Archive for Iran

Frank Rich asks, The 9/11 decade is now over. The terrorists lost. But who won?

Rich was on MSNBC to talk about his piece in New York Magazine that includes this:

By portraying Afghanistan and Iraq as utterly cost-free to a credulous public, the Bush administration injected the cancer into the American body politic that threatens it today: If we don’t need new taxes to fight two wars, why do we need them for anything? But that’s only half the story in this alternative chronicle of the decade’s history. Even as the middle class was promised a free ride, those at the top were awarded a free pass—not just with historically low tax rates that compounded America’s rampant economic inequality but with lax supervision of their own fiscal misbehavior.

To that point, the government just announced plans to sue several big banks for their fiscal misbehavior:

The federal agency that oversees the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is set to file suits against more than a dozen big banks, accusing them of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage securities they assembled and sold at the height of the housing bubble, and seeking billions of dollars in compensation.The Federal Housing Finance Agency suits, which are expected to be filed in the coming days in federal court, are aimed at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, among others, according to three individuals briefed on the matter.

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Open Thread: War

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Heath Shuler wants U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. There are still 40,000 troops in Iraq. We’re shooting up Libya. We spend more on ‘defense’ than anything else. Our troops are stationed across the globe. Meanwhile, here at home our government is claiming poverty and the need to burden the working classes.

What are your thoughts about the state of U.S. international military interventions?


You Might Be A Terrorist

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Cue Jeff Foxworthy. Georgetown University’s David Cole writes in the New York Times that under current United States law you might be prosecuted for providing direct or indirect material support to terrorists if you:

— Speak in support of an Iranian opposition group, as former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former secretary of homeland security Tom Ridge did in Paris last month. The Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK) opposition group is on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations. The former U.S. officials asked to have them removed from the list.

— Work with the Humanitarian Law Project in trying to help the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey present human rights claims before the United Nations or help them initiate peace negotiations with the Turkish government.

— Meet with or advise Hezbollah, as President Jimmy Carter’s election monitoring team did during the 2009 Lebanese elections.

— Provide humanitarian aid to victims of war or natural disasters in a region where it might end up in the hands of any group labeled a “foreign terrorist organization.”

But if you are an American business secretly providing “humanitarian aid” in the form of hot sauce, “cigarettes, popcorn and chewing gum” to to states blockaded for supporting terrorism, the Treasury Department will grant you a special license for that.

Cole calls for reforming U.S. laws regarding support for terrorism where they infringe on First Amendment rights and threaten legitimate humanitarian aid while granting exemptions for corporate interests. He observes:

Under current law, it seems, the right to make profits is more sacrosanct than the right to petition for peace, and the need to placate American businesses more compelling than the need to provide food and shelter to earthquake victims and war refugees.

All people are created equal, but some corporate people are more equal than others.

Categories : International, Iran
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Monday Reading

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iranian_protest_election_results_40White rooftops: “Making roofs white “changes the reflectivity . . . of the Earth, so the sunlight comes in, it’s reflected back into space,” Chu said. “This is something very simple that we can do immediately,” he said later.”

AC-T Editorial says of state budget cuts in education: “We’d be cutting our own throats.”

Friday is Juneteenth:  “Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

From its’ Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.”

Tim Johnson dodged the slings and arrows of a criminal past and a dodgy diploma to be elected NC GOP Vice Chair.  Tim Peck says that the Buncombe Vice Chair will vie for the top spot in the county party.  And to thicken the plot, there’s an online schism between the Carolina Stompers and Thunder Pig over ‘attacks’ on NC GOP 1th Precinct Chair, Stephen Duncan.

Freedom To Marry: “The Obama Administration stumbled badly in defending the federal anti-marriage law, so-called “DOMA,” despite his repeated campaign promises to end this federal discrimination against married gay couples and their loved ones.”

Juan Cole: “I am aware of the difficulties of catching history on the run. Some explanation may emerge for Ahmadinejad’s upset that does not involve fraud… But just as a first reaction, this post-election situation looks to me like a crime scene. And here is how I would reconstruct the crime.”

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What are you reading?



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Today is International Laugh at Lieberman Day!

Think Joe Lieberman is a joke?

We do too. That’s why we’ve created a new holiday: Laugh at Lieberman Day. It’s today, Tuesday, November 18th, and we want you to celebrate with us! Here’s what you need to know:

How to celebrate:

Step 1: Find some way to record yourself

It can be a video camera, a camera phone, your laptop, or just a microphone. Just find someway to at least capture yourself speaking.

Step 2: Call Joe Lieberman’s office

Start your recording, pick up the phone, and dial (202) 224-4041. When someone picks up, ask if you’ve reached the office of Senator Joe Lieberman.

Step 3: Laugh!

Cackle. Giggle. Chortle. Guffaw. Whatever it is, just laugh. Even if you get an answering machine, laugh! Laugh at the joke that is Senator Joe Lieberman.

Step 4: Upload your video to YouTube

Upload the recording of you laughing at Joe Lieberman to YouTube. Make sure you tag your video laughatliebermanday so it will show up automatically on this page.

Step 5: Tell your friends!

Spread the joy! Tell all your friends about Laugh at Lieberman Day. Email them this website. Post it on Facebook. Tweet it on Twitter. Shout it from the rooftops. Just get the word out!

It’s easy and fun! See?


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Reason #2,432,129 Not To Bomb Iran

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The Iranians are gearing up for a big Presidential election, too. In Summer of 2009, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will likely stand for re-election. The Iranian parliament, no friend to the bellicose President, has elected one of his most vocal opponents, Ali Larijani, to be their Speaker. In case you’re not aware, it’s not the President who holds the foreign policy reigns in Iran. That role goes to the Supreme Leader, held since 1989 by Ali Khamanei. However, the President is in charge of a lot, and Ahmadinejad is evidently taking the rap for a 25% rise in inflation.

Ali Larijani ran for President against Ahmadinejad in 2005. Ali’s no Boy Scout, being a well-connected censor and assassin among other things, but he appears to have a very different stance on nuclear development than does Mahmoud.

AFP: “[Larijani] typifies an increasingly prominent group in Iranian politics who remain rigidly loyal to the principles of the 1979 Islamic revolution but are distinctly lukewarm over the presidency of the ultra-conservative Ahmadinejad.

The divisions between the two were laid bare in October when Larijani resigned his post as top nuclear negotiator amid speculation that he was ready to take a slightly more pragmatic line in the standoff with the West.

Larijani also indicated his parliament would be closely supervising the work of Ahmadinejad’s government, which has been criticised by reformists and conservatives alike for controversial economic policies.”

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Thought Experiment

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doublethink.jpgCognitive dissonance courtesy of Army of Mumpower:

“If you disarmed America, uh, look at what’d happen. Look at the chaos and harm that would occur. Uh, it’s hard to fathom how bad that would be. If you disarmed, uh, these rogue nations that exist throughout the world, the South Koreas, the Irans, the, um, host of other countries, uh, that wish us and others harm, uh, nothing would happen.

America’s a good country. We, uh, we don’t do everything right. We don’t do everything perfectly, but we don’t ride on the backs of other people. Uh, we don’t, uh, view the destruction of others as the key to our future. And unfortunately there are a lot of people in this world who do believe that.” – Dr. Carl Mumpower

R. Bernier video here.


Another Day, Another Dollar (per Barrel)

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Oil hits $109 per barrel

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Peace and Social Justice Events in Buncombe This Week

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got_justice.gifDancewater has an excellent round up of the week’s go-to events:

02/19/08 WNC Peace Coalition meeting at Unitarian Universalist Church at 7 PM. Please enter from the north side, at the basement level. We will be planning for our annual Peace Rally.

02/19/08 WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility will meet at the Gathering Room of the Asheville YWCA at 185 S. French Broad Avenue. Please bring a brown bag lunch at noon, and program will start at 12:30 PM. Parking is limited. The program will focus on the DVD “Nuclear Deception” and will be followed by a business meeting. Contact Lew at or call 828-299-1242 for more information.

02/19/08 Network of Spiritual Progressives will host the movie “The Global Banquet” at 7 PM in Room 206 at the Reuter Center at UNCA. Contact Richard Fireman at for more information.

02/20/08 Dr. Dahlia Wasfi will be speaking at UNCA at 7 PM on Wednesday. She is an Iraqi-American that has visited Iraq in the last few years and still has family inside Iraq. She has spoken to the Progressive Caucus at Capitol Hill, and at many other venues. She is a dynamic speaker against the continuing occupation of Iraq. This will be at Laurel Forum, Karpen Hall, UNCA

02/22/08 Activist Movie Club in Waynesville. Movies and discussions – for more information, contact John at or call Buffy at 926-2508 after 5:30PM.

There’s a lot more over at Dancewater. Thanks to Ash for the heads up.

Categories : Action, Iran, Iraq, Local
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Noam Chomsky on U.S. policy towards Iran

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If you find this video on Iran at all interesting, I must send you to the Scrutiny Hooligan Peak Oil Primer to see Robert Newman’s The History of Oil [Parts 1-5]. It is on the side bar at the top. Robert Newman is a British comedian with an eye toward toward the political and its ironic hilarity, a smattering of peak oil issues, make this series of video both funny and poignant. The Scrutiny Hooligans recommend it highly!

“Robert Newman gets to grips with the wars and politics of the last hundred years – but rather than adhering to the history we were fed at school, the places oil centre stage as the cause of all commotion. This innovative history programme is based around Robert Newman’s stand-up act and supported by resourceful archive sequences and stills with satirical impersonations of historical figures from Mayan priests to Archduke Ferdinand. Quirky details such as a bicycle powered street lamp on the stage brings home the pertinent question of just how we are going to survive when the world’s oil supplies are finally exhausted.” – Tiger Aspect Productions

Some of the themes in a “History of Oil”:

2:30 “Marching to the drums” (UK and resource wars)
5:36 “Bringing a better democracy” (Iran)
10:40 “World War I: an Invasion of Iraq”
16:40 “Thou shalt steal oil”
22:22 “The Euro theory for the war in Iraq”
35:30 “Peak Oil”

You can also see Robert Newman’s The History of Oil at the following websites: SmashingTelly, Indybay, or Robert Newman’s own site.

Categories : International, Iran, Peak Oil
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