Just this past week, Teresa Lewis was executed in the state of Virginia – the first woman to be executed in that state since 1912.  She pleaded guilty in 2003 to capital murder for hire in the killing of her husband, Julian, and his 25-year old son, Charles.  Charles had a $250,000 insurance which named his father as beneficiary.  Lewis offered herself and her 16-year old daughter for sex to Matthew Shallenberger and Rodney Fuller, the gunmen.  While her husband and stepson slept, she unlocked the back door to their home and Shallenberger and Fuller entered and shot both Charles and Julian.  Charles died immediately.  Julian was still alive by the time police arrived (after Lewis waited 45 minutes to call them).  Shallenberger and Fuller were given life sentences, presumably after ratting Lewis out.  The judge who gave Lewis the death penalty said she was the “head of the serpent” in the plot.

As usual with death penalty cases, “new evidence” came to light, this time in a letter Shellenberger wrote in 2006, before he killed himself, in which he said it was all his idea.  Critics claimed Lewis’s I.Q. of 70 made her mentally retarded and executing her would be unconstitutional.

Governor Bob MacDonnell rejected her petition for clemency and she was executed by lethal injection.

Earlier in the week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decided to embarrass the United States by bringing up Lewis’s imminent execution in his PBS interview by calling the U.S. hypocritical in its outcry against the impending death sentence of stoning meted out to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani in his country.

Human Rights Watch says Ashtiani, 43 and a mother of two, was first convicted in May 2006 of having an “illicit relationship” with two men following the death of her husband and was sentenced by a court to 99 lashes. Later that year, she was also convicted of adultery and sentenced to be stoned, even though she retracted a confession which she claims was made under duress.  You think that would be the end of the story, but no.

Ashtiani’s case is incredibly convoluted, so much so, that, according to reports, she has now been convicted of manslaughter and murder.  According to the Los Angeles Times, that was “fresh news.”  I invite anyone to read about her story and figure it all out.

I limit my musings to political, social and cultural life in America but when I see Ahmadinejad coming to my country and hearing him criticize the best legal system in the world – our’s – I have to say something.  His comparison of the two cases is, to say the least, ridiculous.

On the one hand, Lewis confessed she conspired to murder two people and was convicted and given every opportunity for numerous appeals and petitions afforded by our legal system.  She was sentenced to a painless death by lethal injection.

On the other hand, Ashtiani was not afforded the benefits of such a legal system.  Initial reports say she was acquitted of any wrongdoing in her husband’s murder, yet, now, we have this new revelation that she was convicted of the husband’s murder.  Although the Iranian government has apparently suspended the stoning sentence, Ashtiani may still be executed by hanging.  The Iranian “legal system,” if you can call it that, sounds like a mockery of justice.

So, there he is, the President of Iran, with his “short man complex” asserting himself by scolding the U.S. for what he perceives is hypocrisy by comparing the two cases which bear no resemblance whatsoever.

This from the President of a country which has no freedom of speech and those that do speak out are considered agitators and sometimes subjected to torture, beating, arrest, and disappearance.  Can we forget the face of Neda Agha Soltan, who died last year after being shot by police during peaceful street demonstrations in Tehran?

This from a man who denies the Holocaust ever occurred and believes that Israel doesn’t have the right to exist and should be “wiped off the map” and, in my opinion, would easily push a button to eradicate Israel from the face of the earth if he could.

And let’s not forget this is the same pinhead who said, while speaking at Columbia University in 2007, and questioned about Iran’s treatment of homosexuals, “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.”  Yet, in 2005, two gay teens were executed in Iran after being lashed 228 times.  After all, consensual gay sex in any form is punishable by death.  But, don’t fret, the culprits are given a choice of death:  being hanged, stoned, halved by a sword, or dropped from the highest perch.

And then, there’s his latest insane remark last week that the U.S. government may have been behind the 9/11 attacks prompting even President Obama to condemn such a hateful and inexcusable suggestion.

For years, our government has tried to negotiate with this country believing that sanity would prevail over hate.  After his recent comments, can the U.S. actually negotiate with the President of Iran and expect to deal with a rational, thinking person.  I don’t think so.

So, as far as I’m concerned, Mahmoud, before you start spewing your stupidity about my country, why don’t you take a good look at yours.

I just don’t get it, and if you do, God bless you.




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