“7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider’s Perspective)”: Mara Wilson

at Cracked--some blunt and fairly painful stuff in here. … [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...]

“No Place to Stand”: I review “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”

at AmCon: Both the title and the trailer of Mira Nair’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” (now playing in DC at the E Street Cinema and Bethesda Row Cinema) suggest that this will be the story of how a man becomes a fundamentalist: how a young-gun New York financier, humiliated and mistreated after 9/11, turns his back on America and returns to Pakistan to become an Islamic terrorist. This is not the actual story of the film. In a sense the movie has too much story for this summary, and the prota … [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...]

“Collateral Costs of Incarceration”: Pew Charitable Trusts

report: Incarceration reduces former inmates’ earnings by 40 percent and limits their future economic mobility, according to a new Pew report, Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility. This is a growing challenge now that 1 in every 28 children in America has a parent behind bars, up from 1 in 125 just 25 years ago.“People who break the law need to be held accountable and pay their debt to society,” said Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project of the … [Read more...]

How much of the prison population explosion in the USA is due to the war on drugs?

PrawfsBlawg (a law blog) looks at some numbers: ...Consider the following thought experiment. What would US prison populations in 2009 look like if in 1980 we released all 23,900 prisoners serving time for drug offenses (the 19,000 state prisoners plus 4,900 federal drug inmates) and proceeded to admit no prisoners for drug crimes in the subsequent years? Instead of rising 3.8-fold, it would have risen 3-fold. A difference, but not an enormous one. (I’ll show my work for these numbers shortly i … [Read more...]

“Congress Goes Bipartisan–Against Civil Liberties”: W James Antle III

at AmCon: At the very time it appears Washington is so dysfunctional that the two parties cannot get anything done, Democrats and Republicans cooperate regularly—when it it comes to jailing, spying on, and meting out extrajudicial punishments in ways that on their face contradict the Bill of Rights. more … [Read more...]


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