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Posts Tagged: mother jones

A Close Look at Solitary Confinement

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Mother Jones features a gripping story by Shane Bauer, who in 2009 was apprehended on the Iraqi border and imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison in Iran for 26 months, 4 of which were spent in solitary.

Using his experience as reference, he probes American prison policies on solitary confinement, particularly the processes of California’s Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Units, or SHUs.

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A Rep. Todd Akins Roundup

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Before yesterday, I suspect most people outside Missouri had never heard of Representative Todd Akin. I barely recognized the name myself, even though I consider myself a bit of a political junkie and I currently live in the neighboring state. All I really knew is that he was beating Senator Claire McCaskill pretty handily in her re-election bid, and that the Democrats were likely to lose that seat come November.

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Muni Anti-Muslim Ad Controversy

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Adam Serwer reports for Mother Jones on the anti-Muslim advertisements that have recently appeared on Muni vehicles. The advertisements are paid for by Pamela Geller, an anti-muslim blogger:

“The ads declare that ‘in any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man’—a paraphrase of an Ayn Rand quote—while also urging readers to ‘support Israel’ and ‘defeat jihad.’”

Geller ran similar advertisements with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority last year, citing her first amendment rights as grounds to keep them posted.

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Inside the Machine

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At Mother Jones, Mac McClelland writes a must-read piece about her time working in an online-shipping warehouse, exposing an appalling workplace reality at the center of popular and profitable cyber-retailers.

“It’s the first time anyone has ever tried to comfort me because I got a job, because he knew, and everyone in this industry that’s growing wildfire fast knows, and accepts, that its model by design is mean.

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Dan Savage Interview

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Mother Jones converses with Dan Savage about his long-term vision for the “It Gets Better” campaign and his new MTV series. Savage also dishes on whether reading about “freaky stuff” makes someone freaky, and shares anxieties about Santorum’s recent surge.

“The goal is to build and maintain these videos and all the support in them for LGBT kids who are growing up right now: 13-, 14-, and 15-year-olds; people who are nine years old right now but who will see these videos in five to six years.

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Pre-Roe Reality

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In this Mother Jones essay, Eleanor Cooney tells her story of getting an abortion before Roe v. Wade, shedding light on what it means to live in a society in which abortion is illegal.

“That year in the 1960s, several thousand American women were treated in emergency rooms for botched abortions, and there were at least 200 known deaths.

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On the “Elf Slaves of Online Shipping”

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“It’s worth considering how the hell those goods get to you, so fast, and for free, when the company you bought them from is posting profits in the millions, or even, in the case of Amazon, billions.”

At Mother Jones, Mac McClelland explains why we should remember the warehouse employee–working overtime at low pay in workplaces that have been deemed “unsafe” and “designed to crush employees’ spirits”–before placing an order with an online retailer.

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Our Broken Legal System

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“…Substantial wealth inequality is so embedded in American political culture that, standing alone, it would not be sufficient to trigger citizen rage of the type we are finally witnessing.”

At Mother Jones, Glenn Greenwald looks back at the history of inequality, examining the founding fathers’ view of inequality as “not merely inevitable, but desirable,” as well as its lasting pervasiveness and acceptance.

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Piranhas Are Not That Into Us

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Piranhas have gotten a bad reputation, and the media was all over the little stunt they just pulled. But that was more a display of affection than “attack,” according to this article, which provides some much-needed perspective on the risk piranhas actually pose: “In reality, the freshwater fish typically avoids preying on people, and statistically you have a far greater chance of getting executed by Rick Perry than being torn apart by piranhas.”

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Wangari Maathai

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“It was easy for me to be ridiculed and for both men and women to perceive that maybe I’m a bit crazy because I’m educated in the West and I have lost some of my basic decency as an African woman—as if being educated was something bad.

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The Largest Intercultural Exchange

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A summer spent abroad at an Indian call center sheds light upon the many people who work in business process outsourcing, a competitive field that promises only the equivalent of around $2/hr.

Training for the job includes “‘culture training,’ in which trainees memorize colloquialisms and state capitals, study clips of Seinfeld and photos of Walmarts, and eat in cafeterias serving paneer burgers and pizza topped with lamb pepperoni.” Read about one American journalist’s experience being outsourced.

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Grading Teachers

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Mother Jones published an article about the latest battle on the education front—evaluating teachers, which is re-raising issues about what public school model works best.

The implementation of the new evaluation methods involves both “internal measurements” (where teachers are measured by other experienced teachers and principals) and “external measures” (performance-based measures like test scores).

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Summer Picks From Michael Chabon, Susan Orlean, Jennifer Egan, and More

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A new article over at Mother Jones gives us summer nonfiction picks from some of the biggest writers working today. Susan Orlean recommends The Looming Tower, Jennifer Egan selects The Image, and Michael Chabon has this to say about The Encyclopedia of Fantasy:

“A single, immense, thrilling work of literary theory disguised as a reference book.”

Hmm… Doesn’t sound exactly like beach material to us.

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