We have misunderstood the nature of the Islamic State in at least two ways. First, we tend to see jihadism as monolithic, and to apply the logic of al‑Qaeda to an organization that has decisively eclipsed it. The Islamic State supporters I spoke with still refer to Osama bin Laden as “Sheikh Osama,” a title of honor. But jihadism has evolved since al-Qaeda’s heyday, from about 1998 to 2003, and many jihadists disdain the group’s priorities and current leadership.
Bin Laden viewed his terrorism as a prologue to a caliphate he did not expect to see in his lifetime. His organization was flexible, operating as a geographically diffuse network of autonomous cells. The Islamic State, by contrast, requires territory to remain legitimate, and a top-down structure to rule it. (Its bureaucracy is divided into civil and military arms, and its territory into provinces.)
We are misled in a second way, by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. Peter Bergen, who produced the first interview with bin Laden in 1997, titled his first book Holy War, Inc. in part to acknowledge bin Laden as a creature of the modern secular world. Bin Laden corporatized terror and franchised it out. He requested specific political concessions, such as the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Saudi Arabia. His foot soldiers navigated the modern world confidently. On Mohammad Atta’s last full day of life, he shopped at Walmart and ate dinner at Pizza Hut.
There is a temptation to rehearse this observation—that jihadists are modern secular people, with modern political concerns, wearing medieval religious disguise—and make it fit the Islamic State. In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.
Huge fireworks displays greeted the New Year in China. Enough that air quality suffers - the US embassy's air monitoring station saw the air quality index go from good to hazardous as the evening progressed.
Sarrell is a nonprofit, but it’s self-sustaining—the clinics don’t use volunteers or take grants or cash donations. Sarrell has excellent equipment, hires top-flight dentists, and staffs its 16 clinics in a way that guarantees its dentists will take a close-up look at the work done by their fellow clinicians. The standard of clinical care is just about the same as in any other dental office in America. It’s everything else that’s different.
The differences in the Sarrell experience start long before patients arrive in the waiting room. The cornerstone of Sarrell’s strategy is to keep its dental chairs occupied as much as possible. “It's Business 101,” says Parker. “If your revenues are declining—and, per patient visit, ours certainly are—there's only one way to operate on lower margins, and that's to see more people.” The quest to keep patients coming through the door begins with a community outreach team member, a role that’s unique in American dentistry.
Joe Nocera's opinion piece where he lays out a bit of background. The bottom line comes at the end with a great quote from Barbara Cherry.
How to classify Internet services shouldn’t even be a question, and it wasn’t before 2002. That’s when Michael Powell, who was then the F.C.C. chairman — and is now the chief lobbyist for the cable industry — decided he wanted Internet services to be classified as an information service. He essentially commanded the F.C.C. to come up with a rationale for doing so, said Barbara Cherry, a professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, and a former F.C.C. staff member. What Wheeler is doing is not a radical step, she said. “They were classified as telecommunications services because they were telecommunications services.
“Classifying them as information services exclusively,” she added, “was the real radical decision.”