Anthropologist Scott Atran explains the revolutionary context of the Islamic State - as a dynamic startup nation, an attractor of the aggrieved, and an existential challenge to Enlightenment ideals of human rights and the secular state - and warns that Western governments are giving ISIS exactly the chaos it needs to grow.
Scott is co-author of the New York Review of Books essay Paris: The War ISIS Wants.
Lawpagandist Brian Foley explains how America's patchwork of local legal procedures - which vary between states, counties and founding-era traditions - presents a barrier to access for regular non-lawyer people without lots and lots of money, and because Brian just launched a legal practice in Pennsylvania, he delivers a handy guide to making your lawyer lots and lots of money.
Black Agenda Report's Glen Ford connects police mistreatment of today's Black Lives Matter protestors to a multi-generational effort of the mass incarceration complex to control and repress Black Americans, and explains how the media amplifies fear of imaginary Black violence while implicity encouraging violence committed by the state.
Glen has been writing about #BlackLivesMatter for Black Agenda Report, including the recent pieces “Black Lives Matter” Groups Hoping for a Big Payday and This Ain’t Your Grandfather’s Civil Rights Movement.
Journalists Valerie Brown and Elizabeth Grossman explain how chemical industry secrecy and weak government regulation result in harmful chemicals in our homes and workplaces, and why a revolving door between corporate and regulatory bodies is harm to not just health and the environment, but science, politics and the regulatory process itself.
Valerie and Elizabeth are authors of the six month In These Times investigation Why the US Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market.
Historian Suzanna Reiss explains how America's century-long drug war is more about retaining control of drug supply than it is eradicating narcotics or protecting citizens, what the post-WW2 history of the coca leaf reveals about US empire's rise to international economic hegemony, and why Americans need re-evaluate health and legal policies on both sides of the legal/illegal drug spectrum.
Suzanna is author of We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of US Empire from University of California Press.
Live from somewhere below the Mason-Dixon Line, Jeff Dorchen watches the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade™ with an assemblege of Dorchens, and considers meaning negation via botched idioms, branded Americana, biscuit availability, Northern privilege, fresh durians, swan eggs, the tradition of S.N. Balagangadhara, the Rockettes, marching bands, and the listing, grotesque dominance of capitalism.