At left: I didn't mean to look so bloody GRIM! From Occupy Greenville yesterday, photo by wonderful Uma.
And we are still at it. For how long? I don't know, but I don't mind. I figure any lasting changes in our society will take a long time--and I figured that out a long time ago, as well. As it is, we are dealing with a society that often has no clue. People come out of the CVS and Starbucks and ask us what we are doing; they've never even HEARD of Occupy. Some Occupiers bravely went to the malls on the day after Thanksgiving, with signs instructing shoppers to "Buy Local!"--and various customers replied, "But we ARE buying local!"
Do they know that Walmart is in Arkansas? On some level, they seem to realize this. On another, they don't get it.
I think they are probably typical of the majority.
And we plow ever onward.
Back from Hotlanta, where I spent the holidays ingesting fabulous coconut cream pie and shopping in those amazing big-city thrift stores.
Some interesting stories for your perusal:
:: Occupy Atlanta occupied Lenox Square Mall, placing provocative "BUY NOTHING!" price tags over selected merchandise.
:: Highly recommended: Leonard Pitts column titled Seek holistic solutions.
:: Atlanta Journal-Constitution is all over Newt Gingrich's recent statements about immigration during the last Republican debate:
Gingrich has risen to the top of the polls recently on the strength of his debate performances and the shortcomings of other candidates, becoming the latest in a carousel of top challengers to front-runner Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.:: Amish Haircutting Attacks! The leader of the hair-cutters is named Mullet. Now, I ask you, is that funny or what?
Rival campaigns pounced on the immigration issue as a chance to take Gingrich down a peg.
“I think there’s a major and legitimate difference of opinion on immigration between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney,” said Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom. “Newt Gingrich supported the 1986 amnesty and even though he concedes it was a mistake, he’s willing to repeat that mistake by granting amnesty to today’s illegal immigrants.”
Seven members of a renegade Amish sect face hate crime charges - and possibly life in prison - for a beard-cutting spree that terrorized fellow Amish in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.So much for those peaceful Amish we always heard about.
The sect's leader, Samuel Mullet Sr., and six of his followers, including three sons, were arrested in an FBI raid of their Ohio compound, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
They also are accused of heavy-heavy handed tactics to keep sect members in line - including beatings, forcing members to sleep in a chicken coop, and having sex with married followers in “cleansing” rituals, the Associated Press reports.
Mullet and his followers attacked those in the wider Amish community who disagreed with his sect’s interpretation of the faith, according to law enforcement officials.
The hair-cutting attacks, carried out with scissors and battery-powered clippers, were a particularly horrific affront in the Amish community, whose religious beliefs call for men to stop shaving their beards once they marry.
"You've got Amish all over the state of Ohio and Pennsylvania and Indiana that are concerned. We've received hundreds and hundreds of calls from people living in fear," Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla told reporters at a news conference Wednesday. "They are buying Mace, some are sitting with shotguns, getting locks on their doors because of Sam Mullet."
Mullet justified the shearings to the Associated Press as retaliation for what he percieved as violation of Amish orthodoxy.
At left: a still from WSPA-TV, I am on the far left (as always) holding yellow sign, as in the above photo.
:: Interesting tax loophole has allowed New Yorkers to save money on roll-your-own tobacco, even though they technically aren't rolling their own, machines are:
NEW YORK – There is no place in the U.S. more expensive to smoke than New York City, where the taxes alone will set you back $5.85 per pack. Yet, addicts who visit Island Smokes, a "roll-your-own" cigarette shop in Chinatown, can walk out with an entire 10-pack carton for under $40, thanks to a yawning tax loophole that officials in several states are now trying to close.The store is one of a growing number around the country that have come under fire over their use of high-speed cigarette rolling machines that function as miniature factories, and can package loose tobacco and rolling papers into neatly formed cigarettes, sometimes in just a few minutes.Busted!
The secret to Island's low prices is simple: Even though patrons leave carrying cartons that look very much like the Marlboros or Newports, the store charges taxes at the rate set for loose tobacco, which is just a fraction of what is charged for a commercially made pack.
Customers select a blend of tobacco leaves, intended to mirror the flavor of their regular brand. Then they feed the tobacco and some paper tubes into the machines, and return to the counter with the finished product to ring up the purchase.
The savings come at every level. Many stores sell customers loose pipe tobacco, which is taxed by the federal government at $2.80 per pound (450 grams), compared with $25 per pound for tobacco made for cigarettes. The shops don't pay into the cigarette manufacturer trust fund, intended to reimburse government health programs for the cost of treating smoking-related illness. And the packs produced by "roll-your-own" shops are generally also being sold without local tax stamps, which in New York include a $1.50 city tax and a $4.35 state tax.
New York City's legal department filed a lawsuit against Island Smokes on Nov. 14, arguing that the company's Manhattan store and another on Staten Island are engaging in blatant tax evasion.
Doncha know, the government will ALWAYS take their share? Nice try though!
I listen to my "Truckin with Albert Collins" CD when I travel! Now I have his infectious, curlicue 60s blues riffs lodged in my head.
Sharing the dreaded Thanksgiving earworm!
Shiver and Shake - Albert Collins
Kool Aide - Albert Collins