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2009 June 19 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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More Iran Links

Via Jams in comments, a piece by Mohsen Makhmalbaf on the Guardian‘s Comment is Free blog: I speak for Mousavi. And Iran. He says the demonstrations will continue.

Juan Cole with a post by an anonymous Iranian writing about being in the demonstration: “I’m Listening to all my Favorite Music; Maybe Tomorrow I will be Among those Killed”.

Also at Dr. Cole’s, a Jonathan Lyons piece on how Khamenei’s Past Power Play against the Clerics May Weaken him Now in Confronting the Reformers.

CNN says that Google starts translating Persian to support the protesters and get their message out.

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June 19, 2009   Comments Off on More Iran Links

I Really Needed Something Different

funny pictures of cats with captions

June 19, 2009   11 Comments

Cookie Dough Recall

CNN reports that Nestle’s Toll House cookie dough recalled, linked to E. coli

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Two federal agencies warned consumers Friday not to eat raw Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough.

The company said it is recalling an estimated 300,000 cases of the dough as a precaution after reports of food-borne illness in 28 states.

There are concerns that the premade dough may be contaminated with the bacterium E. coli 0157:H7, which causes abdominal cramping, vomiting and diarrhea, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Young children and the elderly can suffer more serious symptoms.

Nestle issued a statement saying, “While the E. coli strain implicated in this investigation has not been detected in our product, the health and safety of our consumers is paramount, so we are initiating this voluntary recall.”

According to Nestle spokeswoman Laurie MacDonald, raw dough was one of the things the sick people reported eating.

Apparently it is this single product, which is overpriced and not all that good anyway. Get a grip and make them from scratch, because there aren’t near enough chips and they don’t use real ingredients like butter.

June 19, 2009   10 Comments

Iranian Government

The first time I looked at the BBC’s background piece on the Iranian government I was struck by the similarity to the structure of a university.

That isn’t surprising, given that the government was the creation of Shi’ia clerics, who are really the equivalent of university professors, i.e. their title indicates their level of education, as well as their publication history. The two most important Shi’ia hawsas [theology/law schools] are at Najaf and Qom, and they can easily be compared to Oxford and Cambridge in ranking. [Most in the West have forgotten that the original purpose of their universities was to produce clerics.]

So the system of government devised by Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini incorporating the Vilayat-e Faqih [guardianship of the jurists] reflected his life, which was almost entirely within the walls of hawsas.

I would note that Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri was originally designated Ayatollah Khomeini’s successor because he was the only other “true believer” in the Iranian system. He still believes in the system, but he lost his place when he sought to moderate what he saw as repression after the revolution. He recently sided with the protesters by stating that the election was obviously fraudulent.

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June 19, 2009   Comments Off on Iranian Government

The Tiananmen Option

The BBC covers Khamenei’s speech: Ayatollah backs election result

Iran’s supreme leader has issued a stern warning that protests against the country’s disputed presidential election results must end.

In his first public remarks after days of protests, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the outcome had to be decided at the ballot box, not on the street.

He said political leaders would be blamed for any violence.

Responding to allegations of electoral fraud, the ayatollah insisted the Islamic Republic would not cheat.

“There is 11 million votes difference,” the ayatollah said. “How can one rig 11 million votes?”

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June 19, 2009   7 Comments

RIP Andante

A friend and the individual most responsible for convincing me to blog, Andante of Collective Sigh, died on Tuesday, June 16th, after a long battle with cancer.

Her voice will be missed.

Update: Her last post on May 1st featured this performance of the Italian version of Taps.

June 19, 2009   14 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

The Big Table

Friday Cat Blogging

Nom Nom — nom nom

[Editor: The 106° heat index Thursday reduced the appetites of the adults, so KT3 and KT4 get to eat all they want with none on the big cats around.]

Friday Ark

June 19, 2009   5 Comments