Wednesday, May 16, 2007

On Muslim Religous Language

Really interesting two pieces over at Small Wars Journal on Religion and Insurgency, and More on Religion and Insurgency, particularly the latter.

They're not jihadists, they're irhabis and mifsuduun. Fascinating. We need to stop shying away from the religious and linguistic cues, and begin using them.

Comey Testimony

My god, this is an astounding betrayal.

Mr. Comey's Tale: A standoff at a hospital bedside speaks volumes about Attorney General Gonzales (WaPo).

Comey's testimony raises new and vital questions about the NSA scandal, by Glenn Greenwald (Salon).

This is the testimony (summary, PDF transcript, YouTube), which A.G. Gonzales didn't want to have happen (article at Salon), since, among other things, Comey might just tell folks that the President broke the law via warrantless eavesdropping.

White House Again Creating Own Mgmt Structure

Rather than using existing tools. Idiots.

Intel Dump has some things to say about this 'war czar' business.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Stealing My Topics from Twisty Faster

Thanks, Twisty! Very intriguing comments thread over at I Blame The Patriarchy, last month:

She Said I Know What It's Like to be Dead. Read the comments. Read them with an eye to the gender of the author, if you can.

Done? Great. Here's the lowdown: Twisty proposed that non-explicitly-consensual sex be rape. Every time. (This would naturally necessitate some changes -- hopefully liberating ones -- on how women signal interest in sex. By, you know, saying so. Maybe a little green light, red light, card would do the trick.)

What's so interesting is, as I'm about halfway through the comments and expect more of the same shortly, that the men in the comments are talking about how unfair it would be to have some chica accuse them of rape, a couple years after the fact, while what the women are talking about is a fundamental change in views toward consensual sex. A conceptualization of a default 'no', rather than a default 'yes'.

And, feeling threatened by the whole idea (my diagnosis), but only able to quarrel and nitpick over the thought of what a 'no' two years after the fact might do to them, the men on the thread quarrel and nitpick this technical bit Twisty proposed that maybe isn't, IMO, such a great idea, which is an open-ended statute of limitations.

In so doing, they neatly circumvent any actual discussion -- at least on their parts -- of the fact that 'no' from a woman gets ignored all the time, and that imposing and enforcing a default 'no' is therefore a fantastic idea, if you want to actually reduce rape. We can and should move the onus off the woman, who currently gets put on trial as much or even more so than her accused rapist, and onto the actual defendant.[*]

Very interesting behavior to observe.

[*] Saying this, I am not advocating a shift of the burden of proof from the prosecution -- it's the state's job to prove the crime -- to the defendant, but I fully support the idea of an affirmative defense of "She specifically said yes," rather than the unspoken current affirmative defense of "she's a slut."