Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mark LeVine in Al Jazeera: Obama's strategies failing in Iran

LeVine writes,
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, do not fear the US but rather their own people's desire to live in a country more like the US.

In fact, in poll after poll Iranians have revealed themselves to be among the most pro-American and pro-democratic people in the Muslim majority world.

The Iranian government needs little excuse to beat, jail, and otherwise punish its citizens. It is already doing a thorough enough job without US interference, and seems poised to go even further. However, if it goes too far it risks "losing legitimacy in the eyes of its own people," as Obama said at a June 25 press conference.

Obama is acutely aware of the real reason why he cannot be too forceful in supporting the millions of Iranians demanding to have their votes counted. The problem is not with US administrations long past, but with the policies of the current administration.

The fact is that the US counts as its closest allies in the Middle East regimes who routinely rig elections - if they even bother to hold them at all - which produce governments that are far less legitimate than Ahmadinejad's today.
No mention of Iraq and Democracy though. Home to the Persian Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf preaching clerics should stay out of government. But at least LeVine got the Iranian people right: the most pro-American and pro-democratic people in the Muslim majority world.

We've failed them.

via Spirit of Man

Paul Starr on the Public Option

I'm not alone suggesting the Public Option may turn out to be a dumping ground as Starr puts it,
According to last week's Washington Post, the public option is the "crux" of the health-reform debate and the "greatest challenge" for Senate negotiators to overcome. That's an accurate description of the current political scene, but it's true only because so many people, including members of Congress, are responding ideologically to the idea of government involvement.

The public option is not the biggest question in reform. Under the proposals being considered, it would be offered only within insurance exchanges at the state and regional level. The far bigger question is how those exchanges work:

Are they open to all employers and individuals -- required, in fact, for employers below a given size -- or open only to the individual and small-group market?

Do the exchanges have the power to risk-adjust the premiums paid to health plans?

Can they regulate the marketing strategies and benefit designs of private insurers?

The public plan will likely end up as a dumping ground for high-cost, mostly low-income people if the exchanges are open only to the individual and small-group market and have inadequate power to risk-adjust premiums or to regulate private insurers' marketing and benefit design.

In other words, we could get a public plan that instead of "disciplining" private insurers, as the president said last week, actually buttresses their dominance of the system. Watch what you wish for.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Forget high speed rail

We need more of this,
HUNTLEY — The village board has taken another critical step toward bringing a Metra commuter railway station to Huntley.

As part of a Regional Transit Authority requirement, the board approved and accepted the transit station site selection guidelines study as prepared by The Lakota Group and Civiltech Engineering.

The Progressive Fox: Has anyone else been wondering whether Bill Foster is running for re-election or not?

A new Political blog for the Fox Valley or folks I've just overlooked? A long post speculating on whether one term's left Foster fed up with the job.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

City Barb: Chicago Pols and Sicilian Mob

Some snark over at the Barb: Corrupt Illinois Politicians vs. the Sicilian Mafia

WaPo: White House Weighs Order on Detention

Good news. Detainees aren't criminals. They should not be sent to sham trials than locked for life in super maxes. They're combatants (fighting outside the rules of war) but when captured, best held for the duration until OBL issues the Fatwa of Surrender.

White House Weighs Order on Detention
Officials: Move Would Reassert Power To Hold Terror Suspects Indefinitely

Foster Statement on Energy Legislation

Good for him!

Foster Statement on Energy Legislation
Washington, Jun 26 -

Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-14) released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Foster voted against the legislation, which passed the House by a vote of 219-212.

“As a scientist, I believe that climate change is real and that action is necessary. It is also crucial that we restructure our energy systems to increase efficiency and reduce our dependence on imported sources. However, I have always believed we have a responsibility to act in a way that comes with the lowest possible cost to the economy. A more thoughtful and measured bill could have mitigated significantly more greenhouse gas per dollar of expenditure. It is my hope that the Senate will make significant improvements to this legislation.”

'Cause this attitude is going to kill us in Illinois... and America.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Illinois Review: Will Foster Get Off the Fence and Vote for Job-Killing Energy Tax?

A cross post in it's entirety from IR. Fran will understand. Foster's my Rep. I wrote him yesterday,
With 4,600 Jobs in His District at Stake, IL Dem Still Doesn’t Know Where He Stands

from the National Republican Congressional Committee:

Washington- As Congress prepares to vote for Nancy Pelosi’s disastrous National Energy Tax, it appears that Bill Foster (D-IL) still has not taken a stance on the bill. A new study reveals that this legislation will cost Foster's Illinois congressional district alone over 4,600 jobs. So why hasn’t Bill Foster taken a firm stance?

“With thousands of jobs at stake in every congressional district across the country, this bill should be a no-brainer for Bill Foster,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Unfortunately for voters, it looks like Foster can’t prioritize Illinois jobs over the wishes of his party bosses in Washington.”

According to one major manufacturer: “The bill is seriously flawed, unfair, and would impose exorbitant costs on the American economy.”

With Nancy Pelosi lobbying Foster and other Democrats heavily, it should be no surprise if Illinois loses out once again: “To Democratic opponents and skeptics, Pelosi seemed to be everywhere this week, lobbying for her ‘flagship’ bill — an effort expected to culminate Friday in a vote too close for anyone to guarantee one way or the other… Hoping to ensure its passage, she’s taking an active role in whipping the vote and making sure her members understand how much she values this roll call.” (Mike Soraghan, “Tap on Shoulder from Pelosi,” The Hill, 6/25/09)

With the vote coming soon, Illinois voters are once again left to wonder if Bill Foster will finally stand up against Nancy Pelosi’s job-killing agenda. Unfortunately, with the San Francisco Speaker pushing hard for votes, it looks like Illinois will lose once again.


Study shows National Energy Tax is a Job Killer: A Heritage Foundation study reveals that the Waxman-Markey climate legislation will cost Foster's Illinois congressional district over 4,600 jobs and $602 million in personal income in the year 2012. (“How the Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill would Affect the States, by Congressional District,” Heritage Foundation, 6/25/09)

Major Employers Across the Country Warn of the Dire Consequences of Passage: MeadWestvaco Corporation, a major packaging firm based in Virginia, penned a letter to the Virginia congressional delegation in opposition to the climate bill, stating: “The bill is seriously flawed, unfair, and would impose exorbitant costs on the American economy… It is too complex to implement, too reliant on technologies that do not yet exist, too expensive for businesses to afford and remain competitive, and too narrowly focused on domestic emissions to reduce the overall global impact of climate change.” (Letter from MeadWestvaco Corporation Vice President Mark George to the Virginia congressional delegation, 6/19/09)

Speaking of Foster, what in the world is he asking $5 million for this year for the Institute of Tribology and Coatings? From Foster's site,
Project:Institute of Tribology and Coatings
Location:Sugar Grove
Amount Requested:$5,000,000
Requestor:Institute of Tribology and Coatings
Description: The Institute for Tribology and Coatings (www.tribologyinstitute.org) is seeking to establish an Army Weapons Center for Wear, Tribology, Corrosion, and Characterization
A backhanded tax and then a no bid payout to the Tribologists to characterize automatics. Can they replace those 4,600 lost jobs?

Tell me it ain't so.

Boehner Is Reading Entire 300 Page Amendment on the House Floor‏

Someone ought to take the time to read the whole darn bill. This via Fox News,
Filibusters are not allowed in the House. They’re a province of the Senate. But House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) may have figured out a way to get around that prohibition Friday as the House inched closer to voting on a controversial energy and climate change bill.

Overnight, House Democrats tacked onto the bill a 300-page amendment. So when Boehner took his time to speak against the package at the end of the debate, the Ohio Republican then decided to peel through major portions of the bill and read them aloud before his House colleagues.
Note Kimberely Stassel today in WSJ, The Climate Change Climate Change, The number of skeptics is swelling everywhere. Modern Liberalism stiffing the worker with a gross regressive tax in the name of flaky science. What happened to the FDR days of buidling damns and TVA in the name of cheap electricity for everyone? Democrats aren't what they used to be.

Warren Buffett Slams Speaker Pelosi's Huge National Energy Tax

A huge regressive tax hitting poor people hardest. Not exactly FDR's TVA power for the masses.

Also WSJ,
Even as Democrats have promised that this cap-and-trade legislation won't pinch wallets, behind the scenes they've acknowledged the energy price tsunami that is coming. During the brief few days in which the bill was debated in the House Energy Committee, Republicans offered three amendments: one to suspend the program if gas hit $5 a gallon; one to suspend the program if electricity prices rose 10% over 2009; and one to suspend the program if unemployment rates hit 15%. Democrats defeated all of them.

The reality is that cost estimates for climate legislation are as unreliable as the models predicting climate change. What comes out of the computer is a function of what politicians type in. A better indicator might be what other countries are already experiencing. Britain's Taxpayer Alliance estimates the average family there is paying nearly $1,300 a year in green taxes for carbon-cutting programs in effect only a few years.

Americans should know that those Members who vote for this climate bill are voting for what is likely to be the biggest tax in American history. Even Democrats can't repeal that reality.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Katrina vanden Heuvel: Moral Realism without Picking Sides

Is this what Liberalism's been reduced too? KVH wrote,
Obama displayed moral realism and principled respect for the courage, dignity and sovereignty of the Iranian people. He did what Iranian expert Trita Parsi advised: condemn violence, without picking sides.
Compare that with McCain at HuffPo a few days ago,
McCain wouldn't say which side of the struggle he thought Obama was on.

"Between Ahmadinejad and the reformers, do you think there's any doubt what side President Obama is on?" McCain (R-Ariz.) was asked by the Huffington Post. "What would be the advantage...?"

"I know what side I'm on," McCain cut in. "I'm on the side of the people. I'm not on Ahmadinejad's side or Mousavi. I'm on the side of the Iranian people and I'm on the right side of history. And I'm not going to walk on the other side of the street while people are being killed and beaten in the streets of Iran."

McCain said Obama's reaction wasn't equal to the situation. "We can't sit by and watch a film clip on television of a young woman bleeding to death and say that we're worried about the Iranian reaction or our ability to negotiate with them. We have to stand up for those people," he said.
God save us from the Moral Realism that ducks picking sides. ...has been able to maintain silence about so much, that it is difficult to say what has been more pernicious in the course of time, the intolerance which committed the wrongs or the indifference which beheld them imperturbed.

CNN massacre day June 24, 2009 tehran baharestan کشت وکشتار بهارستان

via Spirit of Man and Dan Kennedy

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rahm, this arranged question with Pitney was stupid

Dana Milbank at WaPo,
Pitney asked his arranged question. Reporters looked at one another in amazement at the stagecraft they were witnessing. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel grinned at the surprised TV correspondents in the first row.
Rahm, if everyone knows, it's not very slick.... don't grin for **** sakes. Geez we could be a little more saavy here...don't make Chicagoans look like bumpkins on the world's press stage.

Mousavi Expected to Attend Protest Outside Parliament Today

Fox reported via GateWay Pundit,
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi is expected to attend at a rally Wednesday amid an intensifying government crackdown on protesters following the country's disputed presidential election.

Mousavi's attendance is noted on his Facebook page, and there is speculation that former President Mohammad Khatami also will attend the rally, scheduled for 4 p.m. (7:30 a.m. EDT) in Tehran's Baharestan Square, outside of the Iranian parliament.

Also on Mousavi's Facebook page, online supporters have posted that peaceful protests will be held at the same time in over 15 countries and 10 American cities.
CNN is reporting clerics joining the demonstrations now. A picture of the white turbans with the crowds.

Obama's letter to Khamenei

I think it would have been wiser for Obama to have waited until after the elections before sending these guys the long discussed letter.

Via Washington Times,
Prior to this month's disputed presidential election in Iran, the Obama administration sent a letter to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling for an improvement in relations, according to interviews and the leader himself.

Ayatollah Khamenei confirmed the letter toward the end of a lengthy sermon last week, in which he accused the United States of fomenting protests in his country in the aftermath of the disputed June 12 presidential election.

Hot Dogs of Peace جدید سگ های صلح

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that polluter behind that tree

How stupid do we look for the Prez to toss this whopper. Like Polluters aren't going to pass it on to you and me? Face it, we're all polluters and unless were going to live like pioneers (and I'm not certain how green that was) we're going to have to get beyond sticking it to one-another, and take the time to think the costs-and-benefits through.
At Today’s Press Conference, President Obama Said That Climate Change Legislation Would Be “Paid For By The Polluters.” PRES. OBAMA: “At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air we breathe.” (President Obama, Press Conference, Washington, D.C., 6/23/09)

GOP.gov: Democrats' Health "Reform" By the Numbers

And here's the kicker of the numbers,
1,367 - Uses of the word "shall," representing new duties to be carried out by federal bureaucrats and mandates on individuals, businesses, and States
Want a referral to a specialist and thou shall't have to jump through a bunch of hoops for sure.

Despite the talk of the Democrat's Gov Plan crowding out the private sector, I'm not sure if the result won't be something more like Quentin Young's Reality and Shame,
Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician and a longtime champion of liberal causes, has strict rules on the number of Medicaid patients he will see because otherwise, he said, "I'd go broke."
A system Liberals create, then will disdain to us; or God forbid, treat patients covered under this governmenet option 'cause they'd go broke. Thou shalt not go broke (despite what they've the State of Illinois) their first commandment for themselves.

CNN: Excuse me, sir. I have a message for the international community

via CNN Iranian protester pleads for U.S., world to intervene
Mohammad: Excuse me, sir. I have a message for the international community. Would you please let me tell it?

Roberts: Yes, go ahead.

Mohammad: Americans, European Union, international community, this government is not definitely — is definitely not elected by the majority of Iranians. So it’s illegal. Do not recognize it. Stop trading with them. Impose much more sanctions against them. My message…to the international community, especially I’m addressing President Obama directly – how can a government that doesn’t recognize its people’s rights and represses them brutally and mercilessly have nuclear activities? This government is a huge threat to global peace. Will a wise man give a sharp dagger to an insane person? We need your help international community. Don’t leave us alone.

Chetry: Mohammad, what do you think the international community should do besides sanctions?

Mohammad: Actually, this regime is really dependent on importing gasoline. More than 85% of Iran’s gasoline is imported from foreign countries. I think international communities must sanction exporting gasoline to Iran and that might shut down the government.

AFP: US says hot dog diplomacy still on with Iran

This is shameful.
The United States said Monday its invitations were still standing for Iranian diplomats to attend July 4 celebrations at US embassies despite the crackdown on opposition supporters.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mohammad Asgari: Interior Ministry official who allegedly leaked election results

Here is his ID card apparently via Matthew Bagher's facebook.

Paglia: Obama's Waterloo

Paglia from a few weeks ago.
Within the U.S., the Obama presidency will be mainly measured by the success or failure of his economic policies. And here, I fear, the monstrous stimulus package with which this administration stumbled out of the gate will prove to be Obama's Waterloo. All the backtracking and spin doctoring in the world will not erase that major blunder, which made the new president seem reckless, naive and out of control of his own party, which was in effect dictating to him from Capitol Hill.
Government can do little to help the economy but it can do a whole lot to hurt things. The stimulus package will do little to help (it was all politics and little economics) and just tied the Prez's hands on future policy especially health care. I think in time Paglia will be proved right here and it will be seen as the huge mistake made right at the starting gate.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pence Introduces Bipartisan Resolution in Support of Iranian Dissidents

“The joint resolution I and Chairman Berman introduced will give voice to countless Americans who stand with the Iranian dissidents as they stand up for freedom.”

Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, issued the following statement after he and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) joined together to introduce a resolution in support of the Iranian dissidents:

“This is an important moment for the Congress, our country and the people of Iran,” said Pence. “For days hundreds of thousands of dissidents have taken to the streets of Iran in support of freedom and democracy. The American cause is freedom and in that cause the American people will not be silent. I am honored to join Chairman Berman in offering this important resolution. The joint resolution I and Chairman Berman introduced will give voice to countless Americans who stand with the Iranian dissidents as they stand up for freedom. I urge Members on both side of the aisle to support this important resolution and I hope for its immediate consideration.”

وقال "القرار الأول المشترك وعرض رئيس بيرمان يعطي صوت لعدد لا يحصى من الأميركيين الذين يقفون مع المنشقين الإيرانيين كما ندافع عن الحرية".

واشنطن العاصمة -- عضو الكونجرس الامريكى مايك بنس رئيس المؤتمر الجمهوري في مجلس النواب ، واصدر البيان الآتي بعد والشؤون الخارجية في مجلس النواب هوارد بيرمان رئيس (مد كاليفورنيا) وانضمت الى جانب طرح مشروع قرار لدعم المنشقين الإيرانية :

"هذه لحظة هامة للمؤتمر ، في بلدنا وشعب ايران" ، وقال بنس. "منذ ايام لمئات الآلاف من المعارضين الى الشوارع في ايران في دعم الحرية والديمقراطية. الاميركي هو السبب في ذلك الحرية وقضية الشعب الاميركي لن يكون صامتا. يشرفني ان ينضم رئيس بيرمان في تقديم هذا القرار الهام. المشترك القرار الأول ورئيس برمان عرض ستعطي صوتا لعدد لا يحصى من الأميركيين الذين يقفون مع المنشقين الإيرانيين حيث نقف من أجل الحرية. وأحث الدول الأعضاء على حد سواء على الجانب الآخر من الممر لدعم هذا القرار الهام وامل كي تنظر فيها على الفور. "
"La résolution commune I et Président Berman introduit donnera voix à de nombreux Américains qui ont avec les dissidents iraniens qui se battent pour la liberté."

Washington, DC - Le Congrès américain Mike Pence, président républicain de la Chambre de conférence, a publié la déclaration suivante après avoir et de la Chambre des affaires étrangères Président Howard Berman (D-CA) se sont associés pour présenter une résolution à l'appui de la dissidents iraniens:

"C'est un moment important pour le Congrès, notre pays et du peuple d'Iran", a déclaré Pence. "Pour les jours des centaines de milliers de dissidents ont pris les rues de l'Iran en faveur de la liberté et la démocratie. La cause américaine est la liberté dans cette cause et le peuple américain ne sera pas le silence. Je suis très honoré de se joindre à l'offre Berman Président de cette importante résolution. La résolution commune I et Président Berman introduit donnera voix à de nombreux Américains qui ont avec les dissidents iraniens qui se battent pour la liberté. J'exhorte les députés des deux côtés de l'allée à l'appui de cette résolution importante et je l'espère, pour son examen immédiat. "

Revolution in Iran

I've been blogging most of it here.

لقد المدونات أكثر من هنا.

J'ai été la plupart des blogs en cliquant ici

Hamas and Hezbollah in Iran تصویر شماری از مزدوران خارجی (حماس و حزب الله

Iran Press News believes they have captured photos of Hamas and Hezbollah thugs in Iran:

تصویر شماری از مزدوران خارجی (حماس و حزب الله)

HT GateWay Pundit who becomes indespensible read at times like these.

WSJ: We're All Neocons Now

Each day President Obama's blasé business-as-usual attitude toward Iran seems more out of touch with reality. Today's New York Times reports that the president "is coming under increased pressure from Republicans and other conservatives who say he should take a more visible stance in support of the protesters." But if you read on, it turns out "Republicans and other conservatives" are far from the only ones bothered by Obama's what-me-worry policy:
Even while supporting the president's approach, senior members of the administration, including Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, would like to strike a stronger tone in support of the protesters, administration officials said.
It sounds as though Biden and Mrs. Clinton are "supporting the president's approach" in only the most pro forma way. It is extraordinary that the two most senior administration officials apart from the president himself are airing their objection to his policies in this way.
Read the whole thing here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

We ask Google to change Google logo for one day.

Support the idea here. HT to The Guardian's live blog.

Iranian Hero & Human Rights Activist Kianoosh Sanjari: "The People of Iran Will Not Forgive Obama For Siding With the Regime" (Audio-Video)

Gateway Pundit interviews Kianoosh Sanjari here.
In this video Kianoosh Sanjari reveals:

** Ayatollah Khomenei's grand-daughter was arrested during a recent demonstration.

** Former President Rafsanjari's daugher marched in the protest tonight in Tehran.

** On the night of the election after his vote Rafsanjari called on the people to demonstrate.

** There is a great split between the two factions of hardliners and moderates. It is reminescent of the 1979 revolution.

** The people of Iran will not forgive Barack Obama for siding with the evil regime.

** Even the soccer players protested today during their match with South Korea. The coach protected his players by telling the Iranian press that the team was wearing green armbands because of religious reasons- that the players were actually showing their faith. But, this was the first time the team has ever worn green wristbands, ever.

** The protesters are communicating anyway they can. The regime has been trying to shut down communications. At the rally each day the protesters carry signs that announce the next rally. This is how they are communicating.

** Thousands of doctors and nurses in their uniforms were protesting in the street yesterday.

** The regime has a list of reporters and websites and have threatening the reporters on their list.

** There is a cyber-war going on in Iran today between the moderates and the hardliners. Each group is trying to take down the other groups websites.

** Ayatollah Khameini had no idea the protests and reaction by the people would be so great.

** The Opposition wants to drag the protests out until Friday. Khameini will likely congratulate Ahmadinejad. Then it will be up to the West to decide if they will allow these savages to continue their rule.

** Kianoosh has contacts in Iran who are feeding him information daily.

** Everywhere you go everyone is talking. They are talking in the streets. They are talking on busses. They are talking on trains. They are telling nasty jokes about the regime. One joke is about Mahmoud not being able to bathe for a week.
Never before have Iranians been so openly disrespectful of the brutal regime.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kuwait News: Kidnapped children being used for suicide bombing in Pakistan -- Minister

In case one doubts why we fight, Via KUNA
ISLAMABAD, June 15 (KUNA) -- A Pakistani Federal Minister Monday said that militants were using kidnapped children as suicide bombers across the country.

Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik talking to newsmen here said that the militants were buying innocent children for few hundred thousand rupees and using them to carry out suicide attacks.

Mohammad Asgari: Interior Ministry official who leaked election results is killed

At 11am at The Guardians live coverage,
The man who leaked the real election results from the Interior Ministry - the ones showing Ahmadinejad coming third - was killed in a suspicious car accident, according to unconfirmed reports, writes Saeed Kamali Dehghan in Tehran.

Mohammad Asgari, who was responsible for the security of the IT network in Iran's interior ministry, was killed yesterday in Tehran.

Asgari had reportedly leaked results that showed the elections were rigged by government use of new software to alter the votes from the provinces.

Asgari was said to have leaked information that showed Mousavi had won almost 19 million votes, and should therefore be president.
We will try to get more details later.

Iranian Protesters Embrace Police

Much more at Spirit of Man,

Iran: What you can do

A cross post from Spirit of Man, and also Winston's latest update from Teheran.

What you can do

I have been asked by so many people today again about how they can help the people of Iran in their quest for democracy and freedom. I have had calls from as far as Holland. This is what I think any decent human being can do to help further the cause of liberty in Iran:

In the United States: Get on the phones. Call your US Congressmen/women and demand they issue statements in support of the Iranian people. Remind them of Iran Freedom Support Act of 2005. Make sure to be polite and courteous. Call your senators and demand they be tough with the regime.

In Canada, UK, Holland & other European countries: Call your respective Members of Parliament. Demand they press their respective governments not to negotiate with the Iranian regime. Be polite and ask them kindly to issue statements in support of the people of Iran's quest for democracy and liberty. You can call or write to your media and ask them to cover the Iranian regime's brutal crackdown of the peaceful protests in any way they can. This is a media war. This is the information war. All of you regardless of your location can spread the word. The regime fears nothing like information. That's all I can think of now but if you've comments or suggestions, please share them with me.

You can find local pro-freedom rallies arranged by Iranian expats in your town/city and show up as a sign of support. Trust me, it is very heart warming for Iranians to see you care. All of us need to be encouraged and I am sure your presence provides that for those who are fighting the regime. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pence Remarks on Iran Election

“I come to this floor at an extraordinary moment on the global stage.

“According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, the official news agency of Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad supposedly won the election over his primary opponent on 12 June, 2009. But from the very moment that that election result was announced, the international community and the international press called it into question. The basis for that, even before the extraordinary demonstrations had begun to take place, was the fact that these were paper ballots. But the official government results of the election were announced literally within hours of the polls being closed. Various media outlets around the world questioned the authenticity of the results.

“Mr. Mousavi, the defeated candidate, has launched a legal appeal against the election results. On the day of the election, mobile phone communications were interrupted. Western media has reported, ‘heavy electronic jamming, disturbing broadcasts.’ News websites were reportedly blocked by Iranian authorities and the Iranian government has allegedly arrested opposition political figures and journalists. The Iranian government has outlawed any protest following two days of extraordinary unrest. The BBC recently reported that recent rallies in the streets of Tehran were the biggest demonstrations in the Islamic Republic's 30-year history.

“The protest, according to news reports, became violent and, according to media reports, pro-government forces attacked demonstrators in the last 24 hours, causing at least one fatality. We are witnessing a Tiananmen in Tehran, and the United States of America must stand in the gap on behalf of those brave Iranian citizens who are standing for free and fair elections, democracy and basic rights.

“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.”

Zahra Rahnavard: wife who urges protesters on

What's happeing in Iran. It's all about Women and a Woman. The Guardian via Michael Ledeen who wrote,
Does Mousavi even want to change the system? I think he does, and in any event, I think that’s the wrong question. He is not a revolutionary leader, he is a leader who has been made into a revolutionary by a movement that grew up around him. The real revolutionary is his wife, Zahra Rahnavard. And the real question, the key question in all of this, is: why did Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei permit her to become such a charismatic figure? How could he have made such a colossal blunder? It should have been obvious that the very existence of such a woman threatened the dark heart of the Islamic Republic, based as it is on the disgusting misogyny of its founder, the Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Seven-Point Manifesto of the Iranian Resistance

Via PJ Media,
1.Stripping Ayatollah Khamanei of his Supreme Leadership position because of his unfairness. Fairness is a requirement of a Supreme Leader.

2. Stripping Ahmadinejad of the presidency, due to his unlawful act of maintaining the position illegally.

3.Transferring temporary Supreme Leadership position to Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazery until the formation of a committee to reevaluate and adjust Iran’s constitution.

4. Recognizing Mir Hossein Mousavi as the rightfully elected president of the people.

5. Formation of a new government by President Mousavi and preparation for the implementation of new constitutional amendments.

6. Unconditional release of all political prisoners regardless of ideaology or party platform.

7. Dissolution of all organizations - both secret and public - designed for the oppression of the Iranian people, such as the Gasht Ershad (Iranian morality police).

Feinstein's Feast; Durbin's Sale

via the Washington Times,
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, abruptly canceled a campaign fundraising lunch scheduled for Wednesday after the Washington lobbyist helping to organize the event suggested in an invitation that the committee's work would be served as the "first course."
Sun Times on Durbin,
The Illinois senator's 2008 financial disclosure statement shows he sold mutual-fund shares worth $42,696 on Sept. 19, the day after then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged congressional leaders in a closed meeting to craft legislation to help financially troubled banks. The same day, he bought $43,562 worth of Berkshire Hathaway's Class B stock, the disclosure shows.
I would think there's a day's lag between order and sale, so if Durbin sold the day after talking to Paulson and Bernanke, he placed the sell-order the day he talked. That's a guess, but I'd be surprized if not true.


So much for transparency...Walpin-Gate on the canned AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin over at RBO.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Obama's deeply troubled

Allah Pundit writes,
Fun fact: Whereas The One was “shocked and outraged” by the murder of George Tiller, the most he can muster here for mass beatings and cold-blooded killings across Iran is that he’s “troubled.” Make of it what you will.
he has the video here: Obama on Iran: I cannot be silent, even though I was silent for three days

The Basiji Attacks!

via Gateway Pundit. I couldn't get the audio to work.

'Death to Dictator'; 'Change, Change';

I'm in a rush but clipped extensively from Winston's post. The last link has a huge list of powerful pictures.
Just talked via phone with a very close friend of mine in Tehran. He explained to me that the people in the streets are 'extremely angry' with the entire system. Though he pointed to me that if the regime resorts to more violence or kills the people, then the reformist minds will shift into 'regime change' mode sooner or later. I am supposed to get in touch with him within the next 8-9 hours to have more updates for you after he's back from the planned rally today. My friend emphasized on the growing anger of the people in the streets of Tehran. He said people do feel they are cheated.

He says the main chants have been: 'Death to Dictator'; 'Change, Change'; 'We want freedom' and many other anti-theocracy slogans. Photos

Excellent images from Iran

Saeed Valadbaygi: Iran: Riot in tehran streets after election day(4) Third day!

Caution as some of the pics quite bloody,
+++BBC :Saeed Valadbaygi's "Revolutionary Road" blog puts together pictures and videos which have been posted on blogs, YouTube and Facebook

+++Le Monde, first daily newspapers in France, selectionned the two best blogs of reference for pictures on the riots in Iran. One of them is comrade Saeed Valadbaygi's Revolutionnary road!

Courage 24خرداد 88، خیابان ولیعصر، اعتراض به نتیجه انتخابات

via Azarmehr: The Fear is Gone

J Rubin: Don’t Iranians Deserve “Hope and Change” Too?

A great column,
The Iranian election has given the world a jolt of reality. For those confused about the nature of the Iranian regime, its true colors are now revealed. But it has also been a clarifying event in America.

It has been obvious for some time that the American Left has given up on democracy and human rights as fundamental tenets of American foreign policy. But never before has it been so clear just how ruthless and indifferent they are to the aspirations of those who would be crushed by the boot of despotic regimes. And never before have we seen how Herculean a task it is to deny and obfuscate the nature of these sorts of regimes in order to pursue a policy devoted to stability, engagement, and process as goals in and of themselves (rather than as means to some greater ends).

The Iranian election and its aftermath demonstrate just how vast is the difference in approach between the Obama administration, which has embodied the Left’s total embrace of realpolitik, and its conservative critics.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iranian Wonan: Not what it's supposed to be

Sheema writes Not What It Was Supposed to Be, and yesterday's From Theocracy To Junta
Yesterday even before the news of Ahmadinejad's win was released I declared in my blog that something funny was going on. Today it is even more evident that something really really funny is going on. Rafsanjani's house is apparently surrounded by security forces. Let's face it Rafsanjani has the most to lose here. His and his sons head is on the line. If there is any chance that this trend is going to be reversed, Rafsanjani will be the key player. Today is the day that the Islamic Republic officially transformed from a theocracy supported by Pasdaran to a Junta supported by a handful of clerics. Whether or not the mullahs who were apparently outraged by Ahmadinejad's statements during televised debates sit on the sideline and watch remains to be seen. The people should not become pawns in this power game.

Police vs People

via Winston's Spirit of Man,
This is a video by the Italian TV reporter showing police attacking people. Then the people charge at the police motorcycles and capture a few officers. First people attacking police in Iran is unheard of. Then at the end of the video you'll see how people shield the same officer from further beating by angry people. This is excellent. Goes to show the people are FED UP. It proves that the regime might not look invincible in the eyes of Iranians any more. If this is the case, the regime is shaky, then its fall might come sooner than later. Let's give our support to those in the streets of Tehran and other cities who are fighting against regime brutality... 'Death to Dictator'

Winston writes,
URGENT UPDATE: Security forces have raided the main campus of Tehran university in NW of Tehran. Shots being fired and heard across the area. 15 students injured. One killed (unconfirmed)

Police Vs People

via Winston's Spirit of Man,
This is a video by the Italian TV reporter showing police attacking people. Then the people charge at the police motorcycles and capture a few officers. First people attacking police in Iran is unheard of. Then at the end of the video you'll see how people shield the same officer from further beating by angry people. This is excellent. Goes to show the people are FED UP. It proves that the regime might not look invincible in the eyes of Iranians any more. If this is the case, the regime is shaky, then its fall might come sooner than later. Let's give our support to those in the streets of Tehran and other cities who are fighting against regime brutality... 'Death to Dictator'

Winston writes,
URGENT UPDATE: Security forces have raided the main campus of Tehran university in NW of Tehran. Shots being fired and heard across the area. 15 students injured. One killed (unconfirmed)

Andrew Sullivan: The Revolution Will Be Twittered

via Sullivan's Dish,
Mock not. As the regime shut down other forms of communication, Twitter survived. With some remarkable results. Those rooftop chants that were becoming deafening in Tehran? A few hours ago, this concept of resistance was spread by a twitter message. Here's the Twitter from a Moussavi supporter:
ALL internet & mobile networks are cut. We ask everyone in Tehran to go onto their rooftops and shout ALAHO AKBAR in protest #IranElection

Possibly first “anti-militarist and anti-imperialist action during Obama’s presidency”

Note Dan Curry's link to my post on fellow Chicagoan Carl Davidson's Barak O'Bomb'em post in RBO's latest on the anti war action in Washington State.

Carl, who in the world would of thought all of the tired old reds in Chicago would become such national links?

Esfehan after iranian election. Riot police running away

via Michael Totten. Pretty remarkable....

Iran Pics

From faramarz's photostream

THE NORTHWEST HERALD Hauls out Heavy Artillery against a Blogger

Geez, you would think they could have just called Cal and straightened it out. Pat Murfin covers the North West Hearld's suit against Cal Skinner.

Obama, please help us, they are killing our young children.

White House Worries About Stability While Iranians Plead for Help

A Michael Goldfarb post I've clipped in full.

Yesterday Marc Ambinder reported that "White House officials say they worry about the stability of Iran during a protracted post-vote period of uncertainty." The people of Iran might hope for a little more from the administration than concerns about stability. The NIAC blog reports:

According to our private phone conversations with people in Tehran, hundreds of parents have gathered by a police station in Yousef Abad, now known as Seyyed Jamal Aldin Asad Abadi, with their hands raised to the sky saying “Obama, please help us, they are killing our young children.” They were gathering there because their kids are missing and they were trying to find out where they are.

It's hard not to see a parallel here between candidate Obama's slow response to last summer's crisis in Georgia and his administration's reluctance to wade into the Iranian election, presumably for fear of driving the opposition into the arms of the regime. But wasn't Obama's election supposed to restore America's moral authority precisely so that the United States government could use soft power and diplomacy in a situation like this? What is Obama doing to help those who are seeking change in Iran? Or has opposition to regime change morphed into support for stability, even if that means support for Ahmadinejad?

TehranLive dot Org

Great Iranian Picture site.

I've been posting on Unitarian Universalist blog here, here, and here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Peeing on Geithner

From Weisberg's Notes Toward a Theory of Obama,
He's ruthless. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Obama described his economic policy as "ruthless pragmatism." Interesting choice of modifiers. Obama has a healthy disdain for the overrated virtue of political loyalty. Around the nomination process, this has been slightly chilling to watch. If you're useful, you can hang around with him. If you start to look like a liability, enjoy your time with the wolves. Before the inauguration, Christopher Hitchens described Obama as feline in his demeanor. The president is catlike also in his lack of evident affection for the people who take care of him. His cracks at the White House Correspondents' Dinner about Hillary Clinton being an envious loser, Larry Summers' woman problem, and training his dog not to pee on Tim Geithner skirted cruelty. Obama's jokes about himself were about how great everyone thinks he is.

M K Bhadrakumar: A neo-con Yankee in Karzai's court

Bhadrakumar in The Asia Times on Obama's resurrection of Zalmay Khalilzad. The third leg to Obama's Af Pak strategy of McChrystal, and Zadari's offensive maybe,
To be sure, there is no one in Washington today who can match Zal's impeccable credentials, having seen it all in Iraq, and knowing like the palm of his hands the ethos and traditions of the Pashtun tribes. Certainly, he will take his stance to the right of McChrystal. When the tough special forces commander hits the Taliban hard, rubbishes them and makes them "reconcilable", and when the "chameleon insurgents" - as Petraeus calls them contemptuously - begin to peel away, he will pass them on to Zal.

Zal will carefully roll up his sleeves, sit down with them over a cup of green tea, and talk some sense into their dazed minds. And then, he will make a mental note as to the fastness of the color of the "chameleons" facing him and looking at him with their watery eyes, before short-listing them for future assignments. That is, until a job falls vacant for Zal himself - in the presidential palace in Kabul.

Footnote: P4 tells RP the mission,
Post: As the commander of the US Central Command, you're the big-picture "strategy guy." Could you give readers a clear statement of our mission in Afghanistan?

Petraeus: The mission is to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a sanctuary for al Qaeda and other transnational extremists. That's what it had become before the operations conducted in the wake of 9/11. Al Qaeda wants to carry out further attacks on the US and our allies, and we need to deny them safe havens in which they can plan and train for such attacks.
...and the book he's been reading.

Hate Speech

Cathy Young on Hate Speech.

A Kansan in South Chicago

Lynn Nelson's short stories about Chicago. I like the one about 63rd street. My Dad had a dime store there, at 63rd and Blackstone.

Chicago's Transit-friendly Taverns

Vote with your Feet reviews 'em all.

Lee Bey: The Urban Observer

A great blog if you like Chicago architecture.
The official blog of urbanist, writer and architecture critic Lee Bey. The blog features observations, photography, video links and all things dealing with Chicago's built environment (or anything else that interests me).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bill Foster and HR 2346: the Photo Amendment

From the Weekly Standard blog,
....95 House Democrats have expressed their support for the Graham-Lieberman amendment that would provide the president with the authority to prevent the release of photos that allegedly show detainee abuse. If Pelosi and the Dem leadership strips this amendment out in conference, these same 95 Democrats will be in a tough spot and many of them are unlikely to vote for the final version of the supplemental. As one senior House GOP aide explained, “If the liberals ultimately strip this amendment from the supplemental, 95 Democrats will face a critical choice between standing behind today’s vote that it is important to protect our troops from the release of these terrorist propaganda photos or caving to the political demands of Speaker Pelosi. The vote was clear and these 95 Democrats will be held to it.”
Bill Foster D - Ill 14th was not one of the 95 Democrats who put themselves in a tough spot. Foster's tough spot comes if what Generals Petreaus and Odierno fear comes to pass.
"The 2004 publication of detainee photos resulted in a number of posting on internet websites. Perhaps the most gruesome of internet reactions to the photo publication was a video posted in May 2004 showing the decapitation murder of US contractor Nicholas Berg. A man believed to be Zarqawi specifically made the linkage between the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Berg's murder saying "And how does a free Muslim sleep comfortably watching Islam being slaughtered and [its] dignity being drained. The shameful photos are evil humiliation for Muslim men and women in the Abu Ghraib prison .... We tell you that the dignity of the Muslims at the Abu Ghraib prison is worth the sacrifice of blood and souls. We will send you coffin after coffin and box after box slaughtered this way." (Declaration of General Raymond T. Odierno, ¶ 8, 9, Motion to Recall Mandate, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Docket No. 06-3140-cv)

"I strongly believe the release of these photos will endanger the lives of U.S. Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors and civilians as well as the lives of our Iraqi partners. Certain operating units are at particular risk of harm from release of the photos. One example is our training teams throughout Iraq. These are small elements of between 15 and 30 individuals who live on Iraqi-controlled installations and thus do not have the same protections afforded to many of our service members. In addition, as they assist our Iraqi partners, members of such teams are regularly engaged in small-unit patrols, making them more vulnerable to insurgent attacks or other violence directed at U.S. forces. Accordingly, there is good reason to conclude that the soldiers in those teams and in similarly situated units would face a particularly serious risk to their lives and physical safety." (Declaration of General Raymond T. Odierno, ¶ 4, Motion to Recall Mandate, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Docket No. 06-3140-cv)

"MNF-1 will likely experience an increase in security incidents particularly aimed at U.S. personnel and facilities following the release of the photos. Incidents of spontaneous violence against U.S. forces, possibly including attacks from outraged Iraqi police or army members are likely. Such increased attacks will put U.S. forces, civilians, and Iraqi partners at risk of being killed, injured, or kidnapped. The photos will likely be used as a justification for adversaries conducting retribution attacks against the U.S. for bringing shame on Iraq." (Declaration of General Raymond T. Odierno, ¶ 11, Motion to Recall Mandate, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Docket No. 06-3140-cv)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Rep. Foster to Attend White House Signing Ceremony for Reagan Commission

I hope Foster takes some time to read Reagan's letters too. The press release here and below,
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-14) will attend the White House signing ceremony of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission, H.R. 131. Foster is a co-sponsor of this bill, which passed the House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 371-19 in March of this year.

"I am pleased to join President Obama and former First Lady, Nancy Reagan, as he signs this bill honoring President Reagan into law," Foster said. "I proudly worked with Republicans and Democrats to get this bill passed in the House last year in the 110th Congress, and I am thrilled that a current President from Illinois is honoring a former President from Illinois today.”

The Commission will plan and carry out activities to honor Ronald Reagan on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, and will also provide assistance to federal, state, and local governmental agencies and civic groups to carry out such activities.

Concluded Foster, “I am excited about the Commission and what it means to the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home Museum in Dixon, to Reagan’s birthplace in Tampico, and to the surrounding communities of the 14th District.”

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Nader Statement On GM Bankruptcy (he's got a point)

Nader's got a point. Beware Obama's unaccountable task forces.... and Congress abdicated it's duties long ago. About they time they reversed themselves on Iraq and decided their decisions were Bush's bamboozlment. They've been irresponsible ever since.
Today's bankruptcy declaration in federal court by General Motors is an avoidable, crude weapon of mass devastation for workers, dealers, auto suppliers, small businesses and their depleted communities. For GM's voiceless owners -- the common shareholders -- it is a wipeout.

The proximate cause of the bankruptcy was supposed to be the inability of GM and the government's auto task force to reach an accommodation with GM's bondholders. But late last week, the bondholder problem was moving toward rapid resolution, and was clearly resolvable. Why then are GM and its multibillion government financier proceeding with bankruptcy?

The bankruptcy and the GM restructuring plan are the product of a secretive, unaccountable, Wall Street-minded government task force that assumed power because of a Congressional abdication of historic magnitude. By all rights, the restructuring plan should have been submitted to Congress for deliberative review and decision.