Archive for June, 2009

fake steve has returned.

Huzzah! Dan Lyons has begun posting as Steve Jobs again!

Completely spot on. For my thoughts on Pogue, roll over my link to ‘Ars Technica’ under ‘Technology’ 🙂

(Props to gizmodo, as usual…)

come on, bibi!

Via Sullivan, Bibi’s reaction yesterday to the historic events happening in Iran:

The Iranian threat looms large before us, as was further demonstrated yesterday. The greatest danger confronting Israel, the Middle East, the entire world and human race, is the nexus between radical Islam and nuclear weapons. I discussed this issue with President Obama during my recent visit to Washington, and I will raise it again in my meetings next week with European leaders. For years, I have been working tirelessly to forge an international alliance to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Great. No support of the protesters, who may yet bring about the revolution, and an implicit recognition of the thugs in power. And Israel is not America – he doesn’t need to worry about ever having to actually talk with Iran. So why doesn’t he at least acknowledge the situation?

The Iranian threat looms large before us, as was further demonstrated yesterday. The greatest danger confronting Israel, the Middle East, the entire world and human race, is the nexus between radical Islam and nuclear weapons. I discussed this issue with President Obama during my recent visit to Washington, and I will raise it again in my meetings next week with European leaders. For years, I have been working tirelessly to forge an international alliance to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

help take down presstv.ir & isna.ir

The thugs have launched a DoS attack on one of the only websites still reporting (everyone else is working with twitter). In retaliation, we are trying to attack presstv.ir. An easy way for y’all to help is to just copy this link into a tab on your browser and letting it run:
http://www.pagereboot.com/?url=http://www.presstv.ir&refresh=1

http://www.pagereboot.com/?url=http://isna.ir/ISNA/Default.aspx?Lang=P&refresh=1

If any of you hackers out have enough knowhow to launch a DoS, please consider doing so.

Meanwhile, here’s a list of people in Iran still twittering, sorted by city: http://www.simoncolumbus.com/2009/06/15/english-language-twitterers-in-iran/

One, Change_for_Iran, is at Tehran University, where the government has unleashed the paramilitary Ansar e-Hizballah group on the students. Many are wounded. Some are dead. Police are blockading the hospitals. Brave citizens are letting their front gates open a crack to let protesters in. Tell your friends and loved ones – because CNN, FOX, MSNBC et al apparently have better things to do. (And don’t tell me, ‘they’ve been shut down’, ‘they can’t get there anyways’. They can at least report on the outcry as best they can from the web. You wouldn’t know there’s a massive, massive resistance and crackdown tuning into mainstream cable.)

we are all iranians now.

The potential upending of the Islamic Republic is without doubt the biggest news of the year. Far bigger, in my opinion, than the election of Barack Obama.

And yet…I cannot find a single newschannel right now covering it. Nor can Sullivan. Or Hewitt. Or come to think of it, anyone for that matter! (Well, at least not in the blogosphere. Were I in NY, I would at least have the BBC; Comcast in Deal doesn’t carry it.)

WAKE UP! How long will we keep our heads in the sand? How long will we so complacently digest stories about Miss California nationwide, or politics as usual (the NY Senate crisis) closer to home!?

I am no fan of Hewitt, but he is spot on, as Sullivan points out (and this is a man who gives out an award each year named after Hewitt, for “shrill, intemperate right-wing rhetoric.” The times, they are a-changin’…):

If the Iranian people have the courage of the electorates in Ukraine, Lebanon and Philippines, this could be the week that the three decades of Islamist terror export begins to unravel.  All of western media should be focusing every resource at its disposal on the election fraud and Khamenei’s and Ahmadinejad’s resort to brutal thuggery against the Iranian people.  At Denver’s airport this morning I was amazed that coverage was at a minimum on CNN.  Like the revolutions of 1989 in Europe, the next few days could have enormous consequences for the world for decades to come.

I really don’t know what we can do besides yell at the networks to begin coverage, or try underground stuff on facebook. I will keep y’all (yes, all three of you) informed if I hear anything worthwhile…

I might have another completely unrelated post up tonight. But out of deference to this, I think I’ll delay it till tomorrow…

-e

subway firsts.

I went into Manhattan tonight to meet a few friends of mine at a bar in the East Village and watch the Lakers/Magic game. Though it ended tragically, it was good to take a time out with friends that I hadn’t made face time for in a few weeks.

But more interesting than the game or smalltalk (for you, the reader – I hope) is the weird experience I had on the subway…

For the first time, I saw the police shut down a musical act in a subway station — Union Square no less. The crowd was not exactly enamored of the move, so it’s safe to assume they weren’t being roudy or anything. Pretty shocking stuff, and a sign of the times.

For the first time, the dude I sat next to on the Q and I were both reading the exact same book: Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”. We had some nice chitchat about how the book comes to us from a different time. When the man complained to me about not knowing French, I informed him that the scene would be moving to Spain, so he’d better brush up on his Spanish, too :] As we were both reading our books, we didn’t really get to find out more about each other. The man had some kind of accent, but I couldn’t figure out which. (Oh, and I should mention – for the first time, I read a book semi-buzzed on the Subway…)

For the first time, I noticed the flora at the Sheepshead Bay subway station in Brooklyn (because, as some of you might know, Ave U’s station is being renovated on the Coney Island-bound side). There are some really charming, seemingly random green that grown in between the third rails of the two B tracks and in the middle as well as along the sides of the platform, obscuring the ugly pipes beneath. Combined with the pitter-patter of the soft rain and the purplish-cloudy sky, it was eerily beautiful, like I was living on some remote island nation and not in one of the nation’s proudest cities.

Now, before I noticed all this, I was pretty burned since I’d missed the Manhattan-bound Q that would take me back to Ave U (it was pulling out just as we were pulling in). I was kicking myself for a few minutes, before noticing the beauty of the scene, and commenting about it to some random guy taking a picture of the tracks and station with his iPhone. The man spoke with an accent, and this time I made sure to ask where he was from.

For the first time, I met a random Israeli on the subway. He must have been about my age, since he’d just finished the army, and was visiting the US in order to improve his English and get a solid vacation. I told him that I would probably be spending a year in Israel the next year, and complimented me on my Hebrew (“3adayin kashe li ledaber 3ivrit. En li 3im mi l…oh crap, what’s the word? L’targel, he completed for me.) I mentioned that I’d want to learn Arabic, too, and he pointed out that everybody here who spoke Hebrew also knew Arabic. (I explained that my parents were from Istanbul.)

“Samer” – his actual name, though his friend’s in the army rightfully called him “Kayeetz” – was a Navy man and a Likudnik, and plans to go back to the Navy upon his return to Israel. When I asked him what he thought of Obama’s policy, he was pretty diplomatic. He spoke of being sent out with five other guys to defend settlements in the middle of nowhere, instead of with a full unit, as he said was necessary – not quite so enthusiastic. On the other hand, he pointed out, it’s our country and the onus is on us to defend it and settle it (but not in as many words – he is still learning English, after all.) He described himself as a big supporter of Netanyahu, having campaigned for him in the elections, and so he trusts the PM’s judgment. Off-handedly, he mentioned how Bibi was an American, and a great speaker – assuming me to be an ignorant American, which I laughed at on the inside. At which point, we’d both gotten off at Avenue U, and quickly said our good-byes.

For the first time, I don’t regret having missed the Sheepshead Bay Q in the middle of the night, during pouring rain.

-e

ahmadinejad, politician.

While the blogosphere has been erupting, mostly with hope, over the spectre of a more sane person becoming Iranian President, I’m going to attempt to laugh about it a bit (after already having registered my shock at the right’s reaction.) If you’re still among the uninformed, check out Etheridge’s round-up on the topic.

Insane quote #1, proof that machine politics is very much alive (as if we needed any):

“The level of enthusiasm at the Mousavi rally was very, very high. But there were no angry chants. Instead of “Death to America!” the green-clad Mousavi supporters chant: “Death to potatoes!” ridiculing Ahmadinejad’s practice of giving out sacks of potatoes to his poor supporters.” (Robert Dreyfuss reporting, via Etheridge)

Insane quote #2, proof that Godwin’s Law holds water even among prominent Holocaust deniers:

“They applied the methods of (Josef) Goebbels, propaganda minister of Hitler,” Ahmadinejad told thousands of Iranian-flag waving supporters. “They used this method of psychological war against our nation.” (The AP via NYT’s front page)

You’re all very welcome.

shep smith for the win.

I’ve long believed that basically the only redeeming quantity at Fox News, the only real newsman there, the only person who actually lives up to the farcical “fair and balanced” moniker, is Shepard Smith. Well here he is again, via Andrew Sullivan, calling out some of the scarier loons on the right like nobody else at his network – and few other people in broadcast news – can: