Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011



OMG! You would not believe the plot of Sean Penn's latest blockbuster.  It goes something like this: Opening Scene: A handsome and very wealthy philanthropist is relaxing on the deck of his opulent MARIN COUNTY mansion.  The phone rings.  "Great news, Sir! We just got word from the Iranians...They're willing to talk."  Second Scene: Our hero speeds down his driveway in a sleek, jet-black BMW.  On the way to the airport he is tailed by suspicious men in dark sunglasses.  Next Scene: Camera pans an ornate and stately presidential palace, somewhere in Latin America.  In a perfectly pressed Armani suit, our man speaks to a smartly dressed dictator.  "They're just kids!" he pleads. "They're not spies. They're not terrorists! Give them their freedom!" Final Scene: After 90 minutes of car chases and theatrical gun fights, our action hero saves the day and the prisoners are released from jail.

Only this time, SEAN PENN's blockbuster wasn't a movie at all.  This time, it's real life!  It all began when three backpackers from Berkeley (where else?) were hiking to a waterfall in the mountains of Northern Iraq. (doesn't everyone want to vacation there?)  Anyhow, they got lost and wandered across the border into Iran, where they promptly arrested.  For the next two years, they languished in a dirty jail cell in Tehran awaiting trial...despite the pleas from the international community for leniency.   The story touched the heart of the actor SEAN PENN, who just happens to be friends with Venezuelan dictator HUGO CHAVEZ.  Penn flew to Caracas and convinced the dictator to call someone in his "Evil-Axis Fraternity of Dictators" to free the hikers.  It worked.  On Wednesday, state-run Iranian TV announced the release of the prisoners to the Sultan of Oman.

Best Buddies: Sean & Hugo.
Too fantastic to be true?  Yeah...we got lots of questions.  First of all...If SEAN PENN is such an amazing diplomat, why did he wait over a year to secure their release?  Good question, but there is reason.  The case of Dumb Hikers vs. Fundamentalist Shi'ite Judge was completely under the jurisdiction of the Iranian Judicial System.  This meant years of hearings and appeals. During this time, AHMADINEJAD and the executive branch of the Iranian government were forbidden to intervene.  However, once the trial finished, it was only a matter of days before "Super-Sean" could negotiate their release.  Next question: Why are SEAN PENN and HUGO CHAVEZ friends?  Well...it seems they were meant for each other. They are both into Socratic philosophy, voodoo economics and monetary elitism.  It was only a matter of time before they became BFF's.

Alright...here's the most important question: Does America really want cocky, kooky SEAN PENN negotiating their international diplomatic policy?  Is it even legal?  The answers to both questions is: NO!  The Feds want you to know this is a very unique situation.  The only reason why a private citizen was able to act on behalf of the government is because there are absolutely no diplomatic relations between Iran and the USA.  They haven't been restored since November 4th, 1979...the day the 'embassy fiasco' began.  This means Obama and the State Department have no legal jurisdiction to demand any type of extradition for the hikers.  When a stalemate like this occurs, it opens the door for a private citizen to intervene.  But don't worry...in all future instances when US citizens are wrongfully imprisoned in a country, all negotiations will continue to be handled by the federal government. Whew!

Anyhow, back to the hikers and the actor.  The former are safe, back at home at the co-op apartments, eating organic tofu and wheat germ.  Sigh.  But what about SEAN PENN?  Does the 'actor-turned-diplomat want to follow in the footsteps of RONALD REAGAN and ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER and make the jump from Hollywood to Sacramento?  Hugo Chavez thinks so.  After he rejected Obama's recent candidate for ambassador, he made an offer to help find a replacement. "I'll suggest a candidate." Chavez said.  "Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Chomsky. We have a lot of friends there.  How about Bill Clinton?"  Wow...could you imagine being at the private Caracas Party Cabana for that get-together?  I'm imagining lots of Jamaican rum, trashy porn stars and Cuban cigars!

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