Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Coming Year in Special Ops

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

If you want to know something about life in America these days, consider how New York Times columnist David Leonhardt began his first piece of the year, “7 Wishes for 2018”: “Well, at least it’s not 2017 anymore. I expect that future historians will look back on it as one of the darker non-war years in the country’s history…”

Think about that for a moment: read more

Wanna place bets?: With @TheRichKidsOfIran Instagrams, Somebody is Stirring Up a Hornet’s Nest

By Dave Lindorff

Scroll through the Instagram account ‘@RichKidsofTehran’ or RKOT and ask yourself: Knowing how aggressively the Iranian regime has gone after those — particularly women — who flaunt their sexuality and expose themselves with hair uncovered and with parts of their body exposed that are supposed to be kept covered except at home, who would be putting these clearly inflammatory images of both semi-nudity and ostentatious financial excess online?

If anything read more

Death at the Gate – Ken Hannaford-Ricardi in Kabul

January 2018

The number of visitors passing through the Afghan Peace Volunteers’ (APVs’) Borderfree Nonviolence Community Center in Kabul is incredible. Each afternoon, nearly sixty high-school-age students attend free classes to prepare them for the rigorous KanKor test, required of every Afghan desiring to attend public university. By 8:00 this morning, women from neighboring districts had begun arriving on foot, by taxi, or on bicycle, bringing hand-sewn duvets which the young APV’s read more

Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, A Mother Confronts a World on Fire

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Let me mention a small joy of my life. One afternoon and evening a week I take care of my 5½-year-old grandson, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we take care of each other.  We always stop for cookies — grandparents being allowed, according to The Official Rulebook of Child-Rearing (see p. 349), to shamelessly feed sweets to their grandchildren.  read more

Susan Collins Brags To Me About Her Vote For Tax Law To Benefit General Dynamics

Not only Congress but also the Maine Legislature is pressured by General Dynamics to provide tax relief. Maine Democrats Rep. Jennifer DeChant and Sen. Eloise Vitelli are sponsoring a bill to give GD $60 million from state coffers this year  —  because servicing corporations is a thoroughly bipartisan affair.


Maine’s senators are wealthy people. Senator Susan Collins has just sent me a long email explaining why I should be delighted that she helped pass a tax bill that 78% of her constituents responding to a poll in the Bangor Daily News said will not benefit them.



Most of us allegedly represented by Collins are not at all wealthy, and her claim that we will benefit under the new tax laws is only true in the very short term.


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Tomgram: Engelhardt, Seeing Our Wars for the First Time

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Mapping a World From Hell
76 Countries Are Now Involved in Washington’s War on Terror
By Tom Engelhardt

He left Air Force Two behind and, unannounced, “shrouded in secrecy,” flew on an unmarked C-17 transport plane into Bagram Air Base, the largest American garrison in Afghanistan. All news of his visit was embargoed until an hour before he was to depart the country.

More read more

No more worshiping of the military Time to Call out US Militarism for What It Is: The Key Threat to America’s Security

By Dave Lindorff

            I was in the grocery store a while back when, after my items were tabulated, the checkout clerk asked, “Would you like to contribute to the Wounded Warriors fund?”

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            I glanced at the line of people to my left — a little cross-section of America — and feeling a little skeptical about how they’d respond, I said, “No I don’t think so. I’d read more