The Jeffersonian

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In memory of Michael Brown: stand with Ferguson

In memory of Michael Brown: stand with Ferguson

The media’s main theme for Ferguson has been racial, but we all know it is more than that. This conflict arrays the citizen against the state. State authorities cannot just shoot you down in the middle of the street because they feel like it, no matter what color the police officer, no matter what color the victim. Remember, leaving Michael Brown’s body in the street for hours was not an…

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Oct 7

Secrecy and trust in foreign affairs

Secrecy and trust in foreign affairs

Back when victory in the Cold War was still a prospect, thirty years ago, analysts had some fixed ideas about why the conflict endured. Analysts also held small hope the standoff would ever end, at least not while they had anything to say about it. One explanation for the its enduring nature was the arms race, along with the fear and edginess those large arsenals caused. Another reason was the…

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List of books related to 9/11

List of books related to 9/11

You already know this book, Infamy, started as a bibliographical project. You know that because I reported that right at the beginning of my last post. The decade after 9/11 was an interesting decade that way. As the early work on the 9/11 crimes appeared, we also saw an enormous amount of high quality work on Kennedy’s murder come out. The 9/11 research had to start from scratch, whereas the…

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Why he died and why it matters

Why he died and why it matters

When the Warren Commission’s report came out on September 24, 1963, TIME’s writers worked thirty-six hours straight to prepare a summary of the report for the magazine’s next issue. Fifty years later, TIME magazine stands by its treatment of the Commission’s report. I don’t know exactly what that tells you about the magazine, but it’s not good. To give you the flavor of their fiftieth anniversary…

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Do you consider yourself beyond the law?

Do you consider yourself beyond the law?

Post-Snowden, do you want to know how your public servants think about you and your privacy? Here is an excerpt from an article in today’s Wall Street Journal:

FBI Director James Comey on Thursday said he is concerned about moves by Apple Inc. and Google Inc. to market phones that can’t be searched by law enforcement, saying agency officials have engaged in discussions with both companies.

“What…

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Commentary for the post: Was Bobby Kennedy in on the plot to kill JFK?

Commentary for the post: Was Bobby Kennedy in on the plot to kill JFK?

Several days ago, I published a post titled Was Bobby Kennedy in on the plot to kill JFK? A friend wrote to comment:

Just a quick note to say that while I generally am in tune with your analysis of events, I think you are completely off base on this one. IMHO Bobby did not pursue the real killers – LBJ and Allen Dulles and etc – because he needed the power of the presidency behind him to pull off…

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The criminalization of everything

The criminalization of everything

Do you read Reason.com? You should. It can be pretty discouraging, but it’s the best course in American civics you’ll find, anywhere. If you want to learn about freedom in practice, and how to limit freedom, in practice, go here.

The latest story is about a kindergartner arrested and placed in handcuffs for throwing a temper tantrum. You sort of wish the police would say, when they receive a call…

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Was Bobby Kennedy in on the plot to kill JFK?

Was Bobby Kennedy in on the plot to kill JFK?

Before you say, “Good God, another nut, another nutty theory,” stay with me for a few minutes. Consider these arguments. Bobby Kennedy had the mean, motive, and opportunity to kill his brother. He had all the right connections with the Cuban exiles. Fratricide was his surest path to the throne, once he had Lyndon Johnson out of the way. His brother trusted him, and would never have been on guard…

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Carthage adventures

Have you heard of a college called Carthage? It has beards, bona fides and breakable baggage.

Carthage adventures

Have you heard of a college called Carthage? It has beards, bona fides and breakable baggage.

Rhetoric of war

Here’s a quotation from the president’s speech on Wednesday, September 10, broadcast from the White House:

Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents. And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.  And ISIL is certainly not a state. It was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and…

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