Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, described the horror of the authoritarian regime of Gilead. In this theocracy, self-preservation was the best people could hope for, being powerless to kick against the system. But her sequel, The Testaments, raises the possibility that individuals, with suitable luck, bravery and cleverness, can fight back.
Guns exact a heavy toll on the American public every day. On the average day, around 100 people die from a gun death. Because of the rise in gun deaths in recent years, the nation now faces a serious man-made epidemic.
In spring 2019, more than 17,000 Europeans from 33 countries signed up to have a political argument with a complete stranger.
October 2, 2019 marked Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday. One of the 20th century’s most iconic figures, Gandhi’s legacy defines how many people think about peace, self-reflection and the path to a more just world.
It may surprise you to learn that there are prisoners who are now into their 70s, 80s and 90s. There is even one aged over 100.
Mahatma Gandhi is celebrated across the globe as an idealist who used civil disobedience to frustrate and overthrow British colonialists in India.
After Greta Thunberg's UN Address, An Ethicist Weighs In On Our Moral Failure To Act On Climate Change
In her address to the United Nations, Greta Thunberg charged adults with unforgivable moral failure. By failing to enact real change that will reverse global warming trends, grown-ups, she said, have “stolen my dreams and childhood.”
When eligible citizens register to vote, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will turn out.
Big technology companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google aren’t the only ones facing huge political concerns about using citizen data
Social media has transformed how people talk to each other. But social media platforms are not shaping up to be the utopian spaces for human connection their founders hoped.
Tens of millions of Americans go to bed hungry at some point every year. While poverty is the primary culprit, some blame food insecurity on the lack of grocery stores in low-income neighborhoods.
A tragedy continues to unfold across the Amazon. Tens of thousands of fires are raging across the region, destroying large swathes of forest in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru.
I often encounter myths and misunderstandings about political data, whether it’s in the classes I teach or broader news coverage.
Following the successful Brexit campaign, Dominic Cummings – the then campaign director of Vote Leave – published a series of blog posts describing how the campaign was run and what his plans were for a successful civil service.
When the political leader “Boss” Tweed was arrested in New York on corruption charges in the fall of 1871, among his many assets was a luxury hotel.
It’s important to understand how the conflict and the Holocaust could have happened — and how we can prevent such atrocities from happening again.
How do you know something exists if you never hear about it? How do you know about the truth, which is often "the other side of the coin", if it is never exposed to the light? Perhaps those two questions answer the implied question in the title: Why Marianne Williamson's Candidacy for President Is Important.
The upcoming Canadian federal election once again raises the spectre of interference and disruption through the misuse and abuse of personal data.
Despite a cumulative increase of nearly 10 per cent in voter turnout in Canadian federal elections between 2008 and 2015, the country’s voter turnout rates remain moderate.
Four hundred and thirty-two days prior to the election and 158 days before the Iowa caucus, millions of Americans were expected to tune in for the second round of Democratic debates.
Vegan activists have historically been vocal in their ‘meat is murder’ campaigns. With a plant-based protein revolution upon us, it’s time vegans rethought their tactics.
New Zealand’s first “well-being budget” has landed, prioritising well-being over economic growth. So how is it different to any budgets that we have seen in the past?
How can the law account for the value of complex, nonhuman entities such as rivers, lakes, forests and ecosystems?
These stories are, essentially, allegations of disloyalty. And they foretell national ruin if the other side achieves its goals.
Love... has it become a "four-letter word"? In many cases, love has become equated with other things such as attention, rewards, approval, etc. In many cases, what is depicted in movies as love is simply a need for someone or something -- either a need for security, approval, etc.
Climate breakdown, mass extinctions, and extreme inequality threaten the earth’s rich tapestry of life and leave our own fate increasingly uncertain.
Let's dare to dream of a Beloved Community where starvation, famine, hunger, and malnutrition will not be tolerated because the civilized community of nations won't allow it. We should dare to dream of a world being reborn in freedom, justice, and peace, a world that nurtures all...
A new study quantifies the effects of political lobbying on the likelihood of climate policy enactment.
When Jon Stewart quit the Daily Show, the satirical news and comedy show he hosted for 16 years until August 2015, he explained to his replacement, Trevor Noah, that he was tired – and angry at the state of politics and political discourse in the US.
Kremlin-backed attackers are working to influence the upcoming European Parliament elections, according to cybersecurity firm FireEye.
Likeability, relatability, humor, wit, charm, good looks and a little disregard for convention have always helped candidates win elections. Policy positions, character and experience in government help, too.
None of us can afford to assume that somebody else will solve our problems; each of us must take his or her own share of universal responsibility. The real test of compassion is not what we say in abstract discussions but how we conduct ourselves in daily life.
Facebook recently banned several far-right extremists, including Canadian Faith Goldy, who made a failed bid for Toronto mayor last year.
A decade ago, most people interested in politics associated the words social democracy with business-friendly governments, lower taxes, economic growth, high wages and low unemployment.
New research reveals three criteria we use to determine whether to trust the government.
About 600 million Indian citizens are expected to cast their votes over a period of 39 days ending May 19, in the ongoing election for their country’s parliament.
What happens to a country when its core national identity – its preferred image of itself in terms of race or religion – doesn’t match its demographic reality?
U.S. technology giant Microsoft has teamed up with a Chinese military university to develop artificial intelligence systems that could potentially enhance government surveillance and censorship capabilities
For the first time in 217 years, a Japanese emperor will cede his place on the imperial throne.
The rise of a new global, digital and mobile form of capitalism has, since the 1970s, accelerated the pace of our lives.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) burst onto everybody’s screens with disruptions and mass arrests across the UK and around the world, in protest against government inaction on climate change.
Big Tobacco is increasingly using social media to find new ways to hook young people on smoking, circumventing decades of laws restricting the marketing of traditional cigarettes to minors.
“Are we in Maryland’s third congressional district?” Karen asked on a recent visit to the UMBC campus. Despite zooming into the district’s map on Wikipedia, neither of us could tell.
In recent weeks, Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has captured wide media attention.
When a group of ultra-nationalist wannabes gathered in Milan in 1919 to hear firebrand leader Benito Mussolini speak, they became part of an infamous moment in history.
Recently, The New York Times purported to explain “How Rupert Murdoch’s Empire of Influence Remade the World.” This followed The New Yorker’s investigation into the “making of the Fox News White House.”
Human societies are so prosperous mostly because of how altruistic we are. Unlike other animals, people cooperate even with complete strangers. We share knowledge on Wikipedia, we show up to vote, and we work together to responsibly manage natural resources.
In the wake of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, members of Congress set out to update the procedures for handling an unable president.
In this time of upheaval, with old systems fighting to keep a stronghold on established patriarchal forms of hierarchy and separation, we are each being summoned to embrace our spiritual warrior to make a difference in our world. We are called to stand in sacred truth...
When it comes to debates about free speech that needs to be protected and hate speech that needs to be legislated, the idiom of “drawing the line” is constantly referenced by politicians, journalists and academics.
We shouldn’t need a Super Bowl commercial costing around $10 million to remind us that information is supposed to matter in a democracy.
2020 Sunday Sit-down: 37-year-old Mayor Pete Buttigieg on his core message and the key issues.
Not everyone cheered for the school children striking against climate change. In the US, democratic senator Dianne Feinstein accused them of “my way or the highway” thinking.
"On 15 March, our history changed forever. Now, our laws will, too," said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Have you played Monopoly lately? Or maybe snakes and ladders? These board games are examples of 100-year-old games that many still play today.
Donald Trump has perfected the art of telling a fake story about America. The only way to counter that is to tell the real story of America.
A gaggle of young activists recently paid Dianne Feinstein a visit at the senator’s San Francisco office, imploring her to support the Green New Deal framework for confronting climate change.
It is time to start a revolution and envision a new society — a sacred society that arises from a real desire for spiritual transformation and the deep stirrings of love and compassion in our hearts. This society would consist of sisters and brothers working side by side in grace and harmony...
I believe there is. When we speak of activism, we usually think of organized activities. Yet beyond that, we all have opportunities to act in ways that reflect our desire for social justice and peace. Whether or not we’re “official” activists, we’re always taking action, all the time. Every day, we’re making choices that will impact not only our own future but also that of others.
Howard Thurman played an important role in the civil rights struggle as a key mentor to many leaders of the movement, including Martin Luther King Jr., among others.
The scope of financial crimes unearthed so far by state and federal authorities investigating President Trump and his associates is remarkable.
The principle I am invoking here is called “morphic resonance,” a term coined by the biologist Rupert Sheldrake. It holds as a basic property of nature that forms and patterns are contagious: that once something happens somewhere, it induces the same thing to happen elsewhere.
Approximately one in five Americans participated in a protest or rally between early 2016 and early 2018, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
In November 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formed the first gender-balanced cabinet in Canadian history.
Lincoln Alternative High School is in the small city of Walla Walla in southeastern Washington. It had been a place for students with disciplinary issues, those removed from the area’s other high schools, ordered there by a judge, or those who had performed poorly in middle school.
Setting speed limits just five miles per hour below engineering recommendations produces a statistically significant decrease in total, fatal, and injury crashes, and property-damage-only crashes, according to researchers.
The influx of women candidates helped turn the midterm election into what many observers dubbed a “Year of the Woman.”
To be “in this world but not of it” is the ultimate challenge. It's so much easier to withdraw from the craziness or get lost in it. Trauma specialists identify isolated incidents of extreme stress, but who considers the daily damage from living in this madhouse prison called civilization? Especially when...
Swedish academic Hans Rosling has identified a worrying trend: not only do many people across advanced economies have no idea that the world is becoming a much better place, but they actually even think the opposite.
We must believe that we are capable of creating “a place of love and mutual assistance and understanding.” This is how visionary Tim Berners-Lee described the utopianist John Perry Barlow at the time of his death, adding: “I don’t think he was naïve.”
Chances are that you, like me, feel called to make a difference in this rapidly changing world. Today, more people than ever are feeling their own “divine dissatisfaction” or “blessed unrest” and want to make a difference. Yet also, unfortunately, it’s easy to get bogged down in not knowing how or where to begin.
Elections play a distinctive role in strengthening democracy, and voting is a pivotal part of that process. That’s why new research makes the case for universal participation through mandatory voting.
Youth turnout in the recent United States midterm elections was the highest it has been in 25 years. The midterms also saw the average age of congressional representatives go down by 10 years.
If someone asks you why you chose the election candidate you voted for, you will likely have a good answer. Maybe you agree with the candidate’s policy stances.
Seventy years after Gandhi’s assassination on the streets of New Delhi, Ramachandra Guha’s new book, Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-48, reopens a familiar debate around his legacy.
A record number of women are headed to statehouses and Capitol Hill in 2019. One hundred women were elected to the U.S. House, which means that at least 121 women will serve in the 116th Congress – up from the current 107.
In October 2005 Stephen Colbert was just starting his eponymous show, The Colbert Report. It is somewhat chilling to realize that this was when he came up with the word truthiness: it seems so now.
Voter turnout among 18 to 29-year-olds in the 2018 midterm elections was 31 percent, according to a preliminary estimate by The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. It’s a major increase from turnout in the 2014 midterms, which was 21 percent.
On the morning of Election Day, the top trending search on Google was “donde votar,” which means “where to vote” in Spanish. Lack of access to non-English ballots can be an obstacle to voting for immigrants. Simply put, if voters can’t understand the ballot, they may not vote.
When it comes to being politically active, young people typically have a bad reputation. In democracies such as the United States and the United Kingdom, young voters tend to have low turnout rates – but there are early signs that this is changing.
Trust is at a breaking point. Trust in national institutions. Trust among states. Trust in the rules-based global order. Within countries, people are losing faith in political establishments, polarization is on the rise and populism is on the march.
For our first 125 years, about 35 percent of the members of the House retired before every election, because they believed that was good for them and good for the nation. Congressmen had not yet learned the art of feathering their own nests with hundred-thousand-dollar salaries, million-dollar pensions, large and obsequious staffs, and all the perks and privileges that power is heir to. In short, remaining in Congress for decades was not as attractive then as now.
The next United States Congress will have at least 123 women in the House and Senate, including two Muslim-American women, two Native American women and two 29-year-olds.
Questions about the legitimacy of the 2016 U.S. presidential election continue to reverberate and deepen partisan mistrust in America. Doubts have been compounded by the indictment of 12 Russians following intelligence reports of Russian interference with the election.
Iceland is a small country tucked away on the edge of Europe. It has a population of only about 340,000 people. Iceland’s prisons are small too. There are only five, altogether housing fewer than 200 prisoners.
The 2018 mid-terms broke the records on female candidates in US elections. More than 20 women were on the Senate ballot, while more than ten times that number stood for the House of Representatives.
It seems every election is the most important. Why? Because every election has been. Why? Democracy is a very young form of governance. Those that seek power also seek to dismantle it.
Now that's an intense statement: We are responsible for the mess we made! And for some, it might tend to bring up anger, defensiveness, guilt, shame, feelings of being blamed, discouragement, and other such emotions. However, for me, I see it as good news! If we are responsible for the mess we made, then we can clean it up, and we can fix it.
Republican women have faced a conundrum repeatedly in the last two years. In the cases of Donald Trump, Roy Moore and Brett Kavanaugh, the question facing them has been whether to support a male Republican leader accused of sexual assault – or to press for male accountability.
Disconnects between different levels of government make it challenging to address important challenges that confront American cities, such as fixing worn-out infrastructure. These issues require federal, state and city agencies to work together to identify funding – mostly from higher levels of government – and to plan and carry out projects.
Sociologists understand experiences of violence and neglect in childhood are part of what’s known as a Toxic Socialization (TS) process. Put simply, TS is a socialization process characterized by violence and neglect. Violence includes emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical violence. Neglect includes neglect of our physical, emotional, psychological and cognitive needs.
In the thick of 1968’s seismic social upheavals, Native Americans also reached for their rights, and activists renewed their campaign for recognition and status as fully sovereign nations.
Violent protests can undercut public support for popular causes, according to new research inspired by recent confrontations between white nationalist protesters and anti-racist counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Berkeley, California.
While outrage is generally considered a hurdle in the path to civil discourse, new research suggests outrage—specifically, moral outrage—may have beneficial outcomes, such as inspiring people to take part in long-term collective action.
The duelling sides in today’s cultural wars about “Western civilization” are united in one thing, at least - each is inclined to gloss over the extent to which “Western civilisation” has always been deeply complex and divided.
An unsung shero of the early 20th century, Rose Schneiderman organized women to fight for laws to protect them from sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
Hardly a week goes by without news of another data breach at a large corporation affecting millions, most recently Facebook. In 2016, the issue became political with evidence of Russian interference in the U.S. election and the spectre of foreign control over public opinion.
There seems to be so many things going on these days that need to be addressed. I compare the situation to a "healing crisis". You may have had a weakness in your body for years, and then the situation becomes acute, obvious, and unacceptable. It is the same with the world around us...
For better or worse the radical remnants of the Republican party have now captured the American government completely. Whether they can hold it more than a month is all that is left to be seen.
If you were to watch a split-screen broadcast with global weather on one side and world politics on the other, you could easily conclude that we are doomed.