Restoring the Fourth on the Fourth of July

Restore the Fourth

Folks in the United States: I don’t know what you all did for the Fourth of July, but Sarah and I were in Philadelphia’s Washington Square Park — and then on the march — to support Restore the Fourth (#restorethe4th).

For folks who don’t know, Restore the Fourth is a grassroots, non-partisan, non-violent movement, the purpose of which is to demand that the government of the United States of America adhere to its constitutionally dictated limits and respect the Fourth Amendment. It was formed, in part on Reddit, in response to recent revelations about the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance initiatives: the monitoring of telephone conversations, and the PRISM electronic snooping program that was revealed by Edward Snowden. And it has the backing of civil libertarians and libertarian libertarians, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Senator Rand Paul (not really a libertarian libertarian, but plays one on TV).

Note From a Friend Re: #OccupyGezi

#OccupyGezi Timeline

As most of you surely know, Turkey has been experiencing civil unrest since May 28th, when riot police in Istanbul forcibly evicted peaceful protesters from Taksim Gezi Park. The protesters had been there objecting to a plan that would level the park and replace it with a shopping mall. But after the eviction, and after the police violence that came with it, protests spread to cities across the country, and their cause came to encompass a wide range of concerns, at the core of which were issues of freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and the government’s encroachment on Turkey’s secularism.

Let’s Please Politicize Tragedy

At least twice, now, in 2012, we in the United States have been subjected to two mass shootings in a two-week span. The first was mere days ago, when 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts donned a hockey mask and an assault rifle, and began firing into a crowd at a Portland, Oregon shopping mall. By some […]

Mitch McConnell, Fair-Weather Patriot

On the day that fair-weather patriotism was redefined, we all looked on at the Republican leadership, mouths collectively agape, too flabbergasted to respond. I should (dear readers!) be hard at work on my end-of-semester grading. But when this piece from Talking Points Memo came across my Reader feed this morning, it stopped me dead in […]

A Point of Clarification about Todd Akin

I have not, you’ll notice, written anything here yet about Missouri Senate candidate and giant Daniel Tosh fan (I can only assume) Todd Akin — mostly because I find myself so viscerally repulsed by this story. I don’t want to reproduce the vileness that rocketed his campaign against Claire McCaskill from obscure-national-joke status to object […]