Thanksgiving Ritual: Alice's Restaurant Open Thread

It's Thanksgiving! Progressive radio stations around the country will be playing Arlo Guthrie's 18 minute version of Alice's Restaurant, about his trip down to White Hall St. in lower Manhattan to sit on the Group W bench and wait until he was told if he was fit for induction into the Army to go fight in Vietnam.

KBCO in Boulder is commercial free all day, and will play Alice's Restaurant at noon and again at 6 p.m.

Does anyone besides me still have a hardcover edition of her 1969 Alice's Restaurant cookbook in their kitchen? It's filled with tasty recipes and very easy instructions. [More...]

As for why the song still resonates with liberal activists (and their progeny) after all these years, Professor Ira Chernus, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, explained a decade ago (reprinted in 2013):

It isn’t just to recapture our lost youth (though perhaps there is nothing wrong with that). It’s also because we were young at a very special time, when it seemed that the whole world would soon shed its aging body, worn down by war and greed and dehumanization, and regain its lost youth.

Never again, we believed, would anyone be arrested for littering. Never again would anyone be fined fifty dollars and have to pick up the garbage. Never again would anyone be injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected by their government to join the army, burn women, kids, houses, and villages.

Soon, we believed, the whole world would be full of loving people who would take out the garbage whenever it needed to be taken out, bring it down to the city dump, then go back home to have a dinner that couldn’t be beat. And not just on Thanksgiving, because we believed that every day would be Thanksgiving. Every day we would feel awestruck and thankful for the little miracles of life, like sharing food and song with people we love. Every day, we would do just a bit more to right the world’s wrongs, to make sure that justice was really blind. And all the while, we would remember to laugh and play with the pencils there on the Group W bench.

Well, it hasn’t worked out quite that way, yet. The world keeps doing all kinds of mean, nasty, ugly things. But kid, it’s never too late to “rehabilitate” yourself, to start once again creating enough of a nuisance and singing loud enough to end war and stuff. If you’ve been doing it for 40 years, or more, I bet you are prepared to do it for another 40 years. I bet you still have high hopes that we can “REHABILITATE” the world. I bet you’re not proud -- or tired.

The golden age of the 1960s is long gone, but anything is still possible. So perhaps you can get anything you want, as long as you remember to sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar -- with feeling. Because it is, indeed, a movement: The Alice’s Restaurant Let’s Give Thanks and Remember Why We Started Doing This and Why We Keep On Keepin’ On Movement.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving Eve dinner at the parents of the TL kid's long-time girlfriend (edited to reflect that they aren't actual soon to be inlaws yet, and I wasn't making an announcement about them, but about successfully avoiding the topic of the election) -- 10 of us and 5 dogs -- and not one person uttered one word about politics, the name of the UnPresident Elect, the election or anything related. (The hosting parents are a lovely couple, but very conservative. Their children were initial Sanders or Hillary supporters and ultimate Hillary supporters.) So it can be done, and it's actually a great experience because we all ended up sharing much more about what's going on in our lives instead of talking about those peoples' lives.

This is an open thread, tell us about your day, and anything else you want to talk about.

And don't forget to give a listen to Arlo.

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    I'm glad you had (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 02:36:47 PM EST
    a lovely Thanksgiving Jeralyn and congrats up on the upcoming wedding.

    My oldest son invited a friend who had nowhere to go for Thanksgiving. So there were five of us and we had turkey, dressing, corn pudding, sweet potato casserole, green beans, cranberry apple casserole and rolls. We are now stuffed!

    I didn't mean (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 12:53:02 AM EST
    "soon to be" in the official sense, they're not "engaged" yet, so there's no wedding being planned. They live together and have for a while.

    See my comment (none / 0) (#20)
    by Peter G on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 10:38:53 AM EST
    #18, below.

    Alice's resturant (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 06:02:29 PM EST
    Local edition

    Partly as a plan to have a really good reason to avoid the family today, politics among other things, this year I volunteered to help with the annual free Thanksgiving lunch at the school lunchroom.  
    It was an interesting experience.  It's mostly coordinated by the local churches but a lot of people had no relationship,or interest in one, with the churches but we're just there to do something "good".  I showed up about 9 and just got home.

    The food was surprisingly good.  And varied.  It was all brought by the local ladies.  Of course the staples were made in mass.  Turkey, ham, stuffing etc.  but lots of other stuff in smaller amounts.  I did not presume to bring food.  I left that to the specialists.  Mine was mostly grunt work.

    It's free with accepted contributions.  But there really was very little attention paid to the contribution box.  Even tho it got pretty full.  There was clearly a lot of people who would not have had anything special to eat today.  Or maybe much of anything to eat.  Some old.  Some families.  Some "other".
    It was basically a very rewarding thing to spend the day doing.   And had the benefit of getting me away from the family.  I recommend it.

    I am now home drinking heavily and watching the Star Trek marathon.  Which is pretty much what I would be doing if I had spent the day with the relations.  Minus the bad aftertaste.    

    It will be at least a year before I want to see or smell a turkey.

    Happy thanksgiving.

    Thank you for giving (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Towanda on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 11:36:44 PM EST
    that Thanksgiving to others.  The grunt workers make it all possible.  

    Happy Thanksgiving, Capt. You've been missed! (none / 0) (#7)
    by vml68 on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 08:36:11 PM EST
    Happy belated b'day too.

    hey (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 06:42:16 PM EST
    when you miss me i have a listed email address!

    Welcome back (eom) (none / 0) (#17)
    by jmacWA on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 05:42:22 AM EST
    After our dinner for ten, including (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Peter G on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 09:01:18 PM EST
    two 19-yr-old foreign students (neither of whom had ever experienced an American Thanksgiving dinner, and both of whom pitched in enthusiastically with the cooking and baking) and a 22-yr-old US political exile from her own father's dinner table, our 26-yr-old Youngest Daughter insisted on bringing out my old 33 RPM copy of Alice's Restaurant to play (and explain) for everyone. I was very touched. Two of our best friends also came by, with their 25-yr-old son, to join us for dessert. We have run the dishwasher three times today, and made coffee three times. There is still a lot of pie and pumpkin bread left to enjoy tomorrow, as well as turkey leftovers of course. The student from China had thirds of the fresh Brussels sprouts pan-fried with sage and currents.

    U.S.Political Exile (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 02:11:02 PM EST
    I love it!

    I did Thanksgiving myself this year for our family.  Last year was just horrid. So, this year I was going to do it myself and make it nice for sure.  I started the day before with Turkey, homemade gravy and pie baking.   And finished Thanksgiving day with mash potatoes from scratch and fresh baked rolls.  It was really nice because I am not a cook but over the years I had picked up from family members  past and present how to make a dish or two.

    So, I could remember my Mom when I made gravy the way she used to.  And so on for various family members. Family thought it was good.  No drama.  Just nice time with family.

    And so it was nice for the memories, including the new (nice) one yesterday.  


    I tried to watch some CNN this morning (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 02:19:31 PM EST
    Just can't. It all sounds ridiculous

    I dont watch the news (none / 0) (#23)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 03:06:10 PM EST
    Better to avoid the horror show.

    Haven't watched or read since Nov 9 (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Coral on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 01:31:18 PM EST
    Too much anxiety and heartache. This is truly the most horrifying political event of my lifetime. Magnified by the response of formerly respectable new organizations--and many Democrats who I once admired.

    I think (none / 0) (#40)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 07:07:08 PM EST
    I'll pick back up reading.  Novels.  History.  Or historical novels.

    I'll get the news from a quick online cruise.


    We had the news (none / 0) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 07:17:33 PM EST
    come up on our echo and Trump came on making a statement. I started laughing.

    I have some filters on what I'm (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 27, 2016 at 01:37:41 AM EST
    Letting in. Gratefully many of my bloggy tweety friends are taking things in stride better than I am and they put up reading links that for the most part have been worth my attention.

    "Soon to be in-laws"? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Towanda on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 11:33:36 PM EST
    Congratulations to the mother of the groom.  It's a great role.  And have fun finding a great dress!

    Uh oh, I didnt mean (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 12:56:59 AM EST
    official -- I'm going to have to change that to the parents of his significant other or something.

    Our term for that relationship was (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Peter G on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 10:11:55 AM EST
    "outlaws," since for lack of legal relationship the parents of live-togethers are not "in-laws."

    Aha. Well . . . (none / 0) (#27)
    by Towanda on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 07:20:40 PM EST
    go get a great dress, anyway!

    Towanda, I'm reading the WI recount is on (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 09:07:45 PM EST
    And some disturbing discrepancies were adjusted the minute it was discovered we were going to recount. Any comments?

    Disturbing, indeed. Ridiculous explanations (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Towanda on Sun Nov 27, 2016 at 03:28:55 PM EST
    that hardly explain how it happened that all of the errors already so obvious -- in entering numbers, in arithmetic, etc. -- were in favor of one candidate, who now has lost almost 20 percent of his margin here . . . and that was in only a couple of the 72 counties.

    I would note, though, that the discrepancies were corrected before word of a possible recount.  Indeed, the ridiculous explanations are among reasons given for a recount here.

    Some factors to watch, with no reporting as yet here on these, also include equipment banned in other states, number of provisional ballots not counted.  We know little about these and other factors, with no changes to the tallies made public since election night, other than the discrepancies noted above -- which came only because of only a few counties posting pdf's, which allowed the public to see the obvious idiocies and cause a social media sh!tstorm.

    So, most county inputs have not even been seen as yet.  This is Walker's Wisconsin, where he eviscerated a once laudably transparent process and recently -- and conveniently, just before this election -- destroyed the lauded oversight agency and replaced it with another of his sham agencies.

    Add in the immeasurable-by-recount impact of extreme voter suppression laws -- which courts found affected 300,000 Wisconsinites denied voter id's, and the rulings came too late to fix a lot of the problems -- and we never will know exactly why the state long second in the nation for voter turnout now has dropped to, last I saw, sixteenth.


    Madison, WI and Trump (none / 0) (#50)
    by MKS on Sun Nov 27, 2016 at 03:44:33 PM EST
    Shouldn't that be an SAT question regarding antonyms?

    Do realize that in Wisconsin, we say (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Towanda on Sun Nov 27, 2016 at 07:49:16 PM EST
    that Madison is in Wisconsin but not of Wisconsin.  It is filled with East Coasters, mostly New Yorkers, who mock us and call us names and do not deign (or dare) to leave Dane County.

    I finally organized a field to reality for some of my professors, and grad students, who so enjoyed opining about a Wisconsin they never saw.  I brought them down by Milwaukee, ain'a, for a fish fry and frozen custard and major-league baseball and bowling at the country's oldest bowling alley and more fun with the working class of West Aliens (in West Allis), where the drummers of the bands set up on the pool table to make more room to dance the polka.

    The profs and other grad students -- all from the East Coast -- were freeked at the sight of smokestacks, even before we got to the city borders. . . .

    But these are the sorts who have written flawed histories of Wisconsin, claiming that it was Progressive -- only Madison was -- and opining on MSNBC about a librul working class here.  Uh huh.

    By the way, these also are the sorts who -- owing to the longtime dominance of UW-Madison's journalism school -- have created an estimated 90 percent of theories about mass media.  I watched how this happens:  Prof and grad students sit in a bar in Madison and come up with a theory.  Prof needs publications so sobers up and cleans up theory in better language than bar talk.  Prof assigns seminar of grad students to go out and conduct the study to get the evidence.  Grad students only have bikes so only can conduct study on others in Madison.

    Others also in Madison also are almost all from the East Coast, of course.  Think about that and then about what we think we know about media and more about the Midwest and Midwesterners. . . .


    Yeah, well the recent election confirmed (none / 0) (#57)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Nov 28, 2016 at 10:54:44 AM EST
    some of that.  Cognitive biases snowballed into a train wreck.

    Thank you, spouse and son (none / 0) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 27, 2016 at 04:19:16 PM EST
    Had many questions nobody would answer via news. I said hey, I know someone who maybe can give us an idea of what is going on.

    It is dreadful to read how WI voter turnout has dropped. Dreadful!


    I haven't read anything about the discrepancies (none / 0) (#31)
    by vml68 on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 12:26:11 PM EST
    but reading this today has me feeling a little better that the Clinton campaign has been checking things out.
    I am not hopeful that the recount is going to change the result but it will be easier to deal with it, if there is confidence that it was not hacked.

    Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 06:53:10 PM EST
    I don't expect that Clinton took Pennsylvania (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 06:54:29 PM EST
    I think Michigan and Wisconsin could be a different story.

    I'm with you (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 07:18:22 PM EST
    on that. Michigan has not even counted all their votes yet. Kind of odd along with Arizona which had only 80% reporting.

    I thought Michigan finished counting all their (none / 0) (#47)
    by vml68 on Sun Nov 27, 2016 at 12:49:54 PM EST
    votes? Tr*mp by 10,704.

    BTW, you have most probably already seen this Change.org petition and signed it. But, if not...

    Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 19

    Yes, I realize it is grasping at straws but what the he!!, I am feeling a bit desperate :-)


    We need to know not only about hacking (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Towanda on Sun Nov 27, 2016 at 07:54:33 PM EST
    but also about all sorts of other ways that the voting process could have been corrupted in Wisconsin, for example, from many reports here.  (See my other comments and there is more, much more.)

    We need to know this not only on principle but also pragmatically, politically -- if ever we are to win the Rust Belt again . . . for the White House and for Senate seats.


    There's no "we" Towanda (none / 0) (#58)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Nov 28, 2016 at 10:57:16 AM EST
    without understanding and acceptance of who "we" are.

    I've observed very little of that here.


    Now, now, Mr Natural (none / 0) (#59)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 28, 2016 at 12:52:18 PM EST
    When they're done with the Trump/Clinton questions I'm sure they'll demand an investigation of the Sanders/Clinton Primaries.

    Why would "they"? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Yman on Mon Nov 28, 2016 at 09:06:34 PM EST
    Unless "they" have a penchant for tinfoil CTs and false equivalencies?

    Read it as "We . . . in Wisconsin" (none / 0) (#60)
    by Towanda on Mon Nov 28, 2016 at 08:59:11 PM EST
    To further understand what happened here, ... (none / 0) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 28, 2016 at 09:56:02 PM EST
    Towanda: "We need to know not only about hacking but also about all sorts of other ways that the voting process could have been corrupted in Wisconsin, for example, from many reports here. [...] We need to know this not only on principle but also pragmatically, politically -- if ever we are to win the Rust Belt again . . . for the White House and for Senate seats."

    ... we ought to first heed the often crude but nevertheless prescient political wisdom of a true master at the sometimes dark art of American retail politics, Lyndon B. Johnson:

    "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

    Accordingly, in the face of economic dislocation in the Rust Belt, Trump repeatedly banged out the tune of white people's fear and resentment on the cheap barroom piano that's our mainstream and cable news networks. And once again, it resonated with white Americans who were content to look for scapegoats, rather than focus on solutions.

    Time and again, we Democrats tend to underestimate just how potent race-baiting is in American politics, particularly in times of economic uncertainty. This is especially the case in the outer suburban rings of metropolitan areas and the rural hinterlands where homogeneity is the norm, rather than the exception.

    And stripping persons of color of their innate humanity has become the primary modus operandi of the GOP for the better part of the last five decades, to the virtual exclusion of reason and accountability. And there's no easier or better way to do so, than to foster their party base's resentment over the gradual erosion of white privilege, ever since the Supreme Court first ruled on Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.

    That's why there's no resultant outcry from white citizens in Wisconsin and elsewhere, over the various proposals and measures put forth by GOP legislators and governors which seek to target both citizens of color and the poor in an obvious effort to limit the franchise and suppress the Democratic turnout.

    For that matter, that's also why we didn't hear white people as a whole speak out in indignation when Trump and others questioned Barack Obama's very citizenship, and further sought to raise doubts about his academic credentials. (Note to Obama critics: The guy graduated with honors, which really tells you all you need to know about his grades.)

    Even if some of these white working class folks had voted for Obama, I can't say for certain that they ever really accepted him as their equal. If he made it to Harvard Law School, AM squawk radio hosts contend, he was obviously the recipient of affirmative action and special treatment, which of course is reverse discrimination against whites.

    People can roll their eyes and scoff at such obvious nonsense, but such inflammatory arguments do in fact play very well in Peoria and other white-bread communities where residents are not necessarily receptive to the notion of inevitable change. A palpably corrosive effect of our own latent racism is our failure to accept, however grudgingly, the fact that people of color can and do attain personal success entirely on their own because of their own knowledge and skills.

    Moreover, we ought to realize that this is nothing really new. I was in high school in Southern California when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in University of California v. Bakke 438 U.S. 265 (1978). I saw firsthand even back then how many white people reacted viscerally to the idea that people of color needed affirmative action to counter institutional bias and level the playing field for everyone, and how quickly the California GOP harnessed that resentment for their own short-term ends.

    To be perfectly honest, at this point in time, I'm still trying to figure out how we can reach disaffected white voters over the near term. For the most part, given that over 60% of white Americans responded to race-based entreaties to vote for the Republican nominees in the last two presidential elections, the repeated appeals from Democrats to the better angels of white people's nature appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

    Or is that really the case? Maybe those appeals aren't being heard, because our message of continued progress and inclusion never reaches its intended target in white working class communities -- or at least, not at a volume sufficient enough to be considered as a viable alternative to the GOP's race-based and misogynist pandering to white male resentment.

    Therefore, if I'm to look at our present situation and predicament pragmatically, I first have to take heart in the fact that while Hillary Clinton may have lost in the Electoral College, she's actually won the popular vote by a rather decided margin. (As of 8:30 p.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 28, she's up by 2,323,116 votes, and that margin may be close to 3 million by the time it's finally concluded.) In fact, since Republicans have lost the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections, I have to believe that the Democrats' core message of inclusion, fairness and collective progress is for the most part a pretty sound one.

    Where we're in vast need of immediate improvement is with our logistical efforts to turn out the Democratic vote in those areas where it really makes a difference. Identifying those voters isn't the problem here. Rather, it's our repeated failure to ensure that they turn out physically at the polls in numbers sufficient to counter a well-frothed reactionary Republican vote. Having examined the numbers, that looks like what happened in the Rust Belt. Our message's reach and any corresponding "Get Out the Vote" efforts really did not really materialize much beyond the major urban areas.

    Let's face it, as crazy and irrational as they sometimes are, we can almost always count on GOP voters to show up at the polls in each and every election, even if it's an special election called to fill a school board vacancy. Democratic voters, for a variety of reasons, simply don't do that. And when Democrats do turn out, it's likely during presidential years, and far too many on the left are spending their time looking for a political messiah.

    (Speaking as a former messiah-seeker myself, and with the benefit of wisdom that comes with age and experience, I now personally find that quest to be a complete waste of one's time, especially if that messiah is otherwise likely unelectable. As I've said before, we collectively need to develop and nurture a sense of "us" in each one of ourselves as individuals. Jousting with political windmills is entirely a personal choice, and not a very practical one at that.)

    This tells me that as Democrats, we have a lot of work to do in the eminently practical area of civics education, and I see that component of our comprehensive strategy as key to our ability and capacity to turn things around politically. We need to reach out and educate our adult voters and the next generations of would-be voters about how their government actually works in practice (as opposed to theoretical); and the proactive role which each individual can assume to advance and influence public policy discussions in their own respective communities.

    In other words, we must mount a sustained effort to combat civic illiteracy and electoral complacency. We have to not only show people that egalitarian progressivism is something that's worth advancing and defending, but also convince them that there is indeed a lot at stake in each and every election for each and every office.

    If we really want to rid our politics of the scourge of sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity, then we need to combat it on the ground floor in our respective communities, and not wait for it to reach the top floors of our statehouses, Capitol Hill and now -- Heaven help us! -- the White House itself.

    It's a long-term endeavor, to be sure, but it's one which I'm convinced will pay significant dividends for Democrats in the coming years, provided that we start now, and not dilly-dally and make excuses for further inaction on that front.

    A knowledgeable and well-informed electorate is really the best bulwark against any attempts to erode or subvert democracy. And if nothing else, we'll at least provide people with the tools necessary to make informed and educated decisions at the ballot box, so that they don't repeatedly vote against their own best interests, as so many have lately done.

    At this juncture, I have a lot of confidence in our party's core message. Where we failed was in seeing that this message reached those who really needed to hear it, which is our own greater and diverse Democratic base. This was an acute problem for us in those rural and working class communities of the Rust Belt, where we allowed demagogy to take firm hold in voters' consciousness by having no alternative in place to effectively counter it, and our party's support in those places collapsed accordingly.

    We simply assumed that people are rational beings and as such, they would reject rather than embrace Trump's toxic nonsense. (In that regard, I also plead guilty as charged. Trust me, it's a hard lesson learned and an assumption which I'll never make again.) Again, that's clearly a problem of logistical presence rooted in our own penchant to take such things as rational behavior for granted, and not in our core message itself.

    I really do apologize here for running on, as I'm wont to do when I'm seeking to formulate an argument or articulate a strategy. I just so happen to feel very strongly that a lot of the current arguments I'm hearing within Democratic circles -- of which I'm admittedly a part -- are so myopic and self-serving as to miss the point entirely.

    Rather than abandon the desires and aspirations of our party's base in order to pander to whatever we think the white working class presently wants to hear, we need to aggressively expand our range of focus beyond the immediate needs and desires of Beltway Democrats.

    That's the primary reason why I very much oppose current efforts by some Democrats in D.C. to seat yet another current member of Congress as chair of the Democratic National Committee. Rather, our next DNC chair should be somebody from one of the state party organizations, which for the past eight years have suffered terribly due to the benign neglect of the Beltway-centric DNC Executive Committee, of which six of its nine members have been sitting members of Congress.

    We must seek to re-establish our permanent presence in those regions of the country which that Executive Committee heretofore and inexplicably decided to simply write off as not worth any real effort on the DNC's part. Reaching out to disaffected white voters in those areas, and upholding our own party base's ideals and principles, should not be mischaracterized as mutually exclusive propositions, as some in D.C. and the media are still trying to do.

    I further keep talking about how people need to step up in their communities and lead, rather than look to others to do it for them. Well, as one of the Hawaii Democratic Party's so-called "elders" -- I can't believe that at 55 years, I'm now old enough that younger Dems are looking to me for guidance -- it's now my turn at bat, and I need to practice what I preach. And that's why I declared my candidacy this afternoon for one of our state's seats on the DNC.

    I mean, hey -- at this point, why NOT me?



    We had dinner on post (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 11:40:33 PM EST
    After our soldier served the cadets and students who are far from home. It was the first time I had celebrated holidays in the "chow hall". So much food..wow.

    No dishes to wash, no leftovers to stack in the fridge and force on family. We went to Fantastic Beasts afterward.

    I haven't such a relaxing Thanksgiving in years and years. It feels a little strange though.

    Happy Thanksgiving from the islands. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 04:09:00 AM EST
    Spent the entire afternoon and evening with the grandson. At 50 weeks old now, he's such a happy and joyful little fellow, he can't help but brighten up to most somber of moods. He can easily pull himself into a standing position as long as he has something to grasp, and can take tentative steps around the coffee table in the living room, but he hasn't yet quite mastered the art of hands-free bipedal balance. I'm guessing that it's only a matter of days now before he starts walking. It's a local tradition in Hawaii to host a luau to commemorate a child's first birthday, so we'll be back here on Oahu two weeks hence for the big event.

    Happy Thanksgiving (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Coral on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 10:24:09 AM EST
    We had a lovely day. Only one daughter was able to come, the other was with inlaws. Had the traditional meal. Daughter made roasted brussels sprouts.

    Later, we streamed part II of PBS "Still I Rise" feature on Black American since MLK, which our daughter had a part in editing. Amazing how far the country has come, despite many setbacks and pervasive racism. It reminded us how extraordinary Obama's election was, giving us hope for the future.

    Thanksgiving here in the keys (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by fishcamp on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 03:25:10 PM EST
    was a bit different this year.  All the food was excellent, especially the creamed onions.  But the location was very beautiful.  It was a large area of grass with houses, old ones, sprinkled around randomly.  There were at least 20 peacocks walking around.  I couldn't find our party, because every house was having a party.  I walked into a party, said hi, and grabbed a deviled egg before I realized I didn't know anybody at the party.  Then the lady of the house came over, I knew her, and started introducing me around.  Finally I made it to m y party, ate too much, and am surviving after a brief stop at the gym.  Here they come...so Happy Hollidays. 🌅

    Game Change (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 07:00:02 PM EST
    seen this movie about the 2008 campaign?  strangely i had not until today.   not sure why.  never got around to it i guess.

    heres the thing.  if you have not seen it since it came out or like me, never, you should watch it. really.  it takes on a very different feeling in light of what just happened on Nov 8th. (aka worst birthday EVAH) from any feeling or message it had at the time.

    the whole thing is about how unprepared Palin was and how it sunk McCains campaign.  there is a great part where McCains campaign staff is discussing the issue, or the issue they tried to make, of statesman vs celebrity against Obama.  had to pause there to laugh ironically for a while.

    i was disturbed and frightened by what just happened before i saw this movie.  but now.  its truly surreal to see the issues of 8 years ago set beside the issues of today.

    Palin doesnt look any better but seeing what she was made a laughing stock for at the bottom of the ticket compared to Trumps ignorance as primary qualifier for the top spot is jarring.  is this sexism?  is it just insanity?  was Obama really just that good a candidate (yes, but thats another discussion)

    what the hell just happened.  watching Game Change, which is excellent btw, wont explain it but it sure poses some interesting questions.  

    Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz has died (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 01:38:46 AM EST
    AP, 11/26/2016: Former President Fidel Castro, who led a rebel army to improbable victory in Cuba, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half century rule, has died at age 90.

    Castro's Wikipedia Entry:

    I joined the people; I grabbed a rifle in a police station that collapsed when it was rushed by a crowd. I witnessed the spectacle of a totally spontaneous revolution... [T]hat experience led me to identify myself even more with the cause of the people. My still incipient Marxist ideas had nothing to do with our conduct - it was a spontaneous reaction on our part, as young people with [Jose] Martí-an, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist and pro-democratic ideas.

    With Guantanamera, please allow Pete Seeger to sing him offstage.

    Love him or loathe him, ... (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 02:54:40 AM EST
    ...Fidel Castro certainly stands as a towering figure in Latin American history, for being perhaps the only leftist leaders to openly defy U.S. hegemony in the region during the 20th century and survive in office. Even then, he had his share of close shaves.

    He certainly wasn't perfect, and his own heavy-handed brand of authoritarianism had little tolerance for domestic political dissent. But by almost any rational measure, the Cuban people were better off under Tio Fidel than they were under the Mob-corrupted feudal oligarchy of Fulgencio Batista and his American corporatist friends.

    "At the beginning of 1959, United States companies owned about 40% of the Cuban sugar lands, almost all the cattle ranches, 90% of the mines and mineral concessions, 80% of the utilities, practically all the oil industry, and supplied two-thirds of Cuba's imports."
    - Sen. John F. Kennedy, 6, Democratic presidential nominee, Cincinnati, OH (October 1960)

    Cuba existed as a quasi-U.S. colonial dependency for 60 years. Only when Fidel Castro came to power, nationalized American-owned Cuban industries and businesses, and booted the Mafia as well as the rest of us out of the country, did it become truly independent. Without question, that independence came at an enormous cost and sacrifice. But today, as U.S.-Cuban relations are being restored for the first time in 55 years, Cuba calls its own shots.

    May the man rest in peace.


    there is a new post up (none / 0) (#37)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 05:49:57 PM EST
    just on Castro. Feel free to repost these comments there.

    Thank you, Jeralyn. (none / 0) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 07:18:15 PM EST
    I'll do that.

    Commenters in timeout (none / 0) (#1)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 01:37:20 PM EST
    today so far: Jim and Jondee.

    Happy T-day everyone... (none / 0) (#2)
    by desertswine on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 01:54:29 PM EST
    If you happen to be watching the Lions football game, I thought that was a wonderful rendition of the national anthem by Aretha Franklin.

    Great final 30 seconds in that game. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 08:01:23 PM EST
    Good on the Lions.

    At Thanksgiving Today (none / 0) (#5)
    by RickyJim on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 07:36:59 PM EST
    Soon after I arrived, my brother and nephew sternly told me that no political discussion will be tolerated so I never found out who voted for whom.  A Korean lady brought Kimchi which was the one dish out of the ordinary at the feast.  It was delicious and more than made up for the placid dinner table discussion.

    Alice's cookbook (none / 0) (#8)
    by cyndicat on Thu Nov 24, 2016 at 08:40:14 PM EST
    I have Alice's cookbook and it's well-thumbed and splattered. A great time capsule, and still funny. Her chili recipe is my go-to.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all from a long-term expat in Sydney, where it's too hot for turkey.

    the red chili is my favorite too (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 12:55:31 AM EST
    thanks for sharing that. All the way from Sydney!

    Here are some sobering numbers regarding ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 01:43:14 PM EST
    ... GOP efforts to suppress the Democratic turnout in Republican-controlled states for the 2016 election.

    Crosscheck Voter Purge List (since 2012) - 270,824
    Trump Margin of Victory - 85,257

    Crosscheck Voter Purge List (since 2012) - 449,922
    Trump Margin of Lead (not certified): 13,107

    North Carolina:
    Crosscheck Voter Purge List (since 2012) - 589,393
    Trump Margin of Victory - 177,008

    That's called "winning ugly."

    do you have a link (none / 0) (#34)
    by leap on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 01:46:41 PM EST
    for that information?

    Here you go. (none / 0) (#35)
    by vml68 on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 02:28:32 PM EST
    thank you (none / 0) (#36)
    by leap on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 04:33:31 PM EST
    Ugh. Reading that made me even angrier; I didn't think that was possible. Damn, we cannot let that Rancid Orange take over our government, but we have to fight the media who are taking him as a foregone conclusion. Yep, the conclusion of our Republic.

    I hear you. I'm still vacillating between denial (none / 0) (#44)
    by vml68 on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 08:56:41 PM EST
    and anger, don't know when/if I will ever get to the acceptance stage.
    Of course, watching this video did not help at all. Another example of what the Orange dumpster fire has emboldened.

    Lost in the noise, Mose Allison died (none / 0) (#45)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Nov 26, 2016 at 11:31:04 PM EST
    on November 15th.  His voice surprised and delighted me from the first time I heard him on my 15 watt college radio station in 1973.  I never saw him live.

    Your Mind Is on Vacation (and your mouth is workin' overtime)

    I'm pretty sure there were comments (none / 0) (#48)
    by Peter G on Sun Nov 27, 2016 at 01:17:39 PM EST
    on Mose Allison's passing on this blog at the time. I did get to see him perform at my college in 1968 or so, thanks to a very well-informed and taste-endowed student director of the outside-talent program.

    No sign of those, Peter (none / 0) (#63)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Nov 30, 2016 at 09:26:57 AM EST
    You can search with the talkleft search function.  The necessary mechanism appears only after the default search completes.  Select Find "comments" and Containing "mose allison"

    You can also search the site with google by including the term 'talkleft' in the google search string.  Results will vary.

    Since I trust you more than the results of the searches, I also scanned a bunch of TL open threads with an editor.  No sign of Mose.  But I won't lay a guilt trip on you for that.  No, not me.  



    Today in Offensive, Tacky and Tasteless: (none / 0) (#52)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Nov 27, 2016 at 05:36:27 PM EST
    In which Tatyana Navka, wife of Russian President Vladimir Putin's official spokesman, offers us a Holocaust-themed figure skating routine. I'll let this performance speak for itself.

    holy cow (none / 0) (#53)
    by leap on Sun Nov 27, 2016 at 07:25:24 PM EST
    I'm almost speechless. Here's the whole youtube of the "routine," that includes the judging, and maybe some comments. I sent it to someone I know who speaks Russian to see if there is an explanation of some sort.

    My jaw practically dropped to my waistline. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 28, 2016 at 01:22:32 AM EST
    It's a real-life "Springtime for Hitler" moment. And given the Russians' own horrific losses at the hands of Nazi Germany during the Second World War, I'd have thought that they'd be much more sensitive to stuff like this that we are in the United States.

    "no matter how cynical I get, (none / 0) (#64)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Nov 30, 2016 at 09:32:45 AM EST
    it's never enough"

    'wtf' isn't enough either.