In These Times

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

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 11, November

A Mother's March for Justice
For Tina Jones, life was plenty busy before her oldest son became one of the now famous Jena Six. Jones, a nursing assistant and mother of two boys, Bryant Purvis, 17, and Dyrek Jones, 7, has become a tireless activist since Dec. 5, 2006, when Bryant...
Appall-O-Meter
3.6 Empire Follies IIt's nice for Blackwater USA, the private mercenary outfit, that whenever one of its trigger-happy droogs gets in the soup, there's always a friendly State Department team to fish him out.Consider the unhappy incident last December,...
Banana Republic to Baby Republic
Guatemala could shut down its massive adoption industryON ANY GIVEN DAY in Antigua, a touristy colonial town in Guatemala, as many as a dozen American couples can be seen lounging with their soon-to-be-adopted Mayan children in the Parque Central or...
Blackwater Nation
THOSE SEEKING TO pinpoint the date that propelled the private military firm Blackwater into its prominent (and disastrous) position in the U.S. military apparatus might look toward Sept. 11, 2001. Al Clark, one of the company's co-founders, once remarked,...
E-Wasting Away in China
THE HIGHWAY OF poisoned products that runs from China to the United States is not a one-way street. America ships China up to 80 percent of U.S. electronic waste-discarded computers, cell phones, TVs, etc. Last year alone, the United States exported...
Excerpt
Short story author extraordinaire (and newly minted, MacArthur-certified "genius") George Sounders recently published his first collection of essays, The Braindead Megaphone (Riverhead). The following is an excerpt of the collection's final essay, "Manifesto."Now...
FCC Rocks Chicago, Chicago Rocks Back
WHEN FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSIONERS (FCC) Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps arrived in Chicago the night before the September 20 FCC public hearing, the two headed straight for Delilah's, a hipster bar on the city's north side, where Adelstein...
Harassment Unchecked at Army Hotel
FOR ACTIVE AND retired military members and their families, the U.S. Army-owned Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu is a place to relax in a tropical paradise at affordable rates.For hotel parking manager and veteran John "Jack" Lloyd, it appears to be a place...
Harry Potter AND THE MUGGLE ACTIVIST ALLIANCE
IMAGINE A WORLD FACED with unpredictable attacks that are carried out by a cult-like network. Led by a charismatic figure that is rarely ever seen or heard from, this network continues to claim responsibility for heinous acts that include random kidnappings,...
Has the Change Led to Wins?
Not yet, but organizers from the seven unions that split from the AFL-CIO have big plansWHEN A BLOC OF unions broke away from the AFL-CIO two years ago to form the Change to Win labor federation, their leaders appeared to have lit a fuse on a bomb-but...
Jena and the Post-Civil Rights Fallacy
WELL, IT APPEARS that the post-civil rights era is old news. Put another way, the post is past.This truth was revealed most recently in the huge protest surrounding the case of the Jena Six, in which six black high school students were victims of double-standard...
Katrina through Rose-Colored Glasses
Katrina Through Rose-Colored GlassesHISTORY IS WRITTEN by the powerful and the articulate. Chris Rose, a columnist for New Orleans' Times-Picayune, has painted a powerful and articulate historical landscape in his book 1 Dead in Attic.His canvas is post-Katrina...
Letters
Clear your eyesDavid Moberg's complaints about Barack Obama were wrongheaded ("Obama's in the Eye of the Beholder," October 2007). First, of course issues of political realism must be considered. In spite of their disillusion with George W. Bush, Americans...
Lobbying for Cancer
INDUSTRY SPECIAL INTERESTS are burying information on cancer-causing chemicals and, according to watchdog groups, the government is helping them do it-in the name of "data quality."In a study of the National Institutes of Healths National Toxicology...
'Make-a-Sheikh'
How the Pentagon transformed a contractor into a symbol of the surge's 'success'AMMAN, JORDAN-SITTING IN HIS room on the 10th floor of the Marriott Hotel during a one-on-one interview in July, "Sheikh" Sattar Abu Risha fielded my questions about his...
Pirates of Private Equity
An insanely lucrative investment strategy finally faces public scrutinyEMPLOYEES KNEW THAT HASTINGS Manufacturing Co., a family-owned auto-parts supplier 30 miles south of Grand Rapids, Mich., was in deep water. Facing financial pressure, 375 employees-two-thirds...
Prison Breakdown
Overcrowding has pushed California's prison system to the brinkHALFWAY BETWEEN SACRAMENTO AND San Francisco is Solano Correctional Facility, nestled against a series of rolling hills, on the outskirts of the small city of Vacaville.From the prison's...
Suffering 'Secondary Trauma'
Suffering 'Secondary Trauma'MUCH HAS BEEN made of the line between genius and madness. Throughout history, many of our greatest innovators, artists, rebels and revolutionaries have teetered between the two, often falling into deep, dark periods of debilitating...
Suicide and Spin Doctors
Now THAT THE U.S. military has "cleared" my notes, I can tell you about my July meeting at Guantánamo with my client Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi.Al-Ghizzawi was visibly shaken when I entered the meeting room and he immediately told me of his despair over...
Survival of the Adapted
Survival of the AdaptedKENNY FRIES' THE History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin's Theory (Carroll & Graf) is not so much about disability, as it is about adaptation-but adaptation in the same way that the X-Men's mutations are adaptations.Fries-a...
The Left's Identity Crisis
"Love me, love me, I'm a liberal" was one of the most memorable protest songs of the '60s. Written, recorded and performed by the late, great Phil Ochs, the song expressed the widespread anger that '60s radicals felt toward mainstreamliberalism during...
The Politics of Everyday
The Politics of EverydayWHAT MAKES KATHA Pollitt's new book Learning to Drive and Other Life Stories (Random House) compulsively readable is the frankness with which Pollitt brings her politics to bear on the everyday. This should not come as a surprise....
The Times vs. Feminism
DON'T BECOME A feminist. I mean it. Because then you might end up like Katha Pollitt. Wait, isn't Pollitt an award-winning poet and columnist? Isn't her "Subject to Debate" column what most of us turn to first when The Nation arrives? As the sharpest...
Transgendered Behind Bars
ALEXIS GIRALDO, 30, a male-to-female transsexual was sent to Folsom State Prison, a men's facility in California, in January 2006 for a misdemeanor and separate parole violation.While there, she was repeatedly beaten and sexually assaulted, she says....
Youth Gone Wild
Youth Gone WildIN THE SUMMER of 2006, Only 3 few days before the 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah rocked the Lebanese capital and killed 6,000 people, Jared Cohen, a young American Jew, dined at a McDonald's in Beirut. His companions that day...