New revelations on CIA overthrow of Iran’s democracy

The deep suspicion with which the West is viewed in the Middle East can be traced way back to the way that the west, especially the British in the early days, exploited that region’s oil reserves. This culminated in the 1953 coup that was organized by the CIA (and backed by the British) to overthrow the democratically elected leader of Iran Mohammad Mossadeq and replace him with their puppet Reza Pahlavi who was known as the Shah of Iran. His autocratic rule, his secret police that tortured and killed so many, and the lavish lifestyle of his family, laid the ground work for the rebellion led by Ayatollah Khomeini and the subsequent dominance of the Muslim clergy in running the country.
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“Social justice isn’t copyrighted”

Here are highlights of the interview that Naomi Klein of The Intercept conducted with Jeremy Corbyn where he gave a rousing reiteration of his theme of how acting in a collective manner is far better than extreme individualism. See the bit at around the 5:00 minute mark where in a fiery speech in February 2003, like so many of us on the left, Corbyn predicted the spiral of conflict and misery that would ensue if the west went ahead with its plans to invade Iraq.

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No, it is not harder being rich than being poor

The rich share many self-serving conceits. One is that they are rich because they are more clever and work harder than those who are not. They dismiss any idea that luck had anything to do with it, especially the luck that resulted in them being born into a family that, even if not overly wealthy, yet belong to a race, ethnicity, and nationality that automatically put them into the top brackets of income and wealth in the world.
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Great moments in punditry

Clinton partisans among the Democrats are providing their own overheated rhetoric as they seek revenge for what they see as an election victory that was stolen from them by Russians. Paul Begala is a top Democratic insider and close confidante of the Clinton family who served as counselor to Bill Clinton when he was president. He is now a commentator on CNN. On Anderson Cooper’s show, he actually suggested that Donald Trump should “blow up” Russia’s KGB, GSU, or GRU (the intelligence services of that country) because “we were and are under attack by a hostile foreign power” and “should be retaliating massively”.
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Trump and his lawyer make a perfect couple

We are truly plumbing the depths of politics these days, with Donald Trump and members of his family and his administration making bizarre statements. We know that Trump rages against anyone who has the temerity to challenge him or his grandiose claims. But in politics, like attracts like. Take this story about how Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, his lawyer mind you, the person who should be practicing restraint in his speech, responded to a critical email he received from a total stranger.
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Torture victim secretly won case against UAE in 2013

Thanks to leaks of US State Department cables given to The Intercept, we are now aware of a $10 million settlement agreed upon in 2013 paid to a US citizen Khaled Hassen by the UAE. The UAE had fought to keep secret the fact that people at the highest levels of that country, which is a loyal puppet of the US and Saudi Arabia, including members of their royal family had acknowledged being involved in torture.
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Another dramatic rescue at sea – this time it’s an elephant

Following my post earlier today about the 10 people rescued from drowning off the coast of Florida, I came across a news report of another dramatic rescue yesterday, this time of a wild elephant. Elephants are good swimmers but one of them seemed to have been caught in a tide and dragged 8 km out to sea off the northeast coast of Sri Lanka. It was spotted desperately trying to keep its trunk above water in order to breathe.
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A miracle? No, an act of human courage and solidarity

Many of you would have heard or read about the incredible rescue of people who had been caught in a rip tide off the coast of Florida. Two young boys Noah and Stephen Ursrey were initially caught up by the tide and when other people became aware of their distress and tried to help them, they too got caught in the strong tide so that in the end 10 people were in danger of drowning. There was no lifeguard on duty.
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