Category Police State

Handing Trump the Keys to the Turnkey Totalitarian State

As the Electoral College gathers across the country to cast ballots for the 45th president of the United States and the reality of a Trump administration draws closer, an overriding concern – beyond the questionable appointments of oil executives, billionaires and bankers to top cabinet posts – is what the Trump presidency might mean in […]

American Traditions of Giving Thanks and Breaking Treaties

Making official a quintessential American tradition dating back to the 1621 feast between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be the national day of Thanksgiving – a vain attempt to unite the North and South at the height of the Civil War. Five […]

Donald Trump’s First Amendment hypocrisy

Election 2016 has taken a turn into territory unfamiliar and perhaps mildly terrifying to many Americans, potentially heading down a road characterized by political violence and what social scientists call “authoritarian aggression,” defined by retired psychology professor Robert Altemeyer as “a general aggressiveness directed against deviants, outgroups, and other people that are perceived to be targets […]

GOP ‘torture debate’ enabled by Obama’s failure to prosecute

Troubling comments within the GOP presidential field over whether to reinstate torture and implement other war crimes have been drawing criticism lately, with the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, even feeling compelled to weigh in last week by calling out the “loose talk” in the Republican primaries. On Feb. 9, McCain took the Senate […]

Why #BlackBrunch needs to stop (and other unsolicited advice to Black Lives Matter)

Over the past year, an ongoing trend in the Black Lives Matter movement has been a tactic called “black brunch,” in which groups of activists enter restaurants in the late morning/early afternoon hours to disrupt people’s meals by reading out names of African Americans slain by white police officers, and shouting slogans such as “white silence […]

Ahmed’s Arrest and the Modern-Day Crusade Against Islam

The arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old whiz kid who brought a home-made clock to school in Irving, Texas, seems to have struck a nerve in the United States in a way that any number of other stories regarding anti-Muslim bigotry over the years have not. While there have been countless examples of Islamophobia run […]

Punishing Poland for U.S. crimes

It is one of the great ironies of the U.S.-led war on terror and post-Cold War transatlantic relations that democratic accountability and human rights protections at times seem stronger in the former Soviet bloc than they do in the United States. This lesson was driven home again last week when Poland paid a quarter of a million dollars […]

Americans’ malleable views on violence

Recent public opinion surveys reveal somewhat disjointed attitudes toward the legitimacy of violence, with Americans on one hand embracing violent policies as they pertain to assassinating suspected terrorists, and on the other rejecting the use of violent protests against police brutality. In one recent poll, nearly three-quarters of respondents said that it’s acceptable for the U.S. […]

Torture, police brutality and the arrogance of unchecked power

The international fallout from last week’s long-delayed release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 500-page executive summary of its still-classified 6,000 report on CIA torture could hardly be more intense, with calls coming from the United Nations, foreign governments and the human rights community for prosecutions of those who carried out or authorized the torture techniques […]

Why white privilege is no protection from police brutality

A survey released this week by the Pew Research Center has revealed glaring differences of views among blacks and whites when it comes to the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American youth killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9, and the protests that have followed. Unfortunately though, the wording […]