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Today's Links: September 27, 2011

OPINION GENE HEALY: "Time to Abolish DHS" "Over the past decade, homeland security grants have been used in an apparent attempt to turn Main Street America into a London-style Panopticon, funding security cameras in sleepy hamlets nationwide. And, as investigative journalist Radley Balko notes, DHS handouts also further a burgeoning culture of police paramilitarization, funding armored personnel carriers for such 'unlikely terrorist targets' as the towns of Adrian, Mich., and Germantown, Tenn." ROGER KOPPL: "Another Step Down the Road to Serfdom" "As the scope of federal regulation grows, Congress finds itself increasingly embroiled in problems of economic planning.  How shall we balance the tradeoff between cheap energy and reduced greenhouse gases?  Shall we support solar power or wind power?  Should medical care focus more on prevention or treatment?  And so on.  In The Road to Serfdom  F. A. Hayek pointed out that no solution could satisfy all members of the democratic public.  The greater the scope of centralized planning in economic affairs, the more gridlock there will be in the legislature." PETER VAN BUREN: "Interrogated by the State Department" "On the same day that more than 250,000 unredacted State Department cables hemorrhaged out onto the Internet, I was interrogated for the first time in my 23-year State Department career by State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) and told I was under investigation for allegedly disclosing classified information. The evidence of my crime? A posting on my blog from the previous month that included a link to a WikiLeaks document already available elsewhere on the Web."
NEWS TECHNOLOGY - Facebook Defends Getting Data From Logged-Out Users "Facebook on Monday defended its practice of gathering data from 'Like' buttons even after users have logged out, saying that the collection is part of a system to prevent improper logins and that the information is quickly deleted." ENERGY DRINKS - Univ. of NH Backtracks on Energy Drink Sales Ban "The University of New Hampshire has backtracked on its just-announced plan to stop selling energy drinks on campus, saying it needs more time to study the idea and gather input from students." HUMAN RIGHTS - Saudi Woman Gets 10 Lashes for Driving "Just days after Saudi Arabia’s king announced landmark voting reforms for women, female activist Shaima Ghassaniya was sentenced to 10 lashes for defying the nation’s ban on driving, according to fellow activists."