This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org[more inside]
Amnesty International believes that Iran has executed at least 600 people in 2011 in what it calls "a killing spree of staggering proportions". [more inside]
Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery. Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits). Increasingly, there is a rift between the President and his Supreme Leader.
A look at how fatwas are issued, and how Iranian authorities were able to change the classification of caviar from haram (forbidden for Muslims to eat) to halal (permissible for Muslims to eat) in order to retake the caviar industry from the Soviets. [PDF]
A group of Mennonites at the University of Waterloo has come under fire for inviting a fundamentalist Iranian cleric to speak at a religious-studies conference. Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi, who has openly supported human-rights violations in Iran, once lovingly declared: "If anyone insults the Islamic sanctity, Islam has permitted for his blood to be spilled, no court needed either." While Iranian-Canadians are up in arms, academic dean Jim Pankratz defends the invitation: "We really do believe it's important to talk to those who take opposing, even hostile, views." Persian bloggers see it quite differently.
Oliver North's advance publicity for a US war on Iran : Over 25 years have passed since the takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention. Now, accusations that the organization fosters a Theology of War, call attention to SBC head Bobby Welch's new campaign to "baptize a million people in one year and develop “warrior leaders”. This conflation of Christian faith with military terminology is - some feel - quite intentional. Will "Christian soldiers" once more go into battle with Bibles in hand ? And, is faith best advanced by the bayonette point of "discipleship" ?