Wednesday December 11, 2013
Archive - Jun 27, 2013
The Founders created a system of checks and balances. Those overseeing the nation's spying have switched to a system of cheers and bouquets.
This was the impression given by members of the House intelligence committee as they held an open-to-the-public hearing Tuesday on the National Security Agency's snooping into Americans' phone and Internet records.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the bipartisan Gang of Eight seeking historic reform of American immigration policy, has warned his party colleagues they'd better get aboard or forget about electing one of their own to the Oval Office in 2016.
Is it just my friends, or is nearly everyone on an absurd diet these days?
One friend says she’s on a “primal” diet. She’s trying to eat like cavemen and will devour wild game when she can get it. Another goes on a month-long “detox” fast each year. Somehow, he survives on nothing but lemonade spiked with maple syrup and cayenne pepper.
Labor unions have been knocked back, knocked down and knocked out for so long that a new generation of organizers is beginning to try something new. Instead of unionizing and then protesting, they're protesting first.
That may sound a little oversimplified, but not by much. The new strategy involves helping workers to protest for more money and benefits and, after winning some victories, hope the workers will form a union.
Lunch had run late, and by the time we got back to our hotel, Hung Huang was already in the lobby waiting for us. Blunt, opinionated and wickedly funny, Huang is one of the country's top fashion editors. But she is better known for her acerbic posts on Weibo, a microblog, where she has 7.5 million followers. As we introduced ourselves - four journalists on a three-city tour of China - she passed around a picture that someone had texted her.
One diverting aspect of The Guardian-inspired hullaballoo over NSA surveillance has been watching people bicker about it on Facebook. In the old Soviet Union, people walked in the woods or hid in the bathroom with the faucets running to whisper forbidden thoughts. Here in the USA, people post them online along with cute kitten videos and photos of Reuben sandwiches.
It’s good to know that our friendly, über-secret National Security Agency is out there every day, protecting our freedom. By violating it.
A whistleblower has blown the lid off the NSA’s super-snoop program of rummaging electronically through about a billion phone calls made every day by us average Americans. This revelation prompted Al Gore to tweet: “Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?”
It all depends how you look at it, really.
One man's hit man is another's humanitarian.
Johnny "The Executioner" Martorano, who turned government witness and copped to killing 20 men and women as part of Whitey Bulger's Winter Hill Gang, explained to Whitey's lawyer Tuesday in federal court here that he was motivated by love of family and friends.
And so it begins again, and on cue.
Like an incendiary device on a timer, summer has turned patches of Rocky Mountain paradise into scenes of fiery hell.
The people of Colorado are beginning to wonder if for the foreseeable future they are locked into four seasons: fall, winter, spring and wildfire.
Only 23 percent of Americans, a new Reuters poll says, consider former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden a “traitor” for blowing the whistle on the federal government’s massive surveillance habit.
Many Americans clearly do find the idea of government agents snooping through their phone calls and emails a good bit unnerving.