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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 13, 2013/ 9 Tishrei, 5774

You are being watched

By A. Barton Hinkle




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | During a visit to Richmond on Monday, his third day as FBI director, Jim Comey welcomed the current debate over the reach of government surveillance. "The pendulum swings back and forth" between liberty and security, he said. America benefits when those with differing views on the issue "bang it out." Comey, whose modesty is proportional to his height (6 feet 8 inches ), did not remind those present of his own role in pushing the pendulum back toward the civil-liberties end of its arc during a now-famous showdown at the hospital bedside of former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

But Comey added that he didn't always find the liberty-versus-security dichotomy helpful. Sometimes security and liberty move in tandem, he said. He offered the illustration of a police officer on a playground whose presence makes everyone in the vicinity feel both more secure and more free.

It's a fair point. Yet if that were all there were to the matter, then the current debate would seem wildly overblown. Is it? Clearly not: Many serious, intelligent people find the recent revelations about domestic spying highly unsettling. Why is that?

Go back to Comey's playground illustration. His point about liberty and security moving in tandem holds true — but it can cut both ways.

Suppose the police officer is not simply standing on the playground, warding off potential malefactors. Suppose he is also watching you: following you around, making notes, videotaping you, whispering into his microphone. Would you feel more secure then, or less?

Suppose the officer also tails you home. Suppose he follows you into your house and begins poking around in your closets, reading your mail, copying the contents of your computer's hard drive, and taking notes about your dinner-table conversation with your spouse. Would you feel more at liberty, or less?

Just about anyone would find this highly unsettling. He or she would feel both insecure and inhibited: simultaneously less secure and less free. And that is how many people feel about the alarming expansion of government surveillance. It is, indeed, something the founders understood when they wrote the Fourth Amendment, guaranteeing the "right" — the liberty right — of the people to be "secure" from unreasonable searches by government authorities. The Fourth Amendment treats security as a component of liberty, not its opposite.


Among other things, the founders were concerned about "general warrants" — which allowed officials to search a person's home and papers at whim. The founders insisted that warrants be issued only for "cause," and that they must describe "the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." But the NSA's vacuuming up of millions of Americans' telephone records cannot be justified by any particular cause. Rather than develop a suspicion and follow it up with a particularized search, the NSA's metadata program conducts a general search first, and then examines the results for reasons to suspect someone in particular.

And the NSA's metadata program is just one among a rapidly proliferating population of surveillance programs. Through another program, the agency also has access to roughly 75 percent of Internet traffic. For the past six years, the FBI has been building a $1 billion database of physical characteristics, from iris scans to palm prints. The Labor Department maintains a nationwide registry of new hires; states use it to track down deadbeat parents. The Department of Homeland Security has compiled data on credit card transactions, rental car information, and email contacts. Border agents are empowered to search, without a warrant or even suspicion, everything from laptop computer files to "pocket litter." (The federal government defines the "border" for this purpose as 100 miles wide; that covers 197 million U.S. citizens.)

Across the country, police departments are amassing records of Americans' ordinary movements through the use of automated license-plate readers. Twenty-seven states are using facial-recognition technology to match surveillance footage with DMV mug shots. Just recently, a federal court ruled police departments did not need a warrant to obtain your cellphone records.

These are just a few of the ways government is keeping tabs on Americans, and there are more coming down the pike — from the insurance-reporting requirements of Obamacare to the proposal that all Americans carry biometric ID cards to improve immigration enforcement.

Supporters of all this government surveillance sometimes say that "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear." The fallacy inherent in that statement entails its assuming people want privacy only to hide what is incriminating. But privacy is about much more than dirty little secrets. There is nothing incriminating about a prostate exam or gynecology checkup, for instance — but few people would want to have one on live TV. Some things are simply nobody else's business.

Increasingly, however, government acts as though nearly everything is its business — from your phone calls to your driving habits. And that's what has people so concerned. Americans don't mind the cop on the playground. It's the one camping out in their living room that worries them.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch Comment by clicking here.


Previously:




09/10/13: Sorry, your business isn't desirable enough
09/05/13: The least bad option: Kill Assad
08/27/13: GOPers wrong ones to take on ObamaCare
08/08/13: Gas prices: What can the president do?
08/02/13: Chris Christie pulls a Dowd
07/29/13: Should Click and Clack wind up in the clink?
07/08/13: Commit any felonies lately?
06/18/13: Citizens and the State: the problem is bigger than you think
06/06/13: Political derangement threatens basic rights
05/30/13: Should we fear ex-Marine --- or those who detained him?
05/23/13: Professor of Constitution goes to war against it
05/23/13: REVEALED: IRS letter to tea party groups
05/15/13: Today on NPR: The smothering tax burden
04/30/13: What does Boston say about diversity?
04/25/13: For some libs, 'courage' = agreeing with them
04/18/13: Utterly outraged by their president's callous betrayal
04/11/13: Cognitive dissonance on guns
04/04/13: Do unto others, but not unto us, say the media
04/01/13: Observations from the auto shop holding pen
03/14/13: The nation-building follies
03/12/13: Will the right come around on pot?
03/07/13: Another U.S. dupe falls for a dictator
02/28/13: How dare you say that here!
02/26/13: Eating Frito-Lay chips at gunpoint
02/20/13: Death Star petitions are just what we need
02/13/13: ObamaCare proves law correct --- deep down you knew it would
01/29/13: It's Time to Get Judgy About Incompetency
01/23/13: Look who's mocking fascist fear-mongering now
01/16/13: Only in Washington could you get away with referring to spending and tax increases as spending 'cuts'
01/09/13: Obama begins his second term, Bush's fourth
01/07/13: Who's Attacking the Constitution Now?
01/03/13: Why, historically, January is the perfect time to debate the filibuster
12/26/12: When libs devalue diversity
12/20/12: Mark Your Calendars
12/13/12: Gun control, ad infinitum
12/11/12: Fracking can help fix the CO2 problem
12/06/12: Let's open the door to lots more immigration
12/04/12: Who's watching the kids? Just about everyone
11/29/12: The Real Middle-Class Champion was Mocked and Opposed
11/26/12: It's time to cut a deal on the budget
11/20/12: The case for a carbon tax
11/15/12: Cue the hysterics. Reports of Democracy's Death Greatly Exaggerated
11/07/12: The $4,000 Trash Can: We need regulation, but not this much
10/23/12: The Ballad of Islamist Rage Boy
10/17/12: Undermining the values that enable people in poverty to escape it? Sadly, yes
10/11/12: How Much Is This Tax Cut Gonna Cost Me, Doc?
10/04/12: Warrantless spying skyrockets under Obama
08/20/12: The wrong side absolutely must not win
08/14/12: America was not built on dirt alone
08/02/12: Libs Discover Their Inner Cheney
07/30/12: Feds want to help you --- whether you want help or not
07/23/12: Barack Obama, Storyteller-in-Chief
07/23/12: Nation's worst outsourcer? You
07/19/12: Listen up, America: You need to knuckle under
07/12/12: Obama, Romney: As Different as Two Peas in a Pod
07/05/12: Are teenagers big children --- or little adults?
06/25/12: Minorities treated as mere numbers
06/21/12: Memo to the the Little Guy: Seemingly innocuous activity could bring the federal hammer down out of a clear blue sky
06/19/12: We mustn't let America be buffaloed
05/31/12: Drop and Give Uncle Sam 20
05/15/12: The feds would like to know if you enjoyed that video
05/03/12: Obama inspires: 'America --- Still Not as Bad Off as Venezuela!'
04/26/12: It's everyone's favorite time of year again
03/29/12: GOP disillusionment is a good thing
03/27/12: Just what America needs: more red tape
03/20/12: Nation wondering: what happening to language?
02/21/12: Culture warriors resort to propaganda
02/15/12: Step away from that cookie and grab some air
02/08/12: Lessons in heresy
02/01/12: Do We Really Need Pickle-Flavored Potato Chips?
01/11/12: Shut up, they explained
12/30/11: A Modest Proposal: Let's Ban All Sports!
12/26/11: A Christmas letter from the Obamas
02/24/11: Will the next Watson need us?
12/24/10: Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate
06/15/10: The Presinator
05/26/10: More than equal
04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ‘ugly’?
02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books
01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home





© 2011, A. Barton Hinkle

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