Iran Sentences Lawyer To 38 Years and 148 Lashes After Representing Women Opposed To The Islamic Headscarf

We have been discussing the incredible courage of women activists in Saudi Arabia and Iran who are being arrested, tortured, and imprisoned for claiming the most basic civil liberties. One of the most inspiring activists is Nasrin Sotoudeh, a world renowned human rights lawyer jailed in Iran for her representation of women who removed their mandatory headscarf. In an act of unspeakable brutality and savagery, an Iranian court has sentenced her to 38 years and 148 lashes in a trumped up charge of spying, spreading propaganda, and insulting Iran’s supreme leader. In the meantime, ten women are being tried in Saudi Arabia which continues to repress women and girls under its strict Islamic code.

Sotoudeh was arrested in June. She was previously sentenced to six years for spreading propaganda and conspiracy to harm the state. She was released after three years

The disgraceful and inhumane treatment of Sotoudeh is a reflection of the Sharia legal system that enforces strict Islamic rules. The brutal sentences reflect the insecurity of the mullahs that people might assert the right to think, worship and live according to their values and conscience. 

One of the authoritarian cogs in this system is “Judge” Mohammad Moqiseh, of the revolutionary court in Tehran. He announced the sentencing of Sotoudeh.

Sotoudeh is the personification of the struggle for human rights. She is a reminder of the courage and sacrifice being made by lawyers around the world in seeking to protect the rights of others. Someday women will be free in Iran and Saudi Arabia to pursue their own lives, dreams, and values. When that day comes, it will be due to heroism of people like Nasrin Sotoudeh.

80 thoughts on “Iran Sentences Lawyer To 38 Years and 148 Lashes After Representing Women Opposed To The Islamic Headscarf”

  1. I would add that Iran is of two minds right now. The younger generation has been pushing the limits on the repressive dress code. It is common to see the front of a young woman’s hair under her roosari, which is pushed back as far as she dares. But the religious police have been pushing back. Young men were arrested for having Westernized haircuts. And now they have done this to poor Sotoudeh.

    Believe it or not, under the Shah, Tehran was a chic tourist destination, rather like Istanbul used to be before Erdogan went off the rails. Women’s fashion was chic and Westernized.

    Extremism has made a complete mess out of the country. I actually don’t know if women will ever be free in the Middle East. Without true power, they must rely on men relenting and giving them the legal power of self determination. As long as they operate under Sharia Law, I don’t see that happening.

    Women gained suffrage because men voted for it here in the US. The values are very different in the Middle East. It will take Middle Eastern men to feel bad about what they’ve been doing to women, and vote to give them more rights, for there to be any change.

  2. I am so very sorry to hear about Sotoudeh’s sentence. This might be a death sentence by torture. You cannot survive 138 lashes, even though they spread it out. It mashes flesh and nerves, and shreds skin, depending on the lash used. A boy died years ago in Iran trying to survive 85 lashes, I think, when the lash hit his head. Saudi Arabia has become something of an expert on lashing, dividing it up in weekly bouts of 50 lashes, each. Women get less.

    It is torture that can be spread out for weeks, months, or years. I cannot imagine the total lack of morality one would have to have to torture a human being like that, especially for arguing in court for women’s rights. That’s the crime fit to punish by torture?

    This is what an all powerful government, no individual rights, and no free speech looks like. Take a good, long look before eroding our own freedoms to grow government.

    1. OK, but I don;t think anyone in either of the major parties is advocating for no individual rights and no free speech. Your comments on the ME and fundamentalism is dead on, Benazir Bhutto, a woman was elected prime minister of Pakistan back in the 90’s. Iran has a large educated and mostly secular middle class and we’d be wise to encourage that and play to them

        1. We would be wise to play to it’s growing secular and educated middle class segment. It’s the largest among muslim nations in the ME. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Green Revolution?

          1. If Iran is growing more secular, then why was a human rights lawyer sentenced to 38 years and 148 lashes, merely for arguing in favor of the roosari becoming voluntary? Why do males still have legal control over Persian females? Personally, if a country openly plans to kill us all, I don’t want much to do with them.

            I agree with you that the youngest generation are pushing the limits on the oppressive regime in Iran, but they do not hold power. It is most emphatically not a secular state, nor does it support Western ideas on freedom and democracy. Women do hold some important positions, but they are as heavily restricted as any other woman in their country.

            If you can find a way to support a Westernized democracy, similar to Israel, in Iran, then I would wholeheartedly support your plan. However, I do not find that nation building works, except from within. There is no history of Westernized jurisprudence. No ancient Magna Carta.

            Just to get through the day in Iran you have to bribe half a dozen people. They consider it like tipping.

            1. I didn’t say Iran has grown more secular, though that case might be made. Rhouani is a marked improvement over Ach-whatever his name is, though he does not have complete control and is not Thomas Jefferson. How we affect change in Iran is a difficult question, but would include economic carrots and sanction sticks. The more they are integrated into western markets, the larger that middle class will become and the more sweet smell of money will displace revolution. The pattern is the formerly Maoist China.

              We are the Great Satan largely because we overthrew their elected government and re-installed the Shah, and because we, along with Israel are a convenient bogeyman for the demagogues. Younger Iranians don’t remember the Shah.

              1. Anon:

                “I didn’t say Iran has grown more secular”

                10:32 PM “We would be wise to play to it’s growing secular and educated middle class segment”

                You lost me, boyo.

                Anyway, yes, indeed Persians resent our overthrow of the Shah. We bear some responsibility in falling prey to the imams’ rumor campaign against him, and allowing the return of extremism.

                That is not the only, or even the main, reason why Iran hates us. Iran desires Israel to be wiped off the face of the math, along with every Jewish man, woman, and child within her border. The US helps Israel continue to exist. It is a teeny, tiny country in a sea of hostility. We give them aid, which they are then required to turn around and spend on US stuff, like military weapons and infrastructure. This mutually beneficial agreement aids Israel’s survival. Iran recognizes us as a loyal ally, and hates us. Iran hates our general interference in the spread of the global caliphate. Shia Iran clenches its teeth at Wahhabi/Sunni Saudi Arabia, our fair weather friend. Saudi Arabia considers itself the center of the Islamic world. They have Mecca. Iran wants to expand beyond its border, and resent the Kingdom’s power in geopolitics. Our friendship with Saudi Arabia helps to keep a lid on the Iran pot trying to boil over. It is said that our removal of Saddam Hussein allowed Iran more power over Iraq, which irks CP Mohammad bin Salman (MBS).

                Saudi Arabia and Iran have been playing chess with region politics for decades, and it’s heating up. Our adversarial relationship with Iran and cozy link to Saudi Arabia puts us squarely in the middle of this clash. This is not speed chess, yet, but there is a time element to it. Iran is counting down to military nuclear capability. Tic Toc.

                1. Face palm. I meant “wiped off the face of the map” not “math!” What did I write for auto correct to come up with that???

                2. I carefully did not say Iran was growing more secular, because the Iman’s still have rights of first refusal on the actions of the government. That does not change the fact that the country has a growing secular educated middle class which they have to pay some attention to if they don’t want another Green Revolution.

                  Iran is not counting down to nuclear capability as they were 3 years ago, though Trump is pushing them in that direction. This is certified by the IAEA inspectors in Iran and US and Israeli intelligence. Thanks Obama.

                  1. Some critical problems with the Iran deal:

                    https://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2015/07/27/the-real-problems-with-the-iran-nuclear-deal

                    Originally, diplomacy with Iran was supposed to be based on a straight trade-off: America (and its partners) would end nuclear-related sanctions while Iran would end its domestic nuclear program.

                    Then, the United States conceded to Iran the right to have its own nuclear reactors but not to develop indigenous capacity to enrich nuclear fuel, which doubles as the core element of nuclear weapons. Then, the United States conceded to Iran the right to enrich but under strict limitations. Then, the United States conceded to Iran that the strict limitations on enrichment would expire at a certain point in the future.

                    The result was that a deal originally conceived as trading sanctions relief for Iran’s nuclear program evolved, over time, into a deal trading sanctions relief for time-limited restrictions on Iran’s ambitious nuclear plans, enforced through a vigorous monitoring, verification and consequences regime. Perhaps that new, lesser deal – one that kicks Iran’s potential to be a nuclear weapons threshold state into the future – is still in America’s interest, but one should begin any analysis by recalling how far we have come from the original intent of sanctions and U.S. diplomacy.

                    This was as of 2015. How did inspections go since then?

                    https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2017/02/28/key-problems-trump-needs-to-address-on-the-iran-nuclear-deal/#1f9b17e716f9

                    You may not be aware, but Iran repeatedly broke the ban on ICBM, writing “Death to Israel” on its illegal missile tests.

                    Iran’s recent ballistic missile test was the latest manifestation of its enmity toward the international community and its disrespect for its commitments under UN resolutions and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear deal forged between Tehran and world powers in 2015 is formally known…

                    But while apologists of the appeasement policy toward Tehran tout the achievements of the JCPOA, they fail to mention any of the shortcomings and failures that have earned deal the title of “the worst deal ever negotiated.”

                    And on that front, handsome much can be said…

                    Backers of the Iran deal maintain that the accord has put caps on Iran’s nuclear program by limiting its enriched uranium stockpile, level of enrichment and number of functional centrifuges. But all of those limits are predicated on hoping that the Iranian regime will keep its word, which is not saying much.

                    And the mere fact that an extremist regime and the leading state sponsor of terrorism is allowed to enrich uranium is in itself a failure. What’s interesting is that, before capitulating to Tehran, it was the Obama Administration’s stated position that Iran has no right to enrich uranium.

                    Iran could have perfectly achieved a peaceful nuclear energy program by purchasing fuel from the international market, and it would have even cost less than maintaining a domestic enrichment program. Tehran’s insistence on its “inalienable right to enrichment” further betrays its true intentions…

                    The JCPOA provisions a sunset clause, which sets expiration dates on the limits imposed on Iran’s nuclear program.

                    This gives Iran the green light to extend its centrifuges beyond the current 6,000 limit after 10 years, and after 15 years it’ll be free to grow its nuclear stockpile beyond the current 300-kilogram cap as well as create heavy water reactors, which can generate weapons-grade plutonium.

                    Even Obama admits that in years 13, 14 and 15 of the deal, Iran’s breakout time “would have shrunk almost down to zero,” which means if Iran decides to dash for the bomb, it would have it in no time…

                    Following the forging of the pact, Obama stressed that the JCPOA does not rely on trust but on verification. The White House declared that under the new nuclear deal, “Iran has committed to extraordinary and robust monitoring, verification and inspection.”

                    But Iran’s written commitment, the mechanisms put in place to verify Iran’s compliance to the terms of the deal, are very weak.

                    Under the accord, the task of policing Iran’s nuclear activities will fall to a small band of IAEA inspectors who are supposed to have real-time access to Iran’s declared nuclear sites. However, Iran strictly limited access to its long-suspected Parchin facility, and proceeded with providing its own environmental samples of the site without inspectors physically present, the result of an alleged side deal between Washington and Tehran.

                    Moreover, should inspectors desire to investigate a new suspicious site, Iran can stall the process for up to 54 days, enough time to sanitize its sites and remove evidence.

                    Case in point: The IAEA’s first and second quarterly reports on Iran’s implementation of the nuclear deal provide less information on the regime’s nuclear activities than the reports preceding the agreement, a fact that caused worry among U.S. Senators who originally supported the deal.

                    I’ve taken out some key paragraphs, but there are more concerning issues with this deal. The problem is that failure very likely means nuclear war. This nuclear deal does not stop Iran’s ambitions to blow the US and Israel off the planet. This makes it an imminent, existential crisis.

                    Think about it. The entire West is pushing programs to entirely destroy our economy, because they are worried about anthropogenic climate change, even though every single one of its computer models are inaccurate. They are concerned about what would happen in 100 years. Granted, we should all ensure that Earth is a livable planet for all mammals into the future. However, President Obama admitted that when the sunset clause triggers in 15 years, Iran’s time to develop a nuclear bomb will be zero. Obama said that. Not any of his detractors. If Obama himself said that Iran could immediately develop nuclear weapons immediately upon expiration of the Iran Nuclear Deal, then that deal most certainly did not prevent their nuclearization, and Obama knew it at the time.

                    1. Gee, a deal that stops Iran from producing a nuclear weapon will have to be monitored and the same restraints in place now will still be there in 15 years. I wish they’d never entered into this deal and Iran would have a bomb now.

                      Karen, that makes no sense. If trump could get a similar deal with NK he’d be telling you it was the best ever and I’m afraid to say, you’d probably believe him.

                      To repeat, Iran is complying, according to the IAEA inspectors in Iran right now, and according to US and Israeli intelligence. Those are facts.

              2. “The more they are integrated into western markets, the larger that middle class will become and the more sweet smell of money will displace revolution. The pattern is the formerly Maoist China.”

                BWAHAHAHAHA

                Chinese never lost the use and misuse of money in their culture. The use of precious metal coinage was invented in the ancient west, but they invented paper money. It never went away.

                Mao was a strongman leader like many who came before him and many who will come after. He had his pluses and his minuses. Minuses like the fame that caused tens of milions to starve to death, or the Cultural Revolution, where he let his insane young fanatics make political correctness style war on the “four olds.”

                But he had some plusses and one was a certain reduction in corruption from the old and inefficient feudal system. Yes believe it or not in some places the Reds actually did improve life for the average Chinese citizen. Another plus was the improvement in education, such as with literacy, that is, at least up until it went a big leap backwards in the Cultural Revolution.

                And arguably another plus is that the Reds of Mao’s time were less corrupt than the current Chicom regime which for all of Xi Jinpeng’s many anticorruption prosecutions, it remains a terribly corrupt as ever. Many of us who grew up here don’t really understand what that is like because we are blessed in America. In short it is like this: the whole country is in the grip of greedy officials. The most basic public matters requires a bribe. So that “Sweet smell of money” is not very sweet and the average Chinese person locked up for a trivial offense paying bribes to get of jail or the average Chinese person paying bribes to doctors to move to the front of the line for surgery, it’s all a very bad smell more like feces than anything sweet.

                But you keep on thinking whatever you do, it’s clear you’re the self-deemed expert on everything.

  3. In practice the hijab required in Iran allows the entire face to show, but the Saudi hijab covers the entire body except for eyes, hands, and feet. Personally, I do not find the practice all that offensive, but I am a very culturally tolerant person.

    In respect of the legal requirement to wear it, that is a sovereign matter I would not presume to dictate to a foreign country. The story does however trouble me. The 38 year term of imprisonment is very excessive.

    Lashing? I would rather get 148 lashes than 38 years. It would hurt like hell, for many days I’m sure, but it’s over the, and life goes on. As he said, the mullahs want to lock her up to silence her, and thus they show they are weak and insecure.

    here is a lashing. I don’t know if it’s any different in Iran but probably similar.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-1246982/IS-video-Men-openly-whipped-missing-Friday-prayers.html

    1. Hi Mr. Kurtz:

      Not to be insufferable, but the hijab covers only the hair. It is a scarf. Women in Iran basically call hijab a “roosari”. They may wear the roosari over their hair, a rain coat, and pants/jeans down to their ankles. The alternative is the chador, which is a huge black semicircle that the women literally hold closed with their teeth when their hands are full. That covers their whole bodies, but leaves their faces open. One wonders why no one, in the entire country, seems to have devised a button or tie for the chador. It is stark black, and unadorned.

      In Saudi Arabia, they can wear two types of niqab – one that leaves the forehead and eyes revealed, and one that only has a slit for the eyes. The abaya is their version of the loose, flowing black cloak veil. Since many Saudi women are extremely rich, they really push the envelope on the fabric and design of the veil. Underneath, they are often dripping with diamonds and wearing couture. I hope this doesn’t get anyone in serious trouble, but a little known secret is that Western ex-pat wives often wear bikinis under their veil due to the hellish heat. I have heard of some going completely starkers, which is wildly brave or perhaps the heat has gotten to them and they’ve hit bottom from the oppression.

      There are also uniform veils for school girls. Vistors can get away with wearing a hijab and loose clothing that is not revealing. You would get a lot of male attention otherwise, aside from the religious police.

      I cannot imagine what it must feel like, to always have eyes upon you, judging every move you make. It must drive the women mad.

  4. As I sarcastically predicted. Not one strong rebuke from any of the liberal commentators, condemning this outrage in Iran or the government repressing the People of Iran.

    They are too busy pontificating their own political beliefs and agendas. This is one of the reasons why there is needless suffering about the world–that people are unwilling to put an end to it.

    1. Again. More nonsense.

      You might ask yourself, first, what you’re doing to “put an end to needless suffering about the world.” It’s easier to point fingers, though, and post snarky comments about those you term “liberal commentators.”

      Who’s “pontificating?”

    2. Darren, you can assume every ‘leftist’ and ‘feminist’ is outraged by this. But women are treated just as badly throughout the Middle East, Africa, India and dozens of other regions. Do feminists have to create a central media office to issue daily press releases condemning the latest outrage?

      Your comment actually reflects a meme mentality. Memes on Facebook are frequently captioned with some ridiculous false equivalency.

      Just yesterday, for instance, I saw a meme comparing Paul Manafort’s court sentence to that of a woman in Texas. The latter was given 5 years in prison for voting illegally (she’s a convicted felon). The meme wanted to know why a White man is getting off so lightly, for multiple felonies, while a Black woman received a draconian sentence for a relatively minor offense. In truth, the woman’s sentence is an absolute travesty. Though it doesn’t mean Paul Manafort is getting away with anything. But in the world of memes everything is framed in absolute extremes.

      1. “But women are treated just as badly throughout the Middle East, Africa, India and dozens of other regions. Do feminists have to create a central media office to issue daily press releases condemning the latest outrage?”

        HA ! you are right about your first sentence. not sure what you meant by the second. I would say, they should get down on their knees, kiss American and European soil, bless the Great Men of yesteryear who liberated them, and quit busting the b*lls of men around them. Go forth like missionaries if they’re so bold, and focus on liberating enslaved women else overseas and quit feeding the petty gender wars at home.

        1. Kurtz – you’d better believe I count my blessings to be born and raised an American woman! I have never felt oppressed. I worked hard to prove myself in a male-dominated field, and I learned how to speak up.

          Women have it real bad in mos of the world. The Liberal line that I’m supposed to feel victimized and oppressed is offensive. How dare they preach the message that I can’t work for anything I am capable of achieving? How dare they lower the bar in any area? If you can do the job, then do it.

          I never felt there was a war on me because women paid a $5 copay for birth control pills, but I sure feel worse off now that I pay thousands more in healthcare costs, just so some women don’t label a payment a “copay”. I also feel it was insulting of the Left to assume that American women cannot do math, and figure out we are exponentially worse off, financially, with Obamacare jacking up the price of healthcare, restricting our access to doctors with tight networks, and denying access to cancer treatment hospitals because they can’t afford to accept the pay cut.

          Give me a break. A $5 copay to keep costs down was a “war on women” but making healthcare unaffordable for us is not? (See what I did there? I can turn any conversation around to Obamacare in 6 paragraphs or less.)

          1. Health care costs and deductibles have been exploding since about 2000 and it’s rate of increase has slowed since Obamacare. Look it up, and i don’t mean on Fox.

            1. Anon – I experienced Obamacare for myself, and I have researched it extensively.

              Premiums and deductibles exploded exponentially under Obamacare, and caused by Obamacare. Not only that, most good doctors and cancer treatment centers do not accept individual policies, because they cannot afford the Obamacare paycut.

              A family deductible in CA is now $12,000, when it used to be $500 under my original PPO, accepted everywhere.

              Under Obamacare, they have also been increasing the cost of the few surviving grandfathered policies, because they are trying to get rid of them. Every health insurance agent we have spoken with has told us not to replace my husband’s grandfathered policy, because it is far and away better than anything you can get under Obamacare.

              It’s so bad that even the Clinton’s acknowledged that Obamacare costs so much people can’t put food on the table, and they don’t get anything out of it. It might be a death sentence to anyone on an individual policy diagnosed with cancer, if the treatment center does not accept it.

              Government screwed up my health insurance SO BAD. I wish that everyone had to experience an Obamacare individual policy, instead of softening the blow with an employe policy shielding them from some of the pain. If everyone went through what unsubsidized Obamacare policy holders do, then the politicians responsible for it, who lied deliberately to get it passed, taking advantage of the “stupidity of the American public”, who said, “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance. Period,” and who said “we have to pass it to learn what’s in it” should be tarred and feathered.

              There would be no more justifying, no more excuses, no more lying about the human catastrophe and suffering this political nightmare has caused for us. Everyone would finally understand the pain they voted upon others, and perhaps, then, they would feel really, really sorry and repent.

              Instead, the same ignorance that supported Obamacare now supports Medicare for all. If you only cared how very badly this hurt people, then you would not wish more pain upon us. You know what happened. I’ve talked about it in great detail. It is easily researched. State Insurance have come out with statements. Doctors have come out with statements. Hospitals have come out with statements. If you ignore that, then it’s deliberate in order to further harm your fellow human beings.

              1. The facts are I described them. Health insurance (and costs) as well as deductibles have exploded since about 2000 and slowed after the implementation of Obamacare. Of course trump and the GOP, who still have not come up with alternative after promising same are purposefully attempting to cripple the program and as predicted their actions have cost an increase in it’s costs.

                “.. the average premium for single coverage through employers has gone up 28 percent “under Obama” That’s right again, but much lower than the growth of individual premiums during Bush’s first six years. That increase was 72 percent.”

                https://www.factcheck.org/2015/02/slower-premium-growth-under-obama/

                “…Health insurance premiums have been rising for decades, almost (though not quite) as stubbornly reliable as an eastern sunrise. And it turns out that these increases actually slowed after the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010. That’s according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which tracks a range of topics around spending on health care in its Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The survey tracks the health insurance offered by private firms big and small, and in all cases, the average rate of premium growth from the time the law passed in 2010 through 2015 was actually lower than from 2004 to 2010. And premium growth was lowest for firms with fewer than 50 employees…”

                https://www.forbes.com/sites/robbmandelbaum/2017/02/24/no-obamacare-hasnt-jacked-up-your-companys-insurance-rates/

                PS An employee of mine of about 50 had never had a doctor until he got coverage under the ACA. He was having health problems which were then diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis. Under the ACA he was sent to see a specialist and receive Humira, a very expensive prescription. The result was his ability to keep working and maintain necessary health care. That is a true story, unembellished.

                1. Anon – you are in complete denial. First, the indigent already could not be denied health care. They could and do show up in ERs and cannot be turned away due to inability to pay. There is also Medical and Medicaid.

                  If you had a 50-year-old employee who could never afford to see a doctor, then what pittance are you paying him?

                  The only doctors who accept the 30% pay cut of Obamacare are the same low quality ones that use the factory high throughput model to see Medical and Medicaid patients. So your 50 year old impoverished employee STILL did not have access to a good doctor, IF he had to use an Obamacare individual policy. If, however, you provided an employer policy, then the cost passed on to that employee were greatly diminished.

                  I lived Obamacare. Not one single doctor I tried to see would accept it. My deductible increased from $500, to what is now $12,000 for a family. Premiums more than doubled. We received letters from our health insurance provider explaining that the increase was due to the ACA. I used to take photos of doctors offices with signs posted that they did not accept Obamacare individual policies for the Liberal doubters amongst my acquaintance.

                  Still don’t believe me? Call your doctor and tell him or her that you are considering dropping your current employer policy, or whatever you have, and going onto an Obamacare individual policy. If you are on Medicare, then tell them your son or daughter is considering it. See what they have to say.

                  1. One should also pay great attention to how analysts come up with average rate increases. Are they looking at Obamacare individual policies, or employer policies?

                    I want you to take a good, hard look at this data, and then re-evaluate what your continued vote, and support of Obamacare means. Think about what you have done to millions of people. We had great coverage we could afford, PPOs, that were accepted anywhere. My deductible was only $500. It wasn’t catastrophic, but rather one of the major PPOs. Never thought twice about insurance. Your support of Obamacare took that access to healthcare away from me, and millions of people like me. To use Leftist rhetoric, you participated in a war on women, a war on the unsubsidized middle class small business owner individual policy holders. Instead of paying $5 copay on birth control pills, with a wide selection of birth control, women now pay thousands upon thousands more annually, lost access to their doctors, lost access to the best cancer treatment hospitals, paid more for medication, lost their off formulary drug benefit…the list just goes on. That kind of war on women leads to actual illness and death.

                    And who did it help? The poor still have poor quality healthcare. Obamacare represents a 30% pay cut, so good doctors simply don’t accept it. They are just as bad off as when they had to go to a county hospital, or find a Medical provider.

                    There is a reason why Congress voted against a bill that would require them to forgo the lush federal employee benefits system, and instead participate in Exchanges. They rightly said they would lose top employees, and be unable to attract talent. If Obamacare was great, Congress would want to participate in it.

                    As long as you deny what you have done, you will continue to enable great evil to be done to people. You have been given the facts. You could research this topic. As long as you stick to your talking points, you are participating in causing people to become impoverished, be without care when they are sick, and die before their time. It’s that dead serious.

                    https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2017/03/22/yes-it-was-the-affordable-care-act-that-increased-premiums/#3e45bf5611d2

                    “While advocates and politicians have cited numerous examples of people facing huge premium increases, ACA advocates have been able to respond that those are cherry-picked cases, or that premiums were increasing before the ACA and would have increased anyway.

                    Those responses are no longer plausible. It turns out that across the board, for all ages and family sizes, for HMO, PPO, and POS plans, premium increases averaged about 60 percent from 2013, the last year before ACA reforms took effect, to 2017. In same length of time preceding that, all groups experienced premium increases of less than 10 percent, and most age groups actually experienced premium decreases, on average.”

                    “The data allow us to break down the pre- and post-ACA changes by age, individual vs. family, and plan type. Overall, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) premiums actually decreased 4.6% in the four years before the ACA reforms came into effect (that is, from 2009 to 2013), but increased 46.4% in the first four years under the ACA. Point-of-Service (POS) premiums decreased 14.9% before the ACA, and increased a whopping 66.2% afterwards. Premiums for the more common Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans increased 15% in the four years before the ACA, and 66.2% afterwards.”

                    “In each case, the increases differed among age groups, with families headed by those under 30 and over 50 generally being hit the hardest by the ACA premiums increases. However, once we remove the self-sorting into different plan types, and average each age group and household type (i.e., family or individual), the results are very consistent – in the four years before the ACA, every age group and family type either experienced a premium decrease, or an increase of 9.2% or less. However, in the first four years of the ACA, every age group and household type experienced an increase of between 56.0% and 63.2%. For something as complex as health care, that’s a pretty narrow range. The dollar amounts of the increase varied from $2,524 for an individual between the ages of 31 and 40, to $12,040 for a family headed by someone over age 60. But the percentages are remarkably consistent: The ACA raised premiums by about 60 percent.”

                    Die Obamacare! Die! We need to put the ACA into a box, and then into a larger box, secure it with iron chains, weight it down with cement, and then dump it in an Oceanic Trench.

                  2. Thanks for asking. The employee is a go-fer and laborer and I pay him more than he most. This may be news to you, but even the skilled tradesman in construction rarely have health insurance. In effect, they are subsidizing construction products and they are not unique among blue collar and low paid white collar workers.

                    You can’t go to the ER and see a regular physician who will then refer you to a specialist, and no one will be buying you Humira pills. this is not to mention the day you will miss working sitting in the ER or the all nighter you put in there. Have you ever done that?

                    As I demonstrated above, both health insurance premiums and deductibles have been exploding before the ACA and slowed with it’s implementation.

                    As to docs that would not take the ACA, my employee had no problem with that, and as a suggested reform that maybe you should write your senator and congressman about, docs should be forced to take patients with insurance that meets requirements or lose their license.

                    The way Trump has trashed the ACA and with the blessing of the empty handed GOP – where is that plan – I’m not surprised to hear of problems. My guy would be dead now without it.

                    1. You’re kidding. As a small business owner I had absolutely NO IDEA that not everyone had health insurance. (I am joking, in case the tone didn’t come across.)

                      Of course he cannot afford an Obamacare policy now unless he is subsidized. I asked what you are paying him that he could never afford to see a doctor before. In 50 years, he could never see a doctor. If he was destitute, he could see a doctor under Medicaid or Medical. If he was middle class, he could A) go to urgent care on an as needed basis B) have a catastrophic policy or C) have a PPO or HMO individual policy.
                      Prior to Obamacare, any of the above was a lot more affordable. If he got an individual policy, but could never afford to see a doctor before, then he must be subsidized. If he was not subsidized, then he could have afforded health insurance or an individual doctor visit, and then he would have talked your ear off about how much Obamacare sucks because none of the good doctors accept it, and it forces the middle class to essentially go to county to see a doctor.

                      He couldn’t spend $100 to see a doctor at urgent care in the entire previous 50 years of his life? Again, what pittance are you paying him? I thought the Left believed that everyone who pushed a broom should be able to support a family of 5 on minimum wage, and that minimum wage needed to one day become $50 an hour?

                      Congress cannot force doctors or cancer hospitals to accept a 30% payout. In fact, the government has put out multiple written statements indicating that it can neither force insurers to lose money and expand their network, or force doctors to go broke accepting these terrible plans.

                      Currently, doctors are able to afford sub optimal plans like Medicare, Medical, or Medicaid because they spread them out amongst those with good employer polices who pay more. Medicaid pays something like 17 cents on the dollar billed.

                      This problem finding a good doctor is well documented, nationwide. I’m super happy that your 50 year old laborer employee, whom you have paid so little that in his entire life, he could never afford to pay $100 to see a doctor in urgent care, liked Obamacare. However, your one anecdote did not do away with 50 states of well researched evidence. Did you ask him if he called the top doctors and hospitals to see if he was covered? Or did he mosey into an ER or county clinic, waited 9 hours, was seen, and was just grateful for that, never realizing that this was the same low standard of care one would expect on Medicaid?

                    2. I already said that I pay my employee above what most would. I don’t make up the market prices in my area but I have to live within them to compete. I am also not responsible for the fact that millions in the US cannot afford insurance,but that there are fewer without any since the passage of the ACA.

                      I already said – with hard quotes and links, not just my anecdote – that health insurance and deductibles have been exploding since at least 2000 but the rate of increase has slowed since the ACA was enacted.

                      I think I said – or if not , meant to say, since this is what happened – that my employee got a regular primary care physician for the 1st time in his life after he enrolled in the ACA, that primary care doc sent him to a specialist who he sees regularly, and he now has a prescription for the very expensive drug Humera in treatment of his serious rheumatoid arthritis.

                      He continues to work.

                    3. Anon – your quotes did not dispute my data. You are sticking to an opinion based upon faith. Unfortunately, it harms people. Basically, you are admitting that you are staying the course, in spite of being informed that Obamacare interferes with access to health care, and has made such care unaffordable. Sure, people have a shiny new, insurance card, but it is worthless.

                      To continue to push this creates real suffering for the American people.

                    4. Beyond the facts I have presented I have 1st hand knowledge of a guys life literally being saved because of the ACA.

                      Trump told us he’d get a great health care plan for everybody and it would be easy. Where is it? Same place as the GOP’s plan? Hey, it’s only been 9 years, what’s the rush?

                2. For those who would continue to force other people to suffer, and die, under Obamacare:

                  https://avalere.com/insights/exchange-plans-include-34-percent-fewer-providers-than-the-average-for-commercial-plans

                  Obamacare plans, on average, provide 34% fewer providers than non-Exchange plans.

                  “Specifically, the analysis finds that exchange plan networks include 42 percent fewer oncology and cardiology specialists; 32 percent fewer mental health and primary care providers; and 24 percent fewer hospitals. Importantly, care provided by out-of-network providers does not count toward the out-of-pocket limits put in place by the ACA.”

                  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-obamacare-specialists/specialized-healthcare-may-be-lacking-under-obamacare-plans-idUSKCN0SL2Z120151027?utm_campaign=KHN%3A+Daily+Health+Policy+Report&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=23229356&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-954brxB1KvxwvwWDjW02TqhDAQp1uxAhHWYFTXslFw4bou587srW3IavH5PiWDZ461hsHc8KZRa3TE4wNvSFfFjbyzVgjNr8hMRlwLidIq1yoAO8k&_hsmi=23229356

                  “About one in seven health insurance plans offered on the federal marketplace in 2015 did not provide access to in-network doctors for at least one medical specialty, researchers found…

                  Using the plans’ physician directories, they looked for in-network specialists who would be covered by insurance, including obstetricians/gynecologists, dermatologists, cardiologists, psychiatrists, oncologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, rheumatologists and pulmnologists.

                  Overall, in April 2015, 18 plans in nine states lacked in-network specialists for at least one specialty within a 100-mile search area, and 19 lacked specialists within a 50-mile radius.”

                3. More on how Obamacare caused a fatal lack of access to care to those upon whom it was inflicted:

                  https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/03/19/concerns-about-cancer-centers-under-health-law

                  “Some of America’s best cancer hospitals are off-limits to many of the people now signing up for coverage under the nation’s new health care program…

                  An Associated Press survey found examples coast to coast. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of eight insurers in Washington’s insurance exchange. MD Anderson Cancer Center says it’s in less than half of the plans in the Houston area. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is included by two of nine insurers in New York City and has out-of-network agreements with two more.

                  In all, only four of 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers that responded to AP’s survey said patients have access through all the insurance companies in their states’ exchanges.

                  Not too long ago insurance companies would have been vying to offer access to renowned cancer centers, said Dan Mendelson, CEO of the market research firm Avalere Health. Now the focus is on costs.

                  “This is a marked deterioration of access to the premier cancer centers for people who are signing up for these plans,” Mendelson said.

                  Those patients may not be able get the most advanced treatment, including clinical trials of new medications.

                  And there’s another problem: it’s not easy for consumers shopping online in the new insurance markets to tell if top-level institutions are included in a plan. That takes additional digging by the people applying.”

                  1. You left out the following quotes from your article:

                    “…Before President Barack Obama’s health care law, a cancer diagnosis could make you uninsurable. Now, insurers can’t turn away people with health problems or charge them more. Lifetime dollar limits on policies, once a financial trap-door for cancer patients, are also banned.

                    The new obstacles are more subtle.

                    To keep premiums low, insurers have designed narrow networks of hospitals and doctors. The government-subsidized private plans on the exchanges typically offer less choice than Medicare or employer plans.

                    By not including a top cancer center an insurer can cut costs. It may also shield itself from risk, delivering an implicit message to cancer survivors or people with a strong family history of the disease that they should look elsewhere….

                    “Overall, when you look at the Affordable Care Act, it improves access to cancer care,” said Underwood. “When it comes down to the exchanges, there are some concerns that we have. That is not being critical, that is being intelligent. There are some things we should talk about … before they start becoming a problem.”…

                    The Obama administration says it has notified insurers that their networks will get closer scrutiny for next year in the 36 states served by the federal exchange. Cancer care will be a priority, it says…”

                    I’m sure the Trump administration is following up on this, or maybe following your idea to just let cancer patients show up at the ER.

                    1. Anon – so do you admit that you were entirely and completely wrong in your assertion that Obamacare made people financially better off than they were before? Do you admit how difficult it is to find a doctor who accepts it?

                      As for doing away with pre-existing conditions, yes, that’s fantastic. It’s also not “insurance.” You can’t tow a wrecked truck into an insurance agent’s lot and say you need insurance retroactive to last week. What we want is health cost sharing, or anything that lowers cost. That is most emphatically not insurance. The ACA stacks up to over 6 feet tall, and this one thing is the only benefit out of it?

                      Also, off formulary is no longer given any benefit. If your medication or cancer treatment is off formulary, which was severely tightened, you have to pay out of pocket, and it will not count towards your max caps.

                      Perhaps you should research how the middle class is now forgoing health care in order to put food on the table and keep the lights on. Rather than improving the lot of the poor, now you’ve made the middle class in the same boat.

                      Inhumane. Do you not feel a shred of guilt for this? The longer you perpetuate this catastrophe, the more people will be impoverished, be unable to get healthcare, and possibly miss out on remission and die.

                      Repent and strive to overthrow Obamacare.

                      Ceterum censeo Obamacare delendo est.

                    2. I did not say that “people are better off financially since Obamacare (WTF?).

                      We agree that we have a health care cost problem in the US – other developed countries pay on average 60% what we do for our health care, per capita. They all have universal coverage. Our care is good, great in some areas (cancer) and sucks in others. We are not getting our money’s worth and we will not be able to keep it up. Without Medicare and Medicaid, we don’t have a looming federal budget disaster.

                    3. what they pay in communist china is all a government fabricated lie.
                      the reality is that you have to pay cash money in advance to doctors in order to get a surgery there. and they most certainly are not reporting that to some official count of whatever costs, which like many other statistics there, are total fiction.

                      this was mentioned a few years back in the link below and I can tell you from my sources it is exactly the same today

                      https://www.businessinsider.com/healthcare-is-so-corrupt-in-china-that-patients-have-to-bribe-doctors-2014-5

                      COMMUNISTS TO THE RESCUE!
                      HOLD ON TO YOUR WALLET!

                    4. Kurtz apparently thinks China is a developed country and someone is using their health care system as a model to aspire to.

      2. Here, with one bold declaration, Tulsi Gabbard does 100 times more for poor and working class women turning to the sex trade, the oldest profession, than feminists have done in a generation.

        https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/dominicholden/tulsi-gabbard-decriminalize-sex-work-2020

        “Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the Democratic presidential contender from Hawaii, told BuzzFeed News unequivocally she wants to decriminalize sex work, asserting a clear position on an enormous underground industry that’s largely ignored by American politicians.

        “If a consenting adult wants to engage in sex work, that is their right, and it should not be a crime,” Gabbard said. “All people should have autonomy over their bodies and their labor.“

        Many Republicans probably agree but are afraid of the amen corner to say so.

        Gabbard says a lot of stuff I like, really. Such as rejecting pointless “regime change” mischief aimed at secular Arab tyrants, which runs the risk of degenerating into quagmires that breed jihaadism. Very smart lady! Thumbs up!

        1. I would also add, that according to some sex work legalization advocates, low and working class homosexuals are also unduly victimized by anti-prostitution persecutions too. Does the gay lobby say anything about that? Uh, no, they’re too busy celebrating their non-democratic victory over traditional marriage, which is the pet issue of well heeled gays, to worry about the poor ones.

          Kind of like feminists, they run their mouths a lot, but it’s usually for the benefit of the middle and upwardly mobile career women from university, rather than the poor and lower income workers.

        2. Yeah, Kurtz, sex work should be decriminalized. Property owners become the real victims when prostitutes walk the streets.

          Remember when actor Hugh Grant was busted in Hollywood for picking up a streetwalker? Grant was busted less than half a mile from here in a neighborhood of very nice homes. But that block of houses was just off Sunset Blvd which was very downscale at the time. Consequently those homeowners were plagued by sex activity in the area. Thankfully Sunset Blvd has gentrified considerably since then.

          1. California went a small subtle step in that direction a whiles back, by statewide licensing of massage parlors only, thus taking the power of locals to regulate that. The result was a large increase in state licensed facilities. Not all are jack-shacks of course but some are. That subrosa decriminalization has benefited California in many intangible ways. Perhaps that was a factor in your example, I don’t know the place specifically.

            And yet the feminists and bible thumpers are on the bandwagon about nonexistent human trafficking supposedly happening at thousands of locations all across the US. I’m ashamed to say that Ivanka, an otherwise wonderful lady, is a big fan of this notion and sponsored FOSTA and SESTA ill conceived laws (with bipartisan support coming from Kamala Harris, puke! ) which suppress free speech and endanger sex workers.

            Indeed it is the ongoing criminalization of prostitution that facilitates the real gorilla pimping that really does exist out there, which does get properly prosecuted. Not the existence of the average stripmall back rub place down the street where the workers are mostly just guilty of violating the zoning code by sleeping in the shop. LEGALIZE IT!

    3. Dude, I denounced this sentence and law about 12 hours below and at the same time called you out for trying to turn an issue which we probably all agree on to an excuse for you to wave the team flag.

      Still waiting on our President to take a moral stand on the murder of Kashoggi by his son-in-law and daughter’s drinking buddy.

      1. An Anonymous source wrote….

        “the same time called you out for trying to turn an issue which we probably all agree on to an excuse for you to wave the team flag..

        …and right on cue waves his own flag….

        “Still waiting on our President to take a moral stand on the murder of Kashoggi by his son-in-law and daughter’s drinking buddy.”
        ~+~

        You sir are a complete idiot.

        1. Unlike you, I denounce both related acts as outrageous. That’s not a team thing it’s doing the right thing. Still waiting on you.

          Well, not really. I’m not an idiot.

        2. Darren, as previously noted, Saudi Arabia is arguably ‘worse’ than Iran when it comes to human rights and agitation on behalf of Muslim extremists. Pakistan, for instance, is totally radicalized largely because of Saudi money.

          Yet Trump came into office with this attitude that Iran is vastly more evil than Saudi Arabia. In that spirit, Trump scrapped the nuclear accord that John Kerry spent about 4 years trying to broker. Yet our European allies all felt that accord was perfectly viable. They still feel that way and they made that clear a few weeks back at a conference in Warsaw.

          Trump’s attitude towards Iran reflects the views of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Because of ‘them’, Trump sabotaged a common sense treaty. By doing so, Trump gave ammunition to hard-liners in Iran who warned against a deal with the U.S. At the same time Trump undermined moderates in Iran. It was all very destructive and totally unnecessary.

          Therefore I am immediately suspicious of comments demanding that American ‘leftists’ and ‘feminist’ single-out Iran for condemnation. And again, there are very similar trials happening right now in Saudi Arabia that Professor Turley overlooked in his column above.

          1. Saudi Arabia has virtually zero internal opposition and it’s policies are more draconian that Iran’s Iran has a growing secular educated middle class which is how Rhounhi was elected. He was not the first choice of the mullahs and is a far cry from Achminjaad (or whatever his name is). That is not to say that it is not a fundamentalist tyranny, but there is greater hope for a moderate Iran in the future than a moderate Saudi Arabia, and the smart move is to play to those moderating forces as they gain numbers.

          2. Peter – are you blaming the abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal on the Jews? That’s totally beyond the pale.

            The difference between Saudi Arabia and Iran in our geopolitics is that Iran openly preaches the destruction of the West and Jews. Elementary school kids literally begin their day chanting, “Death to America! Death to Israel!” My friend once showed me his stamp collection that he had found from when he was a kid in Iran. We both just kind of stared silently at his collection of bloody Stars of David, burning American flags, and other violent imagery against America and Jewish people.

            Saudi Arabia has a relatively friendly relationship with us. We share technology, we built their missile defense system, we have access to strategic military locations in the Middle East, and we are customers of OPEC. The royals, especially, although they most certainly do not believe in individual rights or secularism, rather enjoy traveling to the West to vacation from the repressive regime of their own country. Wahhabis are rather a wet blanket, and the women are extremely oppressed. Since the kingdom is under Sharia Law, they routinely abuse human rights and discriminate against women. Being gay is a capital offense, but mainly for, ahem, one of the partners.

            They do often donate money that is used to further terrorist causes.

            So, the main difference is that one country openly works to kill all of us as well as every man, woman, and child Jew in Israel, while the other has a fair weather friendship with us.

            All you have to do is research what was wrong with the nuclear deal to understand why it was scrapped. For one, Iran did not allow inspections. For another, Iran openly declared it was still working on its program to destroy us all. That really isn’t something we can afford to ignore and hope it goes away. The country values martyrdom. It’s working on nuclear technology. Bad combination.

  5. AMERICAN WOMEN SHOULD FEAR REPUBLICANS

    For almost 40 years, the Republican party has derived much of its strength from so-called Christian conservatives. This faction of the party is totally focused on criminalizing abortion. And in recent years Republican-led states have passed a record number of abortion restrictions.

    But curiously the Anti-Abortion forces never want to talk about the criminal penalties women might face if abortion is outlawed. In fact, this aspect of the debate is essentially a no-go zone for those demanding the criminalization of abortion. Because Anti-Abortion forces know damn well that such talk would be an absolute turn-off to the general public.

    If indeed abortion is ‘murder’, or ‘infanticide’ as Ant–Abortion forces claim, criminal penalties would have to be in keeping with such serious offenses. Therefore women found guilty of obtaining illegal abortions could quite possibly face lengthy prison sentences. Sentences that would separate them from any children they might already have. Conceivably those children might be raised in foster care while their mothers serve prison time.

    If indeed abortion is ‘murder’, police departments throughout the country would have to assign abortion investigations to Homicide Detectives. These officers would be required to investigate any miscarriages reported by hospitals. Women could quite possibly be detained and, or, charged for any ‘suspicious miscarriage’.

    The American public should demand that Republicans be forthcoming with regards to criminal penalties if abortion is outlawed. This aspect of the debate needs to be addressed ‘before’ abortion is outlawed in any American state. The ramifications of criminalization should not be a surprise that comes only ‘after’ abortion is outlawed.

    1. Peter, I explained before that SCOTUS review of abortion laws means democracy is not in effect for abortion. It’s the democracy of those 9 blackrobes.

      Republicans are not really serious about legislative action on this or they would strip the Article III courts of jurisdiction over the question. They could do that under the Constitution and SCOTUS would be out of the job on this topic. And would have had to aquiesce.

      They could have done it with a 2/3 majority under Newt for sure, maybe other times. They didnt. Now, pro life rhetoric is important to pull votes, so they never explain what I did, just beat the podium about “coathangers” and “baby-killers.” It’s all fake! Pro wresting stuff.

      Don’t lose any sleep over it, dude.

      1. Kurtz, I suspect you’re more than half right on this. Yet it goes to show how disingenuous the Anti-Abortion movement is. And how disingenuous Republicans are for pandering to said movement.

        1. Peter, it was pointed out by my constitutional law teacher who was certainly a liberal. I was shocked at the time but it makes more and more sense. I have run it by a lawyer who was on again off again with the prolifer cause and he bought it.

          as a Roman Catholic, or at least, a lapsed one, I used to be exercised over the topic, out there marching a few times even, freezing, that time of year. It’s pointless and I think the cynical prelates like to keep Catholics busy with stuff like that so they don’t ask too many questions about where their money is going or how many priests are actually lead flagrantly immoral sex lives as they tut tut and prescribe hail marys for “weenial” sins.

          Now, the NRA is serious, by comparison. But, if you ask Neal Knox, not sure if he’s still alive or not, but he was a top dog and then fell out with them due to “compromises.”

          Oftentimes compromise is considered cowardice, other times, bravery is just foolishness. All things have perspective!

    2. For almost 40 years, the Republican party has derived much of its strength from so-called Christian conservatives. This faction of the party is totally focused on criminalizing abortion.

      That’s right, Peter. It’s the only morally serious position on that issue there is. The fanatics of the Democratic Party (and the legal profession) are a threat to every little girl in vitro in this country.

      1. TIAx2:
        Though I support a right to an abortion before fetal viability I agree that any fetus that is viable is entitled to legal protection. A child born alive is a person and entitled to all protections the law affords. That includes indicting the mother, doctor and hospital staff for permitting that person to die when efforts could have saved him/her.

  6. Darren Smith says: March 14, 2019 at 2:02 AM

    “I’m glad to see the women’s rights and various high-brow leftist movements in the United States have truly stepped up to the plate and denounced this action by the Iranian Government.”

    What a ridiculous statement.

  7. Where is Seal Team 6 when you need them? I have a lot of respect for this woman, but I would not want to change places with her for any amount of money. Her life will be hell while in prison.

  8. Someone needs to get a headscarf. Put a gun to the judge’s head. Shoot anyone who objects nearby. Put the headscarf on the judge’s head. Shoot him in the scrotum. Let him bleed to death. Film the entire action. And go on to the next courtroom.
    You cannot be a “journalist” in many places on this planet. So do not risk your life to reveal the truth. Instead, kill those who deserve it. Go after the Shah.

  9. Many years ago there was a song on Saturday Night Live when Gilda Radner was on the show. It was called “Bomb, Bomb, Iran!

    (music)
    Bomb, bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran!
    Oh, bomb Iraaaan!
    I’ll take my staaaaand!
    Rockin and a rollin, rockin and a reelin Bomb Iran!

  10. Rule of a man vs. rule of law.

    When a jurisdiction has manifest idiocy in inconsequential government roles it only leads to ineptitude and inefficiency. Introduce unlimited and unchecked power and nationwide reach and it leads to tyranny such as we see in Iran and elsewhere—viz. Venezuela and many of the “stan” countries.

    1. Historically, Islam gave law and order to societies that were completely barbaric and lawless. In setting out a strict moral and legal code, however simple minded, in some places, such as among the barbaric Saudi tribes in pagan times, surely it was better than chaos.

      In some places, parts of Byzantium specifically, they had a good civil society and legal code, but people were swayed to accept Islam, because it remitted usurious debts. I learned this from the work of English scholar Hillaire Belloc. So the conquest was not entirely by force– many people willing accepted Muslim rule for this economic reason.

      MIchael Hudson has also written about the deleterious social and economic effects of usury in the Late Roman Empire. Maybe that’s worth dusting off for another look?

      Today, there are far better alternatives than shariah. This was understood by many of the secular Arab nationalist despots of previous decades. They established a secular order that was brutal, but in some ways better than what came before.

      The result of many ill conceived wars, has been a regrettable return to shariah in places that had essentially gotten rid of some of its dated aspects. Like Syria, Libya, and even parts of Iraq which are now more “shariah” orientated than they were before.

      Why did these wars happen? A subject of some complex depth, but a question worth considering. Law of unintended outcomes?

      1. fascinating, the treatment of the subject of slavery in Islam.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_views_on_slavery

        It’s important to consider how religious dictates arose in the context of history, and not just compare ancient times to modern ones, apples to oranges.

        Today, lashing seems harsh, but, they could not incarcerate people in ancient societies where food was scarce. It required immediate punishment.

        Today, is it necessarily better, that due to our material abundance, we have eliminated corporal punishment in favor of lengthy incarceration? To say nothing of the evils of American medium and maximum security prisons where violence and sexual abuse are rife. Maybe we should consider appropriate penal reforms.

        I think a lot of people would do better off with a firm spanking or caning Singapore style, than introduction to the criminal society of jails. How about DUIs for example. A firm caning is a better punishment for all, than taking a respectable yet errant member of society, and reducing him to a convict who may have to shank someone to keep himself from being sodomized.

        Keep in mind that in local jails, murderers and rapists are locked up right along with DUIs and other petty crimes. In the local jail in my medium size city there have been killings and rapes like the which generally will not occur in minimum security prisons or even mediums. Generally the worst things happen in the Maximum security state prisons– and your local jail.

  11. With case background and updates:

    https://pen.org/advocacy-case/nasrin-sotoudeh/

    “After her release from Evin Prison in 2013, Sotoudeh said to The New Yorker, “I was released but I was not freed. For me, this sort of freedom is meaningless when my friends are still in prison.”

    “During her first imprisonment, Sotoudeh wrote a letter to her husband, which he shared on Facebook in 2014. “My dear Reza, everyone ponders about their freedom while in prison,” she reflected. “Although my freedom is also important to me, it is not more important than the justice that has been ignored and denied . . . . Nothing is more important than those hundreds of years of sentences that were rendered to my clients and other freedom-seeking individuals, accused of crimes they had not committed.””

  12. I’m glad to see the women’s rights and various high-brow leftist movements in the United States have truly stepped up to the plate and denounced this action by the Iranian Government.

    1. Excuse, me, Darren..????

      Donald Trump chose to ignore the Khashoggi murder because he and Jared Kushner want to cultivate Saudi investors for future business ventures. And currently Saudi Arabia is putting women’s activists on trial.

      The truth is, the Saudi record on women’s rights is no better than Iran’s and arguably worse. Therefore to ask why American leftists aren’t concerned about Iran, is pure hypocrisy!

        1. And Darren proves the point that for some all that matters are the team scores, not consistency or clear moral leadership by our President.

          As a centrist democrat, and therefore left of most on this board, I denounce this outrageous sentence for what shouldn’t even be a crime.

          1. Women are struggling for rights in most of the world. Even here, in the U.S., women are struggling for rights. American feminists don’t have the luxery of focusing their attention on any one country in particular.

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