“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just shut up.

Just shut up and spare us your stupid tears.

Mark Sanford needs a new faith
The threat of eternal damnation didn't help the governor of South Carolina to keep his pants on

Melissa McEwan, Wednesday 24 June 2009 22.15 BST

So. After a whirlwind few days of speculation regarding the whereabouts of Republican South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, we now have the answer. He was not, in fact, hiking on the Appalachian Trail clearing his head after a tough legislative session, as we were repeatedly assured by his staff, but was instead in Buenos Aires, Argentina, having an affair. Or ending an affair. Or something.

On Wednesday afternoon, Sanford tearfully took to the airwaves – sans stoic wife standing loyally alongside, in a refreshing change of pace – to hold a press conference in which he admitted the affair with a woman who became a "dear, dear friend" eight years ago after an incredibly earnest conversation about how she should get back together with her husband "for the sake of her two boys", then, in the last year, became his lover after their relationship "sparked into something more than that."

Five months ago, their relationship was discovered, since which time Sanford has been seeking help from a prayer group – but nonetheless spent "the last five days crying in Argentina" and ultimately deciding he's now "committed to trying to get [his] heart right in life." Whatever that means.

I won't belabour the obvious here: Sanford is a hypocrite in the extreme, not just any old family values conservative, but a Republican governor (contra Fox News) who also happens to be (until he resigned during his presser) the chair of the Republican governors' association. As one would expect from a professional member of the Sanctimonious Panty-Sniffers Brigade, he championed laws that seek to publicly legislate personal, adult, consensual sexual activities because they don't adhere to his preferred interpretation of one religious text, but now clamors for privacy to deal with his own personal, adult, consensual sexual activities, although they don't adhere to his preferred interpretation of one religious text, even as he would deny others the same right and respect.

One hopes he has the decency to revisit his position, and suspects he will not.

Because Sanford, you see, also took time during his press conference to assert: "There are moral absolutes, and God's law indeed is there to protect you from yourself." Ah, that old canard. We're all inherently disposed to do the wrong things and too weak to stop ourselves doing them on our own, so there must be laws – God's or otherwise.

It's the position of a man who cannot fathom that not all of us need the threat of eternal damnation, or the promise of salvation, to keep us in line, who cannot conceive that there are people who reject the idea of any one religion as the singular genesis of morality and have, instead, faith in humankind – faith that individuals can make the best decisions for themselves.

Sanford, on the other hand, subscribes to a faith that tells him humans, even himself among them, aren't worth having faith in. That's why he wants to legislate morality – because he doesn't trust people to make good decisions; he couldn't even trust himself and never had to, was never encouraged to have faith in himself to aspire to more. He needs rules, so he thinks we all do.

It's a terrible thing that the people who have the least faith in their fellow humans are most often called the "values voters", as if equality is not a value, and who have commandeered the term "faith", because, on this earth, humans are the only ones who can guarantee equality – and it's the humans who have the admittedly grotty and earthbound faith in one another who are the most likely to extend it.

Those of us who have faith in each other value a decidedly earthy humanness, with all its flaws and foibles. That doesn't sound particularly inspiring: there are no hymns, no psalms, no Hallelujah chorus for having faith in other people. But maybe there should be.

Maybe that's what Governor Sanford needs in order to change his tune.


  1. I just dont give a hoot...

    I am concerned about north korea, iran, obama destroying society....

    Powerful men since before King David enjoy getting some nice tail...

    Get over it...

    Talk about REAL ISSUES..

    I like Friday's Energy taxation bill in the House..

  2. ALL Politicians are Scum.

  3. Re: nice tail

    ...or not so nice, as the case may be...

    Hmm...Hell hath no Fury...

    Or Not

  4. Mr. Jindal, he noted, will be around for a long time: "He will be John McCain's age in 2044."

    The former speaker also defended former President George W. Bush, saying that after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, "He responded with an almost single-minded focus to try to design strategies and institutions that would defend this country."

    "And he left his successor a seven-year record of having stopped every terrorist effort. And his successor had better get very serious about all this civil libertarian stuff that is going to rapidly make this country more vulnerable."

    Fantasy Wing

  5. Late in the evening of June 17, 2009, militants affiliated with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) detonated two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against a convoy near Bordj Bou Arreridj, Algeria, which is located in a mountainous area east of Algiers that has traditionally been an Islamist militant stronghold. The convoy consisted of Algerian paramilitary police vehicles escorting a group of Chinese workers to a site where they were building a new highway to connect Bordj Bou Arreridj with Algiers.


    It was the deadliest attack of any type in Algeria since an Aug. 19, 2008, suicide vehicle-borne IED (VBIED) attack against a line of job applicants outside a police academy in Les Issers that killed 48 and injured another 45. AQIM regularly launches armed ambushes and roadside IED attacks in Algeria, and ambushes were frequently used by the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) before it announced in September 2006 that it had become part of al Qaeda’s regional franchise — AQIM.


    The GSPC began as a splinter of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in 1998 as the civil war in Algeria was winding down. At that time, Hassan Hattab led a group of other disaffected GIA members who disagreed with GIA’s targeting of unarmed civilians.

    Pulse of AQIM

  6. This is a very interesting social dynamic at work here. Ms McEwan like many others, has blasted the Governor as a "hypocrite in the extreme" She accuses him of legislating morality and says that he is a "sanctimonius member of the panty sniffing brigade."

    Geez, what did the man do to her? She writes:
    Those of us who have faith in each other value a decidedly earthy humanness, with all its flaws and foibles. That doesn't sound particularly inspiring: there are no hymns, no psalms, no Hallelujah chorus for having faith in other people. But maybe there should be.

    It doesn't sound to me like she has much faith in her fellow man, particularly if that man dares to speak publicly about something other than her preferred humanism.

    In this upside down whirled it is most often professing Christians who the whirled loves to point the finger out and yell, "HYPOCRITE!"

    We're all hypocrites in one way or another, even the freedom loving, oh so tolerant, secular humanists.


  7. Allen:

    We went through this before recently. I admire Ms Boyle's story but I greatly prefer this version of Cry Me A River.

    So, if you must refer to the song in future, a link to this version would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  8. whit,


    I too prefer your version...probably got that whole skirt chasing thing going for me there...and why not... ;-)

  9. rufus,


    Have you considered publishing a paper? You should. You could start here.

    As an afterthought, maybe buddy and DR could contribute - "an eruption of egos" ;-D

  10. quibble -

    Who paid for the flight?

  11. Allen has a thing for Boyle?

  12. You missed the point, Whit:
    All of us are equal:

    "It's a terrible thing that the people who have the least faith in their fellow humans are most often called the "values voters", as if equality is not a value, and who have commandeered the term "faith", because, on this earth, humans are the only ones who can guarantee equality – and it's the humans who have the admittedly grotty and earthbound faith in one another who are the most likely to extend it."
    Jews, Palis, you, Khomeni,
    all equal.

  13. The hypocrisy, whit, finds it's roots in the Zorro Master creation and redemtion myths, the basis of all three of the Abrahamic religions.

    It is then amplified by the hubris found in each of those Abrahamic Religions' insistence that their version of Zorro Mastery is the "right" one.

    Directly from God's lips to man's ear.

  14. Linear,
    Ever heard of Rescue, California?
    Rescue, California
    Rescue, California

    Rescue Closeup

    The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order
    Looks like a private airstrip on the left of the maps?

  15. The man is a pathetic piece of shit, 'Rat:
    That doesn't prove we are all equal.

  16. You too, doug, are finding that real wisdom and truth is in Mr Campbell's secular works, not in the ancient and plagerized texts of any of the Abrahamic religions.

    bobbie, in his intellectual search for knnowledge and truth, has found it.

    We're all Zorro Masters, now.

  17. "Talk about REAL ISSUES..

    I like Friday's Energy taxation bill in the House.."
    Friday, the House will vote on a ONE THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY PAGE BILL, written by Socialist Markey, and Ratface Waxman.
    ...another unread stake in the heart of liberty.

  18. Yes, there does seem to be a private airstrip, for the McCansion with the red tile roof and aqua marine pool, in the backyard.

  19. He's bobbie's intellectual guru, his human touchstone, the foundation of bobbie's secular psuedo intellectualism.

    You really do just skip over those rambling rants, from Moscow, don't you?

  20. Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987) was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: "Follow your bliss."</b

  21. "You really do just skip over those rambling rants, from Moscow, don't you?"
    Guilty, as charged.

  22. "Follow your bliss."
    Is that whatever is going on in my little head?

  23. Sanford's little head dominated that Presser.

  24. Five days cruising the coast of South America, at the mouth of el Rio de la Plata, between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, sweet bliss, fer sur

  25. Seems that the State has no problem funding regligion deconstructionists, aye.

  26. Campbell was working upon this theme, at the time of his death.
    Further deconstruction of all religions, into just varied versions of secular humanism.

    The Way of Man -- religion and philosophy as it developed after the Axial Age (c. 6th century BC), in which the mythic imagery of previous eras was made consciously metaphorical, reinterpreted as referring to psycho-spiritual, not literal-historical, matters. This transition is evidenced in the East by Buddhism, Vedanta, and philosophical Taoism; and in the West by the Mystery Cults, Platonism, Christianity and Gnosticism.

  27. DR,

    Re: plagerized

    ...with a priori apologies to rufus...

    ...another day, another "myth" to dispel...

    The ORIGINAL text was ours, DR; therefore, I am at a loss to understand how we plagiarized anything.

    While your Western ancestors and the Chinese were struggling with crude pictographs, my ancestors had long before invented a phonetically based alphabet and created literature. Hebrew and proto-Hebrew literary fragments have been dated to 3500-4000 CE. That would make them several THOUSAND years older than your “Zorro Master” (whatever that is supposed to convey).

    We don't mind sharing our highly regarded literature, which is evident by the subsequent in bulk borrowings of others, including some blatant misinterpreted plagiarism. What we do object to is misrepresentation. Frankly, DR, Jews don't care all that much what you or anyone else believes. Certainly, we do NOT believe that your place in the World to Come is predicated upon your adherence to normative (or non-normative) Judaism. No, DR, our take is simple: Live and let live.

    You, I suspect, like many non-Jews confuse later Jewish writings, including apocryphal ones, with the Torah. They are not identities, which is why our standard, comprehensive text is named Tanakh. While conveniently containing the Torah, the Tanakh is NOT the Torah.

  28. Sanford should get credit for most innovative approach.
    Had folks puzzled for a while, there.

  29. Used to be a radio show called
    "The Treasures of Tanakh"

  30. Campbells' partner in propagating this anti-religous propaganda far and wide, Bill Moyers of PBS.

    Professional psuedo-intellectuals, funded by tax dollars, dedicated to deconstructing the cultural threads that bind us.

    bobbie's hero.

  31. Nobody digusts me more than Moyer.

  32. I am merely relating Mr Campbell's position, allen.

    I, it is true, have little knowledge of any of these texts or writings. I do not comment on the validity of Mr Campbell's position.

    I have said, and believe, that if what you relate is accurate then Mr Campbell is a Jew hater, at his core. Discarding historic reality when it did not fit his thesis.

    In an effort to discredit not only the Jewish religion, but all three Abrahamic religions. That is at the core of his work, based upon a hasty purvue of it.

  33. DR,

    RE: Campbell

    DR, human beings have a limitless capacity for ignoring the inconvenient. We need not attribute to malice what incompetence will readily entail.

    The men of the Enlightenment and their progeny detested the superstitions they believed had robbed "Man" of his rightful place in the sun. They invented their own gods, equipped with enabling philosophy and legislation. To see how that worked out, review any history of the 20thC.

  34. No, allen, Mr Campbell made a career out of his study of myth and religion. If he ignored such a central fact, then he did so with forethought and malice, as well.

    To further his position, in the world of the psuedo intellectual humanistic secularists.
    With the goal of filling the curious minds of this Nation with lies and half-truths, with regards religion, under the cover of modern intellectual thought. Using Federally subsidized universities and mass media to do it.

    To do so willfully and with the knowledge that he was creating and teaching a false dogma, in an effort to discredit the devine nature of religion.

    That's behaviour fueled by hate, at its core.

  35. DR,

    At this point, I leave Campbell to future deconstruction.

  36. That's fine to do, allen.

    Mr Campbell's work fits the discussion of secular humanism and sectarian relativism, oh so well.

    Which brings us back to el Rio de la Plata, and the five day cruise.


    Republican senator seeks to outlaw tobacco - Tom Coburn, Congress
    Republican senator seeks to outlaw tobacco - A Republican senator who is also a doctor is calling for a new era of Prohibition — outlawing cigarette smoking and ..

    Exempliying another Republican busy body.

  37. Providing cover for the Marxist Super Busy Buddy in Chief.

  38. And, for the benefit of Lineman's entertainment

    Tilting at Green Windmills.
    By George Will.

    WASHINGTON -- The Spanish professor is puzzled. Why, Gabriel Calzada wonders, is the U.S. president recommending that America emulate the Spanish model for creating "green jobs" in "alternative energy" even though Spain's unemployment rate is 18.1 percent -- more than double the European Union average -- partly because of spending on such jobs?

    Calzada, 36, an economics professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, has produced a report which, if true, is inconvenient for the Obama administration's green agenda, and for some budget assumptions that are dependent upon it.

    Calzada says Spain's torrential spending -- no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources -- on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada's report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies -- wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation -- sub-optimum in terms of economic efficiency -- of capital. (European media regularly report "eco-corruption" leaving a "footprint of sleaze" -- gaming the subsidy systems, profiteering from land sales for wind farms, etc.) Calzada says the creation of jobs in alternative energy has subtracted about 110,000 jobs from elsewhere in Spain's economy

  39. What is the Republican rally point, doug?

    It certainly is not individual freedom tempered with responsibility.

    It is not "better" macro-economic management.

    I can't see the Republican rally point, let alone anyone trying to get there.

  40. Just watched a bit of video for the first time:
    That guy makes most Democrat Sleazeballs look good.
    What a Self-Centered Shmuck.
    "Let me finish"
    "I'm a bottom line kind of guy"
    No, you're just a jerk.

  41. Gore has 10,000 activists on conference call up.

    The Republicans have Tea Parties.

    The nonviolent twitter revolution continues apace, here at home, too.
    That it is being managed by Team Obamamerica, just a simple twist of fate.

    They being a tad ahead, on that communications curve.
    The Republican's "Great Communicator" just a distant memory.

    Iran Government Increases Pressure on Opposition
    Voice of America - Edward Yeranian - ‎40 minutes ago‎

    Iran's government continues to crack down on the country's election-protest movement, reportedly making further arrests among the ranks of university professors, journalists, and ordinary citizens

  42. Friday's vote on the measure is expected to be close, but multiple sources on both sides of the aisle say they're confident that the bill will pass — with some Republican votes — following a deal between House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson.

  43. So, it seems, the US presence cannot guarentee security, in Iraqi cities.

    BAGHDAD - At least seven bombs exploded around the country Thursday amid a uptick in violence as American troops prepare to withdraw from Iraqi cities on June 30.

    Wonder what the locals make of it. The uptick violence coming before we leave, not after.

  44. I'm starting up the karaoke, Doug.

    (We have a Karaoke machine?

    My gift to the bar.


  45. I'll sing the prelude to Bizet's Carmen.

  46. The NYTimes reports

    WASHINGTON — In a ruling of interest to educators, parents and students across the country, the Supreme Court ruled, 8 to 1, on Thursday that the strip search of a 13-year-old Arizona girl by school officials who were looking for prescription-strength drugs violated her constitutional rights.

    The officials in Safford, Ariz., would have been justified in 2003 had they limited their search to the backpack and outer clothing of Savana Redding, who was in the eighth grade at the time, the court ruled. But in searching her undergarments, they went too far and violated her Fourth Amendment privacy rights, the justices said.

  47. Linear,
    Ever heard of Rescue, California



    From rat's link to Will:

    European media regularly report "eco-corruption" leaving a "footprint of sleaze" -- gaming the subsidy systems, profiteering from land sales for wind farms, etc.

    Has a familiar ring to it, doesn't it? I thought I'd linked to that Calzada study here a few weeks ago.

  48. The majority said it meant to cast “no ill reflection” on the assistant principal who ordered the search. “Parents are known to overreact to protect their children from danger, and a school official with responsibility for safety may tend to do the same,” Justice Souter wrote.

    But Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not agree, and would not have protected the officials from liability. Justice Ginsburg singled out the assistant principal, noting that he had made Savana sit on a chair outside his office for more than two hours.

    “At no point did he attempt to call her parent,” Justice Ginsburg wrote. “Abuse of authority of that order should not be shielded by official immunity.”

  49. Then how 'bout O Mio Babbino Caro?

  50. In honor of Our Man in Damascus: BTO's You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet.

    (Presuming the full complement of Attaches will be granted visas and accredited in relatively short order. Relatively. Been waitin' a long time, baby. Woo hoo!)

  51. CNN) -- The top U.S. general, David Petraeus, painted a bleak picture of Afghanistan's immediate future, saying insurgent attacks have risen to record levels not seen since 2001

    "There is no question that the situation has deteriorated over the course of the past two years and that there are difficult times ahead," said Gen. David Petraeus, who heads the US Central Command, on Thursday.
    Petraeus's comments came as the United States is embarking on new strategy in Afghanistan, with increased troop levels and a focus on counterinsurgency tactics. Petraeus said America should draw on the lessons learned in Iraq

    Two years of deterioration, on the watch of Team43 !?1?!
    While Dick Cheney was VP?

    With nary a peep of concern, that entire time. That he and Mr Bush had taken US back to the future, in Afpakistan?

    That while learning the ways of war in Iraq, the US was back at the beginning, in Afpakistan.

    Oh, woe is US!

    If we're going to do a sing alng with trish
    May as well celebrate "la Vida Loca"!

  52. Let the light shine!


    WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. lawmakers Thursday hammered Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, using a hearing about the central bank's handling of Bank of America's (BAC) acquisition of Merrill Lynch to attack the Fed as a secret agency unworthy of new enhanced regulatory powers.

    "It's time to yank the shroud off the Fed and shine some light on these events," said U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., who in an opening statement repeatedly described the Fed as being "shrouded in secrecy."

    "I believe that before Congress acts on the president's financial services reform proposal, we need to have a thorough understanding of what caused the current financial crisis and how the federal government responded."

    The heated congressional hearing got under way Thursday with Bernanke defending the central bank's role in negotiations between Bank of America and other regulators and with members of the House Government Reform committee expressing skepticism of the Fed's decisions.

    Usually, the Fed chief goes to Capitol Hill to take questions on monetary policy and the economic outlook. But the economy was barely touched on at Thursday's hearing.

    Instead, lawmakers criticized the Fed as an agency that has too much power and yet too little transparency and questioned whether the Fed should become an uber regulator of the financial system as envisioned by the Obama administration.

    Bernanke, in his first congressional appearance since the administration rolled out its controversial regulatory revamp proposal, defended the planned overhaul of U.S. financial rules.

    It's clear something has to be done to prevent firms from growing so big that they pose a risk to the financial system, Bernanke said.

    "Too big to fail is not a policy. It's a major problem," he said. He added that federal regulators were unable to prevent Lehman Brothers' collapse last year because it had no authority to rescue the firm.

    "I hope the system will be changed," Bernanke said.

    Additionally, Bernanke warned lawmakers against moving forward on popular legislation on Capitol Hill that would give the Government Accountability Office new authority to audit the Fed. Giving the GAO the power to audit the operational aspects of the central bank would be a repudiation of the Fed's independence, destructive to the U.S. dollar and a threat to monetary policy, Bernanke said

    It is interesting that the "torture" debate and Ms Pelosi have faded from view. Whether due to the Iranian dominace of the news or that is was Ms Pelosi that was getting burned...
    I'd venture we've seen the last of that episode.

  53. In honor of Our Man Once Again Next Door a little song called, "Don't Unpack."

  54. At least one fellow in the room gets it.

    Bernanke warned lawmakers against moving forward on popular legislation on Capitol Hill that would give the Government Accountability Office new authority to audit the Fed. Giving the GAO the power to audit the operational aspects of the central bank would be a repudiation of the Fed's independence.

    They've done a miserable job, maintaining the currency, since 1963.

    They've let inflantion run wild.
    The dollar devalued.

    They should not be "indepedndent" the very idea that they are, "indepedndent" is on an unConstitutional delegation of authority, by the Congress.

  55. 06.25.09 -- 2:28PM // RECOMMEND
    It's All Obama's Fault

    Rush Limbaugh defends Mark Sanford as just a guy fed up with "the country's going to Hell in a handbasket" under Obama who fled the country "to enjoy life."

    --David Kurtz

    Making all the rest of you whiners lifeless wankers.

    In re "Hiking the Appalachian Trai": Quite a few years ago my husband was being interviewed for a position and he was asked what he likes to do for relaxation. He mentioned walking the dog.

    They asked if it was a euphemism.

    It had never occurred to him that it might sound like one.

    David Letterman once had a top ten list of phrases that sound dirty but aren't. Our favorite: Shaking hands with Abraham Lincoln.

  56. An Internet radio host and blogger charged earlier this month with encouraging people to "take up arms" against three public officials in Connecticut was arrested again Wednesday on charges that he threatened to assault and murder three federal judges in retaliation for a ruling upholding handgun bans in the Chicago area.

    FBI agents charged Hal Turner, 47, of North Bergen, N.J., at his home on charges related to the appeals court judges. The federal charges in Chicago arise from Internet postings on June 2 and 3 in which Turner allegedly proclaimed his "outrage" over a June 2 decision by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer of the Chicago-based U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    "Let me be the first to say this plainly: These Judges deserve to be killed," said the postings, which also included photographs, phone numbers, work addresses and room numbers of the judges, along with a photo of the building in which they work and a map of its location.

    The Chicago arrest warrant affidavit suggests that the Internet postings were inspired by lawsuits in Chicago and suburban Oak Park that followed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year upholding the right of citizens to keep handguns in their homes for protection. The lawsuits challenged handgun bans that remained in effect after the high court's ruling. The three judges dismissed the lawsuits in an opinion written for a unanimous court.

    Federal authorities said they found another Internet posting, allegedly written by Turner, claiming that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled against Matt Hale, a white supremacist convicted of soliciting the murder of a U.S. District Court judge in Chicago. The blog entry noted that the slain judge's mother and husband also were killed by a gunman in her home.

    "Apparently, the 7th U.S. Circuit court didn't get the hint after those killings," the posting said. "It appears another lesson is needed.

  57. mat was always one to advocate murder.

    It is better to remain civil.

    No one is anonymous on the INet.

  58. Long have I relied on the folks at Forbes.

    Here's to hope, amigos!

    The divisions that are now appearing within Revolutionary Guard units are arguably most troubling for the regime. There are reports that the chief of the Tehran unit, Ali Fazli, is now under arrest. Other reports point to a rebellion brewing within Revolutionary Guards forces in Lavizan, northeast of Tehran. At least one report claimed that 16 leading Guard members were arrested for refusing to shoot protesters. The official statement from the Revolutionary Guard on recent events did not appear until Monday, June 22. The inexplicable delay in issuing the statement could be an important clue that another coup is in the making--this time in support of the revolution.

    In the next few days, there will be more protests. A general strike is brewing. The national mourning for young Neda and other martyrs will be the focus of the revolutionaries for the next two days. Then, a new countrywide challenge to the regime will take center stage. The revolution's main problem is lack of communication with its leadership. As such, progress is slow and the course will undoubtedly be protracted. This was also the case in the first month of the 1979 revolution.

    The next 10 days will also test the regime's pillars of power. Another coup from within may be the shortest and least violent way to end the Islamic Republic. In the absence of one, the revolution will go on.

    Ramin Ahmadi is the co-founder of the Iran Human Rights

  59. --David Kurtz must have a hell of a sense of humor, since he can't recognize it when he sees it.

    Matthews didn't get Limbaugh comparing Sanford to JFK either, but what could we expect from a man that becomes orgasmic at the sight of Clinton or Bambi?

  60. "Two years of deterioration, on the watch of Team43 !?1?!
    While Dick Cheney was VP?
    Don't Blame Dick!
    ...he woulda been out in 6 months.

  61. You missed my Carmen rendition.

  62. Our reserve is based on breeding.

  63. Hmm

    Women are fickle (or erratic/flighty)
    That feather in the wind,
    Silent in tone - and of thought. (You can't tell what she's really saying or thinking)
    Always a loveable,
    Graceful visage, (or beautiful face)
    That in tears or in laughter - is lying.

    Women are fickle,
    That feather in the wind,
    Silent in tone, and of thought,
    and of thought!
    and of thought!

    Always miserable, (or wretched)
    Is he who trusts her,
    He who confides in her - incautious (reckless) his heart!
    Though not ever feeling,
    Fully happy,
    Who on that bosom, - does not sip/taste love?

    Women are fickle,
    That feather in the wind,
    Silent in tone, and of thought,
    and of thought!
    and of thought!

  64. Turns out Limbaugh wasn't kidding!

  65. Kind of loose use of the word

  66. This simple on/off button is worth far more than it's weight (300 kb)
    or it's price (free)