Me on the Okavango Delta

My name is Ryan Cooper, and I am a writer and a journalist. This is my personal website.

Currently I'm a National Correspondent for TheWeek.com. I'm a blogger, basically.

Find me on Facebook, Twitter (also on the sidebar), and Google+. Find my stuff for The Week here.

Find some stuff I've written for TNR here.

I've written quite a bit for the Washington Monthly but there isn't a good way of finding it aside from like this. The same goes for the Washington Post, where I was a contributing writer for several months at Greg Sargent's blog.


  1. I recently watch your short video. You describe the environmental movement as a movement to set aside undeveloped land. That is not correct. That description does fit Teddy Roosevelt and a much earlier time.

    The environmental movement was very much concerned with toxins of all types - pesticides, herbicides, carcinogens, and environmental collapse from those toxins. Silent Spring was not about a park. It was also concerned with fisheries, wildlife, and it was the beginning of the organic food movement, an interest in herbs and natural healing, and a serious back-to-the-land movement for many people. We were also concerned about nuclear everything, military intervention for resources, and pretty much all the things that are occurring now except for global warming, which I was not aware of until later. The environmental movement of the 60s and 70s was far, far larger than you describe it to be.

    We just lost. Just like the Indians lost. There was a fork in the road that had to be taken, and we knew it, and the majority of the people and the powers that be did not take that road. They took the path to destruction.

    We knew that if it didn't happen then, it was very, very bad. It affected what did or did not occur in environmental activism for the next 20+ years.

    But it doesn't mean that we didn't understand or that we were not talking about and working for all the current environmental issues that plague the planet, because we were.

    We did and said the things that you are doing and saying. And we lost.

  2. My video was somewhat exaggerated, but much of what you demonstrate underlines my point. I'm not a fan of the word "toxin," but as you use it it's more a classic environmentalist issue rather than an existential one. Lead in gasoline, for example, is a transfer of resources from the broad population to the automobile and oil sectors in the form of unpriced externalities, not something that would eventually destroy those sectors themselves.

    The Indians lost but the white people won; the whites didn't end up slitting their own throats too.

    Now, I'm not blaming the environmentalists for this. Obviously they have been the first people to notice the problem of global warming, and for that they deserve a lot of credit. I'm just saying this is a different category of problem.

  3. Ryan..just read your refreshing article in The Week - Immigration problems solved by legalizing drugs...just making sure you know of LEAP?.... i am a co-founder and am law enforcement's advocate/lobbyist in the halls of Congress... i am at your service, howard

    PS.. i have some allies in the embassies here in DC...I was at the UN conf. in Vienna this past March..& i speak 4 languages

    1. Yeah, I know all about LEAP, I once brought Norm Stamper to my school back when I was in college. Great guy :-)

    2. Bitcoin hasn't failed (probably one of the dumbest articles i've read so far).

  4. The media needs to get over its blind hatred of Hillary ????? There are so many reasons to hate her but there is not enough room on this blog. A couple of reasons:
    1. Her acceptance of Bill's adultery is baffling (but she does it for political gain)
    2. She has been caught in so many lies that soon MSNBC will be calling her on it (but she does it for political gain)
    3. Her work as Secretary of State was unremarkable and no notable things were accomplished (but she did it for political gain)

    P.S. I love how you call out the Centrist Press. What a joke. About 95% of the press is liberal if their writings are compared to the definition.

    Craig Dombrowski

  5. Hey Ryan, this regards your recent Trump blather blog. You obviously don't spend enough time with regular Americans. Your "Trump is a fascist" drivel I'm sure gets all high fives at pinky raising cocktail parties with other parasites in the media. Maybe it gets you laid too, even with women. Why don't you get a real job and stop hiding behind your keyboard. Maybe you could get a construction job so when you spout off nonsense you get punched in the mouth.

    1. Construction is what put me through college, friend :-)

  6. Hi Ryan

    I just read your article How a 26 year-old White Wiman died a horrible death in an American jail. As someone who has worked in substance abuse facilities, I have to say that heroin withdrawals are not typically fatal like alcohol withdrawals can be. It wouldn't have been as simple as injecting her with Buprinorphine a couple of times to save her life, as your article suggested. People often suffer from painful withdrawals from Buprinorphine as well. My guess is that she was dehydrated (yes that's a complication from heroin withdrawal) and maybe this would have contributed to her death and maybe she desperately needed hydration instead of a heroin substitute to satisfy her opiate receptors. I get that you were trying to make the point that "it could happen to anyone" in an American jail but I found your article, about this particular case, inflammatory & too full of unknowns to make your case. Just my humble opinion

  7. Hey Ryan, I just read your "article" for The Week concerning a young woman who died in a county jail. I have a question, are you deliberately a liar, or are you just ignorant? How can you be so myopic and racist? It doesn't matter what color your skin is when you're in jail, they treat everybody the same, like shit. You don't seem to understand that poor and working class whites are treated, on average, the same as poor and working class blacks. So, just keep pushing your Marxist agenda and when the shit finally hits the fan just remember, you are a useful idiot.

  8. Ryan,

    I read your article on the death of a 26 year-old white woman in an American jail. I also read your ethic statements. I would like to challenge you on some of the statements in your article. Specifically, regarding the ratios you provide for suicides in jails as opposed to prisons. You use these figures to paint a very bleak picture of our Nations jails. Furthermore, you offer no explanation as to WHY suicides are higher in jail settings. Sure, there are links to other stories and, maybe they expound on the represented figures, but you use them to ignite a bias in those who read your article; which, as far as I can tell, is mostly an op-ed.

    Suicides and suicides occur at a higher frequency in jails because of the nature of what a jail IS. Think about it. Yesterday, a person was sitting on their sofa, eating a cheeseburger, and today they are in any random jail being told when to eat and what to eat. Where they are supposed to sleep and when they are supposed to sleep, etc.. The stress of initial confinement coupled with the lack of independence / control is what drives suicides and suicide attempts upon initial incarceration. Reaching our incarcerated populations and helping them cope with the gravity of their situations and their choices is a real need in our jails today. I think you should consider reporting on that, if this is truly something you care about.

    Back to your ethics statement. You state: We are guided by an ability to be transparent and independent, to clearly assess what’s going on in our community and have the courage to plainly state the truth. You missed this one by a mile in your article. Your bias is so blatant you couldn't possibly state the state the truth, plainly or otherwise.

    I encourage you to rethink your ethics statements as you consider the articles you are writing about and what lens you are using as you "report" on the issues of our Nation.


  9. I saw your blog about life expectancy vs income. So you just want to hand out checks and social insurance? Yet are complaining about other proposals that would be hellishly expensive and create a permanent underclass? That is exactly what your proposals entail. Not sure they would address the life expectancy of the poor until the poor would decide on their own to make healthier lifestyle choices....progressives can't and should not force them to.

    And for the free college....so a federal institution (5) would be free to every american but you cap enrollment at 100K per? So it doesn't include every American?

    Your lack of self awareness inspires me.

  10. Ryan , your article headlined,"Trump, the ethnic cleanser", hits a snag when you refer to illegal immigrants as "practically model citizens". Hyperbole does not help you make your case.

    I say this as someone who greatly respects the work ethic of Latino immigrants. I think it is a total lie to say they are taking American jobs that anyone else wants. Here in Virginia, employers would like to stay legal, but they will do what they have to to fill manual labor jobs.

    The U.S. gov't is disingenuous about what happens to illegals. False SSN #s mean money into federal coffers that doesn't have to be paid out. Local businesses take advantage of these folks, who often cannot get a bank account, and who shop at the nearest over-priced venues.

    All that said, illegals take advantage of EDs at hospitals, use the schools while paying very little in property taxes,and make use of what social services they can. Some of them do not want U.S. citizenship,only to send home a modest amount of money to enable a better life upon return to their native lands (which seems fair enough to me). To say that they do not have a role in criminal activity is naive- anybody with nothing to lose will behave without constraint on occasion.

    I believe that they are a net positive to the nation as a whole, and that agriculture and the restaurant industry cannot do without them. A pathway to citizenship just makes sense, morally, and financially.A better question to be debating is just how many more people the country should allow in, and how to regulate this in the future. Do we need secure borders, and would they constitute another step towards a police state?

  11. Thank you for writing the piece on the Criminalization of Poverty, Ryan. Very sad. Question please: is there any data on the crimes/category/seriousness of crimes that the "bailed in" are arrested for ? With all the over crowding of prisons/jails etc, the correlation of the crimes category/seriousness etc should help make this a compelling issue for lawmakers to pursue. Thanks.

  12. Thank you for writing the piece on the Criminalization of Poverty, Ryan. Very sad. Question please: is there any data on the crimes/category/seriousness of crimes that the "bailed in" are arrested for ? With all the over crowding of prisons/jails etc, the correlation of the crimes category/seriousness etc should help make this a compelling issue for lawmakers to pursue. Thanks.

  13. Just read your article which evidently seeks to minimize the danger of ISIS in the US, paraphrasing-the Orlando massacre was not terrorism but mass murder. Your article displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the threat ISIS poses and their manner of encouraging and sanctioning attacks here. Mischaracterizing events and minimizing the threat of a savage yet amorphous group of killers as you have represents a dangerous chase down a rabbit hole which effectively encourages gnoring an identifiable threat to public safety.

  14. I expect you've seen this?


    Get on over ther and reply, I should!