That was one of the most interesting weeks for civil liberties in a long time.
As you know from last Weekender, our friend Derek Khanna was leading a media blitz to promote unlocking cell phones. It coincided with a petition to get the White House to take up the unlocking issue – which we’re happy to report crossed the new, higher, 100,000 signature threshold. Last week, they were greeted by some good news – the Obama administration was open to new legislation. We’ll see what comes from this, but unlocking seems to be gaining traction now – let’s hope we’ll get some promising legislation introduced in the near future.
The big political news of the week was the epic not-quite-13-hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate, led by Rand Paul (read his account in the Washington Post). After three hours he was joined by some Republican colleagues, and eventually Democrat (!) Ron Wyden came to support the cause. What cause was it, you might ask? Although the filibuster was ostensibly to hold up John Brennan as CIA Director, Paul was responding to a Justice Department response to his question on the usage of drones. The memo had come back suggesting that the White House could theoretically use drones on American ground on American citizens in “an extraordinary circumstance” (two events suggested were Pearl Harbor and 9/11).
The results? Another letter from the Justice Department, which clearly stated that noncombatants wouldn’t be targeted by drones. Also as a result of the filibuster, a bit of a rift was exposed in the Grand Old Party – Lindsey Graham and John McCain were none to happy with Paul’s epic speech, and called it a political stunt. They also borrowed language from the Wall Street Journal which suggested Paul’s “rant” was meant to “fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms”.
How do you even respond to such a charge?
- Some people who care about civil liberties aren’t in college currently (exhibit A is writing this article).
- College kids can vote
- The youth are the future of the party. Why would you cede them to the Democratic party?
Links We Liked!
- Personalfinanceblogplagiarismgate continued with some reactions to the not-quite-apology at the offending site. TimelessFinance hosted Greg from Control Your Cash, where he linked to an epic spreadsheet detailing the incidents of plagiarism. Another notable reaction came from Bridget at Money After Graduation.
- I might go into this topic more, but I thought this Wired piece about Math proofs which use computers to derive, simplify, or suggest was interesting (as is the term ‘Proof by Exhaustion’. Join the rest of your computer-wielding math junkies, Mathematicians…
- At the Control Your Cash main site, a Nirvana reference in a story about taking the bus. Once. In a decade. (We here at DQYDJ are suckers for any Grunge references.)
- The Washington Post’s Wonkblog posted a useful FAQ on the American Drone program. (Why it appeared on Wonkblog? One of those mysteries of life, I suppose.)
- The formatting is a bit off for me (PC, Firefox 19.0.2), but Freeby50′s post on vacancy rates in various MSAs was timely. Not surprised to see San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA and San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA both near the bottom…
- Catherine Rampbell at the New YorkTimes Economix blog has an interesting chart of the rise in the part time employment rate, which coincides with people looking for work for economic reasons.
- Folks wondering why studies on Minimum Wage changes in the United States have so many caveats and specific state examples need only to glance at Political Calculations’s chart on Minimum Wages across the country.
- Mochimac at The Budgeting Tool asks us all how much space we really need for our lifestyle. My answer? More than I’ve got…
Links to Us!