In These Times

Magazine focusing on movements for social, economic, and environmental justice.

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 2, February

Angela Davis' Advice to the Movement
EXCERPTWhat role can activism play in strengthening democratic and critical practices? What lessons might we learn from past movements of resistance and apply to contemporary struggles?That is a very difficult question because the terrain on which organizing...
An Imperial President
EVEN BEFORE HIS confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, it was clear that Judge Samuel Alito believed in the obscure doctrine of the "unitary executive." After the hearings, we still don't know exactly what Alito thinks about the limits, if any,...
Appall-O-Meter
1.4 Minnesotans For NosferatuIf elected, I will boost education spending, protect family farmers, pull our National Guard troops out of Iraq and impale miscreants on the State Capitol lawn. Yep, it's gubernatorial campaign season in Minnesota.Down the...
Backdoor Draft, Back Again
FOR MORE THAN 800 members of the Army's Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), the most memorable part of the holiday season was a surprise stocking-stuffer from the United States Army. It came in the form of a blue and white Western Union Mailgram that ordered...
Can Blogs Revolutionize Progressive Politics?
WE HAVE NO INTEREST in being anti-establishment," says Matt Stoller, a blogger at the popular Web site MyDD.com. "We're going to be the establishment."That kind of flamboyant confidence has become the hallmark of blog evangelists who believe that blogs...
Coal Miners' Slaughter
FOR A COUPLE of klieg-lit days in rainy West Virginia, we were reminded-once again-that the dark and hidden project of coaxing coal from the earth remains a deadly business. The January 2 nightmare of Tallmansville added 12 victims to history's mountain...
FBI, DoD, NSA: All Spying on You
QUIETLY, THE WAR ON terror, in which everything is permitted, has laid the ground work for the Bush administration to intrude into the political life of citizens.Over the last several months, it has been revealed that the FBI, the Pentagon and the National...
Hamas: Sharon's Legacy?
BOTH THE ISRAELI and Palestinian political arenas are in turmoil. In Israel, Prime Minister Ariel Sharons stroke has left the country and his newly established party, Kadima, in disarray. In the Palestinian territories, the ruling Fatah party is rapidly...
Information Is Power
SOMETIMES IT'S THE SMALL abuses scurrying below radar that reveal how profoundly the Bush administration has changed America in the name of national security. Buried within the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 is a regulation...
In Search of Solidarity
It's a week before the holidays in New York City and there's a transit strike. A strike? In 2005? It seems an anachronism, like meat rations or air raid drills. There's a frisson of excitement in the air mixed with logistical dread and disbelief.The...
Jack Bauer and the Ethics of Urgency
TELEVISIONJack Bauer and the Ethics of UrgencyTHE FIFTH SEASON of "24," the phenomenally successful Fox television series, premiered on January 15. Composed of 24 one-hour episodes, the show chronicles the workday of the fictitious L.A.-based Counter...
Letters
A Dose of CalomelCongratulations on a fine transition to a monthly format, losing none of your spark. It was disappointing, though, to see Silja Talvi take up more than 15 percent of the space with "Cult of Character" (January 2006) yet hardly mention...
Let Them Eat Crap
BEGIN ON THE sixth floor, third room from the end, swathed in fluorescence: a 60-year-old woman was having two toes sawed off." So opened the New York Times' four-part series in early January, "Bad Blood," about the Type 2 diabetes epidemic in New York...
Of Crafts and Causes
BOOKSOf Crafts and CausesCRAFTS ARE OFFICIALLY cool again. At many a chain bookstore, ReadyMade magazine's new book, ReadyMade: How to Make (Almost) Everything, isn't tucked away in the "Crafts" section, but stacked four high on the front display table.Hip,...
Paradigm Shift
Labor has found success by eschewing NLRB elections in favor of employer neutrality and card checksMIRNA BLANCO, AN IMMIGRANT Salvadoran janitor in Houston, and Kelvin Banks, an African-American cellular telephone customer service representative in Jackson,...
Radicals without Borders
Radicals Without BordersWhen the New York Times Magazine, for an end-of-the-millennium special issue, asked the oft-persecuted Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer to choose the best story of the last 1,000 years, he offered a somewhat ironic selection:...
Recess Appointments Reek of Cronyism
AFTER LAST YEAR'S Katrina and Supreme Court fiascos provoked catcalls of "cronyism" from all sides, the Bush administration learned something about making appointments. The lesson: Be more subtle.On January 4, Bush used the congressional recess to bypass...
Spin Cycle
Small-screen activismIn a trifecta of organizing, production and distribution, the Sierra Club, Brave New Films and Link TV are teaming up on a seven-part television series to highlight how "pollution, corporate greed and short-sighted government policies...
Talking Trash
How much needless plastic packaging do you throw away every year? Why is it cheaper to buy a new DVD player than get your old one fixed? And where does all that garbage go, anyway?In her new book, Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage, Heather Rogers...
The Republicans' Democracy Disorder
THE HOUSE OF Representatives is the only part of the American government where the principle of one person, one vote obtains.But the Republicans have been running the House in a way that purposefully abuses this principle. They have found a way to shelter...
Walking to Guantánamo
Peace marchers aim to keep the abuse of 'enemy combatants' visibleIT WAS TOUGH GETTING used to being a spectacle, but that is exactly what we were-a motley gaggle of gringos walking through Cuba in short pants and matching gray T-shirts that read "Witness...
When Red Goes Green
A burgeoning Chinese environmental movement tries to stem the devastation wrought by the country's massive economic transformationBEIJING-IN NOVEMBER, MUCH OF China watched in horror as work crews struggled to contain a benzene spill that polluted the...
Why Black History Month Matters
WHILE READING AN interesting story in the New York Observer about the overwhelming whiteness of the magazine industry, I noticed the prevalence of the phrase "people of color." This term has become ubiquitous among progressives as an inclusive nomenclature...
Witness for the Prosecution
Abramoff's pled agreement could land him in the middle of a murder trialA FLORIDA HIT MAN. A high-powered lobbyist. A pair of disgraced Republican congressmen. The ingredients for a potboiler novel? No-this is what passes for political news in the age...