Michael Barkun: Reverse Transparency in Post-9/11 America

Unlike the covert electronic infringements by the NSA, some other infringements are open and obvious—for example, security check-points at airports and government buildings, or surveillance cameras covering public spaces. These are examples of what I term “reverse transparency.” Traditionally, transparency has been a standard applied to organizations, such as corporations or governments, by which we require that their decisions be clear and open in order to permit accountability. Increasingly, however, under the pressure of homeland security concerns, this traditional conception has been, as it were, stood on its head. Continue Reading Michael Barkun: Reverse Transparency in Post-9/11 America

Interview: Michael Barkun on the Gap between Real and Perceived Terror Threats

Michael Barkun discusses the gap between real and perceived terror threats and the nonrational decision making that has shaped U.S. homeland security policy. Continue Reading Interview: Michael Barkun on the Gap between Real and Perceived Terror Threats

Islamophobia and Our Love of Shopping

We welcome a guest post today from Susan Nance, author of How the Arabian Nights Inspired the American Dream, 1790-1835. Americans have always shown a fascination with the people, customs, and legends of the “East,” such as the stories of the Arabian Nights, the performances of Arab belly dancers and acrobats, the feats of turban-wearing… Continue Reading Islamophobia and Our Love of Shopping

Seven Years Ago

No clever blog entry today. Today is simply a day to remember those we lost in New York, in DC and in Pennsylvania. It’s a day to remember what it means to be an American, what it means to be a citizen and what it means to fight for the liberties and the rights our… Continue Reading Seven Years Ago