Time for another installment...
Go, Chechens! I've given up on calling for the Russians to end their ridiculous vendetta 'war.' Putin has obviously not figured out that they're going to lose big again, as the reality of Russian casualties is starting to come out and Western and Muslim countries continue to express their concern and displeasure. And in case the Russians have forgotten: they did take Grozny in the last war. But they couldn't hold it.
I have added a link on my Links page to the Chechen fighters' Web site. I'm neither a Chechen nor a Muslim, nor do I support terrorism. On the other hand, Russia has not been able to prove that Chechen-based terrorists were responsible for the bombings that supposedly led Russia to invade Chechnya. Anyway, I think it's obvious that Moscow has other motives for occupying this breakaway republic, but they've brought the jihad upon themselves... I don't take everything on the Chechen site at face value; they're fighting a propaganda war just as the Russians are. But the 'rebels' don't have the same access to the media that Russia does, so I think it's great that they have this forum at least. Interesting to see the Internet used in a war...
The fact that we're still discussing the future of Elián Gonzalez saddens me. The boy should be with his father, end of story. Yes, his father is a believer in Castro's Communism. No, Elián's life in Cuba probably won't be up to the standards it could be in the U.S. But he is his father's son, and his father should make the decision.
Great, I'm probably coming across as pro-terrorism and pro-Communism. ;) I'm not. Chechnya has been independent since the last war ended in 1996, even if the Russians don't recognize that. (Actually, the Taliban government of Afghanistan recently became the first to recognize Chechnya as an independent nation.) Moscow just used last year's bombings as an excuse to try to take it back, and that is not justifiable. And Elián's father is the man who should decide what is best for his son, and if he thinks it's life in Cuba, then who is the U.S. government to overrule him? So many Cubans try to escape the island every year, and get within sight of Florida before being turned back by the Coast Guard. We send home the ones who want to come here, but we're going to force a little boy to stay, separated from his father?
I'm going to England at the end of this month. If the Brits would like, I will offer to escort Pinochet to Spain myself. I don't think, given his age and health, that the courts would be overly harsh in sentencing him, but I firmly believe the man should stand trial for his policies. The problem is that this will establish a precedent unthinkable to the governments of the world: you may be held accountable for your despotic behavior if you ever leave your own country. Saddam Hussein would love to get Clinton in a Muslim court. Maggie Thatcher would probably be prosecuted by the Argentines. However, I don't think there's much doubt that Pinochet is truly guilty of crimes against humanity, and so I hope he does eventually stand before a judge.
My initial reaction upon hearing of the lawsuit against mp3.com (one of the hosts of my digital music) was that the record companies were justified, were only trying to protect their interests and their artists. But after looking into the matter, and reading mp3.com's position, I've changed my mind. mp3.com is providing a unique service in allowing its users to listen to music they've already purchased, in the form of a compact disc, over the Internet on their computers. The fact that the company offered to show the lawyers their equipment and technology suggests that they're confident in the system's ability to thwart piracy and illegal copying. The music industry is going to have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the new age...
Valentine's Day. Blecch. Hallmark doesn't make cards for the situations I find myself in... 'Course, that's probably a good thing.
I'm really tired of the snow, guys. Maybe I shouldn't have blithely remarked, a few weeks back, about what a mild winter we'd been having. Supposedly, we're getting more of the white stuff a few hours from now. I seriously hope not. Hey, Mister, maybe I'll join ya in Florida... ;)
Enough o' this. See ya when I see ya. - A