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The Truth About Iran

The truth about Iran is that their current regime is barbaric.

The Guardian, in July:

Iran is to defy western criticism over its human rights record by executing 20 sex offenders and violent criminals, days after a man convicted of adultery was stoned to death.

The Observer, two weeks ago:

Iran has hanged up to 30 people in the past month amid a clampdown prompted by alleged US-backed plots to topple the regime, The Observer can reveal.

Many executions have been carried out in public in an apparent bid to create a climate of intimidation while sending out uncompromising signals to the West. Opposition sources say at least three of the dead were political activists, contradicting government insistence that it is targeting ‘thugs’ and dangerous criminals. The executions have coincided with a crackdown on student activists and academics accused of trying to foment a ‘soft revolution’ with US support.

The truth about Iran is that their current president is belligerent and dangerously provocative.

The New York Times, in February:

Iran’s president remained defiant today on the eve of a United Nations deadline for his country to stop enriching uranium, as tensions between Iran and the United States continued to mount in various ways.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country will halt its uranium enrichment program, a prerequisite for building nuclear weapons, only if Western powers do the same. The U.N. Security Council has imposed limited sanctions on Iran, and has said it would consider further sanctions if the enrichment program is not stopped by tomorrow.

The truth about Iran is that they are not close to having nuclear weapons.

The same New York Times article:

Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency… was quoted as saying, American and British intelligence services estimate that Iran is still 5 to 10 years away from developing a workable nuclear bomb.

The truth about Iran is that they have again begun cooperating with the IAEA.

The Guardian, in July:

The UN nuclear watchdog said today that Iran had agreed to lift its ban on inspectors visiting a controversial nuclear facility, and was ready to answer questions about its past plutonium experiments.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said a deal had been reached on the designation of new inspectors, a visit of inspectors to the heavy water research reactor at Arak by the end of July, and the finalisation of safeguards at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant during early August. The plant is the focus of US concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme.

Tehran insists it wants to develop an enrichment programme for peaceful purposes, but the US and EU fear it could enrich uranium for nuclear warheads.

The truth about Iran is that they have been edging back from the brink.

RIA Novosti, in July:

Iran is prepared to consider the UN nuclear watchdog’s proposal to hold direct talks with the United States on its controversial uranium enrichment program, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said.

The Dance

Now that word of our existence is starting to trickle out, I thought it would be a good time to post another sort of mission statement. Of course, absolutely none of this should be taken as absolute.

We are taking a very different approach, with this site. We are pursuing a discussion that is based more on issues and ideology, which means we happily invite people who would, on other sites, be considered purity trolls. Some of us may stretch our purity wings, and some of us may argue against such, but I believe that the overall goal of all of us, and of most who will find here an online home or vacation home, is to push the political center of this country to the left. Much to the left! To some of us, that will mean, primarily, trying to help destroy the current extremist version of the Republican Party. To some, it will mean trying to destroy the current capitulating Democratic Party. To some, it will mean trying to save the Democratic Party by remaking it. But it will also mean much much more than any of that.

Some of us are more of the ranter type, and some are more intensely cerebral. Most of us are a mix of the two. But we won’t be spending as much time on horse-race politics. Not that most of us have anything against such, but Daily Kos serves that function very ably. Those of us who continue to participate in Daily Kos do so because we appreciate it for what it is. But, again, we will be more focused on issues and ideology. And as the name of the site suggests, we will also be trying to reawaken a non-denominational, areligious and irreligious spiritual core, that may, at times, involve aspects of different religions, and often won’t. Liberal idealism is, by its very nature, spiritual. Even those who consider themselves atheists, agnostics, and/or secular humanists do so with a great deal of spiritual idealism and passion. We want to touch on all of that. We want to explore the arts as well as the sciences. We want to discuss philosophy and literary criticism. We want to discuss how to help our species evolve in such a way that a more principled and just society evolves with it. If there are still, in the world, Thomas Paines and Walt Whitmans, we hope to lure some of them in here.

Senator Reid: It’s Not A Compromise, It’s A Capitulation

Dear Senator Reid,

Who was it that, in February, said:

This war is a serious situation. It involves the worst foreign policy mistake in the history of this country.

Oh. Right. It was you.

Who was it that, in February, also said:

There can be no purely military solution in Iraq.


At a time when President Bush is asking our troops to shoulder a larger and unsustainable burden policing a civil war, his failed policies have left us increasingly isolated in Iraq and less secure here at home.

Oh. Right. That was also you.

And who was it, in July, who was reported to have said: 

…he now saw ending the war as a moral duty, and even if the Senate again falls short… would turn again and again to Iraq until either the president relents or enough Republicans join Democrats to overrule Mr. Bush.

Yes. Again. You.

So, what has changed? Why are you now saying you will “compromise” with the Republicans, not to actually end the word, but to just put some meaningless babble into the next bill that will continue it? Could it be all the good news that’s recently come out of Iraq?

When humanity prevails.

It’s not often that genuinely good news comes out of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Today, there is some. It’s small, but it’s huge.

As the Associated Press reports:

Palestinian police rescued an Israeli soldier Monday after he mistakenly drove into this West Bank town and was surrounded by a mob that later burned his car. Israel praised the rescue as a sign of the growing strength of Palestinian moderates.


Ek said we have to have pooties. It’s time this blog got serious.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Feral cat warming itself on a spotlight at Trajan’s Markets on a frigid winter afternoon.


Wondering what you all think about scheduled time slots. Ek mentions this in some comment, somewhere, but it seems important enough to put it up top.

First, I think we should figure out how long a front page diary stays up top- 2 hours, 3 hours? We should pick time slots and length of stay based on how long the FP diarists can hang around for comments. Not all the DK FPers do that, and it’s part of why popular non-FP diarists so often have so many more comments. We want all FPers to engage with their audiences. Builds the community.

I suggest we mix in a news roundup/open thread every third diary or so. That will keep people coming, to get their daily news digest. It might even be a good idea to set up a phpBB2 site, where we can discuss meta, ask people to fill in if we won’t be available for our slot, and also compile news links for the roundups. Someone should oversee each roundup (we can do that with random volunteers), but everyone should chip in stories, as they find them.

Now, if there’s some huge breaking news story, while someone’s in the middle of their FP diary, we can add just a banner headline up top, so people can click it for the story and thread, but the FP story stays essentially on top, too.

Any thoughts?

This Is Not A Diary

Because change is good.

Circumcision is a Zionist Plot Against ErrinFuckingF, Buhdy!

And Ron Paul is really neato!

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