Gazing At Gaza: A Conversation With Sam Harris

[Re-posted from earlier today] As promised, the edited transcript of an August 6 telephone conversation. I’ll now go back to vacation mode – so I’ll deal with whatever dissents and comments when I’m back next month. Harris: First, Andrew, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me. As you know, … Continue reading Gazing At Gaza: A Conversation With Sam Harris

Book Club: Waking Up

Well, I couldn’t resist, could I? Sam Harris is a friend and great interlocutor. We’ve hashed out the issues on Israel and, indeed, religion itself in dialogues. See the Gaza conversation here; and the longer exchange of emails on religion here. I always learn something from him – and I have always thought of him … Continue reading Book Club: Waking Up

The Ambivalent New Atheist

by Dish Staff Ten years ago this month, Sam Harris published The End of Faith, perhaps the first example of what would become known as the New Atheist publishing phenomenon – Dennett, Dawkins, and Hitchens weren’t far behind with their own polemics against religion. Looking back at what’s happened since the book’s release, Harris clarifies … Continue reading The Ambivalent New Atheist

The Weekly Wrap

Palestinian boy Fares Sadallah, 11, cries as he sits outside his home which was damaged following an Israeli air strike in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, on November 16, 2012.

By Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

Friday on the Dish, Andrew agreed with Matt Steinglass about the GOP's Benghazi-fever, saw signs of a Conservative Spring, and found a little bipartisan sunshine near the fiscal cliff. He also reflected on the long road to gay civil rights and thought through the Catholic Church's disconnectedness.

For most of the day we focused on the crisis in Israel, as Andrew lamented the cross-radicalization of both sides, a scary moment in Jerusalem was live-tweeted, and Michael Koplow noted Israel's moral low ground on Twitter, which later got even lower. In addition, Alan Taylor curated yet another fine gallery, Israel's Iron Dome shot down some incoming rockets, and the IDF texted civilians to get out of harm's way. Looking at Gaza's regional effect, Marc Lynch worried about Egypt and Daniel Levy worried about Syria. Looking at Israel itself, several analysts considered the political consequences and intentions of war. Also, readers added their concerns about the ongoing violence, and Goldblog kept asking if Israel has had, or will ever have, an actual strategy. By the way, you can catch up on all this week's Gaza coverage right here.

In political coverage, readers responded to Romney's moocher-paranoia while Nate Cohn championed an electoral Colorado, Neil Irwin tracked the economy's ever-so-gradual recovery, Alexis Madrigal profiled Obama's campaign-techies, and Ambers wondered if Petraeus had lost his nuclear trustworthiness. We also looked for the political divide between America's socio-economic classes, then let Elizabeth McNichol spell out some inequality trends before we counted up the financial-benefits of immigration reform. Oh and Bill O'Reilly somehow kept a straight face.

In assorted coverage, we acknowledged the deep pockets behind legal weed while Balko hoped the stuff would smarten up DC. The rising oceans worried us, wartime led to infidelity, Joel Keller walked lamb chops down the culinary red carpet, and astronomers almost outlined the screenplay to Armageddon II. Then Amit Majmudar heralded excess in literature, a veteran detailed his superfluous military medals, Japan sought regularity from cola, and year-ago Andrew remembered his Catholic childhood. Also, Kermit met Miles in our mashed-up MHB, we were happily distracted by useless websites, visited North Wales in the VFYW, and feared some malevolent boxes in our FOTD.

The rest of the week is after the jump:

The Daily Wrap

Today on the Dish, Andrew assessed the career of David Petraeus, a view that dovetailed Michael Cohen's. Bob Wright thought the militarization of the CIA was the most important Petraeus controversy, while Greenwald was outraged over the FBI overreach that brought the whole affair to light. Michael Gerson, meanwhile, continued to fall for the Petraeus … Continue reading The Daily Wrap