This series is dedicated to the proposition that Blogging is a prime example of the saying "Variety is the Spice of Life".
Let's get to the good stuff!
Today is Thanksgiving Day in America, and everyone that can, and has any, is getting together with friends, and/or family, to partake of Big-Assed Meals, and watch football games.
Others are gathing in parks for picnics, and family activities, while many people are taking bike rides to work-up an appetite before dinner.
Still others, such as myself, are on our own, with no more company, pleasant though it is, than our Animal Companions.
On that note: What am I having for dinner? ;-D
Today I thought I'd find some interesting pieces, with a T-Day theme to help visitors here pass the day until dinner time
1. Father Jim Chern, in a piece for Fox News, asks the question, "What Makes America Great?"
Depending upon your perspective, your experience or your history, the answer to that question will vary. For many nations, greatness is measured by military strength. By this measure, the United States is peerless...
Another measure of a nations greatness is it's diversity. Whether you use the term "melting pot" or "salad bowl" to describe it, the variety of races, religions, cultures and nationalities that have made their home in the United States is a characteristic of our nation that is uniquely American...
Some would argue that a nation's greatness comes from things over which they have no control, such as the physical land that nation occupies...
All of these things make America great, but these are not all that make America great. There is something more, which encompasses all of these and reveals the true greatness of this nation. What makes America great is that it is the greatest experiment of faith ever attempted.
What does this have to do with Thanksgiving? A lot actually, and the good Father discusses it in a piece called The Spirit of Thanksgiving.
2. You want a plate full of History with your Turkey?
How about discussions about the 1st Thanksgiving?
3. Alcestis "Cooky" Oberg writes a great essay, in USA Today, that ENDS this way:
America is a nation defined in its emergencies. Katrina rivaled the 1930s dust bowl in the displacement of poor people. Rita might have been the greatest exodus in U.S. history.
Through it all, we were defined by our concern for each other. This concern was not just about giving money and material goods, but also about giving our homes and ourselves. This concern was not the distant responsibility of some government entity but was something personal, immediate, unconditional, rooted in us — in who we are, what we do.
This special Thanksgiving, it's good to keep in mind the great untold story of how Americans handled themselves in these disasters. When push came to shove in those darkest days of Katrina and Rita, we rushed forward with only one question on our lips and in our hearts: What can I do to help?
On that note I'd like to steer you to stories you may not be aware of, regarding what your fellow Americans, who just happen to be bicyclists, have been, and continue, doing on behalf of Disaster Relief.
These stories are all in an archive on my Cycling Blog that I call: KATRINA: Cycling toward Recovery .
Dr. Sanity not only has the link to the full essay, but a couple of cartoons, and links to George Washington's T-Day Proclamation, and the one by Honest Abe that established the holiday, in an entry called Thanksgiving Potpouri.
4. And now for a few words from the whiners of the Far Left on this special day.
If You chose to pass this up over at Dr. Sanity's, then let me share it with your here.
Just don't read it too close to dinner time, or immediately afterward, as I won't be held responsible for the consequences:
SOME history IS uncomfortable as we all know:
Simply put: Thanksgiving is the day when the dominant white culture (and, sadly, most of the rest of the non-white but non-indigenous population) celebrates the beginning of a genocide that was, in fact, blessed by the men we hold up as our heroic founding fathers.
The first president, George Washington, in 1783 said he preferred buying Indians' land rather than driving them off it because that was like driving "wild beasts" from the forest. He compared Indians to wolves, "both being beasts of prey, tho' they differ in shape."
Thomas Jefferson -- president #3 and author of the Declaration of Independence, which refers to Indians as the "merciless Indian Savages" -- was known to romanticize Indians and their culture, but that didn't stop him in 1807 from writing to his secretary of war that in a coming conflict with certain tribes, "[W]e shall destroy all of them."
Robert Jensen, in a screed over at AlterNet, rants against Manifest Destiny, and America's eagerness to celebrate its immeasurable positives as opposed to wallowing in the self-flagelation of regretable negatives:
One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting...
Not only is the thought of such a change in this white-supremacist holiday impossible to imagine, but the very mention of the idea sends most Americans into apoplectic fits -- which speaks volumes about our historical hypocrisy and its relation to the contemporary politics of empire in the United States...
But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge our original sin -- the genocide of indigenous people -- is of special importance today. It's now routine -- even among conservative commentators -- to describe the United States as an empire, so long as everyone understands we are an inherently benevolent one. Because all our history contradicts that claim, history must be twisted and tortured to serve the purposes of the powerful.
Someone has to counter history twisted, and tortured to serve the purposes of the Radical Left, and the Politically Correct. ;-D
He then goes on to compare our Founders to Nazis and, among other things, whines about people who complain about his opinions:
Any attempt to complicate this story guarantees hostility from mainstream culture. After raising the barbarism of America's much-revered founding fathers in a lecture, I was once accused of trying to "humble our proud nation" and "undermine young people's faith in our country."
Yes, of course -- that is exactly what I would hope to achieve. We should practice the virtue of humility and avoid the excessive pride that can, when combined with great power, lead to great abuses of power.
To paraphrase the ending of his piece:
As Americans sit down on Thanksgiving Day to gorge themselves on the bounty of empire, many will think about the constricting effects of the day's mythology on our minds.
We would do better to worry about the expansive effects of overeating on our waistlines.
Robert Jensen: No thanks to Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
The next edition of this series will be Dec. 12th.