United States






Jill Lepore details the incredible number of guns in America, for the New Yorker: …There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million…


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Via Domus, a map of the United States, in the form of its 259 most crucial infrastructural sites as revealed by a 2010 WikiLeaks release:

We might say with only slight exaggeration that the United States exists in its current state of economic and military well-being due to a peripheral constellation of sites found all over the world.

These far-flung locations—such as rare-earth mines, telecommunications hubs and vaccine suppliers—are like geopolitical buttresses, as important for the internal operations of the United States as its own homeland security.

However, this overseas network is neither seamless nor even necessarily identifiable as such. Rather, it is aggressively and deliberately discontiguous, and rarely acknowledged in any detail.

That is what made the controversial release by WikiLeaks, in December 2010, of a long list of key infrastructural sites deemed vital to the national security of the United States so interesting…


Via Al Jazeera English:

The US has the highest prison population in the world – some of whom  have been subjected to lengthy sentences for relatively minor crimes.  And that population has surged over the past three decades.

Although there has been a slight reduction in the past year, more  than two million people are either incarcerated in prison or in jail  awaiting trial.

The US has the highest rate of imprisonment in  the world, with 743 people incarcerated for every 100,000 Americans. No  other nation even comes close to these figures.

One explanation for the boom in the prison population is the mandatory sentencing imposed for drug offences and the “tough on crime” attitude that has prevailed since the 1980s.

But it is the length of sentences that truly distinguishes US prison policy. Some prisoners are locked up for life – literally – and many receive harsh sentences for non-violent crime…



For those Americans who think that escaping the frigid climes of the northern states for sunny Florida is the path to happiness, think again (about Miami at least). Reuters reports: Warm sun,…


Reuters reports on yet another uniquely American subculture: When Patty Tegeler looks out the window of her home overlooking the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia, she sees trouble on the horizon. “In…




An opinion piece by Skeptic Magazine’s Michael Shermer in the LA Times has stirred up lots of strong opinions amongst Angelenos. What do disinfonauts think? The House voted 396-9 this week to…





Is America’s bigger problem the economic decline or it’s political decay? Andrew Potter writes in Axis of Logic: The most telling moment of the recent standoff over talks to raise the American…


viewerSad statistic of the day from IANS via Yahoo News:

Believe it or not, one in seven Americans – 15 percent of the country – now need government-provided food stamps simply to survive, according to latest government figures.

Nearly 46 million Americans receive food stamps out of a population of some 311 million people, the US Department of Agriculture, which administers what’s officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme reported Thursday.

The continued high unemployment and the weak US economy have contributed to the explosive growth of the food stamp programme with no end in sight to the monthly increases, CNN said noting that 27 million people were dependent on food stamps in October 2007…