MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/blogs_and_articles/wp-login http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en James Comey Wasn't a Partisan Hack. He Was Worse. http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/04/james-comey-partisan-hack <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>By coincidence, right after my Comey post <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/04/lets-talk-about-bubbles-and-james-comey" target="_blank">yesterday morning</a> the <em>New York Times</em> published a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/us/politics/james-comey-election.html" target="_blank">long tick-tock about how and why Comey did what he did.</a> It doesn't address the question of whether Comey tipped the election, it just provides an insider account of what was going through Comey's head as he made decisions during campaign season.</p> <p>It makes for depressing reading. The reporters conclude pretty strongly that Comey wasn't driven by any conscious partisan motives. But even if that's true, there were pretty clearly partisan and personal influences at work. Apologies in advance for the length of this post, but putting all six of the following excerpts together in a single narrative is the only way to show what really happened. The story begins two years ago when the FBI opened its probe into Hillary Clinton's emails:</p> <blockquote> <p>On July 10, 2015, the F.B.I. opened a criminal investigation, code-named &ldquo;Midyear,&rdquo; into Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s handling of classified information....Everyone agreed that Mr. Comey should not reveal details about the Clinton investigation. But [attorney general Loretta Lynch] told him to be even more circumspect: Do not even call it an investigation, she said, according to three people who attended the meeting. Call it a &ldquo;matter.&rdquo;</p> <p>....<strong>It was a by-the-book decision. But Mr. Comey and other F.B.I. officials regarded it as disingenuous in an investigation that was so widely known.</strong> And Mr. Comey was concerned that a Democratic attorney general was asking him to be misleading and line up his talking points with Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s campaign, according to people who spoke with him afterward.</p> </blockquote> <p>This seems to have been the starting point. Even when Justice Department officials were making straightforward, "by-the-book" decisions, Comey was paranoid that they were acting to protect a Democrat&mdash;something that obviously might invite Republican attack if he went along. This belief continued to grow, and led to much of what happened later, when the investigation was wrapping up:</p> <blockquote> <p>Early last year, F.B.I. agents received a batch of hacked documents, and one caught their attention. The document, which has been described as both a memo and an email, was written by a Democratic operative <strong>who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far, according to several former officials familiar with the document.</strong></p> <p>Read one way, it was standard Washington political chatter. Read another way, it suggested that a political operative might have insight into Ms. Lynch&rsquo;s thinking.</p> <p>Normally, when the F.B.I. recommends closing a case, the Justice Department agrees and nobody says anything....The document complicated that calculation, according to officials. <strong>If Ms. Lynch announced that the case was closed, and Russia leaked the document, Mr. Comey believed it would raise doubts about the independence of the investigation.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>This email wasn't related to Lynch or her office in any way. It was just gossip from a third party. But instead of ignoring it, Comey worried that it might leak and hurt his own reputation. This also motivated his decision, when the investigation was over, to hold an unusual press conference which damaged Clinton seriously even though he cleared her of wrongdoing:</p> <blockquote> <p>Standing in front of two American flags and two royal-blue F.B.I. flags, he read from a script....&ldquo;Any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton&rsquo;s position&rdquo; should have known better, Mr. Comey said. He called her &ldquo;extremely careless.&rdquo; <strong>The criticism was so blistering that it sounded as if he were recommending criminal charges.</strong> Only in the final two minutes did Mr. Comey say that &ldquo;no charges are appropriate in this case.&rdquo;</p> <p>....By scolding Mrs. Clinton, <strong>Mr. Comey was speaking not only to voters but to his own agents.</strong> While they agreed that Mrs. Clinton should not face charges, many viewed her conduct as inexcusable. Mr. Comey&rsquo;s remarks made clear that the F.B.I. did not approve.</p> <p>Former agents and others close to Mr. Comey acknowledge that his reproach was also <strong>intended to insulate the F.B.I. from Republican criticism that it was too lenient toward a Democrat.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Again, Comey had failed to play it straight. Even though the decision to exonerate Clinton "was not even a close call," as he later said, he tore into Clinton in order to protect himself from criticism&mdash;both from Republicans and from his own agents. This is especially damning given the subsequent evidence that <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/14-excerpts-fbis-report-hillary-clintons-email" target="_blank">Comey's criticism of Clinton</a> was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/10/fbi-releases-one-final-data-dump-about-hillary-clintons-email-affair" target="_blank">wildly overstated.</a> The same dynamic played out in reverse a couple of months later over the FBI investigation into Donald Trump and Russian interference in the election:</p> <blockquote> <p>Mr. Comey and other senior administration officials met twice in the White House Situation Room in early October to again discuss a public statement about Russian meddling....<strong>At their second meeting, Mr. Comey argued that it would look too political for the F.B.I. to comment so close to the election,</strong> according to several people in attendance. Officials in the room felt whiplashed. Two months earlier, Mr. Comey had been willing to put his name on a newspaper article; <strong>now he was refusing to sign on to an official assessment of the intelligence community.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>And it played out yet again in September, when agents discovered some Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop. Michael Steinbach, a former FBI agent who worked closely with Comey, explained what went through Comey's mind:</p> <blockquote> <p>Agents felt they had two options: Tell Congress about the search, which everyone acknowledged would create a political furor, or keep it quiet, <strong>which followed policy and tradition but carried its own risk, especially if the F.B.I. found new evidence in the emails.</strong></p> <p>....Conservative news outlets had already branded Mr. Comey a Clinton toady. That same week, the cover of <em>National Review</em> featured a story on &ldquo;James Comey&rsquo;s Dereliction,&rdquo; and a cartoon of a hapless Mr. Comey shrugging as Mrs. Clinton smashed her laptop with a sledgehammer.</p> <p>Congressional Republicans were preparing for years of hearings during a Clinton presidency. <strong>If Mr. Comey became the subject of those hearings, F.B.I. officials feared, it would hobble the agency and harm its reputation.</strong> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think the organization would have survived that,&rdquo; Mr. Steinbach said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Once again, the primary concern was protecting Comey and the FBI. Republicans had made it clear that their retribution against anyone who helped Clinton would be relentless, and that clearly had an impact on Comey. Steinbach's suggestion that Republican vengeance would have destroyed the FBI is clearly nuts, but Comey was taking no chances. He didn't want the grief.</p> <p>Even after it was all over, Comey's partisan influences continued to work on him:</p> <blockquote> <p>Officials and others close to him also acknowledge that Mr. Comey has been changed by the tumultuous year.</p> <p>Early on Saturday, March 4, the president accused Mr. Obama on Twitter of illegally wiretapping Trump Tower in Manhattan. <strong>Mr. Comey believed the government should forcefully denounce that claim.</strong> But this time he took a different approach. He asked the Justice Department to correct the record. <strong>When officials there refused, Mr. Comey followed orders and said nothing publicly.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Daniel Richman, a longtime friend of Comey&rsquo;s, said this represented "a consistent pattern of someone trying to act with independence and integrity, but within established channels."</p> <p>The evidence does indeed show consistent behavior, but of a different kind. At every step of the way, Comey demonstrated either his fear of crossing Republicans or his concern over protecting his own reputation from Republican attack. It was the perfect intersection of a Republican Party that had developed a reputation for conducting relentlessly vicious smear campaigns and a Republican FBI director who didn't have the fortitude to stand up to it. Comey may genuinely believe that his decisions along the way were nonpartisan, but the evidence pretty strongly suggests otherwise.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sun, 23 Apr 2017 10:15:07 +0000 Kevin Drum 331101 at http://www.motherjones.com Rabbi Jack Moline's Resistance Reading http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/interfaith-alliance-rabbi-jack-moline-resistance-reading-donald-trump <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>We asked a range of authors, artists, and poets to name books that bring solace or understanding in this age of rancor. Two dozen or so responded. Here are picks from the Rabbi <a href="http://interfaithalliance.org/about-us/meet-our-president/" target="_blank"><strong>Jack Moline</strong></a>, president of the <a href="http://interfaithalliance.org/" target="_blank">Interfaith Alliance.</a></p> <p><strong>Latest book:</strong><em> <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Growing-Up-Jewish-Different-Other/dp/0140098364/ref=sr_1_2" target="_blank">Growing Up Jewish</a></em><br><strong>Reading recommendations: </strong>I can't avoid including the <a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-book-of-psalms-king-james-bible/1003636683;jsessionid=FB68D16228E6B5ED4EC9AD072281BD11.prodny_store02-atgap06?ean=2900486275412&amp;pcta=u&amp;st=PLA&amp;sid=BNB_DRS_Core%20Shopping%20Textbooks_00000000&amp;2sid=Google_&amp;sourceId=PLGoP62423" target="_blank"><strong>Book of Psalms</strong></a>. Aside from the fact that it is the only book in the Jewish Bible that is of undisputed human authorship, it is a collection of essential yearnings and gratitudes that give me a sense that our current troubles, existential and political both, are neither new nor permanent. In addition, the melodies to which so many of the psalms have been set are inseparable from the words. And how can I not also hear Leonard Cohen in every "hallelujah."</p> <p>Rainer Maria Rilke's <a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rilkes-book-of-hours-rainer-maria-rilke/1103842823" target="_blank"><strong><em>Book of Hours</em></strong></a> probably makes me sound like a poetry buff, which, alas, I am not. But Rilke's extraordinary talent for combining deep spiritual sensitivity with intuition about the human condition can rescue me from almost any funk. I feel the same way about Israeli poet <a href="http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520205390" target="_blank"><strong>Dan Pagis</strong></a>.</p> <p>I remember reading <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/margaret-atwood-donald-trump-resistance-reading" target="_blank">Margaret Atwood</a>'s<strong> <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Handmaids-Tale-Margaret-Atwood/dp/038549081X/ref=sr_1_1" target="_blank"><em>The Handmaid's Tale</em></a></strong> when it first came out. I can remember where I was sitting as I read each chapter.&nbsp;The early chapters that almost breezily describe how quickly an inclusive society can collapse into a corrupt theocracy and, most impressively to me, the epilogue in which future academics look back with disdain and incredulity on the dark age of female servitude still inspire me never to give up resisting injustice and never to give up hope that the moral arc of the universe&hellip;well, you know. These two features, by the way, are what make this book a better choice right now than Philip Roth's <em><a href="http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/158040/the-plot-against-america-by-philip-roth/9781400079490/" target="_blank">The Plot Against America</a>.</em><br> _______<br><strong>So far in this series: </strong><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/trump-era-resistance-reading-kwame-alexander" target="_blank">Kwame Alexander</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/margaret-atwood-donald-trump-resistance-reading" target="_blank">Margaret Atwood</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/w-kamau-bell-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">W. Kamau Bell</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/jeff-chang-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Jeff Chang</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/resistance-reading-donald-trump-t-cooper" target="_blank">T Cooper</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/dave-eggers-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Dave Eggers</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/poorly-drawn-lines-reza-farazmand-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Reza Farazmand</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/piper-kerman-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Piper Kerman</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/bill-mckibben-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Bill McKibben</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/rabbi-jack-moline-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Rabbi Jack Moline</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/karen-russell-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Karen Russell</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/tracy-k-smith-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Tracy K. Smith</a>. (New posts daily.)&nbsp;<br> &nbsp;</p></body></html> Media Books Donald Trump Media Religion Top Stories Resistance Reading Sun, 23 Apr 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Mother Jones 329841 at http://www.motherjones.com Let's Talk About Bubbles and James Comey http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/04/lets-talk-about-bubbles-and-james-comey <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I have frequently made the case that Donald Trump is president because of FBI director James Comey. On October 28, Comey wrote a letter to Congress telling them that the FBI was investigating a new cache of Clinton emails that it found on the laptop of Huma Abedin's estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. That was the turning point. Clinton's electoral fortunes went downhill from there and never recovered.</p> <p>As shocking as this may sound, not everyone agrees with me. A new book, <em>Shattered</em>, makes the case that Clinton was an epically bad candidate and her campaign was epically badly run. <em>That's</em> why she lost. Yesterday, Shadi Hamid took aim at me for my continued Comey obsession in the face of the story told in <em>Shattered</em>:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Sad to watch smart, liberal writers, like <a href="https://twitter.com/kdrum">@kdrum</a>, refuse to engage in introspection, instead blaming HRC's loss on Comey, Russia, squirrels</p> &mdash; Shadi Hamid (@shadihamid) <a href="https://twitter.com/shadihamid/status/855476619733082112">April 21, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">I'm citing <a href="https://twitter.com/kdrum">@kdrum</a> b/c I loved his blog. But then he descended into self-parody. His position&mdash;no hyperbole&mdash;is that it's all b/c of Comey <a href="https://t.co/a2VYVvAfij">pic.twitter.com/a2VYVvAfij</a></p> &mdash; Shadi Hamid (@shadihamid) <a href="https://twitter.com/shadihamid/status/855478104671834113">April 21, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Let's talk. There's a reason I blame Comey, and it's not because I live in a bubble. It's because a massive amount of evidence points that way. Today I want to put the whole case in one l-o-o-o-o-ng post so everyone understands why I think Comey was the deciding factor in the election. If you still disagree, that's fine, but this is the evidence you need to argue with.</p> <p><em><strong>NOTE:</strong> I want to make clear that I'm talking solely about Hillary Clinton and the presidency here. Democrats have been badly pummeled at the state level over the past six years, and that obviously has nothing to do with Comey. It's something that Democrats need to do some soul searching about. </em></p> <p>Ready? Let's start with some throat-clearing.</p> <p>First: Keep in mind that Clinton was running for a third Democratic term during a period when (a) the economy was OK but not great and (b) Barack Obama's popularity was OK but not great. Models based on fundamentals therefore rated the election as <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/11/9/13571872/why-donald-trump-won" target="_blank">something of a tossup.</a> Clinton was not running as a sure winner.</p> <p>Second: For the sake of argument, let's assume that Hillary Clinton was an epically bad, unpopular candidate who ran a terrible campaign. She foolishly used a private email server while she was Secretary of State. She gave millions of dollars in speeches after leaving the State Department. She was a boring speaker with a mushy agenda. She was a hawkish Wall Street shill who failed to appeal to millennials. She lost the support of the white working class. Her campaign was a cespool of ego, power-mongering, and bad strategy. Let's just assume all that.</p> <p>If this is true, it was true for the entire year. Maybe longer. And yet, despite this epic horribleness, Clinton had a solid, steady lead over Trump the entire time. The only exception was a brief dip in July when Comey held his first presser to call Clinton "extremely careless" in her handling of emails. Whatever else you can say about Hillary Clinton, everyone knew about her speeches and her emails and her centrism and everything else all along. And yet, the public still preferred her by a steady 3-7 percentage points over Trump for the entire year.</p> <p>Third: Every campaign has problems. If you win, they get swept under the rug. If you lose, bitter staffers bend the ears of anyone who will listen about the campaign's unprecedented dysfunction and poor strategy. This is all normal. Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns had all the usual problems, and in a close election you can blame any of them for a loss. But two things set the Comey letter apart. First, it had a big effect right at the end of the race. Second, it was decidedly <em>not</em> a normal thing. It came out of the blue for no good reason from the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. There is nothing Clinton could have done about it.</p> <p>With that out of the way, let's take a look at the final two months of the campaign. All of the poll estimates look pretty similar, but I'm going to use <a href="http://election.princeton.edu/history-of-meta-analysis/" target="_blank">Sam Wang's EV estimator</a> because it gives a pretty sharp day-to-day look at the race. Wang's final estimate was wrong, of course, like pretty much everyone else's, but don't worry about that. What we're interested in is the ups and downs. What Wang's estimate tells us is that, with the brief exception of the July Comey presser, the race was amazingly stable. From January through August, he has Clinton at 330-340 electoral votes. Let's pick up the story in September:</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_wang_2016_race_september_november_0.gif" style="border: 1px solid #cccccc; margin: 15px 0px 15px 0px;" width="630"></p> <p>At the beginning of September, Clinton slumps after her "deplorables" comment and her stumble at the 9/11 memorial. After Trump's shockingly bad performance at the first debate she starts to regain ground, and continues to gain ground when the <em>Access Hollywood</em> tape is released. By the end of October she's back to where she started, with a big lead over Trump. THIS IS IMPORTANT: despite everything &mdash; weak fundamentals, the "deplorables" comment, her personal unpopularity, her mushy centrism, her allegedly terrible campaign &mdash; by the end of October she's well ahead of Trump, just as she had been all year.</p> <p>On October 25, HHS announces that Obamacare premiums will go up substantially in the following year. This doesn't appear to have any effect. Then, on October 28, Comey releases his letter. Clinton's support plummets immediately, and there's no time for it to recover. On November 8, Trump is elected president.</p> <p>But <em>how much</em> did Comey's letter cost Clinton? Let's review the voluminous evidence:</p> <ul><li>Nate Silver estimates the Comey letter <a href="https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-much-did-comey-hurt-clintons-chances/" target="_blank">cost Clinton about 3 points.</a></li> <li>A panel survey from the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics suggests the Comey letter produced a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/12/panel-survey-shows-huge-movement-trump-after-comey-letter" target="_blank">net swing of 4 points toward Trump.</a></li> <li>Sam Wang estimates the Comey letter <a href="http://election.princeton.edu/2016/12/10/the-comey-effect/" target="_blank">cost Clinton 4 points,</a> though she may have made back some of that in the final days.</li> <li>Engagement Labs tracks "what people are talking about." Immediately after the Comey letter, they registered a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/03/say-it-me-again-james-comey-elected-donald-trump-president" target="_blank">17-point drop in favorable sentiment</a> toward Clinton.</li> <li>Google searches for "Hillary's email" <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/01/google-searches-hillarys-emails-peaked-after-comeys-letter" target="_blank">spiked 300 percent</a> after Comey's letter.</li> <li>The tone of news coverage <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/12/media-coverage-2016-election-was-very-very-negative" target="_blank">flipped enormously against Clinton</a> after the Comey letter.</li> <li>A trio of researchers who looked at the evidence concluded that Comey's letter was decisive, probably <a href="http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/1/11/14215930/comey-email-election-clinton-campaign" target="_blank">costing Clinton 3-4 points in the popular vote.</a></li> <li>Trump's own analysts <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/11/fuck-you-james-comey" target="_blank">think the Comey letter was decisive.</a></li> <li>The Clinton campaign agrees that <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/11/podesta-yeah-it-was-comey" target="_blank">the Comey letter was decisive,</a> and adds that Comey's second letter hurt her too.<sup>1</sup></li> </ul><p>I'm not sure how much clearer the evidence could be. Basically, Hillary Clinton was doing fine until October 28. Then the Comey letter cost her 2-4 percent of the popular vote. Without Comey she would have won comfortably&nbsp;&mdash; possibly by a landslide &mdash; even though the fundamentals predicted a close race.</p> <p>That's it. That's the evidence. If you disagree that Comey was decisive, you need to account for two things. First, if the problem was something intrinsic to Clinton or her campaign, why was she so far ahead of Trump for the entire race? Second, if Comey wasn't at fault, what plausibly accounts for Clinton's huge and sudden change in fortune starting precisely on October 28?</p> <p>One way or another, it appears that all the things that were under Hillary Clinton's control were handled fairly well. They produced a steady lead throughout the campaign. The Comey letter exists on an entirely different plane. It was an unprecedented breach of protocol from the FBI; it was completely out of Clinton's control; and it had a tremendous impact. <em>That's</em> why I blame James Comey for Donald Trump's victory.</p> <p><sup>1</sup>The second letter was the one that cleared her. However, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/11/hillary-clinton-says-yeah-it-was-comey" target="_blank">merely by keeping the subject in the news,</a> it hurt Clinton.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sat, 22 Apr 2017 19:19:58 +0000 Kevin Drum 331096 at http://www.motherjones.com Tens of Thousands of People All Over the World March for Science http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/04/march-for-science-earth-day-events-thousands <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Amid the Trump administration's plan to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/03/trump-epa-budget-cuts" target="_blank">gut the Environmental Protection Agency</a>, cut billions in <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/12/trumps-pick-budget-director-isnt-sure-government-should-fund-scientific-research" target="_blank">scientific research</a>, and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/30/us/politics/science-technology-white-house-trump.html?_r=0" target="_blank">eliminate</a>&nbsp;science advisers' role in the government, thousands of people around the world participated in marches for science Saturday to defend the role of science and evidence-based policies.</p> <p>The marches, which coincided with the annual Earth Day celebration, have <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/04/scientists-get-political-and-march-science-reflects-all-their-divides" target="_blank">sparked debate</a> within the scientific community over whether scientists should be actively engaged in political actions. Organizers for the marches say the event is nonpartisan&mdash;there is no mention of Trump on its <a href="https://www.marchforscience.com/" target="_blank">website</a>&mdash;but assert silence is no longer an option amid the threats posed by Trump and many of his advisers.</p> <p><em>Mother Jones</em> has three reporters on the scene, <a href="https://twitter.com/pemalevy" target="_blank">Pema Levy in DC</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/Jaelynn_Alexis" target="_blank">Jaelynn Grisso in New York</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/_KarenHao" target="_blank">Karen Hao in Los Angeles</a>. For up-to-the-minute news on the marches, be sure to follow them, along with our rolling collection of updates below:</p> <p><strong>4:45 pm ET </strong>A few more scenes from the march in Los Angeles before we sign off:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="und"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchForScienceLA?src=hash">#MarchForScienceLA</a> <a href="https://t.co/ahT3j0unnk">pic.twitter.com/ahT3j0unnk</a></p> &mdash; Karen Hao (@_KarenHao) <a href="https://twitter.com/_KarenHao/status/855862846348967936">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"I disagree with every single thing he stands for" -Debbie Hooper (right) and Amanda Velasquez, NASDAQ editor <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchForScienceLA?src=hash">#MarchForScienceLA</a> <a href="https://t.co/KUBfA50Odz">pic.twitter.com/KUBfA50Odz</a></p> &mdash; Karen Hao (@_KarenHao) <a href="https://twitter.com/_KarenHao/status/855862286925221889">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="und"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchForScienceLA?src=hash">#MarchForScienceLA</a> <a href="https://t.co/j8m70KEQAU">pic.twitter.com/j8m70KEQAU</a></p> &mdash; Karen Hao (@_KarenHao) <a href="https://twitter.com/_KarenHao/status/855856527072043008">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>4:35 pm ET</strong> We'll leave you with some final thoughts from&mdash;who else?&mdash;Bill Nye the Science Guy:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">&ldquo;Science is political, we just don&rsquo;t want it to be partisan&rdquo; &mdash; <a href="https://twitter.com/BillNye">@BillNye</a> at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarch?src=hash">#ScienceMarch</a> <a href="https://t.co/BDMDuublwJ">pic.twitter.com/BDMDuublwJ</a></p> &mdash; BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/BuzzFeedNews/status/855869590986866689">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>4:32 pm ET</strong> Humans weren't the only animals marching for science today, as the dogged reporters at <em>Buzzfeed </em><a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/juliareinstein/bawoooooooo?utm_term=.gvbXbgQEVl#.pmk6OEoBxK" target="_blank">revealed</a>:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">28 very good dogs who went to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarch?src=hash">#ScienceMarch</a> <a href="https://t.co/kgtPm2cQxb">https://t.co/kgtPm2cQxb</a> <a href="https://t.co/RgqvVeUTBZ">pic.twitter.com/RgqvVeUTBZ</a></p> &mdash; BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/BuzzFeedNews/status/855880138852098048">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>4:05 pm ET </strong>Here's what scientists and their supporters had to say about the March of Science in New York, via <em>Mother Jones</em> digital fellow Jaelynn Grisso:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmotherjonesvideo%2Fvideos%2F1661747377188341%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong>3:07 pm ET</strong> Trump weighs in on Earth Day for the second time today:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Today on Earth Day, we celebrate our beautiful forests, lakes and land. We stand committed to preserving the natural beauty of our nation.</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/855859245023211520">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>2:30 pm ET </strong><em>Mother Jones</em> fellow Karen Hao is on the ground in Los Angeles:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"This is Princess Bubblegum from adventure time. She is a leader and a scientist." -Ako Castuera, artist &amp; animator <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchForScienceLA?src=hash">#MarchForScienceLA</a> <a href="https://t.co/gsWg5nRboo">pic.twitter.com/gsWg5nRboo</a></p> &mdash; Karen Hao (@_KarenHao) <a href="https://twitter.com/_KarenHao/status/855849642084323329">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"Science and engineering is a really important part of our lives. We need to make sure it's there for everybody." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchForScienceLA?src=hash">#MarchForScienceLA</a> <a href="https://t.co/jWjbXURDtF">pic.twitter.com/jWjbXURDtF</a></p> &mdash; Karen Hao (@_KarenHao) <a href="https://twitter.com/_KarenHao/status/855850809677930497">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"I try to use my platform as a teacher to educate. This is saveable if we heed the evidence." -Brittany Larson, soil scientist &amp; professor <a href="https://t.co/odKruw19XU">pic.twitter.com/odKruw19XU</a></p> &mdash; Karen Hao (@_KarenHao) <a href="https://twitter.com/_KarenHao/status/855852413072232448">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>2:03 pm ET </strong>The crowds in Chicago, where more than <a href="http://abc7chicago.com/science/thousands-rally-at-chicagos-march-for-science/1902949/" target="_blank">40,000</a> demonstrators are expected:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Big turnout in Chicago for the science march. 50K! <a href="https://t.co/cQ5bZ00Bxm">pic.twitter.com/cQ5bZ00Bxm</a></p> &mdash; Georgina Gustin (@georgina_gustin) <a href="https://twitter.com/georgina_gustin/status/855827313686085632">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Video shows crowds at the March for Science in Chicago from above <a href="https://t.co/OkodsQg7ZB">https://t.co/OkodsQg7ZB</a> <a href="https://t.co/PwOBD4ieMR">pic.twitter.com/PwOBD4ieMR</a></p> &mdash; CNN (@CNN) <a href="https://twitter.com/CNN/status/855835203696300032">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">My favorite banner today <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/marchforscience?src=hash">#marchforscience</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/marchforsciencechicago?src=hash">#marchforsciencechicago</a> <a href="https://t.co/mw9NSdnzkq">pic.twitter.com/mw9NSdnzkq</a></p> &mdash; Venera Khalikova (@KhalikovaVenera) <a href="https://twitter.com/KhalikovaVenera/status/855824199721644033">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>1:30 pm ET</strong> Trump releases the following statement honoring Earth Day. While there was no direct mention of March for Science, the statement claimed "rigorous science" is essential to the president's agenda.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Earth Day <a href="https://t.co/LUd32QgsBq">pic.twitter.com/LUd32QgsBq</a></p> &mdash; Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) <a href="https://twitter.com/ZekeJMiller/status/855835833487826945">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>1:21 pm ET </strong>The scene from San Francisco, via <em>Mother Jones</em> publisher Steve Katz:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">March for Science SF <a href="https://t.co/FEud2mrCTc">pic.twitter.com/FEud2mrCTc</a></p> &mdash; Steve Katz (@Steve_Katz) <a href="https://twitter.com/Steve_Katz/status/855844100796432384">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">March for Science SF <a href="https://t.co/3PFcMONQNZ">pic.twitter.com/3PFcMONQNZ</a></p> &mdash; Steve Katz (@Steve_Katz) <a href="https://twitter.com/Steve_Katz/status/855833122679668736">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">March for Science SF <a href="https://t.co/R9GzKYT5em">pic.twitter.com/R9GzKYT5em</a></p> &mdash; Steve Katz (@Steve_Katz) <a href="https://twitter.com/Steve_Katz/status/855833237444214784">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>1:05 pm ET </strong>While climate is the overwhelming topic of the day, many participants are also hoping to highlight other scientific issues at stake in the Trump era, including federal funding for medical research and the Flint water crisis:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="https://twitter.com/MonaHannaA">@MonaHannaA</a>: "I am here to tell you that the Flint water crisis is not over" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EarthDay?src=hash">#EarthDay</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarch?src=hash">#ScienceMarch</a> <a href="https://t.co/P5C0gSqORT">pic.twitter.com/P5C0gSqORT</a></p> &mdash; Democracy Now! (@democracynow) <a href="https://twitter.com/democracynow/status/855825526270955521">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="und"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarch?src=hash">#ScienceMarch</a> <a href="https://t.co/z633LR1E7q">pic.twitter.com/z633LR1E7q</a></p> &mdash; Pema Levy (@pemalevy) <a href="https://twitter.com/pemalevy/status/855829611644669952">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Glinda Cooper, science dir at <a href="https://twitter.com/innocence">@innocence</a> project, calls for fed funding to fix forensic sci &amp; and prevent wrongful conviction <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarch?src=hash">#ScienceMarch</a> <a href="https://t.co/IDSOetZoqR">pic.twitter.com/IDSOetZoqR</a></p> &mdash; Jeremy Schulman (@jeremyschulman) <a href="https://twitter.com/jeremyschulman/status/855814819299151872">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>12:48 pm ET </strong><em>Mother Jones </em>reporter Pema Levy talks to scientists at the DC march:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Atmospheric scientists see worse than rain in the forecast <a href="https://t.co/8hn43WfSaR">pic.twitter.com/8hn43WfSaR</a></p> &mdash; Pema Levy (@pemalevy) <a href="https://twitter.com/pemalevy/status/855823817712840704">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">He is a microbiologist. He's standing in the rain because politicians are ignoring science and global warming <a href="https://t.co/VQ2WTAX1Fu">pic.twitter.com/VQ2WTAX1Fu</a></p> &mdash; Pema Levy (@pemalevy) <a href="https://twitter.com/pemalevy/status/855821143542046720">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Mike Khan is a microbiologist at Washington State University. He said scientists are looking at issues like global warming and realizing they need to speak out publicly about the problem. "Science says we are going in some awfully bad places, and a lot of politicians are not willing to accept that," he said. "I'm out here in the rain because I think that's a problem."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">This physicist is mad about funding cuts to scientific research <a href="https://t.co/GH4hE7r7qv">pic.twitter.com/GH4hE7r7qv</a></p> &mdash; Pema Levy (@pemalevy) <a href="https://twitter.com/pemalevy/status/855824990826004480">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Dr. Laura Anderko says Trump is in 5% outside the normalcy curve. She's marching because "science matters. Period." <a href="https://t.co/G9LF6tEHzr">pic.twitter.com/G9LF6tEHzr</a></p> &mdash; Pema Levy (@pemalevy) <a href="https://twitter.com/pemalevy/status/855824661690667008">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Dr. Laura Anderko studies the effects of mold, pesticides, lead, climate change, and other environmental hazards on children's health, but says her funding is threatened. "Everything that we've done to save humanity goes back to science: clean water, clean air, all of that," she said.</p> <p><strong>12:08 pm ET</strong> Despite the rain, many are still lining up in DC. The official march doesn't kick off for another two hours:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Raining harder now at DC <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarch?src=hash">#ScienceMarch</a>, but still a long line of protesters waiting to go through security. (Don't worry: Line moving fast.) <a href="https://t.co/vBRowfzWys">pic.twitter.com/vBRowfzWys</a></p> &mdash; Jeremy Schulman (@jeremyschulman) <a href="https://twitter.com/jeremyschulman/status/855815223688777728">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">He is a microbiologist. He's standing in the rain because politicians are ignoring science and global warming <a href="https://t.co/VQ2WTAX1Fu">pic.twitter.com/VQ2WTAX1Fu</a></p> &mdash; Pema Levy (@pemalevy) <a href="https://twitter.com/pemalevy/status/855821143542046720">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Budding engineer has literally scienced a rain shelter <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarch?src=hash">#ScienceMarch</a> <a href="https://t.co/E5SqF9ZDXk">pic.twitter.com/E5SqF9ZDXk</a></p> &mdash; Emily Atkin (@emorwee) <a href="https://twitter.com/emorwee/status/855816014126342144">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>12:00 pm ET </strong>More scenes from DC:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">My family <a href="https://twitter.com/ScienceMarchDC">@ScienceMarchDC</a>. Not too shabby for a bunch of immigrants. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchForScience?src=hash">#MarchForScience</a> <a href="https://t.co/KQMd2vizJU">pic.twitter.com/KQMd2vizJU</a></p> &mdash; Kishore Hari (@sciencequiche) <a href="https://twitter.com/sciencequiche/status/855783048062816256">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Leland Melvin, a NASA astronaut turned wildlife advocate, was last in space in 2009, where he saw a planet that's hurting. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/marchforscience?src=hash">#marchforscience</a> <a href="https://t.co/7OaM1uwVlI">pic.twitter.com/7OaM1uwVlI</a></p> &mdash; Alexander Kaufman (@AlexCKaufman) <a href="https://twitter.com/AlexCKaufman/status/855806272964349952">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>11:37 am ET </strong>Scenes from New York:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Protesters line Central Park West. Police have started limited entrances. <a href="https://t.co/4x6Br3r6fj">pic.twitter.com/4x6Br3r6fj</a></p> &mdash; Jaelynn Grisso (@Jaelynn_Alexis) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jaelynn_Alexis/status/855815190566359042">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Math represents <a href="https://twitter.com/ScienceMarchNY">@ScienceMarchNY</a> <a href="https://t.co/BTmckKsqok">pic.twitter.com/BTmckKsqok</a></p> &mdash; Richard Sever (@cshperspectives) <a href="https://twitter.com/cshperspectives/status/855810419457490945">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">People are still pouring into the <a href="https://twitter.com/sciencemarchnyc">@sciencemarchnyc</a> which started with a rally at 10:30. March to start at 11:30. <a href="https://t.co/8yc9J2Bqs0">pic.twitter.com/8yc9J2Bqs0</a></p> &mdash; Jaelynn Grisso (@Jaelynn_Alexis) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jaelynn_Alexis/status/855798606074400768">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>11:12 am ET</strong> While we wait for the march in New York to get started, here's some suggested reading to supplement your March for Science activities:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Some <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchforScience?src=hash">#MarchforScience</a> reading: Trump has okayed a pesticide that terrifies these families <a href="https://t.co/HNQNLwJdCr">https://t.co/HNQNLwJdCr</a> <a href="https://t.co/WMNCKydlCe">pic.twitter.com/WMNCKydlCe</a></p> &mdash; Climate Desk (@ClimateDesk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ClimateDesk/status/855798432262389760">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Scott Pruitt claims he wants to help towns his policies will destroy. Like this one. <a href="https://t.co/djbYj4zVD5">https://t.co/djbYj4zVD5</a></p> &mdash; Climate Desk (@ClimateDesk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ClimateDesk/status/855798595588685825">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">5 great news stories that prove Trump's bet on coal is wrong <a href="https://t.co/cFtjLnz348">https://t.co/cFtjLnz348</a></p> &mdash; Climate Desk (@ClimateDesk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ClimateDesk/status/855799395236933632">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Trump just appointed a chemical industry honcho to protect us from chemicals <a href="https://t.co/ZeAN3BAkGo">https://t.co/ZeAN3BAkGo</a></p> &mdash; Climate Desk (@ClimateDesk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ClimateDesk/status/855800295464599552">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Getting scientists out of the lab and into the street is harder than it sounds <a href="https://t.co/pBEmA4R9xa">https://t.co/pBEmA4R9xa</a></p> &mdash; Climate Desk (@ClimateDesk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ClimateDesk/status/855802045500207105">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>10:47 am ET</strong> More scenes from DC, via <em>Mother Jones</em> senior news editor Jeremy Schulman:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Bill O'Reilly reference at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarch?src=hash">#ScienceMarch</a>! Will, a physics &amp; astronomy student, explained it's the gravitational force of the moon. <a href="https://t.co/VtUny8Yozt">pic.twitter.com/VtUny8Yozt</a></p> &mdash; Jeremy Schulman (@jeremyschulman) <a href="https://twitter.com/jeremyschulman/status/855800762450026497">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Marco Brenciaglia did epidemiology research on Zika in Grenada. Says loss of biodiversity will harm search for new medicines <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarch?src=hash">#ScienceMarch</a> <a href="https://t.co/Kr38Xdu4JX">pic.twitter.com/Kr38Xdu4JX</a></p> &mdash; Jeremy Schulman (@jeremyschulman) <a href="https://twitter.com/jeremyschulman/status/855794557396582400">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Dinosaur doing interview with the AP <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarch?src=hash">#ScienceMarch</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/marchforscience?src=hash">#marchforscience</a> <a href="https://t.co/ljkl9oj0Ny">pic.twitter.com/ljkl9oj0Ny</a></p> &mdash; Jeremy Schulman (@jeremyschulman) <a href="https://twitter.com/jeremyschulman/status/855793887457226753">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="und"><a href="https://t.co/2M6prC9XRH">pic.twitter.com/2M6prC9XRH</a></p> &mdash; Jeremy Schulman (@jeremyschulman) <a href="https://twitter.com/jeremyschulman/status/855793675225501696">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>10:20 am ET</strong> Marches from outside the US:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Yes we even have scientists marching at the North Pole!!! They're marching for climate action <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/marchforscience?src=hash">#marchforscience</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/globalsciencemarch?src=hash">#globalsciencemarch</a> <a href="https://t.co/z6sN86Ll2k">pic.twitter.com/z6sN86Ll2k</a></p> &mdash; Lucky Tran (@luckytran) <a href="https://twitter.com/luckytran/status/855777494317895681">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarchLdn?src=hash">#ScienceMarchLdn</a> has occupied Parliament Square. <a href="https://t.co/Bbkp11ovcd">pic.twitter.com/Bbkp11ovcd</a></p> &mdash; Akshat Rathi (@AkshatRathi) <a href="https://twitter.com/AkshatRathi/status/855772561434693632">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Amazing turnout at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/marchforscience?src=hash">#marchforscience</a> in Edinburgh! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ayeforsci?src=hash">#ayeforsci</a> <a href="https://t.co/gKb9NTNcnH">pic.twitter.com/gKb9NTNcnH</a></p> &mdash; Jonathan Roden (@JonathanRoden7) <a href="https://twitter.com/JonathanRoden7/status/855777102624325632">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>9:37 am ET </strong>Crowds are beginning to gather in DC and other cities on the East Coast:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Currently at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchForScience?src=hash">#MarchForScience</a> in DC. Weather is a bit gloomy but there's a good early turnout. <a href="https://t.co/LrmMAjX44l">pic.twitter.com/LrmMAjX44l</a></p> &mdash; Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) <a href="https://twitter.com/Phil_Lewis_/status/855773807872798721">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The line to get into the DC <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScienceMarch?src=hash">#ScienceMarch</a> <a href="https://t.co/QYHvQtIqQO">pic.twitter.com/QYHvQtIqQO</a></p> &mdash; Kayla Epstein (@KaylaEpstein) <a href="https://twitter.com/KaylaEpstein/status/855775305629405184">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>9:25 am ET </strong>Happy Earth Day! Here are some greetings from underwater to kick off today's events:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">In the middle of the coral sea, we <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/marchforscience?src=hash">#marchforscience</a> ! <a href="https://twitter.com/ScienceMarchDC">@sciencemarchDC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ScienceMarchFR">@ScienceMarchFR</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ScienceMarchIT">@ScienceMarchIT</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/imbe_noumea">@imbe_noumea</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ird_fr">@ird_fr</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ird_nc">@ird_nc</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/unimib">@unimib</a> <a href="https://t.co/YTtqC2cpCV">pic.twitter.com/YTtqC2cpCV</a></p> &mdash; UMR ENTROPIE (@UMREntropie) <a href="https://twitter.com/UMREntropie/status/855712649979539456">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Politics Climate Desk Donald Trump Sat, 22 Apr 2017 13:23:36 +0000 Mother Jones 331091 at http://www.motherjones.com The Perfect Movie for Your Earth Day Date Night http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/tomorrow-documentary-climate-change-solutions-cyril-dion-melanie-laurent <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>While Hollywood has been on a roll with climate change films, most of them&nbsp;have concentrated on the planet's impending doom. The team behind the new French documentary <em><a href="https://www.tomorrow-documentary.com/" target="_blank">Tomorrow</a>&nbsp;</em>takes a different tactic. "I discovered that showing catastrophes&mdash;explaining what is going wrong in the world&mdash;is not enough," co-director Cyril Dion tells <em>Mother Jones</em>. "We also need to have energy and enthusiasm to build another future."</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4-_JZoiW_MQ" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>It was a challenge to convince others'&nbsp;of this opinion, Dion says: "Nobody believed in a positive documentary about ecology, economy, and democracy."&nbsp;Instead, the Ca&eacute;sar-award-winning film, originally released in France in 2015, was partly crowd-funded. As French actress M&eacute;lanie Laurent (<em>Inglourious Basterds</em>) implores in the film, "This movie is about thousands of people changing the world so we would like it to be financed by thousands of people willing to do the same."</p> <p>Over a backdrop of twee&nbsp;music, the upbeat Laurent and Dion serve as our tour guides into everyday communities that have taken creative steps to reduce their contribution to climate change: permaculture farming in France, urban farming in Detroit, a new democratic experiment to let Untouchables and high-caste&nbsp;live together in India, and a political revolution and rewritten constitution&nbsp;in Iceland. Despite Laurent and Dion's earnestness to identify&nbsp;answers, however, viewers may find that the film does not fully address the magnitude and urgency of the situation&mdash;which small-scale, local solutions alone cannot fix.&nbsp;</p> <p>Nonetheless, change is perhaps most powerful when it is community-driven. The most novel innovation proposed is the possibility of "local currencies" that never leave one geographic area, thus encouraging the type of localized production and consumption that the filmmakers believe to be essential to a sustainable future. The <a href="http://community-currency.info/en/currencies/wir-bank/" target="_blank">Swiss </a><a href="http://community-currency.info/en/currencies/wir-bank/" target="_blank">WIR</a>,<strong> </strong>an alternative currency system that stays in Switzerland, has been a successful model for such a system since the 1930s. In the years following the 2008 recession,&nbsp;interest has risen in alternative currency systems insulated from the volatility of global markets. "Rather than money just pouring out of your local economy as though it were a leaky bucket, a local currency recognizes that getting money to stay in your local economy as long as it can, and be passed around as many times as possible, is of huge benefit,"&nbsp;Rob Hopkins, a British environmental activist featured in the film, tells <em>Mother Jones</em>.</p> <p>By focusing on experiments already in the works, <em>Tomorrow </em>presents climate change as a challenge with clear remedies&nbsp;rather than an inevitable apocalypse.</p> <p>The film opened in New York and Los Angeles on April 21.</p></body></html> Environment Media Sat, 22 Apr 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Sabrina Toppa 330321 at http://www.motherjones.com Singer Rodney Crowell's Regret-Soaked Vignettes http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/music-mondays-rodney-crowell-album-close-ties-new-west <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="345" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EFrpzPR6TLY" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Rodney Crowell<br><em>Close Ties</em><br> New West</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/albumcover.jpg" style="height: 290px; width: 290px;"><div class="caption">Courtesy of New West Records</div> </div> <p>Rodney Crowell has certainly aged well. A reliable country hitmaker in the '80s, this gifted songwriter subsequently traded chart success for more thoughtful records that deepened his roots in the best Nashville and folk traditions. Following the second of his fine collaborations with former employer Emmylou Harris, he's returned to solo work on the quietly devastating <em>Close Ties</em>. Stripping his music down to its emotional essentials, Crowell crafts vivid, regret-soaked vignettes of reckless behavior and hard lessons learned, with his weary, rueful voice amplifying the confessional vibe. The loping "It Ain't Over Yet," featuring guest vocals by ex-wife Rosanne Cash and John Paul White, late of The Civil Wars, champions the resilient spirit, while "East Houston Blues" recounts the trials of "a worried man on a losing streak" to a jaunty groove. And "Nashville 1972" takes a fond look back at his early days in Music City, rubbing shoulders with greats like Willie Nelson, Guy Clark and Tom T. Hall. Call it country, folk, pop or Americana, <em>Close Ties</em> will connect with anyone who appreciates insightful tunes and honest, unadorned performances.</p></body></html> Media Music Mondays Sat, 22 Apr 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Jon Young 330546 at http://www.motherjones.com Bill McKibben's Resistance Reading http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/bill-mckibben-350-resistance-reading-donald-trump <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>We asked a range of authors, artists, and poets to name books that bring solace or understanding in this age of rancor. Two dozen or so responded. Here are picks from the prolific author, environmental crusader, and longtime <em>Mother Jones</em> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/authors/bill-mckibben" target="_blank">contributor</a> <a href="http://billmckibben.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Bill McKibben</strong></a>.</p> <p><strong>Latest book:</strong> <a href="http://www.billmckibben.com/oilandhoney.html" target="_blank"><em>Oil and Honey</em></a><br><strong>Also known for: </strong><a href="http://www.billmckibben.com/end-of-nature.HTML" target="_blank"><em>The End of Nature</em></a><br><strong>Reading recommendations: </strong>We're in an age of protest. So people should read <a href="http://www.rulesforrevolutionaries.org/" target="_blank"><strong><em>Rules for Revolutionaries</em></strong></a>, by Becky Bond and Zack Exley, who spearheaded Bernie's distributed organizing team. They understand the tools that work right now for big change. And for a slightly more timeless take, <a href="http://thisisanuprising.org/about/" target="_blank"><strong><em>This Is an Uprising</em></strong></a>, by Paul and Mark Engler, is the best summary of all that the last 75 years has taught us about nonviolent organizing. It's the book I wish I'd had a decade ago, because it would have saved a lot of trial-and-error experimentation as we got <a href="https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2F350.org&amp;data=01%7C01%7Cmmechanic%40motherjones.com%7Cc937524fcae8476c0dca08d45b5b9ca3%7C012f9e2f06f14827a96c9a54d367d83e%7C1&amp;sdata=ExtUL%2FUZrfeYNy6t9eEezIy1FhNs8FbYhrW6xcU%2FH6A%3D&amp;reserved=0">350.org</a> up and running.<br> _______<br><strong>So far in this series: </strong><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/trump-era-resistance-reading-kwame-alexander" target="_blank">Kwame Alexander</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/margaret-atwood-donald-trump-resistance-reading" target="_blank">Margaret Atwood</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/w-kamau-bell-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">W. Kamau Bell</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/jeff-chang-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Jeff Chang</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/resistance-reading-donald-trump-t-cooper" target="_blank">T Cooper</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/dave-eggers-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Dave Eggers</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/03/poorly-drawn-lines-reza-farazmand-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Reza Farazmand</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/piper-kerman-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Piper Kerman</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/bill-mckibben-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Bill McKibben</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/karen-russell-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Karen Russell</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/tracy-k-smith-resistance-reading-donald-trump" target="_blank">Tracy K. Smith</a>. (New posts daily.)&nbsp;</p></body></html> Media Books Climate Change Education Media Science Resistance Reading Sat, 22 Apr 2017 10:00:08 +0000 Mother Jones 329836 at http://www.motherjones.com I Underwent Genital Mutilation as a Child—Right Here in the United States http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/04/genital-cutting-indian-doctor-women-khatna <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Last week, an Indian American doctor was arrested in Michigan, charged with performing female genital cutting on two seven-year-old girls. As the story hit the <a href="http://www.wusa9.com/news/health/genital-mutilation-more-victims-likely-out-there-feds-say/431259576" target="_blank">local press</a> and then the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/13/us/michigan-doctor-fgm-cutting.html?_r=0" target="_blank"><em>New York Times,</em></a> and as it was shared by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/georgehtakei/posts/1970395086323268?match=Z2VvcmdlIHRha2VpLHRvcnR1cmU%3D" target="_blank">George Takei </a>and <a href="https://twitter.com/NickKristof/status/852709823519088640" target="_blank">Nicholas Kristof</a>, my phone kept blowing up with breathless messages and links from childhood friends across the country.</p> <p>"This story isn't going away," said one friend over the phone. We both grew up in the same controversial, secretive South Asian Muslim sect as the doctor, a 44-year-old emergency room physician named Jumana Nagarwala who was born in Washington, DC. "This time, the community can't just pretend it's not happening." Just today, <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2017/04/21/second-doctor-arrested-genital-mutilation/100741450/" target="_blank">two more followers</a> of the sect were arrested in connection with the case.</p> <p>Our sect is known as the Dawoodi Bohras, a Shiite branch of Islam based in Gujarat, India, with an estimated 1.2 million followers around the world <a href="http://www.bohranet.com/jamaat-americas" target="_blank">and thriving outposts across America</a>. Some <a href="http://www.dawoodi-bohras.com/news/2009/97/Bohra-clergy-the-myth-makers-of-our-time/d,pdb_detail_article_comment/" target="_blank">Bohras</a> and <a href="http://www.milligazette.com/news/4583-bohra-an-islamic-sect-reduced-to-a-cult" target="_blank">others</a> say the sect has veered toward a cult of personality and away from Islamic principles; it's ruled by a well-heeled clergy of "<a href="https://www.pri.org/stories/2011-04-24/how-bohra-muslims-set-themselves-apart" target="_blank">totalitarian kings</a>" with unusually <a href="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Bohra-muslims-fear-big-brother-is-watching/articleshow/7639583.cms" target="_blank">wide-reaching control</a> over their followers. (The Bohra clergy did not respond to <em>Mother Jones</em>' request for comment.)</p> <p>Federal officials believe Nagarwala may have been clandestinely cutting girls since at least 2005. It's the first case of its kind in the United States, where female genital cutting is a criminal sexual act and has been illegal since 1996. The practice is widely seen as an attempt to curb women's sexuality by making sex less enjoyable, even painful.</p> <p>Nagarwala admits she performed a procedure on the two seven-year-old girls, but says she didn't cut them&mdash;she merely wiped away a mucous membrane and gave the gauze to the parents, who would bury it in keeping with Bohra tradition. She told investigators she's not aware of anyone in her community who practices cutting.</p> <p>As little girls, nearly all my female Bohra friends and I underwent <em>khatna</em>, the sect's term for this practice. None of us remember being "wiped." We were cut. Some of us bled and ached for days, and some walked away with lifelong physical damage. In interviews with investigators, one of the girls Nagarwala performed on said the procedure hurt so badly that she screamed in pain and "<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/13/us/michigan-doctor-fgm-cutting.html?_r=0" target="_blank">could barely walk afterward</a>." She drew a picture of the room where it happened, and marked an "X" to show where she bled on an exam table. Medical examinations show that both girls' genitals have been altered.</p> <p>While news coverage and the federal case focus on Nagarwala, <em>khatna</em> has been a mandatory religious practice inflicted on Bohra girls all over the world for generations, often in knowing violation of local laws. Bohras are the only Muslims in India who enforce female genital cutting; it's not a common practice among South Asians or Muslims worldwide, and it's not mentioned in the Koran. Privately, many Bohras have been praying for the clergy to end this practice for years, even decades. More than one mother I know wept when she learned she was bearing a girl, dreading what she might have to do to her child.</p> <p>"Maybe this is the case that finally scares them into stopping it," another friend messaged me. Her <em>khatna</em> happened during a family vacation in India. Mine took place in the bedroom of a family acquaintance in New Jersey in the late '80s.</p> <p>I buried the memory until I was 13, when my freshman year social-studies teacher put on a video about female genital mutilation in Africa. As I watched a young girl, dark-skinned like me, being prepared by village elders for her mutilation, I suddenly flashed back to a dim, chilly house my mother took me to when I was about seven. Two Indian aunties I had never seen before held me down on a mattress and pulled down my underwear as I squirmed to get free. One of them held a small pair of silver scissors, like the ones my dad used to keep his beard trimmed. Then, the sudden sensation of a tight, mean little pinch between my legs.</p> <p>The memory exploded in my head in the dark, quiet classroom, and suddenly, a recurring nightmare I'd had for years made sense. In those dreams, the lower half of my body was made of kid's construction toys, and pieces kept breaking off as I frantically tried to keep myself together. I began sobbing at my desk. The teacher kindly told me to catch my breath in the hallway; she thought I was upset over the images I was seeing in the video. Later, at lunch, my white girlfriends talked about being relieved that sort of thing doesn't happen in America.</p> <p>But it does. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention <a href="https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Humanitarian/Special%20Situations/fgmutilation.pdf" target="_blank">estimates</a> that half a million girls in the United States were affected by or at risk for mutilation in 2012. I know of dozens of Bohra women whose parents had them cut in America over the last 30 years, from New York City to Houston to Chicago. Others were taken out of country to have the procedure done, a practice called "vacation cutting" that's now also illegal in the United States.</p> <p>We're the first generation of Bohras born in America. Our parents began settling here after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which brought a wave of South Asian engineers, doctors, and other professionals to America. In our teens and 20s, my friends and I who underwent <em>khatna</em> assured each other the practice would die out as Bohras assimilated. We're now in our 30s, and it hasn't stopped. Some women our age and younger are still arranging or considering <em>khatna</em> for their own daughters.</p> <p>"Nothing is going to change," sighed the friend who called me to discuss the Nagarwala case. She spoke with a bitterness I could almost taste in my own mouth. "They'll use this one doctor as a scapegoat, let her take the heat, and pretend it never happened."</p> <p>In 2015, the Australian Supreme Court <a href="https://scroll.in/article/768810/three-dawoodi-bohras-in-australia-have-been-held-guilty-for-circumcising-two-minor-girls" target="_blank">handed down</a> the first-ever conviction for a Bohra engaged in <em>khatna</em>. Many Bohras opposed to the practice hoped this was finally <em>khatna</em>'s death knell. The Bohra clergy takes pains to <a href="https://scroll.in/article/690304/why-bohra-muslims-are-so-enamoured-of-narendra-modi" target="_blank">maintain good relations</a> with political leaders around the world; a guilty verdict in an affluent, English-speaking country seemed disastrous, especially in an increasing atmosphere of global Islamophobia.</p> <p>Instead, the head cleric, Mufaddal Saifuddin, 70, seemed to double down on the practice during a cryptic <a href="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Bohra-cleric-urges-female-genital-mutilation/articleshow/52031699.cms" target="_blank">sermon</a> delivered last year in Mumbai. Congregations in the United States and elsewhere were sent letters instructing them to follow local laws, but some reading between the lines heard different instructions: Go underground, and don't get caught. The parents in the Michigan case traveled with their daughters from Minnesota in February; community members tell me it's become harder&mdash;but not impossible&mdash;to find Bohras willing to perform the procedure.</p> <p>The task of getting a young girl's <em>khatna</em> done falls on adult female relatives; men often don't know it's happening,<a href="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/21-Bohra-men-pledge-online-to-fight-khatna/articleshow/52407392.cms" target="_blank"> or even that the practice exists at all</a>. Girls are told to keep the procedure a secret after it's performed, and they usually do. "For the longest time, I didn't even know other people had this done, too," one friend from the community told me. "I thought it was something my mom only did to me, and I didn't know why."</p> <p>In the vacuum of secrecy, and with very little official guidance from Bohra leadership, there are wide variations in how <em>khatna</em> is performed. The seven-year-old girls in the Michigan case were allegedly cut by a licensed medical professional in an unnamed medical clinic. (Nagarwala's employer, Henry Ford Hospital, says it did not happen on their grounds.) In other cases, the cutting is performed by laypeople with no medical training in unhygienic conditions.</p> <p>There's also little consensus about how the actual procedure is supposed to work; it's often up to the interpretation of whoever is wielding the blade. In some cases, like mine, a "<a href="http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report-a-pinch-of-skin-a-documentary-that-attempts-to-lift-the-silence-on-female-genital-mutilation-1986973" target="_blank">pinch of skin</a>" from the clitoral hood is cut away, leaving no lasting physical trauma. Sometimes the entire clitoris is removed, or surrounding tissue is also damaged. Last year, writer Mariya Karimjee went on <em>This American Life</em> to <a href="https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/586/who-do-we-think-we-are" target="_blank">tell the story of her cutting</a>, which was performed in Pakistan and left her unable to have sex without unendurable pain. &nbsp;</p> <p>Bohras even disagree on why <em>khatna</em> is performed. The prevailing view is that it keeps girls and women from becoming sexually promiscuous. Others say it has something to do with "removing bad germs" and liken it to male circumcision, which is widely (though not universally) believed to have hygienic benefits. The World Health Organization <a href="http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/fgm/overview/en/" target="_blank">says</a> female genital mutilation has no known health benefits and "violates the rights to health, security and physical integrity of the person, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death."</p> <p>Despite the prevalence of <em>khatna</em> among generations of Bohra women around the world, there has been almost no public conversation about it until just a few years ago. Speaking out about any of the numerous issues the clergy has come under scrutiny for&mdash;<em>khatna</em>, <a href="http://www.dawoodi-bohras.com/news/67/97/The-clergy-and-the-courts/d,pdb_detail_article_comment/" target="_blank">multiple lawsuits</a> over alleged abuses of power, "<a href="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Bohra-muslims-fear-big-brother-is-watching/articleshow/7639583.cms" target="_blank">big brother"-style surveillance </a>of everyday Bohras&mdash;is seen as unacceptable. Dissidents can face <a href="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Social-boycott-the-sad-reality-for-reformist-Bohras/articleshow/50147331.cms" target="_blank">excommunication and social boycott</a>. The threat extends to family members, whose businesses often depend on Bohra financing, or who may not be allowed to marry within the community or be buried in a Bohra cemetery unless the rebellious relative is quieted.</p> <p>I'm already estranged from my family because of disagreements over Bohra customs. Like a few of my friends, I've tried to bring up <em>khatna</em> to my parents, mostly my mother, with little progress. As in many rigid orthodoxies, the burden of social policing in the Bohra community falls largely on women, who have the most to lose from rocking the boat and who are often suffering from unacknowledged personal trauma of their own.</p> <p>That's why it's remarkable that so many Bohra women have started speaking up over the last few years, from the explosive <em><a href="https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/586/who-do-we-think-we-are" target="_blank">This American Life</a></em> story to a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eouLHP3cx8E" target="_blank">documentary film</a>, <a href="http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/i-was-circumcised-when-i-was-a-girl-of-7-1238068" target="_blank">interviews</a> with <a href="http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-india-genital-mutilation-20160612-snap-story.html" target="_blank">major news outlets</a> in India and the United States, and a <a href="https://www.change.org/p/unfpa-female-genital-mutilation-must-end-in-india-united-nations-please-hear-our-pleas" target="_blank">Change.org petition</a> calling on the Bohra clergy to end the practice that's been signed by 150,000 supporters. In 2015, five young women started a Bohra anti-FGM group called Sahiyo (Gujarati for "friends") and conducted the first large-scale, global research <a href="https://sahiyo.com/2017/02/06/81-want-khatna-to-end-results-of-sahiyos-online-survey-of-bohra-women/" target="_blank">study</a> on the practice of <em>khatna</em> among Dawoodi Bohras. Nearly 400 Bohra women took the online survey, mostly from India and the United States and between the ages of 18 and 45. Eighty percent said they would like the practice of <em>khatna</em> to end.</p> <p>None of this has moved the clergy to unequivocally end it.</p> <p>One of the girls in the Nagarwala case in Michigan was <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/04/19/us/ap-us-genital-mutilation.html" target="_blank">temporarily taken away from her parents</a>, an act that's sure to cause additional trauma. Nagarwala could be sentenced anywhere from five years to life in prison for the assortment of charges she faces, though she's just one of an untold number of <em>khatna</em> practitioners around the country. Bohras opposed to the practice now find themselves rooting against those who are arguably fellow victims.</p> <p>"It's feels sick to be happy about all this punishment," said one of my friends the other night. "But I just don't know how else to make them listen."</p></body></html> Politics Religion Sex and Gender Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:45:12 +0000 Tasneem Raja 331016 at http://www.motherjones.com Friday Cat Blogging - 21 April 2017 http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/04/friday-cat-blogging-21-april-2017 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Hopper is not asleep in this photo. She was smooching her cheek on an outdoor table and momentarily closed her eyes in a fit of pure feline bliss. We should all consider ourselves lucky if just once in our lives we feel the happiness Hopper is feeling in this moment.</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hopper_2017_04_21.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 15px 0px 0px 0px;" width="630"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 21 Apr 2017 19:00:08 +0000 Kevin Drum 331071 at http://www.motherjones.com North Carolina Republicans Are Trying to Keep Residents From Suing Hog Farms http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/04/big-pork-makes-life-miserable-160000-north-carolinians <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Modern hog farms make pungent neighbors. In North Carolina's hog-wild Duplin county, an average-sized operation <a href="https://factoryfarmmap.org/#animal:hogs;county:37061;location:NC;year:2012" target="_blank">holds more than 7,000 pigs</a>, each generating about <a href="http://www.riverlaw.us/realhogfacts.html" target="_blank">10 times the fecal waste of a person</a>. This massive manure gusher falls through slats and is shunted into open cesspools, known, rather delicately, as "lagoons." When the pits reach capacity, the untreated fecal slurry is sprayed onto nearby farmland as fertilizer.</p> <p>A recent <a href="http://www.ewg.org/research/north-carolina-bill-shield-cafos-liability-would-curb-residents-legal-rights#ref1" target="_blank">analysis of satellite data</a> by Environmental Working Group found that around 160,000 North Carolinians, representing more than 60,000 households, live within a half mile of a CAFO or a manure pit. In Duplin County alone, more than 12,000 people&mdash;about a fifth of the county's population&mdash;live within sniffing distance of one of these fragrant facilities, EWG found. A growing body of research, summarized <a href="http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/UNC-Report.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>, shows that these operations "pollute local ground and surface water," and "routinely emit air pollutants that negatively impact the quality of life and health of nearby residents." High levels of the air-borne toxins hydrogen sulfide and ammonia can trigger eye irritation, difficulty breathing, and feelings of stress and anxiety, research <a href="https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/121-a182/" target="_blank">shows</a>.</p> <p>The NC legislature is working to stick it to the very people who live under these conditions. Bills are pending in the state House and Senate that would severely limit the amount money that can be awarded in lawsuits by property owners who live near "agricultural or forestry operations." If the bills pass, people who live near CAFOs&nbsp;(concentrated animal feeding operations) will be barred from suing hog growers for making it deeply unpleasant and even dangerous to hang out outside, open their windows, hand their clothes out to dry, etc.</p> <p>The legislation amounts to a move to protect the state's powerful hog interests and maintain a classic example of environmental injustice, says Naeema Muhammad, organizing co-director of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network. She calls the push to limit these nuisance lawsuits a "direct attack on people's Constitutional rights." She points to a 2014 <a href="http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/UNC-Report.pdf" target="_blank">paper</a> by University of North Carolina researchers finding that North Carolina's hog CAFOs "disproportionately affect Black, Hispanic and American Indian residents."</p> <p>As the late University of North Carolina researcher Steve Wing has <a href="http://inthesetimes.com/rural-america/entry/17771/what-industrial-hog-operations-and-inequality-have-in-common" target="_blank">demonstrated</a>, the operations are tightly clustered in a few counties on the coastal plain&mdash;the very part of the state that housed the most enslaved people prior to the Civil War. In the decades since, the region has retained the state's densest population of rural African-American residents&mdash;and starting in the early 1980s, experienced a massive CAFO boom. In Duplin County alone, hog CAFOs now churn out <a href="http://www.ewg.org/interactive-maps/2016_north_carolina_animal_feeding_operations_bycounty.php" target="_blank">2.3 million million hogs annually</a>&mdash;more than 30 for every one of the county's 60,000 residents, and more than were raised in the entire state as <a href="http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/AgCensusImages/1982/01/33/121/Table-29.pdf" target="_blank">recently as 1982</a>.</p> <p>The bills' sponsors openly seek to protect a company called Murphy-Brown from <a href="http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article9251771.html" target="_blank">about two dozen pending lawsuits by filed by people who live near hig facilities</a>. Murphy-Brown is the hog-raising subsidiary of pork-processing giant Smithfield, <a href="http://www.wh-group.com/en/global/home.php" target="_blank">now owned</a> by the Chinese state-owned firm WH Holdings, which <a href="http://www.wh-group.com/en/global/home.php" target="_blank">calls</a> Smithfield the "largest port company in the world." As originally written, House Bill 467 would have applied even to those pending suits. Republican state Rep. Jimmy Dixon, the retired hog farmer who sponsored the House bill, called complaints about the operations "at best exaggerations and at worst outright lies," and accused plaintiffs of "being prostituted for money" by opportunistic lawyers, <em>The Raleigh News and Observer</em> <a href="http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article143849889.html#storylink=cpy" target="_blank">reports</a>.</p> <p>According to an analysis of campaign-finance records by the Durham-based weekly <a href="http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/state-representative-jimmy-dixon-collected-115000-from-big-pork-then-tried-to-make-the-industrys-legal-troubles-go-away/Content?oid=5799999" target="_blank"><em>IndyWeek</em></a>, "over the course of his career Dixon has received more than $115,000 from Big Pork," including $36,250 from "donors associated with Murphy-Brown, the company facing more than two dozen federal lawsuits that this legislation would effectively negate."</p> <p>In a 2014 <em>Mother Jones</em> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/04/terrible-smell-hog-farms-lawsuits" target="_blank">piece</a> on the origin of those suits, Bridget Huber reported from the ground:</p> <blockquote> <p>"It's like being held prisoner," says Elsie Herring, a Middleton and Speer client from Wallace, North Carolina [in Duplin County], who has been dealing with hog stench for years. The odor means her family can no longer enjoy sitting on the porch, having cookouts, or even hanging laundry on the line. "We were here before the pork industry even came in here, so what about our rights?" she asks. "It's as if we have none."</p> </blockquote> <p>Earlier this month, Dixon's bill passed the NC House&mdash;but with an <a href="http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article143849889.html" target="_blank">amendment exempting pending lawsuits from the restrictions on damages</a>. Its companion bill, <a href="http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2017/Bills/Senate/HTML/S460v1.html" target="_blank">SB 460</a>, remains under consideration by the NC Senate, and it still contains the provision that would essentially nullify existing lawsuits. North Carolina Environmental Justice Network's Muhammad says it's anyone's guess whether the legislation will make into law. After all, this is a state that recently repealed one odious "bathroom bill"<strong> </strong>under pressure, only to replace it with "new legislation that LGBT rights advocates say is just as bad," as <em>Mother Jones' </em>Ashley Dejean recently <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/03/hb2-cooper-north-carolina-deal" target="_blank">reported</a>. "We're in a fix here in North Carolina," Muhammad told me. "It's just one bad thing [coming from the legislature] after another."</p></body></html> Environment Food Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:53:31 +0000 Tom Philpott 330891 at http://www.motherjones.com