New York Times

The Neocon Paradox

  • By
  • Robert Wright,
  • New America Foundation
April 24, 2007 |

Neoconservatives have been airing an explanation for the failure of the Iraq war that’s so obvious you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself: the war wasn’t neoconservative enough.

Last week Richard Perle, on The Charlie Rose Show, echoed what his fellow neocon John Bolton told the BBC last month: We should have turned Iraq over to the Iraqis much sooner. Then, presumably, the power of democracy to blossom pronto in even nutrient-depleted soil -- the neocon elan vital -- would have kicked in.

New York Times Quotes Jeffrey Lewis on China Missile Test

April 22, 2007

WASHINGTON, April 22 — After a Chinese interceptor smashed into a target satellite in January, Bush administration officials criticized the test as a destabilizing development.

It was the first successful demonstration of an antisatellite missile by any country in more than 20 years. Pentagon officials warned that the test had increased the threat to American satellites. Space experts fretted that it had spawned a cloud of orbiting debris. American diplomats complained to their counterparts in Beijing.

Why Darwinism Isn't Depressing

  • By
  • Robert Wright,
  • New America Foundation
April 22, 2007 |

Scientists have discovered that love is truth.

Granted, no scientist has put it quite like that. In fact, when scientists talk about love -- the neurochemistry, the evolutionary origins -- they make it sound unlovely.

More broadly, our growing grasp of the biology behind our thoughts and feelings has some people downhearted. One commentator recently acknowledged the ascendancy of the Darwinian paradigm with a sigh: "Evolution doesn't really lead to anything outside itself."

E-Mail and Prozac

  • By
  • Robert Wright,
  • New America Foundation
April 17, 2007 |

I have a theory: the more e-mail there is, the more Prozac there will be, and the more Prozac there is, the more e-mail there will be. Maybe I should explain.

Twenty millenniums ago, communication was simple. Utterances were usefully accompanied by nonverbal cues: tone of voice, facial expression, nudging your fellow hunter-gatherer in the ribs upon reaching a punch line.

Shock Talk Without Apologies

  • By
  • Robert Wright,
  • New America Foundation
April 14, 2007 |

There has to be an Imus event every once in a while. Ethnicity being the volatile thing it is, gratuitously inflammatory remarks have to be discouraged, so bounds of acceptable speech have to be clarified. Clarity comes when, inevitably, someone oversteps and gets slapped down.

Maybe this particular boundary could have been clarified with less punishment, given how abjectly Don Imus has apologized. Still, there had to be a price, and, compared with the prices paid in some multiethnic societies (remember Yugoslavia?), this is a bargain.

New York Times Quotes Michael Dannenberg on Sallie Mae Settlement

April 12, 2007

Sallie Mae, the nation’s largest lender to college students, agreed yesterday to pay $2 million to settle an investigation by the New York attorney general’s office and said it would close down student call centers it has run for college financial aid offices.

Making The U.N. Look Good

  • By
  • Robert Wright,
  • New America Foundation
April 11, 2007 |

The United Nations. Among mainstream American political thinkers, those three words elicit reactions that run the gamut from deep antipathy to less deep antipathy. O.K., I’m overstating the case. Many liberals will go all the way to deep ambivalence, and some venture further.

Still, even defenders of the institution can’t seem to start a defense of it without half-apologizing and ritually reciting its structural flaws.

An Easter Sermon

  • By
  • Robert Wright,
  • New America Foundation
April 7, 2007 |

Jesus knew viral marketing.

In the Gospel of Mark, the disciple John complains that nondisciples are selling bootlegged copies of Jesus’ miraculous powers. ‘‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.”

Jesus tells John to quit obsessing about the intellectual property and to focus on getting the brand out. ‘‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.” Jesus adds, ‘‘Whoever is not against us is for us.”

N.Y. Times Credits New America with Breaking Fontana Scandal

April 6, 2007

A senior official at the federal Education Department sold more than $100,000 in shares in a student loan company even as he was helping oversee lenders in the federal student loan program.

The official, Matteo Fontana, now general manager in a unit of the Office of Federal Student Aid, was identified yesterday from government documents as a stakeholder in the parent company of Student Loan Xpress who sold shares in 2003...

N.Y. Times Quotes Michael Dannenberg on Student Loan Xpress Scandal

April 5, 2007

The directors of financial aid at Columbia University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Southern California held shares in a student loan company that each of the universities recommends to student borrowers, and in at least two cases profited handsomely.

Syndicate content