Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bunkerman wishes for all people a Happy Thanksgiving. This day is special to Americans as a day to appreciate all we have and all we can be. And by "all" I mean everything tangible and intangible. The Wall Street Journal publishes a very meaningful pair of editorials every Thanksgiving, which I always try to remember to read. Here they are in full:

***quote begins***

The Desolate Wilderness

Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.

When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.

The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other's heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears. But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them.

Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts.

Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.

If they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.

This editorial has appeared annually since 1961.

And the Fair Land

Any one whose labors take him into the far reaches of the country, as ours lately have done, is bound to mark how the years have made the land grow fruitful.

This is indeed a big country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so in a way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who journey through its Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plains and to its Western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.

And a traveler cannot but be struck on his journey by the thought that this country, one day, can be even greater. America, though many know it not, is one of the great underdeveloped countries of the world; what it reaches for exceeds by far what it has grasped.

So the visitor returns thankful for much of what he has seen, and, in spite of everything, an optimist about what his country might be. Yet the visitor, if he is to make an honest report, must also note the air of unease that hangs everywhere.

For the traveler, as travelers have been always, is as much questioned as questioning. And for all the abundance he sees, he finds the questions put to him ask where men may repair for succor from the troubles that beset them.

His countrymen cannot forget the savage face of war. Too often they have been asked to fight in strange and distant places, for no clear purpose they could see and for no accomplishment they can measure. Their spirits are not quieted by the thought that the good and pleasant bounty that surrounds them can be destroyed in an instant by a single bomb. Yet they find no escape, for their survival and comfort now depend on unpredictable strangers in far-off corners of the globe.

How can they turn from melancholy when at home they see young arrayed against old, black against white, neighbor against neighbor, so that they stand in peril of social discord. Or not despair when they see that the cities and countryside are in need of repair, yet find themselves threatened by scarcities of the resources that sustain their way of life. Or when, in the face of these challenges, they turn for leadership to men in high places -- only to find those men as frail as any others.

So sometimes the traveler is asked whence will come their succor. What is to preserve their abundance, or even their civility? How can they pass on to their children a nation as strong and free as the one they inherited from their forefathers? How is their country to endure these cruel storms that beset it from without and from within?

Of course the stranger cannot quiet their spirits. For it is true that everywhere men turn their eyes today much of the world has a truly wild and savage hue. No man, if he be truthful, can say that the specter of war is banished. Nor can he say that when men or communities are put upon their own resources they are sure of solace; nor be sure that men of diverse kinds and diverse views can live peaceably together in a time of troubles.

But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere -- in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.

We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.

And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.

This editorial has appeared annually since 1961.

***quote ends***

And let me say this most strongly: it's Thanksgiving, not "Turkey Day".

A Favorite Food

Try buttercup squash - it's the best of all varieties of squash by far. Just cook it, remove the meat, mash and eat. No sugar or other flavoring is necessary. To distinguish it from butternut squash, just remember, "brown is bad". Buttercup squash is green and shaped a bit like a flattish cupcake. It's PLU# is 4758 [PLU = Price Look-Up].

Word of the Day

"Collation" - noun [$10]
Collation means 1. the act or instance of collating; 2.a. (Roman Church) a light mean allowed during a fast; 2.b. a light informal meal.
Sentence: No doubt, but that a Thanksgiving meal is no collation!


Spin-em said...

And let me say this most strongly: it's Thanksgiving, not "Turkey Day".


Frosty said...

jobs...consumer happy...QEIII QEIII QEIII...atta boy ben.

Bunkerman said...

yup, frosty, Ben deserves the Medal of Freedom.

If a stronger expansion happens now (thanks to Ben), I might not get my S&P 1150, but next year I'll get my 5% fixed income target (munis or 30 yr. Treasury).

Frosty said...

turkey .18 a pound...guess the common man will be enjoying thanksgiving...USA USA USA

Spin-em said...

Bud...the key to deep rich gravy???..thanks for asking....BURN THE DRIPPINGS.... cant ruin it sir.....butter/flour rue ....use your pipin hot potato water key for no lumps.....HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my bunkerboy pals that Ive chatted with almost every day since 2004...for that I say....thanks "jim"

Bunkerman said...

Yea, Happy Thanksgiving ... jsut picked up the oysters for the oyster dressing mmmmmmmmmmm old Bman family recipe.

best part? I'm the only person here for dinner who likes it so I get to eat it all :))

Bunkerman said...

hmmm my all natural Vermont turkey cost $3.95 / lb. - same as last year.

Frosty said... u carve the bird with the kbar or something from the sword collection...chop the legs with a tomahawk...use a helmet for a gravy afgan for a table cloth....big tools for serving utensils.

Bud said...

Most of us said at the time that the tests had been designed for banks to pass, yet the fact is that it is now hard to believe they took place at all. Conditions have no where near deteriorated as far as the tests had assumed, yet still Allied Irish looks essentially bust. In other words the tests were a lie.
If the Irish stress tests were a sham, what about the rest of the eurozone?

my question is...............what about the US stress tests............also a farce...and a sham

Bud said...

is the so-called dollar 'rally' over ??? what a disgrace the greenback has become

oh wait.............Bman will defend the USD his stupid historical numbers...............and he accuses me of 'blabbing'

Bud said...

went thanksgiving dinner shopping this am..............210 bucks at ????????????..........last inflation there

i guess the common man won't be eating thanksgiving dinner anytime soon................let it fall my ass

Bud said...

a massive rout in treasuries today

why are they getting smoked Bman ?? this should be an interesting answer................well maybe not interesting..............entertainingfor sure

Bud said...

marc faber on bloomberg-tv.............' dr bernanke is an idiot'

is marc faber just 'blabbing' too Bman ?? he's perhaps the smartest viking beefer i see on tv opining

Bud said...

'stronger expansion' lmaoooooooooooooooooooooooooo

i have SPX 2000 at this time next year..............i'll be long and makin cash gain will be in my global purchasing power will be zilch..............ok .......never mind

let it fall my ass

Bud said...

well Bman.............seems like you are going to have a great thanksgiving.........with your lame oyster dressing and your 3.95 turkey - does this turkey have hepatitusC ? - but i digress.................seems like you will be drunk and full (of it)

my thanksgiving ruined by dr bernanke...........i'll try to enjoy it..............but my global purchasing power and net worth is under assault by the tuff for me to shake that off this year........but i try

happy thanksgiving Bman

Bunkerman said...

lol, frosty, I use a nice set of carving knives made by a shop near my hometown USA USA USA

I dismember it first, then take the breasts off then carve them like a chunk of French bread.

And at end, re-arrange pieces on platter so they look like the birds.

... my carving skills are in demand ....

Bunkerman said...

IF treasuries are getting smoked, it's simply because they are being sold by the beefers who were frontrunnung the Fed.

Bunkerman said...

besides, they are overpriced massively.

Bunkerman said...

obviously US stress tests wre OK ... and also obviously teh entire Panic of 2008 was beefer-induced.

The banks paid back the TARP money so one must ask if it was every truly needed, or was a shield against beefer raids.

Bunkerman said...

$210 for a thanksgiving dinner? Sheesh, Bud are you going to a five star restaurant?

Bunkerman said...

marc faber is a US perma-bear, one of those Swissie types who ... sat out WW II.

Bunkerman said...

hmmm will check my wine cellar - I think I'll crack open a $50 bottle of Sauternes from Bordeaux and toast my purchasing power in Europe now ...the $ is so strong vs. euro. If Bud's right & S&P go to 2000, maybe I can go Europe twice next year.

Nice thought, Bud .. thanks.


Frosty said...