Where is the biggest clock?

September 28, 2007

Tehran 24 ran a photo of a huge clock somewhere in Tehran, under the headline of “The World’s Biggest Clock.”

Huge outdoor clock in Tehran, Iran - credit on photo, Tehran Daily

But is it more than 37 feet across, like the flower clock in Las Colinas, Irving, Texas?*

Las Colinas, in Irving Texas; flower clock - photo Glenn Boyden

What is the biggest clock in the world? Surely there are some bigger.

* This site says the Tehran clock is 15 meters across — bigger than Las Colinas. The clock faces accompanying the bell of Big Ben are 7 meters across. For a panoramic view of the belfry of Big Ben, see the Parliament website.

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What makes America worth defending

September 28, 2007

Anyone who wonders why the United States is worth defending should read the judge’s decision in the case of Brandon Mayfield.

Mayfield is the Oregon lawyer who was accused of being a participant in the al Quaeda-connected bombings of commuter trains in Madrid, Spain. The accusation appears to have been based mostly on Mr. Mayfield’s religious affiliation, and not on any evidence. Mayfield was arrested, charged and held in jail, until the charges were dismissed.

Mayfield’s suit points out that the government acted illegally against him, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which bans searches without a valid warrant. It appears that Mr. Mayfield’s religion was the chief basis for the search warrants obtained.

In what other nation, in a time considered to be a time of war, could such a suit protecting a citizen against his own government be entertained? In what other nation could one judge declare such a major action of its government to be illegal, with any expectation that the government would obey such a ruling?

The case will probably be appealed.

Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars covers the issue well enough to make a lesson plan out of it for government or civics classes.

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