Iran, Honduras, Immigrants and Marijuana

I've got a number of topics to cover today.

Let's start with Iran. Tomorrow is 18 Tir on the Islamic calendar. It marks the 10th year anniversary of a brutal crackdown on university students protesting the closure of Salem, a reformist paper at Tehran University. Public commemorations of the event are illegal, but this could be another increase in action in Iran. Ahmedinejad gave a public address yesterday calling Iran the elections in Iran the world's freest. In a very interesting type of civil disobedience people were asked to turn on all electronics and appliances to put heavy strain on the power grid. There were reported blackouts in numerous cities including Eastern Tehran.

Vice President Joe Biden made a statement that the United States would not interfere if Israel decided to attack Iran. Obama later said this was not a green light for Israel to attack Iran although while clarifying Biden was not sending a signal Obama said, "I think Vice President Biden stated a categorical fact, which is we can't dictate to other countries what their security interests are. What is also true is that it is the policy of the United States to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear capabilities in a peaceful way through diplomatic channels." This ignores the fact that the US gives Isreal billions of dollars a year in military aid, and therefore should have a say on how they use it. But as always, this fact was not mentioned by either the president nor vice president.

Nobel laureate and Costa Rican President Oscar Arias will moderate dialog between Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and interim leader Roberto Micheletti of the coup forces. While the Honduran media supports the coup forces despite majority support for Zelaya, similar elements of the media can be seen here on the coverage. Here is a great analysis on the media's handling of the situation. As I wrote last week, even though the US has condemned the coup, their actions are starting to prove otherwise. Even though the event has been called a coup, the administration will not give it the official title cutting off aid to the military forces.

The quote of the day goes to a report by Reason Online in an article discussing how poor, high-immigrant El Paso, just across the border from violent-filled Cuidad Juarez could be one of the safest in the nation. They conclude cities with high immigrant populations usually lead to low violence. The quote:

"Most people in Washington really don't understand life on the border," El Paso Mayor John Cook told the Post. "They don't understand our philosophy here that the border joins us together, it doesn't separate us."

The Marijuana Policy Project has started running ads calling to legalize and tax marijuana in California. The move has been discussed as a way to help with the budget crises. Marijuana is the number one cash crop in the state and a $13 billion a year industry.

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