Friday, April 30, 2010

World Press Distracted by Boobquake while Iran Maneuvers Into Women's Rights Commission

by Julie Jigsawnovich

Blogger Jennifer McCreight, who created Boobquake, must now use her marketing skills, new-found fame, and press contacts to seriously address international women's rights. And organizations seeking to elevate women's rights must acknowledge the power that sexuality has in marketing to the West. The fine lines between freedom of expression, distraction, empowerment, exploitation and oppression may have entered public debate between Islam and the West in new ways thanks (there's some irony here) to McCreight and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Fox New reports:
"NEW YORK — Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged 'immodest.'

"Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women," according to its website.
Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N. press release distributed Wednesday on the filling of 'vacancies in subsidiary bodies,' was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from 10 other nations, was "elected by acclamation," meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states — including the United States."

Meanwhile, the Official facebook page for Boobquake gathered 213,899 confirmed guests (myself among them), and 70,619 guests maybe attending.

In her article for The Daily Beast, Jennifer McCreight, the blogger who initiated Boobquake includes information about the press she received regarding the event. McCreight reports that, "I was interviewed by CNN, BBC, CBC, ABC, FOX, WLFI (our local news affiliate), and that’s just naming a few. Articles about Boobquake appeared on every continent except Antarctica…Boobquake received support and commentary from people like Roger Ebert, Penn Jillette, Phil Plait from the Bad Astronomy blog, “The Bloggess,” Bill Corbett of Mystery Science Theater and Philip DeFranco, the video blogger. But the cherry on top was a skit about Boobquake on the Colbert Report."

With international press frothing over Boobquake, who covered the letter signed by international women's rights, human rights, and anti-violence groups and notable Iranian activists both inside and outside Iran sent to the U.N. ? Well, Radio Zamaneh and En.IranGreenVoice.com reported it. I hope others also reported this letter.

This article posted by S.B. Anderlini, Hadi Ghaemi, and Dokhi Fassihian on ForeignPolicy.com expressed the devastating implications of Iran having a seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, including:

"First, Iran will claim the win as a major diplomatic victory and indication of an international community that supports and respects it. Second, as a member of the CSW Iran will be well placed to shape the agenda for discussion and the recommendations made. It will bring the same regressive attitudes and cynicism towards women that it enacts in Iran to the global community. No doubt it will have cheerleaders among other nations that prefer to see women as second class citizens.

"Finally, as a CSW member, Iran will be well placed to block the participation of independent women's human rights groups from UN forums, while easing the way for its many counterfeit or ‘government-led non-governmental organizations' (GONGOs) to participate at the UN as if they are legitimate independent civil society and human rights defenders."


PROTEST AT THE U.N. AGAINST AHMADINEJAD SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY
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Protest Against Ahmadinejad at the UN
















Iranian friends told me about this protest against Ahmadinejad's upcoming visit to the UN. Everyone of all nationalities, races and political persuasions are invited to attend. Just don't bring divisive signs or flags. Myself, I'm particularly angry that Iran got a seat on the Committee on the Status of Women when Iran has a bad record on women's rights, and other human rights.

EMERGENCY RALLY!

Ahmadinejad at the United Nations

*Monday, May 3rd, 2010* at 10am-12noon*

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (47th St. between 2nd & 1st Ave.s)

Wear green. No flags no Factions.

*The time of his speech may change. We promise to keep you informed
when/if we have new information. Please visit www.whereismyvoteny.org
for more information

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Meeting Jamel Shabazz at his Photo Exhbition

by Julie Jigsawnovich

Tonight I met Jamel Shabazz at the opening of an exhibition including his photos. He looks a lot like, Malcomb X, but does not sound like him when he speaks.

Shabazz is very tall. Tilting my head back to be able see his face I said, "I went to Iran, and know Shia Muslims. I'm curious--are you Muslim?"

Shabazz answered, "No, I'm not a Muslim."
"No?", I said.
"I'm a Hare Krishna," he said.
"Well, you could be. I know Hare Krishnas," I said.
"No, I'm not a Hare Krisna--must be the...talking. I'm a photographer, not religious," he said, and smiled.

He was on the rooftop over the penthouse exhibition space. Gathered was a mix of old school graffiti writers with youngsters sprinkled in, and Shabazz encouraged individuals to step forward and tell their memories of the beginnings of New York subway art. One graff writer discussed the evolution of graffiti style, and its reception by the art world. Another mentioned that graffiti was the means by which he transcended restrictive neighborhood gang turfs in the Bronx. Yet another writer mentioned specific train lines he loved creating art pieces on--and now how proud he is that his daughter went to the Fashion Institute of Technology and is now a designer for Phat Farm.

Shabazz mentioned how important it is to document your history and your peers', whether with photographs, video or by interviews. He said a lot of history is not in museums, and that everyday people are important. And he encouraged us all to talk to people wherever we are, in the train, etc.

His photos, and also photos by Francisco Reyes, are beautiful and inspiring documentation of Hip Hop culture.

M.I.A. Born Free

What starts off smacking of propaganda ends up being a very thoughtful/thought-provoking piece of art. And remember this video is released not so long after the "Collateral Damage" video was leaked to Wikileaks. Viewer advisory: V, S

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

I wonder if this video was inspired by CopperCab.
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Flash: Apple Says No, but Google Says Yes

Google Confirms Android 2.2 Will Support Flash
http://mashable.com/2010/04/27/android-flash/
I enjoyed drawing this. Synchronizing Roman letters with Arabic Persian script was a nice challenge. This phrase is my response to Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi's blaming women for earthquakes. Here are earlier versions.
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Steve Jobs: Flash No Longer Necessary

Read the full article here.

"First, there’s 'Open'.
"…HTML5, the new web standard that has been adopted by Apple, Google and many others, lets web developers create advanced graphics, typography, animations and transitions without relying on third party browser plug-ins (like Flash). HTML5 is completely open and controlled by a standards committee, of which Apple is a member.

"...Apple began with a small open source project and created WebKit, a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine that is the heart of the Safari web browser used in all our products. WebKit has been widely adopted. Google uses it for Android’s browser, Palm uses it, Nokia uses it, and RIM (Blackberry) has announced they will use it too….

"Second, there’s the “full web”.
"...video is also available in a more modern format, H.264, and viewable on iPhones, iPods and iPads. YouTube, with an estimated 40% of the web’s video, shines in an app bundled on all Apple mobile devices, with the iPad offering perhaps the best YouTube discovery and viewing experience ever. Add to this video from Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, NPR, Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, People, National Geographic, and many, many others. iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t missing much video.

"...There are more games and entertainment titles available for iPhone, iPod and iPad than for any other platform in the world."

"Third, there’s reliability, security and performance.
"Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash…

"In addition, Flash has not performed well on mobile devices....

"Fourth, there’s battery life.
"...Many of the chips used in modern mobile devices contain a decoder called H.264 – an industry standard that is used in every Blu-ray DVD player and has been adopted by Apple, Google (YouTube), Vimeo, Netflix and many other companies.

"Although Flash has recently added support for H.264, the video on almost all Flash websites currently requires an older generation decoder that is not implemented in mobile chips and must be run in software. The difference is striking: on an iPhone, for example, H.264 videos play for up to 10 hours, while videos decoded in software play for less than 5 hours before the battery is fully drained.

"When websites re-encode their videos using H.264, they can offer them without using Flash at all. They play perfectly in browsers like Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome without any plugins whatsoever, and look great on iPhones, iPods and iPads.

"Fifth, there’s Touch.
"…Most Flash websites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices. If developers need to rewrite their Flash websites, why not use modern technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript?

"Sixth, the most important reason.
"…We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers...."
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Iran: Government Bans Sunnis from Praying in Universities, Military Camps, Homes

"Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- the Iranian government yesterday issued a decision banning Sunni Muslims from praying at state universities and military camps, Asharq Al-Awsat has learned. This decision comes within the framework of pressurizing the Sunni community in Iran, which has been taking place for decades.

"This ban, which was confirmed by Sunni sources in Tehran, came after Sunni Muslims were banned from holding communal Friday prayers services in their homes in cities like Isfahan, Shiraz, Kerman, and Yazd.


"Sheikh Abdul-Hamid Esmaeel Zahi, the highest authority for Sunni Muslims in Iran and the imam and preacher of the Makki Mosque...criticized this decision, stating that the Iranian constitution does not prevent any religious group from practicing its faith, regardless of its sect. He added, 'There should not be a ban on performing prayers, rather everybody should be invited to perform prayers, and we hope that all Sunnis and Shia take the initiative to perform this obligation that is the most important pillar of Islam after belief in the oneness of God.' "

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Iranian Women's Right Activists Protest Iran Bid for CSW Seat

Radio Zamaneh reported today that: A group of Iranian women’s right activists have written a letter to the United Nations to speak out against Iran’s efforts in joining the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

The letter calls on the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council to deny Iran’s bid for membership in the CSW.
The Commission on the Status of Women is a functional commission of the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council that "is dedicated to gender equality and advancement of women."

The letter calls on the Council to stop Iran’s membership in the CSW or at least accept the bid only on the condition that Iran commits to International agreements on equal rights.

Last week Iran announced that it has withdrawn its bid for membership in the United Nation's Human Rights Council and instead announced its candidacy for the CSW.

The Iranian women’s rights activists write that the membership of the Islamic Republic in this Commission “is a serious threat for the aims and ideals of the Commission and in contradiction to its nature as it is also a threat against peace, equality and global security.”

The letter is signed by over 250 women’s rights activists.

Women’s rights and human rights activists have often accused Iran of violating the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities, as well as ignoring international human rights conventions.

CSW membership elections are set for Wednesday. Roozonline reports that Pakistan and Thailand have retracted their candidacy for the empty seat at this Commission in favour of Iran and made Iran’s membership in the CSW definitive at this point.


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Iran's Bait and Switch



by Julie Jigsawnovich

After visiting Iran, I learned that women there have fewer rights than women in many other predominantly muslim countries including Syria, Egypt and Malaysia. It seemed peculiar that the IRI recently withdrew their audacious attempt at membership in the U.N. Human Rights Council, only to announce their plans to join the U.N. Commission for the Status of Women. This resembled a grasp at straws of ethical respectability, especially after the regime's brutal crackdown. The rape and murder of female and male opposition candidate supporters has been widely reported not only by the international press, but also addressed by elected officials inside Iran including Mehdi Karroubi.* 


Tuesday S.B. Anderlini, Hadi Ghaemi, and Dokhi Fassihian reported  that the UN's Commission for the Status of Women (CSW), comprising 45 countries, is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to the advancement of women. Its mandate is "to evaluate progress, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide."


"Iran does not deserve a spot on the commission; it should earn it by providing Iranian women their basic human rights. Yet on Wednesday, Iran is likely to ascend to the CSW because it agreed to pull out of running for the Human Rights Council in exchange for securing an uncontested seat for the CSW. That it can do so, with such ease, is a denigration of the very principles for which the CSW and UN stand." 

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Israel Nukes? Iran Nukes? U.N. Review of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Opens Next Week

Haaretz reports: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will likely be granted a visa to attend the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference that opens in New York next week, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

The "May 3-28 conference at U.N. headquarters…is intended to assess compliance with the landmark arms control pact."

"Egypt and other Arab states are demanding that any final declaration that might come out of the conference include a renewed call for the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East - meaning that Israel, which is assumed to have nuclear weapons - would have to disarm."

Israel is widely believed to have a sizable nuclear arsenal although it has not acknowledged it.

Egypt is also demanding the convening of an international conference next year with Israel's participation to discuss that issue. Diplomats said the United States and Russia are trying to find a way to satisfy Egypt's demands."
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US Man Pleads Guilty to Helping al-Qaeda

Al Jazeera reports: "A US man faces up to 15 years in prison after admitting to sending waterproof socks, ponchos and sleeping bags to al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan.
On the eve of his trial, Syed Hashmi, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide support to al-Qaeda in a district court in New York on Tuesday." 
Hashmi had faced up to 70 years in prison.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Google acquires Israeli gadget provider LabPixies

"LabPixies is one of the first developers of personalised Web gadgets for Google's iGoogle and Android software applications and for iPhone..." Reuters reports.

Malcolm X Assassin Hagan freed on parole in NYC

NEW YORK — The only man to admit shooting Malcolm X was freed on parole Tuesday, 45 years after he assassinated the civil rights leader--Associated Press . Malcomb X's grandson, Jamel Shabazz, is a photographer.  Shabazz's photos will be shown in Manhattan this Thursday.







Goldman Sachs: Top Priority was to sell a "Shitty Deal"



This reminds me of the movie, Boiler Room!



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Palestinian Rappers DAM Perform in Brooklyn

Palestinian rap group DAM have an insightful and funny song with the refrain, "I Fell in Love with a Jew," about a Palestinian and a Jewess alone together in an elevator during a power outage. One of the lines is, "I said '69' and she thought I said '67." This song is in English. They also rap and sing in Arabic and in Hebrew.
DAM were featured in the motion picture, Slingshot Hip Hop.







MGMT Letterman Live Set Webcast

According to MGMT's website:
MGMT will perform a “Live on Letterman” webcast concert from the Ed Sullivan Theater Tuesday, May 11, following the taping of the band’s performance on the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN. This will be a full set spanning both albums. The concert will be streamed on the LATE SHOW website at CBS.com (www.cbs.com/late_night/late_show) that evening at approximately 8:00 PM, ET/5:00 PM, PT.

Facebook Data Miners Strike Gold

And the internet is forever...
http://developers.facebook.com/docs/api

Senators see privacy problem in Facebook expansion.
Newsvine: "SAN FRANCISCO — Four U.S. senators want Facebook to make it easier for its more than 400 million users to protect their privacy as the website develops new outlets to share personal information. The call for simpler privacy controls came in a letter that the senators planned to send Tuesday to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The Associated Press obtained a draft of the letter signed by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo; Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska; and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn."
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Trial of Syed Fahad Hashmi Begins Tomorrow in NYC

The trial begins 8:45am, April 28th, 2010 in the SDNY Courthouse, at 500 Pearl Street, Manhattan, NY.  His case will be heard by Judge Preska.  


Hashmi's former professor, Jeanne Theoharis reports on Slate that: "On Wednesday, an American citizen goes to trial, without the right to review all the evidence in his case and after three years of isolation. This is happening not in Guantanamo or even a military brig but in the Southern District of New York. Syed Fahad Hashmi, held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan, is charged with two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaida and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida. If convicted, he faces 70 years in prison. His case represents the vast, baffling scope of this sort of criminal charge and the abuses committed in the name of fighting terrorism right here at home..."

END THE EXECUTIONS

Click through for widescreen.

New video from International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Monday, April 26, 2010

CES, COPE2, ERIC ORR, FRANCISCO REYES, JAMEL SHABAZZ exhibition


"FOTOGRAFFER" - A Group Exhibit with DJ's at the opening party

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 6:00pm-Friday, April 30, 2010 at 2:00am

Kwane Sphinx Loft, 34 Cliff Street Penthouse (between Fulton and John), NYC

Public Transportation:
2-3-4-5-J-M-Z Trains to Fulton Street
A-C Trains to Broadway-Nassau Street

Walk Southeast on Fulton Street towards Gold Street (0.1 mi) Turn right at Cliff Street (left side)

Here's the Google Map


For more info goto: http://airfficial.blogspot.com/.


A Time Before Crack

Hero Bleeds to Death as People Walk By

Always call 911 when you see someone collapsed in the middle of the sidewalk.

Chicago Tribune reports: "Homeless man Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, 31, a Guatemalan immigrant, collapsed on a New York street after being stabbed by a knife-wielding attacker. Tale-Yax had reportedly protected a woman from an attack, and was stabbed several time in the chest. Dozens walked by the dying man on the sidewalk."  According to the New York Post this happened on 144th Street in Jamaica, Queens.
http://www.citizenyc.com/news/2010/04/video-dozens-of-nyers-walk-by-as-homeless-man-bleeds-to-death.html

British-Iraqi Rapper Lowkey is in New York

by Julie Jigsawnovich


Tonight British-Iraqi, Palestinian and American rappers will perform and have a panel discussion at 7:30pm in Held Auditorium, Barnard College in Manhattan. They are seeking to promote Hip Hop as a means of addressing social justice problems.

Included will be MC Lowkey, a half-British half-Iraqi rapper, who created a song called, "Long Live Palestine" together with Palestinian, Syrian, Iranian and American rappers. Part 2 of the song specifically addresses the Israeli bombing of Gaza.

I saw Lowkey speak on a panel with Professor Norman Finkelstein, Jody McIntyre, Jajla Said, Hurriyah, Lamis Deek, MC Immortal Technique, MC Hasan Salaam and others a few nights ago at Alwan for the Arts in Manhattan. Key points generally advocated during the discussions were: 1.) Ending ethic cleansing of Palestinians 2.) Equal rights for Palestinians and Jews 3.) A secular, non-racist government which would govern a single state which would include what is currently named Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The majority on the panel didn't seem to believe a two-state solution is feasible any longer.

Although some of their ideas may seem politically radical within the generally pro-Israel context of New York, they reflected a spirit of fairness rather than retribution. And the proposals were based on reason rather than religion. In fact there was a marked absence of religious and/or violent rhetoric. Although the speakers were passionate, their language was not fiery.

During the discussion, MC Lowkey did mention the level of military support the U.S. gives to Israel. And Lowkey recently made a song and video bitterly critical of President Obama, and of specific historical and current U.S. foreign policies and actions. The irony of course, is that his right to make these criticisms here in the U.S. is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, by American cultural norms and even, one could argue, by U.S. foreign policies and military actions which have defended freedom of speech. Yet Lowkey's criticisms have an element of Kant's Categorical Imperative. As part of the process of finding out whether something is morally correct, one asks oneself--how would the world be if everyone did the same thing I want to do?

I talked to Lowkey briefly before the panel discussion, and showed him An Open Letter of Reconciliation and Responsibility written by two former specialists, U.S. Army--one of whom carried the 10 year old Iraqi girl in his arms in the infamous "Collateral Damage" video leaked to Wikileaks--as he sought to bring her to medical treatment. Lowkey responded to my placing this letter in his hands by saying, "I wondered how it was for the people there on the ground." He told me he would read the letter later in private. It will be interesting to find out his response to it, and see him speak again tonight.

I truly cherish the rights to free speech and public debate so associated with America. This country gave birth to Hip Hop. It's hopeful to see people from other countries exploring the constructive potential of this art form, especially when they advocate winning hearts and minds for positive social change rather than advocating violence. And when they have such mad skills and flow on the mike!




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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Drunk Girls PSA

Didn't like this video at first. But after a friend posted on Facebook that he passed out from drinking for the first time...well, I admire LCD Soundsystem for producing this entertaining public service announcement.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Struggle for Justice exhibition


Washington, D.C.--National Portrait Gallery Press Release:
"The Struggle for Justice” showcases major cultural and political figures—from key 19th-century historical figures to contemporary leaders—who struggled to achieve civil rights for disenfranchised or marginalized groups.
The exhibition, featuring more than 40 photographs, paintings, posters, buttons and sculptures, includes portraits of civil rights leaders Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr.; women’s-rights advocates Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Betty Friedan; Native American activist Leonard Crow Dog; cultural icons Jackie Robinson and singer Marian Anderson; United Farm Workers organizer César Chávez; gay and lesbian rights leaders and Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver. .

Friday, April 23, 2010

Support Science, Sexual Freedom & Personal Responsibility

by Julie Jigsawnovich


I drew this freehand with pencil and paper today.  It could make a good stencil. Perhaps people in oppressive places will want to make posters or t-shirts with my design. If you do-- in a country that does not block websites--please include my site address. Kheyli mamnoon.


It says:
man elm , azadie jensi va masooliat e fardi ra hemayat mikonam
I support science, sexual freedom and personal responsibility.

Schwab Loses Class Action Lawsuit


Charles Schwab brokerage firm must pay $200 million after losing a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of investors who were mislead about the risk involved in mortgage investment instruments.

Spectacular Sun: First Images from NASA's SDO




NASA's new Solar Dynamics Observatory was launched on February in a five year mission to study the sun's magnetic field. 


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stop Motion Graffiti Animation w/ The Glitch Mob "Haiku d'Etat"



First animation clip from Tant and Unga of the "broken fingaz crew" from Israel. Music by Boreta and edIT of The Glitch Mob.  The Glitch Mob - "Haiku d'Etat" (remix)

My Sign for Monday

, من  علم 
آزادی  جنسی  و 
 مسولیت  ا  فردی
 را  حمایت  میکنم 

man elm, azadie jensi va masooliat e fardi ra hemayat mikonam
I support science, sexual freedom and personal responsibility.

Thank you for correcting my translation, Adrenaline! \m/

Support Science, not only Sexuality

Regarding the worldwide Boobquake solidarity protest planned for Monday morning:


Women in Iran (and other countries too) are preyed upon by uniformed rapists no matter what they wear or where they are. It would be especially dangerous for a woman in Iran to wear sexy clothes in public (and even more dangerous in Saudi Arabia, I hear) because it is illegal. 


But in countries where women have the right to dress sexy if they want to, I say let's do it as an act of solidarity!  But we also have to take into consideration what is appropriate to our work situations, etc.


And for women who do not want to dress sexy, but who support science (and men who want to show solidarity too) maybe they could make a sticker that says, "Support science!" or "Down with superstition!" or "Support Women's Rights!"   Myself, I want to have my photo taken with a sign that says, "I support science, sexual freedom and personal responsibility."  If anyone can help me  translate that into Persian and into Arabic, that would be great!

Boobquake: American Atheist Responds to Mullah's Assertion

Blogger Jen McCreight is a self-described "liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist trapped in Indiana".  She responded to claims by Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi that women not dressing modestly causes earthquakes--by suggesting an international event.  Women all over the world are to "Help fight supernatural thinking and the oppression of women, just by showing your cleavage!" She posted this idea here on Monday, April 19th. As of 11am today, the Facebook page associated with this event has over 36,706 confirmed guests. The page says, "So, who's with me? I may be a D cup, but that will probably only produce a slight tremor on its own. If you'll be joining me on twitter, use the tag #boobquake!"


I personally sent out invitations to over 100 of my male and female friends, many of whom are are Iranian and/or Muslim. One of my friends who is both responded, " 'Incite extramarital sex in society, which increases earthquakes'--I didn't know that the cause of earthquake is boobs! 
...Oh my god! Dr.Shariati said Islam wanted to save the world, but ...people...start ruining it! So that now we're seeing the fake Islam, which is Mullah Islam! 
Boobs are 'haram', but sighe is 'GREAT'! WHOO-HOO!"  


Russ Meyer's Faster Pussycat Kill!..kill!According to Google Translate, "sighe" means "concubine" in Persian.  My friend could be referring to "temporary marriage"-- the practice of temporarily marrying a woman in order to legally satisfy sensual desires under Shia Islam.  (This practice is also carried out in Iranian prisons in order to legally rape virgin female prisoners who are about to be executed. It is illegal to execute a virgin female in Iran).


I have not read the Koran. But friends who have tell me that there are Sharia laws that are not based on the Koran--even though the promoters of those laws act as though those laws are God-given. Could this contribute to a sense of "fake Islam"?   


Back to the topic of earthquakes, the Boobquake Facebook event page says, "Dressing modestly won't end earthquakes, so help out the victims of inevitable natural disasters at the Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/  and Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation: http://www.theahafoundation.org/

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

AN OPEN LETTER OF RECONCILIATION & RESPONSIBILITY TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE

The letter, by Josh Stieber and Ethan McCord, former specialists, U.S. Army, is here. And you can add your signature. McCord carried 10-year-old Sajad Mutashar in his arms to a military vehicle seeking military care. Sajad had been in a van that was fired upon by U.S. Apache attack helicopters in Iraq, as seen in the infamous footage posted to Wikileaks on April 5, 2010.
For more info, see:
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/04/2007-iraq-apache-attack-as-seen-from-the-ground/

Drugs Under the Regime

Soheil Tavakoli's newest video:

According to IranNegah.com, addicted people freely use various kinds of drugs in Mashhad, Iran--and police don't care. 


Perhaps addicts are easier to control than healthy, free thinking individuals. But if the abilities of enough productive members of society are significantly impaired, this could logically impact the stability of that society.


Although drugs and alcohol have contributed to the artistic output of poets, writers, musicians and artists through the centuries, the potential for a steep downfall is clearly ever present. It is so ironic that something that initially seems freeing can eventually be so enslaving.



CROOKERS (feat. Fabri Fibra & Dargen D'Amico) "Festa Festa" (3D)


Sure it's silly, and they are rapping in Italian. But it's a nice break from serious stuff.



Here is the original without the 3D effect.






Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crowdsource Gaming for Science and Technology

Armchair Revolutionary is a new not-for-profit company that aims to crowdsource large numbers of 99-cent gifts to help support a wide variety of science and technology innovators. (Credit: Paul Sizer for Armchair Revolutionary) http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20001798-52.html?tag=mncol;mlt_related

Monday, April 19, 2010

Israel, Iran, Hizbullah and the NPT

by Julie Jigsawnovich


I think Sepah (Iran's Revolutionary Guards) and Hizbullah probably do want nuclear weapons simply for the prestige and fear they generate--if nothing else. But Israel having nuclear weapons certainly feeds that desire. And Israel's nuclear threat is used by Iran's regime in their effort to rally support. 


Getting Israel to sign the non-proliferation treaty could erode what popular support remains in Iran for the brutality exhibited by Sepah and military Basij under Supreme Leader Khameini on behalf of alleged President Ahmadinejad.  And since support for them also entails financial support for Hizbollah, Israel should recognize that joining the NPT could help erode financial and popular support for Hizbullah. 


If this could also be explained to low income people in Iran who are benefiting from improvements and handouts from the Ahmadinejad administration, despite his mishandling of the economic issues--which has contributed to unemployment and inflation--and if the general public in Iran could see the Israeli bogeyman reduced so that less money seemed to be needed for defense, they might sigh a collective sigh of relief. Iranians have a lot of economic problems at home that need to be dealt with. Friends in Iran (including Muslims) have told me they would prefer that Iran's wealth benefit the citizens of Iran and their quality of life rather than be spent on Islamic hardline militants.


(I wrote this in response to Reza Aslan's "Stop Talking Down to Iran" in the Daily Beast.)