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The Sun Interview

Can The Left Get It Right?

Michael Shellenberger On Why Liberals Need To Abandon Complaint-Based Activism

Progressives need to help people imagine more ambitiously what we can do together. American liberals today are stuck defending government programs that are, in some cases, more than half a century old. We need to reinvent progressive politics by reinventing a strategic role for government that unites Americans and transcends interest-group politics.

Sy Safransky's Notebook

August 2010

Someone sent me a bumper sticker that reads, “Nonjudgment day is near.” It can’t come soon enough. For even though I’ve learned the importance of nonjudgmental awareness, I still turn nonjudgmental awareness into a goal, then judge myself for not being more nonjudgmentally aware.

The Sun Interview

Both Sides Of The Street

Connie Rice Lays Down The Law To Cops And Gangs

When you sit down with the Bloods and the Crips as Bloods and Crips, you just reinforce the symbols and ethos and dynamics of the gang. You need to take them as individuals and talk about their leadership in the neighborhood, their roles as men in their community, and what they can do to reduce the violence. You get them to take on responsibility. Then you have them at the table as community leaders — not gang leaders. The gang doesn’t get mentioned.

The Sun Interview

Criminal Injustice

Maya Schenwar On The Failure Of Mass Incarceration

Prison deepened my sister’s addiction, crushed her self-esteem, narrowed her options for jobs and education, and diminished her hope for a good life. She was in a much worse situation each time she came out.

The Sun Interview

Crimes Of Punishment

An Interview With Christian Parenti

I describe SWAT teams in Fresno as a kind of postmodern public execution — a highly ritualized, highly theatrical display of the sovereign’s power. Like an invading army, they occupy whole neighborhoods, harass the residents, and surround the houses. They have machine guns, barking dogs, and armored personnel carriers. This is state propaganda, political theater, directed not at the “perp” holed up in the house, but at the hundreds of community members watching.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Skeleton Woman In Seattle

When I was able to open my eyes, I saw lying next to me a young man, nineteen, maybe twenty at the oldest. He was in shock, twitching and shivering uncontrollably from being tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed at close range. His burned eyes were tightly closed, and he was panting irregularly. Then he passed out. The sidewalk was wet from the water that a medic had poured over him to flush his eyes.

The Sun Interview

Defending What You Love

An Interview With Edward Abbey

But still, when all other means fail, we are morally justified — not merely justified, but morally obligated — to defend that which we love by whatever means are available. If my family, my life, my children were attacked, I wouldn’t hesitate to use violence to defend them. By the same principle, if land I love is being violated, raped, plundered, murdered, and all political means to save it have failed, I feel that sabotage is morally justifiable.

The Sun Interview

Where The Buffalo Go

How Science Ignores The Living World — An Interview With Vine Deloria

I think the primary difference is that Indians experience and relate to a living universe, whereas Western people — especially scientists — reduce all things, living or not, to objects. The implications of this are immense. If you see the world around you as a collection of objects for you to manipulate and exploit, you will inevitably destroy the world while attempting to control it. Not only that, but by perceiving the world as lifeless, you rob yourself of the richness, beauty, and wisdom to be found by participating in its larger design.

The Sun Interview

Altered States

An Interview On Shamanism With Leslie Gray

I teach shamanic techniques which enable clients to have access to parts of their consciousness that they ordinarily can’t reach, and that’s what does the healing. I show them how to journey, and how to find a power animal or guardian spirit so that they can develop a relationship with these entities to empower themselves. Then they can do whatever they want to do: lose weight, work on a stuck relationship, heal their dispiritedness or negativity.

The Sun Interview

The Pipe Or The Tomahawk

An Interview With Sun Bear

We’re trying to put our philosophy on a working level. This is important. People espouse different philosophies, but if it doesn’t work with flesh and blood on an everyday basis then it’s not real. You don’t have sovereignty until you control your own livelihood.