Friday, March 21, 2014

The New Republic's Anne Applebaum: The Cautionary Lessons From History Regarding Revolutions that, in Part, Played Out in the Streets

Anne Applebaum's article at The New Republic is linked below.

Lessons About Revolutionary Fervor in the Streets

"Yet a successful street revolution, like any revolution, is never guaranteed to leave anything positive in its aftermath—or anything at all. In the West, we often now associate protests with progress, or at least we assume that big crowds—the March on Washington, Paris in 1968—are the benign face of social change. But street revolutions are not always progressive, positive, or even important. Some replace a corrupt tyranny with violence and a political vacuum, which is what happened in Libya. Ukraine’s own Orange Revolution of 2004–2005 produced a new group of leaders who turned out to be just as incompetent as their predecessors. Crowds can be bullying, they can become violent, and they can give rise to extremists: Think Tehran 1979, or indeed Petrograd 1917."

---Anne Applebaum, The New Republic 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The New Republic's Paul Berman: To Understand Putin's Actions in 2014, Look to the Logic Behind Soviet Military Actions in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968

Vladimir Putin

Paul Berman's article at The New Republic is linked below.

Soviet Actions in 1956 and 1968 Shed light on Putin's Approach to Ukraine in 2014

"It is always said of Putin that he is a czar, operating on nineteenth-century principles. Or he is a Russian enigma. And he is not a Kremlin general secretary from Soviet times. Even so, he is a Kremlin general secretary. He has invaded Ukraine on the basis of the same logic that led Nikita Khrushchev to invade Hungary in 1956 and that led Leonid Brezhnev to invade Czechoslovakia in 1968. It is the logic of counterrevolution, and it is not inscrutable."

---Paul Berman, The New Republic

Thursday, March 13, 2014

NBC News: 21 Percent of Americans Say that Religion Not Particularly Important to Them

The NBC News article is linked below.

NBC News: For a Growing American Demographic, Religion Not Important

"One in five Americans say religion does not play an important role in their lives, a new NBC/WSJ journal poll shows – the highest percentage since the poll began asking participants about their focus on faith in 1997.
Twenty one percent of respondents said that religion is 'not that important' to their lives, compared to 16 percent who said the same in 1999. In 1997, 14 percent of Americans said religion did not play an important role in their lives.
The poll showed that these less religious Americans are more likely to be men, have an income over $75,000, to live in the Northeast or West and to be under the age of 35."
---Carrie Dann, NBC News, March 12, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

CNN's David Frum: The Nuanced Liberalism of Millennials

David Frum's CNN column is linked below.

David Frum: Today's Youngest Voters are Trending Liberal

"The generation born since 1981 is the age group most likely to vote Democratic. The eldest of them are in their 30s now, and they continue to be much more liberal than previous-age cohorts at the same point in their lives. A big new survey by the Pew Research Center seeks to understand why. Its report carries political warnings for conservatives -- and some larger warnings for us all.
The warning for conservatives is: Millennial attachment to the Democratic Party is not a phase. Millennials are far less likely to be religiously affiliated than their elders. They are more likely to have children outside marriage (47% of their children are born outside marriage, compared with only 35% of Generation X children in 1996). They are poorer than their predecessor generations at the same point in their life cycles."
---David Frum, CNN, March 11, 2014

Sunday, March 9, 2014

David Masciotra: Historian Richard Hofstadter's Warnings About American Anti-Intellectualism are Still Relevant Today

David Masciotra's story at The Daily Beast is linked below.

The Persistence of American Anti-Intellectualism

"Anti-Intellectualism in American Life—one of Hofstadter’s best, among many great books – was a pile of dynamite in 1963, when it was first published and blew a sizable hole in the house of America’s self-comforting delusions of intellectual superiority. In 2014, one can only hope that some of its initial blast still reverberates, as media commentators, university administrators, and even the President, have exposed themselves as adherents to what Hofstadter indicted as the 'lowest common denominator criterion' of thought and 'technician conformity' of lifestyle. Suspicion, and often outright hatred, of ideas is making American culture as riveting as oatmeal. By reading Hofstadter, one learns that the resurgence of a new anti-intellectualism isn’t new, at all. In fact, Hofstadter identified the particularly poisonous strain of the virus that now infects the American mind and kills the imagination."
---David Masciotra, The Daily Beast 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pew Research Center: Among Recent American High School Graduates, the College Enrollment Rate of Females Significantly Exceeds that of Males

The Pew Research Center article is linked below.

Among Recent High School Graduates, College Enrollment Rates Dominated by Women

"In 1994, 63% of recent female high school graduates and 61% of male recent high school graduates were enrolled in college in the fall following graduation. By 2012, the share of young women enrolled in college immediately after high school had increased to 71%, but it remained unchanged for young men at 61%."
---Pew Research Center, March 6, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The New Republic's Julia Ioffe: Putin is Nutty!

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

Julia Ioffe's article at The New Republic is linked below.

Julia Ioffe: Vladimir Putin is Crazy

"Today's performance, though, put all that speculation to rest. Merkel was absolutely right: Putin has lost it. Unfortunately, it makes him that much harder to deal with."

---Julia Ioffe, The New Republic 

Tom Engelhardt: A World Without Imperialist Power?

Tom Engelhard't column at is linked below.

Where Has Imperialistic Power Gone?

"As the new century dawned, a crew led by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney ascended to power in Washington.  They were the first administration ever largely born of a think tank (with the ambitious name Project for a New American Century).  Long before 9/11 gave them their opportunity to set the American military loose on the planet, they were already dreaming of an all-American imperium that would outshine the British or Roman empires.
Of course, who doesn’t know what happened next?  Though they imagined organizing a Pax Americana in the Middle East and then on a planetary scale, theirs didn’t turn out to be an organizational vision at all.  They got bogged down in Afghanistan, destabilizing neighboring Pakistan.  They got bogged down in Iraq, having punched a hole through the heart of the planet's oil heartlands and set off a Sunni-Shiite regional civil war, whose casualty lists continue to stagger the imagination.  In the process, they never came close to their dream of bringing Tehran to its knees, no less establishing even the most rudimentary version of that Pax Americana."
---Tom Engelhardt,

Monday, March 3, 2014

Robert J. Samuelson: Ignoring Demographic Realities

Robert J. Samuelson's column at the Washington Post is linked below.

Robert J. Samuelson: Demographic Realities are Looming

"Second, family breakdown. In 2011, unmarried women accounted for 41 percent of U.S. births, up from 5 percent in 1960. The trend affects all major groups. The rate is 29 percent for whites, 53 percent among Hispanics and 72 percent among African Americans. Although 60 percent of single mothers have live-in boyfriends, half of these relationships end within five years. Single parenthood’s stigma is gone."
---Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post