The Sensible Assupmption

There is still far too much on my plate these daze.  A repeat from 2007, when Barataria started, is a good lead-in to the upcoming tenth anniversary.  This basic philosophy still stands – the world is either magical or terrifying, depending on how you let your imagination run.  Whichever you pick is up to you.  But the systems which run the world are based on a very different assumption all around.

This time of the year, the holidays bring back memories that allow us to see the world, once again, through the eyes of a child. This is not some sentimental side effect of the rituals we go through, but is in many ways the reason they are important. A few moments spent contemplating this over a swirling mug of cocoa can show that seeing the world through the eyes of a child is actually a vital lesson.

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There are four books that I have handy when I am on the internet, because the right quotation from them can kill any argument. They are “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli, “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinsky, “Democracy in America” by Alexis de Toqueville, and “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu.

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A Thanksgiving Appeal

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect, a time to unwind, a time to count our blessings. Thanksgiving 2016 is much more than this, however. It is also a time to plan, a time to evaluate, a time to be ready for nearly anything.

Barataria believes that an astute lectovore, one who devours all information, can and should make predictions about the future. Not necessarily precise predictions but at least an assignment of boundaries. If we learned anything in 2016 it’s that there are sometimes no boundaries at all.

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A bizzy week requires another repeat.  This is about a way to revive our values in public life, so it is timely.

“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
John 20:29 (NRSV)

We live in a time of great turmoil and change. Economically, socially, spiritually, and even biologically our nation is different every day. Our growing diversity should be a strength, not a weakness, if we can find ways to hold ourselves together by emphasizing the principles forged into traditions that made this nation great. But somehow, even simple decency and respect for each other often eludes us.

Why is this? I have come to believe that we have made our great principles far too intellectual, that the beliefs that should hold us together are exercises for the brain when they should be felt with every beat of our hearts. To change this we need more solid physical reminders in our every day life of who we are, as one people – because in the end we are all made as much in the image of the doubting Thomas as much as anyone.

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Why Thanksgiving is in November

Thanksgiving is a truly great American holiday. It is a time when people from all over the world blend their traditions into one religious holiday celebrated by Christians, Jews, Moslems, and every other faith alike. To give thanks is universal, and what better way to celebrate deliverance to a land that to many is indeed the Promised Land.

But why is it in November? The very first day of Thanksgiving was held right after the harvest, on a day very similar to the Canadian Thanksgiving on October 12th. Why is it on a Thursday? The answer is that the nation itself was delivered from the horrors of war and recognized by the Treaty of Paris, owing a bit of time for the time it takes to cross the Atlantic and bring the joyous news. It was indeed a time to be thankful – but the story has the Hand of Providence all over it.

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Black Friday

I will keep posting this every year until we stop the madness and make Thanksgiving the sacred holiday it is supposed to be, apart from the madness of shopping.

‘Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems,
That the holiday season was crafted from dreams.
There were visions of friendship and light through the land
As if darkness itself had been thoroughly banned.
But the times closed around as the blackness enveloped
And the victory of dark very slowly developed.

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