So much for going through the proper channels

The Obama administration and its supporters of the national security state never tire of telling us that whistleblowers like Edward Snowden should not go public with the revelations but instead go through the ‘proper channels’ since those channels supposedly have safeguards to protect them from retaliation. Apart from the fact that Snowden was a contractor and not a federal employee and thus not entitled to those protections, we saw the harsh treatment meted out to previous whistleblowers who did try to use these methods. Indeed it was seeing what happened to these earlier whistleblowers that made Snowden choose his particular path.
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Another blasphemy outrage in Pakistan

Pakistan is a country that one thought was on the way to becoming a modern state but it seems to be regressing into a medieval religious one. One of the symptoms is the incorporation into its judicial code of blasphemy laws. This has emboldened Muslim extremists to take the law into their own hands to defend the honor of their god by killing those accused of blasphemy, without even waiting for these laws to be used against offenders.
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Facing death-2: My own attitude to aging and death

Like everyone, my view of death is shaped by my own life experiences. I became seriously ill with polio at the age of six and it was only as a result of the heroic efforts of my family and the skill of the physicians who treated me that I have had a full life. But as a result of that illness I always felt, even before my teenage years, that the permanent damage that the disease had inflicted on my body would take its toll over time, leaving me with a shorter lifespan than that of other people.
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