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Nathan Robinson
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Nathan J. Robinson is a PhD student at Harvard University and a recent graduate of Yale Law School. He writes children's books, such as "The Man Who Accidentally Wore His Cravat to a Gymnasium." He blogs at The Navel Observatory.

Entries by Nathan Robinson

Dear Amazon Workers: Unionize!

(5) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 11:06 AM

While shopping on Amazon may be a warm and amiable breeze, working for Amazon is an endless and excruciating violent tempest, according to a New York Times report on conditions among the company's beleaguered white-collar employees. The Times investigation, based on interviews with scores of professional-level workers, depicts...

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Michael Eric Dyson's Hypocrisy

(5) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 4:07 PM

In hindsight, Michael Eric Dyson might have been the person least well-positioned to attack Cornel West about a preference for celebrity over scholarship. In the aftermath of Dyson's blistering 9,000 word assault on West in The New Republic, Dyson has been talking to scores

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The Shocking Finding From the DOJ's Ferguson Report That Nobody Has Noticed

(699) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 2:50 PM

This post was co-authored by Oren Nimni, a civil rights attorney in Boston and member of the National Lawyers Guild's executive board.

In the city of Ferguson, nearly everyone is a wanted criminal.

That may seem like hyperbole, but it is a literal fact. In Ferguson -- a city...

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Could Government-Mandated Kidney Donation be a Good Thing?

(2) Comments | Posted January 31, 2015 | 9:15 AM

The American system of kidney donation is badly broken. Every year, 4,500 people die waiting for a transplant (that's 30 a day), even though donating a kidney carries few negative health consequences. The tragedy of this situation has been widely remarked-upon, yet for decades...

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The Faults of the American Criminal Justice System Run Deeper Than Race

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 6:57 AM

For those continually exasperated by the spate of white denials of racism in the face of blatantly racist police killings, the #CrimingWhileWhite stories on Twitter were a gratifying rebuttal. By offering a mountain of testimony in the form of direct race-based compare-and-contrast stories, the meme undermined the country's pernicious refusal...

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Twitter Campaign Takes Aim at Charles Johnson's Publisher

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 12:38 PM

Charles Johnson may be one of the most disliked men on the internet, but he still has a major book deal -- for now. In July, Johnson announced proudly that he had inked a deal with St. Martin's Press, a veteran New York publisher and part...

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What Was Felix Salmon Thinking?

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 1:31 PM

Financial journalist Felix Salmon, who writes in unusually clear prose about economics, has announced that he is leaving Reuters to join a mysterious entity called "Fusion." The hopping of journalists from media-entity to media-entity is not ordinarily interesting, but Salmon is an unusually perceptive writer about trends, and...

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Trial Begins in Los Angeles for Zapatista Protesters Attacked by Police

(3) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 12:21 PM

The jury trial begins this week in the case of the Foxy Six, the California protesters arrested and allegedly brutalized by police at the Pasadena Civic Center over a year ago. The stakes are worryingly high, with felony "resisting arrest" and misdemeanor battery on an officer charges pending...

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The Media Denied Us a Chance to Reflect and Unite After the New Orleans Mass Shooting

(3) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 11:39 AM

Co-written with Eric Parrie, a Louisiana native and recent Yale Law School graduate who will soon begin teaching at Carver Prep Academy in New Orleans

Last month a young gunman's bullets tore into a second line parade, New Orleans' signature neighborhood celebration. 19 people, including two 10-year-old children, were hit...

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The Minimum Wage, Sweatshops, and Escaping the Free-Market Binary

(4) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 5:09 PM

There is a strain of argument for free markets that purports to be on the side of working people. It says that while do-gooder regulations may be nobly intended, ultimately they often hurt the people they are trying to help. The point is applied against various attempts to control extortionate...

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Prosecutors Sought 30 Years for Swartz's JSTOR Download, 35 for Headley's Mumbai Massacre

(3) Comments | Posted January 30, 2013 | 10:40 AM

Aaron Swartz was facing 30 years for the unauthorized downloading of JSTOR articles; David Headley will serve the same number of years for plotting the killing of 163 people. The difference between the government's approach to the two men shows the tiny role that "actual harm caused" matters in the...

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Marijuana Legal for Beverly Hills and Berkeley Californians; for Everyone Else, Who Knows?

(66) Comments | Posted December 23, 2012 | 10:25 AM

The New York Times's article on marijuana in California is something of a masterpiece, in that it manages to discuss the drug war for 1300 words without mentioning poor people.

We do learn that marijuana is the apéritif-du-jour among Bill Maher and Arnold Schwarzanegger's set, but there's nary...

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Pomona Firings Show the Paradox of Immigrant Labor Organizing

(19) Comments | Posted February 9, 2012 | 12:48 PM

As the New York Times tells it, the firing of 16 Pomona College dining hall staff over alleged documentation violations appears to be a story about the harsh policies facing America's undocumented workers. But it is also a story about labor, and the growing difficulty of organizing for...

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In New Haven, an Occupy Encampment Stays Alive and Keeps Inequality on the Agenda

(8) Comments | Posted December 30, 2011 | 11:19 AM

Even as most of the Occupy movement's tent cities have been flattened and ravaged across the country, in New Haven, Conn., where poverty and unemployment rates far exceed the national average, occupiers are standing firm in a sizable and tenacious encampment. Occupy New Haven (ONH) began in solidarity...

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Britain Finally Gets Its Own Daily Show Equivalent

(5) Comments | Posted October 10, 2010 | 11:34 PM

Some of us with an interest in seeing media and political figures brutally and ceaselessly mocked on television have long wondered when Britain, supposedly the world's #1 exporter of cutting-edge humorous programming, was going to find its match for our own Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Britain, after all, is...

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Who Will Weep for the Geese? New York's Mass Avian Murder Plot

(24) Comments | Posted July 27, 2010 | 12:14 PM

On Friday, The New York Times reported that the State of New York is planning to massacre approximately 170,000 Canada geese, as part of a strategy to increase the safety of passenger aircraft. The Times quotes the Department of Agriculture as approving of the plan, with an official stating...

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One Year Later, Does the Henry Louis Gates Arrest Mean Anything?

(1) Comments | Posted July 22, 2010 | 1:09 PM

The first question the publishing of Charles Ogletree's new book, The Presumption of Guilt (Palgrave Macmillan, 256 pages, $25.00), raises is a cynical one. One year later, does the Henry Louis Gates arrest really mean anything, or does Ogletree just see an excellent opportunity for a quick buck?...

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Mistreated Dining Hall Workers at Pomona College Demand Unionization Rights

(2) Comments | Posted March 3, 2010 | 1:26 PM

At 10am on the morning of March 1st, petitions from 90% of the food service workers at Pomona College (one of America's Top Ten Liberal Arts Colleges, according to the U.S. News & World Report rankings) were delivered to the office of the College President, demanding that the...

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NY Times Mega-Softballs Napolitano on Sunday, Exposes Department Abuses on Thursday

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2009 | 12:11 PM

On Sunday, the New York Times Magazine ran an absurdly fluffy interview with Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security. It is difficult to envision how the magazine could have crafted a less substantial interview. A brief excerpt:

NYT: You were a Girl Scout?

JN: I still am!...

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Does the O'Reilly Factor Create Killers?

(30) Comments | Posted June 2, 2009 | 4:12 PM

The killing of Dr. George Tiller is, of course, the second recent politically-motivated church shooting. The first occurred in the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church on July 27th of last year. And although one was targeted at a doctor, and the other at liberals in general, both share a common...

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