A trip to Liberty Island inspired New York-based freelancer Shawn Macomber to pen a tirade on life in the security state ("The Statue of Security," page 20). Macomber is writing a "political adventure book" that consists of a series of travelogues covering "the good, the bad, and the ugly of class war enthusiasts, from the state-run oil offices of Venezuela to the Mall of America." On his travels, he was "hassled and shaken down by various parts of the police state apparatus in Venezuela and Kenya, even by Iraqi soldiers," all of which he expected. But he didn't expect to be harassed by burly men with guns when he reached the foot of Lady Liberty.
Jim Henley says John Robb's Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization, which he reviews on page 61, is "a thin book with a fat book inside struggling to get out." Specifically, "Robb asserts a larger problem—the future where we really could have a war of all against all—but only kind of nibbles around it." Henley has contributed to a number of outlets, from Chronicles to The New Republic, but he's best known for his popular blog Unqualified Offerings (highclearing.com), where he writes about foreign policy, comics, football, and poetry, among other topics.
Shikha Dalmia, a senior analyst at the Reason Foundation, tackles college admissions in "Legacies of Injustice" (page 32), where she argues against giving a special boost to the children of alumni. Her interest in the topic was sparked by her son's experience applying to college. "I always joke that the one good thing I did for him was to save him from the Indian school system," says Dalmia, who was born in New Delhi and immigrated to the U.S. in 1985. The Indian system, she says, is "horribly cutthroat." But since college admissions there are based solely on performance on a national exam, "at least it has clarity. We have something to learn from that." Dalmia lives in the suburbs of Detroit, and her son is now a student at Johns Hopkins University.