Thursday, November 27, 2008
Thanksgiving. Just once I would like the rest of the world to show us a little gratitude.
Traditionally the Pilgrims started Thanksgiving in 1621 to thank the Wampanoag Indians Wampanoag for helping them through a difficult winter. For the last 400 years we've been thanking the Indians for what they did for the colonists, so would it kill them to take one year to thank us for civilizing them and for introducing them to casino gambling, which has proven to be such a boon to their culture? Regrettably, the Wampanoag can't thank us because most of them were killed off by the colonists and those who claim to be their descendents can't prove they who they are so they aren't officially recognized. But there are plenty of other Native-Americans who could certainly take an hour or two off from running the blackjack tables to say, "Miigwetch, kimosabe."
They don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Iraq but maybe they should start. And perhaps we could celebrate Thankstaking this year and ask the Iraqi people to show us some appreciation for liberating them from Saddam Hussein and leaving the majority of their population intact. And perhaps they could thank us for the three hours of electricity they have every day, and the 30% of their citizens who have clean water and the 20% with decent sanitation could thank us for that. And they might want to thank us for the billions of dollars we have pumped into that country, some of which has actually gotten to Iraqi citizens. Things are better now in Iraq than they have been at any time since we invaded. Shouldn't we get a little appreciation for that?
And there are many other countries that should be thanking us this Thankstaking holiday. Iran should thank us for not bombing them yet. Pakistan should thank us for helping to keep them free of an Islamic dictatorship, which would be much worse than the dictatorship they have now. Burma should thank us for asking their government very firmly not to kill all their monks. China should thank us for buying all of their very cheap and usually GHB- and lead-free toys. Mexico should thank us for giving so many of their citizens jobs that sometimes pay as much as minimum wage and for not rounding them all up and deporting them yet. India should thank us for sending so many of our other jobs over to them. You're welcome.
In 1973 Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair made a powerful radio address called "The Americans" in which he praised our incredible generosity and selflessness. "The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany," he began. "It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the world." With the American dollar now at record lows against the Euro, perhaps it's time to heed his words again. The United States is the world's largest giver of foreign aid. We give a whopping 0.13% of our gross domestic product in foreign aid, 81% of which we cleverly tied to the purchase of U.S. goods and services. Of the 21 richest countries in the world only Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Finland, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, France, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Austria, Italy, Germany and Portugal are more generous than the United States when it comes to foreign aid, according to the Center for Global Development. It's about time someone thanked us for being more charitable than Greece and Japan.
President Bush is certainly entitled to ask for a big thank you for keeping this country safe from terrorists despite the efforts of Democrats, who will have only themselves to blame if there is another terrorist attack. And the American people certainly owe him some gratitude for what he's done for the economy, which has begun to falter not so coincidentally only since the election of a Democrat majority in Congress. Thanks to his policies a number of Americans got a chance to see what it would be like to live in homes they could not afford, memories they will always cherish long after the banks foreclose on them. And if it wasn't for President Bush, there might be no New Orleans at all. Thanks to his efforts, New Orleans has the first white majority city council in 22 years, which as James Joyner at Outside the Beltway points out, is a "good thing" because it means the city has shifted "away from race-based voting." This would not have been possible without President Bush's leadership. I hope that on this Thankstaking holiday, the President takes some credit for all that he has done for this country.
And I'm sure there are many of you out there who aren't getting enough appreciation for all of the hard work you do. Isn't it time you got a little recognition for it? This Thankstaking holiday, instead of saying "thank you" why not say "thank me" for a change. You deserve it. And don't forget to thank me while you're at it.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
- Marilyn Mach vos Savant
It was a cool night; the wind was at a standstill. In a house on the corner of a very quiet street, there lived two lovely ladies, let's call them banana and lemon, who were in a very heated conversation. The topic at hand were tree houses. But the tree houses being discussed were not like the ones you see haphazardly put together in someone's backyard. No, these were elaborate homes in forests that happened to be built up high on a tree.
So, they got to thinking that it would be pretty amazing to construct a commune of tree houses. A commune because well, it would be pretty frightening to live in a forest all by your lonesome. A means of getting to one another's homes would be by zip lining (if you're in a hurry) or by bridge. There would be a staircase or ladder (your preference) that would take you to the ground floor. At the bottom, there would be ample food being grown without negatively impacting said ecosystem. The trees used as the foundation for the homes would not be damaged AND they, as well as, all the materials used would be sustainable! Another wonderful aspect would be that there wouldn't be a need to strip the environment just to make space for us. We would literally intertwine ourselves with nature.
Don't you want to be tangled up in nature?
Friday, November 14, 2008
The global warming cycle:
The degree to which we consume and the harmful substances that we devour--> Erratic and often destructive weather--> Our homes & ecosystems ravaged--> Reconstruction of our lives--> Further negative impact on our environment.
We need to change the erraticism. We need to reverse the devastation that our overconsumption has caused. Although, complete reversal is implausible, it doesn't need to be all or nothing.
As a country, we still are not taking the steps necessary for reversal. We are one of the few countries that have yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol (signed only= not legally bound), an international environmental treaty that legally binds the signatories to reduce their consumption of 6 greenhouse gases. We need to join the international community in fighting global warming.
Red= signed & declined ratification; Grey= declined both)
Here's our chance:
The United Nations global warming treaty negotiation, a climate talk that's goal is to reduce global warming 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050, is occurring this coming December in Poznan, Poland. We need President-elect Obama to attend these negotiations, so that America can progress into a country that is compassionate about the world we live in.
We need to shock ourselves into existence.
The treatment occurring @ the prisons of Guantanamo Bay should be that shock.
Prisoners, who may not have even committed crimes or engaged in terrorist activities, are locked in an torturous environment, literally. They endure waterboarding, an act that simulates drowning (forcefully binding the person, putting a cloth over his mouth & nose and pouring water over his face), which prior to our activity, we deemed an illegal act of torture (read: unconstitutional- cruel & unusual punishment). Numerous studies have shown that using torture as a method to uncover information is ineffective because the information obtained is usually completely or partially false.
Another unconstitutional act is our refusal to grant these prisoners the right to a fair and speedy trial- they don't even have the right to a trial.
Furthermore, the international community can't take the U.S. to court for these abuses against humanity because Bush strategically took America out of an international peace treaty that banned the use of torture.
We need to hold people accountable and we need to stop this atrocious behavior.
Sign the petition (takes 17.5 seconds) & become open to the cries of humanity.
End Torture- Close Gitmo Read more!
Good morning cupcakes :),
It has been more than a week since the passage of Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in CA, and we're still causing a STORM.
Saturday, November 15th, 2008 @ 10:30 AM in front of LA City Hall, WE will continue this fight.
It's a national protest, so even states that didn't have the issue of gay marriage on the ballot will be protesting. Be a part of this movement towards equality!
We need to continue or injustice will prevail.
For more info:
Lovely day :) Read more!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
you may also want to know that as i write this, i am in the bathroom. all great things come from here.
let's start the revolution.
A T T A C K! Read more!