NSA data collection raises more questions than answers

In his book, The Republican Brain, Chris Mooney describes how there are certain types of issues in which Democrats mimic the illogical positions of most Republicans. He cites examples such as the Keystone Pipeline and fracking for natural gas. Both of these involve considerable data analysis. Sometimes Democrats distance themselves from the data because it…

NSA leaker Snowden and the debatable definition of “heroism”

Edward Snowden is back in the news with a story that the government may be considering offering him amnesty in exchange for return of the remaining estimated 1.5 million classified NSA documents in his possession. In the months since Snowden first leaked documents to the press, I’ve found myself engaged in conversations discussing issues I…

Jimmy Carter: “America no longer has a functioning democracy”

On Tuesday, July 16, at an event in Atlanta, ex-president Jimmy Carter made his blockbuster statement referring to, among other issues, the mass surveillance of U.S. citizens. The event was sponsored by a German organization devoted to building German American relations. Der Spiegel and the International Business Times reported on Carter’s comments. His comments have…

Daniel Ellsberg: Edward Snowden was right to leave the U.S.

Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA’s surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans’ and foreign citizens’ privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we’re trying to protect. —Daniel Ellsberg, Guardian 6/10/13 Many people compare Edward Snowden to me…

Are we all eco-terrorists now?

I wasn’t much interested in all of the hullabaloo about the government spying on our phone calls, emails, etc., until I read this article about how the definition of “eco terrorist” is being stretched to include peaceful protests. If a “tree hugger” or “tree sitter” is a terrorist, then those of us who are members…

Obama to pick Bush Deputy Attorney General James Comey to head FBI

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) felt compelled to comment on Obama’s May 30 announcement of his choice of James Comey to head the FBI: While the ACLU does not take official positions on nominations to appointed office, there are many questions regarding Comey’s record that deserve careful scrutiny from the Senate Judiciary Committee. As…