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Cartoon of the Week

This is a last minute change… I had another cartoon picked out, but I was bowled over by this Mike Luckovich masterpiece in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Cartoon of the Week

I’m also impressed on looking back over the past few years on how many times Mike Luckovich has been the artist on my Cartoon of the Week. He really catches the way we feel about the newsworthy incidents that we must think about in order to keep going.

Mousavi has called for another mass rally today…

… called a “Mourning” rally for the now over 30 killed by government soldiers in the ongoing protests over the Iranian elections.

And these rallies are getting bigger every day, despite the Iranian government’s attempts to block International press coverage and even Twitter.

There will be more leaks, I’m sure… I’m going to check in with Nico Pitney’s updates at HuffPo as the day goes on.

Another way to stay on top of what’s going on in Iran is through Citizentube which is lining up the YouTube videos coming out of that country (and note that the government has managed to block about 90% of those videos already)… the last video reports available since the broadcast networks were cut off.

Between Twitter and YouTube we are seeing a tremendous influence of the Internet on this ongoing protest activity… not something governments have had to consider in the past.

Iran goes into another day…

A quick pass through the Twitters, Nico Pitney’s live blog, and a few other sources and it looks like the Iranian Assembly of Experts (the top group of Imams) is meeting today. Some think this may be to decide to drop Khameni as the top dog… others think it’s just to get control over the mobs.

Whatever… it’s keeping Iran in the news and information is leaking out even though the government is doing all it can to prevent it.

This letter from Ayatollah Montazeri was the thing that triggered the high muckluck’s meeting:

In the name of God

People of Iran

These last days, we have witnessed the lively efforts of you, brothers and sisters, old and young alike, from every social category, for the 10th presidential elections.

Our youth, hoping to see their rightful will fulfilled, came on the scene and waited patiently. This was the greatest occasion for the government’s officials to bond with their people.

However, unfortunately, they used it in the worst way possible. Declaring results that no one in their right mind can believe, and despite all the evidence of crafted results, and contrary to the people’s protestations, in front of the eyes of the same nation who carried the weight of a revolution and 8 years of war, in front of the eyes of local and foreign reporters, attacked the children of the people with astonishing violence. And now they are attempting a purge, arresting intellectuals, political opponents and Scientists.

Now, based on my religious duties, I will remind you:

1- A legitimate state must respect all points of view. It may not oppress critical views. I fear that this will lead to the loss of people’s faith in Islam.

2- Given the current circumstances, I expect the government to take all measures to restore people’s confidence. Otherwise, as I have already said, a government not respecting the people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.

3- I invite everyone, especially the youth, to continue reclaiming their dues calmly, and not to allow those who want to associate this movement with chaos succeed.

4- I ask the police and army personnel not to “sell their religion”, and be aware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God. Recognize the protesting youth as your children. Today, censorship and cutting telecommunication lines can not hide the truth.

I pray for the greatness of the Iranian people.

Meanwhile, North Korea must be feeling ignored, because now they are threatening to “annihilate” us for stopping ships coming and going from them to check for radioactive content.

Why do they behave like (well armed) six year olds?

This from the BBC in Tehran this morning:

Jon Leyne
Reporting from Tehran

I hear from the Guardian Council that they are ready to recount those ballot boxes queried by the opposition.

My understanding of that would be that the opposition can then just query every single ballot box, in effect launching a complete recount.

I haven’t seen the details of their statement yet, but they did say earlier that the election result was only provisional.

They are the body that adjudicates on appeals against the election, and they seem – from what we have heard so far – to have launched a massive U-turn over this election result.

What does it mean when there are 5 Miles of Demonstrators?


Here we are in Iran today… demonstrators came out and heard Mousavi speak. This is the largest demonstration since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

From Reuters:

Demonstrators filled a broad avenue in central Tehran for several km (miles) on Monday, chanting “We fight, we die, we will not accept this vote rigging,” in support of Mirhossein Mousavi, the defeated moderate candidate.

Mousavi said he was “ready to pay any price” in his fight against election irregularities, his Web site quoted him as saying, indicating a determination to keep up the pressure for the election result to be annulled.

And there will be another demonstration tomorrow, apparently. If protests are kept up on this scale it may be seen as a direct affront to the Supreme Leader and the religious authorities who have ruled Iran since the fall of the Shah.

So you tell me that this many people came out against someone who claims over 65% of the vote?

While Iran has declared Ahmadinejad the Winner…

… these numbers have been leaked out of Iran showing how the votes really accumulated:

Leaked Numbers from Iran

Maseeh Alinejad is an Iranian reporter who was  censored in her reporting from the Iranian Parliament in 2005. I have no more information about this reported result which I got through reviewing articles in niacINsight, a blog for Iranian-Americans that tries to follow internal happenings. That publication released this e-mail they got this morning:

“I am in Tehran. Its 3:40 in the morning. I’ve connected with you [by hacking past the government filter]. It’s a big mess here. People are yelling from their houses – ‘death to the dictator.’ They are setting up a military government. No one dares to go out. No one has seen Mousavi today. Rumor has it that they have arrested him. I don’t have an email but I will contact you again.

Help us.”

Did you notice? The chart lists more votes than there are eligible voters. Sooo… what could this all mean?
They couldn’t confirm the source.

Steve Clemons has an article on the Iranian elections and what they may have caused…

He has apparently heard from an Iranian friend. These are only a couple of clips… go in and read the whole article:

Iran: There Will Be Blood

Last night in London after appearing on Keith Olbermann’s show, I got an email from a well-connected Iranian who knows many of the power figures in the Tehran political order asking to meet me.

A gaping hole has been ripped open in Iranian society, exposing the contradictions of the regime and everyone now sees that the democracy that they believed that they had in Iranian form is a “charade.”

My contact predicted serious violence at the highest levels. He said that Ahmadinejad is now genuinely scared of Iranian society and of Mousavi and Rafsanjani. The level of tension between them has gone beyond civil limits — and my contact said that Ahmadinejad will try to have them imprisoned and killed.

He predicted that the so-called reformist camp — who are not exactly humanists in the Western liberal sense — may try and animate efforts to decapitate the regime and “do away with” Ahmadinejad and even the Supreme Leader himself.

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