2-minute reads 'n' listens

What’s killing America’s middle class?

As the royal triumvirate of Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell continue their perverse quest to turn our America into a gold-plated Trumplandistan for oligarchs, they keep insisting that their blatantly-elitist schemes will magically elevate the middle class and even the poor, delivering a 7-course-dinner to everyone!

How America’s middle class rose… and fell

From 1776 forward, the "common yeoman" – America's middle class – has been hailed as the virtuous heart and backbone of our nation. How ironic, since it took 150 years before we actually created a broad middle class. Before the 1930s, most Americans were poor, or near poor.

AgriCULTURE outsiders tackle powerful agriBUSINESS

In the 1980s, when I was Texas Ag commissioner, my staff and I proposed a comprehensive set of state rules to protect farmworkers, public health, our water supplies, and farmers themselves from the life-threatening consequences of toxic pesticides.

Hard times (still) in the fields

Every decade or so, America's mass media are surprised to discover that migrant farmworkers are still being miserably paid and despicably treated by the industry that profits from their labor.

Breakfast and beer

Let's talk about two daily essentials: Breakfast and, of course, beer.

Daddy’s philosophy

This special day got me to thinking about America's spirit of giving, and I don't mean this overdone business of Christmas gifts. I mean our true spirit of giving – giving of ourselves.

The virtues of the egalitarian internet

Free and open access to the internet is a virtuous democratic principle known as "net neutrality," meaning the system doesn't care if you're a brand-name corporation or an unknown start-up, a billionaire or a poverty-wage laborer – you are entitled to equal treatment in sending or getting information on the worldwide web. However, corporate executives never let virtue stand in the way of profit.

Why is the GOP pushing such a stinky tax bill?

Sam Rayburn, a legendary Speaker of the US House in the 1940s and '50s, offered this piece of ethical advice for lawmakers who were conflicted over whether to vote for the People or the lobbyists: "Every now and then," he said, "a politician ought to do something just because it's right."