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Blogging in Iran Takes Courage

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the making-yourself-a-target dept.

Censorship 310

netbuzz writes "This morning's Boston Globe has a thought-provoking profile of Iranian bloggers who are risking everything, quite literally, to bring a modicum of openness and truth to a society where the former is not tolerated and the latter strictly defined by government/religious authorities."

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Can we send some of our muslims over there? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17293604)

It sounds like the kind of society they want to live in. We could even start a charity to help with airfares. Is there a Christian equivalent country where we can send our fundies?

Re:Can we send some of our muslims over there? (4, Funny)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293836)

Is there a Christian equivalent country where we can send our fundies?

Middle-America?

MOD PARENT UP!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17295140)

funny & true!

It's a good thing... (-1, Troll)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293610)

... that stuff like that doesn't happen in the good 'ol US of A

oh wait...

Fucking grow up. (5, Interesting)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293842)

Human Rights Watch Iran [hrw.org]
Amnesty International Iran [amnesty.org]

Take your jaded world weariness and shove it up your ass. The USA has problems, but comparing it to Iran with a smirk and a shrug is the opposite of helpful.

Re:Fucking grow up. (4, Insightful)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293880)

You forgot a link [amnesty.org] or two [amnesty.org] .

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:Fucking grow up. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294118)

Yeah, that is exact parity with the hanging of homosexuals and the stoning of adulterers.

You are just another anti-American bigot. Any rights violation by the US is automatically more serious than that of any other country in the world without justification. What is worse is that you probably believe that serious rights violators in the world (like Burma, Iran, and North Korea) are justified because the US also violates rights (and they will continue to be justified until the US violates no rights at all). Sickening.

Re:Fucking grow up. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294304)

The worse kind of blindness is that which is caused by not wanting to see.

Wake up and snap out of your lala land you pretend to live in your little head. The US is rotten and trying to compare it with other countries do not make it's track record any better. You claim that Iran is worse but you failed to remember that Iran didn't invaded a country twice in the last 10 years. You also fail to notice that the US has secret torture sites all over the world, where it holds up anyone who it sees fit independent of any wrong doing. You also fail to notice that right now the US's secret services targets and monitors political dissidents, ranging from anti-bush protesters to environmental activists.

Is that what you call innocence? Is that what you call freedom? I don't.

Re:Fucking grow up. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294358)

Hmm...

It seems to me that this is an article about Iran, not the US. The US gets plenty of criticism in articles about its policies, but to criticize the US in an article about Iran speaks only about trying to justify worse abuses by comparison. It seems you are the one who is blind. You see any international story about abuse and use it as your soapbox against US policies. But by doing so you ignore the abuses the story was about.

Re:Fucking grow up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17295276)

"but you failed to remember that Iran didn't invaded a country twice in the last 10 years. "
The United States did not enter Iraq in the first Gulf War. The first Gulf War ended with a cease fire (that Hussein never signed but it served as a provisional end to the war); when Hussein kicked the UN inspectors out of the country, he violated the cease fire and therefore aggressions should have resumed. Unfortunately, Clinton failed to act and, after that, most people forgot about the implications for kicking the UN inspectors out because people have a short memory.

If Japan had begun building its military back up directly after the end of WWII, should the US have begun bombing Tokyo again?

Re:Fucking grow up. (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294698)

The countries you mentioned, however, do not profess to be the bastion of "freedom" and "democracy", nor are they in a position to actively enforce those "freedoms" on the rest of the world. If you are a preacher it's a good idea to practice what you preach. Otherwise you're not likely to get many converts. You're more likely to be laughed at behind your back. It's not anti-American bigotry. It's just that the rest of the world doesn't buy the hypocrisy anymore.

Re:Fucking grow up. (-1, Flamebait)

paulmer2003 (922657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294178)

You bleeding heart liberals need to get over yourselfs. Do you honestly care if a TERRORIST gets TORTURED? A few words for you:

The ends justify the means.

Re:Fucking grow up. (2, Insightful)

feed_me_cereal (452042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294282)

yeah, cause they waive their terrorist-detector over all the detainees first to make sure they're terrorists before they torture them. Oh! and the ends have certainly justified the means, haven't they! I mean, we're all so much freer and safer, and Iraq is a beautiful paradise! Hey, why don't you book your next vacation for Baghdad, we could use a few less blathering idiots voting in the states.

Re:Fucking grow up. (5, Insightful)

Darlantan (130471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294566)

You, sir, are wrong.

Here, let me pick apart the major points of your short troll:

1: The problem here is that these people, by and large, have not been proven to be terrorists. How would you like it if you were randomly grabbed off the street, called a murder, and thrown in prison? Here in the US, we used to believe that people were innocent until proven guilty. Obviously you don't.

2: Torture is not an effective means of getting reliable intel from people, despite what TV has told you. Torture IS very good at getting people to do what you want them to do. While the second statement may appear to counter the first, it doesn't. Torture attempts to force compliance through pain, threat of death, or extreme discomfort. When successful, the victim will do whatever they think you want, if it means you will quit torturing them. This includes signing false confessions, even admitting to things they know are untrue. If tortured enough (and HERE's a classic example) you can get someone to admit that 1+1=3. If you know enough beforehand to catch false statements and continue torturing the victim until you get a reliable answer, then you basically know the answer beforehand anyway. If you don't, then how do you know when to stop? The first answer may be unreliable, and so may the third, fifth, 86th, whatever. If they DO give you the correct information at some point, how do you know?

Torture is counterproductive (2, Informative)

rhinokitty (962485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294766)

Correct, and if I may add:

No matter what "intellegence" you get from a subject of torture, it is not going to be helpful because the subject will tell you whatever you want to hear. If you ask someone the location of a terrorist cell, and they actually don't know, they are as good as dead in a place like Guantanamo. This lack of knowledge may not save their life, but on the other side of the electrode is the American soldier who is asking the questions. Whatever blubberings this victim may give you will be totally counterproductive and will not help further any military objective, they will be garbage intellegence. And we all know,

Garbage in = garbage out.

Try asking nicely.

"The ends justify the means" - no they don't (3, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294676)

A counter statement might be "what goes around comes around".

Or, a history lesson: empires rise and empires fall. Be nice to people on the way up, and they might be nice to your children as your country declines in importance.

Have you been paying any attention? (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17295150)

The ends justify the means.

No they don't, because the ends, as in the effect, are a consequence of the means, as in the cause.

So if the ends you want are peace and democracy, and your means are violence and torture, then the ends you get are a non-stop insurgency, civil war, and lawlessness that will at best settle into a theocratic state run by the personal militias of religious extremists.

Are you paying attention to the news? What you are seeing is cause and effect. Are these the ends that you desired? No? Well guess what -- that's why the ends don't justify the means, because you don't get to pick what end your means will achieve! Wishing that torturing random people accused of being terrorists will bring peace and harmony doesn't make it so, and if it isn't obvious to you at this point it never will be because you are deliberately avoiding anything resembling a fact.

Well let me clue you in a little: Abu Ghraib had consequences. Very bad, very tragic consequences. While hardly the lone example of your misplaced philosophy, the fact is that those means have seriously damaged our ends, such that they are probably unachievable. The ends, whether you like it or not, stemmed directly from the means, and hence those means cannot be justified.

Re:Fucking grow up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294184)

Comparing freedom in Iran and freedom in the US is asinine and you know it. Yes, the US is not perfect, but at least we don't hang children [hrw.org] .

Yes, the US is far from perfect, but to imply that we are no better than Iran when it comes to human rights sickens me.

Re:Fucking grow up. (5, Informative)

iMMersE (226214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294506)

Bzzt. "Since 1990 Amnesty International has documented 47 executions of child offenders in eight countries: China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the USA and Yemen."

Read about it here [amnesty.org]

"The USA and Iran have each executed more child offenders than the other six countries combined and Iran has now matched the USA's total since 1990 of 19 child executions."

That's right folks, Iran has caught up with the USA. CAUGHT UP!

Re:Fucking grow up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17295156)

Please point out where children are being executed. I'll wait.

Re:Fucking grow up. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17295210)

Yes, this is the same AC that you replied to. I do not want to use my /. ID because I prefer to use it for technical/nerd discussion and not have it clouded by my political views.

That being said, there is again a big difference between Iran and the US in terms of juvenile executions. The US executed child offenders while Iran executes children. I feel there is a big difference here.

Just looking up several of the names on the US list, they were all executed at least 10 years after being convicted of the crime. This makes them around 27 at the time of execution, therefore a child was not executed. Yes, they committed the crimes while they were minors, but 10 years is at least enough time for an appeal, retrial, or whatever could have been done.

In Iran, you are tried and pretty much executed on the spot. Yes, I am talking about public hangings of 15, 16, and 17 year olds, and this is only whats reported.

Look at the articles by region for Iran on the amnesty international website. Iran has some lovely habits including:
-jailing political opponents
-beating women
-public executions
-etc

Again, the US is not perfect, but other countries are much worse.

Re:Fucking grow up. (4, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294198)

How often does the Government of the United States of America execute Journalists for speaking out against the government? How many citizens have been executed without due-process?

Currenly, every western democracy has problems but in comparison to countries like Iran their problems are nonexistent.

Re:Fucking grow up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294374)

We may never know, because those matters have been declared a secret privilege, and not open to investigation.

Re:Fucking grow up. (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294490)

Yeah, I remember when those black helicopters and men in black came and abducted the Newsweek and NYT editorial staff. A dark day for America's freedom of speech.

Re:Fucking grow up. (1, Interesting)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17295204)

How often does the Government of the United States of America execute Journalists for speaking out against the government?
All too often [washingtonpost.com] ?

Re:Fucking grow up. (4, Insightful)

Darth (29071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294380)

He didn't forget those links. They just aren't relevant.

Nothing in either of those links has anything to do with exercising freedom of speech in the United States or Iran. To claim the United States has a free speech record as bad as Iran based on those links would be like accusing someone of murder based on the fact that they stole a car once (obligatory slashdot car analogy).

Is there a reason you bring it up other than to prop up emotional rhetoric with an irrelevant appeal to emotion?

Re:Fucking grow up. (1)

forgetmenot (467513) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294784)

While those stories are indeed disturbing, what makes them so is the lengths to which the US administration goes to hide these activities. They can and should be held accountable for this behaviour. But... that's the big difference here. The US administration IS ultimately accountable to its people for its actions. What is also significant is that the journalist who published those stories do not now have to live in fear of American retribution. You can find a lot of fault in some of the things done by the U.S., but they have long loooooong way to go before you can make honest comparisons between them and somebody like Iran.

Re:Fucking grow up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294058)

Oh, SNAP! Read the reply above mine. Amnesty sure has some fun things to say about the US. You can take your sycophantic, 'Merka-love-it-or-leave it attitude and shove it up your urethra. Making light of the problem of US sponsored torture with an insult and shrug is the opposite of helpful.

Re:Fucking grow up. (5, Informative)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294410)

The USA has problems, but comparing it to Iran with a smirk and a shrug is the opposite of helpful.

Oh least we forget who put the Shah in power. So indirectly, our Government... Which is supposedly in the hands of the US people... Installed a dictator who was terrible enough for a people to wish a revolution that replaced him with a theocratic leadership.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_Revolution [wikipedia.org]

So yeah. At home we aren't as bad as Iran, but we had a great big hand in causing them to turn into the country they are today. I suppose I could get into the issue of the Iran/Iraq war which we tried to fix our mistake by arming another which we had to fix ourselves 20 years later.

And now we are paying for it on a daily basis.

Re:Fucking grow up (2006 not 2003). (3, Interesting)

Tyson W (1004311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294874)

Your Amnesty International link seem to be to the 2003 report. It would probably also be a good idea to provide the links the US reports as well, since you are (presumably) doing a comparison. A good summary is that you don't want to be in the wrong group in either country:

Iran:
amnesty international [amnesty.org]
human rights watch [hrw.org]

US:
amnesty international [amnesty.org]
human rights watch [hrw.org]

It's also worth remembering, whenever Iran is being discussed, that the present government is a fairly direct outcome of Operation Ajax [wikipedia.org] , in which the US and Britian overthrew the original (and very progressive) Iranian democratic government and installed a very brutal dictator (the Shah) because Iran planned to nationalize its oil (which was the result of, amongst other things, them being denied the right to even audit British Petroleum's books).

Re:It's a good thing... (1)

Gaian-Orlanthii (1032980) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294074)

Why do I get the impression that if high-speed internet access was banned in YOUR homes, you guys would (probably literally) be up in arms about it and not just making remarks on a forum?

Re:It's a good thing... (1)

WhyDoYouWantToKnow (1039964) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294236)

Why do I get the impression that if high-speed internet access was banned in YOUR homes, you guys would (probably literally) be up in arms about it and not just making remarks on a forum?

Not to mention the complete collapse of the porn and MMOG industries.

Re:It's a good thing... (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17295232)

Why do I get the impression that if high-speed internet access was banned in YOUR homes, you guys would (probably literally) be up in arms about it and not just making remarks on a forum?
High-speed internet access isn't banned in Iran - and they don't block English sites either, no matter how often the mass media repeats that.

Re:It's a good thing... (2, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294092)

Are you going to wake up in a cold sweat tonight, truly and honestly afraid that that bump in the night was caused by government agents coming along to disappear you as a result of posting that?

Or are you expecting to be up-modded, congratulated, and generally receive social approval?

Wake me when the answer to the first is a non-rhetorical yes.

In the meantime, while life in the US isn't perfect, after six continuous years of screeching I'm getting a serious "crying wolf" vibe.

Re:It's a good thing... (0, Troll)

feed_me_cereal (452042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294204)

No, in the US they don't explicitly censor bloggers they don't agree with, they just mod them 'troll' until their posts are invisible.

Re:It's a good thing... (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294448)

View my previous posts as a fine example! Still prefer that to having my typing fingers cut off though!

(Granted, some of my posts may qualify as troll, but most do not by far!)

Re:It's a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294262)

It's a good thing...you have your head screwed on just right.

oh wait!...

Re:It's a good thing... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294274)

... that stuff like that doesn't happen in the good 'ol US of A oh wait...

Yeah, like, have a singer express her honest opinion of the leader of the good ol' free world.

Sometimes it seems people welcome the mob to control their thoughts and lives...

Re:It's a good thing... (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294482)

Yeah, like, have a singer express her honest opinion of the leader of the good ol' free world.
I presume you are taking about Natalie Maines? Have we cut her tongue out yet?

Sometimes it seems people welcome the mob to control their thoughts and lives...
Like here on /.?

Re:It's a good thing... (1)

deanoaz (843940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294652)

"Yeah, like, have a singer express her honest opinion of the leader of the good ol' free world."

I haven't heard of any singers being arrested, or audited, or denied visas for anti-Bush comments. Some singers have lost market share as a result of airing views that shocked their customers. That's the risk you take in a free market, nobody has to buy your stuff.

If you piss off a large enough segment of the market, advertisers won't want to have their products associated with you, because they think it will hurt them. So, you can lose positive media exposure for your work at the same time you are getting negative media exposure for your views.

Free speech is a right. Risk-free commercial speech is not.

Blogging in teh usa (0, Flamebait)

mProbatus (1026656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293618)

Takes courage too, look at the dixie chicks. Anything that is not favored by another is deemed to be "unamerican".

Re:Blogging in teh usa (1)

dj961 (660026) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293678)

Because the dixie chicks are dead. I'm sure you've forgotten about all that money they've made since their "Not Ready to Make Nice", fact is they had a bad pr guy the first time they tried to tackle bush.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (2, Insightful)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17295334)

I agree that there was a lot of hyperbole that they were "silenced," when obviously they weren't. But they, and many others, were surprised at the level of hostility they got for opposing the war. They weren't silenced, but they recieved death threats and a lot of hate-mail. Were they criminally oppressed? No, but we are much less tolerant of dissent than our freedom-loving self-image would lead one to believe.

It isn't as if people don't like celebrities using their fame to push a cause--all the country singers who supported the war were applauded, so it just comes down to "you can have an opinion and talk about it on stage, unless you disagree with me on something, then shut up, or you're evil." I felt they (the Dixie Chicks) were a bit naive and too brash, but I was embarassed at the hostility they got. There is nothing unpatriotic about saying "I don't think we should invade this country."

Intolerance for dissent does tend to cross political boundaries, so don't think I'm conservative-bashing. Though to be honest, I wonder how many entertainers got death threats for supporting the war? Not so many, probably.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17293720)

Yeah, since the Dixie Chicks got sent to prison after criticizing the President. Takes some real courage, man.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (0, Troll)

mProbatus (1026656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293762)

Well, they did receive a lot of bad press from fans and other artists. The point is that in a society that is supposed to cherish free speech americuh is pretty backward. Btw your comment is totally unamerican.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (4, Insightful)

JeTmAn81 (836217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294036)

As far as I can tell, free speech in America is working just like it's supposed to. The Dixie Chicks exercised their right to criticize the president, and fans and others chose to exercise their right to criticize the Dixie Chicks for their statements. The government didn't censor anyone, and no one had their rights trampled.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (1)

Darth (29071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294096)

Well, they did receive a lot of bad press from fans and other artists. The point is that in a society that is supposed to cherish free speech americuh is pretty backward.

what are you talking about?

The Dixie Chicks exercised their freedom of speech without any repercussions from the government. Their fans and the other artists also exercised their freedom of speech without interference. Everyone involved expressed themselves as much or as little as they chose to without any interference or influence from the government.

In what way is that not freedom of speech? In what way is that backward?

Re:Blogging in teh usa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294516)

It's backward because he didn't like the opinion expressed by the fans that got upset by the big mouth bitch lead singer of the chicks. Like most hipocrits he thinks free speech is speech he agrees with. I didn't mind when the chicks went off on the prez....like their opinion matters to me anymore than the average crack whore's would. The fact that some were pissed off enough about it to not buy their music is just more people expressing their opinion. But that is considered censorship because the ppl who hate the war don't like it.

You have a right to your opinion and to express it. I have the right to disregard and/or ridicule it.

coldfire

Re:Blogging in teh usa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294712)

You must be new here; your opinion is irrelevant if you don't post "I Hate George Bush" posts.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294768)

I generally hate ALL politicians.

coldfire

Re:Blogging in teh usa (4, Insightful)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293736)

Anything that is not favored by another is deemed to be "unamerican".
The difference being, of course, that the Dixie Chicks were not put to death for expressing views not in line with those of the government, and the consequences they endured were not handed out by the government, but rather their own fans.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (1, Troll)

EtherealStrife (724374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294208)

Funny, I must've missed the "put to death" reference in TFA. In Iran people are permitted to express opposing POVs to those held by their government, so long as they don't cross certain lines that the government associates with radicalism. Kinda like in America, you don't want to get too radical in your opposition to the treatment of animals and the environment (PETA, Green Peace, ELFs, etc), nor do you want to call your friend Jack on an airplane, nor do you want to debate the validity of security arrangements in U.S. airports while standing near some security officers in a security check line (unless you enjoy being strip searched by the same sex and having your cavities searched, which some fetishists may). And the list goes on. Just because they have different restrictions doesn't mean the U.S. is any better than Iran. Same bullshit, in the name of national security (for both nations). What one calls a freedom fighter, the other calls a terrorist/radical (and vice versa).

Re:Blogging in teh usa (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294524)

Do you fear for you life because of that comment? [guardian.co.uk]

No? Then your comment is proven incorrect.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294650)

Ah right, because censorship and oppression is all fun and games until someone gets killed?

I hope you don't call any TSA officials an idiot [usatoday.com] . Wouldn't want to have the cops come and "inconvenience" you.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294270)

The difference being, of course, that the Dixie Chicks were not put to death for expressing views not in line with those of the government, and the consequences they endured were not handed out by the government, but rather their own fans.

So the Dixie chicks were stoned and hanged from a crane by their fans rather than the government?

Dixie Chicks (1, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294622)

Would you consider book burning to be repressive?

Is running over CDs with a bulldozer analogous? That's what happened at a rally arranged, not by "their own fans", but by Cumulus Media, which controls 262 radio stations nationwide.

Clear Channel stations, not Dixie Chicks fans, banned them from the airwaves. Clear Channel owns 1,225 radio stations. That's almost as effective as government censorship, without the icky court battles. Clear Channel denies any involvement in the anti-Dixie Chicks rallies organized by many of their stations (but nobody else's).

Reference: The Columbia Journalism Review [findarticles.com] .

Clear Channel vice chairman Tom Hicks is a longstanding very good friend of George W. Bush.

>the Dixie Chicks were not put to death

I take little comfort in the fact that nobody has carried out the death threats.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (1)

SirWhoopass (108232) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293824)

Blogging in teh usa Takes courage too, look at the dixie chicks. Anything that is not favored by another is deemed to be "unamerican".
You can't possibly be serious. So, their latest album (Taking the Long Way) only sold a few million copies instead of ten million (Fly)? What does that mean? A few less trips on the private jet?? Such courage that must take. As opposed to, say, someone who will go to jail for expressing their opinion.*


* Note: not libel or slander; or trespassing, vandalism, or destruction of public property in the name of "protesting"; this is going to jail for simply stating your opinion.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17293982)

Blogging in teh usa Takes courage too, look at the dixie chicks.
You can't possibly be serious.

I agree that the USA is less oppressive the Iran. However, both the Dixie Chicks and the Iranian bloggers were receiving death threats for their views. I'd say that's pretty scary in both cases.

What's interesting to me is the question "Did expressing their views make a difference?" Did the Dixie Chick's opposition to the Iraq war prevent the Iraq war? Are the Iranian bloggers effecting change in Iran?

As far as I'm concerned, the real measure of freedom of speech is not how much is spoken but how much is heard.

Re:Blogging in teh usa (1)

The PS3 Will Fail (998952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17295338)

"As far as I'm concerned, the real measure of freedom of speech is not how much is spoken but how much is heard."
So if some Neo-Nazi expresses his opinion and it does not cause immediate change in society (and, in fact, few listen to him), then that means that society doesn't have any freedom of speech? As far as I'm concerned, your measuring stick is broken.
"However, both the Dixie Chicks and the Iranian bloggers were receiving death threats for their views."
The Dixie Chicks were not being threatened by the government. The government investigated the death threats. Big difference.

there is an alternative... (0)

namco (685026) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293756)

...myspace, and the governments wouldn't argue, what with the almost constant maintainence going on there disallowing many users to log in....

Straight from the propaganda machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17293784)

This story makes me so mad that I want to throw the big Newspeak Dictionary at the image of Emmanual Goldstein (aka Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) during today's Two Minutes Hate.

Think of the Children (4, Insightful)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293852)

Amirhussein Jaharuti, the manager of a major Internet service provider in Tehran, said the government's restrictions focus on pornography, and he feels that filtering is appropriate.

"This is the demand of Iranian families, that they don't want their children to use these kinds of sites,"


Ah it's good to see that families are the same the world over. Even in Iran parents don't want to take responsibility for raising their own children.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:Think of the Children (1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293882)

Well, the trouble with ragheads is that their idea of "raising" a child is to force it to recite the Terrorists Handbook (qu'ran) verbatim without actually understanding a single fucking word.

Oh, and the boys get to suck cocks at the dinner table too!

Re:Think of the Children (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294080)

'Well, the trouble with ragheads is that their idea of "raising" a child is to force it to recite the Terrorists Handbook (qu'ran) verbatim without actually understanding a single fucking word.'

You could of got away with that, but this :

'Oh, and the boys get to suck cocks at the dinner table too!'

Means your an asshole, but once I re-read your first line I realised your an asshole to start with. :)

Re:Think of the Children (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294634)

the trouble with ragheads

      The trouble with "niggers"...
      The trouble with "spics"...
      The trouble with "chinks"...
      The trouble with "gringos"...

      Now the word for the day is "raghead" is it? You know, every cultural, political, religious or ethnic group will have its extremists. These are the few that tend to put the majority in a bad light - but only for shortsighted persons like yourself. You sir, are PART of the problem. Name-calling and generalizing only serves to perpetuate the hate and recruit more extremists on either side of this cultural, political or religious "divide" that seems impossible for people like you to cross. People all around the world are different. Look different. Act different. They even think different. And the big question is - SO WHAT?

Re:Think of the Children (4, Interesting)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294348)

Even in Iran parents don't want to take responsibility for raising their own children.
It's very easy to repeat this popular /. mantra. But if you, as a parent, believe that it is wrong for your children to be exposed to pornography, then it is complete fucking impossible to bring them up right in modern liberal society without enclosing them in a solid steel cube and burying them 20 feet underground. So the fact that some parents would like a little help from the government in bringing up their kids is hardly people failing to take responsibility for their own kids. The truth is that you repeat this mantra, not because you care about how anyone brings up their kids, but because you'd like free access to various materials on the web. I certainly won't hold that against you, but please don't dress up your wishes as anything other than what they are.

Re:Think of the Children (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294542)

But if you, as a parent, believe that it is wrong for your children to be exposed to pornography

      You know, I'm a parent. My two daughters know all about pornography. They CHOOSE not to look at it because they think it's gross and crude, rather than have my beliefs imposed on them by telling them it's "WRONG". Some people like pornography. Others don't. Turning something into a "taboo" or criminalizing it is not a rational way of dealing with the world. I swear to you that if your kids LIKE pornography, there is nothing at ALL you can do to prevent it. They'll do it behind your back. At school. At a friend's house. Are you going to lock them up? Talking about this stuff with your kids is far more rational than pushing for a law that makes it "illegal" and hoping the government will do your job for you.

Re:Think of the Children (1)

Mike Blakemore (999177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294956)

I agree. The only way to protect kids is to educate and monitor them the best you can. The internet should be free - free of government regulation.

Re:Think of the Children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17295106)

agreed.

Re:Think of the Children (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17295332)

Just because you don't want your kids exposed to something doesn't mean that they should't. People die in this world, and it is a traumatic experience. Do you think your kids should never see a death? People cheat, lie and cuss everywhere. Do you think your kids should never be exposed to a lie, a cheater or a cuss word?

Here's a little hint: if something's so pervasive that it is not possible for you to shield your kids from it without getting the government to ban it, it's probably something they should get used to sooner rather than later. Note that this is not an endorsement for anything that's happening - it's merely an endorsement for the idea that if something happens on a regular basis, kids should learn about it sooner rather than later. Because they will find out about it - and don't you want to be around to guide them when they see death, lies, cheats, famine, disease, abuse, and all the other horrors of life?

So yes, the fact that you want a little help from the government in protecting your kids from being exposed to things *you* (and I can't stress the *YOU* enough) is indeed *you* failing to do your job. So stop trying to impose your morality on me, just because you're too lazy to raise your own kids.

Slashdot (4, Insightful)

Bongo Bill (853669) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293864)

Figures. The first two comments are likening Iran to the US. As if there were any comparison between Iranian blogging, where honest journalism is overtly illegal if it's slanted too hard against the government, and American blogging, where every politician of note is compared to Hitler or Stalin on a daily basis. Get some perspective.

Re:Slashdot (4, Insightful)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17293950)

Whereas, in Iran it's moot to compare your leaders to those of the Axis. Without the Holocaust, they are just failed conquerers...

You're correct, it's not like the USA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294284)

Right now. Just give it some time though. A very large percentage of US Citizens have made it quite clear that they are perfectly happy to live under an authoritarian regime with overt religious tendencies.

Re:Slashdot (4, Interesting)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294478)

I agree with you. There is currently no comparison. But that is not a reason for complacency or self-congratulation either.

Calling people 'unamerican' for not sharing the government's view of things or the president stating that atheists are not citizens and certainly not patriots is edging right up there. It's not that far from uttering that statement and enforcing it, especially now that habeas corpus has been suspended for whoever the president decides are 'enemy combatants'.

We are kept from becoming Iran by the thinnest of lines. It galls me that probably two the biggest factors in the Republican's losing the legislative branch are sex scandals and the fact we're doing poorly in Iraq. The president's horrible abuse of power, condoning of torture, and his statements like those about atheists probably weren't that important to most voters who switched sides.

Most Americans seem to think that it's just fine if we become Iran as long as they don't have to actually think about any public figure having any sort of sexuality or see any sort of evidence that can't be ignored that our star is falling in the world.

Re:Slashdot (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17295138)

See you lose credibility when you complain Bush condoned use of torture. College fraternities do worse and UN forces do the worst of all and rape women and children - and few complain. But we get the ninnies all weepy over Bush if he doesn't use a kleenex correctly (I don't care for Bush much either btw). We firebombed thousands in Dresden. If we had to do that today we would lose WW II. You complain about superficial critera yet yours are the same.

Re:Slashdot (1)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17295218)

Good comment, but the George Bush comment on atheists was a bit off - that was George H. W. Bush, the former president, not George W. Bush, the current President.

First link on Google for the quote [positiveatheism.org]

Ryan Fenton

Re:Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294526)

The [Iranian] government contends that the principal target is pornography and other morally offensive material. The word "sex" is among those blocked.


Yeah nothing like the US at all...
http://news.com.com/SenatorIllegalimagesmustberepo rted/2100-1028_3-6142332.html?tag=nefd.lede [com.com]

Millions of commercial Web sites and personal blogs would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000, if a new proposal in the U.S. Senate came into law.


Signs of things to come?

Re:Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294708)

...where every politician of note is compared to Hitler or Stalin on a daily basis.

So Barack Obama is routinely compared to Hitler and Stalin? Wow! Those conservatives sure do like to make accusations.

The Iranians compare their leader to Hitler... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294886)

The Iranians compare their leader to Hitler, but it's considered a compliment!

Iranian Blog Entries... (2, Insightful)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294034)

Dec 3, 2006 Prayed to Allah, nearly got ran over by Rasheed's goat cart again...damn him to hell, he will never learn to go 5 in a 10 zone down in the market!! Dec 5, 2006 Prayed to Allah, fell down the well fetching water for making bread, was stuck for nearly 3 hours before Ramsi rescued me on the way to the stoning Dec 7, 2006 I SAW AN ANKLE TODAY!! Allah be praised, it was a sexy ankle too!! It had no hair, and the skin was just a little dry and flaky!! I nearly lost control and crashed my bicycle into a cart full of figs.....I must go and relieve this stirring in my loins!!!

+1 Hilarious (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294830)

The mods here are in denial.

Re:Iranian Blog Entries... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17295056)

Whoever modded this down is an asshat.

probably one of the same jackasses who finds that torching an embassy because some citizen in it's country made fun of that prick, allah.

Courage yes... (1)

Nanpa (971527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294066)

But is he able to Opera?

Straight from the propaganda machine (1, Redundant)

kurish666 (1041420) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294086)

This story makes me so mad that I want to throw the big Newspeak Dictionary at the image of Emmanual Ahmadinejad during today's Two Minutes Hate.

Fp taTco (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294106)

They start3d to resound as fiiting OPENBSD WANKER THEO

Oh No! Zionist Propaganda on Slashdot? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294120)

Oh No! Zionist Propaganda on Slashdot?

Inform yourself first, get another perspective, here are some links for you:

http://www.sandersresearch.com/ [sandersresearch.com]

http://iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/105200 [mirror-world.ru]

http://crossfirewar.com/ [crossfirewar.com]

http://www.voltairenet.org/en [voltairenet.org]

http://www.intifada.com/ [intifada.com]

http://kavkazcenter.com/eng/ [kavkazcenter.com]

http://electronicintifada.net/new.shtml [electronicintifada.net]

http://www.propagandamatrix.com/index.html [propagandamatrix.com]

Dances and parties everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294182)

From the article:

When his message came, Saddam had just been captured, Allied soldiers had taken over his village, and everybody rushed to barbers to cut off their beards and to nearby holes and hiding spots to dig up their Walkmen, VCRs, TVs, CD players, and -- in Ishmael's case -- his ancient Commodore, one of four in the village. Cafes had popped up all over, with impromptu dances and parties everywhere.

Ishmael's e-mail -- routed to Babylon, then Geneva, then London -- was a reminder that there are civil liberties, and then there are civil liberties. Computers had been banned under penalty of death by Saddam (except for the elite imperial guard), along with music and TV. Ishmael, a computer geek obsessed with Linux, had first e-mailed me years ago while I was writing for Hotwired. He was genial and obsessed with American culture. He loved martial arts movies, anything to do with Star Wars, and rap. He was perhaps the Saddam's prime kind of target. (Now he's furiously trying to download movies he's missed and is mesmerized by open source and Slashdot.)

The Boston Globe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294334)

The Boston Globe says "Stop using blogs"

Advancement of the species.... (1)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294480)

We are only as advanced as the level of freedom we permit our fellow man. On the whole, we as a species are still monkeys swinging in the trees. How can we expect to flourish throughout the galaxy, beyond this earth, if we cannot live in peace with ourselves. Sigh....there's so much more out there for us than to destroy ourselves. We need a good kick in the collective pants.

Iran is in good company (4, Interesting)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294630)

I'm sure Iran is not exactly a bastion of free expression, but I've seen plenty of Iranian people who have been interviewed on camera criticizing the Iranian government and calling them all a bunch of idiots. Then there was the recent case of Iranian students jeering the President, burning a picture of him, and throwing fireworks (http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1 462_2043334,00.html). That's not the sort of thing you do if you are terrified of your government. Iraqis would certainly never have dared do that to Saddam Hussein (backed by the US et al, for many years), and Iranians would probably not have dared do it to the brutal US/UK-backed Shah of Iran either.

I've worked with a number of people from around the Middle East and all of them said that Saudi Arabia was far worse than Iran. Perhaps it would be wise to tackle the most oppressive countries first.

I have no idea whether Iranian police normally herd student protesters into "Free Speech" Zones well away from President Ahmadinejad, as is common practice in the US. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zone) or whether the Iranian government enforces huge protest exclusion zones in Tehran, using the threat of terrorism as some kind of bizarre justification. In the UK there is a half-mile protest exclusion zone around parliament, which was introduced in 2005, 2 years after a million angry citizens marched outside Parliament in full view of the media. Maya Evans, a woman who read out the names of dead soldiers within the zone was arrested, charged and convicted of breaching the "Serious Organised Crime and Police Act" by staging an unauthorised protest. I think it was Chomsky who said "The worst enemy of a government is its own population". It's certainly beginning to seem that way.

America, Israel and Iran (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294682)

The unholy trinity. This is the real Axis of Evil.

These three nations are deliberately provoking each other to war. Lets get rid of some pretensions. It's about resources, nothing to do with spreading democracy or a War on Terror. It's all about control of resources, particularly oil.

The Iranians know that America can't afford another conventional ground war, Iraq is already destroying the US economy. Iran is using Israel to provoke the US into overextending itself, there's a load of talk about replacing Israel with an Islamic state which is pure provocation to Israel, who retaliate by announcing that Iran has a nuclear weapon programme able to produce a bomb within 3 years. Both are trying to get the US involved. Which is quite convenient for the US because Iran has huge oil reserves and they're planning to sell them for Euros, not dollars. Doing so will cause the US economy further damage, causing the dollar to slide further.

Iran wants a guerilla ground war to bring the US to it's knees, Israel wants the US to give Iran a kicking for them, with a nuclear response if necessary and the US wants to make sure the oil remains tradable for dollars, so preventing soaring inflation in the US. So, everyone's spoiling for a fight, which is very dangerous, this is how world wars start.
 

Re:America, Israel and Iran (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294976)

well, I wouldn't get too bothered about it. Sure the US economy might take a hit, they might even need to consider changing the dollar for the Euro as the main oil currency if thats the way everyone else seems to be going - its not the end of the world. I highly doubt that Iran could do any real damage in a total war situation; they don't have nukes and it doesn't seem like any country who does would care enough to retaliate and risk total nuclear war over Iran. Iran will know this, I know Armenijad might want some kind of final battle and the end of the world (at least he hints he does) but the supreme leader of Iran doesn't and just won't let it get too far; even if he has to take down the government.

Besides, Iran has recently voted in reformers anyway, so the extreme anti-west side might be losing its influence

Technical solutions all seem to be gone (2, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294710)

Invisiblog took submissions by Mixmaster email and used gpg signing as the authentication mechanism. They seem to be defunct as of about a year ago. The eelbash anonymous remailer announced a replacement, but the page for that is 404 now.

mod d03n (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294754)

*BSD is dying Yet

Props (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17294780)

With respect to all people everywhere who fight tyranny and try to make real one of the most blessed gifts God has given us, our freedom.

Good luck and best wishes, bloggers.

Unless of course... (4, Interesting)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294876)

You are the president [ahmadinejad.ir] .

No, don't tell me... (1)

matlhDam (149229) | more than 7 years ago | (#17294938)

...they've dragged out their Commodore 64s, gotten some help from a guy named Junis to get them connected, and are blogging while watching "Baywatch" and "Temptation Island". Through all this, they're providing their own voices from the hellmouth.

Iranian bloggers... (0, Troll)

bayankaran (446245) | more than 7 years ago | (#17295020)

I hope Iranian bloggers are not using Opera.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17295152)

Opera uses YOU!
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