Category Archives: Politics

From the Arab Spring to the Syrian Civil War: Looking Again at the Modern Middle East

It’s tempting to put the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War in separate boxes, but like other forms of compartmentalization, that only hides but doesn’t resolve the underlying problems. The dynamics that helped the Syrian War erupt into one … Continue reading

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African Liberation, Socialism, and Ghana Today

What do most Americans know or think they know about Africa? A number of stereotypes come to mind. African countries are unsafe and unhealthy, always at war, unstable, and poor. People are uneducated and lazy, and live in rural villages … Continue reading

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The Beheading of a Saint: Junipero Serra and the California Monument Wars

During his visit to Mexico in February, Pope Francis apologized for the “systematic and organized” exclusion of indigenous Americans over the centuries. This took place in San Cristobal de las Casas, the epicenter of the indigenous-identified Zapatista uprising in 1994, … Continue reading

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Students Rally for Coal Divestment

On April 4, the student group UIUC Beyond Coal rallied on the Quad to push the Academic Senate to pass a resolution urging the University divest $5.1 million held in the coal industry through stock index funds, in order to slow … Continue reading

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“Old” Urban Renewal in Champaign-Urbana, 1960-1969

Forcing people to move from their homes is one of the most intrusive exercises of state power. It is difficult to overstate the combined financial and psychological impacts that the loss of a home has on an individual. It is … Continue reading

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Cuba Libre?

By David Prochaska President Barack Obama visited Havana March 2016. Perhaps even more important, the Rolling Stones played a free concert right after. Commercial airline flights to Cuba are likely to begin in October. Even as the US moves to … Continue reading

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Terrorism and Endless War

Terrorism is the use of violence to achieve political ends. Terrorism can be used by both non-state and state actors. Non-State Terrorism This is how non-state terrorism works: a weak group tricks a stronger adversary into defeating itself. Terrorist-provoked fear … Continue reading

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France: The Power of Le Pens

The Left has done well in some recent elections in Southern Europe- in Greece, Portugal, and, most recently, Spain. But not in France. The Socialists, who are now in power, took a terrible beating in the December 2015 regional elections. … Continue reading

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New Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Offers Hope to Canada’s First Nations Populations

Outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper was nearly universally viewed by First Nations (known in the US as “indigenous” or “native” people), Métis and Inuit peoples as, at the least, insensitive to their concerns and, at worst, actively hostile towards Canada’s … Continue reading

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Children With Incarcerated Parents Played Key Role in Phone Justice Victory!

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted recently to cap the rates of phone calls from prisons and jails after years of profiteering by telecommunications companies that have made millions off of those incarcerated and their families. In her comments before … Continue reading

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