3 book picks from our Roundtable guests

Every week, Kerri asks our Roundtable guests what they’re reading. Here’s what our panel mentioned:

Larry Jacobs: Thomas Mallon’s “ Watergate.”

Here’s an excerpt of The Washington Post review of the novel:

While staying close to the chronology of events, Mallon distinguishes his story from the library of books that have come before by shaping “Watergate” in his own inimitable way. Nixon’s the one, of course, and all the spiteful principals are here, too, caught by the author’s delectable humor, from H.R. Haldeman, “the castle’s ogre,” to Chuck Colson, “a kind of mad relative who needed to be kept out of sight.” But Mallon has rotated the cast of characters, pulling some stars out of the limelight and raising others into new prominence.

Kyle Tran Myrhe aka Guante: “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander.

Nekima Levy-Pounds: “A Sense of Urgency” by John Kotter.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Yes. This new technology changes nothing with regard to privacy. Police have always had the ability to violate people’s civil rights and privacy if they want to, and for most of history in most parts of the world they have been unrestrained in doing so. The fact that they usually don’t in the USA is what’s remarkable. What’s keeping them from being agents of oppression (for the most part) is not any restriction on what technologies they can use; it’s the fact that our constitutional republic is working fairly well. It’s not perfect, of course. Abuses still happen, and minorities are too often subject to extra scrutiny (“driving while black”), but for the most part the police are not the bad guys.

  • Rich in Duluth

    Yes, but they should only be used in the context of apprehending specific criminals or in high crime areas, to combat specific crimes. General observation should not be allowed.

    I also think that a board, including citizens, should be convened to provide ongoing oversight of the use of these drones.

  • KTN

    In the two cases from the mid 80’s (Dow v. U.S., California v. Ciarolo) the Court decided observation from an airplane was legitimate, but those were targeted searches, not just fishing for illegal activity. In 2000, the Court decided (Kyllo v. U.S.) the use of thermal imaging to detect an indoor marijuana growing operation was a search, and the police exceeded their authority.

    In Kyllo, Scalia wrote ” the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of the home that would previously have been unknowable
    without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a ‘search’ and is
    presumptively unreasonable without a warrant”.

    My fear is the police will erode the general use prohibition, and start using drones for fishing expeditions, without first obtaining a search warrant.

    The makeup of the Kyllo decision was interesting, with Scalia writing, joined by Ginsburg and Breyer, and dissent by Rehnquist – don’t often see this lineup.

  • http://twitter.com/HenryCorp Henry Incorporated

    Yes. You’ll notice a drone flying outside your window. About the only potential spying abuse is if you’re doing something in your backyard or another open area. Drones don’t rape, stop and frisk, or get into high speed car chases that cause collateral damage. Too much paranoia, not enough consideration of practical benefits over standard police methods of crime fighting.

  • Lance

    Not without probable cause and a warrant.

  • Jim G

    Yes, but search warrants should still apply, and general fishing expeditions by police setting large surveillance nets should be discouraged by requiring these specific court ordered warrants.

  • Sam

    No. This is symptomatic of the disturbingly accepted trend of whittling away of our civil liberties, the growth of domestic militarization in the US, among other issues, that began following 9/11.

  • Wally

    Sure, as long as we have the right to shoot them down if they’re spying on us. I agree with Rich in Duluth: specific use, specific situations; no “fishing expeditions.”

  • Michelle

    Maybe, have the humans ended that silly prohibition of nature yet?

  • Pearly

    Only to spy on the AP

    • Wally

      Come on people. Pearly’s being facetious. Can’t the two of you take a joke?

  • Scott

    If we allow this what’s the next step?
    A fleet of them over cities 24/7?
    Automate them?

    Arm them?
    Let the computer decide when to shoot?

  • Oma

    I seem to recall that people successfully stopped police from posting unmanned radar stations and then sending traffic speeding tickets to people who had been perhaps speeding but not knowing that a hidden trap had been placed. Now, drones would be far more intrusive … I don’t think it should be allowed except in special cases, at the approval of the affected community.

  • Terminator

    No, LE drones are horrible and have a chilling effect upon the community. There is no way to stop “fishing expeditions” for each and every drone use will collect collateral information that can and will be used by LE. At this point drones are simply a toy that LE wants and are excited about, or they represent a way for a budding industry to make a bunch of $$$. Nowhere has anyone explored the fundamental changes this will bring about to our culture. It’s time to slow down on this technology, to think first, to act prudently, else the Terminator may be just around the corner.

  • Amy Lynn

    Yes, police need this tool to keep people safe. Could Ariel Castro’s first victim have been rescued almost immediately after she was kidnapped? Cleveland police never searched his house, which had boarded up windows and fencing, unusual even for a vacant bldg and despite reports of a naked woman crawling around the backyard and screams from the upper floor. Just like wiretapping, court orders would be needed. We know that sometimes our privacy has to be sacrificed to save lives and that is a small price to pay. Could drones have saved Jackie Dougard from enduring 18 years of imprisonment, torture and rape? Parole officers visited the home several times and failed to search all the property. Violent pedophies often rape and murder their victims shortly after abducting them. John Walsh’s son probably could have been recovered alive with the use of drones. Our right to privacy shouldn’t trump our right to life and is less important than the safety and security of citizens.

  • Danny Kyllo

    No drones should not be allowed! The people of America need to have a chance to vote on this important issue! Drones should not be just implemented in like the government is doing now without even a vote by the people. After all we are still a Democratic County?
    Drones have a horrible track record for their uses in Afghanistan and Iraq where women and children are killed randomly and nothing is done to stop them! One drone was even taken over out of the sky by Iran and landed in Iran. The Iranians took it apart piece by piece to learn what makes it tick. This drone was our most sophisticated one to date and Iran just took it over? These cowardly weapons need to be banned altogether and never should be in America or anywhere else period! Drones don’t have the ability to make that last second decision when it comes to life or death like a human can. It sounds like the establishment wants drones and robots that they can control easy and start a army of slaves. Here is a short poem I wrote I could call it a quote, “Where being deleted our mission completed!”, If we let them get their way. An for all you people in it just for the money, Its not worth selling our freedoms away! One last thing to add I sure don’t want a drone falling from the sky hitting me or anyone else for that matter. This would be a terrible mistake if we let these drones start roaming our street and skies. Say no to drones!
    Danny Kyllo