James Goodale: It’s a bad time for press freedoms

Julian Assange WikiLeaks 006 450x270 James Goodale: It’s a bad time for press freedoms

tl;dr if it was Bush people would be pissed as hell

@CJR:

James Goodale has a message for journalists: Wake up. In his new book, Fighting for the Press (CUNY Journalism Press, 2013), Goodale, chief counsel to The New York Times when its editors published the Pentagon Papers in 1971, argues that President Obama is worse for press freedom than former President Richard Nixon was.

The Obama administration has prosecuted more alleged leakers of national security information under the 1917 Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined, a course critics say is overly aggressive. Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller wrote in a March op-ed that the administration “has a particular, chilling intolerance” for those who leak. If the Obama administration indicts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act, Goodale argues, the president will have succeeded where Nixon failed by using the act to “end-run” the First Amendment.

Goodale spoke with CJR about why he chose to write about the Pentagon Papers now and what he sees as the key threats to press freedom today. The conversation has been condensed and edited for length and clarity. Fighting for the Press comes out on April 30.

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Ranger Medical Handbook 4th Edition

Ranger Medic Handbook 4th Edition 450x359 Ranger Medical Handbook 4th Edition

“What’s wrong with him?” “Oh, he’s deaf. My fault.” (img by KitUp)

You can get a copy of the latest edition of the Ranger Medic Handbook in a few days courtesy North American Rescue, purveyor of military medical equipment and Casualty Response (first aid) Kits. This pocket-sized and ruggedized reference is written by US Ranger combat medics to include handy information like:

Updated Trauma Protocols, Tactical Medical Emergency Protocols, Pharmacology, Casualty Operations and Planning, and Tactical Combat Casualty Care updates. This significant update provides an efficient medical reference, expanding on both Trauma and Medical Emergency Considerations for providers at various levels.

For forty bucks you can get two, one to keep with your first aid kit and one to keep on your toilet tank library for study. Any money made goes to the Sentinels of Freedom so hell, buy one for your car, too. ($40)

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The Walking Dead: Compendium One

Walking Dead Compendium One 450x692 The Walking Dead: Compendium One

the Walking Dead Compendium One, (img by Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Tony Moore)

Introducing the first eight volumes of the fan-favorite, New York Times Best Seller series collected into one massive paperback collection! Collects The Walking Dead #1-48. This is the perfect collection for any fan of the Emmy Award-winning television series on AMC: over one thousand pages chronicling the beginning of Robert Kirkman”s Eisner Award-winning continuing story of survival horror- from Rick Grimes” waking up alone in a hospital, to him and his family seeking solace on Hershel”s farm, and the controversial introduction of Woodbury despot: The Governor. In a world ruled by the dead, we are finally forced to finally start living.

A collection of the first 48 Walking Dead comics has just been released. This paperpack reference book will help you navigate the zombie apocalypse in the event of power outages and other logistical hurdles that would prevent citing the original materials that manifest readily during zombie apocalypses, ($32).

This is the perfect compliment to season two of the Walking Dead which also came out fairly recently (DVD $40, Blu-Ray $49).

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How to bind a book on the cheap with an easy DIY jig

284184160 da1e76b75f 450x333 How to bind a book on the cheap with an easy DIY jig

Lesson 1: it’s not this complicated. (img by Nate Steiner)

Believe it or not, bookbinding doesn’t have to be an arcane art that requires ink-dipped end papers, buttery kid leather (goat kids, not humans, you sick bastard… picture making a book out of this adorable and rammy kid.) I have a hand-bound blank book that I bought 10 years ago and haven’t touched because I don’t want to profane it with less than literary ramblings or illustrations that wouldn’t look good in the Louvre. It doesn’t have to be that way.

With a simple jig made of wood and C-clamps, glue, tape, some string, and a drill, you can bind your own Gutenberg.org books, manuals, blank paper, etc. Here’s how:

(Warning, there is a chance that this practice is only a gateway to more elaborate binding projects. Imagine making your LaTeX-typeset college essays look like leatherbound classics and turning them in…)

More on LaTeX soon…

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Deaths per gigawatt year

Deaths per gigawatt year Deaths per gigawatt year

Hydroelectricity is the best of all according to the EU study, but comes out worst in the PSI study, because the latter surveyed a different set of countries.

When quantifying the public risks of different power sources, we need a new unit. I’ll go with “deaths per GWy (gigawatt-year).” Let me try to convey what it would mean if a power source had a death rate of 1 death per GWy.

One gigawatt-year is the energy produced by a 1 GW power station, if it operates flat-out for one year. Britain’s electricity consumption is roughly 45 GW, or, if you like, 45 gigawatt-years per year. So if we got our electricity from sources with a death rate of 1 death per GWy, that would mean the British electricity supply system was killing 45 people per year.

For comparison, 3000 people die per year on Britain’s roads. So, if you are not campaigning for the abolition of roads, you may deduce that “1 death per GWy” is a death rate that, while sad, you might be content to live with. Obviously, 0.1 deaths per GWy would be preferable, but it takes only a moment’s reflection to realize that, sadly, fossil-fuel energy production must have a cost greater than 0.1 deaths per GWy–just think of disasters on oil rigs; helicopters lost at sea; pipeline fires; refinery explosions; and coal mine accidents: there are tens of fossil-chain fatalities per year in Britain.

Nuclear power has the lowest rate of fatalities of all power sources. Not that surprised, really.

I’ve just started in on this, I don’t know if it’s any good, I haven’t picked up on its bias so far yet, and the website design is horrible, but it comes pretty highly-recommended: Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air by David MacKay ($free).

Plus MacKay invented the death-per-gigawatt-year unit, and anyone who does stuff like that automatically wins points with me.

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LEGO Heavy Weapons!

You cannot possibly be too old to want to play with these LEGO.

From LEGO guns mastermind and 17 year-old YouTube sensation Jack Streat comes LEGO Heavy Weapons, a collection of complete building instructions for four truly impressive, 1:1-scale replicas of the world’s most iconic firearms.

LEGO Heavy Weapons will show you how to build brick-based models of:

  • A massive Desert Eagle handgun, with working blowback action
  • The compact but deadly AKS-74U assault rifle with folding stock
  • A bolt-action Lee Enfield sniper rifle (a.k.a. Jungle Carbine)
  • A pump action SPAS combat shotgun

Each set of instructions includes a complete parts listing, so you can find (or special order) any hard-to-find bricks. The book’s illustrated, step-by-step building instructions will be clear to anyone who’s ever played with LEGO bricks, and the biggest models will challenge and delight even the most serious builders.

You can pick up a copy of LEGO Heavy Weapons here ($15).

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