Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Song for Iran

Skewering Palin

Andrew Sullivan sums up the country's most famous hockey-mom this way:

As the months have gone by since John McCain revealed his total cynicism and contempt for America's national security by selecting one Sarah Palin to be a potential vice-president of the United States, we have learned that every single ghastly attribute we discovered in the campaign is worse than we thought at the time. The narcissism, the pathological and incessant lying, the viciousness, the delusions of grandeur, the vindictiveness, the fathomless and proud ignorance, the opportunism, the vanity, the white trash concupiscence and fraudulence in almost every respect: these are now indisputable. How an advanced democracy came that close to having this farce of a candidate running the most powerful country on earth reveals how deep the corruption of our politics and especially our media are.


He refers to a new essay in Vanity Fair by Todd S. Purdum: It Came From Wasilla.

Iran's poet laureate

Shaping up

Been working on the new format of the review. Should be able to release both later today or first thing tomorrow. I'm excited about the new format and focus, will be more fun to do actually. Or maybe I'm just burned out on the other after four years.

Tomorrow I want to get started on my mini-doc of Susannah Mars. Not sure how long this will take -- a day or longer.

At the library, which is full of kids. They are reasonably quiet ha ha for a library.

Mariners at Yankees, game at four, so I can listen while doing yard work. The Ms took 2 of 3 in LA from the best team in baseball, a major accomplishment. Six tough road games still ahead of them.

Art & labor

Helped H haul 30 or 40 paintings to the gallery for her Thursday opening. Jesus, what a chore! Writers have nothing close to this. Painters can have it. Writing is a less is more art when it comes to physical grunt work.

Uploading files -- what else? -- and trying to face the music with regard to yard work, which is screaming for attention. Today, I say, today!

I'm not a big fan of the 4th because I'm not a big fan of fireworks since watching vets in the hospital dive for cover, yelling "Incoming!" Sort of ruined fireworks forever for me. So I'll spend the 4th night trying to comfort the d0g, who also hates fireworks. But in the day, yes, I might bbq a hot dog or two.

I hope I get into a mellow summer rhythm soon, cruising, but getting a lot of work done.

Gerry McNamee Memorial Page

Gerry's son Dylan is starting a memorial page, which is located here: McNamee Memorial.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Notes from a trip

Drove to La Grande for Gerry McNamee's memorial Sunday afternoon.
  • We've reached the age where travel comfort declines after about 3 hours. So this nearly 5 hr. trip was really too far for one drive, even with breaks.
  • I hope "gorgeous" comes from the Columbia River Gorge. It has to be among the most beautiful scenic drives in the country. I've taken it oh so many times, usually on my way to northern Idaho, but it's always a knockout and I always have to yell, after Guthrie, "It's a big river!"
  • The memorial had just the right tone, more literary than religious and not without humor. I told an anecdote. I saw his two sons for the first time in years.
  • La Grande has an Americana feel to it, large enough to have a university, small enough to have few gathering spots, making it likely everyone knows everyone, an active train route through town, providing a frequent melancholy soundtrack, gorgeous (here we go again) scenery in every direction. Still, the high school banned an innocent play recently, so it has backwater habits, too.
  • We skipped the wake except for an appearance. Too beat and didn't want to compromise the perfect tone of the memorial.
  • Glad to be home! This is a week to get organized for the summer that finally begins.

Sunday, June 28, 2009



Saturday, June 27, 2009


I've released the new issue to staff to look over, prior to the official launch on July 1.

Off the play with the dog.

I should own stock

Got interrupted, as I often am, by a lady admiring my eeepc. She wants one! She's a traveling nurse who is tired of lugging around her heavy laptop. This 1 lb. wonder is just what she needs.

Fast wifi

Uploading took less time than I thought -- I'm done with all the files but the title page! So the issue is complete. I'm checking online links now, using a nifty W3C site for same. This issue is almost 4G, our largest yet. And our last in the old format. Now we focus on producing good video on artists and the arts, including, I hope, an emphasis on "mini-documentaries." I'll begin with the wonderful cabaret singer Susannah Mars, holding my interview with her back for the new format.

Think I'll take a little cruise this morning, listen to the good jazz on the radio (the early Saturday DJ is great), celebrate a little. This was a very huge job this time around, given all the video files and the size of the issue. We won't be organized around issues in the new format -- I'll be able to keep ahead of things.

An early start

Uploading -- if I stick with it for a couple hours, I can finish. We'll see.

Next week, the novel comes front burner! And I look at a new schedule for video projects. I am excited about the former especially. I also want to play around with music drama, taking advantage of the new update of Finale, which is designed for my weakness.

Definitely working in the yard later today.

It's interesting how this eeepc has actually changed the rhythm of my work life. I do much more work out of the office now. I rather like it.

The quiet time

Up to write a new intro to the journal. Done, and back to bed.

Friday, June 26, 2009

All over but the shouting

A long day -- but I'm pretty much done. A few large video files yet to upload, maybe a couple hours worth ... links to check online (they check offline but sometimes I forget to upload a file) ... a few tiny matters of text to fix. In other words, I'm 99% there. Congratulations. Why thank you!

The end is in sight

I finished the screenplays section this morning. All that's left is Music and a few stage plays to make a final decision on. If I put in a long day tomorrow, and work a little more this afternoon or evening, I have a shot at finishing tomorrow. I'd still need to upload and check links but the editing would be done. A goal to shoot at.

Starbucks playing the Ray Charles / Count Basie album "Genius + Soul = Jazz." I remember this well because it was released when I was in the army in Germany and it was a very big deal to go the PX on main post and get a copy, which we then played endlessly in the billets for months. Though it was illegal, we'd drink beer in our rooms and listen to jazz until the wee hours. Indeed, our outfit felt more like a college dorm than the military, that is until a new CO came along with the idea that we should shape up. We'd been spoiled. Since we all had top secret codeword security clearances, since we were responsible to regular reports to the Pentagon, since what we did mattered, our previous CO had cut us a lot of slack -- if you do your job, I don't care what you do on your time off, was the gist of it. We could trade shifts (we had 24/7 shifts), whatever, as long as we translated the Russian and did our reports. It was a great deal -- well, until the new CO was appalled by our habits and decided to make real soldiers out of us, against which we rebelled, and when our work suffered, he got chewed out and so we reached a compromise, not quite as liberal as before but definitely not what the foot soldiers were doing. We tried to take all the advantages we could from our special status. But at work, we were damn serious. The Cold War was no laughing matter, even if the army sometimes was.

Back to sunshine, so when I'm done uploading for the day I'll do some yard work. Wish there was a ball game on. The Mariners start a damn tough road trip, the Dodgers, the Yankees, the Red Sox. They need to break even at least. Their recent home stand was spectacular, 5 of 6. Ichiro is on fire, batting almost .370 for the season.

Bangs and whimpers

I wasn't a Michael Jackson fan, although his dance moves blew me away. But I haven't responded to any pop music since the Beatles. I listen to jazz, classical, blues, most of it recorded half a century or longer ago.

I can't help but be reminded, however, how much the death of pop icons contrasts to the death of some of my friends. A few years ago, a gathering to spread the ashes of one drew less than a dozen folks. Yes, he was a quiet man, something of a loner, but a damn good man. More than a dozen mourned his passing but I wonder how many remember him as I do, and how often. He died not with a bang but a whimper, disappearing, and the truth is, few noticed the difference. Many die this way. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Thursday, June 25, 2009



Ichiro led off with a homer! Need this win with an incredible road trip coming up.

The rest of the day

When I'm done with today's uploading, guess I'll go home and watch the Mariners. Too damn cold to work in the yard.


Finished the Video section. The only difficult task left is my decision on a number of scripts. Need to get to the library now and do some uploading.

Today's rhythm

My goal today is to get the Video section ready to go.

Our sunshine turned to gray chilly overcast yet again. Good weather just won't dig in and stay.

Sunday it's off to La Grande and memorial services for McNamee. So I need to get a lot of editing done in the next three days.

Steve Duin, Oregonian columnist

Last night Duin put online, and I assume in the paper today, an excellent column about our mayor and the Attorney General's report. The "logic" here is incredible:
  • Adams' lawyers make what amounts to a nighttime raid to get Breedlove to agree to ignore the bathroom kissing incident in his first statements.
  • Later Breedlove mentions the incident.
  • Adams' lawyers, who got Breedlove to withhold info in the first place, use this "new story" as evidence that Breedlove isn't credible.
How much of this was planned from the beginning?

Sam Adams still shackled by the truth
by Steve Duin, The Oregonian
Wednesday June 24, 2009, 7:08 PM

Sam Adams, plain and simple, is lucky John Kroger is more disciplined than he is. I'm just not sure the rest of us share in the mayor's good fortune.

Given five months to deliver a verdict on Adams' veracity, Oregon's attorney general embraced the obvious, that Beau Breedlove has credibility issues.

The Department of Justice saw no reason to convene a grand jury in this criminal investigation. No one was asked to take a polygraph. No one was subpoenaed or testified under oath.

It's hard to escape the feeling, several Portland lawyers argued, that Kroger's investigation was one-sided and conclusion-driven, the conclusion being that Adams' failings are better addressed in the political arena than the legal one.

That judgment, of course, was shaped by Adams' attorneys, the only ones in this contest who displayed any prosecutorial passion. On the day Kroger politely announced his investigation, Adams' lead attorney, Robert Weaver, unleashed the bulldogs who cornered Breedlove at 11 p.m., boxing him in on a statement about his kissing games with the mayor that would cast doubts on the credibility of future testimony.

That deft maneuver -- Breedlove didn't have a lawyer and was still calling Adams for fatherly advice, for God's sake -- should have alerted Kroger that someone was deathly earnest about this investigation. Someone was playing to win.

Read the column.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The joy of weekday daytime baseball

The Mariners, who won tonight, play a daytime game tomorrow. A rare joy! I'll listen while doing yard work. In the 50s, growing up, daytime games through the week were the norm. I remember going into a five and dime or a soda fountain in the summer and hearing the game on the radio, the boss or some employee having it on. Getting gas -- and the game is on the radio at the station. Daytime weekday baseball was being listened to everywhere, or this was my impression. Today it's pretty rare, so I always try to take advantage of it when it's scheduled and arrange my day so the game can be my soundtrack.

Early drafts of the Atty Gen's report on Mayor Adams were released today -- and they are very much more critical of the mayor than the final report! What happened for the Atty Gen to delete so much bad info about our lying mayor? Sounds fishy to me -- but at least one supporter of a recall thinks otherwise. He thinks the AG knew he couldn't win a case in court so deliberately arranged the data so it can be best used for a recall. What a creative theory!

I wish my liberal and artistic friends could see around their ideology long enough to realize that a lying, manipulating mayor sucks even if he does have "politically correct" ideas on social issues. Of course, having rightwing dingbats calling for a recall doesn't really help, you almost want to oppose it just to be on a different side. I should start a new movement, Liberals and Radicals for a Recall Election, ha ha. The gay newspaper in town supports a recall but I wish more visible gay activists would get on the front lines. Maybe more will, now that the AG report is out. Lots were waiting for it, to see which way the wind blew. It sure looks like a cover job. That should help the recall.

McNamee obit

Thomas Gerard (Gerry) McNamee, 66, died at home in La Grande on June 6, 2009 of colon cancer. There will be a memorial service at the Stenard Garden at EOU at 2:00 on Sunday, June 28. An old-fashioned Irish wake will follow at Ten Depot Street at 4:00. All are invited.
Gerry was born August 1, 1942 to Isabelle (Reilly) and Thomas F McNamee in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was raised in upstate New York in the Rochester area, graduating from Webster High School in 1960.
After high school, Gerry attended Saint Bonaventure College in New York for a year, where rumor has it he studied briefly for the priesthood.. He moved to Florida in the early 60's to attend the University of Florida at Gainesville, but was out of school long enough to get drafted. He quickly enlisted in the Navy. Early in his Navel career, he met and married Karen Becker. He served in the Navy for three years during the Viet Nam War, moving to San Francisco following his discharge in 1967. There he joined his wife and new baby son, Dylan. Gerry graduated from San Francisco State in 1969. While living in San Francisco he worked as a brakeman on the cable cars.
After graduation Gerry moved with his family to Eugene to attend graduate school at the University of Oregon. He received a master's degree in English Literature in 1972. While in Eugene, Gerry worked as a social worker for several years with Children's Services.
After the breakup of his marriage, Gerry moved to Ireland for a year to explore his roots. He embraced the lifestyle and became a fisherman on an Irish fishing boat. When he returned to Eugene he worked as a councilor at a boys home.
In 1977 Gerry sold his house in Eugene and with his second wife Paula Geddes moved to a primitive abode on Cricket Flat near Elgin, where his son Aaron was born. Four years later they moved to Elgin, embracing modern conveniences. In 1987 he moved to Enterprise where he purchased and renovated an old cheese factory. In 1992 he moved to La Grande to pursue a teaching degree at Eastern..
Gerry has lived in Eastern Oregon for the last 32 years, doing various jobs, including juvenile councilor, ranch hand, construction worker, river guide, career rehabilitation councilor, and electrician. But the job he enjoyed the most was teaching English and international studies at Eastern Oregon University. He taught at Eastern from 1994 until he retired in 2007.
For Gerry, the best part of his teaching career at Eastern, was working with the international students. His class in American language and culture was enjoyed by those born here as well as those from around the world. He also felt himself very fortunate to have been able to act as an ambassador from EOU, teaching classes in American culture at the University of Tulca in Chile. He fell in love with the people of Chile and made many friends there.
Although Gerry loved bicycle riding, skiing, motorcycles, football, goats and travel, his first love was books. He read continually and inspired others to read as well. After his cancer diagnosis, when he began to lose physical strength, he could still derive great pleasure from his books, now having seemingly endless time to read.
Gerry is survived by his, son Aaron currently of New Orleans, son Dylan and wife Heidi of Portland, 2 grandchildren, sister, Lynn Ginett and husband Ken of Williamson New York, and his life partner of 20 years, Sandy Sorrels. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Arlene (Tracy) O'Leary.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Fishtrap (a favorite endeavor) at www.fishtrap.org . Friends are also setting up a scholarship in his name for an international student at EOU.

Civic masturbation

My statement to the Portland City Council.

Mayor Adams, despite the AG’s report, I’m concerned about your relationship not with Breedlove but with the people of Portland. I’m concerned that by your own admission you lied in order to get elected. I’m concerned about your orchestration of a cover-up to hide facts from the electorate. I’m concerned about your clear violation of the City’s Code of Ethics, and the fact that Council ignored this, not even giving you a formal slap on the wrist. The mindset in this chamber seems to be: “Unethical behavior? What unethical behavior? Politicians lie. Get over it and move on.”

Well, many of us have not gotten over it, and in July we at RecallSamAdams.com will move on with your recall election. However, it's not too late for you to save our city the financial and emotional burden of removing you from office.

In Edward Albee's play ZOO STORY, a character says this: Sometimes you have to go a long distance out of your way in order to come back a short distance correctly. Mayor Adams, I ask you to come back a short distance correctly now -- and resign. Members of council, I ask you to come back a short distance correctly -- and officially, finally, reprimand the mayor for admitted unethical behavior. Urge him, collectively and individually, to resign.

Look at the bottom line. What does it mean to lie to get elected? It means the election was a fraud. It means we have a mayor elected by fraud. Think about that. We have a mayor elected by fraud.

It’s not too late to correct this. It's not too late to put the city first. If not, well, citizens in Portland, unlike citizens in Tehran, can overturn a fraudulent election through an orderly process – and hundreds of volunteers are going to make sure this is done. Only your resignation can stop it. Sometimes you have to go a long distance out of your way in order to come back a short distance correctly. Think about it.

A lovely day

Back from my gesture of civic masturbation, if that's what it was, and am uploading video and sipping iced coffee at Starbucks and later will take the dog to frolic in the park. Yes, I gave my testimony to the city council today and the only good that comes from it, I suspect, is that I learned something. Several city employees surreptitiously let me know they were behind the recall movement. But it's going to be a tough, divisive contest. Too many liberals have misconstrued the issue. It is NOT about the mayor's homosexuallity or his sex life. It's that he lied to get elected -- and even admitted as much. Now in my book, if you lie to get elected, that means the election is a fraud. So let's do it again, do it right, with all the facts on the table. That's all. Why people want a mayor who lies to get elected is beyond me. Well, I know why, because they are ideologues. Later I'll post my spiel. The best part of it was when I embraced the joy that citizens of Portland are not citizens of Tehran and here we have orderly ways of dealing with a fraudulent election. And so we will. But I don't share the confidence of others that we'll succeed. I think this can get ugly and divisive and unfortunately all the right wing kooks and homophobes are on "our side." Strange, very strange, bedfellows.

It's such a nice day, I plan to spend more time with the dog than at editing, at least while the sun is up.

All for now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Links check

Poetry and Nonfiction sections join Art, finished, good links.

Big morning tomorrow. I'm prepared.

Ahead of schedule

I finished the Nonfiction area today, though I still need to check its links. This puts me a day ahead of schedule. Tomorrow, maybe even tonight, I do Music, a short and easy section this time around. Fiction is the next big challenge because I have a number of scripts to make final decisions about.

It's due online next Wednesday, and I think I'll make it.

An avalanche of guests

They continue to flock to Neda's poem here. Over 400 visitors so far today, over 800 yesterday. It's amazing what a link in the NY Times will do to your traffic. And, of course, Neda has become an iconic martyr.

Maybe a few will look around while they're here. And maybe not.

Monday, June 22, 2009


This blog gets around 70 unique visitors a day, so imagine my shock when I discovered over 700 visitors today -- and still climbing! A little investigation established the reason for this. We're linked by the NY Times for the "Poem to Neda", even though it's located all over the web. Hence, traffic! Interesting.

Adding insult to injury

When Mr. Alipour didn't return home that night, his parents began to worry. All day, they had heard gunshots ringing in the distance. His father, Yousef, first called his fiancée and friends. No one had heard from him.

At the crack of dawn, his father began searching at police stations, then hospitals and then the morgue.

Upon learning of his son's death, the elder Mr. Alipour was told the family had to pay an equivalent of $3,000 as a "bullet fee"—a fee for the bullet used by security forces—before taking the body back, relatives said.

Read the story.


Change of scenery

As soon as the present upload is done, I'm out of here. Maybe 4 more hours of uploading left ... should finish the video files for Poetry section this week. This issue will be about 4G! Amazing.

Need a second wind to finish the Poetry section this afternoon. Maybe I'll do some yard work instead. Enough of that to do as well.

In awe as I read the Fowles novel. I could never write anything in the same epic ballpark as his remarkable book. A work of literary genius. Makes so much seem, well, "minor," including my own work. But minor also is useful and necessary. In defense of minor.

Song to Neda

The plan

Tentative schedule for finishing the review:
  • Poetry -- finish today
  • Non-fiction -- Tues and Wed
  • Video -- Thurs and Fri
  • Music -- Sat
  • Fiction -- Sunday, Mon, Tues
  • Finish Tuesday next week

Looks doable.

Coffee break

Which is synonymous with uploading video. A good productive morning! Only a few more items left in the large Poetry section, always the most time-consuming to put together because of the large number of video readings ... but I may finish up this afternoon, first thing in the morning at the latest. Next, a very large non-fiction section. I have scripts to decide on for the Fiction section, otherwise it's not bad, and the Music section is small. Art is finished and uploaded, its links checked. So we're in pretty good shape, with 10 days before deadline.

The sooner I get it up, the better, of course, because everything is in limbo until then.

I hope the protesters in Iran get the support they need from the top. Hints abound that this may be happening behind the scenes but it's hard to know what really is going on, other than a lot of blood being shed.

Poem for Neda

A Poem for Neda Agha Soltan (1982-2009)
Written by Mandana
Stay, Neda—
The twittering birds,
Green-garbed forests,
Scented blossoms… all sing
of spring’s arrival
Don’t go, Neda…
Stay, Neda—
Sing with your people in the streets
Say, Long live life!
Down with death!
Tell the sun to shine,
the cold to depart
Don’t go, Neda…
Stay, Neda—
Look at this city
At the shaken foundations of palaces,
The height of Tehran’s maple trees,
They call us “dust,” and if so
Let us sully the air for the oppressor
Don’t go, Neda
Don’t be afraid
It is the sound of fireworks, not bullets The offspring-sparks of a great flame We are aflame, Fueled by baton-cracks and gunshots We are ablaze Don’t go Neda…
Oh Neda, Neda!
Shatter the cage
Break through the bars
Don’t go, Neda
Don’t go, Neda—
Look beyond the clouds
Lady sun is breaking through
She is just like you
Don’t go Neda
Oh God, don’t go…

Sonnet (1807)

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

--William Wordsworth


Already editing this morning.

Sad news in Iran, looks like the theocracy may hang in, the Hungary model returns. Protesters also may hang in, if in smaller numbers, and try alternative tactics. This will be a long struggle.

What does the international community do? Is witnessing brutality and condemning it enough? Should the UN send in peacekeepers? Should we mind our own business (easier before brutality twittered in front of your eyes)?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What to believe?

Contrasting network news realities today. ABC said Tehran was quiet. Fox showed a video of a huge march down a main street, reportedly from today's protests. Tweets from Iran appear to be greatly reduced.

Table duty was fun this morning, got to chat a long time with JW, the head of the recall community. Very interesting guy. Eager for July and the real thing, i.e. getting the signatures for a recall election. Need 50,000 in 90 days. A TV station's poll had 50% of registered voters wanting a recall, which is much more than enough, the secret of course finding them and getting their names on the petition.

Three Stooges in Iran

Today the Guardian Council in Iran admitted that more votes were tallied than actual voters but that it didn't affect the outcome. Tyrants can be stupid but these guys are incredible.

Of course, this would be very funny except for all the blood being shed. The stupidity on display in government here is almost surrealistic.

England 2009: 35000; Washington 1967: 8

Pagans, partygoers greet solstice at Stonehenge

By NARDINE SAAD, Associated Press Writer

STONEHENGE, England – Pagans and partygoers drummed, danced or gyrated in hula hoops to stay awake through the night, as more than 35,000 people greeted the summer solstice Sunday at the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge.

Read story.

To a much less degree, on the summer solstice of 1967 "Sally" and I drove to the Stonehenge replica overlooking the Columbia Gorge on the Washington side and met her brother and friends coming over from Seattle. We had an all-night party and were the only ones there (the Seattle crowd had brought cases of homemade meade). However, the next morning a few tourists arrived to find the place overrun by hungover young folks in sleeping bags.

Today's food for thought

"Might does not make right.
But it sure makes what is."

- Edward Abbey

An early start

Might do some editing before heading off for table duty. Also there's a fine breakfast restaurant near the park where I'm going, could go early for breakfast.

A chilly gray damp day, not the best for manning a table but there you have it.

New Iran news hard to find at this hour. All the bloggers are sleeping, which clearly they deserve.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Recent tweets

How to treat a gunshot wound, Farsi & English http://tinyurl.com/nycxtp #iranelection #gr88 #tactics

http://translate.google.com/translate_t?hl=en&sl=fa&tl=en# ENGLISH-FARSI TRANSLATIONS #IranElection

Best protection against tear gas/pepper spray- wear anything WATERPROOF- plastic poncho, raincoat, goggles e.g #IranElection

Is there any rally confirmed for Sunday? #IranElection

RP: Embassies NOT taking injured anymore. Basij now blocking all Embassies. http://bit.ly/Y90cV #IranElection #Neda #lliliilliiliilIilIIill

how many more people must suffer, before True Justice is Served? #IranElection

Mousavi’s Facebook Message: You Are The Media, Report and Keep Hope Alive - http://mashable.com/2009/06/20/moussavi-facebook/ #iranelection #Labour

Oh no its getting worse #iranelection

Extremely good website for first-aid and counter-attack info. In Farsi and English. http://gr88.tumblr.com/ #iranelection

Not all Basiji are evil, there are members who have been shocked by today and may switch to the ppl. #iranelection #gr88

Filmmaker Kouross Esmaeli on CNN: Americans distrusted by Iranians; stay out of Iran's business. Discouraging U.S. support #IranElection

9am in Tehran any updates? Where is Mousavi? More protests today? #neda #iranelection #tehran #basij

Conf'd Fatemiyeh Hospital: 30-40 dead as of 11pm; 200 injured. Police taking names of incoming injured. #iranelection (via @TehranBureau)

Remove signs from your doors and buildings, apt numbers, street numbers, names, ALL, so they can't navigate. good luck #iranelection

INSTEAD of pointlessly greening your photo, donate money or time to human rights organizations. #iranelection

I can't reach my mom. The phone just keeps ringing.

Quotation of the day

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.


A long day

But I got a whole lot done. Tomorrow I pull the 9-11 a.m. shift, then home to do more editing and uploading.

Saturday night in Tehran

"The People"

Years ago, when I was doing research for what became my tribute to Woody Guthrie performance, Ramblin': the Songs and Stories of Woody Guthrie, which I toured widely through the 1980s, I marveled at Guthrie's faith in "the people." You feel the same faith in Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. "The people" are good, it's governments and power groups that turn bad.

Of course, this depends on which people you're talking about. The German "people" in 1930s Germany probably would need get the same enthusiasm from Guthrie that his beloved "Okies" received.

I believe the genius of the American system is not so much that majority rules but that the minority is protected. A true majority can rule by sheer force: it's the minority, especially an unpopular one (let's say "atheists" in this Christian land) who need protection from the prejudices of "the people." For democracy to work at its best, the people need to be educated -- and this opens a can of worms. What does it mean to be educated? This question quickly gets filtered through ideologies. Education comes to mean what the majority wants it to be mean -- but majorities can be wrong, indeed often are in the long run, which is all the more reason to respect minority rights.

In the final analysis, maybe "the people" means our side. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sanity blanket

This afternoon I began wrapping myself in a sanity blanket by starting a rereading of John Fowles' brilliant novel The French Lieutenant's Woman. Already it balances the negativity exploding out of Iran and reminds me that we humans have glory as well as violent irrationality. I'll be reading the book a lot this week.

Watching history

No doubt about it, there is an immediacy to the street events in Iran made possible by the Internet and something very new in human experience. Millions are watching in real time. The question is, will this affect events or not? I think it has great potential to affect events -- and for the better. But we'll see.

A busy day

I feel like I put in an 8 hr day this morning, editing chores, which is great. Uploading video files now, still.

Well, Iran was as violent as predicted and Obama finally made an eloquent statement in support of the people on the streets. I read that Biden's influence got him to do this. Like that man. How this turns out in the short run depends on how many, if any, split from the regime to back the reformers. But this may be chapter one in the latest long novel in Iran.

I almost see light at the end of the tunnel re the review. Not quite. But it's encouraging to be close. My passion is to design and get out a prototype of the new version. I can't do that until I finish this last issue of the old version.

And so many other projects to catch up on! Not to mention unresolved homeowner issues.

Well, it's a wet day. Tomorrow I put in two hours at a recall the mayor table. Onward.

The worst

11:30: More Mousavi reporting.

@LilyMazahery: "Mousavi is at head of Jayhoon ave. giving a speech."

Reliable Iranian on Twitter: "mousavi among people: I am ready for death"

Another: "Mousavi - Confirmed - I have prepared for martyrdom"

11:20 AM ET -- More reports of killings. Via Voice of American Iran:

-- "Mahsa from Tehran:I was in the rally today and police forces in Azadi square cruelly killed people and all my body is wounded"

-- "From Iran: I am home since 10 minute and Basij forces and police were killing young people like animals"


Morning tweets: the battle begins

Just in, militia is attacking people & beating them mercilessly close to Enghelaab sq. continuous gunshots SOS SOS #Iranelection

Do not trust the government run T.V BOMB WAS FROM REGIM SIDE #IranElection #gr88


Bomb blast will clear way gov to prosecute Mousavi/Rafsanjani as traitors to Revolution. #iranelection #Tehran #GR88 #Mousavi

The shooting has started in Tehran (http://tinyurl.com/mc8cco ) #iranelection

Report on Bombing has disappeared from Press tv website. Could be false flag. #iranelection

English Al Jazeera - if reports of violence are true then holding another election is mute - we have moved to next stage #IranElection

RT @AnnCurry More reports of police using tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands #iranelection
less than 10 seconds ago from web

RT from Iran Mullahs seen out w/ protesters. Reps say many MORE on strts than being reptd in media. #iranelection #Tehran #GR88 #Mousavi

Past the point of no return now... #gr88 #tehran #iranelection

Why would a popular government need such a huge security presence on the streets of its capital city????? #iranelection

RT @oxfordgirl: State of chaos in Tehran. No one believes the bomb is anything but gov plot - who knows! #iranelection #GR88

Friday, June 19, 2009

Despite everything ...

...I got a lot of work done today on the new issue of the review, finishing the art section and uploading more video. More tomorrow, of course. I feel like I'm about a week away from finishing, which gives me some wiggle room before July 1.

Line in the sand

“If Ahmadinejad survives, it will be on the back of a Tiananmen-style crackdown,” said Abbas Milani, the director of Iranian studies at Stanford University. “If Moussavi prevails, it will be on a wave of reformist sentiment.”



As near as I can tell, a late afternoon rally is still on in Tehran, around 3 in the morning our time, about five hours from now. By then we may get a hint of how things will come down. A stressful time.

Diversion and escapism: the Mariners, behind 3-0, scored 4 in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead. Now one out from victory. But Arizona has the tying run on 2nd in the top of the 9th. ... And the Mariners win!

Thank the gods for baseball. As Wordsworth wrote, "The world is too much with us, late and soon" and reality can drive you crazy. The sane, it seems to me, spend a lot of time away from the harsh centers of reality. The too sensitive among us are in our mental hospitals.

Thoughts while uploading video

A most interesting reflection in a tweet from Iran: maybe we should have separation of church and state like the Americans. If the young people who are 2/3 of the population are daring to think like this, the long range future of Iran looks promising. It's the immediate view that may get bloody, as soon as tomorrow. This is almost like a game of chicken. Who gives in?

The greater the numbers on the street, the greater the courgage, the greater the chance of success for the reformers. Already brave beyond recent precedent, especially the Iranian women, they still need to reach deep and stand up for their rights. I hope they can, which is easy to say from afar, safe in Starbucks uploading video. I remember from the sixties how scary street violence and chaos can become. Tomorrow will reveal much.

Louder cries in the night

Tomorrow is Saturday. Tomorrow is (inaudible).

Tonight, the cries of Allah-o Akbar are heard louder and louder than the nights before.

Where is this place? Where is this place where every door is closed? Where is this place where people are simply calling God? Where is this place where the sound of Allah-o Akbar gets louder and louder?

I wait every night to see if the sounds will get louder and whether the number increases. It shakes me. I wonder if God is shaken.

Where is this place that where so many innocent people are entrapped? Where is this place where no one comes to our aid? Where is this place that only with our silence we are sending our voices to the world? Where is this place that the young shed blood and then people go and pray -- standing on that same blood and pray. Where is this place where the citizens are called vagrants?

Where is this place? You want me to tell you? This place is Iran. The homeland of you and me.

This place is Iran.


Time to speak up with forceful eloquence, Mr. President

This is the city of whispers. Its people crave to know that their hushed voices are being heard. Obama, lover of words, is the message man. “Message received” is what he must convey.

Read Roger Cohen's column

And Mr. President, what about gay rights?

Hearing the Supreme Leader in Iran

A thoughtful analysis

I like this piece by Andrew Sullivan.

I think we find one clue to why he rigged the vote count so crudely. His argument that a majority of eleven million was too big to allow for any irregularities suggests he believed that a big lie was the only one that would work.


Letter from an Iranian student

Don't Accept This Coup
By Kaveh from Tabriz

Ahmadinejad has taken revenge on the students of Iran during these violent days. The regime's aim is to damage universities, since they are the first base of change, movement and protest.

I live in the dorms at Tehran University. I was asleep when Basij militiamen entered my room early Monday morning, demolished everything and started beating us. A man with a long beard broke my notebook and said: "It is destroyed, this book that you were using against Islam and Ahmadinejad."

They beat students more when they saw posters of Mousavi in their rooms. And they carried big knives and guns.

They also attacked the women's dormitory next door. The Supreme Leader calls us rioters, but I want to ask him: How can sleeping women in their beds be rioters? Is this the Islamic justice he believes in?

President Obama's speech was good; he says that he will support us. He also said that nations must decide the fate of their countries by themselves. I agree with him, but now we don't have any power to change the situation, so we need help and attention.

We ask the president not to accept this coup d'etat.


I've applauded Pres. Obama's low key approach so far but now the situation has changed. I think he needs to condemn the threat to put down peaceful protest by force. He has to take sides more clearly.

Will this end with a bang or a whimper -- or might it, change, even succeed? As I said in one of my first blogs on the issue, it comes down to how much blood Iranians themselves are willing to shed. That's the lesson of history. What needs to happen for success is the army, or a significant portion of it, to back the protesters. There have been hints of sympathy. Now it's time for Iranians to put up or shut up, a choice which is never easy.

There's also the strategy of a General Strike. Instead of going to the streets, everybody stays home. They shut down the country as much as possible.

A sad heart

The worst is yet to come. Back to bed.

Reactions to speech

The choice is ours now, Islamic Fascism or Democracy. We are responsible for the future, not Khamenei. Don't give up #iranElection

Young Iranians will have to fight and die for their freedom. This is the sad consequence of Kameneis speech #iranelection #khamenei

I'd say Iranian people will go with Gandhi-like protests, we genuinely believe peaceful protests to be most powerful

OK, calm again. Speech wasn't surprizing. We'll have to continue. Let the Games begin. #IranElection

Khamenei implicitly mentioned that protesters are responsible for the bloodshed #iranelection

Mousavi knows the rules of the game. He is not going to back out. He is a very courageous man. #iranelection

Khamenei just declared war on Iranian people. General strike is the way! Stand firm my people! #Iranelection #GR88

Khamenie is going down and happy to take as many as he can with him. God help us. #IranElection

Khamenei's whole plan was to go out and scare the living shit out of everyone. This was his plan. #IranElection

#iranelection will the army ultimately back the people against the basij?

Again and again and again ...

Khamenei: this is nothing to do with supporters of candidates, this is ill wishers/mercenaries/agents of the West." #iranelection

Here's a part of the sadness: I, or anyone who has lived a long time and paid attention to the world, could have written this speech for the Supreme Leader, it is predictable and the same garbage tyrants always say when they are backed into a corner. And if the protesters still protest, and the force comes down even harder, and it gets damn ugly, then here we go again, Hungary, etc etc etc, the sad tragic repetition of history, which Joyce called a nightmare and Brown escaped through a personal mysticism. But it's always the same old story, again and again and again.

Present tweets

This is a sad moment for the people of Iran. #IranElection

I think the Iranians should keep protesting til they give into a RE-VOTE! #iranelection #IranElection

Ayatollah: Media "tone" changed after elex and they removed their masks and showed true colors. He's blaming us again. Sigh.

Leader: If they don't[Mousavi,Karroubi] put an end to protests they are responsible #iranelection

#iranelection what now?

Khamenei seems to be saying that protesting against a gov. is unislamic. Got to admire the foolhardy chutzpah of the guy #iranelection

So, Iran's "leaders" basically think their citizens are either stupid or unworthy of respect. What now? http://twitter.com/BreakingNews/status/2235946232 #iranelection

Nobody under 40 in the crowd #iranelection #gr88

Its obvious Khamenei is terrified of protests. Nothing hes saying makes any sense, and hes clearly on the defense. #iranelection #gr88 #iran

Khamenei is signaling the end of the republic. He thinks we are cowards. Has he forgotten we are the heirs to Khurosh? #iranelection

the ball is in mousavi's court will he fold or double down? We'll find out on Satruday #iranelection

Hitting the fan

In Iran the Supreme Leader is speaking. This gist is that unrest is caused by foreigners and the confused young, the election was fair, shape up and shut up.

If the protesters keep protesting, which strikes me as likely, the situation appears headed for a major showdown: and either great force will put down the movement or it will not, but things are sure to be ugly. At least this is my take on the immediate future. Hungary again seems like the model. Unfortunately.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Salinger wins round one

Published: June 17, 2009

A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Holden Caulfield, the precocious protagonist of J. D. Salinger’s most famous work, “The Catcher in the Rye,” will exist at least a little longer solely in a state of permanent adolescence, unburdened by the cares and recriminations of old age.

The judge, Deborah A. Batts of United States District Court in Manhattan, granted a 10-day temporary restraining order forbidding publication in the United States of a new book by a Swedish author that contains a 76-year-old version of Holden Caulfield while she considers arguments in a copyright-infringement case filed by Mr. Salinger.

His lawyers contend that the new work is too derivative and that the characters in “Catcher” are protected by copyright.

Read the article.

A little night music

Nico Pitney

This journalist, blogging at The Huffington Post, should get a Pulitzer when this is all over. No one is better using old and new media together to put together a continuing narrative of what is happening in Iran.

Citizen Tube

Latest video from Iran, "watching video change our world."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Norman Brown

Every time I witness history repeating itself, as it's seeming to do now despite the genuine revolution in digital communication, I'm reminded of the extraordinary, ambitious goal he set himself in his masterpiece, Love's Body, to get to the foundation of this repeating story (Joyce would say nightmare) and ask what, if anything, can be done to avoid its endless repetitions. Time for a rereading.

Today's march


Winging it

Well, my browser is stuck/frozen and I don't want to shut down in the middle of an upload. But I can open a doc file, so I'll blab here.

Iran had a soccer game today and tied ... so they need help to get into the World Cup. If they made it, would BOTH sides of the election dispute celebrate together?

I'm also eager to get into a rhythm where I'm working on the novel every day. The concept really excites me. However, doubt if I can do this until July, after the review is online.

Some news trickling out of increasingly isolated Iran is that violence against protesters is on the increase. A complete power play by the regime is still possible. They are trying to shut down all net commo now but not yet succeeding. They don't want folks watching what they do. Except for the new tech, all this feels so familiar. Sadly so.

Having lunch tomorrow with Bob Edwards, poet, writer, from my old NW neighborhood. Looking forward to it. And coffee later this afternoon with some folks locally on the mayor issue.

As soon as this upload finishes, home and back to organizing the text submissions.


Taking a break, uploading video files at Starbucks. Lots of grunt work this morning, organizing and downloading text submissions to our staff. Still a ways to go. After it's all downloaded and organized, then it's the grunt work of formatting everything and uploading it to the server, a much faster process for text files, of course.

Also counting my blessings today. I try to do this every day. Despite everything that moves aching, despite having outlived my closest male friends, despite the usual ego frustrations that distract a writer at the end of a career, in the larger scheme of things I have to be thankful for many, many blessings from the gods.

I was thinking how much fun it would be to do a kind of "Travels with Charley," or my own "Travels with Ruby" that I wrote for Northwest Magazine in the 60s or 70s, with video, a video doc on traveling across the country.

I am really excited about the new OLR, doing all video. I think this can evolve into something special, and I especially look forward to having time now to do more ambitious mini-docs of local writers and such. This can be a significant contribution to our regional record.

Lots of disagreement among commentators about the future of Iran -- whether the protesters will "win" or be eliminated by force. I hope they win, of course. We'll see.

H has a solo show opening July 2, and I'll cover it on video for the new journal. Putting up a pilot issue as soon as I can after the regular issue goes up.

Haven't heard from my friend in Bali for a while. Don't know if a net connection is hard to do for her or whether she just stinks as a pen pal.

I have 2 weeks to get up the new issue. Looking at the progress I may with text submissions this morning, I think I can meet the deadline as long as I put in at least a few hours every day. The sooner I get it up, the sooner I can work on the new look, which is where my passion is now.

Full day of editing journal

Plus a short chapter to write for an anthology. I wrote it in my sleep last night, might as well get it down while it's fresh.

Mostly text submissions now, much more quickly dealt with than video files.

Doctored photo or more rank stupidity?

How a challenger loses votes over time in election results.

Today's food for thought

Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

New design

Started fiddling with a new design for the new review last night.

Guarded optimism...and soccer

With such a revolution in communication going on, with unrest in Iran watched by so many, perhaps the model doesn't have to be Hungary after all. Signs suggesting otherwise. We'll hope and we'll see.

There are very interesting things that are taking place right now. Some of my sources in Iran have told me that Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who is the head of the Assembly of Experts -- the eighty-six member clerical body that decides who will be the next Supreme Leader, and is, by the way, the only group that is empowered to remove the Supreme Leader from power -- that they have issued an emergency meeting in Qom.

Now, Anderson, I have to tell you, there's only one reason for the Assembly of Experts to meet at this point, and that is to actually talk about what to do about Khamenei. So, this is what I'm saying, is that we're talking about the very legitimacy, the very foundation of the Islamic Republic is up in the air right now. It's hard to say what this is going to go.


But troubling signs continue.

"We are fighting with our lives and the world is just watching," said Ali, a Tehran University student who did not want his full name used for safety reasons. "They see how the government is trying to silence us, how they are beating us -- but they don't come to our help. It's OK. We will succeed, even if we have to fight alone."

In Iran's southwestern city of Shiraz, 28-year-old hospital nurse Najmeh has also taken to the streets in mass demonstrations every day since Saturday, but says she is now too afraid to participate.

"The police are everywhere you look," she said. "They hurt and arrested so many people last night that one wants to go out."


Here's an interesting article on Iran and soccer: How soccer explains the world -- except Iran

Iranian artists in exile


It's afternoon in Iran.

PEACEFUL Tehran march TODAY 5pm - 7Tir Sq - #iranelection

#Iranelection m yfriend says lkast night she see a child that sheafed by his father,but the child shot by government:( maybe dead...

All foreign news reporters in Iran R locked down in their hotels, not allowed 2 go out #gr88 #iranelection (via @StopAhmadi)

Pro-Ahmedinajad rally is Photoshopped to add more supporter. http://bit.ly/NpibJ #iranelection

Couple more hours til another silent demonstration.Show ur support online by going green everywhere- http://twitpic.com/7jcp0 #iranelection

#iranelection majd said that it could go either way: either a huge crackdown by the govt or a revote with different prez elected

We want our votes back, but we seek that in peace. Keep in mind, Mousavi & Karroobi are not in it for a full-scale revolt #iranelection

If posting from inside #Iran remember to use proxy, remove mobile's battery & change location after posting. #iranelection #tehran

confirmed by MOUSAVI - Thursday march - in memory of those killed - location tbc - sea of green - #Iranelection


high level of false information on twitter quoting us - BEWARE - #Iranelection

The Guardian blogs that man who leaked the real election results has died mysteriously but cannot confirm http://bit.ly/PUV8B #IranElection

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

From Iran

From a female medical student:


It's painful to watch what's happening.

I don't want anything to do with what has been said this far, as I neither have the strength nor the resilience to face all these unfathomable events.

I only want to speak about what I have witnessed. I am a medical student. There was chaos last night at the trauma section in one of our main hospitals. Although by decree, all riot-related injuries were supposed to be sent to military hospitals, all other hospitals were filled to the rim. Last night, nine people died at our hospital and another 28 had gunshot wounds. All hospital employees were crying till dawn. They (government) removed the dead bodies on back of trucks, before we were even able to get their names or other information. What can you even say to the people who don't even respect the dead. No one was allowed to speak to the wounded or get any information from them. This morning the faculty and the students protested by gathering at the lobby of the hospital where they were confronted by plain cloths anti-riot militia, who in turn closed off the hospital and imprisoned the staff. The extent of injuries are so grave, that despite being one of the most staffed emergency rooms, they've asked everyone to stay and help--I'm sure it will even be worst tonight.


As I noted earlier, the worst case scenario is we watch another Hungary, which appears to be the direction here.

Great art

There are works of art that speak to an individual so powerfully, so personally, that they are held in the heart forever. Works that have affected me this way are, first and foremost, the Weill/Brecht opera, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Also F. Durrenmatt's play, The Physicists, Graham Greene's novel The Quiet American, Edward Albee's play Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, Evan Connell's novel Mrs. Bridge, Peter Weiss' music drama Marat/Sade, James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Gilbert Sorrentino's short story "The Moon In Its Flight."

And the film I saw again this afternoon, The French Lt.'s Woman, both the John Fowles novel and the Harold Pinter screenplay also on this short list of favorite works art. I hadn't seen the film for about two years. I like it more with each viewing. It's also been a while since I've read the novel, and I'll put it on reserve today.

John Fowles & Harold Pinter

Enough, already!

I could stay here all day uploading vids but I've done enough for the day, time to move on and get outside and cut some grass. Change of scenery. So as soon as the present vid uploads, I'm out of here.

Unless I get sidetracked on the way home ha ha.

What ever happened to smart crooks?

You know, if I was going to steal an election in a hotly contested environment, I'd make it close and I'd let the other guy win his home town. I'd want to make the fraud look as REAL as possible. This is what must be so infuriating to the protesters in Iran, the election crooks are so obvious and blatant about it, counting millions of hand votes in two hours and then making a close contest a landslide. What a bunch of idiots. They must have really believed the opposition was docile.

At the office

Tying together a few loose ends while uploading video on the desk computer and writing here on the eeepc, my new right arm. Even with a fast connection, all these 50M video files take time to upload.

Should do some writing while I'm here but not in much of a mood for it. Rather read tweets from Iran. It's addictive.

The sun also sets

Ah how often have I heard the slogans of idealism over the last half century of my political awareness? Power to the people! The revolution is here! How many of these kids, ten, twenty years from now, will be working in banks?

The trouble with history is that it's boring because it's so repetitive.

All the same, I wish the people of Iran well but fear the model is Hungary, with a ton of theocratic force waiting in the wings to crush the protesters at any cost -- while the world watches and, of course, complains.

Wouldn't it be nice if history didn't repeat itself for a change?

Quotation of the day

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Grades are in

Now the big push is to get the new review online in the next two weeks. At the same time, need to make appointments regarding home matters, get info, make decisions. A busy time. Plus a funeral to go to out of town. No rest for the retired ha ha.

Cartoon by Mana Neyastani

Morning tweets

The usual barrage, fascinating, confusing, upsetting...

DigitalDiva107 From Iran: Kasra is dead & I don't know where is masood, lost him in the crowd yesterday. #Iranelection

Naazje Mousavi's supporters are walking on Valiasr towards Mellat Park & Jaame Jam (near Iranian national TV buildings) #iranelection

iranStreetNews Confirmed: Residents around Tehran University dorms have given sanctuary to the students in their own homes. Kudos! #IranElection #GR88

statesman Iran is stopping all foreign journalists from reporting/taking pictures in the street. http://budurl.com/ylfx #iranelection

Bazga777 URGENT: Stop attacks on state run websites, they are forwarding the traffic to Mousavi supporting websites #iranelection #gr88 #iranelection

sm007hie #IranElection Gov't planning on "partially recounting" ballots. How will that help? http://short.to/fwyx

Obamaspy Confirmed @lafcity @i_hart_iran tweets from Iran Secret Police. Please ignore them #iranelection

mikeexpo At least tens of thousands of people have gathered in central Tehran to attend a pro-Ahmadinejad rally, live pictures on state TV show.

IranRiggedElect More and more arrests are reported. #iranelection

Froggerle It is more likely that West has rigged this situation in Iran,that the Iranian elections was rigged. They want obidient state. #IranElection

cybrgrl I think Mousavi opposition is tweeting mis-information. Take care in what you believe and EXTREME care in retweets. #IranElection

oli2be Old media are failing in covering #iranelection partly because ambiguity is central to the story. Ambiguity is anti-news.


iranStreetNews Reliable Source: Abdolfateh Soltani, member of the Human Rights Centre of Iran has been arrested today #IranElection #GR88

STOPnejad everybody try to film as much as poss today on mobiles - vimptnt - these are eyes of world #Iranelection

DigitalDiva107 From Iran: 3:30pm basij is after us. slept in the streets last night. internet is down in most of the city #iranelection

JamieMK I'm laughing at how Iranian officials think banning journalists from reporting on the streets will solve their problems! #IranElection

See for yourself.

Memories of Cronkite's old 50s TV show, "You Are There!"

Monday, June 15, 2009

Recent selected tweets

douglasbass A source at the Ministry of Interior says the actual vote count was Mousavi 52%, Ahmadinejad 37%

vsquee This is what twitter is for, not "oh i had sushi today" #iranelection

Sherry90212 Phone lines still down - cannot get through #iranelection

mattplace > @khalnath You know, I've learned something today. Americans DO care about the world outside America.Their media just doesn't #iranelection

EmMaeKay @vsquee Agreed! This is what it's about. This is the future of free press and journalism. From many perspectives, one lesson. #iranelection

afrodeziak #iranelection If I was Israel I would be in full alert, Imadinanutjob is capable of anything with his back to the wall.

dijitalboy Hackers trying to bring down Iranian gov sites with DDOS attacks #iranelection http://bit.ly/wu5tO (via @kubastolarski)

kelseylh To our brothers and sisters in Iran, hang tough. The world is watching. #iranelection

langdale Lots of videos on Youtube, beatings and people shot being rushed into ambulances. #IranElection Youtube is the new CNN.

JP_AMP No national press coverage in Iran, everyone should help spread Mousavi's message. One Person = One Broadcaster. #IranElection

Kevin_Lately @ggjeffy Women in Iran are the most powerful element in this movement. #iranelection

cacardinal Iranian Gov't searching twitter for students organizing. Change your location to TEHRAN to confuse them. This could save a life #fb

usairn #IranElection we love you americans and the people all over the world who heard our move in iran

Iran blackout?

Twitter is going offline for 90 mins. for "maintenance" tonight, and the Twitter community is in an uproar, saying this blackout will encourage more violence because there will be no first hand witnesses to the world. Paranoia is everywhere in times and places like this, much of it understandable, so we'll have to wait and see what if anything happens. I tend to be pessimistic about the end of all this but would love to be wrong.

LATER. Twitter rescheduled maintenance due to so many protesting tweets. Again, the power of the medium.

I have bad feelings about the future, the model being Hungary, a crushed revolt with much violence. I can't imagine a theocracy giving in. God doesn't permit it. We'll see. Hopefully, I am wrong.


One thing apparent when reading tweets from and about Iran is the huge difference in attitudes between the naive idealism of the young and the weathered cynicism of the old. The Chesterton quotation in my signature is right on:

"I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid." -- G. K. Chesterton

Where does this leave us? Not far beyond humility.

Twitter comes through

Thus far, the general sense of the news coming from Iran via Twitter has proven to be accurate. For example, hours ago I read on Twitter about the huge numbers defying the rally ban and showing up to support Mousavi, who spoke. Now, finally, CNN reports the same. The Huffington Post seems to be doing the best job of reporting, with links to the Twitter and blog activity as well as analyses in a more traditional vein. But surely, the scrolling present-tense tweets present a dramatic new way to get citizen-news, and the "batting average" of this kind of reporting appears to be better than I suspected it might be. So much is changing.

Iran recap

If you're like most Americans you spend your summer weekends tuning out the rest of the world. In the event you turned on your computer today and wondered, "What the hell is going on in Iran?"—Here's a summary.

In as close to chronological order as we can determine, here is a brief summary of the major events that have taken place over the last couple of days.


A necessary day

Primary focus today must be to finish up my grading. This means, first, the work of two advanced students. I'll try not to spend too much time reading tweets out of Iran.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

= 1000 words

Heart-breaking immediacy...

...reading tweets from Tehran Univ students as they are under attack.

More photos.

Twitter: "Live from my window. It is so sad. No ambulance and people need help." ... "Bastards just attacked us for no reason."

From the 60s, the revolution will not be televised ... but maybe it'll be tweeted.

And detail from a blog:

Late last night, I went out to one area in Tehran and that one got a bit ugly. You had pro-Mousavi protesters moving out, smashing windows and facing off with a group of individuals who are described as vigilante because they were not wearing uniforms. They were plain clothes, carrying baseball bats. They were carrying metal pipes, and they were just beating up anyone that was that was in that area. Today, I went to a second protest...probably the most violent that I've seen, that we have seen. We went to an area in midtown, where we saw hundreds of pro-Ahmadinejad protesters. The difference here is that these protesters again did not wear any uniforms who identified they were except for the Iranian flag that they were waving. They were on motorcycles. There were some on foot but again, they had weapons. No uniforms but they had weapons such as metal pipes, and they were actually just driving around, intimidating people, beating up people, anyone that was in the street, anyone that was in the road, anyone that dared to chant "Mousavi, Mousavi," they were beating them senseless.

Read more.

One woman called all this "an apocalyptic novel played out in tweets..."

Leaders, protests & football

So A. compares the protests over the Iran election to the losing fans after a football (soccer) match. Reminds me of Nixon, talking with protesters at the Lincoln Memorial and asking how their football team is this year. When will they ever learn? History tell us, Never.

A theory

By Juan Cole, President of the Global Americana Institute


But just as a first reaction, this post-election situation looks to me like a crime scene. And here is how I would reconstruct the crime.

As the real numbers started coming into the Interior Ministry late on Friday, it became clear that Mousavi was winning. Mousavi's spokesman abroad, filmmaker Mohsen Makhbalbaf, alleges that the ministry even contacted Mousavi's camp and said it would begin preparing the population for this victory.

The ministry must have informed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has had a feud with Mousavi for over 30 years, who found this outcome unsupportable. And, apparently, he and other top leaders had been so confident of an Ahmadinejad win that they had made no contingency plans for what to do if he looked as though he would lose.

They therefore sent blanket instructions to the Electoral Commission to falsify the vote counts.

This clumsy cover-up then produced the incredible result of an Ahmadinejad landlside in Tabriz and Isfahan and Tehran.

The reason for which Rezaie and Karoubi had to be assigned such implausibly low totals was to make sure Ahmadinejad got over 51% of the vote and thus avoid a run-off between him and Mousavi next Friday, which would have given the Mousavi camp a chance to attempt to rally the public and forestall further tampering with the election.

This scenario accounts for all known anomalies and is consistent with what we know of the major players.

Read full article.

Already a Wikipedia page ...

2009 Iranian Election Protests.


Overwhelming way to get the news, and whatever else is there with "news," in this new cyber-universe of ours. Set the filters to a few things pertaining to the Iran election, set your scrolling speed, and read away, watching for links to take you to other interesting places. A new interactive confusing overwhelming chaotic way to get the news -- or whatever it is. Twitterfall now!

Getting the news

A few people using Twitter to give and get news about the Iranian election strike me as too self-congratulatory about what they are doing. Granted, with CNN and the other networks shut down, Twitter is about the only source providing a news link to an important moment of history. But this isn't news in the usual sense, it's a staggering, overwhelming rush of reports, images, thoughts, opinions, rumors (see Twitterfall), important but only as first impressions which may or may not be accurate and truthful. There's a danger of accepting too much too quickly in such energized ever-changing environments. Tweet away, just don't brag that you're thereby doing a better job than CNN would if it had not been closed down. Your service is great: but it isn't a substitute for more measured news analyses.

From Twitter: is it true M. was told he won, to prepare a victory speech? A momentous contention that needs documentation.

From Twitter: what the "real" votes were, with M. winning. Where in hell did these figures come from? That's the problem with Twitter, anyone can throw out anything and there's no room or space or inclination for documentation.

Some are calling this not a fraud but a coup. That the votes weren't even counted. Given how quickly the results were made public, I can believe it.


"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

--Thomas Jefferson

Easy to say, easy to praise, hard to do the walk as well as the talk. It's not theory in the streets of Iran. What happens may depend on how much blood the Iranians themselves are willing to shed.

Obsessive insomnia

A rough night, couldn't shut my mind off from redesigning the review for the new all-video version. Made some decisions, I think.

Iran tweets

The main news out of Iran is coming via Twitter. Interesting.

Iran election Twitter feeds.

Editing video

Back to editing video, although I have two major student projects to look at today or tomorrow. Love editing, even the grunt work of editing readings. I'm very excited about using the new version of Finale and getting back to my music drama on video ideas. First, though, after the house stuff is settled, want to finish the two video projects I had to interrupt. A busy summer ahead -- with a funeral and a reunion to get me out of town.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


This conversation about whether the Iranian vote was fixed is nonsense. Of course it was! Yes, polls in Iran are unreliable but Mousavi was leading 54-39 in the one poll before the election. Heavy voter turnout favored him. And instead he loses 63% to 34%. That's an absolute joke. They might as well have gone all the way and called it 97-3%.
But the clerics who run Iran and Ayatollah Khamenei better be careful what they wish for. This is how you start revolutions. Iran has a very young population that is yearning for more freedom and those younger voters were overwhelmingly on the side of Mousavi. These young Iranians made the mistake of believing that they had some say in their government and that they did not live under a dictatorship. And now they have found out the truth. My guess is that is not going to sit well with them.

It's one thing to bring in a new slightly moderate leader with only some powers as your next president. It's another thing to tell your people that they don't matter and that you rule their lives with an iron fist and that their government is a fraud. That's the kind of thing revolutions are made of.

by Cenk Uygur


Hanging in

3 grades to finish up, an undergrad with a missing final and 2 advanced students whose long scripts I need to look at tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll finish up tomorrow.

Remember the Wobblies

Don't trust the bosses, the Wobblies used to say.

HOBART, Ind. – At the end of the 81-year marriage, the Isaksons said goodbye by turning off the lights. The partnership was over.
The Chrysler sign went dark.

It was an unceremonious finale to a four-generation bond between one family and one company, but it was not a surprise. Rob Isakson had known for weeks his dealership was on a Chrysler hit list — the cuts were part of the troubled automaker's survival strategy.

Still, when the moment arrived, he did not go gently into the night.

"It hurts," he says. "How do you put into words 81 years of your family's blood, sweat and tears? How many times did my father miss some family event ... because the business came first? And all of it is for nothing now."

Read the story.

Finale 2010

I usually don't do software updates. In fact, more often than not, I prefer the earlier version. Often when I buy software, in fact, I buy earlier versions at bargain prices.

But the new update to Finale is a godsend for me. There's a major revision and expansion of adding and using chords, which is perfectly suited to a novice like myself and makes my own composing tasks hugely more efficient. I love this update!

McNamee memorial

Gerry McNamee's memorial is at Eastern Oregon University, Sunday, June 28, at 2 p.m., followed by a wake at Mamacita's, the Mexican restaurant owned by his long-time girlfriend Sandy. She reports that he died peacefully in their bedroom.

We'll be there.

The review evolves

Spent some time yesterday brainstorming with two staff editors about possible future changes in the review. I'm leaning toward going all video and audio, which is to say no longer publishing text. I think the best thing we are doing is making a video record of the arts and artists in Oregon. With volume 5, focus on this. Not decided yet but definitely leaning this way. Also, publishing not "as issues" twice a year but more as a website, which gets frequently updated. Redesigning form as well as content. First things first, still much to do to get the new issue out by July 1.

In the next few days, however, I have to finish up my grades, dealing mainly with advanced students and their continuing projects. Much of today will be focused on them. It's a gray damp day, of course, so there's nothing I can do outside.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thursday, 10am-2pm

You won't hear a better jazz program or DJ than Homer Clark's Jazz Hole Cover on KMHD in Portland, Oregon -- available to the world from their web site. Link to listen now. Been enjoying this for decades (though he disappeared for a spell).

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Did a flying saucer crash in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947 and was it recovered by the government? Were alien bodies aboard?

Whatever you may have thought about this in the past, the recent book Witness to Roswell is filled with new testimony. First hand witnesses, many in the Army at the time, are old men and women now and are beginning to talk, some with notarized statements on their deathbeds. They are saying it happened. They are saying they saw the craft and the aliens. Either they are telling the truth or mass hysteria has infected the land.

And if they are telling the truth, what does this say about ... well, just about everything?

A courageous doctor: Dr. Chris McCoy

Dear AMA: I Quit!

I recently had the opportunity to read your response to the Senate Finance Committee proposal [pdf] for health care reform, and it is clear to me that I cannot remain a member in your organization. Please remove my name from your membership rolls, effective immediately.

In reading the response, I was frustrated and disheartened by the fact that you couldn't get through the second paragraph before bringing up the issue of physician reimbursement. This merely highlights how the AMA represents a physician-centered and self-interested perspective rather than honoring the altruistic nature of my profession. As a physician, I advocate first for what is best for my patients and believe that as a physician, as long as I continue to maintain the trust and integrity of the profession, I will earn the respect of my community. The appropriate financial compensation for my endeavors will follow in kind.

Read the letter.

Today's food for thought

"Sometimes, I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door, and just visit now and then."

- Katharine Hepburn

R.I.P.: Gerry McNamee

Another dear friend from grad school days passes. He'd been teaching at Eastern Oregon in La Grande for years. I'll miss him. He was one of the best read men I've ever met. Lately had done a lot of teaching in some Pacific islands. Saw him every few years and corresponded every few months. I knew he had cancer, thus, and I knew he was refusing the usual treatment. He said, at last email, his alternative treatment was going well. I suspect he didn't suffer as he would have with chemo but I don't know this. R.I.P., old friend.

P.S. If you'd told me a year ago that I'd outlive Gerry, I'd've laughed in your face. Ger was fit, had healthy eating habits, did all the things right that I do wrong. I also had some years on him. Go figure.

At the library

Having trouble with a download but the uploads I did went smoothly. Trying the dw again.

Sitting here reading poems by C. P. Cavafy, new to me and I like him a lot. Understated to the bones stuff.


The years of my youth, my sensual life--
how clearly I see their meaning now.

What needless repentances, how futile...

But I didn't see the meaning then.

Out of the dissolute life of my youth
my poetry aims grew,
my art's realm was drawn.

That is why the repentances were never steadfast.
And my resolutions to hold back, to change,
lasted two weeks at most.

--CP Cavafy
translated by Aliki Barnstone

100 miles before breakfast, and its variations

I love the feeling that by 10 a.m. I've done a day's work, as today. Finished the grading at hand and did a lot of video editing, making substantial progress (still a ton to go). Off to the library soon to upload video files and maybe write a little.

It's a gray day but otherwise fine. Portland weather sucks 90% of the time.