Department of Homeland Security opens Kansas professor’s mail

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The Progressive reports that Grant Goodman, an 81-year-old professor emeritus of Asian history at the University of Kansas, writes regularly to his colleague, a former professor history at the University of the Philippines. Last month, Goodman received from his friend a letter that had already been “Opened by Border Protection,” and which displayed the seal of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The other professor, also in her 80’s, according to Goodman, “hasn’t written about anything in years.”

Goodman, who was very upset by the government’s opening his private correspondence, was also surprised by the crudeness of the letter-opening. The letter had been slashed open and then secured with heavy green tape. Unlike other prying government agencies, Homeland Security wants you to know it is watching you.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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