“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...]

Glenn Greenwald on Whistleblowers (Also the Pet Shop Boys)

This dynamic - the hallmark of a healthy and free society - has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That's the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they … [Read more...]

“Five Insane Laws Written Specifically to Harass Poor People”: Look, It’s Cracked

so it is not exactly a Brookings Institute report, but, well, I wouldn't read a Brookings Institute report and neither should you. … [Read more...]

“A New York Needle Exchange Program in Action”: Sarah Beller

at The Fix: Around 6 pm on a spring evening, I walk with Hector Mata through an area of northern Manhattan known as “the Zig-Zag," sculpted by the off-ramps of the George Washington Bridge. We pass a playground, go down through a woodsy area, slip through a hole in a fence, and step into a clearing next to a highway. We see cushions, blankets, a makeshift tent and a near-human-sized doll. A real woman is sitting against a stone wall."That's Chris," says Mata. As she hears us approaching, s … [Read more...]

“The 7-Step Guide to Our Idiotic Disaster-Relief Politics”: Matt Welch

at Reason; links aplenty: By now you should recognize the formula:1) Natural disaster (tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake, fire, snowstorm, heavy rainstorm, volcano) kills multiple people.2) President (Obama, Bush II, Clinton, Bush I) vows to survivors that the federal government will "be with you every step of the way" in the rebuilding process. more … [Read more...]

“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...]


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