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Tue, 21 Jan 2020
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Why Iran Came Clean And Stopped Covering up Its Role in The UIA-752 Tragedy

Iran Flight 752 Ukrainian plane
Giving Credit Where It's Due

Iran, to its credit, quickly came clean and admitted to its culpability in accidentally shooting down UIA-752 last week after vehemently insisting for the past few days that any such claims were nothing but a "big lie...(a) psychological operation...adding insult to the injury of the bereaved families". Tehran didn't do this just because it's the right thing to do, but because it realized that its international reputation would continue to suffer if it hadn't reversed its narrative course when it did. The author explained everything that went wrong with his previous analysis on the topic in his most recent article titled "Iran's Shoot-Down Admission Is A Mea Culpa Moment For Alt-Media (Myself Included)", where it was promised that a forthcoming analysis would soon be published about the reasons behind Iran's about-face, ergo the purpose of the present piece. That aforementioned work, however, should be reviewed by the reader in order to obtain a better understanding of just how counterproductive Iran's previous stance was to its soft power.

Comment: That's the end of the matter as far as international diplomacy is concerned.

But what remains to be answered is how an air-defense system operator mistook a Boeing 737 for a cruise missile.

Unless it was fiddled with in some way, the Ukrainian Airlines jet's transponder should have told the operator of the TOR-1M system that the object he was seeing on his radar screen is a Boeing 737.

Additionally, the plane's appearance on his screen should have in no way surprised him - it was the TENTH flight out of Tehran's Khomeini Airport that night. Prior to Flight 752, the last flight movement there was the departure - from the same runway and in the same direction - of QR8408 at 05:39 local time.

Why then was the air-defense operator surprised by this flight?


Professor calls free speech 'racist'

censorship free speech students
© Rob ZS / Shutterstock
A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor recently called free speech racist and said he worries that if a Democratic presidential candidate wins the 2020 election it could spark another Civil War.

Eric King Watts, an associate professor of communication studies, made the comments during his keynote speech "Tribalism, Voicelessness, and the Problem of Free Speech" that kicked off a two-day conference on free speech.

"Democracy needs free speech, but it is increasingly vulnerable to its excesses," Watts said in his speech.

"I will first set forth how freedom of speech is implicated in racism by linking its historical contingency to the production of blackened flesh," Watts said. "I will demonstrate how racism produces its uneven distribution of capacity and debility...."

The speech was audio recorded and first reported by the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, and reporter Branson Inscore recently provided audio clips of the speech to The College Fix.

Comment: See also,


'You started it, we will end it': Iranian news outlet posts mock Trump assassination video

memri trump mock assassination
© YouTube/MEMRI TV Videos
Iran's Fars News Agency (FNA) is the latest organization to publish media depicting the assassination of US President Donald Trump, warning US leaders that if Washington starts a war, Tehran will end it.

As the world awaits the next moves by Washington and Tehran's following recently-heightened tensions brought about by the assassination of commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qassem Soleimani, FNA, the outlet regarded by many as Iran's semi-official news agency, published a short clip on Monday showing one potential outcome of a conflict.

A gunman is shown assembling his rifle and peering at an image of Soleimani before taking aim at the US president in the video, entitled "Hey US! You started, we will end it."

"Hey US, if you begin the war, we will end the war in the name of god, the beneficent, the merciful," reads the video's caption.


Washington rebukes UK for extradition request of American diplomat charged in British teen's death

anne Sacoolas, Harry Dunn
Washington has rebuked the UK for its extradition request for the wife of an American diplomat over her role in a fatal car crash which killed a British teenager. She has refused to return to the country to face charges.

Home Secretary Priti Patel filed a formal extradition request on Friday for Anne Sacoolas, who struck 19-year-old Harry Dunn with her car last August while driving on the wrong side of the road near a joint US-UK military base in Northamptonshire. Dunn, who was riding a motorbike, did not survive.

"The Home Office has sent an extradition request to the United States for Anne Sacoolas on charges of causing death by dangerous driving," the Home Office said in a statement. "This is now a decision for the US authorities."

Comment: One might wonder how quickly Ms. Sacoolas would be on a plane to London, if the UK threatened to end Assange's detention and ignore his extradition request ...

See also:


Celebrities turned delusional climate change activists, Joaquin Phoenix and Martin Sheen among 300 arrested at Washington, DC rally

Joaquin Phoenix Fire Drill Friday climate change rally
© SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Joaquin Phoenix participates in the Fire Drill Friday climate change rally.
Fresh off his Golden Globe win earlier this week, Joaquin Phoenix has been arrested in Washington D.C. for participating in a climate change rally. Phoenix was arrested alongside fellow actor Martin Sheen. The actors were two of 300 people attending the rally, organized by Jane Fonda. Fonda has been arrested several times over the last couple of months for protesting in Washington D.C. Deadline first reported the news. Phoenix addressed protestors at a rally prior to being arrested.

"Sometimes we wonder what can we do in this fight against climate change, and there is something that you can do today and tomorrow, by making a choice about what you consume," Phoenix said. "There are things I can't avoid. I flew a plane here today, or last night rather, but one thing I can do is change my eating habits."

Phoenix won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture thanks to his performance in "Joker," and he used his time at the podium to similarly bring attention to better eating choices. The Globes served a plant-based vegan menu this year, which Phoenix praised. Backstage after his Golden Globe win, Phoenix told press that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's decision to have a vegan dinner made him more excited to be at the Golden Globes than ever before.

Comment: Apparently these celebrities weren't paying attention to Ricky Gervais' pointed comments this past week - a fair number of rational people are simply not interested in their opinions and would prefer they stick to what they do best - act.
Comedian Ricky Gervais, man of the people:

They have the audacity to call for an "economic revolution" after making fortunes off us working-class stiffs. They look down on anyone who doesn't vote like them because they can't possibly imagine a world in which they might be wrong. Fame has tricked them into believing they are the moral arbiter of all that is good and right and just in the world.


Five maximum security prison officers assaulted by radical Islamists at Whitemoor prison in central England

terror attack Whitemoor prison
Five prison officers were assaulted at a maximum security jail in England on Thursday and British counter-terrorism police opened an investigation, a police spokesman said.

London Police said officers from its Counter Terrorism Command were leading the inquiry into the incident at Whitemoor prison in central England.

The BBC reported that two inmates, one who was serving a sentence for terrorism offences, had carried out the attack using bladed weapons and were wearing fake suicide vests.

Comment: The Independent adds that the incident is now being considered a terror attack. One of the suspects is Brusthom Ziamani, a member of Anjem Choudary's al-Muhajiroun (ALM) Islamist network who was jailed for planning a terror attack in 2015.

Yellow Vest

Police crack down as striking workers and Yellow Vest protesters converge on streets across France

Comment: For 61 consecutive weeks the Yellow Vest protests have been going on... And they today converged with the 40 straight days of mass strikes by public workers. The French surely hold world records for protesting!

paris strike
© AFP / Lionel Bonaventure
Protesters run away from tear gas during a demonstration in Paris on January 11, 2020.
Rallies against France's pension reform and anti-government Yellow Vest protests have escalated into clashes with police in Paris and other cities. Police responded with tear gas as some protesters threw stones and started fires.

The nationwide strike against pension reforms has entered its 38th day in France, coinciding with 'Act 61' of demonstrations by the Yellow Vests, the movement that has been protesting state austerity measures each weekend for over a year now.

Tensions this Saturday appear to be particularly high, as clashes between the protesters and law enforcement erupted in multiple locations across the country.

Comment: One would expect these ostensibly separate movements, considering their shared concerns, to ultimately merge into one massive movement against Macron and his government' s destructive anti-national and anti-social policies: 450,000 join France's ongoing strike action including nurses, teachers and lawyers

Yellow Vest

Thousands of independence supporters march in Glasgow, more rallies planned

Scottish independence
© Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images
Protesters with Scottish flags attend the march organised by All Under One Banner calling for Scottish independence in Glasgow.
Thousands of independence supporters have begun marching through the streets of Glasgow.

The march is the first of eight planned for 2020 by the grassroots organisation All Under One Banner (AUOB) in what is likely to be a crucial year for the Scottish independence movement.

It comes the day after the former Labour cabinet minister and MP Ben Bradshaw declared he was "100% certain" that Scotland would choose to leave the UK in the event of a second referendum on independence, which the first minister and SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, is pushing for later this year.

Bradshaw told the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel: "The political class in England - and this includes my own party - must very quickly recognise the Scots' right to self-determination." His remarks were tweeted approvingly by Sturgeon.


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Man infected with mystery virus in China dies after outbreak

coronovirus china pneumonia wuhan market

Wuhan’s Huanan seafood market, where most of the mystery viral pneumonia cases have originated.
A 61-year-old man has died from pneumonia in the central Chinese city of Wuhan after an outbreak of a yet to be identified virus while seven others are in critical condition, the Wuhan health authorities said on Saturday.

In total, 41 people have been diagnosed with the pathogen, which preliminary lab tests cited by Chinese state media earlier this week pointed to a new type of coronavirus, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a statement on its website.

It said the pathogen was an "unknown cause of viral pneumonia".

Two of them have been discharged from hospital and the rest are in stable condition, while 739 people deemed to have been in close contact with the patients have been cleared, it said.

Comment: Mysterious coronavirus identified by China in record time as cause of pneumonia outbreak


Alleged anti-Semitic arsonist released with no bail in New York

james polite
© Facebook / public photo
James Polite, who was charged with hate crimes and arson after he allegedly set fire to seven Jewish sites and vandalized a synagogue, was released from jail without bail Tuesday, according to court records.

Polite allegedly wrote "Die Jew Rats" and "Hitler" at the Union Temple of Brooklyn in November 2018. Security footage allegedly showed him setting setting fires at "seven shuls and yeshivas in Williamsburg."

The incidents led to the cancellation of a Democratic event at the synagogue, with a candidate saying it highlighted the need to vote out "hate."

Polite is a self-identified queer black man who was taken in by a Jewish couple after his mother left him in "unsanitary" conditions. At a Barack Obama rally, he met then-New York city council speaker Christine Quinn, who hired him as an intern working on anti-hate crime issues and also called him the "adopted child of the Quinn administration," according to a 2017 New York Times profile that said he "could defy the statistics."

Polite went on to immerse himself in African American studies at Brandeis University.

On Facebook, he shared a paper hosted on Brandeis' website from the Journal of Black Studies about "witchcraft, race and resistance in colonial New England," highlighting how "Whites accused blacks of the crime of witchcraft in New England."

Comment: See also: