Category Archives: Civil Liberties

PARCC, New Jersey, and A Harsh Lesson About the First Amendment

Over the weekend, the education bloggysphere was all atwitter (‘abuzz’ is so old media…) about Bob Braun’s revelation that Pearson, the creator of the PARCC-Common Core aligned tests, was monitoring test takers’ social media accounts without their knowledge (boldface mine): … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Education | 2 Comments

Ferguson and the Pathway to Anti-Integration

While there has been a lot of commentary about the Justice Department report on the thugs who run Ferguson (run is the appropriate verb, as the officers were following orders–the elected officials are just as bad), two parts of the … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Racism, The Rule of Law | 1 Comment

The Slow Squeezing of the Security State: The Library of Congress Edition

A few years ago, I had occasion to visit the Harvard Medical School Library–the building with all of the cool stuff. Getting in wasn’t a problem, but leaving involved a lot of security–they didn’t want a lot of people wandering … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Libraries

When the Security State Collides With the National Zoo

The National Zoo in D.C. has decided to increase security on “high access days” (boldface mine): Security in any large urban environment today is challenging. The Zoo faces particular problems during high visitation periods, including March and April, when the … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, DC, Museums etc. | 1 Comment

Does Electronic Surveillance Stop Terrorism? Not If We’re Stupid About It

One of the most frustrating things about our ‘War on Terror’ is the widespread belief that all of our intrusive surveillance actually does something. In reality, it often misses actual terrorists, in part because it is focused on non-violent left-wing … Continue reading

Posted in Boston, Civil Liberties, Fucking Morons, Terrorism | 2 Comments

Security Theater: 153 Guns Got Through Airport Security

This recent failure of airport ‘security’ demonstrates how it’s really just ‘security theater‘ (boldface mine): The authorities say that on Dec. 10, while 1.7 million other passengers were being routinely screened for weapons at security checkpoints in airports around the … Continue reading

Posted in BANG! BANG!, Civil Liberties, Fucking Morons | 2 Comments

The Unaccountability of Security State Decisions

Charles Pierce makes a very chilling observation (boldface mine): For the past two weeks, on two different fronts, we have been confronted with the unpleasant fact that there are people working in the institutions of our self-government who believe themselves … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties