I don’t expect gay people to prove to me, a straight person, that there’s actually homophobia. I don’t expect poor people to prove to me, a Harvard grad, that hunger and poverty are widespread problems. And if someone asked me, as an Asian person, to “prove” to them that racism exists, I would laugh all the way back to Chinatown. Marginalized groups are not responsible for explaining their marginalization to you. If you are actually concerned, you would take the initiative to do some research yourself instead of showing up at some oppressed group’s door step demanding a list of citations for things (racism, sexism, etc.) that are proven time and time again in the real world.
Children are being adultified because our economy is depending on them to make purchasing decisions. So they’re essentially the victims of a marketing and capitalist machine gone awry. You know, we need to expand, expand, expand. There is no such thing as enough in our current economic model and kids are bearing the brunt of that…. So they’re isolated, they’re alone, they’re desperate. It’s a sad and lonely feeling…. The net effect of all of this marketing, all of this disorienting marketing, all of the shock media, all of this programming designed to untether us from a sense of self, is a loss of autonomy. You know, we no longer are the active source of our own experience or our own choices. Instead, we succumb to the notion that life is a series of product purchases that have been laid out and whose qualities and parameters have been pre-established.
“We have a word for the conscious slaughter of a racial or ethnic group: genocide. And one for the conscious destruction of aspects of the environment: ecocide. But we don’t have a word for the conscious act of destroying the planet we live on, the world as humanity…
Nothing will be left to chance – even the hint of a green protest wave.
In 2009, 475 candidates registered to run for Iran’s presidency. Only four were approved by the Guardian Council – the all-powerful, vetting clerical committee. This year, no fewer than 686 registered for the upcoming June 14 elections. Eight were approved.
Among them, one won’t find the two who are really controversial; former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, aka “The Shark” – essentially a pragmatic conservative – and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, adviser and right-hand man to outgoing President Mahmud Ahmadinejad are both out.
Those who will run are not exactly a stellar bunch; former vice president Mohammad Reza Aref; former national security chief Hassan Rowhani; former telecommunications minister Mohammad Gharazi; the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili; Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf; the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s foreign policy adviser Ali Akbar Velayati; secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei; and Parliament Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel.
But they do read like a who’s who of ultimate Islamic Republic insiders – the so-called “principle-ists”.
According to the Interior Ministry, The Shark is out because of his advanced age (78). Not really. The Shark is out because he was the top moderate running – and was already catalyzing the support of most (excluded) reformists.
Mashaei is out because he would represent an Ahmadinejad continuum – supported by quite a few of Ahmadinejad’s cabinet ministers and profiting from a formidable populist political machine that still seduces Iran’s countryside and the urban poor. He would deepen Ahmadinejad’s drive for an independent executive. This may not be a done deal – yet. Both Rafsanjani and Mashaei cannot, in theory, appeal. But the Supreme Leader himself could lend them a hand. That’s unlikely, though.
Rafsanjani waited for the last day, May 11, to register as a potential candidate. Former president Khatami – of “dialogue of civilizations” fame – did not register, and announced his support for Rafsanjani the day before. One can imaginealarm bells ringing at the Supreme Leader’s abode.
The Shark was recently reconfirmed as chairman of the powerful Expediency Council – which oversees the government (Khamenei had this post while Ayatollah Khomeini was still alive). This may be interpreted as a sort of consolation prize.
Ahmadinejad, for his part, had been hinting at blackmail – threatening to spill all the beans on corruption by the Supreme Leader’s family. He will hardly be handed any favors.
Assuming the Supreme Leader remains immobile, himself and his subordinates across the conservative political elite do run a serious risk – that of totally alienating two very significant political factions in the Islamic Republic. By then, arguably the Guardian Council will have cleared the field for an easy victory by the former Revolutionary Guard Air Force commander and current Mayor of Tehran Qalibaf.
Qalibaf would be the ultimate politically correct vehicle for what I have described since 2009 as the military dictatorship of the mullahtariat – that is, the grip on Iran’s institutional life by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and conservative clerics under the real decider, Supreme Leader Khamenei.
This report alludes to the not exactly gentle side of Qalibaf. That, in itself, is not surprising. Infinitely more crucial is the question of whether Khamenei and the ultra-conservatives can afford to remain ensconced in an ivory tower as the internal economic situation deteriorates further and a vociferous Sunni Arab axis – amply instigated by the US and supported by Israel – is barking at Iran’s doors. [continue]
And then there are the wild cards. Israel has announced that it intends to carry out further air strikes against Syrian territory. According to the (London) Sunday Times, Assad has given orders that any further attacks will be responded to by missile strikes on Tel Aviv. A second wild card is ‘chemical weapons,’ which was a focus of President Obama in his statements while visiting Turkey. As numerous analysts and Syrian military leaders have commented, it would be senseless for Syria to use chemical weapons while having control of the air and being able to bomb rebel positions. Thus it is clear that the only military purpose of using chemical weapons at this point would be to encourage US intervention. Who would have the motive for such a step? Hardly Syria.
NYTimes: Web of Tax Shelters Saved Apple Billions, Inquiry Finds
NYTimes: Web of Tax Shelters Saved Apple Billions, Inquiry Finds http://nyti.ms/10fOPRF
How the fuck does Bill Nye expect this to happen? What do you want to do, force women to enroll in science courses, regardless of whether or not they want to do it? Just for the sake of having “enough” women? Why the fuck do these fractions matter so much? It’s not like people are holding guns to our head and threatening to kill us if we become interested in science.
Maybe, just maybe, a lot of us DON’T FUCKING WANT to be scientists. Is that a crime?
Hi there, princess-munchkin. Female engineering student here.
Bill Nye is not saying that you HAVE to be a scientist, and you are right that no one is holding a gun to my head because I am interested in science, but let me tell you some of the struggles of being a woman in the STEM fields.
1) Because I am a woman, I am not expected these fields. I first fully realized this when I was in high school, on my robotics team. See, although my robotics team was about 50% female, most of the women were part of the “business administration” side of things: finance, marketting, PR, membership, etc. Was this a problem? Absolutely not. But I was there to be an engineer, and specifically, to be the robot programmer. This was met with a lot of hesitation at first from some of the other students (all of whom happened to be male. This is not necessarily a bad thing.) You see, all of the robot programmers before me were guys. Computer programming is just a thing that guys do, or so they thought. Even after I had proved myself to the mentors on the team, many of the students still underestimated my abilities. There were rumors going around that I wouldn’t have been able to program the robot at all if the lead software mentor wasn’t there to help me. This was just flat-out false, but it wasn’t until I won an award for the team that the other students actually saw my merit.
2) There is not a lot of encouragement for women to go into these fields. I first noticed this when I was in elementary school. I was always interested in math, science, you name it, but many of my teachers and family members pushed that to the side for a long time. When I asked for legos for christmas, I would get ballet slippers. In fact, for a long time, I was training to be a professional dancer. I loved to dance. I loved math more, but no one seemed to notice that about me. It wasn’t until I had a long conversation with one particular teacher in high school that I decided to look into engineering. I had never even considered it as an option before, because no one decided to encourage me to pursue my interest in science. If it hadn’t been for that teacher, I would probably not be at the school I am at right now.
3) For a long time, Engineering/Science/Math WAS a “boys only” club. Let me tell you when some of the top technical schools and societies started letting women in:
- RPI, The oldest tech school in the country, founded in 1824. Started admitting women in 1942 to “replace men called to war.” Campus housing for women wasn’t constructed until 1966.
- Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honors Society - Founded in 1885. Started admitting women in 1968.
- Caltech - Currently rated #3 in undergraduate engineering. Founded in 1891. Started admitting women in 1970.
- Georgia Tech - Currently rated #5 in undergraduate engineering. Founded in 1885. Started admitting women in 1952.
Do you see the implications of this? Engineering has been a part of our society since around the late 1800s (in the case of RPI, since the 1820s), but women weren’t even allowed in for the most part until the 1950s, regardless of their merit.
4) Because of the fact that it was a “boys only” club for such a long time, there are not a lot of women engineers and scientists to look up to. When you’re reading your physics, chemistry, and math text books, the majority of those theories were came up with by men. It is true that much of our history was written by White Men, but this does not mean that the fact that there are few women scientists to look up does not matter.
So, as you can hopefully see, princess-munckin, or anyone else that shares the opinions of princess-munchkin, Bill Nye was not arguing that women that are not interested in STEM should go into those fields anyway. But he IS arguing against all of the systematic barriers set up against women who ARE interested in engineering and science. There are several women out there who are just as good as the boys at math and science, but will never pursue their interests because it just doesn’t seem like an option. That was me for a long time. I am super grateful for the fact that I fought against that, and that I ended up where I am.
if you don’t like science, fine. Don’t be a scientist. But if one day you have a daughter and she shows interest in being a scientist, PLEASE encourage her. Because Bill Nye is right, there needs to be more women scientists in the world.
Not everyone liked the new empire. After Manila, Mark Twain thought that the stars and bars of the American flag should be replaced by a skull and crossbones. He also said, ‘We cannot maintain an empire in the Orient and maintain a republic in America.’ He was right, of course. But as he was only a writer who said funny things, he was ignored. The compulsively vigorous [Teddy] Roosevelt defended our war against the Philippine population, and he attacked the likes of Twain. ‘Every argument that can be made for the Filipinos could be made for the Apaches,’ he explained, with his lovely gift for analogy. ‘And every word that can be said for Aguinaldo could be said for Sitting Bull. As peace, order and prosperity followed our expansion over the land of the Indians, so they will follow us in the Philippines.’ … Despite the criticism of the few, the Four Horsemen had pulled it off. The United States was a world empire. And one of the horsemen not only got to be president but for his pious meddling in the Russo-Japanese conflict, our greatest apostle of war was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. One must never underestimate the Scandinavian wit.