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“The missile hits, and after the smoke clears there's a crater there and you can see body parts from the people. [A] guy that was running from the rear to front, his left leg had been taken off above the knee, and I watched him bleed out. These guys had no hostile intent. In Montana, everyone has a gun. These guys could have been local people that had to protect themselves. I think we jumped the gun.”—
Former drone operator Brandon Bryant, on his first drone strike.
Bryant quit the drone program after realizing its disregard for life and how numb strikes made him feel, saying he “couldn’t do it anymore.”
“The other point...which we're not hearing frequently or loudly enough...is a real scandal: 'the social welfare tax exemption is being used by existing 501(c)(4) organizations, including some very large ones, to promote partisan political interests—the very activity Congress has explicitly prohibited for a century.' In other words, Karl Rove and Crossroads. This is a serious issue, one deserving of investigation. But Republicans could be biting off more than they can chew if it causes a bright light to be shone on how politically partisan organizations, like Rove's, are exploiting the law.”—Joan McCarter at Daily Kos
“At Bloomberg, reporters could sit at their desks and use a keyboard function to see the last time an official of the Federal Reserve logged on. And the Justice Department obtained the records of The Associated Press from phone companies with no advance notice, giving it no chance to challenge the action. The absence of friction has led to a culture of transgression. Clearly, if it can be known, it will be known.”—David Carr, Snooping and the news media: it’s a two way street
Allowing Non-citizens to Vote
I came across this story the other day about New York City considering allowing green card and visa holders to vote in municipal elections. The story also noted several cities in Maryland and Massachusetts allow non-citizens to vote. Apparently this was the case many states until the 1930’s. Intrigued, I decided to read up on the issue a little more, and this paper by Jamin Raskin caught my attention. According to Raskin’s research, alien suffrage was common in the early United States and was part of the Northwest Ordinance, which was reenacted in 1789 by the First Congress. The Annals of Congress for this time show no debate on the issue in either the Senate or the House. Just some interesting history I learned this week that I thought I’d pass along.
What Happened to "Reasonable," "Common-Sense" Limits on the Bill of Rights?
Reporters for the AP are outraged that the government has spied on them. This despite the fact that Attorney General Eric Holder says the ostensible reason for the spying, a leak of sensitive information,
was one of the “top two or three” leaks he has ever seen, claiming it put the American people at risk.
“That is not hyperbole. It put the American people at risk,” Holder said, emphasizing his earlier comments.
And as we all know from the post-Newtown debate over gun control, anything the government does in the name of saving lives deserves an unrebuttable presumption of legitimacy, right?
Especially if the measure in question is characterized as a “reasonable” and “common sense.” Besides, aren’t reporters, like gun owners, simply a “special interest” backed by powerful corporate interests? If so, then surely anything they say about government efforts to constrain their activity deserves a presumption of mendacity.
Those in the media might argue that isolated cases of journalism malpractice do not justify infringing on the First Amendment rights of countless reporters who are honest and truthful. But then, this is the same logic that gun owners use when they say the actions of spree killers such as Adam Lanza should not justify infringing the Second Amendment rights of countless gun owners who obey the law… .
The Wisdom of a Founding Father
- Alexander Hamilton’s son dies in a duel that takes place in Weehawken, New Jersey in 1802.
- Alexander Hamilton responds by helping to pass a law that makes dueling illegal in New York.
- Alexander Hamilton dies in a duel that takes place in Weekhawken, New Jersey in 1804.