Posse Comitatus and the Fourth Amendment

By: Tuesday September 30, 2014 7:35 am

Back in pre-Constitution America, the British army would burst into the homes and businesses of American colonists.
The searches would often be destructive, and intended so. Some of the time the point was to seize incriminating “revolutionary” materials, many times the point was simply to harass and threaten people the Crown feared and wanted to send a message to. It was in direct response to such invasions of freedom that the Founders wrote in the Fourth Amendment “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

 

Infrastructure Is the Current Revolution

By: Friday September 26, 2014 10:17 am

Regardless of the outcome of the US election, any elections in Europe, Australia, New Zealand–or even India, Pakistan, and China, the Washington consensus and neoliberal capitalism prevail as the current imagination of the global economy. Global climate change is occurring with zero response from the people who have the power and resources that could mitigate or even reverse this fossil-fuel-caused climate trend. Indeed spending the natural savings accout of environmental services, natural materials (non-renewable and renewable), and fossil fuels seems to be accelerated in one vast binge of “Drill, baby, drill. Mine, baby, mine. Burn, baby, burn.” consumption constrained only by the lower consumer demand that results from the mass impoverishment of ordinary people around the world.

Late Night: Robots and Our Future, We Need to Talk

By: Saturday August 16, 2014 8:00 pm

Will we be in charge as technology marches on?

Late Night: Which US-made Internet Routers Did the NSA Tamper With?

By: Monday May 12, 2014 8:00 pm

oday in the Guardian, Glenn Greenwald has an excerpt from his new book No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State. He reveals how the NSA tampers with exported US-made internet routers, servers and other computer networking devices.

Will Bad Policy Turn People Against Technology?

By: Thursday April 17, 2014 11:56 am

Pew Research has an interesting new poll about people’s opinions on technology and the future, but I think the question most relevant to current policy debates is how optimistic people are about technological advancement. By a margin of two-to-one Americans think technological changes will make people’s lives mostly better, yet if you look into that number you will find a large income divide.

FDL Movie Night: “Stripped”

By: Monday April 7, 2014 4:59 pm

Stripped is a loving and in-depth look at comic strips and the changes they are going through now as more and more newspapers shut down and technology advances. Like so many people, I loved reading the comic strips and cartoons in the papers–it was a huge leap for me as a kid when I went from B.C. and Peanuts to incorporating the Girls in 3-G and Mary Worth in my daily reading. And Doonesbury!! Total eye opener–I learned so much about politics and the world from Doonesbury, about (un)natural history from the Far Side, and about work and romance via Cathy. Not to mention Charles Schultz ruining the ending of Citizen Kane for me in a four panel strip I recall to this day…

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Daniel Suarez, Kill Decision (Novel)

By: Saturday April 5, 2014 1:59 pm

Daniel Suarez’s book Kill Decision takes on the topic of drones, especially autonomous drones that can make their own decision to kill, with no human in the loop.

A Government Turning the Tools of War on Its Citizens

By: Thursday January 23, 2014 11:15 am

While poets and psychologists talk about soldiers bringing the battlefield home with them, in fact, the U.S. is doing just that. More and more, weapons, tactics, techniques and procedures that have been used abroad in war are coming home, this time employed against American Citizens.

Today’s front-page article in the Washington Post confirms that wartime surveillance blimps– aerostats– used in Iraq and Afghanistan will now monitor most of the Northeast United States.

A Ripley’s Believe It or Not National Security State

By: Monday January 6, 2014 4:19 pm

In a 1950s civics textbook of mine, I can remember a Martian landing on Main Street, U.S.A., to be instructed in the glories of our political system. You know, our tripartite government, checks and balances, miraculous set of rights, and vibrant democracy. There was, Americans then thought, much to be proud of, and so for that generation of children, many Martians were instructed in the American way of life. These days, I suspect, not so many.

Not Quite Off Topic: Switch to Linux/Ubuntu

By: Thursday January 2, 2014 1:05 pm

With great glee, I am now running Linux Ubuntu on all my computers as my operating system, forever replacing Windows. This very blog post is infused with Linux goodness. Smell it. Smell it. Yes, put your nose to the screen and sniff– smells like victory.

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