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The usual disclaimers apply. This is a community open thread diary. It's being posted to the Street Prophets group but we've no membership requirements in the comments. All are welcome to join in, relax, have a cookie. You don't have to react to my blithering; it's an open thread. You can decorate the comments in your own style.
A quick note on the current state of the state in the Czech Republic and then over the swirling orange rapids of DOOOOOM! --for whatever oomph I've still got left in me.

The negotiations continue to get a coalition together in the newly elected Parliament. This week it has been one of the smaller players, the KDU-ČSL party in the news. Their leader, one Pavel Bělobrádek has said that, although it's not even clear yet if they'll be joining the coalition, that he'd be willing to accept the post of Interior Minister or Minister for Defense-- that is, if the leader of ČSSD, Bohuslav Sobotka insists on party leaders taking posts-- otherwise, w-e-e-e-e-ll he's just not that ambitious to insist on it himself.

A newly elected representative from ANO 2011 has had to resign already. And his replacement has had to step down too. turns out the lads had lied when they signed a bit of paper that goes along with the oath of office-- something about not being in debt. Owed a bit of money on their taxes and insurance. They may work something out-- maybe one of them will be back.

And the presidential idiocy rages on. In the news this week an ex-lawyer of ex-President Klaus, Pavel Hasenkopf is suing current President Zeman over his claims that Hasenkopf took part in writing the huge amnesty for prisoners proposal signed by Klaus on his way out of office-- which caused such a mess that the police are still cleaning it up.

Never a dull moment folks.

Warning: it's not a bright, cheery bit of blithering today...

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Blither, blither, blither ...

Meat
I'm gearing up for my Thanksgiving. We've moved the date to accommodate all the folks in the family who work a regular week. I'm sort of divided in my feelings about the Thanksgiving holiday these days anyway. But I think, despite the ugly history of what the relationship between the pilgrims and the natives became, that there was a time when there was a relationship worth celebrating.

For me the holiday has only ever been remotely associated with the people with belt buckles on their hats.

It's not difficult for me to make Thanksgiving a day to just be thankful; to consciously, mindfully take a moment and express gratitude for all the good things that I am so very privileged to enjoy.

So, I've finished making the stuffing. There may be a bit of corrective seasoning tomorrow before I stuff the bird-- and there I pause to think about the bird whose carcass I'm going to eat with my family tomorrow. It's a strange thing sometimes to be a thoughtful eater of meat. I have hunted and fished for meat. I have killed things and butchered them, I've helped other people butcher more popular sources of meat like pigs.

I have an uneasy peace with my own omnivorous nature.

It has been many years since I hunted. I still kill a fish and eat it once in awhile. For some reason I feel better about eating meat that I myself have killed. I suppose, in a sense, I've killed that turkey keeping cool on my balcony-- by buying it. I doubt it led a very pleasant life. The little beings that I have killed-- I have also seen how they lived. I knew what I was taking them from. To them I was just another predator (if they saw me at all); the predator that finally ate them.

I'm thankful for having that turkey on my balcony. I will feed a lot of people with it. And I'm sorry that it probably led a very unpleasant life. I wish I lived out in the country all year. I'd keep and slaughter my own turkeys. I'd have seen how they lived. I would have known them.

And I'm not sure if that somehow makes it better or if it makes me a potential cannibal.

I'm reminded of the animal in Douglas Adams' "Restaurant at the End of the Universe" that was created to not only desire to be killed and eaten but to be able to clearly communicate that desire.

I don't think I'm quite ready to become a vegetarian though-- I'm far too human.

There was a whole industrial revolution built to support my eating habits.

Ah well ...

I should be turning my attention to the pies for tomorrow. There will only be two this year: a simple pumpkin pie, and a pumpkin pie with a cup of pecans sprinkled into it before baking.

I did grow the pumpkins myself-- if that counts for anything.

In a small way, I think it does. And I'm thankful to be able to grow some of my own food.

Some people might wonder who an atheist thanks on Thanksgiving. I've got the usual awards speech candidates-- my family, my friends. but I'm especially thankful, mindful of all the sacrifices that were made by countless, faceless beings that made this fat cat's life of privilege possible. From the shed raised turkey I'll be eating and whose neck is boiling in broth on my stove- to the people who labored to put together the computer I'm using to write this with. I'm sure they weren't treated much better than our turkey.

I'll just have to work harder at making things better for all of us this next year.

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