For Thanksgiving I thought it would be a good idea to do a few interviews with people on what they were thankful for. I was given this chance at our Thanksgiving party at work asking those attending if they would care to answer the question “What are you thankful for?” on camera. Three people took me up on it. The first person was Hisham who came to the US from Iraq and gave his answer in Arabic

Hisham’s answer was echoed by Kenny from Brooklyn

What I found interesting is that both Hisham coming from thousands of miles away and Kenny coming a place as American as you can get gave answers that for most of American History would have been a quite unremarkable, Yet in our current cultural climate they very much stand out.

Finally I spoke to Hannah whose answer to this question really speaks to what this American Holiday is.

In an age where privileged college students complain about “microaggressions” and girl scouts are warned against hugging people at Thanksgiving dinner Hannah’s answer reminds us how lucky we are to live in a country where both freedom and safety are things that are so common that we tend to take them for granted.

A Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of yours.

Mayim Bialik not withstanding there is a lot to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving for Americans and those lucky enough to come here. And one of the things we have to be thankful for is Capitalism perfectly Illustrated by of all things rotisserie chickens sold by Market Basket stores.

If you go to any Market Basket you will find rotisserie chickens for sale. At the one closest to my house you can either buy a small chicken for $4.69 or a Perdue giant Roaster for $8.99 fully cooked and ready to eat.

The small chicken can feed two people easy and the big one can handle a family of four with no trouble.

Now you might be thinking: “Datechguy, so what? It’s a Rotisserie chicken, big deal!” To that I say: Yes it is!

Consider that for most of human history the vast majority of mankind has lived hand to mouth.  Even if you had good soil and ample water to grow crops you were one bad storm, one turn of the weather or one barbarian/bandit raid away from starvation.

Peasant:  He never steals all our food.  He leaves us enough to go on with.  That’s something.

The Magnificent Seven 1960

And even if you had access to food, unless you lived near the wilderness meat was a big luxury

Sir William: It may interest you to know that I’ve just been down in the kitchens. Do you know what our minions were feasting on, broth! And do you know what was in the broth, meat, MEAT!

His Lady: They have to put something in the broth.

Sir William: But not meat! Do you know the price of beef in Nottingham? It’s eating money!

The Adventures of Robin Hood The Miser 1956

And if you were poor or a common person you were happy enough to get a meal, any meal.

Sarah Jane Smith: Is all this for Irongron?
Meg: Him and his chamber guard.
Sarah Jane Smith: How many’s that?
Meg: Half a dozen. You’re full of questions, girl.
Sarah Jane Smith: Don’t the guards on the gate get stew?
MEG: What, meat for those common creatures? I should say not. They’ll have oatmeal the same as the rest of us, and lusty enough they are on that

Doctor Who The Time Warrior 1973

This has been the norm for most of human history.

Yet here in the west in general and the United States in particular this is not the case.

Consider, in Massachusetts the Minimum wage is $11 an hour while in the country as a whole said wage is $7.25 an hour, while Market Basket sells those chickens for $4.65 for the small and $8.99 for the huge Perdue roaster.

What does that mean, it means this:

If you are a person without education, without skills and only able to get a job doing simple manual labor.  For the price of not even a single hour of labor you can afford a meal of fresh meat fully cooked, and if you have a family you can even afford the big roaster (although if you are from out of state you might have to work a full 90 minutes to afford the Perdue model bird) to feed your entire family for the day.

That sentence alone is incredible in human history but there is an even bigger significance to it.

Not only is the poor person able to afford that chicken but the Market Basket chain is able to sell them that chicken while still managing to pay:

The employees who cooked wrapped and put out the chickens for sale
The truckers who deliver the chickens
The farmers who produced the chickens

and Still make a profit!

That is the result of capitalism, and freedom.  Capitalism, a system that allows and provides a reward for a person seeking to make a profit from their labors and a government free enough to allow this system to work.  It’s the combination of capitalism and the freedoms provided by western civilization in general and the United States in particular that allow this system to work.

It’s also why so regardless of how the academic left, the media and the professional left keep decrying the west as awful and capitalism as an evil repressive scourge, real people who know real repression and real hunger all over the world do all they can to get to the west in general and the US in particular, because they understand this underlying truth.

The only reason why so many in America have the luxury of professing socialism is because they live in a capitalistic society that keeps them fed 

because if they lived under the Venezuelan socialism that they so often espouse they’d be too busy trying to find food to proclaim how awesome socialism is.

I’ll leave you with these two tweets.  Kevin D Williamson who is a pretty bright fellow tweeted this out last week in response to a map showing that half the country lived in blue urban islands.

He’s close but not quite.

That’s the miracle of American freedom and Capitalism. It means that millions of folks like myself are fed because our Capitalistic system not only provides enough profit for others to make a living producing the food we need instead of having to grow it or hunt it ourselves but it provides a huge surplus that is given away to the poor all over the world, moreover it continues to provide incentives to drive people to do it better and cheaper every single day.

Capitalism as practiced in the US makes this anomaly of human history not only possible but so common that most people who are fed this way rarely if ever reflect on it.

If that’s not something to be thankful for I’d like to know what is?


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What kind of political party distributes talking points for people to use during Thanksgiving Dinner?

Those Democrats sure know how to have a good time. While the rest of us are looking forward to family reunions and delicious turkey dinners, the Democratic Party is coaching its faithful on how to win political arguments. This is from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a “Guide to Thanksgiving With Your Republican Relatives.”Those Democrats sure know how to have a good time. While the rest of us are looking forward to family reunions and delicious turkey dinners, the Democratic Party is coaching its faithful on how to win political arguments. This is from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a “Guide to Thanksgiving With Your Republican Relatives.”

In fairness the Democrat Congressional Campaign committee isn’t alone, the Huffington Post has joined in the fun and it’s worth noting that their #1 talking point

Being pro-choice or voting for someone who is pro-choice does not equal “pro-abortion.”

Is exactly the type of thing that Northern Democrats were saying in the 1850’s about slavery.

Now Democrats did this last year too and as the results of the last election demonstrate it didn’t do them much good.

So to answer the question:  What kind of party gives out Thanksgiving day talking points to use at the Thanksgiving day table?  The type that won’t be in the majority in the house for a very long time.

I’ll give the last word to John Hinderacker via Glenn

One of the things I am thankful for this year is that there won’t be anyone at our Thanksgiving dinner who comes armed with partisan talking points in hopes of winning arguments with his or her relatives.”One of the things I am thankful for this year is that there won’t be anyone at our Thanksgiving dinner who comes armed with partisan talking points in hopes of winning arguments with his or her relatives.”

Amen

Fever. Chills. Daggers in my throat every time I swallow. Having strep throat on Thanksgiving is my perfect little personal metaphor to place on this strange election cycle. Every Presidential election has its ups and downs, but in my lifetime I’ve never seen anything that comes close to the nauseating twists and turns we were put through in 2016.

That’s the cryptic part. The very awesome part of Election 2016 is that there’s incredible hope for the future. In lieu of one of my longer pieces, I’m going to obey my wife who has allotted only a brief time period on the computer and give a quick burst of Tweets that you you can post yourself. Even if you don’t post them, hopefully they’ll remind you of the potential ahead. Click on the ones you like to Tweet them.

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Hopefully by Sunday I’ll be back to my old self spewing many more words than these.

By A.P. Dillon

It’s been just over two years since I joined Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7 team and I can barely believe how fast the time went. I’ve written an article a week on topic ranging from exposing far left networks to Obamacare and Common Core to key political races.

The time has flown, indeed.

Looking back at my previous Thanksgiving articles from 2013 and 2014, both are just as relevant this year as they were when I wrote them. Perhaps even more so as we watch the Special Snowflake Olympics unfolding in campuses across the nation and an agency within our federal government has gotten into the business of dictating where students can and cannot go pee.

Back in the day and over the course of history in many places, people often sought refuge from the woes of everyday life by going to the movies.  However, even that refuge has been taken away to an increasing degree with celebrities on political soap boxes and films weaving in various politically correct themes instead of actual plot lines.

Social media is littered with half-baked narratives, political leaders trash each other and the public, television has become a modern outlet for newspeak and even our schools are substituting social justice over actual academics at an alarming rate.

Where does one turn to for refuge these days?

The home. That’s where you find it. The home is the first and original refuge.

The home is more than just a refuge, though — it’s where lives are created, fostered and nurtured. The home should be defended, honored and respected. The home is the family. The home and the family are what we all should be giving Thanks for every single year.
The home and family extend beyond our own more often than not. Most of us probably don’t realize that or see it in that light.

Well, I do.

liberty miniI give thanks for my own home and family, but also for the one I found here at Da Tech Guy. I give thanks to Peter Ingemi for taking a chance on me two years ago and for the collection of people he brought together as his Magnificent 7.  I will always be your Bernardo – wanted for crimes against Liberalism, Peter.

It has been a privilege to be a part of this refuge and I humbly thank everyone who has read or inspired my columns here at Da Tech Guy over the years.

God Bless and be Thankful.

DM7 small LL1885A.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, Civitas Institute, StopCommonCoreNC.org, Heartland.org and Watchdog Wire NC.
Catch her on Twitter: @LadyLiberty1885

Today is Thanksgiving and today I give thanks to God for my wife, my family, my life, my friends, my readers & writers and even the 3rd shift job I’ll be hitting tonight at 10:30. However I noticed something odd today at Mass this morning.

During his homily Fr. Dolan noted that rather than the international reading for the day we were using the Thanksgiving readings readings for the day Sirach 50:22-24, Psalm 145:2-11, 1 Cor 3-9 & Luke 17:11-19 and tat these readings “had been specially selected by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for this secular holiday”

I thought that was kind of odd statement, because thanksgiving might be many things but secular is not one of them.

The act of thanking someone by definition is directed to someone, so the question becomes, who exactly are we thanking?

we could ask Abe Lincoln. (all emphasis mine)

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Or George Washington the first president to proclaim thanksgiving:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor – and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we
may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks
– for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform
our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and
guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. GO. WASHINGTON.

Now it’s true that today’s culture would like to pretend that Thanksgiving is a completely secular holiday all about, Turkey, Football, family get togethers and shopping. In fact the Obama administration & the left would like to make it all about political propaganda: or answering it but that’s just not so.

No matter how much our friends on the cultural left want to pretend otherwise the fact is if you are celebrating thanksgiving you are celebrating a religious holiday.

Put that in your Turkey & Stuff it.

By A.P. Dillon

The rising of the oceans was supposed to slow.
The planet was supposed to heal.
We were promised flying cars…

Yes we can!

On this Thanksgiving Day, we’re supposed to take stock of how blessed we are. We’re supposed to be thankful for our health, for our families and for what we have. Sadly, some in our nation are thankful’ for what they took from others through an abused definition of ‘justice’.

‘Mostly peaceful’ protests, except for those who were injured or  wounded.

This is why we cannot have nice things. These tweets contain a scant few of the images and video captured. Twitter is littered with them.

Burning cars, burning and looting stores, tear gas, rioting.   I hope the mainstream media is pleased with themselves.  Coverage I watched for a brief time was borderline glee filled.

That sentiment of being pleased with themselves goes double for the shameless media attention seekers like the North Carolina based ‘Moral Monday’.  Nice job pulling stunts like at Wal-Mart stores.

What does Wal-mart have to do with this? How is this seeking justice exactly? How is this ‘moral’?  It’s not. It’s exploitation of a situation.

How many of the ‘peaceful’ protesters were among those cleaning up the next day?

How many of the media who circled like vultures put down their cameras and picking up brooms?

Take heart. All is not lost, as evidenced by those who did come out the next morning to clean up in Ferguson and elsewhere. Volunteers even came out to the Cake shop from the tweet above and helped the owner get things back in order.

This Thanksgiving, we should be thankful citizens like those cleaning up in Ferguson exist.  Perhaps, by cleaning up yet again, they are the ones truly protesting.

 

If you enjoyed this article, you should really check out other pieces written by Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven writers and maybe hit that tip jar!

AP DillonA.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon recently participated in Glenn Beck’sWe Will Not Conform. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

Over the last several years you have seen a lot of complaining concerning things in the US and how they’ve been.

The primary reason for those complaints involves the difference between what the country has been and could be and what it is.

However even with all that has been foolishly done by this Administration, from the enabling of Putin, to Obamacare, to Race Bating, the IRS scandal fast and furious, illegal immigration, Iraq & Syria etc etc etc by any objective comparative standard if you are waking up in the United States on November 27th 2014 you have more to be thankful for than practically every single human being who ever lived.

Consider the following:

The two basic needs of life are food and water. The United States has one of the largest fresh water system in the world and one of the most sophisticated water reclamation system in the world. Furthermore a person can buy a Gallon of bottled water in a supermarket for $1. Fresh water is not a problem

As for food in the United States we are blessed as a nation with the most abundant food supply in the history of, well history. Even those who go hungry here, relatively speaking have access to foodstuff in abundance compared to those in some nations today and compared to those hungry in history it’s practically a cornucopia. Additionally the wealth & abundance is enough in the United States that we can subsidize those who need it to make sure they have food.

Consider an individual on EBT gets basically $6-$7 a day. For $7 at Market basket you can buy a Gallon of 1% milk $2.49 and a box of any Market Basket Cereal. That leaves enough left for a $2 loaf of bread & a qtr pound of inexpensive deli meat Alternatively one can buy a cold cooked chicken $4.99 & a two liter bottle of soda .89-.99 cents and a cheap loaf of bread for a buck. If you are feeding two one can stretch that EBT dollar even farther and don’t have to settle for the bottom shelf. One can buy a full-sized Chicken or Pork Pie at Romano’s Market from Joyce’s Pies and Bakery $10.49 (Feeds 4 easy) and a name brand of Juice $3. If you are collecting EBT for a family of four and not spending the money on bomb making materials you may not eat fancy but you’ll never go hungry.

And if you are a working person earning the minimum wage $7.25 an hour you can get a LIttle Caesars’ Pizza with Pepperoni ($5) for less than an hour’s work. Or you can feast on an all you can eat buffet at a local chinese restaurant for the price of 1 1/2 hours labor.

If you told my Grandfather when he came off the boat from Sicily that for 90 minutes work you could go somewhere and someone would serve you all the food you can eat (including meat) he would have assumed you were a con man.

And mind you this is the state of affairs for the POOREST in the land, a land that has one of the largest populations in the world. We could almost certainly feed with our current resources another 100 million & not bat an eyelash.

The next problem for a country is the fear of war, We remain not only the most powerful nation in the history of history, we still have two oceans separating us from the greatest threats by land (even in a nuclear exchange the other side still has to successfully navigate oceans to ge troops here. We have not dealt with an invasion of our mainland in 200 years save for a few shells fired from a Japanese sub. Even the Terror attacks of 9/11 for all the trouble they caused brought down two building in one city in one state and damaged one building in another.

Bottom line. If a foreign power wanted to conquer us they would likely be annihilated.

Personally Security: While the gang problem & the crime problems particularly int he inner cities is not insignificant for the vast majority of the country a person is generally safe in their house and safe in their neighborhoods. Additionally thanks to the 2nd Amendment and state laws most individuals have the ability to defend their home from an intruder and when that fails there is no shortage of well trained police & firefighters drawn from the communities they serve who are for the most part faithful to their oaths to serve and protect.

For most of history and most of the world that kind of security has been unknown

Health: Even with Obamacare our health care system in incredible. While in emergency rooms waits are long by law hospitals by law are required to treat the injured. When an ambulance is called people are treated and the first question out of people’s lips are not if they can pay.

As for disease in general you can’t compare the life expectancy of a modern American to our forefathers at our founding and even less to those who came before.

Furthermore here in our current era diseases that would have been a death sentence mere generations ago are annoyances. There are people alive today who survived the pandemics of 1918 & 1919. The diseases most likely to kill Americans are diseases brought on by plenty.

Finally freedom, even with the restrictions that we have been debating we are generally free to say what we think on a national and international level without penalty or fear. Moreover we have the right and ability to influence and the decisions of our government. We can worship as we wish, or not worship at all, we can openly disagree without fear for a lives.

And even at our worst, we are protected. Consider the Ferguson riots and those in other cities. There were protesters who were daring the police to fire on them because they knew they would not. If this had happened in China or Russia how many of those who marched let alone those who burned would be alive today? Remember Tiananmen square was only 25 years ago.

And I haven’t even mentioned literacy and education and the modern conveniences from Television to the Internet, to cell phones and smart phones, online gaming etc etc etc. We have access to the finest in entertainment by the finest of actors at the touch of a button.

I could go on for hours but it’s not necessary by every comparative measure we in America are some of the most fortunate human beings who have ever walked this planet and unless you are unsatisfied with anything short of a utopian fantasy odds are you have a lot to be thankful for that you don’t even realize.

So take the time to give thanks today for all our good fortune, because all the little things that annoy us will still be there tomorrow to complain about & argue over if we wish.

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.

It’s Thanksgiving. Time for one of my train of thought diatribes that will either make fans of those reading and have them heading back for seconds or have people humming Crazy Train by the end of the article. Maybe a bit of both. Anyhoo — It’s also time to reflect on what we’re grateful for, spend time with family, watch college football, watch parades with over-sized cartoon character balloons float by and eat ourselves until we lapse into food comas. Some of us, in the wee hours of the morning, will rise and engage in the American version of the ‘running of the bulls’ known as “Black Friday”.

There are some folks just can’t seem to slow down for even twenty-four hours and really unwind over a holiday. Me? My version of “Black Friday” does not include such rushing around, urgency or stalking gifts like prey on the savannah. Nope.  I have no problem rolling out of bed as late as my young children will let me, padding down to the kitchen for my morning injection of caffeine and then lazing through the deals on Amazon.com.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to shop just like the next gal. I just don’t relish being mowed down by people who think Christmas shopping is a contact sport. My day will include watching parades, The Peanuts holiday classics and of course, my Thanksgiving favorite, Home for the Holidays. Can’t go on writing without playing the clip of one of my favorite scenes. This is the dinner scene, which epitomizes both the dysfunction and awkwardness of some family interactions with the added bonus of being chock full of Robert Downey Jr. comedy win.  NSFW warning

 

Of course, all that shopping mayhem comes after the food, drink and more food, drink and food and drink… lather, rinse, repeat. There’s the meal to deal with first and I guarantee you this year will have a slice of Obamacare conversation fun with a side of “how’s that hopey changey stuff workin’ out for ya?”  Those of us dealing with liquid courage fortified, progressive family members who just can’t let it go — Ace has some tips for you. Personally, I try to avoid politics talk at the holidays. I do enough of it every day as a blogger. Holidays are my reprieve.  When relatives on the other side of the political fence does bring it up, I politely side step the first time and even a second. If they persist… well, they’ve had fair warning and you should be recording it with your phone.  Nothing is a better wet blanket and subject changer than a liberal given a verbal wedgie caught on camera. Just sayin’.

 

 

Those were the days

When I was younger – school age, Thanksgiving often included some kind of artistic expression like tracing your hand. You know, a hand turkey? Your thumb becomes the head and you decorate the other fingers like they were feathers. I can remember half our the class one year making Pilgrim hats and the other half making Indian vests out of paper grocery bags, complete with papooses for the girls. Almost every year without fail, there was the inevitable Thanksgiving luncheon. Moms and dads showed up and the cafeteria served turkey and stuffing.

When I got older, Thanksgiving meant an essay or research paper. Some of the over-achievers would make Mayflower replicas or pilgrim settlement dioramas. These tasks all reminds me of The Peanuts, which are staples in our house on every holiday. Their straightforward take on just about everything is something sorely missing these days. I dare say some of the politically correct parents probably find Peanuts appalling. I find them refreshing.  Sally sums it up nicely:

Going back to the research paper bit, I always seem to remember Myles Standish first. One thing that irked me then and still irks me now, is most places spell his name Miles when it’s really Myles. Pet peeve I suppose. Anyway — Standish was, for all intents and purposes, the Pilgrim’s military leader.  The Pilgrims hired him to both lead and coordinate the defenses of the Plymouth Colony. The consensus is that Standish was stationed in Holland as part of Queen Elizabeth’s army when he was engaged by the Pilgrims to become their military leader. His duties were not only of a defensive nature, he was instrumental in some of the exploration of the area we know today as Cape Cod. At History.com, there is a decent summary of the departure of the Mayflower for America.

 

Myles Standish Proud

The farthest thing from history lessons and The Peanuts is probably my retro taste in 80’s music. Peanuts are nostalgic and so is music for most folks. This might be jumping the train tracks a bit I know, but for me the name Myles Standish also conjures up the opening to R.E.M.’s song

The song Begin the Begin is the first track off R.E.M.’s fourth album, Life’s Rich Pageant, which came out in 1986. Yep. I’m a bit of an R.E.M addict… still.

Begin the Begin was meant to be a protest song, which in a historical way, suits the reference it makes to Myles Standish. Standish after all was basically accompanying protesters. I think I also like this song because how often do we see historical references like that in lyrics any more? The number of kids getting the reference the first time around today would probably be less than those who get the obscure references in a Dennis Miller stand up routine. That failure to grasp onto knowledge is becoming a systemic failure nationwide. No one thinks anymore – hence the rise of the low info voters.  But I digress…back to the song.

The opening lyrics:

Birdie in the hand for life’s rich demand
The insurgency began and you missed it
I looked for it and I found it
Myles Standish proud, congratulate me

A philanderer’s tie, a murderer’s shoe
Life’s rich demand creates supply in the hand
Of the power, the only vote that matters

Silence means security, silence means approval
Watchin’ Zenith on the TV, tiger run around the tree
Follow the leader, run and turn into butter

 

The song overall is a statement on the corruption of society and its institutions. . It’s also got a bit of the ‘look at me!’ bit in the line ‘Myles Standish proud, congratulate me.’  Shorter:  Look at me, see what I’ve created of what you rejected. The last refrain I included above (bold text), for me,  is a little shout out to the media right now.  You reap what you sow, guys.

When it came out, Reagan had just been re-elected and Iran-Contra was swirling in the media. The title itself was a call to arms that is arguably more applicable today, given the transparency issues and scandal of the Obama administration, than when first written.  Hopefully, our history books will read in a more straightforward manner like a Peanuts cartoon or have the brutal honesty of an R.E.M song. That would be something to be grateful for I think.

As I said in the opening paragraph, you’re either going back for seconds with a re-read or humming Crazy Train. Well, enough of the train of thought ramblings from me, pass the pie and whipped cream. Enjoy your food comas, folks. Either way, let’s begin again…Take a page out of Linus’ book and have a Happy Thanksgiving!