Thursday, December 18, 2014

President Obama Normalizes Relations with Cuba

Image from source, CNN

Now here, dear reader, is a subject on which I have very little personal stake. I've always thought the Cuban embargo was odd after all this time. But I think I'm a little too young to have any kind of ego stake in what happens there. But the fact that folks like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have their strange hairdos all ruffled over it, I can safely say where I'll likely come down on it. Good thing. Must be.


Historic thaw in U.S., Cuba standoff

A political standoff that spanned five decades and 10 presidents began to crumble Wednesday with President Barack Obama's move to normalize relations with Cuba. The announcement was the product of a year of clandestine back-channelling between the U.S. and Cuba, facilitated by the Canadians and the Vatican and with personal involvement from the Pope. . .

Read more at: CNN

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Negotiating with Terrorists: Sony Scraps The Interview

James Franco and the movie's Kim Jong-un
This movie, frankly, looks stupid. Harmless. Like any of a dozen other Seth Rogan, Judd Apatow-esque movies, destined to run on Comedy Central in perpetuity. It is also hardly the first time North Korea has been directly lampooned in Western media (Team America: World Police comes immediately to mind, as well as 30 Rock). So, why--even if the subject of the assassination of Kim Jong-un sounds dire--would such a fluff of a movie even register beyond a chuckle? I know Jong-un has a reputation as a complete nutbar, but this kind of puts him in "Dandy" from American Horror Story: Freak Show territory, doesn't it? A spoiled rotten sociopath with a dramatically out-of-scale reaction to a perceived slight. I guess that actually sounds about right.

Still, I'm a bit disheartened that it appears to have worked. Sony looks to be dumping the movie entirely. It can't be a great loss. But it's going to become a black market, highly sought-after item, and it is bound to get out. Once an unofficial version does get out (it will) there will be no stopping its distribution. It will very likely attract more viewers than it could have ever hoped to, had this whole flap never happened.


It’s Official: Sony Scraps ‘The Interview’

Sony Pictures has made official what has been painfully obvious to everybody since yesterday morning, when hackers threatened to blow up movie theaters if The Interview was released next week. The studio has officially scrapped its release plans. Sony had little choice here, after the major theater chains announced earlier today they would not display the film given the threatening circumstances. . .

Read more at: Deadline Hollywood

Anatomy of The Christmas Shoes, Revisited (Yet Again, Still)

This is the eighth Christmas season for Greenlee Gazette, amazing as that seems to me. And though this year I haven't heard it yet--or last year either, oddly enough--every other year, I couldn't escape the worst Christmas song in history.  It isn't possible to inflict enough derision upon the now possibly fading The Christmas Shoes. It's abysmal. It's horrific. It deserves far more crap flung at it than has ever been flung. So here is my effort, from the early days of the blog, to put this lame-ass song in its place. This post has appeared on the blog each of the last seven years. This year, I present it again, with a few additions and changes. . .

As you head into your holidays, you are probably going to be assaulted by Christmas carols somewhere. And if you're like me, you will very possibly overhear The Christmas Shoes by NewSong, one of the worst songs of all time.

I was inspired to write my own dissection of the song after reading "The Annotated Christmas Shoes," on the (sadly now gone) Diary of a Blood Ray (aka The B Pryde Machine) blog years ago. The first time I heard the song, my reaction was much the same as Blood Ray's. I wasn’t moved to tears. I didn’t find the song precious or heartwarming. The song actually kind of pissed me off.

The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that this song was brainstormed (if you can call it that) to be as manipulative of people’s emotions as possible. I can envisioned the writers sitting down to write a sappy Christmas song, trying to pluck the heartstrings until they frayed. Now that the season is upon us, this hideous song has already started to play. And play. And play. And I just can't take it.

So, taking a page from Blood Ray (whose post I truly miss, and so wish I had saved), here is my own version, which I call "Anatomy of The Christmas Shoes." Because I'm dissecting this hideous beast. Put on your glasses, I'm shrinking the font because of length.

Image from Blood Ray's original post.
Anatomy of "The Christmas Shoes" by NewSong

It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line
OK, It sets the scene, and it’s not so bad yet. It does manage to telegraph what’s coming though.

Tryin' to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood
Still setting the scene, but there’s the country-fried tryin’ as though "trying" wouldn’t be heartwarming enough.

Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously Here’s where my cynic antennae start going up. I’m thinking the writers picked a boy, because a girl would just naturally do something nice for her mom. So, yeah, let’s make it a boy, to make it more poignant.

Pacing 'round like little boys do Filler. You can’t really pace in a line, and little boys don’t do it more than anyone else, do they? Did he have to pee?

Unplanned Work Night, Blogging Again Wednesday Night

Not only did I have the Tuesday Day from Hell­™, featuring a surprise RootKit attack that I can not seem to expunge, I also had  got to stay late! And then? I had to work at home too! Wheee!!!

No blogging for you! Back at a later time.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ted Cruz Showboating Gives Lame Duck Dems a Christmas Gift

That unctuous, creepy, smarmy toad Ted Cruz shot himself and his party in their collective feet. Captain Ego kept the Senate in session for an ultimately pointless "point," and allowed the lame duck Democrats time enough to pass a bunch of appointments that would have gone unfilled! Good job, senator dumbass!

Rachel Maddow uses an excellent football story to take us to the glory that is Cruz's epic fumble. You still digging this guy, tea baggers?

Monday, December 15, 2014

So, It Looks Like Jeb Bush is Running for President

Image from source, Talking Points Memo
Really? We want to go to this well again, do we? Actually, I can't imagine that we do. Jeb Bush would have been a decent candidate in 2000, I suspect. But after George H.W. Bush (a middling president) and George W. Bush (a horrible disaster of a president), I just can't imagine there's a clamor for Jebbie. I'm sure the Karl Roves and Koch Brothers of the world would like it, mostly because he's not crazy on first blush. But the tea baggers won't like him for several reasons, including that he's not crazy enough.

What about the rest of America? There's a contingent that is put off by the idea of a latter-day Bush v. Clinton election, and they have a point. That's two dynasties right there. And though Hillary Clinton has not thrown her pantsuit into the ring just yet, she does have some baggage. Still, her husband was an above-average president, and even made Big Business some bucks. It would be a historical anomaly to be sure, if we had four presidencies from two families in the space of five office holders. It would be stranger still if we had three from one family in the last five. Particularly when the first two were no great shakes. Are we supposed to believe that "third time's the charm?"

I vote no. And though I will vote for Clinton should she run, in my heart of hearts it would be President Elizabeth Warren.


Jeb Bush To Release 250K Emails

Jeb Bush says he's releasing roughly 250,000 emails from his years as Florida's governor. The possible Republican presidential candidate also says he's working on an electronic book. He told a Florida television station during a Saturday interview that he'll release the emails ahead of the e-book next year. . .

Read more at: Talking Points Memo

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blast from the Past: Christmas Special Songs!

I haven't had much holiday cheer up yet. So, what better time than now? Some of these songs have left the realm of old holiday specials, and joined the regularly played Christmas tunes. Which is cool.

1. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch - From the Dr. Seuss classic, How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
2. The Who Song (Welcome Christmas) - This one is on the Christmas stations all the time, also from How The Grinch Stole Christmas
3. Christmastime is Here - From A Charlie Brown Christmas.
4. We're a Couple of Misfits - Rudolph and Hermey the gay dentist elf, from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
5. Frosty the Snowman - From the cartoon of the same name, by Jimmy Durante.
6. Heat Miser/Snow Miser Song - From The Year Without a Santa Claus, one of the Christmas specials that filled enough of the logic gaps in the Santa story to keep me believing for a couple more years.
7. One Foot in Front of The Other - From Santa Claus is Coming to Town, with Mickey Rooney and Keenan Wynn
8. Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus - Liar!

That's it for this week. More holiday cheer to come. Happy Monday!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Electrifying Anti-Citibank Speech

I love Elizabeth Warren, and haven't been shy about saying so. Since the first time I saw her--probably on Real Time with Bill Maher some years ago--I was smitten. I was thrilled when I heard she was running for Senate, and even happier when she beat Scott Brown (and hell, I'm gay, and he's a looker*). I'm an unapologetic Warrenite.

So, naturally, I knew I'd get around to watching her speech before the Senate about the fairly stupid, greedy amendment shoved into the federal spending bill, which was effectively written by Citibank. The amendment returns the burden of a potential bailout of the banks to taxpayers, should they once again gamble with our money and lose it. And they will, particularly when you realize that the Republican Congress loves to deregulate, and hates any restriction on big business. And Democrats can be as bad sometimes.

That's why I love Warren. She may be a Democrat, but she is dedicated to consumers and citizens, not to corporations, and she doesn't appear to have been corrupted (please don't fall under their spell, Lizzie!). She is unafraid to call out Citi, and is heedless of the fact that other Democrats are not on board with her. She's blazing a trail, and she's making some waves. So, I queued up the video, and noticed it was almost 10 minutes long. I figured I'd watch a little, maybe skip ahead. . .but I watched it all, and it went down easy. She's tremendous. Watch for yourself.

And I'll say this: if Right Wing World can only throw slurs like "Fauxcahontas" at her, over her claim that she has some Native American ancestry? I've got to wonder what in the world they're smoking, and point out, they've got nothing. And they've got no one like Elizabeth Warren.


Elizabeth Warren Rips Citigroup For Weaseling Wall Street Giveaway Into Government Spending Bill

[NOTE: This clip is from Hardball. The un-embeddable stand-alone clip is available at the link below.]

As promised, Elizabeth Warren has left blood and teeth on the floor. During the final debate over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, before Warren was a senator, she was asked about an attempt to defang the unborn agency. "My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor,” she said at the time, comments that were unsuccessfully used against her in her subsequent campaign. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

*A little joke, lest anyone wonder. Not the good looking part, the notion that it would matter!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Republicans Risk Shutdown Over Poison Pills in Budget Deal

Image from source, Think Progress
You know, with all of the talk about torture in the news, the old 24 ticking time bomb clock has been on my mind. But, instead of the no-win scenario that can only be stopped by illegally torturing a suspect, we've got a no-win scenario that can only be stopped by Republicans dropping their bizarre quest to undo financial system protections, or by Democrats giving into them. It's always something. Whenever there is a budged deadline, we are either right down to the wire, or we go past it, and get an expensive government shutdown.

Shutdown is--for reasons unknown to me--orgasmic for many base conservatives. Right wing talk radio, and even many (formerly extremists, now apparently mainstream) elected GOP officials wax rhapsodically about it. They rarely express exactly what it proves, what it accomplishes, or what it's supposed to lead to. It's a lustful, needful thing, that's all. A political fetish. But while they want it oh so bad, and don't care who knows it, they simultaneously want to blame it on Democrats.

Recently, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal clumsily tried to pre-emptively say the President would cause a shutdown!  And now, even after there was a deal seemingly reached, Republicans have thrown those poison pills in there, so that they can both get their delicious shutdown, and say it's the Democrats' fault. My question is, who is fooled by this? And what is accomplished?

Anyone know?


35 Hours Before Deadline, Agreement To Keep Government Open Breaks Down

Last night, Congressional negotiators reached an agreement that most assumed would keep the government open until September. But with just 35 hours before funding for the federal government runs out, that agreement is in serious Jeopardy. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Blogging, White Guy, Racial Tension Blues

White vs. Black
(Seriously, don't google these terms)
Being a blogger has been challenging lately. I've got a lot going on in my life, big changes afoot. Lots to do, and lots to ponder. So, it puts blogging--a hobby, after all--kind of in the background of my brain. But there's a lot going on, so I want to come on here and opine, share and participate.

But dammit, can it get frustrating and depressing. The racial tension which has been stirred up by Ferguson and other similar cases has been hard to talk about. I'm a white guy, and though I'm gay and an atheist and thus something of an outsider, I'm aware that "white privilege" is a thing. Particularly since I fit the visual mold well enough to read as: non-threatening WASP male. I do not have to deal with the kind of crap other minorities do, and I'm aware of it. Plus, the cases are murky in places, with the victim generally less than a pillar of society, and the facts on the ground less than clear.

But beyond the deaths, and the looting and rioting, and the general feeling of tension, it's the angry white guy response that gets me down. I'm amazed how quick people are to call the victim a "thug." To imply that any bad behavior, petty crime, or even just less-than-respectful response to authority means the guy deserved to die. There's a desire to blame the victims for their own deaths. And the veiled (and unveiled) racially-tinged language just turns my stomach.
Seriously, my images may not be a terrific fit,
but if you search for it, put your filters on!

I believe that--as they say--everyone's a little bit racist. But, we should try not to be. We recognize irrational prejudice, do our best to tamp it down and/or hold it up to the light and get past it. It's the element that seems eager to drop all pretense and plunge straight ahead into full-on racism that is just depressing to me. Go read the comments section in virtually any newspaper or blog on the Ferguson or Staten Island cases (or any of a series of others), and read the Us vs. Them commentary. It stuff I thought we got past long ago, and it's not helpful in any way.

I guess it's too much to hope for that something in this country not boil down to right vs. left, black vs. white.


Police Killings Reveal Chasms Between Races

In the decade that Ashley Bernaugh, who is white, has been with her black husband, her family in Indiana has been so smitten with him that she teases them that they love him more than her. . .

Read more at: The New York Times


The View's Nicolle Wallace on Torture: “I Don’t Care What We Did”

Image from Salon
Torture's back, as I noted in my last post. The currently and briefly Democratic Senate has released their Torture Report after six years of study. It pretty much lays out that yes we tortured people, and that no, it wasn't a useful tactic, though it was illegal. War crimes. The reaction from the left is, "Yep, we knew that. Arrest them!" The reaction from most in the middle (or your average non-voter from this last election) is a shrug. "Whatever. Where's my iPad?" And from the right?

Predictably, many on the right are in denial. It wasn't torture. If it was, it wasn't that bad. Our Navy Seals are subjected to worse in training. Besides, they're terrorists, and they'd do worse to us. Hey, at least we aren't beheading them! And then there's the "Whatever it takes to keep us safe, all bets are off, just DO it."

That seems to be the position of Republican strategist and The View co-host Nicolle Wallace. I like her, or rather, I have in most appearances of her that I've caught. She's a conservative, but she's bright, articulate, funny and wry. She's sparred with Rachel Maddow several times, and they always come away laughing. But lately, she seems to be prone to outrageous statements, possibly because of her new gig? Though I wouldn't have expected her to say this.

“I don’t care what we did”: What Nicolle Wallace’s rant reveals about America’s torture problem

After years of excuses and delays, Americans finally have a chance on Tuesday to read the Senate Intelligence Committee’s so-called torture report (or at least most of its executive summary which, as the Intercept’s Dan Froomkin has noted, constitutes less than 20 percent of the whole report). And while it’s likely that most of the summary will focus on information we basically knew already, there have been hints of new and significant revelations, too. If it’s true that the CIA misled President Bush about the effectiveness of the torture program, for example, then the intelligence agency, which has already been caught spying on Congress, is even more of a threat to American democracy than we feared. Either way, the story of how the United States came to embrace “interrogation” techniques pioneered by . . .

Read more at: Salon

Should President Obama Pardon Bush/Cheney for War Crimes?

Image found at TrueActivist
Every so often, in politics, there is a really interesting play on the table. Something you didn't expect. Something that may accomplish part of a long-held goal, but possibly in a roundabout way. That's happening right now, though the odds are long that it would ever happen.

Just about everybody agrees that the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney administration authorized "enhanced interrogation techniques" in the years following September 11, 2001, and that they were. . .extra-legal. Most people agree that these techniques went over the line, and I'd be willing to guess that a majority consider them outright torture. Where a partisan divide appears is in whether or not we care that we tortured people.

One could argue that a patriot should care. The United States of America is not supposed to commit war crimes with impunity, torture with no oversight, or imprison without due process. Especially at times when we're burning for vengeance, or just plain scared. Those are the times when our laws, our treaties, our moral compasses, our humanity and our Constitution need to be vigorously defended and adhered to. If not, exactly what are we defending?

Image from the (hopefully ironically titled)
So, while we quibble about how much over the line GWB & Co. went, we know they crossed it. Many of us think of them as outright war criminals. But we're also aware that--even though the other side can impeach a sitting president for lying about a trifle--there is no political stomach for trying and convicting any of those involved for said crimes. Which gives zero incentive for future presidents to follow even the most serious of laws. And the clock is running. Can we really expect the next president, or the next, to act on something so far in the rear view?

And act how? No way there's a trial or trials. It's just not going to happen. But someone has come up with a novel solution: Have President Obama pardon them all. It's a radical solution. It lets everyone off the hook. There might even be international blowback just for that. But it also brands them all as war criminals. Exonerated, but criminals, nonetheless. It's an asterisk that will be in every history book. And it would potentially act as a deterrent from a future president from crossing that line. Every person who wants to be president has an outsized ego. They do not want to be branded a war criminal, no matter how power-hungry they are.

All of that said, I think there's close to a zero chance that Obama would do it. I think personally, he'd love to. But I'm not sure the political will of the party apparatus is even there for that. Which is a pity. But think about this: should the GOP follow through with their "Operation: Kill Obama's Legacy" plan in the next two years, this could be in his back pocket.

Maddow: Pardon Bush for Torture To "Make It Clear Crimes Were Committed"

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Tonight, the head of the national ACLU has just published this op-ed in the New York Times. It calls for President Obama to issue a pardon to former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney and other senior Bush administration officials for overseeing torture as the U.S. policy for years. . .

Read more at: Real Clear Politics

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

President Obama Sits in for Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report

Image from source, Mediaite
Very funny, and impossible to imagine George W. Bush doing. Hilarious that the segment was "The Decree" rather than "The Word," and that it wasn't half-assed, but a full-fledged segment. Way to commit to a bit, sir!


President Obama: ‘I, Stephen Colbert, Have Never Cared for Our President’
Stephen Colbert brought his show to D.C. tonight, but it got hijacked by President Obama, who delivered his “DECREE” in place of Colbert’s “WORD” segment. And just to give you some idea how it played out, Obama opened by saying, “I, Stephen Colbert, have never cared for our president. . .”

Read more at: Mediaite

Jon Stewart Rips FOX & Friends' Brian Kilmeade

Image from source, Raw Story
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's fans--me included--love it when the host sinks his teeth into the people at FOX "News." But it's even better when he's doing it with righteous indignation. And the fact that the target of his ire is "the dumb one," Brian Kilmeade from the (oddly named) FOX & Friends? Icing on the cake.


Jon Stewart pounds Fox News ‘jackass’ Brian Kilmeade: ‘F*ck you!’

As upset as he was over an “unforced error” on Monday, Daily Show host Jon Stewart saved the most anger for Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade for invoking the 9/11 attacks to paint Stewart as being anti-police. “By the way, jackass, you can truly grieve for every officer who’s been lost in the line of duty in this country, and still be troubled by cases of police overreach,” Stewart said. “Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can have great regard for law enforcement and still want them to be held to high standards. . .”

Read more at: Raw Story

Florida Court Hearing Case That Could Make "Stand Your Ground" Even Easier

Image from source, Think Progress
Because Florida. Ugh.


The Florida Supreme Court Is Hearing A Case That Could Make Stand Your Ground Even Worse
Since Trayvon Martin was gunned down in 2012, there’s been a lot of attention to Stand Your Ground laws that authorize vast use of deadly force in self-defense, but not a lot of reform away from the laws. Not a single state has successfully repealed or even contracted its Stand Your Ground law. Alaska passed a new one. And Florida and Georgia expanded theirs to allow even more defendants to be exempted from criminal charges for gun violence. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Monday, December 8, 2014

SNL Scores Strong Episode with James Franco (Dec. 6, 2014)

I'll level with you, the weekend, the week, the month and the whole time frame around me has been too full to blog. Sorry about that. But I have to say, when I had time to check out this weekend's James Franco edition of Saturday Night Live, I was surprised to find that the episode was very strong, with surprisingly funny bits through most of the episode. The best of the season so far, bar none. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Jon Stewart on Garner "Chokehold" Case

Image from source, Raw Story
Because, I just can't. But even Stewart is all, "I can't even. . ."


Jon Stewart goes off on serious Garner case rant: ‘We’re definitely not living in a post-racial society’
Even Daily Show host Jon Stewart found it hard to come up with anything funny to say on Wednesday in the wake of a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in connection with the death of Eric Garner. “I don’t know,” Stewart confessed. “I honestly don’t know what to say. If comedy is tragedy plus time, I need more f*cking time. But I would really settle for less f*cking tragedy, to be honest with you. . .”

Read more at: Raw Story

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Back to Ohio: Changes Afoot at Greenlee Gazette

See, here's the thing, kids. Mommy and Daddy aren't breaking up, and it's not your fault. But we are moving. We're Leaving Las Vegas, and moving on. After 20 years in the desert, and about 17 since the original experiment almost uprooted me, I've decided that the Mojave has given me all it's going to. I'll miss friends made here, and those who made the initial journey with me. There is no doubt of that. But there comes a time when "home" shifts. And "home" is now moving eastward.

I will always have a soft spot for Lost Wages. And as long as my adopted family members here in the valley remain, I'll always want to come visit. But when they've gone as well? I doubt that Vegas will hold much interest for me. I quit gambling accidentally when I quit smoking at the end of 2010. Most of the tourist traps never got me. I avoid those areas like the plague already. But I do cross Las Vegas Boulevard almost every single day. I can see Mandalay Bay and Luxor from my office window. I came here when Luxor was birthed, and helped with the delivery, along with that of Stratosphere, New York-New York and more. Las Vegas will be in my blood for a long time.

But 2,000 miles eastward lies the Buckeye State, the land of my origins. My bio- and step- parental units reside there (when they're not sunning in very separate sites in Florida), as do my siblings and one of The Other Half's sisters. How weird is that? Couple that with the facts that a) all of the rest of the family is within a day's drive of central Ohio, and b) that the remaining nieces and nephews are growing up so fast, we almost can't keep up? No brainer. Since we found ourselves in a position where we can afford to go? We're going.

I'm going to have to start at least pretending that
this means something to me.
However, dear reader, the fact of the matter is, all of these changes makes daily blogging a challenge! Not only are we preparing for a total upheaval in our lives (beyond the unfortunate termination of a beloved family pet), we're also running out the remaining days of both long-term careers, jostling the holidays (our last set), and trying mightily to squeeze in every last gathering we can with beloved friends. The period between now--early December, 2014--and the end of the first month of 2015, are going to be packed solid.

I will continue blogging throughout. I'll likely track our journey, our eventual arrival, and everything along the way and after. Greenlee Gazette will survive, and continue, becoming an Ohio-based blog. I'd be foolish to think this concerns more than a handful of people, if that. Though I have a small following, it's unlikely very many people care where I am. And I suppose that really says it all. My career is likely to become almost completely location irrelevant. Why shouldn't the blog?

One thing that will go by the wayside is the What Happens in Vegas feature. But I suppose it wasn't appointment viewing in the first place. I might come up with a Useless Nut feature for my new Buckeye status. But largely, things will remain the same. I'm leaving this post up, may update it, and may future-date it, just so that people realize that there is a transition going on. But I'll be both back. . .and never really leave. I'm just moving! Come with me? We've got eight or ten weeks to get there. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jon Stewart Returns, Addresses FOX "News" Response to Ferguson

Image from source, Raw Story
It's interesting how often an impactful event happens during a hiatus of The Daily Show, but it sure does. Fortunately, Jon Stewart is back, and he's in fine form.


Jon Stewart skewers Fox News for dismissing anger over Ferguson as ‘race arson’

Daily Show host Jon Stewart returned on Monday night by dissecting Fox News’ insistence that protests against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri were incited by liberal “race arsonists.” “I don’t know if I’m supposed to overthrow the government or get one of those panic rooms,” Stewart said. “It almost makes you think that the crime that they’re really upset about over there isn’t race-pimping or race arson — it’s race plagiarism. . .”

Read more at: Raw Story

Monday, December 1, 2014

Greed is Killing "Black Friday" Golden Goose

Image from source, Huffington Post
I saw this coming, and have commented upon it before, probably in this space: Greed is killing the golden goose. "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday"--both greed created quasi-events--are becoming so diluted by greed, they will likely either have to be overhauled or transmogrified into something new.

Presently, stocks are having a bit of a sour tummy after gotten the news that Black Friday is in decline. But it's no surprise. Black Friday itself--originally a "doorbuster" event that started before dawn the day after Thanksgiving--has crept backward to the point where many businesses were open Thursday evening, and some even early Thursday morning. Beyond that, many businesses had offers all week, which renders the day-specific name rather pointless. In addition, the brand has been attached to month-long or even season-long campaigns, not to mention scads of spam emails.

The same has happened to Cyber Monday--a day-specific online sale event, originally--even worse, if that is possible. Amazon and other retail outlets push special deals all season-long, right up to moments before Christmas (and likely after). Neither day is "special" anymore. There is no reason to plan to plunk down the bulk of your shopping wad on either day, when other deals are being dangled for days and weeks. What's the point?

So, I hereby predict: there will be changes to this whole concept. We'll have a special "this is really it" new mega-deals day one year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday will still be a thing. Sort of. But there'll be something new. Or the on-going, every-day specials will have a new name. Trust me on this. But greed will wreck that too.


Black Friday Weekend Slows Down As Allure Fades
Black Friday fatigue is setting in. Early discounting, more online shopping and a mixed economy meant fewer people shopped over Thanksgiving weekend, the National Retail Federation said Sunday. Overall, 133.7 million people shopped in stores and online over the four-day weekend, down 5.2 percent from last year, according to a survey of 4,631 people conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the trade group. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post
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