Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out nearly everything else. As an antidote, every week, Nation interns try to cut through the echo chamber and choose one good article in their area of interest that they feel should receive more attention. Please check out their favorite stories below, watch for this feature each week and use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.
Laura Bolt focuses on human rights and revolution.
“Youth in Revolt: The Plague of State-Sponsored Violence,” by Henry Giroux. Truthout, March 14, 2012.
Since Occupy began last fall, the protest movement has found many of its most critical moments marred by violence and police brutality. This article finds a link between state-sponsored violence against protestors, the disintegration of social programs, and the increasing tendency toward harsh punishment of combat. Henry Giroux discusses and analyzes the long erosion of civil society that has reached a point where "the war on terror has become a war on democracy."
Zoë Carpenter focuses on the intersection of economics, health, and the environment.
“Goodbye, Texas Women’s Health Program,” by Andrea Grimes. RH Reality Check, March 13, 2012.
The national fight over women’s health services came to roost in Texas this week, where hundreds of thousands of women are set to lose access to preventative and reproductive health care—thanks to determined efforts by state legislators, who have for years tried to block Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid Women’s Health Program. In Texas, and across the country, the attacks on women’s health—led predominantly by white men—have been most devastating for low-income and uninsured young women and mothers.
Umar Farooq focuses on the world-wide movement for democracy.
“10 ‘Occupy’ Candidates Running for Congress,” by Josh Harkinson. Mother Jones, March 12, 2012.
While the Occupy movement has shied away from making any "official" links with political candidates, there have been plenty of candidates that look to the phenomenon for support. This article provides a list of ten (there are likely more) people running for Congressional seats, what connects them to the Occupy movement, and what chances they have of winning.
Loren Fogel focuses on peace, power, and political culture.
“U.S. May Disclose Missile Defense Data to Russia,” by Alexey Eremenko. RIA Novosti, March 12, 2012.
In negotiations over the deployment and long-term development of missile defense, the United States has expressed potential openness to sharing with Russia data on the speed of its rockets. RIA Novosti cites Alexander Khramchikhin, a researcher with the Institute for Political and Military Analysis in Moscow, as saying that the offer to share "secret data" on the velocity of rockets is key to countering Russian military concerns that US/NATO missile defenses threaten Russia’s missile capabilities and the delicate balance of deterrence. This offer further demonstrates that the United States is committed to a robust trajectory of missile defense policy.
Connor Guy focuses on racism and race relations.
“Where Were You When Rush Was Blasting Black Folks?” by Jeneba Ghatt. Politics365, March 8, 2012.
After Rush Limbaugh’s recent incendiary comments about Sandra Fluke sent liberals everywhere into a (justified) fit of rage, we’re left wondering: why did it take this? Why are his sexist comments perceived as more offensive than his racist comments?
Ebtihal Mubarak focuses on human rights.
“No Saudi Spring: Anatomy of a Failed Revolution,” by Madawai Al-Rasheed. Boston Review, March/April 2012.
The headline is misleading, and I have to add that I strongly disagree with the writer’s conclusion. But nonetheless, this piece provides a detailed insight and a reasonable argument on the hindered Saudi Spring.
Hannah Murphy focuses on sex and gender.
“Egypt’s Fading LGBT Movement,” by Michael Luongo. Global Post, via Salon, March 8, 2012.
In the early days after the fall of Mubarak, LGBT Egyptians had high hopes for their place in the revolution. There were promises of democracy and social justice, and with it, a place for the budding community in Egyptian society. But with two thirds of the newly elected parliament representing Islamist groups, equal rights are no longer on the horizon—and the progress that was made before the revolution may have been lost.
James Murphy focuses on migration in the 21st century.
“Generation Stuck: Why Don’t Young People Move, Anymore?” by Derek Thompson. The Atlantic, March 12, 2012.
Since focusing on the migration of young Europeans earlier in this series, I have regularly asked myself if the economic downturn has had a similar effect on migration rates and patterns in the United States. The answer, according to Derek Thompson of The Atlantic, is no. In processing recent data from the Brookings Institution, Thompson offers an insightful and succinct analysis of why the overall American migration rate is at its lowest since World War II. Some of his findings will surprise you; and unfortunately, others won’t.
Erin Schikowski focuses on the politics and business of healthcare.
“Report: 1 in 3 Americans Burdened With Medical Bills,” by Jason Kane. PBS NewsHour, March 8, 2012.
A new CDC study shows that one in five Americans live in a family that struggles to pay its medical bills each month. When asked how healthcare reform will affect this type of data, which will undoubtedly inform presidential debates, Peter Cunningham of the Center for Studying Health System Change had a mixed response. The Affordable Care Act, he said, may help low-income people who receive new coverage through Medicaid and the health insurance exchanges, but it will probably do little to make employer-sponsored healthcare more affordable.
Elizabeth Whitman focuses on the Syrian uprising, its implications and the wildly varied domestic and international reactions.
“Syrian Shop-Keeper Wages Lonely War From English City,” by Maria Golovnina. Reuters, March 14, 2012.
This story is about a man who goes by the name of Rami Abdulrahman. He runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a global organization that is one of the most cited and most disputed sources of information regarding the Syrian conflict. The article reveals the challenges of running such an organization, which has come under fire from all sides and so, in many ways, symbolizes the tension and divisions within those who oppose the Syrian regime.