State by State

Apparently there is an entire country between Boston and San Francisco.


by Natalia

Another year, another turkey. One of the 90 million eaten between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. Almost one per household. Combine wingspan of all those birds is longer than the equator. If atomic bombs did’t prove that we were dealing with a superpower here, surely the logistics of raising, killing, packing, distributing and consuming this Everest of poultry has to convince the doubters.

There is actually no law stating that one has to eat a turkey in November or December. At least none that we are aware of. But we don’t want to push our luck so we elected to do our yearly animal sacrifice on Thanksgiving and be done with it. We’ll have leftovers as a proof of our compliance. Not that we expect anyone checking, but just in case.

We did, briefly, consider letting our turkey free but differently from the American president we have gotten it already slaughtered and plucked and pardoning it wouldn’t save its life. By the way: whoever runs on a platform of as a leader of the free world, I won’t succumb to the puppetry of turkey pardons has my vote. Unless her first name is Sarah that is. In my book not being able to tell which Korea is which is an ultimate turnoff.

And truthfully we prefer to eat the turkey to keeping it as a pet. If a turkey is not eaten, it shouldn’t have been hatched in the first place. Adopting a turkey simply leads to overpopulation. Or overturkation.

Differently from harvest celebrations around the world, Thanksgiving in US is a low entry threshold holiday. And, despite its puritan origin, not overtly religious one. All you need is a turkey and a vague feeling of gratitude. Immigrants can easily take to it. Even if they don’t believe the idyllic version of the Thanksgiving story, which has Pilgrims peacefully celebrating with Wampanoag. Of course most holidays rely on some kind of official propaganda. We were totally oblivious to this one, the first time we celebrated Thanksgiving back in Poland. We managed to break our oven trying to make our American friend feel at home. I still think we succeeded: nothing spells Thanksgiving like running around with a half baked bird in search of a big enough heat source. Ovens on this side of the pond are sturdier of course. Which does not help much our American friend, who - 15 years later - still lives in Poland.

Regardless of how it all started Americans have every reason to be thankful for a bountiful harvest: only 15% of Americans suffer from occasional hunger. The food is plentiful and, for 98% of the society all it takes to get it is a trip to a supermarket.

Still, not every one can enjoy the turkey tonight. A friend just commented on Facebook, that she had already seen people camping (in tents) in front of the Best Buy store in Woodlands, Texas to be first in line when it opens tomorrow. Starting a month long celebration of shopping supporting the economy. We are thankful to those who do it, so that we don’t have to.


There is something in South Dakota that can decide the fate of the world. Scratch that. There was something there. It’s just a national historic site now. A museum staffed by national park rangers preserving a launch control center and a silo hiding 18 meters long, slender, white missile. Which used to be topped with a 1.2 megaton warhead. Nothing to sneeze at if you consider that the entire WWII used between 2 and 6 megaton of explosives and that includes 20 kiloton nuclear bombs detonated in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


We might not have Canada without them. And despite our border experience, Canada is worth having. For one Niagara Falls look much better from the Canadian side. Oh wait, we would not have Niagara Falls without the Great Lakes either. As it stands the lakes became a natural border between Patriots and Loyalists sealing the fate of Canada as a separate country. Canadian side of Ontario Lake is home to royalists who fled the land of the free as soon as freedom was won. Did they know something we don’t?