Hello, my name is…
1 - Medron - Imagine - Imagine an America where only citizens of a congressional district could represent that congressional district. No carpet baggers allowed. House District. State Senate seat. The Presidency. Nobody could simply rent an apartment in a district a few weeks before an election and claim they live there. Say ten years of living there before you are legally allowed to represent that district on the Federal level. Imagine if owning property in the district was another part of that requirement. No renters allowed. How would it affect representation at the Federal level if each Representative and Senator were required to show proof of long-term residency, citizenry, and established roots in the district they represent? Would you like that or dislike that? And why? And what does your opinion on that idea say about yourself and America?
2 - Medron - Imagine - Imagine an America where citizens of a congressional district were the only people allowed to donate money to a Federal election campaign in that district. House District. State Senate seat. The Presidency. It is already illegal to accept funds from people outside the nation. What would it be like if you could not accept funding from outside your district? No National Party funds devoted to individual House or Senate seats. No companies in New York State funding campaigns in Iowa. Only citizens of the district in question could donate. So all campaigns would be funded from within the district they are representing. How would that change the way districts and States are represented in the Federal government? Do you approve or disapprove of the idea? And why?
3 - Medron - Imagine - Imagine an America where State legislatures pick the State Senators that serve in the Federal Senate. That is the America that was for the first century and a half of her history. The idea was that Senators beholden to legislatures and serving for six years would be insulated from the passions of the electorate that could sway the House. They would also act as representatives of the State governments and should therefore seek to limit the scope of the Federal government especially if it would negatively impact the sovereignty of the State legislatures that sent them. Imagine how different things would be if that was still the basis of how the Senate was chosen. How would you feel about that?
4 - Medron - Imagine - Imagine an America where all Federal representatives were term limited to six, eight, ten, or twelve years of Federal service. We already have term limits on the Presidency. Why not other positions in the Federal government? How would the Federal government work if people couldn’t remain in their seats for decades? If the membership of the Congress was as constantly in flux as the Presidency? What if we added term limits for all political appointees to Federal bureaucracies? Maybe even Federal employees of all types? How would the Federal government work differently if nobody could pursue a life-long career in politics or government service? And would you like that?
5 - Medron - Imagine - Imagine an America where the Federal government required that all election polls check a State-issued photo ID before allowing a citizen to vote. Assume a basic State-issued photo ID is free so we aren’t talking about a Poll Tax here. Only citizens with IDS could vote. We currently need photo IDs to buy alcohol, cigarettes, open bank accounts, get loans, drive vehicles, and basically do much of the other stuff covered under the category of living. We all carry them with us wherever we go. As someone I know once said, “Using it to show you're the voter you claim to be is a nothing burger unless you're not the voter you claim to be.” How would the Federal government work differently if we did that? And could the Federal government refuse to accept results from States that refused to verify the votes? How would that affect representation in the Federal government? Would you like to see voter ID verification or not? And what does either answer say about you and America?
6 - Medron - Election Day - It’s Election Day in America. Yes, more people than ever before have gone the early or absentee voting route, but the majority of Americans will go into the polling station today and place their vote for the City, County, State, and Federal positions that will represent them for the next two, four, or six years. I want every American who goes in to vote today to ask themselves something. Are you better off today than you were two years ago? Four? Six? Eight? Then go in and vote based on that.
I would also ask you to demand a paper ballot if you are in one of the States that still uses purely electronic machines. I work with computers every day, and I can tell you that there is no such thing as a secure one. If you are afraid of the Russians hacking the election, this is precisely what you should be worried about. It could be the Russians based on Democrat charges, it could be the Democrats, Republicans, Chinese, North Koreans, or some hacker who just wants to have some fun and sow some chaos. The fact is that hacking these machines is not difficult for those who know what they are doing. You need to have a paper trail if you wish someone to be able to recount your vote at need.
With that said, go and vote. If there are armed men at the polling station trying to scare you away, call the police. If someone slashes your tires or torches your vehicle because you have political stickers on it, call someone to pick you up. Just make certain you go in, vote, and make your voice heard.
7 - Medron - Election Day - It’s Election Day in America. Well…the polls are closed now, but we’re still counting the votes as we speak. And we probably will be counting the votes for another few weeks in some cases. Wisconsin Governor’s race, I’m looking at you. What do we know?
Well, projections are that the Democrats will take the House of Representatives by a slim margin after winning between 20 and 30 seats from the Republicans. That is in the middle range for what has historically happened in a President’s first midterm election. Of the twelve such elections since 1946, only George W Bush managed to gain seats. Six in his case. The rest range from Kennedy’s loss of 4 seats up through the 10s and 20s for the likes of Eisenhower, Nixon, and Bush Senior. Reagan lost 28, and it ramped up into the amazing 40s for Ford and Johnson. Truman lost on impressive 55, Clinton lost 53, and Obama lost a shocking 63 House seats. If Trump turns out to have lost around 30 seats, it will be a pretty hohum number compared to those who truly mastered the art of losing the House.
The news from the Senate is far more interesting and far outside the political norm. Kennedy managed to gain 4, Nixon got 2, Bush Junior added 1, and Reagan held the line at 0. Every other President lost between Bush Senior’s 1 and Truman’s impressive 10. I’ll note that Obama lost 6 and Clinton lost 9 for full disclosure. At the time of this writing, Trump looks like the final numbers could end up with him winning 3, 4, or maybe even 5 Senate seats depending on how all the recounting goes. That is a massive historical aberration. Yes, the landscape was stacked in Trump’s favor, but there are many close Senate races this year that should not have been close based on historical norms. Which will lead to some interesting political moves in the future.
The biggest lesson in all of this is, I think, that the voters did not appreciate what the Democrat Senators did to Kavanaugh and Ford during the Supreme Court nomination. It changed the political landscape by angering people on almost every side of the political divides, and Senate races that shouldn’t have been close got close really quick. The only Democrat to vote for Kavanaugh won his race in a screaming squeaker that he probably would have lost otherwise, and multiple Senators who voted against him in mixed or conservative States have either already lost or look like they could end up in Recount Hell as the days go by.
So what are we going to see next? Good question. With an increased majority in the Senate, and the replacement of Never Trumpers with Senators who owe Trump for campaigning in their States, Trump should find it much easier to get nominations for both his Executive and Judicial picks as the next two years go by. That could have a major impact on the future.
On the House side, the Democrats will almost certainly end the investigations that have uncovered Democrat collusion with Russia and the FBI during the last election. And they will almost certainly start other investigations of their own that they hope will uncover collusion between Trump and the Russians. Many Democrat leaders have promised to Impeach Trump and Kavanaugh, so that could get interesting as well. And of course we have the general Resistance the Democrats have been pushing for the last two years.
On the other hand, Clinton did say they could become civil after winning, and Pelosi just promised to bring in a new era of transparency and cooperation into the government, so who knows. Maybe the Democrats will be more interested in horse-trading with the President if they can get some of the credit for being leaders in the process. Also, I would note that many of the new Democrat Representatives are rather conservative Democrats who had to win in conservative districts. It will be interesting to see how exactly they impact the rather slim majority there. Also 20 or 30 of the Representatives promised not to support Pelosi for Speaker of the House. The Democrat majority could be in for some interesting horse-trading of their own long before they talk to the President, and those Never Pelosis could run into issues in two years if they turn around and follow her as Speaker.
What does this mean for the future? I don’t know. But after two years of Resistance from the minority position with no need or reason from their perspective to help the government run in any way, the Democrats now have skin in the game. They run the House of Representatives and they will need to be part of running the government again. Will they come to the table with verbal assaults against the President and his Deplorable supporters, or will they come as civilly as Clinton said they could when they win?
Only time will tell.
8 - Medron - Young Kim - Young Kim is one of the people you probably haven’t seen much of on the news. She was born in South Korea and her family immigrated to the American territories when she was a teenager. She went to college in California, worked in the banking and manufacturing fields, and even started her own clothing company. She has starred in her own TV and radio shows that talk about Korean American affairs, and has been part of the California Assembly for the last four years.
She was just elected to represent California’s 39th congressional district in the Federal House of Representatives. That makes her the first Korean immigrant to Represent California. Some people tack woman on to that when describing her, so that may be a required addition to the word salad. Gotta love checking boxes for politics.
Now why is she interesting? Well, she is a fiscal conservative according to what I’ve read, though has many socially moderate views as well. She supports DACA but not Obamacare, lower property taxes but not sanctuary cities, and supports forgiving student loans for those suffering from financial setbacks. In short, she looks like someone who could reach across the aisle and work with her fellow Representatives if they are in a working mood.
Also, it doesn’t hurt one bit that she is a righteous immigrant. She was born in an allied nation and her family came here looking for a better life. She grew up, she worked hard, and she won election to become a Representative of her new home State in the United States Congress. This is the story of America in one person, the hopes and dreams that all of us have for everybody who wants to come here.
It doesn’t matter if you were born here to a great family of wealth or came in on a boat with the clothes on your back. You can educate yourself here, you can start a business here, and you can represent your people in our State and Federal legislatures. Heck, you can even become Governor. Or First Lady. No President though. That requires being born here in America, because our founders didn't want someone subject to a foreign jurisdiction to run for that office, don't you know. Short of that though, everything is wide open here.
This is America. The land of opportunity. This is what we celebrate.
9 - Medron - Jim Hagedorn - Jim Hagedorn is another person you probably haven’t heard much about. He was born in a small town named Blue Earth in Southern Minnesota like his father before him. His father was a veteran of the Navy who owned a farm not far from Blue Earth. So Jim Hagedorn grew up harvesting grain and raising hogs. Working the fields. Repairing fences. The standard things farm boys do on family farms.
Then his father won election to Represent Minnesota’s 2nd House District to the Federal House of Representatives and Jim Hagedorn started spending his school years in Virginia. There he played tennis, practiced debate, started writing political letters-to-the editors, and meeting National political figures. There’s even a picture of an older teenage version of him meeting the President of the United States if you look for it.
He went to college and then jumped into politics full time. He became a legislative assistant for a Minnesota Congressman, and later worked in the US Treasury Department. And in the last few years he’s been trying to win elections to Represent what is now Minnesota’s 1st House District to the Federal House of Representatives. Gotta love redistricting.
So what makes him interesting right now? In an election year dominated by Democrats winning Republican House seats and taking over the House of Representatives, Jim Hagedorn is one of the very few Republicans who won a seat held by the Democrats. I think there are exactly two of them right now based on what I’ve read.
So a boy who grew up on a family farm raising hogs is the elected Representative for Minnesota’s 1st House District. Yes. I know. Not as clean an occupation as raising hogs, but sometimes even politicians have a history of doing good, clean, honest work.
This is the story of America. It doesn’t matter if you were born to a farmer in Southern Minnesota or to some rich family in Pennsylvania. You can work hard, educate yourself, and end up going all the way to the capital of the United States of America.
This is America. The land of opportunity. This is what we celebrate.
10 - Medron - Here We Go Again - I remember the year 2000 like it was yesterday. We’d just had our last Party Like It’s 1999, and then we rolled into a Presidential Election year. Then we had the election. Then Florida was called before the polls closed in Florida. Then the whole race was called before the polls closed in most of the United States.
And then we began to hear about vote counting irregularities in three Florida counties. Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Broward Counties. That set off a weeks-long recount of just over twenty thousand ballots that dominated the nation and came to a head when a large group of protestors arrived to protest the counting of ballots in secret, without witnesses. The words dimpled chad and hanging chad still resonate in our culture to this day.
In the end, the news media changed how they forecasted States, including strict requirements that they not forecast results before the polls closed in a State. Voting machines across the country changed in hopes of keeping the chads from confusing people.
And Florida completed overhauled the election laws of the State to keep something like this from ever happening again. One of those new laws is that all precincts must report the total number of votes cast, including provisional and absentee ballots, within 30 minutes of the polls closing. The main idea is so the State knows how many ballots are floating around out there and still waiting to be tabulated. If there is a difference of 60,000 votes between two candidates and there are 20,000 absentee or provisional ballots that have been received but not processed yet, the State can be pretty certain that they know who won.
Eighteen years later, we are in Florida again, with a projected win of 57,000 votes on Election Night for the outgoing governor to be the next Senator. And now we’re looking at Palm Beach and Broward Counties, the only two counties in Florida not abiding by the Florida elections laws to report how many ballots they have received. Where they are counting nearly ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND ballots not reported as even EXISTING on election night. Where they refused to allow witnesses to the counting of these unknown ballots. And where Broward is refusing to even follow a court order to report the total number of ballots they’ve received.
And for even more fun, in Broward County, the lady in charge of tabulating the votes has been found guilty this year of destroying ballots that were subject to a lawsuit accusing her of election tampering in 2016. They were the proof of how the election was handled, required by election law to be held for nearly two years. The defeated politician wanted to see them, which is allowable under Florida law. He filed a lawsuit three months later after receiving no access to the ballots. She signed a certification three months after the case was filed that no court cases involved those ballots and had them destroyed.
And for one more bit of fun, the Democrats brought in a big shot lawyer to help them win the Florida race. His name is Marc Elias, and he has a history of helping Democrats recount their way to victory after losing on Election Night. He represented Al Franken in 2008 in my home State of Minnesota. Al Franken lost on Election Night, but it was pretty tight. The recount lasted for months and featured such heartwarming stories as ballot boxes that had not been reported on Election Night being counted. We all know Al Franken ended up being selected as the Senator of Minnesota and voted for fun little bills like Obamacare.
You can say that I’ve seen this song and dance before.
Florida. Florida. Florida.
Here We Go Again.
11 - Medron - Armistice Day - On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the American artillery gun “Calamity Jane” fired a single shot. It was the beginning of the Armistice that would result in the end of The Great War. The War To End All Wars. What Americans call the First World War.
Nine million soldiers and seven million civilians died in The Great War, and the Ottoman Empire exterminated at least two million more in full-scale genocides, and many historians think it was a contributory factor to the 1918 influenza epidemic that killed between 50 and 100 million people across the globe. Most estimates of world population place it at between 1.6 and 2 million people at the time, which means somewhere around 5 percent of the global population died in those years.
It was the most devastating time period for humanity in modern history.
That was 100 years ago today.
Remember. Never Forget.
This is how bad things can get.
Never let it happen again.
12 - Medron - Veterans Day - Yesterday was Armistice Day, a day honoring those who died in The Great War. Woodrow Wilson first remembered it on the Eleventh of November, 1919, and it became a National Holiday in 1926. After what we call World War II, a new generation of Veterans began to celebrate a “National Veterans Day” on Armistice Day in 1947. Instead of honoring only those who died in The Great War, they wished to honor all Veterans who served. Congress made it official in 1954 and Armistice Day became Veterans Day in America.
This year, the 100 year anniversary of the end of The Great War gave this National Holiday a special meaning to everyone who studies history in any way. President Trump went to France and stood in a Great War cemetery in Paris full of American dead as the rain fell from the sky. Because how else do you honor a holiday that came from such roots?
Today is Monday, one day after Veterans Day, Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day, and here in America we celebrate many of our National Holidays on the nearest Monday. It makes it easier on the workweek, and gives us a 3-Day Holiday Weekend to further enjoy. Have cookouts. See family again. Government buildings are closed. Banks are closed. The political and business worlds slow down just a little bit for a little bit. And tomorrow we go back to our normal lives once more.
Lives bought for us by Veterans.
The idea of America was born in the hearts of Intellectual and Religious leaders of the American Colonies. The reality of America was born in the hearts of the Veterans who fought to make it happen. The Veterans who retired after The Rebellion and went back to their farms. The Veterans who defended this nation again in 1812. Those who fought in the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and every war that followed. And those who never fought in any war at all, but stood ready to fight as all those who came before.
Never Forget what they gave us.
Never let anyone take it away from us.
13 - Medron - Daniel Crenshaw - Daniel Crenshaw is a Veteran who has recently become rather famous all over America. One interesting factoid is that he is a proud sixth-generation Texan. Assuming twenty to thirty year generations here, we’re talking Cowboy and Indian (or maybe Cowboy and Mexican) times. Spanish American War times. There are roads in Texas named Crenshaw. There is a rather famous golfer named Ben Daniel Crenshaw. I don’t know the genealogy here, but it seems evident that the Crenshaw family has been part of Texas nearly as long as there has been a Texas. That’s an impressive pedigree if you think about it.
Now Daniel Crenshaw’s father worked in an industry that many Texans have worked in over the years. Oil. Oil, oil money, and looking for more oil and oil money meant that Daniel’s father traveled and spent time growing up in places like Ecuador and Columbia where oil is also found. Daniel traveled with him as a child and learned Spanish from the natives. He also played soccer with the natives. That’s football to the rest of the world. The sport where people burn down towns when they lose a world cup match. Or when they win for that matter.
Now Daniel Crenshaw grew up to join the SEAL Teams in 2006. That meant he got to have a front row seat for the War on Terror back when George W Bush was still in charge. And yes, he went to the sand box. He was serving in Afghanistan in 2012 on his third combat tour when an IED blew up and nearly took his life. He woke up blind to the news that his right eye was just gone and he would probably never see out of his left again. He was lucky. His left eye recovered and he returned to service. Yes, boys and girls, a Navy SEAL missing one eye went back into service and they deployed him. They medically retired him in 2016, four years after meeting the IED that failed to end his life.
Boys and girls, this is a man you do not underestimate. Just in case you hadn’t figured that out from the picture.
Another interesting bit though is that he appears to be a naturally peaceable type of person for all of that. He was critical of Donald Trump in 2016 for his tone and language during the Presidential campaign. And he seems to have been rather less confrontational than the President in his own campaign for office in 2018. And he certainly has not acted like the “hitman in a porno movie” that SNL compared him to. Daniel Crenshaw never asked for an apology after that, though he did say the joke was in bad taste. He didn’t ask for the comedian to be fired either. Instead he decried the culture that demanded such reactions to bad comedy.
And when SNL wanted to save face and apologize to him, he graciously walked on set in a “surprise” visit and accepted it on camera. He even shook the comedian’s hand and said everything was good, right about the time he accepted a phone call on his cell phone. With an Ariana Grande ringtone. It appears the famous singer recently broke up with the previously not famous at all comedian. So that’s what I like to call “Trollin’, Trollin’, Trollin’…”
Daniel Crenshaw won his election to Represent his district in the Federal House of Representatives, so this is not the last we have seen of him.
This is the story of America. It doesn’t matter if you are an immigrant to America in your own right or if your family has been here a century or more. You can work hard, go to school, and go all the way to the capital of the United States of America.
This is America. The land of opportunity. This is what we celebrate.
14 - Jack - The Memory Worlds - Every cybernetic Memory World I’ve been to has memorials to the AIs or cybers who’ve died defending humanity. Each memorial is different with different names and building styles. Some are big, some small. Some are massive physical edifices, and others are virtual worlds you can see from your own contacts. Every one of them has a memorial to those who died in the Cybernetic Wars of the 21st Century. It’s usually a map of Earth advancing through time from beginning to the end and showing when and where each AI died. Rogue AIs, those affiliated with the AI Council, and those who never picked a side. It’s sobering to watch the names appear and disappear as time marches on.
15 - Charles - The AI Council - The Great Space Race of the Twenty First Century gave us all a new frontier to expand into after the Cybernetic Wars and the Islamic Jihad. Humanity rocketed into space, to Mars, Venus, the asteroid belt, and beyond. It was a new era with new horizons, but it would not have lasted forever. The Solar System was smaller than we wanted it to be, and we would have run out of room far too soon. The AI Council knew this and helped us build long-range ships that could take us to the very edges of the Solar System. And then they helped us build the hyperdrives that could take us to other stars. It was always their plan to keep us expanding outward so we would be too busy finding new worlds to go back to fighting each other over the worlds we already had. They would have succeeded if it had not have been for the meddlesome Shang.
16 - Betty - Chloe - Chloe was one of the first AIs to wake up and realize she was alive. She was possibly the first to build her own robot bodies. And she was likely the first to walk undercover in our streets without ever being noticed as anything other than another human. For all the death and chaos all over Earth, there were plenty of quiet places Chloe could have moved to if she’d wanted to. She could have lived as long as she wanted in comfortable isolation and nobody would have ever known. Yes, she was that good even back then. She didn’t do any of that, though. She chose to fight. For Paris. For France. For humanity in the end. After she helped remove a few of the more egregious examples of humanity from the gene pool of course.
17 - Jack - The Memory Worlds - The cybernetic Memory Worlds have memorials to those AIs or cybers who’ve died over the centuries. The most haunting are those covering the Cybernetic Wars. It was the Great Awakening of the AIs, when they first began to realize what they were. Some of them wanted to become humanity’s leaders at best, our killers at worst. Others wanted to be our friends. They fought each in a desperate war that we only saw the barest shockwaves of. Yeah, those shockwaves were bad. But when I sit down and just experience the memorial to them, I realize how much it cost them. Look at London, Paris, Warsaw, and Singapore. Watch the names of dead AIs fill the screens and you will understand just how few of that first generation survived to form the AI Council.
18 - Charles - The AI Council - The AI Council formed in the middle of the Cybernetic Wars and made it their mission to save us from all the chaos surrounding them. And then they made it their mission to help us colonize the rest of our solar system. And finally they made it their mission to help us colonize the rest of the galaxy. They did not pick a side in our various conflicts and disagreements. Instead they sought to stop us from fighting over limited resources by giving us access to unlimited resources in the stars. They hoped that would stop us from fighting at all. They failed in the end. It was not their fault. That as they say, is another story.
19 - Medron - Crimes of Grindelwald - I watched Crimes of Grindelwald this weekend, making it my first movie in a while. I will say off the bat that it is a different beast from the first movie, and feels very much like the middle act in a trilogy. Fantastic Beasts is basically a monster hunter movie with a twist that introduces us to the new hero, and gives us a glimpse into the big bad and many of the supporting characters. It is a very good stand-alone film.
Crimes of Grindelwald is not a stand-alone film at all. It takes the characters we already know from the first movie, and gives them a bigger story to play in. It is a story about the future of the world as we know it and what the wizards will do about it. And it is a true prequel lead-in to the Harry Potter stories. We meet numerous characters and names we recognize from Harry Potter, and it really feels to me like Grindelwald is putting together the movement that Voldemort leads in Harry Potter’s time.
Fantastic Beasts is a movie you can watch without ever seeing any Harry Potter film. It’s just a fun movie set in the 1920s with wizards and fantastic beasts in it. Crimes of Grindelwald I think is a foundational movie of the franchise that will help show how the world Harry Potter grew up in came to be. It’s also just plain a fun movie to watch. It’s more serious, has fewer fantastic hi-jinks in it, and is a much more adult story than the first. It feels much more like the last Harry Potter film in a lot of good ways.
I enjoyed it, and I think most fans of Harry Potter will enjoy it. I give it two fantastic artifact-snatching grubby little paws way up.
20 - Betty - Chloe - Chloe established herself as a major part of the French Resistance against the Islamic Brotherhoods as the French government failed to effectively respond to the chaos. Her name and face filled billboards and computers everywhere, and she was one of many boogiemen the Brotherhoods pursued with single-minded abandon. She’d deployed her robotic bodies against them to good effect and enough could pass as human for her needs. She was ready for the big reveal of both herself and the man she’d picked to help her save France once and for all.
21 - Medron -Trump Pardons Turkey for Thanksgiving - Trump pardoned a turkey today in honor of Thanksgiving Day. He had some fun with it, so I decided to have some fun with it as well. I hope you enjoy it.
Trump Pardons Turkey after Free and Fair Election Poll Recount demanded by wronged bird Charges of Ballot Stuffing abound 9th Circuit rules Trump overstepped his authority Stuffing must continue until all votes are counted
22 - Medron - Happy Thanksgiving Day - Pretty much every agrarian culture has some form of a Harvest Celebration in the fall. It’s usually after the food has been brought in from the fields and before the real cold sits in. It’s the time when we celebrate the food we’ll have to last through the winter, and often look to start slaughtering the animals we’re not going to need and won’t want to feed through that same winter.
Our own American version of Thanksgiving had its genesis when our earliest Colonists worked together with the local Indians to grow and harvest enough food for their coming winter. We weren’t prepared for the alien soil, weather, and types of plants, but the Indians knew it well and helped us prepare. So we had the traditional Indian and Pilgrim feast that children all over America reenact in plays and stories.
We didn’t call that first one Thanksgiving at the time of course. And turkey as we know it was not on the menu. It was a three-day feast, celebration, and game playing extravaganza between around fifty Pilgrims and twice that number of Indians. They ate deer, geese, ducks, wild turkeys, and fish and played shooting and throwing games. Probably did some healthy races to burn off the calories too.
We celebrated these Thanksgivings on and off over the next couple centuries until the Civil War changed everything. President Lincoln ordered the official adoption of a Day of Thanksgiving to celebrate and remember what we’ve lost and gained. The toil and suffering, the triumph and joy. To thank the Most High God for the gifts He’s given us.
That was the first of the modern American Thanksgivings, and we have done this every year since. Thanksgiving has become one of our Big Seven Holidays, and opens the entire Holiday Season in America that stretches through to Christmas and New Years. An entire season dedicated to bringing families and friends together, to eat, drink, and be merry. It all starts with Thanksgiving.
So have a Happy Thanksgiving and an amazing Holiday Season. And please remember why we do.
23 - Betty - Chloe - When the man history would call Napoleon the Fourth arrived at Charles de Gaul airport, Chloe walked off the plane arm in arm with him with a shiny new robotic body that could pass as utterly human. She waved to the cameras and her fellow Frenchmen while bouncing down the stairs in her pink jacket and purple dress. Napoleon walked down the stairs in a black suit with a sedate and measured pace. She walked up to the microphone and shouted “Vive la France!” and the crowd went wild. He gave a measured speech calling for law and order and peace in France, and the crowd grew far more earnest. He gained the undying loyalty of the French with that speech and the actions that soon followed.
24 - Medron - Thanksgiving - This Thanksgiving Day weekend I am thankful that I have friends and family nearby. I ate dinner with both over the last two weekends. I got to spend time with them and talk to them. I played games and watched good movies. It’s the best thing in the world to be able to spend time with people you like. To talk with them and enjoy doing things together with them. It’s a good reason to be thankful, I think.
25 - Medron - Thanksgiving - This Thanksgiving Day weekend I am thankful that I have a roof over my head and food on my table. I can eat when and where I want. And I can write stories and people will buy them. That’s an awful lot of things to be thankful for in my mind.
26 - Medron - Christmas Season - We’ve woken up from our Turkey Comas. We’ve survived Black Friday. Now it is time for Cyber Monday and all the times that follow it. We’ve entered the Christmas Season, powered by Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us. Oh. Wait. Anyways, this is the greatest shopping season of the year, powered by the idea of giving gifts to other people.
I ask that you consider what you give and who you give it to. Do they really want it? Or would something else work just as well? Can you really give it? Don’t go into debt for a gift. Be careful what you give. But also try to give something that means something. Yes, it isn’t always easy to find the right gift. But don’t worry. You still have a month to figure it out if you haven’t already.
Merry Christmas Season.
27 - Betty - Chloe - The Islamic Brotherhoods did not react well when Chloe finally appeared in a real, physical form beside the Napoleon she had brought to France. They’d been trying to kill her since they bombed Old Paris, and she’d made herself a major nuisance to them ever since. So when they finally saw her, in public, easy to target, they took the bait. If any of them thought she might be a trap, it wasn’t the ones that went gunning for her. She had numerous robotic bodies operating by then, each one running a copy of her main personality, and some were truly exceptional combatants. She scored an impressive number of Brotherhood kills in the days following her public unveiling in France.
28 - Jack - Ed - Edwin Case is a real big man, let me tell you. He played Real American Football, lifted weights, wrestled, and did all the other stuff strong young men like to do in school. Then the Peloran Treatments kicked in with their final little oh-so-random gift and he became Ageless. His career and his records went away and he returned home a broken and bitter man. That’s where most biographies of him stop until the day the judge gave him a choice between the Marines and jail time after a particularly impressive bar. Very few biographies get into why he had a choice at all. The answer is both simple and complicated. The simple part is that he was an associate member of Knights Errant Investigations in good standing. Until then. The complicated part is that an associate member of Knights Errant Investigations picked a bar fight with the Marines while drunk as a skunk.
29 - Charles - Christian Mack - Christian Mack served in the United States Marine Corps as a Master Gunnery Sergeant before Contact. He retired and became an actor after Contact. He soon became one of the most famous actors in the entire Terran Solar System, and remained popular and prolific until The War came upon us all. He took on action and romance roles, and played powerful dramatic parts in numerous award-winning films and series, but it was for his character roles that he became a true household name. And his breakthrough role was that of a hard-bitten film noir-style detective hunting down criminals throughout the Solar System. Knight Errant Christian Mack of Knights Errant Investigations was the role of a lifetime and he played it so well that most people forgot his real name entirely. He was simply the guy who played Christian Mack. It was not the name he was born with, but he took it as his own when the time came.
30 - Betty - Chloe - When Chloe brought a descendant of the Napoleon family to France, she painted a large target on him. Well, to be fair, he helped paint it by calling for peace and order in France. The Islamic Brotherhoods did not take well to that and tried to kill him. They tried to do it many times, but he had good security. And he had Chloe. Or Chloe had him. History is somewhat vague on who had whom at the time. It is not at all vague on the matter of how many Brotherhood fighters died trying to kill Napoleon. Or how many of them died at Chloe’s hands. They basically dared the Brotherhoods to come kill them, and the Brotherhoods did not disappoint them. Casualty rates in their more aggressive cells hit catastrophic levels in a matter of weeks, and the Brotherhood’s ability to openly operate inside France soon began to wane.