Some news and Turkey Day open thread.
The New York Time reports on Thoughts of family and football amid the Turkey in Afghanistan.
The soldiers filed into the dining tent in the soft light before evening, carrying heaps of food for a Thanksgiving gathering as polyglot as anywhere.
At one plywood table there was a Special Forces staff sergeant who was born in Turkey. “No names, please,” he said, as he stepped inside.
At another there was Capt. Walter P. De La Vega of the Army, who trains and supervises the Afghan security forces in Wardak Province. He was born in Peru and reared in New Jersey. The acoustic guitar player in camouflage, Sgt. Kevin J. Quinones, was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. When he strummed and sang “America the Beautiful” the soldiers set aside their food and stood.
A cook who prepared the turkey, Specialist Yevgeny Goussev, was born in Moscow and received a work visa to the United States in 2002. He was a reserve artillery lieutenant in the Russian Army, although he said his commission was probably voided when he enlisted in the United States Army last year.
Specialist Goussev became an American citizen this month. He says he understands what this American holiday means. “Thanksgiving is to share with other people, and not expecting anything in return,” he said.
In another episode of the world is mad, the Los Angeles Times reports A green idea for saving lives in Iraq. “When a little-known agency of the U.S. Army asked Joe Amadee III to come up with an idea for saving lives in Iraq, it was probing for some kind of a contraption… he and a crew led by an Oklahoma roofing contractor were at this desert base east of Baghdad spraying foam onto tents. Their plan is to turn all of the Army’s hulking, heat-absorbing tent barracks into rigid shells of 2-inch insulation. The way that would improve soldiers’ lives may be self-evident. What is less obvious is how it also could save their lives. The key is fuel: The more of it a base uses, the more soldiers are exposed to deadly roadside bombs on fuel convoys.” We’d save a lot more energy if we just redeployed and invested our Iraq occupation money on renewable and alternative energy research too.
The Guardian reports Howard election campaign hit by dirty tricks scandal. “The election strategy of the Australian prime minister, John Howard, was in turmoil today after members of his Liberal party were caught red-handed in an inept dirty tricks campaign. Bogus flyers from a fake organisation called the Islamic Australia Federation were distributed through the letterboxes of voters in a marginal seat, claiming the Labor opposition sympathised with Islamic terrorists. The leaflets referred to the men imprisoned for the 2002 nightclub bomb attacks in Bali, which left more than 200 people dead. The flyers also claimed Labor support for the building of new mosques in the area.” Hopefully, Bush’s ally John Howard will be voted out by the Australians. You should see the picture on the website of the Australian Liberal MP Jackie Kelly’s husband being caught red-handed distributing the fliers.
The AP reports Parade rolls in NYC under balmy skies. “nseasonably balmy weather greeted cheering crowds as the giant balloons in the traditional Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade floated through the streets of Manhattan… The parade, held on a sunny morning with a temperature nearing 60 degrees, offered a mix of new attractions and longtime favorites, solemn tributes and lighthearted spectacle.” Unseasonably warm or the new norm?
So, what else is happening?