“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” so says a senior Iranian Cleric in Iran. “What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble? “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.”
Note to self: Create a revival of Footloose reconceived and reset in small town Iran and produce it an open air Tehran theatre next season. Footloose to Iran will be what Hair was to the U.S.: an anti establishment bit of revolutionary agit prop that will eventually be co-opted by capitalists and rendered an impotent and cute costume drama. On second thought, perhaps that is not such a good idea.
An Earthquake waiting to happen
In Iran, women are required by law to be covered from head to toe, but many younger women flout the law- pushing their hijab all the way back to reveal – gasp- hair and inviting a devastating earthquake in Tehran.
“A divine authority told me to tell the people to make a general repentance. Why? Because calamities threaten us,” the cleric said.
Or, as scientist view it: There have been two decades of warnings from Seismologist that the capitol city of Iran will be struck by a catastrophic earthquake in the near future. Continue reading →
From the first days of the launch of the so-called “war on terror,” Blackwater has been at the epicenter of some of the most secretive operations conducted by US forces globally. It has worked on government assassination programs and drone bombings, operated covertly in Pakistan for both the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command, assisted secret raids inside of Syria, trained foreign militaries and continues to bodyguard senior US officials in Afghanistan. The company also has a bloody track record of killing civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many seasoned observers believe that the extent of the dark acts committed by Blackwater have yet to come to light.
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While Congressional committees, the IRS, the FBI and lawyers representing foreign victims of the company have fought for years to hold Blackwater and its forces accountable for their alleged crimes, the company has proved to be Teflon. Not a single case against the company has resulted in any significant action. Following last December’s dismissal of the high-profile criminal case against the Blackwater operatives allegedly responsible for the 2007 Nisour Square shootings that left seventeen Iraqis dead and more than twenty others wounded, federal prosecutors have now launched another salvo.
Last week, the Justice Department announced that a federal grand jury had returned a fifteen-count indictment against five current and former Blackwater officials, charging them with conspiracy to violate a series of federal gun laws, obstruction of justice and making false statements to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Among those indicted were Blackwater owner Erik Prince’s longtime right-hand man, former company president Gary Jackson, Blackwater’s former legal counsel Andrew Howell and two former company vice presidents. Given Blackwater’s track record and the severity of other allegations against the company–including killing unarmed civilians–if the charges in this case stick, it would be somewhat akin to Al Capone going down for tax evasion. The one major difference being, the number-one man at Blackwater, Erik Prince, is evading prosecution and jail. Prince, who remains the Blackwater empire’s sole owner, was not indicted.
The weapons charges stem from Blackwater’s purchase of 227 “short barrels” for use with the company’s government-issued M4 rifles in Iraq and Afghanistan, a violation of State Department weapons guidelines for contractors. Former Blackwater employees have alleged in sworn affidavits that Prince had used his personal planes to smuggle banned weapons into Iraq, sometimes wrapping them in large shipments of dog food for the company’s K-9 teams in Iraq. Prince, however, is not named in the indictment. Continue reading →
This article first appeared on TruthDig. ♦ written by Chris Hedges
"The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way."
Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite and the myths they perpetrate. Chomsky has done this despite being blacklisted by the commercial media, turned into a pariah by the academy and, by his own admission, being a pedantic and at times slightly boring speaker. He combines moral autonomy with rigorous scholarship, a remarkable grasp of detail and a searing intellect. He curtly dismisses our two-party system as a mirage orchestrated by the corporate state, excoriates the liberal intelligentsia for being fops and courtiers and describes the drivel of the commercial media as a form of “brainwashing.” And as our nation’s most prescient critic of unregulated capitalism, globalization and the poison of empire, he enters his 81st year warning us that we have little time left to save our anemic democracy.
“It is very similar to late Weimar Germany,” Chomsky told me when I called him at his office in Cambridge, Mass. “The parallels are striking. There was also tremendous disillusionment with the parliamentary system. The most striking fact about Weimar was not that the Nazis managed to destroy the Social Democrats and the Communists but that the traditional parties, the Conservative and Liberal parties, were hated and disappeared. It left a vacuum which the Nazis very cleverly and intelligently managed to take over.”
“The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,” Chomsky went on. “Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.” Continue reading →
Stewart Vs. Fox, round 1,341 by Davis Fleetwood
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This summer, the Right Network will premiere, making Fox News look like very middle of the road by comparison. Until that next chapter in the infotainment culture wars begins, it sure is fun watching John Stewart pick apart the regressive windbags at Fox.
Last week John Stewart ended yet another critique of Fox news hypocrisy with a line that could only have been penned by a team of highly paid writers when he said, in a shot heard round the internets, “You know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, go Fuck yourselves.”
Stewart opened last night’s show by breaking down the Fox News rebuttal, offered up by Bernie Goldberg, whose sniveling direct address to Stewart served like slow pitch batting practice pitches that Stewart dutifully hit over the fence- erupting into a gospel number in which had Stewart dancing and testifying, gospel style, while he and his background singers repeatedly sang “Go Fuck Yourself.” And his writers earned their paycheck when Stewart said:
“Fox News is such a crazy overreaction to the perceived threat of the liberal pathogen in evidence at NBC, ABC & CBS, that it is like an autoimmune disorder. I’m not saying the virus does not exist in some small quantity, but you are producing way to many antibodies. Fox News: You’re the Lupus of News.”
As Stewart points out again and again, Fox cannot win this argument and maintain it’s “Fair and balanced” moniker. Stewart, as he himself contends, is not drifting into the news category. The News is drifting into his. Continue reading →