Iran Blogapalooza- Hamed Saber’s Photos


Ok well I’m stretching the definition of a blog to include a flickr site but I did find Hamed via a blog so I reckon it all even outs in the end. Hamed Saber became a bit of a star because flickr was being filtered (censored) by the Iranian govt. he made a firefox plug in that enabled Iranians to see and use flickr:-

Sami Ben Gharbia: Why did you set up the Firefox extension Access Flickr!?

Hamed Saber: As I said in the extension home page, in my country (Iran), unfortunately, is banned. I’m a fan of that photo-archive website, so I wrote this extension just to help my dear friends who can not access from Iran.

SBG: What purpose does Access Flickr! serve?

HS: I think all human beings have the right to choose what is good and what is bad for themselves. The “Big Brother” theory is not logical and ethical to me. Yes! Of course. I don’t want to say that parental control should not be happening just because of freedom and information access rights! No! I mean NO ONE has the right to censor ANY THING for me and for others without our permission! We can decide what is good and what is bad for us, better than those! –

The above selection (slapped together by me, so please excuse the cropping Hamed) is a small part of his portfolio so go and have a look. I really like the shot of his wife Somayeh sleeping on top of the car which apparently is an old Buick. I also love the pictures of snow (because I like snow) which are surprising as Iran makes most people think of deserts, but there was a lot of snow in Tehran last month and it’s as cold there as here on my little island home.

You can also see a photo taken in a very old synagogue, this picture caused some discussion and here is what Hamed had to say:-

Some people sent me emails about “Are you advertising Israel?” or “Do you accept Israel?” etc.
I’d better to write down the answer here, before others try to send me such emails!
No, I do not accept Israeli Regime, but I think Israelian people are human, like others, and have the normal social rights as others!
Of course this image is not related to Israel at all! This is a synagogue, a place to worship God or what ever you call him/her, Allah, Yehovah, Elohim …
I do respect Jews, as other religius peoples!
And to my Muslim friends who asked me to remove this shot:
I won’t do so! We (Jews and Muslims) both worship the same God! We (Muslims) must respect their prophet Moses (p.b.u.h.), because he’s respected by our prophet and our holy Quran! –

So long may he continue to make photographs.

Update: Direct link to his Firefox Flickr plug-in

Jean Baudrillard Has Died

Which is a shame because we need strange French philosophers to confuse and annoy Americans (case in point his subversion of the bullshit neo-con ‘end of history’ nonsense) and it is also sad because I wrote a short film treatment called -simulacrum- (it may have been this prospect that killed him). Still maybe his death will bring renewed interest in his ideas which will further annoy conservatives, excellent.

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Arrested Women Begin Hunger Strike

Iran Blogapalooza- Jadi at inside Iran has a bunch of updates on the arrested women despite the fact he is working away in Kabul. Here are the leads, please go to his site to read in full:-

From the morning we were getting news about authorities asking for “collateral” but did not released anybody. In response, all the 33 arrested people went under hunger strike.

Koneshgaran news agency (farsi) writes seven of the families are informed to go to the judicary system with documents of the ownership of a house and temporary release their family members. I mean they have to provide a documents of the ownership of a house as a bargain(?) of their family members release. If the person does not shows up when called, the house will belong to the government! –

And sign the petition. 

Libby Guilty, Bush Pencils In A Pardon

Again the ‘Capone‘ comes into play, when do the Bush cartel pay for their real crimes? (If you answered never, marks for accuracy, none for optimism).

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Gagging For It

So after a lot of lawyers make some extra cash the gag order on the BBC is lifted, not least because the Guardian basically reported it already and the Judge thought the Attorney general’s case was a bit rubbish. And the result? It wasn’t an email but some kind of memo that Ruth Turner sent saying she was worried that Levy was telling great big fibs:-

Tony Blair’s aide Ruth Turner expressed concern that Lord Levy had put to her a version of events over cash-for-honours which she believed to be untrue.
The concern was put in a document which the BBC has not seen, but which has been supported by more than one source.

The injunction barring BBC reporting of the story was lifted on Tuesday.

For the non-wonky what is important is Levy was/is Anthony’s envoy to the middle east (well Israel) so this does rather screw up UK diplomacy there which probably pleases the US as they want a free hand to fuck things over (ie paying lots of armed groups to fight proxy wars for them and each other). If any charges are brought against Levy he will use this ‘leak’ to attempt to claim he can’t get a fair trial (which was sort of the Met’s point) so if you want to get all conspiracy-ish on it you could reason that Levy and others figured charges were coming so they are doing things to mitigate any subsequent trial, but I doubt it. Levy and Blair are just too deluded they simply hate it when reality does not conform to their fantasy world where they are innocent and always acted earnestly in good faith. And this memo makes them seem an incy wincy, teensy weeny bit like big fat crooks. Just a tad.

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David Hicks & Michael Mori and A Film Premiere

Ok, so bear with me- Korova at made a slide show about David Hicks (the Australian held in Gitmo who John Howard & John Reid refuses to help) but because of the peculiarities of software I couldn’t embed it on this blog. So I suggested to him that I make it into a short movie so it could become a youtube clip which I could embed and it might also gain a wider audience on youtube.

Ok, so much final cut pro-ing later I end up with a 4 minute piece that also included excerpts of a speech by Michael Mori. Who is he? He is a United States Marine Corps Major , a military lawyer who was assigned as David Hick’s defence advocate. Mori proved himself a truly exemplary man and marine, ordered to defend David, he did. He travelled to Australia to talk to campaigners and David’s parents, he worked diligently and openly which must have been difficult as he was defending a man his superiors wanted to condemn as a terrorist. Michael Mori joined the marines young, he was a grunt, did a degree and got commissioned, then studied law and he became a military lawyer. You know the heroic role Tom Cruise has in ‘A Few Good Men’? Well Mori is the real life version.

So just what the fuck have the higher ups done?

Faced with their ridiculous case looking even stupider by the day they have opted to attack Mori they are basically saying that by doing his duty as an honourable man he is breaking the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Well bull-fucking-shit, they saw the deep shit they were in and are trying to define (see last post about torture to see how these fuckwads like to play semantics to cover up their evil) defending David Hicks as a political act by Mori. Fascist Motherfuckers. But there is some silver lining, John Howard has realised that he is stratospherically unpopular and at last has made some noises about wanting David Hicks to come back to Australia, if Mori is charged the case falls into limbo and Howard might attempt to have Hicks brought home. This is maybe part of a deal worked out when Cheney visited, Hicks has become a potent embarrassment for both of them and crushing the legal process but then using that as an excuse for shipping Hicks home will help both of them. Mori will perhaps find the charges against him dropped quietly some time later, shameful. So take a look at the video and reflect on the utter corruption of the senior military and political classes.