The past few months have seen a wide variety of political leaders extolling the virtues of drug treatment over incarceration. Major Republican figureheads are now on the bandwagon – perhaps none more voraciously than Chris Christie, who recently announced at a summit on addiction destigmatisation, “There but for the grace of God go I – that’s how I look at addiction.” He has also offered a solution: “When you give people the tools to save their own lives, that’s God’s miracles happening in their own lives.”
The first Battle of Richmond took place in 1862, when the Confederate army won a stunning victory over Union troops in that Kentucky town. The current Battle of Richmond pits Big Oil and Wall Street against the citizens of the working class city of Richmond, California, north of San Francisco. The weapons aren't rifles and cannons, but corporate cash against the votes of ordinary citizens. What's at stake is the future of our democracy.
To challenge the radical claim frequently made by defenders of the national security status quo that mass, suspicionless surveillance is justified by the threat of terrorism, Laura Poitras' new documentary Citizenfour puts forth an equally ambitious argument: mass surveillance has almost nothing to do with terrorism.