Monthly Archives: March 2008

March Out Like the Lion (In Zimbabwe, That Is)

I’ve been fielding a few requests for my evaluation of this weekend’s elections in Zimbabwe. There are scholars and journalists out there with more recent experience in Zimbabwe whose views I’d trust more than mine. Still, here’s how I laid … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 6 Comments

Out of Pocket

Last night, I was searching through my iPod for some of the African music I’ve ripped from my CD collection, to play briefly in class today. Unfortunately, some of what we’ve got is on old vinyl records that I’ve never … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 8 Comments

The Veil

Oso Raro and Tenured Radical underline one of the biggest problems with the tenure system in academia: its mystery. They’re both trying to write about a controversial tenure case at the University of Michigan, to understand the seeming mismatch between … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 3 Comments

Border Guards

I was thinking of writing a One-a-Day post about Tim Weiner’s compelling history of the CIA, Legacy of Ashes. (I’ve been reading books, just not blogging about my reading. I’ll catch up soon.) Then I read Stephen Weissman’s critique of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Africa, Books | 1 Comment

Obama on Race

Come on, this is a great speech. I have no idea whether it’s a great speech tactically: clearly some people will hear or think what they want to hear. But this is one of the few speeches by an American … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

Smells Like Teen Spirit?

Margaret Soltan linked to an essay by William Deresiewicz, and somehow it got under my skin. I’m having one of those weeks where my to-do list is like the hydra, blossoming items faster than I can accomplish them, so I … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 12 Comments

Sharp Partisan

Matthew Yglesias has an interesting piece in the April Atlantic that argues that intense partisan differences between the two major American political parties are a good thing, on balance, that they allow voters to make clear choices and decrease the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

Why Referee?

I agree with Henry Farrell’s skepticism about Tyler Cowen’s view of the motivation for doing peer review. Cowen argues that in a truly open-access system, the major motivation for doing peer review would likely fade away, that the reason why … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 6 Comments

Midlife Crisis Man to the Rescue!

Belle Waring, riffing off of Cala from Unfogged, imagines a political wife who spontaneously develops superpowers and vaporizes her cheating spouse on-camera with laser-beam eyes. This made me realize that there are very few regular comic-book superheroes whose powers spring … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | Comments Off on Midlife Crisis Man to the Rescue!

From the Desk of HRC

Dear White Pennsylvanians: Barack Obama is a Negro. We think maybe you hadn’t noticed. Yours, Geraldine Ferraro Ed Rendell Bill Clinton and other to-be-disavowed supporters yet-to-be-named.

Posted in Politics | 17 Comments