"Support the Troops?" No!: A Review of The Deserter's Tale by Joshua Key

The United States is the most warlike nation on earth and has been for a very long time. It would take too much space simply to enumerate all of the places where the United States is involved today in wars of one kind or another. Not only are U.S. troops actively fighting in Iraq and […]

Crozier Mountain Meadow

Rise and Shine and Shout for Glory

On a recent Friday, the morning opened with bright sun and blue sky. Boulder had had its wettest spring in one hundred years, and this had put a crimp in our hiking regimen. Tornadoes had touched down nearby, and we had seen rainbows several times a week. Boulder Creek was running fast and deep, which […]

The Disconnects in the Minds of Workers

Clarity of thought is rare in the United States. This is not surprising given the constant barrage of propaganda to which we are subjected during every waking hour. Nowhere are systematic falsehoods presented as truth more than with respect to the nature of our economic system. I have discussed this before, but here I want […]

Throw the Reactionary Rulers of Iran onto History's Rubbish Heap

Nearly all of the world’s people, who are overwhelmingly wage laborers and peasants, endure oppression. Of course, societies vary considerably in both the degree and openness of this oppression. Sweden is no doubt a less repressive nation than is the United States, and the latter is less coercive than is Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, the lot […]

Music, Music, Music, or How Amy Winehouse Made Me Cry

Playwright William Congreve said: “Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” And so it does. Perhaps the Russian revolutionary Lenin had Congreve in mind when he said, according to Maxim Gorky: “I know the ‘Appassionata’ inside out and yet I am willing to listen to it […]

Work is Hell

Economists never say much about work. They talk about the supply of and the demand for labor, but they have very little to say about the nature of the work we do. Like most commentators, they seem to believe that modern economies will require ever more skilled work, which will be done in clean and […]

Indianapolis Hotel Workers Rising Up

At the request of an organizer from the union, UNITE/HERE (see comment on last post), I am posting this interesting video. Hotel workers are notoriously overworked and underpaid. Karen and I have talked to many motel workers in our years of travel, and I can say from experience that this is the case. We both […]

What if the United Auto Workers Owned a Car Company?

The troubles in the U.S. automobile industry have taken an interesting turn. In return for considerable concessions to Chrysler and General Motors, the United Auto Workers may become a majority shareholder in Chrysler and a large stakeholder in General Motors. The federal government will also own a large fraction of the shares of the two […]

Mormon Country

Karen and I love the canyon country of southern Utah. Last November, we spent three weeks hiking in the five national parks that span the state from west to east.  We drove from Tucson north to Phoenix and up, up to Sedona and Flagstaff, rising 6,000 feet out of the polluted desert developments and into […]

The Blighted Groves of Academe

The more I read about the state of our colleges and universities, the more thankful I am that I quit my job at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) in 2001, after thirty-two years of teaching. I wrote the following essay a dozen years ago, and since then, matters have gotten progressively worse, not […]