Violence and Threat

Violence and Threat
The filmed execution of American journalist James Foley continues to reverberate in the United States. For many, it is their first relatable example of the brutality employed by the militant ISIS group — their first sense that the men who rampage through Syria and northern Iraq are, in a very basic way, fundamentally evil. But, ...

Why Ferguson, MO, Matters

[View the story "Why Ferguson Matters So Much" on Storify]

The Decline of Journalism

There is a fascinating Pew study about the growing pay gap between PR flacks and reporters. As a current flack of some sort (though I work for a non-profit), and as a former journalist, I have some thoughts on the matter. But first, the meat: The salary gap between public relations specialists and news reporters ...

“Charikar,” in 34th Parallel Magazine

I’m pretty excited about this. My first short story, about a guy experiencing the war in Afghanistan for the first time, has been published by 34th Parallel magazine. I’m not really sure how to excerpt it but I would suggest picking up a copy of the magazine because, I mean, duh right?

Monumentalism is the Worst

There’s another io9 post, again, about the Central Asian dictators’ penchant for massive buildings that also happen to distract attention away from their deteriorating human rights situation. This time, with Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, there is at least some introductory text, though describing Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov as having “won” an election is a sick joke. Saying the “new” ...

The Missing Gap of Context

The Missing Gap of Context
Followers of me on Twitter know I’m not a fan of some new types of journalism currently clogging the intertubes. I’ve been pretty up front about how I think “explanatory journalism” is more often neither, and that the reliance on animated GIFs to either make a point or a joke is meaningless and distracting when ...

The Post-Employment Economy Is Permanent

Discussing the worsening economic prospects for people under the age of 35 or so has been an occasional topic on this blog. I’ve discussed the post-employment economy, how the last twenty years of wage (non)growth and corporate excess have essentially transferred massive amounts of wealth from the working class to the extremely wealthy, and how ...

The Beautiful, Hilarious, Cartoon Sociopathy of House of Cards

The Beautiful, Hilarious, Cartoon Sociopathy of House of Cards

This Weekend, Why Not Make an Apple Tart?

This Weekend, Why Not Make an Apple Tart?
Baking is fun. I mean, it’s annoying as hell, but most baking projects are not difficult and take a fairly reasonable amount of time to make. Honestly, I think the difficult of baking, at least at a basic level, is totally overblown. Okay so this apple tart is easy (trust me). There are two basic ...

From the Archives: The Most Bizarre Jihadist Trial You’ve Never Heard Of

From the Archives: The Most Bizarre Jihadist Trial You’ve Never Heard Of
This was my last post before I stopped writing about national security issues for Beacon. However, in light of the ACLU’s lawsuit on behalf of Jamshid Mukhtarov, I’m re-posting it in full, outside the paywall this in the hopes of helping to contextualize some of the debate. The ACLU is bringing their suit because Mukhtarov may ...