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Whiskey & Wry — surveillance state

21. Corn-Pone Opinions

In Corn-Pone Opinions, a posthumously published, autobiographical essay, the great Mark Twain addressed the timeless question of how people come to form their beliefs. As a child, Twain served as an audience of one for the private performances of a young, neighboring slave whom Twain regarded, at the time, as "the greatest orator in the United States." One of the skilled rhetorician's comments had a profound and lasting impact on the "Father of American Literature"; to wit: "You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what is 'pinions is." Here, Twain's wise idol hits...

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20. Bi-partisan Builders of the Surveillance State

If you applaud Edward Snowden's courage in revealing the vast, surveillance apparatus monitoring the activities of American citizens, this year's presidential election offers little hope for a restoration of constitutional safeguards against such "Orwell-ianism." Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the two major-party candidates for President, are avid surveillance hawks, and their expressed views on this weighty issue offer little hope for civil libertarians. Since June 2013, when Mr. Snowden first divulged the extent of domestic spying in the US, Mrs. Clinton has been a vocal critic of this conscientious whistle-blower. The Democratic nominee has maintained that Mr. Snowden should have...

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