Friday, November 12, 2004


Norway: The Slightly Larger Than New Mexico Paradise

After much study involving a shovel and most of my day, I've concluded that Dante was right: Hell isn't some burning lake of fire after all, it's frozen. Today, something in the neighborhood of one and a half feet of snow fell from the sky and--I've got to say--I'm not too happy about it. I'll have to reconsider my plans to remain in the northern hemisphere, which is a drag because I've come to believe that Norway may well be the perfect nation in which to reside.

Some positive points:

1) It's beautiful.
2) It has a robust economy, capitalist but with strong state controls
3) Free college for all
4) Free healthcare for all, including 42 week paid maternity leave
5) Generous retirement for all, sustainable unemployment pay
6) Has the UN's 1 spot for standard of living
7) No ravenous monsters roaming the hillsides
8) Few conservatives (see above)

But it is far north, and that could be a problem. I'm getting mixed messages from Google on snowfall. So....has anyone actually been to Norway? How's the snow, and is there some awful secret that I'm missing that makes the place wretched? It seems too good to be true, so please feel free to stomp on my hopes or confirm my dreams if you have any first-hand dirt on Norway.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

More Vote Fraud News
This one is particularly interesting. In one county, election officials barred the public and all observers from the vote counting process because of a "terrorist threat" they had received from the FBI and Homeland Security that was an "8 or 9" on a scale of 1 to 10. Bush ended up winning that county with 72% of the vote. And that terrorist warning? FBI and Homeland Security say the warning never occurred, and there was no threat to the county. Hmm.

And More


The Anti-NATO

Putin Planning To Create the Most Powerful Coalition in the World
Not a good sign geopolitically, as Putin plans the coalition to include Russia, India, China, and Brazil. Militarily, the size of such an army these forces could amass staggers any conceivable amount in the past by gargantuan proportions, and all but Brazil are nuclear equipped.

More related bad news below:

China Rocks the Geopolitical Boat
If you skip out on reading the article, here's the gist: China is signing an oil and natural gas deal with Iran (thereby flaunting US Sanctions) worth 200 Billion dollars. There's also this interesting quote in light of the first story linked on this post:

"China, Russia and Iran share deep misgivings about the perception of the United States as a "benevolent hegemon" and tend to see a "rogue superpower" instead. Even short of joining forces formally, the main outlines of such an axis can be discerned from their convergence of threat perception due to, among other things, Russia's disquiet over the post-September 11, 2001, US incursions in its traditional Caucasus-Central Asian "turf", and China's continuing unease over the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan; this is not to mention China's fixed gaze at a "new Silk Road" allowing it unfettered access to the Middle East and Eurasia, this as part and parcel of what is often billed as "the new great game" in Eurasia. Indeed, what China's recent deals with both Kazakhstan (pertaining to Caspian energy) and Iran (pertaining to Persian Gulf resources) signifies is that the pundits had gotten it wrong until now: the purview of the new great game is not limited to the Central Asia-Caspian Sea basin, but rather has a broader, more integrated, purview increasingly enveloping even the Persian Gulf. Increasingly, the image of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a sort of frontline state in a post-Cold War global lineup against US hegemony is becoming prevalent among Chinese and Russian foreign-policy thinkers. "

The writer of this article doesn't believe this will lead to a new Cold War-esque world. I'm not so sure.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I'm glad somebody finally said it...

Electric Currents Boost Brainpower
Lattes out,!

Bush Attorney General Pick is Alberto Gonzalez
Well...he's better than Ashcroft.

The Good: He apparently has upheld abortion laws in court, and seems to view the role of the judiciary as impartial rather than partisan.

The Bad: His legal counsel in the White House more or less turned Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo into torture chambers. Also, he apparently aided in expediting death penalties in Texas under W's reign.

Despite those last, and albeit quite bad lapses in judgment, I still think he'll be superior to his predecessor.


An Interesting Map....

created by (and in a larger, actually legible size) at Posted by Hello

Blogger Gets Night Visit From Secret Service

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

John Ashcroft and Don Evans Resign
I would cheer, but this is Bush's "mandate" term. Who's going to replace them, Trent Lott and Pat Robertson?

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