Mother Jones20 min readPolitics
An American in the Islamic State
BEHIND THE FENCE of a refugee camp in the green plains of northeastern Syria, a white woman approaches from the sea of tents. Her long brown hair spills out of a beanie, and there is a black tattoo of a kiss on her neck. She tells me she’d like to ta
Mother Jones14 min readScience
Weight Of The World
ON ELECTION NIGHT 2016, Kim Cobb, a professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, was on Christmas Island, the world’s largest ring-shaped coral reef atoll, about 1,300 miles south of Hawaii. A climate scientist, she was
Mother Jones3 min readNutrition
Gut Instincts
For decades, counting calories was seen as the key to staying fit. There are a few—actually a trillion—little problems with that.
Mother Jones21 min readPolitics
In The Ruins Of Raqqa
“WHAT’S UP WITH THE CAMERA?” asks the wild-looking American special forces operative standing outside my car window. He has a sculpted beard, angry eyes, huge tattooed arms, and an M16 slung across his chest. I’ve just entered Raqqa, and his large wh
Mother Jones10 min readSociety
Stranger Dangers
THE CHILDREN WERE being sodomized in secret underground tunnels. Their captors drank blood in front of them and staged satanic ritual sacrifices. Sometimes the kids were filmed for pornographic purposes. In total, some several hundred children were s
Mother Jones6 min read
Left In The Dark
THE LAST BUS of the day pulls away from the parking lot outside the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California, at 8:43 p.m. Twenty minutes later, a young woman pulls up the hood of her dark jacket, pushes open the jail lobby’s heavy door, and steps out i
Mother Jones6 min read
The Xx-files
IN 2016, I INTERVIEWED the showrunner of Jane the Virgin, Jennie Snyder Urman. She was smart and candid, and we had a good conversation about Jane, one of the most inventive, emotionally layered shows on television. But in my write-up, I said that Ja
Mother Jones6 min readPolitics
Corruption Isn’t Just Another Scandal. It’s The Rot At The Core.
THERE’S AN INFAMOUS SAYING often attributed to Josef Stalin: One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. In the Trump administration, you might say: One scandal is an outrage, a million scandals is the new normal. That’s something we’re
Mother Jones16 min readPolitics
The Secret War
SUHAIL HAMOUD remembers when his Free Syrian Army (FSA) brigade got its first arms shipment from the CIA. The delivery, made along the Turkey-Syria border in January 2014, included 24 pickups and six large trucks full of weapons and ammunition. Most
Mother Jones2 min read
You Can’t Go Home Again
EIGHT YEARS of civil war in Syria have uprooted more than half the country’s prewar population. More than 6 million people are displaced internally; another 6 million have fled the country. With ISIS defeated and Bashar al-Assad still firmly in power
Mother Jones5 min read
Thou Shalt Not Till
IN EARLY MARCH, just a week before the Midwest was inundated by catastrophic flooding, a dozen farmers gathered at the First Presbyterian Church in Grinnell, Iowa, for an event billed as a conversation about “Faith, Farmers, and Climate Action.” “How
Mother Jones6 min readPolitics
Patriot Games
IF YOU’VE SPENT enough time on the internet over the last three years, you’ve probably come across Scott Dworkin, a.k.a. @funder. The 36-year-old is the cofounder of a super-PAC called the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, a podcast host, and an oc
Mother Jones13 min readPolitics
Map Quest
ON A FRIGID MARCH morning, Eric Holder strode into a brick union hall on the west side of Milwaukee, across from a credit union and an auto body shop. The Merrill Park neighborhood was once the center of the city’s Irish political machine, filled wit
Mother Jones4 min read
Knotty By Nature
IN THE SUMMER OF 2014, officials in Toledo, Ohio, announced that the city’s tap water was no longer safe to drink. A toxic algae bloom caused by fertilizer runoff had poisoned Lake Erie, the primary water source for the area’s half-million residents,
Mother Jones2 min read
How the War Was Spun
AMONG SYRIAN PRESIDENT Bashar al-Assad’s most reliable allies are the armies of Twitter bots, trolls, and digital defenders who have been quick to spread confusion in the wake of his government’s atrocities. Russia has often been at the center of thi
Mother Jones1 min read
Contributors
Mother Jones Washington, DC, Bureau Chief DAVID CORN is the co-author of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. After covering Russiagate for years, he thought he needed a breather and turned hi
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
Contributors
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 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
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