Thursday, July 25, 2013

Stop keeping secrets

Senator Dick Durbin said he had information that could have maybe stopped a war. Senator Ron Wyden said he knew the NSA was collecting data on millions of Americans. However, both said they couldn't tell us. They took an oath not to reveal the state's secrets.

As I argue over at Al Jazeera, they could have told us, but that would have required courage. And we don't put courageous people in the Senate.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

How to get away with murder (non-state actor edition)

If you're wearing a uniform, murdering someone you don't like and getting away with it is only marginally harder than shooting a Rubik's cube with a police-issued Glock. For the rest of us, it can be a real pain in the ass, success depending on a lot more than a blue code of silence. You really have to plan this stuff out! And with this modern life, with all its iPhones and picking Joey up from soccer practice and crushing institutional poverty, who has the time?

If you want to get away with murder while still maintaining a social life, here's a few helpful tips:

1. Be a cop. I know we've covered this already, and this guide explicitly set out to help those aren't cops, but it's really the best way. And if your frenemy lives abroad, be a soldier.

2. Be related to, and on good terms with, a cop or other member of law enforcement. Have a sheriff's deputy for an uncle? Make him your favorite uncle.

3. This is a good one: Pick a fight – and lose it. Once you start losing, you can do what your favorite uncle does: pull out a gun and murder the target. In many jurisdictions, you are permitted to use lethal force in self defense. This can be tricky, because technically your target may be able to claim the same defense, particularly since you started the fight, so the trick is start losing early and pull your gun first.

As far as the law and any future jury is concerned, the clock starts when the person who pulls the trigger first gets scared they'll get their ass kicked.

4. This is by far the most important factor in whether you can pull this off: have lighter skin than the victim the thug.