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    It’s the day after Christmas and there’s not much to read. Glenn Greenwald did pretty much what I normally do; he called his blog Various Items and he talked about the different things that other people talked about. I don’t remember most of it (life in Jersey is rough) but the main thing that stuck out to me is when he spoke of Ron Paul as being outside the box on most issues. Greenwald says that he isn’t one of the people who think the Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same on all issues, but does admit to a Republicrat party when it comes to both foreign policy and the War on Drugs. Ron Paul is the only one who differs; he acknowledges that we spend more money on our (insane) military industrial complex than all the other countries combined, while the Republicrats want to actually increase it (another reason to not pay taxes). Paul also acknowledges the racism in the War on Drugs, how millions of people are locked up with their lives being ruined even though they’ve hurt no one but themselves, while the Republicrats don’t even talk about it. There is also a funny little youtube thing about George Bush.

                One thing New Jersey is has done that’s positive is that it became the first state to abolish the death penalty a couple weeks ago. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is the wonderful state of Texas; where more than 60% of US executions took place. Although the overall number of (legal) executions are down – both in Texas and the US as a whole – Texas still has a higher percentage than most years. The articles says it’s because most states rarely even use their death penalty, while prisoners in Texas are often executed almost immediately after their appeals are expired. Although the 26 people they executed doesn’t seem like a lot (like a normal afternoon in Iraq), the second highest state total was 3. When my wife and I drove across the country last year, Texas was the only state I was too afraid to light up a joint- I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could.

                Up until about a week ago, the Kurdish section of Iraq was pretty much the most stable section of the entire country. Not any more; Turkey has executed five bombing missions into the area in the past week. The Turkish army claims 200 rebels have been killed, while the rebels say only 5 have died while the rest are civilians. Since Turkey is a US ally (based on the fact that they have airspace that we need and they are willing to let us use), we are not objecting to their actions, even though they are making an area with our soldiers less stable. The Iraqi government is screaming at the top of their lungs for this to stop, but the US gives the Turkish army permission (and intelligence) for each individual attack. The worst part is that the NY Times states that the PKK (the Kurdish workers party, the target of these bombings) is labeled as a terrorist organization by both the Turkish and US governments, but does not say why. How much longer before other countries start getting involved?

                Change is brewing in Cuba and it’s a pretty exciting time. The US is pretty much sitting around waiting for Fidel to die; they’re even planning what to do, how much money they’ll make from tourism and plane tickets and whatnot. However, it appears that Fidel is regaining his strength as he sits in isolation from the public for the past year and a half. He has said that he doesn’t plan on holding on to power until he dies and that it’s time for a younger generation to take over, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want Communism to end on the island. His brother Raul, who has been in charge for the past year and a half, compared the US democracy with a one party system, saying that Republicans vs Democrats is the same thing as Raul vs Fidel; same beliefs with different faces.

                That’s all for today; the amount I write and what I write about is pretty much based on the articles and blogs that are out there. Since today is the day after Christmas, there wasn’t much for me to choose from today. Hopefully we get back on track starting tomorrow; otherwise I’m going to have way too much free time on my hands.

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