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Edward Snowden, birthday, surveillance, whistleblower, patriot, sacrifice, NSA

Happy Birthday, Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden turns 35 today and begins another year as a fugitive stuck in Russia. Five years ago, he fled the country to Hong Kong, meeting with The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras to discuss documents he had released showing illegal National Security Agency collection of our

ranked choice voting, democracy, initiative, referendum, election, voting, Paul Jacob, voting reform, Maine

The Other Maine Thing

Tuesday’s biggest election news was the victory for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) in Maine. This is the second statewide vote for this reform, which allows voters to rank the candidates by first choice, second choice and so on.* Voters first passed it in 2016, but the next year the voters’

gentrification, renewall, Washington D.C., corruption, crony capitalism, housing, dirigisme

Progress, DC-Style

Is the black, Democratic mayor of Washington, D.C., actually a “racist”? What about the city council, which is 46 percent African-American, 85 percent Democrat, and 100 percent liberal/progressive? That’s what a lawsuit argues — the DC ‘powers that be’ are racist in their development and housing policies. Filed on behalf

schools, corruption, D.C., Washington, education, cheating, incentives, teachers, union

Reading, Writing & Racketeering

When I attended a public school — many decades ago, in a galaxy far, far away — teachers told students that cheating was unacceptable and would be punished. Harshly. Today, the idea has students laughing — all the way to graduation. Last year, after DC Public Schools officials breathlessly announced

tin foil hat, D.C. Councilman Trayon White, climate control, conspiracy, jews, antisemitism

Low Bigotry Expectations

“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” explained Washington, D.C. Councilman Trayon White back in March. White (who is black) went on to accuse “the Rothschilds” (who were Jewish financiers) of “controlling the climate

Arkansas State Senator Jon Woods, corruption, Arkansas, conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering

Sweet Schadenfreude?

Yesterday, jurors convicted former Arkansas State Senator Jon Woods on 15 felony counts consisting of conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. Woods was at the center of a corrupt scheme to reward cronies at Ecclasia College and AmeriWorks with GIFs — state General Improvement Funds — in return

De-Escalate Washington, Tim Eyman, Initiative 940, initiative, democracy, shootings

Principle and Compromise

Last Friday, Tim Eyman — the Evergreen State’s best-known ballot initiative practitioner — won an important court case. But he also scuttled an amazingly impressive compromise between state legislators, police, and the proponents of Initiative 940. The measure was written and promoted by De-Escalate Washington, a group that includes several

national debt, debt clock, Mercatus Center, economics, economy, folly,

While the Clock Ticks

Pushing annual federal spending over a trillion bucks into the red? It has consequences.   “Our debt is growing, and it’s growing fast,” writes Veronique de Rugy at Reason. “Though it’s a shame that lawmakers passed tax cuts without cutting spending to offset short-term losses in revenue, there’s no doubt

Syria, Donald Trump, Trump, war, wag the dog, diversion, antiwar, gas, gassing, chemical, chlorine, false flag

Wag the Wolf

Once upon a time, President Donald Trump was against attacking Syria merely on grounds that its dictator is a murderously bad guy — despite numerous chemical attacks on civilians in opposition-occupied and -contested areas that had been blamed on Syrian dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad. Almost exactly a year ago, a

mass transit, metro, cars. low income, recession

Bailing on Mass Transit

Around the country, our major metropolitan transit systems have hit the skids. “Between 2016 and 2017, ridership fell in each of the seven largest transit markets,” the Washington Post informs. You might guess that the reason for declines in ridership might have something to do with bad planning and poor

pig, pigliets, crony capitalism, Delta, NRA

Georgia on My Dime

After the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, followed by pressure from gun control advocates, Delta Airlines announced it would end its corporate relationship with the National Rifle Association, whereby NRA members were given discounts on travel.* Meanwhile, Georgia legislators were in the process of passing legislation to give Delta

Oklahoma, votes, democracy, initiative, marijuana, State Rep. John Enns, ballot

Fear of Voters

You are a state legislator, say. And an issue could be placed on the ballot on which a majority of your state’s citizens might not vote according to your preference. What would you do? Educate your fellow citizens on the merits of your position; or Dawdle while calling a lobbyist

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