“My Conscience…Came Roaring Back to Life”: Daniel Hale and US Targeted Killing

Daniel Hale, a former US airman and military contractor, received an almost four-year prison sentence in federal court on July 27th. Hale’s crime was sharing with the media classified government documents related to targeted killing and other US counter-terrorism policies. Prosecuted for violating the Espionage Act, Hale pled guilty earlier this year to one of … Continue reading “My Conscience…Came Roaring Back to Life”: Daniel Hale and US Targeted Killing

A Cold War Comes Home? Anti-Asian Racism in Light of US-China Hostility

Racism against Americans of Asian heritage has received significant attention recently. Concerns about anti-Asian hate crimes arose last spring as the Covid-19 pandemic began to affect the United States.[1] The horrifying murders of eight people, six of them Asian, in the greater Atlanta area in March 2021 revived concerns about bigotry toward Asian Americans. As … Continue reading A Cold War Comes Home? Anti-Asian Racism in Light of US-China Hostility

Masking Up but Not Shutting Up: Defending Freedom of Speech during a Pandemic

Shortly after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, activists and journalists raised concerns about how governments’ response to the crisis might restrict freedom of expression and other civil liberties.[1] More than a year later, we have a better sense of how the pandemic response has limited press freedom and the flow of … Continue reading Masking Up but Not Shutting Up: Defending Freedom of Speech during a Pandemic

“I Gave Birth to Too Many Children”: Population Control and Repression in Xinjiang

The Chinese government is currently pursuing a campaign of repression against Muslim ethnic minorities in the region of Xinjiang. Prompted by fears of terrorism and separatism, the roughly three-year-old campaign has reportedly involved surveillance, imprisonment, and psychological and physical torture. The campaign may also involve coercive population control, including sterilization and abortion. Unrest in an … Continue reading “I Gave Birth to Too Many Children”: Population Control and Repression in Xinjiang

Sickness is the Health of the State? Civil Liberties and Conflict during a Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has consumed the world’s attention during these early months of 2020. The virus’ health threat, especially to older people and other vulnerable groups, is correctly the primary concern right now, with the pandemic’s economic consequences perhaps being the second greatest concern. Both these aspects of the pandemic fully deserve the attention of … Continue reading Sickness is the Health of the State? Civil Liberties and Conflict during a Pandemic

An American Devil Figure: The Complex Legacy of Joseph McCarthy

One of the most infamous figures of 20th-century American history gave one of the most infamous speeches of 20th-century American history 70 years ago this winter. Speaking before a Republican women’s group in Wheeling, West Virginia, on February 9, 1950, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI), declared that a certain number of US State Department employees … Continue reading An American Devil Figure: The Complex Legacy of Joseph McCarthy

East Germany’s Peaceful Revolution: Remembering the Berlin Wall’s Fall

The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago this year, on November 9, 1989. This massive barrier that since the 1960s had effectively imprisoned the residents of Communist-ruled East Berlin was also a symbol of the larger Cold War division between Eastern and Western Europe and the Soviet Union and the United States. When Berliners broke … Continue reading East Germany’s Peaceful Revolution: Remembering the Berlin Wall’s Fall

A War on the People: A Review of One Child Nation

To curb population growth and supposedly promote national prosperity, China’s ruling Communist Party in 1979 launched an effort to ensure most Chinese parents would have only one child. For roughly the next 36 years the authorities would enforce this One-Child Policy through measures that included intense propaganda, forced sterilizations and abortions, punishments for disobedient households, … Continue reading A War on the People: A Review of One Child Nation

Big Brother Is (Still) Watching You: The Xinjiang Crack-Down

Xinjiang is China’s westernmost province, inhabited predominantly by Muslim ethnic minorities, the largest of these the Uighurs. For several years, this province has been the target of a wave of Chinese government repression that is apparently motivated by fears of terrorism and separatism. This repression has turned Xinjiang into something approaching a giant prison. The … Continue reading Big Brother Is (Still) Watching You: The Xinjiang Crack-Down

Remembering Nat Hentoff (1925-2017)

Defenders of life lost one of their most eloquent, frustrating, and idiosyncratic voices earlier this year when Nat Hentoff died on January 7, at the age of 91. This Jewish, atheist, civil libertarian, pro-lifer’s critiques of abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, poverty, racism, and war, provide much to inspire adherents of the consistent ethic of … Continue reading Remembering Nat Hentoff (1925-2017)