In Iran the people are not shrinking from their demonstrations, even as violence explodes all around them….

On Twitter people are talking about performing DDOS attacks on Iran’s government websites. I am not saying this is acceptable. But it is the recording of 21st century history. This is where we are- a world in which the planet’s population considers one country’s tragedy everyone’s business. This is where we live.

A single middle eastern nation may be the first battleground in a greater war on political bullying and religious extremism.

The leader of a country: does he or she have the right to do as he or she please?

Or do the people, the people of a nation, the people of the human race, have the right to expect the equal treatment and justice that they have been TOLD is theirs?

Do the mullahs, priests, and religious rulers truly speak for God?

Or have God’s creations been given the freedom to listen to His voice for themselves?

Does any mortal have the authority, secular or sacred, to commit acts of evil? Can anyone claim such a thing?

You tell me, person on the internet.


 

The outcome of Iran’s presidential election sparks demonstrations around the world:

COPENHAGEN

COLOGNE

TORONTO

LOS ANGELES

This isn’t going away, Ahmadinejad. It will not. Just. Go. Away.


 

WorldNetDaily, an  “Independent conservative news website with an emphasis on aggressive investigative reporting”, raised $75,000 for the rental of billboards that read “WHERE’S THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE?”

Barack Obama’s birth certificate, that is. This is a major priority for the folks at worldnetdaily.com, who are hoping to God that they can prove the president of the U.S. is actually a Kenyan in star-spangled clothing so they can get him out of the White House and replace him with the exhumed corpse of Ronald Reagan.

Of course, that’s not the only priority you’ll find on worldnetdaily.com:

“Perhaps the time is right for a second declaration of independence. But when will violence become necessary? When do we start shooting? I don’t know. I’m a peaceable north Idaho housewife who would far rather kiss boo-boos than shoot anyone.

“On the other hand, many of this country’s founders were ordinary people as well, until the moment they realized they must step forward and pledge their lives, fortunes and sacred honor or forfeit those liberties which, according to the Declaration, are given to us by our Creator (NOT the government).” –Patrice Lewis, “WorldNetDaily Exclusive Commentary”

Allahu Akbar! Sorry, wrong movement. worldnetdaily.com is hard at work, posting articles that suggest a violent overthrow of the American government and giving Chuck Norris a place to blog. “It is every American citizen’s constitutional right to speak freely, without fear of repercussion. It’s simply un-American and unconstitutional to impede, harass, threaten or persecute anyone who is guilty of nothing more than sharing their opinion or even exercising their right to vote.” Quoth Mr. Norris. How does he feel about the fact that the site that signs his paycheck sells a book that claims liberalism is the result of bad parenting? Or this book that says liberals are just plain crazy. Literally. Nah, I don’t feel harrassed.

Back to the “WHERE’S THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE?” billboards. Lamar Advertising, CBS Outdoor, and Clear Channel Outdoor are all saying they refuse to sell billboard space to WorldNetDaily. Apparently they can do that. Something about their constitutional rights. World Net Daily editor and chief executive officer Joseph Farah assumed the worst. “I never fully realized how dangerous it is that the media in this country are so afraid of government power.” Quoth Mr. Farah.

So worldnetdaily.com is selling “WHERE’S THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE?” yard signs for the lawns of patriotic, revolution-minded Americans at $19.95 a pop.

On that note:

Because even we kooky, America-hating liberals can get serious sometimes. I, personally, would leave it to the Supreme Court to figure out how to proceed if Obama were proved a Kenyan citizen. I must confess, however, that the president’s birth certificate is no priority for me at all, distracted as I am by the poor economy and the Iraq war and the healthcare crisis. My parents just didn’t raise me right, I guess.


 

This is what “sick and tired of being sick and tired” looks like.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his extremist croneys are alleged to have stolen Iran’s 2009 presidential elections from the will of the people- women, young men, and other ordinary citizens who have had enough of life in a country that oppresses them, suppresses them, and violates even their most basic human rights.

Did I hope very much that the reformer Mir Hossein Mousavi would win the election, taking Ahmadinejad out of the picture? Yes. As an American, there is no love lost here for Mr. Makes-Islam-Look-Bad. At the very least, the dream that I would no longer have to listen to his unprofessional rants about Israel and the United States made me happy. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is on some days no better than your average Internet drama king, stirring up nonsense and trouble because it’s easier than expressing real thoughts- or coming up with real thoughts to begin with.

“Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury.” (from thinkexist.com)

“Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken.” (from adl.org)

“The world powers established this filthy bacteria, the Zionist regime [Israel], which is lashing out at the nations in the region like a wild beast.” (from wikiquote.org)

Yeah, that kind of talk is very professional. I’m not even going to get into the guy’s opinions… when the leader of a nation, a supposedly respectable adult, shoots off his mouth like a 15-year-old kid in a public chatroom I lose interest.

And if the results of the recent elections stick, we’re ALL stuck with him. I’m unhappy.

Just as so many people in the world were unhappy when George W. Bush won a second term as the President of the United States.

It was an election whose results many questioned. It was an election capped off by the American anger of millions who hated torture and the Patriot Act. It was an election that meant everyone else on the planet who had access to a TV would have to hear this kind of thing:

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” (from wikiquote.org)

…for another four years.

Still, the election was, first and foremost, America’s problem.

The last thing I would have wanted was too much input from foreign nations, much less intervention. It was America’s election, America’s president- whether rightfully elected or not- and America’s business.

So should I be emotionally involved in Iran’s election process? I stand with Mousavi supporters who are demanding reform and freedom. I am not pleased to think that this troublemaker- in all his unprofessional glory!- will be in our faces much longer. I’m unhappy.

But is it any of my business? I am not Iranian. I respect the sovereignity of nations.

Unless Mahmoud Ahmadinejad starts a full-blown genocide or tries to blow up Israel or something like that, this election is probably out of my jurisdiction.

None of which means that I can’t hold an intellectual opinion.

We have seen the face of a people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired. They are demanding the reform they deserve. May they get it. I will be blogging about Iran’s situation in the future as news develops.


 

Society used to have rules for “polite conversation”.

EMILY POST FANGIRL: Do NOT mention the following subjects in a gathering of gentle people. Money. Politics. Religion.

THE LATE GEORGE CARLIN: Show me where these gentle people are so I can harden them beyond all recognition.

If modern Americans couldn’t discuss money, politics, or religion, they would have to resort to discussing the Kardashians all day long. You see why modern Americans chucked polite conversation scads of eons ago.

But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have our own list of “Subjects to Never Bring Up at a Party Unless You are Bored and Wish to Start Trouble for Entertainment Purposes Only.” Abortion. Adolf Hitler. The Michael Moore/Ann Coulter dynamic*. Gun control.

…Somewhere in the United States a party has been disrupted, all its guests suddenly edgy and irritable. They have no idea whose fault it is.

I may as well go all the way. I’m bored, I wish to start trouble. The recent murder of abortion doctor George Tiller- with a gun- and the June 10th attack at the US Holocaust Museum- with a gun- are stirring up murmurs against the constitutionally guaranteed freedom to keep and bear arms.

The National Council for Jewish Women offers this statement:

“The shooting today at the US Holocaust Museum is a dreadful reminder of the poisonous connection between hate and gun violence. …Following so soon after the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in his church during Sunday services, this latest attack cries out not only for condemnation by public officials, but a commitment to do everything in their power to prevent such incidents from multiplying including common-sense gun regulations.”

Gun regulations = common sense?

The 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution offers its own statement:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

We could discuss till the cows come home that stuff about the “well-regulated Militia”. The Supreme Court, in District of Columbia vs. Heller, decided that the individual’s right to bear arms shall not be infringed. The constitutionalist in me threw a ticker-tape parade when the decision was announced.

Not because I hanker to see people packing heat on every street corner. No. Because I love and respect the constitution, and I had a suspicion that Amendment #2 did indeed assure the individual’s right to pack that heat.

…Even as my common sense tells me that more guns in the country equal more guns being fired. Bang bang. Bang bang bang bang.

When do we defend traditional freedoms and when do we follow our conscience? It’s the dillema met by conservative Christians who hope that the 1st Amendment doesn’t protect pornography. By secularists who don’t know where the directive to establish no state religion ends and “freedom of religion” begins. We all live under the same law of the land- and cherish our personal convictions regardless.

My problem: I hold both the personal conviction that more guns equal more bang-bang (it’s simple math) and the belief that the true intents behind constitutional amendments must be honored. If I make an exception in this case and endorse a modification of the 2nd Amendment, then how can I defend the other nine? Due process, speedy and public trials, the ban on cruel and unusual punishments? If anything taught us the value of these guaranteed rights, it was Guantanamo Bay.

For the sake of America’s foundation I support the 2nd Amendment.

But I could not easily look in the eye anybody who fled the Holocaust Museum on the day of that attack, or someone who loved Dr. George Tiller, and repeat that statement.

With them I could only make polite conversation.

 

*Please God, tell me there is a Michael Moore/Ann Coulter dynamic. I really want there to be one.


 

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as it is called, would empower the F.D.A. to set standards for cigarettes, regulating chemicals in cigarette smoke and outlawing most tobacco flavorings. …health advocates predict that F.D.A. product standards could eventually reduce some of the 60 carcinogens and 4,000 toxins in cigarette smoke, or make them taste so bad they deter users. – New York Times

 

OMG, the United States Senate found a way to infuriate nicotine enthusiasts and entertain nonsmokers. The Food and Drug Administration has received the blessing of a “landmark bill” that will allow FDA regulation of tobacco products. The plans are starting small but the day is young. Read all about it.

I am a nonsmoker. I am entertained.

Or do I have the wrong attitude? I am friends with smokers. I wish them no harm.

But dang man, it’s always funny to watch smokers react to the idea that maybe, just maybe, they have a drug habit. “GET AWAY FROM MY CIGARETTES YOU DICTATORS (puff puff puff)!” Suggest taking away their nicotine and it’s political oppression, baby. They can call up Godwin’s Law and George Orwell in the same sentence. “THOSE NAZIS AND THEIR BIG BROTHER TACTICS! YOU’LL PRY MY SMOKES FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS* (puff puff puff)!!!”

If the federal government ever herds all the smokers into concentration camps, I will be first in line to blog my outrage. But until that day, the collective smoker freakout will be free entertainment on an otherwise slow newsday. Because it’s easy for me to find myself on the fence so far as tobacco sales themselves are concerned.

On the one hand, smokers may have a point. The law requires them to wait until they are 18 years of age to begin their habit (in reality most smokers wait until they can reach their aunt’s pack of Marlboros on the coffee table, but that’s not the law’s fault). They are consenting adults who, presumably, know what they are getting into. It’d be kind of hard not to know the effects of smoking by now. Roughly five million public service announcements later. Throat cancer! Hacking coughs! Bad skin!

SMOKERS: Yeah yeah yeah (puff puff puff).

They know the dangers. They spend their own money on one of the most expensive habits outside of competitive yachting. They are American citizens with the same constitutional rights as anyone else, and for all I know smoking is a freedom of choice issue. “MY BODY! MY CHOICE! MY LUNG DISEASES!” Okay, I’m jazzed.

Or maybe not. On the other hand, after all, the government [blah blah] studies from various universities [blah blah blah] billions of dollars in [blah] so forth, so on.

Meh, you already knew that side of the story. I don’t see the need to repeat the contents of roughly five million public service messages. There’s a third argument, and it’s on my mind when I read about imminent FDA regulation of tobacco.

A person doing something that they know darn well will make them sick in the future, sometimes to the point of terminal illness, affects everybody around them. This isn’t about medical costs. This isn’t about the estimatable burden on society.

It’s about the fact that 99.99% of the population does not live in a hermit’s cave. We have parents? Children? Siblings? The aunt who lets the kids in the family sample her Marlboros? She’s been waking up with a palpitating heart every morning of late, but that heart is in the right place. She’s not trying to hurt her little nieces and nephews. She’ll be agonized if they cough themselves to death before she does.

I have friends who are smokers.

Whether or not the human element is any of the state’s business- I’ll leave that one to the constitutionalists. I’ll only point out that the state obligates us to wear seatbelts in our cars. A law like that drips with concern for the human element. Because God knows Americans spent years going through their windshields with no ill effect on society as a whole.

It didn’t affect anyone beside parents, children, siblings, and that aunt who took up burning through three packs a day after the car accident sent her husband through the windshield.

So never mind for the moment the secondhand-smoke studies VS personal freedom. Never mind the best interests of the state VS the rights of the individual. The persuasive arguments from both sides put me on the fence.

But the human argument makes me want to see tobacco stricken from the record. For good. Right now the FDA can’t ban it outright. The day is young.

The only thing I would miss in a smoke-free world would be watching smokers have hysterics over the idea that maybe, just maybe, they have a drug problem. Free entertainment ftw.

 

*With a little Charlton Heston thrown in for good measure.


 

“radical queer cyberpunk ecofeminist zenarchy”

-the political views of a stranger who friended me on Facebook

Video unrelated to Facebook friend stranger. Probably. [contains adult language]

 

 

Oh oh, I wanna join!

*tries to change the world*

…Sigh.

You know what?

I wish I were a radical.

Radical anything. I don’t have to be a radical queer cyberpunk ecofeminist zenarchist… no matter how really, really interesting that sounds… just radical something.

I’m so moderate. Moderate liberal, moderate agnostic, moderate artist (not much experimentalism here). Can’t be a feminist or a traditionalist, noooo… have to be an equalist. That is, I believe men and women are equal, end of story. How… nonconfrontational. Neither a capitalist nor a communist, and not a socialist either, though it’s supposed to be the middle ground between two extremes. Still too extreme for me, that’s how moderate I am, too mellow for the happy medium.

*tries to be radical*

I want to get caught up in some wild and screaming riot. I want to be called a “pinhead” by Bill O’Reilly and draw the ire of Conservapedia contributors. I want to scare established institutions with my words- not a single shot fired, just so much uncompromising opinion that everyone knows better than to try reasoning with me.

I want to be unreasonable. I want to make the world change. To whatever it is I think it should be.

CHANGE, WORLD, DARN IT! DO MY BIDDING!!!

…That didn’t work, did it?

So the moderate sighs again and accepts that some things change very slowly. Other things don’t change at all. And sometimes it takes a radical to make demands with no room for negotiation. Not just demands- DEMANDS. DEMANDS! It’s that certainty of being right, it gives everything a radical shouts a certain catchy rhythm. CATCHY DEMANDS! The radicals shout and the world suddenly has a tune it can’t get out of its head.

I can’t get the radical tunes out of my head either. They get me excited- just not excited enough to shout back. The radicals are why I get angry, get inspired, and get busy. Busy with blogging, mostly. Busy with caring enough to care in the first place.

Moderate activism is caring enough to spread the word.

I don’t see myself jumping up and down in the streets any time soon, wearing my passionate anger on my sleeve- BOTH sleeves, all of me sloppy with outrage, inhibitions burned up in my political fire. DON’T OVERREACH! I have a voice and that is active.

I wish I were a radical but I don’t overreach.

*opens WordPress blog*

All you radicals get out there and give me something to be excited about. The voice of Humanity Priest has your back.