News & Features

How Police Use Military Tactics to Quell the Nonviolent U.S. Protests

Robert Fantina

For years now, the U.S. military has been selling surplus equipment, material designed specifically for war zones, to local police departments. In many cities, police departments have nearly all the equipment, including weaponry and armored vehicles, that the U.S. military uses when it goes to war. Police departments also have tear gas and chemical weapons, which, should the U.S. decide to use against foreign enemies abroad, would violate the terms of the Geneva Convention.

A ‘Post-Truth’ Society and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Romin W. Tafarodi

The following year, 2017, was notable for the addition of a neo-Orwellian phrase to the post-truth glossary. It began on Jan 21, with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claiming of Trump’s inaugural ceremony, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe.” The claim was promptly fact-checked and cast into doubt. Nonetheless, indefatigable Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway defended Spicer on television the next day, claiming he was simply providing “alternative facts.”

U.S. and China Prepare for a New Cold War

Tony Walker

America now has the worst record globally in dealing with the pandemic. Things being equal, this will constitute a significant drag on Trump’s re-election prospects, hence his flailing about in search for scapegoats. Leaving aside American domestic politics – the Democrats will not want to be accused of being soft on China in a presidential election cycle – the much bigger question is the extent to which the pandemic will disrupt, even overturn, a globalizing world.

 

The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Limits of Virtual Social Life

Romin W. Tafarodi

What is missing from these virtual farewells that makes them seem so unfair and distressing? Those who study digital media and communications talk a lot about the reduced “social presence” that characterizes virtual connections. That certainly applies here. But what does the reduction consist of in this case? What would have made the difference? Two channels of social intercourse seem especially important: touch and the opportunity to read the eyes of the other.

Planting the Roots of Peace in Vietnam and Beyond

Heidi Kühn

The Vietnamese are not alone in facing the scourge of landmines. Worldwide, millions of landmines currently lie hidden in soil that might otherwise be utilized for the creation of crops or placement of shelter. As with COVID-19, landmines represent a large-scale loss of life from an invisible threat. The need for global collaboration to overcome both of them make the nexus clear, as does the passion needed to prevail over them both.

 

The Economic Forecast After the Coronavirus Pandemic

Richard Smith

Even with widespread testing, until a vaccine is available, there are entire industries that will have less than half the pre-virus business: airlines, hotels, cruise ships, theme parks, and sports, to name a few, as well as myriad other businesses supporting or related to these industries. In addition, more than a few large retail department and specialty store chains will probably not make it. No need to list names, but they are the obvious weak ones prior to COVID-19.

Earth Day: Dinner With America

Rick Bass

We might talk about what makes a great American. Great ones we’ve known. Teachers would be thick among them, and older people of integrity we’ve been lucky to know. My grandfather. My parents. Artists are my heroes, too. I’d talk about Berger, and Merwin’s poem “Thanks.” We’d stay up late. I’d plug in the porch lights.The pie would be pretty great. And after we caught up on her last ten thousand years — Say what you want about global warming, she’d laugh, but I was pretty excited at first, when that last ice sheet started to go away — she might ask what I’ve been up to.

How Huxley and Orwell Predicted Our Future (and Present)

Jerry Sander

Here’s what, I believe, neither Huxley, nor Orwell, nor any of us saw coming: It’s not a matter of government using technology to enslave the people. It is a matter of technology using the government to harness people’s loyalties, monies, and energies. It is about the creation of a vast, quiet sea of smiling economic slaves. Technology has proven itself more of a powerfully uniting force than government. The Trump/Never Trump divide is real and is full of unforgivable (and unforgiven) vitriol that promises to last into the next decade.

The Life and Death of the E-Cigarette

Angelo Franco

The Food and Drug Administration has been in contentious conflict with e-cigarette makers, attempting numerous times to regulate the product, sometimes effectively and other times not. E-cigarette companies successfully contended in a lawsuit against the FDA that they are tobacco products, and the FDA therefore has no jurisdiction over their regulation because it infringes Congress’s intent to withhold FDA’s authority over tobacco products

Native Americans in New York Fear Another Census Undercount

Samar Khurshid

As with efforts at the state and city level, the U.S. Census Bureau is focused on encouraging Native Americans to self-respond, which yields the most accurate data. For that, Behler said, the most important step has been educating and enlisting tribal leaders who can then spread the message to their people about the importance of filling out the Census and press tribal resources into that effort. For instance, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, located in Akwesasne by the border with Canada, will use a community center to help their members fill out the Census online, he said.

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