Tag Filter: Law Enforcement

US Government is Partially Responsible for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death

Yesterday, on the eve of the nation’s most celebrated spectacle, the Super Bowl, it was announced that actor Philip Seymour Hoffman had died from a heroine overdose, reportedly with the needle still in his arm. Of course, Hoffman is responsible for his own actions, especially given that he had numerous opportunities to benefit from rehab [...]

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The Prison System Runs Amok, Expands at Frightening Pace

In the early 1970s, the prison population in the United States was small and was steadily falling relative to the size of the population. Experts imagined that in a few decades, the prison system as we know it could be successfully dismantled, but that began to change after President Nixon began the War on Drugs in 1971, [...]

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The King of Ruffle Bar and the Insanity of Bureaucracy

In anthropologist Edward Hall’s 1976 book Beyond Culture,  he describes a story of a wild dog that lived on the small, otherwise uninhabited island of Ruffle Bar, which is just off the coast of Brooklyn and Long Island. The dog, nicknamed “The King of Ruffle Bar,” seemed to be in good health and had sustained [...]

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Strip Searching Innocent Victims in the ‘Land of the Free’

Last July, Leila Tarantino, a citizen of Citrus County, Florida, was driving with her two children. According to a lawsuit she filed with the district court last week, Tarantino says she made a full stop at a stop sign, but was pulled over by police anyway. She was held in the back of a police [...]

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Justice In America is a Farce

Finally, our long national nightmare is over. The government brought charges, submitted its case to the people, and the people decided. Baseball player Roger Clemens has been acquitted of perjury for allegedly lying to congress when asked about using performance enhancing drugs.
Of course, no amount of press fanfare should be spared for such a monumental [...]

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A Gun to Literally Silence Speech

A report recently published by two Japanese scientists describes the effects of a new invention they call a “speech jammer.” When directed at a person speaking, it confuses the subjects brain, quickly causing him or her to fall silent. In essence, the device literally silences speech. 

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They Tell Us “See Something, Say Something.” Well, I See Something

The Department of Homeland Security regularly warns us to be aware of our surroundings and to watch for suspicious activity. They also warn us to watch for actions that may look harmless, but might also be  a symptom of a more serious threat.
Some of us wonder if being so suspicious of our fellow citizens is [...]

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Slouching Towards Nuremberg? By Morris Berman

This is a repost from the blog of author and social critic Morris Berman, originally published in May of 2012. Here he talks about the creeping totalitarian state that is slowly acclimating us to having few if any rights. Considering our recent post on the pervasiveness of police strip searches, it seemed worthy of a repost here.
Berman [...]

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Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Gore Vidal (Book, 2002)


When I select books to read, I tend to choose one of two types: new books that are immediately relevant and old books that are immediately relevant. In other words, I read for content that I can apply, not for simple enjoyment or curiosity about other people’s lives.
At first glance, Gore Vidal’s 2002 book, “Perpetual [...]

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What Experts Say About the JOBS Act

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act or JOBS Act was passed last Thursday to no great fanfair, but we wonder if it may yet go down in history alongside Gramm-Leach-Bliley as a law which helped set the stage for  ’pump and dump‘ bubble schemes and financial fraud. To put it another way, its a bad law, one [...]

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