I am old enough to remember when Twitter billed itself as “the free-speech wing of the free-speech party”. Heck, I can even remember John Perry Barlow’s hippie-libertarian “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” — a place “where anyone, anywhere, may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity”.
One of the media and beltway orthodoxies we constantly hear is that just a few bad apples under James Comey at the FBI explain why so many FBI elites have been fired, resigned, reassigned, demoted, or retired — or just left for unexplained reasons. The list is long and includes director James Comey himself, deputy director Andrew McCabe, counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, attorney Lisa Page, chief of staff James Rybicki, general counsel James Baker, assistant director for public affairs Mike Kortan, Comey’s special assistant Josh Campbell, executive assistant director James Turgal, assistant director for office of congressional affairs Greg Bower, executive assistant director Michael Steinbach, and executive assistant director John Giacalone.
With the first publication of Hoover Senior Fellow Joshua Rauh’s essay Hidden Debt, Hidden Deficits two years ago, there was finally a comprehensive look into the burden that state and local government pension promises to public employees are placing on public finances. Now, two years later, Rauh has revisited these fundamentally important questions regarding state and local pensions with a major data update and web resource that highlights the fiscal drag of unfunded pension obligations on state and local government finances.
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Women of the Gulagis based on Paul Gregory’s Hoover Press book of the same name. Directed by Russian American film maker Marianna Yarovskaya, the film tells the compelling and tragic stories of five remarkable women—among the last survivors of the Gulag, the brutal system of repression that devastated the Soviet population during the Stalin years.
With the buzz around 2020 U.S. elections building, and an election in another large democracy, India, just concluded, it is time for societies to place more of an emphasis on mobile phone regulation than they do on social media.
Tom Woods contacted me last Thursday morning to ask if he could interview me that afternoon on this 8-minute monologue from Tucker Carlson in which Tucker endorses Elizabeth Warren’s economic plan and claims that libertarians are running Washington. On this latter, who knew?
In 1974, nearly three quarters of all governments were dictatorships; today, more than half are democracies. Yet, by most measures, there are now 25 fewer democracies than there were at the turn of the millennium. Is democracy in decline? And if so, what has contributed to this regression? Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and professor of political science and sociology at Stanford University has dedicated the majority of his life to answering these questions.
When remote-controlled flying drones closed London’s Gatwick Airport in 2018, it was a clear warning that a new threat era had emerged, requiring urgent action. It was, in fact, a threat that had been developing for more than a decade with signs as far back as 2010 that over-the-counter drones would become available and that their fast-changing capabilities would outstrip efforts to counter them unless there was a major plan by governments to invest heavily in anti-drone technologies. Today, the threat is not only confined to kids or terrorists flying drones into airspace over airports.
This year, Congress has the chance to end the latest iteration of a long-running surveillance program that has violated Americans’ privacy and for a decade operated under secret and deeply problematic legal justifications. The Project On Government Oversight has called on Congress to end the “call detail records” program, which vacuums up a huge quantity of phone records from people the government does not suspect of wrongdoing. And when the law authorizing this program—Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001—expires in December, Congress should not only end the authority for the program, but enact additional reforms to protect Americans’ privacy rights from this type of improper surveillance.
Eleven long months ago, at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo., New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman cogently explained how a rational, effective president of the United States would handle a trade dispute with China. He’d sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, bring European allies into the agreement, and then negotiate quietly with the Chinese in a way that would save them embarrassment.