Have You Hugged a Homebody Today?

I stepped out yesterday, to do a bit of shopping. Not my favorite thing, it always heightens my nerves. A noted ,but controllable result of PTSD. This experience is nothing new for me, and can bring things into your awareness that most people would never notice. In every bunch of us there’s some who stand out. Most note someone tall or short, men and women note attractive women and men, and children misbehaving, draw the awareness of most adults. However, and I’ve commented on this before, there are those in the world invisible and missed. I think I see these invisible and forgotten based on past work experience. Along with this awareness given me, when I feel a bit odd from a PTSD response.

These aren’t people wearing funny hats or tattered clothing. That’s not what draws my attention. These oddities are subtle. It’s a look for some. Not the way the face looks, but where when approached the eyes go. But I understand it, I think.

You see, or maybe you don’t, these are people specifically trying to not catch anyone’s attention. It’s purposeful. You’ve known people like these all your lives. You knew them in school, when we called them shy. Some who were once bubbly and out going, may have changed themselves. Myself, I’m am a bit of a hermit now. Where as in my youth, I was very out going.

Whether you’ve known, know, or have noticed these my brother and sister, we are different. there’s no question. Some think we are angry grumpy rude. No, we’re overwhelmed, because we are quiet introspective homebody’s. This means we are hard to get to know.

From my perspective I have limits in the number of people I’m comfortable within a group, and that’s not 200 people moving about in a rush pushing carts in a shopping frenzy. In fact, my personal comfort zone is about 6 people.

Maybe my PTSD has helped in a way, if I’m honest. When I was one of those friendly social group gathering people, I passed judgment, all be it quietly and personally on people who were shy homebody’s. I did this in ignorance then. I was young invincible, living life fast, putting myself in difficult positions. Actions on my part that allowed me to experience, even if traumatic painful and tragic, this change. I’ve repent and understand, my private home-bodied brothers and sisters.

The funny thing though, like everyone else we are just trying to get by. Trying to get along in packed spaces. Trying to not be a bother or even be noticed. We, my antisocial family, aren’t hateful. Most of us, I feel, have good thoughts for our fellows. Some I’m sure, are even envious of the social butterflies out in the world. We are here, all over, waiting on the non-judgmental, the patient, and the calm to note our qualities. We make trustworthy loyal rational. life long friends, not hundreds of acquaintances. We in the end, are simply people. We offer a different perspective.

Have you hugged a homebody today?

Cereal Crimes

I’ve taken some time to considering a few issues conditions and circumstances, I feel could meld into a problem greater than they would otherwise be individually. The connected concerns relate to health, nutrition, family finance, a change in kitchen skills, menu planning, meal preparation,  the advertisement, chemist created, and processed foods.

My first concern was the health of family, friends, and frankly all my human fellows. I see the trends our culture spreads. As we’ve become less healthy in our living style, other counties have taken up the same dangerous path, our changing work and life habits have traveled.

Our change in Nutrition, or what would become known of as nutrition, came with advancements in industries technology and transportation. These sectors required, an ever-increasing work force to support and grow these businesses sectors. First this growth removed time from those already working, as they worked ever-increasing hours. Then the advancement required and took a new workforce. These new workers, drawn from what were at the time traditional family homes. A workforce last employed in war production. When these laborers last worked, they were not just wanted but desperately needed, to make up for those sent to fight overseas.

Family finance had begun to change too, and one income was no longer enough, as public and private debt grew and slow inflation decreased the buying power of the dollar. However, we continued to strive for the instilled ideal, we called the American Dream. The choice was in general, lost for men and women right then. Whether to stay home and raise a family or work, was no longer a question. This new and close to life requirement occurred, just as real calls for women’s rights gained their highest acknowledgment in the public’s eye, for the growing movement. Which for some sharpen beliefs in conservative or traditional values, as it simultaneously changed how the future would define it.

With the change to the family structure, whether it be two parents working, dual parental guardianship between two homes, post divorce , or the fast advance of single parent families over the next two decades, habits further changed in how we fed ourselves, and most particularly our children.

The skills of a new generation changed, as practices from the previous were not longer passed on. The understanding of how to manage a kitchen was lost, as counter space became a pile of plastic and wires, with generations of supposed labor-saving devices. Each of these seemingly to prepare quick, refined, and packaged food stuffs.

Shopping for the weekly groceries had changed. People now had less time. and available stocks of chemically altered, preserved, long shelf-life, long traveled edible products had increased. The shopping of the past, where people purchased fresh ingredients to created meals from, had turned to something mostly seen in Sunday meals and family holidays. Everyday eating had and has turned into something on the run in a bag and a box, to something quick at home from a bag or a box. The term “Convenience Foods” was accepted by the public, and became the pillar of our diets.

Taking the changes over time, and a silent American philosophy, our changing diet’s damage would continue. What is this philosophy? “Bigger is Better”. So we super-sized our diets, wastes, closets, food budgets, cars, health issues, costs and debts.

In all, these problems aren’t only from within, or made strictly based on the time constraints of what we see as the modern world. No. We’ve had more help than we realize, in changing our habits. Our growth into this modern age came with the technology of mass visual media, mass marketing and advertising. All of these capture the mind after you work long hours. All of these manipulations have confronted, and will continue to affect, entire generations of latchkey kids. Visual media becoming a time filling device, as much as entertainment or an electronic baby sitter. But the resulting effect of visual media, even in small children, is readily observed.

There aren’t many of us who haven’t seen the conflict between parents and their children on the cereal aisle or with impulse items at check out. These conflicts often happen over brand named products, and include children younger than reading age. I’m sure many have noted this phenomenon, whether with your own children, or by simple observation on your own shopping journey. But, have you ever asked why? Have you ever asked, are these impulses instilled in me?

With out a doubt, they are in all of use who experience the subtle manipulations of marketing and advertising. Our actions, like over eating, brand name recognition, wanting of a new updated upgraded and improved everything has come over the ether and into our homes each day. We’ve been trained over generations of change and supposed advancement. We’re manipulated by commercials made with the best and brightest in psychology and psychiatry, participating in their creation. Our entertainments reinforce the Clockwork Orange programing. With convenience foods like chips, pizza, and soda taking center stage, but in subtle placements.

Dissatisfaction and boycott, complaint and notification to a complicit press, don’t often bring change. Reason awareness and dissemination of education, as to these bumps weighed options and mind manipulations is a start. The path behind us destroyed. and the other we influence are destroying their paths back, never looking behind.

Our true revelation of the path we’ve tread is still ahead. What caused our turns on this path, who set up the signs, and who changed them, like a table-cloth, is still to unfold. But for now, as you sit down for your next 16 oz steak, pint of Ben and Jerry’s, or giant tub of movie theater popcorn with extra butter, maybe some of what I’ve mentioned here, could be food for thought.

 

Make the Transformation

The observer in me has little to do with, the entertainments on offer from the mainstream media.

I  know when my taste for the light programing on offer, transformed. I had been a TV junkie from youngster, into my mid-teens. The sheer fiction, was an escape then for me. The change was a realization, while watching real people in real distress, over a 90 day period.

Fiction of a mind and the realities of a life, are overwhelming at times, just to see. Hearing the truths of a life, can bring you to sobbing tears. Being let into the fiction in a mind causes laughter intrigue, and even at times fear.

The transformation is one of understanding, even maturity. Movies, sitcoms, night-time soap-operas serials,and the news, will never be real. Ads try to sell you what you don’t need. The news is, dumbed down and propagandized. A sit-com shows you a life of mirth, people don’t normally have, and make you want it. Night time soaps show men or women stylized in a dream, and they will never be your partner. The serial dramas show you power and wealth regular people don’t have, but leave you desirous of both. The Movies are all the above.

These tools used to manipulate opinion and sell products, have the mind trapped. They have minds earning for a false reality. Why does the world not change? Trapped minds living in a media created, false reality of escapism.

Escapism to other lives and experiences. And all the goods advertised during the ad break, silently say, I can give you  your hearts deepest desire.  These goods will bring you happiness success and love, is a brazen fiction of the mind. The shows serve to distract you, from the problems and concerns of daily life. The news shapes itself, to what you need to hear., to keep you feeding into the Colosseum for the show.

The slap of reality, brought the transformation. Real people. Real life. These are real entertainments. It all starts with turning off “The Idiot Box” and tuning back on our real relationships. . As there will never be anything more interesting, comical, scary, moving, alluring, educating or down right entertaining, than those we allow into our lives. When we make our transformation, and turn off the tool of manipulation, “The Idiot Box”, and turn on to the one truth, all we will ever really have is each other. Frugality is all that’s needed, not forbiddance.

A Disposable Future

IMAG0708 I wanted to write something of my thoughts, about what I feels is an odd change in us and our thinking. Personal and corporate. I’ll start with family. My mother is careful with all she has. When I think about her kitchen, there are things my eyes are drawn to, that have been around for decades. An example of that is a set of knives. I’ve used knives as a professional, and these are great.  They are also, over 40 years. old. I find that amazing, because I think we all know now, that the Ginsu with all the wonderful advertising  through commercials and infomercials, are a waste of 20 bucks. That’s still true, no matter how much free plastic they give you with it. To send it back under its lifetime warranty, a waste of time. Why a waste of time?  Because all you get back is another crappy knife. I think this shows nicely, the change we’ve gone through, in what is actually a very short time.

I believe this says something about where we are going, as we slip into our self imposed future. A disposable future . The rise of the infomercial age and beyond.

I remember when you bought something, not already thinking about your next something.  This is caused by, the changed expectations we now have for our purchases. Actually planning to spend  money on the same type of product again, as soon as we buy or finance our new “Thing”. Why?  We know, even though no one said a word, that what we spent our money on won’t last.

Cellphones are on two year contracts, which is good because you can’t  rely on it lasting longer. Televisions are made to last 5 years. Cars 5-7 years, for a regular driver. Clothing’s made to fall apart, permeates the market. But that’s really not the manufacturers.

In the late 70’s early 80’s advertising and marketing professionals, created this market of lowered expectations. It appears, as our consumer confidence waned in American made goods, it became easier to allow the overseas manufacturers to flooded our markets with goods. Not all of these products were poorly made, but a great many were.

Then pop culture, with its quickening pace and the jaded new generation of consumer, gained purchasing power. Consumers who grew up with no expectation of reliable goods. When they met our economy full on, the mix of the two, consumer and manufacturers, truly lowered the perceived standard of quality and construction. As a  business, why strive to make a quality, long lasting product at a good value, if none of your customer have that expectation of a product?  You meet the quality the consumer expects, and keep your costs, and the consumers cost, down. The theory being, if your customer only expects to buy crap, and does so, give them crap.

Remember, the only responsibility business has is to their stockholders, even if they are considered “persons”. A concept, I never seem to be able to wrap my head around.

I think with crappy products, we as Americans should be happy all these poorly made goods don’t come from here.  (most of our manufacturing base is gone). We need to stop wasting our money, encouraging this behavior from consumers, corporations, and manufactures. I like the idea of buying American, but that’s not now possible in our new world economy. So, I’d like us to be “Smart Consumers”. When I say that, I’m not so much thinking about big-ticket items, as I believe most of us at least try to make quality decisions there. Trying, is all I ask.

Where I think we fail is in everyday items. I make jokes about dollar stores. I shop there myself, but still I feel the same. I see a ton of things that will be tossed away. Why not buy a pancake spatula that will last, and won’t melt the third time you use it? Doing this is only causing  you go spend another dollar for a new one. And trust me, that new one will do just the same as the first. I really feel, we would be better off making more quality goods and more quality durable goods. Even if they cost more, like the old Curtis Mathes Televisions.

I’d like a manufacturing base returned to us, that was more than building machines of war. I’d like to have a better export to offer, than Hollywood movies. I’d like to bring back an expectation in reliable goods, and fill that niche with our countries high quality manufactured goods. I believe we would succeed in the world market, even with higher priced product, because of the quality and durability. It’s possible, because we know we can back those goods, with a promise of quality and service. Because of our pride, knowing we make the best products. There is pride in being able to say, “Yes our products are the most expensive in the world, but unlike the others, ours are darn well worth the price”. I don’t want us to continue down the path we’re on, to our self imposed, “Disposable Future”.

Relationships Money and Violence

I’m not a fighter, in my relationships. I don’t yell rage or menace my partner, when there is friction. I would never raise my hand or strike my companion. Unfortunately my ways aren’t the ways of all men. I would even say the problem of abuse, and issues that can be the catalyst for abuse, are on the rise. I certainly don’t have any statistical proof of my supposition. It’s more a visceral response, based on what I see.

There is very little that will stress a relationship more, than difficulties with finances. With conditions as they are, I imagine there are more stressed relationships than there were 4 or 5 years ago. The true assessment of this hypothesis, I’ve done with my eyes and ears, when out in public and at home. I take what I observe today, then compare to memories of similar experiences in my past.

I’m not one to get out much, but like everyone else I must shop. This is a great time to observe the interactions of couples shopping together, and they are a dime a dozen. Also, shopping requires money, so the stress dynamic is in play.

The main arguments on the isles seem to come from impulse and convenience items or goods that are intoxicating. I’d put 1/3 of the shopping couples conflicts, in the intoxicant category. And yes, here it’s usually the female of the couple appealing for temperance. So with this observation, I can look at other situations and see if the same dynamic applies.

I can’t say I’m blessed, as a man in his mid-forties, with teenage as neighbors. I am though, blessed with much activity to draw in and draw on, with my living arrangements. I also think looking at the interactions of young couples, just learning about what real relationship require, is an excellent time to see the reality of monetary stresses at their base level. Young people having less money than established adults, generally speaking, creates a volatile environment to monitor.

I think it might be tradition, or even an inbred sense of responsibility, but this type of stress taints the mans behavior, more so than the female. Although this is merely my personal observation. I believe this is where the behaviors come into play, that shame men on the whole. This too is only my observation however, in the area of yelling I believe the woman have the men beat on this action. It’s easily though, the most socially acceptable of the behaviors. As for rage, that goes to the men, from the sound that comes through my living room wall. Finally we have menace in the mix. This is an action that leads to the domestic violence that sickens me, and that I deplore.

I know the monetary stress is taking its toll. I know this because, the issue has seeped through my walls. I know it’s gone too far for a couple, when there financial issues wake me in the night. I see the relationship is at a tragic point, or should be, when I’m reaching for the phone, wondering if I should make a call. And, it’s completely beyond repair, when I’ve dial the police, because the slam against my wall had me thinking, I was going to have a house guest.

It’s amazing though, that a males ego and pride can lead to such anger, as well as violence. To me a difficult challenge should be met by a coming together. Obstacles should bring to a couple, unity of purpose. The roll of help-mate not hurt-mate, should be the practice of both parties. That though, was not the experience of last night.

Are these abusive practices on the rise? Yes, I believe they are in the younger generations. Whether it’s a lack of two parent families, because of divorce, or a step back from two parent families traditional roles, there seems to be an unwanted result. Possibly it’s a product of media influence. Whatever it is, I don’t like the trend I see, or the future it represents. I also feel, outcomes like last night, give men on the whole a bad name. And frankly I don’t think the penalties for such behavior go far enough. I’m not arguing for harsher sentences. I am though asking other men who aren’t abusers to shun those who are. To look at your group of buddies, and remove from your circle those who are giving you a bad name. Don’t make excuses. Don’t listen to their justifications, as there aren’t any. In the words of Isaac Asimov “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”.

 

Fighting the Egocentric Army

Worry, concern, compassion for ones fellow human beings, has faded. The manufactured, self-centered, egocentric army advances. As well as the societal filters that blind us to the suffering of others, and the growing inequity within our own systems of belief. With little notice or commentary, the populations of advanced countries are guided to their own self-absorbed doom. Led as they are, even in times of crisis, to accept the manipulations of the media. Even answering the call for increased consumption of goods, propagandized as the public’s duty. This “duty” going almost completely unquestioned. Because those that do question, receive the media’s label of anti-American. Or worse.

Just the promotion of these actions to the public, serves to advance an intolerant view. Between disinformation and the advancement of a competitive consumer culture, you have a less informed population willing to stand in a line. Sometimes, for days. Simply to replace a still workable and functioning gadget, with a slightly revised version of the same product. Never taking into account, they already have and own the same product.

It’s manufactured madness. A condition which allows specific concerns, to tell the public who they are, by what they believe and consume. It allows for the stifling of dissenting opinion, and sets the mark between the in and out, the haves and have not, the popular in crowd, and those to be considered outside the excepted norms. It divides a population, because a united population is a danger to the dominate systems power.

Government, finance, and business worldwide, can’t survive in their present form, if a united front, of an educated populace, not distracted by entitled consumerism, or a feeling of needing to keep up with the Joneses”, truly grows in numbers and voice. If awareness grows, concerning the actions of the manipulative mainstream media. The public might speak out against the dumbing down of information and the reporting of half stories. The public could begin to see how media corporations edited news stories and choose advertising that fits the media company’s corporate agenda.

The conversation about a media created, first world, programmed consumer culture, must continuing. It is key to ending its folly. There are many unread news sources, columns, and bloggers, opining on the same issues mentioned here. I am proud to add my thoughts and words to the others, with continued posts on this subject.

I want the best for my fellows, and that includes truth. One person at a time, is how to break the hold on the public’s psyche. The possibility of my words, added to the other voices, helping one person to change their perspective and point of view, away from the self-absorbed doom, is why I continue writing.

 

Entitled to Consumption

Our reality is tainted by our own sense of entitlement to luxury. Even a view into the deprived lives of those in third world countries, or the suffering of refugees, from countries at war, has little to no effect on our sense of entitlement, and it’s practice of consumption.

Before Starbucks, advertisements pleaded for assistance. The claim, for just the price of a cup of coffee you could make the life of an impoverished child a bit better. Now post Starbucks creation, millions of children are still starving, and the price of a cup of coffee is 3-5 dollars. The strange thing in this situation is the coffee Starbucks uses for its 3-5 dollar cup of coffee, came from a country were non-profits seek to aid impoverished and suffering populations.

Our world is ripe with these counter intuitive situation, under which people and families struggle to survive. Petroleum and Mining are two major players, in conflicts between a local populations need, and the power of multinational conglomerates. This situation of suffering populations makes no difference to the entitled. This is proved true by all the gas guzzling SUV’s on our roads today. Funny though, most will never take their off-road work horses off paved roads. The roads we’re lucky enough to have, yet every driver complains about.

This is yet another oddity I find elsewhere, when looking at our perceived entitlement to consumption. The oddity is a relatively new phenomenon I call, “The Upgrade Entitlement”. This is almost a competition between associated consumers to see who’s electronic technology is the newest. Just think of all those lines of consumers with quality working telecommunication devices, queuing to replace all their working devices. However, the devices the upgrade entitled have, and will re-purchase, rely on rare earth elements from mining and close to slave labor for manufacturing device components. But the issues are either ignored or unknown to the upgrade entitled.

Another type of entitled consumption, that’s usually forgotten, is that of the recreational shopper, fashion slave, clothing horse, or shoe collector. A simple look at the tags inside the clothing shows the issue with this type of compulsive entitled consumption. The News of recent, also tells the tale. One of workers locked in at clothing manufacture sweat shop, when fire broke out. The fire causing a loss of life tragedy.

I use these three areas as examples, but they are not the only examples. I have commented on consumption in other opinion pieces and need to reiterate, there is nothing wrong with intelligent consumption, as we are all consumers. The issue here is consumption for consumptions sake, with no acknowledgment or understanding of real value, or a balancing of want with need. So I write, and hope maybe one person might be affected, and change their personal habits. I also plead with my readers,  please take an intelligent look,  at value based consumption.  As opposed to the ever present, mindless habits of the entitled consumer.

Programed by a Small Box

I often wonder, when I hear someone talking about the television program they watched the previous night, if they acknowledge the word “Program”. Program is the perfect word.

From the time we are small, whether on our own or by the hands of our parents, we are programmed by a small box. The mistake from the start, was thinking the box was there to inform educate and entertain. The mistake was thinking your favorite series was given a Emmy Award, for anything but the massive revenue created from the sale promotional segment contracts. The mistake is thinking your TV main purpose is to catch the big game on the weekend. When the truth is, all the programing all the broadcasts serve only two purpose. Those purposes are,  manipulating  public opinion, and the sale of commercial products.

We live in a time where the best and brightest in the field of psychology, are working in advertising. Which makes sense to me, because of the limited time a “program’ break provides, for the material presented to capture your mind. One thing however, that works in their favor is repetition.

Take for example, since this manipulation starts so early, the commercials presented during children’s programing. These commercials seem harmless with their bright colors catch phrases, and cartoon characters. This is far from the truth. What is happening with those commercials is indoctrination to product branding. Any parent who’s ever had a child on the cereal isle, in the grocery store, knows how effective their marketing can be. Even going so far as to bring children and parents into conflict over what’s for breakfast.

This branding, and the building of product loyalty, whether warranted or not, is  in evidence  in adults also. Lines for new electronics and Black Friday injures prove this out nicely.

I’m also fairly sure, I’d have better luck in helping a child understand this issue. A child’s indoctrination to the manipulations of the medium of television. Also children, have little understanding when it comes to social status through symbols. When almost every adult knows the difference between a Mercedes-Benz and a Toyota corporate logos.

Each and every commercial advertisements has had a show or series made, so they have the media vehicle with which to sell you, not only their product or service, but a feeling or emotion. Take for example, BP. So much damage so much outcry, but introduced the Human Element campaign, and regained much public approval. Coke is a decent example also at this time of year, for those who remember the “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” campaign. Also ATT’s, tear jerking, “Reach Out and Touch Someone” long-distance calling campaign, shows the attempt to manipulate the consumer.

The commercial manipulations mentioned above, are merely a few overt examples. The real issue is those who are much more subtle in their message. I don’t consider the common use of sex to sell in my list of subtle manipulations.

Really what I’d like, is for those who can’t see  the reality of my words, in their daily television viewing, to read this. Just some simple awareness, is a good place to start. Becoming an educated consumer, and not a manipulated one, is the desired result. Not the abolishment of Television as a medium, .

As a side note, I would have enjoyed giving Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays a kick to the shin.

 

Seasonal Insanity

Once again I am confused. It happens to me every Holiday season. In my life I can say, I’m not exactly what most would consider normal, as it deals with Material Culture. You see, I don’t worry about things like grease spots on a shirt, or water spots on silverware. In my life, situations like an overflowing toilet, are not what I consider a crisis. It won’t ruin my day, or cause some kind of Drama trauma. I also, in my reasoning, don’t hunger for the latest, in vogue, electronic gadget. These things have little importance to me on the grand scale.

Having these beliefs and ways, I come into conflict with the programmed consumerism, that’s exaggerated this time of year. It’s a sad spectacle for me, not understanding the drive. Black Friday participation, seems more like a programmed Borderline personality disorder of the consuming public, to me. In this manifestation, the retail businesses are simply the enablers. Businesses who put a small number of crazy low-priced goods, know what they are stimulating. They desire the feeding frenzy, of consumers driven temporarily insane. They need those who are  willing to stand in line, and wrestle around for overpriced plastic or electronic goods, to pump their bottom line for stock holders. Goods manufactured abroad. Products that have possible directly or indirectly taken the job of a friend neighbor or family member who’s struggling to find work or stay in their home.

The once a year manufactured buying frenzy, not only has caused a portion of  the previously mentioned jobs housing issue, but it has also caused a loss in perspective as to the true nature of such holidays. Here I’m not talking about the religious connections, but the connection of people, as they gather together in warmth and friendship, peace and love.

I hate to say this during the holidays, and considering difficult economic times with large unemployment figures and massive private debt, although that’s seems to be slowly being whittled away, but this massive  frenzied consumerism of foreign-made goods, with built-in planned obsolescence, is only taking the unemployed, under employed, and blue-collar union workers, whose jobs are being shipped overseas, is only serving to shoot those groups in the foot. Hobbling their own futures.

In this annual, traditional, manufactured insanity,  I believe the consumer forgets they have a vote here, within this insanity. Forgotten or unknown to shopper, is the ability to vote with their dollars. They forget this power, or simply ignore it to their detriment. You see in this craze, there are moral and ethical choices to be made. The chance to not buy from companies who utilize slave or child labor, is only one. To say with a purchase of one manufacture goods over another, that you approve of the higher standard of business ethics they keep over, above, and beyond their competitors, is another. I also don’t think basic workers rights, or the opportunity to buy goods manufactured in your own country, can be ignored either. And these are only a few ways to vote with money.

There is nothing wrong with being a consumer, we all are. There is an issue with being an ignorant consumer, that cuts their own future fiscal throat. The rights or wrongs are not mine to judge, I merely opine here on the present condition. I do think however ,that during the Seasonal Shopping Wars, that an ignorant consumer is tantamount to cannon balls, shot at our nations economy.  Economic traitor, who needs consumer re-education. So they too may realize their own folly,  in causing themselves economic damage.  I’ll add to that also, so they quit shooting those who are already educated, thinking shopper, in the damn foot. Hobbling to an extent, our own economies growth and job production.

My wish only wish for the consumer portion of the holiday, is that there are more of us doing the right thing when it comes to Voting with our seasonal shopping dollar.

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