FROM Lee Rainie
Secrecy versus the right to privacy in a dangerous world While Edward Snowden's in exile in Moscow, debate is raging: should President Obama grant him a pardon? Human rights groups, bolstered by Oliver Stone's latest movie , say Snowden performed public service by revealing the excesses of government spying. But others insist that, by breaking the law, Snowden has made it harder for law enforcement to prevent acts of terrorist violence. Meantime, bombs in New York and New Jersey and stabbings in Minnesota are raising all-too-familiar questions about national security. Incidents like these have a direct impact on public opinion about "striking a balance." Is there too much surveillance by government agencies -- or not enough?
Opposites Don't Attract: Presidential candidates appeal to the "working class" and "ordinary people" with the promise of unifying America for the "common good." But that turns out to mean different things in different places, and it's not just a matter of Red States versus Blue. Wealth and mobility have freed Americans to move wherever they want to and they end up with people just like themselves, culturally as well as politically. What might sound obvious turns out to be an index of major change over the past 30 years. Is segregation-by-lifestyle dividing cities and neighborhoods? Whatever happened to "class?" Is political unification possible any more?
After Syria strike a new Trump doctrine emerges The President who promised an end to entanglements in the Middle East and snuggled up to Vladimir Putin has now outraged Russia with surprise missile attacks on Syria. That's raised questions about who's running the White House? We hear a variety of answers.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.