The Burglary, by Betty Medsger

Edward Snowden in Perspective: The Media Burglary


WC has already reviewed Betty Medsger’s The Burglary, a history of the peace activists who in 1971 burglarized the Media, Pennsylvania office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, stealing and leaking to the press the records they found there. Those leaked records included the first public disclosure of COINTELPRO, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s highly secret, highly…

NotOKFlag

A Common Thread


In times of crisis, people often retreat to militarism, nationalism, and extreme respect for authority. This is part of why an aggressive foreign policy is so counterproductive; every time we rattle our saber at Iran, for example, we empower the theocracy and the establishment government and hurt the resistance. Our showy disdain for Russia, the…

Sandhill Crane Pair, Wander Lake, Fairbanks

Autumn Cranes


The surest sign of autumn is when the Sandhill Cranes arrive at Creamer’s Refuge, staging for their fall migration to the Southwest U.S. Sure, the leaves are just starting to turn. We haven’t had a really hard frost yet. But the Cranes are staging, and very soon, some morning when the wind is out of…

Chart by Tom Dougherty, Practical Politicking

Watching the Elephants Eat Their Own


Conservative blogger and policy wonk Tom Dougherty recently discovered and reported that the Tea Party is a fraud. He wonders aloud is the Tea Party might not just be a Ponzi scheme. Dougherty raises two questions that interest WC. First, he thoroughly documents that 85-90% of political contributions to organizations like the Tea Party Leadership…

Whimbrel, Denali Highway

In Defense of Birding


Sunday morning, August 24, 2014, WC will lead a tour of “Birding Hotspots” in Fairbanks, as a part of the annual Sandhill Crane Festival. Yes, it’s a shame they can’t find someone better qualified to lead it, but there it is. Perhaps the birding tour is entrusted to WC’s feeble skills because, really, there aren’t many species in…

Daniel Ellsberg, 2014, courtesy of WikiCommons

Edward Snowden in Perspective: Daniel Ellsberg


Edward Snowden isn’t going away. The recent extended article in Wired demonstrates that. To provide some perspective on Snowden, WC is revisiting earlier instances of leaks of classified documents. We’ll start with Daniel Ellsberg, the RAND Corporation employee who leaked The Pentagon Papers to the press. Daniel Ellsberg was a highly respected military analyst at the RAND Corporation. He was…