Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday of the year. As my friend Perla puts it, it’s a holiday everyone celebrates, no matter their religion. I would add to that, it is a holiday one can celebrate in ways small – alone, when circumstances demand, or big – in public or in private.

I also like Thanksgiving Day for its Americanness: The most prosperous, and I may add, blessed, nation in the history of mankind came up with a day of gratitude, closely connected to the nation’s origins.

Indeed, we have much to thank for; the debate on immigration shows that millions of people from around the world see and want to partake in our blessings. But let’s leave that debate aside for now.

My most favorite quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American,

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.

Here’s what this sentence means to me:

  • I awoke this morning: I am conscious, in this new day
  • with devout thanksgiving: And I give thanks to God, the Creator who blesses us every day
  • for my friends,: For every person who honors me with their friendship, empathy, and support, including my family
  • the old: Friends I have had for a lifetime, or for many years, and also for friends young and old
  • and the new.: Because friendship is a garden that blooms throughout our lives, blessing us daily.

Apple pie is my favorite Thanksgiving Day dessert. Here’s my recipe:

IMG_0152Apple and pecan pie:
The day before: marinade 1/2 cup of raisins in a glass dish and add enough bourbon to cover the raisins. Cover the dish and set aside overnight (no need to refrigerate).

The day you’re serving the pie:
Heat oven to 400F.

In a very large bowl, mix:
8 large apples, peeled and cored, and cut into large (1/4″ thick) pieces
(You might want to caramelize the apples slightly, by sautéing in butter and a dash of freshly-grated nutmeg)
the raisins marinated in bourbon
1 tbs cinnamon sprinkled lightly as you add the apples
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup pecan pieces. You can also use chopped walnuts.
Mix all ingredients until well coated.

Line a deep pie dish with one Pillsbury pie crust (or you can make your own crust).

Pour the apples, raisins and pecans into the pie plate. Cut 1/4 lb (one bar) of refrigerated butter into chunks and dot the apples with the butter. Please use butter. Cover the apples with the other pie crust, seal the edges and perforate the top with a fork.

If you prefer your pie with no raisins or pecans, omit them and don’t add vanilla extract.

Bake at 400F for 45 minutes.

Serve warm with Vermont cheddar cheese, or with Edy’s No Sugar Added vanilla ice cream. I prefer the cheddar.

Note: While I add no sugar, if you use sweet apples the pie will be sweet. Bear that in mind if you must watch your blood sugars.
Additionally, this is not a low calorie dessert.


A happy Thanksgiving Day to all!

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog. She thanks Pete for the opportunity to blog here.

When they had brought them in and made them stand before the Sanhedrin, the high priest questioned them, “We gave you strict orders (did we not?) to stop teaching in that name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.”

But Peter and the apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, as is the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.”

When they heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.

Acts 5:27-33

Eddie:  What I’m saying is, is there’s black people need to stop lying.

Barbershop 2002

One of the most Amazing things about the rise of Christianity is illustrated by the initial clashes between the Apostles and the Jewish authorities after Christ’s death

To understand the significance of this meeting you must understand that while the Holy Spirit had already come upon them the Apostles had spent a lifetime as observant Jews who had conformed to the laws of Moses since their youth.  Additionally not only had Peter denied Christ three times but all the Apostles but John had fled at Christ’s arrest.  Furthermore both before & after Christ’s ascension they continued to stay in hiding until the day of Pentecost.

Given these facts it would have been very easy for them to decide to obey the High Priest.  After all Jews had a history of sticking together. Jews had stuck to  the Mosaic Jaw even after being conquered by the Romans and before them the Greeks and the Babylonians.  The Jewish culture was so strong that its cohesiveness remained intact even dying at Masada rather than submitting.  Furthermore there would be no penalty (at least no earthy one) if they had chosen to conform rather than resist.

Yet thanks to the faith provided by the Holy Spirit and their free acceptance of that gift, they had the courage to clash with the established Jewish culture not only while they were in Jerusalem but mimicking that non-violent resistance as they spread all over the world.

And while all but John died horribly for it, the human race reaped the benefits, not only in terms of the eternal mercy of Christ but of a basic philosophy that has been in the forefront of the advancement of humanity.  The rights of man and the concept that all are equal in the eyes of God and thus equal before the laws of men.

But the only reason why mankind gained these benefits and the rights that came from them and achieved the ability to break free from the slavery of sin was the courage to stand up against their culture in the first place.

And this brings us to the black community and the Riots in Ferguson.

One of the things that have plagued the black culture since the rise of the great society is the concept of “Acting White”.  The idea that certain behaviors from being scholarly and striving to achieve,   to conformity to law,to even the respect of woman is dismissed as “acting white” thus causing one to be rejected.

Furthermore this idea has been used by some within the black community to advance themselves as power brokers.  Not only those  who  liaison between the larger American culture and the American black subculture, but by criminals within the community that prey on it suggesting that those who might cooperate with police who might arrest or contain them are acting as traitors to their race.

Mind you immigrants from Africa have not bought into this nonsense, but for the majority of the black community descended from those formerly held as slaves in the 19th century this is taught as gospel.  Furthermore the slavery of eight generations ago is used as not only an excuse but as a justification for failure to advance within in the larger culture.

All of this is self-evident but that’s not what is amazing.

The amazing thing is the dirty little open secret that many American blacks don’t actually buy into this nonsense.  They recognize a thug when they see one and understand that if you are knocking off small variety store, getting yourself suspended from school, dealing drugs or acting like a thug you aren’t going to get anywhere in life, but in a community where single parenthood is the norm rather than the exception that lesson is hard to teach without a positive male role model to reinforce it.

However while this might be expressed in private, in public racial solidarity is the rule and the retribution from within the community is terrible if one dares to express this in public.  There is a reason why the black eye witnesses who backed up the testimony of officer Darren Wilson did not go public and to go against this culture,

Put bluntly most of the problems that are plaguing the black community, have their origin in the black community and the liberals who enable black “leaders”.  If you disbelieve me ask yourself why cities where the black community have it the hardest,  have been under liberal control, and in come cases like Detroit, liberal black control for decades?

Moreover the time where strong intact black families advanced a culture of self reliance even in the face of actual repression is still in living memory within the community.  The solutions to these problems are known because just a couple of generation ago the great civil rights victories of the 50’s & 60’s were won by those people who lived said solutions.

The only ingredient that’s missing to achieve it?  Courage!  The courage of the civil rights marchers who didn’t riot in Washington or Selma or Montgomery but who marched.  The courage of the McCarthy Sisters who stood up against the IRA and the courage of the apostles who were able to stand up to their own culture and say the truth aloud.

Until the black community is willing to do this they will never achieve their true potential and will continue to condemn generations yet to come to be defined by a bunch of thugs and looters defending the right to break the law with impunity for the sake of a bunch of hustlers out for themselves.

Personally I think that’s rather short-sighted and a bad bargain.

Let’s pray that the community can mimic the courage of the Apostles & the martyrs from James to St. Moses the Black  because until they do this cycle will continue to repeat for generations.

Update:  Ann Coulter gets it:

About a half-dozen black witnesses supported Officer Wilson’s version of what happened. One was a black woman, who saw the shooting from the Canfield Green apartments. Crying on the stand, she said, “I have a child and that could have been my son.”

And yet, she confirmed all crucial parts of Wilson’s account. She said “the child” (292-pound Big Mike) never had his hands up and the cop only fired when “the baby” was coming at him. “Why won’t that boy stop?” she asked her husband.

I always want to know more about the heroic black witnesses. They are put in a position no white person will ever be in and do the right thing by telling the truth — then go into hiding from “the community” being championed by goo-goo liberals.

White people don’t feel any obligation to defend some thug just because he’s white. Only blacks are expected to lie on behalf of criminals of their own race.



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