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Articles of Interest     

These are miscellaneous articles of interest to me.


Thanks for the Memories, Saddam
(See more such movies at BushFlash.com)

Articles relating to AdCult
Articles relating to Poland and Polonia
Articles relating to religious enthusiasms
Lincoln Park

February 20, 2005
In Secretly Taped Conversations, Glimpses of the Future President: As George W. Bush was first moving onto the national political stage, he often turned for advice to an old friend who secretly taped some of their private conversations, creating a rare record of the future president as a politician and a personality. more...

February 20, 2005
Europe United Is Good, Isn't It?: The 25-nation European Union weighs in with $11 trillion in economic output, roughly on par with the United States, and a currency so strong that the euro may one day replace the dollar as the principal means of exchange. more...

January 25, 2005
Uruguay Ranked Third Among Nations Protecting the Environment: Countries from Northern and Central Europe and South America dominated the top spots in the 2005 index of environmental sustainability, which ranks nations on their success at such tasks as maintaining or improving air and water quality, maximizing biodiversity and cooperating with other countries on environmental problems. more...

January 18, 2005
American Awful – Is This Any Way to Treat People? Fox's hugely popular search for the next singing sensation is a series of vicious encounters between hopeful but pathetically untalented young people and celebrity judges being paid to make fun of them. more...

January 18, 2005
This Is Your Brain on Politics: Patterns of brain activity, made visible on the f.M.R.I.'s, suggest that both Bush and Kerry voters were mentally battling their attraction to the other side. more...

January 16, 2005
All the President's Newsmen: The Bush administration has placed a number of fake news reports on television. At least two Government Accountability Office investigations have found that these Orwellian stunts violated federal law that prohibits "covert propaganda" purchased with taxpayers' money. But now we have the first case in which a well-known talking head has been recruited as the public face for the fake news. more...

January 13, 2005
Supreme Court Transforms Use of Sentence Guidelines: The Supreme Court on Wednesday transformed federal criminal sentencing by restoring to judges much of the discretion that Congress took away 21 years ago when it put sentencing guidelines in place and told judges to follow them. more...

January 2, 2005
The Meek Shall Inherit the Bill: n calling for an overhaul of Social Security, which faces a huge potential shortfall, Mr. Bush has chosen to address an issue that many politicians would like to postpone discussing for as long as possible. more...

January 2, 2005
Labor Board's Detractors See a Bias Against Workers: The Republican-dominated National Labor Relations Board has made it more difficult for temporary workers to unionize and for unions to obtain financial information from companies during contract talks. more...

January 1, 2005
Terminating Spyware With Extreme Prejudice: The end of the year is a time when people sit down, rethink their priorities and sometimes change their ways. Some quit smoking. Others join a gym. I chose to erase my hard drive and reinstall my operating system. more...

January 1, 2005
The Ends of the World as We Know Them: With the United States seemingly at the height of its power and at the start of a new presidential term, Americans are increasingly concerned and divided about where we are going. How long can America remain ascendant? Where will we stand 10 years from now, or even next year? more...

December 31, 2004
At Leak Inquiry's Center, a Circumspect Columnist: A federal judge has ordered two reporters to jail for refusing to name their sources to a grand jury. Robert Novak, whose column identifying the officer set off this showdown, has been under increasing pressure to explain his role, but he determinedly maintains his own counsel. more...

December 21, 2004
Dollars for Democracy?: U.S. Aid to Ukraine Challenged: The Bush administration insists that its effort to influence the conduct of the Ukrainian election is nonpartisan. But teaching the principles of democracy to citizens in a semi-authoritarian system may, on its face, work to empower the government's opponents. more...

December 21, 2004
A Snappy Slogan? In German? Don't Smile. Try English.: How to explain the "Denglish" (German English) verbs – smalltalken, brunchen, mailen, floppen, managen, abcoolen and many others? For better or worse, they are simply in vogue. more...

December 19, 2004
New Computer? Six Steps to Safer Surfing: Attacks by viruses, worms, spyware and browser hijackers can be prevented with some initial effort. It's completely feasible to put a computer on the Internet -- even one running Windows, the most attacked, least secure operating system around -- and never suffer a single successful attack. more...

December 19, 2004
2004: The Year of 'The Passion': When even phenomena as innocuous as Oscar nominations or the lighting of a Christmas tree can be inflated into divisive religious warfare, it's only a matter of time before someone uncovers an anti-Christian plot in "White Christmas." more...

December 14, 2004
What's New in the Legal World? A Growing Campaign to Undo the New Deal: Many conservatives are nostalgic for pre-1937 doctrines, which they have lately taken to calling the Constitution-in-Exile. They argue - at conferences like "Rolling Back the New Deal" and in papers like "Was the New Deal Constitutional?" - that Congress lacks the power to do things like forcing employers to participate in Social Security. more...

December 13, 2004
Strain Is Seen in Giuliani Ties With President: What's the real story behind the withdrawal of the nomination of Bernard B. Kerik as homeland security secretary? Here are five current articles to help you navigate the question. more...

December 5, 2004
The Nascar Nightly News: Anchorman Get Your Gun: There's a war on. TV remains by far the most prevalent source of news for Americans. We need honest information to help us navigate, not bunkum skewed to flatter one segment of the country, whatever that segment might be. more...

Posted November 28, 2004
US Brands in Trouble: Three articles by Financial Times analyst Richard Tomkins

November 20, 2004
Tom Delay – A Scandal Waiting to Happen: This week, House Republicans bent their accountability rules to protect their majority leader from what they feel is a partisan Texas prosecutor. But they hated the whole exercise. more...

November 14, 2004
The American pie and how it was sliced: `Red states. Blue states.' That was the mantra during the presidential campaign, a suggestion that everything was either Republican or Democrat. Here is how the red state, blue state comparison actually breaks down. more...

November 14, 2004
GOP Mostly Pays Lip Service on Moral Issues: Voters who care deeply about conservative versions of "moral issues" already have evidence that their passions are not his priorities in a second term. more...

November 14, 2004
On 'Moral Values,' It's Blue in a Landslide: There's only one problem with the storyline proclaiming that the country swung to the right on cultural issues in 2004. Like so many other narratives that immediately calcify into our 24/7 media's conventional wisdom, it is fiction. more...

November 14, 2004
What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits: Wal-Mart amasses more data about the products it sells and its shoppers' buying habits than anyone else, so much so that some privacy advocates worry about potential for abuse. more...

November 14, 2004
Can't Sleep? Change Towns, Not Sheets: If the 1990's was the decade of "Listening to Prozac," when an antidepressant became a cultural as well as a medical phenomenon, the current decade might be one of listening to Ambien, the best-selling sleeping pill in a market estimated at $1.5 billion a year. more...

October 31, 2004
Moyers Moving On After Setting Bar for Media Higher With 'Now': Bill Moyers -- who will leave "Now" in December to make documentaries and write a book about his years as an aide to Lyndon Baines Johnson -- was puzzling over how two born-again Texans such as Bush and himself could've taken such separate paths in life. more...

October 21, 2004
The Squirrel's Bag Of Tricks: Squirrels are far craftier than we've given them credit for. Squirrels know which acorns are most perishable and eat those first, and they are capable of what may be consciously deceptive behavior to protect food they have cached. more...

October 25, 2004
For Bush, Bad News Is Bad News: How does a president win re-election when all the news the voters are seeing is bad? Polls show the election is tight. But bad news is piling up like mounds of trash in a garbage strike, and that's never good for an incumbent. more...

October 24, 2004
Bill Maher: 'I'm Spreading the Anti-Gospel': "If there was just one topic I could talk about for the rest of my career, I would pick religion," Maher says, leaning back in his desk chair as if he's settling in for a long yarn. "It's the one that makes me angriest, I think, and it's the one that's least discussed, in my opinion." more...

October 20, 2004
Give Your Snooze Alarm a Rest, Sleep Experts Say: Sleep researchers say that short bouts of sleep are far from ideal. The restorative value of rest is diminished, especially when the increments are short. And a teeter-totter effect of dozing and waking causes shifts in the brain-wave patterns. more...

October 19, 2004
Those Brilliant Fall Outfits May Be Saving Trees: For decades, textbooks claimed that autumn colors were just a byproduct of dying leaves. But in recent years, scientists have recognized that autumn colors probably play an important role in the life of many trees. more...

October 20, 2004
Ron Suskind – Reality-based Reporting: Suskind may rank near the top of the administration's enemies list of least favorite journalists. In his writing he has pulled back the White House curtain perhaps more effectively than any other reporter. And the portraits he's painted of Bush and his advisors are not at all flattering, though they are reality-based. more...

October 19, 2004
The 9/11 Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket: The L.A. Times says the Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago. more...

October 19, 2004
A Letter from Bill Thompson – On the Supreme Court: A leading U.S. activist sends us three articles that detail the challenges posed to the ideal of an independent judiciary, at the highest levels. more...

October 18, 2004
Al Gore – 'Take Our Country Back': "The Bush-Cheney administration is a rarity in American history. It is simultaneously dishonest and incompetent. The same insularity and zeal that makes them effective at smashmouth politics makes them terrible at governing." more...

October 17, 2004
Money-Rich Advocacy Groups Look Far Beyond Election Day: Some of the partisan advocacy groups that have sprung up this campaign season say they want to extend their existence beyond the election to become permanent fixtures on the political landscape. more...

October 17, 2004
Will We Need a New 'All the President's Men'? Nixon plotted to take economic revenge on the Washington Post by siccing the FCC on TV stations owned by their parent company. What the Bush administration is doing is even scarier. more...

October 17, 2004
Arab News – Reflections on the Great American Race: "Since the only functional law of democracy places perception above facts, logic can only be a secondary guide to the fate of fortune hunters in an election. Let us attempt a new methodology... more...

October 16, 2004
President Bush is Truly Without a Doubt: The disdainful smirks and grimaces in the first debate are familiar expressions to those in the administration who have simply asked the president to explain his positions. Since 9/11, those requests have grown scarce; Bush's intolerance of doubters has, if anything, increased, and few dare to question him now. more...

October 11, 2004
Investigative Journalist Seymour Hersh: The Iraq War is Not Winnable: The Iraq war is not winnable, a secret U.S. military unit has been "disappearing" people since December 2001, and America has no idea how irreparably its torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison has damaged its image in the Middle East. Hersh spills the secrets of the Iraq quagmire and the War on Terror. more...

posted October 9, 2004
The Trouble With Politics: Running vs. Governing: In 1990, The New York Times examined the decline of debate and the rise of marketing and advertising in politics. The articles from that series include
  • American Politics Loses Way as Polls Supplant Leadership
  • 'Wars' Wound Candidates and the Process
  • An Edge for Incumbents: Loopholes That Pay Off
  • A Swamp of Political Abuses Spurs Constituents of Change

  • October 11, 2004
    Roth's Historical Sin: In "The Plot Against America," the great novelist imagines a 1940s America devoured by anti-Semitism – ignoring the brutal anti-black bigotry that actually existed. more...

    October 2, 2004
    Winning the war of words: Repeat something over and over and it gets in people's brains. Republicans, says one expert, have found success through "framing" issues along lines that fit their worldview and sticking to them. The Democrats aren't nearly as effective. more...

    October 3, 2004
    Now on DVD: The Passion of the Bush: More than any other campaign artifact, this new DVD transforms the president that the Democrats deride as a "fortunate son" of privilege into a prodigal son with the "moral clarity of an old-fashioned biblical prophet." more...

    September 26, 2004
    Fear and Laptops on the Campaign Trail: The Pew Internet and American Life Project says more than two million Americans have their own blog. Most of them, nobody reads. The blogs that succeed are written in a strong, distinctive, original voice... more...

    September 28, 2004
    Reporters Put Under Scrutiny in C.I.A. Leak: Leak investigations are often halfhearted and one-sided enterprises, and the source of the disclosure is seldom found. The journalists who could say for sure are almost never subpoenaed. The Plame case is different. more...

    September 28, 2004
    Toonology: Scientists Try to Find Out What's So Funny About Humor: How do people perceive that specific things are funny? What happens when they laugh? How does humor evolve? And just why are people born with a gift for laughter and a sense that the world is, er, mad? more...

    September 28, 2004
    There's Something About Your Voice: The voice on the other end of the telephone is alluring, and the image in your mind is too. But can you hear what a person looks like? Maybe so. more...

    September 28, 2004
    Truths Worth Telling, By Daniel Ellsberg: The American people are reluctant to believe that their president has made errors of judgment that have cost American lives. To convince them otherwise, there is no substitute for hard evidence: documents, photographs, transcripts. Often the only way for the public to get such evidence is if a dedicated public servant decides to release it without permission. more...

    September 25, 2004
    Inside The Debate Strategies: For months, the candidates have ridiculed each other through surrogates and watched independent political groups hijack the race with attacks the campaigns themselves wouldn't make. On Thursday night the two men will come within handshaking distance for the first time in the race. more...

    September 25, 2004
    The Trouble with Polls and Focus Groups: True leadership means taking the country to a new place and describing the journey in words that are new and fresh, specific and true. more...

    September 19, 2004
    Worldview Takes a Verbal Beating in Political Rhetoric: Young people are bombarded in this election season with a political language mocking other cultures and countries--a kind of speech that would not be tolerated on the school playground. This discourse may be a good political strategy, but it is poor pedagogy. more...

    September 15, 2004
    Why Bush Left Texas by Russ Baker, The Nation: The central issue, whether Bush did or did not complete his duty - and if not, why - has been obscured by a raging sideshow: a debate over the accuracy of documents aired on CBS's 60 Minutes. more...

    September 15, 2004
    The Mother of All Coverups: Forty years after the Warren Report, the official verdict on the Kennedy assassination, we now know the country's high and mighty were secretly among its biggest critics. more...

    September 15, 2004
    Taxes for an Ownership Society: When the president talks about an "ownership society," what he's driving at is something that would help only the richest Americans: a wage tax. more...

    September 12, 2004
    Coming Soon: Kerry's 'Apocalypse Now': Both presidential candidates would like the Vietnam issue to go away, but the war in Iraq is a constant reminder of its Southeast Asian predecessor. more...

    September 5, 2004
    Government by, for and Secret From the People: A new study seeks to quantify the government's interest in keeping material classified. It found that the administration protected some 14 million documents last year - a 60 percent increase since 2001. more...

    August 30, 2004
    Louis Menand: The Unpolitical Animal: It can’t be the case, that electoral outcomes turn on things like the color of the buttons – can it? How political science understands voters, and other articles by Louis Menand in the New Yorker. more...

    Posted August 25, 2004
    The Dreyfuss Report: Written by veteran investigative reporter Bob Dreyfuss , The Dreyfuss Report offers readers the story behind daily headlines and policies pursued on behalf of national security. From TomPaine.com. more...

    Posted August 24, 2004
    The Israeli - Palestinian impasse: Three articles on understanding and addressing the Israeli - Palestinian impasse, by William J. Thomson, Ph.D.: more...

    July 28, 2004
    Germans Balk at Effort to Simplify Their Spelling Rules: Experts have struggled to streamline Germany's notoriously difficult spelling rules. Then six years ago, German culture ministers and other German-speaking countries forged a controversial agreement. Now there are new problems. more...

    July 28, 2004
    Conservative Hatemonger Ann Coulter Rejected as USA Today Columnist: She calls it "the Spawn of Satan convention," says "the pretty girls and cops are on my side." They "stick out like a sore thumb amongst the corn-fed, no make-up, natural fiber, no-bra needing, sandal-wearing, hirsute, somewhat fragrant hippie chick pie wagons they call 'women' at the Democratic National Convention." USA today wants no part of it, as recorded in this sympathetic article posted on Ann's own website. more...

    July 28, 2004
    Humanity Can't Be Forgotten, Even When Slaughtering Poultry: In 1958, Congress approved the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, stipulating that animals raised for food be "rendered insensible to pain" before slaughter. But the law exempted poultry. And that exemption stands to this day. more...

    July 25, 2004
    3 Hours Over 4 Nights With 1 Fear: The new "Manchurian Candidate" plays by the same nasty rules as the administration it attacks, stoking fear for partisan advantage by making the demagogues of fear almost as scary as the terrorists themselves... It opens nationally on Friday, the morning after the Democratic convention ends; this movie could pass for the de facto fifth day of the convention itself. more...

    July 23, 2004
    More Revelations in Berger Inquiry: For the second day in a row, administration officials said that more of President Bush's aides knew about the Berger investigation than the White House originally acknowledged. The question is sensitive because Democrats have charged that Republicans leaked word of the investigation to try to taint next week's Democratic National Convention and to distract attention from criticisms of Bush. more...

    July 5, 2004
    Anxiety Rises From the Ashes of Mosley's Smoldering City: Walter Mosley's latest Easy Rawlins novel serves up both mystery and history. It unfolds against the backdrop of race riots in Los Angeles in 1965. more...

    July 5, 2004
    The Year Rehnquist May Have Lost His Court: It is too soon to say for sure, but it is possible that the 2003-04 term may go down in history as the one when Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist lost his court. more...

    June 27, 2004
    Charmed, We're Sure: How Clinton, Reagan Wooed The World: Were it not for charm, some people who occupy high elective offices might never ascend to their lofty perches. Two former presidents now back in the news are especially associated with the idea of charm. more...

    June 27, 2004
    Jackson, Fans Reflect on Legacy Of '84, '88 Bids: "What Harold did helped make Jesse more credible, and what Jesse did helped make [Illinois Senate candidate] Barack [Obama] more credible, and so it goes," said Alton Miller, Washington's former press secretary and a professor at Columbia College Chicago. more...

    June 24?, 2004
    Two N.Y. Times Reviews of Bill Clinton's My Life
              By Michiko Kakutani
              By Larry McMurtry

    June 24?, 2004
    Sailors' Tales from Salamis It was the greatest battle of the ancient world, in 480 BC. Indeed, many would make even more extravagant claims for its significance: for on the result of the Greeks’ engagement with the Persian navy at Salamis hung, it can be argued, the whole future, and even the survival, of Western civilization. more...

    June 24, 2004
    Decline of the Public – The Shrinking State: The children of the 60s condemned the role-playing of the public domain as inauthentic and hypocritical: "the personal is the political" was the feminist slogan of the time. A recent book charts the impact of this notion on the style of politics and the content of the media. "Increasingly we demand of our rulers not just that they be competent at ruling but that they be authentic human beings as well: that they appear before us unmasked . . .". more...

    June 20, 2004
    Frank Rich: What O. J. Passed to the Gipper: In the aftermath of the weeklong interment of Ronald Reagan one question still hasn't been laid to rest: what in heaven's name was going on? Whatever it was about, it was not always about Ronald Reagan. His average approval rating in office was lower even than that of each George Bush. more...

    June 19, 2004
    Decyphering the Grammar of Mind, Music and Math: A new field, biomusicology, is preoccupied with how music affects the brain. What regions of the brain respond to changes in harmony or melody? Is there a single region that makes sense of music? The foundations of musical perception are sought, as are the biological laws that make music a human universal. more...

    June 19, 2004
    Soft Financing Causes Arts Groups to Make Hard Choices: Arts organizations are scrambling to keep themselves afloat. While theaters, ballets, museums and operas perpetually live hand to mouth, as do most nonprofit groups, fundamental changes in the nature of arts financing suggest that they will continue to struggle even as the economy and capital markets recover.. more...

    June 16, 2004
    Smells Like Teen Spirit: Vegetarians can get plenty of protein from plant sources. Though each plant protein source lacks one or more of the nine essential amino acids, the right combinations will provide the same high-quality protein available from meat and fish, as outlined in Frances Moore Lappe's pathbreaking Diet for a Small Planet.. more...

    June 16, 2004
    The Inner W. – Psychological Portraits of a President: From Salon: three new psychological portraits of George W. Bush paint him as a control freak driven by rage, fear and an almost murderous Oedipal competition with his father. And that's before we get to Mom. more...

    June 14, 2004
    Trying on Reagan's Mantle, but It Doesn't Exactly Fit: Bush's effort to wrap himself in the Reagan legacy drew plenty of skeptics, including a number of top Reagan officials who said that the two could not have been more different. Reagan was pragmatic, they said; Bush is ideological. Reagan was a unifier, while Bush has polarized. more...

    June 14, 2004
    The White House Hangs Up: The Bush administration is abandoning the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which spawned a new era of competition in telephone service. Even more disturbing, they have pressured the FCC, ostensibly an independent agency, to abstain from filing its own appeal in defense of its own rules. more...

    June 13, 2004
    A Nation Divided? Who Says?: Some academics say that Americans' political differences have actually been shrinking over the past two decades, and that the polarized nation is largely a myth created by people inside the Beltway. These say it's not the voters but the political elite of both parties who have become more narrow-minded and polarized. more...

    June 13, 2004
    The Blue-State Nation to the North: Imagine if the 2000 presidential election had been held in Canada instead of the United States. Political scientists say Al Gore would have run away with the election; George W. Bush would have won no more than 1 of Canada's 10 provinces, and that would have been Alberta, where oil wealth and a taste for cowboy boots remind Canadians of Texas. more...

    June 13, 2004
    And, Yes, He Was a Great Communicator: Ronald Reagan's adroitness at refashioning the traditional forms of presidential communication stemmed to a large degree from his ability to address the public directly. He learned that language during his years in Hollywood, but it came from sources not usually associated with his political career. more...

    June 13, 2004
    Why America Sees the Silver Lining: It's a conviction that runs throughout American history – the faith that we are all on the verge of joining the favored class ourselves. Two archetypes have defined America's sense of destiny. One is the self-made man (rarely woman), who believes he will get rich through his own hard work. The other is the gambler, who believes that with the next turn of the cards, providence will deliver the Main Chance. more...

    June 12, 2004
    500 Genghis Khans in Name Game: Mongolians have been ordered to invent their own surnames, after generations of living with just one name on the orders of their former Soviet masters. Some opt for surnames like Seven Drunk Men that hint at Mongolia's national pastime; others prefer to adopt the name of Genghis Khan, who now has 500 namesakes in Ulan Bator.. more...

    June 11, 2004
    Ronald Reagan and His Amazing Economic Legend: Here's a sample version of the legend: according to a recent article in The Washington Times, Ronald Reagan "crushed inflation along with left-wing Keynesian economics and launched the longest economic expansion in U.S. history." Actually, the 1982-90 economic expansion ranks third, after 1991-2001 and 1961-69 — but even that comparison overstates the degree of real economic success. more...

    June 11, 2004
    Legacy of Reagan's Presidency Now Begins the Test of Time: What of Ronald Reagan, whose weeklong farewell ceremonies, culminating on Friday in a funeral at the National Cathedral and burial in California, have stirred such emotion and such largely laudatory comment? What will history, with its privileged vantage point far from the heat of partisan battles, conclude about him? more...

    June 7, 2004
    The Split Between Disney and Miramax Gets a Little Wider: For the last year, the Weinsteins have been negotiating a compensation dispute with Disney as part of contract renewal talks, with the Weinsteins saying they deserve more than they are earning and demanding an audit of Disney's books, according to executives. more...

    May 30, 2004
    Friends, Friends With Benefits and the Benefits of the Local Mall: Life inside the under-age sexual revolution, where casual sex is common, online ratings are scrutinized, everybody wants to be so detached — and boys still get what they want on Saturday night. more...

    Insights into the World of Islam

      posted May 25, 2004
      Internet Resources for an Understanding of Islam: This web page is produced through the cooperation of over 50 professors of Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the US and Canada. These scholars are members of the Study of Islam section at the American Academy of Religion, the largest international organization responsible for the academic study of religion. more...

      May 24, 2004
      Susan Sontag On the Ugly Face of the War On Terror: The horrific images from Abu Ghraib have come to define the ill-starred occupation of Iraq, but what do they really tell us about America? Are they simply the work of a few rogue soldiers, or the result of the new foreign and domestic policies of the Bush administration, which find ready approval in an increasingly brutalised society? more...

    May 23, 2004
    Frank Rich: Michael Moore's Candid Camera: We catch a candid glimpse of Bush minutes before he makes his TV address to take the nation to war in Iraq, at his desk in the Oval Office. A makeup woman is doing his face, and Mr. Bush is having a high old time, darting his eyes, grinning, playing peek-a-boo with someone off-camera. He could be a teenager goofing with his buds. more...

    May 21, 2004
    Stanley Fish: Why We Built the Ivory Tower: To proponents of the "civic responsibility of higher education," he argues that it should not be the design or aim of academics to play that role. more...

    May 21, 2004
    Collie or Pug? Study Finds the Genetic Code: Scientists say they have found genetic variations that allow them to distinguish among 85 dog breeds and to identify an individual dog's breed with 99 percent accuracy. more...

    May 16, 2004
    Frank Rich on "Saving Private England": It's almost too perfect. Two young working-class women from opposite ends of West Virginia go off to war – Jessica Lynch and Lynndie England . . . more...

    USN&WR Issue of May 17, 2004
    Sleep is a Mystery, but It Clearly Makes Us Smarter And Healthier: A growing number of scientists suspect that sleepless students may suffer more than just feeling dragged out during the day. Many intriguing studies in both humans and animals suggest that the sleeping brain does something to solidify memories and process newly learned lessons. A long article and two sidebars on the mystery of sleep. more...

    September 10, 2003
    Fraternally Yours, Chris" – Hitchens as Model Apostate: A book excerpt on the phenomenon of political apostasy, focusing primarily on Christopher Hitchens' recent writings in support of the US attack on Iraq. The title refers to how ex-leftist Hitchens used to sign off his correspondence. more...

    May 13, 2004
    Why Blagojevich Balked at Daley's Casino Plan : Why would a Democratic governor deal a humiliating blow to a Democratic mayor with a taste for revenge and a memory like an elephant? The question is still echoing through the halls of the Statehouse and City Hall, a day after Gov. Blagojevich stuck a knife in Mayor Daley's back by nixing the mayor's plan for a mega-casino. more...

    May 10, 2004
    Truthout Editorial: The War is Lost: Every reason to go to Iraq has failed to retain even a semblance of credibility. Every bit of propaganda Osama bin Laden served up to the Muslim world for why America should be attacked and destroyed has been given credibility by what has taken place in Iraq. Victory in this "War on Terror," a propaganda war from the beginning, has been given to the September 11 attackers by the hand of George W. Bush, and by the hand of those who enabled his incomprehensible blundering. more...

    April 23, 2004
    Visa Rules Impeding International Students from Coming to U.S.: In addition to some students not being able to get visas, international applicants are increasingly opting to bypass the potential delays by studying in the United Kingdom or Australia, students and educators say. more...

    April 23, 2004
    Depressing News on Depression: Antidepressant drugs are being widely administered to children and adolescents despite increasing concern that the benefits have been oversold and some potentially dangerous side effects minimized. more...

    April 23, 2004
    Exhibition in Polish City Portrays Jewish Life Before the Holocaust: An exhibition documenting the 40,000-member Jewish community that flourished in Czestochowa from before 1618 until the Holocaust is housed in a gallery just below the Jasna Gora Monastery, Poland's most sacred Roman Catholic shrine. more...

    November 8, 2003 (Recently posted)
    Bill Moyers's Keynote Address to the National Conference on Media Reform: Today, despite plenty of lip service freedom of the press, radio and TV, three powerful forces are undermining that freedom, damming the streams of significant public interest news that irrigate and nourish the flowering of self-determination. more...

    April 19, 2004
    Lack of Resolution in Iraq Finds Conservatives Divided: Sociologists, anthropologists, historians and other scholars gathered at the University of California for a conference on Wal-Mart. Like archaeologists who pick over artifacts to understand an ancient society, the scholars here were examining Wal-Mart for insights into the very nature of American capitalist culture. more...

    April 18, 2004
    What's Doing in Warsaw (N.Y. Times Travel article) Poland, and particularly Warsaw, is a place where you can almost see history being overcome. New skyscrapers poke out of downtown, giving shape and coherence to a once plain-flat skyline. Almost every week, restaurants, cafes, galleries and ever fancier shops open, turning Warsaw into a far more than decent place to shop and go out, and at mostly reasonable prices. more...

    April 18, 2004
    From Campaign Trail to Celebrity Circuit: Mr. Carville has not left politics behind. Hardly. Instead he has, largely by dint of energy and personality, blended politics, entertainment and celebrity into a lucrative empire with a single product to sell: James Carville. more...

    April 18, 2004
    Memo to Bush: How to Evade Questions, Gracefully: At his press conference, Bush appeared caught off guard. He began a rambling answer by saying he hoped something might pop into his head and ended with, "You just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one." more...

    April 17, 2004
    Wal-Mart, a Nation Unto Itself: Sociologists, anthropologists, historians and other scholars gathered at the University of California for a conference on Wal-Mart. Like archaeologists who pick over artifacts to understand an ancient society, the scholars here were examining Wal-Mart for insights into the very nature of American capitalist culture. more...

    April 17, 2004
    'Maligned' Wal-Mart Launches PR Offensive : Hoping to counter the blizzard of negative press, company spokesmen are meeting with media and community groups to sell the message: Wal-Mart offers better-paying jobs with better benefits than most retailers, does not hurt other businesses in a community, and hasn't decimated small-town America. more...

    April 16, 2004
    In Hill Country, Texas Shows Its Colors: In the spring, traveling in Texas is all about the wildflowers, as roadsides explode with the vivid orange-red of Indian paintbrush, the yellow of primroses and the rich signature blue of the bluebonnet... more...

    American Prospect Issue of April 1, 2004
    The Fear Factor in the 2004 Election: Our hype-driven culture thrives on confusing reality with fantasy and on making us afraid that we're making the wrong choice. Sounds a lot like the Bush re-election campaign. more...

    Newsweek Issue of April 12, 2004
    Democratic Spinmeisters Offer Kerry a Remedy: Kerry's been offstage for a few weeks. Democratic wise guys have been muttering anonymously about lost momentum and offering unsolicited advice. Newsweek offers advice from the kibitzers: more...

    April 8, 2004
    Sushi Fresh From the Deep . . . the Deep Freeze: Because of health concerns and growing demand, 50 to 60 percent of sushi in the United States is frozen at some point in its journey from the ocean. Customers rarely know upfront that they may be eating fish that has been in deep freeze for up to two years. more...

    April 7, 2004
    Too Little Sleep Brings Risks of Early Aging: Lack of sleep may be a heart attack or premature aging waiting to happen. The average night's sleep decreased from about nine hours in 1910 to about 7.5 hours in 1975. more...

    April 7, 2004 (two-part series, Part II)
    Data Churners Try to Pinpoint Voters' Politics: In the 2004 election, a passionate desire to wage political campaigns by harnessing the techniques of commercial marketing is fueling experiments, hopes, dreams in this campaign season. more...

    April 6, 2004 (two-part series, Part I)
    One-Doorbell-One-Vote Tactic Re-emerges in 2004: After decades of playing poor relation to television advertising, grass-roots politics has become a campaign star this year, as many political pros predicted. more...

    April 4, 2004
    Wait for U.S. Residency Soars Over 18-Month Span: Processing times — for everything from renewing an annual work permit to securing permanent legal residency — have as much as quadrupled over the last 18 months, despite the Bush administration's pledge to cut waiting times in half. more...

    April 4, 2004
    Cicadas: They're Back, and in the Mood for Love: After more than 16 years underground, periodical cicadas will begin emerging in late May or early June, as soon as the soil warms up. The nymphs, now nearly adult size, will start to build tunnels to the surface in preparation for their great escape. more...

    March 16, 2004
    A Biological Dig for the Roots of Language: Once upon a time, there were very few human languages and perhaps only one, and if so, all of the 6,000 or so languages spoken round the world today must be descended from it. If that family tree of human language could be reconstructed and its branching points dated, a wonderful new window would be opened onto the human past. more...

    March 16, 2004
    Sex and the Brain: Researchers Say, 'Vive la Différence!' Women are able to sniff out genetic differences in potential mates. When women were asked to smell T-shirts that different men had worn, they often ranked more favorably the shirts that belonged to men with dissimilar genes for major histocompatibility complex, a group of proteins involved in immunity to disease. The odors a woman preferred also tended to remind her of past and current partners. more...

    March 16, 2004
    New Clues to Women Veiled in Black: Researchers are now constructing new scientific theories to explain why women are nearly twice as likely as men to become depressed. Social bias and women's higher rates of physical and sexual abuse and poverty, experts say, clearly play a role. But scientists are also studying genes that may predispose girls and women to the disorder. more...

    Issue date: February 12, 2004
    I Get a Kick Out of You: The Chemistry of Love: Over the course of history it has been artists, poets and playwrights who have made the greatest progress in humanity's understanding of love. Romance has seemed as inexplicable as the beauty of a rainbow. But these days scientists are challenging that notion, and they have rather a lot to say about how and why people love each other. more...


    Articles relating to religious enthusiasms


    Glen Martin/The Denver Post, via Associated Press
    This Denver sign greeted the opening of "The Passion of the Christ" on Ash Wednesday.

    March 10, 2005
    Evangelical Leaders Swing Influence Behind Effort to Combat Global Warming: A core group of influential evangelical leaders has put its considerable political power behind a cause that has barely registered on the evangelical agenda, fighting global warming. more...

    January 23, 2005
    The Crafty Attacks on Evolution: New pedagogical approaches by creationists may seem harmless to a casual observer, but they still constitute an improper effort by religious advocates to impose their own slant on the teaching of evolution. more...

    January 9, 2005
    More Religion, but Not the Old-Time Kind: Almost anywhere you look around the world, with the glaring exception of Western Europe, religion is now a rising force. more...

    January 1, 2005
    Evangelical Leader Threatens to Use His Political Muscle Against Some Democrats: James C. Dobson, the nation's most influential evangelical leader, is threatening to put six potentially vulnerable Democratic senators "in the 'bull's-eye' " if they block conservative appointments to the Supreme Court. more...

    December 31, 2004
    We Don't Have To Take Christmas Back -- No One Took It Away: We must protest against crib scenes in department stores and on public property. We certainly don't need them because we have our own in the warmth of our homes and we should not accept the blasphemous use of them to enhance sales or for public propaganda. more...

    December 21, 2004
    7,000 Years of Religious Ritual Is Traced in Mexico: Archaeologists have traced the development of religion in one location over a 7,000-year period, reporting that as an early society changed from foraging to settlement to the formation of an archaic state, religion also evolved to match the changing social structure. more...

    December 19, 2004
    2004: The Year of 'The Passion': When even phenomena as innocuous as Oscar nominations or the lighting of a Christmas tree can be inflated into divisive religious warfare, it's only a matter of time before someone uncovers an anti-Christian plot in "White Christmas." more...

    August 9, 2004
    Churches See an Election Role and Spread the Word on Bush: The Bush campaign is seeking to rally conservative churches and their members to help turn out sympathetic voters this fall. But some clergy members fear that partisanship distracts from their spiritual mission. They also worry about endangering their tax-exempt status. more...

    dated July 20, 2004
    Presbyterian Church Statement on Israel and Palestine: The church called for a "selective divestment of church funds from those companies whose business in Israel is found to be directly or indirectly causing harm or suffering..." and for an end to Israel’s construction of the "separation barrier" in occupied Palestine. It stopped short of branding Israeli policy as "apartheid." more...

    July 21, 2004
    Protestants Soon To Be Minority in U.S., Study Finds s the end of this year, Protestants likely will make up less than 51 percent of the population for the first time in history, sociologists at the university's National Opinion Research Center surmise in a new report released Tuesday. more...

    July 16, 2004
    Jesus and Jihad: In "Glorious Appearing," "Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough to swallow all of them. They tumbled in, howling and screeching..." If a Muslim were to write an Islamic version of "Glorious Appearing" describing a massacre of millions of non-Muslims, we would have a fit. more...

    April 23, 2004
    Debate Rages as Fascination with 'End Times' Grows: Beasts, seals, trumpets, stars, floods, hail, earthquakes, political upheaval. These are the images of Christian prophecy, life-changing to millions, fascinating to some, ludicrous to others. more...

    Issue of May-June 2004
    Tikkun: Radical Conviviality and the Gospel Jesus: Most religions and spiritual traditions involve some strong mode of reflection that keeps the teachings from being too literal or too metaphorical, too emotional or too rational. The Zen master devotes considerable attention to keeping his students from reducing Zen to something known and circumscribed, or making too much of the founder. "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him," the Zen master says. But has anyone said that about Jesus, and does it apply? more...

    April 11, 2004
    Jesus' Image Goes from Meek to Mighty: For more than a century, America's Christians have largely adopted a popular image of a loving, redemptive Christ rather than the suffering figure of the Crucifixion or a wrathful warrior for good, scholars say. But a cultural change now seems to be afoot. more...

    April 6, 2004
    The Return of the Warrior Jesus: Some scholars say that the phenomenal popularity of the "Left Behind" series of apocalyptic thrillers are part of a shift in American culture's image of Jesus. The gentle, pacifist Jesus of the Crucifixion is sharing the spotlight with a more muscular warrior Jesus of the Second Coming, the Lamb making way for the Lion. more...

    March 7, 2004
    Mel Gibson Forgives Us for His Sins: Thank God — I think. Mel Gibson has granted me absolution for my sins. As "The Passion of the Christ" approached the $100 million mark, the star appeared on "The Tonight Show," where Jay Leno asked if he would forgive me. "Absolutely," he responded... more...

    Issue date: March 8, 2004
    Mel Gibson's Lethal Weapon – The Worship of Blood: The Passion of the Christ is without any doubt an anti-Semitic movie, and anybody who says otherwise knows nothing, or chooses to know nothing, about the visual history of anti-Semitism, in art and in film. What is so shocking about Gibson's Jews is how unreconstructed they are in their stereotypical appearances and actions. These are not merely anti-Semitic images; these are classically anti-Semitic images. more...

    Issue date: March 1, 2004
    Nailed, Film Review by David Denby: Cecil B. De Mille had his version of Jesus’ life, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Martin Scorsese had theirs, and Gibson, of course, is free to skip over the incomparable glories of Jesus’ temperament and to devote himself, as he does, to Jesus’ pain and martyrdom in the last twelve hours of his life. more...

    Post February 27, 2004
    "The Passion" – Schlock, Yes; Awe, No; Fascism, Probably: As the dollars begin to flow from this front-loaded fruit-machine of cynical publicity, Mel Gibson is sobbing about the risks and sacrifices he has made for the Lord. A coward, a bully, a bigmouth, and a queer-basher. Yes, we have been here before. The word is fascism, in case you are wondering, and we don't have to sit through that movie again. more...

    Issue date: November 27, 2003
    A Century of Western Movies: This year marks the 100th anniversary of what is considered to be the first Western movie: "The Great Train Robbery," released Dec. 1, 1903. From silent films to singing cowboys to spaghetti Westerns, this hardy genre has seen a lot of changes in the last century but has managed to endure. more...