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The Golden Verses Of The Stoic

Seneca and Epictetus refer to the Golden Verses of Pythagoras , which happens to provide a good framework for developing a daily routine, bookended by morning and evening contemplative practices. Zeno of Citium , who founded Stoicism in 301 BC, expressed his doctrines in notoriously terse arguments and concise maxims.  However, Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school, wrote over 700 books fleshing these ideas out and adding complex arguments to support them. 

Why Does Iran Not Like Us Much?

A common myth is that America is pro-democracy. We're not. Far from it in fact. America is, was and will likely be (until long after my life on this world) -- pro America. If we can do it under the guise of promoting Democracy then we will, because that is a much easier propaganda campaign to run and husband than a non-democracy propaganda campaign. But if it comes down to a choice between Democracy and money, money is going to win every time. Just ask Iran.

Ever wonder who the Shah of Iran was, and how he got into power, and why when they finally got his ass out of office, Iran didn't want to talk to us anymore? 


In 1953, the CIA worked with the United Kingdom to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran led by Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh who had attempted to nationalize Iran's petroleum industry, threatening the profits of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, now known as BP.5 Declassified CIA documents show that Britain was fearful of Iran's plans to nationalize its oil industry and pressed the U.S. to mount a joint operation to depose the prime minister and install a puppet regime. In 1951 the Iranian parliament voted to nationalize the petroleum fields of the country.

The coup was led by CIA operative Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. (grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt). With help from British intelligence, the CIA planned, funded and implemented Operation Ajax. In the months before the coup, the UK and U.S. imposed a boycott of the country, exerted other political pressures, and conducted a massive covert propaganda campaign to create the environment necessary for the coup. The CIA hired Iranian agents provocateurs who posed as communists, harassed religious leaders and staged the bombing of one cleric's home to turn the Islamic religious community against the government. For the U.S. audience, the CIA hoped to plant articles in U.S. newspapers saying that Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi's return to govern Iran resulted from a homegrown revolt against what was being represented to the U.S. public as a communist-leaning government. The CIA successfully used its contacts at the Associated Press to put on the newswire in the U.S. a statement from Tehran about royal decrees that the CIA itself had written.

The coup initially failed and the Shah fled the country. After four days of rioting, Shi'ite-sparked street protests backed by pro-Shah army units defeated Mossadeq's forces and the Shah returned to power.

Supporters of the coup have argued that Mossadegh had become the de facto dictator of Iran, citing his dissolution of the Parliament and the Supreme Court, and his abolishment of free elections with a secret ballot, after he declared victory in a referendum where he claimed 99.9% of the vote.10 Darioush Bayandor has argued that the CIA botched its coup attempt and that a popular uprising, instigated by top Shi'ite clerics such as Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Borujerdi and Abol-Ghasem Kashani (who were certain that Mosaddegh was taking the nation toward religious indifference, and worried that he had banished the Shah), instigated street riots to return the Shah to power four days after the failed coup.9 After the coup, the Shah introduced electoral reforms extending suffrage to all members of society, including women. This was part of a broader series of reforms dubbed the White Revolution.11 However, the Shah also carried out at least 300 political executions, according to Amnesty International.

The CIA subsequently used the apparent success of their Iranian coup project to bolster their image in American government circles. They expanded their reach into other countries, taking a greater portion of American intelligence assets based on their record in Iran