Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Joyous Thanksgiving To All!

How To Keep Peace At The Turkey Table

For some people Thanksgiving is stressful.
The whole business with the relatives is too much for them -- too much togetherness for too long a period of time amidst the kind of tenderhooks that the holidays bring along with them.
Under these circumstances, the slightest disagreement or untoward look can mushroom into a huge imbroglio -- especially when there's already a history behind all of the characters, topics and relationships.
So, plan accordingly. If you're hosting the family this turkey day, here are ten tips for keeping peace:

1) Stick to the traditional menu that has something for everyone. Aunt Mary may not like your special cranberry sauce, so make sure you include the sweet potatoes that she does like.

2) Give the kids what they want. Set up a special table for them and don't force them to to rigidly act like miniature adults the whole time.

3) Weather permitting, open up some space outdoors so people can air themselves out. Too cold? Get that fire pit goin. Give people their own space.

4) Compromise on the football and sports events and try to forego any TV whatsoever during the meal.

5) Be traditional. Start the meal with a simple prayer -- non-denominational, if need be. It sets a nice tone. If you don't do this on Thanksgiving, when will you do it?

6) Play soft, pleasant music.

7) Compliment the family trouble-maker. Butter or baste him or her just as you would the turkey. It can be a wonderful form of sedation and/or diversion.

8) Keep known adversaries or potential adversaries at opposite ends of the table. Don't play favorites. Try to give them equal time.

9) Stress cool colors - a simple light blue tablecloth can work wonders.

10) If something goes wrong, don't announce it to the whole family. Remain unruffled. Keep calm, slurp another martini and carry on!

President Reagan's Thanksgiving Message To America

Delivered in 1985 at the pinnacle of his remarkable presidency.

The REAL Spirit of Thanksgiving!

To us, this painting by Normal Rockwell perfectly expresses the spirit of Thanksgiving and it also perpetuates a sense of simple goodness and decency. 
This painting was created in 1951 for the Saturday Evening Post.

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

President George Washington's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, 1789:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many single favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the Service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the single and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, of the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have to acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humble offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone know to be best.

Don't EVER forget that our nation was founded by people who prayed and continually sought God's guidance!

Twenty Big Reasons To Be Thankful Today!

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

Here are 20 reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving holiday:

1) This great nation of ours and all its people: One nation, under God with liberty and justice for all.

2) The spirit of giving, of helping out to reach others. Even in these tough times, American individuals, corporations and foundations contributed an estimated $290.89 billion in 2010, up f 3.8 percent from the previous year.

3, 4, 5, 6) The four bountiful freedoms that we enjoy: Freedom of speech; freedom of worship; freedom from want; freedom from fear. These are our cornerstones.

7) Family - the bulwark of our society and the foundation of social order.

8) Our armed services -- all who serve now, everywhere and all over the world.

9) The heroic example of those who gave their lives in service to our nation as we remember them anew this Thanksgiving.

10) All of our first responders, at every level and in every town and city as well as those who gave their lives in such service.

11) Children -- our investment in the future, the joy of our lives and the wonder of life itself.

12) Native Americans - the true Americans who shared the first Thanksgiving with the settlers.

13) The land itself -- from sea to shining sea and beyond; purple mountains' majesty and amber waves of grain.

14) Our pioneering spirit -- from the discovered frontiers at home to the space age above; we wander onward. always seeking, always discovering, always achieving.

15) Our Founders and the promise of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that they bequeathed to us. May our stewardship be faithful to their original freedoms, responsibilities, laws, limitations and aspirations.

16) All the great elected leaders who have defined America from Washington to Jefferson to Jackson and Lincoln and Roosevelt (Franklin and Teddy) and Reagan.

17) The unelected leaders who nonetheless inspired us and opened new doors from Franklin to King and everyone in between.

18) All the inventors and scientists and all who charted a path to a better, safer world with longer, healthier lives for all.

19) Friends: Those who stand by us and encourage us and listen and laugh and love.

20) God, who has blessed us, watches over us and stands in final judgement of each one of us and all we do. God bless America!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Schummer Admits: Obamacare Was Mistake, Distraction

Well, it only took New York Senator Chuck Schummer about five years to realize something that we've been saying right here on this blog all along: President Obama and the Democrats should have focused on the economy first and not made health care their priority, ramming it down people's throats. They made a Very Big Mistake and it has caught up with them.
But at least give Schummer credit for admitting it yesterday in Washington.

Is Protecting Lives And Property An 'Intrusion?'

Some of our liberal friends think that as conservatives, we're being "hypocritical" when we ask why the National Guard wasn't called out night before last in Ferguson. 
They say we're advocating government "intrusion" into the lives of ordinary citizens. 
Let's get this straight: Protecting people from law-breaking rioters and looters is not "intrusion." Protecting businesses and law-abiding business-owners from wanton destruction of property and livlihood is not "intrusion." Stopping people from committing arson and other assorted crimes is not "intrusion." Rather, these actions constitute enforcement of the law, the very safeguard of our freedom. 
President John F. Kennedy said: "Americans are free to disagree with the law, but not to disobey it. For in a government of laws and not of men, no man, however prominent and powerful and no mob, however unruly or boisterous, is entitled to defy a court of law." My liberal friends would do well to remember this. 
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody -- and God Bless America!

Thanksgiving In America Began With . . . CATHOLICS?

Most Americans know that the Pilgrims celebrated a Thanksgiving feast in 1621.

You may also know that individual states celebrated days of thanksgiving on different days on the calendar -- until President Lincoln called for a national day of Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November in 1863.

But I learned something new while working on the American Catholic Almanac...

Did you know that a Spaniard by the name of Pedro Menendez de Aviles celebrated a feast of Thanksgiving centered on a Mass with the Timucua Indians on September 8, 1565, in St. Augustine, Florida?

They dined on bean soup 56 years before the celebration in Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts!

But then...

Another Catholic feast of Thanksgiving happened in Texas -- again before the Pilgrims. Don Juan de Oñate declared April 30, 1598, to be a “Day of Thanksgiving” and it was also commemorated with the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

We give thanks for all the early Americans and for our ancestors in the Faith.

...and for whoever decided on turkey and gravy over bean soup!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Catholic Vote.

ALERT: Christie Declares 'State Of Emergency' In NJ!

With Winter Storm Cato expected to impede transportation and travel throughout New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie today declared a State of Emergency, authorizing the State Director of Emergency Management to activate and coordinate the preparation, response and recovery efforts for the storm with all county and municipal emergency operations and governmental agencies. Commuters are asked to use extreme caution while traveling across the state.

“Today’s storm is expected to produce travel hazards and potentially cause power outages throughout the state,” said Governor Christie. “I’ve authorized state officials to take all necessary action to prepare, and my Administration will continue monitoring conditions throughout the remainder of the storm. With higher than normal traffic volume due to the Thanksgiving holiday, I strongly encourage all New Jerseyans to drive carefully so that they and their families arrive safely at their destinations. “

Already affecting parts of the state, Winter Storm Cato is expected to continue into the evening, bringing rain, snow, mixed precipitation, and strong winds.

Video: Papa John's Manager Stands Up To Looters

At about 1:18 into this video watch as the manager of a Papa John's pizza outlet single-handedly stands up to the violent looters in Ferguson, Missouri.

Pope Calls Unilateral Anti-Terrorist Actions By State 'A Form Of High-Level Anarchy'

During his return journey from Strasbourg, where he addressed both the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, Pope Francis answered questions posed by the journalists who accompanied him on the flight. The questions and the Holy Father's answers are published below.

Q: “Your Holiness addressed the European Parliament with pastoral works that may also be regarded as political words, and which may be linked, in my opinion, to a social-democratic stance - for example, when you say that we must ensure that the true expressive force of populations is not removed by multinational powers. Could we say that you are a social-democrat Pope?”

Pope Francis: “This would be reductive. It makes me feel as if I am part of a collection of insects: 'This is a social-democratic insect ...'. No, I would say not. I don't know if I am a social-democrat Pope or not. I would not dare to define myself as belonging to one side or another. I dare say that this comes from the Gospel: this is the message of the Gospel, taken up by the social doctrine of the Church. In reality, in this and in other things – social and political – that I have said, I have not detached myself from the social Doctrine of the Church. The social Doctrine of the Church comes from the Gospel and from Christian tradition. What I said – the identity of the people – is a Gospel value, is it not? In this sense, I say it. But you have made me laugh, thank you!”

Q: “There is almost no-one on the streets of Strasbourg this morning. The people say they are disappointed. Do you regret not visiting the Cathedral of Strasbourg, that celebrates is millennium this year? And when will you make your first trip to France, and where? Lisieux, perhaps?”

Pope Francis: “No, it is not yet planned, but one should certainly go to Paris. Then, there is a proposal to go to Lourdes. I have asked to visit a city where no Pope has yet been, to greet the citizens. But the plan has not yet been made. No, for Strasbourg, a visit to the cathedral was considered but it would have mean already making a visit to France, and this was the problem”.

Q: During your address to the Council of Europe I was struck by the concept of transversality, especially with reference to your meetings with young politicians in various countries, and indeed you spoke of the need for a sort of pact between generations, an intergenerational agreement at the margins of this transversality. Also, if I may ask, is it true that you are devoted to St. Joseph, and have a statue of him in your room?”

Pope Francis: “Yes, it is true. Whenever I have asked something of St. Joseph, he has granted it to me. The fact of 'transversality' is important. I have seen in dialogue with young politicians in the Vatican, from different parties and nations, that they speak with a differetn music, that tends towards transversality, and this is valuable. They are not afraid of coming out of their own territory, without denying it, but coming out in order to engage in dialogue. They are courageous! I believe that we must imitate this, along with intergenerational dialogue. This tendency to come out to find people of other origins and to engage in dialogue: Europe needs this today”.

Q: “In your second discourse, to the Council of Europe, you spoke about the sins of the sons of the Church. I would like to know if you have received the news on the events in Granada [alleged sexual abuse of minors by priests in the archdiocese, Ed.], that in a certain sense you brought to light...”

Pope Francis: “I received the news – it was sent to me, I read it, I called the person and I said, 'Tomorrow you must go to the bishop', and I wrote to the bishop asking him to begin work, to start the investigation and go ahead. How did I receive the news? With great pain, with very great sadness. But the truth is the truth, and we cannot hide it”.

Q: “In your addresses in Strasbourg, you spoke frequently of both the threat of terrorism and the threat of slavery: these are attitudes that are also typical of the Islamic State, which threatens much of the Mediterranean, which threatens Rome and also threatens you personally. Do you think it is possible to engage in dialogue with these extremists, or do you think this is a lost cause?”

Pope Francis: “I never give something up as a lost cause: never. Perhaps dialogue is not possible, but never close the door. It is difficult, one might say almost impossible, but the door is always open. You have used the word 'threaten' twice: it is true, terrorism is a threat. … But slavery is a real situation embedded in the today's social fabric, and has been for some time. Slave labour, human trafficking, the trade in children … it is a crisis! We must not close our eyes to this. Slavery, today, is a reality, the exploitation of people … And then there is the threat of these terrorists. But there is another threat, and it is State terrorism. When the situation becomes critical, and each State believes it has the right to massacre the terrorists, many who are innocent fall prey alongside the terrorists. This is a form of high-level anarchy that is very dangerous. It is necessary to fight terrorism, but I repeat what I said during my previous trip: when it is necessary to stop an unjust aggressor, it must be done with international consensus”.

Q: “In your heart, when you travel to Strasbourg, do you travel as Peter's Successor, as the bishop of Rome, or as the archbishop of Buenos Aires?”

Pope Francis: “As all three, I think. My memory is that of the archbishop of Buenos Aires, but I am no longer in that role. Now I am the bishop of Rome and Peter's Successor, and I think that I travel with this memory but with these realities; I travel with all these things. Europe worries me at the moment; it is good for me to go ahead in order to help, as the bishop of Rome and Peter's Successor; in this respect I am Roman”.

Dreamworks Santa Attraction To Dazzle At Mall

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT/NYSE: PEI) announces that it will host “Adventure to Santa – A DreamWorks DreamPlace,” at Cherry Hill Mall.

The interactive Santa adventure for the entire family is the first-of-its-kind and is set to open to the public on Friday, November 28, 2014.

DreamWorks Animation, the global family entertainment brand known for award-winning storytelling and industry leading innovation, has chosen Cherry Hill Mall as one of eight exclusive locations in the United States to feature this experience during the 2014 holiday season; Cherry Hill Mall’s “Adventure to Santa” will be the only location for this experience in the Philadelphia market.

“Aligning with an innovator of DreamWorks Animation’s caliber has allowed us to bring this incredibly unique experience to the Philadelphia area,” said PREIT CEO Joseph F. Coradino. “Adventure to Santa is a perfect example of our efforts to incorporate social and compelling experiences into the mall environment and it will make Cherry Hill Mall a must-visit destination throughout the holiday season.”

“Adventure to Santa – A DreamWorks DreamPlace” is a first-of-its-kind holiday experience that seamlessly blends storytelling with cutting-edge technology. Appointments can be made in advance through a smartphone app, allowing families to enjoy all that Cherry Hill Mall has to offer before or after embarking on an unforgettable adventure through a 2,000 square foot holiday cottage with beloved characters including Shrek, Donkey and of course, Santa Claus.

“DreamPlace turns the traditional holiday mall visit on its head with an immersive, interactive approach that draws upon our signature brand of technology, storytelling and, of course, humor,” said DreamWorks Animation’s Chief Global Brand Officer Michael Francis. "We are continually looking for new ways to bring our characters to life and DreamPlace will deliver an unparalleled experience which fans will absolutely love.”

Cherry Hill Mall, located in Cherry Hill, N.J., is anchored by Nordstrom, Macy’s, and JCPenney, and features several exclusive retailers including American Apparel, Apple, A/X Armani Exchange, Crate and Barrel, Forever XXI, H&M, Henri Bendel, Hugo Boss, J. Crew, MAC, Michael Kors, Pandora, Pottery Barn, Sephora, Swarovski, Teavana, The Art of Shaving, The Container Store, The North Face, True Religion, Urban Outfitters, and Vera Bradley. Furthering the mall’s position as a regional dining and entertainment destination are leading restaurants such as Grand Lux Café, Bobby’s Burger Palace, California Pizza Kitchen, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, and Bahama Breeze.

DreamPlace has 6 different light shows.
DreamPlace is 2,000 square feet in size.
It requires 6 semi-trucks to transport a DreamPlace.
It takes 150 craftsmen to create each DreamPlace.
A DreamPlace surface contains 3,146,752 pixels.
DreamPlace is capable of 281 color variations.
DreamPlace utilizes a 300 watt concert sound system.
DreamPlace weighs over 50,000 lbs, which is equivalent to the weight of 1,000 Christmas trees!
DreamPlace has over 15,000 animated twinkling LED lights and more than 100 strobes.
The overhead displays require 7.5 miles of copper cable.

Here's One Merchant That Won't Rush Christmas!

People have been complaining about Christmas creep at area stores -- and rightfully so.
You know what we're talking about: All those Christmas decorations at stores, malls and shopping centers that go up even before Halloween. It's downright creepy -- and greedy.
But not at Nordstrom.
No -- the classiest (and arguably, the finest) department store simply will not feature Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.
This is a long-standing Nordstrom policy and Nordstrom has no intention of changing it now.
Isn't that refreshing?
Isn't it yet another great reason to shop Nordstrom?
Bravo to Nordstrom for once again resisting Christmas creep!
Now: ready, set, head on over to Nordstrom next Friday and throughout the Christmas season to enjoy the holiday the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
And thanks, Nordstrom for keeping the faith.

Would THIS Song Be Permitted Today? Huh?

"We Gather Together" is a beautiful song that expresses the spirit of Thanksgiving in a very special way.
It has been sung in America for generations. So many of us of a certain age sang it in public school when we were children. It was often heard in schools around this time of the year and was a part of Thanksgiving programs everywhere.
Ask yourself: Can it be sung in public school today? Would it be permitted?
Think about what we've lost, America.
Think about it this Thanksgiving Day.

Join The Campaign: DON'T Shop On Thanksgiving!

Copy this notice and post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest - everywhere!
Spread the word!
Let's get everyone to resolve not to shop on Thanksgiving Day so that we can end this madness.
Let Thanksgiving be the great American holiday it was meant to be - a joyful day of gratitude with families, neighbors and friends.
Say NO to the degradation of Thanksgiving.