Sunday, February 12, 2017

Can a Conservative Court Reject Anti-Abortion Laws

These days supporters of abortion rights have a nagging concern that the next Supreme Court appointment by Mr. Trump would create an opportunity for the majority "conservative" members to reverse the 1973 Roe vs. Wade (RvW) ruling. This reversal presumably could lay the groundwork for states to completely ban abortion or restrict it so severely that it would not be accessible anymore.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Cuban "Socialism"

The other day a good friend approached me and said, "I agree with all that you have said in your last post [Fidel Castro's Legacy], but you should not have called him an idiot, Fidel Castro was not an idiot."

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Fidel Castro's Legacy

Most of my friends on FaceBook (FB) are socialists, who profess Marxist-Leninist concepts of communism. That is where I come from, we shared the same beliefs. We fought for a "classless" society, a society of plenty for all and we were for the suppression of any form of "exploitation". We shared these concepts and most of them yet believe in these ideas. This entire spectrum of my FB friends also come from small socialist groups from which they have been expelled or resigned from. They all attest to the authoritarian nature of their party leadership which expelled them. These comrades from the relative comfort of their retired life or near retirement in the U.S., freely mock and criticize their past leaders.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Trump, Clinton & Sanders

The silhouettes of the three candidates could point one to certain political possibilities. Are these names, Trump, Clinton and Sanders the outlines of a three party system? A right wing party searching for strong man politics, a center party trying to reconcile multitudes of interests by developing policies that has an eye to the future, and a left wing party raising socialist slogans for bringing down the rich. Are we witnessing a process of split in the well entrenched Democratic and Republican parties?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Women in Iran

Masih Alinejad often talks about her experiences growing up in Iran. On what it is being a woman in Iran. Her experiences is becoming more typical if it is not already typical. She talks about simple truths and that is powerful. Iranian regime is mortally afraid of these simple truths.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Dignity of Women

In my post in October 14, 2013 I wrote, "What if every Western country would assign a female ambassador to Iran who would introduce her credentials to the Iranian government, in Tehran, in her own traditional attire, dressed professionally as a female without any head cover or hijab, as a practical working woman." 

It seems that the french public is way ahead of the Western politicians. This is what the politicians in the West should push as part of lifting the economic restrictions on Iran. To read the whole story click on this link.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/02/air-france-stewardesses-mutiny-over-order-to-wear-headscarves/

Monday, February 15, 2016

Justice Scalia

Over the weekend Maureen, my wife, and I went to a gathering of some acquaintances. As we entered the house a jubilant outcry greeted us. "Scalia is dead, hurray!" Taken aback I paused for a moment and said "The man is dead! The man is dead! And he had a different view of the constitution!" I must have sounded like a party pooper because the commotion calmed down a bit. Maybe more than a bit!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Iranian Election

In a couple of weeks Islamic Republic in Iran will hold an "election" for the selection of the members of the Parliament and the Assembly of Experts. What these political bodies are is not really relevant as I will explain in a moment. So far the majority of the candidates for these two assemblies have been disqualified through a non transparent process. Qualified candidates are chosen by the status quo for the purpose of maintaining the rule of the existing clique of clergies and their tight circles of beneficiaries. Open discussion of issues and criticism of the system is suppressed by detention, long term imprisonment and death. Meanwhile the Islamic regime spends plenty of resources to convince the population that they should participate and cast their ballots, portraying the people's participation as "patriotic", "anti-enemy" and "anti-imperialist". Should one participate in this election? Is there any principles one could adopt or follow?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Election 2016

The coming election is the most participatory and as such it is the most democratic election in my memory and I dare to say in anybody's memory who is alive today. Am I divulging my age? It is also probably the noisiest U.S. election in the modern times. Both aspects of this election have their pluses and minuses.

Friday, January 01, 2016

People of Shahrud

Many of you probably have read my post about my sister. If you have not, read the Faranak post first. It will help you to follow this one. I have been working on my memoirs for some time and the post about my sister is part of it. I wrote that piece after her death. It was not a eulogy. It was a slice of our lives tucked away in my mind and when it poured out I also saw in it a reflection of the situation of women in Iran at that time.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Open Carry

I took our dog, Olive, out for a walk and began to jog around the park near our home. As I turned on the street adjacent to the park in the distance about 300 feet away I noticed three young men in dark clothes walking on the same side of street toward me. Their formation and manner of walk looked strange, then I noticed that it looks that they are carrying some guns. There were no other people in their vicinity which made it a bit suspicious to me. Case of San Bernardino came to my mind. There is a school at the end of the park in the direction I was jogging and next to it is a Jewish temple. But, they were walking away from both and today is Sunday, no school. They were not in a hurry, lumbering from side to side walking. Getting a few yards closer, yes they were carrying assault rifles on their shoulders with big magazines in them. They did not look Islamist to me. No resemblance whatsoever.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Iranian Panic

With the heightening fear of terrorist attack by the Islamists, leaders of the Western societies see the need to respond and they are responding. The first line of response generally begins with the security measures. Apparently one of the proposed security measures would put certain travel restrictions on the Iranian born citizens of the U.S. and Europe. What these restrictions exactly are, whether it will come to take effect I do not know and the severity of it is of little importance to me. Why? First of all with the existence of the serious threats that the Islamists are posing, as a responsible citizen I cannot begin from my convenience. At this point I need to mention as disclosure for those who are unfamiliar with me that I was born in Iran. Naturally any security restrictions targeting that group will affect me also. My second point is longer and you have to read the rest of this post to find out.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Donald Trump's Strategy

I found this link shared by my nephew on FaceBook. It is a very clear headed assessment of what Donald Trump strategy is. Read it. The most important part of it is the first part. When he dives into Fascism and his tolerance of the limitations of civic rights then it is just playing game theory with politics, not that interesting to me.

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/134791529391/risk-management-trump-persuasion-series

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Parallels (I)

The problems and the dangers of the Islamists, Muslims who promote the most egregious form of social behavior – killing of the infidel, killing of the one who has "left" Islam, killing of the blasphemer, forced covering of women, sanctity of women's rape in marriage, blaming and punishing women who are raped outside of the marriage, "honor" killing of women, silencing of anyone who criticizes "Islam" and, and … – too many for one to enumerate. Overwhelming majority of the Muslims of the world believe in one or more of these tenets of their "Islam". In my book, belief or practice of any of those tenets is adequate to put the person beyond the bounds of the civil world. Islam is what the Muslims are and that is the Islam today. We know we have a serious problem and many in the media are on a campaign of diluting or hiding this plain truth. They try to distort this problem by fabrication, showmanship, or drawing false parallels. Telling us constantly, look at the other parallel problem, that one is more important.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Muslim Like No Other Muslim

I have been referring to myself as Muslim. That might sound sort of weird to some who know me. I have been a leftist in the past, Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyist variety. I am a strong proponent of the fight against the Islamic states and Islamist trends. So what gives, why am I calling myself a Muslim?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Are Islamists the Same as Fascists?

I had a conversation with a friend. He said that he agrees with the principles that I am espousing in my two previous posts, but somehow he felt that he could not agree with me. He felt that my ideas are over the top. Comparing Fascists with Islamists is not quite right and does not fit. He had noticed that I do not say Islamists are equal to Fascists, but somehow he felt that it comes across that way. There is little wiggle room, the reader gets the impression that I am implying they are the same.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Syrian Refugees and the Banners (II)

These days the faces of ever growing refugees from Afghanistan to Syria are all over the media marching across fields and roads. Mostly young and energetic, they are the ones who can endure the long trip, some with small children in tow are seen demanding the right of passage to the more affluent parts of Europe. Many want to travel to Germany. When this wave of refugees began flooding the borders of Europe they were met with few activists carrying signs of "Welcome" along with armchair moralists encouraging them. There is nothing wrong with welcoming someone or being a moralist armchair or otherwise, but mostly they fall in the category of impulsive reaction and does not provide an overall view of the problem at hand.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Syrian Refugees and the Banners (I)

Many look at the Syrian crisis through the picture of the little boy who was laying face down on the beach, dead. They pay attention to the turmoil in Afghanistan when a bomb kills few or many in a wedding ceremony there. The sectarian killings in Iraq, Syria and Libya catch their attention when a gruesome beheading is put on the Web. These events prompt them to action – mostly a FaceBook post. "Open up the border and let the refugees in! How can you stand by and let a little boy die!" "Haven't the Western countries made enough mess in Afghanistan and Iraq. Get out of there!" Or "Where is the civilized world to stop these savageries!" Sometimes it is hard to decipher the rightist and the leftist positions from each other. These protestations are off the cuff outpouring of emotions, not much different than someone's FaceBook picture of his food. Both are off the cuff emotions, the latter demands repetition and the former is begging to go away. I do not have anything against impromptu emotions. I have my own moments but they tell us little to nothing about the reality of the events.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Faranak

“Dokhtareh!, Dokhtareh!” -- “It's a girl! It's a girl!” The jubilant commotion of four boys filled the corridor that connected the upstairs rooms. One end of the corridor was not enclosed, it was open to the yard below. This cry of victory was carried by the warm late summer air through the corridor to the neighboring homes and to the street. It is hard to know how far it audibly travelled. But it must have cruised farther than one imagines today for Shahrood was a quiet sleepy town. There were hardly any cars in this city. One passing through could have easily imagined that there were none.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Nuclear Negotiations & the Islamic Republic

The pivot of yesterday's announcement at the conclusion of this round of negotiations in Geneva is that the negotiations will continue into the summer with the expectations of a final agreement in June or July. I am not certain of the deadline but at this stage it matters little.  Was this an important milestone in President Obama's project? I believe so.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Masih Alinejad -- A Voice Much Louder Than Mine

I have had a few posts promoting how the Western influential women could help the Iranian women movement in their plight for equal rights, particularly the right to determine their appearance. Their right to not wear head cover, hijab, on a daily basis is being trampled on by the religious oligarchy called Islamic Republic in Iran.  Ms. Alinejad, an Iranian journalist, recently made a call on Julie Bishop not to wear hijab when visiting Iran.  It is such a pleasure to see she is taking up this call. Alinejad's voice has more weight and reach than my little known blog. Maybe this idea will get some traction at last

I have been promoting this idea of Ms. Alinejad on a broader basis.  Please see these two previous posts http://www.siamakz.com/2013/12/bomb-iran-or.html and an earlier one http://www.siamakz.com/2013/10/ms-ambassador.html

We need to turn this call into a broad political campaign or even lobby the centers of power in the Western democracies.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Syriza, Podemos and Occupy Wall Street

Podemos, a leftist coalition, seems to be on its way to repeat Syriza's victory, this time in Spain. A couple of days ago I found an opportunity to listen to one of the leaders of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias. He could be the possible winner in the next Spanish election.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Some voices of reason within the Muslim community


It is undeniable that there are voices of reason within the Muslim community where their criticism begins with the criticism of their own community.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzP8e9b_OT8

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Am I Charlie?

Shortly after the news of the savage massacre of the Charlie Hebdo's staff, in Paris, splashed across the network, I said "I am Charlie!" In no uncertain terms I repeated this, in French, "Je suis Charlie" and in Farsi, "من چارلی هستم". But, am I Charlie?

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Je Suis Charlie

I am Charlie
من چارلی هستم

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Aristocratic Democracy

Have you ever noticed how people express themselves about democracy and how they differ on it? This difference is more distinct among the Iranian émigrés to the point that I see it in a category by itself. Approach of the Iranian émigrés to the subject of “democracy” is different than the people who have been raised here, in the U.S. Probably many other ethnic immigrants share this characteristic difference.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Innocence, Justice and the One Sided War

These days pictures of demolished buildings, dead and severely hurt children, men and women mourning have filled the Internet channels.  Videos of the anguished calling for revenge, justice, or revenge and justice, on behalf of these "innocent" children, women and the elderly pop up everywhere.  Those who post these gut wrenching images are in a race with each other to post more and appeal to their friends and their circles to repost and find more to share. In posting these images zealous among them are the radical Islamists and the leftists in the U.S. and Europe.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Imperialism the Boogeyman -- Book

With the Bolshevik's victory the revision of Marx's ideas took on an accelerated pace, to the degree that the prophet himself could not have dreamt about. The prophet's bust and image adorned many public squares and halls. At the same time Marx's disciples kept splitting, competing to raise his banner higher, all oblivious that they are holding the prophet upside down.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Wildfire of Marxism -- Book

Marx died in Britain in obscurity. That was 1883, for his funeral only a handful of people were present, one among them was a British. No detachments of the British "proletariat" were present to salute their discoverer. In this most important capitalist country of that time, 19th century, there was no report of a single representative of British "proletariat" trying in any way to attend. "Proletariat" was absent from the funeral of a person who later became the idol of the "scientific socialism", his bust occupying many public squares and his image adorning great many walls private and public.