New economic protests in Tehran chIrallenge Iran’s government
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A wave of spontaneous protests over Iran’s weak economy swept into Tehran on Saturday, with college students and others chanting against the government just hours after hard-liners held their own rally in support of the Islamic Republic’s clerical establishment.
The demonstrations appear to be the largest to strike the Islamic Republic since the protests that followed the country’s disputed 2009 presidential election.
Thousands already have taken to the streets of cities across Iran, beginning at first on Thursday in Mashhad, the country’s second-largest city and a holy site for Shiite pilgrims.
The protests in the Iranian capital, as well as U.S. President Donald Trump tweeting about them, raised the stakes. It also apparently forced state television to break its silence, acknowledging it hadn’t reported on them on orders from security officials.
“Counterrevolution groups and foreign media are continuing their organized efforts to misuse the people’s economic and livelihood problems and their legitimate demands to provide an opportunity for unlawful gatherings and possibly chaos,” state TV said.
The protests appear sparked by social media posts and a surge in prices of basic food supplies, like eggs and poultry. Officials and state media made a point Saturday of saying Iranians have the right to protest and have their voices heard on social issues.
However, protesters in Tehran on Saturday chanted against high-ranking government officials and made other political statements, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. Hundreds of students and others joined a new economic protest at Tehran University, with riot police massing at the school’s gates as they shut down surrounding roads.
Fars also said protests on Friday also struck Qom, a city that is the world’s foremost center for Shiite Islamic scholarship and home to a major Shiite shrine.
Social media videos purport to show clashes between protesters and police in several areas. At least 50 protesters have been arrested since Thursday, authorities said. State TV also said some protesters chanted the name of Iran’s one-time shah, who fled into exile just before its 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Earlier Saturday, hard-liners rallied across the country to support Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and others. The rallies, scheduled weeks earlier, commemorated a mass 2009 pro-government rally challenging those who rejected the re-election of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amid fraud allegations.
State TV aired live the pro-government “9 Dey Epic” rallies, named for the date on the Iranian calendar the 2009 protests took place. The footage showed people waving flags and carrying banners bearing Khamenei’s image.
In Tehran, some 4,000 people gathered at the Musalla prayer ground in central Tehran for the rally. They called for criminal trials for Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, leaders in the 2009 protests who have been under house arrest since 2011. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose administration struck the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, campaigned on freeing the men, though they remain held.
Mohsen Araki, a Shiite cleric who serves in Iran’s Assembly of Experts, praised Rouhani’s efforts at improving the economy. However, he said Rouhani needed to do more to challenge “enemy pressures.”
“We must go back to the pre-nuclear deal situation,” Araki said. “The enemy has not kept with its commitments.”
Ali Ahmadi, a pro-government demonstrator, blamed the U.S for all of Iran’s economic problems.
“They always say that we are supporting Iranian people, but who should pay the costs?” Ahmadi asked.
Iran’s economy has improved since the nuclear deal, which saw Iran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the end of some of the international sanctions that crippled its economy. Tehran now sells its oil on the global market and has signed deals for tens of billions of dollars of Western aircraft.
That improvement has not reached the average Iranian, however. Unemployment remains high. Official inflation has crept up to 10 percent again. A recent increase in egg and poultry prices by as much as 40 percent, which a government spokesman has blamed on a cull over avian flu fears, appears to have been the spark for the economic protests.
While police have arrested some protesters, the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard and its affiliates have not intervened as they have in other unauthorized demonstrations since the 2009 election. The economic protests initially just put pressure on Rouhani’s administration.
Early on Saturday, Trump tweeted out his support for the protests.
“Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad,” he wrote. “Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! (hashtag) IranProtests.”
It’s unclear what effect Trump’s support would have. Iranians already are largely skeptical of him over his refusal to re-certify the nuclear deal and Iran being included in his travel bans. Trump’s insistence in an October speech on using the term “Arabian Gulf” in place of the Persian Gulf also has also riled the Iranian public.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments in June to Congress saying American is working toward “support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government” has been used by Iran’s government of a sign of foreign interference in its internal politics.
The State Department issued a statement Friday supporting the protests, referencing Tillerson’s earlier comments.
“Iran’s leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos,” the statement said.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry dismissed the comments.
“The noble Iranian nation never pays heed to the opportunist and hypocritical mottos chanted by the U.S. officials and their interfering allegations on domestic developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the state-run IRNA news agency quoted ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi as saying.
Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Robert M. Massimi.
I am no scientist, I do not even like science. It was the least favorite of my subjects in school. Although I generally like a good argument, I always found science to not have a definite answer to any of the problems. We do know that science abhors a vacuum, in other words, cure something and mother nature comes back with another problem two fold!
I do love history however and one thing I can go on about for a long time is the different periods of the world. Some of those periods include a different time with different, changing environments. To me, the world goes round and the world is constantly changing, and so is the environment. Some scientists I know say no to climate change, some say yes to climate change. Which is it? Can you tell me for sure?
We do know Al Gore fudged the numbers as he got caught doing it. He gets a Nobel peace prize for lying. Bill Gates talks about global warming like it is a certainty. The fact is ,I know some smart ass scientists, people who had aids bottled up back in the early 80’s, scientists who work for NASA as well as some who work for the CIA. All have different opinions.
I have always believed like the Dark Age, the Stone Age, the Ice Age, our world will keep evolving and changing. I think what is happening today is a result of the world turning and whats around the bend is not due to global warming.
Does record breaking winter cold cast doubt on climate predictions of milder winters? Could ANY weather or climate shift cast doubt on the dominance of that wicked little trace molecule? Apparently not, according to leading climate explainers.
It’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean climate change isn’t real
Sammy Roth, USA TODAY Published 5:13 p.m. ET Dec. 28, 2017
This week’s cold snap has brought record-low temperatures, freezing rain and heavy snow to much of the United States. But 2017 is still on track to be the second- or third-hottest year ever recorded globally — and scientists say climate change is to blame.
Even this week’s cold weather is probably being caused at least in part by global warming, said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan.
The Arctic is warming much faster than most of the planet, leading to a dramatic decline in the amount of sea ice that covers the region each winter. That loss of ice has allowed more heat to transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere, causing a weakening of the polar vortex winds over the Arctic. Those winds usually “insulate the rest of the Northern Hemisphere” from freezing Arctic temperatures, Overpeck said. But as the winds have weakened, it’s gotten easier for freezing Arctic air to swoop further south, he said.
“That is due to the warming of the Arctic, which in turn is due to human emissions of greenhouse gases and primarily burning of fossil fuels,” Overpeck said in an interview.
Arctic warming may also be contributing to the long-term drying of the U.S. Southwest, although the science on that front is less certain, Overpeck said. Unlike most of the rest of North America, the Southwest is warmer than usual right now, and 2017 will “without a doubt” go down as one of the region’s hottest years ever measured, Overpeck said.
“This is contributing to our record wildfires in California, and the drying out of vegetation that’s leading to those wildfires, and the drying out of the Southwest’s water,” he said.
So what happens if global temperatures take a real plunge for a sustained period? Don’t worry, the explainers have that one covered as well – James Hansen, former NASA GISS Director, published a paper which suggests global warming will trigger a short ice age in the near future (see the graph at the top of the page).
… Global temperature becomes an unreliable diagnostic of planetary condition as the ice melt rate increases. Global energy imbalance (Fig. 15b) is a more meaningful measure of planetary status as well as an estimate of the climate forcing change required to stabilize climate. Our calculated present energy imbalance of ∼ 0.8 W m−2 (Fig. 15b) is larger than the observed 0.58 ± 0.15 W m−2 during 2005–2010 (Hansen et al., 2011). The discrepancy is likely accounted for by excessive ocean heat uptake at low latitudes in our model, a problem related to the model’s slow surface response time (Fig. 4) that may be caused by excessive small-scale ocean mixing.
Large scale regional cooling occurs in the North Atlantic and Southern oceans by mid-century (Fig. 16) for 10-year doubling of freshwater injection. A 20-year doubling places similar cooling near the end of this century, 40 years ear- lier than in our prior simulations (Fig. 7), as the factor of 4 increase in current freshwater from Antarctica is a 40-year advance.
Cumulative North Atlantic freshwater forcing in sverdrup years (Sv years) is 0.2 Sv years in 2014, 2.4 Sv years in 2050, and 3.4Sv years (its maximum) prior to 2060 (Fig. S14). The critical issue is whether human-spurred ice sheet mass loss can be approximated as an exponential process during the next few decades. Such nonlinear behavior depends upon amplifying feedbacks, which, indeed, our climate simulations reveal in the Southern Ocean. …
Global warming is an infinitely flexible, unscientific, unfalsifiable theory which can be stretched to accommodate any observation. Some Climate Scientists even shamelessly reject the very concept of scientific falsification with regard to the conduct of climate science.
1. Methods aren’t always necessarily falsifiable
Falsifiability is the idea that an assertion can be shown to be false by an experiment or an observation, and is critical to distinctions between “true science” and “pseudoscience”.
Climate models are important and complex tools for understanding the climate system. Are climate models falsifiable? Are they science? A test of falsifiability requires a model test or climate observation that shows global warming caused by increased human-produced greenhouse gases is untrue. It is difficult to propose a test of climate models in advance that is falsifiable.
Science is complicated – and doesn’t always fit the simplified version we learn as children.
This difficulty doesn’t mean that climate models or climate science are invalid or untrustworthy. Climate models are carefully developed and evaluatedbased on their ability to accurately reproduce observed climate trends and processes. This is why climatologists have confidence in them as scientific tools, not because of ideas around falsifiability.
No matter what happens to the weather, the climate explainers shamelessly cobble together an explanation which blames bad weather on your sinful lifestyle.
Whatever the observation, the climate explainers have their theory – their infinitely adaptable theory, which they claim is science. Warm weather confirms their worst fears. Cold weather is waved away. Whatever the observation, the explainers shamelessly adapt their theory to provide an explanation, based on their “scientific” theory which cannot be falsified by any conceivable observations, event an abrupt plunge into a new ice age.
In the East Village, the king of Avent Garde Theatre , The Mabou Mines Theater performed an adaptation of Tennessee Williams Glass Menagerie . The play focuses more on Williams relationship with his sister rather then the play/ book, as we know it. The theater, the first production at Mabou Mines, stitched together several of Williams dramas , not just “Glass”, but I got more of the flavor of “Glass Menagerie” then any other of his works here. The play is part literary exegesis, part horror show, part psychotherapy session. this and gorillas.
In childhood, Tennessee and Rose Williams had a very close brother and sister bond which became frayed due to Rose’s erratic behavior. After threatening to kill her father, she was sent to a mental institution where she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and later underwent a frontal lobotomy.
The show entertains by using Frankenstein as a framing devise, as well as Lord Byron and Mary Shelley during the show. all entertaining, and raw. A unicorns horn doubles as a lobotomist’s drill. The Gothic performance has the gentleman caller in a leather jockstrap and a wanting brother of the caller.
The play explores the deep structures underlying the characters; the grief and the guilt, the disgust and the difficult love.
Mabou Mines, now 50 is the epicenter for off off Broadway avant- garde theater, and at 50 shows no signs of slowing down.
Robert M Massimi.
The original question the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign was to answer was a simple one: Did he do it?
Did Trump, or officials with his knowledge, collude with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to hack the emails of John Podesta and the DNC, and leak the contents to damage Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump?
A year-and-a-half into the investigation, and, still, no “collusion” has been found. Yet the investigation goes on, at the demand of the never-Trump media and Beltway establishment.
Hence, and understandably, suspicions have arisen.
Are the investigators after the truth, or are they after Trump?
Set aside the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory momentarily, and consider a rival explanation for what is going down here:
That, from the outset, Director James Comey and an FBI camarilla were determined to stop Trump and elect Hillary Clinton. Having failed, they conspired to break Trump’s presidency, overturn his mandate and bring him down.
Essential to any such project was first to block any indictment of Hillary for transmitting national security secrets over her private email server. That first objective was achieved 18 months ago.
On July 5, 2016, Comey stepped before a stunned press corps to declare that, given the evidence gathered by the FBI, “no reasonable prosecutor” would indict Clinton. Therefore, that was the course he, Comey, was recommending.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch, compromised by her infamous 35-minute tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton – to discuss golf and grandkids – seconded Comey’s decision.
And so Hillary walked. Why is this suspicious?