"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours." -Sir Charles Napier
BigEarth of New Mexico sez, The warmest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great national moment, reserve their neutrality.
Bill Whittle's mom sez, If you can’t say anything of deep and meaningful scientific or political import that is not supported by fact, reason, historical precedent and in-depth step-by-step logical analysis then don’t say anything at all!
:: Monday, December 29 ::
The Earthquake in Iran, no matter what the death toll - a few thousand to the widely reported estimate of 40 thousand, only throws me back to the Paso Robles quake a week ago which killed two. Two.
The people of that region have had some seven thousand years to learn to not build deathtraps for houses. It will be interesting to figure out what lead to such abandonment of precaution.
Do we blame Islam? Is this the failure to embrace technology that is so characteristic in the Muslim world? Or is this corrupt government not giving a care to resurrect the building codes of the ancient Persians, whose excavated streets exhibit grids and uniformity in wall construction? Perhaps the Mullahs are content to have forty thousand less to feed.
This article in the Guardian offers some insight to the inaction since Iran's mega-deadly quake.
Within Iran the recriminations have started. The reformist Al-Sharq newspaper said that it was wrong to blame 'nature' for the catastrophe. 'Nature is not violent, it is man that makes himself vulnerable by not observing the rule of nature,' an editorial said, drawing attention to the country's widely flouted construction laws.
Many point out that recommendations made by a series of high-profile inquiries following the 1990 earthquake in north-west Iran have gone unimplemented. Others stress that the disaster could have been much worse. A recent survey by Japanese specialists found that a major earthquake hitting Tehran itself would cause half a million casualties.
And this is why the mullahs must go. Reminiscent of the time donations of blood from Israel were rejected so Palestinians could die instead of having Jew blood, we get the following (entirely predictable) declaration from Iran's current leadership:
So I went to San Francisco to get away and wine and dine for nine days, the trip beginning with the confiscation of my corkscrew at the Asheville airport. I ended up skipping mystical wine country and drank Stella Artois the whole time instead, staying in an apartment in hippie central, the Haight-Ashbury. Just for kicks on the last day, I bought the only Wall Street Journal for sale on the whole length of Haight Street after an hour's search.
It was a pleasure to not look at the news or the internet for the rest of that time, with the exception of looking over the shoulder of an N-Judah commuter and seeing the headline announcing Gore's endorsement of Dean - ouch. It was a good laugh. I saw one lonely Kucinich sign in a Judah Street window.
On display at the SF Museum of Modern Art were the photos of Diane Arbus, known commonly as a photographer of freaks (a description she hated and contested), and was saddened at the reminder of her suicide in 1971. If only she were alive today to cover the 2004 Democratic candidates.
The news of Howard Dean's belief in Jesus Christ and the increased references to scripture that are sure to follow will likely mirror Jimmy "Best Ex-President" Carter's path of faith. Dean's specific naming of Jesus surprised me in the wake of a Gore endorsement. It was Gore who referred to his own faith as a "religious tradition" - theological chicken shit from the would-be President who can hypnotize chickens.
And where is Wesley Clark's faith? Did Madonna not consult him on Jesus Christ when he sought her insights? Did Madonna deny Christ? He has faith - that's fer sure... how else would one believe that it was Bill Clinton, three years into a Bush Presidency that has toppled two terror-sponsoring regimes, who actually managed to warm the heart of Muammar Qadhafi without a shot fired?