Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Election Fraud in Iran

It's never a prudent strategy to plan on the world becoming more just and peaceful -- harmony and wisdom running riot. But if the Iranians could somehow stage a revolution right now -- beating a path back to a secular society less hostile to the West -- it would be an amazing game-changer in the Middle East. But it's hard to tell exactly what's happening there at the moment. I'm reading the blogs and news sites this morning trying to get a fix on it. The one thing for sure is that the alleged loser in the presidential election didn't call his opponent with congratulations. Instead, Moussavi declared: "Today the people's will has been faced with an amazing incident of lies, hypocrisy and fraud."

Here's the lead story in the Times. Meanwhile Times editor Bill Keller, in Iran, writes, "for those who dreamed of a gentler Iran, Saturday was a day of smoldering anger, crushed hopes and punctured illusions, from the streets of Tehran to the policy centers of Western capitals."

But Keller reminds us that there are constituencies that prefer to see Iran run by the hard-line Ahmadinejad: "the result was comforting to hawks in Israel and some Western capitals who had feared that a more congenial Iranian president would cause the world to let down its guard against a country galloping toward nuclear weapons capability."

For some folks, bad news is good news. Gotta keep everyone scared!


Ahmadinejad held a defiant press conference this morning, as reported on CNN by Christiane Amanpour:

" was an exceptionally defiant opening statement of 15 minutes, in which he basically claimed complete and total victory, saying that there was no question about the result, and blaming the foreign press for having their own agenda and questioning the results, saying that nobody else in Iran was doing so. When people mentioned that there were people on the streets protesting, he said they were a handful of radicals and hooligans. He also said that Iran has the only true democracy, that it set a new model for democracy. And he lambasted liberal democracy, assigning it to the ash heap of history...."

She asked him about the fate and location of Moussavi, and he dodged her: "He answered with some kind of allegorical metaphor, in which he referred to traffic light infractions and anybody who speeds and goes past a red light will be fined. And he seemed to imply that the opposition had broken the law and were being fined or punished right now."

More at

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 14, 2009; 7:32 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Girl in the Window
Next: T.Rex and Daffy Duck


From the NYT story
"In a televised address to the nation Saturday night, Mr. Ahmadinejad called on the public to respect the results..." I'm no intel analyst, nor pundit, but it seems to me that someone who claims to have won by a 28% margin normally does not have to ask for people to "respect the results."

Good morning boodle. Left over biscuits ready to be warmed in the oven. Sausage patties or strawberry rhubarb preserves, or both for those that like sweet and savory together.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 14, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

We voted Saturday in the runoff election for our District 8 council seat. At 10 p.m. last night, the runoffs for Districts 2 and 5 were too close to call. The newspaper was not on our lawn at 6:30 this morning. The local paper keeps hammering about the pathetic turnout for these races, as far as early voting numbers.

Yesterday, the unrest in Iran was background noise, for us, I'm sorry to say--husband having to put in a full day's work from home and running errands around those work hours. Free and fair elections have not always been the norm here in the United States, but compared to Iran...

You might want to better clarify Keller's "constituencies" as imams or mullahs. Are there others?

Posted by: laloomis | June 14, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I've been hearing all week that folks in Iran expected Ahmadinejad to be declared the official winner of the election no matter what the actual voting results were. As I understand it, the Iranian state media typicially becomes quiet about criticism of the opposition on the run-up to the election in order to encourage people to come to the polls, then delivers the preordained election results with the announcement of how many people actually came to the polls. I suppose this allows the Ahmadinejad Goverment's Official results to contain a grain of truth that they think makes the rest of it believeable.

I sincerely hope that those engaged in protests in Tehran do not meet simiar fates to those in Tianamen Square 20 years ago.

Perhaps I'm reading things wrong - I'm no expert on such things - but Ahmadinejad and his cadre seem to be the types of folks who intend to remain in power by any means necessary.

On another note, I'm watching the finish of the LeMans 24 hours, and it looks like Peugeot is going to finally win with their beautiful 908 diesels after three years of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Glad to see the "highly experienced" (read: old guy) driving team is going to take the checkered flag for them -- those guys know that in order to finish first, first ya gotta finish.

A nice day for the French blue, and congrats to them.


Posted by: -bc- | June 14, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

For boodlers that are both car enthusiasts and fans of humorous writing (you both know who you are), Yardley reviews the new essay collection by P. J. O'Rourke titled 'Driving Like Crazy' today.

And yes, it has "How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink" in it.

The biggest shocker from the review was that the Republican Party Reptile is now 62. I saw him at a signing at Bibelot Books (which dates the event in and of itself) and he didn't seem THAT old.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Tin pot dictators run elections the same way they hold trials in Wonderland: Victory announcements first, vote counting later.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

There is a school of thought that contends that the Iranian Presidency isn't the sole, or even dominant, power in Iran. But, like so many things about that country, it is hard to know for sure.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 14, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Is it too soon to make jokes about hanging chādars?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, it is so much easier to run a democracy if there is no real need to count the votes.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 14, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The thing is, it is very tempting to impose a narrative on Iran based on either western expectations or models validated in other repressive countries. This would be a huge mistake.

Iran is uniquely complex because it has a powerful clergy, powerful military, strong educated class, and a very young population. It is how these various factions interact that drive the events in this country.

So it isn't enough to claim that Ahmadinejad may or may not have stolen the election. It isn't a dictator against the people. The question is, which of the various elements of Iran may have conspired together to bring about this outcome?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 14, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Military and clergy.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 14, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Um yello -- in regard to 62 being THAT old, you realize that Mudge and I resemble that remark . . . . and apart from my back going nutz on me (some vertebra sitting on a nerve), really honestly truly 62 ain't that old. Ain't that young, either, tho.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 14, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Hi all.. .beautiful morning here in NoVa. The back door is open and I can hear the birds and see my impatiens on the deck growing as I watch. Dr G and I are off to spend the day with an old friend today.

What are y'all up to today?

Posted by: -TBG- | June 14, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Iran sure gave a lesson to Minnesota; 2 hours after the closing of the polling stations (for 30 million voters)they had a winner.

It's a beautiful summer day in the other capital. This was a 2-stroke engine type of morning. Some lawn mowing, some weed-wacking and a bit of chainsawing to clean up a split Amur maple (darn those things grow fast!). I'll let the Fungi mow the rest of the lot with the 4-stroke engine lawnmower, I'm done with the gasoline fumes for today.

I don't know about hitting the sub on purpose Mudge. I was told towed arrays are quite "blind" in the forward cone. The skipper has to zigzag it around to get full coverage. He may have lost lost the sub by closing in on it straight ahead. He wouldn't want to leave a state-of-the-art array stuck on the conning tower like Charlie Brown's kite on the kite-eating tree.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 14, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Ahem. Thank you, ftb.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 14, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

My -- ahem -- pleasure Mudge.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 14, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

You might be right, SD. I think it depends on the age of the array/paravane, as well as the type of sub. Most modern subs don't have all that open bridgework and railings and guide wires running to the bow, like the old ones. I think it would be hard to entangle a modern sub's sail. But yes, wouldn't risk a really new, high-tech array, but I also think he'd love to bounce and older expendable array of the sub's bow. That sub was way too close, and on purpose, and well deserved a boink on the nose. They've been playing chicken lately, and it's the only way they learn.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 14, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Some flower photos from Chez Frostbitten, so nice to finally have lots of green and things in bloom. In its third summer, the shade garden is almost complete, but complete is never a good word to use for a garden.

Mr. F just got back from a little fishing. Caught and released a 22" Northern so he had fun. He's getting ready to leave for St. Paul and I'm assembling the ingredients for oatmeal cake with broiled coconut topping. Making it by special request for tonight's farewell BBQ for the local parish priest. He's been a valued member of our community nonprofit's board so he will be missed even by this apatheticist. I've tried to talk him into telling the new priest that serving on the board is just part of the parish duties, but he wasn't buying it.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 14, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, too bad they don't have towed bodies anymore, that would make a nice boink.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 14, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Nice photos Frosti. Maybe we should be thinking about a shade garden or maybe a water garden as it’s been raining again here. I’ll spare you all another weather rant.

I just read Juan Cole’s piece on the Iranian elections in Salon and I think he’s probably right.

We were supposed to have the granddaughters this afternoon but the plans were cancelled. I’d be more disappointed if the weather was better as we were going to take them for a short hike up a small hill. We changed that to going to see the supposed oldest house in the US, the Fairbanks house. I think we’ll probably still do that as “S” has always wanted to see it because he’s a 12th generation descendant.

By the way ftb, I’m also in that ’62’ club and I refuse to be old (or spry!).

Posted by: badsneakers | June 14, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

That's a very scary bit on Ahmadinejad's press conference. What amazes me is the sober and serious way he spouts such obvious absurdities.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 14, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, Sneaks, 1946 was some banner year for some banner folks (excluding some others (like GWB)). The year includes Sally Field, Candace Bergen, and a few others who escape my mind (due to the, uh, "age"). I'll do a google on the year and see who else we can come up with (and others we would rather not).

For the last few years, I've noticed the song my knees sing when getting up and down from chairs or my sofa. If they'd only do it in key. . . .

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 14, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

You still have bleeding hearths in Minnesota? Wow. I'll stop complaining about the late spring, my hostas are well ahead of yours.
Ahmadinejad's the Revolutionary Guards' man. The RG is supposed to be the leading non-cleric group in Iran, ahead of the military. They have developed into their own politico-military-commercial-industrial complex. Scary bunch.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 14, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

It seems that PJ is only 61 and won't turn 62 until later this year. And no offense to our boodlers of a certain age, but being social security eligible takes away something from the reckless youth image that O'Rourke has cultivated over the years.

But old age isn't what it used to be. My reprobate aging hippie uncle who is now in his mid-60s constantly notes that he is STILL younger than Mick Jagger.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

sd-it's only in the last week that the trees fully leafed out. Tulips are a June flower here.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 14, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

ftb, Bill Clinton is five days older than me.

OK, forget that one.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 14, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Kirk Douglas on smoking (2003)-- nicely written.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 14, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Other old farts turned 62 this year:

January 3 John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)
January 5 – Diane Keaton,
January 8 Robby Krieger (The Doors)
January 11 Naomi Judd
January 19 Dolly Parton
January 20 – David Lynch
February 21 Tyne Daly, Alan Rickman
March 6 – David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
March 12 – Liza Minnelli
April 19 – Tim Curry
April 25 Talia Shire, Strobe Talbott
April 30 – King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden
May 2 – Lesley Gore
May 9 Candice Bergen
May 10 Donovan Leitch (Mellow Yellow, etc.)
May 11 – Robert Jarvik
May 18 – Reggie Jackson
May 20 – Cher
June 14 – Donald Trump

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 14, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Mudge -- they (and we) turned (turn) 63 this year.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 14, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Lesley Gore is 62? How can that be? I thought she was always 21.

Posted by: slyness | June 14, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Other old farts already 62, turning 63 this year:

July 6 George W. Bush, Sylvester Stallone
July 13 – Cheech Marin
July 15 – Linda Ronstadt
July 22 Danny Glover
August 9 – Jim Kiick, American football player
August 19 Bill Clinton
August 24 Curmudgeon
August 25 Rollie Fingers
September 1 Barry Gibb
September 15 Tommy Lee Jones, Oliver Stone
October 1 – Tim O'Brien (The Things That They Carrier
October 4 – Susan Sarandon
October 11 Daryl Hall (classmate at Temple U.)
October 14 – Justin Hayward (Moody Blues, wrote Tuesday Afternoon, Nights in White Satin)
October 18 Howard Shore, Canuckistani film composer (Lord of the Rings, etc.; was first bandleader on SNL as "Howard Shore and His All-Nurse Band")
October 19 – Philip Pullman
November 6 – Sally Field
December 14 Jane Birkin, Patty Duke
December 17 Eugene Levy
December 18 Steven Spielberg
December 19 Robert Urich (Dan Tanna, Spenser for Hire, Jake Spoon)
December 25 Jimmy Buffett, Larry Csonka
December 28 – Edgar Winter
December 29 Marianne Faithfull
December 30 – Patti Smith
December 31 – Diane von Fürstenberg

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 14, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, with money for plastic surgery, liposuction, silicone implants and a stylist, you could look as good as Dolly Parton. You'd be amazed at what could be done, really.

Therefore the puzzle is why, with all the money Donald Trump has, is why he hasn't even consulted a makeover specialist.

Just one of the many strange things about life.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 14, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The Iran election result is testimony of the Iranian people's choice and it must be respected by all. This was one of the fair elections Iran had in decades. The west always want to see the result of the elections to their advantage rather than to accept is whole heartedly. This attitude will not end until the west becomes more honest in deeds and values the truth rather than their own vested interests

Posted by: stalwart22 | June 14, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Ooops, yes, ftb, that batch already turned 63. The second batch (including us) will turn 63.

I can't believe Linda Ronstadt is 40 days older than me. Or older than me at all.

Or is in her sixties.

*burying head and sobbing*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 14, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I am NOT gonna do "Best Little Wh0reh0use in Texas" in dinner-theater, Wilbrod. No freaking way.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 14, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse


And I'm 20 days younger than Bill Clinton and 5 days younger than you, Mudge.

Good company all around, eh?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 14, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

( agree, ftb. That ain't a bad crowd, overall. Arbusto is the only major maroon in the bunch. (Of course, I left a bunch out.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 14, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The nearest place to see wild red columbines is Florida Caverns State Park, just south of the Alabama border, west of the Apalachicola River. It's a limestone hill with tulip trees and rain lilies.

The frostbitten flowers look great.

Prolific Middle East blogger Juan Cole (University of Michigan) is persuaded that the Iranian government simply made up the election results. Presumably the Supreme Leader approved everything.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 14, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

A lot of those sixty-something women are still pretty hot.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 14, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Gorgeous day here on the shores of Lake Ontario around 80 and sunny. Eight year old requested a mommy day, had a list of activities for us - we are part way through and taking a small break before the hair cut swim and the balance of 'the list'.

After that I will begin my list of things I need to do, putting away laundry, mowing the lawn, a few invoices, plants that need planting - somehow do not think everything will get done.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Iran, but only such a wonderful day I admit to it not be on the top of the list of priorties.

Frostie love the photos - my other two peonies are now in bloom, those plants are special as they are from the group of plants I dug from my parents garden before we sold the house. Last year just one of the peonies had one lone bloom, this year a few on each plant - a living reminder of my parents - so special.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 14, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, RD_P.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | June 14, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

That category absolutely includes you, rickoshea!

Great garden pictures, Frosti, thanks for sharing.

Hard to believe it's been a year since Tim Russert died.

I'd be less than honest if I didn't admit this story made me chuckle:

Posted by: slyness | June 14, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Me too, slyness, although I know how quickly the political fortunes can turn.

frosti, great pictures.

I hate to see the violence in Iran. So hard for people's hopes to be dashed, and hard to know if the vote was counted fairly.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 14, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Sullivan is keeping up a nice sequence of posts on the Iranian situation. Well worth checking out.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 14, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, too, RDP (I mean, I should probably include myself).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 14, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Popping in.

Wow stalwart22, that's going out there. Yes, there is a human tendency to be ethnocentric (you know what you know, you know?) but it's not enough to call it 'one of the fair elections Iran had in decades;' you gotta go that extra step and be able to call it 'free and fair'. Big diff.

We in the US have recent memory of elections that fell short of the lofty ideal of free and fair, but we don't set stuff on fire and our government doesn't block our communication. Why? Because we have a process for that, and there's a reasonable expectation that reasonable people will sort stuff out reasonably. Even when it gets sorted out in a way that 49% of the population (or 51%, depending on how you think our situation played out) still thinks they got rooked, we still don't go setting stuff on fire. That isn't the case in Iran. Why is that? Oh confidence/experience in all that reasonable stuff.

Also, are you saying there's a Ginormous Western Conspiracy to value $ more than truth? One that has been in place for some time, and goes beyond the current situation? How do you make this fly? Seems to me, you'd need a whole bunch of people from a variety of nations (and with different ethnocentricities) who'd have to be reading from the same playbook. How would one accompish that? Is there a boardroom where the powers that be decide on responses to a plethora of hypothetical situations just so they can all throw out the same response should one of those instances come to pass? Seems awfully complicated, with about a bazillion pitfalls, all the way down to the food...How to decide who gets to decide. I mean, "No cookies, no conference," right?

Popping out.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 14, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I noticed you specified "dinner theatre" in that denial, Mudge.

I'm not asking why.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 14, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

yello, PJ was on the Daily Show last week (IIRC) and at Politics and Prose last Tuesday night. Unfortunately, I couldn't go see him.

I read Yardley's review last night, though there was no mention of one of my favorites of his, which I recall being called "Bang Bang Yip Yip Yip"

You know, LiT, I understand what you're saying. That whole "Star Chamber" hypothesis is a little tough for me to swallow, too. But then, it's Bloody Mary Sunday, isn't it?


Posted by: -bc- | June 14, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

What the hell are we waiting? There is no way we can prove that elections were rigged and stolen and there will never be way of proving that, therefore lets just throw the mud in Ahmedinejad's face and the of face of those that actually decide who will be the president, boys in turbans behind the curtains. Screw them, help their people stand up and make a mess in their monarchy world and oevrthrow them. It should work this time, because people actually have their man for president, and its not Ahmedinejad.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | June 14, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tip, bc. PJ was on June 2nd and he is looking his age.

Michael Lewis was on recently as well talking about fatherhood.

It was like boodle fan writer week.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I only do the major theater circuit, Wilbrod. None of this "amateur night" stuff for me.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 14, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

So I'm watching other Daily Show clips and Katie Couric is the guest. The info nugget that comes out is that the average age of the CBS Evening News audience is...wait for it...62. Katie claims that's not that old. Jon Stewart then unleashes a litany of geezer jokes.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Why did we and Iran go so wrong? We should be GOOD friends. Every single Iranian I have met, and it is not a great amount, but a few, has been a good person and a friend to me.

I don't know what information is available that Ahmadinejad cheated, but I believe it. I paid attention to the 2004 Iran elections, I know that there was a strong desire for more moderate government by average Iranians. But moderate candidates were unfairly disallowed to appear on the ballots, they were "expunged."

I know Bush adventurism is Iraq scared moderates in Iran and allowed the extremists in Iran to tighten their grip.

The time of angry, swaggering big-talking Napoleonic nitwits is over. Vicious thugs around the world must be toppled.

As small a gesture as it is, I must be counted as one who supports his brothers and sisters in Iran who hope for a life of peace and reason and the simple rule of just law. For they know, as do I, that to be ruled by those who claim to fight monsters by becoming monstrous themselves, is against the better interests of all mankind.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 14, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

For some folks, bad news is good news

Some of us know that it doesn't matter an iota whether Himmler or Speer is Hitler's #2 as long as Hitler is #1. But at least with Himmler as #2, we don't have to hear yapping about how Speer means hope for peace.


However, the protests? Now that is significant. Khamenei has committed himself to one side, and the protesters are on the other. If the protesters break through, it won't matter that Moussavi is 99% as bad as Ahmadinejad; he'll either go along with the crowd or be removed by it, too.

Posted by: ehrbar | June 14, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Mehdi Khalaji's damning opinion piece in the Post on the Iranian Supreme Leader's coup leads me to wonder whether Iranians are ready to overthrow the Islamic Republic. The assorted militias, secret police, and so forth are probably able to stop any overt revolt, but perhaps Khamenei might not survive disrespect.

I assume all green ink and paint in Iran is being confiscated.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 14, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I just tried to post an account that a friend of mine in Iran sent me about what the people on the street are saying about Ahmadinejad's re-election. It's being held for review - is that normal? Anyway, my friend's account is very telling, most people are feeling cheated and that the election was rigged from the beginning. I hope my post is approved as my friend's account is much better than mine.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | June 14, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Aloha... no one ever sees the posts "held for review." It means there was something the system didn't like... too long, too many links, some word it didn't like.

Try breaking it into chunks and reposting it... or see if there are more than 3 links.

At any rate, please try to post it... I'd really love to read it.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 14, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tip TBG! I've broken my friend's report into two parts. Here's part 1:

Driving around town in Shiraz today there is no evidence of any skirmishes or demonstrations or celebration from last night. The streets have been swept clean. The only evidence we have of trouble in Shiraz is the constant presence of the various security forces. I even saw a militay helicopter fly overhead at some point. Of course I have only driven around my neighborhood, so I can't speak for the entire city.

Everyone is in shock. People haven't slept or eaten since the elections. They are disturbed and upset. Young people in Shiraz are being picked up and carted off to jail. Friends have seen young men and women being beaten and killed. A friend who lives near the student dorms told me she heard screaming and shouting and gunfire into the wee hours of the morning. No one is sleeping these days. We are all a wreck.

The great majority of people I speak with consider the count a fraud. They do not accept the results at all. A friend of our family, who lives in the Shahe Cheragh district of Shiraz, (which is a predominantly religious and conservative area) said that even there a huge number of votes went to Mousavi. He said that everyone he spoke with in that neighborhood on election night and after, all said that they voted for Mousavi. He also said that when he went to the bank this morning most people were talking about the fraud of the elections. A friend of mine has a brother who belongs to a large religious group - even they all voted for Mousavi.

The people who are demonstrating are predominantly young. They chant, "Ma Dolate Zoor Nemikhaim" (We don't want a government of force.") They are calling Ahmadinejad a dictator. People have concluded that a military coup has occurred and we will have hell to pay. People yell at the security forces and call them traitors and vote stealers. Even children are shaken and call the vote a fraud. Some of the members of the security forces themselves are shaken by the results of the elections and haven't slept for days, saying, "Beechareh shodim!" (We are without hope.") There are pro-Mousavi followers even within the security apparatus.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | June 14, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's my friend's words, Part 2:

There are those who have never voted, didn't vote this time and will never vote under this regime. They look at the rest of us naive ones and say,"See, we told you that the one who had been previously selected would win the election." The rest of the people I speak with say that they will NEVER participate in an election again, because it is a TOTAL fraud.

While some people have never accepted this form of government, a certain percentage have considered the Islamic Republic of Iran a "limited" democracy. While the candidates were hand-picked and had the regime's stamp of approval, at least we had a choice within those limits. This election has shown us that the Iranian people don't have a limited democracy, we have an Islamic Dictatorship. Someone suggested that Iran be called the Islamic Dictatorship of Iran from now.

Please help us by calling on all human rights groups and election monitoring groups to pressure the gov't to have a revote and a recount with outside observers. The people on the street do not accept the results. Period.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | June 14, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

And, this just came in from the same friend, Part 3:

Speaking with the "people of Shiraz" the thought is that the people in charge are going to get their way in the end and there is nothing they can do to stop them. They feel that the only thing that is going to happen is that a lot of promising youth are going to get injured, killed and imprisoned for nothing. Many people are of the opinion that the real fight is between the various factions within the government and that the people are just pawns in their power struggle. Therefore, the majority are not willing to risk their lives for the leaders of the regime. Others are waiting for Mousavi to show some real leadership in this area. Some of the older people I have spoken with are concerned that he will pull back and make a deal with the ones in power and abandon the young people who are fighting, and dying, for the election.

On my way home today at 6:30 I passed the student dorms. While there was no rioting at the time, the security forces were out in full force and traffic was already backed up. It was an incredible show of force. Riot police were running up and down the boulevard. Police brigades patrolled on motorcycles. Others forces were sitting in trucks waiting, while others patrolled on foot. People trying to leave buildings in the vicinity were pushed back inside. Some young men and women went running with security forces chasing them. Every type of police and military force that I have seen over the years was present. When we turned into our street to go up the hill, we saw a black bus and a fire truck parked at the ready. The black bus is reinforced with metal mesh and is used to transport prisoners.

At 10:00 p.m. I drove to the Baghe Nari area. By this time the road was covered with the aftermath of a riot. Rocks were everywhere. Students were in their dorm rooms and behind the dorm gates chanting, 'Allah-o-Akbar" and death to ….. There had been a big skirmish. When we reached Baghe Nari people were out in the streets shouting, "Allah-o-Akbar" as a show of unity like they did in the revolution.

The University Internet is down, Youtube has been blocked as has Twitter. VOA and BBC Persia show some good coverage – but are jammed for the most part. I am incredibly tired.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | June 14, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow, MotP, nothing compares to an eyewitness report from someone on the spot. This is going to be tough to watch.

Posted by: slyness | June 14, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

MotP - that is amazing. Wow.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 14, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

MotP-thank you so much for sharing that. My heart aches to read of people not sleeping. It has to be a very frightening time. Even with unrestricted communication it is nearly impossible to know what is going on in another block in a big city in anything like real time.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 14, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting that, MotP. Hope your friend stays safe. It must be incredibly hard to deal with something like this. I've been reading Isabel Allende's memoirs, where she writes about the aftermath of the Chilean coup by Pinochet. Her decision to leave Chile was very difficult, despite how impossible it became to survive under that regime. The books by Marjane Satrapi about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution are fascinating (and horrifying). I was hoping for a better outcome for the Iranian people.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 14, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

MotP, I do hope your friend stays safe, sounds like a very frightening situation.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 14, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Another eyewitness account, a Globe and Mail freelancer - who was "mistaken" for a protester and briefly taken into custody.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 14, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Well done, MotP. I'm amazed that the message beat the filters between here and there. Arrived back home from graduation festivities in he Queen City. Nice visit with my sibs and nieces. I took my son along, as #1 arrived home from the youth choir trip to NYC and DC feverish and with a splitting headache. Two of the troupe came down with what the ER docs identified as the flu upon their arrival home. Swabs are off to Atlanta for analysis, to be sure it wasn't H1N1A. #1's fever abated and didn't present like the flu, and she has been up and about since arriving home Friday. Heavy chest congestion is a leftover. We didn't take her to the doc. # 2 has a sore throat, and no other symptoms. Our son, my wife and I feel fine, with the exception of my pain in the neck. I'm tired of sleeping on my back, but haven't a choice until such a time when the pain abates. I found an electric guitar that I want to acquire. I'm waiting for money to fall out of the sky, and think that I'll be waiting for a while.

Posted by: -jack- | June 14, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Gentlemen, take off your hats; ladies, enjoy the music. It's gospel time.

I'll be down in the bunker whipping up some 99er's if anyone cares to join me. I have some grits as well. Coffee is on.

Posted by: -jack- | June 14, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Quelle guitar, jack? Link?

Posted by: Yoki | June 14, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the words of support for my friend. I will pass them along. I too hope that things go well for my friend and for Iran. We shall see what unfolds for the Iranian people. I am hopeful but not real confident that there will be positive change for them.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | June 14, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams. Minnesota's lack of one senator seems pretty trivial right now. Here's hoping we all awake to a better day for the Iranian people.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 14, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to be all negative and everything, but... Minnesota's lack of one senator seems not at all trivial, not to me. It means democratic elections can be highjacked anywhere, with enough money and influence.

Sorta like 2001, to my mind.

Iran and the West are not so far apart as we'd like to imagine, apparently.

Posted by: Yoki | June 14, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Multiple pics, Yoki. 3 tone sunburst, maple neck, am. standard tele
The object of my desire requires that a k drops from the sky, covering the axe, an amp and a case. The stuff of dreams until I pay my md's.

Posted by: -jack- | June 14, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, the lusting-after is fully justified, jack. Gorgeous axe.

Posted by: Yoki | June 15, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

*shooting into the ground in the hopes of striking oil in the back yard*

Posted by: -jack- | June 15, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

"when up from the ground came..."

Posted by: Yoki | June 15, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

It twangs. Springsteen plays one. I've been helping myself to my bro's strat whenever I visit him. This sounds odd, but I occasionally have dreams of sitting down and picking with Neil Young, shooting the breeze with him like I've known him all of my life.

Posted by: -jack- | June 15, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Care for a couple, over easy, some grits, bagel with cream cheese and some mud? I have some right over here...

Posted by: -jack- | June 15, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Everything but the mud. I've already eaten my peck of dirt.

Posted by: Yoki | June 15, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Aw, c'mon. I'll even put a pinch of salt in it. Just like the Navy does it.

Posted by: -jack- | June 15, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Oh, well, in that case! Who could resist salty mud?

Posted by: Yoki | June 15, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

jack, you need to keep an eye out for the PBS American Masters program on Neil Young - it's a gem.

Yoki, we had a governor's race here that took about 6 months to be decided because it was so close. Recounts, courts, appeals. Believe me, by the time it was over, no one cared who won. The difference being, there were no riots, no arrests, the parties involved followed a tedious legal process. I hated how the election in 2000 turned out - but Gore accepted the process and decision, and that was that. The US has had plenty of fraudulent elections, but we haven't had the turmoil that many countries have...not since the Civil War, anyway.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 15, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

I'll be looking out, seasea. I'll keep the mud on for dawn patrol.

Posted by: -jack- | June 15, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

motp, that was really interesting and disturbing. i wonder what the real election percentages were, but i guess we'll never know. taking the longterm view, i find it encouraging that there is such a hunger for reform in iran. in the short term things may get very ugly unfortunately, and i suspect that the protests will not have an impact.

Posted by: LALurker | June 15, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

I just love you all. You're so *earnest.*

Good night. Al.

Posted by: Yoki | June 15, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I just landed back in the stratosphere. Beautiful night here.

Yoki, saw your 11:40. And wanted to say yes, the US has a system that allows its citizens a reasonable expectation of reasonable people getting to the bottom of matters reasonably. Nobody is lighting anything on fire, and noone is clammoring for a posse. Like a lot of other countries. Might not always be picture perfect, but it keeps plodding along steadily in a forward direction, even if in a trail that looks like someone who has had one too many. The West and the Middle East...little differences sometime are a chasm...close, but wow you better watch your step. Add onto that the staggering. Awfully easy, yet ridiculously complicated.

Onto other matters, looks like I'm going to find myself in DC sometime soon...maybe Monday after next, maybe the Monday after that one. I can hammer down the date, if there's a possibility of a BPH. Thoughts?

I know it's late, but it won't be when others backboodle, so have a happy sunny day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 15, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

Right back at ya, Yoki.

Interesting article by Adrian Higgins about the recession and vegetable gardening.
I've never heard of Landreth Seed - probably dbG and Mudge have. They're in Philly, and have a lovely website - and they sell Mr Stripey seeds.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 15, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

That was quite a feat of reportage, Aloha. Well done.

Seasea, Landreth seeds might have a store in Philly, I dunno, but they are headquartered out in New Freedom, Pa., a quaint small town in the heart of Penna. Dutch country (a.k.a. Padoukaville) in York County, not far from the Mason-Dixon line. Great farmland out there.

WaPo op-ed has a piece by two American pollsters claiming the Iranian election results are accurate, and their polling showed Amhadinejad had a 2-1 lead a few weeks ago. Which seems to contradict a lot of other reporting such as David gregory saying 70% of the vote comes from cities, where Mousavi is very strong. I dunno.

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

June 15, 1785: French balloonists Francois de Rozier (the world’s first balloonist) and P.A. Romain are killed attempting to fly across the English Channel near Boulogne when their hydrogen/helium balloon catches fire. Except for the legendary Icarus, de Rozier and Romain are the first humans to die as a result of aeronautical activity; they may also be considered the first test pilot fatalities.
1904: In one of the worst maritime disasters in American history, the excursion steamer General Slocum (Capt. W.H. Schaick) catches fire then sinks in the East River, New York; 1.031 passengers – mostly women and children – are lost within a few yards of the shoreline. Virtually all the victims were Lutherans from Manhattan's Little Germany neighborhood. Van Schaick is convicted of criminal negligence for continuing to steam after the fire breaks out and is sentenced to 10 years; he is later paroled after three years in Sing Sing. It was New York City's worst disaster up until 9/11.

Happy Ides of June, Dawn Patrol. Let's get 'em flying.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 15, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. We had a little rain overnight and it's a good thing.
Regarding Iran, Roger Cohen of the NYT is in Iran and seems to support MotP's friend version of the events. There is no need of a major repression bout when an election is won by a landslide, quite obviously.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 15, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, and happy Monday.

Mr. T is returing the power auger and jackhammer to Sunbelt Rentals. Thank heavens. I wasn't sure either of us was going to survive the attempt to dig post holes in the slope beside the mountain house. He's building steps from the side yard down to the lower lot. I'm thinking it would be cheaper (and easier) just to call the contractor and have him do it. But it will be nice to be able to access the yard without sliding down the slope. As a bonus, it will be easy to get to heat pump for servicing.

Another funeral this morning, the father of a guy in our Sunday School class. This is getting to be a habit I'd rather not have.

Later, folks.

Posted by: slyness | June 15, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

I came back to Iran recently from the U.S. after 28 years. I have not seen participation and enthusiasm like this never in the U.S. to vote for someone. Believe me the 85% participation rate was not because they liked Ahmadinejad, they participated in masses to oust him. That was the reading and knowledge on the street. According to expert Ahmadinejad had about 10 to 13 million supporters. Last time he won with about 10 million.
The mood of the country was not as such to suggest the all these new voters were coming to vote for Ahmadi…. On the contrary they came to oust Ahmadinejad. And that is why people believe, they have rigged the results of the votes. In previous years they had announce the results village by village, city by city, and depending upon which region the candidates were from their share of votes would go up and down. This time they started the reading of 5.5 million votes, without saying where are these votes are from. And from the beginning the difference of percentage between the candidates remained almost the same (no surge form candidates’ region).
Maybe Ahmadinjad really believe he has won;
Why should he NOT want to put to rest on all these speculation about the “rigged results” and order a fair and supervised Recount?
Why don’t the Prosecutor General of Tehran starts an investigation, in light of all Three candidates written protest for “rigged results”?
Why doesn’t the Shoraye Negahaban who is responsible to investigate any irregularities of the election, start such investigation?
Why the Leader of Islamic Republic has endorsed the result before the result is endorsed by Shorai Negahban?
So there is no doubt that the election results have been rigged. Now we have to see can they get away with it?
Snellville, GA.

Posted by: thebullss | June 15, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

That op-ed is a bit disjointed -- most everyone wants lots of change, including more open engagement with the IAEA, but they're going to vote for the candidate least associated with change and most confrontational with the international community?

*taking-a-bottle-of-Advil-to-deal-with-such-mental-whiplash Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 15, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

The last sentence of that WaPo op ed is significant:

"The United States has to find a way to speak to Iran's people as well as the leaders who claim to represent them."

This is tricky. What does this mean? Does this mean the United States should open a dialogue with opposition groups? Support and enable candidates who seem more friendly to the West? Maybe even provide them with money so that they can print pamphlets and brochures?

The problem is, if we do that, then we open the door to accusations of "meddling." We risk implying that the US will actively support an uprising militarily when we probably would not. Even the smallest engagement opens the door for future accusations that the US "installed" the next regime. If this hypothetical regime ends up being anything less than perfect, then the backlash against the US could be severe. (Such an overwrought backlash is not without precedent.)

Which is why a lot of people believe that Obama needs to step back and let the Iranians sort this out.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 15, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I read the tea leaves as saying the official role is hands-off until there is a real power exchange and then we will welcome with open arms anybody less strident than the current powers that be.

We really can't be caught interfering publicly because all our credibility in the region go mortgaged a few years ago at sub-prime rates.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 15, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, jkt, we started a "No Doc" war and see what happened.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 15, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Padouk, I think the last sentence of the op-ed that you cited is simply a typical op-ed thumbsucking conclusion inviting people to have dialogue with each other, yadda yadda and la-la-la. It is basicaly meaningless, and just a variation on the all-purpose request for people to sit down and talk, negotiate, blah-blah-blah. As you point out, what does it mean? It doesn't mean much of anything. Urging people to talk to each other is what one recommends when one really has no other good idea. It is all-purpose sunshine moondust.

Meanwhile, does anybody else think this op-ed is pretty reprehensible? He seems to be saying most of our monuments are just monuments to victimhood, and he includes the Vietnam and WWI, Civil War, and WWII as examples. Helloooo? Victims? You wanna write off all those various and sundry soldiers as just "victims"? I don't think so.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we can put a Victims of Capitalism monument next to the Victims of Communism one. Oh, that's right. There already is one:

Not my picture. I have to add this to my list of things to upload.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 15, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm not normally much of a Peggy noonan fan, but this is the most intelligent thing she's ever written (reported in Kurtz's column):

"Both conservative media and liberal media are alike in that they have to keep the ratings up, or the numbers up, or the hits. If they lose audience, they can lose everything from clout to ad revenue. Because they have to keep the numbers up, they have to keep it hot, which actually has some effect on the national conversation. The mainstream media is only too happy to headline it when a radio talker says Sonia Sotomayor is a dope. The radio talker may be doing it to play to his base, but the mainstream media does it to show that Republicans are mean, thick and angry.

"On left and right, on cable and radio, political hosts see gain in hyping the story, agitating and exciting their listeners. All of this creates a circular, self-enclosed world in which it gets hotter and hotter and tighter and tighter."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

So talk radio is the real National Ignition Facility?

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 15, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

That monument op-ed rubbed me the wrong way as well. The way I figure it, a memorial is to help one remember those who never had a chance to make their marks on the world in other ways.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 15, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

LOL. I love "No-Doc" war! It makes me think of that comedy routine with W. searching under the couch for those pesky WMDs muttering "I knew I had a 'casus belli' around here somewhere."

Posted by: yellojkt | June 15, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't mean to sound like I'm in a b1tchy mood today, because I'm not. But here's a feature that's irritating the crap out of me. One of the blog features is "The League," and today's question is "Why Are Football Movies So Bad?"

The first columnist, Gene Wang, has a wishy-washy explanation, which actually shoots down the entire premise when he admits that, in fact, there are some good football movies. Well, so much for the entire premise, and the bogus question that started the feature in the first place.

The second columnists is dear Liz Kelly -- and the first thing she does is admit she's not a fan of football OR football movies anyway, but that the only good football movie is "North Dallas Forty." I could get snarky but won't. Suffice it to say, what's the point of getting an opinion from someone who is admittedly uninformed and completely uninterested in the topic? It's like asking me to review the works of Thomas Kinkade, fer cryin' out loud. (And of course, Liz is monumentally incorrect; there ARE other good football movies. She's just probably unaware of them.)
The third columnist, Doug Farrar, has a useful point that football is fast while baseball is slow, that a film like Bull Durham (only the best BB movie ever) has time to develop character and plot. He also makes the useful point that the Sabol's NFL films are so much better than any movie could be. But he never bothers to discuss One. Single. Football. Movie. None. Zero. So thanks for that contribution, Doug.
The fourth columnist, somebody named Jason Maloni, whoever he is (a communications consultant), discusses Matt Leinart and Vince Young. No movie discussion What. So. Ever.


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't mean to sound like I'm in a b1tchy mood today, because I'm not. But here's a feature that's irritating the crap out of me. One of the blog features is "The League," and today's question is "Why Are Football Movies So Bad?"

The first columnist, Gene Wang, has a wishy-washy explanation, which actually shoots down the entire premise when he admits that, in fact, there are some good football movies. Well, so much for the entire premise, and the bogus question that started the feature in the first place.

The second columnists is dear Liz Kelly -- and the first thing she does is admit she's not a fan of football OR football movies anyway, but that the only good football movie is "North Dallas Forty." I could get snarky but won't. Suffice it to say, what's the point of getting an opinion from someone who is admittedly uninformed and completely uninterested in the topic? It's like asking me to review the works of Thomas Kinkade, fer cryin' out loud. (And of course, Liz is monumentally incorrect; there ARE other good football movies. She's just probably unaware of them.)
The third columnist, Doug Farrar, has a useful point that football is fast while baseball is slow, that a film like Bull Durham (only the best BB movie ever) has time to develop character and plot. He also makes the useful point that the Sabol's NFL films are so much better than any movie could be. But he never bothers to discuss One. Single. Football. Movie. None. Zero. So thanks for that contribution, Doug.
The fourth columnist, somebody named Jason Maloni, whoever he is (a communications consultant), discusses Matt Leinart and Vince Young. No movie discussion What. So. Ever.


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Ooops, sorry about the double post


So, what's the point of having a feature about a potentially interesting topic (at least to football fans, anyway) -- and then having four guest responders, three of whom ignore the subject entirely? Beats the hell out of me.

For the record, there ARE a few good football movies (maybe not as many as good baseball movies, but what's the point of that kind of comparison? There aren't as many good WWI movies as WWII movies, either. And damn few about curling.)

Good football movies (in no particular ranking):

North Dallas Forty, as cited
Friday Night Lights (originally a movie, in case anyone has forgotten. And anyway, the TV series is very good, too)
Remember the Titans
The Replacements-- yeah, yeah, Keanu Reeves, a featherweight plot (based on a true story, in an extreeeeeeemely loose way) but fun to watch, and has 8 or 10 likeable characters (including Brooke Langton).
Invincible (the Vince Papale story)-- a true story, and it doesn't suck. And for what little it is worth, Greg Kinnear does a dynamite Dick Vermeil. Not that anyone but a Fuldullfyan would know.
Brian's Song. C'mon, if you didn't cry, your tear ducts are blocked.
Jerry McGuire. Yes, JM is also a football movie. Deal with it.

Honorable mention: The Program. Radio. All the Right Moves Everybody's All-American. The Express. Heaven Can Wait. We Are Marshall.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Jeez. Another fire "event" in the building. Evacuating now. Back in an hour or so.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Where do they get these people? Any Given Sunday? The Longest Yard? The Replacements? Rudy? Brian's Song?

I love you Mudge.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 15, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Best football movie ever: Gus.
End of discussion.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 15, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Another great football movie: Victory.

Sylvester Stallone and Max von Sydow are just perfect. And it features Pele. How much better can it get.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 15, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

And while Adam Sandler movies are not considered "good" anything...

"The Water Boy" is quite funny (Forrest Gump plays football, what's not to like?)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 15, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Great football movie: "Bend it like Becker".

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 15, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Voting information (hardly trivia) from this website:

States with No Elections

Among all the sovereign contemporary states, only six – Brunei, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Vatican City State – do not have, and never have had, any political institutions that can, even in the loosest sense, be described as popularly representative. In other countries citizens have the right to vote for a government, but they do not necessarily have a free or wide choice.

Qualifications for Voting

The qualifications for voting in elections were liberalized during the 20th century. New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote, in 1893, and, among economically-advanced states, Switzerland was the last, in 1971. [What WAS Switzerland's problem?] The minimum age for voting was almost universally lowered to 18, and some countries adopted an even lower age; the age qualification in Iran for presidential elections is 15.

LL: So, in Iran, a person can vote for president at the age of 15 (Is this true?), even though an individaul may not have much choice among candidates, and mass appeals for a open, valid recount in a contested election are neither acknowledged nor respected. Seems to be to be a battle between the medieval mullah twits versus the communications revolution tweets.

Cohen in his op-ed at the NYT today also mentions Iranian "constituencies," including the Iranian Revolutionary Guard:

Iran exists still, of course, but today it is a dislocated place. Angry divisions have been exposed, between founding fathers of the revolution — Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president — and between the regime and the people.

Khamenei, under pressure from Rafsanjani, appeared ready to let the election unfold, but he reversed course, under pressure, or perhaps even diktat, from the Revolutionary Guards and other powerful constituencies.

Posted by: laloomis | June 15, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

We interrupt the regularly scheduled boodle for a mini-rant from Raysmom:

Am I the only one who is annoyed with the overuse of the word "skyrocket?" It seems any time something is increasing, TV newspeople (OK, the newspapers do it, too, but for some reason TV annoys me more) say it's "skyrocketing." Gas prices, interest rates, the number of bankruptcies, you name it. Things that are increases for sure, but hardly the image of a rocket launching into the air.

Rise, move up, go up, grow, escalate, gain, multiply, swell, etc. Take your pick.

*rant over*

Posted by: Raysmom | June 15, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

*pointedly ignoring all references to soccer as well as Adam Sandler as woefully misguided and beneath response*

Back from the drill. Yawn.

Yes, Brian's Song. The only movie that can make big, brawny he-men cry. Except maybe The Dirty Dozen.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Also excellent. There is also both 'Air Bud: Golden Receiver" and "Air Bud: World Pup" although the original is still my favorite.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 15, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Adding to Raysmom's excellent rant: "soaring."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Bend Like Becker starred Ted Danson, didn't it?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 15, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Liz Kelly says football movies are about "a big galoot of a guy stuffed sausage-style into a pair of lycra leggings...."

She says it like that's a bad thing.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 15, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

They use the movie Brian's Song when they do medical research that involves tears. I guess no one can resist that one.

Maybe now they can use the first 10 minutes of "Up."

Posted by: -TBG- | June 15, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

This is what I think of when I see the word 'soaring':

Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight.

Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite
Looking forward to a little afternoon delight.
Rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ignite
And the thought of rubbin' you is getting so exciting.

Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight...

Thanks for the tune cootie. I'll be stuck with it the rest of the morning.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 15, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

That ear worm killed the boodle. That's how lethal it is.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Es muerto, Jaime.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

d @yello u kilt it

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

È guasto, Giacomo.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Ich bin ein Doktor, kein Mechaniker!

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 15, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Het is dood, Jake.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Swimmin' with da fishes. Wearing concrete shoes.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 15, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Ik geef haar al I' gekregen ve, kapitein.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

---Der Schpocker

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey... alive and kicking! Sort of.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 15, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh great, the boss isn't here so I get to go on an all day meeting to develop Strenghts and Opportinities on the meshing of our IMS with the TB's MAF.
I'll need Clockwork Orange-style eye openers to keep me awake.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 15, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

You need to get those tattoos Jumper was talking about last week... the ones on your eyelids of open eyes.

Or at least get these eyelid stickers...

Posted by: -TBG- | June 15, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"Il est le plus enchanteur"-- S'chn T'gai de la Spocke, dirigeant de la science

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to warn ScienceTim... don't read my 12:16 above.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 15, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

About those polls...

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 15, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Just curious: how many people knew S'chn T'gai was Spock's first name (or first and middle, possibly)? I just now learned it, after all these decades.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Ich kann gleich denken dass Ich kann einen regnerischen Tag kurieren.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 15, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

That's non-canon Star Trek from Memory Beta... i.e. it was used in a star trek novel, not in the films/tv. So I had no idea.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 15, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Afternoon, friends.

If any of you get a chance, check out the interview of Diane Sawyer with the son of the guy that did the shooting at the museum. She asked him if he had been influenced by his father and that culture of hate. His answer, no. Yet she played the video of the mother that lost her son in the shooting, and the mother was saying that she hoped this son could forgive his father for shooting her son. Sawyer, asked him what was his response to what the mother said. He said it was beautiful what she said, and that no, he could not forgive his father. At no point, did he offer her condolences or express sorrow at the actions of his father, nothing, nada.

This son has been affected by that culture of hate just as sure as my face is black and the rest of me too. What he's probably upset about is that the father lived. Hate is like fire, if one gets too close, one will certainly get burned. His answers to all of Sawyers's questions were short and unemotional, as though someone pressed a button and he talked. Just a lot of anger. And one can understand the anger, but where is the feeling? Even if one doesn't care for a parent, there's still that flicker of light. That's what separates us from the beast. Right?

In the movie, "Dark Knight", and I haven't seen the whole thing, the guy(from the movie, Alfie) tells another man, there are men in the world that don't want money or power, they just want to see the world burn. So true.

I'm on my way to the doctor. And Slyness, the birthday card was beautiful. Thank you for remembering. Have a great day, one and all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | June 15, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Not "Ich fange an zu denken dass ich einen regnerischen Tag kurieren kann," Scotty?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Joel's blessed us with a new kit.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 15, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: Yoki | June 15, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra... this sounds like condolences to me...

"I cannot express enough how deeply sorry I am it was Mr. Johns, and not my father who lost (his) life," Erik von Brunn, 32, said in a statement to ABC News. "It was unjustified and unfair that he died, and while my condolences could never begin to offer appeasement, they, along with my remorse is all I have to give."

This poor man is just as much a victim of his father's shooting than anyone. He has lived with that man's hatred his entire life, too. The scope of sadness in a senseless act like this is huge.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 15, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Alfred (Michael Caine): "Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 15, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I agree he was likely impacted by it, but I haven't seen the video for myself to see exactly what you mean by just anger and no feeling.

I'm trying to look it up. His dad was 88, Erik was 32. He, like me, grew up post-segregation and Jim Crow.

He just probably considered his father a relic of the past and sought to love him in spite of his views. Such a dad is a real burden to have in this day and age.

Seeing his father actually kill somebody based on those views would change that, wouldn't you think? Of course he is angry. Very angry.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 15, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Here is a 3 minute video explaining the rallies planed Thursday all around the country. Additionally a quick summary of what has already happened.

Posted by: InformationDesk | June 18, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company