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Whistling Dixie

Peter Van Buren Intro by b. traven: In the army we used to say someone was “Whistling in Dixie” when they were oblivious to the truth. When Obama in one of his high flying rhetorical promises in his run for the presidency promised “transparency” in government it appears he was “whistling in Dixie.”  Under his…

Edward Snowden: Face the music -- or perhaps a firing squad

Hillary Clinton to Edward Snowden: Face the Music

W.J. Astore A revealing question and answer came in this week’s presidential debate among the Democratic candidates.  They were asked if Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who revealed illegal spying by the NSA and the U.S. government, should be considered a hero or traitor. Hillary Clinton’s answer was revealing of who she is and what she…

Privacy Please

Even UN Notices Eroding US Human Rights

Intro by Stuart Lyle It is not hard to spot creeping authoritarianism in the US.  The Snowden document cache makes clear that the government has a voracious appetite for data, our data: the digital traces we leave whenever we are online.  It is no longer an unsubstantiated suspicion.  The UN has documented and ranked the…

Greenwald and Scahill, Watchdogs with Teeth

Intercept: An Essential New Site by Greenwald, Scahill, and Company

In an age when many journalists are corporate-owned or are reduced by various pressures into stenographers for the powerful, it’s encouraging to hear of new journalistic ventures that promise to be critical of those in power. Glenn Greenwald, who’s established a reputation for outspoken journalism at Salon.com and The Guardian, and Jeremy Scahill, an investigative…

Not all monsters look monstrous

The (Potential) Monsters Among Us

Richard Sahn In contemporary American society virtually every adult citizen knows how difficult it is to obtain medical information regarding one’s spouse, parents, or other close relatives. Agencies–notably insurance companies–are adamant about not revealing even payment data if you are not the patient. Agents or receptionists working for health organizations fiercely insist they are not…