New York Times

The Two-Year Solution

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
June 1, 2007 |

With the new immigration package already beginning to unravel, it would be wonderful if we could find one element of reform that everyone involved in the immigration debate can agree on.

Here’s my candidate: lower the residency requirement for legal immigrants who seek to become citizens from five years to two.

New York Times Highlights New America's Energy Efficiency Symposium

May 17, 2007

Energy saving opportunities in American homes are immense with current technology, but new product standard mandates will be needed, according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute.

The research group’s study... concludes that projected electricity consumption in residential buildings in the United States in 2020 could be reduced by more than a third if compact fluorescent light bulbs and an array of other high-efficiency options including water heaters, kitchen appliances, room-insulation materials and standby power were adopted across the nation.

Everybody's a Liberal

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
April 29, 2007 |

Since the 1960s, political debate in the United States has been dominated by ideologies of the right: fusionist conservatism, libertarianism, the religious right, neoconservatism. Center-left political thought, when it has not simply rationalized the demands of Democratic Party constituencies, has tended to be academic and remote from politics. In recent years, however, center-left intellectuals including Bruce Ackerman, William Galston, John E. Schwarz and Michael Tomasky have sought to define a body of principles that could inform a practical liberal politics.

Planet of the Apes

  • By
  • Robert Wright,
  • New America Foundation
April 27, 2007 |

This week the mystery deepened: Why no space aliens?

On Tuesday, scientists reported finding the most “Earthlike” planet ever, Gliese 581c. Its sun is cooler than ours, but also closer, so Gliese is in that climatic comfort zone conducive to water -- hence to life, hence to evolution, hence to intelligent beings with advanced technology. Yet they never phone.

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.

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