Truthout Stories Fri, 27 Nov 2015 10:23:34 -0500 en-gb From Paris to Raqqa

This podcast discusses the Paris terror attacks prompting lawmakers on Capitol Hill to take aim at refugees and encryption; the latest development on criminal justice reform; Bernie Sanders on Democratic Socialism; and, prize-winning author and reporter Chris Woods of is on to talk about the ongoing air campaign against the Islamic State.

News Fri, 27 Nov 2015 09:44:55 -0500
People Tied Up "Like Animals" on UK Deportation Flights

A woman being deported from the UK to Pakistan was compliant and cooperative throughout the process. Still, the commercial contractor Tascor, working for the UK Home Office, strapped the woman into a waist restraint belt until after the plane had taken off.

One man on suicide watch was strapped into a waist restraint belt even though there was no evidence that he posed a risk to others. Another man, who refused to board a deportation flight, was belted continuously for eight long hours. His wrists swelled. He was examined by a paramedic.

These cases have come to light in two new reports by HM Inspectorate of Prisons. The inspectors also found that waist restraint belts were used six times on three flights to Pakistan, and that approaches to security were "unduly indiscriminate in some respects."

Government advisers have described the waist belt as "a custom-designed piece of restraint equipment, manufactured from manmade fibres and using plastic snap-locks and Velcro fasteners, designed to be worn around the subject's waist. Soft cuffs, with plastic snap-lock and Velcro fasteners, are attached to the belt by retractable cords."

They said: "In the 'free' position, although still connected to the belt, the cords are long enough to allow the subject relatively free movement of his arms and hands (for example, for eating). In the 'retracted' position, the subject's hands are pulled in to the front of the belt, where they can be further secured by a snap-lock fastened mesh."

Inspectors described the waist belt as "almost equivalent … to the most extreme and very rarely used" restraint equipment in prisons.

The belts were introduced by the Home Office as part of a new training program for deportation staff, that was prompted by the unlawful killing of Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga by G4S guards in 2010.

The independent panel that advised on the use of the new equipment warned last year that "indiscriminate use of the restraint belt was not justifiable ethically or legally." It said ministers would have to approve its introduction and it should only be used as "an exceptional measure."

The coroner who presided over the inquest into Mubenga's death wrote in a Prevention of Future Deaths Report in July 2013: "It goes without saying that the use of a body-cuff would constitute a significant interference in the bodily integrity of any person to whom it is applied. Dignity and bodily integrity are matters in which close regard must be had in determining what new techniques are to be introduced."

Yet HM Inspectorate of Prisons has found that the waist restraint belts "were now embedded in practice" and that they risked "being overused." On three flights to Nigeria and Ghana, the belts were used ten times. Inspectors said that "the justification for several of these uses was not explicit in the records" which they examined. On another flight, the belt was used on eight passengers, even though five of them did not resist being put on the flight. Inspectors said: "while risk factors were used to justify each case, the evidence was sometimes minimal."

Some authorisation forms for using restraints "did not indicate what specific risk factors might have existed," and lacked sufficient detail, the inspectors noted. This appears to falls short of the Home Office's own guidance on the use of these belts, which requires a senior manager to record "whether the restraint was reasonable, proportionate and necessary."

Two detainees arrived at the airport "in a small van that had been contaminated with their urine." The men were then kept in the van for several hours, which, according to the inspectors, was "unacceptable treatment."

The inspectors noted that one man, who was on suicide watch, had lived in Britain for 15 years and was being taken away from his mother who was very ill in hospital here. Another man who was placed in one of the waist restraint belts had been on suicide watch for the previous six months in a series of detention centres.

The investigative organisation Corporate Watch tracked down one detainee who was on the same deportation flight as the man on suicide watch mentioned in the inspectors' report.

Speaking under the condition of anonymity, the witness described the scene on board: "A lot of people were tied up, in like a vest on your tummy and arms," he said. "They tightened up the back so you cannot move and you have pain in your back. You cannot move your hands. They put people on that plane like animals."

Corporate Watch spoke to one former detainee who claims he was recently restrained by guards in a device which sounds similar to the new belts. He says it blocked his airflow and caused him to pass out. He spoke anonymously, fearing reprisals from the Home Office:

"The guards tried to pin me down with their legs and their knees. After some time they put a belt from under my my armpit down to my abdomen. They started tightening it and I was screaming and screaming 'This is too tight for me!'"

He went on: "After some time I passed out - there was no air. Someone shouted that they should put me in the recovery position. I was in panic and hyperventilating. They held my head and tried to force a tablet into my mouth. I was choking and gagging for 30 minutes."

Despite his passing out, the guards continued trying to deport him, the man claimed. "They put me in a wheelchair and moved me into the deportation van. On the way to the airport my condition deteriorated and they called an ambulance on the motorway and I went to hospital for some hours."

He says he was taken to hospital in handcuffs, despite the new Home Office policy. "I was still handcuffed on the way to hospital. The handcuffs cut the bone of my wrist and I'm having pain in the scrotum and lower back from the assault," he said.

In the days before one of the deportation flights featured in the inspection reports, volunteers at the Unity Centre in Glasgow spoke to many of the men facing deportation. Among them were fathers leaving behind their partners and young children. The sense of fear and desperation was strong.

One young man, Fred (not his real name), scaled the fence at Harmondsworth detention centre. The inspectors said this caused "considerable delay" in taking people to the airport. Whenever Home Office officials tried to come near him, Fred threatened to jump. A mattress was placed underneath him. The flight left without him, and at  the end of the night he came down from the fence.

One week later Corporate Watch visited Fred in detention. He said he was born in Sierra Leone, where his father, an aid worker with the British Red Cross, was killed during the civil war. He had lived in the UK since he was 11 years old with his surviving family. He said all the detainees were talking about not wanting to go on the flight, "but no one was doing anything. So I got up the fence and they couldn't touch me." 

At 24, he had spent the past two years of his life in detention, apart from one brief spell when he was released on tag, and required to walk miles each day to report to the Home Office.

His face was vacant and expressionless. Detention was sucking the life out of him. He was being deported on the basis of police 'intelligence,' not evidence or convictions, of association with a London gang. Operation Nexus allows the Met Police to bar people from the UK if officers believe someone is not conducive to the public good. Despite Fred's desperate resistance, he was later deported to Sierra Leone.

Another deportation flight for dozens of Nigerians from London to Lagos, is scheduled for Tuesday 24th November. Campaigners from Movement for Justice rallied outside the Nigerian High Commissioner on Wednesday 18th, and women in Yarl's Wood detention centre published a statement opposing the flight, saying "we refused to be slaves to the British government."

News Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory Campaign Cashes in on Anti-Refugee Animus

Since the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris by Islamic State operatives, at least 31 governors across the US have said they don't want to allow any more refugees fleeing the war in the Syria into their states, including most governors in the South.

These state leaders, almost all of them Republicans, claim the Obama administration's plan to accept at least 10,000 refugees from the Islamic State stronghold of Syria over the next year presents an unacceptable security risk for their citizens - despite the fact that there is an intensive vetting process for refugees, that no refugees who've come to the US since 9/11 have been arrested on domestic terrorism charges, and that governors don't have the authority to block refugees from their states.

Gov. Pat McCrory (R) of North Carolina joined their ranks on Monday afternoon, when he held a press conference where he said he was "requesting that the president and the federal government cease sending refugees from Syria to North Carolina" and until he is "satisfied" with the effectiveness of federal vetting of refugees coming to the United States.

"My primary duty as governor is to protect the citizens of North Carolina, which is why I am taking the steps I have outlined today," McCrory said.

McCrory apparently also believes the issue makes for winning politics. The same day the governor called for a halt to Syrian refugees being resettled in his state, his re-election committee posted an appeal to its Facebook page calling for "NO SYRIAN REFUGEES IN NC" and linking to the campaign's contribution page:










Lagging in polls and fundraising against his leading Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper, the McCrory campaign appears eager to tap what the head of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) called an "increased xenophobic streak" among the US public.

A recent survey by the group found that 46 percent of Americans say immigrants are a burden on the country while 56 percent believe the values of Islam are at odds with American values. Republicans in particular have issues with the foreign-born, PRRI found, with 66 percent of GOP respondents saying immigrants are a burden.

The PRRI poll also found that Americans' perceptions of Islam have grown more negative over the past few years - and it was conducted before the Paris attacks, which have sparked an outpouring of anti-refugee sentiment.

In Florida, for example, two mosques received bomb threats over the weekend and a Muslim family found bullet holes in their garage door, while in Texas someone splattered feces in front of a mosque along with pages torn from the Quran. In North Carolina, an Uber driver reports being beaten and threatened by a passenger who used anti-Muslim slurs. The driver is an Ethiopian immigrant and a Christian.

Of the estimated 3.8 million Syrians who have fled their country's civil war, 1,854 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the US since 2012. Of those, 59 have settled in North Carolina. They include people like the Al Haj Kasem family, who fled Syria after the bakery where Hussein, the father, worked was ransacked in the fighting. The family settled in Greensboro, and Hussein got a job in a nearby Ralph Lauren packaging plant.

McCrory may think that closing his state to people like the Al Haj Kasems will help him win an election, but it's drawing condemnation from human rights advocates. The NC Justice Center said McCrory's move "sends all the wrong signals - both to refugees here, and to people overseas who may perceive this move as hostility toward helping Muslims, even those in the most desperate of situations."

The Southeast Immigrant Rights Network said that, given that only the federal government has the power to admit refugees, "it is clear that these governors are exploiting the horrible tragedy in Paris to instill fear and hatred at a time when we most need to welcome and reach out to our sisters and brothers from Syria who are seeking refuge and risking everything in order to save their loved ones."

Human Rights Watch also issued a statement condemning the governors' anti-refugee reaction. "Resettled refugees from Syria have fled persecution and violence, and undergone rigorous security screening by the US government," said Alison Parker, co-director of the group's US Program. "The governors' announcements amount to fear-mongering attempts to block Syrians from joining the generous religious groups and communities who step forward to welcome them."

Another voice speaking out against the governors' anti-refugee reactions is that of Farris Barakat, whose brother Deah was shot to death in Chapel Hill earlier this year in what appeared to be an anti-Muslim hate crime. Barakat is the son of Syrian immigrants who came to the US in the 1980s, and his family is currently helping relatives who are refugees settle in Europe.

"I think it's really important that they understand that the reason these people are seeking refuge in this country is because ISIS destroyed theirs," Farris Barakat told Buzzfeed. "We're fighting the same enemy."

France, meanwhile, has announced that it would honor its commitment to take in more refugees, with President Francois Hollande saying it is his country's "humanitarian duty."

News Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500
These Kids Can't Vote, but They Can Sue

In between middle school, tae kwon do and saxophone lessons, 13-year-old Gabe Mandell, along with seven other young environmental activists, sued the government of Washington State. By legally challenging a state agency's approach to carbon emission regulation, they hoped to protect the planet for future generations. Here's what they gained.

(Photo: Climate Change via Shutterstock)(Photo: Climate Change via Shutterstock)

Gabe Mandell speaks fast and with excitement, his sentences peppered with phrases like "constitutional duty," "ocean acidification," and "we're here to get a job done."

"The best available science says we need to reduce annual carbon emissions to an atmospheric concentration of 350 parts per million," he told me over the phone while sitting at the kitchen table with his mom.

He's definitely not your typical eighth-grader.

In between middle school, tae kwon do, and saxophone lessons, the 13-year-old, along with seven other young environmental activists, sued the government of Washington state. By legally challenging a state agency's approach to carbon emission regulation, they hoped to protect the planet for future generations.

"We're the ones who have to deal with it: the rising tides, dying crops, and acid in the oceans," he says. "This is our future. It's our right to protect it."

Yesterday, after a year-and-a-half of legal proceedings, Judge Hollis Hill denied the eight kids' petition to the Washington Department of Ecology (commonly known as "Ecology"). In it, they had demanded that Ecology use more current science when regulating carbon emissions. (The activists initially filed the petition in June of 2014; they sued the state after it was denied). 

"They can't vote, they can't influence policy that way," said Andrea Rodgers, a lawyer for Western Environmental Law Center representing the kids. "This is how they make their voices heard."

Earlier this month, both sides presented oral arguments before the King County appeals court in Seattle. The kids' argument rested on the right to a "healthful and pleasant environment" guaranteed by the state of Washington—a guarantee, Rodgers said, that Ecology has a duty to fulfill.

But Ecology argued it had no duty to enforce the measures called for by the plaintiffs. Representatives said the agency is already taking steps to reduce climate change per an executive order issued by Governor Jay Inslee. Though Inslee's order, inspired by a meeting with the young environmentalists in July, mandated Ecology to create a carbon emissions cap, it was based on  targets set in 2008—using science that Rodgers, Mandell, and even Ecology's own December 2014 report all consider outdated.

For Mandell, who says he's been advocating for the environment since "Day 1," the science is all that matters. "I'm surprised whenever they say [capping carbon] will hurt the economy," he said. "If we don't change, there won't be an economy!"

The kids don't consider yesterday's ruling a total loss. Although Hill denied the petition (on the grounds that Ecology is already undertaking other carbon regulations and that the court lacks the authority to tell Ecology what to consider when developing air quality standards), she affirmed something else: Ecology has the authority and duty to protect air and land quality for future generations, and the kids are constitutionally entitled to a healthy environment. "[The youths'] very survival depends upon the will of their elders to act now, decisively and unequivocally, to stem the tide of global warming," Hill wrote in her ruling.

"The ball is in Ecology's court now" says Rodgers, who is happy that Hill's ruling reinforced the legal arguments Rodgers made to the state. If Ecology's future rules do not take the well-being of future generations into account, Rodgers said the kids can appeal.

Advocates hope the public visibility and precedent set by the ruling may help similar lawsuits pending throughout the country: There are six suits being brought by kids against states and the federal government right now, all centered on future generations' rights to a healthy environment.

"You look at the civil rights movement, gay marriage, often times there was one court decision that set them off," says Rodgers. "This might be a decision that does that."

News Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500
Nine Native Sites to Visit Instead of Celebrating Thanksgiving With Turkey

November is traditionally the month of cranberries, mashed potatoes and green beans in America, but there's a growing movement to take a closer look at Thanksgiving, with some Native American activists arguing that it should be a Day of Mourning to mark the effects of colonialism, rather than a celebration followed by Black Friday excess. Some Americans are doing just that, taking advantage of the time for reflection.

But why not take it a step further and use that traditional time off to visit a Native American site and celebrate the heritage of the people who have been inhabiting North America for millennia, and enjoy the living culture of numerous vibrant Native American tribes? Use this list to map out an all-November tour or a compilation of sites to visit over the coming years, and turn Thanksgiving into an interesting cultural experience while giving your waistband and your credit card a break.

Before visiting any site, make sure it's going to be open - some are closed for part of the year or on given days, and sometimes tribes close them for private ceremonies. Conversely, you might want to time a trip for a public event to get a chance to see a powwow or other community event in action if members of a tribe are inviting the public. While at the site, be respectful: You already know to leave no trace when you visit precious historical sites, but be mindful to traditional customs as well, and mimic others - if people are taking their shoes off or covering their heads, for example, please do likewise. Remember, you're a guest on someone else's land.

1) Crazy Horse Monument

The Native answer to Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument is in a slowly evolving state of construction, as carvers work to slowly bring out the likeness of a famous figure in American history. When it's finished - which won't be soon, it's been underway for over 65 years already! - the massive carving will depict the famous Oglala Lakota chief, mounted, of course, on a stallion. The site, located in the Black Hills, commemorates an important figure in the fight against colonialism and includes a museum for those interested in learning more about the real-world people who fought alongside the famous Native American. Visitors can also see a scale model illustrating what the memorial is supposed to look like. For those who've also been longing to visit Mount Rushmore, you're in luck - the two sites are very close to each other, and seeing both can give you an interesting perspective on U.S. history.

When you visit, be aware that some Native American critics, including those related to Crazy Horse, have mixed feelings about the site, from the amount of money used to concerns about whether Crazy Horse himself would have wanted to see nature carved into a memorial - he famously refused to be photographed and his family buried him where he could not be found.

2) Taos Pueblo

This living community in New Mexico is hundreds of years old. Visitors are welcomed by Red Willow People who call it home, and they are happy to show people around and provide them with information about Native crafts and traditions. Sites like this one are important, because many Americans view Native culture as something dead and past, when in fact numerous tribes are still very active in the United States, working very hard to preserve their history and heritage. Seeing them firsthand is a reminder of their history, and also provides a chance to contribute directly to their work - beautiful examples of handmade traditional crafts are available in Taos. Be aware that as a living community, Taos Pueblo isn't just a historical site, and the residents deserve privacy - no photos or entering homes without permission, for example.

Many traditional crafts have special significance to Native communities - every beaded pattern, for example, has meaning, and some garments and adornments are used in religious ceremonies. This guide to shopping ethically can help you learn more about which things are off limits and how to support artisans directly. Generally, only members of a tribe are allowed to wear war bonnets (mistakenly known as "headdresses") and religious regalia. Try connecting directly with an artist to learn more about her work - both modern and traditional - so you'll have a story to associate with a treasured item.

3) Gathering of Nations

It doesn't take place in November, but it's worth an honorable mention. This annual spring event brings together hundreds of Indian tribes for traditional dance, eating, crafts, conversation, and much more. Located in Albuquerque, it's definitely not to be missed if you're traveling in New Mexico. Each year features a variety of events including the coronation ceremony for Miss Indian World - competitors all draw from their own cultural heritage and the winner becomes an ambassador for the Native community in the following year.

4) Mesa Verde National Park

While the Anasazi of Utah are famous for their cliff dwellings, this site in Colorado is amazing as well. These structures were built nearly one thousand years ago by Pueblo Indians, and visitors get to wander around and through them. If cliff dwellings aren't your cup of tea, there are over 5,000 historical sites of interest in the national park that enjoy protection from the federal government, so there's definitely something for everyone in this beautiful landscape located in the Four Corners area.

The UNESCO site is particularly notable thanks to the size and complexity of the architecture. Native American architects used the landscape to their advantage with cliff dwellings to create very sturdy and efficient homes - trapping heat in the winter, and staying cool in the summer - and some of these structures tower across multiple stories. One of the most famous is the Cliff Palace, which has recently undergone some careful restoration to keep it in good condition for future generations.

5) National Museum of the American Indian

Located in Washington, D.C., this museum provides a wealth of opportunities to learn about Native culture and history. Plan to set aside at least a day to wander through its hallways so you can take time to explore with leisure. Like other museums, it hosts regularly rotating collections so check the upcoming exhibit schedule to see if there's anything you are particularly interested in. NMAI also holds classes, workshops, lectures and other events - like discussion of racist mascots - also listed for the benefit of potential visitors. Admission to the facility is free, and it's fully accessible to disabled people and visitors with strollers.

Washington itself is famous for its museums - NMAI is affiliated with the Smithsonian - and it's well worth planning a week in America's capital to check out the sights. There's also a satellite branch of the organization in New York, for those who prefer the Big Apple. You might want to skip both in November unless you enjoy chilly weather, but put them on the list for spring!

We know that museums featuring Native artifacts and culture can be controversial, as there's a long history of looting such artifacts from Native communities and refusing to return them. The museum has a repatriation policy, which you can read here, and works with the Native community to evaluate claims on human remains, religious items and certain other culturally significant artifacts. When possible, it returns these items to tribal members, and it does not engage in destructive or intrusive testing on disputed items.

6) Sitka National Historical Park

Located in Alaska, this beautiful park preserves and celebrates totem poles, an iconic part of Northwest Indian heritage. As with many other cultural traditions, the totem pole has been appropriated by the white community and isn't well understood. Each totem has a meaning, down to the individual figures carved into it and the colors used to decorate it. The restful park encourages visitors to wander along the totem trail and learn more about the real meaning of the totem pole.

It's not just about natural beauty, though. The park also preserves the site of a battle between Russian colonists and the Kiks.ádi Tlinget people who had traditionally inhabited the site. Many consider the battle to be an important event as it marked the last significant stand against colonization in Alaska, and the site includes a totem pole marking the lives lost during the conflict. Unfortunately, commemorations of unhappy events are a common feature of Native monuments, a reminder of the cultural destruction endured by many tribes as a result of European invasion.

7) Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Another example of historic and living history blending together, this monument in Arizona includes ruins and cultural sites, but it also includes a vibrant Navajo farming community - one that's been living in the region for 5,000 years. The stunning red cliffs and caves make for fascinating exploration, and you can interact with the local community to learn more about how they're working and living today. Given the sensitivity of a site where people are living and going about their daily lives, the Navajo community works closely with the parks service to preserve the site and set boundaries.

Visitors can wander around on their own, but it's also possible to take tours. There are some strict limits on tours, including the requirement that touring companies use Navajo guides. Such tours give visitors a chance to look at rock paintings and special sites in the canyon, and they're well worth taking.

8) Ocmulgee National Monument 

Native Americans from various communities have been living in this region, located near Macon, Ga., for 17,000 years. Visitors to this park can see ancient burial mounds as well as other structures, and the Native American community holds an annual September celebration of arts and culture. Those interested in the Civil War can also see some sites related to the conflict, as well as historic monuments related to the slave trade. Park events happen year round, including an illuminated tour during cherry blossom season, held in concert with Macon's celebration of blooms.

This is one of many sites in the South and Northeast that includes an interesting and important mixture of Native American heritage and colonial influences, allowing visitors to learn more about the interaction between Natives and colonists. The simultaneous presence of a sacred site, Civil War artifacts and legacies of the slave trade is a fascinating illustration of America's complicated history.

9) Haleakala National Park

Visitors to the island of Maui have an opportunity to visit this beautiful dormant volcano and historic site. The site plays an important role in indigenous Hawaiian myths - Maui, a demigod, allegedly trapped the sun in the mountain to make the days longer, explaining the volcano's name, which means "House of the Sun." Sunrise and sunset from the rim of the crater are particularly spectacular, but it's well worth visiting at any time. (And please - don't remove stones and other natural material, not just because of myths about bad luck, but because they are better enjoyed in situ by other visitors.)

This site comes with another bitter historical legacy: Many of the native plants there are extinct or almost wiped out because it's been heavily settled by invasive species. Hawaii, like many islands, has a very delicate natural ecology (one reason they're so tough about fruits, vegetables and agricultural pests), and colonists brought plants unwittingly and sometimes intentionally. In addition to suppressing Hawaiian culture, colonists in the region also devastated the environment of the islands.

Opinion Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500
Instead of Pardoning a Turkey, Obama Should Free This Man

2015.11.26.Peltier.mainThis year, the president should extend some Thanksgiving clemency to human beings - starting with Leonard Peltier. (Photo: @Peta_de_Aztlan /Flickr )As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I've got a suggestion for President Barack Obama.

Instead of following the White House tradition and "pardoning" a turkey destined for a holiday dinner table, Obama should extend that courtesy to some of the thousands of human beings caged up in America's federal prisons.

Leonard Peltier should be one of them.

Peltier was a Native American activist on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the 1970s. On June 26, 1975, two FBI agents went to Pine Ridge to look for a young man named Jimmy Eagle, who was wanted for robbery. Soon after they spotted his car, a shootout ensued.

Both agents and one of the occupants of the car were killed. A later shootout at the gunman's home ended in two more deaths.

An FBI investigation turned up a gun with Peltier's fingerprints on it, although there was no evidence he'd been involved in the murder of the agents. Peltier was placed on the FBI's most wanted list and eventually captured in Canada.

His trial was controversial.

The prosecution's evidence showed that the two agents were killed at close range - evidence that hadn't been presented in the trial of two earlier defendants, who were acquitted. Peltier admitted to firing at the agents from a distance, but insisted that he hadn't been in close proximity to them and hadn't killed them.

Nonetheless, Peltier was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.

In the years after the trial, new evidence emerged indicating that Peltier couldn't have killed the agents. An FBI ballistics expert found that the firing pin and cartridges used in the killings didn't come from Peltier's gun. And all three witnesses who placed Peltier at the scene of the killing later recanted, saying that they'd been coerced by the FBI and denied access to their attorneys.

Even the federal parole board wrote in 1993 that it  "recognizes that the prosecution has conceded the lack of any direct evidence that Peltier participated in the executions of the two FBI agents."

More than two decades later, Peltier still sits in a federal penitentiary in Florida, where he won't be eligible for another parole hearing until he's well into his 80s. He's been incarcerated for 39 years.

An array of progressive, libertarian, and human rights groups have urged for Peltier to receive clemency. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark acts as his pro bono attorney. But the only thing that can help Peltier is presidential action.

It really looks like our government has locked up an innocent man. Isn't it time to fix it?

With his presidency coming to a close and Thanksgiving today, it's the perfect time for Obama to offer a gesture to help make amends with our nation's original people. Instead of pardoning a turkey, he should pardon Leonard Peltier.

Opinion Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500
Victory: Columbia University Divests $10 Million From Private Prisons

Behind the scenes with the student campaign that forced Columbia University to divest $10 million from private prisons.

News Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500
There's No Such Thing as a Climate Change Refugee, but There Ought to Be

Locals in Tebikenikora, a village in low-lying Kiribati.Locals in Tebikenikora, a village in low-lying Kiribati. (Photo: Eskinder Debebe / UN Photo)

Ioane Teitiota could have been the world's first official climate change refugee. The subsistence fisherman relocated from the low-lying Pacific island of Kiribati to New Zealand in 2007, purportedly to escape the effects of climate change, which will soon make his home uninhabitable. Seeing no legal basis to grant Teitiota refugee status in New Zealand, the judiciary rejected his petition for residency, and the country's high court sent him back to Kiribati on September 23 of this year.

Australia and New Zealand are among the first countries to face petitions from so-called climate refugees because of their location in the Pacific. Small island nations like Kiribati and Tuvalu, where saltwater has infiltrated once-fertile soils and may soon submerge much of their landmass, are close neighbors to the Aussies and Kiwis. But climate change migrants won't be landing only there. Soon they will drift across the globe, reaching American shores and courts - but no legal system is prepared to handle the inevitable wave.

The Migrants

Kiribati has no future. Saying so seems cruel and unfair, but the truth often is. The island's highest point is less than 10 feet above the current sea level. It's so low that the world's tallest man could put his feet in the ocean and raise his hand higher than the island's rocky apex. Many I-Kiribati live close to the breaking waves, at elevations that the sea will likely submerge by the end of this century.

Although the Atlantis scenario is the headline concern, the island will become uninhabitable long before that. Saltwater already infiltrates drinking water supplies, and drought is quickly becoming the norm. The lack of potable water leads to frequent and deadly outbreaks of diarrhea. Anyone who can raise their children elsewhere will. This sad reality, more than eventual submersion, makes the island's slow evacuation a certainty.

The Law

But where will the I-Kiribati go? There is no such thing as a climate change refugee. The requirements for those seeking refugee status or asylum are fairly consistent from country to country, and the law is clear: Climate change migrants need not apply.

The 1951 Refugee Convention provides the basic international definition for that protected status. A refugee is a person who, "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." (Refugees are different from asylum seekers in that the former apply for entry to a country, while the latter have already entered and are asking for permission to stay. The legal standards are the same.)

Many humanitarians and legal scholars object to the definition of the 1951 convention. They say its categories of persecution are incomplete and have the effect of locking some of the world's most indigent and at-risk people in their circumstances. Those who lose their homes in earthquakes, for example, and whose countries cannot help them rebuild are not refugees. People starving to death in abject poverty are usually not eligible to be refugees either, because so many of their countrymen tend to suffer the same way. Indeed, one of the tragic ironies of refugee law is that, as the number of people in trouble grows, the less likely any of them are to qualify for protection. The law is concerned only with persecuted minorities.

Which brings us back to climate change. Rising oceans are blind to the rigid categories of refugee law. When sea levels go up, people of all races and creeds are threatened.

The Decision

Ioane Teitiota, the fisherman from Kiribati, could not overcome this legal obstacle. His lawyers argued to the New Zealand High Court of Appeal that the people of Kiribati suffered a sort of global persecution. In short, the world's major carbon emitters had singled out the low-lying people of Kiribati and Tuvalu for suffering through their complete lack of concern.

The court's rejection was complete, bordering on nasty. "Traditionally a refugee is fleeing his own government or a non-state actor from whom the government is unwilling or unable to protect him," the judges wrote. "Thus the claimant is seeking refuge within the very countries that are allegedly 'persecuting' him."

But the judges' real concern - more than the legal gymnastics that would have been required to fit Teitiota's case into the historical refugee boundaries - was that the I-Kiribati fisherman would become the leading edge of a wave of migrants.

"At a stroke," the judges worried, "millions of people who are facing medium-term economic deprivation, or the immediate consequences of natural disasters or warfare … would be entitled to protection under the Refugee Convention."

The Hypocrisy

New Zealand's argument has a name: "Too much justice." U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan penned the now famous phrase in 1987. In McCleskey v. Kemp, an African-American on death row presented extremely convincing evidence of racial disparities in capital punishment. The five-justice majority rejected the appeal, in part because accepting McCleskey's argument would likely have meant reconsidering how bias potentially infected all criminal sentencing. In his dissent, Justice Breenan, wrote, "The prospect that there may be more widespread abuse than McCleskey documents may be dismaying, but it does not justify complete abdication of our judicial role." Brennan mocked his colleagues' fear of "too much justice."

Brennan's retort struck a chord, and many people today view the McCleskey majority as having chosen expediency over fairness. But judges around the world are now making the same choice with climate change refugees. Look at the New Zealand opinion closely, and you see jurists wriggling off the hook of justice. The arguments are nothing but Huxleian doublespeak.

The judges worry that accepting climate change refugees would open the door to "millions of people who are facing medium-term economic deprivation." The word choice alone is peculiar. "Medium-term economic deprivation" is a rather understated way to describe having one's home drown in the sea. And as for the needy millions, isn't the entire point of humanitarian law to help people facing dire circumstances? The New Zealand High Court of Appeals seems to suggest that refugee law, by its very definition, is nothing but a token gesture.

The judges' argument about the I-Kiribati fleeing to economically developed countries, directly into the arms of the supposed perpetrators, is ironic in the extreme. On a basic level, it's true - political refugees don't seek asylum in the countries that created their hardship. But climate change is a different kind of persecution. Allowing the world's most prolific carbon emitters to escape their responsibility to the people they've harmed on this ground would be bizarre, if not shameful. If anything, developed countries have a greater responsibility than their developing neighbors to accept climate change migrants.

This is not an attack on New Zealand. Unlike most other countries, New Zealand has at least accepted a small number of climate change migrants, albeit on purely humanitarian grounds to avoid setting a precedent. The reality is that the international definition of "refugee" applies in almost every nation, including the United States, with little variation. Judges around the world will hide behind these legal niceties to avoid taking responsibility for climate change victims.

Solutions are available. We could tinker with the definition of "refugee" or establish a new category of legal status for people who lose their homes to climate change. Each country could develop a quota of displaced people it will accept, with global totals negotiated to meet the need.

The challenges of climate change are not merely technical and economic. They are legal as well. We've already victimized the people of Kiribati and other South Pacific islands through our carelessness. Let's not do it again through our courts.

News Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500
On Holiday Myths and State Violence

Chicago police block a bridge on November 24, 2014, as protesters march in protest of the non-indictment of Darren Wilson. (Photo: Kelly Hayes)Chicago police block a bridge on November 24, 2014, as protesters march in protest of the non-indictment of Darren Wilson. (Photo: Kelly Hayes)

One of the common refrains that Indigenous people in the United States are confronted with when they speak to this country's history of genocide and repression is the claim that the harms Natives have historically endured are confined to the past. We are told that we are no longer living out the reality or the legacy of losing 100 million of our people in much the same way that Black Americans are told that they are no longer suffering the aftereffects of slavery. The social demand that oppressed peoples behave as though they are no longer experiencing the consequences of colonialism, mass kidnappings, dehumanization and genocide would be absurd enough on its face, given that the violence inflicted upon Brown and Black bodies has only been refashioned with time. But the popular consciousness of the United States actually takes its self-absolving delusions several steps beyond the illusion of distance.

Like most societies, the US is grounded in a set of prescribed values and ideas. Land was "settled," rather than stolen. Settlers broke bread with Natives on "Thanksgiving" as an expression of fellowship and unity, as opposed to slaughtering them at will. The institutions that police our communities were built to serve and protect the public, rather than having evolved from enforcers of slavery, displacement and genocide.

The myth of Thanksgiving has a great deal in common with the false image of policing in the United States. Just as Thanksgiving whitewashes a period soaked in the blood of Natives slaughtered during crimes of conquest, the myth of police as guardians of the public whitewashes the reality of where those institutions began.

Slave patrols and "Indian constables" were created in the United States to enforce a social and economic order, and today's police serve the same purpose. Any amount of attention paid to the endless stream of  imagery and accounts of Black and Brown people being harmed by police could easily clarify for the observer that policing in the United States is not grounded in law.

American policing is, as it always has been, grounded in the maintenance of social norms, which include a whole spectrum of oppressions, and the illusion that the state both cares for and protects its people.

The myth of Thanksgiving creates a cheery, almost cartoon-like narrative of a incredibly dark and bloody period of American history. And much like the realities of policing, the realities of this history could not be more accessible. Native genocide is not unknown to most Americans, and yet the myth of Thanksgiving is imparted to children as an inspiring representation of their country's values. Native suffering is erased with holiday platitudes. In classrooms, the ugliness of colonial history is dismissed in favor of happier sights, like the paper turkeys, cut from construction paper by children, some of whom are consuming lies that obscure their own journey through their people's oppression.

Our loss is buried in storybook history, gluttonous meals and holiday shopping deals.

These myths must be dismantled. It is a matter of defending the truth of our history, and the truth of our lives. Black and Brown people in the United States must demand an honest understanding and acknowledgment of history from all who would stand with them, and we must understand the connectivity of our past and present traumas. As police continue to kill both our peoples at startling rates, we must attack the myths of both the present and the past, because they are indivisible. The lies of this culture are the social absolution, for crimes past and present, indulged by those who would rather not own up to their privilege and complicity.

To create a future that embraces a new narrative, we must destroy those means of absolution - both old and ongoing.

Like most mythologies, these historical and ideological constructions will always have their adherents. People cling to the myths that prop up their sense of the world and their place in it, and undermining those myths can be a costly, and at times, deadly business. But to pull forward those who are capable of knowing and doing better, and to curb the internalized oppressions of our own people, marginalized people must connect the dots of history. The forces that perpetuate Black and Brown death must be understood as informing the past, the present and a wholly preventable future.

In a society grounded in the exploitation and annihilation of Black and Brown bodies, telling our story is a matter of cultural self-defense.

Social cycles cannot be broken when they aren't so much as acknowledged, and justice cannot be conceived of in communities that are grounded in the lies of the oppressor. One page follows another, and the truth of the present cannot be understood without an honest retelling of the past.

It's time to gut the storybooks and write the truth on every wall. So, this Thanksgiving, feel free tear down the paper turkeys and modern myths of white supremacy with abandon and without apology.

As the shopping commercials say, tis' the season.

This piece was written by Indigenous activist and writer Kelly Hayes, one of the co-founders of Lifted Voices.

Opinion Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500
The Hubris of the United States Waging War by Claiming It Is Just and Its "Enemies" Evil

In this excerpt from the preface to a new edition of Rogue States, Noam Chomsky outlines major events in US history, from the Cold War to the 2008 financial crisis and impending environmental catastrophe. The acclaimed public intellectual connects these events by examining them through the lens of imperialistic US policies.

A U.S. B-66 Destroyer and four F-105 Thunderchiefs dropping bombs on North Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder, June 14, 1966 The US always claims that when it kills, it's in the name of democracy and virtue.A US B-66 Destroyer and four F-105 Thunderchiefs dropping bombs on North Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder, June 14, 1966. The US always claims that when it kills, it's in the name of democracy and virtue. (Photo: Lt. Col. Cecil J. Poss, 20th TRS on RF-101C, USAF)Just one Chomsky book contains a wealth of insight and information - so imagine how much knowledge can be found in a dozen books! The Noam Chomsky Collection is made up of 12 volumes by one of the world's most prolific and influential critics of US policy, including Fateful Triangle, Rogue States, Year 501 and Propaganda and the Public Mind. To order this amazing set of books, click here to make a donation to Truthout!

The following is the preface to the 2015 edition of Noam Chomsky's Rogue States (originally published in 2000 and included in the 12-volume Noam Chomsky collection):

The chapters that follow are based on lectures given in Managua in 1986, at the peak of Reagan's terrorist war against Nicaragua. The lectures took place at about the time when the International Court of Justice condemned the United States for "the unlawful use of force" - aka international terrorism - and ordered it to cease the crimes and pay substantial reparations. The court was haughtily dismissed as a "hostile forum" by the editors of the New York Times, offended that it should dare condemn the United States for its crimes. For some years, the United States was joined in defiance of the World Court by Muammar Qaddafi and Enver Hoxha, but Libya and Albania have since complied with the Court judgments, leaving the United States in the splendid isolation it proudly occupies on many international issues.

The essential problem that the United States faces in the world was explained by State Department legal advisor Abram Sofaer. The world majority, he observed, "often opposes the United States on important international questions," so that we must "reserve to ourselves the power to determine" which matters fall "essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States, as determined by the United States," in this case, international terrorism that was intended to punish and devastate the country where I was lecturing - or in approved Orwellian translation, to bring it the blessings of freedom and democracy.

At the same time the cultural correspondent of the New York Times, Richard Bernstein, explained in the Times Magazine the world was out of step because of various psychological and social maladies. His article was accordingly entitled "The U.N. versus the U.S.," not "the U.S. versus the U.N."

The pathologies of the world continue. In December 2013, the BBC reported the results of an international Gallup poll showing that the United States was regarded as the greatest threat to world peace by an overwhelming margin. No one else even came close. Fortunately, the Free Press spared the American public this further evidence of global backwardness.

At the time of these lectures, in March 1986, Reagan's terrorist war was taking its toll in many ways. A minor one was regular power failures, so that the talks were constantly interrupted until the sound system could come back on. That of course was the least of it. The goal of the terrorist attack, as privately conceded by Administration officials, was to "debilitate the Sandinistas by forcing them to divert scarce resources toward the war and away from social programs," a fact that aroused little comment in the civilized West.

That policy made good sense. It was directed rationally to the threat posed by Nicaragua, "the threat of a good example," to borrow the title of a study by the development agency Oxfam, which reported that Nicaragua was "exceptional" among the seventy-six countries where Oxfam worked in the government's commitment "to improving the condition of the people and encouraging their active participation in the development process." Oxfam's judgments were confirmed by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Another sign of Sandinista criminality was that they accepted Costa Rican-initiated diplomatic efforts that the United States was desperately seeking to evade while claiming that they were being blocked by Nicaragua. Perhaps the ultimate crime was to conduct free elections in 1984 that were carefully monitored and judged free and fair, despite massive U.S. efforts to disrupt them - elections that took place only in the world, but not within the rigid U.S. doctrinal system that prevails to this day.

In the terminology of U.S. planners, the threat of a good example is rephrased as the threat that one rotten apple can spoil the barrel, that a virus can spread contagion, that the dominoes may fall. Another version, explicit in internal documents, is that successful independent development in a poor country subjected to U.S. control might inspire others facing similar problems to pursue the same course, so that the whole system of imperial domination will erode. As discussed below, this is a leading theme of Cold War history, masked in fanciful tales of defense against enemies of awesome power, like Nicaragua. At the time of these lectures, President Reagan declared a national emergency because of the dire threat to U.S. national security posed by the government of Nicaragua, which had armies poised only two days' marching time from Harlingen, Texas. But in his best John Wayne pose, Our Leader was prepared to confront the terrifying enemy about to overwhelm us.

The driving fears were expressed eloquently by President Lyndon Johnson, an authentic man of the people, addressing U.S. troops in Asia. LBJ plaintively told the soldiers that they were protecting us from the billions of people of the world, who vastly outnumber us, and if they could would sweep over us and take what we have. So we'd better stop them in Vietnam while we still have a chance to survive.

Such fears have deep roots in American culture. They appear in the Declaration of Independence, where Jefferson lamented the fate of the innocent colonists subjected to the vicious policies of King George of England, who "excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions," words intoned solemnly every July 4. There followed fears of all sorts of other awesome and demonic enemies. Small wonder that to this day courageous souls carry guns on their hips when they venture to the corner store for a cup of coffee.

Inflamed and pathetic rhetoric aside, the actual threats of good examples abroad - not to speak of resistance by the oppressed at home - have been real, and go a long way toward explaining U.S. policies in the world since World War II, with ample precedents in earlier imperial systems, or, for that matter, within the smaller domains of the former junior superpower.

Rogue States is one of the books in the 12-volume Noam Chomsky collection available from Truthout. (Photo: Haymarket Books)Rogue States is one of the books in the 12-volume Noam Chomsky collection available from Truthout. (Photo: Haymarket Books)

In the first two lectures I attempted to outline, as best I could, what seem to me to be the primary guiding principles of policy decisions: "the commitment of the state to serving private power in the domestic and international arena and the commitment of the ideological institutions to limiting popular understanding of social reality," policies that "are firmly rooted in the institutional structure of the society and are highly resistant to change." Lecture three seeks to apply the doctrines of global management to Central America. The two final lectures turn to the United States itself, to national security policy during the post-World War II era and to the domestic scene, in particular, to the "very limited form of democracy" that exists under capitalist democracy.

The conclusions of the first two lectures are, I think, well confirmed by events since. Particularly informative is the impact of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which eliminated the primary pretext for the policies of the preceding years: defense of all civilized values from the machinations of the Kremlin "slave state," whose "fundamental design" and "implacable purpose" was to gain "absolute authority over the rest of the world," destroying "the structure of society" everywhere - in the terminology of NSC 68 of 1950, one of the most influential internal documents in setting policy for the postwar era. A few years after these lectures, the Cold War ended with the collapse of the global enemy. For those who want to understand the Cold War era, an obvious question is: what happened when the slave state disintegrated?

The answer is straightforward: little changed, except that earlier policies were pursued more intensively. Consider NATO. According to doctrine, NATO was established to protect Western Europe (and the world) from the Russian hordes. What happened, then, when the Russian hordes disappeared? Answer: NATO expanded to the East, in violation of verbal agreements with Mikhail Gorbachev, reaching right to the borders of Russia in ways that are by now raising a serious threat of confrontation. The official role of NATO was also changed. Its mandate became control over the global energy system, sea lanes, and pipelines, while it serves in effect as a U.S.-run intervention force.

Shortly after the Berlin Wall fell, the United States invaded Panama in order to kidnap a minor thug, Manuel Noriega, who had fallen out of favor when he began defying U.S. orders. U.S. forces bombed poor residential areas, killing many people, several thousand according to Central American human rights organizations. After a vulgar assault on the Vatican Embassy where Noriega had taken refuge, U.S. forces apprehended him and brought him to the United States where he was tried and sentenced mostly for crimes that Washington had praised when he was committing them while on the CIA payroll. The shameful episode was not particularly novel, apart from the pretext: no more Russians, so we were defending ourselves from Hispanic narcotraffickers. Other pretexts were developed later as circumstances required.

With the slave state gone, the Bush I administration issued a new National Security Strategy and military budget. The basic message was that things would remain much the same, but with new pretexts. A huge military establishment was still necessary because of the "technological sophistication" of Third World powers. It was necessary to maintain "the defense industrial base," in part a euphemism for high-tech industry that is substantially subsidized through the Pentagon system in our free-market economy. We must continue to maintain intervention forces targeting the crucial Middle East region, where the serious threats we had faced "could not have been laid at the Kremlin's door," contrary to decades of pretense, now abandoned, with the recognition that the primary threat had always been "radical nationalism."

Nuclear weapons strategy also had to be reconsidered. The leading problem was to determine "The Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence" - the title of a partially declassified study issued in 1995 by President Clinton's Strategic Command (STRATCOM), which is in charge of nuclear weapons. The study concludes that after the Soviet collapse, nuclear weapons "seem destined to be the centerpiece of U.S. strategic deterrence for the foreseeable future." We must retain the right of "first use" of nuclear weapons, even against non-nuclear states, and make it clear that our actions may "either be response or preemptive." Nuclear weapons must always be readily available because they "cast a shadow over any crisis or conflict," with the obvious implications. We should also not "portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed.... That the US may become irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked should be a part of the national persona we project." For our strategic posture, it is "beneficial" if some parts of the decision-making apparatus "may appear to be potentially 'out of control,'" thus posing a constant threat of nuclear attack - a resurrection of the "madman theory" attributed to Richard Nixon.

The Clinton Administration went on to present its geostrategic doctrine, which asserts that the United States is free to resort to "unilateral use of military power," if deemed necessary, to ensure "uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources." A less expansive version, the Bush II doctrine of preemptive war, was implemented a few years later with the U.S.-UK invasion of Iraq, the worst international crime of the new millennium, with consequences that are now tearing not just Iraq but the whole region to shreds.

More was learned about the extreme dangers of nuclear weapons even when their use is not contemplated, including the years just prior to these lectures. A November 2014 study of the years 1977 to 1983 in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists estimated "false alarms that could be perceived as nuclear attacks" in the range of 43 to 255 per year, and speculated that not much may have changed since. The study concludes that "nuclear war is the black swan we can never see, except in that brief moment when it is killing us. We delay eliminating the risk at our own peril. Now is the time to address the threat, because now we are still alive."

During the years of these threatening false alarms, the Reagan Administration launched operations to probe Russian air and naval defenses, simulating attacks and even a full-scale release of nuclear weapons, along with a high-level nuclear alert intended for the Russians to detect. These actions were undertaken at a very tense moment. Pershing II strategic missiles were being deployed in Europe, with a five- to ten-minute flight time to Moscow, and Reagan announced the SDI (Star Wars) program, which is understood on all sides to be effectively a first-strike strategy. That led to a major war scare in 1983. Newly released archives reveal that the danger was even more severe than had been previously assumed by analysts. A very detailed recent study based on extensive U.S. and Russian intelligence records concludes that "the War Scare Was for Real," and that U.S. intelligence may have underestimated Russian concerns and the threat of a Russian preventive nuclear strike.

In September 2013, the BBC reported that during this dangerous period, Russia's early-warning systems detected an incoming missile strike from the United States, sending the highest-level alert. The protocol for the Soviet military was to retaliate with a nuclear attack of its own. The officer on duty, Stanislav Petrov, decided to disobey orders and not report the warnings to his superiors. Thanks to his dereliction of duty, we are alive to reflect on the black swan we prefer not to see. Other studies reveal a shocking array of close calls, even apart from the "most dangerous moment in history" during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

An enormous gap in these lectures, not appreciated at the time, was that another and even more ominous threat was inexorably advancing: environmental catastrophe. By now no reasonable person can doubt that we are marching resolutely toward a grim fate, and not far in the future, unless the course we are following is radically altered.

Meanwhile, the neoliberal assault on the population that gained force under Reagan has taken an increasing toll, particularly after the collapse of the housing bubble in 2008 and the ensuing financial meltdown, the worst blow to the international economy since the Great Depression.

The accompanying decline of functioning democracy proceeds on course. Recent studies in academic political science reveal that a considerable majority of the population, at the lower end of the income scale, are effectively disenfranchised: their preferences have no detectable effect on policy. Influence slowly increases along with wealth until the very top, a fraction of one percent, where policy is largely determined. Formal democracy remains, but in a system perhaps more accurately termed "plutocracy."

It seems that much of the population is reasonably well aware of these tendencies, which proceed in parallel with dramatically rising economic inequality. In a careful study of the November 2014 elections, political scientists Walter Dean Burnham and Thomas Ferguson show that the decline in voting is reaching the levels of the early nineteenth century, when voting was limited to propertied white males. "Many are convinced that a few big interests control policy [and] crave effective action to reverse long-term economic decline and runaway economic inequality," they write, though no changes "on the scale required will be offered to them by either of America's money-driven major parties."

The lectures end with the observation that institutions are not fixed, that history is not at an end, and that the future offers "many severe threats and many hopeful possibilities."

That remains both true and critically important. Not just for contemplation, but as a stimulus for action.

Copyright © 2000 by Diane Chomsky Irrevocable Trust. Re-published with updated introduction by Noam Chomsky in 2015 by Haymarket Books. Not to be reposted without permission of the publisher.

Progressive Picks Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500