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Entries from July 2008

The Visible FISA

July 11th, 2008 · No Comments

For those of you sick of reading me babble on about the FISA amendments, here’s the summary in pictures.

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Tags: Privacy and Surveillance

Follow the Money

July 11th, 2008 · No Comments

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Tags: Privacy and Surveillance

A Specific Problem

July 11th, 2008 · No Comments

Since the previous post is long and a little technical, I want to pull out one point more succinctly. When Congress amended FISA in the years after 9/11 to allow for “roving” wiretaps, they made some other balancing changes in the law. In particular, since FISA orders can be granted based on a description of […]

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Tags: Law · Privacy and Surveillance

A Few Further Questions About the FISA Bill

July 10th, 2008 · No Comments

Some things are clear about the FISA Amendments Act that President Bush signed into law today: Despite occasional attempts to persuade us otherwise, it licenses surveillance of Americans’ communications with overseas parties. But is that all it permits? Join me, if you will, on a short trip through the weeds of the foreign intelligence surveillance […]

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Tags: Law · Privacy and Surveillance

A Tale of Two Pills

July 10th, 2008 · 7 Comments

John McCain apparently had an awkward exchange with reporters today when one asked whether he thought it was fair that insurance often covers Viagra but not birth control pills. Obviously there’s a superficial symmetry, but I’d think the distinction is pretty elementary: Erectile disfunction is, in theory, a medical condition that will unpredictably strike some […]

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Tags: Economics · Sexual Politics

Snobbery!

July 9th, 2008 · 10 Comments

What’s that? Barack Obama thinks that our schools should be as successful as those in other developed nations at ensuring that American students master a foreign language? Elitist! Next he’ll be suggesting that we try to teach math or reading as well as Canada and Japan. Not in my America, MENSA-boy! Update: Some folks piling […]

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Tags: Academia · Stupid Shit

Obama’s Support for My IMAGINARY Surveillance Bill Is Totally Defensible

July 8th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Over at Huffington Post, Lanny Davis establishes that he has no idea at all: (1) How to spell “Sister Souljah,” and (2) What the FISA “compromise” bill says. He writes: The compromise bill would provide strict supervision by the special FISA Court of all intelligence agency anti-terrorist surveillance activities, with strict time limits on renewal […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Privacy and Surveillance

Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist?

July 8th, 2008 · 16 Comments

Update: Skip to the bottom for the Cliffs Notes version. Ta-Nehisi Coates has a post about the intersection of race and crime that dovetails with a conversation I had shortly after learning my friend Brian had been shot last week. I got to thinking about how the economic effects of past racism create breeding grounds […]

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Tags: Sociology · Washington, DC

The Politics of Aspiration

July 7th, 2008 · No Comments

Well, this is a Republican platform I could support. Which I’ll take as prima facie evidence that its chances of being adopted are nil.

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Tags: Libertarian Theory

Your Call Is Now Being Forwarded

July 7th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I’m mostly scribbling over at The Economist today if you’re hungry for Sanchez.

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Tags: Self Promotion