Monthly Archives: September 2011

Mr. Fish — September 30, 2011, 12:35 pm

A Cartoon

Commentary — September 28, 2011, 9:33 am

Pro Patria Vivere: The Lure of the Libyan Front

Patrick Graham is a freelance writer based in Toronto. His article “Beyond Fallujah: A year with the Iraqi resistance,” which appeared in the June 2004 issue of Harper’s Magazine, won an Overseas Press Club award. This piece is based on “Among the Banana Eaters: The middle-class rebels behind Libya’s revolution,” which is in the October 2011 issue of Harper’s. Not long after the fall of Tripoli, the translator I’d worked with in Libya this past spring sent me an email. “How are you dude?” Abdullah wrote. “i was in Tripoli last week with the revolutionarys, finally i did it.” The …

No Comment — September 27, 2011, 4:00 pm

When Prosecution Becomes Persecution

Richard J. Oppel has just published a piece in the New York Times detailing the rising prominence of plea bargains in the U.S. criminal-justice system. In this passage, he shows how things got where they are: After decades of new laws to toughen sentencing for criminals, prosecutors have gained greater leverage to extract guilty pleas from defendants and reduce the number of cases that go to trial, often by using the threat of more serious charges with mandatory sentences or other harsher penalties. Some experts say the process has become coercive in many state and federal jurisdictions, forcing defendants to …

Weekly Review — September 27, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Mahmoud Abbas went before the United Nations General Assembly in support of Palestine’s bid for UN membership, saying his was a “defenseless people, armed only with their dreams, courage, hope, and slogans.” “Yeah,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his UN address. “Hopes, dreams, and 10,000 missiles.” Abbas returned to cheering crowds in Ramallah, though some Palestinians were skeptical of his quest. “We are not against a peaceful solution, but we don’t believe it,” said one West Bank resident.BBCUnited NationsUnited NationsNY Times In what it called an expression of Islamic mercy, Iran released a pair of American hikers detained …

Commentary — September 26, 2011, 10:41 pm

An Excerpt from “Getting Schooled: The re-education of an American teacher”

Garret Keizer is a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine. His most recent book is The Unwanted Sound of Everything. This is an excerpt from his essay “Getting Schooled,” which was published in the September 2011 issue of Harper’s. Subscribers can read the full piece here. On the first day of school I begin my classes with John Coltrane’s “Welcome,” at the closing bars of which a palpable attentiveness comes over my chattering students, proof of what I’ve always believed about the source of Coltrane’s genius and the wellspring within even the dopiest-seeming kid. “This is nice music,” one boy remarks, …

Commentary — September 26, 2011, 10:02 am

In Focus: Juvenile Injustice

Richard Ross is a photographer based in Santa Barbara, California. His work will be on view at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno from August to November 2012. His website is richardross.net. Richard Ross’s photo essay “Juvenile Injustice” appears in the October 2011 issue of Harper’s Magazine. The pictures in the essay were drawn from the five years Ross spent photographing and interviewing more than 1,000 juvenile detainees across the United States. We asked Ross to provide Harper’s online with a closer look at one of the prisoners he spoke with for the series:   Ronald Franklin In May …

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"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

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