Alexander Zaitchik

Chevron Has Avoided Justice for Environmental Crimes in Ecuador and the U.S. - Can Canada Hold It to Account?

This Tuesday, April 17, a court in Toronto will hear the latest round of arguments in the epic legal battle between Chevron and the Ecuadorian villages that the oil company systematically contaminated for decades.

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Why Is UCLA Doing Big Pharma's Dirty Work in India?

On the morning of March 14, a first-year UCLA medical student named Kayla Gu approached the microphone at a meeting of her university’s Board of Regents. Speaking in a white coat with a stethoscope around her neck, she urged the university to drop a patent claim pending at India’s high court, which the David Geffen School of Medicine filed in order to block generic production of the prostate cancer drug enzalutamide, trade name Xtandi. Though developed at UCLA with tens of millions in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Army, the drug giant Pfizer is making billions in profits by pricing a standard course of the drug at $130,000.

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On World Water Day, New Campaign Kicks Off to Bring Clean Water to the Oil-Contaminated Upper Amazon

A quarter-century after the United Nations designated March 22 World Water Day, its observance is more urgent than ever. Around two billion people consume unsafe water every day; close to a million die each year from related contamination and disease. Another 700 million—most of them women—travel hours by foot to the nearest water source. Global freshwater demand, meanwhile, is expected to spike a third by 2050, as climate change and pollution put further strains on supply.

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The Battle of 1498

The Battle of 1498.

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Taxpayers - Not Big Pharma - Have Funded the Research Behind Every New Drug Since 2010

Something odd happened when the Trump administration submitted the original version of its latest pro-corporate budget: Big Pharma didn’t like it.

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Close Encounters of the Racist Kind: A Guide to the Modern Far-Right

On December 6, 1830, Andrew Jackson used his second State of the Union address to defend the Indian Removal Act, the administration’s sole legislative victory. He described the law promulgating the expulsion and resettlement of southeastern Native American tribes as the “happy consummation” of U.S. Indian policy. To his critics who “wept over the fate of the aborigines” — and who, it turned out, accurately predicted the horrors of the forced migrations known collectively to history as the Trail of Tears — Jackson offered an archeology lesson. Any “melancholy reflections” were ahistorical, he said, because the Indians were neither innocent victims nor first peoples, but perpetrators of what Jackson’s modern admirers might call “white genocide.”

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The God Capsule: Can Psychedelics Prove a Biological Basis for Spirituality?

For a long time in western culture, transcendent consciousness was tightly linked with characters on the spiritual fringe: visionary prophets, ascetic sages, and ecstatic poets. Mystical states were like lightning bolts in the days before Ben Franklin’s kite—fleeting, unpredictable, and impossible to harness or measure. They were divine bolts that hit during the frenzies of ecstatic creation and desert wanderings. They were the ultimate mystery.

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How the Government Can Bring Down Drug Prices

Buy Alexander Zaitchik's short new biography of HHS Secretary Tom Price, the first title from Strong Arm Press, a new progressive imprint under the direction of Ryan Grim, D.C. Bureau Chief of the Intercept, and Alex Lawson, Executive Director of Social Security Works

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The Gilded Rage: A Conversation With a Trump Supporter That Will Surprise You

The following is an adapted excerpt from Alexander Zaitchik's new book, The Gilded Rage: A Wild Ride Through Donald Trump's America, published here with permission from Skyhorse/Hot Books. The Gilded Rage is the chronicle of Zaitchik's listening tour, inspired by Studs Terkel, through the Rust Belt, Appalachia, and along the Mexican Border. The result is an often surprising collection of voices of Trump supporters that Zaitchik met as he followed the 2016 primary calendar. The below section profiles a West Virginia Trump supporter named Ed Wiley, a former miner who in recent years has emerged as one of the state's leading (and most unlikely) anti-coal activists. 

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U.S. Laws Criminalizing Sleeping in Public Have Grown as Much as 60 Percent in Just a Few Years

There is a war on, and it concerns the homeless’ right to sleep. Across the United States, recent years have seen a spate of municipal laws that criminalize the act of sleeping in public places. These laws often target the act of sleeping in private vehicles under the guise of “anti-camping” legislation.

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