11/22/2012 archive

T-Day Throwball 2: Native Americans @ ‘Boys

After long, deep, and careful consideration I have decided that the ‘Boys are the lesser evil.

You can hardly blame a scorpion for its nature, toads on the other hand…

T-Day Throwball 1: Texans @ Lions

Lions 3 point underdogs because they’re a hard luck story on the holiday, but that’s the reason you should be rooting for a town I hoped would take at least one in the Series.

Besides, they’re the Texans.  I’d go for them in a matchup against the ‘Boys though.

Something must be done! War would mean a prohibitive increase in our taxes.

Hey, I got an uncle lives in Taxes.

No, I’m talking about taxes – money, dollars!

Dollars! There’s-a where my uncle lives! Dollars, Taxes!

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Robert Reich: Why You Shouldn’t Shop at Walmart on Friday

A half century ago America’s largest private-sector employer was General Motors, whose full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today’s dollars, including health and pension benefits.

Today, America’s largest employer is Walmart, whose average employee earns $8.81 an hour. A third of Walmart’s employees work less than 28 hours per week and don’t qualify for benefits.

There are many reasons for the difference — including globalization and technological changes that have shrunk employment in American manufacturing while enlarging it in sectors involving personal services, such as retail.

But one reason, closely related to this seismic shift, is the decline of labor unions in the United States. In the 1950s, over a third of private-sector workers belonged to a union. Today fewer than 7 percent do. As a result, the typical American worker no longer has the bargaining clout to get a sizable share of corporate profits.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Hot Air, Stuffed Turkeys, and the CEOs’ Hansel-and-Gretel Feast

Macy’s is sponsoring a big holiday-season event in which empty but glittery baubles are filled with hot air and sent heavenward, then dragged through the streets before cheering and unthinking crowds. You can’t miss it: Breathless reporters will devote massive amounts of air and print time to this trivial and meaningless Macy’s spectacle.

They sponsor a parade too.

The Thanksgiving Day Parade has been taking place for 86 years and is generally considered a harmless and fun (if increasingly materialistic) way to publicize the store. But this year Macy’s is putting its corporate resources behind another over-hyped and over-reported spectacle — one that’s not harmless at all. Under the leadership of Macy’s CEO Terry J. Lundgren, the retail chain is participating in a cynical and self-interest “Fix the Deficit” campaign promoted by Lundgren and roughly 80 of his fellow CEOs.

Gail Collins: The Turkey Chronicles

Thanksgiving used to be the signal for the start of holiday shopping, but that was long ago and, of course, now the signal is Arbor Day. But Thanksgiving still retains an important role as the real end to the election season. This is it. No more talking about what happened in Ohio. Time to move forward. And, as a public service, I am willing to take questions.

What about the fiscal cliff? How can anybody be happy when we’re falling off the fiscal cliff? We’re all going to die!!!!

Just stop that. Do you know where the members of Congress are now? Home having dinner with their families. Do you think they’re refusing to eat anything because they’re worried about the Bush tax cuts? No. Do you think they’re sitting in the basement muttering about sequestration? No. Get with the program. No talking about the fiscal cliff during Thanksgiving. [..]

Ralph Nader: Getting Active on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, food, and celebration. But it’s no secret that the holidays are also a source of stress for many people — there’s the planning, the shopping, and, of course, all the food preparation. Perhaps too many people, against their own better judgment, plop down on the couch to watch the football games while overindulging in Thanksgiving delicacies. Maybe this Thanksgiving consider starting a new family tradition, one of activity and engagement. [..]

There’s no easy answer to the issue of getting more Americans moving again, but consider this suggestion — this Thanksgiving, instead of sitting around the television, try stepping outside and engaging in some friendly competition. Consider a return to tradition, especially during the holiday season, to help build and foster relationships amongst family members and encourage interaction amongst neighbors. Whether it’s a game of touch football or merely shooting some hoops in front of the garage or playing catch, a little exercise with friends and family can go a long way toward a healthier life.

Bill Maher: Won Direction

New Rule: Now that he’s been reelected, President Obama must get back at all those right wing hacks who tried to paint him as an angry black man pushing a liberal agenda by becoming an angry black man who’s pushing a liberal agenda.

Now, I have been mostly holding my tongue about the president this past season, because I didn’t want to muddy the waters in a country where you only get two choices, but Mr. President, there are two ways to look at your 51 to 48 percent victory: One is, we love you. The other is, we like you three percent better than Mitt Romney. And by the way, let us never speak that name again… Mitt… let it be a dark and buried memory of a close call with a creature equal parts pure evil and excellent posture, like getting dry humped in a crowded subway by Roger Moore.

I like this president. In all those secret strategy meetings we had, with me and him and George Soros and The New Black Panthers, I found him to be very agreeable, Allah be praised. But it’s now the job of progressives to hold his feet to the fire for causes important to us. If not now, when?

Frances Moore Lappé: This Holiday, Give Thanks and Get Real (About Our Food!)

Fall is about food. Approaching Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, copious food-rich words are written before we all sit down with loved ones to celebrate food abundance. But in this fall food season, what do we most need to know about food for all seasons?

It is this: Our exceedingly bright species has ended up creating a “food” system so inefficient that much of it doesn’t really produce food at all!

Sound extreme? Here’s what I mean: First, there’s no inherent connection between what we grow on most of the world’s farmland and what human bodies need to thrive.

Big Balloon Parade!

For the 19th year UBS sponsored Big Balloons scurry through the corporate concrete canyons of Stamford Connecticut bringing the joy of greed and unaccountable villany through big bags of gas and vapid consumer marketing to impressionable children of all ages.

This year we have 12 bands, 6 floats, and 18 Balloons the newest of which, The Lorax, is a 40 foot tall celebration of how ‘green’ and environmentally conscious the good burghers are, represented by the 9 members of the Grand Marshal Team of first responders fresh from their contest with underwater squirrels.

Also new this year is Red from Fraggle Rock appearing with old favorites Oscar the Grouch, Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Elmo, Billy Blazes, Kermit the Frog, Hagar the Horrible, Smurfette, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, The Cat in the Hat, Mr. Potato Head, Popeye, Scooby Doo, Garfield, Fred Flintstone, and Super Grover.  The master of ceremonies is Alan Kalter of “The Late Show With David Letterman”.

There are also clowns to scare the youngest-

For the most part, the Auguste plays the fool. As Season explained, they’re the clowns that have no idea what they’re doing in their routine, blowing up a balloon backwards, or accidentally letting it go so it whizzes out of their hands. But in the end, their balloon is perfect.

White Face clowns know exactly what to do with their balloon, mini-bicycle or the bowling pins they’re juggling. They do everything right. But in the end, it’s a total disaster.

The two work together, playing off each other’s yin and yang. As the perfectionist White Face clown meticulously works with his props, the Auguste garners giggles through his trial and error. In the end, the White Face generates laughter from the audience with his failed exercise, while the Auguste rejoices in his Tada moment.

What?  You say there’s another Big Balloon Parade?

Their mascot appears to be a windblown comb over about as convincing as Sam Puckett’s lip squirrel and they have a mere 16 Balloons following the retirement of Snoopy.  The returning veterans are-

  • Buzz Lightyear
  • Charlie Brown
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Julius
  • Kermit the Frog
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Pikachu
  • Pillsbury Doughboy
  • Ronald McDonald
  • Sailor Mickey
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Spider-Man
  • SpongeBob SquarePants

with 3 new additions-

  • The Elf on the Shelf
  • Hello Kitty
  • and Papa Smurf

They’ve also managed to find 12 bands to supplement their freezing cast of Broadway lip-syncers-

  • Banda Musical Delfines, Veracruz, Mexico
  • Father Ryan High School, Nashville, TN
  • Kenton Ridge High School, Springfield, OH
  • Macy’s Great American Marching Band, United States
  • Niceville High School, Niceville, FL
  • North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC
  • NYPD Marching Band, New York, NY
  • Oak Ridge High School, Conroe, TX
  • Saratoga High School, Saratoga, CA
  • United States Air Force Band & Honor Guard, Washington, DC
  • University of Louisiana Lafayette, Lafayette, LA
  • Wyoming All-State Marching Band, Wyoming

and 28 floats for 28 celebrities and 9 performance groups.

Plus Santa.

It’s nationally televised on CBS and NBC, I’m going to favor the CBS broadcast since NBC will repeat at 2 pm after the National Dog Show.  It used to be that you could gain an advantage by watching CBS’ uptown coverage but so much of it is pre-canned and tape delayed it’s hard to get any continuity out of either presentation.  If you want to see Broadway on Ice go with NBC’s Herald Square location.

Happy Thanksgiving all, I’ll be joining you again later for Throwball.

On This Day In History November 22

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 22 is the 326th day of the year (327th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 39 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1990, Margaret Thatcher, the first woman prime minister in British history, announces her resignation after 11 years in Britain’s top office.

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (born 13 October 1925) served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. Thatcher is the only woman to have held either post.

Born in Grantham in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, Thatcher went to school at Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School in Grantham, where she was head girl in 1942-43. She read chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford and later trained as a barrister. She won a seat in the 1959 general election, becoming the MP for Finchley as a Conservative. When Edward Heath formed a government in 1970, he appointed Thatcher Secretary of State for Education and Science. Four years later, she backed Keith Joseph in his bid to become Conservative Party leader but he was forced to drop out of the election. In 1975 Thatcher entered the contest herself and became leader of the Conservative Party. At the 1979 general election she became Britain’s first female Prime Minister.

In her foreword to the 1979 Conservative manifesto, Thatcher wrote of “a feeling of helplessness, that a once great nation has somehow fallen behind.” She entered 10 Downing Street determined to reverse what she perceived as a precipitate national decline. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, particularly of the financial sector, flexible labour markets, and the selling off and closing down of state owned companies and withdrawing subsidy to others. Amid a recession and high unemployment, Thatcher’s popularity declined, though economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support and she was re-elected in 1983. She took a hard line against trade unions, survived the Brighton hotel bombing assassination attempt and opposed the Soviet Union (her tough-talking rhetoric gained her the nickname the “Iron Lady”); she was re-elected for an unprecedented third term in 1987. The following years would prove difficult, as her Poll tax plan was largely unpopular, and her views regarding the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister in November 1990 after Michael Heseltine’s challenge to her leadership of the Conservative Party.

Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister was the longest since that of Lord Salisbury and the longest continuous period in office since Lord Liverpool in the early 19th century. She was the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom, and the first of only four women to hold any of the four great offices of state. She holds a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, which entitles her to sit in the House of Lords.

Turkey Day TV: Day 1 Day

As opposed to night which will be coming soon enough.

Most of my regular readers know that I look on Holiday blogging as a public service.  Many times I need a distraction while I’m working or an excuse to get away from the crowd.  That’s difficult when schedules are disrupted and regular habits and outlets are unavailable.

So I put these little research projects up to inform you of special events of interest and alternatives to absent activities.

Additionally today we’ll have special coverage of Big Balloon Parades and three Throwball games and as the weekend progresses other Holiday sports including the final Formula One of the season from Interlagos.

This particular piece covers the hours from 6 am to 6 pm.  Feel free to contribute items I’ve overlooked.

Turkey Day TV: The Preparing

Well, some people are up getting set for tomorrow and since many of them are seldom awake at this hour I thought I’d point out some background programming.

I’m a little behind myself so this is an appetizer.


12:30 am

1 am

2 am

2:30 am

3 am

4 am

My Little Town 20121121: More Old Words

Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile or so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River.  It was a rural sort of place that did not particularly appreciate education, and just zoom onto my previous posts to understand a bit about it.

Several folks who follow this regular series, my Pique the Geek one, and my Popular Culture one know that I often use obsolete or archaic spellings for certain, common words.  This is intentional.

Perhaps it is no longer standard English to use these old words, but neither is it incorrect to do so.  I do so partly out of respect whence came I (“whence” is “from where” in a single word, so if you say “from whence” it is sort of like saying “from from where”, sort like folks calling MSDSs “Material Data Safety Sheet Sheets” when they say “MSDS sheets”), but I am not being completely honest.

Another reason that I use them is to try to grab the attention of my readers.  I find it interesting to read pieces from contributors who are sort of off the beaten track.  I do not know if it works well for me or not.  I do believe that my readers realize that I do this not out of ignorance for standard English, but sort of in protest of the conformity to it.

Am I an nonconformist?  As Gibbs would say, “Ya think!?”

Following is a list of words that I often use that are not standard, but not incorrect, and then some recollections that I have for some of the old talk that NEVER was really correct.  This is quite subjective, but here we go.