Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Two completely unrelated things
Thing one: it appears there’s reason to believe that Gary Farber was right all along about the Cheney Administration’s illegal data-mining. Back on January 2 of this year, which is like Chinese Year 34 in blog time, Gary argued that
if you’re doing a multiplexdata-mining pattern analysis on tens of thousands or more people, shifting by possibly tens of thousands of people per day, or more, you can’t get warrants. It’s not humanly possible.
Which, as I keep explaining, only makes the threat exponentially larger than most non-tech oriented left/lib/progressives seem to understand, with this antediluvian focus on “wiretaps” and “why can’t you get a FISA warrant?” That’s a question that was entirely sensible when we all asked it last month. It’s long been answered and answered and answered and answered.
It’s far greater reason for Congress to get the truth out, and possibly impeach, then simple wire-tapping.
So go show Gary some love today.
Thing two: it appears that I owe an apology to David Horowitz. It turns out that there really are a few dangerous, crackpot college professors running around in the United States. Like, for instance, Arthur Butz, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern University and world-class Holocaust denier. According to today’s Inside Higher Ed, picking up a report from the Chicago Tribune,
Butz had come to the aid of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been under fire for his assertions that the Holocaust is a myth. In recent interviews with the Iranian press, the Tribune reported that Butz said of the Iranian president and his views on the Holocaust: “I congratulate him on becoming the first head of state to speak out clearly on these issues and regret only that it was not a Western head of state.”
But wait a second—Butz isn’t on Horowitz’s “Dangerous Professors” list. Golly, that seems strange! Why would that be? Perhaps for the same reason that Horowitz includes crackpot City College professor Leonard Jeffries but not crackpot City College professor Michael Levin (about whom you can learn a thing or two here if you scroll down a bit, or you could consult William H. Tucker’s book on the Pioneer Fund, The Funding of Scientific Racism, which points out that “As a recipient of the fund’s support, Levin conducted no research but focused primarily on criminality, maintaining that blacks were genetically incapable of abiding by ‘white [behavioral] norms’ and even suggesting that ‘free will’ may be ‘correlated with race.’ As a consequence, he proposed a number of blatantly unconstitutional measures, including ‘searches of black males under circumstances in which searching white males would be impermissible,’ treatment of ‘blacks as adult offenders at an earlier age than whites,’ ‘race-based punishment schedules,’ and the requirement for ‘black males to ride in specially patrolled cars’ on the subway").
Oh, well. Never mind about that apology, then.