September 6th Show : Blog Of The Nation On today's Talk of the Nation, a look at the state of American paychecks, a linguist in favor of the D.E.A.'s proposal to hire Ebonics experts, building understanding between Christians and Muslims, and the joy of reading many books at once.
NPR logo September 6th Show

September 6th Show

For some American workers, the pennies and nickels just aren't adding up like they used to. hide caption

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For some American workers, the pennies and nickels just aren't adding up like they used to.

For Some Americans, Paychecks Take A Hit

Unemployment continues to hover near 10%, and many economists predict it will remain there for months.  For the other 90% of the American workforce who still have jobs, the impact of the recession on paychecks is a mixed bag.  Fewer co-workers can mean more hours — and fatter paychecks — for some people, but for many others the recession means a career on-hold, a cut in pay or benefits or a detour into whatever job they can find at whatever salary they can get. On this Labor Day, Talk of the Nation guest host Jennifer Ludden speaks with New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse and executive editor Lamar Graham of Parade magazine — publisher of the annual "What People Earn survey" — about the state of the American paycheck.

Opinion Page: DEA Smart To Seek Ebonics Experts

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's recent call for Ebonics translators evoked memories of the debate over whether or not Ebonics is a separate language. The D.E.A hopes to solve an immediate problem — it needs people to translate wiretapped conversations — but critics fear the move by a federal agency could set a precedent.  On the Opinion Page, linguist John McWhorter argues that, while any conversation about Ebonics is charged, the D.E.A. is on the right track.

Building Understanding Between Christians And Muslims

Many religious leaders worry about the rising tensions over the proposed Islamic center blocks from ground zero.  They point to troubling recent events — a Muslim cab driver in New York City was allegedly stabbed by a passenger who cited religion; and in Tennessee, construction equipment near a mosque was burned.  The faith community is hard at work attempting to hash out differences and build understanding between Christians and Muslims. Guest host Jennifer Ludden speaks with author Eliza Griswold and Father Patrick Ryan of Fordham University about how to bridge the divide between Christians and Muslims.

The Joy Of Reading Multiple Books At Once

There are serial readers — those who pick up one book and read it cover-to-cover before putting it down — and there are poly-readers like Julia Keller. She juggles four or five or six books at any given time, never able to choose just one. Often, she argues, each title compliments the others. Keller is the Chicago Tribune's literary critic. She joins guest host Jennifer Ludden to talk about the joys of reading many books simultaneously — all year round.