Meltdown Iran

Based on CNN and BBC coverage, this seems like… well some kind of highly significant event:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8103577.stm

I’m not sure if this is going to end up in another revolution, bloodshed as the Ayatollah cracks down or will just blow over. Looks like the Ayatollah is at least pretending to listen to the will of the people.

71 Responses to “Meltdown Iran”

  1. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    However, in response to Smith’s question. I think that before this election the concept of introducing democracy via military action has mostly repudiated itself. In the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems like ignorance of the culture and the basic supposition that everyone wants a USA style democracy have led failure by and large.

    It all reminds me of the old ‘Civilize ‘em at the end of a Krag.’ slogan.

  2. NorthernLite Says:

    Right Jayson. What we’re seeing in Iran is how true democracy is born – from within by the will of the people. The people of Iran, especially the youth, are starting to rise up.

    I too beleive that democracy flourishes when the people of a nation thirst for it, rather than by foreign powers dropping ‘smart bombs’ on villages.

    Stand by the people of Iran, yes. Interfere with their domestic politics, no.

  3. Smith Says:

    If you want to get some (biased and potentially inaccurate) information directly from Iranians involved in the conflict, you can search through Twitter. I can give you a list of various Twitter accounts coming out of Tehran, but I am sure my comment will be dumped into the moderation queue. I’ll put the list in a separate comment after this one, for those of you who are interested. Of course, info on Twitter is primarily from those who are protesting the results, so everything should be taken with a large grain of salt.

    To be honest, prior to this event, I always thought Twitter was a completely useless site that served only to further the cult of celebrity that is so pervasive in society. Most people seemed to use it as a means of finding out what their favorite celebrity had for lunch. I am quite surprised and impressed with the role it has played in staging protests and getting messages out to a wide audience during the current unrest in Iran. Even Twitter’s hosting service acknowledged the site’s importance to the current situation and rescheduled critical server maintenance in order to avoid disrupting the users in Iran.

    NL, I agree with you that we absolutely should not get involved with the present situation. If Obama or Europe openly endorse the protesters, it will allow the powers that be in Iran to shift the narrative against the protesters. The protests can be framed as being caused/funded/provoked/lead by the West, instead of accepting that the protesters genuinely represent dissent within the Iranian population. I feel that such a shift would go a long way towards undermining the current civil unrest, and would allow the mullahs to redirect the rage of the populace away from them and towards the West.

  4. Smith Says:

    Here is the list of Iranian Twitter accounts. This list was culled from other websites, so I cannot take credit/responsibility for assembling it. Jbc, sorry if this does bad things to the moderation filter.

    http://twitter.com/alirezasha
    http://twitter.com/Gita
    http://twitter.com/iran09
    http://twitter.com/iranbaan
    http://twitter.com/IranRiggedElect
    http://twitter.com/mahdi
    http://twitter.com/mohamadreza
    http://twitter.com/mousavi1388
    http://twitter.com/Mynumberone1988
    http://twitter.com/Shahrzadmo
    http://twitter.com/smileofcrash
    http://twitter.com/StopAhmadi
    http://twitter.com/tehranelection
    http://twitter.com/TwitPersia
    http://twitter.com/Change_for_Iran
    http://twitter.com/ramezanpour
    http://twitter.com/KeyvanGheissari
    http://twitter.com/y_shar
    http://twitter.com/IranElection09
    http://twitter.com/parhamdoustdar
    http://twitter.com/keyvan
    http://twitter.com/_Sober
    http://twitter.com/madyar
    http://twitter.com/mhrshd
    http://twitter.com/sirsinou
    http://twitter.com/mohandesalireza
    http://twitter.com/jadi
    http://twitter.com/zahrahb
    http://twitter.com/knv
    http://twitter.com/amiralii
    http://twitter.com/abbaspour
    http://twitter.com/hamednz
    http://twitter.com/mardetanha
    http://twitter.com/ProtesterHelp
    http://twitter.com/persiankiwi/

  5. NorthernLite Says:

    I’d be interested to see those links Smith. Do I need an account at Twitter to read people’s “tweet’s”?

  6. enkidu Says:

    heh I just had a comment moderated for a single reference to h.t.t.p././.w.w.w.
    no link, just the suggestion for smith to eliminate that part of each link (seems to be a workaround that knarls discovered?)

  7. Smith Says:

    It is not necessary to have an account (I don’t have one), anyone can read the feeds, unless the user has restricted to only be visible to their followers. I think all of the feeds I have linked are open to anyone. The tweets are a mixture of English and Farsi. Most of the informational tweets are in English, but replies to friends and other Iranians are generally in Farsi. I suspect that the English tweets are probably the only ones that would be of interest to outside observers, so don’t worry about not being able to read Farsi. I have already submitted the links, and the comment is awaiting moderation.

  8. enkidu Says:

    thx smith!

  9. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    This is what I learned about the mod filter. Thread authors have control over approval of stuff. So if anyone gets jammed up, let me know and I’ll kick your comment though.

  10. Smith Says:

    As annoying as getting a comment locked in the queue is, it is still far better than getting blasted by spambots. J.A.Y.S.O.N, since you can look through the queue, can you give us an estimate of just how much garbage gets filtered out?

  11. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    This is what the WordPress Dashboard Askimet stats says:

    ‘Akismet has protected your site from 148,596 spam comments already, and there are 998 comments in your spam queue right now.’

  12. enkidu Says:

    smith – one work around is to try a couple links without the h.t.t.p.././.w.w.w.
    I think it is a measure to avoid spam or something?

    I think twitter is kind of more for the cell phone obsessed, and up until this point had little use for it myself, but am also impressed just how interconnected the new tools make us all. Clients have been asking about twitter and I am getting the idea that it is a bite sized RSS feed. Mostly to alert us to what Ashton Kutcher is having for lunch (ham and cheese on sourdough, mustard, no mayo, glass of jamba juice and a Demi on the side).

    Just for a thought experiment, contrast Obama’s measured approach to the situation in Iran to a hypothetical McCain/Palin response or (shudder) what ol GWB mighta deciderated.

  13. enkidu Says:

    there we go, rescued from the spam pile!

    I noticed two posts from knarls were in the queue for moderation, but as I am not the author of the post I can’t do anything about them.

  14. knarlyknight Says:

    My posts in the queue can stay there for all I care now.

    Funny term that: “in the queue for moderation”. To me it suggests we live in a ultra-conservative world in which my *ultra-radical* (yea right) comments need to be lovingly toned down by a big-brother editor to the point where they are appropriate for the tender public. Glad that’s not it at all.

    Enk, it is weird you should mention that comparison… I had started a post on the likely disasterous faux pas GWB would have committed in the last few days had he been on a podium to brandish more threats. Yet it served no purpose and wasn’t too funny, so I did not post it. Something about viewers of GWB TV soundbites misunderstanding that he was now doing commercials for floor cleaners “All mud dincha had” and his new floor polish: “Waxes of Weevils.” GWB is but a smudge in the history books now.

  15. knarlyknight Says:

    Noticed a “real” Comparison piece here,

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/06/16/president_mccain/index1.html

    it’s boring so here is the short conculding paragraph that gives a summation of “It is summer 2009 and John McCain is president”:

    On balance, however, I think it is hard to argue that the country would not be in worse shape today under President McCain than it is in under President Obama. In foreign policy we would probably have a revival of neoconservatism, with incalculable damage to America’s reputation in the world. In domestic policy, President McCain might have used his veto power and an alliance with conservative Blue Dog Democrats in a Democratic majority Congress to salvage the Bush tax cuts and thwart an adequate stimulus. Then there’s regulatory reform of the financial sector, which has yet to occur. As deferent as the Obama administration is to Wall Street, can anyone doubt that a McCain administration would have been even more deferent?

  16. enkidu Says:

    knarly – just remove the h.t.t.p.././.w.w.w. from your links and they will sail right through (iirc you discovered this trick)

    I sincerely doubt jbc is nuking your posts for editorial reasons

  17. knarlyknight Says:

    I sincerely doubt it too, it’s just that, well, sometimes I wish he would.

  18. knarlyknight Says:

    and yes, you recall correctly that I discovered that removing the http helps. at least my time here has not been a complete loss. ;-)

  19. NorthernLite Says:

    I think one thing we can all be thankful for is that John McCain isn’t president right now. Could you imagine? Judging by his recent statements, he would have turned this internal uprising into an American crusade into Iranian politics, further strengthening Ahmedininajad.

    Obama is handling this perfectly.

  20. knarlyknight Says:

    yea, no kidding NL.

    Has anyone seen anyone offer any evidence that the Iranian election was rigged? All I’ve seen are complaints and accusations but nothing specific that holds any water and I’ve looked.

    My mind is still open on that, I just want to know why people are sayingthe eections were rigged – it is long past time for such an explanation. Without that, lots of weight can e given to comments like this:

    What is astonishing about the West’s universal condemnation of the electoral outcome as fraudulent is that not a single shred of evidence in either written or observational form has been presented either before or a week after the vote count. During the entire electoral campaign, no credible (or even dubious) charge of voter tampering was raised. As long as the Western media believed their own propaganda of an immanent victory for their candidate, the electoral process was described as highly competitive, with heated public debates and unprecedented levels of public activity and unhindered by public proselytizing. The belief in a free and open election was so strong that the Western leaders and mass media believed that their favored candidate would win.

    The Western media relied on its reporters covering the mass demonstrations of opposition supporters, ignoring and downplaying the huge turnout for Ahmadinejad. Worse still, the Western media ignored the class composition of the competing demonstrations ­ the fact that the incumbent candidate was drawing his support from the far more numerous poor working class, peasant, artisan and public employee sectors while the bulk of the opposition demonstrators was drawn from the upper and middle class students, business and professional class.

    Moreover, most Western opinion leaders and reporters based in Tehran extrapolated their projections from their observations in the capital ­ few venture into the provinces, small and medium size cities and villages where Ahmadinejad has his mass base of support.

    from: http://www.rense.com/general86/elect.htm

  21. Smith Says:

    Knarly,

    Considering the amount of shit everyone gives to shcb for his biased sources (and his sources are generally quite poor), based on the link you just posted here and the links you posted in response to me in the other thread, I feel that you are more deserving of the criticism than shcb is. Jeff Rense? Are you kidding? Let’s have a look at some of the news on his site.

    “Real Zionist News
    Obama’s Illegal Czar Power Grab Must Be Stopped
    Obama ‘Czars’ – A Zionist Shadow Government
    Understanding The ‘Psychology’ Of Zionist Jews”

    Zionist shadow governments? I’m generally not inclined to take anti-semites seriously. He even has a quote from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion on his front page:

    “Economic crises have been produced by us for the goyim by no other means than the withdrawal of money from circulation.” – Protocols of Zion

    I think you may have actually found a source that makes Fox News look balanced.
    Also:

    “Obvious
    Excellent Evidence Of Faked Apollo Photos

    Fascinating
    11 Year Old Reincarnated – Vid”

    Having some skepticism about the election is all well and good, but using such a blatantly biased, antisemitic site as justification is just a bit unreasonable. I also feel like you are missing the bigger picture here. This isn’t just about the election, that was just the spark that ignited the powder keg. The bigger issue is that the Iranian youth have been growing increasingly unsatisfied with their government. This is not the first time in recent memory that students have staged large scale protests. The election has just given them a banner to rally behind. I have heard that 60-70% of Iranians are under the age of 35. When such a large demographic feels disenfranchised by their government, it should not be surprising when large scale protests occur.

    To return to the issue of your sources, I also feel concerned that perhaps sites with “911truth” in the url may not be the most objective of sites.

  22. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I think that we have a general sense of fraud for a couple of basic reasons. First the announced the elections 2 hours after the polls closed. Iran uses paper ballots. This means they counted 30 million ballots or so in two hours. Second, as informal as they are, the exit polls showed the main challenger to be far far ahead. Third Ahmandinijad showed wins in areas where the challenger was expected to sweep, it would be like if McCain had won Boston, NYC and Seattle by a landslide.

    Now. I’m still watching TV news. I heard there was a memo leaked to the supreme Ayatollah that was to show him the real election results, just so he’d know. I also read that someone in the ministry of information was found shot to death after trying to leak some results. Unfortunately I can’t corroborate. I will try and dig up some links and post them if I can find them.

  23. Smith Says:

    The BBC has a little Q&A section that gives some brief information about the fraud claims.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8101621.stm

  24. Smith Says:

    Oh, and http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/ is giving has some posts that give a statistical perspective on some of the fraud claims, and on the claims from the newspaper article presented by Knarly in the other thread.

    Response to article:
    fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/did-polling-predict-ahmadinejad-victory.html

    Response to some proposed fraud evidence:
    fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/statistical-evidence-does-not-prove.html

    There are more articles on Iran scattered throughout the site.

    He seems to be trying to give an unbiased view; however, it is a blog, so it is solely up to the author to fact check his own work, and it should not be taken as an absolutely objective last word on any issues.

  25. knarlyknight Says:

    Thanks, this is more along the lines of what I was looking for. I hope to have time later today or tomorrow to review and provide comment.

    As for Rense, I disagree with more than 90% of the stuff posted on his site. Yet I find the other ten percent more than makes up for it.

    As for url links with “911truth” in them, I’m sorry you can’t get past that perception bias. Just for you I give you an alternative: http://www.911lies.org/about_us.html

  26. shcb Says:

    Smith,

    I always find it comical when someone here questions my sources, Fox News like most every other major newspaper and television network gets many of their articles from AP, Reuters, etc. They then select which they want to print and edit them for length, giving credit where it is due. There is some bias that is exhibited in both these processes. But somehow Fox is worse? To the point of being a poor source? That is ridiculous. The authors at Pajama’s Media are for the most part well respected conservative authors, they are heads of college departments and senior fellows at respected conservative think tanks and such. Marginalizing legitimate conservative thought by discrediting large blocks of people simply by their association is just typical liberal elitism.

  27. Smith Says:

    I guess in fairness to you, shcb, I don’t think you posted links to any antisemitic conspiracy theorist sites. So you certainly aren’t as bad as some people here.

    I don’t think my post actually said anything about Fox News, so please refrain from putting words in my mouth. I do think that anything from Pajamas Media should be taken with a large grain of salt. You’ll have to excuse me for not finding blogs, whether liberal or conservative, to be credible sources on their own. I prefer to get my news from actual news sites that feature fact checking and have some level of accountability. Anytime I have linked to blogs or other new media type sites, I include a disclaimer stating that the information contained therein should be view with at least some degree of suspicion. If you will remember, I have expressed dislike for both conservative and liberal talking heads. Please read my comments thoroughly before running your mouth. Considering how much time you spent bitching about the difference between “many” and “most”, I would expect you to be more careful when attacking the comments of others.

  28. shcb Says:

    Fifth paragraph for the Fox news reference, maybe I misread your intent, sorry if I did. I agree with you about blogs, and I very rarely link to them for that reason. At least Pajamas gives real names and their credentials, I find that to be enough accountability for an opinion piece. I find Pajamas to be more of a journal like National Review than a blog, it is on par with the Huffington Post which I consider a credible source if taken through a filter, just as PM or NR should be taken through a filter.

  29. Smith Says:

    shcb,

    Oh, I see it. I was just being facetious and continuing the narrative about knarly’s link being far worse than anything I’ve noticed you post despite the fact that people often call you out for your choice of sources. Basically just calling him out on his hypocrisy using a common liberal talking point. As far as Fox News goes, I think it, and pretty much all other major new sources, is run like a business. They all pull from the same pool of information, but the stories they choose, how they frame the stories, the headlines they attach to them, etc. are all done to appeal to the particular news agency’s target demographic. Fox tends to choose stories that appeal more to conservatives; whereas MSNBC seems to try to target a younger, more liberal demographic.

    Of course, all of this changes a great deal when discussing the actual channels instead of the websites. Fox News does a great deal of GOP/conservative posturing with they TV personalities. In general, when people talk about Fox News, they mean O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck, etc. Likewise for MSNBC and Olbermann. These talking heads clearly present a heavily slanted take on news stories. I really can’t take any of them seriously, as none of them seem to be held accountable to any source other than their ratings. They all have free reign to spout whatever nonsense they please without consequence as long as they do not offend advertisers and maintain strong ratings. I don’t think there is a filter big enough to shift through their shit.

    As far as blogs go, I think they can be a good starting point for further research and a potential impetus for discussion, but I am not willing to accept any of them as reliable sources. Funny that you should compare Pajamas to journals, as I feel that non-peer reviewed journals are often little more than printed blogs.

  30. shcb Says:

    I agree more than I disagree with that, but I think people’s reputations are enough when you are talking opinion pieces, that is really all a peer reviewed article has going for it, people’s reputations. People like Enky and JBC have routinely nixed anything that has a Fox label on it as not just biased but so untrustworthy that I can’t use it in the discussion, I find this ridiculous. I also find this behavior to be something of a form of bullying and I don’t suffer that type of intimidation well. At one point I even played a little trick on Enky where I goaded him into trashing a piece because it was on the Fox site even though it was a verbatim New York Times piece. I feel many times on this site people take the easy way out and discredit what is said by trashing who said it instead of debating the validity of point. When you get to the edges where the kooks hang out that is probably appropriate but between Fox and MSNBC it isn’t.

    All in all I enjoy our discussions, let me know if I get out of line and I will explain myself better. Remember that when I make comments I am in many cases making them to the larger group here, I am unique in that I am usually being attacked by all sides so sometimes I reply in rather broad strokes, I’m always happy to clarify.

  31. knarlyknight Says:

    Faked moon shots? Yeah, I’ve looked at those. Callenging, a bit like Soduko, but not convincing. Besides, the moon walk TV coverage in 1968 was better than the best of 2001 a Space Odyssey and that was real too. So what’s that got to do with Iranian elections?

    Is rense anti-semetic? I don’t read much if any of rense’s Israeli themed stories, but from what I’ve scanned ages ago it seemed that rense was very pro-semetic and pro-jewish and pro-Israel (’67 borders?) but very highly against expanding Israel beyond the ’67 borders and subjugating neighboring peoples. Whatever, that “anti-semetic” comment was probably just a cheap shot. Besides, what’s that got to do with Iranian elections? Oh, wait a sec. Maybe you are saying that because rense is not, in your mind, clearly pro-semetic then that explains why rense would post an article that does not jump to foregone conclusions and provide a highly anti-Iranian slant like regular media. I see. Fine. Feel free to add that to your “filter” as you read the article and assess it on the merits of its logic.

    “Fascinating 11-year old re-incarnated – vid” ? But that’s FOX news! It’s simply a link to a FOX video segment. Besides, I saw this on ABC news when the kid was about 4, it was more convincing then because the kid was more innocent then. But really Smith, what’s that got to do with an Iranian election?

    Rense is useful to me solely for its third column: “Headline News 24/7″ precisely because it does NOT have the mainstream media censors filtering what I should be reading – the censors that SHCB and Smith so rapturously adore.

    So Smith and SHCB, what was so terrible about the rense link that I provided ( “from: http://www.rense.com/general86/elect.htm “) ?

    SHCB delights in his little trick about “goading” Enk into trashing a NY Times article because it was disguised in FOX news packaging, then shcb laments: ” I feel many times on this site people take the easy way out and discredit what is said by trashing who said it instead of debating the validity of point.”

    So did either of you two “morans” consider the ‘what was said’ in the “rense piece”? No. You are guilty of extreme hypocrisy. One wonders why you do not take your own advice (oh, yea, you are Republicans.)

    Also, the “rense” piece was not from “rense”, it was just disguised in rense program packaging. It was originally published here: http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_56073.shtml

  32. knarlyknight Says:

    Smith’s bbc link is not convincing of an election fraud, they are even careful to say so in the concluding paragraph of their “fraud” section:

    It is all very suspicious. But it does not necessarily mean there has been widespread electoral fraud. For example, a group of international pollsters did an independent telephone survey three weeks ago which suggested a two-to-one level of popular support for Mr Ahmadinejad over Mr Mousavi, with the other candidates on less than two percent each.

  33. knarlyknight Says:

    Jayson notes that “we have a general sense of fraud for a couple of basic reasons. First the announced the elections 2 hours after the polls closed. Iran uses paper ballots. This means they counted 30 million ballots or so in two hours.”

    Wait a second. Canada uses paper ballots too. Cdns get projections almost immediately and much of the counting is done in about the same time frame. Plus, Iranians probably invented the abacus. Have you seen one of those in action? Holy Shi’ite batman! Those things are fast. But our beer is better. So point taken, but that sounds like circumstantial evidence.

    Jayson goes on to say: “Second, as informal as they are, the exit polls showed the main challenger to be far far ahead.” I’ll reserve judgemen here until I see a link to a reliable report about those “polls”. My understanding is that the exit polls were primarily of affluent urban very fluent English speakers of the sort that would like Mousaka (excuse me I’m hungry.)

    Then Jayson says: “Third Ahmandinijad showed wins in areas where the challenger was expected to sweep, it would be like if McCain had won Boston, NYC and Seattle by a landslide.” Yea, that’s nuts eh? But why was the challenger expected to sweep those areas? Because western media interviewed prominent English speakers in those areas who liked Mousaka? Again, the pre-election poll reported in the WA Post gave a 2 to 1 advantage to Ahmadinejad, I believe that also applied to the areas you talk about. I’ll reserve judgement on that one too. But say I’m wrong and those few opposition areas were fudged, the question is then whether it was done to discredit and “show” a lack of support for Mousaka in his home town and little more, or whether it is indicative of a widespread fraud that would have made a huge different to the elction results. i.e. supsicious but not necessarily widespread electoral fraud.

    Nice try Jayson, and your points may yet hold out to be valid. I’ll keep an open mind.

  34. knarlyknight Says:

    Smith,
    Thx for link to the fivethirty eight site, I’m not thrilled by the level of analysisit but it appears to have a good collection of data. I’d like to poke around the site some more to re-assess my opinions and form my own conclusions. Thanks again, and if you come across anything better than 5/38 please let me know.

  35. Smith Says:

    knarly,

    From the Rense article:

    “American Zionists, embedded in the Obama regime,”
    “do not accept the Zionist-mass media line of ‘stolen elections’.”

    Those “Jews sure are controlling our government and the media.” If I want to debate with people who think “Jews are taking over the world,” I’ll go to StormFront. I think I understand why you are so quick to defend Ahmadinejad’s re-election now. I’m sorry that you don’t like people calling out your Zionist conspiracy bullshit, but you can rest assured that I won’t bother addressing any of it again. Some things are so reprehensible that they are not worthy of being given the legitimacy that comes with a debate. I’m not leaving the site, but I shall let my scroll wheel take care of all your future rants about how the “Jews did 9/11.”

  36. shcb Says:

    Knarly,

    Since everyone is piling on… your 911 links are in that fringe kook area that do deserve to be ignored. I have come to that conclusion based on reading many, many articles you have posted and at some point they are all the same and none of them seem to have much worth. What Smith and I are talking about is taking a legitimate story with legitimate facts and trying to sway the reader a little to the left or right by manipulating the story but not the facts. For instance, adding together people who are somewhat opposed and only slightly opposed to something, to the people who are very opposed and saying 75% oppose this measure when 60% were in the only slightly opposed category, that type of thing. We aren’t being hypocritical, we’re just not talking about the sources you are talking about.

    Some blogs have more credibility than others, just as some news organs or opinion writers have more credibility than others. This doesn’t always mean they are more or less ideologically biased. A very biased source can be very credible and an unbiased one can be not credible, the two aren’t necessarily linked. My point in all this has been that Fox News isn’t any more biased to the right than the other cable networks are to the left and there is precious little similar balance in network news and newspaper print that is almost entirely skewed to the left, not as much as cable but to the left nonetheless. Not from your perspective of course, but you guys are way left.

  37. shcb Says:

    I really like Victor Davis Hanson here is a good piece that shows we (conservatives) don’t always want to shoot first.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/this-is-the-moment/

  38. Smith Says:

    shcb,

    I read through your link. While I can’t say that I agree with the first page, I will say that it was at least somewhat thoughtful and well written. Page two, on the other hand, was just an excuse to try to take shots at Obama and does a great disservice to the article as a whole. Using the Iranian situation to attack Obama is the same form of “playing politics” that he accuses Obama of at the end of the first page and throughout the second. I think he left behind any pretense of objective analysis and the article turned into yet another smear piece. It had some promise, but it turned away from reviewing the best choice of action, and instead just focused on defaming Obama.

    I also disagree with your assessment of peer-reviewed journals as being solely based on reputation. The key difference between opinion pieces and academic journals is the requirement to present sources and evidence. Wild speculation, with no substantial or verifiable evidence referenced, about “Obama’s messianic complex” would not be permitted in any credible journal. Journal authors are expected to include testable data and reference any sources they have used in reaching their conclusions. The great thing about this is that the reader is not limited to only the opinion of the author, they are free to read the referenced material and look over the author’s data and draw their own conclusions. It is similar to the “we report, you decide” motto that Fox or some other news channel used at some point, only far more transparent than the vast majority of news reports (regardless of the station). While the data/source requirements cannot absolutely guarantee that the conclusions are unbiased, it does add a great degree of credibility to the work, and makes it much easier for skeptics to review the data and produce reasonable refutations of the article.

  39. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I don’t really want to to debate it, since whether there is a fraud or not is really irrelevant.

    John McCain thinks there is, conspiracy site guy says it’s a conspiracy, irrelevant.

    I say I can see maybe there being fraud, and get my shit jumped for it. Really, irrelevant.

    I actually started the thread more interested in what was going on in Iran. Also the places I chose for my news didn’t have an editorial opinion on it, they were just reporting.

    I’ll throw this out there. The article Rense reprinted is just a bunch of editorializing bullshit.

    “while the leading Western-backed liberal opposition candidate Hossein Mousavi” Backed by whom exactly? I think there was some general hope that Mousavi would win because there was a chance for him to be more reasonable, but even the American President said we shouldn’t get our hopes up when the election results were coming in, knowing that any candidate running has to be approved by the supreme Ayatollah. So who “backed” him, how much did they back him and with what exactly? Hoping he wins?

    “Almost the entire spectrum of Western opinion makers, including all the major electronic and print media, the major liberal, radical, libertarian and conservative web-sites, echoed the opposition’s claim of rampant election fraud.” Except us! We alone know the truth!!! This too is bullshit. I’ve been watching CNN and the BBC for my coverage of this event. There is not a station wide editorial policy for at least those two institutions on Iran that I’ve detected. If a news institution has an editorial policy on something though, don’t we know that? Have we gone past the point where realize what op-ed is? Bill O’Reilly thinks there’s a fraud of course there must be!

    “Western leaders rejected the results because they ‘knew’ that their reformist candidate could not lose…” Again, who exactly? President Obama hasn’t. Have the PMs of Germany, France, Great Britain or Canada condemned the election as fraud? They’ve condemned the use of violence sure, but the election? I must have missed it. Of course I can’t scan the entire spectrum of western opinion makers, nor am I looking for a conspiracy under every rock. Are we now lead by pundits and editorial pieces?

    So James Petras can’t distinguish between western opinion makers and actual western leaders. Seems that’s more of cognitive problem on his part than any actual hoax; given how many pundits air opinions (and opinions being just that) about every other subject matter under the sun, regardless of fact.

    Or he uncovered the most chilling conspiracy of all without even realizing it, the pundits have completely taken over…

    The other thing I find fascinating about this is the subtext I’m picking up, that being ‘Dumb fucking Iranian protesters.’ I guess if they had read the WA poll and were familiar with the excellence in Canadian poll returns, they could have saved themselves a lot of grief, they’d have just known what to expect. Sadly that opportunity has long since passed.

    Regarding the idea of news sources. I do kind of find this funny. We all seem to have an issue of pointing the finger of there being a credibility gap, but it’s pretty simple. You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. We all point that finger, based on the editorial content of a site or channel or paper, that nothing that comes of it can be of any import. Bill O’Reilly destroys Fox News ability to pick something off of Reuters. Likewise you could argue that applies for any news source.

    Looking at James Petras biography, he’s a leftist anti-Zionist. So… should we treat anything he has to say on par with shcb posting a Charles Krauthammer op-ed? In all fairness the righties here could just reply with ‘LOL, WRONG LWNJ, LOL WRONG! You lwnjs are wrong because you’re lwnjs and you don’t understand anything.’ It’d be par for the course because we’re all individually right about everything.

    So now there were protests yesterday in defiance of the supreme Ayatollah. Is this going to go somewhere in terms of a real change in Iranian government or is the clock ticking until the status quo is resumed?

  40. Smith Says:

    The sites I have been reading have suggested that the level of violence greatly increased on Friday. There was a video going around of a girl who had allegedly been shot by a Bassij sniper. It was rather hard to watch.

    It is rather difficult to get reliable news about the protests due to the Iranian government’s crackdown on foreign reporters. It seems that a lot of information is coming from social networking sites, especially Twitter and Facebook. I believe the BBC reported that the official numbers claim that 10 people were killed yesterday. Of course, it is quite likely that this is a very low estimate.

    I think the outcome of the protests is based largely on the reaction of the Iranians to the increasing violence, and who them blame for it. If the general public buys into the official Iranian news reports, then it will create strong anti-protester sentiment. If that happens, the protests will surely fail. If the public’s reaction is similar to the American response to something like The Kent State massacre, they the tide could strongly shift against the Ayatollah. As far as I know, the actual official military has yet to take a side in the conflict. I would imagine that if the army gets involved, this will end on the side of whomever the military backs.

    Even if the Ayatollah emerges victorious, I doubt the status quo will ever be resumed. I would expect Iran to take a much harder line against political dissidents and move to restrict its citizens’ freedoms.

  41. Smith Says:

    Google is trying to update Google Earth’s satellite images with high res photos of Tehran. Hopefully we will get some interesting shots out of this.

  42. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Vic Hanson just reads to me like another guy using an international situation to make hay in US politics.

    Of course Obama is doing the wrong thing. He always is because he’s Obama and he’s a Democrat. That article is pure shit. I haven’t read or heard anything that hasn’t said US interference or even endorsement of Mousaui will give the Ayatollah an easy out to blame the popular uprising on the West. No one who seems to carry any level of actual expertise on Iran seems to disagree. Hanson has zero factual statements for endorsing what he would have policy be. It’s all ideological rhetoric. He doesn’t even make the case that it’ll make the situation better, it’s just the “right” thing to do ideologically. We’re all good Communists here, Comrade! Forget that bourgeoisie science, none of that here!

    I mean: “People abroad really do prefer freedom and true constitutional government to autocratic grievance mongers who loot their country and brutalize the free.” People need to achieve these things on their own. The mythology of the end of the Cold War, with Reagan wearing a Superman uniform with an R in place of the S, I mean telling the Soviets to TEAR DOWN THE WALL! and them jumping, saying ‘Oh shit, we better do that!’ is just that, a myth. The reality is that Gorbachav realized that time had come for change and was seeking to implement it himself. When the Soviets began to lose control of the Warsaw pact, he saw the writing on the wall and let it go, giving the people what they want. I’ve said this before, Regan saying ‘Tear down that wall.’ to a die-hard Stalinist would have a different result. The Ayatollah is no Gorbachev.

    For all of the editorializing and shakey anti-Zionist what-have-you in knarly’s post, the kernel of truth is in there. We don’t have any proof that there was election fraud. Just a lot of circumstantial evidence, a feeling that we wouldn’t put it past the Iranian government and a lot of angry Iranian protesters.

    So one the conservative point of view, I can look at this one of two ways. The first is that in typical fashion, the opposition party must oppose, they must oppose everything, because they are the opposition. Forget the facts. Add on a piping hot layer of rhetoric like “The theocracy is a fiendish regime..” (not the good kind of autocrats like our Chinese buddies, three cheers for secular autocracy!)

    The second is to reverse my normal course and say it’s a conspiracy. The US endorses the protesters, returns to (that oh so effective!) Axis of Evil (Watch Team America fight the Axis of Evil weekdays at 4!) rhetoric. The crackdown (which may or may not come no matter what we do) comes and Iran becomes even harder line, blaming the west for the unrest and having a lot of legitimacy, having actual historical precedent for that fact. The situation deteriorates more and the Republicans can up their rhetoric on military action. (McCain nails the falsetto on his reprise of ‘Bomb Iran’) Maybe we can have a limited nuclear exchange or something. Then they can blame Obama for it all.

  43. Smith Says:

    I forgot to post the link to the Google Earth blog.
    http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/06/imagery-update-for-tehran.html

  44. shcb Says:

    Smith,

    Sure there is a difference between an opinion piece and a more objective technical or legal document with all the cross references, for one thing one is infinitely more boring than the other. My point is that in either case all the author has to lose is his reputation. If the identity of the author is known there is the prospect he may lose his livelihood or at least his status in the field of his choice, in an opinion piece where the author is under an assumed name he has no such worries (one of the reasons I have always been more of a fan of the Federalist than Anti-Federalist papers). He also has to be concerned with the reputation of the organizations he is associated with. In this way a place like Pajamas or Huffington have a certain level of credibility that moves them above the level of a blog. Many of the authors I read routinely give their sources, sometimes to a degree that their pieces almost become a journal piece as you describe it. Hanson does this quite often, I think he is or was a professor, but I’m not sure about that.

    I see you and he came to the same conclusion about the military getting involved in the Iranian situation.

  45. shcb Says:

    I’m kind of with Jayson on this, I don’t think there is a story that the election would be rigged, we’re talking about a repressive dictatorship of the worst kind, it and a couple other countries could probably be called an axis of evil in fact, oops, been done. But this using a teenager’s annoying toy to get such critical information out is so cool. It reminds me of the ham operators in Berlin as the wall was going up.

    What courage, when I found I couldn’t get to Lies.com in China my first thought was “I have to figure a way to get past the censors” as if it would be fun, but then I decided it probably wasn’t worth spending a couple years there, and not in the fancy hotel I was staying. Even then I figured the worst that would probably happen would be a knock at my door and stern shaking of a finger. I can’t imagine having the courage to do it with bullets a very real possibility.

  46. Smith Says:

    shcb,

    I am not sure what your point is about the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. They were all written under pseudonyms, Publius for the Federalists, and Brutus, Cato, Centinel, and others for the Anti-Feds.

    The problem with relying on reputation to back up the claims in opinion articles, is that some authors’ reputations are based primarily on being good attack dogs. O’Reilly could write an article that was filled to the brim with lies, but as long as he attacked Obama, his reputation wouldn’t suffer. Furthermore, some writers may have a good reputation in certain fields/topics, but their opinion pieces may cover a completely different subject, which would insulate their reputation from the content of the article. Opinion articles are just that, opinions. I feel they lack the rigor necessary to be treated as valid sources of accurate information. They fall into the same category as blogs for me.

    I heard that during the Olympics, China had reduced the filters on hotels that were being occupied by foreigners. I guess that was just a special concession made for that event.

    As for Iran, I agree with you and J.A.Y.S.O.N (this name is slightly difficult to type) that the election isn’t the real issue here. As I told knarly in an earlier comment, the real story is the uprising itself.

  47. Smith Says:

    The Iranian government news organization (I doubt it is part of the western, Zionist media conspiracy) is reporting that the Guardian Council has found that vote tallies in 50 cities exceeded 100% of eligible voters. The article stresses that this happened in ONLY 50 cities. It also states that it is unclear if a recount of those cities would have any impact on the election.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=98711&sectionid=351020101

  48. knarlyknight Says:

    Smith,

    You’re full of shit, and your insinuations to me are disgusting. You are the only one here who has ever suggested that ““Jews did 9/11.” Putting that in quote marks does not make it a quote if you are the one saying it for the first time. That was pathetic, insulting and reprehensible. Go fuck yourself and your asinine accusations of “your Zionist conspiracy theory bullshit.”

    You throw out another quote, ““Jews sure are controlling our government and the media.” Who said that where? I bet you made that up too. Liar.

    But your other two quotes can be found in the article, but you provided such short snippets as to be meaningless except to serve your purpose of inciting hatred against the author.

    Plus you pulled them from two seperate paragraphs and combined them to create a sick meaning that until then only existed in your brain. (That tactic is sleaze of the highest order, and tantamount to lying. Liar. ) The full context simply speaks to the lack of other governments’ support of the fraud allegations, with some emphasis on the far-right Israeli government’s oft-repeated calls for “pre-emptive” attacks on Iran (your selected quotes in bold):

    “A realistic approach would be to open a wide-ranging discussion with Iran, and acknowledging, as Senator Kerry recently pointed out, that enriching uranium is not an existential threat to anyone. This approach would sharply differ from the approach of American Zionists, embedded in the Obama regime, who follow Israel’s lead of pushing for a preemptive war with Iran and use the specious argument that no negotiations are possible with an ‘illegitimate’ government in Tehran which ‘stole an election’.

    Recent events suggest that political leaders in Europe, and even some in Washington, do not accept the Zionist-mass media line of ‘stolen elections’. The White House has not suspended its offer of negotiations with the newly re-elected government but has focused rather on the repression of the opposition protesters (and not the vote count). Likewise, the 27 nation European Union expressed ‘serious concern about violence’ and called for the “aspirations of the Iranian people to be achieved through peaceful means and that freedom of expression be respected” (Financial Times June 16, 2009 p.4). Except for Sarkozy of France, no EU leader has questioned the outcome of the voting. ”

    So who are the “American Zionists, embedded in the Obama regime”? I don’t know. Do I think it is worth looking that up and finding out? Not really. Is it truly relevant to the purpose of determining whether claims of election fraud in Iran are relevant? No. Does Smith, in his holier than thou outrage even know what a Zionist is? I sure don’t know what it means, because I’ve never known anyone who calls themself a Zionist and because so many people have different ideas about what that term means. So Smith, what do you think it means? (You seem to think Zionism is equivalent to “Jew” or “Israeli”.) For the record, I’ve known at least two or three dozen Jewish people and Israeli’s and can say without any qualification that each and every one was perfectly nice, thoughtful, polite and utterly non-deserving of any kind of malice. I’ve attended Jewish weddings and have become enamored with their culture.

    June 21st, 2009 at 4:23 am

    From the Rense article:

    “American Zionists, embedded in the Obama regime,”
    “do not accept the Zionist-mass media line of ’stolen elections’.”

    Those “Jews sure are controlling our government and the media.” If I want to debate with people who think “Jews are taking over the world,” I’ll go to StormFront. I think I understand why you are so quick to defend Ahmadinejad’s re-election now. I’m sorry that you don’t like people calling out your Zionist conspiracy bullshit, but you can rest assured that I won’t bother addressing any of it again. Some things are so reprehensible that they are not worthy of being given the legitimacy that comes with a debate. I’m not leaving the site, but I shall let my scroll wheel take care of all your future rants about how the “Jews did 9/11.”

  49. knarlyknight Says:

    Rense provides this today, which Smith will be disappointed in because there is nary mention of bogeymen Zionists in it, but Jayson will like it for its superb depiction of our view(s) of the current Iranian situation:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/21/peter-beaumont-iran-crisis-ahmadinejad

  50. knarlyknight Says:

    Smith,
    Thanks for the link to presstv, http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=98711&sectionid=351020101 , but I’d advise you to stay clear of that site because it is wholly unreliable (really, it is) and nothing in it has been vetted by professional western media executives. You would be easily misled if you referenced that site. That’s not sarcasm, it’s serious, because you are clearly a fool.

  51. knarlyknight Says:

    The Iranian protests arise from inherent problems in Iranian political, legal, religious, and other social imbalance. That’s not controversial.

    What’s contoversial is to speculate on the role, if any, that the CIA played. To say “None at all” would be to say the CIA is useless and inept and not worthy of further clandestine operations funding.

    To say this wouldn’t have happened without the CIA is giving them too much credit. I’d guess their role in this gathering avalanche we are witnessing was to prepare the slope a little (or a lot) and give a nudge to the debris on the top of the mountain.

    If there was substantial CIA involvement, then I’d say – at this point in the game – that it looks like it was a job well done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRwUZ-u6KFo&feature=player_embedded

  52. knarlyknight Says:

    One final note on Smith-sleaze – my questioning and testing the validity of fraud allegations before taking a stand on whether the election results were invalid is basic common sense & is not a bad thing- even Jayson stated that the basic kernal of Truth is that there is circumstantial evidence but no proof.

    That recognition was lacking in the majority of posts here (and some of the media coveage.) For Smith to assert that knarly was “so quick to defend Ahmadinejad’s re-election now” is wrong. It is a warped Rovian mindset in which questioning the direction that the flock is being directed is something to ridicule and maximum scorn. One can only pity Smith for living within such a rigid & conforming rectangular mind.

  53. Smith Says:

    My Internet connection is acting up, so sorry if this gets double posted.

    In light of many of the comments in here, I would like to suggest that this topic be renamed “Meltdown: Smith and Knarly.” In fairness, I have not bothered to read knarly’s last few comments, but I did notice that he had bolded the word “liar” as I was scrolling past, so I assume that his posts contain at least some vitriol, much like my earlier posts directed at him. While I do regret my harsh posts, my opinion of his links remains unchanged.

    I suspect this particular comment section has become too poisoned to support further discussion of Iran; however, the other thread appears to be on track, so I will post Iran related links there. If shcb would like to continue discussing media sources, then I will be happy to do so in this section.

  54. shcb Says:

    Smith,

    I will definitely agree with you that a person that is accomplished in one field will write on a subject that is totally out of their area of expertise. Good point, I guess it’s just buyer beware. I probably used the wrong word when I said journal, but I don’t know what word to use. My point was that when an article is written by Victor Davis Hanson, you can look up his credentials, when it is written by Hilzoy you can’t, until someone figured out who she was anyway.

    Federalist/ anti Federalist… as soon as I hit the submit comment button I thought “shit, he’s going to catch that”

    As far as censoring in China goes, I haven’t been there since the Olympics so maybe they have relaxed things. I was supposed to go in January but then the recession hit and we have pretty much cut out international travel, or travel of any sort for that matter.

  55. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    karnly, you were right. I really liked the Guardian article.

    Smith said he thinks this is going to end badly. Anyone think the same, different? As of Monday morning the protests are still ongoing.

  56. shcb Says:

    I think we are about to the end of it so I don’t think this episode will end any worse than it already is, which is bad enough. But where is the end? Where I think the true damage will happen is in the future, before the next election will a quiet purge of “undesirables” take place so this isn’t repeated? Can this purge be diffused enough that not much information gets out? Can the government control the information that gets out better? That sort of thing. So I guess it depends on how far you extend these events and how much you tie the future (the present at that time) to the past (the current present).

    I’m basing this on nothing more than a gut feel.

  57. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Although bringing the CIA into this seems about on par with election fraud argument. It’s been argued that there is no hard evidence of fraud. There are just some statistical models and a lot of angry Iranians.

    So the CIA was running operations under Bush, therefore they’re working to destabilize Iran under Obama? This is because the Zionists run everything? International Jewish conspiracy? (I feel bad for Obama, ask the right about him and you’ll find out he hates the Jews because he wants to destroy Israel. Ask a Nazi and you see the snake eat it’s tail because you’ll find out the Jews manufactured him and put him in office… Yow.)

    So Obama is running Bush’s CIA black ops plan to destabilize Iran because he’s being run by the Zionists and wants a democratically stable Iran so he can take the threat to Israel off the table and look good.

    Or, despite replacing the director, the CIA is run by rogue elements who are bent on destabilizing Iran because they’re loyal to Bush’s neocon ideology and want to create a more hardline Iran to validate his policies and create a military conflict to discredit Obama.

    Or, the CIA is just a tool of MJ-12, which itself was a tool of Odessa. So clearly the CIA are backing the unrest in Iran to create a more hardline Iran that will more aggressively pursue nuclear weapons. This will lead to a limited nuclear war in which Israel and the majority Jewish population are wiped out, thus fulfilling the Nazi Final Solution, 64 years after the close of WWII. Of course the Nazis were really being run by the Greys, which brings us back to the MJ-12 connection…

    Or, China exports more goods to Iran than anyone, maybe it’s not the CIA at all, maybe it’s Chinese intelligence. Maybe this is all part of some far reaching plan the Chinese on their road to being a superpower.

    Or, it’s MI6.

    Or it’s the Iranians themselves who want to use historical precedent to blame the CIA for their actions. To this extent they’ve allowed the CIA to operate on a limited level, while secretly thwarting them on some level to maintain plausible deniability.

    Or the Iranians just cooked their own elections, did it kind of amateurishly and now a lot of people are upset.

  58. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Dang. No one thinks this is going to have a more positive outcome for the Iranian people?

  59. Smith Says:

    Part of the difficulty in predicting the outcome of the situation in Iran is the lack of reliable information coming out of the country. There are rumors abound that all point towards different outcomes and muddle the current status of the protests.

    I have heard a rumor that 40 members of the guardian council have signed a letter condemning the violence against the protesters and claiming the election results are invalid; however, there are no good sources for this.

    I have heard that the Republican guard is threatening to get actively involved in cracking down on the protesters, but I am not sure if it is from a credible source.

    I have heard some claims that the protests are winding down, but I have heard other people state that Mousavi is planning a big strike against key resources in Iran.

    It is hard to analyze a situation when there is a dearth of reliable sources of information. Maybe the Guardian Council will remove Khamenei and appoint a new Ayatollah who will call for new elections. Maybe internal pressures will force Ahmadinejad to step down and force new elections. Maybe the protests will eventually become the new Iranian Revolution. The 1979 revolution took over one year of active protests and resistance. So, there are some potential positives.

    On the other hand, maybe the protesters will get tired and just live with the results. The Revolutionary Guard could take an active and forceful role and crush the dissenters. I imagine that would be followed up with strong regulations designed to “protect the nation” by curtailing freedoms (the Iranian PATRIOT ACT). Perhaps the army will get involved and tilt the balance in favor of one side or the other.

    There is a lot of room for speculation, but without good information, there is little that can be used to support any of it.

  60. NorthernLite Says:

    I think the outcome is already positive, from the standpoint of thousands of Iranians questioning their system of government and thinking to themselves, “hey, wait a minute here…”

    Democracy didn’t come to the West overnight and it certainly required lots of blood, sweat and tears. I think this is the begining of something very big for the Middle East, obviously Iran in particular. But the effects of this could be far reaching.

  61. knarlyknight Says:

    Jayson – Your June 21 8:11 comment missed, because your criticisms mostly just extended the author’s line of reasoning onto unrealistic paths – probably not places where the author was going. You’re entitled to do that, but it’s a disservice to yourself. But your 8:29 (ridiculing?) comments about the CIA / intrigue brought smile, i took it as sarcasm – hope that was correct – yes, i take your points (and snark.) However, I still think things are not as simple as the meme “marching for democracy” being touted by some. Roberts’ gives some good counter factoids which, depending on your point of view, either continue with the sarcasm or highlight that things are not quite as they appear from watching the news: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Iran-Falls-to-US-PSYOPS-by-Paul-Craig-Roberts-090622-117.html

    Smith is still full of shit (ahem, “rumours”) which might be an unintentional repetition of CIA propoganda that would make him not just a shithead but a stupid one.

    shcb – your “gut feel” assessment of where the Iranian situation is heading aligns with mine. We probably both would hope we were wrong and that Iran quickly gets past this turmoil to become a shining example of a successful democratic socialist nirvana of religious freedoms. ;-)

    It’s time for another dose of the War Nerd – to clear our heads and insert some sanity & clear vision. shcb, I’m pretty sure this’ll be your favourite part: “living in the Islamic Republic of Iran must be a lot like going to a Catholic school where you never, ever graduate, where kissing is a felony and not wearing the uniform is a crime against God. Hell yes, they’re sick of it, and they have every right to be.”

    Jayson, the Nerd answers your question (about where this is heading) with more clarity and common sense than shcb’s gut sense plus all the academics (& Smith’s so called reliable news sources) put together. http://exiledonline.com/war-nerd-irans-cedar-show-aka-dont-get-excited-the-protestors-are-just-letting-off-some-steam/

  62. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I guess I’ll have to disagree with you. I read Roberts article and found basically the same thing I found in Hanson and Petras pieces.

    He’s grabbing the facts and hammering them into assertions that back up his worldview. Just has Hanson had Obama down as a coward, incompetent, or cynic, Roberts has the whole situation down as a CIA plot.

    shcb is a conservative, he’s going to post stuff that reinforces and validates his worldview. knarly, you just seem like you’re doing the same. This is analogous to a ‘love is blind’ type of situation. It’s hard to detect the flaws in something you agree with.

    Regarding my list of scenarios. There’s a little snark and sarcasm, but not as much as you’d think. Regarding everything but the scenario involving the Greys. If we approach the situation in Iran through the lens of constructing speculative scenarios out of factoids, then any of that list of culprits and plots has to be taken just as seriously. They’re all grounded in the same mix of some small facts and extrapolated hypothesis.

    Now, the thing with the Greys wasn’t even that snarky either. I used to be really into the ufology movement as a teenager. I read a ton of stuff about that. If you get into that and read up on it, the connection I spelled out is supported by a lot of “evidence.” My extrapolating this into a Final Solution plan isn’t that far fetched. Unless you reject the level of evidentiary proof (mostly where I am now) and reject the existence and/or intervention of space aliens.

    The point ultimately being that when you filter the facts through the lens of preconception that you get the result you want. When you extrapolate conspiracies from factoids and your preconception to see/want to see a conspiracy, then there’s no stopping.

    What I don’t personally like about it, is while yes I understand people conspire, this is really ignoring much simpler hypothesis. Occam’s Razor and all that.

    Good ol’ War Nerd’s explanation of what’s going on being an excellent example of the simplest explanation being the best. His analysis is sadly compelling.

  63. knarlyknight Says:

    Jayson – yes, exactly. Unfortunately, well intentioned people treat Occam’s Razor as a scientific Law rather than what it is: simply a tool for prioritizing hypothesis for further study. Sir Isaac Newton would be appalled at those who latch on to Occam’s Razor to justify their preconceptions and exclude additional evidence that does not support their pet hypotheses. Microspores of active high explosives, for example…

  64. knarlyknight Says:

    Done.

  65. shcb Says:

    This may give you some hope Jayson.

    If this is true, it is, as Steve says, huge. Because it means that senior religious leaders in Iran are talking to the representative of an Iraqi Imam who believes, as most Shi’ites did before Khomeini’s heresy, that the proper role of religious leaders is to guide their people from the mosque, not from the political capital. In other words, they are talking about the most serious form of regime change.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/michaelledeen/2009/06/22/monday-night-and-tuesday-morning-in-iran/

  66. Smith Says:

    Michael Jackson died, so I am guessing that media coverage of Iran is going to completely vanish. I guess Knarly can speculate about the “Zionist” CIA’s involvement in MJ’s death now.

  67. shcb Says:

    boy, losing two icons of a decade in one day was pretty amazing

  68. Smith Says:

    Yeah, I keep forgetting about Farah. Michael Jackson seems to be getting all the headlines, and Farah is reduced to a small column. Such is fame.

  69. Smith Says:

    Apparently I also forget how to spell her name. Farrah, not Farah.

  70. NorthernLite Says:

    Yeah I’m sure Iran is picking up the pace with their crackdown on protests now that the media is consumed by MJ’s death.

    I know that he was an icon of gigantic proportions, but wasn’t he also a pedophile? Was he ever charged with it? I was kind of young when all that went down and wasn’t really paying attention to the news… Or was it just people trying to get money from him?

  71. Smith Says:

    The first time the pedophilia allegations were brought up was in the nineties. There was an investigation, but he was never brought to trial. He made an out of court settlement, and the family dropped the charges.

    The second incident occurred in the 2000s. Maybe 2005? He was charged with around seven crimes. The allegations this time included molestation and giving alcohol, which he allegedly called “Jesus Juice,” to minors. He was acquitted on all counts.

    Celebrity trials tend to be a whole different game from regular court dates, so I doubt if we will ever know the truth about either incident.

    On the Iranian front, a high ranking cleric has said “the judiciary should charge the leading ‘rioters’ as being ‘mohareb’ or one who wages war against God.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090626/wl_nm/us_iran_election_211 Looks like things are going to get tougher for the protesters.

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