- While Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is arguing for the swift implementation of democracy in Egypt, Turkish police officers are still using violent force to disperse protestors attempting to defy an order to close the park in Takism Square. Erdogan’s call for democracy comes after a military coup saw Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, ousted. On Monday, Istanbul Gov. Huseyin Avni Mutlu announced the reopening of Gezi Park, three weeks after riot police kicked the protestors out in an effort, if violent force dare be called an effort, to end the protests -- only for the park to be closed again hours later when protest leaders called an evening rally. But speaking on Egypt, Erdogan said:
- The case for Scottish Independence has not been an easy product to shift for the advocates of a self-rule in Scotland, especially when they have to contend with those in the United Kingdom -- namely the “better together” group -- who would rather the UK and Scotland stick together. The best argument out there for independence has been made by Blair Jenkins, the chief executive of the independence campaign, Yes Scotland. He is not a politician, he’s a broadcaster, and it is this that perhaps made him a good choice to lead the campaign. At a recent Scottish National Party, or SNP, conference he was able to lay out real issues that matter to the people of Scotland without resorting to the normal political vernacular that many are used to. He simply opened with: “If Scotland was independent now, who would vote to join the United Kingdom?”
- This morning, Michael Moroney wrote one of those pro-internship op-eds that seem to be so in vogue these days. But like so many who've come before him, Moroney failed to get all the facts first. He started with criticizing the recent lawsuits, so we'll start with this: "As Forbes recently noted, the Supreme Court established nearly six decades ago in Walling v. Portland Terminal Co. that unpaid internships are legal and exempt from minimum wage laws as long as six conditions are met. These conditions heavily emphasize that the internship is to the benefit of the intern, not the employer. Thus, so long as the intern is aware of, and agrees to, the fact that his internship is unpaid, and the employer approaches the internship with the intention of training the intern rather than just receiving output from him or her, the internship is lawful."
- A recent Wall Street Journal article noted the Social Security Administration’s struggle to cope with last week’s Supreme Court ruling regarding gay marriage. In its ruling, the Court said federal agencies managing federal benefits programs -- e.g., social security widow/widower’s benefits -- need to look at the marriage laws of the claimant’s state of residence, not where the person was married. Some have noted that this situation presents an issue of equal protection. That may be true, but the truth is that “equal protection” is currently a very flexible notion at the SSA. ...
- After Edward Snowden leaked information about the NSA PRISM surveillance program to the Guardian, everyone on the Web was shocked and outraged, but it really shouldn't be so surprising that the government has that sort of program up and running. While the outrage at the United States government's overstepping of its constitutional bounds persists, we have to wonder why everyone suddenly cares so much about privacy and surveillance? After all, this kind of far-reaching surveillance was reported on in the early 2000s, and millions of people over-share their information every day.
- June was a great month for doublespeak. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was caught lying in a congressional hearing about the scope of the National Security Agency’s ability to snoop on American communications. Clapper, when asked by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., last March, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” he answered “No, sir … not wittingly.” When NBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked Clapper how his testimony squared with the details on the PRISM program revealed by leaker Edward Snowden, he said his response was the “least untruthful” answer that he could give.
- The Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie warned in her popular TED talk that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding. Adichie illustrated her point by talking about her childhood in Nigeria, when she read British literature filled with white characters, and thought that stories cannot have African characters. For me, the danger of the single story is most pronounced in Western media coverage of my home country, China. I only started to read American newspapers while at college. It was initially interesting to see that there is nearly always news on China -- I hadn’t realized how "big” my country had become.