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      One of the most amusing things about the 07/8 primary season was how often Obama praised Reagan and how few people took him seriously. Obama thought Reagan was great, and said so repeatedly. “He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like, you know, […]
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Tehran Protest turns bloody

From CNN:

Security forces wielding clubs and firing weapons beat back demonstrators who flocked to a Tehran square Wednesday to continue protests, with one witness saying security forces beat people like “animals.”

At least two trusted sources described wild and violent conditions at a part of Tehran where protesters had planned to demonstrate.

“They were waiting for us,” the source said. “They all have guns and riot uniforms. It was like a mouse trap.”

“I see many people with broken arms, legs, heads — blood everywhere — pepper gas like war,” the source said.

Around “500 thugs” with clubs came out of a mosque and attacked people in the square, another source said.

The security forces were “”beating women madly” and “killing people like hell,” the source said.

“They beat up a woman so bad she was all bloody,” the source said in a description that underscores the growing and central role of women in the uprising.

I was afraid this would happen. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do but watch.


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Wednesday: Don’t step out of line

Sun Spotting:  I saw the sun as I was coming out of the grocery store yesterday.  There was this intense, glaring light in my face.  Seriously, I almost couldn’t figure out what was going on.  I had to shade my eyes with my hand, having ditched my sunglasses *weeks* ago.  “Bright light!  Bright light!”, I squealed.  It was the sun, that brilliant star from our illustrious past.  We have been in the Dark Ages in NJ for so long that we no longer recognize it and our pale, sweater swathed bodies have to reacquaint ourselves with the notion of light and warmth.

Alas, it did not last.  By the time we were ready to eat on the deck last night, it had started to rain again.  The clouds are presenting a united front this morning as well.  Solid, gray, endless.

I’m going to Puerta Vallarta:

John Dickerson at Slate covers the president’s press conference yesterday.  Is it just me or is there something Orwellian and creepy about the fact that you can’t eat your lunch anymore without seeing his mug on every TV in the cafeteria blathering on about something. Even though I tried to concentrate on my food, I managed to catch some of his remarks on Iran.  His words were a teensy bit stronger and I can understand why he doesn’t want the US to get involved, since that whole 1979 hostage crisis went over so well for Jimmy Carter.  But if you look carefully at his words, injustice and human rights apply only to protest and dissent.  He doesn’t say anything about the election being rigged and voters disenfranchised as being egregious and unsupportable.

Well, why would he?  He doesn’t believe in self-determination any more than Ayatollah Khamenei.  Sorry to tell you this, dear Iranian readers, but it’s true.  You may have missed our infamous 2008 Democratic presidential primary but it was no less a stolen election than yours.  The difference is we weren’t allowed to protest the way Iranians did last week.  No massive protest would have been possible in Denver.  I should know because I was there.  The city was on lockdown.  There were police in riot gear everywhere.  Step over the line even once and they’d simply force you to the ground, cuff you and haul you off to some gitmo-esque, wire holding pen an hour away from Denver until they got around to letting you make a phone call.

Juan Cole has a bit more to say about it in his comment this morning:

I applaud the Iranian public’s protests against a clearly fraudulent election, and deplore the jackboot tactics that the regime is using to quell them. But it is important to remember that the US itself was moved by Bush and McCain toward a ‘Homeland Security’ national security state that is intolerant of public protest and throws the word ‘terrorist’ around about dissidents. Obama and the Democrats have not addressed this creeping desecration of the Bill of Rights, and until they do, the pronouncements of self-righteous US senators and congressmen on the travesty in Tehran will be nothing more that imperialist hypocrisy of the most abject sort.

Juan seems intent on presenting only the Republican Convention police abuses.  He conveniently forgets about what the Democrats did last year.  Believe me, I saw it with my own eyes as a confrontation was brewing between a line of anti-war activists and the riot police in Denver.  The protesters didn’t have a chance and they were barely raising their voices.  I was on my way to a march for Hillary Clinton on the anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States.  Talk about irony and symbolism.

Tehran?  Nope.  Denver 2008.

Tehran? Nope. Denver 2008

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that Obama hasn’t made any moves to get rid of the draconian tactics and surveillance of those who will not fall in line for him.  He needs to preserve these options for the next time he and his crew decide elections for us.

Speaking of elections and people who covered themselves with shame, I got an email from Donna Brazile AND Claire McCaskill yesterday.  Lucky me!   What prompted all this attention all of the sudden?  Donna wrote to tell me:

In a decision announced this morning, the Supreme Court upheld the 1965 Voting Rights Act — a law that has done more to expand and strengthen our democracy than any other.

It’s good news — but the fight to protect voting rights doesn’t end there. Attacks on this critical law will not stop. And voter suppression tactics will continue to plague our elections.

Well, she ought to know.  She saw all the thuggery at the caucuses and, as a DNC official, did nothing to stop it.  She was a ring leader in the notorious RBC hearing where she accused Hillary Clinton of being a cheater.  Takes one to know one, Donna.  What was the point of this email?  It was so that we could make a contribution to the DNC based on our identification with voting rights issues.

Ahuh.

Think of all the bandwidth the DNC could save if they just stopped sending these unbelievable messages to those of us who can’t stand the sight of Donna Brazile’s face.  I won’t buy Ms. either until she’s off of their editorial staff.  But once July 20 comes around, I might join and donate to NOW.  That’s the day that Terry O’Neill takes office and kicks Kim Gandy and her Obama groupies to the curb.  Maybe we can do it en masse.  More updates as the day gets closer.


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Mousavi is Being Watched Around the Clock by Security Forces (and Other Updates on Events in Iran)

Mir Hossein Mousavi

Mir Hossein Mousavi

John Litchfield of the Independent UK reports that according to Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a film director and long-time close friend of Mir Hossein Mousavi is “under 24-hour guard by secret police and no longer able to speak freely to supporters.”

In a telephone interview, Mr. Makhmalbaf, the director of the 2001 film Kandaha, denied suggestions that the protests against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were losing steam.

“The regime, arguably, is losing ground, not the protests,” he said. “Ordinary Iranians are openly rejecting the legitimacy and power of Ayatollah Khamanei. That is entirely new, unheard of.”

Mr Makhmalbaf, a friend of Mr Mousavi for 20 years, said that there were reports from Iran that some of the militia deployed to suppress protest were “speaking Arabic”. “That is unconfirmed but it suggests that the regime is unable to trust its own security forces to repress the Iranian people,” he said. “It suggests that people are being used from abroad.”

Makhmalbaf says that Mousavi has told his supporters that they should avoid confrontation and use non-violent means of protest. Makmalbaf also said there is little chance now for further negotiation between the opposing forces.

“Within the last ten days, there has been a meeting between Mousavi and Ayatollah Khamanei,” he said. “Nothing came of this meeting. I do not know of any further dialogue which is now going on.”

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