18 February 2008

It's late, and I'm not in the mood to mince words...

I don't like watching the news. It seems like the only events reported on the news are bad, which leads one to believe that all (or most) of the noteworthy things happening in the world are bad.

Today I read that Kosovo was recognized as an independent country by my own country, the United States of America. I also read that Russia and China have chosen not to recognize Kosovo, citing the fact that such a recognition could set a dangerous precedent. It is extremely rare for me to agree with Russia or China, but I certainly agree with them today...

Let's say the real reason that Kosovo is receiving international recognition of its independence - it has a Muslim majority in an otherwise Christian country (Serbia). Countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom are seeking to improve their status among Muslims, many of whom perceive that the U.S.A. and U.K. are anti-Muslim. By recognizing Kosovo's independence, they are trying to prove that they do not dislike Islam.

If the situation were reversed, and it was a Christian majority seeking independence in a Muslim country, I do not believe that the U.S.A. or the U.K. would have recognized a declaration of independence. In my opinion, that is a double-standard that is ludicrous.

An additional reason for my agreement with Russia and China is that it sets a dangerous precedent. Is establishing a new country as simple as thousands of people flooding across an international border, setting up shop, and declaring independence? It must not be.

A third reason that I agree with Russia and China deals with geography. When do you draw a line regarding a country's minimum size? Kosovo will be one of the smallest countries on earth - by my calculations, the eighth-smallest land-based country. (behind Vatican City, Monaco, Andorra, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Lebanon, and the Palestinean territories) If you're going to start creating countries that small, then I want in on the action! I'm sure that my wife, in-laws, and neighbors would be happy to form our own little country! Unfortunately, things don't work that way.

...well, not until today.

14 February 2008

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

On this day in A.D. 1929, four members of Al Capone's gang killed five members of Bugs Moran's gang and two others on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois. Two of Capone's men dressed as police officers, entered the mechanic's shop where Moran's men were gathered, and claimed that they were executing a bust. They ordered the seven men to stand facing a brick wall, and promptly shot them all with Tommy Guns.

My grandfather lived in Chicago at the time, though he was only a baby. He tells stories about living under Al Capone and how his father was forced to pay "protection money" in order to stay on the gangsters' good side...

On this day in A.D. 2007, we received 50 centimeters of snow.

10 February 2008

Winter Scenes

These first three pictures were taken after our first sticking snow of the season - way back on November 16.

I'm pretty sure that these next two pictures were taken on our first day with complete snow cover - December 01.

These last three pictures were taken last Thursday - February 07.

06 February 2008

More Ice. How is that possible? ...and some thoughts on Super Tuesday

We are currently in the midst of our sixth freezing rain event of the season, and our fourth significant event. As I've mentioned on other posts, we only had two freezing rain events in the previous three winters; the fact that we've tripled that number through one half of one winter is incredible.

I think that the ice is beautiful, but I'm starting to get sick of falling down all of the time. We received an inch of ice last Friday, and it didn't melt until Monday. That meant that all weekend I was slipping and falling on my arse...or knees...or side...or back... I already slipped once tonight while I was getting the chicken eggs. I think that I'm going to have to buy some crampons pretty soon! Walking on ice-covered slopes is tough!

Oh, I don't want to forget to mention that my Buffalo Sabres are back to their winning ways! They've won five of their last six games, and it looks like they have a shot at making the playoffs!

Okay, Super Tuesday. I like Mike Huckabee's personality, but I'm not crazy about his politics. With that said, I don't like any of the other Republican frontrunners. Consequently, I was disappointed to see that John McCain fared well last night. I keep getting closer and closer to changing my party registration from Republican to indepedent...

To be blunt, I detest Hillary Clinton. Although I disagree with many of his political stances, I like Barack Obama because I perceive him to be honest, straightforward, and intelligent. I was glad to see him win a majority of states last night, but I was unhappy to see that "the alternative" won the states with the greatest numbers of delegates.

The bright side about living in a state that will vote Democratic in almost every presidential election is that I can "waste" my vote without affecting the outcome of a close race. If I want, I can vote for Ron Paul, the Libertarian candidate for president, the socialist candidate for president, my father-in-law...whoever I want and it won't affect the election's outcome. In a state where my presidential vote is worth less than a pile of horse crap (I can fertilize my garden with horse crap), being free to "waste" your vote is not a bad consolation.

04 February 2008

Super Tuesday

Ahh, New York's primary election for selecting Democratic and Republican candidates to run for United States President will be held tomorrow (along with a bunch of other provinces-errr "states") I will be voting for Ron Paul, and, though I seriously doubt he has any chance of winning our state's primary, I strongly encourage all registered Republicans to vote for him. He is the only candidate who seeks to shrink the size of government and return responsibility to the people.