“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, February 10, 2010

Support the Iranian People in their Revolution against the Mullah Thugs

Opposition members went on roof tops late Wednesday and shouted Allah-u-Akbar ("God is greatest") in protest -- echoing similar cries after the disputed June election as well as anti-shah protests more than three decades ago.

The faces of protestors have been blurred out on this clip.

Iran steps up security in Tehran over protest fears

Calls for calm as streets will be filled for the anniversary of 1979 Islamic Revolution

Ian Black Middle East Editor, Wednesday 10 February 2010 19.08 GMT

Iranian security forces were deploying in strength in Tehran tonight to head off what opposition supporters hope will be massive street protests to challenge the regime as its celebrates tomorrow's anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Mir Hossein Mousavi, leader of the green movement, has called on supporters to behave peacefully during state-sponsored events including a speech by the hardline president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which is likely to be attended by tens of thousands of government loyalists. Green supporters are being asked to chant: "Death to no one, long live everyone" – a reference to the slogans of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" that are traditional staples of Iran's revolutionary political culture.

But with reports of another death sentence handed down to a rioter, arrests of opposition activists and large numbers of Revolutionary Guards and Basij militia arriving in Tehran from outlying areas, nervousness was mounting last night.

"We are closely watching the activities of the sedition movement, and several people who were preparing to disrupt the 11 February rallies were arrested," the Fars news agency quoted the city's police chief, Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, as saying. "If anyone wants to disrupt this glorious ceremony, they will be confronted by people and we, too, are fully prepared."

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, warned this week that the country's enemies would get a "punch in the mouth" if there were new protests. The ILNA news agency said one of nine unnamed "rioters" arrested after demonstrations in December had been sentenced to death and the rest to prison terms. Last month, two young men described as terrorists were hanged after being convicted of the crime of being "enemies of god".

Official plans to deal with the latest bout of internal unrest coincide with mounting international tensions after the US president, Barack Obama, accused Iran of trying to build a nuclear weapon and warned it would face new sanctions within weeks. The regime accuses opposition supporters of serving foreign interests.

Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Peace laureate, warned that her country faced catastrophe if repression did not end. "A recurrence of the recent months' events, the continuation of repressive policies and the killing of defenceless people could bring about a catastrophe that may undermine peace and security in Iran, if not in the entire region," she told the UN human rights council in Geneva.

Today's 31st anniversary of the 1979 revolution is the most important date in the official calendar. But events will take place behind a virtual media blackout, with the few foreign journalists in Tehran operating under severe restrictions, including being ordered to report only on pro-government rallies. Some 65 Iranian journalists are under arrest, and internet communications have been largely shut down. Disruption has also been reported to text-messaging services used by protesters to organise demonstrations.

Loudspeakers have been mounted along the route to the capital's Azadi (Freedom) square, where Ahmadinejad is to speak, to drown out opposition slogans. Protesters were advised to use whistles. Mousavi has not announced his plans but Mehdi Karroubi, another defeated presidential candidate, said today he would take part and urged his supporters to "demand their legal rights with their silence". Mohammed Khatami, the former reformist president, called for support for "the common aim of defending the revolution and the people's rights as the main possessors of the revolution".

The opposition claims that Mousavi, a former prime minister, was the rightful winner of June's presidential elections and that Ahmadinejad's victory was fraudulent. Sporadic street protests have persisted since then, despite a crackdown in which scores have been killed and hundreds arrested. In the most recent flare-up, eight people died in clashes between police and protesters on 27 December when opposition supporters used the annual Shia Ashura ceremonies to stage anti-government rallies. Two opposition leaders, Mohsen Aminzadeh and Behzad Nabavi, were jailed this week.

In Geneva, a senior US official said he hoped a UN debate next week on Iran would include investigations of the arrest of opposition leaders and alleged abuses of detainees. People in Iran have been "gassed, arrested, beaten up and sh
ot" since June, John Limbert said. "The … international community can bear witness to what is going on there."


  1. Fer all y'all settin' in the dark an huddled around yer farplaces...

    Frozen Wasteland

    via American Digest

    Laissez les bons temps rouler y'all!

  2. I think I'd just as soon let the Eyeranians sort this one out.

  3. We've been hanging around that neighborhood long enough.

  4. Maybe, slip'em a couple of bucks of 'walking around" money on the way out the door.

  5. As for the blizzard that shut down Washington D.C. this week, Small Business Owners have just One Wish, More Snow

  6. That was fucking great, Lineman.

    Thank you!

  7. To add to the list of outrageous earmarks in Obama's fiscal 2011 budget, ACORN, the embezzlement-prone, voter-registration-fraud-plagued, leftist community organizing group, is slated to receive nearly $4 billion from a taxpayer-funded slush fund.

  8. That is a good link Rufus. It shows how totally clueless Obama and everyone around him is about business. Businesses expand with increased demand for their products and services.

    Carter did the same thing with a jobs credit plan and that amongst other things assured him of only one term. This recession will not end until the incomes of people improve. The quickest way to make that happen is to reduce taxes.

  9. Charlie Wilson, US politician who secretly funded CIA in Afghanistan, dies

    "After the Soviets left, Charlie kept fighting for the Afghan people and warned against abandoning that traumatised country to its fate — a warning we should have heeded then, and should remember today.”

    After the Soviet withdrawal, Mr Wilson expressed reservations about the American decisions to cut funds to Afghanistan, which he blamed for creating a void that led to the rising influence of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the Islamic militant group accused of the attacks on the US of September 11, 2001.

    Mr Wilson was born in Trinity, Texas, in 1933, attended the US Naval Academy, and served in the US Navy. He was elected to the Texas legislature and went on to serve in the US House from 1973. He retired from Congress in 1997.
    Shoulda left the Sovs with the Afghan Tarbaby.

  10. Linear,
    My '62 Corvair Van had a potbellied stove in back with stovepipe through the roof.
    24 mpg
    Later hauled tons of cowshit, horseshit, recycled barracks, and greenhouse glass.
    Shoulda kept that Greenbrier.
    Just to piss off Nader.

  11. Pawlenty has never raised taxes.
    Miller caller says his Minnesota health insurance costs $30/month!

  12. T,
    $11 Billion is allocated for Michelle Hussein's war on obesity!

  13. American forces are stationed at bases far and wide around Afghanistan. Some bases are like towns, such as Camp Bastion, Kandahar Airfield, and Bagram Airfield. But mostly they are small, often occupied by only a handful of troops.

    Logistics into Afghanistan is a nightmare, and it only gets worse after you cross the border from the North or from Pakistan. By comparison, Iraq “logs” was like a run to a convenience store down the road. Afghan logs are more like driving from Miami to Seattle for grocery shopping, and then driving the groceries back to Miami while under threat of attack. Not a speck of exaggeration in that statement. Enemy logs interdiction was a large constituent of the Soviet defeat, despite that the Soviet Union comprised the entire northern border of Afghanistan. When the Soviet hammer tried to crack the Afghan rock, the hammer shattered. The Soviets can easily put people in space and keep them there, but they couldn’t handle backdoor logistics during their Afghan war. It’s easier to keep people in space than to supply our war here.


  14. ...So, why so little action in Iran...

    The report was nevertheless leaked to the media.

    ...and leaked...and leaked...and leaked...

    "Within days of the release of the reports and documents, thousands of people sympathetic to the cause of freedom in communist countries around the world were arrested. Hundreds of people simply disappeared -- most of them were executed."

    Think about this when next an ally is accused of spying.

  15. Rat is the most disgusting bastard on the face of the universe.

    What a shithead.

    My daughter gets raped, and I try to be the kind father, mad as I might be, and this peckerhead wants to fault me.

    You are the most disgusting person in the universe, shit head from

    You are a shithead, and everybody knows it, for sure.

  16. One of the problems with Logistics is the USAF

    a lot of the problems with logistics in Afghanistan is the USAF. Basically the USAF is bleeding pilot-slots (ie not pilots the got plenty of those) like crazy, and if it is doing what is best for the defense of the country and their turf war, the turf war wins. For example the USAF has to charter huge Russian aircraft to move new equipment to Afghanistan, that they can not risk on the overland route through Pakistan. Congress is upset about it, but they are told, you made the bed by caving in to Boeing and certain high elements of the USAF that were going to keep ordering C-17s, even though every C-5 that the USAF has, needs to be kept by being modernized to the C-5M (ie those trying to get more C-17s by killing the C-5 claim it has a low reliability rate -- the reason it has a low reliability rate is lack of spares which the USAF refuses to order in the numbers needed, which results in 1 out of 4 C-5s being ground to take spares off of). And no the C-17 was not designed to replace the C-5, it was designed to replace the C-141. And to use the C-17 to fly from the US to Afghanistan, requires MASSIVE air to air refueling support. Next is the C-27J, what many call a mini-C-130. After the US invaded Iraq, the US Army discovered that the USAF would not transport a lot of items for them as required by law on a timely manner. And sometimes when they did, one C-130 was being used to transport one pallet. Lot of avgas for one pallet. The US Army was forces to use its fleet of CH-47 helicopters for logistics (ie a helicopter is a horrible way to move heavy loads). So the US Army sent over the small fleet of C-23 twin engine transports that the USAF had given them (ie the USAF never wanted them, but they bought them from the UK in exchange for the UK buying some US weapons) for internal logistic missions inside the US) to Iraq. They proved invaluable, because they could fly into a lot of airfields the C-130 could not fly into. But the 24/7 use of them wore them out. So the US Army started a very modest program to replace them. The aircraft was the C-27J. But the USAF found out, and all they saw was pilot-slots. So they told Congress they had a need for an aircraft in that class too, so why not a joint program. The US Army did not like it -- ie they knew they were going to get screwed -- but they went along. Well when it came time to order the C-27J, the USAF got their friends in Congress to strip funding for C-27Js to the US Army. And then they reduced the number of C-27Js they were going to order. And those that they do have on order are going to the National Guard. The results. The US Army has had to retire the C-23s (ie they were getting worn out and dangerous to fly) and now they are wearing their CH-47 Chinook fleet out.

    Jack E. Hammond

  17. Mike Gallegher:
    Devout Muslim in full Hijab costume @ Dallas Ft Worth Airport watching the x-ray security screen.

    Said she appeared totally disinterested in discerning what she might find in the luggage screening process.

    Wolves guarding the Dhimmi-House.

  18. Iran is on it's own...

    Israel? on it's own...

    America? (the real one) on it's own...

  19. "...So, why so little action in Iran..."

    Whence the assumption of "so little", allen?

  20. Geez, ask a polite question, get no answer.

    Well, then. On to the next subject.


    Sarah Palin has upped her national profile in recent weeks, but a new poll shows that the extra attention hasn't done her any favors. In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, the amount of people with a favorable view of Palin has dropped to its lowest point ever recorded by the pollster. More than 70% of respondents said she's not qualified to be president.

    Palin's numbers don't improve much when just Republicans are asked to give their opinion of her, the poll found.

    The Post reports just 45% of conservatives consider Palin qualified to move into the Oval Office. Last November, 66% of conservatives said she was qualified.

    Only 37 percent of Republicans have a "strongly favorable" view of Palin. Among all Americans, her overall favorable/unfavorable split is 37/55, the lowest it's been since ABC and the Post added her to national polls in Sept. 2008, when John McCain made Palin his running mate on the GOP ticket.

    "Although Palin is a tea party favorite," the Post reports, "her potential as a presidential hopeful takes a severe hit in the survey."

    This will please my grandmother no end.

  21. I await Belmont Club insight as to the "real" source of Memaw's unrelieved contempt for Ms. Palin as a political figure.

  22. A kind father, perhaps, but a poor, poor citizen.

    To allow a felon to run free, to avoid the emotional distress that telling the truth may just have to entail.

    A cowards way out, to blame the victim of the crime, for not reporting it. It is her support group, her FAMILY, which must step up, to corral the evil doer.

    The terrorist in our midst.

    You are the problem with the United States, boobie.
    You claim that others should perform to a high standard, but in your own life, you wallow in the slime.

    Of all of US, it was your family that committed "Voter Fraud" in the 2008 election, not ACORN.

    Tying to influence the Federal election of the President, by voting in a State were the voter did not reside.

    That's a crime.

    So not only does your family protect criminals that terrorize innocents, it engages in criminal activity, itself.

    Shame, booobie, it is a shame!

  23. We have had two disastrous presidencies in a row, we don't need a trifecta.

    I doubt Palin is electable.

    We need someone tough enough to stand up to Washington. I have a feeling that Palin has that, but from what I have heard her say in her interviews, she does not talk in specifics that show she is comfortable with her subject matter.

    She expresses opinions and feelings and is not cautious about what she does not know. That is dangerous.

  24. Palin is more qualified to be POTUS than the current person that squats there...

    But that standard is low...

    I like Sarah and she is a great motivator for many...

    I doubt she will be the GOP's choice to run for Prez...

    After the current "president" is deposed/arrested or retires people will go back to electing (hopefully) a strong EXPERIENCED man or woman to lead our nation, or what is left of it...

  25. "We have had two disastrous presidencies in a row..."

    Lord knows there ain't no law against a third.

  26. Have you noticed how much relief and aid Iran (or any Muslim country) has given to Haiti?

  27. its because their leaders (rulers) are frickin evil and simply care only about themselves.

  28. WaPo:

    The opening is clear: Public dissatisfaction with how Washington operates is at its highest level in Post-ABC polling in more than a decade -- since the months after the Republican-led government shutdown in 1996 -- and negative ratings of the two major parties hover near record highs.

    But nearly two-thirds of those polled say they know just some, very little or nothing about what the tea party movement stands for. About one in eight says they know "a great deal" about the positions of tea party groups, but the lack of information does not erase the appeal: About 45 percent of all Americans say they agree at least somewhat with tea partiers on issues, including majorities of Republicans and independents.


    Sarah has said that the Tea Party movement should ideally be rolled into the GOP.

    But how to accomplish this? In the reverse.

    She's already done the work of grafting the big government foreign policy onto it.

    She says the movement is happily, appropriately leaderless and this may be technically the case. But not effectively the case.

    Shit happens. Just sayin'.

  29. Pat Lang has been wrong about a lot of things over the years and he's, well, prickly. (But I would be, too. His thoroughly confrontational stance against the last admin attracted a lot of questionable types.) But on Iran, beginning sometime last year, he began hitting the nail on the head. Again and again.

    He did so yesterday:

    I have never said that the US is "about to destroy Iran." I have said that the US can easily destroy Iran. That is true and Israel's forces would be useless in such an effort without US cooperation.

    Some of you continue to argue for the "right" of Iran to possess nuclear weapons. Justice and legalisms have nothing to do with strategic calculation. What is at issue here is whether or not the countries that now poasses the strategic advantage are willing to accept a different balance of power, first in the Middle East and then in the world. It is now possible for all to see (including those of you who foolishly argue for Iran's nuclear rights) that Iran is prevaricating in its statements as to the "peaceful" nature of its program. I won't bother to review the details. You would not accept the implications of the indicators so why should I bother? So far, the Iranians have played their little game of deception well, impressed as usual with their own cleverness. What the indicators point to is an Iranian program that is intended to produce a ballistic missile based nuclear capability capable of holding first Middle Eastern cities at risk and later cities farther away, perhaps even cities in Alberta eventually. Whether or not such a capability would ever be used, its mere posession will radically alter the balance of power. Some of you clearly relish the thought.

    The statements that Iran could destroy Kuwait and Saudi Arabia's oil ports is fantasy resembling the schoolyard outbursts of children that "my daddy is bigger than your daddy." American forces held at risk in Iraq? There you have a better case, but now there is a viable line of communications through western Iraq.

    Hormuz? I participated in previous Hormuz crises. It is true that the Iranians could temporarily obstruct passage through the stait but they could not hold it closed long. Tthe oil price "spike" would not last long either.

    The real question in the Iran nuclear dilemma is whether or not the present powers will accept a re-alignment of forces as serious as that which woiuld be caused by a nuclear Iran.

    Incidentally, if you want to be posted here do not quote the opinions of other bloggers to me.

    10 February 2010

  30. We need someone tough enough to stand up to Washington. I have a feeling that Palin has that, but from what I have heard her say in her interviews, she does not talk in specifics that show she is comfortable with her subject matter.

    I know she comes over as a little air head sometimes, but put her in that position of Pres I think she might be great.

    What's it take to be Pres after all?

    You got to make a few decisions, and as far as I can see, she's right on most of the issues.

    She knows for instance, the hell with all this environmental stuff, we need energy.

    Until she eats her own children, I'm backing Sarah.

    Christ we've had Carter after all, and the current shithead.

  31. That's exactly why I don't want to live in a big city, al-Doug.

    You got girls like that over there in Hawaii?

    I like them normal, maybe with a blue dress, and just a little cleavage, and a nice smile, and a long beautiful left arm, and long legs, and a great sense of humor.

    That's what I like.

    A girl with a lot of excitement about her.

  32. A girl that can really stir you up, just with her warm heart, nothing else needed.

  33. Rat by the way is an illiterate pig.

    A turd.

    But everyone knows that.

  34. Lang is a bloviating moron. Of course Iran will have Nukes. Iran will have Nukes because Iran will have Nuclear Power. All countries will have nuclear power, because there's not enough oil for BAU for much longer. Not when you factor in the Chinese, Indians, and the rest of the non-OECD world.

    He, and his ilk remind me of the silly little men whose hobby is playing with little plastic soldiers, and cannons. A lifetime of refighting the battle of whatchamacallit.

  35. IEA came out this morning and said: "Guess what, Oil Demand is Rising, and it's coming from China, and the developing nations."

    Gee, I wonder who's been beating on this drum for the last year?

  36. My ancestors fought and died fighting for whatchamacallit.

  37. They died while fighting for what they fought for.

  38. Susan, my lawyer, called, by Christ we won, she's on top of it, she says, did you read the staff report, I says no, I rely on you, I read my Bible at night, we have a good laugh, she is a damn good lawyer. She is all chuckles this morning.

  39. trish,

    ...wasn't ignoring called...

    I have my opinion on Iran; you have yours.

    If you believe the Iranian protestors are being helped more than a "little", I would like to be corrected.

  40. Bomb Iran, and get it over with.

  41. I think of my friend Mat--and his beautiful ideas--and here is what you got to deal with--


    I am preparing a summary of the P&Z meeting from last night, including comments made from the public and comments from the commissioners. I will get that to you in the next few days.

    In a nutshell, the P&Z recommended approval of the rezone and the preliminary plat with the Staff Recommendations, in addition, they conditioned approval on two more pedestrian pathways from Baker Court and North Court as recommended by the Transportation Commission; however, they disregarded the Transportation Commission to extend North Street to the west boundary. They did require Center Street to connect through to the east boundary and recommended that it allow for access for emergency vehicles and for non-vehicular access (bikes and pedestrians) through to Sunset.

    I am assuming that you have a list of the Staff Recommendations; however, I will include them in my summary.


    Susan R. Wilson
    Attorney at Law, PLLC
    208 S. Main St. Ste 2
    Moscow, ID 83843
    866-221-9397 (fx)

    Mo money.

    I have no control over it at all.

    You want to make it beautiful and cozy? Try it sometime.

  42. It could have been worse, we won on some major points, but they think, the developer is rich--

    your daddy is rich
    and your momma is good lookin'
    so hush little baby
    don't you cry

    he can handle anything

    and I'm worried about the gas bill, going to Ohio.

  43. "Gee, I wonder who's been beating on this drum for the last year?"

    Gee, Ruf. Sounds pretty important. Why don't you monitor the situation and then come back and tell us when we run out.


  44. Fuckers, Jack and I could do it better.

  45. We got out of the traffic circles however.

    We saved 400k there.

    You let these motherfucks design it all, you're in trouble, big time.

  46. Just don't read what I write, Q. There's alway Bob's poetry.

  47. Ruf, I came out pretty good last night, it's nice to have a young smart lady lawyer on your side.

    I couldn't do a damn thing before that commission.

    I'd just get mad.

    It's better for a guy like me, to just hire a younger woman, to do my talking for me.

    I've learned that much.

  48. I’m the kind of person who needs space. Like a lot of it. I like my time alone and I do get it often but since Friday night when all of this mess started it’s been wreaking nothing but havoc in my house. Just when I think everyone is in their own space, I sit down to breathe and before I know it, who’s asking me this and who’s wanting that, so this is what I did to get my solitude today. Just look at my avatar. And yes, I put boobs on it.

  49. "...There's alway Bob's poetry."

    Good point, Ruf.



  50. You will get space from me, unless you want otherwise.

    We are heading again for Ohio next week, the snow storm having stopped us here, through Vegas, New Mexico, and Tennessee.


    I would gamble on the tables in Vegas, and give you the money if I win, and if I lose, no loss to you.

    But you must tell me, red or black, odd or even.

    Your friend bob

  51. This is how the world is "Really" looking. Asia is kicking ass.

  52. You got it, O My Lady. It is your wish.

    I will do so.

    Trust me.

  53. "This is how the world is "Really" looking. Asia is kicking ass."

    As it should. With probably ten times the population of the US it only makes sense their combined GDP should increase relative to that of the US.

    The disturbing part is the performance of the other players, EU et al.


  54. Gee, I wonder who's been beating on this drum for the last year?

    Indeed, Rufus.

    You add new dimensions to the old saying, "He's got an intuitive grasp for the obvious!"

    Or is it just maybe that hearing it droned on and on and on, we've become so used to the refrain that it's become obvious?

    In either case, good work.

  55. Mark 6:4 Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household."

  56. Looking at the prices for Myride's Top 10 New Car Deals for February 2010, I would say that the auto industry could be in trouble...

  57. "I have my opinion on Iran; you have yours."

    I thought maybe, just maybe, the rough measurement of "so little" came from some visibility on the matter.

    But, since here we are dealing merely in opinions, the very extent to which current goings-on - hardly a revolution but somewhat protracted turmoil, say - are not associated with us, with the Israelis, with the Sauds, is a very good thing. For this reason - along with the relative ease of abandoning any particular program, with no one the wiser, should it be headed south - covert operations were invented.

    It would kinda spoil everything if the world were truly privy to the sources and amount of involvement, if any.

  58. Bush to be honored by the Obama Administration

    In a reconciliatory move by the Obama administration, the president has asked the U. S. Board on Geographical Names to name the fault line beneath Haiti after the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush.

    This particular fracture in the tectonic plate will henceforth be called "Bush's Fault."

  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. The Labour MP, along with former health secretary Patricia Hewitt, attempted to lead a vote of confidence on Gordon Brown's continued leadership of the party last month.


    Mr Hoon served as defence secretary under Tony Blair during the invasion of Iraq. During his appearance at the Chilcot inquiry recently, he suggested he had been kept out of the loop regarding crucial discussions between the former prime minister and George Bush.

    The MP for Ashfield had faced calls for de-selection in recent weeks following his failed coup attempt.

    Standing Down

  61. This particular fracture in the tectonic plate will henceforth be called "Bush's Fault."


  62. He was at "fault" for everything else.

  63. There was a scary moment right after the earthquake in Haiti. One of the major cable news networks in the US decided that covering the earthquake was, in fact, a vote of support for President Obama.

    And so, while the other cable channels were scrambling to get the news out 24-7, this news channel decided the death of what, at that early stage, looked to be close to half a million people, did not merit serious attention. The news vacuum lasted maybe two days.

    What were they waiting for, I wondered? The voice of the "people"?

    Haiti and Holocausts

  64. Doug: My ancestors fought and died fighting for whatchamacallit.

    My ancestors killed Magellan.

  65. Don't worry, T. He prolly needed killin.

  66. ``I had big-time blockage. And I felt very grateful to be going under the surgery without serious damage to my heart so I thought I could make a recovery. Still it was kind of a mystical, interesting experience,'' he said.

    Mr Clinton, who is now the special UN envoy to Haiti, has kept up a frenetic pace since he left office in 2001 after serving two four-year terms in the White House.

    ``He doesn't have an accelerator, but a switch, and that switch is on 23 hours a day, and that is one speed, full speed ahead,'' James Carville, Mr Clinton's former campaign manager, told CNN.

    No Attack

  67. The ruling -- the third legal defeat this week for veteran Chinese activists -- drew a rare public rebuke from the U.S. ambassador, who said Liu Xiaobo should be released immediately.


    "So thin!" Liu Xia said of her husband. "I just wanted to be able to hold him.

    It might be 11 years before I can hold him again."

    11-Year Punishment

  68. Seven men were flipped out of a barge into stormy seas off the coast of the island Atafu.

    The four other men managed swam to safety.

    All 1200 people on Tokelau are New Zealand citizens.

    Destructive Cyclone

  69. "I was probably in the last generation of Americans where people widely thought a fat baby was a healthy baby," Clinton told CNN's Gupta. "I always battled my weight, all of the way through school."

    In a series of 2007 ads for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, Clinton poked fun at his weight struggles. One spot showed the former president daydreaming about a cheese burger while running on a treadmill.

    "Exercising is hard," a voice in the ad said, comparing it to the ease of attending an Iowa caucus.

    Frenetic Pace

  70. "The Valentine's Day prohibition is in line with Saudi's strict Wahhabi school of Islam that the kingdom has followed for more than a century. The birthplace of Islam also bans several Muslim holidays except the two most important ones because it considers them "religious innovations" that Islam doesn't sanction."

    Saudi Arabia Bans Valentines Day and the Color Red