Posts from June 2003

Mullahs declare the July now has no 9

Mullahs declare the July now has no 9
: Well, here’s the proof that the mullahs are frightened of July 9:

Iran said on Monday it would ban any demonstrations outside universities to mark the July 9 anniversary of 1999 student unrest following a wave of sometimes violent democracy protests that prompted a crackdown this month.

Busy, busy, buys

Busy, busy, buys
: The Iranian news agency has this newsflash:

Head of Majlis Commission in charge of Article 90 of Constitution Hussein Ansarirad said here Monday that freedom of expression, non-inquisition and respect for human rights are distinctive features of the Iranian Constitution.

Ansarirad told Justice Anand, the visiting head of Indian Human Rights Panel, that his commission is responsible for investigating complaints lodged against three branches of government, and violation of public rights and human rights.

Well, I’ll be he’s one busy bunny these days, eh?

Harry’s new home

Harry’s new home
: Harry Hatchet has moved off Blogspot to a new Movable Type home. I’m way overdue in updating my blogroll (and it’s going to wait until I send the WTC memorial proposal and get back from vacation). In the meantime, here’s the place.

Liberal 3.0

Liberal 3.0
: I’ve been trying to figure out a new label for myself. I still know I’m liberal (human rights… the need for regulation… health care… you know the drill). But I don’t much like my fellow liberals these days — the ones who are getting PR — and what they’ve done to liberalism (politically correct orthodoxy… an absence of support for human rights in Iraq and Iran… support for Palestinian terrorism… you know that drill, too). I’m not conservative. I’m not libertarian. I’m a man without a label. Some in my boat would try to say that we’re classic liberals before liberals ruined liberalism. But I don’t think so. I think there’s a new practicality and realism to this school of liberal politics and also a new openness (yes, I can support the war without voting for Bush). So I’ll argue that this is a new generation. It’s not neolib or postlib (already some weird definitions to those labels). It’s liberal 3.0 because, just like Microsoft, it takes three tries to get it right.

Now go read Roger L. Simon, who has been arguing that the old labels don’t work anymore and here’s why:

What has replaced it is a kind of moving consensus, which may, in its own way, be more democratic and is also highly pragmatic. For example, at the moment, the accepted view in the Blogosphere appears to be in favor of (to pick two disparate issues) intervention in Iraq and gay marriage. Is this liberal or conservative? More importantly, does anybody care?

Weblogs as a very public forum

Weblogs as a very public forum
: Michael Leeden of the National Review and the American Enterprise Institute, raises the dander of various Iranian webloggers, who say he supports the return of the monarchy to Iran.

Well, Leeden just responded to one of those webloggers — Pedram Moallemian — in his comments (saying that he does not support a monarchy, for the record). Pedram confirmed that the comment came from Leeden and responded here. Says Moallemian:

I sincerely welcome this opportunity for exchange of ideas, even if I have called him our enemy #1 in the past. I hope his effort to reach out to myself as well as other Iranians (bloggers or otherwise) can provide him with a more accurate image of what needs to be done to help in our struggle for freedom.

I also hope this can be the start of a healthy and contructive dialogue, where both sides can learn from one another and perhaps common grounds can be explored to achieve some of the mutual goals.

Weblogs — because they are interactive, because they allow two people to have an intelligent and controlled discussion — are a great forum for productive public communication and debate.

Enemies

Enemies
: Dan Gillmor has spent too much time out of the country going to weblog conferences. He gets back on our shores and goes batty over a Jimmy Breslin column decrying the Justice Department over the arrest and guilty plea of Lyman Faris.

Breslin does his usual hysterical rant.

Gillmor threatens to leave America and journalism:

The travesty is, first, that our government now operates a secret criminal justice system, because Congress doesn’t care enough about liberty to stop a power-mad Bush administration from tearing up the Constitution.

The second travesty, as Breslin trenchantly observes, is the spinelessness of my chosen profession. I am ashamed to be a journalist when I realize how far down the road we have gone toward utter deference to power.

Why are journalists not screaming bloody murder about this case? Sloth no longer suffices to explain our negligence?

I cringe for my profession. I fear for America.

Easy, boy.

This is what Time magazine says about Faris, without all the emotion:

Iyman Faris, 34, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kashmir, had pleaded guilty at the beginning of May to providing material support to al-Qaeda. Not only had he scoped out the Brooklyn Bridge as part of a plot to destroy the New York City landmark, but he had also tried to obtain equipment to help derail a train near the nation’s capital. The feds had done more than nab a truck driver from Columbus, Ohio, who was leading what Ashcroft called “a secret double life,” a man determined to wreak havoc right here in the U.S. They had turned one of Osama bin Laden’s loyal foot soldiers into another breed entirely: double agent for the U.S.

Now I think John Ashcroft is a dangerous fanatic but that’s not the issue here.

The Justice Department did good work. They nabbed an al-Qaeda operative who was trying to launch more terrorist attacks; they stopped him from attacking; and they used him to gain more sorely needed terrorist intelligence. This will save lives.

That’s what you do in a war. That’s what you do with criminals. The guy pleaded guilty. He sang like a mafia rat because they had the goods on him. He made a deal. And we got the good end of that deal, as well we should.

Twice last week, I talked with people from the West Coast, who seemed to be downplaying the ongoing impact of terrorism on America.

Well, here on the East Coast, we still take terrorism very seriously. Look at that picture below, where the World Trade Center used to be. Now tell me it was a bad thing that we got a confederate of the people who did that, a man who planned to do more of the same, a man who could lead us to yet more of the slime.

I don’t think I’ll leave America, or journalism.

Still standing

Still standing
: Greg Allen went down to the World Trade Center site to gather facts for his memorial proposal and though he thought everything had been demolished, he found a staircase still standing. In my travels down there, I’ve been wondering whether some underground superstructure was left over from the original (see the picture). Anybody know?

wtcconstruct.jpg

Better than Japanese T-shirts

Better than Japanese T-shirts
: BWG gives us actual Chinese movie subtitles, including: