Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Iran, Technology, Bolten, and Birds

Iran’s been in the news quite a bit this week, and it’s only Wednesday. Here are three articles that caught my eye today. The first concerns the Ahmadinejad regime’s heavy-handed attempts to control universities. Yep, just what ya need…radical clerics in charge of the Super Madrassas universities.

Student leaders say the developments amount to a takeover of the universities by Mr Ahmadinejad's ultra-conservative forces. The campuses were hotbeds of pro-democratic protest during the presidency of the former, reformist leader, Mohammad Khatami. "They want to gain hegemonic control over the universities, which have always been important in influencing the social and political atmosphere and which normally support pro-democracy rather than authoritarian forces," said Abdollah Momeni, an activist appealing against a five-year sentence imposed for leading a student protest.

Hmmm. Student protests? A glimmer of hope. You have to admire activists in countries like Iran, because attending a protest in Tehran ain’t all about meeting some women (or men). There’s serious danger to life and limb (literally) involved.

And if you blog, be glad you’re not blogging from Tehran.

Dozens of Iranian bloggers have faced harassment by the government, been arrested for voicing opposing views, and fled the country in fear of prosecution over the past two years.

In the conservative Islamic Republic, where the government has vast control over newspapers and the airwaves, weblogs are one of the last bastions of free expression, where people can speak openly about everything from sex to the nuclear controversy.

And this really pisses me off…because Americans are involved in the suppression of free speech.

To bolster its campaign, the Iranian government has one of the most extensive and sophisticated operations to censor and filter Internet content of any country in the world — second only to China, Hopkins said.

It also is one of a growing number of Mideast countries that rely on U.S. commercial software to do the filtering, according to a 2004 study by a group called the OpenNet Initiative. The software that Iran uses blocks both internationally hosted sites in English and local sites in Farsi, the study found.

The filtering process is backed by laws that force individuals who subscribe to Internet service providers to sign a promise not to access non-Islamic sites. The same laws also force the providers to install filtering mechanisms.

Boy, I’d be in BIG trouble if the mullahs were monitoring my internet usage. So would all those moonbats who are whining about Dubya’s “fascist” state and the “American Theocracy.”

And finally (on Iran), the AP reports the UN Security Council is close to “final wording” on a resolution condemning Iran’s nuclear program.

The council has struggled for three weeks to come up with a written rebuke that would urge Iran to comply with demands from the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, that it suspend uranium enrichment.

Bolton expressed a hint of exasperation with other members of the council Tuesday, telling reporters: "We have been incredibly flexible. Incredibly flexible. I probably have never been more flexible."

Three weeks. Just to write a watered-down statement that essentially tells the mullahs to “go sit in the corner and think about what you’re doing. And when you decide to be good boys, you can come back out.” Yeah. That’ll work. (/sarcasm) I can hear the mullahs laughing from here.

We’re Number One! We’re Number One! USA! USA! Yay! Now, where’s my broadband? Full disclosure: although there’s no broadband to be had in Portales at the moment, we do have an on-going “fiber to the home” project that will be completed some time in 2007. My neighborhood is dead last on the implementation schedule, coz, ya know, there ain’t no computers in trailer parks

He's a guitar-playing, bowling-obsessed Harley rider who once dated Bo Derek. Who might that be? Why, Dubya’s new chief of staff, that’s who! “New blood,” indeed. And he ain’t from Texas, either…

The birds are back. I was awakened this morning by a chorus of birdsong. Made me smile, it did. Trees are a rarity here on the High Plains. If you see trees in the distance while you’re driving down our Lonesome Highways, you know there’s a homestead there…or the outskirts of a town. The trailer park I live in has a great number of large, established trees and as such is something of a local bird sanctuary; my RV sits right under a very large tree that’s home to probably 20 or more birds. Those first bird songs of Spring are truly welcome. But ask me about the birds next month and you’ll likely get a very different story. Why? Shit happens. All over my RV and car.


  1. But Buck, it's supposed to be good luck to be shit on by a bird. Of course, I know I never felt like it was good luck. What idiot made that up, come to think of it. Pretty soon at casa Buck it'll be duck and cover...INCOMING!!

  2. LOL! When they start crapping money, then we can talk about luck.

  3. The idiot that made that up was probably getting laughed at a whole lot after he was shat on.

    "Hey! Doncha know it's good luck!?!"

    "Yeah, right."

    "No, REALLY!"


    "Yeah, dumbass."

    And so a stupid myth was born...

    And if those birds shat quarters... after the last three years worth I'd be living on the Riviera, not in Portales. Or fixing a lot of dings on the car. One or the other.

  4. Now you're sounding a little bitter Buck! I just had to take my car to the car wash after I was attacked by akiller goose and several sea gulls trying to entertain my nephew. Oh, I'm feeling reaaaaaaaaaaaaal lucky!!


Just be polite... that's all I ask.