It was a long weekend for many, especially if you're living in Ukraine.
Violence in the eastern part of the country is intensifying daily. Two areas of the nation, Luhansk and Donetsk held a referendum and the majority of voters in both places decided to secede. At least that is what pro secessionists say
NBC's Bill Neely pointed out the wording on the ballot was penned by separatists. Then the same separatists policed the voting, although there were no voter lists and therefore no way to tell who was eligible, who wasn't, or even how many times each person voted. After the polls closed the separatists were the ones doing the counting. They were also the people who announced the results, which was 89 to 90% in favor of secession.
Yes, the word "fixed" would seem to apply to the proceedings. Neely also noted those in charge of the affair claimed the turnout was 75%. It is a number which left a few experts a tad suspicious since vast numbers of people boycotted the vote either because they knew it was rigged, or they were afraid they'd get their heads blown off while standing in line--not an entirely unreasonable fear, because there were reports of Ukrainian militia firing into crowds of people waiting to cast a ballot.
NBC is also saying Donetsk has formally asked Moscow to annex it into the the Russian Federation. Exactly who might be doing the asking is a bit unclear since, at the moment, Donetsk has no president, premier, or parliament. Well, sometimes these decisions are best left to an unknown intelligentsia and an anonymous armed force who controls government buildings across the region.
As you can guess the Ukrainian government in Kiev, the United States and other western nations don't recognize the vote, while the Russians do. Each side is busy calling the other illegitimate and both have arguments which support their claims. Let's face it, the guys currently running the show in Kiev didn't win an election, fixed, or otherwise. They took power when former president, Viktor Yanukovych was run out of town after a series of mass demonstrations which turned into deadly riots.
In a further effort to do in Ukraine as a nation, the Russians have announced they'll cut off the natural gas supply to the country on June 3rd if the cash strapped government doesn't pay for June's allotment in advance. It is a move which will disrupt supplies in several European countries because Ukraine is the conduit through which they import Russian fuel.
Meanwhile those gentle souls known as Boko Haram have released another video. This one shows a large group of girls sitting on the ground reciting the first chapter of the Koran and praying.
The head of the outfit, Abubakar Shekau is also featured, although separately. Shekau is quoted as saying, "These girls, these girls you occupy yourself with we have indeed liberated them. We have indeed liberated them. Do you know (how) we have liberated them? These girls have become Muslims."
Then he seemed to make an offer. He said, "We will never release them until after you release our brethren. Here I mean those girls who have not submitted." (converted to Islam.)
Several media outlets are reporting Shekau is offering to give up all the girls in exchange for his comrades sitting in jail right now. However, barring some sort of translation issue, it looks to this eye he is saying he'll trade only those girls who haven't converted to Islam--that he and his gang get to keep the rest who have.
The actual number of kidnapped teen agers has varied on a day to day basis. The current number is 223. It was estimated around 130 of them were shown on the video.
Here in the states, Florida republican Senator, Marco Rubio was interviewed by ABC Sunday. Rubio is the guy who the tea party loons began running away from when he came out in favor of a bipartisan immigration policy. Indeed, nothing will cost you right wing votes quicker than saying you'll work with democrats on anything, especially immigration. After all, those damn foreigners are the reason Obama is in the white house in the first place.
So what is a GOP presidential hopeful to do? For one, he can go on national TV and say, "I don't believe human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it. And I don't believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it. Except it will destroy our economy."
Atta boy, Marco. Get right back in there with a hot button issue and hammer away at those eco-lefties who are out to destroy The American Way of Life.
You might want to watch that stuff about "dramatic changes to our climate" though. Thanks to clowns like Oklahoma's very own Senator Jim Inhofe, there are plenty of GOP fringe dwellers who don't believe there is any climate change. That's right, humans aren't involved in global warming because, according to them, global warming is a myth. As for anyone who says it isn't, well, they're part of a massive left wing conspiracy which is out to kill the fossil fuel industry and force each and every one of us to become socialist vegetarians who must ride bicycles every where.
Marco Rubio seems set on a run for president. He went so far as to say if he does run in 2016 he will not seek reelection in the Senate. He might want to re-think that strategy. The latest poll involving viable potential GOP candidates shows him sitting in last place.
And there we have it. Another Monday is in the books.
There is a reason the Good Lord invented martinis.