Ben Bullard Archive
Ben Bullard Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic. Email this author.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 has become a rubber stamp for secret government surveillance of regular Americans, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has become a permission-slip clearinghouse. Since Sept. 11, 2001, “judicial oversight” has really meant “judicial blessing.”
President Barack Obama has nominated B. Todd Jones to fill a seven-year vacancy to direct the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), even though Jones is currently being investigated by the Office of Special Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over allegations he retaliated against a whistle-blower when he was […]
The Administration of President Barack Obama, acting through the U.S. Department of Energy, has just raised the so-called “social cost” of carbon emissions by 60 percent — and it did so by quietly piggybacking the change on a routine update to energy efficiency standards for microwave ovens. Before the Obama-backed rate jump, the government had […]
An Army veteran who’d been living at the same Buffalo, N.Y., address for three years got home Monday afternoon to discover that someone had torn down the door, shot up the apartment, ransacked the place and killed his dog, Cindy, who was leashed in the kitchen.
A poll released Monday shows more than half of all Americans think it’s acceptable for the government to secretly track their phone calls, if doing so keeps them safe from terrorism. The poll also shows that nearly half believe it’s also acceptable for the National Security Administration to indiscriminately spy on citizens’ online activities.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit advocacy group that battles expanded government surveillance and technological infringements on civil liberties, has compiled a list of operating systems, applications and online services for computers and mobile devices. Many of the products listed aren’t exactly household names — but that’s kind of the point. The EFF has […]
Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) spoke Tuesday for nearly 15 minutes on the Senate floor in Spanish, applauding the Gang of Eight bipartisan coalition that’s pushing for a sweeping set of immigration reforms and supporting the start of the debate process that could see an immigration reform bill move out of the Senate. Kaine planned the […]
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is planning a class action suit against the Federal government to end the National Security Administration’s broad surveillance of citizens’ phone metadata and computer habits via compulsory, court-ordered secret “agreements” with phone and computer companies.
The United States is trying to extradite Edward Snowden, the former CIA assistant-turned-whistle-blower who outed the National Security Agency’s incredible, Orwellian surveillance dragnets of phone and computing data, from Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Bradley Manning is in court-martial proceedings.
As Congress takes up a renewal of the massive, omnibus five-year entitlement plan known as the U.S. Farm Bill, don’t hold your breath for massive reforms. So far, it appears a decision to do away with direct payments of taxpayer funds to farm aid recipients — many of them very, very wealthy corporations — has […]