APNEA

I got my results a few minutes ago. They confirm that I do indeed have sleep apnea. While sleeping normally, I got zero REM sleep – the really refreshing sleep that rejuvenates the mind and body. Zero. I stopped breathing on average 38 times an hour – at one time for thirty seconds continuously. The oxygen saturation of my red blood cells dropped to worrying levels. When I was put on the machine, 13 percent of my sleep was REM sleep, and I didn’t stop breathing once. No wonder I felt better the next day. My doc is now ordering the C-PAP machine. The best Christmas present I’ll ever have.

MULLAH WATCH

In Iran, the fifth blogger has now been thrown in jail for free speech. Money quote:

Reporters Without Borders has strongly protested against the Iran’s relentless efforts to stifle free expression online after the arrest of five webloggers in less than two months, the latest on 28 November 2004.
“The government is now attacking blogs, the last bastion of freedom on a network that is experiencing ever tighter control,” said the worldwide press freedom organisation. “At the same time, an Iranian delegate is sitting on a UN-created working group on Internet governance. The international community should condemn this masquerade,” it added.
Three webloggers identified only by their first names were arrested on 29 October 2004. They were : Dariush (http://www.dariushkabir.com), Omid (http://www.shurideh.com) and Payvand (http://gayaneh.net).
Mojtaba Saminejad was arrested at the beginning of November for speaking out against the arrest of his three colleagues in his blog (http://man-namanam.blogspot.com).
Farid Modaressi, a member of the student organisation the Office to Consolidate Unity, was arrested on 28 November on the order of the prosecutor’s office in the city of Qom. He had posted a number of articles on his weblog (http://farid.blogset.com) exposing persistent harassment in the city by members of the conservative movement. Two of his brothers were reportedly arrested two days earlier and are apparently still being held.

You think the Europeans will protest?

EMAIL OF THE DAY II

“Despite the despair some (such as myself) may feel when looking at the situation in Iraq and comparing it with the rhetoric of the Bush administration, I felt heartened reading the list of countries that you said were ‘lining up behind equality.’ At least in this sense, one can rightly say with the same vigor as our current president, ‘freedom is on the march,’ both at home and abroad.” Yes, the spread of democracy in its deepest sense is continuing around the world, as civil rights are extended to all citizens. Except where this president is trying to stop it – in America.

MISC

Here’s a link to the South Africa decision on marriage rights. I’ve also fixed a posting below that called Gary Becker a law professor. He’s an economist. And a note about my Buchanan posting. My point is not that Buchanan is contemplating a conversion to Islam, although that would be fascinating. It’s just that he obviously admires the muscularity of the Jihadists’ religious politics. His lament is that Christians are not as tough. Buchanan likes nothing more than conflict, and a good civilizational conflict between Christian and Muslim theocrats would doubtless thrill him. And from 9/11 onwards, many members of the religious right have indeed opined that Islamist loathing of American “decadence” is partly deserved. The real war, however, is between liberty and theocrats of all kinds, between limited government and religious statism, between the American guarantee of freedom from government-imposed religion and the radical Muslim insistence of a fusion beween church and state. In this war, Buchanan is indeed on the opposing side.

NOW, SOUTH AFRICA

Breaking news from South Africa: the Supreme Court of Appeal there has just ruled in favor of ending discrimination in marriage. The ruling was 4 – 1. Money quote:

“In terms of sections 8(3), 39(2) and 173 of the Constitution, the common law concept of marriage is developed to embrace same-sex partners as follows: ‘Marriage is the union of two persons to the exclusion of all others for life.'”

The decision could, in theory, be appealed to the Constitutional Court, which would have the final say, but they are considered likely to rule in favor of equality as well. The opinion, by the way, was written by the Honorable Edwin Cameron, an openly gay (and openly HIV-positive) judge on the court. I don’t have a link yet, but will post one as soon as I do. Canada, Belgium, Holland, South Africa are now lining up behind equality. Britain has just passed a bill guaranteeing all marital rights to gay couples under the rubric of “civil partnership.” Spain’s ruling in favor of full marriage rights is looming. In Massachusetts, it looks as if marriage equality is here to stay.

POSNER WILL BLOG

It was inevitable, I guess. But Richard Posner, one of the smartest men in the country, will now have a blog with fellow professor, Gary Becker. Most excellent.

VAN GOGH

Even Pat Sajak notices. Is Spielberg asleep? Is Valenti in a coma? Scorsese? Stone?