Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Stuff

Aung San Suu Kyi is a free woman:

Burma’s pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, walked free Saturday after seven years as a prisoner in her own home, calling on a sea of jubilant supporters to unite in the face of repression.

Waving and smiling, the Nobel Peace Prize winner appeared outside the crumbling lakeside mansion where she had been locked up by the military rulers, to huge cheers and clapping from the waiting crowds.

“We must work together in unison,” she told thousands of waiting people, suggesting she has no intention of giving up her long fight for democracy in what is one of the world’s oldest dictatorships.

“I’m glad that you are welcoming me and supporting me. I want to say that there will be a time to come out. Do not stay quiet when that time comes.”

Though her cause was fashionable among the celeb elite, it would be appropriate now to release others who have been imprisoned by corrupt governments.


With her rent-free $2.5-million mansion, two nannies, a chef and a chauffeur, Lola seems an unlikely champion of downtrodden single mothers.

But the 35-year-old woman Wednesday won what is being hailed as a major legal victory for common-law spouses, who under Quebec’s Civil Code have enjoyed no right to alimony in the event of a break-up.

The Quebec Court of Appeal ruled unconstitutional a clause of the Civil Code that blocked common-law spouses from seeking alimony after the end of a relationship. The three-judge panel found that the provision discriminates against common-law spouses, perpetuating a prejudice that such relationships are “less durable and serious” than those sanctioned by marriage.

Get married or don't, but don't act as though you deserve the same titles and benefits as real adults who take the marital plunge.

One never thought this would happen in Norway:

Siv Jensen, the 41-year-old leader of Norway’s Progress Party, is something of a curiosity in socialist-inclined Scandinavia.

Her parliamentary office in Oslo sports a bust of former U.S. president Ronald Reagan and a small Israeli flag. She brags that her chief political hero is former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

“I think she is one of the toughest politicians ever,” Ms. Jensen, who has been dubbed a “Norwegian Thatcher,” told the National Post this week, as she toured Toronto after attending an international conference in Ottawa on anti-Semitism.

“She handled some serious reform work in Britain. She may not have been popular at the time, but her reforms still stand.”

A breakthrough politician in her own right, who came within a whisker of seizing power in Norway’s September 2009 elections, Ms. Jensen appears poised to transform politics in her homeland.

With 41 seats in Norway’s 169-seat parliament, she heads the country’s second-largest party and led the Progress Party to winning its highest percentage of votes ever — 22.9%.

She recently changed her formal party title, from the more male-oriented “foreman” to “leader.” But, more importantly, she intends to overhaul Norway’s cradle-to-the-grave welfare system.

I think the  European political arena is as the North American one: tired of socialism.

A South Korean court has punished a woman for possession of pro-North Korean music:

South Korea's top court ruled Monday that possession of instrumental music with titles praising North Korea violates a tough national security law.

The supreme court upheld a two-year jail term, suspended for four years, given to a female activist identified only as Song.

Song was charged in 2008 with storing 14 MP3 music files with titles praising North Korea on a USB storage device.

State prosecutors accused her of violating the law banning distribution of pro-North Korean material.

A district court acquitted Song, saying the titles alone could not define the songs as praising the communist North.

But an appeal court ruled that the songs written by North Korea to praise its leadership contained "enemy-benefiting" expressions and threatened the South's security -- regardless of their lack of lyrics.

The supreme court supported the appeals court, saying it took into consideration "motivation" and various other circumstances.

South Korea bans distribution of publications or other material praising North Korea and unauthorised contact with its people. Offenders can face heavy jail terms.

There could be any number of reasons why this woman downloaded this music. Right now, I don't care what they are. She could have been curious as to what North Korean propaganda music sounded like or just really liked music with a strong backbeat. My point is that anyone can defend North Korea but it takes a special idiot to praise North Korea or play into its hands, as the court has done. Banning something, particularly for flimsy reasons, only bolsters leftist claims of an authoritarian South Korean rule. Hardly factual these days, perhaps. If the abomination of North Korea's government is so offensive, perhaps the South Korean government can step up its efforts to ensure North Korea's totalitarian demise. (hat tip: OFK)

And now for something completely crazy.

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