‘Kangaroo court’: what have marsupials got to do with White House politics?

Donald Trump claims the impeachment inquiry is a kangaroo court but what does that mean? This week Donald Trump denounced the impeachment inquiry that has begun in Congress as a kangaroo court, and so not fit to judge what he also called his great and unmatched wisdom. But what have Australian marsupials got to do with American politics? The phrase kangaroo court originated in 19th-century America to describe any illegitimate court proceedings, as were often held by mutineers or prisoners. Some fanciful etymologies link it to the practice of claim jumping the attempt to seize land already claimed by another during the Gold Rush, or to dodgy practices by itinerant judges hopping from one jurisdiction to another. For a while, …

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden review the whistleblowers memoir

The call of duty and a patriotic pedigree are given priority in Snowdens account of his motivations and he warns of dangers ahead Towards the end of Edward Snowdens memoir, he hands the narrative to his partner, Lindsay Mills, in the form of the diary she was keeping at the time he was American and British spy agencies. Ed, what have you done? she wrote. How can you come back from this? Permanent Record is Snowdens attempt to answer these questions by doing something he finds discomforting and antithetical: breaching his own privacy, opening up what he calls the empty zone that lies beyond the reach of the state. This is the space he has guarded for six years, but …

A WIRED Booklovers Guide to the Moon

This story is part of a series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. Humanity had yet to set foot on the moon in 1968, but Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke were already envision­ing commercial space liners and a lunar research base on the big screen. Like many sci-fi films, 2001: A Space Odyssey undershot the timeline a bit. It’s been nearly 48 years since human beings last left low-Earth orbit to visit the moon’s surface, but if you’ve sensed a resurgence in spacebound hopefulness, you’re not a lunatic. At the annual meeting of the National Space Council in March, Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to return to the moon within the next five years, and …