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Posted: Wed, 08/18/2010 - 12:34 | Adam Dickter's Continuum

One reason the American military has resisted calls to reinstate a draft is that conscription often forces armies to deal with soldiers who not only don't want to be there and aren't committed to the cause but can be unfit for duty. While the Abu Ghraib affair shows that even volunteers can be unfit, for the most part it's the men and women who choose to defend their country and are committed to the skills and discipline of military life that contemporary commanders prefer to have on the front.

Posted: Wed, 08/18/2010 - 11:31 | Jewish Techs

Also published in the Jewish Week's Fall Education supplement.

Many 30- and 40-year-olds will remember when a cart with a computer and monitor was wheeled into the classroom and students formed a single line waiting for a chance to use the device for a few minutes. Perhaps it was typing out a few lines of code in BASIC to move the cursor several inches along the screen, or perhaps it was creating an elementary art design.

Posted: Wed, 08/18/2010 - 10:39 | Route 17

An editorial in Saudi's Al-Madina (Aug. 15) gives some insight, from within the Arab world, to the news that the activation of the nuclear facility in Bushehr, expected to happen in the next week. The Saudi edit states:

Posted: Wed, 08/18/2010 - 07:51 | Abigail in Love (Maybe)

"So, Avigail, how long have you been driving?" the Israeli driving instructor asked me, peering around his shoulder to look at me in the back seat.

The 17-year-old with the tzizzit and pimples was behind the wheel.

"Oh, only 22 years," I said, adding it up on my fingers.

"What are you saying?" the instructor asked.

I'm shocked, too. Believe you me. Because I first learned to drive in 1988 at Highland Park High School. (Highland Park, Illinois, people!)

Posted: Wed, 08/18/2010 - 06:46 | Political Insider

Former U.S.

Posted: Tue, 08/17/2010 - 17:38 | Well Versed

Yes. That's the answer given by Damon Linker in a fascinating essay at TNR.com. To play a bit of catch up first: last week, writings by (and more important, images of) Christopher Hitchens ripped through the Internet relating to his recent diagnosis of cancer.  The discovery earlier this summer forced the author to abruptly cancel the book tour of his new memoir in order to undergo treatment. 

But he emerged last week, first posting an essay about his bout with the cancer and radiation treatment at VanityFair.com; then later in a video-blog interview with The Atlantic Monthly's Jeffrey Goldberg.

Much of the media chat since then has turned to the question of whether Hitchens, an outspoken atheist, would show a little mercy and perhaps accept God.  His answer has been an emphatic "No."  And even if he did at some point in the future pray to God, it could only be taken as bestial ravings of a man who's clearly lost his mind; a man whose central feature distinguishing him from all other beasts--his intellect--had left him.