This was the year that was. A few remainders of what has happened in 2010
January: A magnitude 7 earthquake hit Haiti resulting in devastation.
February: Winter Olympics held in Vancouver
March: Healthcare reform passed in America
The Deepwater OilRig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico
Eyjafjallajokull erupted in Iceland bringing air traffic in Europe to a halt.
May: Greece gets a €110 billion bailout package
June: The World cup kicks off in South Africa
July: Blizzard backed down over its attempts to get all World of Warcraft players to use their real names
For those who missed it, up to 5,000 red-winged blackbirds and starlings fell from the sky just before midnight on New Year's Eve in a one-mile area over Beebe, Arkansas.
Unfortunately, it doesn't turn out to be as "mysterious" as the news are trying to make it sound. That area of Arkansas has much more violent weather than the rest of the region and blackbirds are known to fly in giant flocks. If a flock was startled by fireworks and took flight, it's not a huge leap to say they may have run into some weather and part of the flock was injured and fell to earth.
But then again, maybe I'm just a tool of the conspiracy...
Chicago's bracing for what is may be the 2nd worst storm ever to hit the Great Lakes.
California's Prop. 19 would decriminalize small amounts of pot for personal use, but Mexico's President Felipe Calderon claims that this would undercut Mexico's fight against drug cartels. Because, you know, that's been going so well lately.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon strongly opposes the California ballot measure that would legalize small amounts of marijuana, saying it reflects softening attitudes toward drug consumption in the U.S. that are undercutting efforts to control organized crime groups in Mexico.
Calderon, in an interview in Tijuana, said he was disappointed that the U.S. federal government, which for years has pushed Mexico to crack down on drug traffickers, has not done more to oppose the measure. "I think they have very little moral authority to condemn Mexican farmers who out of hunger are planting marijuana to feed the insatiable [U.S.] appetite for drugs," he said Thursday.
I think I tend to side with Calderon's predecessor on this one:
Calderon's predecessor, Vicente Fox, has made headlines by calling for legalization and regulation of all drugs as the best way to cripple the drug cartels economically. Fox recently said passage of Proposition 19 would be a "great step forward" and could "open the door to these ideas for us."
I've been reading all kinds of outrage on the internet over this story. A brief summation: Guy lives in a county where they have no fire service. A nearby municipality offers fire protection to individuals who live outside of their jurisdiction, for a $75 annual fee. This guy didn't pay it, and when his house caught fire, the fire department came to ensure the fire didn't spread outside the property line, but didn't attempt to put it out.
I've seen a lot of people say that the firefighters should have put the fire out anyway, and I've seen a lot of people say maybe they didn't have an obligation to, but it shows that this type of system is fucked up and shouldn't be allowed.
I personally don't agree with either stance. I think the firefighters were in the right. It's a shame that the guy's house burned down, but it wasn't their fault. Given the system that exists it's the only logical thing to do. If they allow free riders, the whole system risks collapsing.
As far as the system existing, well, I probably wouldn't buy property in a county with no fire protection, but I acknowledge that it's a person's right to do so, if they choose. This guy chose to buy his house there, and he chose not to pay the fee. It's his risk, he took the gamble and he lost. It sucks, but it's a natural consequence that he was aware of when he made his choice. I think an adult who owns property is capable of making that choice and living with those consequences.
What do y'all think?