Tuesday, February 28, 2006

On Bagles and Tyrants

A few questions:

1) What are those things on Evo Morales’ head?

2) Will Fidel Castro ever die?

3) What’s up with democracy these days? Both Morales, the president of Bolivia, and Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, were democratically elected, as was President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, who some rightists have compared to Adolph Hitler – who, by the way, also was democratically elected. Is this the sort of thing that President Bush, democratically elected twice, wants to spread about the world like dragon’s teeth?

Some short answers:

1) The decorative headpiece is made, in part, of bagels.

2) Like most tyrants, Castro probably will die in his bed of advanced old age. Some blame his longevity on the CIA, an organization that seems incapable of making a lethal exploding cigar.

3) Can’t answer that one. Part of it is stupidity. Part of it is traceable to the allure of socialism, a doctrine that holds that everything needful may be appropriated from the hated upper classes. That notion had its longest run in the Soviet Union, until the enterprise collapsed of its own internal contradictions at the turn of the century. President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul, Lech Walesa, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and leaks in the concrete dikes surrounding the Soviet castle all conspired to end nearly a century of tyranny. Sustaining liberty involves some heavy lifting. Perhaps the exercise has exhausted the West.

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