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Democracy

A Manifesto Against Simplification - by Jon Stewart

Thursday, January 13, 2011

An open letter to Jon Stewart, calling for the writing of A Manifesto Against Simplification.

Dear Mr. Jon Stewart,

Building off of your recent interview with Tim Pawlenty (below): toward the end of the extended interview he flippantly remarked that your "brain is too complicated. You need to simplify." In what appeared to be a “give” on your part, you jokingly agreed and wrapped up the interview. He wasn’t getting the point you were making, and if he did, he was stonewalling.

The Year of the Peaceniks

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just like fellow blogger Ather Zia, my exuberance in responding to the call to share with readers the story I will be keenly watching in 2011 exceeded space allowances. I take this time, then, to build on my thoughts concerning Wikileaks and Julian Assange, and share the other individuals whom I will be watching this year.

A Blasphemous Law

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

by Hassan Malik. Originally published by our partner site, World Policy Blog.

Recent events in Pakistan have highlighted the best and worst of the country’s politics and society. News outlets worldwide have been running an all-too-rare story about a rich, powerful man of privilege who risked everything to defend a poor woman on the fringes of society from a public lynching. Sadly, this story was revealed through reports of the man’s murder at the hand of his own security guard.

On the Verge of a New Sudan

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The anticipation is palpable as the Referendum in Sudan draws near. This Sunday, millions of Sudanese will take to the polls for this monumental vote. Residents of Africa’s largest country have already begun traveling to voting centers in order to make their voices heard. Hundreds of international observers are in place, the ballots are en route, and journalists from around the world are on the ground to document the event. Among the crowds of observers will be former US President Jimmy Carter and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, both on location as a part of the Carter Center’s delegation.

Looking Ahead to 2011

A Lack of Global Intelligence

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The US Foreign Policy establishment is being roiled by the revelations emerging from the Wikileaks secret document dump – or maybe it isn't.  While the embarrassing Wikileaks leaks have made front pages around the globe, the reality so far is more heat than light: Italy's Silvio Berlusconi is a sleazebag, Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai is corrupt and possibly nuts, Russia's Dmitry Medvedev is playing Robin to Vladimir Putin's Batman, China is cyberspying on the world and Saudi Arabia wants the US to take down the

Digital Dreaming

Stewart’s Sisyphean Mission

Shteyngart 451

Friday, October 15, 2010

Recently I was struck by the similarities underlying dystopic visions found in a novel first published in 1953, and another released this year. In both Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, the future America is an illiterate country. Americans are not only illiterate in both of these bleak futures, but they are illiterate (unwittingly or not, it’s difficult to say) as a result of their own design.

BK Book Fest: My Privilege to Listen

Monday, September 13, 2010

By the time I got home, my jeans were soaked, my shoes had puddles at the toes, and shivers signaled the onset of a mid-September cold. It was so worth it. Brooklyn Book Festival 2010 may have been drenched, but that didn’t keep me from feasting on literary splendors from near and far, at a veritable buffet of authors, critics, publishers, journalists, comedians and more. And kudos to the crowd for showing up in droves to walk the outdoor bookstalls, settle under umbrellas to hear readings on the steps of Borough Hall, and splash through the rain to get from one great event to another.