The real meaning of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is rich in traditions. The turkey. The dressing. The pumpkin pie. The family assembled in prayerful reverence in remembrance of the plight of the early settlers of this country — much of which is complete fiction.

The Plymouth colonists set out to live in an idealistic communal fashion. Everyone would share equally in the products of the colony. But after nearly starving to death in 1621 and 1622, Gov. William Bradford abandoned the social experiment and gave each family its own plot of land, and whatever was produced on it was the rightful property of the owner to consume or trade.

The result was a prosperous harvest in 1623 followed by a feast of Thanksgiving.

Capitalism saved the colony.

The American Institute of Economic Research has posted online its own retelling of the Thanksgiving story, along with passages from Bradford’s recollections from “Of Plymouth Plantation,” translated into more modern spelling.

The AIER notes that the colony was attempting to live in the manner described in Plato’s Republic in which all would work and share goods in common, ridding themselves of selfishness and achieving higher social state. The problem was that hard work was not rewarded and laggardness and sloth went unpunished. William Bradford

Bradford wrote:

“For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more division of food, clothes, etc. then he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignant and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could man husbands brook it.”

Before the colony could die off from starvation, Bradford divvied up the land and introduced private property.

The governor wrote:

“And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end. … This had a very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted then otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little-ones with them to set corn, which before would a ledge weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.”

And the result was, again in Bradford’s words:

“By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. And the effect of their planting was well seen, for all had, one way or other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.”

This is the real lesson of the first Thanksgiving: Capitalism always triumphs over communist utopian fantasies. Humans will work for their own self interest and, instead of it being greedy and rapacious, all benefit and prosper.

But Americans appear to have elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris anyway.

A version of this blog was first posted in 2011.
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Monolith discovery in Utah canyon prompts ‘planet’ warning

A metal monolith planted in a remote southeast Utah canyon was discovered last week by a Utah Department of Public Safety flight crew that had been counting bighorn sheep. (UDPS photo)

A metal monolith has somehow been installed in the ground in a remote area of red rock in southeast Utah.

“It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from,” warns a Monday news release from the Utah Department of Public Safety.

It’s possible the use of “planet” is warranted because of a hard-to-believe discovery by a flight crew that was counting bighorn sheep in an undisclosed area of southeast Utah.

The crew spotted an unusual object and landed to investigate.

A metal monolith had somehow been installed in the ground in a remote area of red rock. The metal sticks out about 12 feet above ground at what appears to be the point of a small canyon.

The crew said there was no obvious indication of who might have planted the monolith.

The exact location was not disclosed because it is in a very remote area and “if individuals were to attempt to visit the area, there is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue,” the UDPS stated in the release.

The federal Bureau of Land Management will determine if more investigation is needed, the UDPS stated.

Source: Monolith discovery in Utah canyon prompts ‘planet’ warning

Two crew members show the height of a monolith discovered Nov. 18, 2020, in a remote southeast Utah canyon. (UDPS photo)
A crew member next to a metal monolith discovered Nov. 18, 2020, in a remote southeast Utah can …A crew member next to a metal monolith discovered Nov. 18, 2020, in a remote southeast Utah canyon. (UDPS photo)

 

Another first in 2020

What a strange year it has been.

The spring was unusually cool, so I planted the vegetable garden later than usual. Then it got extremely hot immediately. The tomato plants produced a few tomatoes but then largely went dormant.

With the cooling of autumn, out popped more tomatoes. But it is so cool they are not ripening.

I picked a half dozen and left them in the kitchen window to ripen, but to no avail.

So, for the first time in my life I fixed fried green tomatoes. Simple recipe I pulled off the net — dredge in flour and Cajun spice, then egg and milk and finally bread crumbs. About the same as you would for wienerschnitzel. Added a dash of Louisiana hot sauce and they were rather tasty.

I have a lot more tomatoes, so there is bound to be more on our table. Perhaps for Thanksgiving.
http://dlvr.it/RmGVTJ

Another first in 2020

What a strange year it has been.

The spring was unusually cool, so I planted the vegetable garden later than usual. Then it got extremely hot immediately. The tomato plants produced a few tomatoes but then largely went dormant.

With the cooling of autumn, out popped more tomatoes. But it is so cool they are not ripening.

I picked a half dozen and left them in the kitchen window to ripen, but to no avail.

So, for the first time in my life I fixed fried green tomatoes. Simple recipe I pulled off the net — dredge in flour and Cajun spice, then egg and milk and finally bread crumbs. About the same as you would for wienerschnitzel. Added a dash of Louisiana hot sauce and they were rather tasty.

I have a lot more tomatoes, so there is bound to be more on our table. Perhaps for Thanksgiving.
http://dlvr.it/RmGVTJ

Another first in 2020

What a strange year it has been.

The spring was unusually cool, so I planted the vegetable garden later than usual. Then it got extremely hot immediately. The tomato plants produced a few tomatoes but then largely went dormant.

With the cooling of autumn, out popped more tomatoes. But it is so cool they are not ripening.

I picked a half dozen and left them in the kitchen window to ripen, but to no avail.

So, for the first time in my life I fixed fried green tomatoes. Simple recipe I pulled off the net — dredge in flour and Cajun spice, then egg and milk and finally bread crumbs. About the same as you would for wienerschnitzel. Added a dash of Louisiana hot sauce and they were rather tasty.

I have a lot more tomatoes, so there is bound to be more on our table. Perhaps for Thanksgiving.
http://dlvr.it/RmGVTJ

Another first in 2020

What a strange year it has been.

The spring has unusually cool, so I planted the vegetable garden later than usual. Then it got extremely hot immediately. The tomato plants produced a few tomatoes but then largely went dormant.

With the cooling of autumn, out popped more tomatoes. But it is so cool they are not ripening.

I picked a half dozen and left them in the kitchen window to ripen, but to no avail.

So, for the first time in my life I fixed fried green tomatoes. Simple recipe I pulled off the net — dredge in flour and Cajun spice, then egg and milk and finally bread crumbs. About the same as you would for wienerschnitzel. Added a dash of Louisiana hot sauce and they were rather tasty.

I have a lot more tomatoes, so there is bound to be more on our table. Perhaps for Thanksgiving.
http://dlvr.it/RmCFNq

Another first in 2020

What a strange year it has been.

The spring has unusually cool, so I planted the vegetable garden later than usual. Then it got extremely hot immediately. The tomato plants produced a few tomatoes but then largely went dormant.

With the cooling of autumn, out popped more tomatoes. But it is so cool they are not ripening.

I picked a half dozen and left them in the kitchen window to ripen, but to no avail.

So, for the first time in my life I fixed fried green tomatoes. Simple recipe I pulled off the net — dredge in flour and Cajun spice, then egg and milk and finally bread crumbs. About the same as you would for wienerschnitzel. Added a dash of Louisiana hot sauce and they were rather tasty.

I have a lot more tomatoes, so there is bound to be more on our table. Perhaps for Thanksgiving.
http://dlvr.it/RmCFNq

Another first in 2020

What a strange year it has been.

The spring has unusually cool, so I planted the vegetable garden later than usual. Then it got extremely hot immediately. The tomato plants produced a few tomatoes but then largely went dormant.

With the cooling of autumn, out popped more tomatoes. But it is so cool they are not ripening.

I picked a half dozen and left them in the kitchen window to ripen, but to no avail.

So, for the first time in my life I fixed fried green tomatoes. Simple recipe I pulled off the net — dredge in flour and Cajun spice, then egg and milk and finally bread crumbs. About the same as you would for wienerschnitzel. Added a dash of Louisiana hot sauce and they were rather tasty.

I have a lot more tomatoes, so there is bound to be more on our table. Perhaps for Thanksgiving.
http://dlvr.it/RmCFNq

Judge holds Separation of Powers Clause means just what it says

On Monday a Clark County District Court judge threw out a DUI conviction because the prosecutor in the case also serves in the state Legislature, a violation of the Nevada Constitution Separation of Powers Clause.

Judge Richard Scotti wrote:

Appellant Jennifer Plumlee was deprived of her Constitutional rights of procedural due process because her prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Scheible, also served as a Legislator at the time of the trial, in violation of the Separation of Powers doctrine which doctrine exists as a fundamental feature of American government, and as a express clause in the Nevada Constitution. Nev. Const. Art. 3, Sec. 1. An individual may not serve simultaneously as the law-maker and the law-enforcer of the laws of the State of Nevada.
The plain and unambiguous language of the Nevada Constitution is that: The powers of the Government of the State of Nevada shall be divided into three separate departments, -the Legislative, -the Executive and the Judiciary; and no persons charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any functions, appertaining to either of the others, except in the cases expressly directed or permitted in this Constitution.
Nev. Const. Art 3, sec. 1. This is commonly known as the Separation of Powers clause.It is undisputed that Prosecutor Scheible was a person charged with the exercise of powers within the legislative branch of government at the time of the trial. Further, there is no reasonable dispute that, as prosecutor, she was charged with the exercise of powers within the executive branch. the enforcement of the laws of the State of Nevada are powers that fall within the executive branch of the government of the State of Nevada. See Nev. Const. Art. 5, sec. 7. Prosecutor Scheible was enforcing the laws of the State of Nevada, and representing the State of Nevada, and thus was exercising the powers delegated to her within the executive branch. It is not mere coincidence that District Attorneys are frequently referred to as the State or the government. Deputy District Attorney Scheible did not have the legal authority to prosecute Appellant, thus the trial was a nullity.

The Nevada Separation of Powers Clause has been flouted for decades, as an assortment of bureaucrats have successfully won seats in the Legislature.

The principle was embodied in the founding documents of this country.

James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper No. 47, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote in “Notes on the State of Virginia” in 1784: “All the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. … An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”

In a 1967 case, the Nevada Supreme Court flatly stated, “The division of powers is probably the most important single principle of government declaring and guaranteeing the liberties of the people.”

In 2004 then-Secretary of State Dean Heller asked the Supreme Court to remedy the ongoing skirting of the Constitution. Heller asked the court to find that service in the Legislature by unidentified executive branch employees violates the concept of separation of powers and to direct the Legislature to enforce the Separation of Powers Clause.

But the court ruled that doing so would violate — wait for it — the Separation of Powers Clause, because the Constitution also states that the Senate and Assembly are to determine the qualifications of their members, thus the judicial branch telling the legislative branch who its members may be violates the Separation of Powers Clause. Got it?

The court did allow that “declaratory relief could be sought by someone with a ‘legally protectible interest,’ such as a person seeking the executive branch position held by the legislator.”

Since then, the Nevada Policy Research institute has filed a lawsuits on behalf of people seeking the executive branch jobs of lawmakers, but to no avail.

NPRI’s Vice President Robert Fellner said of Scotti’s decision, “As the decision by Judge Scotti demonstrates, the judiciary has an obligation to defend the rights of Nevadans against government overreach and unconstitutional conduct. We are hopeful the Nevada Supreme Court will do just that when our own case inevitably reaches them.”

The Las Vegas newspaper quoted Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson as saying, “Based upon Judge Scotti’s ruling, we are considering our options, which includes going to the Nevada Supreme Court. We haven’t made a decision, but we will be making a decision in the semi-near future.”

Over the years it has been argued that employees of local governments do no violate the Separation of Powers Clause, but Nevada is a Dillon Rule state. The state limits the power of local governments to those expressly granted by the Legislature, local governments are basically subsidiaries of the state. Employees of local governments essentially are serving in the executive branch of state government, and also should be barred from serving as a lawmaker under the Constitution.

Let’s hope the state Supreme Court weighs in soon and settles this significant issue.
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