Friday, February 10, 2006

This Artwork is Amazing

"Julian Beever is an English artist who is famous for his art on the pavements of England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium. Its peculiarity?  Beever gives his drawings an anamorphosis view, his images are drawn in such a way which gives them three dimensionality when viewing from the correct angle. It's amazing !!!"

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Got My Number?

In October of 2001 I sold my car to a University at Buffalo student, who was in the country from Iran. We communicated by email about the sale.

Shortly afterward, he sent a doctored photo showing a passenger aircraft flying through the eye of a skyscraper - I think it was the Kingdom Centre in Riyadh.

This is the Kingdom Centre,
but not the photo I'm writing about.

This was shortly after 9/11. I was troubled by the photo, so I took a copy to my Unitarian minister to see if he had any kind of a take on it. This was a guy who counseled people in Columbine after the shootings there. He did not really provide any insight, but also thought it odd. Eventually I let it go and I think I deleted the photo and destroyed any prints I had.

Now, I'm sure my car-buyer sent it to me by mistake, because my email address was in amongst a number of non-western names, and we did not know each other.

Two questions occur to me, though:

How is this different than the cartoons depicting Mohammed that have been the source of so much trouble recently?

And does the NSA have my number because of this email exchange?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

It's not about the terrorists

The objection we have is not that the domestic spying is too intrusive on innocent Americans, it's that the One True Party is using it against political enemies. Why else would they try so hard to hide it? They're spying on Quakers and other anti-war protest groups, what's to say they aren't spying on Democrats?

Enemies of the State, or Enemies of the Party?

Monday, February 06, 2006


I know the Venn diagram showing the intersection of Common Sense space and Law Space would be very small, but it seems to me that the Fourth Amendment is pretty clear in requiring probable cause for searches.
Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. warrants shall issue...

What is meant by a "warrant" in this amendment? Is it an official document, signed by a judge? I think it's less than that. If it's a napkin with a name on it handed to a cop, it's a warrant, for all intents and purposes. If it's a cop whispering in someone's ear, it's a warrant, in effect. If these orders are not issued "upon probable cause," it's unconstitutional.

When Bush approves domestic spying (a type of search) he is likewise issuing a warrant, whether it's from a court or not. The question is not whether the searches and spying are done under warrant, it is whether the de facto warrants that initiate the searches and spying are constitutional under the Fourth Amendment.

Since Bush's domestic spying programs are done without benefit of any court oversight at all, probable cause is not proved, if it is even claimed, and ipso facto his spying is unconstitutional.