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Randall Amster
Randall Amster, J.D., Ph.D., is Director of the Program on Justice and Peace at Georgetown University, and serves as Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. He is the author of books including Peace Ecology (Paradigm Publishers, 2014), Anarchism Today (Praeger, 2012), and Lost in Space: The Criminalization, Globalization, and Urban Ecology of Homelessness (LFB Scholarly, 2008).

Entries by Randall Amster

Ferguson: Cover of Darkness, Rays of Light

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 1:11 PM

The announcement arrived at the telegraphed moment, conveniently scheduled for prime time in most zones. A decision said to shed light on a matter of national importance is revealed only after dark, with the lede buried under a pile of prosecutorial dereliction. When the decisive words are finally uttered, they...

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Crimea and Punishment

(2) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 7:45 AM

Russia's brazen annexation of Crimea presents a vexing foreign policy crisis for the Western powers. How can these actions be denounced without pointing a finger back upon their own forays and interventions? Indeed, President Putin said as much in his recent address in the Kremlin, chiding the West...

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Line of Fire

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 4:11 PM

Living in Arizona for nearly two decades, and for more than half of that time in the central highlands region around Prescott, has presented innumerable challenges and opportunities alike. Many will be familiar with Arizona's haywire politics and the international controversies that have ensued. Those of us working on progressive...

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Patenting Death

(4) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 2:00 PM

Monsanto has yet another case pending in the court system, this time before the U.S. Supreme Court on the exclusivity of its genetically modified seed patents. Narrowly at issue is whether Monsanto retains patent rights on soybeans that have been replanted after showing up in generic stocks rather than being...

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Pump Fiction

(6) Comments | Posted March 11, 2013 | 2:01 PM

We have entered a critical era for the future of humanity on this planet, and the stakes are indeed as high as whether there will be anything left for those who come next. In the period of expansive consumer growth following World War II, and then again with another quantum...

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Collision Course: On the Virtues of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids

(6) Comments | Posted December 23, 2012 | 7:24 PM

Watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

Is the Earth in imminent danger from an asteroid collision? Some doomsday prophecies suggest as much, and scientists don't entirely disagree even as they remind us of the infrequency of such events (on the order of millennia) and the...

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An Open Letter to the Children

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 12:40 PM

Dear Children,

I know that this world must often seem confusing to you. It's noisy, dirty and filled with adults scurrying about their busy lives without noticing you all that much sometimes. It's filled with rules and people telling you what to do, mostly without asking what you want to...

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Save the Children

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 11:09 AM

My eyes filled with tears as I heard the news of the mass shooting in Connecticut, where most of those killed were elementary school children. As a parent with children of similar ages, I can only imagine the grief of those who suddenly lost the most precious thing in their...

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Manning Up

(4) Comments | Posted December 4, 2012 | 2:39 PM

Whatever one's views about his alleged actions, you would need a pretty hard shell not to be moved by the case of Bradley Manning. Hero to some, traitor to others, this diminutive soldier has endured an unprecedented level of mistreatment, languishing in a largely incommunicado pretrial state for more than...

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The Wrong Scandal

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 11:35 AM

The media blitz is fully engaged around the latest Washington sex scandals, and with it come nascent cheers from some anti-war sectors over the public unraveling of the top brass who have helped to orchestrate the longest war in U.S. history. On email threads and in the blogosphere, one is...

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Life on Mars? Searching for Signs in the Cosmos and on Earth

(1) Comments | Posted August 22, 2012 | 5:57 PM

Forty years ago David Bowie asked, "Is there life on Mars?" Bowie's song embodied an escapist sensibility, a longing for life elsewhere to break the doldrums and despair of living on Earth. Filled with vivid imagery, the song reflects humankind's eternal longing to be part of something larger...

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Will Smarter Phones Mean Dumber People?

(4) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 1:11 PM

The road ahead was clearly marked as "closed" and a "dead end," but the voice from the back seat insisted that we go forward anyway. "My phone says go straight ahead," counseled the voice, ignoring the driver's observation that the street was apparently closed. "The GPS in my phone is...

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How Fragile We Are

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2012 | 6:02 PM

Once again, events conspire to remind us how fragile is our existence and how vulnerable we really are. A young man whose goal in life might have been "helping others" winds up hunting them instead, ruthlessly mowing them down in a bizarre public spectacle in which it is not life...

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Desert Mirage? Supreme Court Ruling May Bring Little Relief in Arizona

(3) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 12:12 PM

Among some beleaguered Arizona residents and outside observers, there's a tendency to look for a silver lining wherever possible. This is entirely understandable, given the overt repression and legislated bigotry prevalent in recent years. The reaction to the Supreme Court's decision regarding SB 1070 is a case in...

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The War Drones On...

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2012 | 12:23 PM

Drones are all the rage these days, and not in a good way. The increasing toll taken by these robotic executioners is beginning to register with the public, after many years of automated death from above in our adventurist wars. Still, the use of drones is expanding in many places,...

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Scenes From an Airport Restaurant

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2012 | 4:07 PM

It seems like such an innocuous idea. What if there was a shared space set aside, as a matter of course, in private and/or quasi-public places such as airports, hotel lobbies, college campuses, etc.? It's not a radical concept by any means, suggesting simply that a small area be created...

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Occupy Asteroids?

(14) Comments | Posted April 26, 2012 | 5:29 PM

Sometimes the news reads like a cross between a corporate promotional campaign gone haywire and a rejected science-fiction B-movie script. The announcement this week of an asteroid mining venture -- backed by Google executives, the Perot Group, and James Cameron, among others -- is precisely the sort of item that...

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Debt of Gratitude: Less Earning, More Learning

(10) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 1:42 PM

I'd like to share a story, a personal story, a common story, an American story. For nearly two decades, I have carried the burden of a crushing student loan debt, well over six figures and impossible for me to fathom paying off in this lifetime. While I have written before...

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Occupy Ourselves

(3) Comments | Posted December 13, 2011 | 10:21 AM

In just a few short months we have reached a point of near saturation in which the modifier "Occupy" has been applied to almost every sphere of our beleaguered political economy. Not every such application has been equally useful, but for the most part the intended meaning of the word...

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Tangled Up in Blue: Can There Be Solidarity Between Activists and Police?

(0) Comments | Posted November 22, 2011 | 9:28 AM

Recent days have seen the increasing use of police violence against peaceful Occupy demonstrators around the country, including the gone-viral merciless pepper-spraying of students at UC Davis as well as that of 84-year-old Dorli Rainey in Seattle, and the critical wounding of Iraq war veteran

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