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?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?