Bladder Management

They sell 64-ounce drinks in movie theatres? (MSN)

Ayatollah Endorses Election Loser; Tel Aviv Mourns Murdered Gays

Mahmoud Amadinejad is officially approved as president of Iran and they're shooting gay people in Israel. Good golly, I sure wish I lived in a country run by religion.

FIRST, IRAN. Today, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei endorsed Amadinejad as the country's president (Globe And Mail). This of course follows an election widely viewed as a sham, which led to massive protests, and arrests and lethal crackdowns by the regime. Obviously, this all kind of sucks.

On the bright side, much of Iran's "establishment" boycotted the endorsement ceremony. Two former presidents and two presidential candidates were no-shows, once again demonstrating the country's political elite is badly, badly divided. And that's a good sign for everyone who likes ordinary Iranians and is rooting for them to throw off the shackles of superstition, hatred, fear and repression you always get with theocracies.

The way I see it: the reason Iran's power elite is split because the illegitimate election has undermined the legitimacy of Iran's entire ruling class. It's not just Khamenei and Amadinejad whose political careers/influence is at risk--their idiot shenanigans have undermined the whole system and that's no good for the (naturally, all-male) fancy-pantses who benefit from that system.

By over-reaching their power, which they did when they (probably) faked the results of the June 12 election, Iran's rulers pissed off a country full of people well-known for their tyrant-tossing skills. Maybe nothing will happen this month or this year, but Iran's religious regime has revealed itself to be phony and hypocritical--and Iran is one country where people won't put up with that shit.

Amadinejad will be sworn in as president on Wednesday. Iranians aren't gonna like it. If you're in Iran that day, wear a helmet.

(By the way, I love the photo with the Globe And Mail article I linked to--Amadinejad has that same smug yet slightly puzzled expression George Bush always had when he was having some poor country bombed. What a fucker.)

ISRAELI GAY SHAME I don't know what to say about the masked and/or helmeted lunatic/sissy who's afraid of gay people who walked into a youth centre and shot 15 people, killing two, this weekend. But Israeli's gay community is, quite reasonably, blaming religious bigotry and smears for inciting violence. You can read the basic story here and a commentary here (Aljazeera, Guardian). Religion and righteousness inspiring violent behaviour in Israel? Wouldn't be the first time.

Six in the Morning

It's a wacky weather edition of Six in the Morning! Happy summer!

1. "ACT OF GOD" ENDS COUNTRY MUSIC FEST: A sudden windstorm blew through Camrose Alberta on Saturday, just as the first of the evenings headliners were about to take the stage at the Big Valley Jamboree. The winds were so powerful they smashed the main stage, killing one person and injuring dozens more. In the wake of this tragedy, the Jamboree was canceled. (Globe and Mail)

2. BC ABLAZE: A heat wave affecting much of British Columbia is responsible for one of the most widespread outbreaks of forest fires in history. While the record-breaking heat finally broke late last week, temperatures are hovering in the high twenties and a significant rainfall still hasn't hit the typically sodden coast. Fires remain a worry, then, as the hot summer has left forests tinder dry, and, thanks to a pine beetle infestation worsened by years of warmer-than-usual weather, thousands of hectares of BC are covered by dead trees. (Globea and Mail)

3. DEAD SEA DYING: While it is being considered for inclusion on a new list of the world's seven wonders, the Dead Sea is evaporating at an alarming rate. Thanks to over-eager irrigation off the Jordan River compounded with years of drought, the famous body of water is shrinking at the rate of a metre a year. (Globe and Mail)

4. MONARCHS LATE AGAIN: For the second year in a row, monarch butterflies came to Canada later than usual and in such small numbers that insect fanciers are worried. (CBC)

5. SPAIN ABLAZE: The Spanish prime minister ended his holiday early to inspect forest fire damage on the Canary Islands. Thanks to sizzling hot temperatures and high winds, southern Europe has seen a marked increase in forest fires. Spain and Greece have been the hardest hit. (Yahoo News)

6. CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS IMPERVIOUS TO REASON: After Globe and Mail columnist and CBC personality, Rex Murphy, let loose with a tirade against climate change, Desmogblog points out that he has a habit of spouting such myopic nonsense. Meanwhile, Murphy's science hero, Ian Plimer, is chickening out of a chance to debate Guardian science columnist, George Monbiot. This despite the fact that it was Plimer who challenged Monbiot to the debate in the first place. Turns out, Monbiot was willing to accept the challenge to a public debate on climate change only if Plimer accepted his challenge to respond in writing to the serious charges about misinformation in Plimer's book, Heaven and Earth. That was apparently a little too daunting a task for the author. On a related note, Monbiot writes about climate change deniers whining that they're being censored despite being unable to provide a single example of that happening, while at the same time, there are numerous examples of legitimate climate scientists being muzzled by climate change deniers. (Dog Blog, Desmogblog, Guardian)