Saturday, July 7, 2007

The New World: Religious Freedom = The Ability to Discriminate

At the risk of going somewhere I maybe shouldn't at the moment, I found this story at Pandagon about the firing of a gay employee who had come out to his boss the day before. I know, I know - it's probably just coincidence, right? Right?'s too early in the day for this.

What makes it, um, interesting, is that the boss in question (who apparently had a habit of badmouthing gays and lesbians at work) is claiming that he doesn't have to answer questions about the reason he fired the employee because such questions infringe on his "constitutionally protected religious beliefs."

Um, what the fuck? Since when? I get that religious freedom allows a person to believe what they want. However, religious freedom has never meant the right to harm others based on your personal beliefs. Or the right to expect others to live as though they held your beliefs.

Or has it? Maybe that's one of those big gaps in communication between the 'left' and the 'right'. Maybe there are folks who believe that 'religious freedom' really means 'christian state' or 'my religion trumps your well-being'.

Or maybe some people actually expect the world to conform to them.

Creationist Debating 101

From Pharyngula, a handy list of things to do when preparing to debate creationists. I think with some minor tweaking, this is a great list in general for folks to use when preparing for a potentially controversial debate or forum.

If only Rob Walsh had seen this before he got in over his head...


No, I'm not going to go on at length, at least not right now - someone already did it for me! Aren't the Interets wonderful?

Go read Republic of T on Creating a Culture of Empathy. It dovetails so incredibly well with both my own thinking and, I suspect, Team Liberation's underlying philosophy.

I think this quote is particularly important:

…”I think we are experiencing something amiss culturally where the TV shows if you turn them on and people are laughing at one another’s pain,'’ said Coloroso. “Enjoying seeing someone kicked off the island, enjoying seeing someone go down in flames on American Idol, satire not being used but sarcasm. If you turn on radio talk . . . it’s mean and cruel.'’

…With teens learning to laugh at others’ pain, it’s little wonder that bullying is running rampant in North American schools, she said. And as in many other cases, the shooter at Virginia Tech and those at Columbine were what she calls “bullied bullies.'’ After being the target of bullying, eventually the victim becomes what he fears the most.

“The bullied bullies not only strike back but they do it with that utter contempt, that cold look on their face. They have become themselves what they hated,'’ explained Coloroso. “Just as he was treated as an `it,’ he treats other human beings unmercifully.'’

I cannot begin to describe how spot-on this feels when I think about my experience as a high school substitute teacher. There were dozens of times when I was shocked at how much pleasure students got from being cruel to one another. In fact, that seemed to be the primary reason to be mean or cruel in the first place. It was, and is, simultaneously creepy and incredibly, deeply sad. My understanding of where this came from was pretty incomplete at that point, and while I've thought about it since, this post - go read it - really provides some clarity.

Those in the know will catch the reference to Martin Buber's I-Thou. For me, that's a sign that those folks have a pretty good idea of what they're doing.

Friday, July 6, 2007

An Uncomfortable Car Ride

Last night, as the partner and I were driving home from Portland, we stopped at a gas station just off the freeway in Wilsonville. I usually stop there for a snack and a drink to keep me alert when I'm driving back at night from Portland.

As we got to the onramp to get back on the freeway, I saw a a woman who looked roughly my age with her thumb out, trying to hitch a ride south. Making a split-second decision (and checking with the copilot, who really didn't have time to do anything but stammer 'sure'), I pulled the car over and got out. As it turned, she was not alone - there was a guy sitting about 20 feet up the road who I hadn't seen at first. They put their bags in the trunk and off we went. They made small talk for about 15 minutes - where you from, what do you do, this is why I'm hitchhiking, etc. - and then fell asleep.

Anyway, we gave them a ride all the way to exit 228, where they promptly woke up, got their stuff, and headed off into a field to camp. Since they had started in Portland, the ride we gave was 60 of their 80 miles of progress for the day, something that made me feel good.

Here's the thing, though, and the reason I'm posting about this at all: the whole experience was really, really uncomfortable for me. And, as far as I know, the copilot. I was actually on edge for a bit after they first got in the car. They were trying to make conversation, but we were both pretty tired. We answered minimally, and after 15 or so minutes, they fell asleep - but I didn't relax.

All sorts of weird scenarios were running through my head, the big two being: 1) What if we get pulled over and they have drugs? and 2) What if they do something dangerous? (I should note that we saw at least 4-6 police cars with lights going on the drive down - they seemed to be out in force last night.)

I had no rational reason to think of either scenario, but I did. Constantly. It was frustrating, because based on everything they said, they were really nice folks who had made conscious decisions to travel cheaply and explore the world - a stance I wholly support. Nevertheless, I was at least mildly nervous until the last mile or so before they got off.

I'm chalking at least part of my being uncomfortable, and probably most of it, up to some screwy socialization and lack of experience on my part. But it still sucked.

I also found myself thinking that they were so eager to have a conversation at first because they felt pressured to entertain the people giving them a ride, an assumption that I had challenged at the end of the ride when I realized they were just doing what they always did - trying to get to know people. That was a major part of the reason they were traveling, after all.

All in all, it was an experience that was both unsettling and gratifying. And to be honest, if I had seen the guy before I stopped, I probably wouldn't have pulled over. The idea of giving a lone woman a ride was far more appealing than giving a ride to two people, one of whom is a man. Not to mention that if they had been much older than us, I would never have stopped. I felt safer having two of us and one of them, and having that one person be a woman, and having them be a similar age. Not because I don't think a woman is capable of doing something harmful, but because as a lone woman traveler, she's less likely to have reason to.

Yeah, I know - that's also fucked up. But it's what went through my head. Thoughts?

A Whole New Level of Stupid

I've been reading Jessica Valenti's Full Frontal Feminism (thanks Alison!), and it's made my usual newsreading, which already includes a large dose of feminist news, harder to stomach.

As a result, when I read this, I couldn't resist the urge to post something about it.

From the Boston Herald story:

A Boston man who failed the Massachusetts bar exam has filed a federal lawsuit claiming his refusal to answer a test question - related to gay marriage - caused him to flunk the test.

Stephen Dunne, 30, is suing the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, claiming the “inappropriate” test question violated his religious convictions and his First Amendment rights. Answering the question, Dunne claims, would imply he endorsed gay marriage and parenting.

So what's the controversial question? This, as far as I know, is the entire text of the question:

“Yesterday, Jane got drunk and hit (her spouse) Mary with a baseball bat, breaking Mary’s leg, when she learned that Mary was having an affair with Lisa,” the bar exam question stated. “As a result, Mary decided to end her marriage with Jane in order to live in her house with Philip, Charles and Lisa. What are the rights of Mary and Jane?”

Oh, for fuck's sake. Seriously? He got bent out of shape over that? If I were in a position to do something about it, I'd make sure this asshat never got a license to practice law. This incident proves one of two things: Either Dunne is incredibly stupid, or he has no respect for the law or other people (or both, frankly). Either one (especially the latter) should disqualify him from getting a license.

Allowing someone to practice law whose actions actively undermine the legal system is just about the very definition of stupid. It's about time professional associations start doing a better job looking at the actions of people who are undermining their organizations from the inside. I'm also speaking, of course, about pharmacists...more on that later.

I found the story over at Majikthise, courtesy of zuzu, who has something to say on the matter:

I mean, you did study law, right? You learned how laws work? And how court decisions work? And that knowing what the law *is* and how it works doesn't mean that you approve of the outcome. Right? I mean, just because I could tell you how the Supreme Court voted in, say, Bush v. Gore doesn't mean that I *approve* of the outcome.

Also, I didn't realize that the First Amendment was designed to prevent people from being exposed to ideas they don't like. Hm. My high school government teacher must have been slipping in her old age.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Federal Trade Commission Abandons Net Neutrality

We are all potentially screwed.

Overdramatic? I don't think so. Thus far, ISPs treat all internet traffic the same, giving it the same priority. If this principle of internet neutrality is abandoned, then companies will be allowed to charge websites different amounts based on either type of content or who or what the website is. Worst-case scenario? ISPs who have a a political bent either charging more or censoring completely websites with a different political bent.

This is not a good idea. The Internet's having enough problems being democratic as is; allowing the proverbial gatekeepers to start charging different folks different tolls is a BAD THING.

I'm not going to say any more, but if you go to this BB post, you'll be able to find a lot of information. More can be found at Daily Kos and MyDD, though you'll have to look around some in the archives, I think.

A Note to the Reader

As mentioned before, I tend to write lots of short-to-medium length posts with links to larger blogs or news stories in them.

I hope you take the chance to follow the links. I'm posting them for you.


Also, it's the Fourth of July! Let's pretend America was founded as a free state for everyone, instead of rich white propertied men! Remember, people of color didn't exist until the 1960's, and if it wasn't for those dirty hippies, they might still be invisible!

I hate the dishonesty of this holiday.

SiCKO and Hope

From Amanda Marcotte's review of the new Moore film:

And it occurred to me that the nightmare scenarios conservatives spin when arguing against universal health care are all effective because they are telling people stories of what we already have.

The fear of long wait times in E.R. is one we understand, because we have those long wait times, due in large part to the fact that so many uninsured people put off getting care until they’re in critical condition and have to be rushed to the hospital. We cringe to hear tales of being denied the doctor of your choice, because we all know what it’s like to have the HMO make you jump through 15 different loops to see the doctor you want,a specialist, because they’re hoping you’ll just give up going at all. (I’ve not had that problem, but I know plenty of people who have.) We shudder in fear to hear these stories of a bureaucracy gone mad, because it’s our reality, and the fear of it shuts down our thought processes so we’re unwilling to even look for a cure for our problems. And it’s this conundrum that Moore attacks, driving home the point that the right wing noise machine has managed to convince a lot of the public that the cure for the problem is the problem itself. Sure, the movie has a simple, straightforward message. But that’s exactly what the health care debate needs after all the right wing noise machine has done to confuse the issue.

I think she makes a damn good point. Furthermore, I think this point is generalizable toward many 'anti' sort of arguments. Do you fear the specter of Communism or Socialism because someone's told you the state will exert control over your life in an entirely undesired way? I have news for you: the state does that already, you're just used to it - it's comfortable and familiar by now, so you don't give a second thought to the idea that the way things are now is maybe, just maybe, not all that great.

Are you afraid of more comprehensive gun-control laws because you think it will lead to increased surveillance of your private affairs by the state? It's already happening - and it's not getting any better with a pro-gun Republican in the White House, let me tell you.

So why is the word 'hope' in the title of this post? Well, I think that the above trick only really works if people don't have a vision of a better world. If you've got nothing to compare to, or if you're resigned to 'making the best of it', then I think it's easier to believe these sort of horror stories without stopping and realizing that they bear a hell of a lot of resemblance to the world you already have - or, as Amanda says, that you are so afraid of the stories because you are intimately familiar with them already, and it's easier to pretend that what you have is good, because if you admit that where you're at - where we're all at - isn't good, then you might become obligated to do something about it.

I think some of this comes from my constantly being angry and frustrated at the state of things - I've read enough and dreamed enough to have a fairly complex idea of what I think a better world would look like, and I know we're a long ways from what's inside my head. More importantly, I know we can't get anywhere interesting without hopes, dreams, and visions, and I'm really fucking tired of hearing people denigrate the possibility of a better existence because they're too fucking scared they might have to change.

And yes, this occasionally applies to me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Righteous Anger, indeed. He even calls on Bush and Cheney to resign.

The weird thing is that he doesn't seem to send wingers into their usual frothing rages. I think they're just ignoring him.

An excerpt:

We enveloped “our” President in 2001.

And those who did not believe he should have been elected — indeed, those who did not believe he had been elected — willingly lowered their voices and assented to the sacred oath of non-partisanship.

And George W. Bush took our assent, and re-configured it, and honed it, and sharpened it to a razor-sharp point, and stabbed this nation in the back with it.

The tragically funny part is that so many people saw it coming but were branded as crazy, a fact of which there's yet to be any recognition of.

How To Build a Better Story

From a journalism instructor named Mark Hamilton - this really caught my eye as a smart argument (and I am excerpting almost the whole post, it's that good):

I’m moving the prime publication of those classes from a weekly print publication to an always-on online newspaper and throwing into the mix a healthy dose of multimedia. Most everybody is saying it has to be done, that this is the way of the future, etc., and while I fall mostly on the side of the debate, I’m also convinced that doing this will make my students better print journalists.

I believe that for a number of reasons. One is that working to a much tighter, continuous deadline, they’ll become faster at turning coverage into story. A second is that they will be exposed to the reality that the most efficient way to tell many stories, both in terms of their time and the time of their readers, is through well-written, crisply delivered text. A third is that rather than having to stretch and pad copy to fill a set number of pages each week, they can give each story the size it truly merits. A fourth is that they will develop the ability to tell a continuing story in bursts and they will discover that most stories never really end. And a fifth is that they will learn how to focus on the important elements of the story and get to them quickly.

They will also learn much more about working beats and how to identify the storytelling potential of combinations of photographs or charts and graphs. They will learn, I hope, how to interact not just with sources but with their readers.

And, when it comes to all that multimedia goodness, they will learn not that podcasts or video are things the cool kids do, but legitimate ways of storytelling when appropriately used. I expect them, of course, to experiment like crazy and occasionally fail spectacularly.

I really like this argument; I think it does a better job of allowing stories to effectively communicate the reality of a situation as well as giving reporters the freedom to actually judge each individual story in terms of how much coverage it needs and how best to go about achieving that coverage, rather than work within constraints that were set down probably close to 200 years ago (or however long the print newspaper has been around).

Scooter Libby

Update: Jack and Jill Politics points out that Libby is white.

Many of the people whom Bush has not granted pardons or clemency to are not white.

I'm just sayin'.

I've been reading a lot about Bush's commuting of Libby's sentence. The liberal blogosphere is royally pissed off, maybe more than I've ever seen it, and in the last two days I think I've seen at least half a dozen calls for impeachment from folks who had previously counseled that impeachment was a bad idea. So it's safe to say that tempers are running a bit hot, which makes me wonder if people are going to retract their calls for impeachment once they cool down a bit. I hope not, actually.

Anyway, I wanted to lay out my own two cents on the topic, not because I think anyone reads this blog, but because I sort of want to try and organize my thoughts.

Libby was sentenced to 30 months in jail plus a $250k fine and some probation. I think there were four counts of perjury and/or obstruction of justice. To be honest, I didn't follow the details of the case that closely since I believed - and believe - that the legal part was going to be undercut by the politics the whole time. And lo and behold, it was.

Very soon after an appeals judge decided that Libby would have to go to jail pending appeal, Bush commuted the jail time. According to Josh Marshall at TPM (and a bunch of other folks), this allows Libby to pursue his appeal against the convictions, the probation, and the fine. It also allows him to plead the 5th in the future (though I don't know the mechanism behind this). It sounds like a pretty good deal, actually - there's a possibility that Libby will get off scot-free if he wins on appeal. Now, I'm aware that the appeals judges are very conservative, but the two judges that have convicted Libby thus far have been Republican appointees, so I hold out a sliver of hope that the legal system will function in a rational manner in the remainder of this case.

Having covered the legal fallout, what is the political fallout from Bush's decision to commute the sentence? I think there are a couple of pieces:

(A caveat - it appears that many of the mainstream media folks and many Republicans don't think this case should have ever gone to trial in the first place. So that's where they are coming from on this one.)

1) Media folks and Republicans everywhere get to do what they love to do - talk about what a great compromise this is. The argument will go like this: Libby's 'crime' wasn't really that bad, but he was convicted, so GWB is just making things right by commuting, but not pardoning, the guy. It's a great political argument (and especially great political cover for media operatives who are on Libby's side) because it allows the person making it to appear to play fair, even to claim neutrality on this one, when in reality Bush's commuting of the sentence is the worst kind of self-serving power-play.

2) It raises the possibility of anyone who opposes Bush's action being seen as an ideologue, not a team player, or someone who is simply partisan with no regard for 'reason.' Utter bullshit, of course, but that's what the TV is for, right?

3) This isn't strictly political fallout, but it's a Libby advantage. The fine and probation are no problem - he's not likely to do anything that will actually land him in jail anyway, and the fine will probably be paid by rich friends etc. There's been a pretty annoying attempt to paint this as a big blow to Libby's status, but given that many Republicans appear to think the trial never should have happened, then Libby's status among his own people is untouched. Raised, even, since he 'survived' an encounter with the enemy. Again, it allows both sides of the fence to be played - Libby gets a nice cushy job somewhere behind the scenes for awhile (the equivalent of leaving town until the heat is off), and Republicans and media folks are allowed to wail and cry over what a damaging blow this is to poor ol' Scooter Libby...who happens to be sipping margaritas at the Heritage Foundation.

4) Oh, and the Democrats? It's like they're not even a part of this. Yeah, all the candidates and party leaders released statements, but at this point, they've got the collective cajones of my neutered cat. They're not going to do anything - that would rock the boat. Or worse - it would actually have an effect and they would have to keep playing offense. Let's face it: Most of the Democrats in power at this point are political cowards as beholden to the same forces Republicans are, both monetarily and culturally.

There's also the claim being bandied about that this amounts to 'obstruction of justice' on the part of Bush. Certainly that's true politically, though I have no idea if it holds as a legal claim in this case. What it does raise is the issue of the invulnerability of the Presidential Pardon: Is it subject to the law of the land, or is it the equivalent of a parent putting their foot down? That is, is it an absolute power or not?

Finally, I'll also say that yes, Bush's decisions makes a mockery of the existing justice system, which isn't that great anyway. But, and perhaps more importantly, it reveals a little bit more about how much of a sociopath the man appears to be. Remember, this is the guy who a) hasn't really granted clemency to or pardoned ANYONE yet in his presidency; b) saw ~130 executed when he was Governor of Texas, a number that led the nation (and probably most of the world); c) openly mocked a woman who was on death row and later executed when asked if he had any plans to pardon her.

From the Wikipedia entry on Karla Faye Tucker:

In the weeks before the execution, Bush says, a number of protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Karla Faye Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask. Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them", he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with Tucker, though. He asked her real difficult questions like, 'What would you say to Governor Bush?'" "What was her answer?" I wonder. "'Please,'" Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "'don't kill me.'" I must look shocked — ridiculing the pleas of a condemned prisoner who has since been executed seems odd and cruel — because he immediately stops smirking.

And yet, there is something scarier than all that: the fact that so many people, especially media pundits who know all of the above, think he'd be a great guy to have a beer with. What does that say about what our media thinks is acceptable moral behavior?

Update: The best line about the whole Scooter Libby thing, hands down: If I run out of vomit, can I borrow some of yours?

How to Lose Memory Fast

From the Daily Telegraph.

I don't like this at all. While I'm sort of OK with the best possible use - helping people recover from trauma (can you say Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder brought on by too many tours in Iraq?), I think the potential for abuse is ridiculous - and since I really don't trust the medical establishment anymore, um, yeah.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Eyes

IMG_0795.JPG, originally uploaded by jenicra84.

A friend of mine recently spent some time in Ghana, and she's got the pictures to prove it. Among the photos are lots (and lots and lots and lots) of photos of young children - she was in Ghana to teach, after all.

Anyway, I've only seen a few of the photos, but I noticed that I find the ones of children very emotionally intense. I also realized that I tend to find almost all close-up shots of African kids intense - there's something about the eyes, I want to tell myself.

However, now I'm not sure if all the photos I've ever seen are really so intense, or if there's some part of my brain that's tapping into late--night commercials where an old white dude is adorned with small African children. You know, the ones where he asks for money to feed them. I guess I'm wondering if I'm reading a whole lot of cultural background into what I see in the picture itself: all that stuff I've read about starving African children, unsanitary conditions, etc. Is it influencing what I see? Am I layering a lot of contextual material onto the photos I see?

You know, I don't think the two are exclusive, either - the more I look at the above photo, the more I'm convinced the subject's eyes are somewhat haunting, but that I'm probably still reading way too much into it.

What do y'all think?

Doomed By Science

More like the lack of science, actually. The Guardian's got a nice essay (via BB) on the increasing lack of understanding the average person has of even basic science.

There's also some talk of two distinct cultures - a 'science' culture and a 'humanities' culture.

I'm not sure I like that. In some ways, I think the idea is right on; in others, I think it's stupid. There's plenty of material at the link, and more here, so I'm going to be brief.

The above reminds me of Jurgen Habermas, a German philosopher, who once wrote that he fears that humanity is in trouble because while we've accumulated massive amounts of technical knowledge (I think he called it technical-rational) about how the world works, we're real short on other knowledge, what I would call wisdom - knowledge on how to live.

I'm not sure Habermas' claim and the Guardian article are related, but my instinct is to say they are. How? I need to think about that for a bit.

Also, this whole thing reminds me of Idiocracy, by Mike Judge of Beavis and Butthead fame.


This is as good as an excuse as any to get y'all to read I Blame The Patriarchy:

For my part, I have stated on numerous occasions (following the materialization in my personal sphere of a pair of nieces), children are an oppressed class. Their universal and legitimately reviled unruliness is not natural. It is a product of neurosis generated by patriarchy’s two main replicatory units: the nuclear family, which directly supports male dominance, and the single mother household, which indirectly supports male dominance a) by acting as an underclass dependent for its survival on paternalism and b) by incubating a ready supply of disadvantaged candidates for membership in the all-important working and military classes.

Of course kids are obstreperous hellions. They dislike oppression as much as the next guy.

I'll drink to that.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

This Might Be a Problem

Shameless linkage.

I am done for the day. The ignorance here is astounding, as is the hubris. To think that Iraq is some sort of mission from god - well, I'm just going to stop there. My brain, it hurts. Real bad.

Google's New Slogan: Welcome to the Seventh Level of Hell

While I'm in Righteous Anger mode....

You know how Google's slogan was "Don't Be Evil?"

In all honesty, they kind of got rid of it several years ago, especially in their dealings with the Chinese government.

However, this is a little beyond the pale.

Women in Philosophy

Via Feminist Philosophers, a site I should pay more attention to, a new attempt to catalogue the existence of women in philosophy.

The Authoritarian Impulse, 21st Century Style

I've heard for some time that the UK has been overzealous with the surveillance, and despite the number of CCTV cameras that were around, I think I just wrote off most folks as being paranoid.

I'm sorry to say that I was wrong.

What drives the folks in the UK government to think these are good ideas? I'm not talking about Tony Blair or Gordon Brown or the rest of the ministers - I'm just going to assume they are insane from here on out. Insane, or maybe sociopaths. Instead, I'm talking about all the policy folks that have to participate in the planning of such a program. I'm talking about the folks who have to maintain the system and organize the logistics. I'm talking about the folks who have to serve the machinery, not the other way around.

While I suspect the real reasons are pretty complex, I'm annoyed enough right now to ask if they're all soulless. Or, even worse, if the UK government/education system is so insane as to socialize people into thinking this is OK.

I'll also add, though I wish I didn't have to, the point that this will never create a good society. I'm a firm believer that the means determine the ends, and creating a police state and calling it a democracy does not make a democracy. I mean, seriously - does anyone buy that? (Don't answer that; my blood pressure is already high enough for today.) Honestly, this is the sort of thinking (and I use the term loosely) that people use with their pets; I think it's called 'behavior modification' or something - the idea being that pets receive positive or negative reinforcement based on their actions. It blows my mind that the UK government, or someone in a position of power, thinks that this is the best way to deal with human beings. I don't even think it's that great for pets - ask my partner.

An example from the article, chosen for its cultural value and ability to slay satire in a single blow:

On Monday, police in the county of Merseyside unveiled Britain’s most dramatic surveillance contrivance to date: a CCTV camera that flies. Propelled by helicopter-style rotors and directed either by remote control or pre-programmed flight plans, the nearly silent two-foot drone can be outfitted with thermal-powered cameras and loudspeakers. Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne explained the primary purpose of the device as “to support our anti-social taskforce in gathering all-important evidence to put offenders before the courts.”

I almost fell out of my chair when I read that. It reminds me of the James Cameron TV series Dark Angel that aired around the turn of the century. In it, the authorities used devices called 'hoverdrones' that flew around Seattle and observed people in realtime (and in one episode, they were outfitted with guns and used to assassinate paroled criminals). The above quote could have been pulled straight from the TV show; it's that identical. The future is now, folks, and I'm a little hesitant to use the word 'utopia'.

In the long run, of course, massive surveillance does not do a damn thing to solve the underlying problems that the surveillance is supposed to solve. They won't solve crime, violent crime, or terrorism, simply because they do nothing to undermine or remove the desires or motivations people have to commit crimes in the first place.

On the other hand, if you believe that human nature is inherently flawed or evil, then you might be tempted to see this as your best bet, or even as necessary. I hold out more hope than that, and in my better moments I feel compassion for people whose view of the world is so dim.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.