Scary pictures transform something ordinary into a crisis

A person living in a poor town hears about a job opportunity in a neighboring town. The neighboring town is richer and safer, with lower crime and better schools. So, the person decided to move to the neighboring town. Capitalism! There’s only one, small problem. The neighboring town is on the other side of an international border. Because of the border, a perfectly normal, ordinary choice that millions of people make every day is transformed into an existential threat to America.

Today, the former US Ambassador to Mexico published an op ed in the New York Times blaming the migrant…


Is this the best form of land management?

A few years ago, a few Maniq people of Thailand began to receive Thai citizenship. Like other nomads in Thailand, including the Moken, the Maniq have for years struggled to protect their way of life in the face of widespread environmental devastation and coercive and forced assimilation. Their struggle to be recognized as people before the law with a say in government is mirrored in the struggles of the Bajau Laut/Sama Dilaut in Southeast Asia, the Roma in Europe and the Bedouin in the Middle East. All over the world, nomadic and previously nomadic peoples struggle to be regarded as…


Governments Have Spent Decades Excluding Minorities From Citizenship, Which Is Awesome News for the Virus

Israel has emerged as the vaccine roll-out star of the middle phase of the pandemic, but many have rightly pointed out that it’s hard to call any vaccine program a success when it doesn’t cover everyone. While Israeli citizens get their jabs, the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories must wait.

Nothing will help COVID-19 more than an uneven vaccine roll-out. Any time a population is excluded from receiving the vaccine, the virus will have more chances to mutate and re-infect everyone.


Not long ago, the world awoke to the news that BioNtech, the German bio-tech company, has developed a successful COVID-19 vaccine. The owners, Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, are proud “Prussian Turks,” or German citizens of Turkish descent. Both are the children of Turkish migrants, according to the Guardian. It’s unclear if the pair’s parents came through the official German guest worker program, which brought hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens to Germany to work in various industries. The program was supposed to be temporary, but many guest workers stayed on.

Citizenship and Nationalism in Germany

Until 1999, however, German…


The UK government plans to banish people to an island where “nothing makes sense”…

An island where nobody really lives.

Ascension island today is known among botanists as an island taken over by invasive species and among space buffs as a former, possible landing place for the space shuttle. As the BBC reports, nobody lives there permanently. The island burst into the news this week as the UK government announced it was considering an Australia-style immigrant prison on the island. Outrage ensued, but unfortunately, as long as Australia’s “deterrence system” of immigrant prisons appears to be successful, other wealthy countries will see torturing immigrants as a…


Media executives were charged with incitement in Rwanda and Nuremberg — what about today?

After the Rwandan genocide, radio executives and presenters were charged with incitement

Following the conclusion by the International Court of Justice that Myanmar is committing genocide, the International Criminal Court continues to collect evidence for trial. The ICC is looking at generals and other high-level persons in the Myanmar government. Yet genocides are not created only by soldiers and politicians. The media plays a critical role in disseminating genocidal content and indoctrinating communities in genocidal thinking. Charges were brought against both the creators and those responsible for the dissemination of genocidal content at the International Criminal Tribunal for…


Threatening Prosecutors is What the Mob Does

Update: A Federal Judge has now blocked the order: https://beta.documentcloud.org/documents/20441250-sdny-icc-eo-preliminary-injunction

This week, the Trump Administration announced sanctions against the top prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, and the head of one of the Court’s divisions, Phakiso Mochochoko. The sanctions block their financial assets and prohibiting US citizens from “having any dealings with them.”

Such sanctions are normally used for criminals and terrorists. Using them against a court is the international relations equivalent of a horse head in a bed. …


Some Things Are a Matter of Debate…But Others Are Made-Up Nonsense. Can the media tell the difference?

With Enough Money, You Could Pay a “Legal Expert” to Say Just About Anything. But that doesn’t mean you should.

For years now, some conservative think tanks have hired armies of so-called “legal experts” to create fog around the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment. The point of this fog is not to educate the public on constitutional law, or clear up mistakes in constitutional interpretation, but to cast doubt on the legitimacy of citizenship for millions of Americans. The media can choose to participate in these efforts, or it can just stop.

The 14th Amendment says that:

All persons born or naturalized…


The Right to Enter Your Country is a Founding Principle of Citizenship

The Right to Enter Your Country is a Founding Principle of Citizenship

For something so important to the lives of so many, there is a remarkable level of disagreement about what citizenship is. Is it a status? A package of rights and duties? The International Court of Justice says its “a social fact of attachment, a genuine connection…,” whatever that means. Philosophers and lawyers have been arguing about what citizenship forever, but for the rest of us, citizenship means belonging to a community, a passport so we can come and go and, for many, voting. A lot of experts do…


Experts used to worry about too many babies, now they worry about too few.

Since the 1960s, scientists and other experts have been in a panic about global population growth. Fueled in part by racist pseudo-research and anti-immigrant think tanks, the concerns about “population explosions” have cycled in and out of the news each time the world’s population adds another billion people. Is population growth a problem? Surely, it’s bad for the environment, conservation and climate change. Climate change is such an emergency, some people are limiting the number of children they have.

But we may never know for sure, because new research shows that the global population may be about to peak and…

Alex Jean

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