Photographs appearing to show a blindfolded man having his fingers severed by the mechanical amputation device have been published by an official Iranian press agency. According to the INSA news service, the prisoner used to demonstrate the brutal contraption had been convicted of theft and adultery by a court in Shiraz last Wednesday. A series of pictures show three masked officials, clad entirely in black, holding the man´s right hand in a vice while one turns a wheel operating the guillotine in the manner of a rotary saw.
I could design for them a machine that burns the fingers off. It would be self cauterizing and auto cleansing. The added benefit would be the psychological impact. Hmmmm... make note to call Egypt, Syria, and our friends, the Saudis.
Similar Draconian punishment in the late 1960´s. A friend who lived there for a while said he witnessed that the attendant of a jewelry store had left his store open and abandoned for 30 minutes everyday at afternoon prayer time. No one dared steal anything. In those days they didn´t just take a finger. They might cut off the whole hand. Theft was rare.
Praise be to A----, the merciful. This is really a step up from the rusty scimitar the loin cloth and turban clad deputy sheriffs used to have handy at the local magistrate´s office for those convicted of misdemeanor theft.
You just can’t please the apple-knockers, soreheads and doom-criers. Everyone who ever sat in a long line back in the 1970s, waiting for an hour or two to get a few gallons of gasoline, often entertained himself with a fantasy of big oil strikes to put the Saudi princes in their place, preferably on a planet in an obscure universe far, far away. Now, through the innovation of modern technology, we have that strike — not only oil, but something better, because it’s cheaper, cleaner and there’s lots of it. The Saudi princes are looking for a place to run.
Barack Obama is bored. You can see it in his demeanor and in his face, the way anticipation becomes melancholy. Most of all you can hear it in his voice when he steps up to make the speech that once sent audiences into frenzy. He’s mailing it in (with postage due). Being a messiah, a rock star, the Pied Piper of Hamelin, is of course hard work. Maybe we should cut the guy a break. You can’t be Mick Jagger or Kanye West every day.
It takes a fair bit of gall to accuse the media of lying about a sex scandal. It takes even more gall to then admit to the sex scandal, resign, claim you´ve redeemed yourself and decide to run again. And it takes the most gall to do all of those things, even as you´re engaged in a continuation of that sex scandal. But when your name is Anthony Weiner, gall is your middle name. Or perhaps Danger is. Weiner resigned from Congress in June 2011, but only after claiming that Andrew Breitbart had fabricated photos of his scantily clad body.
Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. In its report, Christianity in its Global Context, 1970-2020: Society, Religion, and Mission, researchers analyzed data on church membership and activities from thousands of Christian denominations and other religions worldwide, presenting that data from 1970 and 2010 for a 40-year comparison and,
"The First Black President ... Spoke First as a Black American," ran the banner headline of Sunday´s Washington Post. But why, when the fires of anger over the Zimmerman verdict were dying down, did he go into that pressroom and stir them up? "A week of protests outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House, pushed him to that podium," said Tavis Smiley on "Meet the Press." Black leaders demanded Obama come out of hiding and stand in solidarity with the aggrieved and outraged. Belatedly and meekly, Obama complied. "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," said Obama.
Dr. Cornel West on Monday said President Barack Obama “has very little moral authority” to speak about the Trayvon Martin case, because the president is “a global George Zimmerman” for trying to “rationalize the killing of innocent children” in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. “I think we have to acknowledge that President Obama has very little moral authority at this point, because we know anybody who tries to rationalize the killing of innocent peoples, a criminal—George Zimmerman is a criminal—but President Obama is a global George Zimmerman,
Here´s the speech about the George Zimmerman verdict President Obama should have given. My fellow Americans: I am your humble servant. You have entrusted me with the tremendous honor and responsibility to serve you as president. I am not president of black America, Hispanic America or white America. I am not president of liberal America or conservative America. I am president of the United States of America. Regrettably, as a nation, we have become divided. I confess that I have contributed to this division. For this failure in leadership, I ask your forgiveness.
Police Capt. Louis Renault, played by Claude Rains in the 1942 movie "Casablanca," in the wake of the shooting of a Nazi officer, ordered his men to "round up the usual suspects." Was Renault engaging in some sort of profiling? He may have been, but what is profiling? Let´s look at it. We can think of profiling as a method to economize on information costs by using easily observed physical characteristics as a proxy or a guess for some other characteristic more difficult or costlier to observe. For example, say you seek to hire people to manually unload trucks
Someone knocked on the door at city hall in Detroit last week and there stood the repo man, coming to take possession of the city. Everyone who has ever bought a car knows you have to keep up the payments. Miss three or four and the car, with all its bells and whistles, is gone. Detroit has built a lot of cars and so should have known better, but it had ignored the frantic calls. There’s not a lot to repossess in Detroit, a city that nobody wants. Detroit isn’t the first city in America to suffer the stigma
In his essay "Trouble in Paradise," in the July 18, 2013 issue of the London Review of Books, Slavoj Žižek explains that recent protests around the world are actually all about resistance to a common villain. This villain is not Lord Voldemort. Or even Obamacare. It is "global capitalism." Žižek takes a few moments to acknowledge that, well, yes, um, protests in Brazil, Turkey, Greece, Europe and the Middle East (not to mention the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which he holds to be a precursor) have each had their distinguishing characteristics.
A new survey finds that 42 percent of Americans say capitalism isn´t working well, and they complain about the encouragement of greed, the lack of equal opportunity and the creation of poverty and lasting inequality. The survey illustrates the country´s deep polarization. In a positive finding for Democrats who favor a strong government role in society, most Americans say government should do more to reduce inequality. But Republicans who want to limit government will find encouragement in that most Americans don´t have confidence in government´s ability to function effectively. Fifty-four percent of Americans think capitalism is working well, the survey says,
Zaatari, Jordan — Angry Syrian refugees confronted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday with demands for the United States and the international community to do more to help opponents of President Bashar Assad´s regime, venting frustration at perceived inaction on their behalf. Visiting the sprawling Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan near the Syrian border, Kerry met six representatives of its 115,000-strong population, all of whom appealed to him for the U.S. and its allies to create no-fly zones and set up safe zones inside Syria to prevent the Assad regime from inflicting additional destruction.
WASHINGTON — U.S. officials insisted Tuesday that extraordinary security measures for nearly two dozen diplomatic posts were to thwart an “immediate, specific threat,” a claim questioned by counterterrorism experts, who note that the alert covers an incongruous set of nations from the Middle East to an island off the southern coast of Africa. Analysts don’t dispute the Obama administration’s narrative that it’s gleaned intelligence on a plot involving al Qaida’s most active affiliate, the Yemen-based Arabian Peninsula branch. That would explain why most U.S. posts in the Persian Gulf are on lockdown, including the U.
The truth about Benghazi, the Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring, the IRS corruption, the NSA octopus, and Fast and Furious is still not exactly known. Almost a year after the attacks on our Benghazi facilities, we are only now learning details of CIA gun-running, military stand-down orders, aliases of those involved who are still hard to locate, massaged talking points, and the weird jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. We still do not quite know why Eric Holder’s Justice Department went after the Associated Press or Fox News’s James Rosen — given that members of the administration were themselves illegally leaking
Critics of the president are convinced that Barack Obama will do lasting damage to the U.S. I doubt it. Obama came to power in the third year of large Democratic congressional majorities. In his first referendum, he lost the House and he may soon lose the Senate; in other words, there followed a somewhat normal reaction against a majority party. Obama’s popularity rating is well below 50%, despite an obsequious media and a brilliantly negative billion-dollar campaign that long ago turned Mitt Romney into a veritable elevator-using, equestrian-marrying, canine-hating monster. In the second term, there is little
He thought he was a woman trapped in a man’s body — but it turns out he’s “just another boring straight guy.” ABC News editor Don Ennis strolled into the newsroom in May wearing a little black dress and an auburn wig and announced he was transgender and splitting from his wife. He wanted to be called Dawn. But now he says he suffered from a two-day bout of amnesia that has made him realize he wants to live his life again as Don. “I accused my wife of playing some kind of cruel joke, dressing
The U.S. State Department issued a global alert about the terrorist threat allegedly posed by Al-Qaeda in Yemen. The USA announced the closure of its missions in the Middle East and Africa, and their example was followed by France, Britain, and Germany. However, this was only an attempt to justify the activities of the National Security Agency.Last Saturday, right after alerting of the terror threat civilians and BOLO complex ("be on the lookout") that includes law enforcement and federal officials, President Barack Obama went to play golf, and then celebrated his birthday at the presidential retreat at Camp David.
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney jumped into the debate over the GOP’s future Tuesday night, warning congressional Republicans against forcing a government shutdown in their quest to stop President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Romney addressed more than 200 donors on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee at a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party, staged just four miles from the vacation home where he has spent much of the summer with his family. The event was closed to the media, but his office released his prepared remarks.
WASHINGTON — Former Massachusetts lawmaker Barney Frank revealed that he doesn’t believe in God. During Friday’s appearance on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” Frank, who championed the decriminalization of pot while serving in the House of Representatives, admitted to smoking marijuana and being an atheist. “You were in a fairly safe district. You were not one of those congress people who would have to worry about every little thing,” Maher said to Frank. “You could come on this show and sit next to a pot-smoking atheist and it wouldn’t bother you.”
In a rare diplomatic snub, President Obama is canceling plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month. The decision reflects both U.S. anger over Russia´s harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and growing frustration within the Obama administration over what it sees as Moscow´s stubbornness on other key issues, including missile defense and human rights. Obama will still attend the Group of 20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, but a top White House official said the president had no plans to hold one-on-one talks with Putin while there.
Washington--As hundreds of commuters emerged from Amtrak and commuter trains at Union Station on a recent morning, an armed squad of men and women dressed in bulletproof vests made their way through the crowds. The squad was not with the Washington police department or Amtrak’s police force, but was one of the Transportation Security Administration’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response squads — VIPR teams for short — assigned to perform random security sweeps to prevent terrorist attacks at transportation hubs across the United States.(Snip)With little fanfare, the agency best known for airport screenings has vastly expanded its reach
A poll released Friday by Public Policy Polling found that Alaska voters would pick former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the state´s former Republican governor, Sarah Palin, if the two women were to face off in the 2016 presidential election. Clinton led with 49 percent in the hypothetical match-up, with Palin at 40 percent, a nine-point gap. As of July 3, Republicans comprised 27 percent of the state´s registered voters and Democrats made up just 14 percent. The last time Alaskans opted for the Democrats´ presidential candidate was in 1964. Clinton trails five other hypothetical GOP candidates –
Over the last week, there has been a lot of buzz about a supposed CIA angle to the Benghazi story. Specifically, it has been alleged that a substantial number of CIA employees were on the ground in Benghazi, carrying out a mission that involved rounding up Libyan weapons and transferring them to rebels in Syria. Further, it has been reported that the CIA has leaned on its employees not to cooperate with Congressional investigations or the media, and it has been suggested that the CIA’s role in Benghazi may be related to the al Qaeda
The Pentagon has placed its elite cadre of special operations teams on full alert to launch preemptive attacks against suspected al Qaeda targets across the globe, according to reports. The American special forces teams have spent the past week waiting for U.S. military and intelligence officials to confirm the whereabouts of the terror cell plotting to attack U.S. diplomatic outposts in the Mideast and North Africa. Unnamed sources told CNN on Monday that the teams were poised to carry out the preemptive strikes, but declined to comment on where the U.S. forces were located or which potential