The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘Black Friday’

SATURDAY MOURNING

If you read yesterday’s post, “Thoughts On This And That” and are reading this one, then you are obviously not one of those who was a victim of Black Friday bad behavior.

Last year I was able to report only one incident about a couple of people who were victims of pepper spraying as they were returning to their cars after grabbing bargains from the store shelves.  Although I never found the reason underlying this incident, I suspect that it was caused by a fellow shopper who had purchased the spray and wanted to check out the product’s efficacy before wrapping it as a gift for her six year old niece.

There is more to report this year …

Walmart is again in the limelight.  As the world’s largest retailer I suppose it is only natural that they are more likely to be the scene of incidents – just by the weight of the number of stores they own and operate.

One would think that with all the people (including a few Walmart employees) who are picketing the company for its “bad wages and benefits package”, that the more liberal of our friends who otherwise might shop there would avoid Walmart like the plague.  On the contrary, Walmart has released preliminary information that this was the best Black Friday in their history.

Was it Aesop who said, “Never let snagging a good bargain stand in the way of your principles?”

At a Covington, WA Walmart, two shoppers were run down by a 71 year-old female driver who is suspected of being intoxicated.  The driver had obviously gotten into the Holiday spirit and the Egg Nog.  The female victim is in serious condition and the male victim in good condition.  (No report has been issued regarding the condition of the offender – but by now she is probably sober).

In Tallahassee, FL at another Walmart, two people were shot (but fortunately not seriously wounded) as a scuffle ensued over a parking space.  I’m here to tell you that malls are the most dangerous place you can drive your vehicle.  Apparently the shooter decided that getting bargain electronics wasn’t worth the risk of apprehension by the police and escaped the scene of the crime.

So what can we take away from all of this?

As I’ve never held a handgun let alone fired one, it would be difficult to allege that I am speaking here for the NRA.  However, I respect their Constitutional position on the subject of firearms.  My friends who believe that guns are at the root of our problem of violence will, of course, disagree.

Unfortunately, they never consider the statistics that in cities with the most restrictive handgun laws like Chicago and New York, the number of deaths due to them is among the highest per capita in the nation.  It defies logic – but that is not an exercise in which a lot of people engage very often anyway.

Actually, the root of these problems is something far more basic.  All of it stems from self-centered behavior exhibited by people who believe that society is there to serve them.  They act in ways which they view as in their own best self-interest – while ignoring the rights of others if it is inconvenient to them in obtaining their goals.

In the end, it all comes down either to embracing the concept of taking responsibility for one’s actions – or finding an excuse why the rules we expect others to observe don’t apply to us because we’re a special case.  There is a lot of the latter going around.

Fortunately, using the illogic of “exception” I have found the real cause of the two incidents at the Walmart stores yesterday.  It is President Obama.

You may remember back a few short weeks when, during the debates, the President took credit for “saving the American auto industry.”  Now I’m going to ask you to really “suck it up” and believe that he was telling the truth (or at least thinks he is).

Well, if he hadn’t saved the auto industry, we wouldn’t be producing cars.  If we hadn’t been producing cars we would have had to rely on our old junkers for transportation and a lot of those would have broken down by now, removing them from the road and the Black Friday malls.  With fewer cars, there would have been more parking spaces available – not to mention considerably fewer greenhouse gas emissions.  Did I also mention that gas prices would be considerably less expensive since the fewer cars on the road would be using less of it?

Perhaps in his efforts to save the auto industry, the President didn’t consider the implications of his actions.  But then, I doubt that he and the missus shop at Walmart.

THOUGHTS ON THIS AND THAT

As this is a long Holiday weekend in the United States it was kind of the rest of the world to stop doing business so that we could enjoy ourselves without having to be distracted by their affairs.

I would especially like to thank Hamas for stopping their rocket attacks on Israel.  We were getting bored listening to all the reports that those evil Israelis were killing the civilians you purposely place near your assault weapon facilities in Gaza so that you could claim the evil Zionist Jews were murdering them.  Our collective head wear is off to you.

So on to some random thoughts … on this and that.

BLACK FRIDAY

If you have been out of the loop for about twenty years you might think that this is a Holiday named in honor of Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks or the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  You might even include Barack Hussein Obama in that list.  (No, on second thought – if you’d been out of the loop for that long you’d have no idea who that was).

Of course, Black Friday has a lot to do with “equal rights” which is something that the first three people I named worked so hard to achieve through their words and their lives.  But in this case, it is not the right to be treated as an equal without regard to skin color.  It is the right to spend frivolously and freely and with abandon at your friendly retail store – because in the end, all money is equal.  It’s green.

Black Friday is also the most dangerous day to be a civilized driver who wants to continue an unblemished record of avoiding accidents.  Mall parking lots which are, in my opinion, the most dangerous place to operate a moving vehicle at any time, become even more so on this particular day.

You see, many drivers have a problem understanding the difference between “Limit” and “Minimum” when they interpret those little signs which are supposed to regulate the rate at which we operate our vehicles.  This deficiency on their part naturally carries with them into the parking lots of our malls which may or may not even bother to post a speed limit.

Many malls, realizing the futility of trying to regulate the speed at which their patrons drive, simply have removed them – perhaps with a view to getting the survivors into the doors faster to purchase their goods quicker.  Once the purchase has been made and the consumer is stacked up with goodies that extend far above her head, if she’s run down by a speeding Hummer – well, too bad.  (“There will be no exchanges made without a receipt” – and if you’re run down by a speeding Hummer it’s hard to separate the receipt from the hemoglobin).

I’m keeping a safe distance from malls today but I wish all of you daring souls who want to give it a try the very best of good luck.

RESIGNATION

During the last several months I’ve put up two posts urging my former Congressman, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (2nd IL – D) to do the right and honorable thing by his constituents and resign.  He finally did.  Sadly, this came two weeks after he was re-elected, so vacating the seat at this time will require the people of Chicago to pay the additional cost of holding a special election to fill his post.

In no way will this newly elected representative change the composition of the House as the district is predominantly black and overwhelmingly Democrat.  So we should expect that the result of that special election will be that a person, male or female, will bear both those characteristics.

Former Congressman Jackson has been suffering from “Bipolar Disorder” and has been undergoing on again off again treatment at the Mayo Clinic.  This condition, once called “manic depression” may be due, at least in part, to the ethics charges which were being considered against him by the House – and now the FBI.

The investigation centers around two aspects of the former Congressman’s activities.  One is the possible misuse of campaign funds which may have been diverted for his personal benefit.  The second concerns his possible involvement in former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s (now incarcerated on corruption charges) efforts to “sell” the Senate seat that Barack Obama vacated.

With the weight of his public responsibilities now lifted from his shoulders, the former Congressman may devote his efforts more fully to his attempts at recovery.   Fortunately, under the very generous benefits that the members of Congress have voted themselves, he will enjoy a lifetime of the best of care, should his condition warrant that, all of it funded by the taxpayers of the United States.

It remains to be seen whether that treatment will occur in a medical or a correctional facility.

ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS

President Felipe Calderon has proposed, as a final gesture before he leaves office on December 1st, changing the name of his country to just plain old Mexico.  Now the astute reader will say, “Wait a minute, juwannadoright – I thought this post was all about U. S. stuff and none of that world gobbledygook.”  And you would be correct.  You see with our transparent borders and all, it’s hard to tell where one country ends and the other one begins.

One of the major questions facing us is the issue of illegal immigration – the bulk of which is due to our neighbor on the south.  So if we simply bought Mexico, we could quickly resolve this problem without having to look like racist bigots.  This should appeal to the Administration since Hispanic voters seem to like the President quite a lot.  And who knows, we might even repeal Amendment XXII to the Constitution.  That’s the one that limits the President to two terms in office.

I do realize that we are a little strapped for cash right now so the alternative might be for the Mexican drug cartels to buy us.  I hear they’re doing very well.  And this would provide those who recently voted to legalize marijuana in their states with a virtually unlimited supply of their favorite recreational product.  Perhaps weed will be the new growth industry of the 2010’s and the way to bail ourselves out of our financial mess.

Just think how much simpler life would be if most of us were high all the time.  Consider how much easier it would be for labor and management to negotiate new contracts.

“So, like man – you want us to take a twenty percent pay cut and pay for our own health insurance?  Yeah, baby – that’s cool – I can sell that to the slobs down on the production lines.  As long as we get all the reefer we can smoke.”

Of course, the question of immigration is one with which we’ve been struggling for a long time.  Fifty-five years ago, West Side Story came alive on Broadway.  With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the show ran to sell out crowds before going on tour and inspiring a movie of the same name.

While the Hispanics in the play were Puerto Ricans, for most Anglo-Americans one Latino is pretty much like all the rest of them.  (Although I’m pretty sure that we do own Puerto Rico.  Didn’t we steal it fair and square from the Spanish?)  With that said, I present for your listening enjoyment, one of the many delightful songs from that show.

And remember – if you’ve got shopping on your to-do list today be careful.  It’s a jungle out there.

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