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Archive for the 'USH: Reagan Years' Category

The Real Origins of the Religious Right

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

“They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.”

Randall Balmer, Dartmouth Professor in the Arts & Sciences at Dartmouth College, offers this controversial and convincing assessment of the rise of the Religious Right. 

The Most Common* Job In Each State 1978-2014

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

…and the rise of truck drivers.

from our friends at Planet Money

Fresh Air Interview: How Ronald Reagan Used An ‘Invisible Bridge’ To Win Over Americans

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Between 1973 and 1976, Americans saw a president resign in disgrace, a calamitous end to the Vietnam War, gas lines at service stations, the financial collapse of New York City, two presidential assassination attempts, and the kidnapping of a publishing heiress by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Perlstein says Reagan spoke to Americans’ anxieties with a simple message about America’s inherent greatness — and became the leader of a potent political movement.

“[Reagan’s] ability to preach this liturgy of absolution in the midst of moral chaos … was the soul of his political appeal,” Perlstein tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies.

Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. “The Equal Rights Amendment”

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Man Who Shot Reagan Seeks Release From Mental Hospital

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

John Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to a mental institution for shooting the president, Press Secretary James Brady and two law enforcement officers. Now he’s asking a federal judge to allow him to live full time with his mother in Virginia.

John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., in 2003 to seek five-day, unsupervised visits with his parents at their home in Virginia. His current hearing is the seventh time a court has weighed gradually opening the door to Hinckley's freedom.

Greed Is Good: A 300-Year History of a Dangerous Idea

Friday, July 25th, 2014

“But for the most part, I don’t think we don’t say very much about greed, not comfortably at least. Perhaps that is the inevitable price of an economic system that relies on the vigor of self-interested pursuits, that it instills a kind of moral quietism in the face of avarice, for whether out of a desire to appear non-judgmental or for reasons of moral expediency, unless some action verges on the criminal, we hesitate to call it greed, much less evidence of someone greedy. We don’t deny the existence of such individuals, but like Bigfoot, they tend to be more rumored than seen.

Moral revolutions come about in different ways. If we reject some conduct but rarely admit an example, we enjoy the benefit of being high-minded without the burden of moral restraint. We also embolden that behavior, which proceeds with a presumptive blessing. As a matter of public discourse and polite conversation, “Greed” is unlikely to be “Good” anytime soon, but a vice need not become a virtue for the end result to look the same.”

Writing in the Atlantic, John Paul Rollert walks us through the history of the concept of greed.

Two Invasions of Afghanistan

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

‘Monumentally bad diplomacy, worse strategy, chaotic military organisation and inept generalship’ – Invasion of Afghanistan. Penned as Soviet tanks rolled into Kabul in December 1979. (History Today)

The stupidity of Ronald Reagan

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Ronald Reagan claimed that the Russian language had no word for “freedom.” (The word is “svoboda“; it’s quite well attested in Russian literature.) Ronald Reagan said that intercontinental ballistic missiles (not that there are any non-ballistic missiles—a corruption of language that isn’t his fault) could be recalled once launched. Ronald Reagan said that he sought a “Star Wars” defense only in order to share the technology with the tyrants of the U.S.S.R. Ronald Reagan professed to be annoyed when people called it “Star Wars,” even though he had ended his speech on the subject with the lame quip, “May the force be with you.” Ronald Reagan used to alarm his Soviet counterparts by saying that surely they’d both unite against an invasion from Mars. Ronald Reagan used to alarm other constituencies by speaking freely about the “End Times” foreshadowed in the Bible. In the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan told Yitzhak Shamir and Simon Wiesenthal, on two separate occasions, that he himself had assisted personally at the liberation of the Nazi death camps.

Read Hitchens’ takedown of Reagan from Slate

Ronald Reagan and the End of the Cold War: The Debate Continues

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Reagan continues to exercise an enormous fascination—as political leader of the free world at a critical moment in time; as a transformational president; and of course, as the man whose policies, it has been argued, contributed more than anything else to bringing about the demise of communism.

Cox Revisits Reagan, 5 pages

Putting Wisconsin’s Union Battle In Historical Context

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Republicans in state legislatures of Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio are trying to cut collective bargaining rights for workers in the public sector. A recent New York Times article described these bills as “the largest assault on collective bargaining in recent memory, striking at the heart of an American labor movement that is already atrophied.”

On today’s Fresh Air, journalist Philip Dray puts the union protests in the Midwest in a historical context. Dray is the author of There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America, which follows the labor movement as it grew out of 19th century uprisings in textile mills. The movement rallied workers around common causes before suffering a series of blows after the failed 1981 air traffic controllers’ strike, when more than 12,000 air traffic controllers walked off their jobs. In response, President Reagan said that the striking workers were in violation of the law and would lose their jobs if they did not return to work within 48 hours. When they failed to show up, Reagan fired the workers.