Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Iran Roundup

Since I'm no expert, I have nothing very useful to contribute about the travesty "election" in Iran. For those who haven't been following it, imagine a scenario where the FBI is in charge of elections (the innocuous-sounding Ministry of the Interior controls elections and the country's law-enforcement duties), all candidates for Legislative or Executive office must be approved by the Supreme Court prior to running, and despite a 20% illiteracy rate, there are no punch cards or electronic voting. Instead you must write your candidates name. If you cannot do so, a helpful government volunteer will write it for you. In this already dubious system, the charismatic and popular challenger loses to the unpopular incumbent in the largest landslide in the country's history. Not only does the incumbent win in every district, he crushes all opponents even in their own hometowns. Of course, the results are also announced prior to the polls closing. The question is not whether cheating occurred. The only legitimate question is why they didn't even bother to pretend they weren't cheating.

Anyway, protests have been going on for several days now, and some experts think the government may actually be in danger. There has been some violence, although it has actually been fairly minor so far (by totalitarian standards at least). Meanwhile, president Obama has announced that he is "concerned". Way to lead!

Ok, that's about all I have to contribute, here are some people who actually know what they are talking about with more.