Politics & Society

Health

The Other Art

We, the young, pretty ones, could easily find or fake the generosity to jolly those luckless oldsters along. We could cheerfully shake their hands (only a little appalled by their soft grips, papery skin, delicate bones, faintly mildewed smell). We could chat with them, ask how they were getting on., and we found ways to look interested in their answers. We listened, even if the answers bored us. Silently, however, we relegated the oldsters’ thinking and experience to the Irrelevant pile.
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Books

Patty Hearst and the Twinkie Murders

In 1975, I covered the trial of heiress Patty Hearst for the Berkeley Barb. She had been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and was forced at gunpoint by her abductors to participate in their robbing a bank.
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Activism

Boiling Point: Why Do We Let Big Oil Send Workers to Their Deaths?

In exposing unsafe working conditions to the public, the refinery workers are raising not just contract demands, but a deeper challenge about the immorality of a profit-driven production system that simply monetizes the loss of human life on corporate spreadsheets.
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Debt

Reforming Money and Banking: Keys to Debt and Jubilee

In the face of economic instability, we need to consider creative solutions—like jubilee, public banking policies, and currency reform—that take into account the complexity of the environment, the nature of money itself, and the possibility for social innovation.
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Judaism

Selma‘s Missing Rabbi

Including Heschel would not diminish the film’s emphasis on the centrality of African Americans in the civil rights struggle, but it would have lent the film more historical accuracy, not simply about one man but as a representative of the role Jews played in the freedom struggle and as a reflection of the Civil Rights movement’s inclusiveness.
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Economy/Poverty/Wealth

The Jubilee and the Global Economy: Lessons from Leviticus

Undoubtedly, the present economic order is marred by social and economic injustice among and within nations and by the overexploitation and destruction of natural resources. Scripture is not concerned with designing an economic system, but rather with prescribing how to implement justice and compassion within any given system.
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Debt

Fulfilling Our Debt to Humanity: A Hindu Perspective on Jubilee

Once we expand the definition of debt beyond material considerations, the idea of Jubilee becomes more than just debt cancellation—it becomes a broader push to institutionalize the fulfillment of our debts to humanity and Mother Earth.
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Education

The Student Debt Crisis

Why is the Education Department not treating the exponentially increasing student loan debt and astonishingly high default rates as a national crisis?
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Race

The Demon in Darren Wilson’s Head

The actions of police officers aren’t supposed to be governed by fear. But Darren Wilson’s were. Wilson’s actions, however, weren’t “his actions,” but rather an outcropping of what theologian Sarah Drummond aptly calls “an epigenetic, cellular memory of loss and its resultant need for a scapegoat.”
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Activism

Media Justice Is Social Justice: Why the Comcast-Time Warner Merger Matters

Why does net neutrality matter? Because we’re treating a lifeline to the American economy and a lifeline for communities that need to organize as if it was just about profit, rather than as the essential human right that it is.
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Israel/Palestine

Is It Right to Compare Ferguson to Gaza? Reflections from a Jewish Protester

I say to many of my American Jewish colleagues who have justifiably marched and even been arrested protesting the death of Eric Garner; where are you when similar injustices occur against Palestinians like him all the time? Where were you when you saw similar acts of violence in Five Broken Cameras?
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US Politics

Why the Right Keeps Winning and the Left Keeps Losing

Why does the Right keep winning in American politics, sometimes through electoral victories, sometimes by having the Democrats and others on the Left adopt what were traditionally right-wing policies and perspectives?
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Immigration

Radical Sanctuary: Faith Groups Rally Around Migrant Youth

All over the country, people in communities of faith are on the front lines of a renewed and growing movement pushing for basic aid and a path to legalization for some 11 million migrants living in the United States without legal status.
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Culture

The Making of Beauty Is a Verb and the Spiritual Body

Considering our society from a disability perspective forces the question of why we seem so bent on forging a society in which so many are marginalized, stigmatized, or deemed somehow unworthy.
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Culture

Work Your Quirk: The Power of the Disability Art Community

When I first joined Interact Theater Company, I had recently been in a motorcycle accident and lost the use of my right arm. The question was posed, “If there was a pill to take away your disability, would you take it?” I was surprised to find that I was the only one in the circle who said yes. I looked at my fellow performers and wondered if I would ever be able to accept my new self.
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