Thursday, November 26, 2009

White American Thanksgiving

For my international readers, today, November 26th, is a national holiday here in the U.S. called Thanksgiving. It's a day during which we do what we can to further our national epidemic of obesity. We're also meant to think about what we're thankful for. I wrote down some of my thoughts about what I'm thankful for on this holiday.

I want to express my gratitude, on this day, that I was born White--that I am part of the powerful majority rather than an oppressed minority, and thus that I can enjoy all the benefits of that status, such as never having gotten arrested, or having learned to speak and read and write in such a way that I can get high paying jobs and can propogate this power structure on to my children and my children's children. I'm thankful for my White Pilgrim Fathers, who celebrated the First Thanksgiving with their Pokanoket friends back in 1621--Pokanoket friends who sought them out for military alliance because they needed some help after so many of them had died from the smallpox which my White Pilgrim Fathers had brought to North America. I'm thankful that my White Pilgrim fathers won so decisively, a mere 55 years later, when they went to war with their Pokanoket former friends over the lands which these savages claimed my White Pilgrim Fathers were stealing. I'm thankful that there were 4 times as many deaths among the Pokanoket savages (whose fathers had been there to help make the first Thanksgiving possible) than there were among my White Pilgrim Fathers, a war proportionality which would only grow in our favor in the 350 years to come. I'm thankful for the way in which this war and other early wars against the merciless Indian Savages* helped form our identity as a nation where White People like me hold and exercise the power. I'm thankful that the end result is that now we white Americans are able to spend more than the rest of the world combined, some $650 billion annually, on armaments and military, and that following from this I am in the top 10% of wage earners in the world, and have never experienced hunger or homelessness or much of anything really unpleasant at all for a single day of my entire life. I'm thankful to be white, to be male, and to be at the top of the pack in a world where 1 billion (mostly non-White) people have no access to fresh water and 2 billion (mostly non-White) people live on $2 a day or less. I feel like shouting with joy and gratitude! Wooooooohooooooooot!

*Note: "merciless Indian savages" is a phrase which I have borrowed from that brilliant document my White Pilgrim Fathers authored--the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veterans Day/Remembrance Day/Armistice Day tomorrow--Sigh--and a question

I went to hear my seven year old daughter sing with the rest of her class at the school assembly today. She, and they, sang "Brothers and sisters all patriots, ready to answer the call, in service of our country, of our country. Honor and courage and sacrifice" The principle spoke about honoring the veterans who die to keep us free and bring peace.


Apparently is costs us (the human race, that is) some 1.2 trillion dollars per year to purchase weapons to keep us free and bring peace. Not to mention the cost in trauma to human beings.

Here's my question. Is Veterans Day to the arms industry as Christmas is to the retail industry?

"Do you think they will thank you for teaching them that war is glorious?" --Dr. Who

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Not to the strong is the battle

Did you know that the U.S. accounts for ~5 percent of the world's population, and ~21 percent of the world's GDP, but we account for ~57 percent of the world's arm's expenditures?

A metaphor for that:  If you imagine the world is a village of 100 people, then 5 of them are Americans, and those 5 own 20% of the village's wealth, and they manufacture more bullets, tanks, warheads, bombs, fighter jets, bombers, etc. than the other 95 people in the village put together.

Duel pursuit

Someone please tell me that Janet Hook and her editor allowed this "misspelling" in her very first sentence on purpose, as some sort of super lame play on words. The Chicago Tribune is the 6th largest newspaper in the U.S.

With the struggle over healthcare entering an even tougher phase, President Obama has hit both a milestone and a speed bump in his duel pursuit of a major overhaul of the nation's medical system and a rebirth of progressivism in America. 

Thursday, November 05, 2009

There are reasons

why the president described today's shooting rampage as "a horrific outburst of violence", but he doesn't ongoingly describe this in similar terms.

(Think "How to boil a frog")
(Methinks perhaps we're boiled.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

My birthday wish list

Stuff I want for my birthday, which is on the 6th:

1. A space fountain (I don't want to own it, necessarily--just to be able to watch it in operation).
2. An easy/quick way to suddenly always be kind and gracious to my wife and children (and other people).
3. Better listening skills.
4. A deferred (or at least deferrable) acceptance to the Son-Rise child facilitator training program in Massachusetts.
5. For all these companies to quite suddenly go bankrupt (or correlationally, for the percent of the world's GDP spent on arms to drop quite suddenly from ~2% to ~0%). (Note: there are only ~4000 google results for "corellationally".  Can you think of a word that only returns ~4000 google results?)
6. For these folks to get what they want.
7. This one is a secret.
8. A copy of my brother in law's new novel, preferably electronic (not only so I can read it, but also so someday I can say I was among the very first to ever read or even see it, back in the day).
9. My dad to miraculously get much healthier.
10. For people with whom I converse around here to stop mispronouncing "Melbourne" "Mel boorrrrn" and start pronouncing it "MEL bin" as it's meant to be pronounced.

If I have to choose just one, I'm going with 3.

I'm still working on pi in Roman numerals.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Binary Pie and Binary Debt

In case you were wondering, it is my humble opinion that pi is easier to memorize in binary.  It starts out 11.0010010000111111

Of course you need way more digits to express the same accuracy.  Nevertheless, it's still easier.

I'm working on pi in Roman numerals (which is slightly more difficult to figure out than pi in base 2).

Also, pi in base pi is 10, which is *really* easy to remember, except that it doesn't really do you much good, because then you also have to memorize some other form of pi, or else you can't really tell anybody with much accuracy what base you are working in.

Also, here's the U.S. national debt (as of November 2, 2009 (or in binary November 10, 011111011001))

$10101100111001010110000100111101110111101111 wow looks even bigger in binary.