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Noam Chomsky: “The World That We’re Creating For Our Grandchildren Is Grim”

February 14, 2015 in Blogs

By Sarah Gray, Salon.com

The MIT Professor Talks ISIS, Israel, and Climate Change

Renowned linguist and well-respected political commentator, Noam Chomsky, was interviewed by journalist David Barsamian for Jacobin. In the fascinating and thought-provoking conversation the two touch on the origins of ISIS, America’s relationship with Israel, among other foreign policy topics. Below are a few choice selections from the interview, which can (and should) be read in full at Jacobin.

 When asked about the origins of ISIS Chomsky explained how sectarian conflict derived from the Iraq war:

“There’s an interesting interview that just appeared a couple of days ago with Graham Fuller, a former CIA officer, one of the leading intelligence and mainstream analysts of the Middle East. The title is “The United States Created ISIS.” This is one of the conspiracy theories, the thousands of them that go around the Middle East.

But this is another source: this is right at the heart of the US establishment. He hastens to point out that he doesn’t mean the US decided to put ISIS into existence and then funded it. His point is — and I think it’s accurate — that the US created the background out of which ISIS grew and developed. Part of it was just the standard sledgehammer approach: smash up what you don’t like.”

Late in the answer Chomsky continues:

“Finally, the US just decided to attack the country in 2003. The attack is compared by many Iraqis to the Mongol invasion of a thousand years earlier. Very destructive. Hundreds of thousands of people killed, millions of refugees, millions of other displaced persons, destruction of the archeological richness and wealth of the country back to Sumeria.

One of the effects of the invasion was immediately to institute sectarian divisions. Part of the brilliance of the invasion force and its civilian director, Paul Bremer, was to separate the sects, Sunni, Shi’a, Kurd, from one another, set them at each other’s throats. Within a couple of years, there was a major, brutal sectarian conflict incited by the invasion.

You can see it if you look at Baghdad. If you take a map of …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Houston Muslim School Burned Down In What Investigators Say Is Likely An Arson Attack

February 14, 2015 in Blogs

By Zaid Jilani, AlterNet

The arson attack was the third incident of Islamaphobic violence this week.

Unfortunately, the execution of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill was not the only Islamophobic violence that happened this week. The same week, an Arab American family was assaulted in Dearborn, and now in Houston comes a horrible story of what appears to be an arson attack on an Islamic school for young children.

The Quba Islamic Institute opened in January of 2013 with the goal of doing Sunday school, summer school, and after-school programs for young children as well as host other Muslim events. Here's a photo from children there shooting hoops they posted yesterday on their Facebook:

And here's what happened to the school overnight:

Early this morning Houston firefighters responded to this blaze which was part of a fire taking place in one of the buildings of the school campus. After an investigation, they determined an accelerant was used to cause the fire, most likely an incendiary device.

I spoke to Ahsan Zahid, the son of the imam at the institution. Zahid described the scene early this morning when they arrived at the school to find it on fire. As the investigation was ongoing, the firefighters asked them if they “had thrown around a desk in a parking lot” – it soon became clear that school property had been smashed overnight, most likely intentionally.

Zahid also described a suspicious person they saw last night, “We had a person in a white pickup truck..who had just last night drove by our mosque as we were playing basketball outside at night getting ready to leave…chanting Arabic phrases, mocking us in a way.”

“I would like for my community…not to reach for hate, not to point fingers at anyone, not to criticize anyone,” said Zahid about how they plan to move forward. “I believe that since we have been wronged it is not necessary to be angry at the one who has wronged us…everybody has united nobody has said …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Comcast Cashed 79-Year-Old Woman’s Rent Check That She Mailed by Mistake — Then Tried to Keep It

February 14, 2015 in Blogs

By David Ferguson, Raw Story

Cable giant tries to play “finders keepers” with an elderly woman's money.

A 79-year-old woman accidentally mailed her rent check to Xfinity Comcast along with her cable bill — only to have the telecom giant cash it and initially refuse to return the money.

According to CNET.com, Francis Wilson of Albuquerque, New Mexico accidentally put her $235 rent check into the envelope she uses to pay her $20 cable bill each month.

Comcast received the check and cashed it. When Wilson realized her mistake and contacted the cable provider, they initially offered her an account credit rather than returning the money.

“You’re stealing from an old woman like me?” Wilson said to KRQE. “How dare you? You didn’t even call me? Who gave you permission?”

Large companies use machines to process incoming payments. Oftentimes these machines simply scan the numbers on the checks without bothering with the name of the payee.

KRQE contacted Comcast, whose representative said that the company rushed to rectify the error as soon as it was brought to their attention.

“Our big focus was to correct the situation as soon as possible,” she said, but the company — the largest cable and home Internet provider in the country for more a decade — only agreed to return the money when it was contacted by KRQE.

CNET’s Chris Matyszczyk asked why Comcast generates so many of these types of customer service nightmare stories.

“In recent times, the company has called customers “A**hole” and “Super B****.” Yes, in writing. Its so-called retention specialists have been recorded treating customers to a certain hell of unwanted persistence,” Matyszczyk said.

Watch video about this story, embedded below:

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…read more

Source: ALTERNET