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1 shutdown  Tue, May 10, 2011 1:34:44pm

I like the article and appreciate the well-presented thoughts you add. However, I am completely indifferent to whether the Iranian government becomes consumed with - or by - internecine strife. In fact, a power struggle between the lunatic, anti-Western, nuclear war threatening elected President and the lunatic, anti-Western, nuclear war threatening clerical leadership can not possibly result in anything worse taking either of their places. So, the only pause these political fisticuffs give me is to consider the parallels between the lunatic, science hating, AGW denying, First Amendment destroying FringeBaggers here and the ones there.

2 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Tue, May 10, 2011 2:12:29pm

re: #1 imp_62

I like the article and appreciate the well-presented thoughts you add. However, I am completely indifferent to whether the Iranian government becomes consumed with - or by - internecine strife. In fact, a power struggle between the lunatic, anti-Western, nuclear war threatening elected President and the lunatic, anti-Western, nuclear war threatening clerical leadership can not possibly result in anything worse taking either of their places. So, the only pause these political fisticuffs give me is to consider the parallels between the lunatic, science hating, AGW denying, First Amendment destroying FringeBaggers here and the ones there.

That was the point, Theocracy is bad mmmkay?

3 aagcobb  Tue, May 10, 2011 3:14:55pm

This is what theocracy leads to; its the 21st Century, and they are conducting literal witchhunts. I guarantee that if the religious right fanatics gained power, the same thing would happen here.

4 Achilles Tang  Tue, May 10, 2011 6:30:20pm

What pops into mind when mentioning djiin and witchcraft is exorcism; which is alive and well far away from Iran.

5 What, me worry?  Tue, May 10, 2011 7:35:03pm

It's hard to tell, though, if Iran's leaders actually believe in the witchcraft claims or if they're just using it as a convenience to oust who they don't like.

I believe they do believe in the coming of the 12th imam, but like the coming of the Messiah, even those in Islam disagree on when that time is.

"Using the 12th imam for political purposes and telling people to prepare the streets to await his return is wrong and a misuse of Islam. Nobody knows when he is going to return," said Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri,

It's just an awfully convenient claim to cry witch.

6 shutdown  Tue, May 10, 2011 7:46:21pm

re: #2 ausador

That was the point, Theocracy is bad mmmkay?

Actually, that is not the way the post reads, at all. You state that despite the fact that there "is no love lost", this story ought, perhaps, to give us pause. I explained that it does not. I do, however, see parallels between the people, not the form of government at all.

7 shutdown  Tue, May 10, 2011 7:47:16pm

re: #6 imp_62

Actually, that is not the way the post reads, at all. You state that despite the fact that there "is no love lost", this story ought, perhaps, to give us pause. I explained that it does not. I do, however, see parallels between the people, not the form of government at all.

Not meant to sound as snarky as it came out, ausador. I liked the post.

8 Shiplord Kirel  Tue, May 10, 2011 9:45:06pm

This is like the medieval conflict between popes and anti-popes in the west, or the various doctrinal disputes among different gangs of fundamentalist cretins here in Texas. Did the early church play musical instruments or not? Should businesses be open on Sunday? Is the wine in the Bible really just grape juice? Post or pre-millennial?

I think it may be characteristic of theocracies, as with other authoritarian systems, to fall into internecine conflict. As often as not, this can become lethal without altering the substance of the overall structure. Himmler and Goering, Stalin and Trotsky, etc.: The stench is a little different but it's the same shit.

9 dirtyharry71  Wed, May 11, 2011 1:23:31am

How is this any different than McCarthy accusing people of being communist? You don't need to be a theocracy to use fear to stay in power or promote an agenda. They use demons and spirits. We (USA) use communists and terrorists.

It's not about religion or ideology. It's about which asshole is in charge. Everything else is just a game.

10 haakondahl  Wed, May 11, 2011 1:48:30am

re: #9 dirtyharry71

Actually, it is different. For one, McCarthy happened to have been correct about the STate Department and swathes of our society being run through with Commies, and we need no belief in the supernatural to see the handiwork of terrorists who still persist in their efforts.

Oh, unless you think that the government did it, not "terrorists" on 9/11.

11 dirtyharry71  Wed, May 11, 2011 2:19:17am

re: #10 haakondahl

At best, McCarthy correctly identified a small handful (single digits) of communist spies... out of hundreds he accused. He cast such a wide net he was bound to catch a few fish. And I decline to take your bait on the 9/11 stuff. Spare me.

I think you missed my real point. Boogeymen are useful to people in power.

12 Obdicut  Wed, May 11, 2011 3:53:30am

re: #10 haakondahl

For one, McCarthy happened to have been correct about the STate Department

Nope. His claims far exceeded reality.


Oh, unless you think that the government did it, not "terrorists" on 9/11.

Don't be an asshole.

13 aagcobb  Wed, May 11, 2011 4:17:51am

re: #5 marjoriemoon

It doesn't matter whether they believe in witchcraft or not. The mere fact that in the 21st Century people in power can accuse others of sorcery with a straight face demonstrates the devastating consequences of theocracy to a society.

14 What, me worry?  Wed, May 11, 2011 7:15:17am

re: #13 aagcobb

It doesn't matter whether they believe in witchcraft or not. The mere fact that in the 21st Century people in power can accuse others of sorcery with a straight face demonstrates the devastating consequences of theocracy to a society.

My point is that it's all bullshit. Seems to me this is less about sorcery and more about political maneuvering - making the other side look evil.

When a society is run as theocracy with no democracy (Iran's elections were not free, they were deadly) this is what you're gonna see. We have theocrats in the U.S. who fantasize about such things today.

15 What, me worry?  Wed, May 11, 2011 7:17:02am

Hey Ausador, what are examples 1-41?

:)

16 eightyfiv  Wed, May 11, 2011 9:29:33am

My wife puts it nicely: Combining religion and government makes a mockery of both.

Even relatively mild forms, as seen in the State of Israel, remain an endless source of stupidity. Consider that it is still impossible to marry across religions (short of performing the ceremony in another country), or even marry at all if your religious status is indeterminate -- and since the official rabbinate is Orthodox, all Reform and Conservative Jewish converts are "indeterminate", and even born Jews from Reform and Conservative communities must struggle to prove their proper "Jewishness". Or that, since places of religious worship are government sponsored, but only if they follow government standards, they are plentiful yet plagued with weak and powerless congregations. Vigorous, independent places of worship are rare, because they are hopelessly undercut by subsidized competition.

17 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Wed, May 11, 2011 9:40:13am

re: #15 marjoriemoon

Hey Ausador, what are examples 1-41?

:)

Uhh...#42 explains life, the universe, and everything? ;)

18 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Wed, May 11, 2011 9:46:18am

re: #16 eightyfiv

Sad to say I'm not as well versed in those details as I probably should be, I honestly don't know all that much about the details of life in Israel. I do know that "The Source" by James Michener had some fun in pointing out the absurdity of the marriage rules there, but as that was some years ago I'm not sure how true his critique still is.

19 John Vreeland  Wed, May 11, 2011 1:18:15pm

re: #10 haakondahl

Actually, it is different. For one, McCarthy happened to have been correct about the STate Department and swathes of our society being run through with Commies, and we need no belief in the supernatural to see the handiwork of terrorists who still persist in their efforts.

The Soviet spies had all been tried and convicted before McCarthy made his accusations. By the time his witch hunts began.... well, there is a reason it was called a witch hunt. Unless you consider the reckless publication of unsupported and unprivileged accusations by the drooling wire services to be tantamount to a criminal conviction, for that was all Senator McCarthy ever produced.

Born of America's frustration with the failures of the Korean peace negotiations, McCarthism relied on liberal press libel laws and the moral cowardice of Hollywood and Washington to turn his abuse of the inquisitorial congressional hearing process into a scandal. Historian Paul Johnson called him, "Stalin's last gift to America."


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