Can anyone play this game?

by Eric on April 21, 2008

Greetings from <a href=””>the edge of the American West</a>, in the neighborhood of which friendly folks have been urging academics to brush up on <a href=””>how to fire each other</a>.  In the midst of everyone scurrying around and <a href=””>reading rules</a> and shouting, some of us noticed an article (<a href=””>not really online</a>) in <em>The New Yorker</em>, which makes one wonder, is it maybe bad for academic freedom to have a free speech expert as university president?

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Guess who comes last?

by Henry Farrell on April 21, 2008

I’ve been remiss in not posting anything about the results of the Italian election – the result of a number of deadlines crashing in on me at once. But in lieu of proper analysis, it’s worth noting that the biggest winner in the elections – the _Lega Nord_ – is one of the most genuinely revolting political parties in the Western world. The picture below (nicked from “Foreign Policy’s Passport blog”: gives some idea of what their winning electoral strategy involved.

According to _Passport_, it appears that Lega leading light Roberto Calderoli is likely to become deputy Prime Minister. Regular CT readers may “recall”: his resignation from a previous government after wearing a t-shirt with one of the Danish anti-Muslim cartoons; he has distinguished himself in the meantime with his dismissal of the French football team as “negroes, communists and Muslims” after Italy beat them in the infamous Zidane-headbutt game and by threatening to have a pig ‘defile’ a site in Bologna where a mosque was to be built. US readers who aren’t familiar with European politics should try to imagine a political party with a program co-written by Mark Steyn, David Duke and Tom Tancredo, and they’ll be at least half-way there.

I Read Richie Rich Billions, B%&#$es

by Belle Waring on April 21, 2008

Gareth Wilson brings something up in comments to this post. What do the parents among you say when your children ask you if your family is rich? I say, yes, we’re rich. Living in Asia as we do, our family has lots of chances to see really poor people in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. We see these people because we’re going on family vacations to stay in villas in Bali. There doesn’t seem to be much to say about that except, being rich sure is great, eh? I tend to say, well, that doesn’t mean we can buy just anything we want, and we’ll often see other people we know having great things we can’t afford, but on the whole, we’re rich. This is ideally meant to inspire charitable thoughts rather than mercenary self-satisfaction. Am I going to deprive my children of their God-given American right to insist they are middle-class? And when is Richie Rich Euros going to come out and serve as the grave monument for the mighty US dollar?

Eric Rauchway

by Henry Farrell on April 21, 2008

This is by way of announcing that “Eric Rauchway”: will be guest-blogging with us for a week. Eric’s been blogging up a storm together with Ari Kelman at “The Edge of the American West”: for a few months; a combination of history, contemporary politics, cutting edge Sesame Street commentary and literary stuff. Sort of like us in other words. We’re very happy he’ll be guesting for a while.