchik At The American Interest: ‘Egyptian Liberals Against the Revolution’