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It isn't Christmas yet

Walmart--and I am certain other retailers--launched the Christmas shopping season a week before Halloween.

The stated reason is "a short season" because the recent tradition of a Christmas shopping season spanning from the day after Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve is six days fewer than in 2018.

In 1941 when the federal government standardized the celebration of Thanksgiving Day as the fourth Thursday in November, it was seen as establishing a reasonable minimum shopping season period of approximately four weeks.

Now our "profit above all else" retailers are trying to push the shopping season to two months because the "official season" in 2019 is six days shorter than in 2018.

Many retailers started putting up Christmas displays the week after Labor Day and reducing the size of Halloween displays. And now, a week before Halloween and a full month before Thanksgiving Day, they want to start online sales.

My plea to U.S. retailers is to show some sanity and keep the Christmas shopping season confined to the day after Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve.



Advice from a chum

Hi, Donnie, your compari (goombah) from Jersey is back. Couldn't help but notice some bad karma coming out of the White House and thought you might like some sympathetic advice.

First, tell Rudy to pick better friends, ones who don't look like they just came out of Central Casting for Godfather I, II and III. Do either of you hang with any "known associates" who aren't under arrest or under indictment? Not looking good for the history books, pal.

Second, the loyal Kurds have had our backs for quite a while. Throwing them under the bus to curry favor with vicious dictators is trés, trés lousy and totally dishonorable. If our other allies are "cheesed" about this and no longer trust us, it's pretty justifiable.

Third, conniving to get the G-7 bigwigs to stay in your bedbug-ridden overpriced resort in Miami would have been a clear violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution--clear and simple. Good on you for backing down, but considering it in the first place was "bat-doo-doo" crazy. (Florida in June? Really??)

Fourth, ignoring a congressional subpoena, for both you and your henchmen/henchladies, just screams "I am so guilty." You may have a loyal cult and some spineless congressmen to back you up, but a lot more of us know contempt of Congress when we see it.

Fifth, the military has a three-word phrase to indicate one's having messed up beyond all measure. It suggests an intimate relationship with a canine; let's leave it at that. Suggesting that impeachment--a legal process enshrined in the Constitution--is comparable to the horror of "lynching" is a tad beyond unconscionable and super-low-class.

Well, that's enough from your Jersey buddy. Tell Vlad I said "Privyet."


Bella Vista

Webs we have spun

American anthropologist Clifford Geertz noted that "Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun." As a Muslim, for example, one lives by the webs of significance the Islamic community holds as truth. French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre drew the paradoxical conclusion that German occupation in World War II offered Frenchmen their greatest opportunity to be free. It nullified what they held as truth and led them to search for new truths amid new realities.

Americans today are suspended in webs of significance such as the radical individualism (self-centeredness) of neoliberalism, the hubris (tribalism) of nationalism, and the salvific apocalypses of ancient Hebrews and early Christians (sectarianism) which fail to illuminate the current ecological crisis and may even contribute to the demise of the planet--our end of times. As French occupation nullified traditional truths, so ecological disasters challenge American (and global) traditions, prompting search for economic and moral philosophies that sustain humans, animals and plant life, the planetary order, and creation under difficult circumstances.

Until consensus on new constructs emerge, Sartre noted, "Man can count on no one but himself; he is alone ... with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth." Societies without communally accepted truths experience what he called the "anguish of freedom," an era of uncertainty, anxiety, and division. Others have experienced and survived this, but until now none have been armed with nuclear weapons globally, nor assault weapons locally. Success will take global collective genius.



Repeal regressive tax

It is a very regressive tax on hybrid and electric cars that has been imposed on us to buy our license plates.

When I bought my Prius, I thought I was making a smart decision in saving gas, money, and the environment, only to be taxed by this stupid decision. Where did it come from, and why, besides greed?

Repeal this repression now!


Little Rock

Tax pays for the roads

Re James Milford and the rest of the complainers about the special hybrid vehicle tax: Fuel taxes pay for the roads and upkeep. You are not buying enough fuel to pay for your part of the roads.

It's that simple.



Editorial on 10/25/2019

Print Headline: Letters


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