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Unformatted text preview: was How Bush Rules Chronicles ofa Radical Regime Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for a New Political Debate RONALD DWORKIN “Ronald Dworkin . . . argues that liberals and conservatives must realize that each camp is working for the same goal ofa better nation. . . . Dworkin's book deserves careful consideration and response." —Publishers Weekly Cloth $I9.95 Sep “The real-time draft of history provided by Sidney Blumenthal in these dispatches will be an invaluable resource. He is a partisan, and proud of it. But he is also accurate, convincing, urbane, and-far ahead of others in detecting trends and connec- tions."—Iames Fallows, Atlantic Monthly Cloth $26.95 Sep IHI IIII IHIIII HIIIHHIIIHIIIII The Next Great'GIobaIilation How Disadvantaged Nations Can Harness Their Financial Systems to Get Rich FREDERIC S. MlSHKlN “IThis book] offers real under- standingaboth ofthe causes of recent financial crises around the world and dramatic opportunities Disarmed The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America KRISTIN A. GOSS “Well argued and well-written and much needed. . . . The smooth, almost seamless movement between social and political theory and case material is, quite _SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL -_ .= and Euthanasia NEIL M. GORSUCH “Important. . . . [This book] is timely, thorough, well reasoned, well structured, and well written. Its reply to the arguments for legalizing physician-assisted suicide is measured, fair, and persuasive.”—John Keown, Georgetown University Cloth $29.95 Sep How Good II II? How Can We Know? Expert Political Judgment How Good Is It? How Can We Know? PHILIP E. TETLOCK “It is the somewhat gratifying lesson of Philip Tetlock’s new book . . . that people who make prediction their business . . . are no better than the rest of us. When they’re wrong, they’re The Future of Assisted Suicide IIIuIIII Fitllliillll I I'IIIIIIIL- IIR'I'IIE - muralmll nan! What a Mighty Power We Can Be African American Fraternal Groups and the Struggle for Racial Equality THEDA SKOCPOL, ARIANE LIAZOS 81. zMARSHALL GANZ “This valuable study enriches our understanding ofthe rich fraternal tradition among blacks —alongside those of Other Americans—and helps us envi- sion the civic foundations for new efforts to deepen American democracy.”—Comel West Cloth $27.95 Oct \A/ith O new epilogue-by the auiifors Death by a Thousand Cuts The Fight over Taxing Inherited Wealth W l “[A] compelling book—a story that should be read by everyone who wants to understand the new powerplayers ofthe right and their next target: the income EDITOR-IH-CHIEF MARTIN PERETZ — EDITOR Franklin Foer LITERARY EDITOR Leon Wieseltier EXECUTIVE EDITOR J. Peter Scoblu: MANAGING EDITOR Katherine Marsh DEPUTv EDITOR Richard Just MANAGING EDITOR/ONLINE Adam B. Kushner EDITOR-AT-LARGE Peter Beinart SENIOR EDITORS Jonathan Chait, Jonathan Cohn. Michelle Cattle, Michael Crowley, Ruth Franklln. John B. Judis, Lawrence F. Kaplan, Ryan Lizza, Christopher Orr, Noam Schelber, Lee SIegeI, Andrew Sullivan, James Wood, Jason Zengerle LEGAL AFFAIRS Jeltrey ROSE" TNR ONLINE Christiane Culhane, Culture Editor FILMS Stanley Kauffmann THEATER Robert Brustein ART Jed Perl ARCHITECTURE Sarah Williams Goldhagen MUSIC David Hajdu DANCE Jennifer Homans POETRV EDITOR Glyn Maxwell SPECIAL CDRRESPONDENTS Thomas B. Edsall, Joshua KurIantchk CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Fouad Ajami, David A. Bell, Paul Berman, Gregg Easterbrook, Jean Elethke Elshtain. Nathan Glazer, Anthony Grafton, David Grann, Yossi Klein Halevi, Robert Kagan, Michael Kinsley, Charles Krauthammer. Jeremy McCarter. John McWhorter, Sherwin B. Nuland. Michael B. Oren. David Rieff. Maggie Scarf, Ronald Steel. Cass R. Sunstein, Alan Taylor, E.V. Thaw, Helen Vendler. Michael Walzer, Sean Wilentz. Alan Wolfe. RobertWright CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS Jack Coughiin. David Cowles, Vint Lawrence. David Schorr ASSOCIATE EDITOR Spencer Ackerman ART/DESIGN DIRECTION Joe Heroun. Christine Car/HZC Media EDITORIAL-WRPDRM'E communes: Linda-Garth- PRODUCTION AND I.T. DIRECTOR Bruce Steinke PRODUCTION MANAGER Henry Riggs ASSISTANT EDITORS Kara Baskin. Marisa Katz, Keelin McDoneII ASSISTANT LITERARY EDITOR Chloe Schama ASSISTANT POETRY EDITOR Melanie Rehak REPORTER-RESEARCHERS Alexander M. Belenky, Eve Fairbanks, Elspeth Reeve INTERN, TNR ONLINE Oliver Lukacs GENERAL MANAGERAIIenChin CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Lori Fleishman DOrr ONLINE MARKETING MANAGER Emilie Harkin ADVERTISING SALES & MARKETING ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Richard Parker DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING, WEST Joan Stapleton Tooley ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Julie Sturmak Kettell PUBLISHING REPRESENTATIVE Perry Janoski. Allston-Cherry, Ltd. MARKETING MANAGER Alexandra Scott TNR/ON SVMPOSIA ON PUBLIC POLICV Joan Daly FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION ACCOUNTING MANAGER Jessie Ahn BUSINESS ASSISTANT Grant LOOmIS BOARD OF DIRECTORS LEONARD ASPER LAURENCE GRAFSTEIN ROGER HERTOG, Chairman MARTIN PERETZ MICHAEL STEINHARDT THE NEW REPUBLIC A JOURNAL OF POLITICS AND THE ARTS SEPTEMBER 4, 2006 WASHINGTON. D.C. ISSUE 4.78l VOLUME 235 Edward 0. Wilson COVER (STORY Apocalypse Now An eminent biologist pens a letter to evangelicals, imploring them to go green. Peter Beinart The Editors Michael Crowley Annia Ciezadlo Lee Siegel Peter Bergen and Paul Craickshank Michael Blanding Jonathan Chait ‘POLITICS is“ THE WORLD CORRESPO N D ENCE Is homosexuality innate? &c. TRB I Speak Not Why Democrats should be the party of no ideas. Fared Well How welfare reform made America safe for big government. Growing Pains Will the Club for Growth wind up shrinking the GOP? Beirut Dispatch: Tour de Force Exploring scenic South Beirut, the Hezbollah way. Strangerer Everyone’s asking what Bush makes of Camus. But what would Camus make of Bush? London Broil Why are British Pakistanis so angry? In a word, Kashmir. Gun Crazy Has the NRA overshot the mark? WASHINGTON DIARIST I Traitor Stanley Kaaffmann Ian Buruma Philip Gossett 23 Kevin Prufer 26 Oren Harman 27 ‘Booxs dr' THE (ARTS FILMS I Stone Restrained Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center is uncharacteristically sober. The Freedom to Offend The oversensitivity of minority community leaders in the United States and elsewhere toward perceived racial slurs has exposed the reactionary side of multi-culturalism: its need to control language. Opera Buffa The Toughest Show on Earth: My Rise and Reign at the Metropolitan Opera by Joseph Volpe with Charles Michener POEM I Elegy: Airport The Evolution of Evolution Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life by Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb frankly, the strongest I have ever seen.”—Bryan Jones, author of Politics and the Architecture of Choice Cloth $29.95 rarely held accountable. . . . But the best lesson ofTetIock's book may be . . . : Think for yourself." ——Louis Menand, New Yorker tax system itself."—-David Gergen, Harvard University New in paper $19.95 Sep ' we have in' future development in world financial architecture}? —Robert I. Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance Cloth $27.95 Oct NEW REPUBLIC New in paper $19.95 Sep __ __ . . ____ _ __ _ Updated daily. On the Walt at -.vww.IItr.I:oI'n. COVER ILLUSTRATION BY G 1'98 Mably Princeton univerSity Press 800-777-4726 - Read excerpts at www.pup.princeton.edu _' 16 SEPTEMBER 4, 2006 > THE NEw REPUBLIC interview. “We believe there needs to be habitat preservation and make sure there are animals to hunt. However, that needs to be balanced with the needs and interests of hunters for access.” But that sentiment seems to be at odds with the majority of hunters. In the latest hunting survey in Field & Stream magazine, 41 percent of respondents felt that “shrink- ing wildlife habitat” was the number-one threat to hunting— compared with just 25 percent who named “anti-gun legisla— tion.” Two-thirds of respondents, in fact, supported an increase in taxes to acquire public lands—unheard of, given the notorious anti-tax sentiment of the libertarian West. The poll also revealed a more moderate stance on gun control, with two-thirds supporting background checks for gun sales and opposing the use of assault weapons for hunt- ing. Some hunters might even welcome restrictions as a way to improve the image of gun owners. “If the police say we should ban Tech—9s and cop-killer bullets, that’s good enough for me,” says James Williams, a software product manager from Atlanta who owns five guns and hunts several times per season. By not supporting these positions, says Williams, the NRA hurts the image of gun owners. “There should be more outreach to non—gun owners to show that, just because someone owns a gun, they are not crazy,” he says. Views like these have emboldened opponents of the NRA, such as the leaders of the AHSA. “The NRA is worrying about law enforcement taking away your guns. At the same time, you look at what is happening with conservation,” said Executive Director Bob Ricker at a press conference an- nouncing the new group at OWAA’S April gathering. “We think it’s a bait and switch.” A former NRA general counsel and lobbyist for the firearms industry, Ricker says there’s room for a group who stands up for hunters’ Second Amend- ment rights while still supporting “common sense restric- tions”—for example, restoring the federal ban on military- style assault weapons. Already, the group has raised $600,000 toward its goal of $1.2 million to weigh in on elections. The AHSA isn’t the only one looking to capitalize on the discontent among hunters and sportsmen. Some candidates for races in November are already staking out moderate gun control positions, taking heart from the recent governor’s election in Virginia in 2005, in which conservative Democrat Tim Kaine—who resisted calls to roll back Virginia’s land— mark legislation to limit gun sales to one per month—beat NRA-endorsed candidate Jerry Kilgore despite repeated at- tacks by the gun lobby. A similar test case is the close Senate race in Missouri between right-wing incumbent Jim Talent and centrist Democrat Claire McCaSkill, a former prosecu- tor who has staked out a middle ground on gun rights. Most election-watchers are betting the race will hinge on discon- tent over Talent’s strong opposition to stem-cell research, which shows how little the gun issue may factor. Democratic leaders, meanwhile, seem to be making room under the tent for gun owners. Party Chairman How— ard Dean has declared a policy of leaving gun control up to states, with Democratic leaders New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada publicly professing their stance against restrictions on gun ownership. UT, THESE INVITI'NG gestures aside, winning over gun owners from the NRA might not be that easy. The AHSA, after all, almost didn’t make it to the con- ference here. A week before the event, the group’s attendance was nearly scuttled when some OWAA members threatened to resign if the AHSA was allowed to join. At an emotional board meeting a few days later, an eleventh-hour compromise was worked out in which the group would be allowed to participate. Still, many conference participants seemed skeptical of the new group. Jack Ballard, a slow-talk- ing Montanan who hunts big game like elk, deer, and moun- tain goat, says he’s worried about the policies that AHSA pro- fesses, such as mandatory child-safety locks and background checks in private transactions. “If this organization is seen as one willing to compromise around the edges of the Second Amendment, then I don’t think they have a future,” he says. The AHSA has already been attacked as a front group for the Democratic Party and demonized on pro-gun blogs as “the enemy in camouflage.” It’s an easy charge to make: The group’s president, Ray Schoenke, was once a Democra- tic candidate for Maryland governor, and the group’s non- profit foundation president, John Rosenthal, is a Boston real estate developer who served a stint on the board of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Rosenthal insists he has been wrongly painted as someone who wants to ban guns, pointing out that he owns two shotguns himself and quit the board of the Brady Campaign in 2004 over its extreme gun-control stance. “There’s been a one-Sided dis- cussion: You are either for banning guns or unlimited ac- cess,” says Rosenthal. “You could prevent the majority of gun deaths with relatively simple solutions to keep guns out of the hands of kids and criminals.” If the AHSA can overcome its image problems, it will have a rich field to draw from— according to research the organi- zation commissioned, 44 percent of gun owners think the NRA is “too extreme in their political views.” And, while the NRA has four million members, estimates on the num- ber of gun owners in the United States range upward from 20 million. “Even if we just get 5 percent,” says Schoenke, “that’s one million.” It’s too early to say whether those hunters and shooters who see mOre gray in the Second Amendment will gain enough ground to make a difference politically. As wedge issues go, however, guns lack the religious intractability of gay marriage and abortion. If enough hunters like Dorr are able to stake out a middle ground on conservation and gun control, then they could dramatically reshape election poli- tics in the West. “The NRA is powerful, but they are not all- powerful,” says Pat Wray, a Wisconsin bird-hunter and p0p- ular outdoor columnist. “I get hundreds of letters from people who have quit the NRA or who, like me, are in the NRA but looking for something different. All of those gun owners are ripe for the picking.” I THE NEW REPUBLIC ) SEPTEMBER 4, 2006 I7 A scientist’s plea for Christian environmentalism. Apocalypse Now BY EDWARD 0. WILSON The following is a letter from the eminent Harvard biologist Edward 0. Wilson, winner of the National Medal of Science and two Pulitzer Prizes, to an imagined Southern Baptist pastor—and the larger evangelical community. EAR PASTOR, We have not met, yet I feel I know you well enough to call you a friend. First of all, we grew up in the same faith. As a boy, I, too, answered the altar call; I went under the water. Although I no longer belong to that faith, I am confident that, if we met and spoke privately of our deepest beliefs, it would be in a spirit of mutual respect and goodwill. I know we share many precepts of moral behavior. Perhaps it also matters that we are both Americans and, insofar as it might still affect civility and good manners, we are both Southerners. I write to you now for your counsel and help. Of course, DAVID COWLEs in doing so, I see no way to avoid the fundamental differ- ences in our worldviews. You are a strict interpreter of Christian Holy Scripture; I am a secular humanist. You be- lieve that each person’s soul is immortal, making this planet a waystation to a second, eternal life; I think heaven and hell are what we create for ourselves, on this planet. For you, the belief in God made flesh to save mankind; for me, the belief in Promethean fire seized to set men free. You have found your final truth; I am still searching. You may be wrong; I may be wrong. We both may be partly right. Do these differences in worldview separate us in all things? They do not. You and I and every other human be- ing strive for the same imperatives of security, freedom of choice, personal dignity, and a cause to believe in that is larger than ourselves. Let us see, then, if we can meet on the near side of metaphysics in order to deal with the real world we share. You have the power to help solve a great problem about which I care deeply. I hope you have the same con- cern. I suggest that we set aside our differences in order to save the Creation. The defense of living nature is a universal value. It doesn’t rise from, nor does it promote, any religious or ideological dogma. Rather, it serves without discrimina— tion the interests of all humanity. Pastor, we need your help. The Creation—living nature—is in deep trouble. CIENTISTS ESTIMATE THAT, if habitat-conversion and other destructive human activities continue at their present rates, half the species of plants and ani- mals on earth could be either gone or at least fated for early extinction by the end of the century. The ongoing extinction rate is calculated in the most conservative esti— mates to be about 100 times above that prevailing before humans appeared on earth, and it is expected to rise to at least 1,000 times greater (or more) in the next few decades. If this rise continues unabated, the cost to humanity—in wealth, environmental security, and quality of life —will be catastrophic. Surely we can agree that each species, however incon- spicuous and humble it may seem to us at this moment, is a masterpiece of biology and well worth saving. Each Species possesses a unique combination of genetic traits that fits it more or less precisely to a particular part of the environ- ment. Prudence alone dictates that we act quickly to pre- Edward O. Wilson is the Pellegrino university professor emeritus at Harvard University. This article is adapted from his forthcoming book, THE CREATION: AN APPEAL TO SAVE LIFE ON EARTH. 18 SEPTEMBER 4, 2006 V THE NEW REPUBLIC vent the extinction of species and, with it, the pauperization of earth’s ecosystems. With all the troubles that humanity faces, why should we care about the condition of living nature? Homo sapiens is a species confined to an extremely small niche. True, our minds soar out to the edges of the universe and contract in- ward to subatomic particles—the two extremes encompass- ing 30 powers of ten in space. In this respect, our intellects are godlike. But, let’s face it, our bodies stay trapped inside a proportionately microscopic envelope of physical con— straints. Earth provides a self~regulating bubble that sus- tains us indefinitely without any thought or contrivance of our own. This protective shield is the biosphere, the totality of life, creator of all air, cleanser of all water, manager of all soil—but is itself a fragile membrane that barely clings to the face of the planet. We depend upon its razor-thin health for every moment of our lives. We belong in the biosphere, we were born here as species, we are closely suited to its ex— acting conditions—and not all conditions, either, but just those in a few of the climatic regimes that exist upon some of the land. Environmental damage can be defined as any change that alters our surroundings in a direction contrary to humanity’s inborn physical and emotional needs. We must be careful with the environment upon which our lives ultimately depend. In destroying the biosphere, we are destroying unimag- inably vast sources of scientific information and biological wealth. Opportunity costs, which will be better understood by our descendants than by ourselves, will be staggering. Gone forever will be undiscovered medicines, crops, timber, fibers, soil-restoring vegetation, petroleum substitutes, and other products and amenities. Critics of environmental— ism forget, if they ever knew, how the rosy periwinkle of Madagascar provided the alkaloids that cure most cases of Hodgkin’s disease and acute childhood leukemia; how a substance from an obscure Norwegian fungus made possi- ble the organ transplant industry; how a chemical from the saliva of leeches yielded a solvent that prevents blood clots during and after surgery; and so on through the pharma— copoeia that has stretched from the herbal medicines of Stone Age shamans to the magic-bullet cures of present- day biomedical science. These are just a few examples of what could be lost if Homo sapiens pursue our current course of environmental destruction. Earth is a laboratory wherein nature—God, if you prefer, pastor—has laid before us the results of count- less experiments. We damage her at our own peril. 0U MAY WELL ask at this point, Why me? Simply because religion and science are the two most powerful forces in the world ...
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