A ban by world soccer body FIFA on Muslim women wearing Islamic headdress is taking its toll on the performance of not only Iran but also Jordan.
Iran earlier this month lost its chance of reaching the 2012 Olympics after its qualifying match was cancelled because the Islamic republic’s women soccer team appeared on the pitch wearing a hijab that covered their ears and neck and not only their hair as originally had been agreed with the Iranian Football Federation (IFF).
Ironically, the match was to be played in Amman against the Jordanian women’s team.
FIFA bans all religious and political symbols on the pitch but negotiated an exception with Iran involving a specially designed cap. FIFA argues that the Islamic headdress or hijab could cause a choking injury.
Iran charged that FIFA’s decision to disqualify its women’s team constituted an attack on all female Muslim players. Iranian and other Muslim women players reject the cap as un-Islamic.
Then, for the first time, grasping that for every man, and himself too, there was nothing in store but suffering, death, and forgetfulness, he had made up his mind that life was impossible like that, and that he must either interpret life so that it would not present itself to him as the evil jest of some devil, or shoot himself.
But he had not done either, but had gone on living, thinking, and feeling, and had even at that very time married, and had had many joys and had been happy, when he was not thinking of the meaning of his life.
What did this mean? It meant that he had been living rightly, but thinking wrongly.
The words uttered by the peasant had acted on his soul like an electric shock, suddenly transforming and combining into a single whole the whole swarm of disjointed, impotent, separate thoughts that incessantly occupied his mind. These thoughts had unconsciously been in his mind even when he was talking about the land.
He was aware of something new in his soul, and joyfully tested this new thing, not yet knowing what it was.
"Not living for his own wants, but for God? For what God? And could one say anything more senseless than what he said? He said that one must not live for one’s own wants, that is, that one
must not live for what we understand, what we are attracted by, what we desire, but must live for something incomprehensible, for God, whom no one can understand nor even define. What of it? Didn’t I understand those senseless words of Fyodor’s? And understanding them, did I doubt of their truth? Did I think them stupid, obscure, inexact? No, I understood him, and exactly as he understands the words. I understood them more fully and clearly than I understand anything in life, and never in my life have I doubted nor can I doubt about it. And not only I, but everyone, the whole world understands nothing fully but this, and about this only they have no doubt and are always agreed.
He was glad of a chance to be alone to recover from the influence of ordinary actual life, which had already depressed his happy mood. He thought that he had already had time to lose his temper with Ivan, to show coolness to his brother, and to talk flippantly with Katavasov.
"Can it have been only a momentary mood, and will it pass and leave no trace?" he thought. But the same instant, going back to his mood, he felt with delight that something new and important had happened to him. Real life had only for a time overcast the spiritual peace he had found, but it was still untouched within him.
Just as the bees, whirling round him, now menacing him and distracting his attention, prevented him from enjoying complete physical peace, forced him to restrain his movements to avoid them, so had the petty cares that had swarmed about him from the moment he got into the trap restricted his spiritual freedom; but that lasted only so long as he was among them. Just as his bodily strength was still unaffected, in spite of the bees, so too was the spiritual strength that he had just become aware of.
"This new feeling has not changed me, has not made me happy and enlightened all of a sudden, as I had dreamed, just like the feeling for my child. There was no surprise in this either. Faith—or not faith—I don’t know what it is—but this feeling has come just as imperceptibly through suffering, and has taken firm root in my soul.
"I shall go on in the same way, losing my temper with Ivan the coachman, falling into angry discussions, expressing my opinions tactlessly; there will be still the same wall between the holy of holies of my soul and other people, even my wife; I shall still go on scolding her for my own terror, and being remorseful for it; I shall still be as unable to understand with my reason why I pray, and I shall still go on praying; but my life now, my whole life apart from anything that can happen to me, every minute of it is no more meaningless, as it was before, but it has the positive meaning of goodness, which I have the power to put into it."
… War has a way of turning almost anything upside down, including language. But with lost jobs, foreclosed homes, crumbling infrastructure, and weird weather, who even notices? This undoubtedly means that you’re using a set of antediluvian war words or definitions from your father’s day. It’s time to catch up.
So here’s the latest word in war words: what’s in, what’s out, what’s inside out. What follows are nine common terms associated with our present wars that probably don’t mean what you think they mean. Since you live in a twenty-first-century war state, you might consider making them your own. …
Permanent bases: In the American way of war, military bases built on foreign soil are the equivalent of heroin. The Pentagon can’t help building them and can’t live without them, but “permanent bases” don’t exist, not for Americans. Never.
That’s simple enough, but let me be absolutely clear anyway: Americans may have at least 865 bases around the world (not including those in war zones), but we have no desire to occupy other countries. And wherever we garrison (and where aren’t we garrisoning?), we don’t want to stay, not permanently anyway.
In the grand scheme of things, for a planet more than four billion years old, our 90 bases in Japan, a mere 60-odd years in existence, or our 227 bases in Germany, some also around for 60-odd years, or those in Korea, 50-odd years, count as little. Moreover, we have it on good word that permanent bases are un-American. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said as much in 2003 when the first of the Pentagon’s planned Iraqi mega-bases were already on the drawing boards. Hillary Clinton said so again just the other day about Afghanistan, and an anonymous American official added for clarification: “There are U.S. troops in various countries for some considerable lengths of time which are not there permanently.” Korea anyone? So get it straight, Americans don’t want permanent bases. Period.
And that’s amazing when you think about it, since globally Americans are constantly building and upgrading military bases. The Pentagon is hooked. In Afghanistan, it’s gone totally wild—more than 400 of them and still building! Not only that, Washington is now deep into negotiations with the Afghan government to transform some of them into “joint bases” and stay on them if not until hell freezes over, then at least until Afghan soldiers can be whipped into an American-style army. Latest best guesstimate for that? 2017 without even getting close.
Fortunately, we plan to turn those many bases we built to the tune of billions of dollars, including the gigantic establishments at Bagram and Kandahar, over to the Afghans and just hang around, possibly “for decades,” as—and the word couldn’t be more delicate or thoughtful—“tenants.”
Bush’s global war on terror called drones up from the depths of its unconscious to fulfill its most basic urges: to be endless and to reach anywhere on Earth with an Old Testament-style sense of vengeance.
And by the way, accompanying the recent reports that the CIA is preparing to lend the U.S. military a major covert hand, drone-style, in its Yemen campaign was news that the Agency is building a base of its own on a rushed schedule in an unnamed Persian Gulf country. Just one base. But don’t expect that to be the end of it. After all, that’s like eating one potato chip.
Withdrawal: We’re going, we’re going…Just not quite yet and stop pushing! …
Georgia’s tough anti-illegal-immigrant law drove a sizable fraction of the migrant labor pool out of the state, and as a result, “millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops [are] unharvested and rotting in the fields.” The jobs the migrants did paid an average of $8/hour, without benefits, a wage that is so low that the state’s probationed prisoners have turned it down.
Yet another story that demonstrates why harsh immigration policy is short-sighted and ultimately fucks us, as a country, over.
(And yes, I’ll continue unashamedly to put immigration reform in cost-benefit terms. I’m a social scientist; it’s in my blood, damnit.)
There have been two critical developments in the LA TRAMACÚA PRISON, which was built with U.S. funds and input. We have learned of a brutal eight hour attack against the striking prisoners at La Tramacúa. The attacks occurred this weekend and have left five people in the hospital and at least 30 persons in need of medical attention. These aggressions are a blatant attempt to crush prisoner mobilizations demanding:
* An adequate supply of potable water; * Clean food free of fecal contamination; * Sanitary and functioning toilet facilities; * An end to beatings and torture that target political prisoners; * The closure of La Tramacúa.
Please respond to the Call to Action in the following section.
CJPME is tracking performers who have performed, or intend to perform in Israel. CJPME encourages its adherents to add their voice to those who call such performances to stop, until Israel respects international law, and respects the human rights of Palestinians.
Below is the letter I sent based on this action alert from Pax Christi USA.
John Tegtmeir U.S. DOE/NNSA Los Alamos Site Office
Dear Mr. Tegtmeir,
The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) project in Los Alamos, New Mexico should be cancelled.
I oppose all preparations for nuclear weapons, and I ask that the United States begin nuclear disarmament immediately.
I’m also concerned about the tremendous cost of this project. The “Details of Project Cost Estimate” table in the FY2012 budget puts CMRR’s current projected cost at $5.86 billion and a completion date of FY2023 - this is more than ten times the original forecast - and who knows what the final cost might be.
It’s also disturbing that this facility is sited near a fault line. This raises important safety concerns and no doubt is responsible for the tremendous cost increase.
This report by the Southern Education Foundation (SEF) finds that Georgia’s program of tax credit scholarships for private K-12 schools has failed to achieve its primary public aim of providing the state’s low income children attending troubled public schools with new, affordable opportunities for a good education. During the last three years, the state program has diverted more than $72 million of Georgia’s tax revenues to private organizations operating virtually in secret.
Erie County judge's apology for e-mail joke worse than the joke
Tuesday was a depressing day to be in Erie County Judge Michael E. Dunlavey’s courtroom, Dunlavey said.
So when someone e-mailed Dunlavey a joke on Wednesday that riffed on Eddie Murphy’s “Saturday Night Live” Buckwheat skits — which Dunlavey had enjoyed — he quickly forwarded it to court colleagues who, he thought, might need a dose of humor.
Dunlavey said he now realizes the joke, which contained a reference to Islam, might not have seemed funny, particularly to Muslims.
Dunlavey, a military intelligence expert, served as the head of interrogations at the Guantanamo Bay prison for suspected terror suspects in 2002. That and his extensive travel during his military service has probably made him more aware of Islamic culture than anyone in the court, he said.
Dunlavey said Friday he was thinking of Eddie Murphy and not Islam when he forwarded the joke.
Upon reflection, he said, he realized that Muslims would not be aware of the Murphy skit and would likely be offended by the joke.
Does he think every Muslim in the U.S. arrived yesterday? This piece of ignorance is worse than the joke.
It’s also pretty insulting to think that interrogating prisoners at Gitmo, a human rights sinkhole, and traveling around the world as part of colonial armies makes him “aware of Islamic culture.”
The problem is not being offended by a joke. The problem is whether this judge would be impartial to all the parties who may appear in his court.
Here’s an Arabic proverb which might benefit Judge Dunlavey: