Monday, July 4, 2005

4 July 2005/27 Siwan 5765: National Country Music Day/Independence Day


Sanhedhrin update: I have two more articles, both from last Thursday. One, ירושלים: עצרת מחאה נגד מצעד התועבה, seems to mention the proto-Sanhedhrin sending a letter strengthening efforts to prevent the recent “gay pride” parade, though with the deficits I have in Modern Hebrew, I’m not entirely sure. The other, יו"ר הכנסת, סגניו וחברי וועדות יצאו אתמול לסיור בבית שערים, seems to be about the proto-Sanhedhrin touring a previous meeting-place (about 2,000 years ago) of the Sanhedhrin in Beth She‘arim.

Political update: Sharon’s politically precarious position is even worse that I thought. Not only does he have substantial opposition in Israel (including in his own party), but also 63% of Americans are opposed to Israel pulling out of Gaza.

On my trip to Canada, or A man, a plan, a canal—Canada!

My trip to Canada was rather disappointing, as I saw very little to distinguish the country from the US. What I did see that was different was either minor or obvious for the most part:
  • The Canadian flag instead of the US flag.
  • The metric system instead of Imperial units. Since the metric system is used by almost every on the planet outside of the US, this was obvious.
  • Token respect to the British queen on money and on road signs.
  • Token English-French bilingualism in official capacities.
  • More use of iconic traffic signs.
With a bit of minor editing in Photoshop, Toronto would easily pass for any large US city. I do not see any real point in the US and Canada being separate countries, so I hereby propose that Canada take over the US. This would have several advantages:
  • No more customs. The 50 US states and handful of territories manage to have local autonomy without wasting the time of people crossing from one to another. If Canada took over the US, we would have no point in even a pro forma customs and could thus save border-crossers zillions of hours and reduce annoyance, not to mention all the money our countries have to pay to have customs in the first place.
  • The metric system. One planet, one measurement system, less confusion. Everyone benefits.
  • Everyone over here promoting Spanish for political reasons gets to fight with everyone over there promoting French for political reasons.
  • George W. Bush and company would be out of office. (Enough of a reason in itself.)
  • More comedians would be available to us.
  • The US flag has been imitated repeated. No one has copied the Canadian flag.
  • No more annoying currency exchanges.
  • Moose for everyone!
Alternative: Both the US and Canada seem to have a substantial number of crazy people. In the interest of making life more interesting, we should have a lunatic exchange program so that each country gets to experience the peculiar craziness of the other.

Alternative to the alternative: After mentioning my Canada-takes-over-the-US idea to my father, he claimed the Canadian government is even crazier than our own. Considering that many governments on this planet are collectively crazy, I propose that there be a crazy government contest in which everyone tries to prove their own government is crazier than the rest. The winning (?) government would probably get a wood screw and a baseball spray-painted gold.

Off the tangent! Other notable things about Canada:
  1. Cream cheese on a bagel qualifies as a cheese sandwich.
  2. A "Battling" Bush punching bag in a store window. (The store was not open, so I could not buy it.
  3. About half-a-dozen statues of cows relaxing on the grass among some office buildings.
  4. "Jacking deer"—Hunters deliberately turn their headlights on in front of deer at night so they freeze and are easy to shoot. (This practice is illegal, but people do it anyway.)
  5. The Canadian equivalent of the confusing terms "Native Americans" and "American Indians" is the similarly confusing "First Nations".
Since today is Independence Day, I’ve decided today’s weird thing is The Movie Cliches List, which contains a section on the movie Independence Day. Enjoy.

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