"...and the sky / is a hazy shade of winter..." Well, it is. The winter of my discontent. I suppose it's better than incontinence, though... ;)
Putin and the Russians are really getting to be annoying. I hope the Chechens surprise them and continue to take back a town here, a village there, and I hope Grozny holds out. Given enough Russian casualties, the support back home for this little vendetta war will suddenly fall away.
And speaking of falling, Indonesia seems to be falling apart. I wonder if all the clamor for self-determination and independence is due to bad government, or rabble-rousing, though. The world is not going to be a better or more stable place if every group, every province that is dissatisfied with the capital decides to form its own nation. We can hardly get along with 300 or so countries, what would 500 or 600 be like?
Libya has denounced terrorism. Way to go. I hope it's sincere. If it is, I hope the United States has the generosity and wisdom to eventually welcome Tripoli back into the world, as Great Britain has already done and Italy is doing now.
Hurray to Northern Ireland, too. Now if only the IRA will simmer down and turn in its guns. The whole peace process can still come crashing down if they don't. And the ETA in Basque should pay close attention. The world doesn't need to see 'the troubles' erupting anew in Spain now...
What the hell is up with the WTO protesters?!? I'm all for protest, civil disobedience, etc., but the point is being lost in the midst of the destruction. There is a difference between active, vocal protest and rioting. And criticizing Seattle's handling of the situation is unfair. Under the circumstances, the mayor's emergency measures were sane and acceptable, even though the need for them was lamentable. Was he supposed to let a few trouble-makers ruin his city and its reputation?
Why do Italians feel the need to decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving? And why so much decoration? I'll stop there.
As for me, I suppose you can say that I celebrate Christmas, though that's not really quite accurate. I like the peace and brotherly love aspects of the season. I do exchange gifts, and I do decorate to some extent, avoiding the religious symbols of course. OK, OK, technically Santa Claus is derived from a Catholic saint, but... ;) I choose to celebrate the good in mankind at this time of year. And if that makes me, an atheist, a hypocrite in some eyes, well, hey, then I'm a hypocrite. What can I tell ya...
And on that note, I will end this last Vitriol of 1999. No, it's not the last one of the century or the millennium! - A