Butts's statement also included what had been missing in the PMO's defense: a full-throated denial, devoid of weasel words. ...

Stop crying wolf. Stop pretending trivial and far-fetched risks are everyday perils. If you must fear something, fear something real. Worry about texting drivers, not great white sharks. Most of all, stop wallowing in ersatz connections to distant tragedies. We live in the safest place in the world, at the safest time in history. We must resist those who would swaddle us in fear....

A 1957 photo showing, left to right, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Pete Seeger, Charis Horton, Rosa Parks, and Rev. Ralph Abernathy at the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tennessee. It is thought to be the only photograph of King, Seeger, Parks, and Abernathy together. The school was a training ground for the civil rights movement. Parks herself trained in the library pictured above shortly before her fateful refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus in 1956, the act of civil disobedience that touched off the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott. Charis (pronounced with a hard "c") is the daughter...

A catchy little ditty about surveillance of citizens, en français. In partial translation: If you have nothing to hide, then you could put a camera in your bedroom and your bathroom, and publish images on internet. Or if you have nothing to hide, then you can get your login and your password on facebook or in google, publish and everyone can go dig it. Our lists of things to do Our soft sms Our writings of anger And our address books Our favorite pubs Our schedules pool Our sworn enemies And the name of the neighboring Nothing, nothing, nothing to be ashamed of nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing to hide H/T: Bethany Horne...

A childhood friend found this disturbing 1956 photograph by the late Life Magazine photographer Gordon Parks on the Facebook page of the African-American history group BlackPast.org. She reposted it on her own Facebook page, and I reposted to to mine, adding, "It's worth remembering that this was less than 60 years ago." It didn't take long for Gus Reed to post this photo of the posh Hydrostone restaurant Epicurious Morsels, adding: 60 years ago there was a separate entrance for African Americans at the Birmingham bus station. 60 seconds ago, this was the wheelchair entrance at a restaurant in Halifax. One of...

[caption id="attachment_13208" align="aligncenter" width="550"] A Washington, DC, city bus[/caption] Briefly, because I can't say it better than these people did, please check out the links below for eloquent arguments about the value of Edward Snowden's lawbreaking, and the Obama administration's pernicious folly in persecuting him. On the last day of October, from his exile in Russia, Snowden wrote a letter seeking clemency. On the first day of January, a New York Times editorial endorsed his request. Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and...