Thursday, December 23

In case anyone was wondering want would have happened if the dems had got their way in Florida

The Democrats would have continued to "count the votes" until they got the result they wanted. How do we know this? Well, that is what just happened in Washington. After the third recount, the Democrats in King County managed to find just enough votes to change the result.

Putin's Belligerence Continues

This is the kind of thing that happens when a politician starts to feel untouchable.
Responding to a reporter's request for his reaction to a statement allegedly made by Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski (search) to the effect that "Russia without Ukraine is better than Russia with Ukraine," Putin said angrily that the Polish leader sounded "like someone trying to find a new job" when his term runs out.
Well, it's that an ominous statement. Putin seems to think he can pick the leaders of foreign countries like the USSR used to. You'd think after Georgia and Ukraine he'd get the message that the Russian Federation isn't even close to as powerful as the USSR was, but Putin has the blind ambition typical of many fascist dictators. Hopefully, he's stopped before he can make the inevitable bloody miscalculation like invading one of Russia's neighbors.
"I don't think that is the goal of U.S. policy," he said, adding however that he would pose the question to U.S. President George W. Bush when they meet in Slovakia in February.

"If it's indeed so, then the position on Chechnya is becoming more understandable. That means that there, as well, a policy aimed at creating elements that would destabilize the Russian Federation is being conducted," Putin said.
The position he's talking about is the belief that genocide is wrong, and therefore, Russia should not be slaughtering innocent people in Chechnya.

Update
Another Gem:

"Some market participants got multibillion state assets using different tricks, including some violations of then-existing legislation," Putin said.

By contrast, he said, the 100-percent state-owned Rosneft's purchase of the Yukos stake "was done in absolute conformity with market means."
Like jailing it's CEO for example.

Look Palestinians are Voting!

From Yahoo!:
Palestinians voted on Thursday in the first municipal elections in the West Bank for nearly three decades, a dry run for a presidential ballot next month to choose a successor to Yasser Arafat.

The elections, which drew a heavy turnout, were expected to be a test of strength between the dominant Fatah movement and Islamists sworn to destroying Israel.

Voting ended at 7 p.m. and results were expected to be released on Saturday.

"This is democracy and freedom, and God willing we will choose the right people who will serve our needs," said Rahma Hamed, a school principal who voted in the village of Silwad, some 12 miles north of Jerusalem.

In the West Bank, roughly 1,000 candidates were competing for about 300 seats on 26 local councils, mostly in villages, during the first phase of the elections. A similar vote in Gaza was delayed because violence prevented registration.

In the West Bank, long lines formed in front of polling stations in mild weather for what was also the first Palestinian ballot since Arafat was elected president in 1996.
And there goes another nail into the coffin of the "Arabs aren't capable of democracy" argument. It is odd to hear many leftist espouse this argument. Especially as they rant about the US Government taking away their rights. I'm always tempted to say, "Well maybe democracy isn't the best system of government for us either." I think that would send most of them over the edge, however.

Of course, what would a day when Palestinians make progress be without a Palestinian leader putting his foot in his mouth.
Abbas has welcomed a proposal by British leader Tony Blair to host a London conference in March on Palestinian reform.

But Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie said that what was really needed was a peace conference.

"It is the Israeli side that requires rehabilitation for peace, not us," Qurie told reporters.
I'm sure that comment will go over real well in Israel while they are burying the dead from the last terrorist attack.

Wednesday, December 22

Monday, December 20

Is Kim Jong Il Still Ruling North Korea?

From Front Page Magazine
Suddenly in North Korea pictures of Kim Jong Il, the peoples' Dear Leader by unchallengeable fiat, have gone missing. Comparative photos taken in a Peoples Cultural Center auditorium in May and August of this year have piqued outside interest in the future of Kim Jong Il. The earlier photo portrays what we have come to think of as the usual adulatory presentation: a portrait of Kim Jong Il side-by-side with one of his father Kim Il Sung, the modestly self-proclaimed Great Leader, dominates the head of the auditorium,. The late summer shot shows the KJI portrait missing so that the late elder Kim's portrait stands alone. All very mysterious.
This is of course pure speculation. They could have taken the Kim Jong Il portrays down to have them cleaned, but since we have virtually no way to know what is going on inside North Korea, We have to look at things like this. Thus, let's assume that the disappearance of the portrays means there has been a change in power inside North Korea. What could this result in? It could be one of two things in my judgment.
  • North Korea moves to become more moderate. This would probably indicate the involvement of China in forcing Kim Jong Il out. This would probably mean that the North Korean government would be willing to abandon it's nuclear ambitions permanently.
  • North Korea becomes more extreme. This would indicate some of the hard liners didn't feel like they were getting what they wanted from Kim Jong Il, and therefore simply got rid of him. This would obviously be a bad thing. North Korea could begin in move to a more aggressive posture. This could eventually necessitate U.S. intervention though i doubt it because China would likely take care of that before we would be inclined to.

  •