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The New Nature Movement, After 11/8

Our story -- our shared yearning to reconnect children to the natural world -- represents one of the few concerns in America that brings people together across partisan and religious lines. To change a society, as the philosopher Ivan Illich wrote, "you must tell a more powerful tale, one so persuasive that it sweeps away the old myths and becomes the preferred story, one so inclusive that it gathers all the bits of our past and present into a coherent whole, one that even shines some light into our future so that we can take the next step..." So, today, how do we shine that light? We must continue to support the birthright of all children to a healthy environment and a connection to the natural world, and to teach the responsibilities that come with that right. We can work to reduce climate disruption and the biodiversity collapse by opposing policies that destroy people and the rest of nature, and by making the case that human beings protect what they love and love only what they know. More than ever, building a future generation of conservationists will depend on helping children and adults fall in love with the natural world. We can emphasize the healing powers...

College calls Christian speech ‘disorderly conduct,’ gets sued

A Christian student prevented from sharing his faith due to restrictive and subjectively applied “free speech” rules at Georgia Gwinnett College has filed a 76-page lawsuit against 11 named college officials. “The First Amendment guarantees every student’s freedom of speech and religion. Every public school—and especially a state college that is supposed to be the [...] ...

Candidates And Their Super PACs Sharing Vendors More Than Ever

Kellyanne Conway's firm, The Polling Company, is one of almost 400 vendors employed by both a candidate and the super PAC supporting that candidate. (Anthony Behar / Pool) BY: ASHLEY BALCERZAK For some 2016 candidates, there was a lot of sharing during the campaign season -- more than ever before. It wasn't due to an epidemic of altruism, though; in fact, it might have been quite the reverse. The sharing was between candidates and the super PACs devoted to promoting them. An OpenSecrets Blog analysis found that a total of 66 single-candidate super PACs hired the same vendors or staff as the candidates they backed. Common use of staff and services skyrocketed this year: There were at least 632 instances where a super PAC and the candidate it supported both hired the same person or company at some point during this cycle, compared to 86 in 2014 and 161 in 2012. Combined, the campaigns and outside groups paid these at least 393 overlapping merchants and employees more than $32 million through Nov. 28. Whether there was anything amiss with any of these "common vendor" cases is a complicated question -- and given the current posture and makeup of the FEC, we may never know for sure. Here's the basic...

Preparing For An Emergency; Protecting Homeless LGBT Youth During The Trump Presidency

The living conditions for homeless LGBT youth were deplorable before President Trump. Right now, at the end of Obama's presidency, most homeless LGBT youths have nowhere safe to call home. In the USA there are fewer than 500 shelter beds dedicated to a homeless LGBT youth population that is estimated to number in the hundreds of thousands. Numbers can seem cold and unfeeling compared to reality. Homeless kids with nowhere to stay are cold too, but they definitely feel it. In the real world, when there are not nearly enough beds for homeless kids, you see desperate stuff. LGBT young people come to the Ali Forney Center after having survived in some desperate conditions. It is a hard to listen to a teenager tell you about sleeping in unheated abandoned buildings, in forests, in subways, on rooftops, in pay toilets. It is hard to listen to them describe the hardship of being out in the cold, hard to hear how terrified they are; terrified of their vulnerability sleeping in public settings, often too afraid to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time. It's harder still to listen to many talk about their feelings of worthlessness, to hear how they struggle with...

The West Should Blame Itself, Not Asia, For Inequality

The rise and electoral successes of populist politicians in the West have reopened questions on the effects of globalization ― in simplest terms, whether uneven distributional effects of globalization are to blame for widespread dissatisfaction in wealthy countries, or does the fault lie with domestic policies or other factors. The responses will shape globalization in this century and could offer remedies for popular discontent.
First, the facts. There is no doubt that the growth rates of the bottom halves of income distributions for rich countries have been low over the past 25 years. This stands in contrast to the high growth rates of Asian middle classes – people poorer than the Western middle class but with whom Western workers may be competing for jobs – and the so-called top one-percenters. Consider real per-capita growth for the middle 10 percent (middle decile) of rich countries. From 1988 to 2011, average annual growth for this group was 0.5 percent in the United States and Germany, 1.7 percent in France and 1.9 percent in the United Kingdom. Over the same period, the middle deciles in urban and rural China have grown by 6 and 8 percent per annum, respectively, 4...