Newsweek December 17, 2012

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37 号


letters & contributors

A Note to Our Subscribers: Newsweek’s All-Digital Future Newsweek is going all digital starting Jan. 4, 2013, and will no longer publish a print edition. However, we will continue to publish Newsweek as a digital magazine. To receive your remaining issues in digital format, please visit godigital to set up your account. Please complete this simple process by Dec. 27, 2012, to avoid any interruption to your subscription. If you are already a digital Newsweek customer through iTunes, Zinio, Google, Kindle, or Nook, you don’t need to do anything—your subscription will continue as is. As we have for years, Newsweek will continue to offer a money-back guarantee on all unmailed issues if you notify us that, for any reason, you wish to cancel your subscription. We look forward to continuing to serve you…

a swarm of angry shrinks

NATIONAL NO TEBOOK : The board of trustees for the American Psychiatric Association just approved version five of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM. The latest revision was unusually public and came after several years of open disagreement among the country’s leading psychiatrists. T is drama is perhaps understandable: the shrinks after all were assigned the most unruly task in all of science—to determine what is normal. Controversy has always surrounded the DSM, which is used as a reference manual to categorize patients. Most famously, the ancient DSM-II had labeled homosexuality as a disorder till public reaction led to its removal in 1973. The circus around DSM-5 however has set a new standard for internecine discord: the lead editors of two previous editions stepped forward…

jenny beth martin

IT'S BARELY 8 a.m. and already Jenny Beth Martin sounds both exhausted and outraged. Cofounder of Tea Party Patriots, the largest of the movement's organizations, Martin is spending an awful lot of time these days hunkered down in meetings. Strategy meetings. Messaging meetings. Meetings aimed at pushing back against what Martin sees as the political establishment's-most gallingly the Republican establishment's-"all out war" on fiscally responsible Americans like her members. "We're not going to let either party blame us!" asserts the softspoken, baby-faced mother of two. "They've used us for the past three and a half years, blaming us for the nation's fiscal problems." During the debtceiling battle two years ago, she recalls, "the president went out and said that we were holding a gun to the American people's head!" Since Nov. 6,…

not a good week for speech

'DON'T SPEAK' Anyone reading the Nobel Prize acceptance lecture of this year's literature laureate could be forgiven for thinking that the writer is a bit of a mush-pot, so full is it of tear-jerking, almost schmaltzy anecdotes about his late mother. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mo Yan-or "Don't Speak," the pen name by which the Chinese novelist goes-may be a mama's boy but he's no dewy-eyed sentimentalist. Speaking in Stockholm, Mo expressed support for censorship, likening its necessity to that of airport security: "When I was taking my flight, going through customs ... they also wanted to check me-even taking off my belt and shoes. But I think these checks are necessary." So, too, with defamation or rumors, which "should be censored." Mo added delphically that he hoped…

the war on christmas is over

JON STEWART recently introduced his annual skewering of the "war on Christmas" with a montage of Fox News personalities breathlessly reporting the latest outrages against the holiday's religious origins. "Let's face facts," Stewart said. "The annual Fox 'war on Christmas' has become a little predictable." For several years now, there have been signs the war on Christmas is running out of ammunition. Google Trends shows a peak in news articles mentioning the Christmas clashes in 2005, after which they slowed to a small annual blip. In 2007 the Springfield, 111., State Journal-Register remarked that the paper had received hardly any letters about the war on Christmas. "If there still is a War on Christmas going on, its soldiers must have gone underground," they wrote in a Christmas Eve editorial. Despite occasional…

calling all cabs

IT'S HARD to think of a market more mired in the mid-20th century than urban taxis and car services. In a world of digital markets, buyers and sellers of the service interact in the most analog way imaginable. Drivers cruise the streets, advertising their availability, and buyers stand and try to hail them, competing against the elements and one another. It seems to be a classic case where a simple app could make the whole thing run more efficiently. Enter Uber. You download the app, punch in your coordinates, and wait for a driver from a car or taxi service to arrive. The user pays Uber a fixed fee, plus time and mileage, and Uber pays the driver. "We look at ourselves as a technology company," said Travis Kalanick, the mastermind…