Lethal from the Start: Uranium Mining’s Danger to the Most Vulnerable

Nuclear weapons kill directly when they are exploded in wartime or in tests.[1] They also kill indirectly: obtaining uranium, the metal used to produce both nuclear power and nuclear weapons, can expose people to radiation or other hazards. The results are often harmful, even lethal. As with nuclear testing, the people exposed to these hazards … Continue reading Lethal from the Start: Uranium Mining’s Danger to the Most Vulnerable

“The Affairs of a Handful of Natives”: Nuclear Testing and Racism

While nuclear weapons haven’t been used in war for over 75 years, they have still killed and hurt people since 1945. Testing of nuclear weapons has exposed many people to radiation, with its terrible health consequences. Further, the people harmed by nuclear testing have frequently been from different, far less powerful, ethnic groups than the … Continue reading “The Affairs of a Handful of Natives”: Nuclear Testing and Racism

“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

“Millions Who Are Already Hanging by a Thread”: The Global Repercussions of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic threatens life in multiple ways. The virus not only has killed people directly—more than 400,000 to date—but has also worsened poverty and inequality.[1] By disrupting the world economy, the pandemic has taken away many people’s livelihoods and harmed the poor. The illness and the resulting economic hardships don’t fall equally on everyone but … Continue reading “Millions Who Are Already Hanging by a Thread”: The Global Repercussions of Covid-19

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

“Remember Pearl Harbor—Keep ‘Em Dying”: War and Racism in the Pacific

American planes dropped firebombs on Tokyo 75 years ago, on the night of March 9-10, 1945, killing an estimated 80,000-100,000 people.[1] The firebombing began a six-month-long American bombing campaign against 66 Japanese cities that culminated in the two atomic bombings and killed roughly 400,000 people in total.[2] This killing campaign was the climax of a … Continue reading “Remember Pearl Harbor—Keep ‘Em Dying”: War and Racism in the Pacific

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

What Personal Storytelling Leaves Out: A Suggestion on Alternative Approaches to Activism

A common practice among activists or commentators on political controversies is to invoke personal stories. Someone will tell how her or his life, or the life of a friend or acquaintance, was directly affected by a larger injustice or problem. The activist or commentator will use that personal experience as an element in an argument … Continue reading What Personal Storytelling Leaves Out: A Suggestion on Alternative Approaches to Activism

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