Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Black Friday.

Good morning to all of you.  I don't participate in what has become the major participatory sport.  Those who have read this blog before know that.  It is an interesting phenomenon, however.  And I didn't stop reading yesterday.  I just took the day off from blogging.  Here is some of what I found

Thoughts on black friday.  Mother Jones.  Slate.

We watched the news and had some comments over our coffee.  We noticed that a lot of the people lined up were under 30.  One of the few older people seemed to have a couple of young kids in tow--grandchildren perhaps.  Another story caught my attention:  restaurants were expecting a lot more business this Thanksgiving and attributed it to young singles or couples who didn't have family nearby with whom to have dinner.  That I can understand.  Thinking back I can remember when our family was scattered over some 2000 miles and most of us didn't get a four-day weekend.  We talk about Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays as "family" occasions but how much "family" do we still have?  Certainly not the Norman Rockwell kind.

We did have a "family" dinner yesterday but a much reduced one:  Mom, Brother, and Sister-in-Law. I can remember when thirty people would sit down to dinner between Brother's family, Sister's family, Younger Brother's family, and other relatives and friends.  Now many of the grandchildren are also married with children but so many of them have to visit their in-laws as well and are beginning to scatter all over the geography of the country.

Then there is interesting little piece by way of Firedoglake.

Education.  Washington Post on apprenticeships.

Frequent visitors to this blog know that I am very critical of our educational system.  I am also very critical of the companies who complain that they can't find "qualified" workers but don't take any initiative to solve their own problems while negotiating for tax breaks from states and localities which means they contribute less to the local school systems.  Siemens has a good plan that addresses the problem: apprenticeships.  Our political leaders (and most of our educators) have only one plan for the future: push everyone through college and university programs.  I do hate the notion that all of us square pegs have to be shoved into the same round hole.

Unfortunately our news media doesn't consider this kind of story news worthy.  I am not Catholic and feel no affinity for the faith generally but I do like their new Pope.  I hope his efforts to reform his church has better and more long lasting results than his namesake's did.

This story seems very familiar.  I could find similar stories in our press but few that would note that the costs may not be worth the "benefit."  Nor do our media mention that many of the treatments don't "cure" the cancer (or other disease).  And we get tapped with a bill that exceeds our yearly incomes by ten or twenty times.

I think tea leaves and tarot cards would be more useful than our junk mail for telling anyone about us.  We have received catalogs from companies we never ordered and have no interest in.  Some come from companies we have ordered from but have no intention of ordering from again--for any number of reasons.  Credit card offers go into the trash unopened as do the letters from insurance companies trying to get business.  That junk says more about the companies sending it out than about me.

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