LISTEN TO THE ARAB REFORMERS: Jackson Diehl. Excerpts: ...The most underreported and encouraging story in the Middle East in the past year has been the emergence in public of homegrown civic movements demanding political change. Two years ago they were nonexistent or in jail. Now they are out in the open even in the most politically backward places in the region: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria. They are made up not only of intellectuals but of businessmen, women, students, teachers and journalists. … [Read more...]

LIBERAL AND LIBERTARIAN BOOKS FOR IRAQ: Tom Palmer writes: I'm putting together shipments of books about liberty to be distributed to the universities in Iraq. (I will do the usual books by Hayek, Friedman, Rand, Smith, Bastiat, etc., as well as economics textbooks, books by libertarian eastern Europeans on post-Soviet transition, and the like.) Providing English-language books for universities (and for distribution to bilingual intellectuals) will parallel a translation program to get the best … [Read more...]

IN DEFENSE OF OUTSOURCING: Daniel Drezner in Foreign Affairs. Excerpts:...If offshore outsourcing is not the cause of sluggish job growth, what is? A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York suggests that the economy is undergoing a structural transformation: jobs are disappearing from old sectors (such as manufacturing) and being created in new ones (such as mortgage brokering). In all such transformations, the creation of new jobs lags behind the destruction of old ones. In other words, … [Read more...]

THIRTEEN WAYS TO RAISE A NONREADER: From Horn Book Magazine(PDF).1. Never read where your children can see you.2. Put a TV or computer in every room. Don't neglect the bedrooms and the kitchen.3. Correct your child every time she mispronounces a word.4. Schedule activities every day after school so your child will never be bored.5. Once your child can read independently, throw out the picture books. They're for babies.6. Don't play board games together. Too dull.7. Give little … [Read more...]

"For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death; and in other dangers there are other ways of escaping death, if a man is willing to say and do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death." --Plato, Apology, tr. Jowett … [Read more...]

"GETTING FIRED": THE BULLDOG AND THE HYENA. What I expect to be the second-to-last installment of the current short story. You can read the story so far starting here, or just get the new installment here.I am very, very, very, very, very interested in receiving comments on the story, especially critical ones. A few things about this particular segment: I already know the blocking is atrocious. When I revise it I'll have to go through and carefully plot out where everyone is standing and how … [Read more...]

BABY, LET'S TWIST AGAIN, LIKE WE DID LAST SUMMER: My post ("Playground Twist") on how societal response to homosexuality shapes our identities got a lot of really illuminating, personal, intense responses. I'd really like to thank everyone who wrote to me, and apologize for not replying sooner. I didn't write back to people in anything remotely resembling a timely fashion. But I really, really appreciated every email I got.Here's a selection from the emails I received.Anonyreader #1: … [Read more...]