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   Undertoad  Thursday Aug 1 02:18 PM

8/1/2002: Iranian male dancer detained



It's been 23 years since the Iranian revolution where Iran became an Islamic state. When it happened, a lot of Iranians wisely bolted for greener pastures. This guy is one of them: he's Mohamad Khordadian. He's a male dancer who is known for his work in both Iran and the US. He may be roughly the "lord of the Persian dance" and even after 23 years, there is no dancer more popular in Iran, or amongst the Iranian ex-pats in Los Angeles.

He returned to Iran a few months ago for the first time - for his mother's funeral. Apparently he made the mistake of dancing while he was there. Dancing with women. Big mistake. As he was at the airport to return to LA, he was arrested by the Iranian authorities and given a suspended sentence of 10 years for his cultural crime of "corrupting the youth". He is also prevented from leaving Iran for 10 years.

As you ponder the amazing nature of a state that would give someone 10 years for dancing, consider that there is a man at the highest levels of the US government who is anti-dancing. He believes that dance is evil, and makes certain that as he sings fundamentalist religious songs, he is careful not to sway -- because that would be dancing. He's the Attorney General of the US, John Ashcroft.

Luckily, in a free country, he is unable to enforce his personal views on the rest of the citizens. But it's stories like this that make clear what is truly evil and what is not, and the importance of maintaining the separation of church and state. And making sure that free expression and tolerance are not only permitted, but valued.



blowmeetheclown  Thursday Aug 1 02:25 PM

Iranian Liberace fits the man, I think.



dasviper  Thursday Aug 1 04:49 PM

Re: 8/1/2002: Iranian male dancer detained

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad


As you ponder the amazing nature of a state that would give someone 10 years for dancing, consider that there is a man at the highest levels of the US government who is anti-dancing. He believes that dance is evil, and makes certain that as he sings fundamentalist religious songs, he is careful not to sway -- because that would be dancing. He's the Attorney General of the US, John Ashcroft.

Luckily, in a free country, he is unable to enforce his personal views on the rest of the citizens. But it's stories like this that make clear what is truly evil and what is not, and the importance of maintaining the separation of church and state. And making sure that free expression and tolerance are not only permitted, but valued.

Big deal. Maybe he also likes jam on his toast, or getting it on doggy style. Who cares what he thinks of dancing? Do you have reason to believe that he wants the opportunity to force that belief on others? Like you say, tolerance should be valued, but you're not showing a lot of tolerance for his beliefs.


hairdog  Thursday Aug 1 04:53 PM

Really! You should not criticize Mr. Ashcroft. Such criticism can be seen as anti-patriotic. We'll be sending a truth squad to your door to see if you are complying with the US Patriot Act.



Undertoad  Thursday Aug 1 05:54 PM

No, it's fair; I should have better evidence before posting something like that, ortherwise it's hypocritical.



warch  Thursday Aug 1 06:31 PM

Quote:
Do you have reason to believe that he wants the opportunity to force that belief on others?
Well, yeah. He has pledged to uphold the law even if he vehemently disagrees with it, but has spent his career as a lawyer and legislator fighting and voting for new laws consistent with his personal religious beliefs- from abortion bans, to denying rights to same sex partners, and school prayer. The causes he champions dangerously compress the separation of church and state and are worth concern.


dasviper  Thursday Aug 1 06:48 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by warch


He has pledged to uphold the law even if he vehemently disagrees with it, but has spent his career as a lawyer and legislator fighting and voting for new laws consistent with his personal religious beliefs- from abortion bans, to denying rights to same sex partners, and school prayer.
What he votes for as a legislator and what he enforces as an administrator are two wholly different things. He's free to vote however he pleases, provided he's prepared to answer to his constituency. As Attorney General, you're right, he should uphold the laws of the U.S., just as he's pledged to do. But so shoud anyone in that office, regardless of beliefs. The fact that you really don't like his views on abortion or same sex partners or whatever really doesn't bear on how fit he is to be the AG.


Bitman  Thursday Aug 1 07:15 PM

Re: Re: 8/1/2002: Iranian male dancer detained

Quote:
Originally posted by dasviper
Do you have reason to believe that he wants the opportunity to force that belief on others?
Don't we all? No doubt everyone here has at least one thing they believe strongly enough to want to force upon other people; "tolerance," at the very least.

And we do attempt it, too; at the very least by demonstration (simply getting up and dancing), in the middle (in the US at least) by voting, and at most by actual dictate (your boss, at work).


doc  Friday Aug 2 02:20 AM

To get back on subject...

...what's with the cane? Does he think he's Little Joe Peep? Or, is there some significance to Iranian dance?



juju  Friday Aug 2 07:57 AM

Re: Re: 8/1/2002: Iranian male dancer detained

Quote:
Originally posted by dasviper
Big deal. Maybe he also likes jam on his toast, or getting it on doggy style. Who cares what he thinks of dancing? Do you have reason to believe that he wants the opportunity to force that belief on others? Like you say, tolerance should be valued, but you're not showing a lot of tolerance for his beliefs.
Religious wackos <i>always</i> want the opportunity to force their beliefs on others. And he's a religious wacko in power.


jaguar  Friday Aug 2 09:04 AM

Quote:
Religious wackos always want the opportunity to force their beliefs on others. And he's a religious wacko in power.
Even though he is a straw man he'd be better of somewhere else. Like antartica. Or possibly teh atlantic. The bottom of it.

I do not like fundies in power, fundies use religion to jsutify the unjustifyable.


Tobiasly  Friday Aug 2 10:51 AM

Re: Re: Re: 8/1/2002: Iranian male dancer detained

Quote:
Originally posted by juju
Religious wackos <i>always</i> want the opportunity to force their beliefs on others. And he's a religious wacko in power.
Always? Really? I've known a few religious wackos who were quite content in just being wacko. Your hyperbole falls flat.

To continue an earlier theme, you sound rather intolerant of religious wackos. Don't you think tolerance is a good thing?


Bigsarge  Friday Aug 2 10:59 AM

Iranian Dancer

Amazing, we start off talking about an Iranian dancer and end up talking about religion. (Have we forgotten what the Iranians did to us in 79) Who gives a rats hind end what happens to the guy. Let them hang him... their country, their rules. With what happened on 9-11 and us being at war (I am a soldier) I much prefer the current administration over the former bunch of hoodlums. IMHP, if Gore were president (God Forbid) we would not have 1 Al Queda captive in Cuba, and Afghanistani women would still be shrouded in burlap bags. Who cares what John Ashcroft believes in, as long as he is performing his duties to the country. Seems to me that no one cared what Clinton or his cronies did, or believed in. Get off Ashcroft and get behind your country.



Griff  Friday Aug 2 11:26 AM

Whats the difference between a petty criminal and a great criminal? Opportunity. Bush is pulling shit since "everthing changed" that Clinton only dreamed (dreams) of. Get behind the Constitution you swore to protect.



Undertoad  Friday Aug 2 11:31 AM

Dude, I'm behind the country 100%. The reason I personally watch Iran is because I would rather there not be another 1979 and I would far rather you not be put in harm's way.

They say people who have been in war prefer peace, and maybe that's why Colin Powell is the official administration dove.

Iran is important because as they jail guys like this - even cane-bearing Liberaces who wear sequins and lace - the people of the country get a little more ticked off. They see that the Mullahs in charge are putting their favorite entertainers in prison. They are starting to press for revolution.

That, in turn, sends a message to the rest of the Islamic world. One Islamic nation gets uppity and hosts Al Queda, and for their efforts gets a big ol' smackdown. Message to radical Islamists: fighting the encroaching culture with violence will get you killed. If Iran falls, it will be an Islamic government that fell because the people wanted it to fall. It will be another very strong message to all those vaguely anti-American countries that maybe the Islamic government promised by the Koran isn't so great after all.

The Iranian people are, unlike their Arab associates to the south, kinda pro-US culture, from what I've heard. And pretty anti-Saddam, from what I've heard. Wouldn't you prefer to have a base there to attack Baghdad?

And the reason I watch guys like Ashcroft is because the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. I want you to say you fought for freedom, not for something that looks like freedom but actually isn't.



Bigsarge  Friday Aug 2 11:33 AM

President Bush (I never used that term for Clinton) is exactly the man I want in office. Can we help it if the low life, scum sucking, demagogs in congress, both Rep's and Dem's, can't get off their fat asses and do something right for once, he wouldn't have to push so hard for so many things. Makes you wonder doesn't it, what could be next. Could it be an invasion of Iraq (been there done that...hated it, too many diaper heads) or could it be a TAX CUT for all Americans. Now wouldnt that be special!



Bigsarge  Friday Aug 2 11:40 AM

Very eloquently put. I keep an eye on Iran each time it pops up somewhere. It seems as if a radical shift may be in the making, but I give it a good 5 years before there is any REAL change. The current mullahs have to die before we see anything happening. Could we help the process along, undoubtadely, but it will cost us more money than I believe our pres is willing to commit. Have you ever noticed how we can't get a decent tax cut from congress, yet they throw money all over the world to "help" people?



juju  Friday Aug 2 11:47 AM

Re: Re: Re: Re: 8/1/2002: Iranian male dancer detained

Quote:
Originally posted by Tobiasly
Always? Really? I've known a few religious wackos who were quite content in just being wacko. Your hyperbole falls flat.

To continue an earlier theme, you sound rather intolerant of religious wackos. Don't you think tolerance is a good thing?
Yeah, i'm pretty intolerant of religous wackos. I try to be tolerant of other people, except when they're trying to screw with my life. I mean, honestly, there's always a religious wacko somewhere trying to tell me about something that I can't do, or trying to get legislation passed so that i'll go to jail if I do something I enjoy. I'd love to call a truce: They let me do what I want, and I let them do what they want. Many of them would never agree to that, though.

I live in the Bible Belt, so I get extra exposure to this. I'm fine with those religious people who leave me alone. By my definition, though, those people aren't wackos.

Ehh.. sorry to go off topic.


warch  Friday Aug 2 01:59 PM

I'm fascinated by the more moderate Iran's young model of religious- quasi democratic government. The complete marriage of THE church and state. Its important to be aware of the struggles there- From our dancing friend to the recent clamp down on women seeking education abroad- we can learn.

I feel its my duty as a citizen to guard as best I can the constitutional rights that are being eroded with justifications of God's blessing and the vision of a "compassionate conservativism". Power needs to be checked and rechecked- thats how our republic has found its way. And Ashcroft wields possibly greater power and influence as AG, even after his constituancy decided that he did not represent their views, voting him out of his legislative seat.



Griff  Sunday Aug 4 10:14 AM

If Bigsarge is still here, I'd like him to weigh in here. I think we need a conservatives view on the question there. What does it mean to you, to be free?



joquarky  Saturday Aug 10 04:38 AM

Re: Re: 8/1/2002: Iranian male dancer detained

Quote:
Like you say, tolerance should be valued, but you're not showing a lot of tolerance for his beliefs.
Well, you're not showing a lot of tolerance for Undertoad's beliefs about Ashcroft's beliefs :p


Bigsarge  Monday Aug 12 11:56 AM

Tolerance and Freedom

Morning all, sorry, had to be gone for a few days. Purchasing managers jobs are never done. The great thing about tolerance is that I can choose when, where and what to be tolerant of. I thank my God that he has given me a wonderful mind, that I control and that I use to make decisions. Please don't even attempt to push tolerance down my throat, you will awaken a sleeping giant. I worked at a midwestern university where I refused to take "Multi-cultural Relationship Awareness" classes and was called some of the most in-tolerant names you can imagine. What a crock, multi-culturalism... I have lived, fought, played with, drank, laughed and cried with men from almost every race and ethnicity (what a nice word) that America has to offer. I learned how to be tolerant of others before tolerance was shoved down the throats of Americans. You know what tolerance is, it is being able to control your emotions through times of interacting with people you just want to throw into the dumpster. Freedom to me is having the ability to decide what is right, and best for MY family. It means allowing the government to have a bit of a deeper presence in my life, if it will protect my family, my neighbors and most importantly, my country. It is being able to call or write my representatives and tell them exactly how I feel without fear of reprisal. Most importantly, to me, it is being able to worship whenever, wherever and however I want, without fear of my door being busted down by the "religious police". We live in the greatest nation that has ever, since the beginning of humanity, been. I hear people say that we are not tolerant of those less fortunate than us. I feel for those who suffer needlessly, but if you truly look at the suffering in the world, it has been caused, primarily by governmental entities, to include our own. Our job as human beings is to love our brothers and sisters around the world. That does not mean that I have to like what they do, and especially like what they stand for but to be willing to stand up for the rights of every citizen of this world. See, I have tolerance for everyone, as long as they believe what I do. Freedom is being allowed to get onto the internet and being allowed to spout out, without worrying who is seeing it. That is why communism failed so miserably, everyone was equal in the eyes of everyone else. Thank God that we live in a country that has rich and poor, sick and healthy, Christian and Muslim, sane and insane. Be thankful for what has been given each of us, the ability to live in America, and all the freedom's that are associated with that pleasure. Not everything in this world is free, never will be, but at least I live in a place where I can decide for myself. (Lookout.... I just fell off my soap box.)



Xugumad  Monday Aug 12 01:50 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Bigsarge
We live in the greatest nation that has ever, since the beginning of humanity, been.
I am happy that you genuinely seem to believe that. Don't forget, however, that the citizens of many other nations believe the same about their countries. It's just a belief, nothing else.

As long you realize that it's just a belief, and not an actual fact, and as long as you don't try to base your actions on that belief ("Because America is the greatest nation ever, we can do this, and we shall do that, and that's our justification for it."), there won't be any trouble. If you do base actions affecting the citizens of other countries on that rationale ("In order to protect our great country and the American Way of Life.."), however, issues will arise.

On a purely personal note, I do agree that there are many things that are pretty good about the US.


Quote:
See, I have tolerance for everyone, as long as they believe what I do.
That's the exact opposite of tolerance. Tolerance is being OK with the fact that there are people and ideas around that are contrary to your aims and ideas. You don't agree with them, but you don't oppose them either.

Being only tolerant of things you believe in as well has another name. (since, by implication, you are intolerant of things you don't believe in)

(By the way, and slightly off-topic, this is also an important point relating to 'tolerance' and 'acceptance', which aren't the same thing: You tolerate things you disagree with, and which you find objectionable. You accept things that you give equal footing in your considerations. To give another example, that's the difference between tolerating homosexuals and accepting them. The majority of most rich first-world countries' populations nowadays tolerate homosexuality, and homosexual behaviour. They do not, however, accept it, i.e. giving it equal consideration as an accepted means of conduct, it's merely tolerated. Thus the abundance of anti-homosexual practices laws still on the books, the refusal to accept homosexual marriages in the US, etc.)

Quote:
Freedom is being allowed to get onto the internet and being allowed to spout out, without worrying who is seeing it.
Freedom shouldn't need to be allowed; especially not pertaining to the flow of thoughts and expression. I find it worrying that you need to emphasize how generous XYZ is being in allowing free expression and thought.

Has thought-crime been institutionalized yet?

X.


PS: (As yet another tolerance/acceptance example, I tolerate racist fundamentalists; I don't believe that they are right, and I believe that with reasonable education racism and fundamentalism can be eliminated, but I tolerate them as an aspect of society, even though I could probably put burning crosses in their front yards, just to see what they'd feel like being harassed. I could never accept such bigotry, however.)


dave  Monday Aug 12 01:59 PM

And on another personal note, this may be the first post you've ever written that I 100% agree with.

Another tangent - they finally seem to be making some headway toward same-sex marriages. In California, it was ruled that same-sex partners have the same rights as opposite-sex partners when it comes to the death of a partner. It's not the whole enchilada, but it's a good step in the right direction.



Bigsarge  Monday Aug 12 06:34 PM

Let the Dead Horse lie.

Ladies and gentleman, the time has come to stop beating this dead horse. WE all have our personal views on this dancer and his own problems, just as we have our views on this glorious country we live in. One where we are free to choose as we wish those whom will serve as our mouthpieces in the hallowed halls of congress (as well as in alot of dark damp corners around town - lived in D.C 4-years, saw alot that you would not want to know). I love my country, not afraid to say it, and would die to protect my family first, then my country. Love my freedom and all the responsibilities it gives me. Love all of you for the absolutely fascinating posts I have read. Keep it up and keep it cool and always remember, don't sweat the small stuff, and everything is small stuff.



Xugumad  Monday Aug 12 07:03 PM

Mea Culpa

Mea culpa,

I fell for what in retrospect is fairly obvious flamebait by (title "Provocateur") Bigsarge.

His last message, however is an impressive barrage of cliche metaphors and evasive platitudes.

... "beating the dead horse"... "glorious country we live in" ... "hallowed halls of congress"... "dark damp corners"... "keep it up and keep it cool" ... "don't sweat the small stuff and everything is small stuff".

Are you quoting all of that straight out of the latest copy of Us magazine or TV Guide or whatever trivial publication of the day you use as a shield?

Anyway, I'm happy to admit you got me there. I nearly took you seriously, right up to the point where you straightforwardly said how utterly intolerant you are (see my previous posting), and then sidestepped that completely to finish the thread with a winking smilie.

Nice use of the old standby of 'we all have personal views, it's a dead horse', as well. You must be a seasoned and experienced Usenet troll. Maybe you were brought here by the attention the Cellar occasionally gets on Fark or Slashdot. (either through Tony's adverts or Tony's .sig on /.)

X.



Undertoad  Monday Aug 12 08:11 PM

May be, but "Provocateur" is one of the auto-titles I made up. Anyone with 9 posts gets that title (I think it's 9).



Bigsarge  Tuesday Aug 13 10:59 AM

How dare you acuse me of reading such trash as Us and/or TV Guide. I am deeply offended. I will have you know that all of my pertinant information comes directly from the only sanctioned source that our government allows each civil employee to read during their work day. I am referring, of course, to The National Enquirer. Where would this country be without the Enquirer. My God you would never have known that JFK has a nightly meeting with G.W. BTY - did you see GW on the news last night clearing brush off of his ranch in TX? This is a man's man, with perhaps the smallest chain saw I have ever seen. What I noticed most was all of the other people standing around while he did all the work. Must be government employees (or Democrats.... Ouch!!)
Lastly, what good are cliches and metaphors if you can't use them now and then. I learned them from the cream of the crop of education at Georgetown U. My illiterate professors, who are as communist as you can get. Oh how many nights I sat in class and wished for a poisonous dart gun...



Xugumad  Tuesday Aug 13 11:16 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Bigsarge
How dare you acuse me of reading such trash as Us and/or TV Guide. I am deeply offended. I will have you know that all of my pertinant information comes directly from the only sanctioned source that our government allows each civil employee to read during their work day. I am referring, of course, to The National Enquirer. Where would this country be without the Enquirer. My God you would never have known that JFK has a nightly meeting with G.W. BTY - did you see GW on the news last night clearing brush off of his ranch in TX? This is a man's man, with perhaps the smallest chain saw I have ever seen. What I noticed most was all of the other people standing around while he did all the work. Must be government employees (or Democrats.... Ouch!!)
Lastly, what good are cliches and metaphors if you can't use them now and then. I learned them from the cream of the crop of education at Georgetown U. My illiterate professors, who are as communist as you can get. Oh how many nights I sat in class and wished for a poisonous dart gun...
Ok, that was a good one. By the last post I suspected that this was someone like Undertoad or dhamsaic (just guessing) playing a practical joke with a secondary username, goading the more excitable users into a frenzy. Either way, it was pretty damn funny.

Anyway, here's <a href="http://salon.com/comics/tomo/2002/07/01/tomo/story.jpg">something</a> for you to do, in case you ever feel doubts about your loyalty...

X.

<center><IMG SRC="http://salon.com/comics/tomo/2002/07/01/tomo/story.jpg">
</center>


Tobiasly  Tuesday Aug 13 11:22 AM

I tried to take your quiz, but the choices were too confusing. I think I voted for Pat Buchanan, but I'm not sure.



Bigsarge  Tuesday Aug 13 11:46 AM

I find that cartoon quiz offensive, funny - yet offensive. No god fearing, truth loving American would ever answer no to one of those questions. My God man, these questions are the essence of our countr's moral fiber. Without these qualities where in the hell would we, as a country be? Caves are not good enough for some people. Of course I reserve the right to consider whom those people may be.



Undertoad  Tuesday Aug 13 11:56 AM

It's funny if you believe in specific stereotypes though!

And not funny if you don't, which I think is Tom Tomorrow's achilles heel. (I like 75% of his comics.)



Bigsarge  Tuesday Aug 13 12:32 PM

Tom Tomorrow, he OWES me money. Where do I find the rest of his work. Mind you, I am not a stereotypical kind of guy. In the famous words of that poet of poets, Popeye "I ams what I ams."



Xugumad  Tuesday Aug 13 12:55 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Bigsarge
No god fearing, truth loving American would ever answer no to one of those questions. My God man, these questions are the essence of our countr's moral fiber.
The truth content of that statement is - sadly - increasing with each passing day.

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
It's funny if you believe in specific stereotypes
There's no reason to believe if you can hear and see people day-in, day-out spouting exactly the empty phrases that the Tom Tomorrow strips satirize. To me, the strips are worrying, rather than funny, since they are entirely too close to the universal mainstream depiction of 'truth' to be funny.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bigsarge
Tom Tomorrow, he OWES me money. Where do I find the rest of his work.
His strip archive: http://dir.salon.com/topics/tom_tomorrow/index.html
and http://www.thismodernworld.com/pages/arc/arc_fr.html
His site and blog: http://www.thismodernworld.com/
His place on Salon: http://salon.com/comics/tomo/2002/07/01/tomo/

X.


chrisinhouston  Wednesday Aug 14 10:36 AM

We may live in a country in which we hope Mr. Ashcroft's desires may not become reality but I found this in today's LA Times:

Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...ent%2Dopinions



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