Wandering Eye: A deep look at drug treatment, what rights do you have while driving?, and more

In "Why I Am Not A Maker," Debbie Chachra writes in the Atlantic how the invisible superstructure of gendered norms privileges the new creator class over all of the rest of us—the people who cook, clean, repair, and just generally take care of things and people. "Making is not a rebel movement, scrappy individuals going up against the system. While the shift might be from the corporate to the individual (supported, mind, by a different set of companies selling a different set of things), it mostly re-inscribes familiar values, in slightly different form: that artifacts are important, and people are not." Chachra—who is an engineer and a Ph.D in materials science—is  especially critical of the promotion of computer programmers to the makers' ranks: "it's nearly the easiest possible way to 'make' things, and certainly one where failure has a very low cost." Your move, brogrammers. (Edward Ericson Jr.)


As National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden made clear in 2013 when he made public information about secret government surveillance programs, people volunteer information about themselves all the time to private companies, and the government can force those companies to fork over such data on a massive scale. Thus, as citizens, our expectations of privacy have been flouted by government fiat. But what about those expectations when we drive? The Guardian, which helped break Snowden's revelations, is now advancing a story first broken by the Wall Street Journal that suggests the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) planned to track vehicular movements around the country, using a giant database created by license plate readers (LPRs) that law enforcerers use along many of the nation’s highways and byways. The idea, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) discovered by making public-documents requests, was hatched to augment the agency's capabilities to seize assets allegedly gained through criminal activity, so that the government could keep them by filing civil-forfeiture cases  against the seized assets—a policy that is under intense fire right now. But what about that question about expectations of privacy when you drive? As scotusblog.com's Tom Goldstein writes, there is "limited expectation of privacy while driving on open roads," so the constitutional questions that arise are not really about the LPR data-gathering itself—which is becoming increasingly regulated—but how the data is used. The documents obtained by the ACLU indicated the DEA considered using the data to monitor who went to and left gun shows in Phoenix in 2009, but ended up not doing it. No matter your opinion of this country's liberal gun laws, that's a chilling use of government power. How else the government planned to, or actually did, use the LPR database has yet to be revealed. (Van Smith)


If you've not yet had a chance to dive into Jason Cherkis' deep, long (too long, maybe) consideration of the drug-treatment industry in HuffPo, maybe this weekend is the time. Cherkis argues that Bupenorphine is underused because of the stigma of drug addiction and a drug-treatment industry and culture that does not understand how addiction actually works. Instead, generations of ex-addicts have taken up jobs in this self-perpetuating treatment system that fails most of its patients/clients, Cherkis argues. He uses overdose deaths to punctuate the argument. Many, many overdose deaths, whose families he speaks to at length. We covered some of this ground a few years back (and in only 20,000 words!) but not much has changed since, and people ought to remember that. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

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