Mission Statement – not for everyone

Editor’s Notes

A look at what we’re doing and why. Meanwhile, take it easy; but take it. Have a good weekend. – 351 words

Turkey holds nervous eye on Kirkuk
as Iraqi Kurds flex separatist muscles

Turkish officials have voiced their concerns recently over the fate of the oil-rich province of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. Turkey fears that if the Iraqi Kurds annex Kirkuk into their autonomous region, they will eventually want to carve out an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq and thus stoke separatist desires in Turkey's own sizable Kurdish population. – 870 words.

‘Russia wants Belarusian economic demise
as bargaining edge leading to integration’

Victor Yasmann argues that “while policymakers in the EU fret about Russia's reliability as an energy supplier, their counterparts in Russia interpret the conflict with Minsk differently. Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref and Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin argue that the rise of oil and gas tariffs for Belarus has more of an economic than political meaning.” – 1,076 words.

Russian drums of nostalgia for Soviet Union beat harder
even as KGB head says failure didn’t need American help

"I believe that Americans at that time already realized that because of our policy...we would ruin [the USSR] even without their help." This conclusion by former KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov. In a December 14 interview with "Izvestiya," Kryuchkov revealed that he had been warned about the possible collapse of the USSR by his U.S. counterparts. In 1987, he said, he met with Robert Gates, the future CIA director (and current defense secretary), who asked him if he was concerned about the possible disintegration of the USSR. – 1,041 words.

Venezuelan television employees to propose
management plan for RCTV’s broadcasting

Willian Lara, Minister of Communication and Information, Lara stated that, “this signal will be managed on the basis of criteria established in the Constitution, open to Venezuelan society, to its pluralism, to its cultural, political and philosophical diversity, and therefore, in full compliance with the rules of the Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television.” – 758 words.

An essay on Elite Democracy
When Washington reigned supreme in Venezuela

When Hugo Chávez spoke at the United Nations last September, he accused Washington of promoting "elite democracy" in the world. Most people who heard the speech might not have realized what exactly he meant by the term "elite democracy". Few people probably understood just how relevant his words were. But Chávez was speaking from personal experience.  Like much of the world, Venezuela has experienced the frustrations of an elite democracy and its devastating results. Chávez understands that in order to confront the crisis of modern democracy in the world, we must understand the tragedy that is elite democracy. Venezuela is now the enemy, a threat to Washington, not because it is "undemocratic", as they claim, but rather because it is democratic; not because Chávez is a dictator, but rather because he represents the majority. Because now Venezuela is controlled by the people, not by a corporate dictatorship. – 2,184 words

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True North Canuck Fact of the Day

The two Dawsons (Yukon and B.C.) are named after scientist from Nova Scotia

Dawson City in the Yukon and Dawson Creek in B.C. are named for George Dawson, a geologist and paleontologist whose late 1800s exploits included surveying much of the Canada-U.S. border and the discovery of dinosaur bones in Alberta.  The native of Pictou, Nova Scotia accomplished all of this despite suffering from a spinal infection that left him with the thick and curved torso of a hunchback.

Trivia compiled by Randy Ray and Mark Kearney. Visit their Web site at: www.triviaguys.com