Category Archives: History

Wind, Inherited

Aaron Miller will be the Republican candidate in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District race this coming fall. You’ll never guess what inspired him to run for office: He said he can also reach out to the youth vote, which he said … Continue reading

Posted in History, Religion | 3 Comments

Matters of Consequence

The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates and New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait are in the midst of a blogger debate that is definitely worth your time. The discussion was prompted by Paul Ryan’s recent remarks about an urban culture of poverty (“We … Continue reading

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Tell me this is a joke

Sadly, I suspect Mr Abrams is all too serious: Before Obama, there was a sense of world order that relied in large part on America. When Saddam invaded Kuwait and claimed it as his own, we pushed him out. We … Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Policy, History | 2 Comments

Serious Discussion Of The Presidential Race, Circa 2011

This nicely encapsulates the GOP’s unseriousness, and the media’s catering to right-wing identity politics in lieu of accurately reporting the news: Franklin Graham on the 2012 Presidential Race  The Reverend discusses his feelings toward Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. Apr 22, … Continue reading

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“I was loved”

Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, died this weekend at the age of 110. Her obituary is truly a wonder. Here is an excerpt: In 1943, Sommer was sent to the Terezin-Theresienstadt concentration camp, along with … Continue reading

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No, It Isn’t

Next time something happens that makes you feel sad and/or mad, take a deep breath and remember: it’s not like Stalin, Hitler, or Tojo. Discussion of inequality is not, pace a billionaire’s WSJ letter, like Nazi pogroms:

Posted in History, News and Current Events, Politics | 2 Comments

What US Politics Is About

DougJ writes: What’s most frustrating about reading American political pundits is all the pretend bullshit about how people are motivated by Burkean pragmatism or fiscal restraint, when it’s really all about slavery and its aftermath. The only civil war ever … Continue reading

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Because Things Are As They Are, That Is How They Must Be

The unfortunately predominant flaw in today’s conservatism– an unreflective defense of the status quo and lashing out at bothersome facts– is perfectly illustrated by this gentleman’s silly little crusade: According to a guest speaker at this weekend’s Values Voters Summit … Continue reading

Posted in Football, History, News and Current Events, Politics, Sports | 1 Comment

“Emphasis is placed upon destruction”

An oft-overlooked component of the white man’s burden: burning lots of records. The full extent of the destruction of Britain’s colonial government records during the retreat from empire was disclosed on Thursday with the declassification of a small part of the Foreign … Continue reading

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Music of the ’60s

It’s not quite R&B or rock & roll, but does have a melody of sorts: Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, … Continue reading

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Epiphany

So I originally came across this Todd Rundgren song on Pandora about seven years ago. I’ve listened to it dozens of times or more, but until I heard this Big Star cover this morning, I’d never understood the chorus– turns … Continue reading

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Muscle Shoals

Had a bout of insomnia friday night and ended up turning the radio on at around 4 or 5 AM, by chance catching Bob Edwards’ weekend show. He and Doyle McManus (from the Los Angeles Times) take an audio tour … Continue reading

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Strategery

There’s a new book out about the Bush Jr. administration. I’m not going to read it– why would I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?– but some stuff from it will trickle out and be of general interest, … Continue reading

Posted in History, News and Current Events, Politics | 1 Comment

How The Republicans Are Trying To Shred The Constitution

Jon Chait has an important post, worth reading in full, concluding with the hyperbolic-sounding argument that: The stakes are higher than resisting the specific demands Republicans are making, and higher even than the economic havoc of a debt breach. Obama … Continue reading

Posted in History, News and Current Events, Politics | 4 Comments

Vindicated By History

This speech opposing the invasion of Iraq was delivered at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies 11 years ago today: I have come here today to express my view that America should not go to war against Iraq … Continue reading

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Things Reach Their Logical Conclusion, Or “Things Fall Apart”

Things don’t usually reach their logical conclusion. Tensions between, say, Catholics and Protestants, or Sox and Yankees fans, or Republicans and Democrats, or the rich and the poor, don’t usually all come together in some grand apocalyptic conflagration. Tensions persist … Continue reading

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The Creator And The Destroyer

Claude S. Fischer argues that commerce created empathy: Why this modern expansion in the range of objects fit for sympathy? Some explanations point to deep cultural changes in Westerners’ understanding of human nature. New ideas sacralized the individual; described the … Continue reading

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It Isn’t Even Past

I’m always talking about the influence of the Southern Strategy on contemporary US politics, but some researchers have found a connection further back (pdf): In this paper, we estimate the effect of the local prevalence of slavery—an institution that was … Continue reading

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