Saturday, August 29, 2009

Increased Sanctions Proposed Against Iran

Proposed legislation addresses nuclear issues. No mention is made of human rights violations.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.2194:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Iran Uranium Enrichment "Slowed"

The UN nuclear watchdog sys Iran has slowed its enriched uranium production, but continues to install the centrifuge machines needed for the process.

The findings are in the latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Read the article here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8227975.stm

Monday, August 24, 2009

Data on Religions

religious teachings on sex
(Apparently Pagans are off the charts!)
http://flowingdata.com/2009/07/10/religious-teachings-on-sex/

religious geography of the united states
http://flowingdata.com/2009/08/17/religious-geography-of-the-united-states/

Iran Gas Pipeline

Will European pressure on Iran for human rights get lost in a rush for Iranian natural gas?
http://www.nabucco-pipeline.com/project/project-description-pipeline-route/project-description.html

Iran Will "Cooperate with IAEA"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8218607.stm

Karzai rival claims widespread fraud in Afghan vote

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/24/afghanistan.election/index.html

Special Prosecutor Appointed Re: Interrogations

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/24/us.terror.interrogations/index.html

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Poem: The Truth Lives On/Die Wahrheit Lebt Noch/Haghighat Zende Mimaanad

I come from the Great Satan.
Hastam gully Amrikani.
I like Neue Deutsche Welle
va she'r Irani.
[Names of poets]
[Names of poets] ehteraam.
Words can be more powerful than guns and bombs.
When the smoke clears,
The truth lives on.

Einstuerzende hochbauen
hat neu gesezt gebracht.
Viele sagt, "Ja," und
Wenige hat gefragt.
Now we see Irani people
fighting for their rights.
It makes me feel nostalgic.
We once fought for our rights!
After the tears,
The truth lives on.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

NO to Ahmadinjad! YES to Human Rights: Rally at UN Headquarters

NO to Ahmadinjad! YES to Human Rights: Rally at UN Headquarters
Join us at the opening of the U.N. General Assembly
Host: Where is My Vote ? - New York Chapter
Type: Causes - Protest
Network: Global
Start Time: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 11:00am
End Time: Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 11:00pm
Location: United Nations Headquarters
Street: 47th Street and 1 Ave (subject to change)
City/Town: New York, NY

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hundreds of gay men tortured and killed in Iraq

Even if you aren't gay or bisexual yourself, know that the persecution of gays tends to be accompanied by the persecution of other groups too. For a historical, non-muslim comparison-- the Third Reich persecuted gays, intellectuals, artists, disabled people, and ethnic minorities.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/08/17/iraq.homosexual.killings/index.html

OP ED: Rednecks versus Healthcare

Will scary rednecks screw up the general American right to bear arms? Militias are screwing themselves over--and everyone else, if they do not consider the permanent impact that a steep increase in threats to the President could have on civilian rights in this country.

I wish some of them had lived in Europe like I have, and had seen that universal healthcare is a great blessing. So many people here in the US have run up credit card bills paying for emergency care or surgeries because they were not insured. Then the interest piles up, they end up defaulting on their credit cards and end up in a pile of financial trouble. Anyway, wouldn't the increased tax burden fall on people making over $250K? How many of these militia members make that?

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=8326359

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Taliban threatens to cut off voters' fingers

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/08/200981675157960381.html

Jerusalem-born Jew elected to Fatah Revolutionary Council

Dr. Uri "Davis, who in the 1980s abandoned his Israeli citizenship in protest over Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and later received Palestinian citizenship, was the only non-Arab to run for a seat in the Revolutionary Council, Fatah's legislative body."

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1107668.html

Thursday, August 13, 2009

OP ED: Health Care Reform, Single-Payer v. Obama Plan

Either plan would probably be better than any proposed by the more cynical, cold-hearted and heavily pharma-lobbied members of Congress.

I support single payer health insurance, HR 676.
http://kucinich.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2802&Itemid=1
I know someone currently on Medicaid, and can vouch that they receive excellent healthcare. They are in excellent health, in part, because much of the healthcare they receive is preventative.

Here is a link to the text of H.R.676, a bill to provide comprehensive health insurance coverage for all US residents, and for other purposes.
http://johnconyers.com/hr676text

President Obama supports a different health care reform bill. Yet, according to David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to President Obama, health reform the White House supports does the following:

"1. Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.
2. Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
4. Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
5. Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.
6. Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
7. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
8. Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick."

"8 common myths about health insurance reform

1. Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.
2. We can’t afford reform: It's the status quo we can't afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.
3. Reform would encourage "euthanasia": It does not. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.
4. Vets' health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans' access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President's budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.
5. Reform will benefit small business - not burden it: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.
6. Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare "doughnut" hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.
7. You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.
8. No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts. Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose. Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make.
1. Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.
2. Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
4. Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
5. Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.
6. Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
7. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
8. Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick."

Learn more and get details:
http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck/faq

http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck/faq

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

President Federal Republic of Iran: Ms Shirin Ebadi

Noble prize winner, Ms. Shirin Ebadi could be a great leader, if the people of Iran choose her.
There is a Facebook group, "President Federal Republic of Iran: Ms Shirin Ebadi," which has an interesting new Constitution proposal.

ه ولایت فقیه_ نه رهبری ایدیولوژیک_نه سلطنت http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirin_Ebadi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBg5hDYneHs

OP ED: Strength through Free Speech, Insight, Re-evaluation, Adaptation

by Julie Jigsawnovich

In the US, not only do we have a relatively free press, and we are usually allowed to criticize our government. Sometimes even parts of our own government criticize what would seem to be their own policies. I see all of this as strength, not weakness. This dynamic gives us a chance to re-evaluate and adapt.

I found the following link in my Facebook newsfeed. It was posted by the Department of State-- Office of Global Women's Issues.

Congo's Rape Epidemic Worsens During U.S.-Backed Military Operation
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/10/AR2009081000492.html?sid=ST2009081001043

Video: First political Persian rapper critiques the regime

by Julie Jigsawnovich

Before rapper Mahour released "Ettaham (Accusation)" and Bahram Divar released "Namei Be Raees Jomhoor (Letter to the President)", Deev released "Dastaa Balaa (Arms Up)." Following is a critique of the current situation by the first political rapper in Persian, Deev.

Disclaimer: I'm under the impression that Russia has more influence in Iran than Britain at this point.

Deev - "Sedaa Nedaa," in Persian, with English and Persian subtitles:


Monday, August 10, 2009

Males and females raped in Iranian jails

"The men and women in jail have been raped so badly that men are suffering from severe emotional break down and women have experienced severe damages to their reproductive systems. "~One of Iran's opposition leaders, Karoubi, in a letter to Hashemi Rafsanjani

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/6004274/Iran-prisoners-were-savagely-raped-after-protests.html

http://www.etemademelli.ir/

: سحام نیوز : مهدي كروبي از هاشميرفسنجاني رئيس مجلس خبرگان خواست با تشكيل يك هيات به برخي شايعات و نحوه برخوردها با بازداشتشدگان رسيدگي شود.

Former spy who infiltrated RG: Don't recognize Ahmadinejad

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0805/p09s01-coop.html

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Poem: پایان وحشت End terror

by Julie Jigsawnovich

من و تحت کنترل نگه داشته بود. I was kept under control.

من از ترس و کامل بود ، و تحت کنترل نگه داشته. I was full of fear, and kept under control.

من دیگر نمی ترسم. I no longer fear.

ما آموخته We learned
به پیروی از قوانین. to follow the rules.

ولی در حال حاضر ما به تحقق بخشیدن به But now we realize
بعضی از قوانین هستند اشتباه است. some laws are wrong.

ما دیگر نمی ترسند. We no longer fear.

هیچ کس حق دارد که از No one has the right to
شما بگویید که چگونه زندگی کنید. tell you how to live.

هیچ کس حق دارد که از No one has the right to
شما بگویید که چگونه می میرند. tell you how to die.

پایان وحشت End terror

Friday, August 7, 2009

Web attack 'aimed at one blogger'

You may have noticed problems with Facebook yesterday.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8189162.stm

Will They Persecute Ethnic Minorities and Disabled People Next?

by Julie Jigsawnovich

On August 1st the regime in Iran put on a show trial with one hundred defendants, featuring "confessions" widely denounced as having been extracted via torture. This trial included highly respected Iranian intellectuals. On August 5th, Twenty-four simultaneous executions of alleged "narcotics dealers" took place west of Tehran. Iranian friends tell me that political dissidents are often falsely prosecuted and executed as "narcotics dealers." In Tehran, artists and musicians are facing years in prison for their creations.

The regime targets intellectuals, artists, gays--will they persecute ethnic minorities and disabled people next? This has the eerie feeling of a bad dej'a vu. Is this regime capable of violating human rights on the scale of the Third Reich? (Having lived in Germany for awhile, that history is very real to me.) Could Iranian citizens' non-cooperation with the regime, and some police or military non-cooperation with the regime, slow down the crackdown and persecution enough to stop the coup--and preclude outside "intervention" or military strikes on Iran? What should the US gov. do or not do regarding Iran? What should private US citizens do or not do?

Juan Cole examines the prospect of sanctions proposed by neocons in his August 6th post on his blog, Informed Comment, at: http://www.juancole.com

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

US does not recognize Ahmadinejad's claims

President Obama has not congratulated Mr. Ahmadinejad, and has not recognized the claims he is making regarding the presidency of Iran.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090805/pl_nm/us_obama_iran

Secretary of State Clinton showed admiration for Iranian resistance to Mr. Ahmadinejad. "We appreciate and we admire the continuing resistance and ongoing efforts by the reformers to make the changes that the Iranian people deserve," Clinton told reporters in Kenya, where she kicked off a seven-nation Africa tour.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gbjzuWoWspzIfvcUXuNH6z8L8ImQ

Iran militia members exposed by blogger

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/08/05/pleitgen.iran.germany.blogger/index.html

Art: Mana Neyestani


The drawing, Red Carpet, by the incomparable editorial artist, Mana Neyestani

Underground Music in Iran

This article is in Persian. But even if you have to run it through Google translate, to get it to (iffy) English, it's still a very compelling article:
http://persianesque.com/2009/07/22/iranian-underground-music/

Monday, August 3, 2009

Israel receives criticism for evicting Palestinians

It's fascinating to compare reports by Arab, Israeli, Iranian, and American press:
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/08/200983205357561590.html
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1104949.html
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=102452&sectionid=351020202#foc
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/08/03/israel.evictions/index.html

Iran: The end of the Republic?

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2009/08/20098171953790365.html

poem: dying is easy, living is hard

dying is easy, living is hard.
by julie jigsawnovich

you told me if you die
you will be a hero.
no, you'll be a number.
dying is easy, living is hard.

respect freedom martyrs.
honor them by living.
carry their demands.
living is easy. struggle is hard.

if you are free/d,
bear witness to struggles.
remember how hard
getting freedom was.

when we become complacent
the subtle crushing starts.
chains that are mental
make freedom hard.

[for b.]

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Israel evicts Palestinian families in E. Jerusalem

The Palestinian families had lived there since the 1950's.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/08/2009825148146153.html

Mir Moussavi's Statement regarding "trial"

Statement #10 from Mir Hossein Mousavi regarding the “trial” of a group of the Green movement + فارسی

Translated by Sara Azad

[Excerpt]
The teeth of torturers and those who forcefully obtain confessions have reached the people’s bone to the point that now they dare to pick their victims from those who have great contributions to the country and the Islamic Republic in their resumes; and are threatening those who were among the founders of this revolution from the very beginning and had the most distinguished roles in its prosperity.

Saturday, August 1, 2009