Yesterday was a day of excess and gluttony of the gastronomic variety. Today is Black Friday, a day of excess and gluttony of the consumerism variety. It's the "Friday after Thanksgiving Sales" day, and - with dollars stretched further than they have in a long time - it promises to be as fierce as ever, with shoppers looking for the biggest bargains they can find.
There will be the traffic and "parking" reports on the news stations, stores opening before the chickens are up (and people waiting in line for the doors to open), extra-special sale prices only good for one day and even then only good from 7AM to noon. Undoubtedly, we will see news reports tonight of fights that broke out or people that got trampled in a stampede.
The day is finally upon us, bringing with it the turkey, stuffing (or dressing, depending on where you live), cranberry sauce, and various casseroles, vegetables, and desserts that come out of hibernation for this one day of the year. I wonder why that is?.... Are they too difficult to make the rest of the year?... The recipe only feeds a small army?... It would lose that "special occasion" charm?
Regardless, we continue a tradition supposedly started several hundred years ago when settlers took one day to forget about their troubles and appreciate the good things they had. That tradition has continued until the present.
Nearly every day on this blog we discuss the state of our nation, retched as it is, and sometimes try to entertain ourselves. Given the spirit of the day, I would like this blog to be the exception. Despite any of our problems, be they political, personal, economic, or spiritual, there will always be someone who has it worse. Today I ask all our bloggers to think about all the things that have blessed their lives, and tell us what you're thankful for.
26 comments(Latest Comment: 11/26/2007 23:42:39 by Raine)
Well ummmm there was going to be a hilarious rant here this morning, but I'm wicked retahed! I had it all typed up and ready to go. I forgot on to save it and didn't plug the computer in. So, I woke to flat battery, Windows starting in the safe mode and the flaven!
One the other hand, the bagels, and organic, locally grown fruit is fresh & the fair trade coffee is perking away. BLOG! BLOG! BLOG! The day away. I will be traveling later today I will try to check in from the road.
MONDO, OUT! 185 comments(Latest Comment: 11/22/2007 04:23:35 by Mondobubba)
That’s correct, I said quit. I also said we’re ahead. Furthermore, I qualified my declaration that we are ahead with “ever so slightly.” While even 1 life being lost, to the Bush Crime Family’s successful divide, conquer and steal foreign policy, makes my stomach turn, the numbers seem to show signs of improvement; ever so slightly. There appears to be a decline in the number of brave men and woman that will never return home. There also seems to be an increase in the number of Iraqi civilians that will live to see another day in their homes; what is left of them. According to icasualties, American casualties in September and October were 65 and 38, respectively; down dramatically from the same time period in 2006. While this remains unacceptable, it does seem to present a more favorable environment for the United States to “quit while we’re ahead.” Why stick around and flip the bird to Lady Fate? Any reformed gambler would tell us that now is the time to cash in any winnings, if any, and quickly run to the nearest exit.
Where is the nearest exit and how do we get there? I could not begin to tell you. : larry craig : Let me be clear. I am not a military expert. I have never been a military expert. But I have a gut feeling that the current bill proposed by Congress, that will assuredly be vetoed by the Boy Wonder, won’t cut it! The bill :
Requires a transition in the mission of US forces in Iraq from primarily combat to: force protection and diplomatic protection; limited support to Iraqi security forces; and targeted counter-terrorism operations...
Prohibits deployment of any troops not fully equipped and trained; waivable with a presidential national security certification...
That's a handy loophole -- one big enough to drive a decades-long occupation through, even if it is "only" an occupation confined to those "enduring bases" we're spending so much money on. In this manner, Iraq will remain our staging platform for our neverending efforts to control the future of the Middle East, just as we have attempted to do ever since World War I. Continued. . .
Well, if it's an early Saturday blog, that can only mean one thing. Your Loyal TriSec is off to donate platelets....and you should, too!
What is Platelet Apheresis? Until recently, the only way to collect enough platelets for a single transfusion was to take blood donations from 5 to 10 donors, separate the platelets from the other blood cells, and combine the platelets to obtain a large enough quantity for transfusion.
Today, sophisticated medical equipment — blood cell separators — can collect enough platelets for transfusion from a single donor. Using a technique called apheresis, blood is drawn from the donor's vein into an apheresis instrument, which separates the blood into separate portions by centrifugation. By appropriately adjusting the instrument, a selected portion of the blood, such as the platelets, can be recovered, while the rest of the blood is returned to the donor either into the same vein or into a vein in the other arm.
This process takes more time than whole blood donation, but the percentage of platelets is much greater. It is a simple, safe process — very much like regular blood donation. In fact, your body starts replenishing platelets immediately after your donation. Within 48 hours, your body's platelets should be completely replenished.
Why Are Platelets Needed? Blood is made of four components: platelets, plasma, red blood cells and white blood cells. The platelet component is necessary to control bleeding. Patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments, for example, are unable to produce enough platelets. Without platelet transfusion, life-threatening hemorrhages could result.
So...on to the news of the day. Much has been made this week of Libertarian candidate Ron Paul's endorsements from some anti-semitic and white supremacist groups. After searching the internets for confirmation this morning (and finding none, I might add...another unsubstantiated MSM attack?), I did find this story from the Huffington Post...
Through no fault of his own, Rep. Ron Paul's anti-globalist, anti-government campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has become a magnet in neo-Nazi networks, pulling in activists and supporters from the fringe white nationalist community where anti-Semitism, anti-black and anti-immigrant views are commonplace.
In some cases, these internet-based activists acknowledge that even though the Paul campaign does not have a racist or anti-Semitic agenda, it can serve as a vehicle to find sympathizers and to recruit new loyalists drawn to the Republican congressman's opposition to international trade agreements, federal police authority and to the income tax.
Such web-based organizations as Stormfront (motto: "White Pride, World Wide"), Vanguard News Network ("No Jews. Just Right.") and the Nationalist Coalition ("working to create the relationships that will lay the foundation for the White community that is necessary to our survival") have become sources of support for Paul's bid for the Republican nomination, and in some cases have set up separate Ron Paul discussion groups.
The Paul campaign dismissed the pro-Paul activities among these groups. "We don't know who these people are," said Jesse Benton, Paul's communications director. Their support has "nothing to do with Ron Paul, and what he stands for....His message of freedom, peace and prosperity - that's why people support him."
Paul has not made racist or anti-Semitic appeals to the controversial organizations and their members. Instead, their support is based on Paul's libertarian opposition to government generally, including the IRS and the powers granted to the federal government under the Patriot Act - views that are shared by many on the conservative fringe of the spectrum.
In the 2000 campaign, Patrick J. ("Pat") Buchanan appealed to many similar individuals and organizations. Buchanan had a history of expressing views that were often interpreted as anti-Semitic.
Writing on the Vanguard News Network, "White Will" argued that "folks, get involved in the Ron Paul 'revolution' and work with political activists in your communities who are attracted to his anti-globalist message.... Most of you would be surprised at how many good people can be exposed to a, let's say, 'pro-majority' message among the remarkable groundswell of fed up, mostly White Ron Paul supporters -- many, early on, from the 9/11 truth movement. They are finding their backbones as they are exposed to more and more hidden truths, especially about the hidden hand of Jewry behind every foul venture."
Among those backing Paul this year is John J. Ubele, the National Coalition's Operations Manager. In an emailed reply to an inquiry, Ubele said, "I know that Ron Paul is not a white separatist or a white nationalist. However, he is the most honest and responsible of all the presidential candidates and that is why I support his candidacy."
The National Coalition is one of a number of splinter groups that formed after the death of William Luther Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries, and founder of the now fractured National Alliance. The Turner Diaries were considered crucial to the thinking of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
With the WarOnTerra (cleverly disguised as the Occupation of Iraq) dominating the news cycles for the last several years, it's always discussed in an olde western movie framework. The United States is always the one wearing the white hats, trying to save the damsel of freedom tied to the railroad tracks of terrorism. It seems we always paint ourselves as the good guys, and deride "them" as the ones who torture, who kill innocents and - worst of all - train their people to engage in these despicable acts.
Flying under the radar, though is a little known reality. We train terrorists. We train assassins. We do the same thing. It's commonly known as the School of the Americas, although the name was changed in 2001 to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in a failed attempt to convince detractors that the SOA had been closed. We are not so easily fooled.
Started in Panama in 1946, and moved to the U.S. at some point after 1984, the school "has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics..." (per SOAW). The graduates then go on to use their newly developed skills and knowledge to terrorize the occupants of their own countries.
96 comments(Latest Comment: 11/17/2007 00:47:32 by velveeta jones)
In his second day on the job, Attorney General Michael Mukasey leaped into the political fray, telling a key Democratic senator he opposes his electronic surveillance plan and would recommend the president veto it if it is passed. [...]
Leahy last week introduced his substitute to a FISA modernization bill already approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee. That effort, led by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., won wide bipartisan support and is backed by the administration. It includes retroactive immunity to legally protect the telecommunications companies which cooperated with the administration's classified warrantless surveillance program.
Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and Christmas is right around the corner. It's that time of year when we celebrate with excessive consumption and consumerism and all of the self-loathing that goes with it. It's with that in mind that I came across this set of headlines and stories, almost all juxtaposed one upon the other:
NEW DELHI: A new global study says that despite much progress in poverty reduction worldwide, a substantial number of the world's poorest people are being left behind.
"Business as usual won't do," says the report entitled, 'The World's Most Deprived: Characteristics and Causes of Extreme Poverty and Hunger' by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). It finds that 162 million of the world's poorest people - the "ultra poor" - survive on less than 50 cents a day. If concentrated in a single nation, they would comprise the world's seventh most populous country.