Rich folks, corporations and capitalists are feeling persecuted AGAIN!
George Monbiot explains that we [citizens in pseudo-democracies] are attacking them and their right to a free market as well as their right to be free from disloyal politicians pursuing policy goals that serve voting human people instead of businesses.
Here is an excerpt; click the link at the bottom for the rest of it:
The more power you possess, the more insecure you feel. The paranoia of power drives people towards absolutism. But far from curing them of the conviction that they are threatened and beleaguered, it becomes only stronger.
On Friday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, claimed that business is under political attack on a scale it has not faced since the fall of the Berlin wall(1). He was speaking at the Institute of Directors, where he was introduced with the claim that “we are in a generational struggle to defend the principles of the free market against people who want to undermine it or strip it away.”(2) A few days before, while introducing Osborne at the Conservative party conference, Digby Jones, formerly the head of the Confederation of British Industry, warned that companies are at risk of being killed by “regulation from Big Government” and of drowning “in the mire of anti-business mood music encouraged by vote-seekers.”(3) Where is that government and who are these vote-seekers? They are a figment of his imagination.
When one corporation owns most of the English language newspapers in Canada, the free press is essentially dead, not that it’s been much of anything but comatose for a while.
Switch to non-corporate media:
Worried that the PostMedia buy out of Sun News means you won’t have any options for news? Here’s a handy (imperfect, incomplete) list of websites to check out. (If you have any independent news sources I missed – I’m sure I did – message me and I’ll update…)
Alright, third and last version for now (unless I decide to do something else with it…). Thanks for all the feedback everyone (and apologies to anyone I missed). Want to give more suggestions for an eventual “something else”? email me at email@example.com.
Troisième, et dernière version (pour l’instant). Merci pour tout vos commentaires – et désolé si je vous ai oublié. Si jamais vous avez d’autres commentaires ou d’autres ajouts à suggérer, vous pouvez me contacter à firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for all the shares! Merci pour tout les partages!
From October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, I will be abstaining from politics.
Those who know me are probably wondering if they should be dragging me to the nearest emergency room and demanding expensive brain scans. Those who don’t are probably just confused as to why I would bother in the first place.
I don’t have a great answer, except to say that I am curious as to how a lack of personal awareness shapes our lives. We all know people who live in a political void. They don’t vote, they don’t discuss politics, they don’t understand how the political process works. I find it fascinating, and I want to understand how people live, think, and act, when the vast political system is something they don’t feel they have any interaction with.
For the next year, I will be abstaining from municipal, provincial, federal, and international political news (and discussions thereof), voting, protesting, petition signing, letter writing, speaking to my city councillor, MPP, and MP, and all those other little things that make up a vibrant, politically active life. In areas where some politics are unavoidable (you really can’t be an active public school volunteer without some politics being brought up), I intend to divert my efforts to concrete actions, such as volunteering with the school’s nutrition program, bake sales, and so forth. I will post monthly updates chronicling my adventures in apolitical living.
Well, that’s the goal.
In the last two days, I’ve accidentally discussed politics twice (once regarding school board politics, once regarding the upcoming municipal election), volunteered to research school board and city policy regarding improvements to our school grounds, and received a phone call reminding that I had previously committed to volunteering next week for my municipal ward representative of choice’s campaign. It has invariably taken me hours to realize I have broken the terms of my own challenge, which leaves me a little uneasy about the long-term success of this project.
Lesson of the first two days? I just don’t know how to shut up.
In Stephen Harper’s Canada, we keep enumerating the things we’re losing: meaningful legislative debate, evidence-based policy, public science, a free and open society, among other things. But what happens if we go too long with a slow erosion of the features that make our society vibrant? What happens if we let the right wing continue to teach us that we shouldn’t expect anything meaningful from government?
What happens if young Canadians grow up without a sense of what used to be the Canadian birthright: Medicare, the CPP, and a free and robust education system, for instance?
Many Americans suffer from this syndrome of unknown unknowns. They may have heard about Canada’s amazing healthcare system, but they don’t really know what they’re missing.
Many Americans have been convinced that some faceless Orwellian bureaucrats from Health Canada constantly interfere with my doctor’s ability to decide if I need liquid nitrogen on my warts, some kind of invasive prostate exam, or cancer treatment.
Ironically, it’s Americans who suffer from faceless Orwellian bureaucrats who work for for-profit health insurance companies, companies that actually do interfere with those decisions. Canadian clinicians make decisions based on health considerations. Period.
But many Americans have been misinformed, which is part of the reason why Michael Moore’s 2007 movie, Sicko, was such a revelation for so many. People simply didn’t know what they didn’t know: healthcare is a human right and can be provided sustainably, without profit-mongering.
But let’s not be so self-righteous as to think that we’ve got it all together. In BC for example, 13 years of Liberal governments have decimated funding for public education, inspiring wealthy parents to seek private school options. That’s stealth privatization.
Now we have a whole generation of students who, compared to previous generations and to most of the rest of Canada, have been educated in a public system starved of investment. They don’t know that it used to be so much better. They have what urban theorist Jane Jacobs called mass amnesia.
LABOUR’S UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS
I continually write about how unions need to more effectively and meaningfully embrace a mindset of social unionism. But one of labour’s unknown unknowns is that too many of our millions of members, and many of our staff, don’t understand our own history: they don’t know that for eight generations unions have played a central role in creating a society with more justice for all. So it is incumbent on us to provide education about why paying union dues is an investment in a better society, not a deduction to be resented.
That need to provide education goes along with labour’s need to more effectively engage our members and help mobilize them to protect union rights in Canada.
HOW THE BROADBENT INSTITUTE HELPS US FILL THE GAP
We’ve also been unaware that we’re missing a particular kind of organization that can support all this work: The emergence of the Broadbent Institute makes that clear.
Despite its namesake, the institute is a non-partisan organization that seeks progressive change because “a majority of Canadians favour progressive policies — and they are looking for new tools to build the Canada we want.”
One of the Broadbent Institute’s key functions is to provide space and convene people so they can develop more effective progressive action — an activity that happens too little in our busy labour organizations, and another necessity we often don’t know we need.
I’ve watched the institute since its inception in 2011, when it first opened its doors in Ottawa. In June of 2014, it launched an event in BC.
The Vancouver inaugural event brought together close to 300 people from progressive groups, unions, political parties and more to connect with each other and to hear from Ana Maria Archila, an inspiring, Colombian-born New York leader of the Center for Popular Democracy, who used community organizing to mobilize immigrant voters in New York.
Archila spoke about how to de-silo our issues and engage with other progressive groups to build movements. I took away three core lessons:
1. We need to meet people where they live, play and gather. We cannot expect them to come to where we are. They don’t. That’s why they haven’t come to us in the past. The key to effective organizing is listening to people’s stories and truths and building from a place of empathy and understanding.
2. Coalition-building means working with people and groups we haven’t worked with in the past, which demands that we get out of our comfort zone.
3. Organizations like unions, with staffing, resources and money, need to better support progressive organizations that are too grassroots to possess these capacities. This is one way we can share and build power.
In talking to people at the Vancouver event, I saw how varied their perspectives are about the roles that the Broadbent Institute can play: It produces research to advance progressive solutions. It has a powerful news and analysis portal, PressProgress.ca, to challenge conservative ideas. And while providing space and convening people, it provides training and focus so we can improve our activist processes and our ability to be intentional in our work.
Ultimately, we didn’t know we needed the Broadbent Institute until it showed up to fill a gap in our work.
This piece first appeared in the Labour Day issue of Our Times labour magazine.
If you haven’t yet seen John Oliver’s amazing rant about the perils of inequality and how the rich shame us out of talking about it by suggesting we’re trying to invoke class warfare, you can see it below.
The truth is, income inequality doesn’t just happen one day, then the classes fight each other. Class warfare is what creates the conditions for income inequality.
But as long as the 1% can keep us from talking about class issues, we can say income inequality 84,000 times each day and nothing will ever change.
The rich want to keep us poor and powerless.
But we all knew that anyway. It’s time we did something about that, don’t you think?
Then share this article with the 3 people in your life who appreciate human dignity the most. You have good taste in friends. They will support you in this campaign because they’ve got your back.
Here’s some of the disturbing background about this stilt house on a burial ground.
Provincial archeologists in the 1970s marked Grace Islet as part of an ancient First Nations village. It later became privately owned and subdivided into a residential lot. The 0.75-hectare piece of land was bought in 1990 by Alberta businessman Barry Slawsky, who is now building a luxury home on the site.
The development has been intermittently stalled by a series of archeological assessments and permit requirements since the remains were found.
The owner has fulfilled all legal requirements and adjusted his plans. He is building the house on stilts so as not to disturb any burial spots, and has begun to clear the land.
Jacks said Slawsky has not responded to requests to sell the property or meet with First Nations. Some band leaders even enlisted a local rabbi to appeal to Slawsky on a religious values level.
“Can you imagine if us chiefs went to Ross Bay Cemetery (where several historical figures are buried) and said we’re going to build a longhouse over it?” Jacks asked.
The Tseycum chief is among a growing group of people — including several First Nations, politicians, archeologists and residents — opposed to building over the burial grounds. They want the land to be protected, but the province has said it has no plans to purchase the land.
In British Columbia, burial sites dated before 1846 fall under the Heritage Conservation Act and any alterations are managed by the archeology branch. Burial sites established after that time, including Ross Bay Cemetery (1873) and Pioneer Square (1856) in Victoria, fall under stricter cemetery legislation.
The 1% are claiming we have it out for them; that if we don’t tone down the rhetoric and stop calling them names like “the contemptuous rich,” we might end up starting a class war. But they already know there’s a class war, and it’s been going on for generations. Today, the rich are winning because they have more solidarity than we do. The year 2014 is a battleground and the currency is solidarity. If we don’t start organizing together, quickly, and far more effectively, the contemptuous rich will continue to come out on top.
For centuries, the 1% were the nobility, the aristocrats, the old money, the patriarchy. Then Adam Smith pitched capitalism in his 1776 book Wealth of Nations, and liberated the entrepreneurs to join the blue bloods. Today, every January, corporate and government leaders from around the world – the people who literally rule the world – meet in the winter-wonderland of Davos, Switzerland, to launch the annual World Economic Forum. There, they plan the global agenda. This year’s sexy new idea was advancing “social entrepreneurialism.” That sounds so kumbaya, just like public-private partnerships, but it’s just spin for privatizing social services.
The World Economic Forum is just one of the most recent venues where the global elite show their solidarity with each other, and plan how to maximize shareholder wealth and minimize global social, economic and political equality. Beyond Davos, our rulers have also created a roadmap for undermining the democracy of nations through secret trade agreements like NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and CETA (the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement). These agreements are designed to give right-wing governments the excuse to deregulate industries, privatize public services, and elevate shareholders’ and investors’ “right” to profit above the needs of society.
How does this translate in Harper’s vision of Canada? April Fool’s Day this year marked the end of the 10-year Canada Health Accord and the beginning of a 12-year fiscal plan to cut $36 billion from federal Medicare funding. This manufactured disaster is textbook Shock Doctrine, designed to impair the public health care system in order to drive more demand for private alternatives.
THE RISE OF THE 99%
The Occupy Movement helped us understand the 1% and the 99%. One of the movement’s critical failures, however, was its inability to frame its core message in the face of a hostile corporate media, and a well-coordinated network of police and intelligence service agencies working together to discredit, mock, beat, arrest, and terrorize the Occupiers. The Occupy Movement’s message was, and is, merely equality: a demand for political, social and economic equality, plus, a healthy environment. This simple message manifested itself in dozens of demands, but whose message won? The 1%. After all, they own the guns and the corporate media. But, there is hope for the 99%.
On March 19, for instance, 650 people gathered in the Maritime Labour Centre to formally kickstart the Metro Vancouver Alliance, a solidarity catalyst if there ever was one. Its birth was inspired by the Industrial Areas Foundation community organizing model, active in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia and the UK. The MVA is a coalition of labour, community and faith-based organizations who share common progressive goals.
On April 4, the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, the Occupy Movement rebooted itself in a worldwide “Wave of Action.” Its goal is a three-month rolling wave of activism at former Occupy sites, designed to reinvigorate the solidarity started in 2011. And there are other solidarity catalysts in Canada, including the Greater Edmonton Alliance.
These coalitions are fantastic, but they risk irrelevance if they can’t evolve to the next level of solidarity. These alliances need to grow more intense, both inwardly and outwardly.
The member groups of progressive coalitions need to find ways of connecting their individual members to better support each other. And the coalitions themselves need to support each other. I believe such an effort at deepening and broadening solidarity has, so far, been lacking. Meanwhile, the 1% are deeply well-connected, from community chambers of commerce right up to the World Trade Organization. They’re all spouting the same spin and rhetoric on their members’ behalf, while we, the 99%, can often not get past “letterhead coalitions,” a term introduced to me by Amanda Tattersall, one of the founders of the Sydney Alliance in Australia. What good is it to have a coalition when the extent of union, or faith, or community organization activity is merely a letter of support?
We need to seed more alliances in Canada. And we need to help union members themselves understand why unions matter. Labour campaigns like these can only help: the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) campaign, Together FAIRNESS WORKS; the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) campaign, Unite for Fairness; and the National Union of Public And General Employees (NUPGE) campaign, All Together Now.
We need to then connect union members with social change coalitions, like Occupy Version 2 and the upcoming Peoples’ Social Forum in Ottawa (August 21 to 24). Our window is opening again. It’s time to leap through and convene the big gatherings.
This piece originally appeared in Our Times magazine.
After spectacular failures during the Alberta and BC elections, polling, as an industry struggling for credibility, lost yesterday’s election in Ontario along with the neoliberal, anti-social Hudak.
308.com reviewed the polling as of the day before the election. Polls indicated that there would most likely be a Liberal minority government. Those polls missed the extra 10 seats the Liberals earned at the expense of the PC’s, and had the PC’s 4 points higher than what they really earned.
What’s wrong with polling?
Random sampling is necessary to make inferences for all of the population. When people block calls, use call display to ignore polling, and self-select for online poll samples, the polling industry has to adjust/calibrate their results “somehow” to try to get an accurate prediction. BC, Alberta and Ontario demonstrate that they can’t do that. And people opting out of poll participation skew the results. And the polling industry doesn’t even know which demographics of people are opting out. So WE SHOULD NOT PAY ANY ATTENTION TO POLLS ANYMORE! Get it?
People lie to pollsters. Those who opt-in to responding to a poll are more likely to have a political agenda. They’re also more likely to lie to pollsters, particularly about how strong their intention to vote is. They don’t want to look stupid by saying they’d vote in one way, but then admit they aren’t likely to bother to vote. And in Ontario’s case yesterday, it looked like PC supporters were more likely to express high voter intention, but they couldn’t get the vote out.
Polling is lazy.
If people or organizations want to get a sense of how the population is feeling, they can pay some cash, get some polling data, then set policy or do whatever they want with it. But if the polling model is broken, they’re going to have to go out, get talking to people on the ground and truly, authentically engage with people.
Shock! Talking to people? It’s something political parties have shown real inability to do in any meaningful way. The first one that gets off its ass and starts interacting with actual people, en masse, should see some real electoral gains. No?
When I write about soft fascism, I sometimes feel too Canadian. I don’t want to be impolite and talk about hard or old school or 20th century fascism because frankly, when people read that word, they think, “hey, is he talking about Hitler kinda stuff? Ok, then, so it’s not fascism.”
It is though. You don’t have to start a genocide for someone to consider your actions fascist.
It’s a kind, gentler, Canadian-style fascism with a hit of Tom Horton’s and a bonspiel on TV in the background.
Attempts to suppress democracy, though, ARE fascism. From the Conservative government’s voter suppression actions, and contempt of legislature and the courts, they seek totalitarian power.
This is why I Occupy.
And while we figure out what Occupy Vancouver is going to look like going forward, it is this kind of work to decriminalize journalism that we need to be mindful of. See below.
Now, more than ever, because there’s a federal election brewing and we know that the federal government will cheat again to keep its power because it thinks it’s right and they know best for all of us. Like the BC government’s election gag laws and the city of Vancouver’s pre-Olympics and Occupy era democracy suppression measures.
We can be vigilant or we can be sheep. If you want to be a sheep, fine. Stay away from me. If you want to be vigilant, sign up for email updates over there on the right. We’re all about vigilance around here. And I believe Stephen Harper is mentally ill, WITHOUT even having seen the Flanagan interview from Friday night.
And we’re about making Occupy potent, and unlike the governments, transparent and accountable and democratic.
Access to information law means any Canadian can apply for access to any government document for a fee of five dollars. “It’s something that’s absolutely critical for the functioning of Canadian democracy because it helps to keep Canadians informed. It’s crucial for investigative journalism,” says Tom Henheffer, executive director of the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression.
“The fact is the government is intentionally dismantling it. They’re defunding access department so when someone files a requests there’s no response. Eighty per cent of documents that do come back are censored, many of the heavily censored,” says Henherrer, noting that there has been a 51 per cent increase in complaints about missing records in the past year.
‘A growing culture of secrecy’
“Even worse than that is the fact that there is this growing culture of secrecy in government, both federally and provincially and in some municipalities,” says Henheffer. He says politicians and civil servants are deliberating not keeping records, avoiding e-mail and sending messages from BlackBerry to BlackBerry that are erased every 30 days.
“In the past Canadians have had a robust access to essentially the decision-making process that goes into forming policy in Canada and that access is being taken away.”
Whistleblower protecting ‘ineffective’
Surveillance of citizens is another major concern listed in the review as well as a lack of any effective protection for whistleblowers. Henheffer says civil servants who flag problems in government lose their jobs. “That’s why we have such a culture of secrecy, part of the reason why, because we don’t have this protection so people aren’t coming like say Edward Snowden (American intelligence contractor who leaked documents revealing widespread surveillance of citizens by U.S. spy agency). We don’t have anyone like that in Canada because the sacrifice that they would make is too great and as a result we don’t know what we don’t know.”
The terrifying spectre in these countries is not of ravenous foreign capital, though there is plenty of experience with this too, but of the persistent suffering of being an oft bloodied geopolitical borderland.
In the past two months, massive protests have gripped three far-removed states—Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), Ukraine and Taiwan. In every case, the foreign press has struggled to offer its readers more than banal geopolitical musings.While the positions of Washington, Moscow and Beijing are not irrelevant to these situations, neither are they particularly susceptible to the grievances and concerns of ordinary citizens. And yet it is precisely the efforts of ordinary citizens that have forced these countries to the global front pages.
By treating the street mobilizations and occupations at the heart of these protests as tangential aspects of big power confrontations we obscure the experience of politics as a popular exercise—from Southeast Europe to East Asia—and lose sight of the essential and informative similarities between these events.
All three countries fit into a sort of ‘third-generation’ of democratic awakenings. This is not the Arab Spring, where the concern was with entrenched autocrats, nor can the situation in BiH, Ukraine and Taiwan be likened to the anti-austerity revolts in established democracies like Spain and Greece—though these too have witnessed the appearance of ominously anti-democratic actors.
Instead, these are ‘emerging democracies’, where nominally representative institutions are still dominated by static and corrupt oligarchies, assembled around a handful of political parties that maintain close linkages with criminal syndicates. Conveniently, a sheen of ‘ethno-territorial concerns’, ably manipulated by officials in all three countries, masks the tremendous citizen-led effort that has gone into creating genuinely popular movements, composed of all segments and communities in these societies.
There is another, especially unfortunate, similarity to note, however. BiH, Ukraine and Taiwan have all, at one time or another, been labelled as fictitious or inherently reactionary polities by a curious alliance of local chauvinists and certain western “progressives.” In the case of the former, the rationale has simply been propagandist opportunism.
The logic of the latter, however, has been considerably more muddled. Namely, that since individual regimes in Belgrade, Moscow and Beijing had and still do nominally oppose themselves to ‘western imperialism’, they were as a resultstandard-bearers of the global social justice movement and their opponents and/or victims tuto complete counter-revolutionary. This kind of logic is itself deeply reactionary, however, marginalizing not only the complicity of these so–called ‘progressive’ regimes in incredible campaigns of violence and extermination but, moreover, tarring entire ‘opposing’ populations with the taint of ‘fascism’.
A thorough analysis, in contrast, requires that we take seriously the complexities of democratization and specificity of individual societies—rather than fitting all of human experience into bankrupt ideological dualities.
To begin with, the attempt to place these countries exclusively into the arc of ‘anti-globalization protests’ glosses over crucial local dimensions. In both BiH and Ukraine, though post-socialist dispossession (‘privatization’) has engrained deep-seated resentment against local plutocrats, Euro-Atlantic integration remains an aspiration of large segments of the population. Not because the Bosnians and Ukrainians have any illusions about their peripheral status at the edges of the ‘known’ western world, but precisely because for many the alternative(s) appear still worse. Nor are the Taiwanese protesting against free-trade as such, rather they are steadfastly opposed to being economically, and eventually politically, swallowed up by Beijing. This does not make these movements backward, it makes them a product of local struggles.
The terrifying spectre in these countries is not of ravenous foreign capital, though there is plenty of experience with this too, but of the persistent suffering of being an oft bloodied geopolitical borderland. And the tanks and gunships that have, are and are likely to come rumbling towards the plena, occupied squares and legislatures of Sarajevo, Kiev and Taipei are of the distinctly ‘near abroad’ variety.
The second and, arguably, more important dimension of this conversation is about tactics—what Bosnians, Ukrainians and Taiwanese protesters can learn from one another. Democratization, if it is to be substantive, must ultimately be a bottom-up, grassroots process. Very generally, I think we can speak of three ‘phases’.
The first involves a generally mass insurrectionary or, at least, oppositional character, usually marked by spontaneous mobilization, energy and anger. The sudden ferocity of the Bosnian protests was exemplary of this first overture.
Once the initial episode of militancy subsides, the second phase consists of permanent occupations and blockades of practical and symbolic centres of power—public squares like the Maidan or, in the case of Taiwan, the legislature itself.
In an ideal world, the final step will include both the creation of new establishment actors (e.g. progressive-democratic political parties) and extra-parliamentary forces (e.g. autonomous and organized social movements). This, however, is a lengthy process with the likelihood of setbacks at every juncture, especially in the form of overt foreign-backed ‘counter-revolution’, as in the case of Ukraine.
None of these countries fits perfectly into this timeline and aspects of each episode have a habit of appearing half-formed in earlier moments. Moreover, it is still far too early to offer definitive analyses in any of these cases. Nevertheless, we can so far observe the following: in BiH, we had instances of brief militancy, coupled with spontaneous citizen plena but no lasting occupations, sustained street protests or new political parties. Nor have clearly democratically-inclined establishment actors emerged in Ukraine out of the sustained street violence and occupations. Moreover, the possibility of war has sharply narrowed the ability of genuinely progressive forces to organize against reactionary nationalists.
Meanwhile, the massive crowds assembled by the Taiwanese students have engaged only in peaceful civil disobedience as they have successfully occupied their country’s halls of power. Nevertheless, the intransigence of the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), and the ‘spent’ character of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suggests this confrontation is still in only its early days.
We can also begin to draw certain organizational conclusions, however. No democracy can exist where elites do not fear being toppled by the citizens—at the polls or in the streets. Moreover, claiming that democracy means only elections empties the term of its substance and promotes unaccountability and corruption in emerging democratic regimes.
Secondly, the promotion of democratic practices within protest movements is integral to preserving them as genuinely transformative initiatives. Rather than wide-eyed utopianism, the participatory and directly democratic aspects of the plena in BiH and the occupations in Taiwan signal sober political acumen—they are the change they want to see.
Finally, the relationship between numbers and tactics is important. Bodies in the streets are essential as is confrontation with the authorities. But the more violent a movement is, the more polarizing and less democratic it tends to become. As such, street warfare in Kiev promoted the emergence of hierarchic, nationalist militias while non-violent resistance in Taipei has produced and been produced by a network of horizontal working groups.
Democracy has opponents, though, as all three of these movements are discovering. In the coming months, the need for meaningful solidarity campaigns will only grow. Diaspora mobilization while important is not sufficient. Activists in emerging democracies must exchange experiences and support each other across cultural and geographic barriers. Widelyaccessibledigital platforms already provide these connections locally, now they must do so globally. We must help each other as it appears no one else will.
Additional insights into Taiwanese politics and media were provided by Elise Wang of Princeton University.
About the author
Jasmin Mujanović is a PhD candidate at York University and currently a Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University. His Twitter handle is @JasminMuj.
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