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Haiti has a long history of being assaulted by its Latin American neighbors

by Lautaro Rivara

This article was produced by Globetrotter.

Thirteen United Nations peacekeeping missions are underway in various countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Haiti has been the epicenter of the UN peacekeeping missions in Latin America and the Caribbean; there have been eight UN missions since the International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) was deployed in Haiti in 1993. On October 15, 2019, the UN finally ended its 15-year-long peacekeeping mission in Haiti that began in 2004, leaving behind a "mixed legacy."

The most dramatic intervention took place in 2004, after the coup d'état against the democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Camille Chalmers, executive director of the Haitian Platform to Advocate Alternative Development, a civil society organization network, said in 2019 that a domestic political conflict was used as the pretext. The coup was carried out by ex-military personnel whose forces had been dissolved by Aristide in 1995. Backed by the United States, Canada and France, the army of the coup entered from the Dominican Republic and marched to Port-au-Prince.

After Aristide's forced exile, interim President Boniface Alexandre requested the first deployment of a Multinational Interim Force. Composed of Canadian, French, U.S. and Chilean soldiers, this force would be the seed of the future United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Both the request and the occupation itself contravened Haiti's 1987 Constitution; only the National Assembly has the power to make these decisions, but it was circumvented by Alexandre.

The UN's Arguments: 'Stabilization' and 'Humanitarian Interventionism'

Since the creation of MINUSTAH, a series of euphemisms have emerged to justify the occupation, such as 'suspension of sovereignty,' 'humanitarian interventionism,' and 'pacification.' In practice, pacification implied an exercise of selective political repression, the perpetration of various sexual crimes, and the propagation of a cholera epidemic from a MINUSTAH base that claimed 10,000 lives and infected more than 800,000 people. This was belatedly acknowledged by the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who also apologized for the UN's response to the cholera outbreak.

The creation of MINUSTAH took place in the context of the international agenda being shaped by the rhetoric of 'security' and 'terrorism.' Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the decline of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Security Council developed an increasingly discretionary character and the powers of the UN General Assembly were reduced. In turn, Chapter VI of the UN Charter, which refers to the peaceful settlement of disputes, was increasingly displaced by Chapter VII, which provides for the imposition of so-called "peace enforcement" and the deployment of the UN's Blue Helmets, as the peacekeepers are known.

On the other hand, a new international legal paradigm began to impose itself: that of "humanitarian interventionism" and the "responsibility to protect," also known as R2P. As Leyla Carrillo Ramírez, a Cuban jurist and specialist in international relations, writes in her book Metáforas de la Intervención, these are forms of "coercive foreign intervention." These, Ramírez says, contradict the principles of sovereignty and self-determination of nations, even when they are protected by the real or alleged violation of the human rights of local populations.

Brazil: The 'Principle of Non-Indifference' and Geopolitical Aspirations

In 2004, Brazil took charge of the military command of MINUSTAH, in addition to being the country that provided the largest military contingent: 1,670 soldiers at the beginning of the mission.

The guiding principle of Brazilian diplomacy was that of 'non-indifference,' a sort of local variation of R2P. This edge of the South American giant's foreign policy was accompanied by its willingness to influence international policy in line with its character as an emerging country, a dynamic member of BRICS and a sub-regional power.

Brazil led the policy of population control in working-class neighborhoods such as Bel Air and Cité Soleil in Haiti. In Cité Soleil, an armed intervention took place in 2007 that killed at least 27 civilians and left 30 wounded, according to the testimonies of the inhabitants and the complaint filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH). However, according to a special dossier of the Igarapé Institute and the Brazilian Peace Operations Joint Training Center, the official self-evaluation would be extremely laudable, qualifying the Brazilian performance in Haiti as a "military epic."

The other reason for Brazilian participation had to do with the direct negotiations established between the Brazilian, French and U.S. governments. According to Ricardo Seitenfus, former special representative of the Organization of American States in Haiti, former U.S. President George W. Bush had promised the Brazilian government a permanent seat on the UN Security Council in exchange for taking over MINUSTAH.

Argentina and the Relegitimization of the Armed Forces

As in the entire Southern Cone, the Argentine Armed Forces were involved in state terrorism and the coordinated repression of Operation Condor in the mid-1970s. But only in Argentina would the military reach such a level of discredit, brought about by factors such as the defeat in the Malvinas War and the emergence of a powerful human rights movement.

Argentina's participation in the UN missions was due to an attempt to re-function and re-legitimize the forces in a democratic context, according to Argentina's Presence in Haiti, a book by authors affiliated with the National University of Quilmes and Argentina's Ministry of Defense. In fact, a working document of the Frente de Todos, a coalition of political parties in Argentina, presented in October 2019 referred, in its section on foreign policy, to the need to strengthen Argentina's presence in peace missions, and referred to the country's experience of participating in MINUSTAH.

Argentina's Presence in Haiti highlights the enormous deficits in the training of the troops sent to Haiti. These include the incompatibility between military training and the assumption of police tasks, the complete lack of knowledge about local reality and culture, and the practical absence of training with a gender perspective. This is particularly relevant in the case of troops who served where there were high levels of social vulnerability and who later committed numerous sexual crimes according to numerous investigations and reports. Haitian sociologist Sabine Lamour said in an interview that feminist and women's organizations have observed many cases of sexual abuse in locations such as Bombardopolis, Port-Salut, Gonaïves and Port-au-Prince, despite the fact that both the national government and foreign embassies showed no interest in tracking down the cases.

One year after the end of the last mission in Haiti, the Latin American nations—with the exception of Cuba and Venezuela, who abstained from participating—have yet to make a complete and joint assessment of the 15 years of occupation of the country. Nor have they offered a satisfactory response or policies of reparation to the victims of this extensive and costly unilateral war.

Lautaro Rivara is a sociologist, researcher and poet. As a trained journalist, he participated as an activist in different spaces of communications work, covering tasks of editing, writing, radio broadcasts, and photography. During his two years in the Jean-Jacques Dessalines Brigade in Haiti he was responsible for communications and carried out political education with Haitian people's movements in this area. He writes regularly in people's media projects of Argentina and the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean including Nodal, ALAI, Telesur, Resumen Latinoamericano, Pressenza, la RedH, Notas, Haití Liberte, Alcarajo, and more.

Why I'm on a hunger strike to stop Donald Trump

by Ted Glick

I am on a 30-day, water-only hunger strike until Election Day to defeat Donald Trump. My mission is not so much to convince conservatives they should have a change of heart (though that would be great), but to convince progressives who may still harbor some hesitations about going all out for Biden. They don't just need to vote for him, they need to work for him.

I'm trying to dramatize that the possibility of a Trump reelection poses an existential threat to democracy, public health, the climate, and everything progressives hold dear.

So if you're in the left wing of the Democratic party, if you supported Sanders or Warren, if you embrace the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, and even if you weren't happy when Biden emerged as the nominee and found him too moderate, it's time for you to put yourself on the line to get him and Harris elected.

Likewise, if you're an independent voter like me who finds some of Biden's positions problematic, it's time to get clear that Trump is such a threat to the country, it's appropriate and necessary to overcome your hesitation and throw your support behind Biden.

Donald Trump has been a disaster for the climate, democracy, the rule of law, people of color, women, low-income people, truth, civility, and human decency. His response to the indictments of 13 far-right, Trump-supporting extremists for plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been to repeatedly criticize Whitmer, and not the extremists. In fact, he's clearly appealing to extremists to disrupt this election. While trailing in the polls, Trump refuses to say he'll accept a peaceful transition of power if he loses, continues to undermine mail-in voting, and repeats his call for his supporters to descend on polling places on November 3.

I'm motivated by all these things, but especially by the climate emergency. I'm a lifelong progressive activist, and ran as the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate from New Jersey in 2002. Since 2003 the primary focus of my work has been the climate crisis. Seventeen years ago, it felt like I and other climate activists were the proverbial voices crying in the wilderness. Today, a majority of Americans agree with us. They support climate action, including transitioning rapidly from fossil fuels to renewable energy and battery storage.

Trump and his supporters are a minority, bent on hijacking the widespread call for climate action. The only solution for that is to remove Trump from the White House. To dramatize the life-and-death stakes, I began a month-long, water-only Fast to Defeat Trump on October 3 and won't end it until November 3.

I started thinking about doing this over the Christmas/New Year holidays. I was working for the Bernie Sanders campaign and the climate movement, and observing the unfolding of the Presidential race. After the Democratic and Republican conventions, I decided I needed to make a life-on-the-line statement about the importance of defeating Trump.

I don't encourage anyone to try this at home, especially in the pandemic. It takes knowledge and experience to fast relatively safely, and I have plenty of both. I have done three previous water-only fasts of 25 days or longer: once for 40 days in the summer of 1972 for an end to the war in Vietnam, once for 42 days in the fall of 1992 in opposition to the planned government celebrations of Columbus' quincentennial, and once for 25 days in 2007 to demand action on the climate emergency.

But I do encourage everyone to support the Democratic ticket. There's only one way to get Trump out, and that's to replace him with Biden. Once that is accomplished, the rising progressive movement can move forward with its campaigns for a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, police demilitarization and restructuring and more. But first, we need to do this.

I also hope that my action will motivate young people who are turned off by electoral politics, especially by the unedifying spectacle they're getting treated to this year. I urge them to register now and vote because getting Trump out is our best hope for making the fundamental transformation their generation needs and has a right to demand from its leaders.

And I hope I will help motivate people to do more than just vote. We need to work concertedly from now until November 3 to help generate a historic voter turnout, especially in the battleground states. There is nothing more important to do in the weeks ahead than to go all in to get Trump out.

Ted Glick is a nationally known progressive and climate justice activist who has led and participated in hundreds of actions. He served as the National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network, and was National Campaign Coordinator of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. His latest book is Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left's Resistance to the Vietnam War.

How Indian Prime Minister Modi Is helping imperialists dominate the country's agriculture

by Prabhat Patnaik

This article was produced by Globetrotter.

The two bills rushed through India's parliament on September 20 were objectionable in every conceivable sense. The very fact that they were being rammed through the Rajya Sabha, without being put to vote despite demands for a division, was grossly anti-democratic. The fact that the Center made unilateral and fundamental changes in agricultural marketing arrangements that fall within the State List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution was a blow against federalism. To resurrect the pre-independence arrangement under which the peasantry was exposed to the capitalist market without any support of the state, and which crushed it during the Great Depression of the 1930s, was a betrayal of the promise of independence. To pit millions of small peasants against the might of a handful of private buyers, as the bills propose to do, is to open them up to monopsonistic exploitation, meaning exploitation by a single or a few buyers.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of course, has been claiming that the state is not leaving peasants at the mercy of the monopsonists and that the government-guaranteed minimum support price (MSP) regime will continue. But the bills contain nothing on this; and the government refuses to incorporate into law, which testifies to its bad faith, the right of the peasantry to get a minimum support price in accordance with the Swaminathan Commission recommendation that puts the MSP at Cost C2 plus 50 percent. The peasants in short are being thrown, as under colonialism, to the mercies of a market where price fluctuations have a notoriously high amplitude; and they are rightly putting up a fight against their descent into debt and destitution.

In this entire debate, however, an important dimension has been missed. The debate has been entirely about the condition of the peasantry. But one must also take into account the question of food security, which immediately brings imperialism into the picture.

Imperialism has long been attempting to push countries like India to become food-import-dependent and to divert their land area currently devoted to food grains toward other crops that imperialist countries cannot grow, as these can be grown only in tropical and semitropical regions. This, however, would mean that the tropical and semitropical countries would have to abandon food security.

Food security in a country like India requires self-sufficiency in food production. Food imports are no substitute for domestic food production for several reasons. First, whenever a country the size of India approaches the world market for food grain imports the world prices shoot up, making imports exorbitantly priced. Secondly, quite apart from the fact that the country may not have sufficient foreign exchange to pay for such import, there is also the additional fact that the people may not have enough purchasing power to buy food imported at such exorbitant prices. Third, since food surpluses exist with the imperialist countries, even buying food at such exorbitant prices requires the blessings of imperialism. In fact, denying food to a country at a crucial juncture is a powerful lever in the hands of imperialism to browbeat countries to kowtow to its demands.

All this is not an abstract matter. India was a food grain importer under the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 or the PL-480 from the latter half of the 1950s. When there were two disastrous harvests in 1965-66 and 1966-67, and Bihar in particular faced famine conditions, India was forced to become a virtual supplicant before the United States for food imports. It became a case literally of carrying food from ships to kitchens. That is when former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi asked Jagjivan Ram, the then food minister, to expedite the drive toward food self-sufficiency, and the Green Revolution was ushered in. The country is still far from being self-sufficient in the sense of growing enough to provide everyone adequate food. But at least it is no longer import-dependent; on the contrary, so drastic is the squeeze on purchasing power in the hands of the people that it has been making regular and substantial exports every year despite India's people being among the hungriest in the world.

Africa by contrast was cajoled by imperialism into abandoning domestic food grain production and shifting areas toward export crops. The consequences in terms of recurring famines in Africa in the recent period are too well-known to need repetition.

After 1966-67, an elaborate arrangement in terms of MSP, procurement prices, issue prices, procurement operations carried out in the mandis (agricultural markets), a public distribution system, and food subsidies has been devised that seeks to ensure that the interests of the producers and the consumers are reconciled and the country grows enough food to obviate any need for imports. This mechanism is fundamentally antithetical to neoliberalism; not surprisingly it has been getting whittled at the margin, through for instance the distinction introduced in the mid-1990s between the above poverty line (APL) and below poverty line (BPL) populations, with only the latter being eligible for subsidized food grains. Even so, it has prevented the country's becoming a mendicant for food in the world economy.

Imperialism has made strenuous efforts to dismantle this arrangement, the most obvious being the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization negotiations during which the United States has been arguing that India's procurement operations at a preannounced price are against the principles of free trade and should be wound up. No government in India until now was so timid or so gullible as to cave in to this imperialist pressure, because of which the Doha Round has been stalled. Now, alas, India has for the first time a government that is either too scared or too ignorant to stand up to imperialism on this issue. In the name of "modernizing agricultural markets" "21st-century technology" and the like, India is going back to the colonial days when per capita food grain output was declining even as land was being diverted toward export crops. It is in reality pushing the imperialist agenda.

True, the immediate beneficiaries of the new agricultural marketing policy will be business tycoons like the Ambanis and the Adanis, but they will be entering into contract farming arrangements not so much for food grains as for fruits, vegetables, flowers, and a range of other crops that they will not only sell in the domestic market but also process for exports. An essential corollary of contract farming by private monopsonists is a shift of acreage from food grains to non-food grains, exactly as had happened in the colonial period when a host of export crops like opium and indigo had come up in lieu of food grains in the Bengal Presidency. And the exploitation of peasants by indigo merchants, famously captured in Dinabandhu Mitra's 19th-century play "Nil Darpan," is exactly what the peasantry today is apprehensive about and wishes to avoid.

What has been striking about the agricultural arrangement till now is that while looking after (however inadequately) the interests of the peasants, it has prevented the large-scale diversion of land use toward non-food grains and export crops. The dismantling of that arrangement will not only hurt the peasantry but also lead to a diversion of area from food grains to non-food grains and export crops, thereby undermining the country's food security.

The matter indeed is simple. Since land is a scarce resource, land use must be socially controlled. It cannot be dictated by considerations of private profitability. True, since land is in the possession of the peasants, they have to be looked after even while land use is being socially controlled. They must, in short, get a remunerative price even as land use is being socially controlled. This is what the existing arrangement tried to achieve, which the present government wants to destroy; whatever failings it had, it needed to be rectified within the ambit of that arrangement itself. Destroying that arrangement without even being aware of the need to have social control over land use is precisely the kind of folly that one associates with India's current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. Imperialism would like such destruction; and the BJP government is happily obliging.

The only region in the entire non-socialist third world that has shown an acute awareness of the need to have social control over land use, since land is a scarce resource, is Kerala, which has enacted a legislation against the diversion of paddy land for other purposes. That legislation showed perspicacity; the BJP government's agriculture bills show just the opposite.

Prabhat Patnaik is an Indian political economist and political commentator.

Trump getting COVID is the quintessential October Surprise for science denial

by Steve Horn

This piece first appeared at The Real News Network.

Back in 2012, climate science denial created an "October Surprise" moment for the presidential election and a turning point against the presidential prospects of Republican candidate Mitt Romney. In 2020 science denial is again a game changer, this time for Republican President Donald Trump, who has continued to downplay COVID-19's seriousness, even after he was hospitalized for the disease which has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

A month before Hurricane Sandy reached landfall first in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and then New York City, killing 37 people in New Jersey and 44 in New York, and causing $70 billion worth of damage, Romney downplayed the threat of the climate crisis.

"President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans," said Romney, pausing to do a clearly scripted lip bite, as if to stop himself from laughing along with the audience. "And to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family."

On Oct. 31, just two days after the hurricane's landfall, the now-defunct group Forecast the Facts released an advertisement titled "Romney vs. Sandy." It got hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, a huge haul for a climate video, and aired in key swing state TV markets.

Romney vs. Sandy www.youtube.com

"Mitt Romney must hope we forgot that he mocked climate change at the Republican National Convention, to the raucous cheers and applause of the GOP delegates," Brad Johnson, then a campaign manager for the group Forecast the Facts and now a progressive political consultant based in Washington, DC, said at the time in a press release introducing the video. "We didn't forget. We're putting out this video to remind every voter struck by Sandy that Mitt Romney thinks the poisoning of our weather is a joke."

RL Miller, then an independent climate activist and today a member of the Democratic National Committee and executive director of the group Climate Hawks Vote, explains that Romney's rhetoric parallels Trump's downplaying of the novel coronavirus in recent days, weeks and months.

Johnson, who helped to create the 2012 ad and move it through the blogosphere, said he believes what links 2012 and 2020 together is that the Republican Party still has a stance antithetical to science. Miller added that this year, "the messaging writes itself" for Trump and COVID-19.

"I think the only problem is that too many are going to make the same point over and over and over again," she said. "Trump has said a lot of stupid things regarding COVID throughout the last six months and it's all now fair game."

Johnson added that while there is much to criticize about Biden when it comes to the climate crisis and his lack of support for single-payer healthcare during a pandemic, he is nevertheless, the head of a "party that, like, accepts that science is real and that government can help."

Romney on FEMA Government Spending www.youtube.com

What magnified the Sandy moment all the more in 2012 was the fact that, up until that point, climate change was hardly discussed at all on the campaign trail by either candidate.

Obama was in the midst of expanding fracking, pipeline, and exports buildout throughout the United States and spreading fracking globally. Meanwhile, Romney's campaign had a press secretary who was a former fossil fuel industry public relations operative named Andrea Saul, with a public relations background in climate change denial. Saul said in 2011 that "CO2 is a naturally occurring gas. Humans emit it every time they exhale."

All of the presidential debates also were devoid of discussion on climate change, provoking a campaign by advocacy groups to end "climate silence." And then Sandy arrived, completely flipping the election season script.

Climate change went from outside of presidential discourse to the center of the race, just over a week before Election Day. This was epitomized by a Bloomberg Businesweek cover story published on Nov. 2, four days before the public went to the polls, with the iconic headline "It's Global Warming, Stupid."

Sandy compelled Obama to react in his role out in the field as a commander-in-chief first responder, even forging an alliance with Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who now has COVID-19, and helped prepare Trump prepare for his first debate against Biden. Christie is one of five people, out of 10 total, who came out of the debate preparation session with the virus.

In Obama's first comments on climate change during his entire 2012 campaign, Obama said in an Oct. 27 interview on MTV that "we're not moving as fast as we need to" on taking climate action.

"And this is an issue that future generations, MTV viewers, are going to have to be dealing with even more than the older generation," Obama continued. "And there is a huge contrast in this campaign between myself and Governor Romney. I am surprised it didn't come up in one of the debates…I believe scientists who say we are putting too much carbon emissions into the atmosphere and it's heating the planet and it's going to have a severe effect."

In that way, COVID-19 has played out far differently in the 2020 election cycle. News about the pandemic now plays out on a minute-by-minute basis, an all-consuming reality which has upended society.

"This is kind of like the only news story. So it doesn't really require much, like additional messaging and things," Johnson said.

And yet, the messaging around Trump's COVID-19 denialism has proceeded and parallels the efforts Johnson and his colleagues made in 2012. Miller boiled the message down to a parallel to the Bloomberg cover story, saying it's "I mean, at this point, you just run the ads. What would be the equivalent? It's the virus science 101, stupid."

That message is already playing out in real time by outside campaign groups, particularly the Lincoln Project, a coalition of 'Never Trump' Republicans aiming to oust Trump from the White House. Akin to the Romney ad showing him downplaying climate change while Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York and New Jersey, the Lincoln Project ads play clips of Trump downplaying the virus' potency alongside his own personal experience—surviving, for now, thanks to access to the best medicine and healthcare available—next to the reality of people dying from it due to his own mismanagement of the public health crisis.

It is too soon to say what impact Trump getting COVID-19 will ultimately have on the election, though polling in recent days both nationally and in key swing states looks very bad for Trump. Yet even the idea of a normal transition of power, if Trump loses, appears quaint in 2020.

That aside, Romney himself concluded that Sandy helped shift votes away from him and towards Obama. Other reporters agreed, such as The New Yorker's John Cassidy.

"Except for a few days after the Denver debate, his grip on the electoral college has never been seriously threatened. But if Sandy didn't cost Romney the election, it may well have cost him his last shot of winning," Cassidy wrote one day before Election Day in 2012. "At the very moment he needed to appeal to undecided voters and make up ground in places like Iowa and Ohio, the storm knocked him off out of the headlines and robbed his campaign of any momentum it may have had."

Still, however the dust clears in 2020, Miller pointed out one other key difference between COVID-19 coming to an end and combating climate change, which is how much more difficult the latter will be to solve than the former—no matter who wins on Election Day.

"And so Trump might talk to us about a vaccine for the virus and we can afford to be cynical about that," she said. "But we all know that there's no vaccine for climate change."

Here are 10 things Europe does way better than America

The term “American exceptionalism” is often tossed around by politicians. Neocons, far-right Christian fundamentalists and members of the Republican Party in particular seem to hate it when anyone dares to suggest that some aspects of European life are superior to how we do things. But facts are facts, and the reality is that in some respects, Europe is way ahead of the United States. From health care to civil liberties to sexual attitudes, one can make a strong case for “European exceptionalism.” That is not to say that Europe isn’t confronting some major challenges in 2014: neoliberal economic policies and brutal austerity measures are causing considerable misery in Greece, Spain and other countries. The unemployment rate in Spain, the fourth largest economy in the Eurozone, stands at a troubling 26%—although Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Iceland have lower unemployment rates than the U.S. (5.1% in Germany, 3.1.% in Switzerland, 4.6% in Iceland, 4.2% in Denmark). But problems and all, Europe continues to be one of the most desirable parts of the world. And the U.S.—a country that is in serious decline both economically and in terms of civil liberties—needs to take a close look at some of the things that European countries are doing right.

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Insomnia Map: it's hard to sleep at night when you didn't vote for the maniac in charge

There is nothing like the quiet of night to remind you of your every poor life choice and potential impending failure. As if that wasn’t enough to worry about, Americans just elected a president who signs executive orders without reading them and whose foreign policy is mostly just being unpredictable. That’s justifiably nerve-racking for a certain type of person—the kind who loses sleep over things like, say, nuclear war as a distraction from scandal. Maybe that explains why a new internet site that tracks insomnia sufferers by geographic location has a million points of light along the coasts, in the cities and towns that still can’t believe Donald Trump won this whole thing.

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Here are 10 ways white people are way more racist than they realize

If there’s anything our fraught national dialogue on race has taught us, it's that there are no racists in this country. (In fact, not only do multiple studies confirm that most white Americans generally believe racism is over — just 16 percent say there’s a lot of racial discrimination — it turns out that many actually believe white people experience more discrimination than black people.) It’s a silly idea, of course, but it’s easy to delude ourselves into thinking that inequality is a result of cultural failures, racial pathology and a convoluted narrative involving black-on-black crime, hoodies, rap music and people wearing their pants too low. To admit that racism is fundamental to who we are, that it imbues our thinking in ways we wouldn’t and couldn’t believe without the application of the scientific method, is infinitely harder. And yet, there's endless evidence to prove it.

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Here are 11 questions you should ask Libertarians to see if they're hypocrites

Libertarians have a problem. Their political philosophy all but died out in the mid- to late-20th century, but was revived by billionaires and corporations that found them politically useful. And yet libertarianism retains the qualities that led to its disappearance from the public stage, before its reanimation by people like the Koch brothers: It doesn’t make any sense.

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Here are the 20 weirdest religious beliefs

We find it easy to dismiss the fantastical beliefs of people in other times and places, but those that we’ve been exposed to since childhood seem not so far out. Virgin birth? Water turning into wine? A fig tree shriveling on the spot? Dead people getting up out of their graves and walking around?

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