America Has Lost Its Way

By Graciela Huth.  Introduction by Michael Murry. Graciela (Grace) Huth calls herself “an old woman.” She says that she writes as a form of therapy, “to unload my anger and avoid having a stroke due to what is going on today in the USA.” Yet her long life of good citizenship and community activism testify…

Divided, Distracted, Downtrodden: The Social and Political Reality in America Today

W.J. Astore The American people are being kept divided, distracted, and downtrodden.  Divisions are usually based on race and class. Racial tensions and discrimination exist, of course, but they are also exploited to divide people.  Just look at the current debate on the Confederate flag flying in Charleston, South Carolina, with Republican presidential candidates refusing…

The Misfortune Teller

Polemical Poetry XII: The Iraq Catastrophe

Michael Murry.  Introduction by William Astore. Iraq is in the news again.  As ISIS continues to expand its power, U.S. politicians engage in rehashing dishonest debates about “bad” intelligence in regards to Iraq (vintage 2002-03) or in recriminations about who did or is “losing” Iraq, e.g. this article from today’s New York Times about how…

Causes Without Rebels: What Ails America Today

Imperial Proconsul Bremer, desert boots and all, in a distinctly American moment Michael Brenner There are more reasons for Americans to feel aggrieved today than at any time since the Vietnam War ended nearly 40 years ago.  At no time before or since has there been so little effort to remedy those conditions. That contradiction…

Does Scrooge Reign in the USA Today?

W.J. Astore My wife and I always watch “A Christmas Carol” around this time, the classic version with Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge.  Before his redemption, Scrooge is the ultimate miser, a mean-spirited soul who refuses to give to charity since he’s already paying taxes to support prisons and workhouses.  For his fellow man Scrooge…

Everything is a Commodity

It’s Joe Bageant week at The Contrary Perspective.  Bageant is best know for writing Deer Hunting with Jesus, but his second (and sadly his last) book, Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir, is equally good.  Bageant, a self-confessed “redneck,” worked his way into the middle class as an editor.  But he never forgot his roots in…

The Conservative Critique of Higher Education Misses the Mark

W.J. Astore I have conservative friends (Yes, I do!) who express disfavor with higher education.  They see higher ed as being in lockstep with liberal/leftist agendas.  Things like gay marriage, aggressive feminism, multiculturalism, and diversity that focuses not on wide-ranging political views but on the politics of gender and race.  They further see higher ed…

The Bitter Logic of Capitalism

A friend of mine knew the big wigs at a leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment back in the late 1960s.  He recalls reading an article back then in the Wall Street Journal about the company being sued for the deaths of farmers.  The gas tanks on some of their tractors were exploding because they were…