Black Friday used to be a one-day shopping event for many retailers, but over time, with Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday coming into the mix, it’s become a big weekend-long shopping event.
With so much buzz around this shopping extravaganza, it’s not hard to buy into the circus of it all. You’ll make impulse purchases and fall into every retailers’ trap to get you to spend your small fortune in their stores. They’ll pull out all the stops to get you in their stores and then, well, I’m sure you know the rest.
Don’t be tempted by all the bold colors in the ads that draw you in and especially the low prices that get your attention. During this year’s biggest shopping event, be a smarter shopper by following some of these rules:
This Thanksgiving, No Place for Refugees at the American Table
Posted on Nov 18, 2015 By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan
In the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, there has been a crushing backlash against refugees from the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. As Americans prepare for one of the most popular national holidays, Thanksgiving, which commemorates the support and nourishment provided by the indigenous people to English refugees seeking a better life free from religious persecution, a wave of xenophobia is sweeping the country.
In the U.S. Congress, no less than six separate bills have been put forward to block any federal funding to resettle refugees from Syria or Iraq and to empower states to deny entry into their “territory.”
Imagine if all of a sudden we had 50 “statelets” creating their own border checkpoints, stopping all travelers, looking for anyone suspicious, i.e., any and all Syrians.
So far, 31 state governors have essentially demanded this.
Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback issued an executive order forbidding any agency of state government from cooperating in any way with Syrian refugee support efforts. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have called for a pause in the Syrian refugee program, with the support of Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer.
(all so called Chrstians)
It has been almost 400 years since that first, fateful Thanksgiving feast in Massachusetts.
Xenophobic policies like those threatening to shut out refugees from these wars, if allowed to stand, should serve as a shameful centerpiece at every Thanksgiving table this year.
The world was shocked when Paris was attacked by extremist on the evening of November 13 and the attacks in Beirut the day before. Humanity weeps for those we have lost in these tragic events, but it we need to look at why this keeps happening.
Russell Brand has published a video of what he thinks we need to do to end terrorism.
His ideas are great.
We must come to the understanding that we are all connected and that we share this planet with each other.
Violence is never the solution to violence, that will only fuel the flames.
If we show nothing but love to each other that will take the power away from the brutality that humans are capable of.
It is time for us to rid ourselves of these wars and unite as one on this planet. When the history of man has reached its closure will it be ridden with acts of hatred .… or will it be the story of a logical and understanding species?
~~Russell Brand Gives The Solutions To Terrorism~~
It’s Time To Wake Up
~~Published on Nov 17, 2015~~
We’ve written about Russell Brand several times on our website, and that’s because he is one celebrity, on an ever-growing list of stars, who is using his tremendous reach in an effort to effect positive change in the world, as well as raise awareness about several key issues that are currently facing our planet.
U.S. CONGRESS ALMOST 4 MILLION UNITED STATES CITIZENS NEED YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
Allow Puerto Rico protection under bankruptcy law
In order to help the island negotiate with its creditors, Puerto Rico would greatly benefit from the protections afforded to United States cities and government entities under chapter 9 bankruptcy law.
Give Puerto Rico equal Medicare coverage
As United States citizens, Puerto Ricans pay the same Medicare taxes as Americans in every state. However, the island’s healthcare system gets only half the federal funding as the rest of the country. To make up for this, the Puerto Rican government has had to further strain its already limited economic resources.
Lift Jones Act restrictions on maritime trade to Puerto Rico
The Jones Act of 1920 currently allows only American ships, among the most expensive in the world, to carry goods between the United States mainland and the island. This limits competition and increases costs.
Learn more: The Wall Street Journal | The New York Times
Tylenol’s #HowWeFamily Campaign Uses LGBT Couples To Portray Changing Face Of The Family
WHEN WERE YOU FIRST CONSIDERED A FAMILY?
When you fell in love?
When you married?
When you had kids?
Gay and lesbian couples feature prominently in Tylenol’s new #HowWeFamily campaign, which aims to celebrate the diversity of modern families.
A same-sex prom couple and two gay dads are among those featured in the campaign’s first TV ad, which is directed by Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black and is slated to begin airing on TV next week.
The clip launches a three-month effort that will include profiles of 10 real-life U.S. families, a “docu-short” on the changing face of the American family and the results of a national survey on families. Each of these components will soon be found on a microsite.
A voice-over declares,
“Family isn’t defined by who you love, but how.”
Manoj Raghunandanan, Senior Director of Marketing for Johnson and Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare, told Advertising Age that the ad was representative of his company’s commitment to celebrating how “families look and feel different now than they did before.”
He added, “Because we’re a family brand, because we’re an iconic American brand, and we want to continue to serve families into the future, I think it’s important that we reflect what that family is today.”
The campaign’s spokeswomen are “Bring It On” actress Gabrielle Union and psychiatrist and columnist Gail Saltz.
An alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.
There are two breeds of alpaca; the Suri alpaca and the Huacaya alpaca.
Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile at an altitude of 3,500 m (11,500 ft) to 5,000 m (16,000 ft) above sea level, throughout the year.
Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, they were not bred to be beasts of burden, but were bred specifically for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, similar to wool. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America, and sweaters, socks, coats and bedding in other parts of the world.
“IOTD” is image of the day, a concept I came up with. I teach visual meditative therapy – or in easy terms – a mini mental holiday. For some people it is very difficult for them to get their image right. I post an image a day for people to use in their mini mental vacay. Some are serious, some are silly, and some are just beautiful!”’
On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and confined to wire cages, gestation crates, barren dirt lots, and other cruel confinement systems.
These animals will never raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural and important to them. Most won’t even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter. The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories.
The factory farming industry strives to maximize output while minimizing costs — always at the animals’ expense. The giant corporations that run most factory farms have found that they can make more money by cramming animals into tiny spaces, even though many of the animals get sick and some die.
Wait until you see what today’s farms ACTUALLY look like.
Modern farms are factories intent on maximizing their output without any regard for the welfare of the cows, chickens, pigs, and other animals used for food.
Animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and stuffed into wire cages, metal crates, and other torturous devices.
Most of them won’t even breathe fresh air until the day they’re loaded onto trucks headed for slaughterhouses.
When they’ve grown large enough to slaughter or their bodies are worn out from producing milk or eggs, animals raised for food are crowded onto trucks and transported for miles through all weather extremes, typically without food or water.
At the slaughterhouse, those who survived the transport will have their throats slit, often while they’re still conscious.
Many remain conscious when they’re plunged into the scalding-hot water of the defeathering or hair-removal tanks or while their bodies are being skinned or hacked apart.
“What law says the text of the TPP must remain secret? It seems like a case of mass hypnosis. People claiming they can’t say what’s in the TPP trade agreement. And mainstream media accept this premise.”
That’s right, there is nothing that justifies keeping the TPP text secret. The reason it’s secret is because if people knew what was written, in totality, there might be an uprising. But from what we know of portions of leaked texts, the TPP is not good. And multinational corporations like Monsanto are up to no-good.
One example: A provision of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “trade” deal called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) would allow Monsanto to sue any nation bound by the TPP contract (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam) for potential lost profits as a result of GMO or pesticide regulations.
Have GMO labeling or cultivation bans within your borders? Get ready to go to court. Monsanto’s court, that is. With ISDS, Monsanto can take its case before an international corporate court where their corporate lawyers are the judges. And the ruling can’t be challenged in the defending nation’s courts.
HELLO, GMO & PESTICIDE TAKEOVER
GOODBYE, NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY
Fast Track (formally known as Trade Promotion Authority – TPA) is a power given to the President by Congress and would allow the President to push the TPP deal through without any Congressional debate or public review. The U.S. House could be moving forward with a vote on Fast Track soon.
Legislation giving U.S. President Barack Obama authority to speed trade deals through Congress failed a crucial procedural test on Tuesday, April 4, 2015, delaying a measure that may be key to President Barack Obama’s diplomatic pivot to Asia.
In a setback to the White House trade agenda, the Senate voted 52-45 – eight votes short of the necessary 60 – to clear the way for debate on the legislation, which would allow a quick decision on granting the president so-called fast track authority to move trade deals quickly through Congress.
The vote marked a big victory for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, an outspoken opponent of fast-track.
Negotiations on the TPP are nearly complete, but trading partners have said they want to see fast-track legislation enacted before finalizing the pact, which will stretch from Japan to Chile.
The Senate has rejected Obama’s fast-track authority for the TPP in a stunning victory for workers and the environment. Now it’s nearly impossible for the corporate trade deal to pass before Congress begins recess on Memorial Day.
President Barack Obama’s free trade push was blocked in the Senate on Tuesday as Democrats rebelled, throwing one of his biggest priorities in his remaining years in the White House into doubt.
Roughly 14 pro-trade Democrats emerged from a Tuesday afternoon meeting with other Senate Democrats saying they wouldn’t vote to take up the trade bill —
which then failed on a 52-45 vote.
The Democrats complained that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was refusing to add a package of pro-worker provisions to the bill that many in the GOP see as unrelated and too costly.
Opposition to the measure, which would allow for quick approval of the 12-country free-trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, has been building among progressive Democrats for some time. But there was still hope at the White House that aggressive lobbying from Obama would be enough to cobble together votes needed to at least allow the Senate to debate the bill.
Warren and her fellow progressives have long been an outspoken opponent of the bill for the same reason — that it largely removes Congress’ ability to weigh in on the deal until after it’s been negotiated, a process that critics say has been done in secret and in close cooperation with lobbyists and special interests.
Warren reiterated those complaints in an interview with NPR Tuesday morning.
“The way I see this, that’s a tilted process, and a tilted process yields a tilted result,” she said.
More broadly, progressives are wary of a new free-trade deal because they believe it would draw jobs overseas and hurt American workers.
During a speech at the National Press Club on Tuesday, Warren gave voice to those concerns, warning that “this country is in real trouble.”
“We cannot continue to run this country for the top 10%. We can’t keep pushing through trade deals that benefit multi-national companies at the expense of workers,” she said.
“Government cannot continue to be the captive of the rich and the powerful. Working people cannot be forced to give up more and more as they get squeezed harder and harder.”