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Fri, 24 Mar 2023
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No Thanks for Thanksgiving

Instead, we should atone for the genocide that was incited -- and condoned -- by the very men we idolize as our 'heroic' founding fathers.

One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting.

In fact, indigenous people have offered such a model; since 1970 they have marked the fourth Thursday of November as a Day of Mourning in a spiritual/political ceremony on Coles Hill overlooking Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, one of the early sites of the European invasion of the Americas.

Not only is the thought of such a change in this white-supremacist holiday impossible to imagine, but the very mention of the idea sends most Americans into apoplectic fits -- which speaks volumes about our historical hypocrisy and its relation to the contemporary politics of empire in the United States.

That the world's great powers achieved "greatness" through criminal brutality on a grand scale is not news, of course. That those same societies are reluctant to highlight this history of barbarism also is predictable.

But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge our original sin -- the genocide of indigenous people -- is of special importance today. It's now routine -- even among conservative commentators -- to describe the United States as an empire, so long as everyone understands we are an inherently benevolent one. Because all our history contradicts that claim, history must be twisted and tortured to serve the purposes of the powerful.


Two men kill Florida family's pet turkey for Thanksgiving meal

© WTSP.com
Gulf Breeze, Florida -- Tom the turkey had lived happily on Brian and Christa Caponi's 6-acre spread in Gulf Breeze for the past year along with their menagerie of cats, goats, a dog, chickens and roosters.

He was special among their 50 or so animals, Christa said.

"He was a family pet," she said. "It was like having a normal family dog."

But when her husband got up early Monday morning to feed the animals, the 30-pound Tom was missing.

He soon discovered a trail of blood and feathers and feared the worst.

Then, upon looking at a recording from a security camera on the property, he saw one man stealing Tom and another running along the fence line.

Monday, two Santa Rosa County men, one of them a neighbor, were charged with stealing the bird and using a bow and arrow to kill it.

Arrow Up

Charles County family finds dead baby in attic

Washington - A family doing housecleaning last week found something unexpected in the attic: a dead infant.

The discovery was made Friday afternoon in a home on Royal Oak Drive in the La Plata area of Charles County.

Diane Richardson, spokeswoman for the Charles County Sheriff's Office, says the infant's body has been sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

In March, a dead infant was found in the trunk of a car in the Prince Frederick area of Calvert County.

A source with knowledge of the investigation tells WTOP that the mother involved in the Prince Frederick incident has connections to the home in La Plata.

Richardson says the sheriff's departments in Calvert and Charles counties are trying to find out if the two are related.

Charles County detectives say they are working to identify the mother of the baby found in the attic, and whether it's the same mother as the baby found in Prince Frederick.

The cause of death has not been determined, police say.

Heart - Black

Chicago man stabbed to death trying to break up family fight

A family is grieving this Thanksgiving after a brother, uncle, and respected neighbor was stabbed to death while he was trying to break up a fight between a husband and wife.

It happened Wednesday night in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood.

CBS 2 learned police are still looking for their suspect.

Neighbors say the last act of William Terry, just shows the type of person he was - selfless and caring.

Heart - Black

Tragedy of the five young cousins, nine to 13, who lit a fire inside a rubbish bin on bitterly cold night - and all died of carbon monoxide poisoning in China

  • Image
    © HAP/Quirky China News/Rex Feat
    Pictured: Zhonglin, 13, Zhongjin, 12, Zhonghong, 11, Chong, 13, and Tao Bo, 9, (unknown order) had been missing for more than a week when they lit the fire last Thursday in Bijie, south China, 15 miles from their home
    Outcry following shocking case that saw Tao boys aged 9 to 13 found dead
  • They lit a fire in Bijie, China, about 15 miles from their home in Caqiangyan
  • Boys were sons of three brothers and most lived with blind grandmother
  • Two of their fathers said to be rubbish collectors in city near Hong Kong
  • Concern over rural children 'left behind' while parents seek work elsewhere
  • Fears for estimated 58m children in China who lack sufficient supervision or stay in care of grandparents while parents work in booming cities.
Five runaway boys seeking shelter and warmth in China on a cold night died from carbon monoxide poisoning after lighting a fire inside a rubbish bin, it emerged today.

The Tao boys - all brothers or cousins aged 9 to 13 - had been missing for more than a week when they lit the fire last Thursday in Bijie, south China, about 15 miles from their home in Caqiangyan.

The five boys were the sons of three brothers - two of whom are migrant workers with jobs far from home - and most of them had largely unsupervised lives in the care of their blind grandmother.

As details emerged of the tragedy, which happened on the day China unveiled new leadership with promises of a better life for all, it touched off fresh soul-searching about social responsibility.

It renewed concern over 'left-behind' rural children often left with grandparents while parents seek work in thriving coastal cities, and the failure of China's social services to adequately care for them.

'Though you departed from us in a garbage bin, you are not garbage,' children's book author Zheng Yuanjie wrote on his blog, adding that the fault lies with 'adults who failed their responsibilities.'


49 female inmates suffer carbon monoxide poisoning at prison in Pennsylvania

A carbon monoxide leak believed to be from a malfunctioning heating and ventilation system sent 49 female inmates to hospitals from York County Prison in Pennsylvania, authorities said Thursday.

The illnesses began about 11 p.m. Wednesday in a female dormitory housing about 90 women, the York Daily Record newspaper reported on its website. By early Thursday, 49 inmates had been taken to hospitals. All the inmates had been returned to the prison by Thursday afternoon, the county said in a statement, according to the newspaper.

The heating system was shut down, and the county's statement said carbon monoxide levels had returned to normal.

Prison Warden Mary Sabol said prison officials would meet with the McClure Co., the company that works on heating at the prison, and would consider installation of carbon monoxide detectors, the Daily Record reported.

About 215 women are incarcerated at the facility, 85 miles west of Philadelphia.

Prisoners living in the affected unit have been relocated to other areas in the facility.

Source: This article includes reporting by The Associated Press.


'Son of Sal': Cops charge Staten Island man with murders of three Brooklyn shopkeepers with Middle Eastern roots

Cops say Salvatore Perrone, who they call 'John Doe Duffel Bag' in reference to the bag he carried in surveillance footage, has confessed to two of the murders.

Salvatore Perrone
© Franconia Township Police Dept
Salvatore Perrone, shown in a Franconia Township Police Department mugshot, has been charged in three Brooklyn murders.
John Doe Duffel has been bagged.

Salvatore Perrone, a balding, mustachioed man dubbed "Son of Sal" by his neighbors, was charged Wednesday in the chilling serial killings of three Brooklyn shopkeepers after confessing to two of the slayings, police said. The nebbishy-dressed door-to-door salesman had been a prime suspect after cops spotted him in surveillance footage and dubbed him "John Doe Duffel Bag" until they brought him in for questioning Tuesday. Though Perrone, who turns 64 today, did not reveal a motive for the killings, he didn't hesitate to talk during the interrogation. "When he came in he signed the Miranda, (saying) 'I'll talk to you, I want to talk to you,'" a police source said. "He thought he'd outsmart us, but he wasn't arrogant - just very level, no emotion. At one point he actually said, 'I'll be out of here in the morning.'"

The alleged killer ate pizza, a sandwich, smoked cigars and made numerous trips to the bathroom in the hours he talked to detectives, a source said.

He eventually clammed up and took a nap after admitting to two of the slayings, sources said. "He just stopped talking. Who can explain it? You're not going to be able to explain this guy at all," a law enforcement source told the Daily News. "I'm not a psychologist, but he seems to have mental problems. He's a little delusional."


Walmart strikers prepare for Black Friday protests across country

© Alice Hines
Colby Harris and Josue Mata stand outside a Walmart in Lancaster, Texas, hours before the Black Friday sales and worker strikes were set to begin on Thursday.
Dallas - On Thanksgiving afternoon, as freshly stuffed Americans prepared for the shopping bacchanal known as Black Friday, hundreds of Walmart workers readied themselves for a wholly different experience: joining strikes and labor actions planned for the next two days at some 1,000 Walmart stores around the country.

Here in Dallas, as well as in Miami and the San Francisco area, Walmart employees were planning to walk off work and demonstrate early Thursday evening, as shoppers began to arrive in pursuit of the ultra-cheap deals known as doorbusters. The strikers sought to protest low wages and a lack of benefits, while also challenging what they allege has been a pattern of Walmart's retaliation against workers who try to organize. They hoped to use the Black Friday spotlight to sway shoppers to their side.

"It's a question of education," said Josue Mata, a maintenance worker at Walmart in Wheatland, Texas, and a member of OUR Walmart, the labor group that is coordinating the strikes. "We have to show people that we're not just a crazy bunch of protesters."

But Walmart, the world's largest retail chain, was banking on the labor actions amounting to not much in the face of enormous consumer demand for what it provides best: a wide array of products at some of the very lowest prices available. "We don't expect this to have a significant impact," Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg told The Huffington Post in a phone interview. "The overwhelming majority of our associates are excited for our Black Friday events." (The company calls its workers "associates.")

In short, the protests aimed at Walmart on what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year may constitute a test of the nation's sympathy for low-wage workers -- many of whom earn so little that they qualify for food stamps -- against the powerful American yearning for a great deal.


2 dead, scores injured as 100 vehicles collide on foggy I-10 in Texas

The pileup occurred in extreme fog Thanksgiving morning on Interstate 10 southwest of Beaumont, a Gulf Coast city about 80 miles east of Houston.
© The Associated Press/Guiseppe Barranco
Cars and trucks are piled on Interstate 10 in Southeast Texas on Thanksgiving Day. Department of Public Safety trooper Stephanie Davis said at least 100 vehicles were involved in the accident.
Beaumont, Texas - Two people died and more than 80 people were hurt Thursday when at least 100 vehicles collided in Southeast Texas in a pileup that left trucks twisted on top of each other and authorities rushing to pull survivors from the wreckage.

The first collision occurred in extreme fog about 8:45 a.m. Thanksgiving Day on Interstate 10 southwest of Beaumont, a Gulf Coast city about 80 miles east of Houston. By 9:30 a.m. both sides of the highway were closed.

A man and a woman were killed in a 2007 Chevy Suburban SUV crushed by a tractor-trailer, the Texas Department of Public Safety told KFDM-TV. Late Thursday, the public-safety agency identified the two as Vincent Leggio, 64, and his wife, Debra Leggio, 60, of Pearland.

Officials at Acadian Ambulance service said at least 51 people were taken to area hospitals and at least eight were critically hurt.

Arrow Down

Drink a dose of your dog's medicine, vet told Jack Russell owner

Marie-Louise Schlemm
© Central News
Marie-Louise Schlemm
Marie-Louise Schlemm made the woman drink medicine prescribed for the animal, known as Ratzy, and performed 'chakra' on her without her permission, it was said.

Schlemm then got her to chant 'I am not Ratzy' in a procedure she insisted would cure her and her pet, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons heard.

The vet told her the rituals would provide a miracle cure and have the 16-year-old mutt running around as it if were a puppy.

Giving evidence to a misconduct hearing via videolink, the woman, known only as Ms B, said Schlemm had insisted Ratzy was not dying despite the animal refusing food and being unable to stand.

She told the panel: 'Ms Schlemm assured me there was no reason for Ratzy or myself to be ill anymore. She always told me that Ratzy was not dying.

'I was still being told that she was going to get to live and she was speaking to someone on the phone, to Sabrina on the phone, consistently about Chakra and colours.'

Ms B's own ailments have not been revealed during the central London hearing.