‘Muslim refusenik’ aims to reform Islam

February 16, 2006
A “skirmish of cultures,” or so Irshad Manji describes the convulsions sweeping the Islamic world over those pesky Danish cartoons. As her euphemistic interpretation of Samuel Huntington’s “clash of civilizations” suggests, Manji is optimistic about Western-Islamic relations. Manji’s optimism stems from her progressive vision of a reformed Islam, which she hopes to popularize among the »

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January 27, 2006
Never in history has it been so easy for a nation to forget that it is at war. At least during the Cold War, we had the omnipresent specter of nuclear holocaust to remind us of our conflict with the Soviets. Al-Qaida has failed to launch a successful terrorist attack on the U.S. in over »

Ivy League to future stay-at-home moms: Don’t bother

October 5, 2005
It’s a rare moment when I defend the journalistic integrity of The New York Times. It seems impossible to escape the front page doomsday stories about suicide bombings and deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush’s plummeting public approval rating and the carnage wrought by some of the nastiest hurricanes in years. Flip to the back »

With eye to the Beltway, campus politics grow up

September 21, 2005
There’s much of me that wants to hate Yale’s Roosevelt Institution: “the nation’s first student think tank … for a new generation of progressive politics,” as its Web site boasts. The group’s published articles about the “cultural imperialism” of education in Papua New Guinea, opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and a »

The Elm City’s non-American American

September 7, 2005
We all have our Sunday morning rituals. For some, it’s church then brunch. For others, it’s three Ibuprofen and back to sleep. For Zeqir Berisha, his Sunday pastime is waving the American flag. On nearly every Sunday for almost a decade, Berisha has stood on street corners in New Haven, Waterbury and Litchfield waving the »

Radical un-chic: think before you wear

April 20, 2005
To those longing for the days when four years of Yale were still ahead of us, the bright-eyed pre-frosh strolling around campus recently were an endearing sight. Youthful and bubbly, they were a far cry from our pre-reading-week/let-me-begin-my-summer malaise. The inane rallying cries of GESO strikers notwithstanding, Bulldog Days enlivened the Elm City with its »

For pluralism, for world and for ‘college in Conn.’

April 6, 2005
We’re frequently told that we are the inheritors of an elite legacy, of something truly unique in collegiate education, of a mystical tradition dating back to 1701. Yale certainly has its old-fashioned aspects: secret societies, Handsome Dan, tweed jackets, cups at Mory’s, the college system and its unique dining halls. Recently, I’ve heard some of »

Putting the torch to a culture of entitlement

March 23, 2005
How bizarre it is, but in some ways, conservatives are becoming regular Che Guevaras. Democrats are now the staunch defenders of the status quo, while Republicans have taken to tossing grenades at dearly held establishment shibboleths. (Thankfully, they’ve stopped short of firing squads to execute the popped-collar oppressors.) Workers of the world, unite! Power to »

Why American exceptionalism rings true

February 23, 2005
In a politically correct age dominated by cultural relativism, American exceptionalism — the notion that the United States has reached its superpower status because of the values it represents — can seem at best a hubristic expression of patriotism, or perhaps at worst, a myopic justification of imperialism. The thought of American colonists somehow tapping »

End to ‘don’t ask’ won’t come through JAG ban

February 9, 2005
Yale students and professors at the Law School have led a national movement to banish military recruiters from law school campuses — and succeeded, so far. It’s a classic case of academia unconcerned with the consequences of its actions and ignorant of the fact that a real world exists outside its polished ivory walls. The »

Radical left’s ‘woe is us’ line is getting old

January 26, 2005
To escape the oppression of Yale’s imperialist, pro-Bush hordes, there’s a place deep underground Cross Campus where the clandestine network of liberal activists can freely express their opinions without fear of persecution from the armed legions of conservative Yalies. The “Free Speech Zone,” an unassuming bulletin board in the basement tunnel connecting Sterling Memorial Library »

Earth to GESO: Efforts to unionize are lost cause

January 12, 2005
Every year, “Flat-Earth” fanatics from around the world gather to celebrate and discuss the “non-spherical nature of the Earth.” For this bizarre coterie of Biblical literalists and conspiracy theorists, the commonly held view of our planet as a sphere is but a myth. As a “Flat-Earther” Web site unflinchingly proclaims, “the Earth is, in fact, »