CTDT: Critical Turkey Day Theory

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

I’m once again up to my elbows in another Thanksgiving turkey, preparing  the annual feast. My two adult children are home to observe this holiday, bringing with them a new challenge: four dogs.

I swear this is payback for not letting them have pets when they were younger.

My canine guests range in size from a dainty 30 to a hefty 90 pounds and exhibit varying degrees of nervousness. Two of them are here because my eldest is dogsitting.

And one of these dogs suffers from ADD as does their owner.

I really need more than a continuous stream of alcohol to get through this day.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are all of us healthy, we’ve all been vaccinated and don’t need to wear masks or to ventilate the house. Three of us have had our boosters with the remainder to get theirs very soon.

Last Thanksgiving we looked for places to have an outdoor picnic in the cold halfway between my place and my kids’ places, because we didn’t want to risk being cooped up inside not knowing if any one of us had been exposed to COVID.

This holiday is better; we are living far more freely than last year.

For this we give our thanks.

~ ~ ~

Putting aside the pandemic, the complexion of this holiday has changed since I was in grade school back in the 1960s. The happy little turkeys we made from construction paper and hand prints are the only thing which might yet make sense now that the truth has stripped away the hoo-ha make-believe surrounding the mythic first Thanksgiving and the Mayflower’s Pilgrims of Plymouth.

We know now that the decimation of the indigenous people who were here long before the Mayflower arrived had already begun because of exposure to diseases brought by British fishermen; they’d also attempted to enslave members of tribes as they fished the east coast.

The epidemics which came with the whites killed nearly 90%% of native people who had no resistance to the Europeans’ diseases, leaving behind smaller numbers of tribal members who could not fend off violence by settlers after what we’ve been taught was the first Thanksgiving.

This holiday has been a fallacious celebration of peace and harmony between immigrant whites and the native peoples; in truth it marks the beginning of massive genocide. What we were taught as children was that this land was nearly virgin, ready for the taking, when in fact it had been populated by millions belonging to many nations but cleared by disease and the savagery of Christianity’s “soldiers” who claimed dominion here as part of their god’s promise to them.

The eventual American colonies were born of disease and deaths of the previous occupants of land that wasn’t truly up for grabs.

Decolonizing this holiday requires seeing this truth beneath the happy little cut-out turkeys and remembering what has been sacrificed and lost before this day.

~ ~ ~

Walking a foot in both worlds — a descendent of European settlers on one side of the family and a member of a vanquished indigenous people nearly wiped out by disease and whites’ oppression — can be a bit challenging.

The in-laws who are all of European descent do not want to hear the truth, that they live on what is occupied land hornswoggled one way or another from Native Americans. “Oh, but there were treaties, this is ceded land,” they’ll argue. How quaint — as if the remaining 10% of the people who once lived here had the power to confront and force off settlers who came bearing even more disease and firearms.

The truth is bitten back, just as it must have been hundreds of years ago when indigenous Wampanoag first met the Pilgrims, stressed and needy after their long voyage as they attempted to settle into their new home on others’ land.

It’s a tradition which is changing, but not all at once. Many other uncomfortable truths will still be held back this day; we ignore the in-law who’s a pig-ignorant anti-vaxxer, and the other who’s an unrelenting gullible Trumpist who eats up all bat shit garbage they are fed by Facebook. There’s no reasoning with them.

In spite of them we make an effort to depart from a white-centric observation; this day will be spent celebrating the health and companionship of those who survived the last year because they cared for their fellow humans and themselves, thinking of the generosity of the Wampanoag back in 1621.

We’ll remember genocide both passive and active took a vast wealth of humans who lived on this soil, entire nations and their ways gone with them.

We’ll support Native American by choosing an indigenous-owned business or Native American artist when we shop for holiday gifts, or make a donation to support Native American news outlets.

We’ll talk about the nations on whose lands we live (do you know whose land you’re on?), and discuss the foods which would have been eaten by these same nations.

There’s more we can do but this is a start toward decentering the white settlers in American history and recognizing the history of this country hasn’t been as glossy and perky as packaged by those uncomfortable with the truth.

~ ~ ~

The observation of thanksgiving as an autumnal or harvest festival was hit or miss and highly local in this country’s early years. It was formalized as a national holiday after Sarah J. Hale lobbied then-President Lincoln for a “day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.”

Lincoln consented and issued this proclamation:

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

It is this we’ll celebrate today: leaving behind a falsely-constructed image of the past, remembering where these bounties came from, aspiring to heal this nation’s wounds, the restoration of its health, and enjoyment of domestic tranquility as we continue to seek a more perfect Union.

Thanks to you all for sharing this holiday with us, and every day as community members at emptywheel.

Now let’s see if this household can get through a turkey dinner without any one of these four energetic canines helping themselves to our feast.

97 replies
  1. Pete T says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Rayne and everyone else.

    I can answer that question: Florida Seminoles

    The rest is quite OT so proceed with caution.

    I have been doing DNA and records based ancestry research for about 10 years. You learn a lot of history doing that if you take the time.

    Florida is a bit unusual in a lot of not so good ways and its history gets a two dings for trying to wipe out the Seminoles and run away slaves – not to mention their own group of slaves.

    Many slaves fled Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida plantations and mixed with the Seminoles giving rise to an offshoot often referred to as Black Seminoles, but they were not treated as “second class” by the original Seminole tribes. One particular Black Seminole resistance leader to the white eradicators was named Scipio Bowlegs and he eventually joined the migration from now Key Biscayne, FL to North Andros Island, Bahamas. There are many Bowlegs on Andros and closer islands many of which not descended from Scipio took the Bowleg(s) surname to honor him.

    My maternal grand mother is from Eleuthera, Bahamas and likely descends from Wales. So, yes, Europeans eradicated native Bahamian Indians, too. Indigenous eradication is apparently a thing for Europeans ever since 1492.

    So the Black African slave to America (and Bahamas) fleeing to Florida – intermarrying with Seminoles – and migration to the Bahamas is an interesting loop to learn about.

    My paternal GF and GM are from what is often called Alsace Lorraine, I have some Dutch and Scandinavian ancestry that I have come to learn is likely from periodic invasions of the Guth and Scandinavians into the Alsace Lorraine region wherein all of the males were killed and the women impregnated. The women bore their children and gave them the surname of their murdered husbands.

    Sigh…the human condition.


    • Leoghann says:

      As someone with ancestors from a southern Muscogean Creek sub-tribe (Kousata or Coushatta), some of whom escaped south when the migration was mandated, I have a question to ask of you. From your research, are the Seminoles derived from a unique tribe, or are they a southern offshoot of the Creek Nation?

      • Pete T says:

        I have not studied the Seminoles of FL in any detail. But from what I have lightly read, yes, they appear to have descended most recently from The Creek of Georgia and Alabama.


        The Miccosukees of FL also descend from the Creeks and in true poor Indian “management” were lumped in with the Seminoles by the Federal Government. They are now considered a separate tribe though they share descendant and cultural heritage with the Seminoles.

        I am sure you are proud of your Native American heritage. You certainly should be and I certainly respect it. I do not know how the injustices should be rectified.

        It might be considered grievously ironic – probably far worse – that white European settlers sought liberty and freedom from, initially, their own religious persecution but somehow thought if fair and OK in the eyes of god to wipe out indigenous peoples to secure it.

        America needs to come to terms with the atrocities of its past. I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime.

    • Robert N Eckert says:

      I have a minor trace (Elizabeth Warren level) of Native ancestry, with a story behind it: in the mid-18th century some English tried to settle the Lycoming valley, near modern Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and the French hired some Iroquois to wipe them out. The Lenni Lenape (“Delaware”) took in a few survivors, including a young boy Isaac Williams whom they called Yellow Jacket. This band became part of the “Moravian Indians” converted to Christianity by Heckewalder and other missionaries of the Moravian church (broke from the Catholics under Jan Huss, a century before Luther) who wanted them to assimilate to the white man’s ways. During the “Articles” period between the Revolution and the Constitution, an irregular militia called the “Paxton Boys” (the weak central government barely maintained armed forces) was hired to seek out some Wyandotte who had attacked frontier settlements, but they could not find them. Somebody said “I know where there’s some Injuns” and led them to Schoenbrunn and Gnadenhuetten, the Moravian settlements, who welcomed them because they were American allies. The soldiers accused them of stealing from white men, because they used iron pots and pans which of course they did not believe “savages” were capable of making. In Gnadenhuetten they herded everyone into the church and set it on fire. Yellow Jacket’s granddaughter (typically, the name of this heroine is not preserved in the sources) pried up one of the floorboards to hide her infant underneath. The Cantwells of Ohio found this baby, the only survivor there, and that’s my many-times-great-grandfather.

      • Rayne says:

        Guess I’m going to have to get my hands on a copy of this:

        Gutchess, Alan D. 2015. “The Forgotten Survivors of Gnadenhutten” [Ohio]. Western Pennsylvania History 98, no. 4 (Winter 2015-16): 4-5. Massacre of 96 Lenape Indians in 1782 at the mission town of Gnadenhutten (Tuscarawas Co., Ohio).

        as part of Critical Turkey Day Theory research. Another form of land clearance to the benefit of whites, many of whom today might say the land was ceded to them.

        • Robert N Eckert says:

          “The Travels of John Heckewelder in Frontier America” Paul A. Wallace (1985) is where I learned a lot of the details. I was not sure this story had anything to do with “our” Williamses (the name is quite common after all) until the 23 & Me verified the trace ancestry.

          • Pete T says:

            This may apply to @leoghann too. If you have not already, load your DNA test into http://www.gedmatch.com. It’s free and secure. I would be more than happy to help you tease out that trace with you. There are also several “Indian” and Native American linked SIGs that might apply. Reach me at ptoemmes gmail.com

  2. Tom says:

    I imagine lots of people have memories of cooking their first Thanksgiving turkey. In my case, the memories centre around being asked the question, after the bird had been in the oven for several hours, “Did you remember to take out the bag of giblets?” To which I replied, “Bag of giblets?”

    • Rayne says:

      I thought of your comment today when I had to chip the bag of giblets out of the still-frozen turkey’s crop just before I put it in the oven shortly after noon. I was so tempted to just leave it in there. LOL

    • Theodora30 says:

      I will have to show your comment to my daughter-in-law. She is from Eastern Europe and has never cooked a turkey because we always have Thanksgiving at my daughters’ because she has the biggest dining space. This year she has bough a small turkey which she will cook so they have leftovers. I told her to be sure to check the cavity for the giblets and she looked really surprised because she had not clue she needed to do that. She laughed when I told her that was a common Thanksgiving screw up.

  3. P J Evans says:

    Salmon today for me, and a blessing will be asked for them and their ecosystems, and a 2×4 upside the head for the politicians who talk green but don’t see rivers as important for fish and birds. (Yes, Gavin, I’m looking at you *and your predecessor*.)

    • Leoghann says:

      Salmon was the equivalent to turkey for many of our western forebears. I had some West Texas friends who always smoked a huge salmon for Thanksgiving. (Fancy that some Navajo descendants should find themselves in West Texas and oil-rich.)

      • P J Evans says:

        It’s a once-a-year treat for me – and I love it. (But the fillets had no skin on them. That’s close to the best part!)
        One market I was in had steelhead trout fillets (farmed). Pricey, but undoubtedly tasty. (They were nearly as big as small salmon. Almost keyboard-sized.)

        There’s a story from a great-grandaunt, back in the 19th century, of Osage Indians visiting their farm, and the leader sitting on a chair where they’d just put a pan of rolls to rise (under a dish towel). Flattened them thoroughly.

  4. Peterr says:

    Alice Hutton has a great piece at The Guardian for those interested in the “‘The gooey overlay of sweetness over genocide’: the myth of the ‘first Thanksgiving’.” A taste:

    In 1970, Massachusetts was preparing to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower.

    The 53 surviving men, women and children who had left England in search of “religious freedom” are credited with starting America’s first successful colony, in Plymouth, in 1620. Their voyage to the so-called New World is celebrated by many Americans still as a powerful symbol of the birth of the United States.

    But at the last minute, event organisers reportedly realized something was missing.

    So they invited a member of the Wampanoag Nation, or People of the First Light – the loose confederation of south-eastern New England tribes whose ancestors were immortalised as the “friendly Indians” who welcomed the Pilgrims and feasted with them at the “first Thanksgiving” in 1621.

    Unfortunately for the planners, the person who returned their call was schoolteacher Wamsutta Frank James of the federally recognised Aquinnah Wampanoag, of Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, who drove a red Corvette with a bumper sticker that read: “Custer had it coming”.

    James said he would attend, on the condition he told the truth. . . .”

    Click through to see how the organisers reacted. Internal links omitted above, but the whole article is chock full of them.

    All in all, James’ undelivered speech reminds me of Frederick Douglass’ July 5th speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Funny how marginalized people have some very powerful and profound things to say, if only non-marginalized folks would listen.

    Thanks, Rayne!

  5. RMD says:

    Thanks Rayne… Have a pleasant day.

    Turkeys are now more abundant and may be found in more places than in 1620, thanks to the efforts to save the once endangered birds, according to a wildlife expert.
    I am thankful for that.

    Quite a few decades ago in my family, the Thanksgiving turkey was bought frozen at the A&P (no longer) and placed atop the kitchen counter overnight to thaw. We had an adopted stray named Ernestine who did not keep with our solemn occasion or recognize the sanctified carcass as something other than a very large treat to be climbed atop, chewed upon, and clawed from end to end.

    Come morning and needing to ready the bird–a nearly 6 hr bake complete with stuffing–my Mother’s horror at the sight of the mangled bird….and her unnerving cry suggested something about this Thanksgiving was off to a bad start.

    ….. “bad cat!” has taken on special meaning in our family..

    Be well all.

    • posaune says:

      My neighbor on the UWS in the old NYC tenement worked at Readers Digest as a cobol programmer (ok, this is dated). He resented the commute to Pleasantville, the job and the salary. One year, they announced that year’s bonus as a frozen turkey. Everyone received a frozen turkey the last day before xmas week break. My neighbor waited until the boss departed, and left his turkey on the boss’s chair with a resignation letter.

  6. Duke says:

    I am thankful to live and breathe the same air with my spouse, 3/4s of children, and my granddaughter. Grateful my octogenarian parents were able travel south for the Winter and have the holidays with my brother for the first time in a long while.

    I am grateful for Pfizer and Moderna. Grateful to not be hateful!

  7. rosalind says:

    thank you rayne, and thank you all for another year of comradery amidst our political calamity.

    i’m especially thankful this year for discovering a young historian, Alexis Coe. her essay this week is about the insanity trial of Mary Lincoln, widow of our Presidential Proclamator (in her introductory essay Coe explains that Mary never used “Todd” after her marriage, and the MTL appellation was intended as a slur by Lincoln’s former law partner).

    i’m once again embarassed at how little i know of historical events. here’s the essay’s intro:

    “At one o’clock in the afternoon on May 19, 1875, an unexpected visitor knocked on the door of Mary Lincoln’s hotel room. It was Leonard Swett, one of her late husband’s law associates. The self-proclaimed “First Widow” had just arrived in Chicago ahead of the ten-year anniversary of the assassination of her husband. She assumed Swett, having learned she was in town from the local papers, had come to pay his respects. He had not. Swett told Mary she had one hour to dress for a court date she didn’t know she had. She would be tried for insanity, a charge she didn’t know had been leveled at her.”


    Alexis has also written a refreshing biography of George Washington, “You Never Forget Your First”, where she restores his mother Mary to a real flesh and blood human being as opposed to the caricature of so many previous GW biographies. highly recommend.

    Happy feasting, all!

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for the reading recommendation, rosalind. Great to see you as always, and glad to have you here at emptywheel for yet another holiday season.

    • Justlp says:

      Thanks for sharing that link. Very interesting. I have never heard of this before. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m grateful for the writers & commenters here. I learn a lot from you all.

    • Leoghann says:

      Ah yes, the infamous Illinois insanity ordinances. Responsible for atrocious, extralegal incarceration from Mary Lincoln to Dr. Immanuel Bronner.

    • P J Evans says:

      Should have slept later. (I’ve been up for two hours. *My* stomach alarm is making noises, and I had breakfast.)

      • P J Evans says:

        Also, staying inside because it’s good weather for staying in: wind is 12 gusting to 30, humidity is low single digits, and the temp is…not bad, actually.

    • Peterr says:

      The turkey is smoking nicely outside in the 30 degree weather, and Mrs Dr Peterr is making the inside of the house smell wonderful with her pie baking.

      And several bottles of a nice 2014 Zinfandel are awaiting their moment . . .

      I hope you manage to catch up, bmaz.

  8. I I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    Thanks for this, Rayne.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here and your families.

    If you have not read A Renegade History of the United States, by Thaddeus Russell, I recommend it.

      • Raven Eye says:

        Two groups in the general area: Takeima and Cow Creek Uplqua. And, naturally, there were the Rogue River Wars (1855 – 1856) followed by forced removal/relocation.

        With that in mind I ponder the Bundys and their ass-hat followers on the eastern side of the state. That bunch insists that THEY should own the lands that they are leasing from the federal government. There are at least three things wrong with that:
        1. States often have first crack at lands the feds want to take off the inventory.
        2. Somebody was already there when the federal government scooped it up and that might even fuddle state chances.
        3. If those lands ever managed to get put on the auction block, Big AG would be right there, if they thought there was a profit to be made. Either the Bundy-ite ranchers would be out-bid (and would be lucky to even get a job from the purchasers), or Big AG would figure out a way to “finance” the Bundy-ites and/or turn them into contract ranchers kinda like all the Smithfield Foods hog raisers.

        • Nord Dakota says:

          I have a former African American Tea Party friend (he blocked me and cut off contact when I outed him on FB–he disliked Trump for making conservatives look like idiots and I publicly reminded him of that after the nomination when he was all in for DJT). When the Bundy thing was going on I dug into the history of the federal lands in the west (I still want Polk impeached posthumously). In Nevada there was a scandalous history of corruption by state legislators and other state officials with the sale of the federal lands that were granted to the state.

          As for me, my great grandparents homesteaded lands the Ojibwa had driven the Lakota off of. The land is still in the family (my brother farms it) and there’s a river through it. Couple miles upstream, some long passed bachelor brothers amassed a large collection of arrowheads from the river banks, and there have been a couple of digs near the farm.

        • Leoghann says:

          They base that on their claim that Deseret, the proto-state that was declared by Brigham Young and other Mormon pioneers, was illegally split up into the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Also, many of those early families were granted huge tracts of land, which by and large they could never maintain or use. But those Deseret traditionalists claim they should still own all those huge tracts.

          • Raven Eye says:

            Trying to be crafty and with boundaries intended to avoid conflicts with existing Euro-American settlements — thus avoiding Oregon’s Willamette Valley, but (it appears) including “Bundyvania” in Oregon. Typical for the time, no concern for the groups of non-Whites who had been living there for more than a few millennia.

            Those that still think that they should own that land need to get a tardy pass and join us in the 21st century.

  9. Raven Eye says:

    Thanks to all: The patient and the not quite as patient — but all contributing. Often whilst reading here I heard that grinding noise inside my hear: The sound of a paradigm shifting without a clutch — which is a good thing.

    Regarding the Euro-newcomer version of Thanksgiving; I caught something on NPR yesterday about a real tradition; the 13 Thanksgivings. This is a quick link for an article: https://motifri.com/thirteen-thanksgivings/

    Someday, maybe on Thanksgiving, we’ll celebrate turning over the management of some federal lands (perhaps USFS and BLM) to the original stewards.

    • Peterr says:

      Gotta love Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland’s order last week:

      Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today formally established a process to review and replace derogatory names of the nation’s geographic features. She also declared “squaw” to be a derogatory term and ordered the Board on Geographic Names – the federal body tasked with naming geographic places – to implement procedures to remove the term from federal usage.

      “Racist terms have no place in our vernacular or on our federal lands. Our nation’s lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and our shared cultural heritage – not to perpetuate the legacies of oppression,” said Secretary Haaland. “Today’s actions will accelerate an important process to reconcile derogatory place names and mark a significant step in honoring the ancestors who have stewarded our lands since time immemorial.” . . .

      In a similar vein, the US Forest Service (part of the USDA) is working to build opportunities for Alaskan Native youth:

      The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP), a long time Forest Service partner, has been selected as the newest partner of the Resource Assistants Program (RAP). Melinda Hernandez Burke, the Forest Service Alaska Region Tribal Relations Program Manager, is enthralled with the relationship and says “ANSEP has been a Forest Service partner since I started with the agency. This expansion of the partnership is a huge game changer. The Forest Service has worked diligently to find ways to provide continuous ladders of opportunities for youth to learn about and find careers in federal service. Now that we have this partnership with ANSEP, we have the special opportunity to do targeted outreach to and recruitment of Alaska Natives into professional careers with our agency.” . . .

  10. DrFunguy says:

    I write gratefully from the unceded traditional territory of the K’omox First Nation. Before Covid, I attended several events hosted by the nation. I am grateful for their continued presence here and their gracious and generous work for reconciliation. Grateful too for the restored salmon run in the nearby river; I hope the atmospheric river wasn’t too much for their fall spawn.
    So grateful for this hard-nosed, newsy blog that makes my day so often. Wishing you all the best, thank you for everything you do.

    • Doug Fir says:

      Grateful to be living on the unceded traditional territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Squamish People.

      Giving thanks to our erudite hosts and the many thoughtful contributors.

  11. Savage Librarian says:

    Another kind of Critical:

    Surprisingly, you’ll find BBQ turkey, prayer, and Family in this recent article. Although not in this story, others who we’ve seen using religion as a tool are Sergei Millian (Horasis, a sort of religious Davos) and Mikhail Morgulis (Spiritual Diplomacy.)

    “Maria Butina’s National Prayer Breakfast Host Was a Chick-fil-A Executive” – Jonathan Larsen, 11/24/21


  12. gmoke says:

    I celebrated by doing a little guerrilla gardening, planting crocus bulbs in areas I suspect the landlord would not approve. Grateful to have my hands in the dirt.

  13. Lawnboy says:

    Slightly OT:

    I needed a PSR rapid test to travel during the days prior to ThxG, been quite a lesson in the systems. Paradox is , I had many options in Golden Triangle area of MS to get the proper test. (3 easy finds – one used for flying Nov.9) , however; after 2 days of driving to MI, OMG… none to be found that will provide Rapid results in 20 minutes.
    Tried CVS near Findlay OH, nice town btw, they say its rapid but it is not. Web button says rapid, book your time and waste 2 hours to find its not rapid.
    So a lab in Monroe said its the right one, get to Windsor Border Entry and…….its the wrong test. OMG.

    1. When things open, there will not be enough testing, my humble opinion (MHO).
    2. Many people may end up trapped on either side of the US/CAN border without planning ahead.
    3. January will be a S*#*# show of snow birds, longing to see there condos after 2 years.
    4. Not a great uptake in covid rules in MS, but Ohio and MI was a big positive change toward proper precautions.
    Love what you do “wheelers” ,
    Especially when it Raynes.

  14. Tracy Lynn says:

    I occupy the Tamien Nation’s land (and, yes, I knew that already). That interactive map is really nifty — it’s a fairly accurate depiction of my area.

    • Peterr says:

      When I think of the inhabitants of the land on which I was born, it’s the folks now known as the Cahokian mound builders. Their culture rose and fell (for reasons unknown) before not just the Mayflower but also the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria ever see eyes on the shores of North America. Archeological evidence says that at the height of things in ca. 1200, the Cahokian’s central “city” (whatever that meant, back in the day) was larger than London. The Osage were the folks who moved into the area after they disappeared.

      • earthworm says:

        Would love to know what happened to Cahokia and what their fate was, where they went.
        Advances in DNA extraction and gene mapping can supply some answers. My curiosity about the past loves to learn about Neanderthals, Denisovans, and more, from the very distant past. i remain hopeful that care and respect for the Ancestors and their Creation Stories does not prevent this on-going work.
        Thanks to the EW community and its witty and informed commentariat, from the land of the people of the dawn, the Wampanoags.

        • bmaz says:

          Speaking of early irrigation systems, if anybody is interested, check out the history of the Hohokams in Central Arizona. The canal system they built to bring water and irrigate their crops like 800-1000 years ago is still in use in Phoenix and Maricopa County and STILL uses their layout, system and, in many cases, their same canals.

            • bmaz says:

              Oh, man, that was just a teaser for anybody into it. The full story is even bigger. Including the disappearance of the people who actually did that, the Hohokams. It is almost beyond incredible.

  15. posaune says:

    Reading your post with my teenage son: a big AHA for the 4 dogs as payback for not having a dog in childhood! (Thanks for the warning, though)

    Very grateful for this site, the wonderful writers and commenters and of course, the stellar hosts.

    • Rayne says:

      My spouse never had pets; his father had been raised on a farm and all the animals were outside, never inside unless they were dinner. My FIL is still very much like that; he asked if we’d come have Thanksgiving with him, said we were all welcome, but when my spouse told him we had four dogs this holiday my FIL wished him a great Thanksgiving dinner with our kids. LOL

      Both of the kids were extremely active in extracurricular activities in the arts and sports. It seemed really unfair to have to leave a pet behind all the time or have to worry about boarding them including when we visited my FIL, so I said no to pets. And now they’re making up for it with their own pets (which I have been watching a few times a year) and watching other people’s pets.

      It may take me a week once they leave to stop tippy-toeing around the way one does to avoid stepping on a paw or a tail.

  16. Silly but True says:

    Happy “Yellow” Thanksgiving to Emptywheel.

    Yes, that’s literal for this year’s sides: scalloped potatoes, corn casserole, macaroni & cheese, mustard potato salad, yellow squash casserole. All good but it became the joke this year.

  17. to be continued says:

    Just a psa to remember, no turkey leftovers to the furred family members, they don’t handle the richer meat as well as we do. The vet community thanks you, we have enough on our plates juggling the pandemic puppies and covid kitties at the moment for routine things… :) Don’t need the turkey guts this year….

    • Peterr says:

      Given your nom-de-blog, I love the elipses!

      I’m not part of the vet community, but I’ve seen first hand what you are talking about when my grandmother’s furry friend got hold of some of that richer meat after a big extended family Thanksgiving. Fortunately, coughing it up on the kitchen floor (along with the rest of whatever she ate) was the only problem for the furried friend.

      But that did not sit well with Grandma. As we sat eating dessert, she waved her Holzloeffel menacingly over the dining room table, demanding to know who gave the pet the turkey scraps. Holzloeffel is German for wooden spoon, but more than simply a cooking utensil, it has been known as the favored instrument of discipline of German Hausfraus for millennia. Dick Cheney has nothing on a grandma with her Holzloeffel.

      Fortunately for the rest of us, my uncle (then in his 50s) owned up to it. I fully expected to see my grandma put him over her knee and give him a dozen swats. How that didn’t happen, I’ll never know.

    • Rayne says:

      I resisted responding to your comment since I first read it yesterday. It would have been more effective to share an instructive link about feeding canines turkey meat since in reality most of the Canis genus are obligate carnivores and canis familiaris are facultative carnivores — the genus eats birds, which you surely already know.

      It’s not the poultry but how it’s prepared for human consumption which is problematic. Even some pet food companies make turkey kibble or canned moist food.

      Though I have often cooked the turkey neck and giblets for use in dressing or gravy, I’ve also cooked them plain in unseasoned broth for consumption by dogs as well as cats. I strip the flesh from the neck bones, chop it with the giblets, and mix with some broth and freeze in ice cube trays. When a pet seems picky about their usual kibble, I’ll add a thawed cube to their kibble.

      Of course pet owners shouldn’t let their animals “pig out” on turkey on the holiday any more than humans should “pig out” since an excess of an unusual food item may upset their digestion just as it will a human’s GI tract.

      Nor is there a problem with feeding pets sweet potatoes, carrots, or green beans so long as they aren’t seasoned for human consumption. We had steamed carrots and beans which the dogs enjoyed fresh before and after steaming — bribes to keep them occupied out of the kitchen.

      Most of this applies to cats as well, though they are obligate carnivores. Give them plain unseasoned turkey meat, offer them plain unseasoned vegetables, in amounts appropriate to their size.

      And save the dressing, cranberry sauce, and pie for humans. No calls for vets needed here this holiday, nor doctors for humans so far. ~fingers crossed~

  18. Solo says:

    (I’m stealing it, Dopey-o. Just plain stealing it. Thanks.)

    Thanks to the entire University of What’s Really Going On: Dr. Wheeler, Rayne, bmaz, Peterr, pillars and guardians.

    There’s a fire-spirit here on campus that burns off some of the fog-machine fog. It rattles all the empty inverted cups off the table and leaves just the one with the bean seed.

    The same fire pushed the pen of young Chris, gone INTO THE WILD, dying in Alaska in that abandoned school bus. The same spirit had him scribbllng his final notebook entry, the paraphrase of Pasternak, that clear demand:

    “By its right name. Call each thing by its right name.”

  19. SVFranklinS says:

    Typing from Ohlone lands here.

    I had heard that Lincoln put out Thanksgiving sort of as an alternative “origin” story for the US, as one of religious freedom with a side of harmony with the helpful natives, as opposed to the Southern “origin” story of slave-based agriculture and extermination of heathen natives. A Civil War propaganda tool, as it were.

    It seems to have worked, to some degree. Look how widely it’s been adopted.
    Some actually believe it’s true.

  20. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne. Great post.
    Dogs and humans with ADD might want to consider using Bach Flower Rescue Remedy (Stress Relief). I have used many types of flower essence for years with success for myself and animals. Even helped a rainbow macaw, emotionally distraught from his owner’s death to stop pulling out his feathers. Yep – flower power liquified.

  21. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    I hear the same arguments from some of my family whenever a white person on antiques roadshow brings in a priceless native relic, like an item intended to teach children of their beliefs, and the current owner innocently says, “Oh, my grandparents bought it or traded for it”.

    It’s sacrilege for them to even still possess it, and assuming their ancestors weren’t lying and didn’t just hit someone on the head and take it, there’s no credible argument to say these relics could ever have been acquired in a fair trade.

    It’s like seeing the descendents of nazi guards being asked to guess the auction value of a child’s prayer book their ancestors just happened to acquire and pass down to them.

    Thanks for the post, shame on antiques roadshow.

    • Rayne says:

      This theft and erasure of brown peoples’ history continues — one of two reasons not to shop at Hobby Lobby. I haven’t been in there in over a decade. Not only did they fuck with employer-paid health insurance by refusing to pay for employees’ birth control coverage, the company was involved in the sketchy acquisition of ancient artifacts of important historical value which were ultimately forfeited. The company did the corporate equivalent of the dumb blonde routine though it actively ignored advice about the artifacts. Fuck them and their thievery.

        • Rayne says:

          Whey-faced fuckers helped wipe out my father’s people with disease and set up the theft of the country from under his grandmother’s people. That series has an episode covering only one of Cook’s thefts. Brits also destabilized my great-grandfather’s country because of opium. ~spitting in general direction of Britain~

          And foggycoast has the unmitigated gall to think I want to be white like Britain’s monarchist thieves.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Rayne, thank you for your post. Like the grain of sand that builds into a pearl, it has generated a marvelous chain of responses. Just reading all of them has captivated me for hours. I’m sorry I missed it earlier but a flare-up of vasculitis took me out for the holiday. Just roll with the punches, I’ve learned.

            Do I want to be white? Hell no. I never have. I’ve finally reached the age where I can see shades of “whiteness” and the conflicts among them. But that argument (foggycoast’s) is just a way of pre-empting what you truly have to say, and substituting his reductive formulation for it.

            You know that the rest of us here would much rather hear your complex and multi-faceted and always exquisitely stated views. As for tip-toeing around four-leggeds, just walk normally and wear two or three pairs of thick socks. In my family socks are go-to gifts for all occasions, we run through them so fast. (Suffice to say, never wear shoes inside!)

  22. Leoghann says:

    Thanks for the thread, Rayne. Since I have some Creek background on my father’s side, and had uncles who vividly remembered their angry Kousata grandmother, I was disabused of the crap about the “first Thanksgiving” at an early age. Also, I was smart enough in childhood early on to realize that harvest time in New England was at the end of November. So, another myth. But for me, Thanksgiving has been a time set aside annually for us to break bread with family and dear friends and to consider what we have to be grateful for. For me, this year, this blog and the fact that I finally decided to start participating, having been an avid lurker for years, is one of those things.

    Since other posters have done land acknowledgements, for me, one of the draws of this area is that the county is named for the Yavapai people who were its original inhabitants, and they still live here. And having a family that makes no excuses about their native heritage, with a few exceptions (including my father), I grew up with a respect for the earlier inhabitants of our land.

    One aside, Rayne, regarding my long comment on Ed’s last post about vaccine refusers. I wrote the first long comment, and when I posted it I realized that it was yet another treatise-length post. I copied it to my word processor program, then deleted the original, but when I deleted I got the dreaded WordPress Critical Error screen. Usually when that happens the comment or revision posts anyway, so I assumed that my deletion had gone through. And it wasn’t visible when I posted the somewhat shorter revision, but I guess it showed up a little later. I’m sorry I didn’t catch your message until comments were already closed. Thanks for asking for clarification. As you can see, I never had any problems with a professor’s minimum word count requirement for papers.

  23. Rugger9 says:

    OT but unsurprising: it seems Kyle Rittenhouse is not MAGA enough to leave Lin Woods alone, and the Q cult is not amused by this. There also seems to be a question of accounting for the large sums raised for KR’s defense that (surprise) may have gone missing and KR’s current team is not amused either. I seem to recall the question of where KR’s funds really went had been raised some time ago before his current legal team took charge.

    This is also on top of the House GQP going after the “leadership” (one always needs scare quotes for McCarthy) in yet another Dems in Disarray moment for the NYT.

    The weekend gets better and better….


    • Leoghann says:

      I expect a good bit of those MIA dollars were converted to powder and went up John Pierce’s much abused nostrils.

  24. timbo says:

    Thank you for fighting the good fight, Rayne! Plus I appreciate the tips on feeding pets only slightly processed foods rather than the rich crap we scarf down during big holiday meals; I don’t have pets but am often taking care of other folks animal friends during holiday breaks.

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