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Shiite Islamo-fascism, the end. One more time, I hate to be right. Ahmad the Camel won for the time being. Again, he did not have to unleash his shock troops of Revolutionary Guards. He arrested dozens of university professors who had talked to Musavi. This will probably work: Prison is a good place to explain to people what you can do to them, and to their families, if they don’t stay down.
What did anyone expect? The Islamic Republic of Iran has been a hard fascist country from day one or two. Religious fanaticism makes it morally impervious to the damage it does to its flock.
I saw a heart-breaking BBC documentary on Iranian trans-sexuals. It turns out many are forced to submit to horrendous surgical mutilation for fear of being imprisoned as homosexuals. It turns out trans-sexualism is legal but homosexuality merits death under Shiite version of Islamic law. As I remarked earlier, we are dealing here with people who have no notion of the Enlightenment. They are not worse than my ancestors in the 17the Century. They are not better either.
There is no reason to treat the Iranian theocratic fascists as our moral equals. My great-great- great- grandfather, who enjoyed seeing thieves’ bones broken on the public square with an iron bar, was not my equal. I am completely sure I would not like that kind of show. (I could make an exception for repeat child molesters though.)
Don’t act surprised when murderous beasts act according to their nature. Don’t encourage silly young people to waste their lives. Make geopolitical plans according to their beastliness, not as if they were somewhat outrageous but still-loved cousins. The Iranian government will attempt to nuke Israel if it has half a chance and if Israel remains passive.
The only bright light is that Musavi acted more firmly than anyone expected. If they don’t kill him, he might yet emerge as a more rational leader of Iranian fascism. With all this, I don’t lose track of the fact that the cafés of small towns in Iran are probably full of old guys to whom I would enjoy losing at dominoes.
Adolescent crush. Everyone in the Republican party breathes a sigh of relief at the same time as he is appalled because of the Governor of South Carolina. He disappeared for a week from his job; didn’t tell anyone where he was. When he came back, he confessed tearfully that he was in Argentina getting some contraband nookie. Or, maybe, he did not even get any. Either way, it’s another sex scandal. That’s not the worst of it though. (More below.) At least, it seems that a woman is involved, not a young boy. Plus, it probably did not happen in a restroom, as far as anyone knows.
The worst of it is that, it seems to me, neither much lust nor arrogance may have been involved. He ran away impulsively, like a teen-age boy with a crush. He did not bother to cover his tracks like real men do. (Whenever an American politician gets caught with his zipper stuck half- way down, I feel the former Frenchman in me rearing his wise but cynical head.) The Governor sacrificed the elective responsibilities for which he fought and that the voters gave him for an illusion of puppy love. If he spent a single dollar of public money in the venture, he is gone.
It could have been worse. He might have gotten caught in flagrante of immaturity during a Republican presidential campaign or primary, as a high-level candidate. Even the astonishingly vicious Palin-haters on both sides would have to agree that Sarah is a better human being, and more trustworthy, in every conceivable way.
With all this, no, my little Europeans, the Governor is not one tenth as bad as Pres. Clinton. You never did understand what the big deal was, did you? Clinton lied in a sworn testimony thereby denying justice to an ordinary woman. If I did that when giving testimony, I would rightly fear being sent to jail. I have been present when powerful people did not feel they had to tell the truth in judicial proceedings. But that’s another story.
Health care and health. After the free television commercial, the once-proud ABC television network gave the President two nights ago, I am forced to address my fellow conservatives on health care. Here is food for thought. This is a repeat. I talked about this at length in a previous posting. Pay attention:
The French spend about half as much for health care as we do. Despite all the horror stories we keep hearing from our side, they don’t seem to pay any price in terms of actual health. (Remember, the ultimate product is not health care, even less health insurance, it’s health.) The current life expectancy of French men is about two and a half years longer than that of American men. I know, I know their superior life expectancy could be in spite of inferior health care. What do you really think? (If I hit a tree with my car and I am drunk, alcohol is not necessarily responsible but….)
And no, French life is not less stressful than American life. This has to be a subjective judgment, of course, but I think it’s more stressful where most French people actually live. That would be in big cities, rather than in an plane tree-shaded smartly renovated old farm house in Provence. For one thing parking is so bad, it might just as well be illegal in those same big cities.
And, no, it’s not all that red wine. Most French men drink little and French women even less. If wine could gain us an extra two-plus years of good life, the American medical establishment would quickly write us Pinot Noir prescriptions.
Fellow conservatives: There is something wrong with our health system although it’s not what Obamamamma tells us. We never offered a solution. We missed that big boat. We are going to pay for it, and our children, every which way.
Stripping girls not for fun. The Supreme Court defended individual rights for once. School officials strip-searched a teen-age girl suspected of carrying Bufferin. (That’s just like aspirin.) The Court said that was unconstitutional. Good start but not good enough for me. Neither would a civil suit. The school officials involved should be fired with loss of benefits. A little jail time would be fine with me also. There are shop-lifters of yogurt in jail right now. Let Mr Principal take their place and reflect on our constitutional tradition. Six months would be about right.
Media stars lazy and ignorant. I keep telling you our journalists are lazy. I am beginning to think some of our biggest media stars are also uneducated and a little dumb. During the ABC-presidential show on health care before a supine press, television star Diane Sawyer crammed a question down an insurance executive’s throat. President Obama was the one who was supposed to be interviewed, but, let’s pass on this. Sawyer’s question was full of commentaries, not a straight question. The commentaries were hyper-loaded with evident contempt for “profits” and the profit-making of insurance companies.
Ms. Sawyer is not smart enough or observant enough to have noticed that in social systems were profit is considered legitimate, the poor are much richer than are the poor where profit is looked down upon.
Let me say this again for those of you with a degree in Environmental Science from University of California at Santa Cruz:
Where profit is blessed, even the poor are rich. The reverse is also true.
If I sense demand, I will explain why that is in a forthcoming “Facts Matter” essay.
Update on 6/29/09.
Great little column in today’s Wall Street Journal by Dorothy Rabinowitz. She tells us concisely what Governor Sanford of South Carolina should have said and not said about his Argentinean tryst. Like all real men with a brain, in this time and place (the place is California), I am a male chauvinist pig. It means that I believe that women should absolutely receive equal pay for equal work but not for “equivalent” work. My sexism does not prevent me from considering Dorothy Rabinowitz my intellectual master and my style master. I wonder if Ms Rabinowitz would prefer I called her my intellectual “mistress.” She is a lady with a sense of humor so, she would probably like it.