Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bones of King Richard III Discovered Under a Parking Lot.

Bones Under Parking Lot Belonged to Richard III. By John F. Burns. New York Times, February 4, 2013.

Richard III’s Face Reconstructed From English King’s Skull (VIDEO). By Travis Korte. The Huffington Post, February 5, 2013. Also find video here.

Richard III’s Bones: Should One of History’s Losers Be Redeemed? By Ishaan Tharoor. Time, Feb 4, 2013.

The Real Richard III. By Amanda Fiegl. National Geographic News, February 5, 2013.

It’s him: Richard III rises from grave. By Nick Britten and Andrew Hough. The Telegraph, February 5, 2013.

We Told You So: Richard III Society Celebrates Their Hero’s Rediscovery. By Dan Jones. The Daily Beast, February 5, 2013.

The Humiliation of Richard III. By Amy Davidson. The New Yorker, February 4, 2013.

The Lovely Bones: Why Richard III’s Body Should Be on Display. By Christopher Bonaros. New York Magazine, February 5, 2013.

What Richard III Can Teach Us Today. By John Watkins. Foreign Policy, February 6, 2013.

A facial reconstruction of King Richard III. Dan Kirtwood/Getty Images.

The skeleton found last fall near the buried ruins of the Greyfriars Priory in Leicester was confirmed on Monday by a team of experts to be that of King Richard III

King Richard III, by unknown artist, late 16th century. National Portrait Gallery, London.

Neanderthals Went Extinct Much Earlier Than Previously Thought A New Study Suggests.

Neanderthals Went Extinct Much Earlier Than Previously Thought Fossil Study Suggests. By Frank Jordans. AP. The Huffington Post, February 4, 2013.

Last Neanderthals of Southern Iberia May Not Have Coexisted With Modern Humans, New Data Suggest. Science Daily, February 4, 2013. Also find it here.

Radiocarbon dating casts doubt on the late chronology of the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in southern Iberia. By Rachel E. Wood et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Published online before print, February 4, 2013. Abstract. [check for full text pdf in 6 months]

European Neanderthals Were On the Verge of Extinction Even Before the Arrival of Modern Humans. By Anneli Waara. Science Daily, February 25, 2012. Also find it here.

European Neanderthals Were on the Verge of Extinction Long Before Humans Showed Up. Science Daily, March 26, 2012. Also find it here.

Partial Genetic Turnover in Neandertals: Continuity in the East and Population Replacement in the West. By Love Dalén et al. Molecular Biology and Evolution, August 2012.

Neanderthal reconstruction

Neanderthals More Advanced Than Previously Thought.

Neanderthals More Advanced Than Previously Thought: They Innovated, Adapted Like Modern Humans, Research Shows. Science Daily, September 22, 2010. Also find it here.

A Niche Construction Perspective on the Middle-Upper Paleolithic Transition in Italy. By Julien Reil-Salvatore. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, December 2010.

Reconstruction of a Neanderthal

When Tyrants and Hatemongers Embrace. By Jonathan S. Tobin.

When Tyrants and Hatemongers Embrace. By Jonathan S. Tobin. Commentary, February 5, 2013.


The Egyptians may stop just short of full recognition of Ahmadinejad’s government in order to keep U.S. taxpayer dollars flowing to Cairo. But the notion that it is in any conceivable sense an ally is out the window. This incident calls into question the decision to keep that aid flowing without condition as well as the continued sale of sophisticated weapons to Egypt that their forces don’t need for self-defense. The closer Egypt draws to Iran, the more it seems as if the peace treaty with Egypt, into which both Israelis and Americans are so heavily, is heading for the scrapheap.

Just as important in many respects is the symbolism of the embrace of two men who have done much to help keep the flames of Jew hatred burning hot recently. Morsi and Ahmadinejad are both on record insulting Jews and Israelis and pledging their destruction as well as for trying to suppress domestic dissent. Far from an innocuous event that shouldn’t worry us, when tyrants embrace, decent people everywhere should tremble.

“Groundhog Day” in Cairo. By Ashraf Khalil.

Groundhog Day in Cairo: A Brutal Video Raises the Political Stakes in Egypt. By Ashraf Khalil. Time, February 2, 2013.

Egypt Conflict Alert. International Crisis Group, February 4, 2013.

“The Americans” Premiere: Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Talk Sex, Spy Games and America vs. Russia. By Laura Prudom.

Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings (originally Nadezhda) and Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings in The Americans.

“The Americans” Premiere: Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Talk Sex, Spy Games and America vs. Russia. By Laura Prudom. The Huffington Post, January 30, 2013.

“The Americans” premiere review: Are you rooting for these Russians? By Ken Tucker. Entertainment Weekly, January 30, 2013.

“The Americans”: What critics are saying about new FX spy series. By Craig Blankenhorn. CBS News, January 30, 2013.

The Americans: TV Review. By Tim Goodman. The Hollywood Reporter, January 23, 2013.

Spies Like U.S.: “The Americans” and the Americans. By Eliot Borenstein. Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia at New York University, February 1, 2013.

The Americans official website. FX. Full video episodes and extras here.

The Americans on FX. YouTube channel.

Go Undercover: “The Americans” First Look. Video. TheAmericansFX, January 23, 2013. YouTube.

Keri Russell on The Americans, Star Wars VII, J. J. Abrams, and Felicity. Video. ENTV, January 31, 2013. YouTube.

The Americans Three Minute Replay: Week 1. Video. TheAmericansFX, February 4, 2013. YouTube.

Go Undercover: Series Premiere Recap. Video. TheAmericansFX, February 4, 2013. YouTube.

A Second G.O.P. By David Brooks.

A Second G.O.P. By David Brooks. New York Times, January 28, 2013.


On the surface, Republicans are already doing a good job of beginning to change their party. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana gave a speech to the Republican National Committee calling on Republicans to stop being the stupid party, to stop insulting the intelligence of the American people.

Representative Paul Ryan gave a fine speech to the National Review Institute calling for prudence instead of spasmodic protest. The new senator for Texas, Ted Cruz, gave a speech to the same gathering saying the Republicans should be focusing on the least fortunate 47 percent of Americans.

But, so far, there have been more calls for change than actual evidence of change. In his speech, for example, Jindal spanked his party for its stale clichés but then repeated the same Republican themes that have earned his party its 33 percent approval ratings: Government bad. Entrepreneurs good.

In this reinvention process, Republicans seem to have spent no time talking to people who didn’t already vote for them.

Change is hard because people don’t only think on the surface level. Deep down people have mental maps of reality — embedded sets of assumptions, narratives and terms that organize thinking. Since Barry Goldwater, the central Republican narrative has been what you might call the Encroachment Story: the core problem of American life is that voracious government has been steadily encroaching upon individuals and local communities. The core American conflict, in this view, is between Big Government and Personal Freedom.

While losing the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, the flaws of this mentality have become apparent. First, if opposing government is your primary objective, it’s hard to have a positive governing program.

As Bill Kristol pointed out at the National Review event, the G.O.P. fiercely opposed the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law but never offered an alternative. The party opposed Obamacare but never offered a replacement. John Podhoretz of Commentary added that as soon as Republicans start talking about what kind of regulations and programs government should promote, they get accused by colleagues of being Big Government conservatives.

The next problem with this mentality is that it makes it hard for Republicans to analyze social and economic problems that don’t flow directly from big government. For example, we are now at the end of the era in which a rising tide lifts all boats. Republicans like Mitt Romney can talk about improving the overall business climate with lower taxes and lighter regulation, but regular voters sense that that won’t necessarily help them because wages no longer keep pace with productivity gains.

Americans are still skeptical of Washington. If you shove a big government program down their throats they will recoil. But many of their immediate problems flow from globalization, the turmoil of technological change and social decay, and they’re looking for a bit of help. Moreover, given all the antigovernment rhetoric, they will never trust these Republicans to reform cherished programs like Social Security and Medicare. You can’t be for entitlement reform and today’s G.O.P., because politically the two will never go together.

Can current Republicans change their underlying mentality to adapt to these realities? Intellectual history says no. People almost never change their underlying narratives or unconscious frameworks. Moreover, in the South and rural West, where most Republicans are from, the Encroachment Story has deep historic and psychological roots. Anti-Washington, anti-urban sentiment has characterized those cultures for decades.

It’s probably futile to try to change current Republicans. It’s smarter to build a new wing of the Republican Party, one that can compete in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic states, in the upper Midwest and along the West Coast. It’s smarter to build a new division that is different the way the Westin is different than the Sheraton.

The second G.O.P. wouldn’t be based on the Encroachment Story. It would be based on the idea that America is being hit simultaneously by two crises, which you might call the Mancur Olson crisis and the Charles Murray crisis.

Olson argued that nations decline because their aging institutions get bloated and sclerotic and retard national dynamism. Murray argues that America is coming apart, dividing into two nations — one with high education levels, stable families and good opportunities and the other with low education levels, unstable families and bad opportunities.

The second G.O.P. would tackle both problems at once. It would be filled with people who recoiled at President Obama’s second Inaugural Address because of its excessive faith in centralized power, but who don’t share the absolute antigovernment story of the current G.O.P.

Would a coastal and Midwestern G.O.P. sit easily with the Southern and Western one? No, but majority parties are usually coalitions of the incompatible. This is really the only chance Republicans have. The question is: Who’s going to build a second G.O.P.?

David Brooks Fighting GOP “Freedomism” to the Death. By Matt Welch. Reason, January 29, 2013.

The Simpletons: David Brooks, Thomas L. Friedman, and the banal authoritarianism of do-something punditry. By Matt Welch. Reason, December 2011. Also find it here.

David Brooks on Freedomism vs. Rhinoism. Essay in symposium “What Is the Future of Conservatism in the Wake of the Wake of the 2012 Election.” Commentary January 2013. Full symposium here. 

The Republican Glasnost. By David Brooks. New York Times, December 6, 2012.

The Conservative Future. By David Brooks. New York Times, November 19, 2012.

The Party of Work. By David Brooks. New York Times, November 8, 2012.

The Conservative Mind. By David Brooks. New York Times, September 24, 2012.

Party of Strivers. By David Brooks. New York Times, August 30, 2012.

What Republicans Think. By David Brooks. New York Times, June 14, 2012.

Our Age of Anxiety. By Yuval Levin. The Weekly Standard, May 28, 2012. Also find it here.

The Possum Republicans. By David Brooks. New York Times, February 27, 2012.

The Great Migration. By David Brooks.

The Great Migration. By David Brooks. New York Times, January 24, 2013.

The Age of Possiblility. By David Brooks. New York Times, November 15, 2012.

The Talent Society. By David Brooks. New York Times, February 20, 2012.