Gopnik reviews biblical scholar Pagels' new book, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation,” which makes a strong case that the Book of Revelation was mostly political,
that Revelation is essentially an anti-Christian polemic. That is, it was written by an expatriate follower of Jesus who wanted the movement to remain within an entirely Jewish context, as opposed to the “Christianity” just then being invented by St. Paul, who welcomed uncircumcised and trayf-eating Gentiles into the sect. At a time when no one quite called himself “Christian,” in the modern sense, John is prophesying what would happen if people did. That’s the forward-looking worry in the book....
Business in Crimea has taken a beating since the peninsula’s annexation by Russia. Crimea’s tourism industry collapsed, and companies were cut off from vital suppliers and customers in Ukraine. Now comes the latest blow: nationalization.
From bakeries to shipyards, Crimea’s Kremlin-backed government is moving aggressively to take over businesses that it deems “inefficient,” strategically important, or friendly to the government in Kiev.
The number of deaths from terrorism increased by 61% between 2012 and 2013, a study into international terrorism says. There were nearly 10,000 terrorist attacks in 2013, a 44% increase from the previous year, the Global Terrorism Index 2014 report added [....] Five countries - Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria - accounted for 80% of the deaths from terrorism in 2013. More than 6,000 people died in Iraq alone. India, Somalia, the Philippines, Yemen and Thailand were the next five, with between 1% and 2.3% of global deaths by terrorism [....]
In a rational political system, the American neocons would be the most discredited group in modern U.S. history. If not in the dock for complicity in war crimes – from Central America in the 1980s to Iraq last decade – they would surely not be well-regarded scholars at prominent think tanks and welcomed as op-ed columnists at major publications.
The great political reality of our time is that Democrats don't know (and nobody else does either) how to get wage growth and productivity growth or economic growth lines back into sync...But you cannot make middle class wage growth and wealth inequality the center of your politics unless you have a set of policies which credibly claims some real shot at addressing the problem.