A hundred things are keeping me away from the computer today.
Gary Farber passed on a warning about signing away your work for syndication too readily. It is always cool when a publication wants to run your stuff (note to major periodicals – my email address is at the upper right) but make sure that you don’t sign away your rights.
I wanted to write more about government monitoring of journalists’ phone records but time hasn’t yet permitted. In the meantime Kevin Drum has useful commentary here and here. To sum up, the FBI uses PATRIOT Act-enhanced National Security Letters to secretly collect the confidential records of basically anybody they feel like, without the need to seek a judge’s authorization. Targets don’t have to have anything to do with national security or terrorism (making the NSL acronym somewhat of a misnomer) and don’t have to be the actual target of an investigation. In other words if the FBI wants your records it can have them, without having to give any reason and independent of that annoying oversight stuff. Don’t you feel safer?
Bush defenders will triumphantly announce that the whole thing may be legal and therefore perfectly ok. How do I know? Call me psychic. Folks who do so will demonstrate once again that conservatism is long since dead and buried.
In other news, my crystal ball predicts that Ronald Ramon will make the Mountaineers look like a high-school squad.
Chat about whatever.