How Digital Technology Is Making Us Subservient, Anxious, and Uncertain

The Threat of Constant Surveillance Provokes Fears That We're Losing Our Liberty and Autonomy

In the anxious years since 9/11, surveillance has become one of the essential infrastructures for 21st-century social life, commerce, and government. With an endless number of drones, sensors, scanners, archives, and algorithms constantly at work for governments and corporations alike, these technologies of monitoring, securing, and sorting are not always visible to the naked eye, but are always humming in the background in ways that we have barely begun to understand. As these systems inch towards a creepy kind of omniscience, we need to consider where they will stop, and …

That Time I Urinated on the White House Lawn

It Was 1954. Eisenhower Was President. And There Were No Barking Dogs or Secret Service Agents in Sight.

On a warm summer evening in 1954, my high school classmate Gerry and I walked up to the steel fence topped by tall bronze spears that surrounded the Eisenhower White …

The New Deal Origins of Homeland Security

During FDR’s Administration, the First Lady and the Mayor of New York Clashed Over Guns, Butter, and American Liberalism

Ever since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans have faced a set of seemingly unprecedented national security challenges and anxieties. Our society has been consumed with debates …

A Mass Murderer Is Testing the Limits of Scandinavian Goodwill

Norway’s Most Dangerous Man Is Back in the Spotlight, Leading Many to Wonder How Much Compassion He Deserves

For four days in March, I watched Norway’s national devil return to public view, in another installment of the courtroom drama familiarly titled Breivik v. State. Andres Behring Breivik, now …

Hey, Californians: Let’s Side With the Refugees, Not the Terrorists

Our Fellow Victims of Terrorism Need a Home, and Our Home Needs Them

On a Saturday night after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, a plastic replica hand grenade was left in the driveway of Baitus Salaam Mosque in Hawthorne, a municipality near …

Walking Home Alone at Night in Buenos Aires

In Argentina, Like Elsewhere in Latin America, Fear of Crime Is a Way of Life

A debate dominates the end of my dinners at my parents’ house: how to get home? I live a mere seven blocks away, a brief walk across a park. Though …