• Something mysterious is going on inside the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Over the past 2 years, senior leaders have been calling for something unusual and unexpected-cultural knowledge of the adversary. … Why has cultural knowledge suddenly become such an imperative? Primarily because traditional methods of warfighting have proven inadequate in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. technology, training, and doctrine designed to counter the Soviet threat are not designed for low-intensity counterinsurgency operations where civilians mingle freely with combatants in complex urban terrain.
  • All vans or SUVs headed into Midtown Manhattan would have to stop and have their contents inspected. If any vehicle seemed for any reason to have escaped inspection, Midtown in its entirety would be evacuated; 2) A whole new uniformed force — the Times Square Security Administration, or TsSA – would be formed for this purpose; 3) The restrictions would never be lifted and the TsSA would have permanent life, because the political incentives here work only one way. A politician who supports more open-ended, more thorough, more intrusive, more expensive inspections can never be proven "wrong." The absence of attacks shows that his measures have "worked"; and a new attack shows that inspections must go further still. A politician who wants to limit the inspections can never be proven "right." An absence of attacks means that nothing has gone wrong — yet. Any future attack would always and forever be that politician's "fault."
  • "One of the oddest paradoxes of modern cultural politics may at last be resolved. The paradox is this: Cultural conservatives revel in condemning the loose moral values and louche lifestyles of "San Francisco liberals." But if you want to find two-parent families with stable marriages and coddled kids, your best bet is to bypass Sarah Palin country and go to Nancy Pelosi territory: the liberal, bicoastal, predominantly Democratic places that cultural conservatives love to hate…. Naomi Cahn and June Carbone — family law professors at George Washington University and the University of Missouri (Kansas City), respectively — suggest that the apparent paradox is no paradox at all. Rather, it is the natural consequence of a cultural divide that has opened wide over the past few decades and shows no sign of closing. To define the divide in a sentence: In red America, families form adults; in blue America, adults form families."