Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

>Western Tribune Column June 17 2009

June 17, 2009

>(The photos were taken from an Iranian friend’s Facebook page)

In Iran last week Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s early claim of victory following the presidential election sparked some degree of protest and unrest. As I write tensions are still high and it is unknown what will happen in that country. Young people who overwhelmingly supported Ahmadinejad’s rival Mir Hussein Moussavi are in disbelief that their candidate lost.

Iranians in this country and in England are just as disappointed and while violence was unlikely, protests still occurred in areas where the Iranian population is significant.

(An elderly Iranian woman defending her vote)

I wonder what the reaction of young Americans would have been if Barack Obama had lost the election in this country. Many of his supporters, young and old, would have been shocked and some degree of protest would have occurred, no doubt, but it’s unpredictable whether it would have been to the degree that was seen in Iran.

Oddly enough, in spite of having a president who wants to unite people and bring the country together, it seems that in the United States that those who harbor hatred have also been inspired. Recently, a women’s health care provider who performed abortions for women with health problems was murdered in his own church. And just last week an African American security guard was killed at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.

People who track hate groups say that more incidents are likely.

The hatred that certain right wing fanatics have for certain minorities is only strengthened when they see the results of other lunatics. And they are further inspired by right wing talk show hosts like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh who demean our leader and others with what could be classified as hate speech. They need to realize that their hateful words have consequences.

Here and in Iran it seems that the majority of people, led by the young, want a peaceful world where everyone is accepted and respected. The United States and Iran are in different stages of this progression, yet in spite of the problems in both countries, it seems inevitable that progress will be made.

(A protester in Iran killed trying to defend his vote)

Let’s just hope that in both cases, cooler heads (and enhanced security measures) prevail and the radical elements on both sides are subdued. Of course, that might require doing something about those radio talk shows, too.

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>Iran, Pride and Sisters

June 16, 2009

>Many Facebook profile photos have changed over the last few days to this, in support of the protests occurring in Iran.

A friend from Iran is reporting that the hard line government is planning to kill more protesters, like 400 or so, today, to put a stop to the unrest. People are being urged not to attend the rally. Intimidation is what the government is trying, and it might be working, if it keeps people from gathering.

Right now, militia members are beating protesters with sticks and foreign reporters have been ordered to quit reporting (that will never happen).

What I am wondering is why didn’t we react this way in 2000 when the hard line government gave the election to George W. Bush. I mean, protesting in the streets. I don’t think the government here would have attacked us. Wait, Dick Cheney was coming into power. Maybe they would have.

We had to wait 8 more years for change. Let’s hope Iran doesn’t have to wait that long for the change they desire.

But regardless of the outcome, Iran, and other suppressed countries, will not be the same.

More Pride

As promised, here are some more pictures from Birmingham’s Pride Celebration.

Here’s a crowd shot, though not the best. But even cowboy’s enjoy drag.


This is Dominique Divine, Miss Rising Star.


These are members of Magic City Sisters, a group that raises money for various charities, and 100% of the money raised is donated. (Can you recognize the two who are former residents of Bessemer? Yes, we have Sisters here in The Marvel City.)

From their web site:

More simply put: we make people happy, stamp out guilt brought on by a judgmental society and help various organizations and charities, etc …. Our goal is to embrace our gay and diverse selves and each other as we are today, as we were born and as we are meant to be. Our goal is to share kindness, love and laughter with those we have met, those we meet today and those we will meet tomorrow as a source of personal empowerment and pride. If we can do this while raising money for charity and being our natural fabulous selves, then there is room for YOU to be as fabulous as you are and as you were meant to be.

>Who Would Have Thought That?

January 17, 2008

>The Pope has been rejected from speaking at the inauguration of the new academic year at a prestigious university (La Sapienza) in Rome, of all places. Professors and students alike protested the planned event, because of the Pope’s previous statements in support of the 17th century inquistion trial against Galileo.

Galileo, as you know, was tried for heresy after his publication of “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” in which he reported his discovery that the earth revolves around the sun. In the book he ridiculed Pope Urban VIII, and as a result stood trial in 1633. The judgement said his views were “absurd, philosophically false, and formally heretical, because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scriptures”. Galileo later recanted to spare his life, but we can imagine how he felt deep in his heart.

This is the precise reason that I find no problem with examining and sometimes being critical of church teaching and current translations of “scripture”, especially as it relates to science. I use quotation marks because those writings were pretty much hand picked by old white guys with an agenda (did they have republicans back then?)

So the Pope is unwelcome in Rome.

Now, who would have thought that?

And in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death, and where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said there are no homosexuals (ok to laugh here), transgenderism is OK. A documentary will be shown st Sundance titled Be Like Others, written and directed by Tanaz Eshaghian. In the movie she follows the experiences of four transgendered inidviduals, one who has completed her surgery, and three others considering or undergoing procedures.

According to Eshaghian, in an interview with Larry Flick on Sirius OutQ this morning, the Ayatollah Khomeini gave the OK to gender reassignment surgery because transgenderism was (and in that country still is) considered an illness. It was decided that persons could not be judged because of an illness, so the procedures are allowed.

According to the film info on Sundance, the doctor whose practice is examined in the movie performs more sex change operations in one year than are done in the entire country of France in 10 years.

Now, who would have thought that?

Hillary Clinton can be funny and entertaining, in addition to being right for America.

Now, who would have thought that?

Well, now you know!

Who Would Have Thought That?

January 17, 2008

The Pope has been rejected from speaking at the inauguration of the new academic year at a prestigious university (La Sapienza) in Rome, of all places. Professors and students alike protested the planned event, because of the Pope’s previous statements in support of the 17th century inquistion trial against Galileo.

Galileo, as you know, was tried for heresy after his publication of “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” in which he reported his discovery that the earth revolves around the sun. In the book he ridiculed Pope Urban VIII, and as a result stood trial in 1633. The judgement said his views were “absurd, philosophically false, and formally heretical, because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scriptures”. Galileo later recanted to spare his life, but we can imagine how he felt deep in his heart.

This is the precise reason that I find no problem with examining and sometimes being critical of church teaching and current translations of “scripture”, especially as it relates to science. I use quotation marks because those writings were pretty much hand picked by old white guys with an agenda (did they have republicans back then?)

So the Pope is unwelcome in Rome.

Now, who would have thought that?

And in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death, and where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said there are no homosexuals (ok to laugh here), transgenderism is OK. A documentary will be shown st Sundance titled Be Like Others, written and directed by Tanaz Eshaghian. In the movie she follows the experiences of four transgendered inidviduals, one who has completed her surgery, and three others considering or undergoing procedures.

According to Eshaghian, in an interview with Larry Flick on Sirius OutQ this morning, the Ayatollah Khomeini gave the OK to gender reassignment surgery because transgenderism was (and in that country still is) considered an illness. It was decided that persons could not be judged because of an illness, so the procedures are allowed.

According to the film info on Sundance, the doctor whose practice is examined in the movie performs more sex change operations in one year than are done in the entire country of France in 10 years.

Now, who would have thought that?

Hillary Clinton can be funny and entertaining, in addition to being right for America.

Now, who would have thought that?

Well, now you know!

>Ron Paul and Iran, and Time to Rise Up against Eagle Forum

January 11, 2008

>Now we learn that the “voice” stating “I am coming to you. You will explode after a few minutes.” may not have come from the Iranian speedboats that approached U. S. Navy vessels at all. This is according to a spokesperson for the Navy. Was the whole incident fabricated or was it just poorly put together by our leaders in the pentagon? We will probably never know.

This we do know, however. Ron Paul is right. The current administration and all the other Republican candidates are itching to start a war with Iran. Last night Ron Paul won the text voting after the debate…again, or at least he was winning with 32% when I turned the TV off. “Make fun, buddy”, is what Paul says after Smitten Romney pokes a jab at him after his answer on Iran last night.

Too bad the media refuses to treat Paul with respect, since the media controls who the serious candidates are rather than the people (this is true with both parties…just ask John Edwards and Bill Richardson).

Locally, another Republican has been found guilty, as former Jefferson County Commisssioner Gary White learns it’s not a wise thing to take envelopes stuffed with cash from persons seeking sewer contracts. Of course White is not the first to fall, and corruption in Jefferson County knows no party lines, but it goes to show that the County Commission was (and still is) a corrupt joke.

And their latest antic of providing $15,000 to Eagle Forum to help their “Education Foundation” takes the cake. According Eunie Smith, their Vice President, Eagle Forum will delve into issues like “Pre-K: Does it Live Up to Its Promises” (meaning they are against it), and my favorite, “Consequences of Accepting the Myth of Global Warming.” The letter in the Birmingham News from Smith today recommends registering early, as space is limited. The Forum is February 22 and 23 at the Birmingham Marriott, and is FREE. I hope progressives and liberals scoop up tickets and flood the place. Visit their web site (google it, I refuse to put a link) for information.

Remember, Eagle Forum is headed by a far right wingnut that declared the responsibility for the Virginia Tech shootings lies with the English Department rather than with Seung-Hui Cho, who actually pulled the trigger while pointing his gun at 32 different people. Here she shows her ignorance about evolution and would be wise to read my post on the subject and follow the links there to Nova’s show. Need I point out more of the kind of trash Eagle Forum puts out?

Of course I realize that Bessemer Opinions is just a “pathetic blog” (quote from Dale) and Eagle Forum is a big neo-con (wouldn’t it be nice if they would actually) think tank, and their right wing voice is much bigger than my progressive voice, but you gotta start somewhere.

Ron Paul and Iran, and Time to Rise Up against Eagle Forum

January 11, 2008

Now we learn that the “voice” stating “I am coming to you. You will explode after a few minutes.” may not have come from the Iranian speedboats that approached U. S. Navy vessels at all. This is according to a spokesperson for the Navy. Was the whole incident fabricated or was it just poorly put together by our leaders in the pentagon? We will probably never know.

This we do know, however. Ron Paul is right. The current administration and all the other Republican candidates are itching to start a war with Iran. Last night Ron Paul won the text voting after the debate…again, or at least he was winning with 32% when I turned the TV off. “Make fun, buddy”, is what Paul says after Smitten Romney pokes a jab at him after his answer on Iran last night.

Too bad the media refuses to treat Paul with respect, since the media controls who the serious candidates are rather than the people (this is true with both parties…just ask John Edwards and Bill Richardson).

Locally, another Republican has been found guilty, as former Jefferson County Commisssioner Gary White learns it’s not a wise thing to take envelopes stuffed with cash from persons seeking sewer contracts. Of course White is not the first to fall, and corruption in Jefferson County knows no party lines, but it goes to show that the County Commission was (and still is) a corrupt joke.

And their latest antic of providing $15,000 to Eagle Forum to help their “Education Foundation” takes the cake. According Eunie Smith, their Vice President, Eagle Forum will delve into issues like “Pre-K: Does it Live Up to Its Promises” (meaning they are against it), and my favorite, “Consequences of Accepting the Myth of Global Warming.” The letter in the Birmingham News from Smith today recommends registering early, as space is limited. The Forum is February 22 and 23 at the Birmingham Marriott, and is FREE. I hope progressives and liberals scoop up tickets and flood the place. Visit their web site (google it, I refuse to put a link) for information.

Remember, Eagle Forum is headed by a far right wingnut that declared the responsibility for the Virginia Tech shootings lies with the English Department rather than with Seung-Hui Cho, who actually pulled the trigger while pointing his gun at 32 different people. Here she shows her ignorance about evolution and would be wise to read my post on the subject and follow the links there to Nova’s show. Need I point out more of the kind of trash Eagle Forum puts out?

Of course I realize that Bessemer Opinions is just a “pathetic blog” (quote from Dale) and Eagle Forum is a big neo-con (wouldn’t it be nice if they would actually) think tank, and their right wing voice is much bigger than my progressive voice, but you gotta start somewhere.

>Three Things

September 27, 2007

>Three things that don’t surprise me.

1. That Iran’s unpopular (here and there) president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would deny that there are homosexuals in his country. First, as has been pointed out, he hangs them when they are identified. So, maybe he should say there are not “out” homosexuals in his country.
Secondly, why should we be surprised at anything the dictator says. After denying the holocaust, I would think he would have no cred left. He doesn’t need to be listened to he just needs to be monitored.

There are gay Iranians. Here are some news reports and stories of how they are treated.
Gay news from Iran Scary. Scroll down to read reports

Besides, his views are not that different from some American politicians. Remember Roy Moore. This is from a opinion he wrote ending a lesbian custody case here in Alabama in 2002:

The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle…

Wikipedia is not my favorite source, but it’s easy. You can read more about Roy and this case at Roy Moore in Wiki. Scroll down to DH v. HH

2. Bill O’Reilly has old timey views on race. Don’t most conservatives/republicans? Trent Lott comes to mind.

Zennie Abraham has a message for O’Reilly. Bill, you aren’t the first white person to ever visit Sylvia’s. Message from a Black American, Bill I love how O’Reilly says when Al Sharpton and he walked in there was a big commotion. It wasn’t about you Bill, I am quite sure.

3. The leading democratic presidential candidates hold back on pulling troops outof Iraq. While some think appeasing the so-called base is what Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards should be doing, the realities are we don’t even know what will be going on in some 400 or so days when one of them takes office, so I think not committing to troop withdrawal is smart. We know how they stand on the war, and on ending it. They are not going to get trapped into being called to task if advisors or special forces or even air strikes are needed in the future. And contrary to what most pundits are saying this morning, I think Hillary did just fine last night in the debate, and I think polls during the next week or so will reflect that.

Three Things

September 27, 2007

Three things that don’t surprise me.

1. That Iran’s unpopular (here and there) president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would deny that there are homosexuals in his country. First, as has been pointed out, he hangs them when they are identified. So, maybe he should say there are not “out” homosexuals in his country.
Secondly, why should we be surprised at anything the dictator says. After denying the holocaust, I would think he would have no cred left. He doesn’t need to be listened to he just needs to be monitored.

There are gay Iranians. Here are some news reports and stories of how they are treated.
Gay news from Iran Scary. Scroll down to read reports

Besides, his views are not that different from some American politicians. Remember Roy Moore. This is from a opinion he wrote ending a lesbian custody case here in Alabama in 2002:

The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle…

Wikipedia is not my favorite source, but it’s easy. You can read more about Roy and this case at Roy Moore in Wiki. Scroll down to DH v. HH

2. Bill O’Reilly has old timey views on race. Don’t most conservatives/republicans? Trent Lott comes to mind.

Zennie Abraham has a message for O’Reilly. Bill, you aren’t the first white person to ever visit Sylvia’s. Message from a Black American, Bill I love how O’Reilly says when Al Sharpton and he walked in there was a big commotion. It wasn’t about you Bill, I am quite sure.

3. The leading democratic presidential candidates hold back on pulling troops outof Iraq. While some think appeasing the so-called base is what Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards should be doing, the realities are we don’t even know what will be going on in some 400 or so days when one of them takes office, so I think not committing to troop withdrawal is smart. We know how they stand on the war, and on ending it. They are not going to get trapped into being called to task if advisors or special forces or even air strikes are needed in the future. And contrary to what most pundits are saying this morning, I think Hillary did just fine last night in the debate, and I think polls during the next week or so will reflect that.