The Great Debate

from Mark Leonard:

Why Scotland looks like the canary in the independence coal mine

By Mark Leonard
September 16, 2014

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Scotland's drive to independence has been interpreted by many as a throwback to ancient identity politics – but many of the trends on display in the Scottish referendum have more to do with the politics of the future than those of the past.

Avoid a classic blunder: Stay out of religious wars in the Middle East

By Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
September 16, 2014

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Muslims in the Middle East are fighting wars of religion. Like the carnage between Protestants and Catholics that haunted Northern Ireland during the last third of the 20th century, there is little anyone can do until local peoples crave peace so intensely they are willing to cultivate it.

from Stories I’d like to see:

Just how strange is Governor Andrew Cuomo?

By Steven Brill
September 16, 2014

New York Governor M. Cuomo stands during a news conference following a bi-state meeting on regional security and preparedness in New York

1. What’s the matter with Andrew Cuomo?

By now I assume New Yorker editor David Remnick has assigned someone to do a profile of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is fast becoming the Howard Hughes of big-time politicians.

Russians love their children, too – but that alone won’t stop a nuclear war

By Masha Gessen
September 16, 2014

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Back when most of today’s Western decision-makers were in college, Sting had a hit song with “Russians.” It began:

Why vote yes? Scotland’s voice is drowned out in the United Kingdom.

By Andrew Wilson
September 15, 2014

'Yes' campaign people gather for a rally outside the BBC in Glasgow

There are hours to go until people in Scotland answer the question posed to them in an historic referendum: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Rape myths hide crimes. Just ask these children.

By Amana Fontanella-Khan
September 15, 2014

Children hold placards during a procession urging legislators to prioritize anti-child pornography bill passage in Quezon City

Some myths are so powerful that they change our perception of reality. Under their influence even the most obvious truths — or crimes — can be rendered invisible. Such as rape.

NATO could have trouble combating Putin’s military strategy

By David Axe and Robert Beckhusen
September 15, 2014

A Canadian Air Task Force jets CF-18 stands in the Siauliai air base

Since Russian troops seized Ukraine’s strategic Crimean peninsula in late February, and separatists backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin began waging a bloody insurgency in the country’s east, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has walked a fine line.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Why breaking up Britain could tear apart the EU, too

By Anatole Kaletsky
September 12, 2014

A bunch of 'Yes' balloons are seen as Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond campaigns in Edinburgh, Scotland

While recent opinion polls have swung slightly back toward the "no" camp, there remains a distinct possibility that Thursday's Scottish referendum will trigger a previously unthinkable breakup of Britain.

from Jim Gaines:

A constitutional amendment to take Big Money out of politics dies quietly

September 12, 2014

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This week the U.S. Senate considered a constitutional amendment that would have allowed Congress and state legislatures to limit the power of money in politics. The debate was not much covered in the media because the outcome was so predictable. But the party-line vote that killed it should not go unnoted.

from Jack Shafer:

Roger Goodell, the NFL’s judge and jury, becomes his own executioner

By Jack Shafer
September 11, 2014

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Oh, yes, let's torch and pitchfork the NFL for its handling of the Ray Rice case and not rest until NFL Commission Roger Goodell pays for his incompetence or his bad judgment — whichever proves greater — with his resignation. Then, after a good night's sleep, let's ask ourselves why, after cementing his reputation across the league as a hanging judge, did Goodell pick the Rice case to appear insufficiently authoritarian?