THE FOLLOWING IS A NEWS ARTICLE COURTESY OF YAHOO.COM and the ASSOCIATED PRESS
TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian authorities confiscated Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi's medal, the human rights lawyer said Thursday, in a sign of the increasingly drastic steps Tehran is taking against any dissent.
In Norway, where the peace prize is awarded, the government said the confiscation of the gold medal was a shocking first in the history of the 108-year-old prize.
Ebadi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts in promoting democracy. She has long faced harassment from Iranian authorities for her activities — including threats against her relatives and a raid on her office last year in which files were confiscated.
The seizure of her prize is an expression of the Iranian government's harsh approach to anyone it considers an opponent — particularly since the massive street protests triggered by hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed June 12 re-election.
Acting on orders from Tehran's Revolutionary Court, authorities took the peace prize medal about three weeks ago from a safe-deposit box in Iran, Ebadi said in a phone interview from London. They also seized her Legion of Honor and a ring awarded to her by a German association of journalists, she said.
Authorities froze the bank accounts of her and her husband and demanded $410,000 in taxes that they claimed were owed on the $1.3 million she was awarded. Ebadi said, however, that such prizes are exempt from tax under Iranian law. She said the government also appears intent on trying to confiscate her home.
Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to be awarded the peace prize and the first female judge in Iran, said she would not be intimidated and that her absence from the country since June did not mean she felt exiled.
"Nobody is able to send me to exile from my home country," she said. "I have received many threatening messages. ... They said they would detain me if I returned, or that they would make the environment unsafe for me wherever I am.
"But my activities are legal and nobody can ban me from my legal activities."
Ebadi has criticized the Iranian government's crackdown on demonstrations by those claiming the June vote was stolen from a pro-reform candidate through massive fraud.
Ebadi left the country a day before the vote to attend a conference in Spain and has not returned since. In the days after the vote, she urged the international community to reject the outcome and called for a new election monitored by the United Nations.
During the past months, hundreds of pro-reform activists have been arrested, and a mass trial has sentenced dozens to prison terms. Authorities also went after Ebadi's human rights center in Iran.
"After the election all my colleagues in the center were either detained or banned from traveling abroad," Ebadi said.
Calls to Iranian judiciary officials were not returned Thursday.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere called the move "shocking" and said it was "the first time a Nobel Peace Prize has been confiscated by national authorities."
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry summoned Iran's charge d'affaires in Norway Wednesday to protest the confiscation, spokeswoman Ragnhild Imerslund said.
The Foreign Ministry also "expressed grave concern" about Ebadi's husband, who it said was arrested in Tehran and "severely beaten" earlier this fall, after which his pension and bank account were frozen.
Ebadi said her husband, Javad Tavassolian, and her brother and sister have been threatened many times by authorities pushing them to persuade her to end her human rights campaigning.
Ebadi has represented opponents of Iran's regime before but not in the mass trial that started in August of more than 100 prominent pro-reform figures and activists. They are accused of plotting to overthrow the cleric-led regime during the postelection turmoil.
The Iranian Embassy in Norway refrained from giving a comment.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee's permanent secretary, Geir Lundestad, said the move was "unheard of" and "unacceptable." He told The Associated Press that the committee was planning to send a letter of protest to Iranian authorities before the end of the week.
Ebadi said she planned to return to Iran when the time is right.
"I will return whenever it is useful for my country," she said. "Right now I am busy with my activities against violations of human rights in Iran and my international jobs."
OK, seriously, Tehran is turning their country into another Saudi Arabia. With their selfish regard towards human welfare and towards the basic needs of their citizens, I say that it's time that we overthrew and destroy the Islamic Republic. I say that it's time we got our troops out of Iraq and focused on what was really going on in Iran, and strike them back while they still can't create the Nukes they require to team up with their fellow radical Islamic terrorist buddies and take over the world.
Imagine a world where if you broke the pettiest of laws, you'd end up with missing limbs, tortured, or even stoned to death. Imagine a world where women would be shunned from everyday life while any form of free expression would be banned and anyone carrying it would be shot on the spot. It's countries like Iran and people like the idiot sand-loving jerkoffs of radical Islam want in this whole world. They see globalization as their enemy. They want to disband all forms of modern communication, like Twitter, Facebook, or even the Internet in general. They want to stifle intellectual and artistic creativity just so they could continue to make the population grow deeper into poverty.
I'm not saying that Islam is wrong in any way, shape, or form, but I honestly believe that it's getting a bad rep just because of these idiots. Hell, I have Islamic friends, and I'm sorry to say this, but I sort of wish Islam never existed, then humanity wouldn't be in such deep shit. If it wasn't for the issues of the Middle East with all of these different cultures hating each other JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT PEOPLE then perhaps the world would be better off. Then maybe we wouldn't be in constant war just because of our own advances of our lives every day! It's what al-Qaeda hates of us, it's what Iran hates, it's what every culture that's FUNDAMENTALIST hates!!! I have started to feel as though it's just religion and cultural differences that drive humanity's own self-hatred from one another...
CONGRATULATIONS, HUMANITY, FOR DESTROYING YOURSELF FOR YOUR OWN STUPIDITY. AGAIN, CONGRATULATIONS.
- How the wolf feels...: infuriated
Halloween kinda sucked for me. I wish I had gotten a chance to do something, but my money didn't come on time. That, and I was forced to sign up for a Team Building course in order to keep me at 12 semester hours, which meant three miles of walking from Stanley Hall to Coralville! Note to self: never walk down the areas of Highway 6 that don't have pavement with oncoming traffic facing you! That was scary...
In the meantime, there's really been nothing much going on other than the fact that October is over. November's here, the leaves are almost gone, and Thanksgiving is coming up. I want to have enough money to go to see Jen for Thanksgiving, and $50 helped me out. Let's just hope I make it to Thanksgiving with the cash!
- Where the wolf prowls...:A very quiet Stanley Hall
- How the wolf feels...: content
- What the wolf listens to...:Fun. - At Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used to Be)
I will admit, some of the stuff that I've been doing is a little....sketchy.....but I swore to myself that I'd strictly keep it to the weekends only! Which means I'm slowly getting used to college life. I wouldn't call it conforming...but I've slowly assimilated myself to this new lifestyle...and I love it.
Apparently, I am failing one of my classes, and it just so happens to be the "College Transition" course. Lucky for me, I can drop that one because I need 12 hours to stay full-time. If I drop that, then I'll be down to 13. Which means that I would already be down to three classes for Tuesday, and two for Thursday. Since Ultimate Frisbee is a class that will end early (the 15th of October, to be exact), then that will open up my schedule more for my main classes. (Meaning, two on Tuesday and Wednesday, one on Thursday, and three on Friday, since neither of the classes that are ending/dropping are on Friday). Right now, I don't think I can focus with me being constantly sick! So dropping this class could be the only option I have left.
In the meantime, I happen to have Transition in thirty minutes!
- What the wolf listens to...:Neko Case - Fever
In the meantime, I do have an understanding that it is early as hell right now! It's just that the big game between Iowa and Iowa State is today!!! One problem, it's all the way in Ames, Iowa, which is near Des Moines! Oh well, thank goodness for TV.
As I speak, I am currently waiting for Buffalo Wild Wings (the one here in Iowa City) to give me a call regarding a job in the kitchen. The one here near the Old Capitol Mall has a nice, Big Ten-like atmosphere (and you'd have to be an idiot to not know who the Big Ten are). I applied and the manager suddenly gave me an interview ten minutes later! I felt pretty confident in most of the answers I gave the manager, and I'm hopeful that I'll get a call back soon...
- What the wolf listens to...:Jimmy Eat World - The Middle
So yeah, we basically came from dead in the water to win by just one. The officiating sucked, because we actually had a touchdown taken away from us earlier in the game. The booth attempted to review a few plays that needed no such action, and also, the last 10 seconds....THOSE LAST 10 SECONDS! They pulled some unknown rule out of their ass and gave Northern Iowa a chance to win the game, which didn't happen!
Well, it's just that earlier today during my class. We were discussing the recent election issues that have been going on in Iran. My professor had the audacity to show a video of this innocent girl who wasn't part of the protests (which was on YouTube, for crying out loud!) get shot in the heart by the Iranian police and die before our own eyes in the vid. After we saw the video, I spoke out saying that Iran's idea of religion and government and how fundamentalized it was was wrong. I beforehand warned that I wasn't trying to upset anyone in the room that practiced Islam.
Sadly, this was when the heckling for me began. A girl that I hardly knew opened up and started basically saying that I called all Muslims terrorists! She also contended that I'm ignoring all other religions when it comes to their past histories and that I'm merely singling Islam out as the one that has supposedly ruined the world.
Now I will not say that Islam is wrong in anyway. I will just say that the whole idea of religion has just been flawed both factually and politically. I just believe that the way that the people of the Middle East today have had nothing but black propaganda shoved down their throat so much that they've either been systematically killed or at the very least, been forced to accept these lies without even knowing it. The lies I speak of are ones that governments (such as the so-called Islamic Republic of Iran) and fundamentalist groups out there believing that us Westerners are corrupting this world with our freedoms.
I've been reading Persepolis lately and it's as though it's sort of opened me up a little more at the deep, disturbing side of religion in general. I mean, it's just that I feel like puking at the thought of Iran treating their women in such a way that (and this is true, after I verified it) women who are sentenced to death get their virginity taken and then are executed! I mean, that's just one example, but supposedly, WE'RE the corrupt ones?!?
I see the flaw in religion in general. Purists and fundamentalists will forever say that we must follow God in the Bible/Koran/other holy readings word for word. It's just sickening to even think that. We are NOT living in biblical times anymore, and honestly, the people of the Middle East are suffering silently because of this kind of rule that has taken over that part of the world.
It's disheartening to think that these cultures and these governments and these groups are all making everyday people suffer, Jews, Christians, Muslims, all of them! The whole lot of them are constantly waging warfare against each other because of simple values that us Americans take for granted! The world is changing, and these people high and mighty in charge should realize that. We don't need countries like Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia living in such cultures that defile basic human rights.
In my personal opinion, the crackdown on the electoral protests this past summer has really shocked everyone that has seen the result. Iran has contended that the results of the election are not rigged and they blame the US and other Western countries for this "rumor." Well, in the case of their actions towards the protesters, they pretty much f---ing showed that their idiot of a leader lost the election. Sadly, Iran fell in love with their asshole leader and decided to take action if there were any protests.
If such a country is entering revolt, then I'm all for the rebellion and the fall of the Islamic Republic. Ever since the shah was deposed in the late '70's, this supposed "Islamic Republic" has tormented the country with war, strife, and torture. Why should the world continue to recognize these countries as allies?!?
I don't think that the world can go on much longer with such strife. The world, as I see it, is close to a nuclear meltdown, figuratively and otherwise. Terrorists want nuclear arms, Iran and other countries have the power to give it to them if they wanted to. As far as I'm concerned, humanity's slowly spiraling out of control, and there's no way to stop our downward spiral until life as we know it changes for the better.
The only way that humanity will achieve true peace is the day that humanity will no longer walk the Earth.
- How the wolf feels...: pessimistic
- What the wolf listens to...:John Lennon - Give Peace a Chance
In the meantime, my classes are going OK to say the least. The workload is starting to increase little by little. It's not too overwhelming, but I have learned that I need to manage my time a little better. I feel like I'm not making enough room for my work...
And I'll leave it at that for now, my last class of the day is coming up in about 25 minutes...^w^
- What the wolf listens to...:Rise Against - Savior (courtesy of iTunes)
In the meantime, I'm chilling in the Stanley dorm with Joe, Charlie, Chris North, and a girl named Esther (I know, you won't know any of them), and these guys are awesome as hell...
Right now, it's about 1:40 AM, and I got class at 8:05 am! I'm screwed for Ultimate Frisbee tomorrow!!! Oh shit...>_<
In the meantime, I couldn't take the laptop to Best Buy, mainly because I had no money to get it fixed. My grandma, luckily, is sending me out $500 to help out with school stuff. Which means that not only I can get the laptop fixed, but I can also pay off book expenses (which are around $50 right now). The rest, I could put in a UI checking account for later use. I mean, I don't want to spend all of it! LOL.
My job search continues. The job I wanted didn't fit very well with my schedule after all, so they recommended me to a shop in this nearby town called Coralville (which is literally next to Iowa City). But I'm still looking, because I don't want to have to commute half an hour or longer for work...that's redundant...and what's worse is that the jobs are during football games, which means I won't be able to go to them, since I already bought season tickets for $10 (yay for student discount!)
So for now, that's how life is...I gotta return this rental laptop I'm using by 1 PM or else they'll chew my ass out. Whatever, I'll see if I can rent out another one for later today...
- Where the wolf prowls...:outside of Burge Hall, U of Iowa
- What the wolf listens to...:Matchbook Romance - Monsters
In the meantime, our floor was doing one of those live poetry readings, but some of them...just really seemed to get me down. I mean, most of them were about couples, and sadly, I've never even had a single...well, I've basically have done nothing with a girl in real life. All of the girls that like me (which is few and far between) are online. I had Neko, I have Tasha, and Rose? I like all three of them, but why in the hell did relationships have to be so damned hard!!!! I swear, I just...I don't know what to do. How can I truly express my feelings to any of them if I'm so far away? T_T
- How the wolf feels...: morose
- What the wolf listens to...:Sea Wolf - Middle Distance Runner
In the meantime, I managed to make it to classes on time for once! I have an early class in the morning, (8:05 AM, to be exact!) so this means that I'm going to have to end it here...sorry for the short post...
- Where the wolf prowls...:Stanley Writer's Dorm...
- How the wolf feels...: tired
- What the wolf listens to...:Sea Wolf - The Promise
The only problem I had was the hot weather. It was about 85 in town today, and I had to sit in the sun the whole time!!! The good thing was that they gave us water, but there wasn't enough!!!
OK, so after that was the block party at the president's house (which happened to be a block from the dorm!) and it was a blast! There were a crapload of people at first, but it eventually thinned out. The guy across the hall from me, Charlie, actually went just to get the free food. I guess people will do anything to get free food on Sundays, considering that the meal halls close at 4 on f-ing Sundays (damn you, Burge! >_<).
Right now, I'm just waiting for tomorrow. My online class starts tomorrow, so I really don't need to worry about that, I can just do the assignment once a week. God, who knew college life could be so demanding sometimes...
- How the wolf feels...: calm
- What the wolf listens to...:Iowa Fight Song
In the meantime, I got the Office hookup, but turns out since I registered late, I can't get Wi-Fi until Monday. So those attempted hookups were a waste of time from the start. But hey, at least I invested well on an ethernet cable.
After that, I went out book shopping at the stores... I needed five books for this one class called Understanding American Cultures!!! I thought that was downright insane!!! The professor that even started the course made his own little booklet with excerpts of all sorts of articles. It was crazy...
I also got a lanyard to keep track of my keys, computer supplies, two racing games (but one was Mac only, and I doubt Joe wants it, so I'm returning it tomorrow/), notebooks, a watch, posters, and a John Lennon CD.
After that is when Welcome Week started....the Black and Gold Carnival was tonight. I actually tried the dunk toss (or is it toss dunk? :P ) and when one of the people in charge dared me to just run up and dunk him. The next thing I know, I slip on the wet grass and fall on my ass, but at the same time, my foot hits the button and dunks him!!! I wish I had gotten that on camera...that would have been hilarious! The thing after that was that my back and ass were all wet from the grass, but lucky for me, I won a black and gold shirt at the last raffle.
So, that was it...another night well spent in Iowa, and now I'm just chilling before heading to bed...
- Where the wolf prowls...:Stanley Dorm
- How the wolf feels...: accomplished
- What the wolf listens to...:John Lennon - Instant Karma!
I also managed to get my school ID, which allows me to charge anything in campus to my bill (don't worry, I won't go overboard on it. The max you can put at any one time is $200). So things like textbooks, anything from the school stores, and eating in the dorms are all either charged to the bill or deducted from my meal plan.
The only problem I had since last night was that I couldn't connect through wi-fi to the Internet. So I had to go out and waste my cash (the $70 that my grandma gave me) on tape and a ethernet line for a wired connection. Of course, I can still go on ahead and log on elsewhere out of campus, but in campus is a real bitch unless I wire it up. Trust me when I say that you don't want to carry around that line around you all the time.
As I finish this (at about 1:15 AM), it looks like I got the whole dorm to myself tonight. Tomorrow's gonna be busy. I have books to pick up and crap...and I signed up to find a job on campus in Currier Hall, so these next few days are gonna be hectic. At least I got 'til Tuesday to get settled...
- What the wolf listens to...:Flobots - The Moon
In the meantime, I'm waiting for Dan (the guy who sold me the laptop with Vista) to e-mail me with the links. Ciao...
- How the wolf feels...: busy
In the meantime, my mom doesn't know about it and I plan on keeping it that way until I get it fixed. My mom will just go all-out and say that it's my fault that I wanted to upgrade it in the first place! They're not supposed to work like this!!!! They're supposed to make your OS better!!!
Also, she got me some stuff, like a bookbag, more school supplies, a calculator, and a microwave for the dorm. Joe (my roommate) got a futon to go along with a fridge and a nice TV. Now I just wish I could bring along a game system...oh well...
Tomorrow I'm going to Six Flags up north in the sleepy little suburb of Gurnee, Illinois. It's going to be a long drive since it'll be just me, my sis, and my three cousins: Adriana, Amanda, and her boyfriend Adriel. I haven't been up there in a long time, but I'll post up pics here and on Facebook asap!
- Where the wolf prowls...:my crappy old comp once more
- What the wolf listens to...:Muse - Hysteria
I actually had another decent day today, it was a pain in the ass to get the laptop connected to the Internet, but I got that worked through. My grandma and my mom were actually talking again! What else was that, sadly, I had to go wash clothes earlier. I whupped ass in an old Galaga arcade game and ended up spending 75 cents on 150,000 points. Which meant I made it to about...level 21 I think before I quit. My grandma thought it was just a waste of quarters.
My mom's no longer in the dark about the laptop. Her bi-polar-ish attitude seems to be wearing off (either that or her pregnancy is really pissing her off lately), so she seems ok about it. My mom is now a little more willing to help me out. I hope this change lasts. Either that or she's realized that she can't treat me like crap...
- Where the wolf prowls...:my dirty human room
- How the wolf feels...: tired
- What the wolf listens to...:Manchester Orchestra - I've Got Friends
I also stopped by to get some food, and when I got home, I heard that I might be getting my laptop tonight. Surprisingly, this wasn't a lie, since I ended up seeing it for myself for the first time, and I gotta say, I'm really impressed at what they did to fix it up. It was a bargain worth $650 and worth every penny. Windows Vista Pro, 2GB memory, 250GB hard drive space...Intel processor (will update when I find out what processor it is), and it's perfect!!!
Sadly, my mom's hell bent on not getting me a laptop, or at least, not from my grandma. As far as I'm concerned, getting it custom is much better than buying a new one out of the box. My mom has never gone to college, let alone high school and yet she's so damn stubborn to believe that she's in control. Heh, she's a downright fool to think that. She hasn't helped me for anything and she probably won't...
- How the wolf feels...: content