Glenn Beamer (USciences): Living Wage Politics in the U.S. States: Understanding Race, Labor, and Party Politics. Richard L. Trumka, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., has a bold plan to reverse organized labor’s long slide: let millions of nonunion workers — and perhaps environmental, immigrant and other advocacy groups — join the labor federation. Elizabeth Cline on how fashion models are workers, too. Home care workers just got a long-awaited rule change that will give them minimum wage and overtime protections — here's why it matters. Adam Weinstein: “Fuck you. I’m Gen Y, and I don't feel special or entitled, just poor”. Being poor changes your thinking about everything: Harold Pollack interviews Sendhil Mullainathan, co-author of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. The official poverty rate last year was 15 percent — here’s what that misses. Sasha Abramsky on how the South killed the safety net: Europeans came to this country for a better life — it hasn't always meant helping the less fortunate. Chris Lehmann on George Packer: The Unwinding is a fine-grained account of economic collapse that runs aground on causeless abstractions (and more). The Protestant work ethic is real: We finally have some answers for why Americans work so hard. Scott McLemee reviews Free Time: The Forgotten American Dream by Benjamin Kline Hunnicut.

From The National Interest, Robert D. Kaplan on the tragedy of U.S. foreign policy; and Robert W. Merry on America's default foreign policy. Jeremi Suri reviews Rethinking Anti-Americanism: The History of an Exceptional Concept in American Foreign Relations by Max Paul Friedman. America not an empire, really? Thomas Bender reviews American Umpire by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman. Does framing world capitalism in terms of “American empire” help us think about how the rise of finance has changed class relationships? Dick Bryan and Mike Rafferty investigate. Syria is a very minor blip in the course of US foreign policy. Restor­ing “Amer­ica the Brave”: Rob Ivory on a roadmap to a new kind of American leadership. How should the United States wield power in a changing world? Jim Glassman interviews Joseph Nye, author of The Future of Power, and Robert Kagan, author of The Return of History and the End of Dreams. America, Limited: David Rothkopf on how the U.S. went from the world's CEO to just another shareholder. Rosa Brooks on the case for American propaganda: Complain all you want — but Uncle Sam produces better journalism than most of you yahoos. Michael Vlahos on why Americans love bombardment: Has justice through retribution become the new American virtue? The first chapter from The Empire Trap: The Rise and Fall of U.S. Intervention to Protect American Property Overseas, 1893-2013 by Noel Maurer. Micah Zenko on a translation guide to foreign policy gibberish.

From Arion, James Tatum (Dartmouth): Mrs. Vergil’s Horrid Wars; and Paul Barolsky (Virginia): The Strange Case of the Young Michelangelo. A Bull in Pyongyang: How real is Dennis Rodman’s “basketball diplomacy”? It isn't the military's place to weigh in on the Syria debate: Far too many servicemembers have made their opinions public — a violation of both ethics and the fundamental principle that in the U.S., civilians make policy. Meet Marc Short, the man who runs the Koch brothers’ secret bank. Virginia K. Smith on 30 essential literary Twitter feeds. “If the Egyptians can do this with regard to another radical Muslim, former president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, then can't we Americans do it with Obama?” Finally, a Munich analogy that makes sense. The Weekly Wonk is a digital magazine and podcast from New America focused on the ideas and policy challenges that will shape our future. Dylan Matthews on everything you need to know about why the government might shut down. This man moved to a desert island to disappear — here's what happened. David M. Levinson on understanding the irrational commuter: The increasing sophistication of data collection and analysis gives us deeper insights into human behavior — and how we make decisions about everyday travel. Caught in the hipster trap: My new glasses are making me look like a slavish adopter of trends. Astronomer Seth Shostak: We'll find ET by 2037.

From Essays in Philosophy, a special issue on Cartesian virtue and freedom. Josh May (Monash): Does Disgust Influence Moral Judgment? Ryan Conree Preston-Roedder (UNC): A Better World. Alexander Peysakhovich (Harvard) and David G. Rand (Yale): Habits of Virtue: Creating Norms of Cooperation and Defection in the Laboratory. Patricia Marino (Waterloo): Moral Coherence and Principle Pluralism. Leon R. Calleja (Brooklyn): Reconciling the Self and Universalism. Benjamin M. Eidelson (Yale): Treating People as Individuals. David O. Brink (UCSD): Situationism, Responsibility, and Fair Opportunity. Cristian Constantinescu (Birkbeck): Moral Vagueness: A Dilemma for Non-Naturalism. Zachary Horne (Illinois): Belief Updating in Moral Dilemmas. Michael Lynch (UConn): Truth in Ethics. Graham Hubbs (Idaho): Answerability without Answers. Thomas Scanlon on what is morality. Are intelligent people better at morality? Katja Keuchenius on whether good brains reach high moral stages. Bernard Yack reviews Aristotle's Politics: Living Well and Living Together by Eugene Garver. Crowding out virtues: JP O’Malley interviews Michael J. Sandel. From Bleeding Heart Libertarians, a symposium on Michael Huemer’s The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey. You're joking, right, you haven't really made a musical based on John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice, have you?

Stacy-Ann Elvy (NYLS): Towards a New Democratic Africa: The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. Nicholas Alden Kahn-Fogel (Arkansas): Western Universalism and African Homosexualities. Ericka Albaugh (Bowdoin): States of Languages and Languages of States: Natural and Unnatural Language Spread in West Africa. Beth Whitaker and Jason Giersch (UNC): The Politics of Exclusion: Explaining Anti-Immigration Attitudes in Africa. C. Omar Kebbeh on The Gambia and migration in Africa's "Smiling Coast". Adam Welz on the war on African poaching: Is militarization fated to fail? Mark Leon Goldberg and Mading Ngor on South Sudan’s somewhat disappointing first two years. Snatched from a marketplace in Sudan and sold into slavery at the age of six, William Mawwin became one of millions of people in the world enduring some form of involuntary servitude. Fear and hunger threaten to overwhelm one of Africa’s most tragic countries, the Central African Republic. Zambia isn’t a failed state in the traditional sense — there’s no dictator, no child soldiers — but most of its 14 million people live on less than $1 per day; how did things get this way, and can they ever get better? The global elite’s favorite strongman: Paul Kagame is an international hero for reforming Rwanda — but cleaning up a country doesn’t come without moral hazards. Six months on from the French-led liberation, the people of Timbuktu are still reeling from the Islamist assault on their ancient heritage and way of life. Can Africa tell its own stories? Simon Allison wants to know.

Cass Sunstein (Harvard) and George Loewenstein and Russell Golman (Carnegie Mellon): Disclosure: Psychology Changes Everything. This time there really will be a government shutdown — and that's not all bad (and more). How well does contemporary fiction address radical politics? Pankaj Mishra and Jennifer Szalai on the challenges of portraying extreme political ideas. David Frum on the rules for covering mass shootings. The carnage continues: By the weekend, the Navy Yard shooting will be out of the news — we'll forget Aaron Alexis' name, and with a few months, another mass killer will take his place. From The Baffler, Siva Vaidhyanathan on how Eric Schmidt has moved from the Googleplex to the Davosplex; and enough with the mindless demonization of our overclass: Forbes columnist Harry Binswanger demands more perks for the one percent. John Tierney on the rational choices of crack addicts. Jonathan Weil on the food fight on the Harvard Law School blog. Coring the Big Apple: James Surowiecki on inequality in New York City. Meet the obscure U.N. body that will decide Syria’s fate. Zines have gone institutional: Harvard acquires a collection of 20,000 zines and related material. Rachel Alexander on why Democrats are winning — because Americans are lazy. Should your brain be able to take the Fifth? Nita A. Farahany warns of the “coming siege” against freedom of thought. Sarah Laskow on the photo BuzzFeed wishes it hadn’t used.

Douglas Laycock (Virginia): Religious Liberty and the Culture Wars. James Aber (Oxford): Where the New Left Meets the Religious Right: Home-Schooling and American Political Development. Sky L. Ammann (Wisconsin): Is There an Attendance Effect? Examining the Causal Link between Religious Attendance and Political Participation. Paul A. Djupe (Denison) and Amanda Friesen (IUPUI): An Integrated Model of Religious Influence on Political Participation. Jay Jennings (Temple): Religious Motivation and Racial Prejudice. From the Christian Post, Assemblies of God leader George O. Wood denies that speaking in tongues is in decline in Pentecostal churches; Hell is real and growing, Pastor Ed Young Jr. says; and Dan Delzell on how to reverse weird feelings about Christianity. Ditto Boys: Jeff Sharlet on Westmont College, a “feeder school” to the upper ranks of the Christian conservative movement. Blue Ridge Christian Academy, a creationist school that gave “Dinosaurs-Genesis” science test, closes due to lack of funds. From Alternet, Amanda Marcotte on the 5 most absurd, self-pitying gripes of the Christian Right; and on how weird Christian Right beliefs impact America: What you see on Breitbart or the Blaze or the 700 Club is just the tip of a massive iceberg of what’s really going on in conservative Christian circles. Welcome to Creation, the Christian music fest where the flock rocks.

Richard Schragger (Virginia): Is a Progressive City Possible? Reviving Urban Liberalism for the Twenty-First Century. Gianpaolo Baiocchi (NYU), Alissa Cordner (Whitman), and Elizabeth A Bennett, Peter Taylor Klein, and Stephanie Savell (Brown): The Civic Imagination: Political Culture in Contemporary American Cities. Dysfunctions and divisions of Israel’s largest city: Yonatan Mendel diagnoses the incoherent urbanism produced by its history of occupation and segregation, and by the vast, settlement-driven distension of its boundaries after 1967. Could a private university have made a difference in Detroit? Brad Plumer on the 20 cities that have the most to lose from rising sea levels. A beacon of hope: John Patrick Pullen on how a dying city glows with optimism over its plan for a giant lava lamp. Can one man change the shape of an entire city? Emily Badger investigates. A love letter to small-town America, Local Quarterly is the New York-based magazine that sets off to discover the stories of a different town each issue. John Quiggin on cronyism and the global city (again). Richard Florida on how the most famous models for how cities grow are wrong. Fergus Alexander reviews A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook. How many gentrification critics are actually gentrifiers themselves? Ron Johnston reviews Cities: An Environmental History by Ian Douglas. The Manchester model: When considering cities, never underestimate the importance of football and pop music.

From Google’s Think Quarterly, a special issue on the idea of openness. It’s simply presumed to be a positive when a president shows “strength” by “not changing his mind”, and it’s simply presumed to be a negative when he shows “weakness” by changing course in midstream — that’s “indecisive”, and that’s bad, you see. Women are covering the hell out of the Syria War, so why haven’t you noticed? Sheera Frenkel wants to know. Jargon — it’s not the business world’s fault: Joshua J. Friedman on why we blame the wrong people for our most annoying phrases. Laura Beck: “Writing about Fashion Week has made me feel like shit about myself”. Tyler Cowen on a simple theory of recent American intellectual history. David A. Graham on how a small team of Democrats defeated Larry Summers — and Obama. Ezra Klein on five reasons Obama should name Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve. With the October 1 implementation of the Affordable Care Act looming, conservatives are doubling down on their efforts to stop it yet again — a diagnosis of their peculiar (but not completely illogical) obsession. Jonathan Cohn on five things we know about Obamacare — and one we don't (and more). From Buzzfeed, a lot of people are very upset that an Indian-American woman won the Miss America Pageant (and more); and confessions of a former toddler in a tiara: Ashley McCollum on a defense of the beauty pageant. Alex Balk on the utter tragedy of modern Western existence unwittingly summed up in 15 words.

From Reason, Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch interview George Will on Obama, Syria, and the power of choice; and Matt Welch interviews Matt Kibbe: “This is the libertarian moment”. Mark Ames on the true history of libertarianism in America: A phony ideology to promote a corporate agenda. Matt Bruenig on libertarianism's battle with history: The creeping expansion of free market tendencies always comes up against the forces of individuals fighting for their own freedoms and keeping the economic system in check. Is libertarianism impossible? Marcus Hunt on the empty promises of individual freedom. Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu on why libertarians are the new communists. Alex Ruthrauff on how Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul, by Gary Weiss, is a good read even if you are fully, horribly aware that Rand’s fevered visions of utopian feudalist capitalism are even now being advanced as mainstream “principled” conservative economic thinking. John Mackey on why he’s not an Ayn Rand libertarian. RJ Eskow on 11 questions you should ask libertarians to see if they're hypocrites — there’s an easy way to find out. Paul of the Wild: Ron Paul may be out of office, but he's still trying to save the country from itself. Is Ron Paul a political liability for his son? Keith Wagstaff wonders. Peter Suderman on the endless lives of Iain M. Banks: The late science fiction novelist grappled with a fundamental existential — and libertarian — question.