Thanksgiving Sales and Black Friday Obsession Is Our Fault

We Are Our Own Worst Enemies

Black Friday and specifically shopping during Thanksgiving dinner itself wouldn’t be the obsession it is if it weren’t for you.  If your family time was more important to you than a new flatscreen, less stores would be open during the time.

You selfish thankless bastards wouldn’t know that Thanksgiving was supposed to be special time to give thanks and be grateful with family and friends or go Black Friday shopping and fight with people over electronics at your local Walmart while shirking that family time.

While Black Friday participation was thankfully down this year among thirsty shoppers by about 20%, the consumer culture that it feeds is alive and sucking the wallets and time of the afflicted.   Yes, more stores closed, but still plenty were open.  This doesn’t even include the various warehouses where we stick our seasonal wage slaves.

Everyone – regardless of their ideology – can put their finger on this notion that something is deeply wrong, but most haven’t dug deep enough.  Simply put, we can’t fix ANY of our problems until we fix our people and the culture they create.

We can’t build meaningful relationships that transcend all the difficulties of life if we will spend that time on obsessing over Amazon details or shopping at Walmart instead of with our families over some tasty turkey.

That problem lingering deep down in a shadowy hole is that there are far too many people willing to forget their families in favor of shopping during Thanksgiving Dinner to save a few dollars off crap they really don’t need or have to own.   Do you really need another tablet?

Of course, greedy corporations and businesses looking to churn out profits from already greedy debt-ridden consumers are willing to appeal to the fallen angels of our nature to generate some additional cash for their never satisfied shareholders. We are our own worst enemy and there is plenty of mutual feeding on greed to go around.

It’s an unspoken dirty secret, but if there weren’t a significant amount of consumers willing to abandon precious time with family and friends – which they probably don’t see all that often – for “deals” and gadgets, there wouldn’t this hoard of companies willing to make millions of people work like dogs during Thanksgiving.

Maybe even the desperate deal shoppers themselves might think twice before throwing another article of clothing on the ground with the assumption some poor minimum wage seasonal worker is going to pick it up for the hours and hours of sorting and cleanup that will be happening all week.

The demand for Black Friday and it’s accompanying World Star videos are because enough of us are significantly demanding with pockets deep enough to blow 5 billion dollars in 24 hours on a day that is now stretching into the weekend.

Until that changes not only will most of us not be thankful for what we have – as well as the time we can spend with friends and family – but we will sacrifice the little time we have with them for the pursuit of more stuff.

No, this isn’t as if you are toiling away for a career, rather you are upgrading your 40 inch tv to a 55 inch during the time you should be spending with your family – the ones who actually care about you.

What make us supposedly happy and our primary goals are reflected by what we spend our time doing and investing in.  As Black Friday shows, too many people are still spending that time and money on stuff than on time with their families.   It’s what makes them happy.

That’s a horrid problem itself.  How do you alter the ingrained programming of thousands of hours of media that more stuff will make you happy?

Attitude of Gratitude

Often we forget about being thankful for what we have because so many people think their life is crap because they dont have the newest gadgets, products, or apps.  We end up shackled to these items and unable to experience the freedom found in gratitude.   at the Imaginative Conservative makes this point:

But gratitude remains the only key that unshackles us and lets us breathe free. Life is a peculiar phenomenon. We all unthinkingly use the phrase “the gift of life,” but it is only a gift if we really think of it as such. If we don’t, then life is an unbearable curse. It is Hell itself. No matter how bountiful and varied our good fortune, life has no flavor and is devoid of any joy unless we are grateful for it. As the Dominican mystic Meister Eckhardt succinctly put it: “If the only prayer you ever said in your whole life was thank you, that would suffice.””

The newest IPhone and 4k tv wont make you feel any more lively than your previous generation Iphone. Unless you are grateful for what you have, you will never be grateful for the future possessions you so envy after seeing ads for the latest flash sale or Amazon deal.

It’s tragic, but there is one definite way to experience gratitude just as Scrooge did in Charles Dickens parable like story or Jesus’ tale of the prodigal son.

You have to lose everything.  Your health, family, and every last item you so dearly valued.  You have to be brought down to rock bottom to rise back up, riches to rags.

Hopefully, we can learn those lessons Scrooge style from those who have so that we don’t have to go through their pain.

To that grateful end, I will share a tragic story that is a part of my industry.  Remember to look on that sunny brightside.  It could be much, much worse. So be thankful for once, you thankless bastards.

Where I work, I run into some rather sad unfortunate stories.

It’s made me realize a few things. We often get caught up in our own lives, worlds, bubbles, and in the troubles and trials that we endure.  Its easy to forget about the plights of those in the distance who are faring much worse.  We become our own worst enemy.

No doubt many of us have seen pictures, videos, and stories about the recent hurricane devastation that has been wrought upon Texas, Florida, and now Puerto Rico.  Or the fires that ravaged California. These people lost everything, but their families and friends remained intact who hopefully aren’t too immersed in “stuff” to lend them aid and support.

Talk to each person whose lost something there and you’ll hear some depressing stories about their current living situations as they try to cope. (Most of us take our support networks and families for granted.)

I won’t reveal where I work as we are in the age of self-righteous Internet lynch mobs who go after people’s jobs as I have a wife and two sons to support.

However I can tell you about about a tragic story I ran into.

 

Hotel From Hell


I’m on the phone talking to a man – we will call him George – who is stuck in a hotel of a large hotel chain.  Him, his wife, and his infant son are homeless after the hurricane.  Evacuating, they took with them as many clothes as they could, their son’s pack-in-play, car seat, and baby carrier you strap to your chest.

George – who was a vet and had fought in our recent middle east excursions – described that everything left in the hurricanes wake reminded him of towns he had seen that had been completely ravaged by bombs and artillery fire.  Their home which I believe was in Tallahassee had been utterly destroyed from Hurricane Irma.

Forced to go from one Red Cross makeshift shelter to another – with a rather sick infant,  a tad bit of luck would come their way; George’s brother would pay for them to stay at hotel for a period of time to get them out of the vicious hot humid weather.  All of the “good” hotels were booked through already.

They would begin their stay on Monday and on Tuesday night their already existing suffering would escalate.  Their infant son – about 5 and a half months old – had just been in the hospital three weeks prior.  Apparently he had been in and out of the NICU quite frequently since he was born, adding to the seriousness of their plight.

Their son – we will call him Jonny, had contracted RSV when he was just a few months old, on top of his previous medical issues.  RSV for infants that young can be deadly to the point they have to stay at the hospital for the duration of the infection.

Jonny had just started sleeping through the night in his pack-in-play. Or at least he was till a flea infestation in the room, unknown to them at the time, left the infant with flea bites from head-to-toe. It was so damn bad, he couldn’t sleep anymore and they would stay awake with him as he screamed and cried through the night.  They themselves would suffer from the flea bites.

A further slap in the face was that they couldn’t use chemicals to get rid of the flies off the clothing that was salvageable – almost none of it – because their infant son couldn’t be exposed to said chemicals due to his medical issues.

The fleas would decimate almost ALL of the clothing they brought with, including the car seat, port-a-crib, and infant carrier.  So now they weren’t only almost broke, but they would have to replace all the clothes somehow.  You can bet most of the charitable places in that area that give out clothes were already overwhelmed.

Of course they couldn’t switch rooms. There were no other available rooms. All had been taken by insurance agents and other survivors and refugees of the hurricanes wrath.  They were stuck there.

George would roam the hotel hallways to clear his head and to think of any way to improve their situation. Of course, he would be penalized for this.

While observing construction that was going off in an area of the hotel – that strangely wasn’t taped off, George would step on a piece of metal and puncture his foot – something that looked like a large metal construction staple.  It wasn’t even near the obvious area of construction.

He would be in immense pain from it.

George’s wife mentioned that she had never seen him scream or cry before, but when he pulled this staple out, he cried from the pain. Perhaps the mental and emotional burdens on top of this recent were enough to put him over the edge.  When thrown in the mix of losing everything you have, it must have felt like a release.

Now I don’t know what happened to them after this.  I hope they were able to find a place to stay.  Mail had to be sent to his mother’s house in another state – that’s the closest relatives they had in proximity.

They had lost everything, but at least they had some family.  Their stuff could be replaced, as tragic as their situation was, but family can’t.

——————————————————————————————

Family First

When you are obsessing over the stuff you don’t have, just remember to take a look at those who have nothing – through no fault of their own.

Spend time with your family. You never know how much time you really have with them.  New flatscreens and crazy sales designed to lure you into dishing out for a new one you don’t really need will always be around.  Your family may not.

When me and my wife lived 8 hours away from most of our family – specifically mine, it made me realize how much I miss them.  With so many families with members scattered across the states, Thanksgiving may be one of the few days where everyone will be gathered there together.

Make the most of it.  You can go shopping later, which you probably don’t need to.

 

The Exploitation Of The #FoxLake Shooting, Tragedy, And The Problems That Plague Our Town

#Fox Lake, Joes Family and friends mourning

It all started at the local DipStick that I get my regular oil changes from.  Everything seemed like a regular morning around 7:30 on my way to work.  Two hours later, my facebook feed blew up.  #FoxLake was trending on Twitter.

The small town of 10,000 where I lived was national news.

I thought it was perhaps another deadly accident that had killed three and left a huge black mark on the tree besides the road that didn’t budge an inch.   I then got a text from a friend and began to scour twitter and the Mchenry County Scanner FB page that people were posting every tidbit of information they knew.   Details began to emerge.

The suspicious suspects – which our town is constantly full of if you know anything about the people who live here – were actually very dangerous for once. (I’d estimate about half our town looks “suspicious” on a given day, which is why officers sometimes wisely employ their discretion. )  Murky details confirm that Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz spotted them, described them, and then gave chase.

Minutes later, he was dead.

Even worse – or better if you consider overall surveillance implications – there are no cameras in that area.  I can’t recall any cameras at the Dipstick, the old car dealership across the street, or the Fox Lake Animal Hospital.  The abandoned cement plant where drug deals and other nefarious activity takes place certainly doesn’t have any.

The suspects would run toward the heavily forested and hilly terrain that somewhat reminds me of scenes from Rambo: First Blood.

We have no way of knowing whether the suspects were actually armed – all of them – or if they managed to get ahold of Joe’s sidearm and murder him with it.  Regardless, this lack of clarity doesn’t matter when it comes to jumping on tragedies for political use.  No side or cause is immune to this jump, but often the wiser elements give it some time before they use it as a talking point on CNN.

 

#Fox Lake, Joes Family and friends mourning

Enter Shannon Watts

Joe’s death didn’t stop degenerates like Shannon Watts of “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” from pissing on our towns tragedy for her twisted political gun-control nonsense.  In fact, it encouraged her to trash those of us who do own firearms in the town – probably 75% of us terrible uneducated rednecks who don’t believe in “white privilege” – or better yet don’t have time in a quest to survive.

She clearly isn’t aware of the illegal purchases of an AK you can make in Waukegan or Zion for about 1500, let alone handguns.  Do I even need to mention Round Lake?

I don’t think she is aware of Illinois’ gun laws whatsoever.  Ideologues usually arent.

This isn’t even close to the first time she’s pulled this. It’s a consistent pattern with her.   This behavior has become the norm for virtually every ideologue with a dragon to slay.  The real victims – our community – be damned.   This is of course to be expected from urbanite “educated” liberal types who think they know whats better for us then we do.

She clearly isn’t aware of the criminal element that exists in Fox Lake that doesn’t care about legally purchasing guns let alone drugs.

Hey Shannon Watts, Fuck you.

Practice some of your tolerance and demand for diversity with observing history and those of us who have had our ancestors go through genocide because of gun-control.  As someone who is half-armenian and whose ancestors were subjected to the genocide, check your white middle-class liberal privilege.

Thanks to “gun-control”, the entire history of my Grandfather’s side of the family has been wiped out. I couldn’t even find out that much about his side because his mother was so distraught from the genocide, that she cried and broke down every-time he tried to ask her about it.

What do my dead ancestors know though?  Shannon Watts knows best.

 

The Results Of Gun Control and the Armenian Genocide
What happened to my ancestors.

 

What happens in Fox Lake these days?

Cars are broken into.  Garage doors are tagged. Attempted house break-ins are becoming normal.  Crack addicts live three houses down from me and end up completely naked except for a shirt in my driveway.  Bouncers are shot by thugs that come to Pugs from Waukegan.

In fact, years ago, I was almost beaten on Forest avenue by gangbangers armed with bats and knives who mistook me for someone else.  As I began to panic, I put down the hood on my sweater and to my relief,they got back in their car as I overheard, “Oh it’s not him.”

Fox Lake residents have had a mixed relationship with our PD and its differed quite a bit depending on our residents.   The more well-off avoid encounters with the police, but the section 8 and bad housing areas of the town certainly don’t.

I won’t name any specific names, as I can’t risk being targeted, but the power tripping abuse from some of the cops in the department is so bad, that our Chief of Police was finally forced to step down for some of the incidents he continually swept under the rug.     Perhaps the trustees of this town and the municipal policies they have been pushing to fund Grant Highschool share part of the blame.

Despite how much damn money is poured into the highschool alone, they always need more. It is literally a financial blackhole and the blatant evaporation of money is treated as excusable because “our students!”   Several molesting and drug distributing teachers later, the slogan is still employed.   This doesn’t even include the other stories I’ve heard from students.

Multitude of State, Federal Police and Agencies
The Vigil Begins

Rather then actually tackle these problems, the police here do what they do best – generate revenue.  A cop hides down the hill from me waiting in a private citizens driveway where he anticipates the inevitable physics of speed to pick up in order to nab speeders.

They hand out “public intoxication” tickets in a town defined by its insane amount of bars to residents and those of neighboring towns who instead of getting a DUI have the good sense to walk home.  Yes, lets punish those people who have absorbed the lessons of Illinois, “Don’t drive drunk” commercials, because that makes perfect sense.

Remembering G.I. Joe

Joe was one of the good guys on the force.  Upon news of his death, shockwaves went through our residents.

He actually cared about the community, and this is precisely why his death has been so mourned.  I realized this after chatting him with twice.  My brother from my second family Caleb experienced his good and gentle nature through his two years in the Explorer program that Joe ran.

He was for all purposes, our Andy of Mayberry.

Fundamentally Joe understood that the police are supposed to protect their communities rather then harass them; a lesson some of the younger officers on the FLPD force have yet to learn in their attempts to “prove” themselves.  It’s why so many people showed up at the vigil to remember him and rally around his family and friends.

Now, despite the racist bullshit spewed by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there are good cops out there, and we need to not only support them, but rally around them and their families when tragedies like this occur.

Let me make this clear; not even the worst cops deserved to be murdered in cold blood.  To go even further, no one deserves that.

Not all the cops on the PD are bad.  Unfortunately, the blue code of silence has prevented the good cops there from addressing some of the uniformed thugs out to make a name for themselves.

The rule of law must be respected, and I say that as a very anti-authoritarian thinker.   Yes, I understand how pissed people are the cops, as I am one of them.  I’ve said some rather insane things about how to deal with the cops before – including predicting tragedies like this to happen frequently,  but in hindsight it’s a bit of a shock when it happens to cops you know – particularly the good ones, and not the abusive gestapo type frequently portrayed on Copblock.

More media coverage #FoxLake then this community has ever seen.
Camera Crews and Media Setup

It is absolutely VITAL that the relationship founded on trust between civilians and the police is restored.

This however will not happen until bad cops are held accountable for their actions, police unions are weakened, external independent investigations of complaints become normal, and the blue code of silence is reformed by giving police officers and environment in which they won’t fear alienation and a lack of backup from their fellow officers for calling out and addressing the actions of the bad officers in their department.

Good cops do exist. Plenty of them are out there.  My aunt is one of them.

If you shoot at her,  you can rest assured that I and the rest of my family will find you and hold you accountable by any means possible.

Now if I’m completely honest, I don’t necessarily respect the police. I respect individual officers who have earned my respect and/or trust.  I hope to expand this to more of the police force as time goes on, but it’s tough when you never know if you can trust the blue or not.

Remember, it was illegal with threat of a felony up until just two years ago to even record cops without their consent – and when it was finally made legal, the police unions and Fraternal Order of Police protested vehemently.

In fact, they are still trying to push similar bills though to make it illegal once again, despite it being struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court.  This of course designed to prevent accountability, even if they have to back officers who lie about the “eavesdropping law”  and deliberately mislead the public in order to discourage them from recording officers.

They are the real enemy, and should be treated as such.

For the true liberal types out there, “Minority rights” and police accountability can’t exist when Police Unions have the power they do to erase all accountability.  Either choose your token minorities or choose your police unions.  You can’t have both. 

Don’t forget about the municipalities either who will turn a blind eye, if not outright encourage and mandate the bad behavior we see from the police.  Often there is a mayor and a board of trustees behind the push for greater tickets.  This is often forgotten in the attention placed on departments who police for profit.   That push is coming from the corrupt towns, counties, and numerous government bureaucrats who have realized that if they can’t increase taxes anymore, they can easily make that revenue by harassing, abusing, and slowly destroying the poor of their communities.

It this kind of behavior which will make shootings of government officials and police a norm.  I’m not encouraging it, I’m merely predicting that it will become much more frequent until changes happen.