Say, could these two things be related?

Online journalism is running headlong into its own funeral pyre. Outlets are increasingly turning over content to places like Facebook, where more people might see it, but where it becomes increasingly difficult to find a financial model that can actually sustain the business of paying people to write and report about stuff. Enter Twitter, which… Continue reading Say, could these two things be related?

ISIS, brought to you by…Saddam Hussein?

Middle East analyst Kyle Orton has an op-ed in The New York Times today, called “How Saddam Hussein Gave Us ISIS,” that, as you might imagine, is raising some eyebrows on the internets. I have to say, though, as somebody who has read Orton’s work (the growth of ISIS out of the wreckage of Saddam’s… Continue reading ISIS, brought to you by…Saddam Hussein?

A short primer for Islamophobe-Americans

Hey, folks, how are you doing? Yeah, I figured. It seems pretty scary out there, huh? Lotta people with funny-sounding names from distant lands seem to be doing a lot of bad stuff. I get it, you’re afraid. And fear makes people do crazy things, especially when their fears are being demagogued by anthropomorphic piles… Continue reading A short primer for Islamophobe-Americans

Cheap oil claims a victim

I won’t pretend to have anything more than a general basic awareness of Venezuelan politics, so if you’re here looking for deep insight into yesterday’s elections, you’re in the wrong place. I’m not much of an expert on the global energy market, while we’re at it. But I do know one thing, I think: a… Continue reading Cheap oil claims a victim

Holding our allies accountable

In the weeks since the terror attacks in Paris, a fair amount of digital ink has been spilled on the question of America’s Gulf allies, particularly Saudi Arabia, and the role those nations have played in fueling and/or combating (but mostly fueling) ISIS. This discussion hasn’t been limited to media thinkpieces, either; the Pentagon has… Continue reading Holding our allies accountable

The things we do to one another

The news all afternoon has been consumed with the still-developing story of yet another mass shooting in the United States. This time the scene was the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, a facility that serves people with developmental disabilities, though the specific target appears to have been a conference room in which a… Continue reading The things we do to one another

Missing the signs

Vox’s Jennifer Williams wrote an excellent and very brave piece for Lawfare yesterday called “We Were Wrong About ISIS.” As the title suggests, she does something very rare in the field of People Who Write About Stuff for a Living: she admits to getting something, specifically ISIS’s shift from state-building to foreign terrorism, wrong: Many… Continue reading Missing the signs