United States

The United States is the only country where owning a gun is considered a God-given right. For some, perhaps, it is merely held to be a constitutional right (in this, it stands with only three other countries: Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico.) But whatever level of divinity is bestowed upon it, the gun is American culture’s Golden Calf. (More…)

Mitt Romney thinks disaster relief should be privatized. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the idea of fobbing off FEMA’s services has been rightfully focused on for its coldness. However, given that this policy position was announced months ago, it’s surprising that Hurricane Katrina was not immediately brought to bear in criticisms of Romney’s proposal. (More…)

Election 2012 has been four (or more) years in the making, but we’re about to, mercifully, call it history. It’s not wrong to say that it has mostly been a referendum on President Obama. But this election, perhaps more than usual, has also been a referendum on democracy. What have we learned? (More…)

I was an IDF reservist stationed in the south of Israel. My base had received a new contingent of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, and was testing them prior to deployment. Helicopters would ascend to 100 meters, hover for hours, and do instrument checks. A constant drone permeated our encampment. (More…)

During every presidential election in the United States, the same argument is made, mostly on the left, but also on the extreme right. The candidates don’t represent your views, so you vote for a third party candidate, or don’t vote at all. After all, the argument goes, how are we ever going to get candidates who do what we want them to do if we keep sending the same mainstream politicians to Washington? (More…)

Last week, the Humanities Center at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University held a roundtable event on the origins of Occupy Wall Street. Commemorating the first anniversary of the uprising, the gathering could not have been more necessary, or appropriate. (More…)

Exoticism is often a tragicomedy in American fine dining. Especially when class takes precedence. Feted chefs convinced wealthy diners to prize foods once cursed as shameful to consume in public. Lobsters were largely deemed as pests that tangled up fishing nets along the America’s coasts until railroad transportation imported their tails to Midwestern restaurants, which then served them as exotic, overpriced specimens. (More…)

In a remarkably close vote, the Presbyterian Church (USA) rejected a motion to divest from three global corporations that are profiting from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and its siege of the Gaza Strip. The final tally was 333-331, with two abstentions. It doesn’t get a lot closer than that. (More…)

It’s no secret that the powerful advocates for policies supporting the Israeli occupation are Americans who prioritize other interests over those of the United States. In fact, it’s never been more obvious, especially if you work on Capitol Hill. However, this fact remains vastly underrepresented in public debate about US foreign policy. Fortunately, some brave souls are doing their best to change that. (More…)

Recently declassified German government files confirmed what many had suspected: Palestinian terrorists who massacred Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics had the help of Neo-Nazis. They also reveal just how ineffectual the German security apparatus really was. In more ways than one, Black September was an inside job. My first reaction upon hearing this news? A profound sense of relief. (More…)

As the United States moves toward elections, we’re facing a grim future in the Middle East. Not only do electoral politics dictate that nothing positive is likely to come from Washington for the next five months. November’s poll holds little promise for the next four years, no matter who the victor is. (More…)

“Be careful, the walls have ears.” Ammar Khaf, a spokesman for the Los Angeles chapter of the Syrian American Council, quotes a saying that millions grew up with under Baathist rule. He talks of the fear that gripped the diaspora when Mukhabarat agents assassinated prominent exiles in the 1980s. But as anti-Assad protests spread, the community grew emboldened. (More…)