This week in politics...

Because this week saw so many great changes, I'm devoting today's post to ...

The greater world view:

Though Benazir Bhutto did not live to see it, her party has managed to if not form a majority, at the very least take enough control to make them a force to be reckoned with. The former Pakistani Prime Minister was assassinated recently - perhaps you heard about it? Maybe you were busy making lunch, or doing laundry or filing your taxes - maybe you're not sure about why you should even care. Please, please read this essay (it's not too long, I swear) written by Nadeem Qureshi, (click the link)
http://www.savingpakistan.org/files/jan2008_Benazir_and_September_11.pdf , he says it so much better than I ever could.

In Cuba this morning, the most amazing thing has happened. Fidel is stepping down. Can Castro retire? Is that even allowed? He's been a thorn in the Washington's side for nigh on 50 years! The man has outlasted such powerhouses as JFK, Reagan, and the original Bushie. (Please don't mistake my humor for approval, here - I'm just pointing out the absurdity of Fidel Castro lazing his retirement away with a fishing rod and a couple of novels he's been meaning to get to - ya know what I mean?)

And just the day before yesterday Kosovo declared itself an independent state. Though officially supported by the US - Conde Rice was quick to offer appeasements to Serbia; "The unusual combination of factors found in the Kosovo situation -- including the context of Yugoslavia's breakup, the history of ethnic cleansing and crimes against civilians in Kosovo, and the extended period of UN administration -- are not found elsewhere and therefore make Kosovo a special case. Kosovo cannot be seen as a precedent for any other situation in the world today.
The United States takes this opportunity to reaffirm our friendship with Serbia, an ally during two world wars. We invite Serbia's leaders to work together with the United States and our partners to accomplish shared goals, such as the protection of the rights, security, culture and livelihood of the Serb community in Kosovo.
As Kosovo today begins its life as an independent state, the United States pledges to continue to be its close friend and partner;"
because the official Serbian stand is denial of said Independence, despite the 95% Albanian majority in Kosovo. It's a situation that requires utmost delicacy, in a region that has already endured too much.

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One last thing - ( and on a much lighter note) I'm super excited about The Bay Area Giveaway, so check it out here at one of my fave review sites Oh! Baby Buy Products. The folks behind the name are big on supporting local businesses, and so like to host giveaways that feature great baby finds from companies based in particular area. This one stars goodies from companies found in and around the San Francisco Bay. (If you recall I've mentioned that our first station was Alameda, a small island in the bay, just off Oakland. In fact, on a clear day we could even see Jack London Square from our house in the CG housing tract.) Please check out Oh! Baby Buy Products - you can get there via the great widget to the left! (They are actually hosting a couple of other great giveaways - I love these ladies!)

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