Tuesday, July 07, 2009
WOW! Iran clerics declare election invalid and condemn crackdown
Iran’s biggest group of clerics has declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election to be illegitimate and condemned the subsequent crackdown. The statement by the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qom is an act of defiance against the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has made clear he will tolerate no further challenges to Mr Ahmadinejad’s “victory” over Mir Hossein Mousavi.
“It’s a clerical mutiny,” said one Iranian analyst. “This is the first time ever you have all these big clerics openly challenging the leader’s decision.” Another, in Tehran, said: “We are seeing the birth of a new political front.” Professor Ali Ansari, head of Iranian Studies at St Andrews University, said: “It’s highly significant. It shows this is nowhere near resolved.”
The association’s statement also shows how deeply the political establishment is divided, and the extent to which the Supreme Leader now derives his power from military might, not moral authority. It makes it much harder for the regime to arrest Mr Mousavi and other opposition leaders. At the weekend a top aide to Mr Khamenei demanded that Mr Mousavi and other opponents be tried for “terrible crimes”, and the elite Revolutionary Guards accused them of “trying to overthrow the Islamic establishment”.
The association did not support a candidate in the election, but has now lined up firmly behind Mr Mousavi. In a rebuke to the regime it declared on its website: “Candidates’ complaints and strong evidence of vote-rigging were ignored . . . Peaceful protests by Iranians were violently oppressed . . . Dozens of Iranians were killed and hundreds were illegally arrested . . . The outcome is invalid.”
It called on other clerics to speak out, demanded the release of all those arrested in the past three weeks, and directly challenged the authority of the Guardian Council, a body of 12 senior clerics that has openly backed Mr Ahmadinejad and his patron, Mr Khamenei. “How can one accept the legitimacy of the election just because the Guardian Council says so?,” it asked.
On Wednesday, a day after the Guardian Council said that the election result was final, Mr Mousavi talked of forming a new political grouping to fight an illegitimate government. With the popular former president Mohammad Khatami and Medhi Karoubi, another defeated candidate, challenging the Government’s legitimacy, and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, another former president, pointedly meeting the families of those killed in street demonstrations, that coalition is beginning to take shape.
A Femi-Leftist who defends Sarah Palin
The woman below seems to lack the hate that suffuses Leftists -- so finds herself emotionally lost in that company. She is a genuine feminist instead of a Leftist hater masquerading as an advocate for women
Sarah Palin’s surprise resignation has brought out the crazy again, and reading through the blogs I’m reminded of how much pure bullshit has been said and believed about her and continues to be said and believed. I’m reminded of how so many feminists seem possessed of a wholly irrational hatred for this woman. Why?
This isn’t going to be the kind of post where I sketch out a pattern and then give you The Key To Understanding It All. This is going to be more like a stream-of-consciousness tiptoe through the violets of my reclusive thought processes. I’ve been puzzling over this stuff since last August. One reason I’ve written as many posts as I have about Palin is because I’m so baffled by the reaction to her. I can’t figure it out. It’s like quantum entanglement or dark energy: I make myself sick trying to understand it and worry that I’ll die before I get it sorted. (I know: Xanax.)
Of course, the first answer you’ll get if you ask feminists why they hate Sarah Palin is that “it’s because she ____” — and then fill in the blank with the lie of choice: made rape victims pay for their own kits, is against contraception or sex ed, believes in abstinence-only, thinks the dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago, doesn’t believe in global warming, doesn’t believe in evolution, is stupid and can’t read, etc., etc., etc., etc.
But none of those things is true. None of them. Which brings me to my first puzzlement: why don’t people bother to find out what Sarah Palin really believes? I don’t mean people as in the usual sexist freaks; I mean feminists.
Sarah Palin is only the second woman in the history of this country to run on a major party’s presidential ticket. That alone makes her, to me, a fascinating figure worthy of serious investigation. When McCain announced Palin as his choice for VP, I immediately tried to find out as much about her as I could. I wanted to know who she was, what she believed, what her politics were. It never occurred to me that this interest would make me in any way unusual among feminists, but apparently it did. Apparently most feminists — at least the ones online — are content to just take the word of the frat boys at DailyKos or the psycho-sexists at Huffington Post. That amazes me. Aren’t you even interested in who she really is? I want to ask. She’s only the second woman on a presidential ticket in our whole fricking history!
But even weirder is what happens when you try to replace the myths with the truth. If you explain, “no, she didn’t charge rape victims,” your feminist interlocutor will come back with something else: “she’s abstinence-only!” No, you say, she’s not; and then the person comes back with, “she’s a creationist!” and so on. “She’s an uneducated moron!” Actually, Sarah Palin is not dumb at all, and based on her interviews and comments, I’d say she has a greater knowledge of evolution, global warming, and the Wisconsin glaciation in Alaska than the average citizen.
But after you’ve had a few of these myth-dispelling conversations, you start to realize that it doesn’t matter. These people don’t hate Palin because of the lies; the lies exist to justify the hate. That’s why they keep reaching and reaching for something else, until they finally get to “she winked on TV!” (And by the way: I’ve been winked at my whole life by my grandmother, aunts, and great-aunts. Who knew it was such a despicable act?)
The only thing Palin is commonly accused of that is actually true is her anti-abortion stance, though, as I’ve pointed out several times, her political position is that “the will of the people” should decide the law. She has also expressed sympathy for women choosing abortion and has said that she is totally opposed to any woman ever being criminalized for it. I’m not pretending she’s anything other than what she is (an adamant “pro-lifer”), but I am trying to be as clear and honest as I can be about her actual stance.
The fact is, that stance alone is not enough to explain the kind of frenzied hatred and feminist repudiation that Palin has attracted. Notice the example of Hugo Schwyzer, who, as I pointed out in my comment at IBTP, is allowed to call himself a feminist and even cross-post at RH Reality Check — while Sarah Palin is endlessly ridiculed and reviled for having the same beliefs. Notice, too, that the Republican Party (and even the Democratic Party) is full of other “pro-life” politicians, none of whom have ever been crucified and slandered Palin-style.
Speaking of slander, that brings me to my next big puzzlement: what is it with the feminists who just freely make shit up about Palin? The lies had to start somewhere, and they didn’t all hatch in the bowels of the Obama campaign (though a bunch of them did). Some of them were incubated by feminists, particularly the ones about Palin being an anti-sex “purity queen,” the kind of batshit Christian who believes in Purity Balls and abstinence pledges and is opposed to sex ed. None of that is true.
When I first started investigating Palin, I was very relieved to discover that she’s not nearly as nutty as she might be, given that she’s a Christian. I was pleased to learn that she’s not one of those fundies who thinks wives have to submit or that Adam and Eve rode on dinosaurs. She’s not into that whacked-out purity or abstinence-only stuff. That’s good. It’s good that she’s not a nutjob. So…why aren’t other feminists also happy that she’s not a nutjob? Why do they, in fact, spread lies to make her seem worse than she is?
Are people simply confused about the differences between Christians? Do they think all Christians are alike? I doubt it. I’m no godbag and I personally wish that Christianity would evaporate from the face of the earth, but I still recognize that not all Christians are alike. I think most other people do, too. I think most people in this country understand that Tennessee snake handlers don’t go to Catholic mass, and that the Quiverfull people are not the same as the Episcopalians. Being a Christian, even a conservative Christian, doesn’t automatically mean you’re a young earth creationist in a calico dress with a purity ring on your finger.
Besides, I know for a fact that the feminists spreading the lies about Palin knew they were spreading lies. Not to tell tales out of school, but: they knew. They were supplied with the correct information, and they chose to lie anyway. Why?
Was it just about electing Obama? Were feminists simply willing to commit any slander necessary to elect the Chosen One? That’s a likely explanation, but here again: we’re talking about feminists. Feminists doing this — slandering a woman, and doing so in unmistakably sexist terms. After all, caricaturing Palin as a purity queen (Bible Spice, Sexy Puritan) is just the flip side of caricaturing her as a porn queen. As I’ve said before, it’s like the NAACP sponsoring a lynching. The mind boggles.
Even more mind-boggling are the attacks that don’t even bother with false claims about policy or beliefs, but just go straight for free-floating misogynistic rage. Ridiculing her hair, clothes, makeup, voice, body, womb. “Sarah Palin is a c*nt” — good one! Calling her a bimbo — good one! Calling her a f*cking whore — good one! Fantasizing about her being gang-raped — good one! And all this from feminists. Forget the NAACP sponsoring a lynching; this is like the NAACP ripping off their masks to reveal that they’ve been replaced by white supremacist pod people.
Think back to the reactions to Sarah Palin’s speech at the convention. Remember the gal at Jezebel whose head throbbed with hate blood as she listened to Palin speak? The one who said she wanted to “murk that c*nt”? What the hell is that? I cannot figure it out. I look and look, and it’s like trying to see someone else’s hallucination. No matter how hard I squint, I can’t see whatever it is they’re looking at. What is so horrifying?
My own reaction to Palin’s convention speech was the polar opposite. I can honestly say that, aside from Nixon’s resignation speech, Sarah Palin’s address at the convention is the only Republican speech I have ever enjoyed. Or even been much interested in. I don’t agree with Republicans on politics — not by a long shot — but as a person, I found Palin charming in a Harry Truman, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Erin Brockovich kind of way. How could you not? Especially after the goons had spent the previous weekend in a misogyny fest of lurid speculation and grotesque sexual insults about her and her family. I was proud of her for her courage, as well as for her personal accomplishments as a working-class regular person who went into politics and succeeded.
Her speech also delivered some welcome punctures to the national gasbag known as Obama. And that’s another thing: it has not escaped my attention that many of the things Palin is accused of, falsely, are actually true of Obama. This is a guy who, as a U.S. senator from Illinois, didn’t even know which Senate committees he was on or which states bordered his own. (And don’t even get me started on Joe “The Talking Donkey” Biden, who thinks FDR was president during the stock market crash and that people watched TV in those days.) I’m not saying Obama’s a moron, but he’s sure as hell no genius. People say Sarah Palin rambles; excuse me, but have you actually heard Obama speak extemporaneously? As for being a diva, surely we all remember the Possomus sign and the special embroidered pillow on the Obama campaign plane. The fact is, Obama is an intellectually mediocre narcissist with a thin resume who’s lost without a teleprompter and whose entire campaign had all the substance and gravity of a Pepsi commercial. Yet people say Sarah Palin is a fluffy bunny diva.
So: are we back to Obama after all? Is this a transference thing? Are people subconsciously frustrated by the fact that Obama is an empty suit, and are they transferring that rage to Palin? As you see, I don’t have the answers.
Awhile ago I came up with what I think is the most plausible explanation yet when I said: "Sarah Palin is the Designated Hate Receptacle for self-described feminists. They know they’re not supposed to hate other women, but they do anyway because their feminism is not quite as strong as their patriarchal brainwashing. Sarah Palin is the culture’s designated Hate Receptacle."
I’m not entirely satisfied with that, but it’s the best I can come up with. If we add to that the subconscious Obama resentment-transference, perhaps on a kind of sliding rheostat thing, we may be getting close to a solution.
What’s alarming is that the need for a female Hate Receptacle exists, even with feminists. But that would explain why Palin haters are so reluctant to give up hating her. It would explain why they’re so resistant to the truth. They don’t want to find out that the lies are lies; they don’t want to be disabused. They need a hate receptacle, and so they need Palin to be the sum of all things they fear. I guess.
We need a lot more of this
From Gov. Palin's legal counsel:
To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as “fact” that Governor Palin resigned because she is “under federal investigation” for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation. This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law. The Alaska Constitution protects the right of free speech, while simultaneously holding those “responsible for the abuse of that right.” Alaska Constitution Art. I, Sec. 5. These falsehoods abuse the right to free speech; continuing to publish these falsehoods of criminal activity is reckless, done without any regard for the truth, and is actionable.
And note this:
A day after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resigned, a federal official in her home state dismissed one potential explanation for her sudden and unexpected resignation: a rumored FBI investigation into the former Wasilla mayor on public corruption charges. Despite rumors of a looming controversy after the Republican governor's surprise announcement Friday that she would leave office this month, some of them published in the blogosphere, the FBI's Alaska spokesman said the bureau had no investigation into Palin for her activities as governor, as mayor or in any other capacity.
"There is absolutely no truth to those rumors that we're investigating her or getting ready to indict her," Special Agent Eric Gonzalez said in a phone interview Saturday. "It's just not true." He added that there was "no wiggle room" in his comments for any kind of inquiry.
The Fascists are back in Mexico: "The ruling National Action Party (PAN) of Mexico admitted defeat in the country’s legislative elections. … Sunday’s balloting gave the opposition centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) 40 percent of the vote, compared to 29 percent gained by President Felipe Calderon’s PAN, according to an exit poll made public by the Televisa network. The leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) was running third with about 15 percent of the vote, the survey showed. The trend was largely borne out by partial official returns.”
Bulgaria: Socialist coalition loses to center-right party: “Mayor Boyko Borisov of Sofia, a burly former black-belt bodyguard with a penchant for tough talk, cigars and leather jackets, led his center-right opposition party to a larger-than-expected election victory on Sunday over Bulgaria’s governing Socialist-led coalition, which was weakened by a severely deteriorating economy and voter fatigue with chronic corruption. With nearly two-thirds of the vote counted on Sunday night, Mr. Borisov’s party, the Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria, had 42 percent of the vote, while the Socialist-led coalition had 18 percent, less than had been anticipated. Mr. Borisov will probably be the next prime minister, if negotiations to form a coalition government are successful. Mr. Borisov’s party has become the leading political force in the country, campaigning on promises of change and bringing accountability to government.”
Faith re-emerges in the Church of England: "A hardline Anglican group launched today could cause a “disastrous” split in the Church of England, an evangelical bishop has warned. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is opposed to the ordination of gay clergy, blessings for gay marriage or civil partnership, and the consecration of women bishops. The new fellowship will today publish letters from the Queen, supreme governor of the Church of England, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, acknowledging its launch. Its founders claim it is nothing more than an “orthodox” movement intended to bring about reform and renewal from within. They claim it bears comparison with Anglican agencies such as the Church Mission Society. Archbishops of conservative Anglican provinces from around the world, including the Nigerian primate Dr Peter Akinola, have sent messages of support. Dr Graham Kings, consecrated last month as Bishop of Sherborne and founder of the moderate evangelical grouping Fulcrum, said the new fellowship represented a structure that would allow its founders to “split” from the Church of England.... Significantly, Dr Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, the newly founded province that is claiming to be the authentic Anglican Church in the US but is awaiting recognition from the Archbishop of Canterbury, will give a keynote address to today’s meeting."
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 12:41 AM