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Senators Jon Kyl and Orrin Hatch say you can’t expect the names of books you read to be private

In Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee’s markup of a bill to reauthorize the Patriot Act, Senator Patrick Leahy tried to insert an amendment. The amendment would allow the government to obtain records of book sales that do not meet the Constitution’s requirement that there be probable cause to believe the target has committed a crime. Instead, [...]

Freedom is for the Rest of Us, not for Muslims

Bad Eagle, September 2010 on how the burning of a Koran is part of a long, vibrant historical tradition of free expression:

Pastor Terry Jones, of the Dove World Outreach Center of Gainsville, Florida, is in keeping with an ancient tradition of book burning. His proposed burning of the Koran on September 11, 2010, is [...]

Anti-Muslim Crusade Takes On Nazi Tone

The Koran will only be the first, most convenient target. How long will it be until they start burning the books that are important to you? [...]

My Only Hope

The real challenges of life involve many hopes, and many dooms, and the choice between them is more about what we want than about what we must do. [...]

Tom Ridge Reports Sky Is Blue

The surprise in Tom Ridge’s book isn’t that the color code terrorist advisory system is a sham. The surprise is that a former member of the Department of Homeland Security is willing to admit to the sham. [...]

Communism And Barack Obama Is An Easy Read

I suggest to people who are tempted by these arguments that they read the book Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore. It’s a well-written account of the life of Stalin before the Bolshevik Revolution that created the Soviet Union. [...]

Philadelphia Should Tax Cars Instead Of Closing Libraries

Philadelphia could have reduced traffic, better educated citizens, improved public safety, and kids who know how to swim – or it could save car owners one hundred dollars every year. Mayor Michael Nutter is nutters for choosing cars over community. [...]

Schaum De-Gays Its Penguin Polka

When I was a child, I took piano lessons using the Schaum books. Thirty years later, my son is taking piano lessons, also using the Schaum books. Some things have changed. Take the lyrics to “Penguin Polka,” for instance. Thirty years ago, the Penguin Polka lyrics read: “They strut and step, they swing and sway, [...]

A Week for Open Thinking

Observe both Take a Child Outside Week and Banned Books Week in a way that counts. Try to see the larger issues that these observances address. Honor the ideal of an open society, and take action to oppose the McCain-Palin campaign. [...]

Abusing Snopes With Sarah Palin Story

It is as if, at a murder trial, the defense team claims that the prosecution’s case is completely inaccurate because, although the defendant was photographed at the scene of the crime holding the murder weapon, a lawyer on the prosecutor’s team once said that the defendant was wearing a hat, while the photograph shows no hat. [...]

Breaking: Palin Book-Banning Pressure Concurrent with Her Church's Censorship Movement

ABC’s Brian Ross reported yesterday that Sarah Palin’s repeated questioning of the Wasilla librarian about banning books, and then Palin’s firing of the librarian just weeks later, did not occur in a vacuum. Palin’s pointed questioning occurred at the same time Palin’s church was spearheading an effort to remove books not just from the local [...]