David L. Steinhardt

Only If You Eat Food

03.16.2006 | David L. Steinhardt | Food, National Affairs, Science | 2 Comments

Farmers have, since time immemorial, bred the local corn with other strains, while also cross-breeding these crops with bacteria, viruses, fungi, and the occasional jellyfish or horse, in search of grains that can infect others, grow under toenails, cause intense pain or run the steeplechase.


Can the Left Come To Terms With Bush's Second Term?

11.5.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 9 Comments
"I feel like I'm under occupation!" Eric Kirchberger told the audience. "Whatever they hate: that's what I'm going to be. I'm gonna be a gay married abortionist!"

America -- Rogue State?

10.28.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 9 Comments
The United States of America -- the historic exemplar of adherence to international law -- now kidnaps, assassinates, tortures and disappears combatants and civilians alike, citizens of other nations and, on occasion, our own.

America Born Again?

10.21.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 8 Comments
A look at U.S. foreign policy since the last election suggest the president's certainty and inability to acknowledge error are all of one piece: He knows he's fulfilling prophecy, so the details and problems along the way cannot be significant. At the least, his refusal to admit mistakes or adjust course seem to stem from his born-again beliefs.

Our Man Weighs In On the Debates

10.14.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 4 Comments
The president's gaffes haven't generated the sort of ridicule that greeted, say, Gerald Ford's refusal to acknowledge Poland's membership in the Warsaw Pact in his debate with Jimmy Carter. But they're at least as shocking.

The Twilight of Nework News

09.30.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | Media Affairs | 3 Comments
CBS News, an institution I had the highest respect for until about ten days ago, has announced that evaluating what's true and what's not about a president up for reelection is not part of their mission.

When Conservative Was an Epithet

Those who disparage liberalism and the movements of the 1960s era generally avoid speaking of liberalism's victories: the end of separate facilities for blacks in the South, voting rights unhindered by poll taxes and "citizenship tests" and, gosh, the end of girdles on secretaries who were expected to take dictation in the boss's lap.

Our Man Makes The Case for Kerry's Haughtiness

09.16.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 5 Comments
Americans like candidates to have big personalities, though, so Kerry should be himself with gusto and treat the president as he actually feels about him, with barely masked contempt, peppered by incredulity.

Rational Hatred

09.9.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 4 Comments
Many have made hay over the president's connections to Saudi Arabia. Sen. Graham lights it aflame: the White House classified the portions of a Congressional inquiry into 9/11 that documented official support from Saudi Arabia for the hijackers. The inquiry determined that Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Bassan, both major funders of the attacks, "were working for the Saudi government."

Lost in Translation

09.2.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 1 Comment
Powell gives eleven detailed reasons why abdicating the Geneva Convention would spell disaster. He was right, but no one was really listening.

You Don't Have To Be a Hippie To Believe in Peace

Despite a security apparatus that had half the country spying on the other half and each other, like every other nation in the bloc, its totalitarian regime tumbled at the first signs of weakness.

The Wayback Machine and the Constitutional Crisis

08.19.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 5 Comments
A constitutional system which survived terrorists behind every door in the 1860s, which thrived while tens of millions died in the 1940s, is treated as a dangerous luxury by those sworn to defend it after the loss of only 3,000 citizens and several large office buildings.

Why the Administration Outed Its Own Al Qaeda Mole

Our enemies couldn't have received better intelligence about American operations if they'd had Condi Rice on their payroll.

Have Americans Forgotten our Founding Document?

08.5.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 4 Comments
George Orwell and Arthur C. Clarke confounded the titles of their visionary novels: 1984 came in 2001.

Commander-In-Chief Cheney's Quiet Moment

07.29.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 4 Comments
Over an hour and a half after the attacks had begun, an hour and a quarter after Andrew Card had told the president the nation was under attack, and 15 minutes after Cheney had given the order to shoot down the planes, the VP finally deigned to bring the president into the loop.

Questions Worth Asking

07.22.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | International Affairs | 1 Comment
One photo every American should see is that of Reagan emissary Don Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand before calling him "friend." His mission: to tell Saddam that while the U.S. would officially condemn his gassing of the Kurds, we still considered Saddam our boy against Iran. Mr. President, do you ever think of this when using the "gassed his own people" line over and over?

A Terror Threat Close To Home

07.15.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 12 Comments
It's a creepy pattern: The U.S. trains those with ambition but no money to become killers in an army increasingly used for discretionary invasions. Not surprisingly, some of our soldiers internalize the message. "The Army of One" remains so after discharge.

Our Man Recalls His First Political Love

Blumenthal for Mayor was in the Brill Building, in the waning days of its life as a songwriters' lab. The operator-driven elevators passed through multiple-piano cacophony each trip up and down. Jack Dempsey still greeted customers himself in his eponymous restaurant off the lobby.

Slamburger From Four Sacred Cows 

07.1.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | Cultural Affairs | 5 Comments
Tom Robbins, who makes a good living celebrating imaginary free-spirited women, attacks Joyce Maynard, though not by name, in a new anthology of writings on Salinger for "gaining [his] trust and betraying" him.

Bush's Amoral Abortion Compromise

06.24.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 4 Comments
Consider the implications: Your husband beats you? Take your newborn and run away! A pregnancy would render you homeless? How bourgeois! Too mentally ill to care for a child? Give it up for adoption! Giving birth would severely injure, but not kill you? You shouldn't have had a sex life to begin with!

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