Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, having spent much of his career trying to interpret the Constitution away, now wants to change it. He has written a book entitled Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution. He has published an op-ed piece on how he thinks the Second Amendment can be “fixed” by adding five simple words. See them, along with some thoughts, after the jump. [Read more…]
Charles Krauthammer gives the name for handling disagreements by silencing and punishing those who hold opposing ideas:
The left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced. [Read more…]
When we think of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other civil liberties, we usually think of the way the government has violated or could potentially violate them. The Bill of Rights limits what the government can do and thus is an important safe guard of its citizens’ freedom. And yet, the government is not the only institution that can quench civil liberties, as we see in the Duck Dynasty controversy. Phil Robertson’s freedom of speech and his freedom of religion were punished not by the government but by the Arts & Entertainment Network, along with the corporations that sponsor his show.
Corporations are not restricted by the Bill of Rights. Nor is the more generalized “social pressure” that comes from cultural disapproval. But individuals who are silenced by corporations–which in some ways have more power than the government–are not free. Individuals whose religion is persecuted by the society–whether from mobs or cultural sanctions–are not free. [Read more…]
The FBI has some new crime-fighting technology in its collective utility belt. FBI-employed hackers can now infect suspects’ computers with malware that will allow investigators to download whatever they might find.
This process, which still requires a court order, takes wiretapping to a new level. [Read more…]
Apparently terrorists, military operatives, and spies in real life also like to pretend that they are terrorists, military operatives, and spies. So the National Security Administration (NSA) and the British equivalent (GCHQ) have been monitoring online games and spying on gamers. [Read more…]
According to a document leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA has been tracking visits to porn sites and other questionable activities as a way to discredit or perhaps blackmail suspected Muslim terrorists. Read about it after the jump. Is this a brilliant tactic that should be expanded to combat the pornography plague or a dangerous precedent-setting invasion of privacy? Or what? [Read more…]