Archives for the month of: August, 2007

Congratulations Jack!
Originally uploaded by mattandlindsey

My stars; Jack, the puppy Lindsey and Matt have has been through obedience school. He’s wonderful. Lindsey is married to Matt who is my nephew; my twin’s son, and they are a wonderful couple. Needless to say these past few months we were all together, working to care for Liz; aka Elizabeth. She loved dogs so this is appropriate!
way to go Lindsey!

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Just got newsletter for TC and her mother Barbara, battered women, in jail for life? maybe, for defending themselves against abusive husband, stepfather; bad trial. It is being looked at by an advocacy group; but their prison is Chowchilla, and this is typical fare, the description below of what happens. If you have time anyone, prayers for TC and Barbara and all in Chowchilla would be appreciated; much love esther

Dear Family of Friends,
On Monday, August 6th, mom nearly choked to death in the darn Chowhall. We
tried to stretch our canteen and quarterly Box Food, by goin to the chowhall
for dinner. After one bite into her cheese pizza, mom began to choke and
gag. I gave her water, but it didn’t help. She began to have trouble
breathing. So, I handed her a paper towel and directed her to cough as hard
as she could into it. At that point, I really didn’t care about anyone
else’s loss of appetite. I was scared, but remained calm. After 3 hard
coughs, mom felt the substance in her throat dislodge, but it wouldn’t com
all the way up. She reached in and with 2 fingers she pulled a piece of wire
out! It was about 1 1/2″ long with sharp edges at both ends that cut her
throat and tonsils a bit. She’s okay now, but people wonder why we don’t
want to eat in the chowhall. If it’s not the inmate’s deficating and
urinating in the area where dishes are washed, it is a piece of wire in the
pizza.

Wonderful 69th birthday. I awakened earlier than normal, feeling healthy after a fantastic Chinese massage yesterday. Said a prayer for my sister, Liz, recently passed, my twin and began my first birthday day without her presence. Interesting. So many friends emailed or called; i felt very spoiled. Roberta dropped by; great talk; went off to a gathering; then met interesting lady at Peets for long talk, and also ran into actress acquaintance and has nice exchange. Donna emailed; wanted someone to go up to Hill and Orangegrove for Move-On, at 6; she was bringing Blanche her Bassett, and it only involved holding up a sign for not wanting the war. I don’t participate in anything for civil disobedience, but went to this on the principle of the matter. Then Steve from the restaurant, one of our gang came out from his condo, nearby. Then we, the three of us, went to local Mexican Restaurant; food excellent. I only had soft taco as I had peanut butter sandwich earlier; and we had such a great time; donna gave me a lovely bracelet which has a story and helps cancer research, and I’ll post when i find the information. We just had a nice evening, and then the restaurant came along with a huge Mexican sombrero, red, and a guitar and some flan with whipped cream and a candle and maybe some chocolate sauce; can’t remember. I had one small bite and made them eat the rest. I am off sugar and white flower. We dropped Steve off, and donna came home and Bill, Donna and I chatted wonderfully while Blanche leaned against Donna. Great way to end day; lovely, lovely birthday. I have such wonderful people in my life. Will attach picture.

Confidential Iran memo exposes policy to deny Baha’i students university education
NEW YORK
27 August 2007 (BWNS)
The Baha’i International Community has received a copy of a confidential 2006 letter from Iran’s Ministry of Science, Research and Technology instructing Iranian universities to expel any student who is discovered to be a Baha’i.

The letter refutes recent statements by Iranian officials, who say Baha’i students in Iran face no discrimination – despite the fact that more than half of the Baha’i university students enrolled last autumn were gradually expelled over the course of the 2006-2007 academic year.

“This latest document, which flatly states that Baha’i students should be expelled from universities once they are discovered, proves unequivocally that Iranian authorities remain intent on utterly blocking the development of Iranian Baha’is, despite what they say to the outside world,” said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations.

“Along with other recently received reports and documents, the letter exposes a duplicitous campaign by Iran to pretend that it does not violate the internationally recognized right to education while, in fact, the government is actually continuing to implement its secret, long-term plan to prevent Baha’i students from obtaining a university education.

“Coupled with ongoing reports of physical and economic harassment directed against Baha’is of all ages and in all regions of the country, this latest development should serve to remind those who care about human rights that Iran’s 300,000-member Baha’i community remains gravely threatened,” she said.

“Not only Baha’is, but also others – students expelled under directives that target them on absolutely baseless grounds; women whose human rights are grossly violated through the enactment or perpetuation of discriminatory laws; and other victims of injustice in that land – need international defense,” she added.

The 2006 letter is from the Central Security Office of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (MSRT) and was issued by its director general, Asghar Zarei, to 81 universities around the country. Stamped “confidential,” the exact date of the letter is undecipherable, although its contents are legible. (Document 1 in list of original documents.)

“[I]f the identity of Baha’i individuals becomes known at the time of enrollment or during the course of their studies, they must be expelled from university,” states the letter, which was signed by Mr. Zarei. The Ministry of Science, Research and Technology oversees all state-run universities.

The directive flatly contradicts public and private statements of Iranian government officials over the last several years. They have sought to portray their educational system as open to Baha’is and free of discriminatory practices.

In early March, for example, newspapers carried a story by the Reuters news agency reporting that some 70 Baha’i students had been expelled from universities in Iran since autumn 2006.

In the Reuters story, however, an anonymous spokesperson for the Iranian Mission to the United Nations was quoted as saying in reply: “No one in Iran because of their religion has been expelled from studying.”

The number of 70 students expelled as of March 2007 as reported by Reuters has since risen to more than 128, out of approximately 200 who were enrolled last autumn after more than 25 years during which Baha’i students were banned from universities in Iran.

Last year, as well, deceitful statements by Iranian officials came to light when Clare Short, a member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, received a communication from Hamid Reza Arefi, the charge d’affaires of the Iranian Embassy in London, who likewise denied that Baha’is are discriminated against in their access to higher education in Iran.

“Although Bahaism [sic] is not recognized as an official religion but by law Baha’is are entitled to equal rights,” wrote Mr. Arefi in an 8 June 2006 letter to Ms. Short, adding: “In Iran, no individual is excluded from higher education solely because of his/her ideology.”

Similar statements have been made by Iranian diplomats and officials in other venues.

The 2006 letter from the MSRT’s Central Security Office also makes a clear reference to the secret 1991 Golpaygani memorandum about Baha’is, which was released to the public in 1993 by a United Nations official.(Document 5.)

Despite Mr. Arefi’s assurances that Iranian Baha’is are legally entitled to equal rights, other voices state that the Golpaygani memorandum takes precedence.

That 1991 memorandum outlined a comprehensive plan to “block” the development and progress of the Iranian Baha’i community. The 1991 memorandum states for example that Baha’is shall be denied “any position of influence” and that “employment shall be refused to persons identifying themselves as Baha’is.”

The 1991 memorandum states clearly that Baha’is “must be expelled from universities, either in the admission process or during the course of their studies, once it becomes known that they are Baha’is.”

Signed by Hujjatu’l Islam Seyyed Mohammad Golpaygani, secretary of the Iran Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council, the 1991 memorandum was approved by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As such, it reflects the highest policy of the government.

A number of fair-minded Iranian individuals have offered sympathy and a measure of support for the plight of the Baha’is; however, they are largely powerless in the face of the official policy of the government to oppress the Baha’is, Ms. Dugal said.

“The Baha’i International Community asserts that unless and until the Iranian government revokes this pernicious document, there is little hope of any justice for the Baha’is of Iran,” she said.

The Baha’i International Community has also recently received several other documents and letters that clearly indicate the policy outlined in the 2006 letter is being actively implemented.

These documents include:

— A second, follow-up letter from the MSRT’s Central Security Office to officials at Payame Noor University, dated 17 March 2007, which instructs them to “prevent the enrollment of the Baha’i applicants.” (Document 2.)

— An 18 May 2007 letter from the academic counseling and higher education office at Guilan University to the director of university academic affairs, asking for the immediate discharge of a Baha’i student. (Document 4.)

— A 27 May 2007 letter, also from the academic counseling and higher education office at Guilan University, to the above-mentioned Baha’i student, notifying the student that she has been “disqualified” from studying at Guilan, as required by the 1991 Golpaygani memorandum. (Document 3.)

Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts.Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.
Baha’i Writings

Yesterday, Nick, aka Nicholas, aka Thor, Niko, Nicolai Ivanovitch, aka, my first born, last born, my only, and I went to lunch. He took me to Green Street in Pasadena, and for the first time in a long time, it was just the two of us: not rushing off in a car somewhere. He had been working 50-60 hours a week, and both he and Laura are tired. She was off with her parents who live in the area also.

We had a wonderful time. Sometimes moms and kids relate just as that: a mom to a kid, but yesterday we just chatted, and I filled him in on our last three months. There’s a picture of Nicholas with my twin sister, Elizabeth, and her husband Jim, and he’s gloriously happy. I also am putting up a pic of his baby picture.

He’s a very funny guy, and I guess I am a funny old lady, but our humor is different which is delightful. I’ve worked hard on being a good older mom which means, get off his neck, stay out of his business, and love his wife (an easy task indeed), but give them space. Yesterday we talk as two human beings carvorting and maneuvering through this path called life, and I was happy and grateful.

thanks Nicholas! love you mom

“Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. TheĀ jotting is simplicity itself- it is the occurring which is difficult.”

–Stephen Leacock

The essence of these words is this: they that tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all that is earthly — their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain imaginings, their hearts from worldly affections, their eyes from that which perisheth. They should put their trust in God,and, holding fast unto Him, follow in His way.Then will they be made worthy of the effulgent glories of the sun of divine knowledge and understanding, and become the recipients of a grace that is infinite and unseen, inasmuch as man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge andwisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and favour, unless and until he ceasesto regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets.

~ Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 3