December 19th, 2002


Mass arrests of Muslims in L.A.

What the hell are they thinking?!? Even if you care nothing for civil liberties, who knows best who the "good guys" vs "bad guys" are in immigrant communities? What's the response going to be to police investigating leads regarding possible terrorists? You think that the next time Iman learns of a terrorist plot, he's going to talk to the authorities?

Fools. Bloody fools.


Mass arrests of Muslims in LA
US immigration officials in Southern California have detained hundreds of
Iranians and other Muslim men who turned up to register under residence
laws brought in as part of the anti-terror drive.

Reports say between 500 and 700 men were arrested in and around Los Angeles
after they complied with an order to register by 16 December.

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Philip Pullman interview

linley turned me on to Philip Pullman's superb His Dark Materials trilogy. The Third Way, a magazine dedicated to "Seeing the modern world through Christian eyes" has a fascinating interview with him.

Can I elucidate my own position as far as atheism is concerned? I don’t know whether I’m an atheist or an agnostic. I’m both, depending on where the standpoint is.

The totality of what I know is no more than the tiniest pinprick of light in an enormous encircling darkness of all the things I don’t know – which includes the number of atoms in the Atlantic Ocean, the thoughts going through the mind of my next-door neighbour at this moment and what is happening two miles above the surface of the planet Mars. In this illimitable darkness there may be God and I don’t know, because I don’t know.

But if we look at this pinprick of light and come closer to it, like a camera zooming in, so that it gradually expands until here we are, sitting in this room, surrounded by all the things we do know – such as what the time is and how to drive to London and all the other things that we know, what we’ve read about history and what we can find out about science – nowhere in this knowledge that’s available to me do I see the slightest evidence for God.

So, within this tiny circle of light I’m a convinced atheist; but when I step back I can see that the totality of what I know is very small compared to the totality of what I don’t know. So, that’s my position.