United States

Last week, Wired confirmed our worst fears about the US Army’s attitude towards Muslims. According to the magazine, it had “received hundreds of pages of course material and reference documents” taught to “commanders, lieutenant colonels, captains and colonels” at the prestigious Joint Forces Staff College. Within the trove are papers which show that students were receiving lectures inciting against Islam. (More…)

“Fuck retirement,” John Mack says softly. At 77, he’s powered by a deep drive to achieve equality for blacks and other minorities. The inner hardness meshes with an outward tenderness. It’s an appealing mix that has charmed US presidents, British royalty and homeless mothers from South LA. (More…)

Last December, I “celebrated” my first anniversary of living on the street. Hence, it is perhaps a bit overdue for me to reflect on and share some thoughts about the experience. Since I first became homeless, I’ve lived out of my car, which is a blessing compared to the many people trying to get by in the growing number of tent communities in the U.S. or with no roof at all. (More…)

I don’t share my compatriots’ technological instincts. Fortunately, the AT & T store on Burbank’s San Fernando Boulevard is staffed by Armenians who swiftly diagnose my phone’s problem. Garen and I conclude our business, and talk about ourselves. “I already realised you don’t speak Armenian,” he says. (More…)

Tucson is waist deep in a Sonoran June, but nobody’s getting wet. The bridges span riverbeds without rivers, their surface clotted with plants that struggle to remember moisture. The heat works its way deeper and deeper into the psyche. Even in the luxury of air-conditioned spaces, the body senses its relentless onslaught. Yet inside this Volkswagen speeding down Oracle Road, life is beautiful. (More…)

It was 1928 when Herbert Hoover coined the phrase “the American system of rugged individualism.” Socialism was growing in popularity, and attempts to paint the ideas behind the movement as dangerous were well underway. In the same speech, the President mentioned the perils of “state socialism,” something that would take away Americans’ freedom if it was ever attempted in the United States. (More…)

I could smell the alcohol on his breath as he leaned towards me from his window seat. I had hoped to write on my red-eye flight. But something in this soft-featured redhead’s manner suggested that it would be hard for me to stay focused on my essay. Even though it was past midnight, he was eager to talk and a little too intoxicated to feel self-conscious about sharing his thoughts with a stranger. (More…)

Last week, I broke the news that the GOP adopted the one-state solution: “Israel in their natural and God-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon their own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others; and that peace can be afforded the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people.” (More…)

Taking photos of any public place has become a risky activity for American photographers since the ill-conceived Homeland Security Act was put into effect. When the subject is a sensitive site like a power plant, the danger is greater still. While no laws were broken taking these photos of the Tucson Electric Power facility, the risk of harassment and interrogation was real. (More…)

The flag should have been the give-away. For the past eleven years, the Stars and Stripes had been flying over the house across the street from dawn till dusk. Sometimes I’d see my neighbor putting it to bed, carefully folding it into the triangular shape they taught us to use in the Cub Scouts. (More…)

Hunting for a sassy-looking sweatshirt, I stumbled across Cabela’s online frontier of testosterone. For those unfamiliar with the outfitter, the site doesn’t do justice to the consumer stadiums that CEO, Richard N. Cabela, has erected. However, it’s still a place where you can obtain all the necessary accoutrements for an Elk grinding session, or going ‘deep cover’ in the no-man’s land between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. (More…)

Given the number of intellectual heavyweights who have been featured on Charlie Rose over the years, maybe Slavoj Žižek’s October 26th appearance shouldn’t have been a surprise. Yet the timing of his visit made it feel urgent, somehow, as if we were witnessing the repudiation of business as usual. (More…)