United States

Ever since the midterm elections in the United States, not a day goes by without news of some new offensive by the Right on a “hard” target of the modern welfare state: labor unions, environmental protections and, most prominently, public education. To some, the pace and power of the attacks signal the dawn of a political age; to others, they simply represent another stage in the Reagan Revolution. (More…)

America is one the last of the states in the West to practice judicial killing. Although the pace of executions doesn’t match up with the rivers of blood unleashed by China, or ISIS, the practice of liquidating offenders, and the buoyant enthusiasm that surrounds it, combine to evince a distinctly macabre state of affairs. (More…)

The work slowdown currently being undertaken by the officers of the NYPD is one of the more surreal moments in the recent history of policing in America. While still responding to major crimes, New York cops have virtually stopped writing tickets, particularly for so-called “broken windows” type violations. (More…)

Since protests erupted in Ferguson, in response to the killing of Michael Brown, America’s attention has turned to the militarization of domestic police. The guns, tanks and armor have concerned even moderates, raising questions about ignited tensions, reducing trust of law enforcement and even violating the essence of the Posse Comitatus Act, meant to restrict the military’s ability to police the public. (More…)

These are uncertain times in the US. Although the economy has been doing better, most people still seem to feel that it isn’t doing better for them. A state of half-war continues to prevail internationally. And reports of brutality by both local police forces and the CIA have many Americans wondering where their country went. (More…)

During the summer of 2001, then-Director of the CIA George Tenet warned the Senate Intelligence Committee of a possible major terrorist attack in the United States. He did not specify its time, location, or method. The rest is history. (More…)

“Here, Mariah, let’s pull over.” The whir of wheels behind me stopped, and I turned once more to see Maggie Campbell of the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization striking an authoritative pose. A feat, mind you, when one is helmeted and perched on a Segway in the thick of the midday downtown rush. (More…)

When word of the protests in Berkeley came in a few days ago, my heart started beating faster. I had been following the recent demonstrations against police brutality with a mixture of despair and rage. But I had been too far from the action, both physically and geographically, to feel like a participant. Now, even though I was 1000 miles from the Bay Area, I suddenly did. . (More…)

The beat goes on. A St. Louis grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who he had pursued for fifty yards down an open street. An NYPD officer in Brooklyn shot Akai Gurley to death with no warning and nothing even vaguely approximating probable cause (much less justification.) (More…)

The results of the grand jury proceeding in the shooting of Michael Brown are hardly a surprise. Indeed, the jurors’ failure to return a bill of indictment was a foregone conclusion. The number of times that law enforcement personnel have been brought to book in this country for an act of violence committed against a person of color can probably be counted on one hand. (More…)

It took us a few seconds to figure out what was happening. One minute my host brothers had been hurling snowballs towards the roof of an apartment building, and the next we were being assaulted by a blur of a man, shirtless but a little sweaty despite the fierce cold. He landed one punch, missed another, then turned to charge at me. “I don’t have insurance,” I shouted in German, (More…)

Like millions of other Americans who made the decision — or mistake, depending on your point of view — to donate money to Democratic Party candidates in the past, my inbox was filled with messages for months warning me that only the generosity of ordinary citizens like myself could prevent a Republican landslide in the midterm elections. Sometimes these requests bore an air of reasonability. But most sounded desperate. (More…)