Two on Iran

Two on Iran:

Read "Velvet Revolution" in Logos Journal, which posits that democratic and non-violent movements in Iran may threaten the survival of the Islamist regime. Meanwhile, in the Washington Post, Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari claims Iran helped the US take Afghanistan and Iraq:

The Iranian government pretends to be revolutionary and Islamic while in essence it is very conservative and nationalistic in its policies regionally and internationally. They helped Americans to get rid of the Taliban but didn't reveal their logistical and intelligence support because they were worried about their image as recalcitrant nation in chief. As a result President Bush, intoxicated by fast victory over the Taliban, found it in himself to include Iran as part of axis of evil (along with Iraq and North Korea). A couple of years later Iranians helped the Americans to get rid of a fellow evil regime in Iraq. I was in south east Iran in March 2003 and could see American planes flying over our heads despite our government's denial that it allowed the American to use its territory.
Thoughts from the readership on these pieces are appreciated. For now, I am still considering the matter.



For the record, I am thankful for family, friends, the land and the strength to defend it. I will be taking the rest of the evening off to assist in preparing the feast and laying in the beer; and tomorrow for consuming it.

Wæs Hail! Drinc Hail!

Happy Thanksgiving to all. We will resume honorable and friendly disputation on Friday. For now, to the regular commenters and readers, allow me to express my gratitude for your company this past little while.

If only he'd issue a fatwa

Today's Top Headline:

According to Memeorandum, it's this:

"Muslim scholar calls for airline boycott."
That's US Airways he's talking about. Holiday travelers take note.

I don't mean to laugh at injustice, if that's what this was -- but I do think that this fellow's tin ear is funny. Shall we open the pool on just what effect this boycott will have on US Airway's business? I mean, if he's right that Americans are unfairly suspicious of traveling Muslims, what exactly does he think is going to happen?

Christmas @Walter Reed

Christmas at Walter Reed:

Anyone who reads Cassidy's site as well as this one knows Carrie. You may not know about her work with a project called Operation Santa. Read about it here.

Yeah I know, it's not the day after Thanksgiving yet. Still and all.

Xmas Darfur

Christmas in Darfur:

I guess I didn't realize that Bravo Romeo Delta (BRD) of Anticipatory Retaliation was now blogging at Protein Wisdom. I rarely read PW, and while AR was a daily stop for me a few years ago, for some reason I can't adequately explain it fell off my regular reading list. I'm sorry for that, as BRD is a sharp guy.

In any event, he's looking at Darfur this holiday season:

As you already know, two friends and I are going to spend our holiday in Africa to film footage for a documentary (Christmas in Darfur), capture the feel of conditions on the ground, and interview the extraordinary people who have given and risked so much to lend a hand in a portion of the world that needs all the help it can get. I would like to thank you for your help and generosity in getting us started towards our goals.
Drop by and see what they've got in mind. Follow the AR link, above, for even more information.

Good luck, lads.


Back in the Saddle:

Managed to get up and ride again today -- I actually rode the same day as the wreck, but that was just because the endorphins hadn't worn off yet. I took the same beast out. It was a good ride -- I ran him as much of the way as we had good terrain for running, and scared up a great blue heron from one of the creeks along the way, where he'd been resting down in a cut the creek had made. This was to the great dismay of my mount, who was utterly astonished to see that mighty big bird suddenly flare up out of the earth.

The horse was glad to have me around at that moment, but it was the one time on the ride he was happy to have me there. He kept trying to pull the reins out of my hands, rub me off on trees whenever we'd stop to walk, and so forth, but he didn't buck me. I operate from the perspective that a horse that has energy to fight you probably needs to run some more, so by the end of the ride he was both tired and gentle.

Anyway, the point is that things are better this week. Not perfect, but life isn't perfect. Better is good enough. I hope I'll feel more like writing; in the meantime, readers who haven't looked through the comments on "Shame," below, will find some good argumentation between myself and Sovay. I've always felt the girl brings out the best in me, though every reader will have to judge for himself if he agrees in this case. Still, it's good to have her commenting again.

Cyber rights

OK, I'm Convinced:

If you ever listen to podcasts, listen to this one. It treats how the internet's legal nature means that the First and Fourth Amendments do not apply to an increasing amount of our lives. Two paraphrases:

'Because the Internet is entirely made of private property, things like the First and Fourth Amendments do not necessarily apply.'

'Since we are now keeping so much of our data -- calendars, emails, etc. -- on third-party servers, we are essentially erasing the Fourth Amendment.'

The trick here, I think, is that American courts used to recognize that new technologies deserved the same protections as the old technologies. When we started having telephones, the ability to wire-tap those phones became covered under the Fourth Amendment. The courts of the day simply held that the principle was the same.

Now, as the fellow points out, the courts have decided to side with power instead of protection. That same interpretation was available to them, but the courts have instead chosen to rule that the applicable rules were the a different set of rulings concerning third-party custody of your records.

That is not to say the court's reasoning is wrong. What it is to say is that we need to amend the Constitution to make clear that new technologies must be incorporated into the Fourth going forward. "Your person and papers" should mean your ideas and records, whether they're stored on your hard drive or in your desk, or on a server across town. They're still yours, and the government should be required to prove a lawful interest in them -- as for example by obtaining a warrant -- before helping itself.