Hossein Derakshan, a native of Tehran who now resides in Canada, posted this today on his English-language blog
-- "When people have different needs than the state." Snip:
Nothing could ever show the real sense of diconnectivity and distrust between Iranian people and the Islamic regime, and its deeply dysfunctionality better than a devastating quake. Everywhere you go and every blog you read, there is talk about the political implications of such tragedy going on.
People inside and outside Iran are desperately trying to gather donations, but they don't want to give the money to the government. They'd rather give the aids directly to the International organizations or trusted NGOs and persons in Iran whom they are sure have nothing to do with the regime and its institutions. For instance, Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel laureate has stepped in and announced measures to directly gather people's aids. This amount of distrust and disconnectedness has never been see before.
However, the reason is pretty clear: When a government can run the whole country only by the oil and gas income, it doesn't have to answer its people's needs; it only thinks about its own needs. (In 2004, Iran will have $16 billion revenue from oil export, while it only depends on approximately 18% of citizen's taxes.)
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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