Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Leveraging - The Politics of Persuasion

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The ongoing international discussions on how best to deal with North Korea have landed on the old strategy of strangulation. While this method is effective it also affords opportunities for world powers to illustrate their commitment of preventing military dictatorships from threatening global communities with nuclear fallout.

President Obama has directed Treasury to begin actions against Hong Kong Electronics, an Iranian-based company (imagine that) believed to be involved in North Korea's missile proliferation networks. This action will effectively seize any company assets discovered in the US. Also key elements of North Korea’s financial sector is being targeted as well. These banks are largely used by Kim Jong Il and his family.

UN sanctions are also targeting the ruling inner circle by prohibiting shipment of all luxury items to NK. US Diplomats are pushing for additional sanctions on private individuals and companies that are suspected of involvement in NK weapons sales.

Certainly the effectiveness of these sanctions will be determined by China’s cooperation. Beijing must certainly be concerned with being tarnished by relations with Pyongyang. "China looks out for itself and is worried about reputational risk," said Michael Green an adviser to President Bush on North Korea.

The revived economic sanctions aimed at strangulating the NK regime will no doubt stimulate the smuggling trade as reported in The Daily NK. Effects are already being felt with prices of goods and services heading higher which “chokes” everyday economic activity on multiple levels. I pity the people...

While this strangulation may not be effective in convincing Pyongyang to rethink nuclear aspirations, it is cheaper than war.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Iran Shouts - Stand by Me

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Despite threats of execution by radical mullahs an estimated 5000 Iranians joined in orderly peaceful protest through Teheran to an area near Qoba Mosque in a show of solidarity and to honor Mohammed Behesthi, a cleric killed in a bombing 28 years ago today.

Mousavi had called on his supporters to participate and he made a "drive-by" appearance to the crowd but did not address them. This demonstration was the first in a number of days and reports filtering out have been scarce due to heavy electronic jamming.

CNN reports former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, arrived at the mosque Sunday evening. Although Ayatollah Khamenei allowed this march "for the pious", to presume a change of heart or tactics by the regime is unsubstantiated.

The Iranian government has been arresting wounded protesters in hospitals and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband protested the arrest of embassy staff as "harassment and intimidation of a kind which is quite unacceptable." "About nine" staffers have been affected, he said, although some have already been released. "We have protested in strong terms directly to the Iranian authorities about the arrests that took place yesterday," while there has been no official response these actions are seen as further attempts to blame the social upheaval on foreign sources.  

Two British Diplomats were expelled from Iran last week which prompted reciprocal action  from London. Casting blame seems disingenuous when beatings and perhaps even torture are being perpetrated by the regime in desperate attempts to secure "evidence" of outside orchestration.

Meanwhile hackers are coming to the aid of the Iranian protesters by attacking websites of the regime and setting up secure networks by hosting proxies outside the nation. While western governments are mostly supporting with words, musician and bandleader Jon Bon Jovi along with Iranian Superstar Andy Madadian went into an LA recording with Richie Sambora to record "Stand By Me" as a musical message of global solidarity in both English and Farsi. This will likely become a theme song of the besieged Iranian people.

-- Pray for Peace --
Vigil for Martyrs:

Dick Morris has a plausible strategy for squeezing Iran.
Does BO have the guts?

"One specific step that could send just the right message to Iran is to cut back its gasoline supplies. Despite having the world’s second largest reserves of oil, Iran must import 40% of its gasoline because of a lack of refining capacity. Most of its refined gasoline comes from the Jamnagar Refinery, operated and owned by Reliance Industries, an Indian company. And guess who has guaranteed a $500 million loan to expand this refinery? You did. The American taxpayer, through the Export-Import Bank provided the loan guarantees as part of a $900 million package to Reliance."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Face Off on the South China Sea

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North Korea's cargo ship will need fuel soon. The 2,080-ton Kangnam left Nampo Port 10 days ago on June 17. It likely will refuel in Singapore or a Vietnamese port. USS John McCain, an Aegis class Destroyer, has been tracking the NK ship under suspicion of transporting WMD related equipment since June 21 and will likely follow it to the fuel port. US and Asian analysts believe NK is supplying Burma with missile parts and has used Burmese ports in the past to transfer arms to various countries including Iran.

The WSJ said in Tuesday's edition several Burmese citizens have direct knowledge of nuclear weapons programs and a reactor being built near Maymyo. Previous reports of Russian scientists hired to assist have added to the growing security concerns. Yale University’s Center for the Study of Globalization, said relations between NK and Burma are now so close that North Korean technicians are working on construction of underground tunnels connecting basement floors of buildings near the remote new Burmese capital of Naypyitaw. Slides HERE:

UN Security Council resolutions do not permit forcible searches of North Korean vessels on the open sea and the US needs authorization to board during refueling. While there is no "smoking gun" (yet) clearly this portends danger.

Whether authorization is given and what any search reveals could begin a series of actions and reactions amounting to lighting a fuse on the resumption of war in Korea.

-- Pray for Peace --
''I do not reject peace, but I am afraid of war disguised as peace.''
{- Cicero 43 B.C. -}

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Federal Reserve-Origins and Aims

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Reuters Columnist Agnes T. Crane posted an op-ed piece on next weeks 2 day meeting of Fed governors. Many if not most in America are under false impressions of what the Federal Reserve is. Major market newspapers such as NYT skillfully portray impressions of the private bank as a government agency controlling the nations economy via our currency. Those impressions are FALSE!

Ms Crane writes in today's 'Great Debate' section:
"Call it a battle for beginnings and endings, and the Federal Reserve is smack in the middle.

As Fed policymakers convene for a two-day meeting starting on Tuesday, the lines are growing more defined between those who want the Fed to do more to stimulate a still fragile economy, and those who are calling for a defined exit strategy to prevent the global economy from going into an inflation-inducing overdrive.

The rise in Treasury yields earlier this month and the quashing effect they had on mortgage lending activity also should be a reminder that the Fed needs to stay flexible when it comes to its unorthodox policies. But it’s time to show the world that it’s also ready to put aside some weapons in its arsenal when the time is right".

The literary use of imagery in describing the nations current fiscal problems and policies is intriguing. The use of war metaphors stimulates thoughts of the nature and scope of said “battles” and often inevitable collateral damage.

In the example of the CPFF the question arises: What in the, near or long term, economic picture would encourage business to reduce their need (or desire) for CPFF ‘assitance’? Fear, that continued economic stagnation will not abate unless and until this consumption driven economy has regained it’s old school ability to produce goods not simply consumers, could likely be an impetus for corporate strategy in this scenario.

With the previously unthinkable nationalization of corporate American icons now a reality, the role and relationship of our government and the Fed must be examined and redefined if this Republic we have taken for granted is to persevere.

To Quote Burke:

“It is to the property of the citizen, not to the demand of the creditor of the State, that the original faith of society is pledged. The claim of the citizen is prior in time, paramount in title, and superior in equality”

That is the real “Battle of Endings” and the Fed is in the middle.
Greenspan on Fed's Independence:

The Coming Battle 1899:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

PETA - The Business of Hypocrisy

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Most Americans recognize the acronym PETA and know something of the politically active group of vegans that proudly carry banners espousing the superiority of their lifestyle and dietary choice. What is less understood is their outright hypocrisy.

On July 9th in Columbus, Ohio PETA will co-opt the west plaza of the Statehouse to stage another “drive-by’ media event under pretense of promoting a healthy diet. Armed with a permit and press releases the international group will exhibit and expose the ‘evils’ of pig farming by bringing 3 hogs in metal crates to display. A sound system will amplify recorded ‘screams’ of piglets while a video booth runs ‘undercover footage’to, no doubt, reveal the “inhumane” treatment of these animals in attempt to score political capital (and press coverage). The sanctimonious propaganda PETA dishes up will barely be discernable, given the setting for this hog-wash, neither will the hypocrisy.

PETA has a long and sordid history of killing animals because it costs more to care for them until adopted than it does to euthanize. Their tax exempt status assists them in collecting millions in donations. However they choose to spend more on fundraising than adoption efforts. Many pet lovers are unaware of these heartless and selfish actions. The time has come to defund PETA. Animal lovers worldwide now have access to more than a decade’s worth of proof that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) kills thousands of defenseless pets at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. Since 1998, PETA has opted to “put down” 21,339 adoptable dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens instead of finding homes for them.
Values on display wouldn't you say?

PETA’s “Animal Record” report for 2008, filed with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, shows that the animal rights group killed 95 percent of the dogs and cats in its care last year. During all of 2008, PETA found adoptive homes for just seven pets. Meanwhile they lecture and continue fundraising.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Hidden Revolution in Iran

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As the partisan finger pointing continues the "rest of the story" goes barely noticed amid attempts to score political (and personal) points. Iran is bleeding and sophisticated attempts to obfuscate are ongoing nationally and internationally. This op-ed presents a likely scenario wherein power and greed co-opt a movement. I am certain some in Iran's clergy are aware of this and what is decided in Qum will signal to the power players in this corruption born scandal their time is over.

I pray those holding weapons will learn the extent of their manipulation.

Iran’s Hidden Revolution

Published: June 16, 2009

"JUST after Iran’s rigged elections last week, with hundreds of thousands of protesters taking to the streets, it looked as if a new revolution was in the offing. Five days later, the uprising is little more than a symbolic protest, crushed by the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Meanwhile, the real revolution has gone unnoticed: the guard has effected a silent coup d’état".
"In Mr. Ahmadinejad, the public saw a man who repudiated the profligacy of the clerical class, a man who was ascetic, humble and devout. And he capitalized on that image to consolidate power and to promote his brothers in arms. Fourteen of the 21 cabinet ministers he has appointed are former members of the guards or its associated paramilitary, the Basij. Several, including Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, are veterans of notorious units thought to have supported terrorist operations in the 1980s.
This creeping militarization has not been restricted to the central government: provincial governors, press commissars, film directors, intelligence officers and business leaders are increasingly former members of the guard. The elite force controls much of the economy either directly — the Basij has rights to oil extraction — or through proxy companies like Khatam al Anbiya, which dominates construction throughout Iran".

Dark Clouds swirl as a heavy hateful hand reaches to snuff dissent.

Fearful rulers attempt to control with Fear
Faith is the antithesis to Fear
Faith is only as strong as the object of the faith

Truth is powerful-lies are as quicksand

The degree of deceit illustrates depth of depravity

Is Iran being Crucified?


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Silence Dissent:Desperation Abounds

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NEWSWEEK REPORTER ARRESTED:Journalist and filmmaker
Maziar Bahari was taken into custody without charge on Sunday morning in Tehran. The following is a list of others whose arrest and imprisonment have been confirmed, together with brief background for each.

Dr. Mohsen Aminzadeh: Member of the Student Followers of Imam’s Line (SFIL), the leftist group of the students who took over the United State Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979; Deputy Foreign Minister in the Khatami administration; member of the Central Committee of the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization (IRMO), one of the two leading reformist parties; founding member of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), Iran’s largest political party; director of the Mousavi campaign.

Dr. Saeed Hajjarian: Member of SFIL; leading reformist strategist; advisor to Mohammad Khatami during his presidency; editor-in-chief of Sobh-e Emrooz (This Morning), a leading reformist newspaper shut down by the hard-liners; member of the Central Committee of the IIPF; deputy Minister of Intelligence in the 1980s; member of the SFILM; handicapped by an assassination attempt on his life in March 2000.

Behzad Nabavi: Leading reformist strategist, a founder, and member of the Central Committee of IRMO; Deputy Speaker of the 6th Majles (parliament); chief negotiator with the United States that led to the release of the American hostages in 1981; Minister in the first Mousavi Cabinet in the 1980s; jailed for years by the Shah.

Mohammad Tavassoli: Tehran’s first mayor after the 1979 Revolution; member of the Central Committee and political director of the Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI), a reformist/centrist political party founded in 1961 by Mahdi Bazargan, the first prime minister after the 1979 Revolution; jailed for years by the Shah.

Mostafa Tajzadeh: Deupty Interior Minister in the first Khatami administration who supervised the elections for the first city councils and the 6th Majles, a process praised for its even-handedness and transparency; member of the Central Committees of both IIPF and IRMO; outspoken critic of the hard-liners.

Dr. Abdollah Ramazanzadeh: Deputy Secretary-General of the IIPF; Government spokesman during the second Khatami administration; Governor-General of the Kurdistan province; deputy Interior Minister for planning, and for political affairs.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi: Chief of Staff, and then Vice President to Mr. Khatami for parliamentary affairs; a principal advisor to Mahdi Karroubi (the second reformist candidate) in the 2009 presidential election; popular reformist cleric who writes for his own website/blog, www.webnevesht.com ; a leading member of the Association of the Combatant Clerics, the reformist leftist clerical organization that supports Mr. Mousavi.

Dr. Ebrahimi Yazdi: Secretary-General of the FMI; Foreign Minister in the Bazargan government after the 1979 Revolution; leading aid to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the Revolution (he was arrested while hospitalized for a medical condition; it is said that he may have been released).

Dr. Mohsen Mirdamadi: Secretary-General of the IIPF; chairman of the 6th Majles’ Committee on National Security; one of the three principal leaders of SFIL who took over the US Embassy in 1979.

Mohammad Atrianfar: Deputy Interior Minister in the first Khatami administration; member of the Central Committee of the Executives of Reconstruction Party (ERP), a reformist party; editor-in-chief of the popular daily Hamshahri (owned by Tehran’s city council) during the second Khatami administration; manager of Shargh, a popular daily reformist newspaper shut down by the hardliners.

Mohsen Safaei Farahani: Member of the Central Committee of the IIPF; former head of Iran’s Soccer Federation, deputy Minister of Economy in the Khatami administration.

Hedayatollah Aghaaei: Member of the Central Committee of the ERP.

Davood Soleimani: Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance for Domestic Press in the first Khatami administration; Tehran deputy in the 6th Majles; member of the Central Committee of the IIPF.

Dr. Ali Tajer Niya: Mashhad’s [a large city in northeastern Iran] deputy to the 6th Majles; member of the campaign team of Mr. Mousavi; member of the IIPF.

Jahanbakhsh Khanjani: Spokesman for the Interior Ministry during the Khatami administrations; member of the ERP.

Saeed Leylaaz: Economic advisor to the Khatami administration; journalist; strong critic of President Ahmadinejad’s economic policies.

Abdolfattah Soltani: Prominent attorney and member of the Center for the Defense of Human Rights (founded by Shirin Ebadi, Iran’s Nobel Laureate for Peace); attorney for several jailed human rights advocates; attorney for the mother of Dr. Zahra Kazemi, the photojournalist that was murdered in an Iranian jail; imprisoned for his human rights activities.

Shahab Tabatabaei: Director of the youth committee of the Mousavi campaign.

Mohammad Reza Jalaei Pour: Director and spokesman of the nation-wide movement, Pouyesh, that supports Mr. Mousavi; son of the well-known university professor and reformist journalist Dr. Hamid Reza Jalaei Pour.

Abdollah Momeni: former Secretary-General of the Office for Consolidation of Unity (known in Iran as Tahkim Vahdat, the largest nation-wide university student organization), and the Organization of University Graduates of Islamic Iran (known in Iran as Advaar-e Tahkim); a prominent political activist.

Rajabali Mazrouei: Member of the Central Committee of the IIPF; Isfahan’s deputy to the 6th Majles; journalist, and director of the Association of Iranian Journalists

Journalists and Bloggers

Mahsa Amrabadi: reporter for the E’temaad-e Melli (National Trust) daily, the mouthpiece of the National Trust Party of Mr. Mahdi Karroubi, the reformist candidate.

Karim Arghandehpour: journalist writing for reformist newspapers Salaam and Vaghaa-ye Ettefaaghiyeh, both of which were shut down by the hard-liners. He also has a blog, www.futurama.ir

Khalil Mir Ashrafi: A television producer and journalist

Behzad Basho: Cartoonist

Kayvan Samimi Behbahani: Managing editor of Naameh (Letter), a monthly publication, close ties to the Nationalist-Religious Coalition (NRC)

Somayyeh Tohidloo: a blogger at http://smto.ir ; political activist; sociologist; supporter of Mr. Mousavi

Abdolreza Tajik: political activist, economist, and close to the FMI and the NRC

Dr. Ahmad Zeydabadi: distinguished journalist writing for www.roozonline.com and print media in Iran; Secretary-General of the Organization of University Graduates of Islamic Iran (Advaar-e Tahkim); a supporter of Mr. Karroubi; close to the RNC.

Mojtaba Pourmohsen: editor of Gilaan-e Emrooz (Today’s Gilaan; Gilaan is a province in northern Iran, bu the Caspian Sea); contributor to Radio Zamaneh (a Persian radio in Holland).

Hamideh Mahhozi: a journalist active in southern Iran

Amanollah Shojaei: a blogger living in Bushehr, in southern Iran

Hossein Shokouhi: reporter and journalist writing for Payaam-e Jonoob (the Message of the South), in southern Iran.

Mashallah Haydarzadeh: Another journalist active in southern Iran

Ruhollah Shahsavar: A journalist working in Mashhad (in northeaster Iran)

Mohammad Ghoochani: prominent reformist journalist, editor of many reformist newspapers shut down by the hardliners (e.g., Shargh [East]; Hammihan [Compatriot], and the weekly, Shahrvand Emrooz [Today’s Citizen]); editor of E’temaad Melli; son-in-law of Mr. Emad Baghi, the prominent journalist and human rights advocate.

Jila Baniyaghoob: prominent female journalist, working previously for many reformist newspapers; editor of the website Kannon-e Zanaan-e Irani (Center for Iranian Women); writing at http://irwomen.net

Bahman Ahmadi Amooee: journalist and husband of Jila Baniyaghoob

Eisa Sahar Khiz: an outspoken journalist who has been a critic of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; contributor to www.roozonline.com director in charge of the domestic press during the first two years of Mr. Khatami’s presidency, during which the Iranian press flourished.
Dark Clouds swirl as a heavy hateful hand reaches to snuff dissent.

Fearful rulers attempt to control with Fear
Faith is the antithesis to Fear
Faith is only as strong as the object of the faith

Truth is powerful-lies are as quicksand

The degree of deceit illustrates depth of depravity

Is Iran being Crucified?

The dream of a caliphate is not a national dream, rather it’s a fading dream of ideologues. You can not force anyone to believe something, humans must choose to believe. That is God given volition. The Wise choose to use it in pursuit of truth.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Revolution comes Full Circle

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An Ayatollah becomes the Shah?

Quoting then (not-yet-Ayatollah) Hojatol-Islam Seyed Ali Khamanei, the current Supreme Leader at a speech in Qom: “The Shah was guilty of this: He said it’s my word, not the nation’s. Today anyone who repeats this behavior, it not acceptable; he is condemnable.”

“Once illiteracy, poverty, hunger, oppression and inequality are
wiped away from society, the revolution will have been successful.”

As the world views this hypocrisy there is dissension in the mullocracy. Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has been in Qom meeting with Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri who has stated this election is fraudelent.

Ayatollah Khamanei Condemns Himself in word and deed!
Will 'The Assembly of Experts' dispose of Khamanei?
The existence of Iran's Reformist Movement depends on it.

Fearful rulers attempt to control with Fear…
Faith is the antithesis to Fear
Faith is only as strong as the object of the faith

Truth is powerful-lies are as quicksand…

The degree of deceit illustrates depth of depravity…

The Purge Begins:Islam on Display

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The Green Revolution turns RED?

As promised in yesterday's (Friday) prayers the mullocracy delivers heavy handed repression unseen in Iran since the fall of the Shah. Ironic to see the revolution come full circle and return to this bloody state in an attempt to maintain power.
The quote by Lord Acton says it best:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
While Mousavi and the reformers prepare to face martyrdom the power of faith in their cause is evident. The world is watching as Islam is on display.

The dream of a caliphate is not a national dream, rather it’s a fading dream of ideologues. You can not force anyone to believe something, humans must choose to believe. That is God given volition.

The Wise choose to use it in pursuit of truth.
Fearful rulers attempt to control with Fear…
Faith is the antithesis to Fear
Faith is only as strong as the object of the faith

Truth is powerful-lies are as quicksand…

The degree of deceit illustrates depth of depravity…
Is Iran being Crucified?

Photo Gallery here:

Tweets HERE:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Iran and Islam : In the Matrix

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(image - Gallo Getty)

The growing reformist movement in Iran has taken the world by surprise. The movement and the mullahs response to it is very fluid and evolving rapidly. Professor Mark Levine writing about Iran on the Brink makes crucial points:

“It seems that the Iranian elite has been caught similarly off-guard, and is still trying to read its own society to understand how broad is the societal discontent reflected in the mass protests. This calculus is crucial - in some ways more so than whether the results are legitimate or, as some claim, electoral fraud.

It will determine whether the Iranian power elite - that is, the political-religious-military-security leadership who control the levers of state violence - moves towards negotiation and reconciliation between the increasingly distant sides, or moves to crush the mounting opposition with large-scale violence.

The religious establishment is itself split into hard-line, moderate and more progressive factions, each of whose members are tied to factions within the economic, political and security elite, producing a complex and potentially volatile set of competing and contradictory loyalties and interests.

Ahmadinejad's and Khamenei's decisions in the coming days will be telling. If the official tally was in fact broadly accurate, then they will likely be more willing to agree not just to a recount, but even to a run-off election, if that is what it takes to pacify the angry protesters”.

In a piece published in response to the events of 9/11 titled Melting Away the Matrix; Modernity, Terrorism and US Professor Levine passionately articulates his perspective of a desperate need for humanity to recognize and dismantle the “Modernity Matrix”.

Today we are all stand in judgment–not just the West, but the Rest too. Arguing that globalization has tied us together inextricably has become banal, but the events of this week bring home how much it has penetrated the imagined communities of race, class and nation. Unfortunately, not just Western policies or mainstream media coverage of the slaughter of 9/11, but also much of the critical writing on these issues has left unanswered the urgent questions of how to build alternatives to the status quo of occupation and autocracy in the Middle East, US hegemony in the world at large, and the widening cycles of violence they perpetuate.

To do so we all need dig beyond the easy symbolism of "freedom," "democracy," "Zionism=racism," and other mantras and challenge a matrix of discourses–modernity, colonialism, capitalism and nationalism; what I call the "modernity matrix"–that are each based on the creation of zero-sum oppositions between (individual or collective) Selves and Others, us and them, and which together have supported a five-hundred year old world system that supports slavery in the Sudan and Mauritania and IMF bailouts, organized terrorism and "le peuple du Seattle" alike.

Like its cinematic counterpart, the modernity matrix has for hundreds of years both determined our social existence and sugar-coated the oppressive, exclusivist and segregated reality underneath the glossy propaganda of markets, democratic capitalism, development, and freedom. But unlike the movie, there is no "one" who can lead us out of our dark age; the task is our collective responsibility.

There is much in his logic I agree with however I have a differing perspective on the nature, scope and source of the world system he recognizes. I further believe humanity is totally incapable of extricating itself from the grip of this “system” whose origins and source of power operate in various dimensions or realms, being spiritual in nature. In short humans are caught in an epoch and universal struggle that has engulfed earth.

We have been given volition and can choose, individually or collectively, to resist this “system”. Being born in this matrix was not our choice, being of it and owned by it is optional. Through disciplines of logic and meditational prayer, the truths of Biblical teaching shine ancient light desperately needed in our confused “modern” era. Pray for Peace...

Fearful rulers attempt to control with Fear…
Faith is the antithesis to Fear
Faith is only as strong as the object of the faith

Truth is powerful-lies are as quicksand…

The degree of deceit illustrates depth of depravity…
Is Iran being Crucified?
Crucifixion of Iran:

Melting the Matrix:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Violence and Pressure Builds

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Iranian speaker of parliament has condemned an attack on university students which was reported to be carried out by Islamic militia and police. Speaker Ali Larijani was quoted by ISNA:

"What does it mean that in the middle of the night students are attacked in their dormitory?”

"The Interior Ministry is responsible for this and should answer for it ... parliament is seriously following the issue"

While he did not elaborate on who executed the attacks, students blamed members of the religious Basij militia and plainclothes police. Basij is a volunteer paramilitary force loyal to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Mousavi, who spoke prior to the shooting, also condemned the attack.

"They have attacked dormitories and brutally broken legs, heads, arms and threw some of the students out of the windows and arrested a lot of people,"

Thousands of Mousavi supporters marched on Iran’s state run television station. The protest march was peaceful despite being in defiance of an official ban. Meanwhile Iranian President Ahmadinejad has left the country for meetings in Russia.

Despite an official ban on foreign journalist reporting or filming it is becoming apparent pressure has penetrated the Iranian government. What is uncertain is what this will mean for the election outcome. It also presents a few questions to my mind.
Is Mousavi simply a ploy to permit the appearance of Iranian government responding to 'the will of the people' or is this evidence of a major divide within the Theocracy? Do the mullahs recognize the potential of ongoing violence which could culminate in another revolution or has opposition to staus quo within it's ranks reached a tipping point? Has the Theocracy been informed their military and police favor the reformist agenda or is it they trust no one? There are many unanswered questions, but sometimes questions can reveal truths.

Twitter vids:
Garbage men against ‘Ima-NutJob’

Basij Compund riot yesterday:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Finding truth by Reading Between the Lines

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Azar Nafisi says Iranian women worked for freedom via election [image: GALLO/GETTY]

Azar Nafisi author of Reading Lolita in Tehran: Shares her memories of how the Islamic Revolution in Iran affected a professor and her students. Her new book, Things I’ve Been Silent About, is a memoir of growing up amidst Iran’s political revolution. Nafisi is visiting professor and executive director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC she also teaches courses in the relation between culture and politics.

Interviewed following the disputed election in Iran, Professor Nafisi shares her insights into the truth of what is going on in Iran reflected by the campaigns and the elections tumultuous aftermath.

Al Jazeera shares her thoughts.

Al Jazeera: What has just happened in Iran?

Azar Nafisi: Well, what has just happened in Iran is a continuation of what has been happening for thirty years. Iranian people took up opposition and used an open space to express what they want. Their vote was not just against [incumbent President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad but what he stood for.

Al Jazeera: But it seems like Ahmadinejad has won an overwhelming majority?

Azar Nafisi:But the most amazing thing is that so many people came out into the streets to demonstrate and protest and to make their wishes known.

This is great because it disproves the myth that the Iranian people want the extreme laws imposed on them by the Islamic regime. In any society you will have extremists.

There will be always people who will support those like Mr. Ahmadinejad, in the same way that many Americans supported Mr. Bush or support Christian fundamentalists. But that does not mean that the Iranian people prefer a theocracy to a pluralistic country with freedom of religion and expression for everyone. In their slogans and demands during the elections they asked for freedom and democracy and repudiated the repressive laws. But just as important is the fact that many within the ruling elite in Iran are realizing they cannot rule the society the way they claimed they could.

A good example is Mr. Mousavi himself.

In order to win Mousavi had taken up the progressive slogans, which he had previously fought against. I was there at the beginning of the Islamic Revolution when he was the Prime Minister, and implemented many of the repressive measures which he now denounces. I (like many others) was thrown out of the university that Mousavi helped to shut down as part of the Cultural Revolution.

The fact that Mr. Mousavi or Karoobi choose to talk of freedom and human rights show the degree to which the divisions within the regime are affected by the resistance of the Iranian people. I think these are the important points about the elections and not only who won or who lost.

Al Jazeera:But don't you think this election result, the election of hardline Ahmadinejad as opposed to a reformist Mousavi, suggests that the majority of Iranians want their theocracy to continue?

Azar Nafisi: For me, elections in a country such as Iran don't have same meaning as in countries such as the US. We hardly have a choice in who we vote for anyway. There was also not one single international observer.

A sizable number of people can't even read in Iran and they will vote for Ahmadinejad. I admit that I might be wrong, but for me the real poles are not the number of votes. The real poles are what sort of platform the candidates use in order to win.
It was really amazing and interesting to see what Mr Mousavi chose as his platform to win. He didn't just campaign against Ahmadinejad but against the very foundations of the Islamic Republic. The fact that Mr Mousavi risked his political career to take up this position suggests that a sizable number of the population don't want what exists now.

This article highlights the power of incremental change, brought about by discussion of issues one person to another. Truth and Ideals are more potent than bullets though both have their usefulness. Do not be misled into assisting the further entrenchment of Theocratic power. Know your movement & own it. Iran’s Theocracy is facing social revolution and a repudiation of the underlying source of their continuing power. The dream of a caliphate is not a national dream, rather it’s a fading dream of ideologues. You can not force anyone to believe something, humans must choose to believe. That is God given volition.

Choose to use it in pursuit of truth.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Voting is Over - Reform is Waiting

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With a population of 70 million, Iran is not the nation it was before or during the revolution of 1979. Life under the Sha grew repressive (following an assassination attempt) and his reign was viewed as that of a puppet government, this forged the alliance which rules today's Islamic Republic of Iran. The facts driving a push for reform in today's voting are found in demographics as well as Persian history. There are similarities in the current 'reformist' movement and the upheaval of 30 yrs ago despite that fact that more than two-thirds of Iran's present population is under 30 years old.

Is history repeating itself in Iran?

Mousavi's campaign has captured the most attention and has rekindled reformist tendencies of Persian people.
"What I've seen on the streets of Tehran is visible in the rest of the country," says Mousavi.

"There's a sense of identity, and a bravery to express a desire for change. What I have done is provide a focal point for people's dissatisfaction."

Mousavi is in many ways an unlikely champion of this crowd. His history as a revolutionary led to his election as the Islamic Republic's first prime minister, and his talk of exporting the revolution to the rest of the Middle East gave no hints of any reformist leanings.

But 20 years out of the political fray, during which time he built a career as an architect and occasional painter, appears to have mellowed the ideologue in him.

"The conditions in this country have changed," he says. "The revolution has changed. There were specific conditions at the beginning of the revolution, particular motives and the motivation." It's time for Iran to understand that its place in the world is as a partner and a power, he says.
(quote and image from Al Jazeera)

As the Mantra of Hope and Change spreads in Persia the outcome of this election hangs in the balance. People across the globe watch and pray for peace and prosperity.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Election in Iran - A Push to Reform

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(image - Al Jazeera)

Iranian elections are seldom harbingers of national change but this one could prove to be very different. Despite warnings and threats, reformists are working and praying for a revolution.

My expectations are;

If unrestricted will be massive. As far as I know ACORN does not ‘organize’ in Iran so any efforts to stifle voting will be to maintain TPTB (grand potentates)!

Vote-Splitting and Run-Off:
Mehdi Karoubi’s candidacy serves as a distraction to split votes for reforming Iranian policy making a first round victory by Ahmadinejad (pronounced- Ima Nutjob) possible and crucial if he is to win-again. Persian people can see ‘thru the veil’ and value life more than death, dialogue more than despair and peaceful coexistence.

TPTB are content to cast the spell of blame on anyone, they deem ‘less worthy' (aka infidel), as the reason for Iran’s problems. Perhaps they realize they are in denial since many voters are aware of their schemes to demonize and distract. If reform is to have a prayer, fear must be conquered by faith so the seeds of true representative government can grow and take root. That would be an Historic event! Pray for Peace.
“In A Perfect World war would not be taught or practiced…”
– Folklight –

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An Adoring Press shows signs of Dissent

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(image from Dakota Voice)

While Gov Sara Palin was preaching, a ‘We told you so’ mantra, to the choir on the ‘mockers gone wild’ nightly offering that is the Hannity show, cracks appeared in the edifice of Left Wing media support for President Obama. An editorial from SF Gate bluntly declared President and the Press should get a room.

In a piece titled "Love or lust, Obama and the fawning press need to get a room" Phil Bronstein goes on makes an obvious admission...
"This guy is good. Really good. And, frankly, so far, we're not.

I would point to that as an understatment (to say the least).

The fact it was said publicly at all, setting aside the double-entendre, illustrates the far left recognizes arrogance and condescension. Bronstein goes on to say,
When Barack Obama decided that questions from the German press about his trip agenda in that country were too pesky, he told the reporters, "So, stop it all of you!" He just wanted them to ask things he wanted to talk about.
This Pew Research Center Study Agrees

Despite MSM outlets attempts to spin it the German press gets it.
For Palin to ‘preach’, a We told ya so mantra, on the Hannity show will neither help nor hurt her. The vast majority who would tune in to absorb ‘mockers gone wild’ voted for the Republicrats. Most who vote for Demogogues would have to be threatened with waterboarding to immerse themselves in what SH delivers nor would they vote against the socialist leftists that now run DC. The only message that would sway voters has to appear from moderate Dems who actually have courage to say the truth… ‘The Emperor has no clothes’. It may soon develop.

Monday, June 8, 2009

High Stakes Gamble in Korea

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Following a gambit of rocket launches and nuclear detonations the wicked powers that be in North Korea have upped the ante again,
are they bluffing?

Laura Ling, the sister of former The View co-host Lisa Ling, and fellow Current TV journalist Euna Lee have been sentenced to twelve years “reform by labor” for illegal border crossing. Calling it a "grave crime” against the Korean nation the Central Court of North Korea convicted and sentenced the two reporters in a trial that began last Thursday. The U.S. State Department said that outside observers were not allowed to witness the trial's proceedings.

Friends and family of Ling and Lee insist that their border crossing was accidental and have been publicly pleading with the North Koreans for mercy in recent days. Ling and Lee were on assignment from Current TV working on a story of women and children who were refugees seeking aid and food in China. They were arrested March 17 along the Korean-Chinese border.

While circumstances of their detainment are unclear this much is for certain, The 2 reporters have become pawns in ongoing multi-national strategy.

The Stalinist regime that rules North Korea has, for years now, continued to use any means necessary to extract millions in ‘’aid’’ while using the concessions to keep their people enslaved and starving. Recently the North Korea government rescinded the 1953 Armistice that halted the Korean War and the state run newspaper reported this:
“Our response would be to consider sanctions against us as a declaration of war and answer it with extreme hard-line measures”

It is yet to be determined if the 12 year sentence of Ling and Lee will be served. One thing is certain, journalists seeking to expose evil face it's wrath.

Reuters Story:

BBC Story:

The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, But the mouth of the upright will deliver them - Proverbs 12:6

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers - Psalm 1

(Getty Image)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dust in the Wind of Egypt

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Being a thinking conservative, I find it invaluable to read what people say rather than simply listen to it. Perhaps it stems from my hobby as a writer, or a love for reading.

Regardless it serves my intellect well in a quest to understand. Thus I refused to watch or listen to others elaborate on what the President said, or how well he said it. The speech was well written and impressive in seeking to speak directly to Muslims.

The President offered a “new beginning” between Islam and America to replace the years of suspicion and discord. Portraying the relationship in the past as “defined” by our differences” he pointed to that paradigm as empowering those who sow hate.

A key theme that ran throughout the speech hinged on the word relationship. The President spoke of past and present relationships both personal and national. As in any relationship the word implies mutually agreed interaction. Agreement is easier to write about and discuss than to accomplish, such is the nature of humans. Even with the pledge of vast sums of aid, money can’t buy love or deliver change. That is above his pay grade.

The Islamic world is now challenged to discuss this overture and come to the table of peaceful co-existence.

Although Obama missed the mark on a couple of fronts (Iran, Hamas, Gitmo) I Pray that multitudes of Muslims are open to the truths of this speech. This will help prevent manipulation by those with the least to lose, giving real peace a chance.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cartels Clashing in The Americas

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While President Obama is half a world away attempting to mitigate an ancient conflict with oratorical skill and prowess, revolution is brewing on our continent.

This Americas Report, published by Center for Security Policy, details the players past and present in the ongoing struggle against liberty and life as we know it.

"President Woodrow Wilson was very concerned about developments in Mexico during the Mexican revolution early in the 20th century. Order and stability in Mexico were crucial to U.S. policy makers. Today, the challenge is even more serious as drug cartels and terrorist groups are far more sophisticated".

The Americas Report
May 17, 2009
By Luis Fleischman

Versión en Español

When President Barack Obama was criticized for his over friendly interaction with Hugo Chavez during the Summit of the Americas, he responded by saying that the U.S. has nothing to fear from a country that has an economy six hundred times smaller than ours.

This curious remark by our President brings another logical question to mind: how big is Al Qaeda's economy in comparison to ours? It is likely that Al Qaeda's assets are substantially smaller than oil-rich Venezuela's. Likewise, Iran's economy is not comparable to the American economy, even in a time of recession and economic crisis.

It is then logical to ask whether national or regional security is endangered in relation to economic capability or in an era of asymmetric wars. Does a country or an entity need to be economically or (even militarily) superior to those who oppose it in order to generate a situation of instability and threat?

Israel struggles mightily to defend it's people from terror.
Given the size and scope of our southern border we must be about prevention NOW!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Clashing Cultures in the Heartland

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As many on the left label right to life advocates extremeist and dangerous following the murder of Dr Tiller, Melvin Bledsoe of Memphis refuses to speak.

Mr Bledsoe is a victim as well as the other families whose loved ones were killed or wounded in Monday's attack at a military recruiting center in Little Rock. His son Carlos Bledsoe 23, told police he recently watched a video "pertaining to subversive activities which spurred him to commit this act," according to court documents. The suspect was a convert to Islam and changed his name to Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad. He was on an FBI watch list after a trip to Yemen.

He entetred a plea of not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday and was ordered held without bail while facing one count of capital murder and 16 counts of engaging in a terrorist act. Prior to his not guilty plea, authorities said Muhammad waived his Miranda rights after the shooting Monday and gave a video confession indicating that "political and religious" motives were involved. He "stated he was a practicing Muslim ... that he was mad at the U.S. military because of what they had done to Muslims in the past". When arrested, officers who searched his car found more than 100 rounds of ammunition, an SKS assault rifle, two pistols, and two military books. The ammunition was loaded in magazines which were found in a vest. AP reports indicate he had maps to Jewish organizations, a child care center, a Baptist church, a post office and military recruiting centers in the southeastern U.S. and New York and Philadelphia.

The shootings Monday killed Pvt. William Long, 23, of Conway, and wounded Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, of Jacksonville, Arkansas, leaves many in the heartland nervous and wondering if this is was simply a random act or something sinister. Many on the left want to ignore it and their silence is deafening.

Pvt Long's Father Daris, a former Marine,
granted an interview to KATV:

CNN video is from court Tuesday:

Pray for these families who now will never be the same.

I pray as 'Commander in Chief' President Obama will condemn this crime as he did with Dr Tiller's.


Monday, June 1, 2009

'The Struggle against Abortion turns Deadly

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Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!Isaiah 5:20

The long smoldering culture clash that is abortion erupted in deadly violence at a Wichita Kansas Church Sunday. Dr Edward Tiller, one of 2 (very)late term abortion providers in the world, was shot and died there yesterday, he was 67.

Many opponents of abortion consider the procedure infanticide and Dr
Tiller a baby killer. I will not defend the doctor’s choice to perform
late term abortions. Neither will I defend the choice to murder him for whatever reason, both result in death. To usurp the laws authority to execute a human being is to play God.

The Pro-Life community in America has been slowly and steadily persuading by educating people on the issues inherent to abortion. This murder, and the media fallout that is inevitable, will not benefit those efforts. It will thrust the issue of late-term abortion back into the media spin cycle with unknown effects. Certainly some pundits will
attempt to generate polarization by labeling all groups opposing
abortion as extremist and dangerous. Those efforts will fail.