A Second Look: Abraham Lincoln on the “Mud-Sill” Theory of Labor

December 2, 2013

The movement to increase the minimum wage, and to tie it legislatively to the cost of living, is growing. The obscenity of low-wage employment among adults – full-time employment that does not offer a living wage – is increasingly apparent. As Arindrajit Dube pointed out in The New York Times: the evidence suggests that around half of [...]

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Two Epistemic Closures: The GOP and Israel-Critics

January 28, 2013

. (This commentary originally appeared in the Algemeiner on January 25, 2013.) What do Tuesday’s election results remind us of? They should recall the result of November’s U.S. elections. Against all evidence – and here I do mean all evidence – Mitt Romney and Republicans of every stripe, from Tea Party to establishment, genuinely believed that they [...]

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Faking Foreign Policy

October 9, 2012

. From David Sanger in yesterday’s New York Times: But beyond his critique of Mr. Obama as failing to project American strength abroad, Mr. Romney has yet to fill in many of the details of how he would conduct policy toward the rest of the world, or to resolve deep ideological rifts within the Republican Party and [...]

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I Apologize

August 20, 2012

. Jonah Lehrer has apologized to his readers for manufacturing quotations in his latest book, to Michael Moynihan for lying about it, and to himself for self-plagiarizing his blog posts for The New Yorker. Fareed Zakaria has apologized to Time and CNN for plagiarizing a paragraph of an article from Jill Lepore at the New [...]

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Playing Politics with Jews

August 6, 2012

. This post previously appeared in the Algemeiner on August 1, 2012. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), in his best Captain Renault form – which includes being entirely insincere and unconvincing – is shocked, shocked to discover that there is politics going on in the U.S. of A. Never played any of that sort [...]

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Occupy Wall Street vs The Tea Parties

October 10, 2011

. There is enough oversimplification in MSM political commentary about American political movements and tendencies – their origins, motives, and acts – to swirl perpetually down a drain of ignorance, but I don’t have quite that much time today. The opposition of the title above is certainly a current, favored topic of pundits. As it [...]

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The GOP’s Media-Manufactured Messiahs

August 18, 2011

  They might have learned something from the original breakfast flake of modern times Ross Perot. But the news media do not learn. They speculate, they trumpet, they pander, they shill – “It’s news! How can we not cover news?!” And who made it news? You’d think certainly they would have learned from Rudy and [...]

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Michele Bachmann and Christian Taqiyya

August 16, 2011

Much has been made in recent years of the Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya, which permits and even promotes, according to some, religious concealment and dissimulation in certain contexts and in confronting non-Muslims. What is it that Michele Bachmann did on Meet the Press this Sunday but engage in her own form of Taqiyya on behalf of her [...]

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“Free Labor,” from Abraham Lincoln – in Wisconsin

March 7, 2011

Abraham Lincoln, in his so far unending prescience and wisdom, actually offered some thoughts on the nature of labor and capital in of all places Wisconsin – at the annual meting of the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, in Milwaukee, on September 30, 1859. A brief passage from it, bolded below, is quoted often and can [...]

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The GOP’s Fake Argument of Utility against Labor Rights

March 1, 2011

………………………………………………….Think now History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions, Guides us by vanities. T.S. Eliot, “Gerontion” As I said yesterday, the underlying and fundamental motivation for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other Republicans’ drive to eliminate collective bargaining for public sector unions is an outright philosophical opposition to organized [...]

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JBS Then = GOP Today

February 18, 2011

Glenn Beck? He’d have to be more histrionic. Rush Limbaugh? More the buffoon. What about Ron Paul, then, who came in first in last week’s CPAC Presidential Straw Poll, with 30%. Here, in 1974, is Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society, which once was synonymous with right wing extremism and rejected by respectable [...]

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TNR Takes on The Debt Commission and Con Dogma

November 12, 2010

The other day, I wrote, What polling on the issues – particularly economic safety-net and quality of life issues, but many others now, too – tends to support is that the U.S. is actually somewhat center-left. This is not pre-Depression America and no one but the hard core right and libertarians wishes it were. What [...]

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The People Our Parents Warned Us Against

November 4, 2010

Image via Wikipedia The Obama campaign refrain, “We are the people we have been waiting for” was meant to be a revelation of responsibility – not to wait for others to shape the world the hopeful want, but to do it themselves. Obama’s political enemies (let’s be straight: they’re not critics – they’re enemies) represented [...]

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Elections Are Short, Wrong Is Long

November 3, 2010

Analysts have regularly been anticipating the results of yesterday’s election with comparisons to 1994 and 1982, the midterm elections of Clinton’s and Reagan’s first terms. Here is another comparison. Elections to the United States House of Representatives were held in 1862, mostly in November, in the middle of President Abraham Lincoln’s first term. His Republicans [...]

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What’s Coming to Us

October 28, 2010

Are you an optimist? Then what are you reading me for? Seriously. (No, I’m just joking.) Optimism and pessimism are about reading signs. They are tilts of the head as we read. P goes this way, O that. Sometimes, it seems to me, O is tilting so far he’s practically looking up from below, spying [...]

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Conservative Anti-Humanism

September 22, 2010

Increasingly, American conservatism is an anti-humanism, dogmatically opposed to nature in its physical reality – the natural occurrence in the animal world, including the human, of homosexuality – and assertive of supernatural religious claims and imperatives in the face of reason and science. In opposing the ignorance and intolerance of Islamic fundamentalism, American conservatism purports [...]

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Ship of Fools II

September 20, 2010

Updated: GOP Candidate Sharron Angle Speaks at John Birch Society Event. See below. That what is referred to as the Tea Party movement – a phenomenon, in fact, more multifaceted than the mass popular movement that name is meant to suggest – has a base in the passionate discontent of a segment of the populace [...]

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Antisemitism: Let’s get it Right

November 24, 2009

Just when I’m out gettin’ a tooth drilled, Shrinkwrapped goes and adds (I guess it kinda makes sense) an addendum to his post trying to pin anti-Semitism, historically, on the left, stating “For roughly two centuries now, antisemitism has, throughout the Western world, been principally associated with Leftism.” He even trots out a quote from the [...]

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