David Mamet writes this week’s cover story on GUNS. Here’s an excerpt:

Karl Marx summed up Communism as “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” This is a good, pithy saying, which, in practice, has succeeded in bringing, upon those under its sway, misery, poverty, rape, torture, slavery, and death.

For the saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia. The agency is called “The State,” and the motto, fleshed out, for the benefit of the easily confused must read “The State will take from each according to his ability: the State will give to each according to his needs.” “Needs and abilities” are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to “the State shall take, the State shall give.”

All of us have had dealings with the State, and have found, to our chagrin, or, indeed, terror, that we were not dealing with well-meaning public servants or even with ideologues but with overworked, harried bureaucrats. These, as all bureaucrats, obtain and hold their jobs by complying with directions and suppressing the desire to employ initiative, compassion, or indeed, common sense. They are paid to follow orders.

Rule by bureaucrats and functionaries is an example of the first part of the Marxist equation: that the Government shall determine the individual’s abilities.

As rules by the Government are one-size-fits-all, any governmental determination of an individual’s abilities must be based on a bureaucratic assessment of the lowest possible denominator. The government, for example, has determined that black people (somehow) have fewer abilities than white people, and, so, must be given certain preferences. Anyone acquainted with both black and white people knows this assessment is not only absurd but monstrous. And yet it is the law.

President Obama, in his reelection campaign, referred frequently to the “needs” of himself and his opponent, alleging that each has more money than he “needs.”

But where in the Constitution is it written that the Government is in charge of determining “needs”? And note that the president did not say “I have more money than I need,” but “You and I have more than we need.” Who elected him to speak for another citizen?

It is not the constitutional prerogative of the Government to determine needs. One person may need (or want) more leisure, another more work; one more adventure, another more security, and so on. It is this diversity that makes a country, indeed a state, a city, a church, or a family, healthy. “One-size-fits-all,” and that size determined by the State has a name, and that name is “slavery.”

Gun Laws and the Fools of Chelm†, Newsweek


New York City’s five boroughs first became Jeff Chen-Hsing Liao’s subjects when he moved to the U.S. from Taiwan in 1999 at the age of 22.

It was the city’s ever-changing landscape that fascinated the young photographer. “Every other week, you go to the same spot and something’s different,” Liao tells Newsweek. “New York is one of the most diverse cities—there are so many different cultures that blend into New York.”

To capture that culture, he photographed the same spot over the course of a day and combined the images.

See more of Liao’s images at Newsweek.com

When teen suicide was on the rise in the 1970s and 1980s, society was stung by the conclusion that something must be wrong with the way we live, because our children don’t want to join us. The question today is different, but just as unsettling. With people relinquishing life at its supposed peak, what does that say about the prize itself? What’s gone so rotten in the modern world?
—  From "The Suicide Epidemic" by Tony Dokoupil in the 5.22.13 issue of Newsweek. Baby boomers are more likely than any other age group to commit suicide.

Awesome photo with this Newsweek story on a new, self-cleaning tape inspired by gecko feet.

A single toe stuck to a wall is all a gecko needs to support its entire body weight. These tiny lizards have evolved microscopic hairs on their feet that exploit intermolecular forces to help them defy gravity on all kinds of surfaces: smooth or rough, dry or wet, clean or dirty. That’s why the gecko is the muse for science’s next generation of adhesives, and one such technology could be coming soon to a hardware store near you. A new gecko-inspired tape developed by a team of engineers at Carnegie Mellon University is super strong, cheap, and cleans itself with multiple uses, easily shedding dirt particles that limit the reusability of conventional adhesives, like those used in Post-It notes

This week’s Newsweek cover: Hil! She’s "the most powerful woman in American history," per our coverline.

Here’s the beginning of the cover story, you can read the whole thing on the website if you’d like:

And now, as of this week, Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes something she has not been in two decades: a private citizen. A mind-boggling thought, really, rich in amusingly prosaic implications. Will she drive a car? Is she going to pop up at the Safeway (you’re supposed to bring your own bags now, Madame Secretary!) or be found standing in line at the Friendship Heights multiplex? She’ll still have Secret Service protection, and she has more than enough money to send other people out on a CVS run. But even so, she is now, for the first time in a very, very long time, just one of us.

The images amuse because, of course, she’s not just one of us. She’s been the most famous and admired woman in America for 20 years. A December Gallup poll had her as the most admired woman in the world, and No. 2 on the list (Michelle Obama) wasn’t remotely close. Not everyone is in on this love-fest, as we well know, by a long shot. But even the seething hatred has, over the years, embroidered her legend—debates about Clinton have somehow always ended up really being about us as a nation, who we are and who we want to be, in such a way that even those who dislike her are implicitly acknowledging that, yes, she is the touchstone.

She’s the most important woman in America. More: she is almost certainly the most important woman in all of our political history. Already, even if this retirement proves to be permanent, which few people think it will be. No? Well, who, then? Who has been first lady, senator, secretary of state? No other woman, that’s for sure. Not many men have held as many high-profile jobs and performed them as well.

And on top of the jobs themselves—in a way, far harder than the jobs themselves—was having to be that barrier breaker, having to be The Woman; the little daughter of a starchy Republican drapery-peddler who would cash in her Goldwater chips and whom fate would eventually select to embody liberation and insolence and cultural transformation, transformation that millions of Americans embraced but that a different set of millions found ruinous, repulsive; having to carry all that on her shoulders, year after year after year, watching people call her all kinds of names and accuse her of all manner of treachery (up to and including criminal behavior and sympathy with terrorists), all that on top of just the normal run-of-the-mill sexism, and knowing that she had to stay above it all and smile, smile, smile, and never take the bait? An impossible job. Who else has had to do all that? 

Hillary Clinton Exits Politics: Her Enduring Legacy, Newsweek