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Franklin bifocals Wednesday, December 23, 2009

General Washington resigning his commission before Continental Congress
[1783 - George Washington resigns his commission in Continental Army before Congress]

Mormon Church Founder Joseph Smith, Jr.
[1805 - Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of Mormon church, born in Sharon, Vermont]

Hansom Cab
[1834 - Joseph Aloysius Hansom patents his Safety Cab]

Poetry Magazine Founder Harriet Monroe
[1860 - Harriet Monroe, poet, editor, born in Chicago]

Federal Reserve Building
[1913 - President Woodrow Wilson signs Act creating Federal Reserve System]

Dancer Jose Greco
[1918 - Jose Greco, flamenco dancer, born in Montorio nei Frentani, Italy]

Relief AH-1
[1919 - USS Relief, first ship designed as a hospital ship, is launched]

Actor Harry Guardino
[1925 - Harry Guardino, actor, born in Brooklyn]

[1947 - John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain, William Shockley invent the transistor]

Appolo 8 crew
[1968 - Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr. & William A. Anders
are first men to orbit the Moon]

Earth as seen by Appolo 8 Crew from Moon orbit

Human Sacrifice

Here on the brink of the holiday that celebrates the birth of one who rejected the material life, pursued not financial gain, and drove the early financial services industry out of the temple, we see at last the true religion of our society: Consumerism. As good Americans we celebrate that holiday with an orgy of consumer activity that revolves around a spirit of 'shop till you drop.' It might work for me if all that shopping had not turned deadly on Black Friday, the traditional beginning of the Christmas shopping season in 2008.

Somehow, the image of that poor fellow who was trampled to death by a herd of crazed shoppers at a Long Island Wal-Mart last year still hangs like a huge question mark over this holiday season. I suppose no one really knows how many shoppers stepped over his body in the rush to seize their precious bargains before the store ran out. I can't think of any material thing in my life that I wanted that badly or needed that much. I guess it isn't so much a question mark as it is an exclamation point at the end of the answer to the question of "what is the underlying cause of the current economic meltdown."

Black Friday

William's Whimsical Words:

How many flatscreen TVs are equal to a human life?

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