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Old 06-13-2009, 11:14 PM  
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Stealing the Iranian Election

http://www.juancole.com/2009/06/stea...-election.html
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Stealing the Iranian Election

Top Pieces of Evidence that the Iranian Presidential Election Was Stolen

1. It is claimed that Ahmadinejad won the city of Tabriz with 57%. His main opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, is an Azeri from Azerbaijan province, of which Tabriz is the capital. Mousavi, according to such polls as exist in Iran and widespread anecdotal evidence, did better in cities and is popular in Azerbaijan. Certainly, his rallies there were very well attended. So for an Azeri urban center to go so heavily for Ahmadinejad just makes no sense. In past elections, Azeris voted disproportionately for even minor presidential candidates who hailed from that province.

2. Ahmadinejad is claimed to have taken Tehran by over 50%. Again, he is not popular in the cities, even, as he claims, in the poor neighborhoods, in part because his policies have produced high inflation and high unemployment. That he should have won Tehran is so unlikely as to raise real questions about these numbers. [Ahmadinejad is widely thought only to have won Tehran in 2005 because the pro-reform groups were discouraged and stayed home rather than voting.)

3. It is claimed that cleric Mehdi Karoubi, the other reformist candidate, received 320,000 votes, and that he did poorly in Iran's western provinces, even losing in Luristan. He is a Lur and is popular in the west, including in Kurdistan. Karoubi received 17 percent of the vote in the first round of presidential elections in 2005. While it is possible that his support has substantially declined since then, it is hard to believe that he would get less than one percent of the vote. Moreover, he should have at least done well in the west, which he did not.

4. Mohsen Rezaie, who polled very badly and seems not to have been at all popular, is alleged to have received 670,000 votes, twice as much as Karoubi.

5. Ahmadinejad's numbers were fairly standard across Iran's provinces. In past elections there have been substantial ethnic and provincial variations.

6. The Electoral Commission is supposed to wait three days before certifying the results of the election, at which point they are to inform Khamenei of the results, and he signs off on the process. The three-day delay is intended to allow charges of irregularities to be adjudicated. In this case, Khamenei immediately approved the alleged results.

I am aware of the difficulties of catching history on the run. Some explanation may emerge for Ahmadinejad's upset that does not involve fraud. For instance, it is possible that he has gotten the credit for spreading around a lot of oil money in the form of favors to his constituencies, but somehow managed to escape the blame for the resultant high inflation.

But just as a first reaction, this post-election situation looks to me like a crime scene. And here is how I would reconstruct the crime.

As the real numbers started coming into the Interior Ministry late on Friday, it became clear that Mousavi was winning. Mousavi's spokesman abroad, filmmaker Mohsen Makhbalbaf, alleges that the ministry even contacted Mousavi's camp and said it would begin preparing the population for this victory.

The ministry must have informed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has had a feud with Mousavi for over 30 years, who found this outcome unsupportable. And, apparently, he and other top leaders had been so confident of an Ahmadinejad win that they had made no contingency plans for what to do if he looked as though he would lose.

They therefore sent blanket instructions to the Electoral Commission to falsify the vote counts.

This clumsy cover-up then produced the incredible result of an Ahmadinejad landlside in Tabriz and Isfahan and Tehran.

The reason for which Rezaie and Karoubi had to be assigned such implausibly low totals was to make sure Ahmadinejad got over 51% of the vote and thus avoid a run-off between him and Mousavi next Friday, which would have given the Mousavi camp a chance to attempt to rally the public and forestall further tampering with the election.

This scenario accounts for all known anomalies and is consistent with what we know of the major players.

More in my column, just out, in Salon.com: "Ahmadinejad reelected under cloud of fraud," where I argue that the outcome of the presidential elections does not and should not affect Obama's policies toward that country-- they are the right policies and should be followed through on regardless.

The public demonstrations against the result don't appear to be that big. In the past decade, reformers have always backed down in Iran when challenged by hardliners, in part because no one wants to relive the horrible Great Terror of the 1980s after the revolution, when faction-fighting produced blood in the streets. Mousavi is still from that generation.

My own guess is that you have to get a leadership born after the revolution, who does not remember it and its sanguinary aftermath, before you get people willing to push back hard against the rightwingers.

So, there are protests against an allegedly stolen election. The Basij paramilitary thugs and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards will break some heads. Unless there has been a sea change in Iran, the theocrats may well get away with this soft coup for the moment. But the regime's legitimacy will take a critical hit, and its ultimate demise may have been hastened, over the next decade or two.

What I've said is full of speculation and informed guesses. I'd be glad to be proved wrong on several of these points. Maybe I will be.

PS: Here's the data:

So here is what Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli said Saturday about the outcome of the Iranian presidential elections:

"Of 39,165,191 votes counted (85 percent), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the election with 24,527,516 (62.63 percent)."

He announced that Mir-Hossein Mousavi came in second with 13,216,411 votes (33.75 percent).

Mohsen Rezaei got 678,240 votes (1.73 percent)

Mehdi Karroubi with 333,635 votes (0.85 percent).

He put the void ballots at 409,389 (1.04 percent).



End/ (Not Continued)
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:15 PM   #2
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http://www.newyorker.com/online/blog...-election.html
June 13, 2009
Laura Secor: Iran’s Stolen Election

At the Grand Hyatt hotel in midtown Manhattan on Friday, a decorous LCD placard outside a ballroom, the sort that might have announced the name of a session at a conference of anthropologists or oral surgeons, read, “The Islamic Republic of Iran: Elections, 7 A.M. to 9 P.M.” On the way to the hotel, I’d swapped headscarves with an Iranian friend. The one she’d brought was green, the official color of the campaign of the reformist presidential hopeful Mir Hossein Mousavi, and she had heard that in Tehran, it was forbidden to wear green inside the polling places. But at the Grand Hyatt, there were no headscarves to be seen, and plenty of green.

The ballroom was nearly empty when we arrived at 3:30 P.M., except for a table staffed by three Iranian-Americans, one of whom assured us that they were volunteers, not employees of the Iranian government. That would explain the lack of compulsory hijab. He said he’d seen about five-hundred voters so far, and he estimated that seventy-five per cent of them were young people. Our little group included a thirty-year-old man and three women in their twenties. “Iran has a bright future,” the volunteer told us in avuncular tones, “with so many young people getting involved.” My friends filled out their ballots. Three were voting for Mousavi, one for the other reformist in the race, Mehdi Karroubi.

We loitered outside the ballroom, where two Iranian journalists sat on the floor glued to their Blackberries, looking for Facebook updates from Iran. The ballroom was filling up. A leggy young woman entered in a green tank top and white hot pants, to a burst of appreciative laughter and a flurry of photographs. Iranian sweets called gaz appeared on the refreshments table. They were green, one voter pointed out, for Mousavi, and white, for Karroubi. Another, mocking President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2005 campaign promise to bring oil to the people’s supper tables, said, “This is the gaz Ahmadinejad has brought to our tables.”

From 3:30 P.M. until 4:15 P.M., the scene at the Hyatt was festive, despite the news earlier in the day that the reformist headquarters had been sacked and prominent reformists arrested. Everyone had a story about a relative who had never voted before, who was a royalist or an all-purpose skeptic, who was wearing green in the streets or simply casting a vote for Mousavi. There was only one way this could go. Turnout, we heard, was over eighty per cent.

But then the first ominous Facebook update came in. The Ministry of Interior had announced that of twenty-five million votes counted thus far, sixteen million were for Ahmadinejad. The time, in Tehran, was just past midnight. The polls in the cities had just closed. It was not time to panic yet; maybe this was just the rural vote. But the mood in our little circle darkened. It wasn’t true, came another update; only five million had been counted, and of them, both candidates were claiming sixty per cent. Then the tally reached ten million, with sixty-seven per cent for Ahmadinejad. And then the most sinister news of all: the public had been told that if anyone approached the Interior Ministry, which would be the obvious site for a protest of the vote count, the police had orders to shoot.

There can be no question that the June 12, 2009 Iranian presidential election was stolen. Dissident employees of the Interior Ministry, which is under the control of President Ahmadinejad and is responsible for the mechanics of the polling and counting of votes, have reportedly issued an open letter saying as much. Government polls (one conducted by the Revolutionary Guards, the other by the state broadcasting company) that were leaked to the campaigns allegedly showed ten- to twenty-point leads for Mousavi a week before the election; earlier polls had them neck and neck, with Mousavi leading by one per cent, and Karroubi just behind. Historically, low turnout has always favored conservatives in Iranian elections, while high turnout favors reformers. That’s because Iran’s most reliable voters are those who believe in the system; those who are critical tend to be reluctant to participate. For this reason, in the last three elections, sixty-five per cent of voters have come from traditional, rural villages, which house just thirty-five per cent of the populace. If the current figures are to be believed, urban Iranians who voted for the reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami in 1997 and 2001 have defected to Ahmadinejad in droves.

What is most shocking is not the fraud itself, but that it was brazen and entirely without pretext. The final figures put Mousavi’s vote below thirty-five per cent, and not because of a split among reformists; they have Karroubi pulling less than one per cent of the vote. To announce a result this improbable, and to do it while locking down the Interior Ministry, sending squads of Revolutionary Guards into the streets, blacking out internet and cell phone communication and shuttering the headquarters of the rival candidates, sends a chilling message to the people of Iran—not only that the Islamic Republic does not care about their votes, but that it does not fear their wrath. Iranians, including many of the original founders and staunch supporters of the revolution, are angry, and they will demonstrate. But they will be met with organized and merciless violence.
Already, Youtube clips are streaming out of Iran, many of them showing riot police savagely beating protestors.

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Mousavi and Karroubi have been placed under house arrest.

When it comes to the instruments of democracy in Iran, there is understandable confusion abroad. Iran has elections, and in 1997 Mohammad Khatami won them by a landslide and initiated an eight-year period of internal reform. But this is only half the story of the reform years. The other half involves the relentless occlusion of the reform agenda by clerics who outrank the president, and the systematic elimination of every loophole through which another Khatami might creep into the state apparatus. By 2005 the country’s hard-line Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, had made it abundantly clear that he did not intend to tolerate a divided government. The mood of the electorate, in 2005 and at the two mid-term elections since, has been cynical and despondent. It was logical to conclude that no candidate who ran in the 2009 race could be expected to put up real resistance to the Leader, and that no reforms would be successful. And so it was particularly stunning to watch Iranians resurrect their hopes and place them in Mir Hossein Mousavi—even if they did so for the main purpose of ejecting Ahmadinejad from power.

When the Leader approved Mousavi and Karroubi as presidential candidates earlier this year, Karroubi lacked a constituency, and Mousavi was no liberal. Perhaps Khamenei did not count on Mousavi’s emergence as the vehicle for a groundswell of youthful democratic sentiment—meaning whatever his personal views or background, if Mousavi became president, he would carry with him the same social forces and the same expectations as Khatami, who was fatefully paralyzed between the demands of his supporters and the constraints of his superiors. Where Khatami was conciliatory by nature, Mousavi had a reputation for a steelier resolve. And there is the small matter of Obama, the outreach from the United States, and the unavoidable sense that most of the Iranian public and its political establishment, including all three presidential challengers, support dialogue with America. The major exceptions have been the Leader himself, his hard-line inner circle, and Ahmadinejad. Did Khamenei fear the presence of unreliable forces in government during such a sensitive moment in Iran’s foreign policy? Or did he want to shut down the possibility of dialogue altogether?

That the reformists, who urged participation in the system in order to change it, have been so thoroughly shown up this June is depressing on many levels. For all its failings, the reform movement has been the most constructive and effective channel for Iranian frustrations and desires under the Islamic Republic. While Iranian opposition activists have fiercely debated the efficacy of voting—whether it provided a fig leaf for dictatorship or a necessary choice among evils—hardly anyone in Iran’s opposition wants a bloody uprising. That road has been too well traveled in Iran, and so the contemporary debate has been among nonviolent tactics, some with longer timelines than others. But now the regime has forced the issue, leaving Iranians who oppose strong-arm tactics and hard-line policies with just two cards in their hands. One is passivity, and the other is revolt. The outcome depends in part on how high a price the regime is willing to extract from its people.

In the days before the vote, my Iranian contacts breathlessly compared the atmosphere in Iran to that of 1979, the year of the Islamic Revolution. In the last twenty-four hours, the unavoidable analogy has become 1989. The big question is where we are: Wenceslas Square or Tiananmen.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:19 PM   #3
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http://mynewsjunkie.com/2009/06/13/d...demonstrators/
Mousavi And Other Reformers Arrested. Many People Hurt In Riots By Police
Posted by Dolores M Bernal on Jun 13th, 2009 and filed under Headlines, World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry from your site

Numerous reports indicate that Mir Hossein Mousavi, the presidential candidate that run against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, has been placed under house arrest.

NEWS JUNKIE began disseminating the news right after The Daily Kos posted a message from one of their informants on the ground early on Saturday. This was his message:

Mousavi has been place under house arrest. He was arrested on his way to Khamenei’s house. All communication has been shut off. Khamenei has issued a statement claiming that HE that he is leading this coup to SAVE the Islamic Government.

LA Times on Mousavi’s arrest and rioting:

Huge swaths of the capital erupted in fiery riots that stretched into the early morning Sunday as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared victory in his quest for a second four-year term amid allegations of widespread fraud and a strident challenge of the vote results by his main challenger, who was reportedly placed under house arrest.

The Tweet

A tweet was posted in Mousavi’s Twitter account saying that he had been placed under house arrest by the Ministry of Intelligence. This is the tweet.



Other Arrests

There are reports that many other leaders in Mousavi’s party have also been arrested: Mosharekat, Mojahedin Enqelab and Ahmad Zaidabadi. Critics within Iran are calling this a “purge” of all reformers. It’s unclear if Ahmadinejad is behind ordering these arrests.

Continuing Civil Unrest

Fires have been set in many parts of the city. The smell of smoke has reached as far Marzdaran. Police are confiscating cameras from people to stop them from sending images outside of Iran. People are using stones to battle the riot police. The Tehranbureau is reporting that as many as 100 people have been killed on the streets of Tehran due to clashes with the police. The AP is also reporting that there are injured Iranians, but didn’t post how many.

Here is what an Iranian citizen has been reporting from the Tehranbureau:

“Here the internet is horrible. After much trouble, I was able t log on through a proxy. I’ll try my best to get the news to you. I have news right now that in Shahrake Gharb [neighborhood in northeast Tehran] is absolute chaos. People are in the streets, they’re chanting. No sign of police. Their protest continues at this hour. I also hear that Niavaran [north Tehran] is a big chaotic too — at least until an hour ago. I’m sorry my information is fragmented. I’m afraid I’ll get disconnected. In Niavaran people are shouting from their homes. That way when police comes they quickly retreat; so they haven’t been able to arrest anyone. I’ve also heard that people captured a few of the Basij guys and gave him a beating. It feels like Martial Law here. Cell phones are down, internet lines are horrible, Facebook is filtered, and … I also have news from Ahvaz. They have also announced there that if someone comes out of their house they will be arrested. So keep your fingers crossed and pray for us.”

More from the LA Times:

Tehran erupted in unrest today as results for the Iranian presidential election pitting incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against leading reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi and two other rivals were announced. Ahmadinejad won big amid record turnout and allegations of widespread voter fraud.

Enraged Mousavi supporters battled police for hours, and it remained unclear whether the unrest would stop anytime soon.

Spotty Communication

Communication with Iran has been spotty or totally disconnected in many parts of the country, including telephone, cell, and Internet — Facebook and YouTube accounts from people inside Iran have been blocked or filtered.


This story was last updated at 8:22 pm (U.S. Pacific Time).
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:19 AM   #4
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:33 AM   #5
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you'd have to go to a laundromat to see more mechanical spinning
I find it awesome that the NeoCons are cheering for Amidinajad.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:44 AM   #6
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I find it awesome that the NeoCons are cheering for Amidinajad.
It just shows just how morally bankrupt the Republican party has become. Rooting for Ahmedenijad because of what his fall would mean for the success of the Obama presidency is pretty sick when you consider everything that's at stake.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:30 AM   #7
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It just shows just how morally bankrupt the Republican party has become. Rooting for Ahmedenijad because of what his fall would mean for the success of the Obama presidency is pretty sick when you consider everything that's at stake.

Which Republican was rooting for Ahmedenijad?

Laughing at the Obamaphiles who believed that Dear Leader could give a speech in Egypt and change the outcome of an 'election' in Iran run under the auspices of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's Guardian Council, and the watchful eye of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, is not tantamount to 'rooting for Ahmedenijad'.

Those expressing dismay that the Iranian election might have been fixed should also be reminded that water is wet. This wasn't a fair or open election and was fixed before it began. All four candidates were hand selected and pre-approved by the Guardian Council. As long as Iran remains a police state run by the Guardian Council and Revolutionary Guard, it doesn't matter who the frontman is.

I truly hope the path to success for the Obama Presidency and Clinton State Dept was more than hope that Ahmedenijad would lose the election. Mousavi had indicated a willingness to talk about Iran's nuclear program, but also indicated that he had no interest in ending the program. Hopefully, the Obama administration will learn from this and realize that international relations is more than speeches to adoring crowds and get serious about dealing with nations like Iran and NK.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:15 AM   #8
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Is there any election jIZ doesn't think has been rigged?
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Old 06-14-2009, 03:02 AM   #9
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I literally could not give less of a shit about America's role in this. Somebody seriously ****ed up, because this is sparking stuff that's truly stunning.





Incredible photo #1:



Protester aiding injured riot cop:



Before/After:





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Old 06-14-2009, 03:45 AM   #10
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I literally could not give less of a shit about America's role in this. Somebody seriously ****ed up, because this is sparking stuff that's truly stunning.

You should care about America's role in this, because America is truly why this is happening. Look at those videos. Look at the clothes those people are wearing. A culture bomb is going off in their country with the megaton force of Hiroshima. This is what a free-trader's foriegn policy is all about. The more we open our borders and culture to people in free and honest trade, the more westernized they become. Plato's cave takes care of the rest.

This is the sort of revolution that we should have worked to inspire in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:03 AM   #11
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:00 AM   #12
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2:33 AM ET -- A plan to depose Supreme Leader Khamenei? Trita Parsi, one of the most insightful voices discussing the events in Iran on U.S. news networks, sends over his latest thoughts:
Clearly, the anti-Ahmadinejad camp has been taken by surprise and is scrambling for a plan. Increasingly, given their failure to get Khamenei to intervene, their only option seems to be to directly challenge -- or threaten to challenge -- the supreme leader.
Here's where the powerful chairman of the Assembly of Experts, Mousavi supporter Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, comes in. Only this assembly has the formal authority to call for Khamenei's dismissal, and it is now widely assumed that Rafsanjani is quietly assessing whether he has the votes to do so or not.
It may be that the first steps toward challenging Khamenei have already been taken. After all, Mousavi went over the supreme leader's head with an open letter to the clergy in Qom. Rafsanjani clearly failed to win Khamenei's support in a reported meeting between the two men Friday, but the influential Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, who heads the vote-monitoring committee for Mousavi and fellow candidate Mehdi Karroubi, has officially requested that the Guardian Council cancel the election and schedule a new vote with proper monitoring.
3:28 AM ET -- "There will be blood." I posted below on Trita Parsi's belief that Iran's reformists are "widely assumed" to be planning to challenge Ayatollah Khamenei.
Now Steve Clemons (of the New America Foundation and a HuffPost blogger) writes about a discussion he had in London with "a well-connected Iranian who knows many of the power figures in the Tehran political order."
[T]he scariest point he made to me that I had not heard anywhere else is that this "coup by the right wing" has created pressures that cannot be solved or patted down by the normal institutional arrangements Iran has constructed. The Guardian Council and other power nodes of government can't deal with the current crisis and can't deal with the fact that a civil war has now broken out among Iran's revolutionaries.
My contact predicted serious violence at the highest levels. He said that Ahmadinejad is now genuinely scared of Iranian society and of Mousavi and Rafsanjani. The level of tension between them has gone beyond civil limits -- and my contact said that Ahmadinejad will try to have them imprisoned and killed.
Likewise, he said, Rafsanjani, Khatami, and Mousavi know this -- and thus are using all of the instruments at their control within Iran's government apparatus to fight back -- but given Khamenei's embrace of Ahmadinejad's actions in the election and victory, there is no recourse but to try and remove Khamenei. Some suggest that Rafsanjani will count votes to see if there is a way to formally dislodge Khamenei -- but this source I met said that all of these political giants have resources at their disposal to "do away with" those that get in the way.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0..._n_215189.html

Last edited by orange; 06-14-2009 at 06:06 AM..
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:01 AM   #13
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you'd have to go to a laundromat to see more mechanical spinning
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Is there any election jIZ doesn't think has been rigged?
I find it utterly stunning to see anybody trying to pass this blatant fraud off as a fair election.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:14 AM   #14
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I find it utterly stunning to see anybody trying to pass this blatant fraud off as a fair election.
I find it utterly stunning that anyone thought this was going to be anything close to a fair election. This outcome should come as a surprise to no one.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:53 AM   #15
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you'd have to go to a laundromat to see more mechanical spinning
And you are an expert on this based on....?
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