You're right Kori..paid athletes aren't allowed to compete in the Olympics. But your second point is exactly what I was referring to.. just look at the scrutiny Lance Armstrong came under. Even though he was clean, he still came under extreme scrutiny.. unfortunately, Floyd Landis backed up the Frenchies in their accusation that we win by cheating.
Slowly... but yes. He has already eased media restrictions and done away with the policy of summarily beating/jailing those who dissent or criticize. The question is, when real change does happen, will we be there to positively influence events for both Cuba and the US, or be sitting on the sidelines watching Europe enjoy new trade.
Satellites are purposelly built to break up on reentry (we know we cant make them stay up there forever). Their super light-weight aluminum construction is what allows them to get off the ground and into orbit, and is what ensures they wont come slamming back into us every 10 or 20 years. I think it was a tempered response to China's January 2007 ground based space defense tests.
Whatever your view on the events which brought the US to war may be, we must continue to support combat operations in Iraq. Just as in Vietnam, the United States is winning our current conflict, at least in terms of military strategy and tactical victory. While coalition forces have lost 4,280 men and women to date, the enemy combatants' (former B'athists, foreign insurgents, al Qaida in Iraq and other groups) death toll has surpassed 19,000 since 2003, with an estimated 25% of those kills occurring since February 2007 (DOD). This indicates the US military is fully capable of adapting and succeeding in its mission. The United States must continue its fight because of those 4,280 lost, 3,973 died wearing the uniform of our nation. It would be an insult to their sacrifice to withdraw our forces before they are given every opportunity to successfully accomplish their mission. The only way we should see force reductions in the near future is if we begin to see clear and consistent political cooperation between US and Iraqi leadership that produces definitive, realistic objectives resulting in a more stable Iraq and middle east.
I urge you all to seriously consider the catamaran booze cruise snorkeling excursion in Key West... first of all, it has free booze. If i must continue; two, even if you dont snorkel, you can still swim when everyone else jumps in; three, sailing kicks ass no matter what the destination; four, we will only be gone for 3 hours, so there will still be time to do other things like Duval St.; five, free booze.