“10 Most Essential ’70s Conspiracy Thrillers”: Jesse Walker

with a list. I'm actually posting this mainly for the commenters who added Alien and Rosemary's Baby as sf/horror cousins of the '70s conspiracy genre (and I admit that I was surprised to read that Rosemary is actually from the late '60s--doesn't it feel '70s to you?). … [Read more...]

“Dire Civil Liberties Predictions for 2014″

See if you can guess the twist ending! … [Read more...]

“Hounding Whistleblowers Is Wrong”: David Cay Johnston

in Newsweek:...I think Keller, my former boss, missed the underlying issue: Why assume that leakers must risk all? Why assume leakers must be prosecuted? My Newsweek piece noted that the British Official Secrets Act included a "public interest" defense for whistleblowers, until Parliament cut it from the law in 1989. The U.S. should enact a public interest defense. Leakers could still face prosecution, but they could try to persuade a jury that their acts were justified in defense of the … [Read more...]

“We Need a Whistleblower Prize”: Radley Balko

at HuffPo: ...High-level whistleblowers know when they come forward that they're sacrificing their national security clearance, likely their jobs, and quite possibly their freedom. Set aside for a moment what you think about the actions of Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden. Imagine you have a top-level security clearance, and you discover in the course of your work evidence of illegal government activity. Even going through the proper internal channels carries risks, and aren't likely to change … [Read more...]

“Even Law-Abiding People…”: Tim Carney

makes a whole bunch of good points: ...In other words, why should law-abiding citizens mind federal surveillance?The answer begins with this distressing reality: None of us scrupulously obeys the law. Technically speaking, we're all criminals.Federal and state criminal statutes have multiplied like rabbits over the decades, and so now everyone breaks the law, probably every day.Copy a song to your laptop from a friend's Beyonce CD? You just violated the Digital Millennium Copyright … [Read more...]

“With Government Abuses, The Problem Is the Power, Not the Person”: JD Tuccille

at Reason: ...Bovard sketches how "President Franklin Roosevelt used the IRS to harass newspaper publishers who were opposed to the New Deal" and "Kennedy ... used the IRS to strong-arm companies into complying with "voluntary" price controls. Steel executives who defied the administration were singled out for audits." He points out that the "IRS was ... given Nixon's enemies list to, in the words of White House counsel John Dean, 'use the available federal machinery to screw our political … [Read more...]

“The Obama Synthesis Under Siege”: Ross Douthat

blogs: The true ideological inclinations of the Obama White House can be endlessly debated, but slightly more than halfway through this presidency I think it’s fair to make the following generalization: Obama has governed as a business-friendly social democrat and an aggressive social liberal, as a hawkish interventionist when intervention seems cheap and easy (drones, missiles, etc.) and a cautious realist when it doesn’t, and as a surprisingly vigorous defender of presidential prerogatives acr … [Read more...]


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