Our little Thanksgiving bundle – Vaioleti Boleyn

Good morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“American Apparel is a $500 million manufacturer of t-shirts, underwear, and the like. Typically low margin products, the kind of thing that usually comes from Asian and Central American sweatshops. Not American Apparel. This company makes over 1 million articles of clothing, per week, from their one factory in Los Angeles and they grew 40% this year. They pay their 5,000-person workforce significantly above minimum wage (average is $12-$15 per hour), give them full subsidized benefits (such as high quality health care insurance for $8 per week), and they turn a profit.” — Evolving Excellence

Since this is Thanksgiving week and all we’ve been hearing is financial turmoil, ineptitude, and how government appears to be in the business of passing wealth from the productive sector to hugely ineffectively run companies, that I felt a bit of a positive would be welcome. Anyone wanting the complete article just drop me a note by clicking on the envelope icon.

Filling my mug with my morning coffee, I noticed that even though I had washed my hands a few times since, there was this bit of bright orange stain left over from last night’s late evening crunchy Cheetos feast. The latent chemist in me wonders how it would taste were I to take a Cheetos and use it as a stir-stick in said coffee. Nah! I better not.

Last night I patrolled with Citizens on Patrol. A half hour into the walk (coldest night so far this year so things should be quiet) a homicide call came over our radio. The location was just a handful of blocks from our spot. As prescribed, we immediately left and relocated in an area away from the crime to provide a presence in the now less covered spots.

Walking past a 15 unit apartment building we saw the front door leading to a central hallway standing wide open. I played our torch into the building and the surrounding bushes as my partner called it in as a security issue. About this time, from behind the bushes sauntered a guy using a cell phone. Before a cruiser arrived about a dozen people came streaming out of the door and piled into three cars. That quick we realized we had interrupted a “business” meeting. How do you stop this activity on a permanent basis?

Which reminds me. Last Monday at about 9:00 PM I was returning home from my evening walk, when, over the sounds from my ipod, I could hear approaching sirens. Seconds later a black Infinity flew over a rise in the road doing about 60 mph, followed immediately by two cruisers. I watched the Infinity blow through a stop sign a block away. Then, a couple of blocks further down the road, tires screeching, it made a left turn running a red light in the process. It did so but not before the driver used his turn signal. We really are creatures of habit aren’t we?

Yesterday morning was Grandparent’s Day at Marin’s Montessori school. We were entertained and got to visit his kindergarten classroom. That little guy was so proud to show off all the materials he uses to help him learn. Cut-outs that allowed him to show us immediately what any number between 0 and 9,999 looks like. And, I loved the trays containing the alphabet with each letter in cursive. Even though the fine motor skills are just coming into play these were used to spell, in cursive, words and names. But, my favorite was the classroom’s pet tarantula. Thanks Marin.

About this time Kirstin, Vince, Derek, and Kellen should be heading north, heading for our house and a family Thanksgiving. They’ll spend the night in Atlanta and be here tomorrow afternoon. The kids have promised mom and dad that a trip of 1,000 miles will be a snap and that they’ll behave like angels. Marcia and I are beyond excited.

This Thanksgiving, amidst all the economic turmoil, we have an amazing amount to be thankful for. Be glad you do not live in the repressive nation of Burma (Myanmar). Yesterday Myanmar’s most famous comedian Zarganar was sentenced to 45 years for contravening the country’s Electronic Act. His crime? He used a cell phone to communicate with other entertainers to organize. He organized the preparation and distribution of care packages as a relief effort after the devastation in Myanmar caused by cyclone Nargis earlier this year. He is one of hundreds being jailed under a variety of trumped up charges following the disastrous government relief efforts and then the crackdown following last summer’s ‘saffron’ revolution as the Buddhist monks were clubbed into submission.

So, make it a great week. Make it a thankful week. In your prayers keep the people of Myanmar, the peoples of Tibet, and the newest refugees streaming out of the Congo. Do not forget the millions here who are hurting as their lives are being turned upside down under the fallout of the global economic turmoil.

Cheers,

Dirk

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