The Bright Lights of Kelly Khuri

Here's a great quote from today's New York Times: “This so-called climate science is just ridiculous. I think it’s all cyclical. Carbon regulation, cap and trade, it’s all just a money-control avenue. Some people say I’m extreme, but they said the John Birch Society was extreme, too.” That's Kelly Khuri, a Tea Party activist. I love the "but they said the John Birch Society was extreme, too." Hmm, I wonder what Kelly considers extreme? One of the founding members of the John Birch society was Revilo P. Oliver, who went on to become associated with white supremacist and holocaust denial groups. John Birch founder Robert Welch famously denounced Eisenhower as "a dedicated agent of the communist conspiracy." Kelly, you are brilliant! (That's Robert Welch in the photo.)


Yasir Afifi

The case of Yasir Afifi should alarm us all: the FBI secretly attached a GPS device to this young man's car so they could track his movements. Afifi is a 20 year old computer salesman and college student. (There are many news articles about this story, just google it.) A Federal court had already ruled that the use of GPS tracking devices (without the suspect's consent) does not require a court order as long as the tracking (for now, it seems these cases involve automobiles) is happening on public property. It seems to me, however, that the physical act of placing the tracking device on one's private property is, in itself, a gross violation of privacy. How is it that the police can go messing around with one's car without a court's permission?

In this case Afifi found out he was being surveillanced when the guy changing his oil noticed an odd wire, which led to the gps device. They posted images online asking for help in identifying the strange object. Then the FBI shows up at Afifi's door two days later asking for their spying equipment back. And you're going to give it back? No way! If something is attached to your car, it's now yours!


Columbus Day

The blog has been dormant for a while and during this time I have wondered about its continuity. I have decided to continue because I enjoy writing, but I am still pondering some changes in format and focus. In any case, the frequent review of my most recent past is a useful exercise for me. October is perhaps an especially busy month. We have Semana Poética coming up, the new issue of SiRENa coming out, Alma getting ready to leave for Niger, a new ballet... And speaking of new, today I am scheduled to go pick up our new kitten. This should be fun! Fun was the party we had Saturday night for Alma. The weather was perfect, the food was good and plentiful, and the presence of family and friends like a warm, live giving embrace.

Today is Columbus Day, although the holiday was celebrated yesterday. But it sure is an odd holiday. Nothing to mark the event in Carlisle. Nothing at Dickinson. Strange. In Venezuela the holiday's orientation has been flipped: it's now the Day of Indigenous Resistance. Interesting.