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Topics - Caleb

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News Links / Bush & Putin's view on terror.
« on: November 17, 2005, 09:59:01 PM »
I know that Mr. Bush is a contraversial president, but I personally think that he's a good president & I support him. I also think for the Democrats to spread the idea that Bush intentionally mislead the United States in the war in Iraq is absurd! I also support his moral views & that he is a Christian like myself. I do respect other people's views & am willing to hear other peoples ideas.  :)'s the article:

BUSAN, South Korea - Though their political relationship is strained,     President Bush and Russian President     Vladimir Putin are trying to speak with one voice about the war on terror and the campaign to stop     North Korea's nuclear ambitions.


The two leaders met Friday, apparently still at odds over how to address     Iran's nuclear programs and with long-running differences over the U.S.-led invasion of     Iraq and U.S. concern that Russia is retreating from democracy. They exchanged pleasantries, but offered no public remarks on the issues they face.

Bush greeted Putin, saying "Hey Vladimir. How are you? Looking good."

"I always enjoy a chance to have a good discussion with you," Bush said. "You're right. We've got a very important relationship. We value your advice."

Bush asked Putin if he wanted to address reporters. Putin said he did not. Bush shrugged and said, "OK, me neither." The two leaders then retreated to seats out of earshot from reporters.

Far from home, Bush was on the defensive about Democrats' criticism that he had misled the nation about the need to go to war in Iraq. He also was confronted with an announcement that     South Korea intends to bring home about a third of its 3,200 troops in Iraq next year.

At a news conference Thursday, Bush took issue with his domestic critics and said it was "patriotic as heck to disagree with the president." But he added, "What bothers me is when people are irresponsibly using their positions and playing politics. That's exactly what is taking place in America."

Friday's meeting was the fifth between Bush and Putin this year, following talks in Moscow; Washington; Bratislava, Slovakia, and Gleneagles, Scotland. Despite their disputes, they're on a first-name basis and emphasize their friendship, which was strengthened when Putin stepped forward and supported Bush after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Bush and Putin were meeting in a hotel suite before the opening of the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. The White House said the key topics would be Iran, North Korea, terrorism, trade, Moscow's goal of joining the     World Trade Organization by the end of the year and developments in Russia.

Bush met with Southeast Asia leaders to underscore U.S. interest in the region, one of the battlegrounds in the fight against terrorists. Bush was interested in asking the leaders to exert their influence on the military junta in Myanmar, which Secretary of State     Condoleezza Rice said was "one of the worst regimes in the world" for its record on human rights and free speech.

Putin has refused to support Bush in the president's eagerness to go to the     U.N. Security Council with suspicions Iran is trying to build a nuclear arsenal. Over U.S. objections, Russia is building a nuclear reactor for a power plant in Iran, an $800 million project the United States fears could be used to help develop nuclear arms.

Putin says that he shares the U.S. goal of an Iran without nuclear arms but that he has been assured Tehran has no ambitions for developing a nuclear weapon and instead wants its program for civilian energy use alone.

Bush and Putin have generally agreed on a need to avert the spread of nuclear weapons technology to other nations, including North Korea. Russia is a partner with the United States, China, Japan and South Korea in talks aimed at persuading North Korea to halt its nuclear program in return for energy and security guarantees.

The political relationship between Bush and Putin has frayed, in part because of U.S. concerns that Putin is consolidating power in the Kremlin and eroding democratic advances in post-Soviet Russia.

While Russia backed the United States in the war in     Afghanistan, Putin vehemently opposed the invasion of Iraq.

Putin has been outspoken about the struggle against terrorism, but U.S. officials accuse Russia of turning a blind eye toward what they say is Iranian and Syrian support for terrorists.

Russian officials accuse the United States and European nations of maintaining double standards on terrorism and have repeatedly lashed out at them for granting asylum to Chechen rebel figures they consider terrorists. Putin and other officials have suggested some in the West are at least tacitly supporting terrorists in hopes of weakening or dividing Russia.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Had Alexei not survived
« on: November 10, 2005, 08:57:22 PM »
I might sound a bit morbid, but I was wondering what were the succession laws had Alexei died. I know that Mikhail was next in line, but I was wondering the relationship between Nicholas & Mikhail. Had things gone sour, could Nicholas have disinheirited Mikhail & adopted a nephew? Or could have Nicholas reversed Czar Paul's decree? I know the monarchies are different, but in China the Qing Emperor Kangxi (b. 1652 r. 1661-1722) disinheirited his heir apparent because of his son's debauched, tyranical & corrupt behaivior. However a succession crisis followed Kangxi's death & Yongzheng emerged the victor, either by being legitimately named, or murdering his brothers for the throne. In January of 1875, after Emperor Tongzhi, died at age 18 (possibly of smallpox & syphilis), the two Dowager Empress (joint 'mothers') of the Tongzhi emperor, chose the 4 year-old nephew of Tongzhi's biological mother (Empress Dowager Ci-Xi), (Empress Dowager Ci-An, as actual empress, to Emperor Tongzhi's father, was the young man's official mother & guardian)  to succeed him, possibly so that he could be groomed for emperor's mantle. (Guangxu, the new emperor was nephew to Ci-Xi in 2 ways Ci-Xi's late husband, Emperor Xianfeng who died in 1861, left behind a brother who married Ci-Xi's younger sister, Lady Yehonala. Both Prince Chun (Guangxu's father)  & Lady Yehonala were terribly abusive parents.  Ci-Xi fell ill mysteriously only 48 hours after her son died & Tongzhi's half-sister died soon after, indicating a conspiracy among the princes whose factions each supported, needless to say causing sibling rivalry.

News Links / State visit to England
« on: October 28, 2005, 12:53:28 PM »
From what I read on the official British royalty website, it sounds like President Hu Jintao & his wife? will travel to England in early November of this year. The last emperor of China, Puyi, who was only two on his accession in 1908, following the death of his uncle, Emperor Guangxu & his great aunt to Empress Dowager, was deposed in 1911, thanks to the efforts of Western Educated Dr. Sun Yat-Sen (b. 1866) , who became a Christian upon marrying Soong Qingling.  Sun was somewhat bullied out of office by the imperious Yuan Shih-Kai who less than four years earlier had pledged his loyalty to the boy-emperor. Yuan also thought that he should be emperor so he took control & was "enthroned" as emperor only to die some moths later. Yuan Shih-Kai had played also a key role in the "Hundred Days of Reform" in 1898, under the deposed emperor's uncle Guangxu, by starting a rumor that the emperor was planning to oust the dowager empress, giving the conservatives at court an object to rally around. Yuan had also been involved during the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-1895 & the Russo Japanese war of 1904-1905. After Sun's death from cancer in 1925, Chiang Kai-Shek, emerged the victor & eventually married Sun's sister-in-law, the western educated & Methodist Soong-Mei-Ling (1898-2003). Years of civil war & atrocities on both sides tore China apart. The invasion of China by Japan, undermined these differences until 1945. In October 1949 the communists seized power, lead by Mao Zedong (1893-1976) who's tyranical regime equaled that of Stalin. Capitalism began to seep into China after the death of Mao & the end of the Cultural Revolution & "The Gang of Four" lead by Mao's wife Jiang Qing were arrested (the gang of four ruled in Mao's stead during Mao's last years & despite there was a woman &  three men) Deng Xiaoping (1906-1997) liberalized the country, but nonetheless was responisble for the tragic events on Tiananmen Square in 1989 (I was just an infant then). China now isn't as hardcore communist, but there is a lack of freedom of speech.

I think that the concept of wearing sailor suits, came about with the childhood of "Bertie" (King Edward VII). I did notice in a family portrait of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V was a friend of Nicholas II of Russia & it was his father who was innacurately portrayed in "The King & I", based on the memoirs of Anna Leonowens) with his children dressed in sailor suits. I also think that Chulalongkorn was one of the last kings of Siam (Thailand) to practice polygamy.

Imperial Russian History / Anna Leonowens (The King & I) & Russia
« on: October 12, 2005, 05:59:48 PM »
Many of you have seen the film "The King & I", (which is banned in Thailand)  supposedly the "true" story about the adventures of widowed schoolteacher Anna Leonowens However she did make up her memoirs & lied about her employer, King Mongkut & her life. Mrs. Leonowens claimed that she was born in Wales in 1834 under the name Anna Crawford & that her father was captain Thomas Crawford who died during a Sikh uprising (the Indian Mutiny?) The truth was that Leonowens was born in an army barrack in India to a Welsh father ( a former cabinet maker) & Eurasian mother in 1831, under the name of Anna Harriet Emma Edwards. She also said that they moved to India when Anna was 14 or 15, but it seems now that she was in England for a while & then returned to India. It seems clear that Anna was telling the truth that her step-father wanted to  marry her off, but she left with a Rev. Percy Badger to tour the exotic Middle East. She also claimed that she married an army captain named Thomas Leonowens, who then moved to Singapore with Anna  however she was married to a clerk named Thomas Leon Owens, who had trouble keeping a job. Her husband, supposedly died from heatstroke after going on a tiger hunt, however he died of apoplexy in Penang & the widowed Anna moved with their two children Avis & Louis She eventually received an invitation, in 1862 to go to Siam (Thailand)  to teach the children of King Mongkut. She made frivolous claims that her employer was a tyrannical fool. But the truth was that Mongkut was a brilliant man & thanks to him & his son King Chulalongkorn, Siam was independent of Western imperialism. Leonowens claimed that one of Mongkut's concubines, Lady Tuptim, was burned at the stake for dressing as a Buddhist monk so she could have an affair. Anyway, Mrs. Leonowens, who we can figure the king might have found irritating, because of her arrogance, left Siam in 1867 to visit her daughter Avis. It was in New York that Anna received news that King Mongkut had died of malaria in 1868. She eventually told of her travels, which she made into a book "The English Governess at the Siamese Court" which was novelized by missionary Margaret Landon, who actually lived in my hometown of Wheaton, Illinois & I know Mrs. Landon's grand-niece ( the wife of my church small group leader) Now here's the stuff about Anna & Russia. In 1881 she was sent to Russia just weeks after the assassination of the czar & wrote stating that the culprits were being unfairly tried & that Czar Alexander III was being brutal & figured that a revolution would come. Mrs. Leonowens eventually returned to America & she died in 1915

A couple days ago I was browsing at Wheaton College Library when I came across a book about the reigning monarchs of the world as of the turn of the 20th century. The book was written about the monarchs & was published in the year 1902. It goes over such monarchs as Edward VII, The Dowager Empress Ci-Xi & Emperor Guangxu of China (although, as predicted the information on the Dowager was not flattering), King Chulalongkorn of Siam (Thailand) Emperor Meiji of Japan, King Christian IX of Denmark, Sultan Abdul Hamid II of Turkey, King Oscar II of Sweden, Pope Leo XIII, King George I of Greece, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, and numerous other monarchs. Even thought the information is somewhat innacurate, there was an interesting section of Nicholas & Alexandra. Oh yeah, the book is called "Living Rulers of Mankind" by Rev. H.N. Hutchinson.

[edited to add title info to subject line]

Imperial Russian History / Nicholas II & the "Boxer Rebellion" in China
« on: October 05, 2005, 10:26:30 PM »
As you may know I'm intrigued, not only with the Romanov dynasty, but I'm also intrigued with the history of the Qing Dynasty era (1644-1911), especially with the story of the Dowager Empress Ci-Xi.

In 1898 an upheaval known as the Boxer Rebellion shook China & contrary to popular belief the Empress Dowager did not support the Boxer Rebellion. It now seems that an anti-foreign prince, Prince Tuan, started issuing edicts in the name of the terrified Empress of China.

Anyway, the Boxer besieged the foreign legations in Beijing from June 1900, until August 14th, when foreign troops entered the capital. The troops were from England, France, Austria, Germany, America & Japan. Each of these countries had a legation that was besieged.

Anyway, since I know that there was a Russian legation in Beijing, I was wondering if any Russian troops came into Beijing. It seems that they didn't when they invaded China in 1860, but I didn't know about the Boxer Rebellion. I do know that the half-brother to Emperor Guangxu (who was also the father to Pu Yi, the Last Emperor), Prince Chun did go to Berlin to apologize to the Kaiser for the assassination of the German minister.

I also know that a leading official, Li Hongzhang, was at the coronation of Nicholas & Alexandra. It was the visit of Li Hongzhang, by the way that gave rise to Chop Suey!

Having Fun! / Royal Resemblence
« on: October 04, 2005, 09:32:21 PM »
I was wondering if you have any people you know that resemble royalty? We have a friend (the same one I mentioned who's an Egyptogolgist, who met a woman who lived through the Russian Revolution) who looks like King Edward VII. There's also a teacher who has a vague resemblence to Queen Victoria. There was also a cranky librarian who resembled the Dowager Empress of China. See the resemblence?

Forum Announcements / Why won't posting pictures from encyclopedias work
« on: September 30, 2005, 05:57:04 PM »
It's really strange that the photos from wikpedia, or most encyclopedias online won't show up. Why is that?

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