1. Just read Zakaria's most recent Newsweek article--it was okay, but I loved this quote:
Elihu Root: "About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should stop."
2. Iran's government seems confusing at first glance, but it's actually similar to the way American corporations operate. At the top, you have your Board of Directors (Supreme Leaders), who direct the executive officers (Guardian Council). The shareholders speak through their representatives (the President and Parliament), but the real power lies with the Board and the executive officers.
This analogy isn't exact, but the two processes are very similar. The result is similar also: ordinary shareholders--the common citizens--don't have much sway over major corporations--the country--unless they band together and vote as a bloc, which is logistically difficult to do.
3. I wanted to compliment our local courts' filing clerks. I usually deliver documents myself to the courthouse for filing. Except for two people over the last five years, everyone I've dealt with at the filing clerk level has been very professional. That's a great track record, especially because many of the clerks get rotated/transferred every year.