Grasshopper Soup: Rare honesty on the world stage

Bob Sweigert
Grasshopper Soup
By Bob Sweigert

Boy, they sure can count fast in Iran. Reportedly, 40 million votes were cast by hand, not computers, in that country’s presidential election, and Ahmadinejad declared himself the winner before the ballot ink dried on most Iranian fingers.

If he was smart, he would have waited at least twelve hours after the polls closed to announce the results, just for the sake of appearances. But, that’s Ahmadinejad for you. A real whiz kid. A towering intellect without equal on the world stage.

Except for maybe David Letterman. He sure blew it, didn’t he? He caught hell from all sides for his totally inappropriate and unfunny and#8220;jokeand#8221; about Sarah Palin’s daughter. He finally issued a major, formal apology.

Barack Obama was hoping the Iranian people would make his job a whole lot easier by voting out Ahmadinejad out and voting in Mousavi, the most popular reformist candidate. Although they may have in fact done that, we, and they, may never know.

It is hard to believe that the good people of Iran, in unprecedented numbers, would have overwhelmingly re-elected a pseudo-intellectual nut job like Ahmadinejad. Most of the Iranian people are too sensible to do something that foolish.

The continuing escalation of protests and police brutality in the aftermath of the election tragically underscores the potent desire for freedom and democracy in Iran. But, dictators always have the usual antidote for the will of the people. It’s called repression.

Extremists like Ahmadinejad, and many on the far right and far left fringe everywhere, are always very quick to rely on their own arbitrary doctrine of self infallibility whenever they are challenged. Infallibility is reserved only for them. They simply silence or destroy those with whom they disagree. This is ignorance of the most primitive kind. It is how hatred and murder are sanctioned. And it is not confined to Iran. They punish dissent, and anyone who engages in the common, natural act of seeing things differently. But I am preaching to the choir. Most of you already know this.

Maybe Iran conducted a perfectly honest election, but most people find that entirely unlikely, if not completely naïve. Evidence of voting fraud and corruption is just too convincing and widespread to support the legitimacy of the outcome.

Then there’s North Korea. Aren’t they a bunch of fun loving, happy go lucky neighbors. They have declared war on America because the United Nations Security Council voted for sanctions against them. Blaming American arrogance is popular. It is someone else’s turn to be arrogant. Why not jolly old, honest North Korea?

Shouldn’t North Korea, and every country in the world, have nuclear weapons while we convert America over to windmills and solar energy? That would at least level the playing field, and quite possibly Alaska’s Chugach Mountains.

You can find dishonesty anywhere. An armored truck crashed in Michigan and spilled money all over the highway. Passers by scooped up as much of the loot as they could, apparently mistaking the green spill for some sort of economic stimulus. Bonus money.

The police offered a 10 percent reward for all the returned cash. So far, none has been returned.

I wonder how many of those desperate people have condemned white collar crime.

Joe Biden is the best VP we have had in a long time. His blunt honesty is admirable. He loves to confide in people and reveal to them the more complex secrets of the real world. He is the personification of transparency in government.

During the campaign, Biden guaranteed the American people fiscal responsibility right down to the very last penny. And I am sure he was sincere. But then, he returned to Washington, where the ways of the world make short work of good intentions, and he admitted the Obama administration knew all along that most of the economic stimulus money would be wasted. He also said, and#8220;Everyone guessed wrongand#8230;and#8221; about how to solve the financial crisis.

Biden’s loose lips may actually make him the most honest politician on the planet.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.

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