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November 26, 2009

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Just saw this post while on a break from arranging the next round of eating.

Indeed you can be thankful for the avian visit - it must have been so cheerful and appropriate. Perhaps the birds knew they were safe in your backyard since your Thanksgiving menu is idli & dosa?

And here is a bunch of self righteous, killjoy birds you don't want to meet on Thanksgiving Day or on any other day, for that matter.

Sounds like a bunch of true management turkeys...er bozos ( I oughtn't be insulting the honored guests in my yard by using their names as pejorative.)
It seems that this episode was also the last straw, but Christmas mentioned as a point of contention in the article sounds fishy- Ms.Awasthi only worked with Infosys CA from Feb-Nov 2008. Infosys does rely a lot on the 'bonded H1/B1 labor', and probably doesn't know what they were in for with their insensitive handling of a US citizen, even if she is of Indian extraction.

I agree with PZ in the sense that I don't believe we owe gratitude to God or gods for our existence... but I've always* taken the point of the thanks giving on Thanksgiving stuff to be that we feel better about our lot in the world if we take a moment to think of all the stuff we have to be thankful for. It's not rational to the extent it doesn't help us have better outcomes in the future, but it IS helpful to the extent it makes us happy to dwell on the positive rather than negative aspects of our lives.

(*Really I look at Thanksgiving as an excuse to spend time talking and eating food with family. To me, that's what it's about. But I do think PZ is wrong about this.)

PZ is being a self-conscious curmudgeon and contrarian. Rationality should not be devoid of the capacity to feel happy, friendly, compassionate, thankful and yes, even goofy. It has nothing to do with god or religion.

I think PZ misrepresents the meaning of 'thankfulness' and 'gratitude' when he excoriates those feelings as being too evident of a religious approach to life. He would like people to be thankful, but not to some vague 'being in the sky', just to concrete people who are near and dear ( But wait, isn't that why the retailers have hyped "Mother's Day", "Valentine's Day", "Father's Day", "Grandparent's Day", "Bosses' Day", "Secretaries Day", etc. ?)
So 'Thanksgiving Day' takes on its general connotation as day to give thanks to benevolent deities and other unseen beings, coinciding rather nicely with Harvest time.
Though there is a rather large group of people who treat this time as one of mourning.

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