Category Archives: outrages
<blockquote><p>I lived to see the day when the Pope and the President of Iran are more flexible on doctrine than the House GOP</p>— Juan Cole (@jricole) <a href=”https://twitter.com/jricole/statuses/381122204580061184″>September 20, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
Israel just released Mahmoud Sarsak after holding him for three years with no charges, because Israel can do that.
So there’s this country where a council of elders is deciding on whether or not requiring insurers to cover birth control violates religious freedom of people who don’t believe in science. The committee is chaired by a male and consists of eight men. Invited to testify: five men. And no women.
Saudi Arabia? Iran? Ha! It’s the United States of America. Jezebel has the story here: http://jezebel.com/5885672/congressional-birth-control-hearing-involves-exactly-zero-people-who-have-a-uterus
A competent TSA employee was harassed at her job and then fired after being accused of putting a hex on a coworker’s car’s heater. No kidding. Story here. Sorry it’s a USA Today story and therefore the web page is really annoying.
She was in the top 10 percent in Albany at catching weapons on the X-ray machine. She passed her skills test on the first try. She caught a woman on her way to Vietnam with $30,000 in cash. And she didn’t mind working with the passengers — her training as a massage therapist kept her from being squeamish, as some officers were, about patting down elderly and special-needs passengers.
The assistant director told her he was investigating a threat of workplace violence. He said that her former mentor in on-the-job training, officer Mary Bagnoli, reported that she was afraid of Smith because she was a witch who practiced witchcraft. She accused Smith of following her on the highway one snowy evening after work and casting a spell on the heater of her car, causing it not to work. Well, actually, Bagnoli said she hadn’t seen Smith’s car, but she had seen Smith. “I thought to myself,” Smith recalls, “what, did she see me flying on my broom?”
But people in other countries are crazy, not us.
Today on Wonkette I found out about some recent beheading, wherein a presumably Christian soldier from Wasilla, Alaska, cut the head off an unarmed civilian Afghani and posed for pictures with the dead guy’s head. Al Jazeera English story here.
Two US army soldiers allegedly involved in a 12-man “kill team”accused of murdering Afghan civilians for sport have been shown in leaked photographs posing with one of their victims.
Specialist Jeremy Morlock and Private Andrew Holmes are shown holding up the head of a man identified by Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper as Gul Mudin, an unarmed Afghan they are accused of killing on January 15, 2010.
I’m guessing their reasoning was something along the lines of, “But they did it first!”
This is fantastic! Jeremy Scahill wrote an article that’s on CBS news today reminding the world that Erik Prince’s Blackwater (now Xe) favored shariah law, at least for the sake of letting them off the hook for the deaths of US servicemen in a plane crash caused by Blackwater pilot negligence. Blackwater has argued that since it occurred in Afghanistan, shariah law should hold sway.
Scahill suggests that congressman Peter King (R-NY), IRA supporter and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee (because terrorist sympathizers recognize their own??), talk to Blackwater’s legal counsel Joseph Schmitz, who both decries shariah law and supports it when it suits his clients ends.
Schmitz was among a group of conservative activists and former senior CIA and military officials, led by Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin and Lt. Gen. Edward Soyster, who last September issued a report: “Shariah: The Threat to America.”
In the report, the authors argued, “Today, the United States faces what is, if anything, an even more insidious ideological threat: the totalitarian socio-political doctrine that Islam calls shariah.” They concluded, “proponents of an expansionist shariah present a serious threat to the United States.”
In 2008, in attempting to have the case thrown out of federal court in Florida, Schmitz argued that because the crash occurred in Afghanistan, Sharia law should be applied. Conveniently, Sharia law does not hold a company responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their work.
To his credit, the judge in that case did not buy Schmitz’s Sharia law argument. (Needless to say, when Blackwater operatives gunned down seventeen innocent Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, Blackwater was not eager to have its men prosecuted under Iraqi law.)
It is such a pleasure to see a story like this on a major news outlet. Read this article, America.
In case you haven’t been following the story, the hypocrisy is particularly juicy because Erik Prince of Darkness is a big donor to Christian causes and has been described by former employees as a man who sees himself as “a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.”
A lawmaker in this unfortunate backwater (population almost ten million) has introduced a bill that would criminalize miscarriages and make abortion completely illegal. (Last year the same lawmaker–elected by the people!–proposed calling rape and domestic violence victims “accusers.”) Miscarriages and abortions could be punishable by death: any “prenatal murder” in the words of the bill, including “human involvement” in a miscarriage, would be a felony and carry a penalty of life in prison or death.
This is a place where 82% of the population follow the dominant religion (supposedly one of peace, love, and forgiveness), only 3% are “other,” and 13% identify as not religious.
John Cole at Balloon Juice wonders why Fox News isn’t screaming about several prominent politicians providing material support to terrorists.
Mostly he’s just quoting this blurb from here, the New York Times Opinion Page:
DID former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Tom Ridge, a former homeland security secretary, and Frances Townsend, a former national security adviser, all commit a federal crime last month in Paris when they spoke in support of the Mujahedeen Khalq at a conference organized by the Iranian opposition group’s advocates? Free speech, right? Not necessarily.
The problem is that the United States government has labeled the Mujahedeen Khalq a “foreign terrorist organization,” making it a crime to provide it, directly or indirectly, with any material support. And, according to the Justice Department under Mr. Mukasey himself, as well as under the current attorney general, Eric Holder, material support includes not only cash and other tangible aid, but also speech coordinated with a “foreign terrorist organization” for its benefit. It is therefore a felony, the government has argued, to file an amicus brief on behalf of a “terrorist” group, to engage in public advocacy to challenge a group’s “terrorist” designation or even to encourage peaceful avenues for redress of grievances.
You probably know this already. Rep Peter King (R) of New York is going to become the Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee.
From a post at Emptywheel:
While the NYT points to what I believe to be the appropriate response to King’s fear-mongering, it misses the mark by about a decade or so. They point to King’s involvement in brokering peace in Northern Ireland. But of course the relevant bit is how King, for years, openly supported Irish terrorists
Emptywheel provides a link to this article in the New York Sun, from 2005:
Since the late 1970s, a Long Island congressman, Peter King, has been aligned with one of the most violent terrorist groups in recent European history, defying critics in his own Republican Party and elsewhere, and yet managing to prosper.
Once a vocal and frequent House champion for the IRA’s political wing, Sinn Fein, and its leader, Gerry Adams, the 60-year-old, Queens-born Mr. King has said nothing about either on the House floor in years. The politician once called the IRA “the legitimate voice of occupied Ireland,” he was banned from the BBC by British censors for his pro-IRA views, and he refused to denounce the IRA when one of its mortar bombs killed nine Northern Irish police officers.
His family hailed from Limerick and Galway, but apart from a great-uncle who was in the IRA in the 1920s
Want to point out that there are probably hundreds of Muslims still locked in secret prisons right now for nothing more than having a great-uncle in a terrorist group.
He forged links with leaders of the IRA and Sinn Fein in Ireland, and in America he hooked up with Irish Northern Aid, known as Noraid, a New York based group that the American, British, and Irish governments often accused of funneling guns and money to the IRA. At a time when the IRA’s murder of Lord Mountbatten and its fierce bombing campaign in Britain and Ireland persuaded most American politicians to shun IRA-support groups, Mr. King displayed no such inhibitions. He spoke regularly at Noraid protests and became close to the group’s publicity director, the Bronx lawyer Martin Galvin, a figure reviled by the British.
Mr. King’s support for the IRA was unequivocal. In 1982, for instance, he told a pro-IRA rally in Nassau County: “We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry.”
Back to the Emptywheel post:
Peter King would still be in prison if the US had treated his material support for terrorism as it now does, with sentences that can amount to a life sentence. Instead, the raging hypocrite is using the Congressional seat he owes, in part, to his earlier embrace of terrorism to sow bigotry and hatred–and to make the cooperation of the Islamic community, which plays a key role in identifying real extremists, more difficult.
It just goes to show. You can’t get taken seriously as a terrorist, or terrorist sympathizer, anymore unless you’re Muslim, black, Arab, or look like you might be, or have a name that indicates that you might be.
From a NYTimes editorial:
He would have bristled at any simplistic talk about the “radicalization” of the Irish Catholic or Protestant communities. Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security is a very serious job. Mr. King needs to get serious.