Shopping Day notes
Although they'd presumably encounter resistance from all the lobbyists who work for Adbusters, the House and Senate of these here United States of America ought to declare the day after Thanksgiving to be "Shopping Day."
Margaret Cho on Thanksgiving:
We celebrate this holiday, to commemorate the fact that we destroyed and demolished almost an entire race of people...
We celebrate Thanksgiving to give thanks for giving all the native people crazy diseases that they never had because we never gave a thought there would be other people in the world besides us. We sit down and bow our heads in prayer because we took all of the different tribes and mixed them all up - thinking that since they looked somewhat similar that they all must get along and be the same even though they all had different Gods, religions, customs, histories, legends, genealogies, truths, wars going on between them - as if they were just one feather leather gang of primitives that needed taming. They were many nations. A true United States, but because if they didn't wear those pointy ass buckle shoes and read out of the Bible, we just assumed they must be animals.
Cho goes further and her tone isn't unique
. But Thanksgiving isn't about "Native Americans" is any active way, shape or form for most who celebrate it. They are irrelevant and ignored. And, as Bill Blakemore points out in his reading
of Stanley Kubrick
's The Shining
(1980), perhaps that is just as bad.
As you don't need me to tell you, U.S. President George W. Bush made a surprise appearance in Baghdad yesterday to meet with some U.S. troops on Thanksgiving. Many said they haven't been this touched since Dean Martin and Bob Hope's surprise appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Bush gave a speech and also talked with "reporters" about the trip:
I thank you for honoring the confidentiality necessary to pull this off. I made the decision to go because I wanted our troops, not only that were there to have dinner, but the troops in harm's way to know that their Commander-in-Chief, and, more importantly, their country support. And I thought the best way to do that would be to spend time with them on Thanksgiving to thank them and to send a message -- you know, the message I sent, which is we appreciate their sacrifices...
The idea first game up in mid-October. Andy said, would you be interested in going to Baghdad, and I said, yes, I would, except I don't want to go if it puts anybody in harms way. It's very essential that I fully understand all aspects of the trip, starting with whether or not we could get in out safely, whether or not my presence there would in any way cause the enemy to react and therefore jeopardize somebody else's life. I felt it was important to send a message that we care for them and we support them strongly, and that we erase any doubt in their minds as to whether or not the people stand with them -- you know, I understood the consequences and risks. And over time I was assured by the planners and, as importantly, our military people and the pilot here of this airplane that the risk could be minimized if we were able to keep the trip quiet. I was fully prepared to turn this plane around.
I thought a crucial moment yesterday was when I saw you all. That's why I said, you know, no phones. A crucial moment in this trip, frankly, was in between changing planes and I wasn't sure whether or not -- and the circle is pretty tight, I wasn't sure whether or not people would be able to tell their loved ones: I can't see you on thanksgiving and I can't tell you why. So I was worried about that; but I was fully prepared to turn this baby around and come home.
And three hours out, I checked with our Secret Service, who checked with people on the ground, they assured me that it was still a tight hold on the information and that the conditions on the ground were as positive as could possibly be. I even went up to the cockpit and watched Tillman bring it in -- which, had the security been broken there would have been the time that we would have been most vulnerable. However, the plane -- that's why Colonel Tillman's judgment was so important to this -- this plane is protected, it's protected against the kinds of things that could be used against it. It also -- we obviously flew in, in the dark, precautions were taken.
Bush says that his mom
didn't know about the trip.
Matt Drudge has published what he says are "Mike Allen's [WASH POST] Private Notes" on the trip.
"President Bush took a modest risk flying into Baghdad to visit U.S. troops on Thanksgiving, experts say," Dave Moniz writes for USA Today.
I suppose but this risk seems small compared to the invasion of Iraq, especially if Team Bush really did believe that Saddam Hussein had the biological and chemical weapons they claimed he had.
Via Blogdex, Jennifer Viegas of Discovery News writes in a November 25 story:
A study that compared humans with other species concluded there are 1,000 times too many humans to be sustainable.
The study, published in the current Proceedings B (Biological Sciences) by the Royal Society, used a statistical device known as "confidence limits" to measure what the sustainable norm should be for species populations. Other factors, such as carbon dioxide production, energy use, biomass consumption, and geographical range were taken into consideration.
"Our study found that when we compare ourselves to otherwise similar species, usually other mammals of our same body size, for example, we are abnormal and the situation is unsustainable," said Charles Fowler, co-author of the paper and a lead researcher at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration...
"Collectively the risks reflect the complexity of biotic systems, but specifically (they) include things like the risk of extinction, starvation, and disease," Fowler told Discovery News.
Such pathologies can be alleviated, according to the paper, but changes would have to be profound and widespread.
"It is probably not unrealistic to say that nothing less than a full paradigm shift is required to get there from here," Fowler explained. "It requires changes in our thinking, belief systems and understanding of ourselves."
William Rees, professor of community and regional planning at the University of British Columbia, disagrees that humans are abnormal and said, "I would use the term 'unusual' instead."
Rees explained that humanity has been inordinately successful. Unlike other species, humans can eat almost anything, adapt to any environment and develop technologies based on knowledge shared through written and spoken language.
Rees, however, said that we may be "fatally successful." He agrees that industrial society as presently configured is unsustainable.
"In the past 25 years we have adopted a near-universal myth of 'sustainable development' based on continuous economic growth through globalization and freer trade," Rees wrote in a recent Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society paper. "Because the assumptions hidden in the globalization myth are incompatible with biophysical reality the myth reinforces humanity's already dysfunctional ecological behavior."
There probably is somebody of equal stature who disagrees with this entire inquiry, of course. I found the website of Proceedings B
but not the study. Probably doesn't make much difference as I suspect I wouldn't understand it.
Nonetheless dramatic changes are needed. We shouldn't be like the commie weaklings in China with their one child policy. Nope we need a Zero Child Policy with the punishment of death dispensed to any woman found to be pregnant as soon as the father, who will also be executed, is determined. That way, non-compliance furthers the goal.