“It has become fashionable in the last few months to give Romney credit for “prescience” on Russia in the 2012 campaign, as if he did anything more than echo ignorant hard-line talking points that didn’t show the slightest understanding of the relevant issues.”

brooklynmutt:

"Throwback Thursday - I was doing selfies 60 years before you Facebook folks. Eat your heart out Ellen!" - General Colin L. Powell on Facebook

theatlantic:

'Why Is Pennsylvania So Haunted?': The U.S. According to Autocomplete

Why is Oklahoma so Republican? Why is Maine so white? And why is Pennsylvania so haunted?

Read more. [Image: Amazing Maps]

humanscalecities:

The Guardian has just launched a new section on cities. Check it out!

theatlantic:

Why Does Anyone Trust the National Security State?

The ongoing debate about the national-security state’s conduct drills down, for many participants, to this question: How much do you trust the people in charge? Do you believe they’ll reliably uphold the laws and norms of a free society? Or do you think that, permitted enough secrecy, they’ll break U.S. laws and violate rights?

For me, it isn’t a close call.

The United States needs protection from the people protecting it, always has, and always will. The character of the president isn’t the issue. Neither are the individuals running the FBI, CIA, NSA, JSOC, or the Department of Homeland Security. It wouldn’t matter if the national-security state was staffed from top to bottom with people I could hand select based on my esteem for their character.

Letting them operate in secret would still be dangerous.

That conclusion isn’t something I’ve derived in the abstract from political philosophy. The best reason to mistrust the national-security state is its track record. Abuses at the FBI, CIA, and NSA go back a long way, as any student of the J. Edgar Hoover era or the Church Committee report can attest in shocking detail. There’s no reason to think that generation was more prone to misbehave than ours. But one needn’t look to past generations to find good reasons for mistrust.

The War on Terrorism is full of them.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

A populist spin can’t save purely negative principles:

This is not extremism in defense of liberty, it’s extremism in defense of failure—the failure of conservatism as it has been defined since the 1970s to become a philosophy of government.

Illustration by Michael Hogue.

Image of the Day: Aging Superhero by Andreas Englund, via Colossal and Prufrock.

kateoplis:

The Library: A World History
kateoplis:

The Library: A World History
kateoplis:

The Library: A World History
kateoplis:

The Library: A World History
kateoplis:

The Library: A World History
kateoplis:

The Library: A World History
kateoplis:

The Library: A World History
kateoplis:

The Library: A World History
kateoplis:

The Library: A World History
kateoplis:

The Library: A World History

Image of the Day, via Colossal and Prufrock, Micah Mattix’s daily newsletter on books, arts and ideas, now hosted by The American Conservative.

hipsterlibertarian:


During a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers, according to an internal NSA PowerPoint presentation. Those figures, described as a typical daily intake in the document, correspond to a rate of more than 250 million per year.

Read the full story here.

hipsterlibertarian:

During a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers, according to an internal NSA PowerPoint presentation. Those figures, described as a typical daily intake in the document, correspond to a rate of more than 250 million per year.

Read the full story here.

(via pegobry)

“movement conservatism … in one short post: lie to your audience, evade responsibility for failure, and then urge people to throw their money away to fund more of the same ‘activism’ that helped create the current mess.”

nbcnightlynews:

BREAKING NEWS: Secretary of State Kerry will travel to Geneva on Thursday to meet with Russia’s foreign minister to discuss its proposal regarding international control of Syria’s chemical weapons