Things to Read This Week, #6

Sorry for the delay posting this, things have been a little hectic lately! Nonetheless, here’s some of the most interesting and informative things I’ve found on the internet lately. Also check out our latest post on how the media covers (and spins) major events in “The Stories We Don’t Hear“.

The Superpower Conundrum“, The Nation, July 2nd.

The United States remains the dominant global empire, but is their power and influence declining? They’re losing wars, their “enemies” (chiefly Russia and China) are increasingly rattling their own sabres with little American response, the economy is far from what it once was, and the country seems increasingly divided along class, race, and ideological lines. Great article!

U.S. Operates Drones From Secret Bases in Somalia“, Foreign Policy, July 2nd.

My last post focussed on Somalia, one of the most interesting and chaotic places in the world. The Way of the Knife and Dirty Wars both detail American involvement in the region since the supposed withdrawal of American forces in the early 1990’s. This article picks up where those books left off.

The Worst Case Scenario for the Global Economy“, Foreign Policy, July 2nd.

Emphasis on the “worst case” part of the title; this great article discusses the implications of Greek (and by extension, European), American and Chinese economic failures in the next few years – perhaps by the end of this year. The argument that another major downturn is coming is becoming increasingly strong however, especially when this article is paired with other articles we’ve shared on doonpress before, here and here.

More Americans Are Renting, and Paying More, as Homeownership Falls“, New York Times, June 24th.

I admittedly do not know much about economics, but it seems only logical to me that real estate prices will continue to rise as global populations grow, putting home ownership out of reach of more working class families here in the West, where low prices and easy access to credit have traditionally made the suburban dream possible. Additionally, as employment patterns shift towards lower paid and shorter term contract jobs, with employees frequently changing employers and moving, it isn’t a stretch to imagine that more people will be renting; purchasing a home generally only makes financial sense over the middle-to-long-term, but if families only have guaranteed income for the next several months, they won’t make such a hefty investment. What, I wonder, would our economy look like if renting became the new normal?

The New Job Numbers Are Worse Than They Look“, New York Times, July 2nd.

Good analysis to get in behind the headlines. Job creation is always great, but if the jobs that are being created aren’t enough to support individuals or families, then we still have a long way to go. We really need a new conversation about worker’s rights, especially looking forward, as many jobs are poised to be replaced by technology.

Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11“, New York Times, June 24th.

The headline says a lot, but the story says even more. It draws attention to the fact that jihadi’s, that group the media and politicians can’t seem to get enough of, has only killed 26 Americans since September 12th, 2001. Yes, white-supremacist/anti-government radicals have killed more (48), those numbers don’t even begin to hold a candle to the 5,000 Americans killed by the police, the 33,000 killed in car accidents, or the astoundingly high numbers dying from drug and alcohol addiction. Please, please, let’s refocus the conversation.

Unequal justice: Aboriginal and black inmates disproportionately fill Ontario jails“, Toronto Star, March 2013.

Report from a little while ago, but a very important read.

Aaron Driver defends ISIS, attack on Parliament, but denies he’s a threat“, CBC, June 24th.

I was really shocked to see this sort of treatment for a man who merely spoke his mind. Grabbed by men in a van, held in custody for 8 days without a charge, and then released with a 9pm-6am curfew, and forbidden from accessing the internet, as well has having his passport seized, all for repeating some unpopular views. His case is an interesting view into the mind of someone who supports Islamist violence however. A troubled youth who found religion, converted to Islam, and then was deeply troubled with the treatment of Muslims at home and abroad; this seems to be the case for many Westerners who have sympathized or fought with ISIS. Perhaps a first step to combatting this problem then would be a better mental health and social support policy, as well as treating everyone, even dissidents, with respect and compassion.  His mistreatment by Canadian authorities is shocking and should be very, very alarming.

Mass Shootings: Maybe What We Need Is a Better Mental-Health Policy“, Mother Jones, November 2012.

This slightly older piece serves as a great companion to my above opinion – mass violence can be clearly linked to mental illness. This short article points out the connections between violence, mental illness, and gun control (or the lack thereof); give it a read!

Hope you enjoyed checking these out, subscribe or follow doonpress on Twitter for more recommended readings – and I promise this week’s posts will be on time! In the meantime, share your own favourite articles and links in the comments. Cheers


About ryanmikeorr

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One Response to Things to Read This Week, #6

  1. Pingback: Reclaiming the Working Class | doonpress

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