Published: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:35:16 GMT2016-10-25T01:35:16ZCopyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2016
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:44:27 GMT2016-10-24T16:44:27Z
The Republican candidate, who used to love citing polls, has to rely on more and more improbable scenarios to trace a path to the White House
Donald Trump used to spend most of his campaign rallies citing his awesome polls in what passed for stump speeches during the primaries. He was up, and his rivals were down. He was a winner, and all the governors and senators were losers.
But now the polls aren’t so gold-plated, and he thinks they’re mostly all wrong.Continue reading...
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:00:21 GMT2016-10-24T11:00:21Z
We never take for granted that our work will see the light of day. Or that we will be paid
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:00:22 GMT2016-10-24T12:00:22Z
Clinton’s complicity in entrenching and upholding drone wars is one of the reasons I cannot support her. And Donald Trump is out of the question
I am an American Muslim with one vote, and no person for whom to cast it. I became a citizen less than a year ago. This is my first election and yet, I won’t be joining the millions of other Americans going to the polls.
How could I squander such privilege, particularly when so many Muslim women in the world never get to vote? Voting my conscience – by abstaining - is a painful decision. Friends are astonished by my dilemma. Yet Clinton, for some Muslims, remains a problematic choice, and one I am not able to embrace.Continue reading...
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 11:00:15 GMT2016-10-22T11:00:15Z
Last week, I traveled to say goodbye to a close friend I’d never met in person. These relationships might not sound serious, but they are deep and real
“So, what are you headed to Texas for?” asked the woman in the airport lounge last week.
“Well, I’ve got this friend,” I said, and took a deep breath. “We’ve never met, but we were online coworkers for a few years. We talked every day. And now he’s really sick.”Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:38:08 GMT2016-10-21T12:38:08Z
The Republican nominee says he’ll only accept the election results if he wins. That’s like a man saying he believes in getting consent – but only if she says yes
After America went bananas over Donald Trump’s refusal to say he’d accept the results of the presidential election, it seemed almost inevitable that he would keep saying it. When Trump says something that shakes the earth, he’s almost bound to double down. Because the only thing Trump loves almost as much as himself is attention.
And did he ever double down. It might’ve been a triple down. At a campaign rally on Thursday morning, Trump leaned in hard: “I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election.” Then, in an emphatic cadence that can only be expressed in that internet-y way with extra periods, he delivered this horrifying caveat: “If. I. Win.”Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:00:05 GMT2016-10-21T11:00:05Z
A new study reveals what we all suspected: stressful jobs can kill
When I was 16 years old, I lied about my age and got a job working in the Hostess Twinkie factory in Natick, Massachusetts. Going in at 7 am in my brand new work boots, dollar signs dancing in front of my eyes, I felt mighty good. Coming out at 4 in the afternoon was a different story.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:00:05 GMT2016-10-21T11:00:05Z
After I broke my ankle, I resisted the idea that I needed help. I was terrified by the that the line between sick and well was so easily permeated
“There’s no elevator in the theater,” the teenage ticket seller said.
“But that’s ableist!” I said. I shifted on my crutches.Continue reading...
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 18:38:27 GMT2016-10-20T18:38:27Z
Clinton can take pride in being Nasty-Woman-in-chief of the United States. There are few of us who haven’t been called the same at some point in our lives
Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice but sometimes they grow up and life corrupts them. They metamorphosize from being sweet little girls into Nasty Women.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 14:16:55 GMT2016-10-20T14:16:55Z
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went head to head in Nevada for the third and final presidential debate, clashing on topics including immigration and IraqContinue reading...
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:42:06 GMT2016-10-20T19:42:06Z
For all its lip service about embracing difference, Silicon Valley is still mostly white and male. Calling support for Donald Trump diversity won’t change that
Earlier this week, while we were still reeling from cavalier boasts about sexual assault and from watching woman after woman come forward to recount alleged sexual mistreatment at the hands of Donald Trump, Silicon Valley bigwig Peter Thiel donated $1.25m to the candidate.
Far from being blacklisted for supporting Trump, Thiel remains a “part-time partner” at influential tech startup incubator Y Combinator, and he still sits on the boards of Facebook, Palantir, Asana and Zenefits.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:00:35 GMT2016-10-20T11:00:35Z
The president’s plans after leaving office reportedly include playing a partisan insider’s game
We’re in the era where a president’s legacy extends decades after they leave the White House.
Jimmy Carter, now in his 90s, and his wife, Rosalynn have helped build more than 4,000 homes for Habitat for Humanity since he was ingloriously forced into early retirement three decades ago. In 2010, at the request of Barack Obama, former presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush put party aside and teamed up to help rebuild Haiti after our island neighbor was devastated by an earthquake.Continue reading...
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:31:50 GMT2016-10-20T10:31:50Z
In the final debate, Donald Trump blew his last best chance to present himself as a remotely credible candidate. Clinton now stands on the brink of historic power
In the last debate of the election, Hillary Clinton emerged the way she hoped she would, as the all-but-certain first female president of the United States.
By refusing to pledge that he would accept the results of the election, Donald Trump all-but-certainly disqualified himself for the position of president. The peaceful transfer of power after a presidential election has been the pillar of our democracy. By refusing to accept the results of the vote, Trump would be flouting the tradition of American politics and the democratic beliefs of almost all voters.Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 17:32:23 GMT2016-10-18T17:32:23Z
She stayed on message through two interviews defending her husband, but she didn’t know Donald Trump when the accusers did
The 2016 campaign has not been kind to Melania Trump, and this week is no exception.
In two new interviews, she was sent in to defend her husband’s alleged mistreatment of women despite not knowing him when most of the accusers did. And she did so in front of a media that has not treated her kindly, to say the least, throughout Donald Trump’s run for president.Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:56:13 GMT2016-10-19T15:56:13Z
The #TellAmericaitsgreat campaign tells America where our northern neighbors stand on the presidential campaign – and it’s not with Donald Trump
I didn’t give much thought to Canada for the first 18 years of my life. Many Americans would not see this as a problem – Americans who think of Canada as ‘America’s hat’. But when I found myself in a bar with hundreds of Canadian strangers on my first night at university in Montreal (a city where I could legally go to a bar at 18), I realized that this had been a tremendous oversight.
“Who’s the prime minister of Canada?” someone asked me, when I confessed my American-ness. I had no idea, and it hit me like a hockey puck smashed into an unguarded net: my ignorance of Canada was an awful oversight. For my whole life all of these Canadians had been living in Canada, not wanting to be American, drinking milk from bags.Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 19:58:27 GMT2016-10-19T19:58:27Z
In Georgia some voters had to wait over two hours to cast their ballot in the heat. We need to make it easier for citizens to have their say – not harder
To the surprise of few and the consternation of many, thousands of voters in Georgia waited for hours to cast their vote during the state’s first two days of early voting. Is this a harbinger of the voting difficulties to come in this election?
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:17:49 GMT2016-10-19T15:17:49Z
The US should attempt to de-escalate tensions by negotiating some form of international cyber treaty before this gets out of control
What’s the CIA’s brilliant plan for stopping Russian cyber-attacks on the US and their alleged interference with the US election? Apparently, some in the agency want to escalate tensions between the two superpowers even more and possibly do the same thing right back to them.
NBC News reported late last week that the CIA is working up blueprints for an “unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia”, and it sounds a lot like they’re planning on leaking documents on Vladimir Putin, just as the Russians are accused of doing to the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 11:00:06 GMT2016-10-19T11:00:06Z
In the face of Donald Trump’s ‘locker room talk’, men are coming forward to reject the idea that talk of abusing women is in any way normal
Every day it becomes clearer that Hillary Clinton is going to make history and win the presidential election. It’s hard to feel excited or even relieved, though, when her road to victory is so slick with the odium of Donald Trump.Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:29:44 GMT2016-10-18T15:29:44Z
The fight over vote rigging in 2016 is a proxy war for a much deeper crisis: the legitimacy of American democracy
For a campaign that started with a promise to round up and deport 11 million people, Trump’s bid for the White House has taken a still darker turn in recent days. As his support slips amid scandal, the Republican nominee has been warning his supporters that the election will be “rigged” by Democratic operatives. Trump’s campaign is promoting a sign-up sheet to help him “stop Crooked Hillary from rigging this election,” an estimated 73% of Republican voters now think the election could be stolen. Many are unwilling to take no for an answer.
“If she’s in office,” one Trump fan told the Boston Globe recently, “I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot … We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed.”Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 21:17:21 GMT2016-10-18T21:17:21Z
The rights of activists and journalists are under threat wherever communities challenge Big Oil – in North Dakota and beyond
For far too long, the world had been ignoring the North Dakota anti-pipelines protests. Then the Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman captured private security forces (employed by a fossil fuel company) sicking dogs on Native Americans during a peaceful demonstration against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which encroaches on their sacred lands and waters. For that, she nearly went to jail.Continue reading...
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 15:28:03 GMT2016-10-17T15:28:03Z
Elizabeth Warren is right. Unless this trend reverses, our cities will become cheap places to stay for tourists – and unaffordable for the rest of us
Elizabeth Warren has long been calling for a federal probe into the short-term property rental industry – a shot aimed square at the upside-down-heart logo of Airbnb. This Tyrannosaurus Disruptus is swinging a $30bn tail through rental markets from Venice, California, to Venice, Italy. Now, people are starting to pay attention.
Warren’s call has been taken up by officials and civic leaders from a dozen US cities, who wrote a letter saying they want the Federal Trade Commission to take up the charge. It’s about time. “Cities are struggling to address urgent shortages of affordable housing,” the letter said, “and there is evidence that commercial interests in the [short-term rental] industry are removing residential units from housing markets and thereby contributing to even higher rents.”Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:30:01 GMT2016-10-18T11:30:01Z
We’ve been scapegoated throughout history, but we also have a strong tradition of protest and dissent. Now is the time to harness our growing voting bloc
Every election cycle, Latinos don’t quite match their voting potential. But every cycle, it should also be said, we come closer.
It’s been a long process to merge the gap between potential and reality because to be Latino in America is paradoxical. We are frequently told how powerful we are, how desperately politicians need us if they are to win, and how quickly our ranks are growing.
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 13:00:20 GMT2016-10-17T13:00:20Z
Want to write for the Guardian about your choice on 8 November? We’re looking for supporters of all political stripes from across the US to tell us their views
Next month, millions of Americans will face a momentous political choice.
Whether you’re planning to vote for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson or Jill Stein; whether you’re a city-dweller or from the country; whether you’re in a swing state or solid red or blue one: we want to hear from you.Continue reading...
Sat, 15 Oct 2016 15:57:43 GMT2016-10-15T15:57:43Z
We need answers from the candidates on how they would deal with a deadly conflict in one of the Middle East’s poorest countries. We’re not getting them
What if the United States went to war and nobody here even noticed? The question is absurd, isn’t it? And yet, this almost perfectly describes what actually happened this past week.
While many Americans, myself included, were all hypnotized by the bizarre spectacle of the Republican nominee for president, a US navy destroyer fired a barrage of cruise missiles at three radar sites controlled by the rebel Houthi movement in Yemen. This attack marked the first time the US has fought the rebels directly in Yemen’s devastating civil war.Continue reading...
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 17:41:26 GMT2016-10-17T17:41:26Z
A group at Liberty University disavowed leader Jerry Falwell Jr’s support for the GOP nominee. I’m happy to see the young religious right stand against tyranny
Last week, the group Liberty Students Against Trump released a statement rebuking both the Republican presidential nominee and the Liberty University president, Jerry Falwell Jr. In the statement, the group notes: “We are Liberty students who are disappointed with President Falwell’s endorsement and are tired of being associated with one of the worst presidential candidates in American history. Donald Trump does not represent our values and we want nothing to do with him.”
As for Falwell, the group argues: “While he occasionally clarifies that supporting Trump is not the official position of Liberty University, he knows it is his title of president of the largest Christian university in the world that gives him political credentials.” Trump is then further criticized for “actively promoting the very things that we as Christians ought to oppose”.Continue reading...
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:00:18 GMT2016-10-17T11:00:18Z
Cutting-edge breakthroughs are still vital in medicine, but we have many ways to prevent and cure cancer that aren’t globally accessible – but should be
Vice-President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel has released 10 recommendations to accelerate a new national effort “to end cancer as we know it”. These initiatives, focused mainly on the US, will almost certainly extend the lives of some cancer patients in the future.
However, cancer deaths worldwide are estimated to increase by over 50% between 2015 and 2030, mainly due to expanding and ageing populations. We already have the knowledge and technology to reduce this toll for future decades without waiting for new breakthroughs.Continue reading...
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 20:58:08 GMT2016-10-14T20:58:08Z
Reports of how a Delta attendant spoke to Tamika Cross, a black physician offering help, don’t strike me as unusual
Being a doctor can bring many challenges each day. For women physicians of color, though, there is a special set of challenges that are seldom discussed or acknowledged in our profession or by greater society – until they come spilling into the limelight in a dramatic way. That is what happened on Friday.
People across the country were horrified to hear of the way Tamika Cross, a doctor, was treated on a recent Delta Airlines flight from Detroit to Houston. A patient faced a medical emergency mid-flight and the crew asked if there were any physicians on board. Cross immediately signaled to the crew that she was available to help. But according to reports, the flight crew didn’t respond as you might think. They weren’t grateful. Instead, they doubted whether this young African American woman could actually be a medical doctor. They declined her help.Continue reading...
Sat, 15 Oct 2016 12:00:04 GMT2016-10-15T12:00:04Z
The New York Assembly is fighting over whether ‘Billy Joel Boulevard’ would be acceptable for a stretch of Long Island highway. The crux? He’s not dead yet
As if the routine vulgarities of Donald Trump haven’t made politics depressing enough, the New York state assembly is now on its second year of debating whether or not to rename State Route 107 in Oyster Bay, Long Island, “Billy Joel Boulevard” in honor of the Piano Man himself. While fellow singer/songwriter Bob Dylan is basking in the glory of a Nobel Prize for literature, Billy Joel can’t even get the state of New York to write his name on a street sign. Someone should write a song about that.
The crux of the argument over the renaming is that Joel is not yet deceased, making the honor premature. People who get streets and roads named after them and statues erected in their likeness tend to be two things: male, as this New Yorker article points out, and dead. Billy Joel is definitely a man, as you would know if you’ve heard the song Big Shot, but unfortunately for his bid for getting a patch of asphalt named after him, he’s still ticking.Continue reading...
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 14:54:55 GMT2016-10-14T14:54:55Z
When Michelle Obama said six-year-olds have more maturity than the Republican nominee, she was being kind. As a grandmother, I can tell you that toddlers know better
Remember when the closest a politician got to a baby was when he got to kiss one, for the photographers?
Me neither. Nothing is as it used to be in American politics. The Democratic candidate is a woman – a first for a major American political party.Continue reading...
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 17:34:01 GMT2016-10-14T17:34:01Z
If the Department of Justice lived up to its name, it would move forward with John Stumpf’s criminal investigation
For former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, this will be his first weekend as a wealthy retiree. So it goes in a world where big banks can screw over customers and the public, and the CEO who presided over these practices can slink off into the sunset unencumbered by the kind of real retribution that plagues small-time drug users and petty thieves. They go free. We pay the price.
Two days before the bank’s quarterly earnings announcement, Stumpf announced his immediate resignation. That decision came about a month after the firm was slapped with a $185m settlement for a fee-stealing scam that resulted in the axing of 5,300 low-level employees. He did not resign after settlements for any of the prior wrongdoing that took place under his purview for which the firm paid about $10bn in fines.Continue reading...
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 11:16:35 GMT2016-10-14T11:16:35Z
Donald Trump has sunk US politics in a grotesque mire of populism. But the first lady’s speech on respect for women captured the best of her country
Michelle Obama may have done the seemingly impossible. She may just have rescued the US elections from the grotesque and demeaning mire into which they have descended. She did something even more remarkable, and just as badly needed. With the touch of a poet, her speech last night shamed the tat and the tawdry of populism and held out the possibility of something better. She lent her extraordinary ability to say what people are feeling to every English-speaking woman in the world.
Nominally, she spoke for Hillary Clinton at a run-of-the-mill political rally. In fact she made a passionate and clear-eyed appeal for decency and respect in public life. Clinton’s Republican rival Donald Trump did not get a single mention, but he was in every word of every sentence. It was one of the most sustained put-downs in modern democratic politics.Continue reading...
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 17:19:40 GMT2016-10-14T17:19:40Z
The DEA’s reversal on kratom is a major victory. But the final decision on its legal status is still to come, and your views could make all the difference
As director of the American Kratom Association, I know that huge numbers of people in this country have legally used kratom as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs in order to relieve pain, ease symptoms of opiate withdrawal and treat PTSD. Kratom is a natural botanical substance, extracted from a tree which belongs to the coffee family and is native to south-east Asia. The herb only made headlines, however, on 30 August, when the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced its intention to schedule kratom as an illegal substance.Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 14:52:45 GMT2016-10-19T14:52:45Z
Barack Obama’s presidency wasn’t perfect. But it allowed my son to grow up thinking a black family in the White House was normal
In less than a month we’ll be electing a new president of the United States. In less than three months, Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and his daughters Sasha and Malia will be leaving the White House.
I’m not ready. I have loved the Obamas more than I have ever loved another first family. I’ve loved them more than I’ve loved some of my own family. And as the time to say goodbye approaches, I’ve found myself reflecting on the past eight years, and what they’ve meant to me as a black woman.Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:00:00 GMT2016-10-18T11:00:00Z
I still profoundly dislike the unequal American system. Yet, despite this, I have learned to love the country’s unrealized project
There never really was a dream to come to America.Continue reading...
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 13:07:05 GMT2016-10-17T13:07:05Z
I was in an abusive relationship, and money worries exacerbated our problems. One of the worst fights broke out when I went to a slightly more expensive store to buy food
Amount of debt: $85,000
Source of debt: CollegeContinue reading...
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 10:00:33 GMT2016-10-14T10:00:33Z
I developed all sorts of tricks to hide my need to sleep with lights on. But there came a point where I had to decide: the fear – or me
“Why are you screaming? Nightmare?” My then girlfriend was worried. But it wasn’t a nightmare that was keeping me awake – it was the night, itself. I’d foolishly fallen asleep before her and woken into a terrifying darkness.Continue reading...
Mon, 10 Oct 2016 17:53:08 GMT2016-10-10T17:53:08Z
Data shows physicians in different disciplines vote differently. The ones who don’t take Medicaid seem to skew more Republican than those who do
When Americans head to the polls in November, they’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act, what Barack Obama has called “the most important healthcare legislation enacted in the United States since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965”. Over the past decade, healthcare providers have observed the rollout of Obamacare and its net-positive impact on their patients and their practice of medicine.Continue reading...
Tue, 11 Oct 2016 11:00:45 GMT2016-10-11T11:00:45Z
I was quite happy to stay living in Bangalore. But when the opportunity to pursue my writing arrived, I couldn’t turn it down
I never yearned to come to America, never wanted to be an immigrant. In the mid-90s I had a thriving, even glamorous, job in Bangalore, working for the Indian outpost of one of world’s largest advertising agencies. I also had a father who at 57 had become ill to the point of being bedridden and had to give up his beloved career in journalism.Continue reading...
Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:00:07 GMT2016-10-10T11:00:07Z
I just owe more money every month regardless of what I pay. When will this ever end?
Source: College, credit card
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 11:00:10 GMT2016-10-09T11:00:10Z
I thought getting famous would solve all my problems. Then I realized that my quest kept me from enjoying the present
If I could pick up a telephone and place a call back in time to my younger self, I would tell him two important things. Number one would be: “Moisturize now.” The other would be: “Stop stressing about whether or not you’re going to be famous.”
In my 20s, I sang in a four-piece rock band that almost went all the way. We met with record companies and toured the eastern half of the country, playing shows for three people some nights and 3,000 the next. It was the full rock’n’roll dream, until it all crashed and burned.Continue reading...
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 10:00:10 GMT2016-10-07T10:00:10Z
Would an event centered around parts of my body with which I felt extreme discomfort send me into a panic?
When I became pregnant, the reason was to start a family, not to somehow embrace femininity or to de-transition. I’m a transgender guy, born with typical female anatomy. I’d taken testosterone for a few years and then stopped in order to conceive. I’d also had chest surgery as part of my transition, so even as my belly grew, I sported a flat, masculine-appearing chest and I maintained my beard.Continue reading...
Tue, 04 Oct 2016 11:00:38 GMT2016-10-04T11:00:38Z
I’ve had neighbors who thought I didn’t deserve to live because of where I came from. But that won’t stop me from opening up to strangers
When I escaped from Iraq as a refugee with my two young children, the first place I arrived in was Turkey. I hoped that we might find a safe haven there. After a year and a half of facing continued hostility in the country, I realized that wouldn’t be the case. That’s when we decided to move to America.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 11:00:31 GMT2016-09-30T11:00:31Z
The breakup of my parents’ marriage meant I barely saw my father growing up. I was sure things would be different for my children – then my husband left me
On a sunny November day nearly four years ago, as I flipped through a Pottery Barn catalog on our deck, my husband of 14 years revealed that he had been having an affair for the previous 10 months. His revelation was a punch in my gut, and as my mind simultaneously raced for comprehension and was struck numb, he dropped his next bombshell: his mistress was six months pregnant. In that moment, I was faced with my worst fear.Continue reading...
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 19:43:27 GMT2016-09-27T19:43:27Z
Next time you’re in an elevator, strike up a conversation with the person you’re riding with. It could do you good
I think I must have a kind face. People always talk to me. I’m the guy who always gets asked for directions, even in cities where I’m a tourist. When people need help reaching something at the grocery store, they ask me. Something about my expression must say: “I mean you no harm.”
I’m all right with that. When I was younger, I always wanted to be one of those devastatingly good-looking people who stopped strangers in their tracks. I worked at a coffee shop with a guy named Alan who was so beautiful that once when he was wiping down the tables out front, a driver rear-ended another car because she was so distracted by the sight of him.Continue reading...
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:00:27 GMT2016-09-27T11:00:27Z
Because I am an undocumented immigrant, I fear I will have to leave the only country I have ever known if the Republican candidate is elected
I am an undocumented immigrant living in the age of Trump. In 1998, I was brought to the United States from Portugal at the age of 10 months. I grew up mostly oblivious to the fact that I was undocumented, that I didn’t have the papers necessary to live a normal life.Continue reading...
Fri, 23 Sep 2016 11:00:56 GMT2016-09-23T11:00:56Z
I didn’t think accepting my symptoms would be helpful. But slowly, it became clear that meditation works for me
I’d been running from or fighting my depression for two and a half years, and neither approach had worked. Relentlessly dogged by self-punishing thoughts, heavy, tensed-up limbs, heart palpitations and a churning gut, I’d done everything I could to shake myself clear of the continuing hell of daily existence.Continue reading...
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 11:30:08 GMT2016-09-20T11:30:08Z
I’m a Muslim immigrant from Mali. But, Mr Trump, that doesn’t stop me from loving America and all that goes with it: football, basketball and James Brown
I was born in Mali, where more than 95% of the population professes Islam as their religion. When I think of how I got a visa to come to the US 40 years ago, the story seems romantic, especially in light of all the Muslim-hating that’s going on in this presidential election.Continue reading...
Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:00:01 GMT2016-09-26T11:00:01Z
I spent my summers as a child on a private plane, a luxury home and a yacht – yet my life has been defined by financial disarray
Source: Credit cards
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 11:00:43 GMT2016-09-19T11:00:43Z
My accident set me back by $50,000. But everything changed when I finally received a settlement from the driver’s insurance company
Source: Student loans, medical bills, credit cardsContinue reading...
Fri, 16 Sep 2016 10:00:09 GMT2016-09-16T10:00:09Z
My own background made it crucial that I speak to my children about personal safety. But I was afraid that they’d think less of me if they knew my story
When my son was in first grade, the FBI found evidence that one of his instructors was a potential child sex offender. They’d intercepted letters he’d been sending to prisons, including photographs of the students that he’d annotated with lewd captions, and they’d immediately contacted the school district.
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 11:00:58 GMT2016-09-13T11:00:58Z
It’s hard to explain why I don’t want to go back, but I love it here. I have never felt more free
I am originally from Sweden. I came to the United States on a management visa with a large international fashion company. I worked as a store planner and interior designer, where I earned $70,000 a year. Then, four years later, I lost my job because my work permit had expired. It wouldn’t take long before I lost my right to stay here, too. Now, I live here without papers.Continue reading...
Mon, 12 Sep 2016 11:00:28 GMT2016-09-12T11:00:28Z
He insisted we split everything 50-50, even though he earned much more than me. The monthly payment helps me remember my mistakes
Source: Car loan
Fri, 09 Sep 2016 10:00:59 GMT2016-09-09T10:00:59Z
My father had Lynch syndrome, raising his risk for many cancers. He wanted me to get the test, but I waited until he died
I’ve known for years that my paternal grandmother died of colon cancer in her early 40s. But I didn’t think it had too much to do with me, beyond being a very sad fact in our family history and inspiring a lot of intense – and embarrassing – conversations about how much fiber we were eating.Continue reading...
Wed, 07 Sep 2016 16:43:59 GMT2016-09-07T16:43:59Z
A new study shows that cancer vets don’t take much more care over their lifestyles than anyone else. That’s because we’re only human
This shouldn’t come as a great surprise to those of us who’ve experienced cancer or know someone close who has, but new research on “lifestyle behaviors among US cancer survivors” appears to confirm it anyway: the side effects of surviving the disease do not include suddenly picking up a whole slew of positive new habits.
The expansive University of Oklahoma study, published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship, drew upon 47,139 adult cancer survivors and 407,191 individuals with no cancer history, from every part of the country. The findings conclude that “US cancer survivors are not more likely than the general population to engage in … healthy lifestyle behaviors.”Continue reading...
Tue, 06 Sep 2016 11:00:57 GMT2016-09-06T11:00:57Z
Republicans didn’t always spurn immigrants. When we were asylum-seekers from Poland, GOP politicians helped us stay here
I landed in the United States as a child. My father was waiting for us. In a nod to the local western culture, he was wearing this strange thing on his head, a cowboy hat, and not recognizing him at first, I began to cry. My father was in Wyoming – truly the wild west – on a Fulbright fellowship, and my mother and I joined him several months into his tenure.
Mon, 05 Sep 2016 11:00:27 GMT2016-09-05T11:00:27Z
My past financial recklessness will chip away at his accomplishments for the next two decades. I feel such guilt for dumping this burden on him
Source: Student loans
Fri, 02 Sep 2016 10:00:37 GMT2016-09-02T10:00:37Z
I grew up in Canada but long dreamed of returning to the states. When I did for medical school, though, my country’s inequality took me by surprise
I was at a red light in east Baltimore when I noticed a cop in my rearview mirror. I thought nothing of it and pulled away when the light changed. Then I saw him start to follow me, flashing the lights on his patrol car.
What did I do, I thought? It was 1985, and I’d just moved from Montreal to start medical school at Johns Hopkins. Puzzled, I pulled my cherry-red BMW to the curb and waited.Continue reading...
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 16:05:59 GMT2016-09-19T16:05:59Z
I tried, and failed, repeatedly to control my intake of intoxicating substances. Eventually I decided total sobriety was the only way
In my last week of using drugs in the summer of 2005, I had a moment of clarity during a binge that combined codeine cough syrup, Ativan pills and ground-up Oxycontin that I was snorting. I was stumbling around the room – I was always a mess of bruises from head to foot in those days – trying to decide whether or not to take all the rest of the Ativan in the bottle when it occurred to me to ask myself, “Why is it that I can never get high enough? What exactly is it I’m trying not to feel?”
Sat, 15 Oct 2016 13:27:04 GMT2016-10-15T13:27:04Z
This week, Jessica Valenti sits down with Dana Berkowitz, author of Botox Nation, to talk about the aging process and the choices facing modern women
As a society, we are obsessed with youth. Thanks to advances in medical science, there are new procedures popping up every day marketed to women to improve their appearance. While we haven’t yet found the fountain of youth, we have discovered Botox, a de-wrinkling neurotoxin injected millions of times each year, mostly among women.
But why is this particular procedure so appealing?Continue reading...
Mon, 03 Oct 2016 12:24:57 GMT2016-10-03T12:24:57Z
Feminism is everywhere – even Nike and Sarah Palin have jumped on the bandwagon. With author Andi Zeisler, we explore ‘marketplace feminism’
A few weeks ago, we touched on feminism becoming “mainstream.” In this episode, we take a much deeper dive into the issues of buying, selling, branding and consumerism around feminism.
Host Jessica Valenti is joined by Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch Media and author of We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement.
We explore the progression of so-called “marketplace feminism.” From feminine cigarettes to deodorants preparing women to ask for job raises, what does it mean when a political movement seems more like another consumer choice?
Sat, 17 Sep 2016 12:00:48 GMT2016-09-17T12:00:48Z
Girls have not always been pink and boys have not always been blue. This week, Jessica Valenti is joined by Peggy Orenstein to discuss how to better raise kids
Walking down an aisle in any toy store, it would seem that the way children play should be broken down by gender: pink and glitter for girls, blue and superheroes for boys. But has it always been this way?Continue reading...
Sat, 03 Sep 2016 12:00:31 GMT2016-09-03T12:00:31Z
On this episode, Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti talks with authors Meghan Daum and Danielle Henderson about how society views women without children
This week, host Jessica Valenti talks about the choice to live without having children – and the stigma women face in making that decision.Continue reading...
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 15:26:06 GMT2016-08-25T15:26:06Z
Jessica Valenti’s next What would a feminist do? podcast tackles the buying, selling and branding of feminism. Put your questions to author Andi Zeisler
Each week on the Guardian’s What would a feminist do? podcast, host Jessica Valenti tackles a different issue that women face today.
Coming up, we’re talking about the buying, selling and branding of feminism. We’ll be speaking with Andi Zeisler about her new book, We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement.Continue reading...
Sat, 20 Aug 2016 12:00:03 GMT2016-08-20T12:00:03Z
This week, Jessica Valenti is joined by Feminist Fight Club author Jessica Bennett to discuss how to navigate difficult employers and “bropropriator” colleagues
While women have been gaining rights in the past decades, workplace sexism still exists in many insidious forms. Sexism in the workplace is arguably even more difficult to navigate today because it is often subtle and difficult to pinpoint.Continue reading...
Sat, 06 Aug 2016 12:00:06 GMT2016-08-06T12:00:06Z
How do you feel about the word ‘feminist’? On this week’s episode, we dissect our reactions to the F-word
This week, host Jessica Valenti asks: do you call yourself a feminist? Whether you do or don’t, the word evokes thoughts or feelings based on preconceived notions of what feminism means.Continue reading...
Sat, 23 Jul 2016 13:00:00 GMT2016-07-23T13:00:00Z
How we can better engage men to prevent gender-based violence? Jessica Valenti talks with Jamil Smith of MTV News and Dr Dorothy Edwards of Green Dot, etc.
This week, host Jessica Valenti asks: how we can better engage men and boys to prevent gender-based violence? Why is it that sexual violence is still, in 2016, talked about as a women’s issue?Continue reading...
Sat, 25 Jun 2016 12:00:13 GMT2016-06-25T12:00:13Z
Only 7% of American women keep their last names when marrying. Columnist Jessica Valenti and guest Laurie Scheuble discuss why that is
This week, host Jessica Valenti asks why so few American women decide to keep their names when marrying and where the tradition comes from.
Sat, 11 Jun 2016 12:00:10 GMT2016-06-11T12:00:10Z
Sharing our stories can often make it easier for other women to speak up about sexism. But, how do we balance the responsibility with the potential consequences?
This week, host Jessica Valenti talks about why storytelling itself is a feminist act. Her new book, Sex Object: A Memoir, was just released. In this episode, she considers why she waited to tell these particular stories about personal experiences with objectification and dehumanization.Continue reading...
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 18:42:52 GMT2016-10-23T18:42:52ZEleven of the last 12 months have been the hottest on record. Though progress on cutting carbon emissions is encouraging, more must be doneThe Montreal protocol is the most successful environmental treaty in history, and arguably one of the most successful of any international pact. It phased out the gases that were destroying the ozone layer, averting potential catastrophe and healing the hole that human activities had opened in our protective layer. Unfortunately, it had a side-effect overlooked when it was signed in the 1980s: some of the chemicals substituted for the ozone-destroyers had an effect on the climate thousands of times higher than carbon dioxide. This month, world governments agreed to address that by eliminating the substitute chemicals – called HFCs – potentially reducing rising temperatures by as much as 0.5C in a relatively short time. Scientists put the safe limit on future rises at 2C above pre-industrial levels by the middle of this century: beyond that, catastrophic and irreversible climate changes are judged likely. So the reduction agreed under the Montreal protocol could have an enormous, and swift, impact.This is just the beginning of the good news. The International Civil Aviation Organisation agreed this month to measures to combat the impact of flying. Planes are not only a rising source of greenhouse gases, but also contribute through the vapour they produce, which – coming at such high altitudes – has a greater warming effect. This week, international shipping will debate similar rules to cut its impacts. This is a trillion-dollar business, and ships use particularly dirty fuel. Governments should take the simple measures needed. Altering the fuel to be less polluting, preventing outflow during shipping and harbourage, and improving monitoring to reduce emissions need not be costly and will be invaluable in the fight against marine and air pollution as well as climate change. Continue reading...[...]
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 18:37:51 GMT2016-10-23T18:37:51ZEach advance in artificial intelligence increases the power of computer networks, but the responsibility for their use remains with human beingsResearchers working for Google have produced a new kind of computer intelligence which can learn in ways less immediately dependent on its programmers than any previous model. It can, for instance, navigate its way through a map of the London underground without being explicitly instructed how to do so. For the moment, this approach is less efficient than the old-fashioned, more specialised forms of artificial intelligence, but it holds out promise for the future and, like all such conceptual advances in computer programming, it raises more urgently the question of how society should harness these powers.Algorithms in themselves long predate computers. An algorithm is simply a sequence of instructions. Law codes can be seen as algorithms. The rules of games can be understood as algorithms, and nothing could be more human than making up games. Armies are perhaps the most completely algorithmic forms of social organisation. Yet too much contemporary discussion is framed as if the algorithmic workings of computer networks are something entirely new. It’s true that they can follow instructions at superhuman speed, with superhuman fidelity and over unimaginable quantities of data. But these instructions don’t come from nowhere. Although neural networks might be said to write their own programs, they do so towards goals set by humans, using data collected for human purposes. If the data is skewed, even by accident, the computers will amplify injustice. If the measures of success that the networks are trained against are themselves foolish or worse, the results will appear accordingly. Recent, horrifying examples include the use of algorithms to grade teachers in the US and to decide whether prisoners should be granted parole or not. In both these cases, the effect has been to punish the poor just for being poor. Continue reading...[...]
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 16:02:08 GMT2016-10-21T16:02:08ZHillary Clinton failed to take account of the populist anger and lost ground to the rightwing demagoguery of Donald Trump. But in belatedly recognising widespread frustration with elites, she deserves to winThe final presidential debate, thankfully the last set piece in a wretched campaign, revealed what is admirable and loathsome in American politics. Hillary Clinton displayed a razor-sharp intelligence and a quick wit. Her facility with facts trumped Donald Trump’s lack of them. Americans finally saw on Wednesday why Secretary Clinton had got rich from giving lectures after leaving office. Her fluency with words, which has earned her $22m in speaking fees, appeared to silence her opponent. Mr Trump, a boastful, thin-skinned billionaire who trades in racism and misogyny, was left squawking on the sidelines of the debate. His jibes revealed a man out of his depth. His answer was to plunge down deeper. By disgracefully refusing to rule out calling this a rigged election he gave up a fight he had by then lost.Americans should vote for Secretary Clinton as an able and proven politician. A Trump presidency would be bad for America and dangerous for the world, so a vote for Secretary Clinton is the most effective way of preventing it. Mr Trump has been exposed for questionable tax arrangements, outrageous business practices and irregularities at his charity. The billionaire is a grabber and kisser of women who he presumed gave consent because he was famous. There are numerous allegations of sexual assault by Mr Trump. He has demonstrated that he has neither the conscience, training nor sense of history – and the desire to be judged well by it – to occupy the White House. Secretary Clinton possesses such attributes. She has a serious and sustained commitment on issues like education, healthcare and equality, and she has stood consistently for the rights of women, ethnic minorities, children and the disabled through her long career. Continue reading...[...]
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 18:41:36 GMT2016-10-20T18:41:36ZKumbuka the gorilla’s escape from his enclosure at London Zoo has reignited arguments about keeping large animals in such institutionsGorillas are not just animals, Sir David Attenborough said this week, explaining: “They are related to us; they get stressed. A gorilla is not a fish.” Leaving aside the fact that fish can also get stressed and are probably also related to us, albeit more distantly, he surely has a point. Humans, at this advanced stage in their evolution, may like nothing better than to parade themselves on Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor, but gorillas still value a bit of privacy and do not necessarily enjoy performing for visitors.That, some think, may have been a factor in the escape of a dominant male gorilla called Kumbuka from his enclosure at ZSL London Zoo. The attraction went into lockdown while the gorilla was located – he was in a secure keepers’ area – and tranquillised, although not before he had downed five litres of undiluted blackcurrant cordial. It does not appear to have done him any lasting harm, and the zoo was able to give assurances that the public were never in any danger from his adventure. But the incident has been a public relations disaster, particularly because the management initially failed to explain how the animal was able to escape; the answer, it emerges, was two unlocked doors. Some commenters on social media enjoyed the spectacle of human visitors, who had been advised to seek sanctuary in secure buildings at the site, being locked up while an incarcerated animal had its hour of relative freedom, a reaction that should surely worry the zoo authorities. Continue reading...[...]
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 18:39:18 GMT2016-10-19T18:39:18ZActivists challenging gender-based abuse and killings have already changed laws in Latin America. Changing attitudes is tougher
Black-clad girls and women downed tools, pens and keyboards in Argentina’s major cities today and took to the streets to demand “no more machista violence”. Their strike and demonstration followed similar protests across the region: seven of the 10 countries with the highest rate of female murder victims are in Latin America, where activists say the phenomenon reflects not only high rates of violence, social conflict and organised crime, but also a cultural strain of aggressive hypermasculinity. Now people have had enough. Though there have been powerful women’s movements in the region for a long time, the campaign against gender-based violence has gathered momentum, culminating in the #NiUnaMenos – “not one less” – movement.Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 19:02:55 GMT2016-10-18T19:02:55ZThe retail tycoon has done nothing to earn his knighthood. MPs should strip him of the title
When MPs debate this Thursday whether Sir Philip Green should retain his knighthood, they should recall article 172 of the Companies Act 2006. In the event that the provision has slipped anyone’s memory, here comes the refresher. A company director, it says, must “have regard” to “the likely consequences of any decision in the long term”, “the interests of … employees”, “suppliers, customers and others”. Those strictures passed into law in 2006, the year Tony Blair honoured Mr Green for services to retail.
So how did the high-street tycoon do at BHS? MPs need look no further than the joint report, published in July, from their colleagues on the work and pensions select committee and the business, innovation and skills committee. It notes that Sir Philip “systematically extracted hundreds of millions of pounds from BHS, paying very little tax and fantastically enriching himself and his family, leaving the company and its pension fund weakened to the point of the inevitable collapse of both”. The result is that 11,000 workers have now lost their jobs and 20,000 pensioners are unclear how they will eke out their retirement.Continue reading...
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 18:53:00 GMT2016-10-16T18:53:00ZThe Thai monarchy sits atop an extremely hierarchical and unequal society. This must change
As King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s black-clad subjects embark upon a year of mourning, they are marking not only the passing of a widely revered ruler but also that of an era. He inherited the throne as an 18-year-old who had never expected to become Thailand’s leader and had not even grown up there, yet Bhumibol ruled for longer than any other contemporaneous monarch. After seven decades, he seemed the one constant in a nation that transformed itself economically and continued to struggle politically through multiple coups and outbursts of popular discontent.Continue reading...
Sat, 15 Oct 2016 23:05:18 GMT2016-10-15T23:05:18ZIf older people are to live fulfilling lives, we must invest more money – and love – in social care
The most dramatic demographic trend of the past century has been the marked increase in human lifespans. The ultimate prize for advances in medical science, there is much to celebrate in longer lives. But there is a darker reality: longer spells of good health will, for many of us, end with longer spells in poor health.
Caring for older people experiencing end-of-life decline seems to come much lower down the pecking order of priorities than investing in expanding our lifespans. Last week the Care Quality Commission made a highly significant intervention when it warned that funding cuts have placed adult social care services at a “tipping point”. It follows similar warnings from independent organisations such as the King’s Fund.Continue reading...
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 17:31:38 GMT2016-10-14T17:31:38ZIt is time for the possibilities, dreams, imaginations and capabilities of female actors to be properly reflected on stageIn London, the Donmar Warehouse has just opened its all-female The Tempest, in a cast led by Dame Harriet Walter and with Phyllida Lloyd as director. It is the culmination of a project that started with a production of Julius Caesar in 2012 and continued in 2014 with a Henry IV. The plays were a collaboration with the theatre company Clean Break, an organisation that works with female prisoners and former offenders. Completists can see all three dramas performed over the course of a day this autumn. For many who saw Julius Caesar in 2012, there was shock – and joy – in seeing female actors grapple energetically with Shakespeare’s heftiest roles. The way the women uninhibitedly occupied stage space (“manspread” was not yet in the Oxford English Dictionary) was a revelation.That same year, Pentabus Theatre’s artistic director, Elizabeth Freestone, in partnership with the Guardian, conducted research into the gender balance in the 10 theatres most generously subsidised by the public, and found that at every level – from boards of trustees to designers and actors – there was a 2:1 ratio in favour of men. Shakespeare, in fact, is part of the problem. Only 16% of his characters – and of course he was writing for male companies – are female. And they have fewer lines: his most garrulous woman is Rosalind, with under half Hamlet’s lines. Such is the cultural entrenchment of Shakespeare in British theatre that this paucity of women can seem normal. We have internalised a gender imbalance on our stages. And that is a problem. Not for the obvious reason that publicly accountable theatres ought not to be employing fewer women than men, but because the theatre is the art form above all that promises to reflect our world and show it as it is; and because theatre feeds so strongly into related, and much more culturally pervasive, media such as television and film. Continue reading...[...]
Wed, 12 Oct 2016 17:32:48 GMT2016-10-12T17:32:48ZThe killing and jailing of people on accusations of insulting Islam is shameful. Pakistan’s supreme court should spare the life of Asia Bibi and curb future convictionsThe supreme court in Lahore will on Thursday hear the appeal of Asia Bibi against her death sentence for blasphemy. It is a case that has already cost two lives: that of Salmaan Taseer, the governor of the Punjab, who spoke out in her defence, and his bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, who murdered the governor for defending her and was himself hanged. Qadri was described as a saint and a martyr for his crime by many in Pakistan, and by some prominent mosques in Britain. This is a poisonous mess. Successive generations of Pakistani politicians – most notably Zia ul-Haq – have used the statutes on blasphemy as a way to combine religious fanaticism with the fear and resentment of outsiders.Almost all societies have speech codes enforced by law and reinforced by public opinion. The blasphemy law of Pakistan is not just an affront to liberal decencies; the evidence points to it being used as a tool to persecute minorities. It also involves a distortion and coarsening of the sharia principles it claims to embody. Bad as the Islamic laws against apostasy are – and they are very bad indeed – they can by definition only apply to Muslims. The blasphemy law, by contrast, is freely applied against non-Muslims. A zealous interpretation would make Christianity itself punishable by death, since no honest Christian can pretend that they believe Muslims are right about the nature of Jesus, nor of Muhammad. Continue reading...[...]
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:24:09 GMT2016-10-25T01:24:09ZWarren appears with Clinton: ‘Get this, Donald. Nasty women are tough’Trump camp admits uphill battle as Clinton looks down-ballot‘Mothers of the Movement’ team with Clinton in bid for black voteHelp us hold power to account: support our fearless journalism with a contribution or by becoming a member 2.05am BST Trump campaign spokesperson Jason Miller has accused Hillary Clinton’s campaign of inciting violence at Donald Trump’s campaign rally, citing a trio of articles from right-leaning publications citing an edited (and, as yet, unverified) video from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas:Recent revelations surrounding Hillary Clinton’s corrupt campaign further illustrate that she will stop at nothing to secure the Presidency. In a totally disqualifying act that is a violent threat to our democracy, Hillary Clinton directly involved herself in inciting violence directed at Trump supporters. The Clintons have divided our country for far too long. On behalf of the American people, who deserve better, the Trump Campaign demands a full and immediate investigation into the acts of violence that the Clinton campaign and the DNC have incited on American voters. 12.44am BST We’re losing our jobs like a bunch of babies. Continue reading...[...]
Thu, 06 Oct 2016 11:00:52 GMT2016-10-06T11:00:52Z
The Democrats promise to take on a system rigged against middle America. So why the hell has Barack Obama done almost nothing about that for eight years?
The puzzle that is currently frustrating the pundit minds of America is this: why is Hillary Clinton not simply clobbering Donald Trump? How is this ranting, seething buffoon still competitive with her? Trump has now stumbled through a series of the kind of blunders that break ordinary political campaigns – the sort of deadly hypocrisies that always kill the demagogue in old movies – and yet this particular demagogue keeps on trucking. Why?
Let us answer that burning pundit question of today by jumping to what will undoubtedly be the next great object of pundit ardor: the legacy of President Barack Obama. Two months from now, when all the TV wise men are playing historian and giving their estimation on where Obama ranks in the pantheon of the greats, they will probably neglect to mention that his legacy helped to determine Hillary’s fortunes in this election cycle. As a beloved figure among Democrats, for example, Obama was instrumental in securing the nomination for her. As a president who has accomplished little since 2011, however, Obama has pretty much undermined Clinton’s ability to sell us on another centrist Democratic presidency. His legacy has diluted her promise.Continue reading...
Mon, 10 Oct 2016 14:10:20 GMT2016-10-10T14:10:20Z
The much-hyped slavery drama, steeped in controversy, has underperformed at the box office – but where did it go wrong?
In July of this year, a 25-year-old black army veteran, Micah Johnson, drove to a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas, got out of his car with an AK-47 and started shooting at white police officers as retribution for the police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. It’s the kind of retaliatory violence that white Americans have feared for centuries. The kind that the writer and author Ta-Nehisi Coates said we should have seen coming. The kind that is depicted in The Birth of a Nation, Nate Parker’s much anticipated and equally maligned slave rebellion film that opened over the weekend. And the kind that, frankly, I’m somewhat astonished we don’t see more often.Continue reading...
Thu, 28 Jul 2016 11:30:05 GMT2016-07-28T11:30:05Z
African American stars are using their large platform to demand equal protection of black life in America – just as their forbears did
Once again, this is turning out to be a summer marked by prominent police killings of innocent black men. Black popular artists in American culture are complicating things for those fans who would prefer to remain silent or choose not to engage in the most significant civil rights issue of our time. These artists are shaking moderates out of complacency and extending our awareness to this crisis – just as their forebears did during the civil rights struggle in the 1960s.
Black musicians and artists are key partners in dramatizing equality and justice for black citizens. The cynical among us may presume that artists who call for action against systemic, racialized police violence are simply jumping on a cause célèbre – or that their earned privilege no longer affords them the right to be outraged. But that is a selective and ahistorical reading.
Mon, 02 May 2016 06:00:16 GMT2016-05-02T06:00:16Z
I spent about nine months in an isolated cell behind a one-way mirror. It was cruel, degrading and inhumane
Shortly after arriving at a makeshift military jail, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, in May 2010, I was placed into the black hole of solitary confinement for the first time. Within two weeks, I was contemplating suicide.Continue reading...
Wed, 18 May 2016 17:09:06 GMT2016-05-18T17:09:06Z
In a moving post and a commencement address, the Facebook COO showed how her mind has been broadened. Let’s hope this rubs off on Silicon Valley
Sheryl Sandberg gave the commencement speech at UC Berkeley last weekend, during the course of which she said many stirring things about the future awaiting the class of 2016. She also built on her much-commented upon Mothers’ Day Facebook post, in which she spoke for the first time about life in the wake of her husband’s death last year. These two elements, the motivational speaking and the personal reflections on grief, combined to do something that has so far eluded Sandberg and the corporate world generally: the acknowledgement that people are human.Continue reading...
Tue, 06 Sep 2016 17:05:06 GMT2016-09-06T17:05:06Z
While the conservative crusader helped defeat the ERA, the country has largely embraced the causes she feared most – from working women to LGBT rights
Phyllis Schlafly believed feminism was a losing battle. The conservative icon, who died on Monday aged 92, insisted that the movement for gender equality was “a fight with human nature”, and therefore doomed to fail. Women belonged in the home, she believed, men belonged in the workforce and women didn’t need any more rights than the ones they were already afforded.
But despite Schlafly’s predictions and beliefs, the world she left behind this week is one that largely embraces the issues she most feared. Feminism is more popular than ever, women are in the workforce en masse, LGBT rights are front and center and the country is mostly pro-choice.Continue reading...
Thu, 08 Sep 2016 11:00:31 GMT2016-09-08T11:00:31Z
Those itching for conflict like to portray Putin as a grandmaster. In reality, his country is weak and his strategy is one of desperation
These days it is en vogue in Washington DC to be itching for conflict with Russia. Politicians and pundits alike are outdoing each other for how they can describe the supposed threat Putin now poses to the west. To his credit, Barack Obama seems to be the only politician not playing into the cold war 2.0 hysteria.
In little noticed comments last week, Hillary Clinton suggested that the US should start preparing “military” responses to cyber-attacks allegedly perpetrated by Russia on the DNC and voter registration files. And her campaign has also spent the last few weeks ratcheting up the fear-mongering that the Trump campaign is secretly a Russian plant of some sort.Continue reading...
Wed, 23 Mar 2016 20:16:31 GMT2016-03-23T20:16:31Z
Some religious employers have railed against including contraceptive coverage in health plans. Without Justice Scalia, though, they’re unlikely to prevail
On Wednesday, the US supreme court heard oral arguments in Zubik v Burwell. The case challenges the Affordable Care Act requirement that employers include contraceptive coverage in taxpayer-subsidized health plans, with potentially negative ramifications for women nationwide should the court rule against the government.
The arguments suggest, however, that the issue will remain unresolved by a shorthanded court likely to split 4-4, which may well be the best-case scenario under the circumstances.Continue reading...
Sat, 02 Jan 2016 08:00:05 GMT2016-01-02T08:00:05ZDigital-age culture was meant to be bite-sized. But novels are getting longer, and I have learned to enjoy Wilbur SmithShortly before Christmas, Wilbur Smith, the writer of airport novels, gave an interview to a Sunday newspaper in which he spoke of his four wives in the following tender terms: “Two of them died on me, the first one hates me, and this one loves me, so I’ve covered the whole spectrum.” He no longer saw his children, he added: “They’ve got my sperm, that’s all … it’s sadder for them than it is for me, because they’re not getting any more money.” Perhaps the most charitable response was to observe that at least Smith was being consistent here: the real people in his life seemed as two-dimensional, judging from these descriptions, as the typical Smith hero, who is a rugged outdoorsman with a passion for hunting, hard liquor, and no-strings sex. (Oh, and for avoiding the gaboon adder, the deadly African snake Smith calls upon, with amusing frequency, when a character needs to die.) But my sneering’s a bit hypocritical, really. I only know about Smith’s cardboard-cutout characters because 2015 was the year I read two of his brick-sized novels, along with several similar vast works by Frederick Forsyth and Ken Follett: the kind of books, as one friend put it both succinctly and snobbily, that you find in self-catering holiday cottages. A further confession: mainly, I enjoyed them.In publishing at large, it was a year of very long works: of Franzen and Knausgård and Marlon James, if you have some kind of problem with gaboon adders and prefer literary fiction instead. A survey in December confirmed that novels in general are getting bigger: the average number of pages in a bestseller, [...]