Benny's World

Friday, November 28, 2008

Why I'm one of those "Buy Nothing Friday" types

I despise crowds for shopping on Black Friday is the main reason. But today I despise them more after reading this:

Wal-Mart Worker Trampled To Death This Morning Wal-Mart Worker Trampled To Death This Morning

A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island store Friday morning, police and witnesses said.

The 34-year-old worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."

The unidentified victim was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m., police said.

Folks, no human life is worth the cheap, crappy goods in any store, let alone a Wal-Mart that pays only minimum wage.

Personally, I'll be buying fewer gifts this year, and the ones I buy are likely to be via e-commerce.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ever Heard of Go Left TV?

I saw this at the DU today:

I may be watching more of it.

I particularly liked the last segment of their cast: Silent Nights. The picture is a giveaway.

They call themselves "citizen media on the rise." I like that. I bet Elizabeth Edwards would too.

In the coming weeks, I'll be linking more to fellow former JRE supporters' diaries at other places. Some of us believe that Obama is trying to grab some ropes, but he is forgetting that very progressives helped shaped some of his rhetoric during the campaign. I think Obama was never real progressive in the first place, despite what Nate Silver says. To me, it just means that anything looks like progress compared to the last 8 years. And it probably is, but they appear to be baby steps, despite Obama saying he wanted bold approaches to our sinking economy.

PEBO isn't sworn in at this point. But he could make some more progressive choices for some of his advisory councils to get all points of view. Leo Hindery, senior advisor to JRE, would have been an excellent choice. Otherwise, it is the Clintons all over again. And if the people have spoken that they didn't want another Clinton in the WH, then there needs to be more progressive voices in the WH. Larry Summers is a disaster. He pushed the reform of Glass-Steagall, and where did it get us? And what about fair trade agreements?

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David Cook to Flip Switch at KC Plaza Lighting Tonight

In about an hour and 15 minutes..

The lighting of the Plaza in KC is a special event for the community. Having visited there not too long ago, it possesses not only some swanky shops, but it is a middle grown of places for the citizens to get together.

Turn the "Light On" David!

Update: event went well. Here's the links to the vids of the event, courtesy of Travis at

American Idol Flips Plaza Lights Switch -

American Idol David Cook Returns To Plaza -

Cook Sings At Plaza Lighting Ceremony -

The latter was a nice surprise, and he did a good job, considering he had a chest cold.

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PEBO's Thanksgiving Address

Worth reposting here even though it is on many blogs. I got this from

Good morning.

Nearly 150 years ago, in one of the darkest years of our nation's history, President Abraham Lincoln set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of Thanksgiving. America was split by Civil War. But Lincoln said in his first Thanksgiving decree that difficult times made it even more appropriate for our blessings to be -- and I quote -- "gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people."

This week, the American people came together with family and friends to carry on this distinctly American tradition. We gave thanks for loved ones and for our lasting pride in our communities and our country. We took comfort in good memories while looking forward to the promise of change.

But this Thanksgiving also takes place at a time of great trial for our people.

Across the country, there were empty seats at the table, as brave Americans continue to serve in harm’s way from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq. We honor and give thanks for their sacrifice, and stand by the families who endure their absence with such dignity and resolve.

At home, we face an economic crisis of historic proportions. More and more Americans are worried about losing a job or making their mortgage payment. Workers are wondering if next month's paycheck will pay next month's bills. Retirees are watching their savings disappear, and students are struggling with the cost of tuition.

It's going to take bold and immediate action to confront this crisis. That's why I'm committed to forging a new beginning from the moment I take office as President of the United States. Earlier this week, I announced my economic team. This talented and dedicated group is already hard at work crafting an Economic Recovery Plan that will create or save 2.5 million new jobs, while making the investments we need to fuel long-term economic growth and stability.

But this Thanksgiving, we are reminded that the renewal of our economy won't come from policies and plans alone -- it will take the hard work, innovation, service, and strength of the American people.

I have seen this strength firsthand over many months -- in workers who are ready to power new industries, and farmers and scientists who can tap new sources of energy; in teachers who stay late after school, and parents who put in that extra hour reading to their kids; in young Americans enlisting in a time of war, seniors who volunteer their time, and service programs that bring hope to the hopeless.

It is a testament to our national character that so many Americans took time out this Thanksgiving to help feed the hungry and care for the needy. On Wednesday, I visited a food bank at Saint Columbanus Parish in Chicago. There -- as in so many communities across America -- folks pitched in time and resources to give a lift to their neighbors in need. It is this spirit that binds us together as one American family -- the belief that we rise and fall as one people; that we want that American Dream not just for ourselves, but for each other.

That's the spirit we must summon as we make a new beginning for our nation. Times are tough. There are difficult months ahead. But we can renew our nation the same way that we have in the many years since Lincoln's first Thanksgiving: by coming together to overcome adversity; by reaching for -- and working for -- new horizons of opportunity for all Americans.

So this weekend -- with one heart, and one voice, the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come.

He's America's salesman, and so far, a pretty good one.

To answer PEBO's question about what we did for our community, my spouse and I bought a bag of groceries and donated them to the Eastern Illinois Food Bank. It didn't cost much, but at least we believe we made some contribution. I read in the News-Gazette that people who don't even live in Champaign-Urbana proper are lining up for groceries because they are choosing between food, gas, and medicine. And it's getting worse.

I'm not thankful for anything particular this year. Just grateful in general as my spouse may not be here for Thanksgiving next year since he is looking for work elsewhere, and there are no jobs in his field for him where we live after August 2009. The main employer has instituted a hiring freeze, and I suspect more places will be tightening their belts.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.


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Pax to Mumbai

Terrible tragedy. I don't understand how terrorists can justify any God for their actions.

May justice prevail, and that peace comes to that city soon.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Man or Woman Blogger?

Yesterday, I was lurking at Progressive Blue and in particular, I read Desmoinesdem's diary about Gender Analyzer with great interest. Gender Analyzer is a website that with some algorithms is supposed to tell you the gender of the main blogger of a blog.

I decided to put Benny's World in the box. This was my result:

We think is written by a man (73%).

If you read other results for as Iddybudjournal and Lefty Lane, GA also says that they are written by men.

I decided to put in Chancelucky's addy and this is the result I got:

We guess is written by a woman (59%), however it's quite gender neutral.

Chancelucky should be proud. The blog gets put into the SNL category of "Pat".

Looks like the AI experts at Gender Analyzer have some tweaking to do.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Coulda been Worse for TTU: 7th from 2nd

After yesterday's U-G-L-Y game in Norman, TTU is at least still 7th. No, they won't make it to the Orange Bowl for the big game with Alabama, but another prominent bowl will do. At least for this Techsan fan.

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Sunday Night Warm Up for the American Music Awards

Today, I was in Best Buy waiting for my new computer to be configured (my other computer died in the mid-afternoon after 5 good years of use), and saw in the DVD section for music that Eric Clapton had Guitar Crossroads in more than one place last year. The first one was actually in Big D.

So, after getting my 'puter set up, and a few other downloads to do, I went to YT and found Clapton et al playing "Six Strings Down", a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Robert Randolph does an awesome job on the steel guitar on this video.

This is a warm up to the American Music awards in which David Cook is playing tonight. I may have missed him, but I'm certain the Cookies have it recorded somewhere. I hope David Cook gets the opportunity to meet Eric Clapton; that would be awesome.

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