Russetid på Kolbotn :)

Russetid på Kolbotn :)

Oslo, Norge

Weather Underground PWS IOSLOOSL24

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Woohooo! I'm usin' an online word processor! Yeah!

This is so cheesy it's ridiculous (Me, not Churchill)

"Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains."

-Winston Churchill

Monday, October 29, 2007

All Hail To Massachusetts

Hi there, just wanted to post this simple thing. The official state song of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the 6th American British colony to sign to become part of the United States of America, and the 13th most populous U.S. state. You can find out about your own state song at the 50 States website.

All Hail To Massachusetts
Written by Arthur J. Marsh

All hail to Massachusetts, the land of the free and the brave!
For Bunker Hill and Charlestown, and flag we love to wave;
For Lexington and Concord, and the shot heard 'round the world;
All hail to Massachusetts, we'll keep her flag unfurled.
She stands upright for freedom's light that shines from sea to sea;
All hail to Massachusetts! Our country 'tis of thee!

All hail to grand old Bay State, the home of the bean and the cod,
Where pilgrims found a landing and gave their thanks to God.
A land of opportunity in the good old U.S.A.
Where men live long and prosper, and people come to stay.
Don't sell her short but learn to court her industry and stride;
All hail to grand old Bay State! The land of pilgrim's pride!

All hail to Massachusetts, renowned in the Hall of Fame!
How proudly wave her banners emblazoned with her name!
In unity and brotherhood, sons and daughters go hand in hand;
All hail to Massachusetts, there is no finer land!
It's M-A-S-S-A-C-H-U-S-E-T-T-S.
All hail to Massachusetts! All hail! All hail! All hail!

Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.

- John Quincy Adams, the 6th U.S. President (1825-1829), born in Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1767. See also the city of Quincy.

Friday, October 19, 2007

U.S. Delaware Senetor Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.'s Plan for Iraq

Alright, before I say anything else, let me be clear. This is not an endorsement of Senetor Biden for president in 2008. I don't know enough about the guy to endorse him completely. I like his opposition to the idea that money matters in an election campaign, and I like his plan for Iraq. That is all for now.

I am not a Republican, and definitely not a Democrat. I am a conservative independent and therefore usually admire Republicans more than Democrats, but the case is different here. Sen. Biden is the only one I've heard to not only have a plan, but have one that I like and think could work.

I'll post the main part of his plan here, but also give a link to his website, as well as some other related links.

A Five Point Plan for Iraq

1. Keep Iraq Together Through Federalism and Local Control

  • Federalize Iraq in accordance with its constitution by establishing three or more regions - Shiite, Sunni and Kurd -- with a strong but limited central government in Baghdad
  • Put the central government in charge of truly common interests: border defense, foreign policy, oil production and revenues
  • Form regional and local governments that give Kurds, Sunni and Shiites control over the fabric of their daily lives: security, education, marriage, social services.

2. Secure Support from the Sunnis

  • Gain agreement for the federal solution from the Sunni Arabs by guaranteeing them 20 percent of all present and future oil revenues -- an amount roughly proportional to their size -- which would make their region economically viable
  • Empower the central government to set national oil policy and distribute the revenues, to attract needed foreign investment and reinforce each community's interest in keeping Iraq intact and protecting the oil infrastructure. Provide for an international oversight group to guarantee a fair distribution of oil revenues.
  • Allow former Baath Party members to go back to work and reintegrate Sunnis with no blood on their hands.

3. Enlist Help from the Major Powers and Iraq’s Neighbors

  • Initiate a major diplomatic offensive to secure the support of the major powers and Iraq’s neighbors for federalism in Iraq.
  • Convene with the U.N. a regional security conference where Iraq's neighbors, including Iran, pledge to support Iraq's power sharing agreement and respect Iraq's borders
  • Engage Iraq's neighbors directly to overcome their suspicions and focus their efforts on stabilizing Iraq, not undermining it
  • Create a standing Oversight Group, to include the major powers, that would engage Iraq's neighbors and enforce their commitments

4. Responsibly Drawdown US Troops

  • Direct U.S. military commanders to develop a plan to withdraw and re-deploy almost all U.S. forces from Iraq by the summer of 2008
  • Maintain in or near Iraq a small residual force -- perhaps 20,000 troops -- to strike any concentration of terrorists, help keep Iraq's neighbors honest and train its security forces

5. Increase Reconstruction Assistance and Create a Jobs Program

  • Provide more reconstruction assistance, conditioned on the protection of minority and women's rights and the establishment of a jobs program to give Iraqi youth an alternative to the militia and criminal gangs
  • Insist that other countries take the lead in funding reconstruction by making good on old commitments and providing new ones -- especially the oil-rich Arab Gulf countries

Plan for Iraq
Biden President '08
Joe Biden wiki
Iraq's President Supports U.S. Senate's Plan to Decentralise Iraq wikinews
Bush apposes Iraq's Partition, reaffirms support of Maliki TOI
Turkey to Invade Iraq?!

P.S. No news on the water situation. Hopefully Lisa will be able to find out something today. God I love that woman. She brings an ecstasy to my life that just cannot be described in English any better than that- ecstasy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Water Unsafe to drink in Bergen and Oslo?

Tap water in Norwegian capital unsafe
Published: Oct. 17, 2007 at 6:38 PM

OSLO, Norway, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Water and sanitation officials in the Norwegian capital of Oslo issued a warning Wednesday that the city's tap water supply was unsafe for consumption.

The Oslo Department of Water and Sanitation said in a news release that the presence of microscopic Giardia lamblia and cryptosporidium parasites had made tap water unsafe and urged citizens to boil their water before consumption or use, Aftenposten said.

The bacteria found in Oslo's water supply is identical to the microscopic parasites found in the tap water used in the city of Bergen.

Food Safety Authority district chief Kjetil Berg said the parasites, which initially come from animal or human excrement, cause numerous physical symptoms in humans when consumed.

"One can get stomach and intestinal infection. Symptoms can include stomach pain, diarrhea and pyrosis (heartburn). From Bergen we have unfortunately seen that increasing numbers are ill for an extended period and have symptoms of exhaustion," Berg said.

Aftenposten said authorities did not know how long it would take to clear Oslo's water supply of the parasitic infection.

© Copyright United Press International. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be reproduced, redistributed, or manipulated in any form.

Ok, so this is interesting, especially that one line... "The bacteria found in Oslo's water supply is identical to the microscopic parasites found in the tap water used in the city of Bergen."

Lisa and I allways drink the tapwater here, and weæve never gotten sick from it, but maybe the case in Bergen is new too. Since I don't know that answere, I would suggest all in Bergen and Oslo to refrain from drinking unboiled tapwater until city water officials say that it's safe. I'll ask Lisa to see if she can contact the officials in Bergen about it when she gets home from school, and if she can get an adiquat answere, I'll post it here in Norwegian and English.

For those of you who don't read english very well, a summery in bad Norwegian:

Van i Bergen og Oslo ha bæsje bakterie. Du ma ikke drikke det fra vannkran. Du ma koke alle van fra vannkran før du drikke.

"How come I can’t take toothpaste on a plane but they can put poop in the water?" -Shrinking Wop

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Turkey to invade Iraq?!

Apparently with Kurdish Rebels recently attacking Turkish military, Turkey is seriously considering the invasion of Kurdistan in an effort to get rid of the PKK presence there.

Now, honestly, I don't blame them for wanting to do so. The Kurds should not be attacking the Turkish government. Their reasoning is that they want a Kurdish homeland. First of all, I don't believe in any nation built upon race. If a nation is built upon race, there is always danger of harassment of minority races.

Second, even if they deem a Kurdish nation necessary to preserve their culture, there seems to be a chance of one being built already. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani supprts the federalisation of Iraq. Basically Iraq would end up similar to the U.S. or U.K. with one central government controlling big things like national defence and basic rights for all Iraqi's, otherwise there would semi-autonomous states/regions for the Shi'ites, Sunnis, and Kurds.

Honestly, dispite the Presidents good intentions (presumably to stop the violence by giving these different groups more control over themselves, as the violent ones wish), I'm not entirely sure how much I support the idea. I think it is very important in the big worldwide picture for Shi'ites, Sunnis, and Kurds to be able to get along together. The world will never be a fully peaceful place untill we alltreat eachother as one big family.

However, the point is, even if the PKK can't be convinced that a Kurdish state isn't what God wants, there is no reason for them to be violent about it. If they simply peacefully politically promote a fully federalized Iraq, they will basicallyu have their Kurdish homeland in the form of an Iraqi-protected and funded(shares of oil revenue) Kurdistan. There is no reason to demand a Kudish state within southern Turkey when there is already one being created right next door in Northern Iraq.

At the same time, I do not beleive Turkey has a right to send troops into Iraq without permission for the Iraqi government. However, the Iraqi government (as well as the U.S. wich does consider the PKK a terrorist orginisation) need to step up its efforst to stop the PKK. They have started, but I beleive they need to do more. When Iran is having to shell these terrorists who are getting to close to their borders, we know the coalition is not doing its job(not that I condone Iran's actions entirely-they should have pressed harder before taking action themselves.).

Meanwhile, I thought I'd mention that VOA News has set up a site dedicated to it's news artivcles on what's happening in Burma. It is called "Burma's Struggle for Democracy." It seems I'm gaining a liking of this particular news company, wich has been around since 1942.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Breast Cancer, 1 year here, pluss more on Burma

Ok, so this is going to be a bit of a long one.

1. The first topic I want to address today is breast cancer. In the United States, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The idea is to dedicate the entire month to making Americans aware and knowledgeable about breast cancer, as well as raise money for breast cancer research.

They do a good job raising awareness and money. Dozens of companies mark their products with a pink ribbon (the symbol for the disease, just as a red ribbon is for Aids) for the month, donating money whenever someone buys their pink-ribbon product. It's rather like the Product Red campaign, only Product RED(wiki) goes on year-round.

The problem sited by some is the knowledge part. Accourding to a survey by the National Breast Cancer Coalition many women don't rally know as much as they think about breast cancer. For an article by the Chicago Tribune about the survey, click here.

2. The next this I felt like mentioning was something I sort of missed a few weaks ago. I mean, I knew it happened, but I didn't say anything about it here, nor did I selebrate it. On September 21st one year ago, I arrived in Oslo, Norway origionating from Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, U.S.A. with the intention of moving in with my wife, Lisa. With the exeption of a 3 week visit back home(google maps) around Christmas and a couple day trip to Germany a bit after that for a church event, I've been in Norway for a year now.

We've got a letter from UDI recently, and we also called them, and both the contents of the letter and the phone call suggest that they probably won't make a decision untill the end of October or even possibly until some time in November.

3. Finally wqe come to Burma. Things are looking crappy for the Burmese people as a millitary officer who defected from the Junta claims that thousands of Burmese are being killed and either left in the jungle or burned. He himself defected when he was given orders to load a bunch of monks onto a truck, take them out to the jungle, and kill them and leave their bodies there.

It's good to hear that not all Junta will agree to participate in the massacre, but I would have rather had the massacre not be happening at all. many are calling for a boycott of Chinese goods and the Olympics being held in china as long as their government continues to support the Junta and refuses to denounce their actions. I think it may be a good idea.

Here are a few new articles on the subject.

The long road to freedom by David Cook of The Age.

Burma: UN envoy meets top general as regime blames foreigners for violence

I'll finish later...

Oct. 11th, 07 My goodness, this is quite annoying. I can't seem to get the text size right for this post. In addition, it's been so long since I started it that I don't remember what I was going to continue with. Oh well, maybe it was pictures of our Burma rallies in Bergen. I'll do a seperate post for that, along with pictures of John's visitng us this past weekend.