Boosting the signal: Kiana Firouz

It's something not often mentioned in the news over here, but Iran's a rough place to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Iran is ruled by Sharia Law, in which homosexuality or bisexuality are explicitly illegal and punishable offenses. If you're caught you'll be lucky if they just throw you in jail; maybe you'll be tortured while you're in there. Repeat or 'unrepentant' offenders are executed (note: that link's NSFW and probably triggering, view at your own risk). Period. There is an LGBT rights movement in Iran and has been for about twenty years now but it's largely underground due …

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Were they looking for terrorists or a Grateful Dead concert?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is so hot to uncover dastardly plots of domestic terrorism in this country that, for at time at least, they were mining such fields of data as who bought what from middle eastern grocery stores to determine who might be a religious extremist and terrorist. Yep - they thought sales of falafel might help them generate the results that they're pressured to produce for the people on high. Thankfully, common sense prevailed (did they hire a four year old to check their logic or something?) and they spiked the plan in 2006. The article makes a …

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