Secret Service fiasco gets worse

You’ve probably heard about the man who jumped the fence around the White House, ran up to the building, and actually opened the unlocked, unguarded door and went inside.  Well, now it turns out that it was worse than that.  He ran all through the first floor, overpowering a guard, running through the 80-foot-long East Room and making it all the way to the Green Room before someone stopped him.  He was carrying a knife.

Nobody released the guard dog that was trained to tackle runners on the lawn.  Nobody set off the alarms.  All of the guards were not at their posts.  And, crucially, the snipers on the roof never fired their weapons. [Read more...]

Watching porn on taxpayer time

A senior Environmental Protection Agency official has been caught spending as much as six hours a day watching pornography on government computers.  This has sparked a bill in Congress that would forbid that sort of thing–which is also hurting productivity in private companies–in government agencies. [Read more...]

Great Britain will decentralize its government

In response to the near secession of Scotland from the United Kingdom, the British government is promising to decentralize, giving more power to regional and local governments.  (Not just Scotland but Wales and Northern Ireland already have their own parliaments.  England hasn’t, being content to rule all of the others, but now England itself may become more like a state in the larger United Kingdom.)

The desire for weaker central governments seems to be a world-wide phenomenon and is exactly what American conservatives have been calling for.  But the British have always put on the best Tea Parties. [Read more...]

Cell phones the police can’t tap into

You can set up a passcode to protect the information on your cell phone.  But the manufacturers can still unlock that information if given a court order, giving police and other government agencies access to people’s private data.  But Apple has announced that the new operating system for iPhones, iOS 8, will not give the company access to passcode-protected phones, making it technologically impossible to comply with snooping requests.  Android is following suit.

What do you think of this?  Is it a commendable blow for personal privacy against government surveillance?  Or is it an abdication of responsibility to help authorities fight crime?

[Read more...]

Congress approves war with ISIL with little debate

Congress signed off on President Obama’s plan for an air war against the Islamic State, both in Iraq and in Syria.  The war authorization was attached to a budget bill, and it passed both the House and the Senate on a bi-partisan vote with virtually no debate.

The last two times we entered a war in Iraq, Congress held extensive hearings and debates.  But not this time. [Read more...]

Air Force will now allow atheist oaths

We blogged about the atheist airman who was not allowed to re-enlist unless he could swear the military oath to protect the Constitution “so help me God.”  The Air Force has changed its policy to allow that part to be left out, a move being applauded by religious liberty groups. [Read more...]


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