Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A bit of history.

For some reason the Kharkov Historical Museum houses a British World War I tank, which by the way was the reason tanks are called tanks. When I was a kid it sat in a garden area in the middle of the museum grounds along with a World War II Soviet T-34 tank. My friend Vlad took these as well.

Home, sweet home.

My friend Vlad, whom I have known for most of my life and who served as the best man at my wedding, posted pictures of his trip to our hometown on a Russian photo sharing site. This one shows the building I used to live in year ago. My former home is on the left side of the picture behind the green, corner building. I have a black and white picture of myself taken on the bridge in the foreground.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The price is wrong.

Yesterday, to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq, George W. Bush interrupted my enjoyment of The Price Is Right. In his short, yet pointless, speech he tried to justify the war by saying: "four years ago today, coalition forces launched Operation Iraqi Freedom to remove Saddam Hussein from power. They did so to eliminate the threat his regime posed to the Middle East and to the world." Saddam Hussein, if memory serves me right, tried to invade Iran only to bog both countries down in a war of attrition that lasted eight years. He also invaded Kuwait and was promptly escorted out by a coalition force. During the Kuwaiti invasion Hussein launched missiles into Israel, not the entire Middle East, just Israel. So I can see how his regime was a threat to everybody. This, by the way, brings me to the Weapons of Mass Distraction. If Hussein had the so-called WMDs back then why didn't he launch anything in the general direction of the United States? Bush also mentioned the importance of securing Baghdad and restoring peace in Iraq. These, of course, would not be necessary if he didn't decide to invade Iraq four years ago. The Democratic Congress has been talking about pulling the troops out of Iraq and Bush addressed that issue as well. "It can be tempting to look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude our best option is to pack up and go home. That may be satisfying in the short run, but I believe the consequences for American security would be devastating. If American forces were to step back from Baghdad before it is more secure, a contagion of violence could spill out across the entire country. In time, this violence could engulf the region. The terrorists could emerge from the chaos with a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they had in Afghanistan, which they used to plan the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. For the safety of the American people, we cannot allow this to happen." The invasion of Iraq resulted in insurgency, car bombings, and civil war. And if Congress pulls the troops out of Iraq, the country will deteriorate into complete chaos. Bush makes you believe that pulling out of Iraq will play right into the terrorists' hands, actually the invasion itself was a part of the jihad master plan since the beginning. The biggest threat to "the safety of American people" came from the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut because, despite Ronald Reagan's promises to find those responsible, nothing was actually done about it. This proved to the Muslim fundamentalists throughout the world that you can kill Americans and the government will not react. Also Afghanistan became a breeding ground for terrorism because the US abandoned the Afghani people following the end of the Soviet invasion instead of "staying the course" and helping them rebuild. So here we are another war, another Republican President, another lie.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Better late than never.

Braunschweig chapter of the Germany's Social Democratic party is planning to have Hitler's citizenship revoked. I don't know what the SPD is trying to accomplish with this move, but it would have made more sense fifty or sixty years ago.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ignorant Immigrant and the Holy Grail.

Yesterday after work I decided to find a wooden coat rack, the kind that stands up. We have a metal one, which recently gave way under the weight of winter coats and needs to be replaced. So I set off on my quest to the local mall and shopping area. The first stop was Lowe's which previously was the source of rather useless replacement stove knobs. After wandering around the store in aimless wonder of the size of the ails and the quantity of stuff they contain I asked a store employee for some much needed help. He directed me to some hanging coat racks, but after consulting my wife I returned to the quest for a standing one. After a little more wandering, and consulting another employee, I gave up and left Lowe's for Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart did not have any coat racks at all. It did not have any easily accessible employees either. I spent as much time looking for somebody who actually works there as I did looking for a coat rack. I gave up on Wal-Mart and left for Home Depot. There I finally found somebody who could tell me the truth: "We don't carry coat racks." I was relieved by this man's words because by then I was getting ready to give up anyway. So I bid adieu to the bright orange walls of Home Depot vowing to return if I ever decide to build a coat rack myself because if I can do it, they can help.