When Buddha invited the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac to his New Year party those many years ago, the cunning little rat was the one who took the first seat by his side.
While the tale is told differently in each eastern culture, the rat's manipulative nature is always connected to his ability to be the first animal to arrive at the party and the first to be selected for the Chinese Zodiac.
Thus, this year, 2008, is not only the Year of the Rat, but also the beginning of a new 12-year zodiac cycle.
The Rat (鼠) was welcomed in ancient times as a protector and bringer of material prosperity. It is an animal associated with aggression, wealth, charm, and order, yet also associated with death, war, the occult, pestilence, and atrocities.
Negative Traits Controlling, obstinate, back-stabbing, resentful, manipulative, cruel, vengeful, power-driven, critical,sleepy
Rat people are endowed with great leadership skills and are the most highly organized, meticulous, and systematic of the twelve signs. Intelligent and cunning at the same time, rats are highly ambitious and strong-willed people who are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas, which often include money and power. They are energetic and versatile and can usually find their way around obstacles, and adapt to various environments easily. A rat's natural charm and sharp demeanor make it an appealing friend for almost anyone, but rats are usually highly exclusive and selective when choosing friends and so often have only a few very close friends whom they trust.
Ah well I cry in my beer at the NDP victory party which began as a raucous affair only to end as a wake. They lost two seats to the Tories.
Though of course not as bad a loss as the Liberals which never even had a victory party but rather held a subdued gathering planning the upcoming going away party for Leader Kevin Taft.
And the Wildrose Alliance Party, WAP, appropriately got whapped with Leader Paul Hinman losing his seat, the only one the fledgling party had. As I had predicted. Well at least one of my prestidigitations was correct.
The Greens on the other hand, didn't win any seats but gained in popular support especially in central Alberta. Look for them to be the new party of the right to challenge the Tories.
Sigh ah well another four years of Tory democracy in Alberta, now I know how the folks in Russia feel.
With 97 percent of the precincts counted early Monday, Medvedev had more than 70 percent of the vote, according to the Central Election Commission. That percentage nearly matches Putin's tally in 2004 and infuses Medvedev's victory with the numbers to claim a clear mandate for the next four years.
As expected, Medvedev crushed the anemic challenges of three opponents who never had a chance to debate him and were drowned out by a deafening media drumbeat that Medvedev was "Putin's choice" and that his victory would ensure the continuation of the popular president's policies.
Another King Rat in the year of the Rat.
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