Fair and Balanced Opinion at the Times

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Democratic Socialism is awful as a slogan and catastrophic as a policy. And “social democracy”—a term that better fits the beliefs of ordinary liberals who want, say, Medicare for all—is a politically dying force. Democrats who aren’t yet sick of all their losing should feel free to … Continue reading
"Gort"

The Curse of Klaatu

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(Flash fiction) My breakfast bagel and I squeeze from the elevator past a guy on a gurney when the fluorescent lights flicker and go dark. Wondering when the emergency generator will kick in, I consult my watch. It’s now 0817. Code Green Time. Part way down the corridor, Mrs. Sewall from 511 … Continue reading
Donald Sutherland as L. Fletcher Prouty (“Mr X”) in the Oliver Stone film "JFK."

Steal This Book: The Publishing Misadventures of a CIA Whistleblower

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The decorated cold-warrior Air Force Colonel Leroy Fletcher Prouty would have turned 100 last June. Today few remember him, but those who do may recall him as an arch military intelligence insider who alerted the nation to the capture of reins of government by the intelligence establishment, from … Continue reading
Image from Barking Moonbat

Watching Watchbirds: On Surveillance, Watch Lists, Disinformation, and Secrecy

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  Watchbirds were those annoying little stick-figure birds who perched in some Munro Leaf children’s stories, always ready to instruct kids in proper protocols when they were misbehaving. Our current flock of watchbirds rarely have to instruct us because we mostly maintain civil … Continue reading
Henry Kissinger and Eric Schmidt, 2013

The Net’s Good Old Boys (3)

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Part 3: Dr. (Don’t Be) Evil Meets Dr. Strangelove Former Google EC Dr. Eric Schmidt has called for intelligence agencies to stop illegally prying into personal information and has been doing his best to convince the government to pay Google to do it legally instead. That said, in 2009 he was … Continue reading

The Net’s Good Old Boys (2)

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Part 2: If We Only Knew Then Continued from Hacking the Arpanet Although it seems like it, the Internet just didn’t assemble itself from a kit. Engineers made it. Engineers just want to design and build cool useful things. Generally they like this much more than repairing things they have … Continue reading
Unidentified VoA broadcaster reading a dispatch possibly originating from the CIA, date unknown

NPR, the CIA, and Assault of Corporatism

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In her five-minute interview with Ursula Wilder, a CIA psychologist whose job there involves counseling returning spies, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly (their alleged National Security Correspondent) went over what makes someone who reveals state secrets tick. Kelly failed big-time to probe Wilder about … Continue reading
Freshman class of the Center for International Affairs, 1958–1959, with Henry Kissinger and Robert R. Bowie front and center —Photo from Harvard Archives

Harvard, the CIA, and All That

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After Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government rescinded its invitation to Army whistle-blower Chelsea Manning (whom Obama sprung from the brig by pardoning her), a chorus of protest (led by 19,000 Harvard alumni and 169 professors) ensued. The main issue, according to them and the press, … Continue reading