Category History

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Obama and Antiochus: the Modern Persecution Complex

Michael Stokes Paulsen, reported in Ben Domenech’s Transom, attempts to draw a shaky parallel between a campaign of oppression carried out by the Hellenistic king Antiochus IV Ephiphanes on his Jewish subject, and the Obama administration’s mandate that church-affiliated organizations cover contraceptives as part of their employees’ health plans: The story does not have an especially […]

Profiles in Corporate Responsibility: Triangle Shirtwaist a Century Later

Today’s New York Times ran, as the site’s cover story, a series of pieces on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, an industrial tragedy that killed or injured over 200 workers, and lent urgency to both the organized labor and Progressive movements. The facts of the disaster remain remarkable: a small fire broke out on […]

Belated Reflection on Texas Independence Day

Although I missed it on this site, yesterday was Texas Independence Day, commemorating the Republic’s Declaration of Independence from Mexico, dated yesterday, 1836. As usual, the event is marked by recitation of the (many) strong, sometimes poetic statements of the Texas uniqueness, including this from Sam Houston: Texas has yet to learn submission to any […]

A Requiem for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: What Was It For, This Country?

And a belated happy New Year to all readers! Yesterday saw the close of the first of the Public Theater’s two shows to make it to Broadway in 2010 (the other, the company’s production of Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino, continues). Jackson‘s untimely end raises its own questions of Broadway’s place in the arts, […]

“Clothe Yourselves in the Morals of the Toga”

After the fall of Rome — but before Justinian could sweep away her people and her infrastructure — Theoderic the Ostrogoth used this line, and reference to Roman foundational values generally, to prop up his reign as an invader-king. It strains credulity to think the heroes of Rome’s past would’ve easily suborned a foreign presence, […]

“No Special Rights for Special Classes”?

A curious new conservative organization, “Stop the Islamization of America” (SIOA), demonstrates one of the more clever anti-equality tropes we regularly see from the far-right. Move past the classy, blood-spattered logo, and look to the mission statement: SIOA is a human rights organization dedicated to freedom of speech, religious liberty, and individual rights; no special […]

This Week in Red-Baiting

A new chain e-mail making its way around the internet cites to a political cartoon from the Chicago Tribune which, in 1934, made the same allegations against President Franklin Roosevelt that the “tea parties” make against President Obama. It’s all there. The nasty, senseless anti-elitism (“Young pinkies from Columbia and Harvard”); obligatory reference to Stalin, at the […]

Human Events Unapologetically Pushes Civil War Revisionism

Among other stellar exhibitions of conservative values, this year’s CPAC featured, hilariously, a presentation that dared to ask the important question: “Abraham Lincoln: Friend or Foe?” Now, it’s altogether too easy to make fun of isolated presentations at a conservative fringe event. And it’s probably unfair to generalize on that basis alone. But Human Events, […]

Say What You Will About Tony Scalia…

But the man has a sense of humor. Responding to a screenwriter’s letter asking how the Supreme Court would respond to Maine’s theoretical secession: I am afraid I cannot be of much help with your problem, principally because I cannot imagine that such a question could ever reach the Supreme Court. To begin with, the […]

The Marxist Impulse in Conservative Polemic: “Liberal Fascists”

Jonah Goldberg, the man famous for redrawing the political spectrum to equate “liberals” with Nazis, shares an important trait with Conservapedia — a passion for historical revisionism. For both, the war against liberalism is a quest that spans the epochs. There were Jewish liberals in ancient Jerusalem, eager to kill the Son of God; and […]

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