--There was a story on NPR's All Things Considered yesterday regarding the California school textbook controversy. (See my earlier post here) Seems like a pretty balanced story -- the emphasis is on the growing demands of various immigrant groups to have their views represented, rather than religious extremism. I can't quite figure out why this story ran yesterday in particular, though.
--I was puzzled by the news that the Indian Supreme Court recently ruled that all Indian marriages must be legally registered, in the interest of protecting the rights of women. I support the decision -- but I actually thought this was already the law!
--It's interesting that the Chinese government is defending its censorship of Google China by invoking the U.S.A. Patriot Act, which allows the American government to monitor all electronic communnication conducted in the U.S. In effect, they are saying, "well, the American government spies on its citizens, so we can too." I don't think it's really valid; how can simple monitoring of communications pertaining to possible terrorism compare to outright banning of links to "democracy," "Tibet," and so on?
Everyone is beating up on Google, and they may be right. But it's too bad that the left isn't really taking the Chinese government's point as an opportunity to review the slide in American civil liberties represented by the Patriot Act. The latter was effectively re-authorized by the U.S. Senate last week, with only minor changes regarding libraries and the infamous "National Security Letters." Even with the changes, the government has entirely too much authority to use its powers to conduct information fishing expeditions: investigation without cause for suspicion.