“History will not judge this kindly”: Pursuing justice for the first victim of the CIA’s torture program
Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi Arabian native and the first victim of the CIA’s torture program, has never been charged with a crime. But he has been detained by the United States for more than 16 years, much of that time at Guantánamo Bay. The U.S. government’s explanation for why it has detained Zubaydah, that he was a top member of al-Qaeda, has been discredited. He remains in custody, however, and has not been permitted to plead his case for exoneration and freedom.
More thoughtful voices, particularly those that seek to improve the quality of our lives and communities, should always be welcome in the American conversation.
Photo by Damon Winter | The New York Times.
Homeland Security’s Orwellian new biometric database
Biometric identification is one of the hottest topics in the realms of privacy, security, and technology. Using physical characteristics such as fingerprints, eyes, faces, voices, and DNA, a computer program can quickly determine who you are.
But the world of biometric identification is a minefield when it comes to concerns about privacy. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ignited controversy as details about its new Homeland Advance Recognition Technology (HART) have come to light.
Image by Will Tomer.
The battle for free speech demands a new champion
Nat Hentoff’s passing has created a void in the free speech movement. What is more important, that void comes at a critical moment in the future of free speech advocacy in this country, defined by a combination of ignorance, indifference, and continuing challenges to the First Amendment.
Photo by Marilynn K. Yee | New York Times.
‘Following orders’ is a familiar, but unjustifiable, defense
Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s new CIA director, has come under intense scrutiny recently for her involvement in the CIA’s so-called program of “enhanced interrogation,” a euphemism for torture. Ms. Haspel and her defenders have claimed that the program was sanctioned by President George W. Bush’s Department of Justice. But the argument that Ms. Haspel was acting in accordance with U.S. law and following orders ignores history and international law.
Photo by Zach Gibson | Getty Images.
Trump’s First Amendment fight emblematic of nationwide problem
America’s collective ignorance of the workings of the First Amendment cannot be blamed on President Trump. Instead, the studies cited above show that our understanding and faith in the First Amendment has been deteriorating for quite sometime. But when you couple Mr. Trump’s public attacks on free speech and freedom of the press with this ignorance, it is a dangerous and volatile mix that has potential to do real and permanent damage to our liberties.
The best minds — those who embrace the ambiguities of a given debate — know how to blend logic and reason with emotion and subjective values. Pragmatism need not come at the expense of empathy, and one be can thoughtful about a topic to the point of being passionate without being naive.
Image by Will Tomer.
The world needs another George Carlin
George Carlin’s absence is felt more keenly than ever.
Photo by Associated Press.
Two nights at Madison Square Garden with The Lumineers
The Lumineers, now one of the world's biggest bands, found themselves humbled after selling out two consecutive nights at the Garden earlier this month.
Photo by Andrew Kelly
The Last of the Rockers and the Year of Nathan Williams: The 405 meets Wavves
With the amount of music he has released in the first nine months of 2015, and more on the way, it is amazing that Nathan Williams even has time to breathe.
The 405 meets Brian Wilson
The legendary Beach Boy discusses plans for a new album and wrapping up his Pet Sounds tour.
Spirit Club Press Biography
" In Oct. 2014, a two-track 7” heralded the arrival of the smog-soaked pop trio Spirit Club. Nearly two years later, the group is stepping out of the haze and into the sun for their second full-length record, Slouch."
Artwork by Robert Bailey
National civil liberties group questions Beloit College bias incident policy’s ethics, legality
An assessment of Beloit College’s Anti-Hate/Bias Incident policy by a national organization devoted to civil liberties on college campuses has concluded that the college’s bias response policy is unethical and potentially illegal.
Photo Illustration by Adam Peck of The New Republic
Study examines evolving rates, perceptions of marijuana use
A new study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides an in-depth examination of marijuana use in the United States, as well as data regarding the public’s perception of the risks associated with the drug.
The 405 meets Peter Silberman
After the loss of his hearing, The Antlers' Peter Silberman was forced to reexamine and reorient his place within the world. His debut solo album, Impermanence, is the result of that experience.
Photo by Justin Hollar
Decadent and depraved in D.C.: A trip to the inauguration of Donald Trump
It was a weekend’s worth of intense frustrations that would come to simmer and boil as I delved further and further into my trip to the 58th Presidential Inauguration, where Donald Trump was ultimately sworn into office as the new head of state.
Photo by Will Tomer
Wet, Wild and Weird: The 2016 Governors Ball Music Festival
Gov Ball has undeniably reached a level of cultural significance that makes it a unique and fascinating experience, for both good and bad reasons.
Photo by Harsh Patel.
On The Road with Wavves, Twin Peaks and Steep Leans
This bond between the crowds, who have in turn found themselves bound to the performers who speak to them on an emotional level, is what turns these nights into portals of hope and optimism for so many.
Photo by Will Tomer
Beautifully Imperfect: The 405 meets Youth Lagoon
The album's themes were derived from a variety of events in Trevor Powers' life, including the death of a friend during his last tour cycle, as well as his continuing efforts to make the most of his manic depression, which oftentimes took him into the wee hours of the Boise night.
Photo by Flore Diamant.
Father John Misty // Governors Ball 2016, New York, NY
I Guess This is Growing Up: The 405 meets Chastity Belt
The passage of time and existential problems of young adulthood are core to Chastity Belt's new album, I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone.
Photo by Conner Lyons
May 16, 1966: The Day When The Beach Boys and Bob Dylan Changed Music Forever
There are very few exact dates in music history that really mean a lot to the medium. But May 16 is one of those days, as we've reached the 50th anniversary of two of popular music's greatest albums.
A Trip to Night School: The 405 meets Neon Indian
When Alan Palomo greets me on the floor of the Majestic Theatre, a 109-year-old venue in Madison, Wis., it is a little more than two hours to show time. Fresh off his sound check with a Red Bull in hand, we move to a table positioned beneath the compact, yet beautiful balcony that wraps overhead.
"People are so fucking phony": The 405 meets NOTHING
When NOTHING frontman Domenic Palermo first answers the phone, he cannot help but vent about the cold front that has been sweeping through the U.S. in the early part of April. "Crazy, right?" he sighs with exasperation. "It is like fucking January again."
Neon Indian // Majestic Theatre, Madison, WI
A Return to Label Love: The 405 meets Ghost Ramp
Ghost Ramp is aspiring to usher in a return to the label love of old, when fans could ID a preferred curator of their favorite music and items.
Youth Lagoon // Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
The Igloo: A Retrospective on Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena
In Pittsburgh, at 66 Mario Lemieux Place, nestled in behind the city’s iconic skyline, sits a parking lot. To many youngsters, only just now coming up with the city and its history, it will always have simply been a parking lot, one that primarily serves patrons of Consol Energy Center, the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But to legions of Pittsburghers, that location will always be the home of the Civic Arena, aka Mellon Arena, aka The Igloo, aka The House That Lemieux Built.
Hate crimes hit Beloit College
A series of hate crimes hit Beloit College, with students of minority faiths and ethnicities being targeted by vicious slurs and swastikas.
The 405 meets So Pitted: "A lot of people protect themselves from ever being in a position to fail."
It has been a long time coming to neo's release date for the members of So Pitted, but with the amount of work and effort that has gone into it, it is the sweetest graduation Nathan Rodriguez has ever experienced.
Meg Mac // Governors Ball 2016, New York, NY
Growing Into Art: The 405 meets BRONCHO
Beyond finding their groove on the road, BRONCHO's path for the future looks open-ended. Lindsey says he isn't quite sure where the group will end up. "I'm not totally for sure yet. Hopefully some more songs start appearing to us and we figure out where we want to go with the next one."
Photo by Pooneh Ghana
The 405 meets Joyce Manor
When Barry Johnson, the guitarist and lead vocalist for California-based punk rock quartet Joyce Manor, answers the phone, he sounds positively relaxed. I ask how he is doing with the band's newest album, Cody, just days away from release at the time. "Pretty good, man," he says. "Just got some coffee and now I've got nothing to do."
Every story written by Will Tomer for The Blade in Toledo, Ohio.
All articles written by Will Tomer for The Round Table, Beloit College's student newspaper.
Flipping the Classroom with Confucius
One hour in Rob LaFleur’s office, a cozy space lined with books in Morse-Ingersoll Hall, will yield more conversation topics than you know what to do with. The erudite professor of anthropology and history can wax eloquently about everything from Émile Durkheim to baseball stadiums.