I'd be a remiss as a liberal not to acknowledge that the elections in Iraq were pretty much an astounding success, and the Iraqi people showed major cajones turning out in such great numbers under the threat of death and violence. Ah! The first blush of democracy. Can you imagine what the turnout would be here in America if voting could mean that you'd wind up bloody and dismembered on a glass and rubble strewn street? Kind of a rhetorical quesion, but I'll answer it. The turnout would be low.
Despite the success of the election, "only" 44 killed, there's a long way to go. Here's a big irony for you. The United Iraqi Alliance, the Shiite party, is said to be alligned with Iran, which is much more dangerous as a nuclear power than Saddam ever was and, unlike Saddam, is ideologically alligned with Al Qaeda.
I tried to read The Fountainhead once and it sucked. Having heard the basics of Rand's philosophy of strength and self-reliance, I can say that she sucked. Nietzsche was weak and wanted to be strong. Hence the uebermensch. Rand was ugly and couldn't get laid. Hence her obsession with big strong powerful men who will fuck her.
The only reason I mention this is I was looking at Slate and saw this capsule regarding Reason magazine's retrospective of Rand, which included an odd quote from a review of Fountainhead by Nora Ephron pertaining to a rape that occurs in the book, which seemed to imply Rand thought rape was a good thing so long as the raper had, like, good genes. So I did a search and came to this page, which has what I understand to be excerpts from the parts of the book in which the dalliance preceding the rape occur. The writing is so bad, it's out of control:
She looked down. Her eyes stopped on the orange hair—which also resembled orange rind, incidentally—of the incredibly sexy and dymamic man working hard in the quarry below who raised his head and looked at her. Their glances locked in a dynamic interplay of sexually-charged mutual cognition.
"Are you looking at me?" she inquired, harshly. "You don't have any sexual interest in me, I hope?"
The man had gaunt, hollow cheeks and a severely pitiless cast to the planes of his countenance. Immediately she wanted to destroy him.
"Yes, I am looking at you," he said contemptuously, tossing a chunk of granite out of the way of his drill. "Unless it bothers you."
She turned. "Do you realize the shame and pleasure you are giving me by this unnaturally natural acceptance of an unnatural offer?" she asked him.
"Yes I do," said Roark. "My contemptuous indifference to your overtures will be followed by violently taking you by force."
When Roark came by to fix the scratch in the fireplace he said, "Good evening." He walked with the relaxed, muscle-bunched tension of a cougar.
She shrugged. "So you have integrity, eh?"
"Lots of it. Like you."
"I don't believe in integrity. The world destroys it, much as I will have to destroy you. For example, I threw a beautiful statue down an elevator shaft so it would smash to pieces and no one else would ever have to see it and thereby sully its magnificence. I have to protect you, Roark. I will do so by obliterating you like a gnat."
Are ... you kidding me? That's the worst thing I've ever seen. My review of "The Fountainhead" would have been two words: "Cuckoo. Cuckoo."