How to Defeat the Islamic State. "Over the last thirteen years, America’s foreign policy has consisted mostly of defining what we don’t want: Saddam, Al-Qaida, Qaddafi, Boko Haram, the Islamic State. But we have failed to define what we do want. Rather than pausing to define the ultimate aim of our involvement – the very point of war for military action is just a means to a political end – we have rushed ahead anyway: Ready, Shoot, Aim. Unfortunately, we now have quite the track record of removing one monster only to find a more brutal monster in his place. This global war will never end without a coherent American strategy and we don’t have one for Iraq and Syria at the time of this writing. [...] To defeat the Islamic State and to further American interests, the United States must create a legitimate secular, political alternative for Iraq’s Sunnis."
Photographer Richard Pare spent from 1992 to 2007 documenting the modernist architecture that flourished in the newly-formed Soviet Union. Many of the building are now underused, decayed, or demolished. Here is an interview. Here are some reviews of a 2007 show at MOMA and the current exhibit at Chicago's Graham Foundation, which ends on the 22nd. Previously.
Owen Hatherley, has three blogs where he expounds on culture and architecture from an English Leftist perspective, sit down man, you're a bloody tragedy, The Measures Taken (which has longer essays than the previous blog) and the group film blog kino fist. To give you an idea of the range of subjects he covers, here's a sampling of his blogposts: Towards a Communist Couture? Sartorial Socialism from Huey P Newton to Honecker, Zuckendes Fleischer (on pre-WWII American cartoons), Industrial Island Machine - Vorticism and the absence of an English Avant-Garde, Hurrah for the Black Box Recorder (on songwriter Luke Haines and The Daily Mail), The Children’s Book as a Revolutionary Object (with a bunch of pictures from Soviet avant-garde children's books), Architectural Drawings of the 1960s, Art is a branch of Mathematics (Taylorism and Russian SF classic We), Brechtian Productivism in an age of Mechanical Stagnation and Notes towards an attempted refutation of the 'Associational Fallacy' (on architecture). All of the blogs are heavily adorned with pretty pictures, some not safe for work. [more inside]
God's Justice and Ours. Justice Antonin Scalia writes on capital punishment in First Things: "In my view, the major impetus behind modern aversion to the death penalty is the equation of private morality with governmental morality. This is a predictable (though I believe erroneous and regrettable) reaction to modern, democratic self–government."