Deported Veterans in Rosarito, Mexico (from San Diego CityBeat)

Posted by on Mar 19, 2013 in Recent Work

When I tell the receptionist at VFW headquarters why I’m calling, she isn’t sure she’s heard me correctly. “Deported veterans?” she says.  “Yes, ma’am.”  There’s a pause. “Huh.”  Even at an organization like the VFW, even in a military town like San Diego, the news that former soldiers, sailors and marines are among the hundreds ...

San Diego’s Licence Plate Reader System

Posted by on Mar 2, 2013 in Recent Work

I was on San Diego’s PBS affiliate KPBS yesterday, discussing  my recent piece for San Diego City Beat about the license plate reader system in San Diego County. Check out the TV segment below, it’s about 5 minutes long. I also had a chance to sit in on KPBS’ radio program Midday Edition for a ...

Unemployed Reporter Porter

Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Recent Work

I’ve been brewing beer lately in my free time, entertaining myself by making some very elaborate labels. I sent some pictures to a former colleague a few days ago and all of a sudden, people are asking about my beer. Unfortunately, production has not yet expanded beyond the five-gallon plastic bucket in my closet, so ...

LAPD Spied on 21 Using StingRay Anti-Terrorism Tool (from L.A. Weekly)

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Recent Work

A secretive cellphone spy device known as StingRay, intended to fight terrorism, was used in far more routine LAPD criminal investigations 21 times in a four-month period during 2012, apparently without the courts’ knowledge that the technology probes the lives of non-suspects who happen to be in the same neighborhood as suspected terrorists. Go to ...

Travels in Libya

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ten days or so in Benghazi, another ten in Tripoli, and maybe a few days in London on the back end. That was the plan. And I did have a plan; I didn’t just up and decide to go to Libya, that would be ridiculous. A family friend invited me, one of my older brother’s ...

James Bopp Jr. Gets Creative (from Slate)

Posted by on Oct 6, 2012 in Recent Work

The conservative lawyer James Bopp Jr. has done as much as anyone to clear the way for the flood of money pouring into this year’s election. As James Bennet tells us in his excellent Atlantic piece, Bopp is the legal mind behind the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and another influential 2007 ruling, which together ...

Big Brother is in Your Car (from Salon)

Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 in Recent Work

If you’re traveling on public roadways in 2012, there’s a very good chance you’re being watched, by one government agency or another. License plate readers (LPRs) are proliferating at a rapid clip, and they’re being used by law enforcement at virtually every level of government. Once used mostly by local cops to catch car thieves ...

LAPD Spy Device Taps Your Cell Phone (from L.A. Weekly)

Posted by on Sep 13, 2012 in Recent Work

When you consider the scoundrels the FBI chases down every year — terrorists and serial killers and badass drug kingpins — David Rigmaiden has to be one of the dullest on the list. He’s currently in federal custody in Arizona, charged in a long-running scam that netted millions from bogus tax returns. Still, the Rigmaiden ...

License Plate Recognition Logs Our Lives Long Before We Sin (from L.A. Weekly)

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Recent Work

The Long Beach Police Department press release in August 2010 was tellingly brief — just 121 words. Franklin Robles, 33, had been shot to death on his way to buy a used Cadillac, a possible robbery attempt turned bloody. There was no suspect, no eyewitness. Investigators had little to go on — or so it ...