Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism
The Saturday after the infamous “Black Friday” (when TV stations use stock footage of rampaging herds of people as they rampage through stores looking for “bargains”) has been designated “Small Business Saturday,” by American Express.
Meaning, possibly, that you should probably leave your Visa card at home that day.
This is the point where you’ll get the person who will just turn their nose in the air, sniff regally and say, “That’s for the brainwashed. I don’t get sucked into this material nonsense.”
Oh, yeah, Material Girl/Material Boy, you do so - every time you buy something. And just as with other areas of our lives, how we shop is political.
The airwaves are being inundated with warm cozy, ads urging us - after our wallets have done the heavy lifting on Black Friday - to share some love with the small businesses in our community, those with $10,000,000 in annual revenue or less.
Ten million dollars in revenue qualifies you as a “small business?”
Gulp. Or, since I was once Night Manager at a 7-11, I can legitimately say, “Big Gulp.”
American Express wants you and your business to be part of their once a year Small Business Saturday promotion - well, there is the fine print to consider. From the website about the program:
“For the purpose of this Program, qualifying small businesses include small, locally-owned storefront and online businesses with $10 million in annual revenue or less. Businesses in the following industries are excluded: government agencies, charities, non-profits, trade associations, shopping property management firms, political, religious and educational organizations. Small businesses that are part of a franchise brand with more than 100 stores are excluded. Additionally, if a franchise brand has more than 20 corporate-owned units, then the entire brand is excluded. Small businesses that promote any of the following are not eligible for the Program: pharmaceuticals, drugs, politics, pornography or sexual aids, diet aids, gambling, liquor, tobacco, firearms/weapons, or any sensitive topic with respect to current events.”
Now, personally, I think that local businesses, even if they hit that ten million dollar figure, should get our favor first, whenever we can. But Thanksgiving week will roll around, and TV stations will prove their worth to advertisers by featuring “news” stories about Black Friday, and new products (like they don’t sell out that part of the news program to begin with), and on the dreaded day we’ll have the stock footage of human beings losing all sense of self-respect or self-worth, seeking “bargains” they will probably be able to find almost right up till it’s time to carve the Roast Beast.
Okay, the above American Express quote was for businesses that wish to qualify for to be part of their “Program” - what is really interesting is the list of businesses who won’t qualify for being promoted by American Express.
“ . . .pharmaceuticals, drugs, politics, pornography or sexual aids, diet aids, gambling, liquor, tobacco, firearms/weapons, or any sensitive topic with respect to current events.”
What, your local drug store isn’t eligible? Many drug stores will feature works by local writers and artisans on their shelves. Ah, well.
Diet aids? What sort of diet aids are we talking about here? No liquor stores, no local tobacco stores, no gun shops, no . . . well, you fill in the blank.
I am especially interested in the words:
“ . . .or any sensitive topic with respect to current events.”
Bookstores that sell magazines about such “sensitive” subjects, or feature political discussions on a regular basis? ? Will coffee shops have to take down notices of political events, just for one day?
Or any store that sells any item, anywhere, that somebody, somewhere, thinks shouldn’t be out in public. Try as I might, I can’t find any definition of those words anywhere on the Internet.
So screw ‘em.
Forget the whole dehumanizing nature of Black Friday, when giggling “news” anchors will show nonstop footage of human crowds going through store aisles like . . . oh, there’s no nice way to say it.
Thanksgiving and the day after, incidentally, are two of the days I don’t watch the news at all, with their stock footage of soup kitchens, returning soldiers and rampaging shoppers, quivering from all the energy drinks they have been downing for an annual event that makes the Oklahoma Land Rush look like a stroll in the park
Shop local first, whenever you can. There’s cool stuff there. But skip that Saturday - just make it a priority all year round. And if you feel that you must go shopping on Small Business Saturday, just pay no attention to the “official” American Express list.
Go wherever you like.
But don’t spend too much money; as “news” programs will beat into our heads in the next few weeks, the following week starts off with Cyber Monday.
Mark your calendars: when the “Oh, Please let us Secede from the Union” movement will began to lose steam
People all your doing by signing this petition is making your reservation for the FEMA camps they have set up just for this type of situation. Mr. Obama is sitting back laughing right now because this is exactly what they want “civil unrest” I live in Texas and I look at the website every thirty mins and everytime I look at it Texas has 1,000 more votes. almost up to 100,000. the sad thing is is that it wont even go any further then this right here. It’s a waste of time.
Okay, it isn’t an exact date, but it’s a general time frame. First, here is the Petition from Arkansas, which can be found on the White House website, along with many others:
we petition the obama administration to:
Peacefully grant the State of Arkansas to withdraw from the United States and create its own NEW government
As the founding fathers of the United States of America made clear in the Declaration of Independence in 1776:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
"...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government..."
Well, nothing like mastering the fine art of cutting-and-pasting.
Still, looking over the various petitions from several states (honestly, the things I do for amusement) reveals that many of those who signed the Arkansas petition, for example, don’t actually live in Arkansas. Maybe they just don’t like us, and want Arkansas out of the Union?
But no, if you look at the petitions representing other states, the signature ratio is about the same. I’m not sure if people are just illiterate, and are not sure which petition for which state they are signing, or if these are many of the same people, signing all the petitions they can find, hoping that no one will actually notice where they are from.
When will it begin to peter out?
At a point when somebody says, “Hey, let’s make it look official, and have everybody use their full names and list their addresses” - you know, like you do when you sign other petitions for official use.
Then the professionally paranoid, those unfettered by the bonds of rationality, like the above poster predicting FEMA Doom for everyone who signed the petition, will scurry back to their caves, or their would-be compounds, listening to their short-wave radios and keeping a sharp lookout for drones.
After all, we’ve all seen the sheer panic when some folks discover that if they sign a petition and it goes to the state, it is public information.
Then there are the counter-petitions
There are other petitions on the White House site which I am sure will drive the paranoia level through the roof among the black helicopter crowd, some even calling for their deportation.
Yeah, I’m sure somebody out there will see that one and go, “FEMA!”
This is my favorite:
we petition the obama administration to:
Force all states to pay their portion of the national debt before they can secede from the union
Residents of all states who wish to secede from the union should be required to take their own advice about 'personal responsibility', and pay their share of the national debt before being released to fend for themselves.
This debt must be paid in full, or they cannot leave.
This means no federal assistance, period.
Abridged list includes no more upkeep for highways, nor for interstates or bridges, no federally funded law enforcement or fire department, no public libraries, no phone lines, no cable television, no cell phone towers, no power grids, no water lines, no mail services, no paramedics, no hospitals which accept Medicare/Medicaid funding, no ATF, FBI, DOJ, SWAT, or Department of Homeland Security, no Border Guard, National Guard, Coast Guard, Corps of Engineers, or WITSEC.
Quote of the Day
“The divorce between Church and State ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no Church property anywhere, in any state or in the nation, should be exempt from equal taxation; for if you exempt the property of any church organization, to that extent you impose a tax upon the whole community.” ~ James A. Garfield