Thursday, June 30, 2005

Hey, give that back Mr. President...

This whole story is too weird!

What do you do if you take out your Super Bowl ring to show it to some guy, and he puts it in his pocket and walks away???

OK, now, what do you do if "some guy" is a former KGB officer, and the President of the Russia?

(Admittedly, Kraft has three of the things, so I guess it's not impossible that it really was intended as a gift, but still, how odd is that?)


Apparently, Kraft has now publicly said the ring was, indeed, a gift. Kraft apparently admires the Russian people and the leadership of Putin. I understand admiring the Russsian people, but Putin's leadership??? I don't think a message like this from an American businessman will help those who are trying to get Putin to move Russia in a less autocratic, and more democratic direction. This would probably tend to make Putin think he is on the right track which, sadly, I don't think is true.

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Why isn't Robert Novak in danger of going to jail???

Bradley, over at "A Little Bit Left" points out that Time magazine will now be handing over some reporter's notes in the now infamous case of Valerie Plame, the CIA operative who's cover was blown in a column by CNN's Robert Novak.

Please read Bradley's post and the accompanying article from the Washington Post for details on today's decision, and the case in general.

What has always confused me, is "Why is Robert Novak seemingly not at risk of jail time in all of this?". I mean, one of the reporters the government is going after never even published a story about this issue!!! But Novak, who's article it was that "outed" Plame has never, to my knowledge, been before a court over this. The conclusion would seem to be that Novak co-operated with authorities, and that's why he wasn't charged, but then, if he co-operated, then why are they still going after the other reporters (i.e. had Novak named names, then prosecutors would already have the names!)

Novak's own recent comments (such as they are) are also interesting (and cryptic).

From the Post article linked to above:

Novak has refused to comment on whether he cooperated with Fitzgerald (the special prosecutor in the case). Yesterday, in an interview on CNN's "Inside Politics," Novak said he is still barred from talking about the investigation but said he will write about it when it ends. He said he thinks the facts will surprise people.
"I deplore the thought of reporters -- I've been a reporter all my life -- going to jail for any period of time for not revealing sources." he said. "They are not going to jail because of me . . . and those people who say that don't know anything about the case."

Now, I'm not one to take Robert Novak of all people at his word, but as much as I disagree with his politics, he does strike me as a sort-of "old school" reporter, who really would view this as a matter of principle, and not want reporters going to jail for not revealing their sources.

The case is also complex, because while normally it would be absolutely clear to me that a reporter should not be asked to reveal a confidential source, in this case the source speaking to a reporter at all was, in itself a crime (making the reporter a witness to that crime, at the very least). And, of course, we're not talking about shoplifting here. While I hesitate to view this particular case as rising to the level of treason (Plame was "under-cover", but it's not like she was wearing a fake mustache, and working in the Syrian embassy when the story came out..) but nonetheless, publicly revealing the name of one of your country's under-cover agents does sound like a pretty treasonous act, doesn't it? So it is a serious crime of which someone (?) is being accused.

We haven't heard the last of this story, I'm sure, and I look forward to hearing Novak's view of the whole mess... (in the mean time, anyone have some reliable gossip on just how he fits in all of this???)

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I can't believe they beat us!!!

Like many Canadians, I was quite proud that Canada was on its way to becoming the third country in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriages... and then poof! we got bumped down to fourth (wow, progress can be fast sometimes... especially after you wait for it for a few decades!!!).

The government of Spain has legalized same-sex marriage, and because of a matter of process, they will be number three, and we'll just have to hope no other countries jump up and push Canada further down than fourth! (...just kidding other countries, please bring full equality to ALL your citizens just as fast as you can.... don't worry about "leap-frogging" us... we'll get over it!)

The following is from AP regarding the Spain vote (this will explain why we've gone from third to fourth):

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Parliament legalized gay marriage Thursday, defying conservatives and clergy who opposed making traditionally Roman Catholic Spain the third country in the world to officially recognize same-sex unions. Gay rights activists cheered lawmakers and blew them kisses...

The bill is now law. The Senate, where conservatives hold the largest number of seats, rejected the bill last week, but the Senate is an advisory body and final say on legislation rested with the Congress of Deputies.

Gay couples will be allowed to marry as soon as the law is published in the official government registry, the Boletin Oficial del Estado. This could come as early as Friday or within two weeks at the latest, the parliament's press office said.

Now, I suppose that that "two weeks" comment at the end means that if Canada's Senate gets a move on, we can still make top three. I wonder if anyone in the Senate will push for that, if Spain doesn't get this done tomorrow. It would be funny, after all this time, to watch the Senate actually RACE to get the legislation through, in order to beat Spain!

Well, either way, I guess Top 5 is pretty good!

I can't wait for John Stewart to get moved in to his new studio, so I can hear him talk about this. I was pretty sure he'd bring it up when it was just us (I'm sure Samantha keeps him in the loop on things Canadian that are worthy of attention), but now that Spain has joined the stampede, I imagine he'll have some funny things to say about how "freedom and democracy are on the march..." in a lot of countries the U.S. hasn't even invaded!


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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The First Post

Well, here's the first post. I'm pretty familiar with blogging, but new to blogger, so let's see how this goes...

Care to comment?

Lord Kitchener's Own

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