Syrian rebels attend a training session in Maaret Ikhwan near Idlib, Syria. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
—Aaron Cantú focuses on the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, social inequality and post-capitalist institutional design.
“Feds seek to legalize marijuana industry banking,” by Pete Yost. Associated Press via The Boston Globe, September 10, 2013.
As the Feds move to decriminalize business transactions between financial institutions and “legitimate” marijuana businesses, the advent of a full-blown ganja industry—complete with rich lobbies, glossy advertising and a corporatized culture—appears to be a real possibility. The time for hope and wishful thinking may be passing, and now is a moment for marijuana proponents to reflect on what that industry should look like; though it would be unfortunate if nascent marijuana enterprises chose to replicate the business model of their peers in Big Alcohol, Tobacco and Junk Food who target vulnerable populations with habit-forming products.
—Owen Davis focuses on public education, media and the effects of social inequality.
“The Revolution That Wasn’t,” by Hugh Roberts. London Review of Books, September 12, 2013.
In this behemoth of a book review, historian Hugh Roberts complicates the tidy narrative of a monolithic Arab Spring while clarifying the nature of the dual Egyptians revolutions. Roberts issues some much-needed correctives to the credulous Western media, whose coverage he says “amputate[d] the drama of the last two and a half years from its historical roots.”
—Omar Ghabra focuses on Syria and Middle Eastern politics.
“Syria crisis: Incendiary bomb victims ‘like the walking dead.’” BBC, August 29, 2013.
As the focus of the media has pivoted to the political chess match over chemical weapons, this report, which shows the grisly aftermath of an attack on a school in Aleppo, is a stark reminder of the horrific situation on the ground. It is important to note that chemical weapons have accounted for a tiny fraction of the deaths in this conflict, and this report illustrates that conventional weaponry is no less appalling.
—Hannah Gold focuses on gender politics, pop culture and art.