Who’s Afraid of Radical Islam?

Given a choice, most politicians prefer a symbolic fight to a substantive one. To see how, consider the fight over the term ‘radical Islam’. Even by the low standards typically set by American politicians, the argument stands out for its inanity. It’s worth asking: what are Americans so afraid of? Continue reading

In the Wake of the Paris Attacks, the Power of Stories

Stories are how humans make sense of the world. It is perhaps our most distinctive trait. The terrorist attacks that shook Paris last Friday gave the world a stark reminder of the power of narrative. Continue reading

Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech, and European Hypocrisy

It has been two weeks since the offices of the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, were attacked by gunmen. The attack on free speech and the murder of cartoonists led to police shootouts with gunmen, a European crackdown on suspected … Continue reading

Sen. Chambliss on Meet the Press Don’t Worry, Stay Quiet.

I really don’t mean to pick on Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). The last time I took his comments on Meet the Press as a point of departure for a post, I was bewildered at his seeming lack of historical memory. … Continue reading