Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The silliness

Fast internet connection is just a marvel. So much more productivity. Thus, for tonight, we'll have a potpourri of links.

Mr. Eli Lake's timely, sober intervention puts an end to some odd and silly speculations. And our principled, uncompromising poetess-in-exile also weighs in on this matter and more.

But lest you think Iranians monopolize all silliness. Here is one of my favorite writers with more of his classic Fred wits and intelligence!

Well, only in America, I guess.

And the numbers are finally out. And we know now that there are 132,564 inmates kept in Iranian jails which include 4,707 female inmates together with 5,330 foreign nationals. And some are tortured.

I wouldn't take the numbers too seriously, though. And I mean this without the slightest bit of politically motivated cynicism. The conditions in Iran are so chaotic with so many power centers or competing agendas and untenable working relationships that even with the best of intentions, all efforts always fall short of objectives. Chaos wreaks havoc even on the best of projects.

There must be something about the region also, I am guessing. Because, look, even the most advanced organizations equipped with all the latest scientific gadgets and know-how, tend to forget their simple arithmetic skills.

Any how, I sort of like comparative views. So we round up the numbers to about150 thousands and for a population of roughly 70 millions, we seem to have an incarceration rate of about 214 per 100,000 in Iran. (is that right?)

Now, some sobering statistics to help put things in context. (pdf)

Of course it always helps to remember an odd aspect of life about Iran. Iran is both a prison state and also one of the freest countries in the globe, if you can believe that. Well, only when freedom is defined as lawlessness and license, that is.

Some government sponsored news agencies or (possibly) our "reformist" lawyers occasionally argue that lack of respect for the laws is in our genes—I kid you not.( Farsi)

But I personally think the problem might have something to do with one too many laws and inordinately numerous unjust ones. If the authorities were able and willing to truly enforce even a miniscule fraction of them, millions would have had to end up behind bars.

But such, you see, are the marvels of authoritarian states without fast internet access.

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