Mother Jones


"My Guilt Will Never Go Away"

Mother Jones

Think of scenes from Tim O'Brien's iconic Vietnam War book, The Things They Carried, William Manchester's World War II odyssey, Goodbye Darkness, William Styron's Sophie's Choice, or films like William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives and Oliver Stone's Platoon. She was perhaps typical when she told the makers of the documentary film National Bird that, in helping carry out drone strikes which killed people across the globe by remote control, "I lost part of my humanity." This reality led me, as my book developed, to interview now-elderly Japanese who had experienced World War II as children. The Department of Veterans Affairs now acknowledges moral injury and its effects, and in 2014 Syracuse University created the Moral Injury Project to bring together vets, doctors, and chaplains to work on how to deal with it.


Here Are All the Sneaky Tricks Candidates Use to Dodge Debate Questions

Mother Jones

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will finally face-off in their first presidential debate tonight, in an event that's expected to draw a record-breaking 100 million viewers. Presidential debates, unlike those held during the primaries, are supposed to be, well, more presidential: there are specific rules governing how long candidates are supposed to speak and topics are set in advance. It's likely they'll dodge difficult questions, hurl insults, and in some cases, change the subject entirely. We The Voters has assembled a star-studded crew, including director Morgan Spurlock and actors and actresses such as Rosario Dawson, Tom Arnold, and Mario Cantone, to produce videos that break down the 2016 campaign in an approachable, entertaining way, so voters can get to the polls knowing exactly what's at stake.


But If You Don't Learn Cursive, How Will You Read the Declaration of Independence in the Original?

Mother Jones

Since the advent of the Common Core standards--which emphasizes keyboard skills over nicely shaped P's and Q's--it's been common knowledge for years that teachers are abandoning cursive in droves, spending classroom time instead on new technology and typing. John Hancock's "John Hancock" appears prominently on the Declaration of Independence. With handwriting under threat by typewriters, Austin Palmer introduces a smaller, faster writing style, taught via militaristic "drills." From a Louisiana poll test: "Write every other word in this first line and print every third word in same line (original type smaller and first line ended at comma) but capitalize the fifth word that you write."


Missouri Transgender Inmate Sues After State Denies Hormone Treatment

Mother Jones

The Missouri inmate, 37-year-old Jessica Hicklin, says hormone therapy was recommended by doctors at Potosi Correctional Center to treat her gender dysphoria, a medical diagnosis that's often given when a mismatch between a person's gender identity and biological sex causes severe distress. Federal prisons are required to provide inmates with individualized medical care, including hormone therapy, but that's not true at the state level. Missouri, like some other states, has what's called a "freeze frame policy," which means an inmate can only receive hormone therapy in a state prison if he or she was receiving it prior to incarceration. Last year, the Department of Justice weighed in on a similar case in Georgia, where a transgender woman named Ashley Diamond sued the state's department of corrections for its freeze frame policy in February 2015.


The Obama Administration Finally Revealed How Many Civilians Have Died in Drone Strikes

Mother Jones

The Obama administration announced on Friday that the United States has killed a much lower number of civilians in drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia than have been previously estimated by outside researchers. The report is the first time the Obama administration has provided official estimates of the death toll in the secretive drone war. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a London-based investigative news outlet, calculates that the Obama administration has killed at least 325 civilians in drone strikes outside of war zones (and possibly hundreds more). The government's report acknowledged that official numbers would vary from outside estimates.