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Michael Ratner: Obama, Guantánamo, and Civil Liberties

Will President Obama be prepared to close Guantánamo on day one? Michael Ratner, for one, certainly hopes so. But he’s not holding his breath.

Obama in this election has moved heavily to the center on issues that I really care about, and that gives you great pause. His new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is a very moderate Democrat, was one of the only members of the Illinois congressional delegation to vote in favor of the Iraq War. At the same time, Obama has made a number of promises, at least on some of the issues that are at least the heart of some of my work, which is he said he would close Guantánamo, he said he would end torture—and what that means is stop the CIA from torturing people in secret sites—and he said he doesn’t favor the current military commission system that’s going on at Guantánamo, but he favors criminal trials. Now, those are just promises, and as I know with any president, even on those three issues where he’s spoken very boldly, really, and on his web site as well, those, you still have to hold their feet to the fire, because it’s certainly not going to be a main priority. You have the economy here, you have the war here, etc. But those are three issues that are of great concern to me.


Author Petra Kuenkel: The Art of Leading Collectively

More than ever before, there is a focus on new, collective forms of leadership—and an urgency to get collective change processes underway, all over the world. What’s behind the recent push to move collective leadership to the fore? Whether we find ourselves in societal or organizational change, it requires collective energy and drive to bring […] Read More

10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More

Author David Stroh: First Steps to Becoming a Systems Thinker

Systems thinking is often seen as something relegated to scientific and business analysis – economics, resource depletion, and climate. However, Systems Thinking for Social Change focuses on how to use systems thinking to make breakthrough progress on intransigent social problems. We asked author David Stroh how this approach can make an impact, and how readers […] Read More

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More
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