Here’s my author page at Mother Jones. And here’s some recent stuff:
Saudi Arabia’s US-Backed Air War in Yemen May Have Committed War Crimes—Again — Mother Jones, Jan. 8, 2016
This Doctor Wants to Treat Your Crippling Fear of Death With Uncut Ecstasy — Mother Jones, Jan. 8, 2016
Obama Set Free 95 Non-Violent Drug Offenders. What About All the Pot Lifers? — Mother Jones, Dec. 18, 2015
The Difficult, Dangerous Work of Tallying the ISIS Death Toll — Mother Jones, Dec. 9, 2015
Inside Anonymous’ Messy Ciberwar Against ISIS — Mother Jones, Nov. 24, 2015
Weapons Companies’ Stocks Surge After Paris Attacks — Mother Jones, Nov. 18, 2015
We Just Sold Another Billion Dollars Worth of Weapons to Our Frenemies In Saudi Arabia — Mother Jones, Nov. 16, 2015
Do War Photos Have to be Ugly to Make a Difference? — Mother Jones, Nov. 12, 2015
America Has Lost Its Soul, This Unforgettable New Singer Has Found It — Mother Jones, Nov/Dec. 2015
Is the US Bombing of the MSF Hospital in Kunduz a War Crime? — Mother Jones, Oct. 7, 2015
Donald Trump’s Plan to Repeal Birthright Citizenship Would Result In a Humanitarian Crisis — Mother Jones, Aug. 26, 2015
ISIS Beheaded a Syrian Archaeologist Who Refused to Reveal the Location of Ancient Artifacts — Mother Jones, Aug. 19, 2015
American Weapons and Support Are Fueling a Bloody Air War in Yemen — Mother Jones, Aug. 5, 2015
Waiting to Die in Prison—for Selling a Couple of Bags of Pot — Mother Jones, July/August 2015
Update: Obama Just Granted Clemency to a Pot Lifer. But Dozens More Remain Behind Bars — Mother Jones, July 15, 2015
A Year Ago Today, ISIS Announced Its Plan to Create an Islamic State (Timeline) — Mother Jones, June 29, 2015
There’s an International Standard for Cops and Deadly Force. Guess How Your State Ranks —Mother Jones, June 25, 2015
How US Cluster Bombs Banned by Most Countries Ended Up in Yemen — Mother Jones, June 9, 2015
America’s Cops Shoot More People Than Criminals Do in Most Developed Nations — Mother Jones, June 3, 2015
Hillary Clinton Oversaw US Arms Deals to Clinton Foundation Donors — Mother Jones, May 28, 2015
ISIS Just Captured One of Syria’s Most Magnificent Ancient Cities — Mother Jones, May 20, 2015
The Pipeline That Texans Are Freaking Out Over (Nope, Not Keystone) — Mother Jones, May 15, 2015
When Homemade, Untraceable, Military-Style Semi-Automatic Rifles Go Bad — Mother Jones, May 14, 2015
The Thin White Line: Most Cops Don’t Look Like the Residents They Serve — Mother Jones, May 5, 2015
“Pack Some Clean Underwear” and Other Travel Tips From ISIS — Mother Jones, April 2, 2015
Meet the “Monuments Men” Risking Everything to Save Syria’s Ancient Treasures From ISIS — Mother Jones, May/June 2015
The US is the Only Country in the World That Locks Up Kids for Life. Could That Finally Change? — Mother Jones, Feb. 11, 2015
The Music of Jihad is Beautiful and Terrifying — Mother Jones, Feb. 9, 2015
The Rescue of Mahmoud Ibildi — Vocativ, December 16, 2014 | The story of 10-day old Mahmoud Ibildi, who survived being trapped in the rubble of a bombed-out building in Aleppo for 14 hours, and his rescuer, Khaled Harrah.
Training Syria’s Elite Rescue Force — Men’s Journal, December 2014 | How a group of ill-equipped civilian volunteers has saved 3700 lives in Syria since 2013.
The Nate Silver of Fracking — Outside Magazine, December 2014 | Shane Davis is data-mining the oil and gas industry to win hearts, minds, and legislative battles.
The Syrian Smuggler Who Thinks He’s Like Jesus — Vocativ, Nov. 18, 2014 | The cafés of Istanbul are where Syrian war refugees meet up with smugglers who promise—for a stiff fee—to sneak them into Europe. Messi is one of those smugglers.
Anywhere But Here – 5280 Magazine, October 2014 | If Douglas Alward would have just stayed put, he would have been out of prison 25 years ago. Instead, he’s become the escape artist who’s fled prison seven times but has never truly gotten away. Currently he’s locked up in solitary, but he won’t be forever. Will he try to escape again? The New Yorker thinks you should read this one. So does Esquire.
Working the Weedconomy - Vocativ, 7/28/14 — 8/01/14 (5-part series) | As Colorado’s $1 billion marijuana market coins first-time millionaires and creates thousands of new jobs, I trailed five different workers to collate snapshots of this new world of legalized weed. (Part I: The Grower; Part II: The Trimmer; Part III: The Baker; Part IV: The Bud Tender; and Part V: The Cannabus Tour Guide)
The Agony of the Liberal Gun Lover - Pacific Standard, 06/10/2014 | Shunned by peers and bummed by the NRA: I asked a bunch of liberal gun owners what it’s like to be left-leaning and gun-toting in America. Also: The Liberal Gun Club - Pacific Standard, March/April 2014 | What happens when left-leaning politics meets gun-ownership? You become a pariah from both sides. According to Gallup, there are some 16 million liberals who own guns in the United States. This is a brief interview with one of them.
Writing on the Wall - GOOD Magazine, Spring 2014 | Firas Fayyad, after having been imprisoned and tortured by the Assad regime, now helps run Sout Raya (Sound of the Flag), an Istanbul-based radio station that utilizes a secret network of reporters inside Syria to broadcast news to Syrians desperate to know what’s happening inside their country.
Call of Duty – 5280 Magazine, February 2014 | Last fall, Rick Raemisch took charge of the Colorado Department of Corrections in the wake of his predecessor’s assassination. Now it’s his job to reform the state’s beleaguered prison system. I spent several months shadowing Raemisch – at prisons, advocacy group meetings, directors’ strategy retreats, etc – for an inside look at how he intends to reinvent a prison system that’s come under fire for its harsh use of solitary confinement, a dearth of rehabilitation efforts, and a series of errors in oversight that some argue led to the deaths of several Colorado individuals.
The Disconnect – 5280 Magazine, January 2014 | A troubling lack of state funding is shifting the burden of higher education costs onto students—and the real victim might be Colorado’s future economy.
Resurrection – 5280 Magazine, September 2013 | In 1996, Robert “Rider” Dewey was convicted of the brutal rape and murder of 19-year-old Jacie Taylor. He spent the next 17 years in prison trying to prove his innocence. This is the story of his quest for freedom.
Semiautomatic for the People – Mother Jones, July/August 2013 | Even in California, a state known for its strict gun laws, it’s legal to build completely untraceable semi-automatic rifles like AK-47s and AR-15s. People gather for “build parties” and do exactly that. No background checks. No serial numbers. No questions. I attended one and wrote about it for Mother Jones. Online here. Other outlets covered the article: Daily Mail, Media Bistro, Wired (turned me into a gif, a first), The Verge, MSN and Salon.
The Dealmaker – 5280 Magazine, March 2013 | Mark Ferrandino has had to overcome learning disabilities, harassment, and prejudice to become Colorado’s new, and first openly gay, House Speaker. But will leading the Legislature be his toughest challenge yet?
Articles for Switchback Magazine, where I’m an editor-at-large, and Peloton, Switchback’s road biking sister magazine:
Critical Mass Istanbul & the Quest to Cross the Bosphorus Bridge | Switchback Magazine (May 2014): How a couple of bike hacks and some awesome Critical Mass-organizing Istanbulites circumvented police checkpoints to illegally cross the famous bridge that connects Europe and Asia.
The Republic of Doom | Switchback Magazine (November 2013): How and why to get lost and not care, to battle the wilds and not die, and to place your trust in the magic of feral burros when all else fails. If you’re going on a tour, it may as well be a Wild Ass Tour.
Half Asleep In Terra Incognita | Switchback Magazine (July 2013): How Jay Petervary crushed the Iditarod Invitational on a broken ankle and no sleep.
Odyssey of the Lone Ranger | Switchback Magazine (March 2013): For justin Simoni, life is performance art – even on the longest and toughest mountain bike race in the world. (The .pdf attached is Part I of the 8,000-word story. Check Switchback’s website for Part II.)
For Blood & Oil | Switchback Magazine (November 2012): The Maah Daah Hey trail in the western North Dakota Badlands sits above a sea of oil. Will it survive the boom?