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

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 ...

Pugs, Even When Golden, Are Awesome

Kazaxia, the wonderful blog about Kazakhstan, is giving out its Golden Pug Awards for 2013. And I won! The Golden Pug Lifetime Achievement (Central Asia) Award This year’s Golden Pug Lifetime Achievement (Central Asia) Award goes to Joshua Foust, who has strode the world of Central Asian analysis like a colossus for many years. Now ...

Moving to Something New

As of Monday, I will no longer be a freelance journalist. I won’t be writing much, if ever, about national security issues, either. In fact, I won’t even be in national security at all. I’ve decided to take a job as the communications officer at the Eurasia Foundation, a fantastic NGO that does education, civil society, ...

The Complete Sarah Harrison Statement: Analysis

In case you (understandably) don’t want to click on Wikileaks. Analysis to follow. Tidbits, misstatements, and lies to follow: Do we know she’s really in Germany? There are no photos of this, only a statement posted to Wikileaks’ website. Was this meant to distract from the German parliament declining to interrogate Snowden earlier today? Harrison, ...

Quote of the Day

Stroebele said Edward Snowden appeared healthy and cheerful during their meeting at an undisclosed location in Moscow. The German television network ARD, which accompanied Stroebele, said the Germans were taken to the meeting by unidentified security officials under “strict secrecy.” – on the pilgrimage to Edward Snowden, living secretly and under secure guard arranged by ...

The Most Worrying NSA Revelation Yet

It’s no secret I’ve shrugged at most of the revelations brought about by the documents Edward Snowden stole: most described legal programs doing things you’d expect the NSA to do — and in many cases exposed completely legitimate programs that should never be exposed. Now, however, Bart Gellman and Ashkan Soltani have published something truly ...