Mary Theroux Archive

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of The Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, Ms. Theroux is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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NSA Chief Recommends Severely Curtailing Spying. Obama Won’t.



  A few weeks ago, Obama triumphantly announced NSA spying “reforms” that got lots of front page coverage, but amounted to: Absolutely No Change. Further, his speech carried his full endorsement of the sweeping collection and storage in bulk of private phone calls, emails, email address books, online transaction information, location data, and more,...
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TSA Vet Admits Scanners Are a Joke. And So Are You (to the TSA).



In a recent coming-out piece for the longtime anonymous blogger behind the site “Taking Sense Away”, “Dear America, I Saw You Naked. And yes, we were laughing. Confessions of an ex-TSA agent,” Jason Edward Harrington details his six years as a TSA agent at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. We knew the full-body scanners didn’t work...
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Believe It: NSA Collects and Stores Content, Not Just “Metadata”



President Obama has repeatedly attempted to obfuscate the issue of NSA’s actively spying on Americans by repeatedly referring to “metadata”: information about where, when and to whom people make phone calls, but not the actual phone conversations. Most recently, he garnered wide press coverage by promising to limit the collection of phone metadata. But...
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Et tu, Angry Birds?



Just when you thought it was safe to relax and have some fun, it turns out that the NSA is even tracking you through Angry Birds: The National Security Agency has targeted popular smartphone-based social games like “Candy Crush” and “Angry Birds” to pilfer personal information, including phone numbers, e-mails and codes that identify...
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Arctic Blast Heroes: Chick-fil-A to the Rescue



Having spent 9 hours in the Atlanta airport yesterday, my husband David and I observed the human condition first-hand, as travelers and crews left idle in the airport by canceled and delayed flights politely aided one another and made the best of uncertain conditions. Fortunately for us, we were all relatively safe and warm,...
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U.S. War on Poverty Failed While Global Poverty Declined 80%: Economic Liberalization Begets Prosperity and Equality



50 years after LBJ declared a “War on Poverty,” the U.S. would do well to take a page from the global playbook—whereby economic liberalization and more open trade has resulted in an 80% decline in abject poverty since 1976. The graphs below, taken from the National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, “Parametric Estimations...
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New Year’s Revolution



Millennials, already disproportionately suffering under the enduring Great Recession, likely have a bleak 2014 in store. Millennials suffer unemployment rates 50% higher than their elders. When you add in those working part-time while looking for full-time work, that already-high figure doubles. And half of last year’s college graduates work in jobs that don’t require...
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Habeas corpus Still Dead, NSA Records Now Assist: Obama Signs NDAA 2014



As most Americans were contemplating where to put their new Christmas presents, President Obama on Thursday signed into law the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual federal law that provides the budget for the Department of Defense—and lately has delivered a whole lot of power to the Executive, to boot. As reported...
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Carpe Diem: Washington’s Foundations Are Showing Cracks



After 12 years of seemingly inexorable blind faith in an ever more powerful and intrusive government, a spate of recent polls finally shows support crumbling for Washington’s hubristic overreach: The new Gallup poll: “Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat: Now 72% say it is greater threat than big business or big...
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FBI Successfully Foils Another FBI Plot



Despite Dianne Feinstein’s claims to the contrary, there’s no actual evidence that the U.S. surveillance apparatus has foiled any actual, independent plots of terrorism. There is, in fact, far more actual evidence that the surveillance state has missed numerous signals of plots: from 9/11 to the Boston bombings. In its latest attempt at P.R....
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