Boat of Dreams and Desperation
Two New York Times journalists smuggle themselves onto a boat with asylum seekers trying to sail from Indonesia to Christmas Island. This is their story.
[New York Times]
15 Reasons America May Deserve the Apocalypse
It was starting to sound like one hell of a frightening Halloween, thanks to a brain-dead Zombie Congress. Here are 15 dead-on reasons why America is still facing its demons. Well said by The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman.[More] Why stop there? 10 takeaways from the near meltdown from The New Yorker.
Can Frackers Silence a Child Forever?
They are sure trying.
Pride in Modern Savagery?
The Syrian rebel commander addresses the camera as he cuts the organs out of a dead soldier, “I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers,” he warned President Bashar al-Assad’s forces as his men cheered. The sad truth of why Syria won’t be healing itself anytime soon.
Unicorns Truimph Over Death Eaters!
Todd Akin, A Real Laugh Riot
Just when you thought satire wasn’t possible, meet “Legitimate rape’ Or, revel in some Uterus Facts: “The natural enemies of the uterus are the locust, the hawk, the carpenter ant and the witch”. So much to learn. [More] And why this man isn’t funny.
Why McDonald’s Needs McDonnell Douglas
A rare gem; big, honking concepts, made real and understandable.
Hold Your Nose for Free Trade?
The terms of the Transpacific trade agreement are suddenly smelling damned stinky.
Guns on Lilypads Anyone?
America may be shrinking its giant bases in Iraq, Germany and 450 currently in Afghanistan alone, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a new strategy. Say hello to the 50 new mini “Lilypad’ US military bases now very quietly popping up around the world.A Mini ‘Lilypad’ Military Base Anyone?
When Free Trade T’ain’t Free
Be very afraid of free trade with ugly strings attached.
[The Guardian]
“Yes. They hate us. It must be said.”
Wonderful piece on Arab womanhood by Mona Eltahawy
Burma: Reform or Charade?
A Fracking Mess
One of the best summary pieces on the topic I’ve come across.
Boys Publishing Boys
When VITA decided to sniff out what percentage of women versus men are published in the world’s most prestigious publications, the numbers weren’t terribly pretty. More like handsome–for men, that is.
Bring on the Intellectual Flatliners
Richard Cohen says it plain and simple. Is the Republican Party brain dead? Yah-huh.
[Washington Post]
Freedom Contained.
“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” 

[War In Context]

An Unconscionable Missed Deadline?
Death penalty by misfiled paperwork? This makes the Troy Davis case pale in comparison.
[New York Times]
Torture’s Pyrrhic Victory
One of the most cynicism-inducing articles I’ve read in a long while by the always excellent Glen Greenwald.
[Glen Greenwald]
Self Control in the Age of Abundance
Mirrors will literally mirror our honesty.
Life Before Pee-Pee-gate
A reminder of when testosterone is put to good use. Weiner railing against Republicans who won’t vote for healthcare for 9/11 responders.
A Doctorate in Murder?
Theodore Darymple’s fascinating piece on a violent psychopath who is studying for his Ph.D. in “Homicidal Studies” in prison.  That is, until he is released and goes on to kill and eat at least three women.
[City Journal]
Great Writer, Tiny Mind
Writers react to V. S. Naipail’s small, vomitous outpouring of arrogance on the inferiority of women writers.
[The Atlantic]
The Broken Smut Broker
Excellent Johann Hari piece on the 1st ammendment hustler, Larry Flynt.
Military Rape Victims Screwed Again
US House refuses to vote on abortion coverage for raped soldiers. [Huffington Post] Because getting raped is like getting a flat tyre?
[Mother Jones]
Women Start Out Less
Women make 17% less than men when first graduating from university, even when they both start out with the same major.
[Washington Post]
28 Years of Solitary Confinement
excerpt of Thomas Silverstein’s 28 years in prison without human contact.
[Solitary Watch]
Christopher Hitchens on Silence
On losing his voice to cancer.
[Vanity Fair]
When Hugh Grant Bugged the Buggers.
The Huffington Post
How to Age Gracefully: Patti Smith Interview
Patti Smith still has it–grace, mystery and now a National Book Award.
Guardian Interview
Keeping It In Perspective
Excellent Andrew Sullivan piece on why keeping it in perspective on Obama is the right response. Refreshing to read a take on politics with the long view in sight.
Andrew Sullivan in The Daily Dish
CNN’s Prisoner of War
“I am not the same fucking person. I don’t know how to come home,” CNN’s Michael Ware told The Men’s Journal. Ware has been a war correspondent for 7 years in Iraq. A must read.
Michael Ware
Last Words from Death Row Prisoners
The New York Times ran this excerpt from a book on the last utterances from prisoners before their death. Hard to take your eyes away from reading it through.
The New York Times Last Words
Kill The Hive Mind?
Jaron Lanier’s fascinating work on the effects of our ‘hive mind’ continues.
The New York Times
Rape Anyone?
These two excellent articles are the backstory to the confoundingly ugly statistic that almost one third of women in the US military will come home raped or sexually assaulted by their own colleagues. Both Helen Benedict and Ret. Colonel Ann Wright are doing excellent work on a horrible story.
See also my piece,

The Wrong Enemy: Women Soldiers’ Secret War
The Private War of Women Soldiers by Helen Benedict
Is There an Army Cover Up of Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers? 
by Ret. Colonel Ann Wright

Nothing to Envy
Barbara Demick’s fascinating accounting of six individual’s lives in North Korea, as told by the few who have defected to South Korean life.