A Wal-Mart shopper honors the season by spreading spicy fragrance:
In the first case, police report a shopper attempted to gain a competitive advantage over her fellow patrons at a Wal-Mart store in Porter Ranch, Calif., at about 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Here's what that was like, according to witness accounts in the Los Angeles Times:Other shoppers honored the beginning of the Season in more traditional ways:
"I heard screaming and I heard yelling," said Lopez, 18. "Moments later, my throat stung. I was coughing really bad and watering up."
In Rome, N.Y., a man was arrested after "several shoppers at the electronics department were pushed to the ground and several fights broke out," according to NBC3 in Syracuse. And in Cave Creek, Ariz., the bomb squad took a suspected explosive device out of a Wal-Mart employee break room.Even the police were overcome with the spirit of the season:
Other incidents occurred outside Wal-Mart stores early in the morning of Black Friday. In Myrtle Beach, S.C., a woman was shot in the foot during an armed robbery outside a Wal-Mart at around 1 AM. In San Leandro, Calif., a man was reportedly shot outside a Wal-Mart at about 2 a.m. "after suspects asked the victims for their items and were refused," leading to a fight.
Sgt. Roland Davis of Kinston Public Safety says Walmart hired off-duty police officers to help with security during their Black Friday event today," reports WITN-TV. "Davis says an officer was trying to quell a disturbance and make an arrest, and used pepper spray.
The Iraqi Ministry of Planning estimates that about 9 percent of the country's women, or about 900,000, are widows. A separate government agency, the Ministry of Women, issued a statement in June putting the figure at one million.
Pakistan is pretty pissed off right now as a NATO gunship assault on a border checkpoint near Afghanistan has resulted in at least 26 dead Pakistani soldiers so far.
President Obama did not include any reference to God during his weekly address titled, "On Thanksgiving, Grateful for the Men and Women Who Defend Our Country."
His remarks were void of any religious references although Thanksgiving is a holiday traditionally steeped in giving thanks and praise to God.
The president said his family was "reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are."
For many Americans, though, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on how blessed and thankful they are.
The president said the "most American of blessings" is the "chance to determine our own destiny."
He called the very first Thanksgiving a "celebration of community"
"We're also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay," he said. "This sense of mutual responsibility – the idea that I am my brother's keeper; that I am my sister's keeper – has always been a part of what makes our country special."
The president said that belief is "one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured."
But nowhere in the 11-paragraph address does he mention the Almighty.
Because after all, unless you invoke the Baby Jesus 5,498,632 times a day, God only knows what might happen. Hell, you might start to think....and thinking means asking questions. And we mustn't have that. It would be unseemly.
There have been many reports of violence on this Black Friday, but none may be as horrific as this.
Witnesses say police officers tackled a grandfather at an Arizona Wal-Mart Friday, leaving him bloody and unconscious. [...]
After one man's grandson got trampled, he put the video game he was holding in his waistband in order to free up his hands and lift the boy out of the crowd, according to KSAZ.
That's when cops moved in, slamming the grandfather's head on the hard Wal-Mart floor. The aftermath was caught on cell phone video.
You can watch the video after the jump. It's not for the squeamish.
It's not an Occupy protest or another nation demanding freedom from oppression. It's Thanksgiving night at Walmart.
Naturally, Americans can't be dignified and civilized about our obvious consumerism. Every year, we embarrass ourselves by suiting up in sweatpants, sleeping bags and sports-logo ballcaps, and we congregate into unwashed, freezing herds for an opportunity to buy lots of useless crap just because it's on sale.
We're not just buying cheap stuff, we're selling our collective dignity. Yes, I get it, we're a consumer society now. I'm just as guilty as most. But I wish we could exercise our need for things in a way that didn't telegraph to the world that Americans are mouth-breathing zombies who are only willing to unify behind a Cause whenever Best Buy summons us to its blue and yellow cathedral.
I know, I'm being a Debbie Downer all over Black Friday. In this case, however, we need more Debbie Downers. Too few people are shocked by the midnight (or earlier) insanity — specifically, the participants. Anyone who can review the morning-after photos of crazed, bug-eyed crowds and stampeding violence without being repulsed and overwhelmed with a sense of loathing have totally sold their souls to the consumer gods who thrive on thoughtless gluttony. But if we're still able to muster some shame and embarrassment for our fellow Americans who just had to "do Black Friday," then we might be okay.
What I'm saying here is, yes, we all buy things. We buy things we need and we buy things we don't need. We own lots of stuff, and, in the Tyler Durden sense, too much of our stuff owns us. All I'm asking is that we try to worship with some civility and self-respect.
Time Magazine thinks you're pea-brained reality deniers.