Monthly Archives: July 2011

Slavery still part of the U.S. economy

Marshall Thompson  Last Tuesday, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who is known for her controversial statements, made a very uncontroversial remark about slavery. She said, “Slavery was a terrible part of our nation’s history. It is good that we no longer have slavery.” I have to agree with Bachmann in part. Slavery was, in fact, a terrible part…

Google+ Privacy = ??

Jake Laperruque  Two weeks ago tech giant Google charged back into the social networking world with Google+.  And while Google’s past efforts to break into this field have ranged from awful to really awful, this latest attempt seems to be an immediate success.  In less than fourteen days and without even going public, Google+ has already amassed 10,000,000 users,…

The Debtor-Creditor Divide

Anthony Kammer Several weeks ago, Bob Kuttner published an excellent 1-page piece called “Debtor’s Prison” (pdf) in the American Prospect. The distinction he offers now seems quite clearly to be one of the fundamental battle grounds in American politics—between rentier creditors and debtors. This is a line that’s deeply obscured in our political discourse but one that underlies virtually every…

The tide turns toward a civil Gideon?

Yevgeny Shrago A few months ago, the New York State judiciary recognized that the rising costs and complexity of litigation made denying counsel to civil defendants increasingly tantamount to entering a default judgment against them. Recently, the US Supreme Court began to inch its way back from the post-Lassiter ledge, picking out a civil situation where right to…

California Introduces Bill to Abolish Capital Punishment

Jessica Jackson Last Monday I opened the paper and discovered that I might soon be out of a job.  Unlike the hundreds of teachers who received pink slips this year, I was filled with delight.  As an employee of a California state entity that represents death row inmates in their appeals, I am excited to…

Strategic Petroleum Release

Yevgeny Shrago  Ensuring a good holiday weekend for the millions taking a ride out to a (soon to be closed?) National Park or the beach, President Obama opened up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, releasing 30 million barrels of oil last week. This move comes even as gas prices continued their month-long decline, reversing the usual summer trend. Energy Secretary…

Wikileaks is mainstream compared to Lulzsec

Ever since Wikileaks started publishing secret documents, representatives of government and traditional mass media have criticized it as irresponsible and even dangerous. Here is just one of many examples. Those critiques, however, seem almost quaint when one considers the recent work of Anonymous, a loosely organized group of hackers. Wikileaks requires people on the inside who voluntarily…

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