Three interesting articles in blogs today, all worth a read:
Over at Politicususa they analyze the recent Pew Research Center’s survey of where people get their news, and conclude that the biggest competition to Fox News is not MSNBC or even CNN, but comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central. I love reading things like that, since Political Irony is based on a healthy mix of humor and politics. An interesting factoid is that the overwhelming majority (64%) of Fox News watchers are older, while an even larger majority (77%) of Stewart and Colbert’s audiences are younger. Maybe there is hope for the future!
There is a fascinating discussion going on about your right to silence when returning to the US after a foreign trip. The whole thing started with a blog post by Paul Karl Lukacs, who travels frequently. On a recent trip, when returning to the US he was asked by a passport control officer “Why were you in China?” to which he replied “None of your business”. He fully complied with the law, which requires him to present a valid passport and to fill out a customs declaration form, but beyond that he is not required by law to answer any questions. After hassling him for a while, they finally let him in.
The original post led to many comments, which then spilled over to other blogs, including postings on Boing Boing, The Consumerist, Reason, and Ycombinator, which have amassed over a thousand comments, some in support, and some against his actions. So he responded with a followup post answering some of the questions people asked.
When a US citizen is reentering the US (as opposed to entering a foreign country) they cannot be denied reentry, and they have the right to remain silent. Unfortunately, hardly anyone exercises that right. And as we all know, if you don’t exercise your rights, you are likely to lose them.
If you are one of the people who think you should always answer questions asked of you by authorities, watch this video. It will open your eyes.
Finally, a bit of wonderfully ironic news. Chuck Cooper, the lead attorney defending Proposition 8 (which made gay marriage unconstitutional in California) gave a talk to 200 students at Brigham Young University law school. You would think that students at a Mormon university would be sympathetic, since the Mormon church was one of the most vigorous promoters of Proposition 8. But no, they tore his arguments to pieces. “Chuck Cooper failed miserably in attempting to defend Prop 8 to possibly the friendliest crowd he will even encounter. … If Chuck Cooper can’t defend Prop 8 in front of a group of BYU students, then how is he going to defend it in front of the Supreme Court?”