Sunday, October 28, 2007


A Lever of Change in Iran
by Michael Rubin

Last Thursday two dozen political activists and organizations signed a statement drafted by the National Iranian American Council calling on Congress to cut off Iranian civil society funding. The signatories -- who ranged from representatives of billionaire philanthropist George Soros to the group The World Can't Wait/Drive Out the Bush Regime-- argue that such funding, rather than aiding democracy, has precipitated an Iranian crackdown on dissidents. These political activists are wrong.

Should democracy funding be cut, not only will independent civil society be eroded but a vital tool to encourage Iranian moderation will be removed, speeding the slide toward confrontation.
The federal money invested in Iranian civil society is minuscule, not enough even to build half a "Bridge to Nowhere." The congressional appropriation has grown from $1.4 million in 2004 to $66 million this year.

Of this, $36 million disappears into the coffers of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. The State Department applies an additional $5 million each to visitor exchange programs and to translation of its Web sites into Persian.

Only $20 million is available for Iranian democracy activists.

To blame democracy programs for Tehran's crackdown on dissidents, as opponents of the congressional funding have, is moral inversion.

Iranian authorities need little excuse to stifle dissent. In 1998 and 1999, the Iranian intelligence ministry coordinated a "serial killing" campaign against leading intellectuals. Revolutionary authorities shuttered several dozen newspapers before the Bush administration took office.

Tehran's crackdown on Iranian bloggers began in 2004.

Nor do all Iranian dissidents see outside assistance as a kiss of death:

Since December 2005, bus drivers in Tehran have struggled to organize the Islamic Republic's first independent trade union. For the past three months, their leader, Mansour Osanlou, has been in Tehran's Evin Prison.

In an August radio interview, his wife pleaded for more outside support. Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa has spoken out, but neither President Bush nor any of the candidates seeking to succeed him have grasped this potential Gdansk shipyard moment.

Alan Note: AntiMullah has received Emails and posts that have BEGGED us to bomb Iran and release the populace from the choke hold of the clerics and Ahmadi-Nejad's Bassij and Passdar suppression forces.

Some Iranian reformers do condemn outside support. But this is no surprise. In Iran, reformers by definition seek to perfect theocracy, not implement democracy.

When Iranian students rose in July 1999 to demand freedom of speech and assembly, the "reformist" president, Mohammad Khatami, supported their expulsion and incarceration.

In the words of writer Laura Secor, the reformers are "the loyal opposition in a fascist state."

To base U.S. strategy toward Iranian civil society upon those who seek to subordinate popular sovereignty to unelected clerics is like filtering efforts to protect Darfur refugees through their Janjaweed oppressors.

Recent efforts to end democracy funding have been sparked by the arrests this year of four Iranian American scholars accused of seeking a "velvet revolution."

Tehran's actions were widely condemned and show how little confidence the Iranian regime has in its own population. They also demonstrate how effective democracy support can be.

Popular regimes don't panic over ineffective programs and incarcerate 67-year-old grandmothers for months.

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has suggested that, rather than encourage civil society, Washington should support more cultural exchange. In practice, this gives Tehran veto power.

The regime constrains cultural exchange with the same fervor with which it limits discourse. At the height of Iran's "Dialogue of Civilizations," the State Department offered Iranian passport holders 22,000 visas; by contrast, the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued U.S. passport holders only 800 visas, limiting their issuance to those whom Tehran deemed sympathetic to its positions.

The Islamic Republic doesn't like ideological or political competition. Neither, apparently, does the NIAC.

As the group lobbies to cut off funding of programs meant to foster Iranian civil society, it has accepted a six-figure grant from the National Endowment for Democracy to train Iranian non-governmental organizations, perhaps those less threatening to the Islamic Republic.

The NIAC's leader, who often trades on his access to Iranian authorities, should explain why it is okay for him, but not his competitors, to accept such money.

Successful democracy promotion must have teeth.

(Alan Note: the root of the problem in dealing with Islamic Iran is the populace depends on money from the ruling clerics.

Unlike in Western democracies where the government in power depends on the people (taxes) to function and survuve financially, in Iran all revenues "belong" to the clerics not the people. Thus the people not the Ayatollah rulers are held hostage for their livelihood).

As tensions rise between Washington and Tehran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, Congress should work to avoid escalation to military conflict. An Islamic Republic accountable to its own citizenry would invest in better schools, hospitals, wages and infrastructure, and it would not divert billions for uranium enrichment and ballistic missiles.

Empowering Iranian civil society presents the best hope to avert military escalation or a nuclear Iran. The last thing Congress should do is narrow the remaining policy options by de-funding support for Iranian democracy.

(Alan Note: we spent some 10-years averting Iraq without getting any closer to reaching a peaceful solution that was acceptable. Will we not learn from our futile efforts to negotiate with an Islamic republic hell bent on destruction - even of itself?)


October 26
California Wildfire Arson Case
October 24
The Beltway Snipers, Part 2
October 22
The Beltway Snipers, Part 1
October 19
TOPOFF4 Terror Drill
October 17
Our Partnerships in Morocco
October 15
A Tale of Two Priorities
October 12
Community Outreach Efforts
October 10
Going Global Against MS-13
October 5
Mapping Intelligence Sources
October 1
Family Secrets Mob Case

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


During the reign of King Tut, 15 lbs. of garlic could buy you a healthy male slave.

In the beginning, Denny's was originally Danny's. But the name was too common to trademark, so founder Harold Butler changed the "a" to an "e".

In the 1960s show I Dream of Jeannie, the bottle used as Jeannie's home was actually a painted Jim Beam's Choice decanter.

The game Monopoly was banned in Soviet Bloc countries, and even outlawed in Cuba for fear it would corrupt the public with free-market ideas.

Saffron is such a valuable spice that, in Bavaria, merchants caught selling tainted Saffron were once burned alive.

Forks were once forbidden by the Catholic Church because they were thought to be the dining utensil of the devil.

The most famous quiz-show scandal involved Columbia professor Charles Van Doren being fed answers on the show Twenty-One.

What ever happened to the crestfallen professor? He became a senior editor at Britannica.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007



1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.

2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. Nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical documented changes in the earth's climate and more affected by Soccer moms driving SUV's.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.

7 . You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of Federal Funding.

8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach fourth graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make "The Passion of the Christ" for financial gain only.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it is against certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, and A.G..Bell.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.

16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice person.

17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked any where it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.

18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and a sex offender belongs in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and Manger scenes at Christmas are dangerous and should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democrat Party funding by the Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest to the United States.

21. You have to believe that this message of truth is a part of a vast, Right Wing Conspiracy.

22. You have to believe that it's okay to give Federal workers the day off on Christmas Day .........but it's not okay to say "Merry Christmas."George GeanoulisPresident / CEOProthos Corporation

Sunday, October 21, 2007


A pair of Chinese made flip-flops on sale in the USA

Initial Skin Reaction to acidity content of material

Advanced reaction to the highly toxic material used to make the flip-flops

It's not just food products, toys and vitamins fron China that are dangerous to our health.

No wonder a city in Florida wants to ban Chinese products being bought by City government agencies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


In a Sept 29 Orange Country Register article, "Voices Unite At Ramadan" we learned that the Friday message at the Islamic Center of Orange County was that "Islam is the religion of peace" and "the religion of harmony, tolerance and justice for all people", themes which were repeated in other O.C. mosques.

One local Muslim, Kamal Fasa, of Huntington Beach even says, "I am disappointed that after the initial shock (of 9/11) is over...people still have hatred towards Islam."

Let's look beyond just 9/11 where Muslims murdered nearly 3,000 innocents in the U.S.and now expect no criticism.

Muslims murdered 202 tourists in Bali and expect no criticism.
Muslims murdered 333 schoolchildren and their teachers in Beslan and expect no criticism.

Muslims murdered 292 innocents, mainly Kenyans and Tanzanians at two US Embassies and expect no criticism.

Muslims murdered 241 US and 58 French peacekeepers in Beirut and expect no criticism.

Muslims fired 4,000 Katyusha rockets into Northern Israel killing over 50 innocent civilians and expect no criticism.

Muslims murdered 52 in London and 191 in Madrid and expect no criticism.

Muslims murdered 200 in Mumbai and expect no criticism.

Muslims beheaded Western hostages in Iraq, Buddhist monks in Thailand and Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia and expect no criticism.

Muslims murdered 500,000 in Darfur and expect no criticism.

Muslims regard Jews as 'sons of pigs and monkeys', and vow to nuke Israel and expect no criticism.

Muslims force women to wear hideous sacks, stone women to death for getting raped, flog them for leaving the home unescorted, engage in honor killings of sisters and daughters for unapproved relationships, and expect no criticism.

Muslims danced in the streets and handed out sweets to their kids to celebrate the 9/11 atrocity, and still expected no criticism.

Since 9/11 Muslims have killed over 26,000 and wounded over 50,000 in terrorist attacks worldwide and expect no criticism.

Since 9/11 Muslims have committed terrorist attacks in ...Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Chad , Chechnya , Dagestan , Denmark , East Timor, Egypt , England , Eritrea , Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ingushetia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Jordan-Iraq, Kabardino-Balkans , Kenya , Kosovo , Kuwait , Kyrgyzstan , Lebanon , Mauritania , Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria , Pakistan , Gaza-Palestinian Authority, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey , United Arab Emirates , United Arab Republic , United States , Uzbekistan and Yemen, and still expect no criticism.

Muslims have carried out over 5,800 fatal terrorist atrocities since 9/11, and countless millions since Islamic conquest began in 623 AD and expect no criticism.

But when the Pope dared to voice a truthful statement about Islam....... by some twisted reach of logic, these arrogant Muslims demanded the Pope issue an apology.

It is going to take far more than some coordinated Friday sermons in their mosques to convince us Islam is a religion of peace.

How about these Muslims who love justice and peace uniting and rising up and putting an end to the terrorism being perpetuated by what they reassure us are really only a very tiny majority of their believers?

Or are they truly just too tolerant and peace-loving to undertake this kind of a united effort?

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Below is a posting from Craig's List from a girl who is trying to find herself a husband, and then a guy actually responded to it...

The Original Post

What am I doing wrong? Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York.

I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't thinkI'm overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Couldyou send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 - 250. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won't get me to Central Park West.

I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically: - Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics - bars, restaurants, gyms.

-What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won't hurt my feelings

-Is there an age range I should be targeting (I'm 25)?

- Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper eastside so plain? I've seen really 'plain jane' boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys.

I've seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What's the story there?

- Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

- How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking forMARRIAGE ONLY

Please hold your insults - I'm putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I'm being up front about it.

I wouldn't be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn't able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.

It's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercialinterests PostingID: 432279810


Dear Pers-431649184: I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament.

Firstly, I'm not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits yourbill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here's how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here's why.

Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple.

But here's the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset.

Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year.

Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold...hence the rub...marriage. It doesn't make good business sense to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease.

In case you think I'm being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It's as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as "articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful" as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy.

I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn't found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn't need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you're going about it the right way. Classic "pump and dump."

I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Piracy prone areas and warnings

S E Asia and the Indian Sub Continent

* Bangladesh : Chittagong anchorages and approaches – Though the number of attacks have fallen the area is still listed as very high risk.

* Indonesia : Balongan, Balikpapan, Belawan, Tanjong Priok (Jakarta). Generally be vigilant in other areas. Many attacks may have gone unreported.

* Malacca straits : Though attacks have decreased due to increased patrolling by the Littoral States, ships advised to maintain strict anti piracy watches when transiting the area.

* Singapore Straits* Vietnam: Vung Tau
Africa and Red Sea

* Lagos (Nigeria): Crew kidnapped and robbed. Generally be vigilant in other areas in Nigeria.

* Dar es Salaam (Tanzania): Sixteen incidents reported since 5 June 2006. Pirates targeting ships in port and anchorages

* Gulf of Aden / Red Sea : Numerous pirate attacks have been reported by ships and yachts in the Gulf of Aden. Some of the vessels were fired upon.

* Somalian waters : Piracy has made a come back in Somalia.

Pirates fire automatic weapons and on one occasion, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired force the ship to stop.

Eastern and North eastern coasts are high risk areas for attacks and hijackings. Ships not making scheduled calls to ports in Somalia should keep as far away as possible from the Somali coast, ideally more than 200 nautical miles.

South and Central America and the Caribbean waters

* Brazil - Santos

* Peru – Callao

Syria Army Adopts Hizbullah Tactics In Preparation for War

Syrian officials warned that if Israel attacks it will be confronted with a harsh and prolonged Syrian response. Syrian military forces have undergone intensive training in the art of guerilla warfare adopting the tactics of those used by Hizbullah in last summer’s war, Syrian officials were quoted as saying, in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor.

The officials also said that in preparation for war, rockets and missiles have been dispatched to southern Syria where they are being positioned and prepared in the event of war. The report quoted a number of security analysts including former senior UNIFIL adviser Timor Goskel who said that currently there is a general belief inside Syria and certainly with the Hizbullah that should America attack Iran then Israel will get involved in a preemptive operation .

A Lebanese intelligence source was also quoted as saying that at present the Iranians are trying to convince Syria that if they use the same tactics as Hizbullah and last for 20 to 30 days in a war with Israel before a ceasefire is called then the public perception will be that they have won and Israel has lost.