Mother Jones15 min read
Crossing the Red Line
BEFORE THE WAR, Mohammed Abdullah—or Artino, as people called him—worked for Apple in Damascus, studied English, and listened to heavy metal. He was an Alawite but hated being a member of the ruling clique, knowing he could get what he wanted if he j
Mother Jones1 min read
High Culture
ONE NIGHT IN February, activists lined the spiral ramp of New York City’s Guggenheim Museum and dropped a flurry of paper slips onto the rotunda below. The demonstration, led by photographer Nan Goldin, was the latest in a series of protests demandin
Mother Jones6 min readPolitics
Sneaking Into Syria
THERE ARE FOUR main types of Americans fighting on the ground in Syria: special forces soldiers, CIA agents, Islamic extremists, and anarchists. As I putter in a motorboat across the Tigris River one afternoon in May 2018, I have no idea which of the
Mother Jones6 min read
Generation X
The term “Latinx” is both celebrated and reviled. Peering into its history helped me better understand my identity.
Mother Jones7 min readTech
Othe Real Border Emergency
In Tijuana, migrants grapple with the absurdities and dangers of the immigration crisis Trump created.
Mother Jones2 min readPolitics
Arms With Legs
SINCE 2015, the Pentagon has spent at least $2.2 billion arming and training Syrian fighters. While that equipment helped crush ISIS on the battlefield, some of it has fallen into the wrong hands. The United States has a spotty record of keeping tab
Mother Jones8 min readPolitics
“There Is No Compromise”
BEFORE THERE was war in Syria, there was revolution. In early 2011, the Arab Spring protests swept the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak stepped down. Anti-authoritarian uprisings erupt
Mother Jones4 min read
Into The Line Of Fire
JAMES FOLEY, A 38-YEAR-OLD former prison literacy teacher, went to Syria in 2012 to cover a civil war in which the United States was a major player—and which Americans were largely ignoring. He believed in the power of witnessing, and in the human ca
Mother Jones3 min read
High Steaks
IN OCTOBER, SCIENTISTS convened by the United Nations issued a dire warning: Unless carbon emissions fall by about 45 percent by 2030, we will face a world of climate chaos—more frequent droughts and floods, decimated coral reefs, and cities swamped
Mother Jones13 min read
Beto And The Builder
Bill Sanders helped launch his son-in-law’s political career. The real estate mogul has haunted it ever since.
Mother Jones1 min readSociety
Toxic Avengers
NAILING DOWN THE motive behind a mass shooting is often difficult. Shooters tend to be driven by a poisonous blend of entrenched grievances, personal setbacks, depression, rage, suicidal urges, and in some cases, serious behavioral disorders or menta
Mother Jones4 min read
A New Leaf
FOWHEN THE IDA B. WELLS housing project opened on Chicago’s South Side in 1941, its up-to-date kitchens and grassy lawns drew more than 1,500 black families looking for somewhere decent to settle. But over the decades, the project fell into disrepair
Mother Jones1 min read
In the last four years, senior reporter SHANE BAUER has worked undercover as a private prison guard in Louisiana, joined a right-wing border militia in Arizona, and, for this issue, sneaked into Syria to investigate American involvement in the crisis
Mother Jones10 min read
Not In My Backyard
IN LATE AUGUST LAST YEAR, 39-year-old Michael Lewis Arthur Meyer exited La Gitana bar in Arivaca, Arizona, took out his phone, and started recording a video for his Facebook page: “So down here in Arivaca, if you like to traffic in children, if you l
Mother Jones12 min readPolitics
Fueling the Conflict
IN THE DESERT not far from Deir Ezzor city, an American special forces convoy zooms past, leaving me and my escorts in a cloud of dust. Out here, fighters, backed by air support from the US-led coalition against ISIS, are pushing into the last few vi
Mother Jones3 min readPolitics
Roads to Damascus
1970: Hafez al-Assad seizes power in a coup within the Baath Party. He becomes president of Syria the following year. 1980: Syria and the Soviet Union sign a treaty of friendship and cooperation. 1982: In response to a Sunni rebellion in Hama, Assa
Mother Jones5 min read
The Tao Of Bao
DURING THE 2019 ACADEMY AWARDS ceremony, director and illustrator Domee Shi made her way onstage to accept an Oscar for Bao, Pixar’s first short film directed by a woman. “To all of the nerdy girls who hide behind their sketchbooks,” Shi told the cro
Mother Jones6 min readSociety
What’s The Best Way To Change An Abuser?
Treatment programs for domestic offenders are meant to reform violent men. It’s not clear if they’re working.
Mother Jones5 min readPolitics
Getting Warmer
BLINK AND YOU would have missed the most substantial reference to climate change in the three 2016 presidential debates. “I think the science is real,” Hillary Clinton affirmed in her first showdown with Donald Trump, not because she was asked about
Mother Jones15 min readPolitics
Revolutionary Dreams
AT THE HEADQUARTERS of the SDF in Hasaka, three white men in camouflage pull up in a pickup truck. The commander, a thirty something Frenchman with a closely shaved head, is driving. A somber, mustachioed Irishman is in the passenger seat. In the bac
Mother Jones2 min readPolitics
Tweets and Retreats
March 16, 2012: We should have gotten more of the oil in Syria, and we should have gotten more of the oil in Iraq. Dumb leaders. June 15, 2013: We should stay the hell out of Syria, the “rebels” are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GE
Mother Jones1 min read
JONATHAN LEE KROHN published his first book, on conservative philosophy, at the age of 13 and was a frequent speaker at conferences and on cable news. He has since reported from Iraq, Egypt, and Turkey for The Atlantic and USA Today, cataloged the di
Mother Jones4 min read
Bach, Don’t Kill My Vibe
ON MARCH 15, 2015, Kendrick Lamar released To Pimp a Butterfly, a jazz-infused exploration of black culture, racial inequality, and personal transformation that went on to win several Grammys. Early the next morning in Sacramento, California, 33-year
Mother Jones5 min read
Your Timeline
As Facebook assumed its central role in the information landscape, the company quietly made decisions that boosted profits with little regard to the consequences for privacy, politics, and the news industry. When those controversial calls and other t
Mother Jones3 min read
Hell’s Kitchen
JOSE VILLARREAL remembers going to bed hungry most nights during his 10 years in solitary confinement at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. Dinner might consist of mashed potatoes, bread, and a slice of processed meat—never with salt, and always
Mother Jones12 min read
Life AFTER Life
Thousands were locked up for crimes they committed as teens. The Supreme Court has given them a chance at freedom. Now comes the hard part.
Mother Jones4 min readSociety
My Mammogram Waiting Game
AT LEAST ONCE a year for seven years after I turned 40, a doctor would invariably tell me I needed a mammogram. Every year I said no, invoking the recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force, which say mammograms before age 50 aren’t u
Mother Jones7 min read
Visible Man
WHITE PEOPLE ARE trying not to see Damon Young. On a chilly December Sunday, he’s sitting at the crowded bar of Pittsburgh’s Ace Hotel, bent over a plate of eggs, potatoes, bacon, and a side of fruit, attempting to explain the arc of an unconventiona
Mother Jones6 min readPolitics
Team Of Virals
A new breed of Democrats is giving fans an all-access backstage pass to the political sausage-making. Is this transparency, or TMI?
Mother Jones2 min readPolitics
Grin And Bare It
1797: Responding to rumors of corruption, ex-Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton publishes a tell-all pamphlet detailing his “amorous connection” with another man’s wife. 1906: Secretary of War William Taft announces that he wants to get his weigh
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