Everyone's President

Everyone’s President

There is something to be said for relatability in a politician. Even Franklin Roosevelt, whose background was as firmly patrician as that of any US president, managed through the medium of fireside chats delivered over the radio to convince Americans the he understood their situation and cared about their fate. More»

Same As It Ever Is

Same As It Ever Is

The crowd at Club Congress is sparse. A few true believers and some people who are only here because they happened to be here already. My friend and I don’t fall into either category. I told him we had to see this show because it’s important, because I respect tradition, because it’s Dead Moon. They’re setting up right in front of us, out on the floor. More»

Weak and Stable

Weak and Stable

It’s hard to keep up with all the screw-ups and psychodramas of the Conservative government these days. You’re afraid you’ll miss one if you as much as blink. More»

Latest entries
Returnees Fight ISIS in Iraq – and on Instagram

Returnees Fight ISIS in Iraq – and on Instagram

BAQOFAH, Iraq – “Mike” left Iraq as a 12-month-old baby. Born into a Kurdish family, his parents fled to Norway as refugees following the brutal 1988 Anfal campaign, when the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s military killed up to 100,000 Kurds. More»

The Twilight of Gaddafi

The Twilight of Gaddafi

The Libyan crisis is not just the product of the NATO intervention. It has endogenous roots worth further examination. Libyan historian Ali Ahmida argues that the country ranks among the most brutal cases of colonial rule. In Africa, this means being in the ranks of Algeria and Congo. More»

Consider The Lobster

Consider The Lobster

Walking out of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster the other night, I felt like I’d been holding my breath for two-plus hours. Rarely has my intellectual judgment of a film differed more sharply from my immediate emotional response to it. I never doubted that it was “good”, but I also wondered if it was good for me. More»

Personal Despotism

Personal Despotism

The Social Republic appeared as a mere phrase, as a prophecy on the threshold of the February Revolution; it was smothered in the blood of the Parisian proletariat during the days of 1848 but it stalks about as a spectre throughout the following acts of the drama. More»

Far Out, Man

Far Out, Man

On September 11th, the War on Terror will turn 15. Some would argue that it is in fact much older. Without a doubt, it has now outlasted WWII by a decade. Given how much that conflict transformed Europe, God forbid what this war has done to it. More»

Eclipse of Conservatism

Eclipse of Conservatism

As was inevitable, the upcoming referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU has exposed deep divisions in the Conservative Party. For an exercise that appears to have been intended to finally allow the party to move on from its endless civil war on Europe, the referendum appears to be making matters much worse. More»

My Life Outside Syria: Diary Entry 70

My Life Outside Syria: Diary Entry 70

Marah, a teenage girl from one of Syria’s besieged cities, recently arrived in Switzerland as a refugee, where she is struggling with her first pregnancy and the potential breakup of her family. More»

Beyond Fascism

Beyond Fascism

One of the few public matters on which there is general agreement in the United States is the dysfunction of the political system. Practically everyone believes that government in this country is broken. Just how it is broken, and how (and even if) it might be fixed are more contentious questions. The answers given vary widely with the political orientation and class position of whoever it is to whom one is talking. More»

The Centralization of Power

The Centralization of Power

In parliament the nation made its general will the law; that is, it made the law of the ruling class its general will. It renounces all will of its own before executive power and submits itself to the superior command of an alien, of authority. Executive power, in contrast to the legislative sort, expresses the heteronomy of a nation in contrast to its autonomy. More»

Pakistan's National Action Plan

Pakistan’s National Action Plan

The National Action Plan is a crackdown on terrorist groups that was announced by the Pakistani government in January 2015. It was drafted in response to the Peshawar shootings of December 16, 2014, when militants killed 141 people at Army Public School, including 132 children.  More»

The Promised Land

The Promised Land

The grass is always greener on the other side. As far as truisms go, there’s not much to argue with. The Promised Land was never promised to anyone, and there’s never enough milk or honey to go around once you get there. Yet, faith in the idea that the foreign is always better remains a constant. Just ask the million plus refugees from the Middle East that arrived in Germany last year. More»

MSF: We Must Address Humanitarian Failings

MSF: We Must Address Humanitarian Failings

After Médecins Sans Frontières’ withdrawal from the World Humanitarian Summit, its U.S. executive director, Jason Cone, warns against conferences that blur the line between state and NGO responsibilities and calls for better humanitarian responses on the ground. More»