Friday, June 26, 2009

Who the hell are Heidi and Spencer?!

I had to look them up.

Tosh.0Thurs, 10pm / 9c
Heidi and Spencer Interview - Extended
Daniel ToshMiss Teen South CarolinaDemi Moore Picture

Daniel Tosh, on the other hand, I know all about that guy:

Add 'Tin-Foil Hat wearing' to the running list of Chest-thumping, Bed-wetting, Cynical, Rabble-rousing, and oh yeah, Accessories to murder

Digby from earlier this month:

In case you were wondering what Glenn Beck thinks about all this right wing violence (and who doesn't?) here it is:

The pot is boiling and this is a warning to all Americans of things to come.

It looks like this was the work of a lone gunman, nut-job, who once wrote an article titled "Hitler's Worst Mistake: He Didn't Gas the Jews." But you're going to see a lot of nut-jobs coming out of the woodwork.

Two very important things are happening here: First, the go-go-go mentality of our enemies. Our country is vulnerable; our enemies know it as much as we do and groups like Al Qaeda are even planning to work with white supremacists (which police say this guy might be), coming through our southern border.

I showed you this scary video last week.

By the way, that was one of not just some average radical teacher, but one of Usama bin Laden's close friends. Does that seem much more relevant in light of what's just happened? We're under attack, America, and we need to look out for enemies foreign and domestic.

Second, there's going to be a witch-hunt for two groups: the Jews and conservatives. Two years ago, I spoke with Benjamin Netanyahu and I told him to look out, because Israel is being set up. Iran's goal of nuclear weapons is putting Israel in the crosshairs.

Those who have read history know that when things go bad, the Jews become scapegoats; and it's happening again.

Meanwhile, there have been Department of Homeland Security reports about right-wing extremists. And left-wing bloggers and others have blamed conservative talk radio hosts like me for stirring the pot, even though we're just pointing out that it's boiling.

Common sense tells you this is not the work of conservatives, but rather the work of someone who is possibly racist or crazy, or most likely both. Common sense also tells you there are very hateful people on the left as well.

The world will use any excuse to come after unpopular groups. Whether you choose to ignore it or not, there's no longer a question of if the pot is boiling. We can all see the pot is boiling.

It doesn't have to make sense, folks. It just has to hit a certain emotional truth. And his audience's "truth" is that al Qaeda is in cahoots with lone nuts to kill Jews and blame it on conservatives --- and they are sneaking in from Mexico with "illegals" to do it. This makes perfect sense to them.

"TYING IT ALL TOGETHER", Today from Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly website:
We learned yesterday, by way of Rush Limbaugh, that Mark Sanford's sex scandal was President Obama's fault. If it weren't for the administration's economic policies, the argument goes, Sanford would have been more optimistic about the future, wouldn't have cheated on his wife, and wouldn't have secretly left the country to see his mistress.

Who can argue with air-tight logic like this?

Today, Limbaugh's right-wing colleague, Michael Savage, takes this one step further. Obama didn't just inspire Sanford to betray his family; the White House conspired to make this scandal happen in the first place.

"The fact is, Obama's team is taking out potential [2012] rivals, one after another," Savage argued. "Just last week, the media jumped on the story of Sen. John Ensign (R) of Nevada and his infidelity. He was considered to be a possible Republican presidential candidate in '12. Now Sanford, who had similar ambitions, caught in a similar situation.

"This is politics at its worst, brought to us by the worst administration, the meanest administration, the most closed administration, the most incompetent administration in American history."

Now, listening to the clip, it's a little unclear to me whether Savage thinks Obama made Sanford and Ensign have sex with these other women, or whether Obama was spying on Sanford and Ensign, learned of their adultery, and brought it to public attention.

Sure, either way, this is all painfully stupid, and not to be taken seriously. But even from the perspective of a twisted right-wing worldview, I'm curious about one thing: how does an incompetent administration pull off a feat like this? Wouldn't it take an enormous amount of competence to secretly hatch such an elaborate conspiracy?

10 characteristics of conspiracy theorists
A useful guide by Donna Ferentes

1. Arrogance. They are always fact-seekers, questioners, people who are trying
to discover the truth: sceptics are always "sheep", patsies for Messrs Bush and
Blair etc.

2. Relentlessness. They will always go on and on about a conspiracy no matter how little evidence they have to go on or how much of what they have is simply discredited. (Moreover, as per 1. above, even if you listen to them ninety-eight times, the ninety-ninth time, when you say "no thanks", you'll be called a "sheep" again.) Additionally, they have no capacity for precis whatsoever. They go on and on at enormous length.

3. Inability to answer questions. For people who loudly advertise their determination to the principle of questioning everything, they're pretty poor at answering direct questions from sceptics about the claims that they make.

4. Fondness for certain stock phrases. These include Cicero's "cui bono?" (of which it can be said that Cicero understood the importance of having evidence to back it up) and Conan Doyle's "once we have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however unlikely, must be the truth". What these phrases have in common is that they are attempts to absolve themselves from any responsibility to produce positive, hard evidence themselves: you simply "eliminate the impossible" (i.e. say the official account can't stand scrutiny) which means that the wild allegation of your choice, based on "cui bono?" (which is always the government) is therefore the truth.

5. Inability to employ or understand Occam's Razor. Aided by the principle in 4. above, conspiracy theorists never notice that the small inconsistencies in the accounts which they reject are dwarfed by the enormous, gaping holes in logic, likelihood and evidence in any alternative account.

6. Inability to tell good evidence from bad. Conspiracy theorists have no place for peer-review, for scientific knowledge, for the respectability of sources. The fact that a claim has been made by anybody, anywhere, is enough for them to reproduce it and demand that the questions it raises be answered, as if intellectual enquiry were a matter of responding to every rumour. While they do this, of course, they will claim to have "open minds" and abuse the sceptics for apparently lacking same.

7. Inability to withdraw. It's a rare day indeed when a conspiracy theorist admits that a claim they have made has turned out to be without foundation, whether it be the overall claim itself or any of the evidence produced to support it. Moreover they have a liking (see 3. above) for the technique of avoiding discussion of their claims by "swamping" - piling on a whole lot more material rather than respond to the objections sceptics make to the previous lot.

8. Leaping to conclusions. Conspiracy theorists are very keen indeed to declare the "official" account totally discredited without having remotely enough cause so to do. Of course this enables them to wheel on the Conan Doyle quote as in 4. above. Small inconsistencies in the account of an event, small unanswered questions, small problems in timing of differences in procedure from previous events of the same kind are all more than adequate to declare the "official" account clearly and definitively discredited. It goes without saying that it is not necessary to prove that these inconsistencies are either relevant, or that they even definitely exist.

9. Using previous conspiracies as evidence to support their claims. This argument invokes scandals like the Birmingham Six, the Bologna station bombings, the Zinoviev letter and so on in order to try and demonstrate that their conspiracy theory should be accorded some weight (because it's “happened before”.) They do not pause to reflect that the conspiracies they are touting are almost always far more unlikely and complicated than the real-life conspiracies with which they make comparison, or that the fact that something might potentially happen does not, in and of itself, make it anything other than extremely unlikely.

It's always a conspiracy. And it is, isn't it? No sooner has the body been discovered, the bomb gone off, than the same people are producing the same old stuff, demanding that there are questions which need to be answered, at the same
unbearable length. Because the most important thing about these people is that they are people entirely lacking in discrimination. They cannot tell a good theory from a bad one, they cannot tell good evidence from bad evidence and they cannot tell a good source from a bad one. And for that reason, they always come up with the same answer when they ask the same question. A person who always says the same thing, and says it over and over again is, of course, commonly considered to be, if not a monomaniac, then at very least, a bore.


Even our Dread Pirate Roberts Hero, Westley spent a forgettable chunk of his weekends, after fending off R.O.U.S.'s, scrubbing the toilet with bleach at Buttercup's insistance; and not to belabor the point, but again, "A person who always says the same thing, and says it over and over again is, of course, commonly considered to be, if not a monomaniac, then at very least, a bore."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Universe does not revolve around you

See also, Carl Sagan, Skepticism, and here.

(HA, HA!) Nothing Ventured, nothing gained...

Rocked silent in a soft lullaby
Panic stirred me awakened by a ringing phone in time
Where and when would I see her?
Crazy were the words that scribbled out your mouth
I stuttered replacing your face to those words
Where and when would I kill her?
I'll wish on this, i'll wish with this
I wish... to the bitter end of my day
Where were you?

So you had your turn and you made it work
Now i'm the laughing stock of your joke
Crazy as it may seem I cried for you when you
Told me to date all of the things that made you end up in my life
And i'll believe anything anything I have no luck with girls

I overheard that you were unhappy too
Misleading trust into a relationship that makes no sense
Over and out Connecticut
But you had your back turned as you faded away
At the end of my day I found out
You weren't worth what I thought of you

Write this down in that diary that you abuse
Can we make plans can I just get through to you
Is this weird... do i scare her?
I'll wish on this, i'll wish with this
I wish... that you could share the love you'd shared with others with me

This isn't love so forever let it go... forever will it burn
This isn't love there on the backend of forever I wish I would never hurt again

The Modern State of the National Republican Party, See also "fascism, authoritarianism, totalitariansim, dictatorships"

Also, "It's NOT FAIR!" and "Where's the birth certificate?!"

Also, I might add, I'm glad YouTube, and Web 2.0 was in it's infancy during the many turmoils of my own white adolescence.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Her name was Neda.

In Farsi, it means "Voice" or "Call".

From Youtube:
Basij shots to death a young woman in Tehran's Saturday June 20th protests

At 19:05 June 20th
Place: Karekar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st.

A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim's chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes.
The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St.
The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me.
Please let the world know

she was born in 1982, apparently her full name was Neda Agha-Soltan, and she was at the protest with one her professors and several other students. She was, they said, shot by a basiji riding by on a motorcycle. Also, she was apparently buried today at a large cemetery in the south of Tehran. ABC News' Lara Setrakian writes, "Hearing reports Neda was buried in Behesht Zahra cemetery earlier today, memorial service cancelled on orders from authorities."

A reader who couldn't quite make out what her father (in the blue striped polo) was saying in the video understood after learning that her name is Neda. He sent in the transcript: "Neda, don't be afraid. Neda, don't be afraid. (There is yelling and screaming.) Neda, stay with me. Neda stay with me!"

WARNING: Video above is extremely graphic and disturbing.

"Yesterday I wrote a note, with the subject line "tomorrow is a great day perhaps tomorrow I'll be killed." I'm here to let you know I'm alive but my sister was killed...

I'm here to tell you my sister died while in her father's hands
I'm here to tell you my sister had big dreams...
I'm here to tell you my sister who died was a decent person... and like me yearned for a day when her hair would be swept by the wind... and like me read "Forough" [Forough Farrokhzad]... and longed to live free and equal... and she longed to hold her head up and announce, "I'm Iranian"... and she longed to one day fall in love to a man with a shaggy hair... and she longed for a daughter to braid her hair and sing lullaby by her crib...

my sister died from not having life... my sister died as injustice has no end... my sister died since she loved life too much... and my sister died since she lovingly cared for people...

my loving sister, I wish you had closed your eyes when your time had come... the very end of your last glance burns my soul....

sister have a short sleep. your last dream be sweet."
-Anonymous Female Iranian Blogger

(From Nico Pitney)

"...with more courage than most of us will ever know."

She did not wake up today honestly believing that it would be her last. She did not know that she would be forced into the spotlight of history in her last minutes, for all we know she would have understandably shied away from it, knowing the consequences. Nevertheless, a nation of oppressed has gathered to grant her justice, they have found their voice, their call. Moreover, all free people of the world know that this tragedy will not go unanswered.

She did not die in vain, and the Iranian people know it. Now, for them, she must not die in vain.

I wept for you today and so did many, many others. Rest in peace, Neda.

Men walkin' 'long the railroad tracks
Goin' someplace there's no goin' back
Highway patrol choppers comin' up over the ridge
Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge
Shelter line stretchin' round the corner
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleepin' in their cars in the southwest
No home no job no peace no rest

The highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
Searchin' for the ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls prayer book out of his sleeping bag
Preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
Waitin' for when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
In a cardboard box 'neath the underpass
Got a one-way ticket to the promised land
You got a hole in your belly and gun in your hand
Sleeping on a pillow of solid rock
Bathin' in the city aqueduct

The highway is alive tonight
But where it's headed everybody knows
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
Waitin' on the ghost of Tom Joad

Now Tom said "Mom, wherever there's a cop beatin' a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there's a fight 'gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I'll be there
Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free

Look in their eyes Mom you'll see me."

The highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes
I'm sittin' downhere in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad

Center-Right and the Mental Hospital

Senator Nelson, I believe someone might be talking about you. Walk two steps behind please.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Iran, pt VI: Brought to tears

Tomorrow is Saturday. Tomorrow is a day of destiny.

Tonight, the cries of Allah-o Akbar are heard louder and louder than the nights before.

Where is this place? Where is this place where every door is closed? Where is this place where people are simply calling God? Where is this place where the sound of Allah-o Akbar gets louder and louder?

I wait every night to see if the sounds will get louder and whether the number increases. It shakes me. I wonder if God is shaken.

Where is this place that where so many innocent people are entrapped? Where is this place where no one comes to our aid? Where is this place that only with our silence we are sending our voices to the world? Where is this place that the young shed blood and then people go and pray — standing on that same blood and pray. Where is this place where the citizens are called vagrants?

Where is this place? You want me to tell you? This place is Iran. The homeland of you and me.
This place is Iran.

Iran series here, but following Nico Pitney, and Andrew Sullivan.

Courage, in stark Black and White, and Green


“I will participate in the demonstrations tomorrow. Maybe they will turn violent. Maybe I will be one of the people who is going to get killed. I’m listening to all my favorite music. I even want to dance to a few songs. I always wanted to have very narrow eyebrows. Yes, maybe I will go to the salon before I go tomorrow! There are a few great movie scenes that I also have to see. I should drop by the library, too. It’s worth to read the poems of Forough and Shamloo again. All family pictures have to be reviewed, too. I have to call my friends as well to say goodbye. All I have are two bookshelves which I told my family who should receive them. I’m two units away from getting my bachelors degree but who cares about that. My mind is very chaotic. I wrote these random sentences for the next generation so they know we were not just emotional and under peer pressure. So they know that we did everything we could to create a better future for them. So they know that our ancestors surrendered to Arabs and Mongols but did not surrender to despotism. This note is dedicated to tomorrow’s children…”


See also, the lesser, anguishing wrong which is right, that which is not for you, or I, or even we to decide. Like hospice, marriage, job selection, education, or even religion; it is up to the individual or the family to decide. Political consensus has as much place divining righteousness here as it does declaring whether Junior bats righty or lefty when he or she steps up to the plate for tee-ball.

Thus evil can be, and is borne in our own minds and hearts.

"Defeat It!" is an answer for flag-waving morons. As if it is ever that easy. Anybody on the planet can pick the right answer between good and bad.
However, choosing between two lesser options, or ruminating on the variable causes of good and evil; that takes intelligence, introspection, and some contemplation.

Lucky: a Eulogy to the Self

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

-- Mary Elizabeth Frye

"We are star stuff which has taken its destiny into its own hands. The loom of time and space works the most astonishing transformations of matter."

"We are a way for the universe to know itself."
-Carl Sagan

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mike Pence None the Richer

And so it went, up and down the street, in between tents and tables, squeezing past pedestrians to inspect the offerings in one booth after another, we milled around this marketplace in downtown Baghdad for more than an hour. I told reporters afterward that it was just like any open-air market in Indiana in the summertime.
-Rep. Mike Pence (R-ID), April 4, 2007.

"“Freedom in fact may be flowering in Iran as hundreds of thousands rally for democracy and free elections. While I appreciate President Obama's comments yesterday at the White House that he was, ‘troubled by the violence,’ and his belief that the voices of the Iranian people should, be ‘heard and respected,’ it seems by my lights that this administration has yet to express the unqualified support of the American people for those who are courageously taking to the streets for free elections and for democracy in Iran. “Let me say from my heart, the American cause is freedom and in this cause the American people will not be silent, here or abroad. If the President of the United States won't express the unqualified support of our nation for the dissidents in the streets of Tehran, this Congress must. “Today I'm introducing a resolution that will do just that. It will express its concern regarding the reported irregularities of the presidential election of 12 June, 2009. It will condemn the violence against demonstrators by pro-government militia in Tehran in the wake of the elections. It will affirm our belief in the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections. And lastly, and most importantly, it will express the support of the American people for all Iranian citizens who struggle for freedom, civil liberties and the protection of the rule of law. “Believe it or not in my small town of Columbus, IN, I grew up next door to a Hungarian immigrant who fled Hungary in the wake of the Soviet repression of the Hungarian revolution in 1956. I sat often with Julius Perr, now passed away, and heard of the way the Hungarian people, inspired by our calls for freedom, stood up for their own freedom. And as Brett Stephens recounts in today's Wall Street Journal we stood by idly. We didn't want to interfere. And the Soviet tanks rolled. “We cannot stand idly by, speak of Iran's sovereignty, speak of her own right to choose her own leadership at a time when hundreds of thousands of Iranians are risking their lives to stand up for free elections and democracy. “Ronald Reagan said, ‘No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.’ All of us desire a fresh start with Iran and it seems from news reports and the extraordinary images coming from the streets of Iran that millions of Iranians long for a new start in their government. There is a reformist movement afoot in Iran. “Today I’ll introduce a resolution. I urge all my colleagues in both parties to join me in expressing their support for these brave and courageous men and women.”

Mike Pence, Today.

A brief history of Iranian-American Relations over the last 60 years.

What good ole Mike wants us to say, what he wants to declare publicly, and purely for his own political gain; will let Ahmadinejad and his higher proxies declare for propaganda purposes in service of retaining their own power, that all these people,

are actually astro-turf surreptitiously working here:

Put your head down on the desk.

From a scrubbed post at the dish:

"Look what I started!—

From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers bloggers"

The man desperately needs a nap.

It isn’t about the excellent and relentless job Sullivan has done to make this ongoing story known. To me, it isn’t even about superficial showings of global solidarity. To me, it is about Andrew’s total immersion in the story beginning to blur his reality between Cape Cod and Tehran. As much as he keeps re-iterating that this isn’t about us, he sure is using the pronoun “WE” an awful lot.

As a writer, an aggregator, and an opinion-shaper, he seems to be conflating his ground-breaking coverage of the event with the actual events, which are ground-breaking. And as he delves into reciting poetry and bending his ‘Know Hope’ branding to play as captions underneath truly moving photography, the feedback loop of the energy of the movement igniting Sully’s raw enthusiasm grows and edges toward Delusions of Grandeur territory.

And I’m saying this, not as one of his detractors. I’m a huge fan of his blog and his writing. The guy needs a few hours on the hot seat of a dunk tank, for his own good. He's relentless and works his ass off, but that doesn't mean he's incapable of being wrong, or too caught up in the story.

Case in Point, he quotes NIAC from today:

Until it’s clear what the fate of the new elections are, we will chant “Allah Akbar” three times every night – once at 10:00, 11:00, and midnight.

I wonder if Hitchens will have to qualify his assertion that religion poisons everything

I want the Green Revolution to be successful. However, even given the occurrence of one of the best-case scenarios, for instance perhaps one of the dissenting Ayatollah's stepping into power as a new Supreme Leader with the blessing of the people and the military, Iran will still be known as the Islamic Republic of Iran. A Theocracy is still a theocracy, whether or not they have Web 2.0, CNN, and the new Terminator movie. Is it possible for any secular advocates to promote a separation of Mosque and State in Iran? If not now, will it, could it be possible after a successful Green Revolution? Is it likely that a reformist Ayatollah appointed to Supreme Leader would rescind the fatwa ordering the murder of writer Salman Rushdie for apostasy?

I think Islam in this instance is more of a communal tool that can be used by the protesters to show solidarity and retain the populist sentiment of the 1979 Revolution as a reflection of the actual will of the people. However, I don't think Hitch's claim needs any footnotes or an asterisk. The issues are separate. A reformed Iran might be more free than in its current state, but true freedom is bolstered by and is recognizable as open and secularized democracy. Authoritarianism, whether that takes the form of a "benevolent" dictator, monarchy, or priestly hierarchy will never cede power or influence on an even battlefield of ideas, and will continually resist Enlightenment values of free speech, free press, and free religion. However good the change in Iran may be, Mousawi is not Jefferson, Madison, Adams, or Washington.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Iran Pt IV, Holy Shi'ite

From last night's update:
Mousawi has called off the protesters' rally for today after the Iranian Government and the police informed him that the Police in charge of crowd control would be carrying live rounds for their weapons.

Iran's defeated moderate candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has cancelled a big rally, amid growing unrest over last week's presidential poll.

The government had declared planned protests against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad illegal.

Mr Mousavi called off the rally after being warned militias would be equiped with live rounds, the BBC understands.

Click here to follow along with minute-by-minute updates.

Can't stop the signal, Mal:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iran Pt. III, The Green Revolution via Twitter and it gets real.

Parts I and II.

Iranian Gov't executing Denial of Service Internet Attacks to shut down media:

problem w/ site pinpointed: webmaster says the Iranian govt is overloading us with requests to disable our site: "denial of service attack"
6 minutes ago from web

No coincidence that these are the first to be fortified because of the fear that those regions would secede." end quote
about 4 hours ago from web

Note the areas that the gov't was quick to fortify: Tabriz and Kermanshah.
about 4 hours ago from web They are camped at every major street-corner, with electric batons.
about 4 hours ago from web

has trucked in what may be Lebanese, but definitely non-Iranian and non-Persian speaking, militia to patrol the streets.
about 4 hours ago from web

quote: "credible news from Kermanshah that the gov't has trucked in what may be Lebanese,
about 4 hours ago from web

I had heard this before from several sources, but since I thought it was a rumor I didn't publish it, but now it appears there is credible
about 4 hours ago from web

Via Sullivan:
My Father has a truck load of ballot boxes that were to be burned in the back of his truck.

i eats some pills and wanna sleep and i scared that if they can find me ...i going...thx for your supports....

typing as fastest as I can in bth English&Farsi,Still we need outside help,I really don't want to be captured by Ansar

Once again I thank everyone in the world. No matter if Ahmadi stays or not, I'm proud to have clasped such supportive hands.

URGENT JUST IN, there r TANKS in front of the interior ministry of tehran in valiasr st. & fatemi CAREFUL

I can't find my friends on streets.

Rasht, glass splinters on the streets, riot police not hesitating to beat men, women and even kids

From Enghelab Sq friend just call me, Police & unknown forces beating everybody for no apparent reason!

Correction, no bus burned, but three cars.

dawn is breaking. can hear prayers from mosques.

cousin in tehran is traumatized by the club and baton beatings on tehran streets. eyewitness report of a girl beaten to death.

IRG's helicopter flying low on yousefabadad Amirabad Gisha right now creating a devastating sound and making windows shake

sources from Tehran: ppl are killed, ppl are in blood, tehran is hell.

We witnessed police spraying pepper gas into the eyes of peaceful female protesters

We are here in the dark, all kinds of rumors fly by; nothing is sure.

IRIB TV warned people seriously about going to tomorrow's rally, mobile network might be down for tomorrow's rally.

Student and Twitterer Change for Iran:

to other sources: this isn't the police! police is still outside! we're under attack by Ansar-Hezbolah. #iranelection

unfortunately the entrance door is completely destroyed and there is no way of barricading it. #iranelection

typing as fastest as I can in both English & Farsi, Still we need outside help, I really don't want to be captured by Ansar #iranelection

Masood is going outside & I'm shaking & feeling useless #iranelection

5:26AM I'm praying to GOD they leave us be! we should get Reza to a hospital Asap, he has some bad wounds. #iranelections

CNN Interview with Student Journalist in Tehran:
Just one additional thing, this is very interesting. A number of students came up to me today and said that they want to appeal to President Obama. They said, 'is he going to accept this result? Because if he does, then we are doomed.' So I heard a lot about appeals to Obama and the international community today from university students.

Email to an Iranian-American advocacy group in Washington:

“[We] are still safe, but to tell you the truth, all of us are feeling sick of what we have to see on streets these days. This afternoon, [we] saw five policemen attack a middle age lady. They beat her brutally, with no mercy. She tried to escape with her young daughter but they got her. I stopped and tried to help her, but three men in civilian clothes attacked my car, and I had to drive away because [my daughter] was with me. Tonight, people shouted “Allah o Akabar” from their roof tops, but hundreds of police forces on bikes swept the streets and marked houses from which they could hear voices."

Hospitals around Tehran surrounded by secret police who refuse to let people with injuries get through, humanity at its worst #iranelection

Friend: 17 y/o killed infront of me couldn't get to him in time guards beating us up went to hospital but he stopped moving #iranelection

Is this hopeless? We're up against a vicious enemy that has no boundaries, that has weaponry and intent to harm God help us #iranelection

Ex-pats protesting around the globe, (Via a Mousavi Supporter's Flickr account):



UPDATE: Washington, D. C.

UPDATE II: Opposition Leader, and probable duly elected President Mousawi issues a statement via Twitter:

Another email from NIAC:
WE NEED HELP. WE NEED SUPPORT. Time is not on our side, waiting and making sure means more casualties, more disappointment, more brutality.

The most essential need of young Iranians is to be recognized by US government. They need them not to accept the results and do not talk to A.N government as an official, approved one. They need help by sending true information. All the medias are under arrest or close control. Help them have the information.

They only try to show the fraud to the world. Help them please. You can not imagine the level of brutality we saw these two awful days.

UPDATE III: (via twitter'd IranElection09 and the BBC):
Mousawi has called off the protesters' rally for today after the Iranian Government and the police informed him that the Police in charge of crowd control would be carrying live rounds for their weapons.

Iran's defeated moderate candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has cancelled a big rally, amid growing unrest over last week's presidential poll.

The government had declared planned protests against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad illegal.

Mr Mousavi called off the rally after being warned militias would be equiped with live rounds, the BBC understands.

Mr Mousavi wants election results annulled, alleging widespread fraud. Mr Ahmadinejad says the vote was fair.

Tens of thousands rallied in Tehran on Sunday to celebrate his victory.

'Death to the dictator'

There were clashes between the police and anti-Ahmadinejad protesters in several parts of the city for a second day on Sunday.

“ I urge you, Iranian nation, to continue your nationwide protests in a peaceful and legal way ”
Mir Hossein Mousavi

Police hit protesters with batons and charged them on motorbikes.

Mousavi supporters cried "death to the dictator" into the evening. Scores of people are reported to have been arrested.

There have been reports of tear gas being fired and rooms being searched at Tehran University.

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Tehran says the rapidly spreading protests are a challenge not just to the election result, not just to President Ahmadinejad, but to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself.

That means it is, he says, a challenge to the whole basis of the Islamic Republic.

Mr Ahmadinejad dismissed the unrest as "passions after a soccer match".

International concern

Mr Mousavi's website carried a statement saying he had formally called on
which must certify the counting, to annul the election.

He added: "I urge you, Iranian nation, to continue your nationwide protests in a peaceful and legal way."

But on Monday, the interior ministry said: "Some seditious elements had planned to hold a rally."

It added: "Any disrupter of public security would be dealt with according to the law."

A supporter of Mr Mousavi, Shahab Tabatabaei, told the Associated Press news agency the candidate had met Ayatollah Khamenei to press his call.

But the BBC's John Simpson in Tehran says the call is almost certain to fail.

One of the country's leading dissidents, Ibrahim Yazdi, told the BBC there had been clear signs of fraud in the poll, with detailed results being withheld.

More foreign powers are also expressing concern about the election.

In an interview on US television, Vice-President Joe Biden said: "It sure looks like the way they're suppressing speech, the way they're suppressing crowds, the way in which people are being treated, that there's some real doubt."

Iran Pt. II: Mad as Hell and Not Going to Take It Anymore.

Part I Here.
Mousawi's Twitter Account:
ALL internet & mobile networks are cut. We ask everyone in Tehran to go onto their rooftops and shout ALAHO AKBAR in protest #IranElection

Obama, ten days ago:
"This issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is indeed a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I have made it clear to Iran's leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question, now, is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to build.
I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.

That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.

There is no straight line to realize this promise. But this much is clear: governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments - provided they govern with respect for all their people."

Wow. Just Wow...

This isn't the charade of BS, Ignorant, Wingnut populism spouted by Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and the Teabaggers. This isn't eliminationist or violence for violence's sake. This is a righteous revolution of an actually oppressed people trying to throw off the chains of a religious tyranny. At 2:27 in the video, a riot police gets cornered and surrounded. The protesters who have been beaten and intimidatedm by riot police throughout the country, do not kill the man. They escort him to safety, because they know it's really not about him. It's about all of them.

UPDATES as of 6:40 PM Central Standard Time (via Huffpo liveblog):

"[We] are still safe, but to tell you the truth, all of us are feeling sick of what we have to see on streets these days. This afternoon, [we] saw five policemen attack a middle age lady. They beat her brutally, with no mercy. She tried to escape with her young daughter but they got her. I stopped and tried to help her, but three men in civilian clothes attacked my car, and I had to drive away because [my daughter] was with me. Tonight, people shouted "Allah o Akabar" from their roof tops, but hundreds of police forces on bikes swept the streets and marked houses from which they could hear voices. Tomorrow, I will go to a lawyer to ask for a [foreign] visa. This country will not be a safe place anymore, and I don't want to repeat my parents' mistake in 1979 by staying and watching."
"I just talked to my relatives in Tehran. The atmosphere is just like in 1978-79. Sporadic demonstrations continue throughout the city with tires and other objects burning in the streets to dissipate the tear gas. People have left their houses' doors unlocked for demonstrators to have a safe haven to escape when the riot police attacks them. The solidarity and unity of the people is amazing. Luckily, Mousavi and Karoobi have both asked people to continue their peaceful opposition to the massive rigging of their votes. The regime has made a strategic mistake as it appears that people this time are not going to relent."

Let's try a little confidence.

Obama's strength is finding middle ground between seemingly irreconcilable parties, and a long view political insight that puts Washington to shame. However, you're never gonna repeal DADT, or get us safely out of two wars, if everybody has to stop and hold hands first. Things like gay rights or upholding the rule of law in the face of things like torture, are binary issues, and ambivalence born out of political expedience is not one of the options.

I assumed I was electing a leader who, while understanding how people can hold a different opinion and wasn't condescending about mandates, would do as he saw fit to take this country in a better direction.

This is what I assumed, and I hoped I'm right, but healing this nation requires leadership. It requires someone who will put himself out there, on the record giving orders to implement change.


Just where the hell is Michael Steele? Liz Cheney has a bigger media presence that he does right now.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Iran immolates

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

ALL internet & mobile networks are cut. We ask everyone in Tehran to go onto their rooftops and shout ALAHO AKBAR in protest #IranElection

But Know Hope.

So, I'm trying to find out something about what's going on in Iran, and on CNN I can watch a rerun of Larry King interviewing several gentlemen without shirtsleeves who apparently assemble choppers. On Fox Mike Huckabee is trying to explain why Jesus hates credit card relief. MSNBC is rerunning something about a prison in New Mexico. CNBC is evaluating whether college students should be able to afford Chanel tote bags.

Media fail.

Andrew Sullivan:
A reader writes:
So all day long, I'm glued to your blog, Juan Cole's blog, Josh Marshall's blog, and a couple others reading as much as I can about the (stolen) Iranian election.

I turned on CNN, and they were going three rounds about some idiot Republican operative in South Carolina who called Michelle Obama an ape. Nothing on Iran.

MSNBC was in the middle of one of its hour-long crime documentaries.

FNC was showing a pre-taped piece on Bernie Madoff.

And I realize that it's the weekend and they usually take the weekend off, but over at NRO, the only thing they've managed to post about Iran today is a link to Daniel Pipes' piece cheering on an Ahmadinejad victory because otherwise his dream of a massive Israeli air assault would be dashed. That's it...a staff of 10+ regular bloggers, and all they can come up with in the midst of an Iranian revolution is a single piece cheering for the status quo?

Thank God that you, Juan, and Josh are on the story.

There's a reason the MSM is in trouble.

Allah O Akbar!

God is Great, indeed...

UPDATE: June 14th, 2009. Dawn Protests:

Thursday, June 11, 2009


But he's just so happy!

Believe in something, even if it's WRONG, BELIEVE IT!

Your homework for today:

Go. Read. Dave. Neiwert.

"Beck offered the following rationale on his Fox News show tonight:

Beck: What they're missing is: The pot in America is boiling. And this is just yet another warning to all Americans of things to come.

Actually, Beck has this exactly right. But frankly, it's boiling because of people like Glenn Beck, ranting hysterically every night about impending apocalypses of various forms -- looming "liberal fascism," the "economic meltdown," the "New World Order," violence spilling over the Mexican border, even FEMA concentration camps.

As I tried to explain in the case of the shooting of Dr. George Tiller, when you spread far-right conspiracy theories through mainstream channels the way Beck does with such abandon, it not only validates their beliefs, it rather hyper-validates them: It tells these people -- who see the Becks and O'Reillys as part of the "liberal media" -- that things are even worse than they thought, and it often spurs them into action."

Lucky to have been here at all

Again, Dr. Dawkins, the most strident, intolerant voice of atheism interviews Dan Dennett, Philosophy Professor and one of the "Four Horsemen" of Atheism.

Fight the phrase, "I'm bored." at Every. Single. Impulse.
Rebel against it, knowing the sheer improbability of your own existence.

"You live eighty years, and at best you get about six minutes of pure magic." (George Carlin)

*Aren't TV producers the worst? To paraphrase Richard Linklater, "they take the piss out of everything."
But even natural selection begot kidneys.


Steven Pinker, Ph. D., Harvard Professor and Author of How the Mind Works:
The Popularity of Rock Band, the existence of teh gay, the human soul, language as a metaphor for human evolution, and almost everything in between.

Dick to the Dawk to the Ph.D.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fox News' conscience.

Quote of the Day, from Lawyers, Guns, and Money:
If radical Muslims had carried out terrorist attacks in Kansas and Washington DC over the past five days, we might be trying to pass legislation giving the president the legal authority to place people in preventive detention, and Daniel Pipes would be implying that we need to round up Arab-Americans (correction: Muslims) and put them in relocation camps.

But it was only a couple of old white guys, so our civil liberties remain unthreatened.