Years ago my dad told me that the reason Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday was because of the lack of commercialism. Just family, friends, food, football and mostly for giving thanks for what you’ve got. So it’s interesting that the day after giving thanks for what we’ve got, some go crazy for what they want. The reason that the official day for Thanksgiving changed from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November was to expand the Christmas shopping season.
I don’t know what to make of all of this. I don’t like to shop and I particularly don’t like to shop among frantic crowds. God bless those who do, but for my money, it’s better to shop on November 26: Small Business Saturday.
This year I’m thankful for all the backchannelers.
Today’s the 26th annual Farm Aid. Started in 1985 by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp as an effort to save family farms that were having hard times. Willie, Neil and John will be headlining, just as they did in 1985. Dave Matthews, who joined the Farm Aid board 10 years ago will also be there, as will a number of great acts.
Both of my parents grew up on family farms. That’s where I learned to ride a horse. That’s where I learned that pigs really do not appreciate you trying to straiten their tails by pulling on them, despite what my uncle told me. That’s where, when I commented to my aunt on the smell of manure she told me: “It smells like money to me!”
Back then there wasn’t big agribusiness to compete with. Just hard working people who worked from dawn to dusk and made America a great country. And it’s family farms that still make America a great country.
If you want to listen or contribute, go to:
“Just as rock & roll is loud and proud, so is Farm Aid. Farm Aid’s greatest accomplishment, I believe, is in the spirit. It’s the fact that we represent the spirit of the good fight, to keep something good happening. It just keeps getting stronger and stronger….”
– Neil Young
It was 50 years ago today that Alan Shepard became the first American in space.
Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg beat Justice David Prosser in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court race. Record voter turnout created this upset despite Prosser’s lead and campaign funding from outside interest groups.
Prosser’s defeat is viewed as a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker and his heavy handed approach to public employees unions and favors to private industry. A recall may not be far behind. Governors in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and elsewhere should take note.
According to the latest U.S. census report, the Hispanic population grew by 43% in the last decade. With over 50 million Hispanics now in the U.S. roughly one in six Americans are Hispanic, representing the largest minority group.
The bulk of this growth is due to a spurt in births, not immigration. 23% of those under 18 are Hispanic. Perhaps as interesting is that Hispanics are dispersing from the states with long-standing Hispanic populations.
The increasing population and dispersion means that they will have increasing political clout. It’s going to be very interesting to see how pols respond to this demographic shift over the next couple of generations.
French President Sarkozy has ordered Mirage fighter jets to enforce the “no-fly” zone over the Libyan city of Benghazi. The coalition is sending a strong signal to Gadhafi. I hope he takes the hint.