Cambridge says goodbye, Columbus

Robert Winters reports the Cambridge City Council voted 9-0 this evening to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.

Councilor Nadeem Mazen proposed the idea:

Councillor Mazen stated that this issue is very important to him and that the American educational system needs to more accurately depict Indigenous history. He stated that politics is a trying process and good organization is important for making positive steps. He stated that Columbus probably was not Italian, did not discover anything, and was a war criminal. He stated that it is important to understand how our holidays are created and adopted.

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Of course they did

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Next they'll officially change thier name to The People's Rebulic of Cambridge.

Columbus is the insult to Italians.

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Actually, Columbus is an insult to we decent Italians, just like the Mafia is. I don't want that genocidal maniac representing my heritage. This isn't even looking back on history and now realizing the things he did were inhuman and disgusting; even his contemporaries, most notably a priest named Bartolome de las Casas, who started off as a slave trader, but ended up as an ardent opponent of slavery due to the atrocities he witnessed Columbus & Co. committing.

"What we committed in the Indies stands out among the most unpardonable offences ever committed against God and mankind and this trade (in American Indian slaves) as one of the most unjust, evil and cruel among them." – Bartolome de Las Casas

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/columbus_day

http://www.skeptic.ca/Columbus_Alien_Terrorist.htm

I wonder....

I wonder what @thebelmontmoose has to tweet about this injustice and blatant orderism.

Between the Indigenous and their Turkey feathered

headdress and the Pilgrims and their Turkey Bloodlust I'd say Its about time for reparations, a clear recognition of the cultural appropriation of guys named Tom and the freedom to use any henhouse one desires. No longer shall you be last in the pecking order.

Nice work Cambridge!

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Now its time for Boston to follow. Why are we always behind Cambridge???

- The Original SoBo Yuppie

name shmame

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I have no problem with renaming the holiday. From everything I've read, Columbus was a truly loathsome SOB. As long as I still get the day off, I don't care what it's called.

But we don't live back then

Thankfully Columbus's rational of exploiting solely for personal gain is a historical relic. Now we only exploit for corporate and political gain.

Nope.

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If we lived back then we would have done everything Columbus did.

"What do you mean 'we', paleface?"

Natives

FYI: Some of the natives to North America weren't so friendly either and would ruthlessly kill and enslave neighboring tribes. Columbus had technology and germs on his side but it's not as if attempts to conquer regions was Columbus's idea.

It hardly makes his action's right but socially his actions were widely accepted at the time, at least in Europe.

Along the same lines

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Slavery - who do you think did the conquering and enslaving in Africa, before slaves were loaded into the ships and brought here?

Feel bad

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About what exactly? The fact that people were conquered, enslaved and sold as cattle? Sure, it's awful, but why should I feel guilty over it given the fact that my ancestors had nothing to do with it? It's like blaming someone who bought stolen tools and conveniently forgetting about the thief who robbed the house and the fence who fenced the tools.

Europeans, colonists,

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Europeans, colonists, Americans and also there were men in Africa who faciliatated this horrifying atrocity. Native Americans also took on captured colonial men, women and children as slaves. Slavery is abhorrent. It is truly revolting that slavery was still legal in the United States in the 19th century. The South's attempt to minimize the horror by claiming that some slaves were 'treated well by their owners' is nauseating. Texas publishes the majority of textbooks for schools and they are revising history by white-washing this shameful part of our history.

Well

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Slavery sure was abhorrent, but why not place the blame where it belongs? Those slaves would have been slaughtered by their (black afriKan) captors had they not been sold - slaves kept as unsold inventory were pretty damn expensive to the slavetrader, I would imagine. So, as fucked up as it sounds, those who ended up being sold were in fact the lucky ones.

Black people would be Columbus too

If anybody was in his position they would do pretty much the same thing.

We like to think we are better than they were but if you really put yourself in his position you would be very likely to do exactly what he did.

Not me!

I'm pretty lazy. I'd probably just nap. Going on a long ship ride hardly seems like fun.

And you know, what...

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it doesn't matter one damn bit who the worse savage was.

Bottom line is that Columbus did great things and the whole world owes its present state of prosperity to him. The fact that he thought natives were animals (just like everyone else thought pagans were animals) has nothing to do with that fact.

If he didn't do it, someone else would have, sure. But that tends to be true of most great men in history, so it doesn't detract from everything. The fact that he was a savage on the side has nothing to do with the fact that he was factually the one who discovered the Americas for European civilization.

Nope, just you so far

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But please, don't let me stop you from tilting at your windmills.

Ooh...oops, that's a European cultural reference. Should I go stand in the corner?

Those clowns

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Make Tito Jackson & Co look like a great city councilor.

Child labor and political

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Child labor and political soldiers?

What is that from? The Kony political playbook?

Wrong web site?

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For a moment I thought I was on The Onion.

Put your money where your mouth is

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These people are Grade-A hypocrites unless they rename their city too. Cambridge is the name a colonizer gave to the place.

And needless to say that they ought to give up their possessions and live off the land, at the pleasure of whatever tribal primitives have a claim on this territory. None of this urban blight upon the pristine landscape, that's also a colonizer's imposition on this continent, or at least this corner of it.

No, quite correct

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Cambridge was named after Cambridge University in England.

...by an English colonist. Certainly white, and quite likely male.

What edit?

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I said 'colonizer' the first time around. Maybe you just can't read.

Newe?

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Verily 'twas there before an Englishman ever set sight upon it!

These people are Grade-A

These people are Grade-A hypocrites unless they rename their city too. Cambridge is the name a colonizer gave to the place.

I realize that attempting to explain this is like trying to explain the plot of Breaking Bad to the cat, but here goes:

The problem with Columbus is not that he was a white European.

The problem with Columbus was that he was a mass murderer who committed genocide.

If you have trouble understanding the difference, don't be afraid to ask a grown-up for help.

oh, FFS

I am very tired of hearing from the hypocritical, gluten-free, Politically Correct Whole Foods crowd. Really, is this the big issue of the day? Sometimes you have to just let it go.

"Forget it, Jake; it's Columbus Day"

Columbus was a scumbag

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Cambridge does a lot of stupid things, but jettisoning Columbus was the right thing to do, and worthwhile.

One of the reasons some places are taking longer to do this is because some Italian voters in those places cling to Columbus as a source of pride, for some wrongheaded reason.

That's not nearly always that

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That's not nearly always that case, you don't need to make this about another ethnicity.

It's generally because the larger population doesn't always see the point.

My bad

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You're right, I shouldn't have mentioned the Italian bit. Sounds like it's not the main reason, nationally. It has been in some places I've lived.

Most parts of the country don

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Most parts of the country don't have large Italian populations, so therefore, in most situations around the country, it's not because of them.

You can pick out some examples, but to always says it's because of that is a distortion. Usually it's because the rest of the residents in the area just aren't informed.

You may have seen a an

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You may have seen a an episode on a certain HBO series that had a minor plot line about that, but it's not usually the case in most areas since when you leave the Northeast there aren't that many Italians anyway. If there is a reason some places take longer it's usually related to the rest of the people.

Columbus

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Is a scumbag by today's standards, but he was a jolly good fella back in his days. Should we all slit our wrists just because our ancestors did some shitty things (that were considered great in their days) many centuries ago?

Actually

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Columbus was also a scumbag by the standards of his day.

haha whole foods

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HAHAHA Whole Foods. Totally. Man, that place!

Where do you get your groceries BTW? I like Market Basket and Hannafords.

Totally.

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Me, I only eat things I've personally killed. That way, I won't get lumped in with those yogurt-eating New York Times reading straw-liberals that everybody seems to hate so much.

This makes eating pasta somewhat of a challenge.
Once I killed a corn stalk just to watch it die

Next stop Lechmere Station

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Its time for the Cambridge City Council to reverse its horrible resolution to keep the station named after a slave owner, rum runner, and loyalist to the crown of England. There are several MBTA stations named after slave owners in Boston and its time for Tito to demand that the names be changed.

I'm pretty sure

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Vespucci was a slave owner, so was Washington.

Oh dear... equating

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Oh dear... equating indigenous people with dinsosaurs. You're not very bright or very funny. Good luck to you in life.

If people had data they could

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If people had data they could ask more questions and prove things which the powers that be don't want happening.

November

BTW, this is EXACTLY what many people in this country are suggesting we do to immigrants and/or those who belong to a particular religion.

Why the rage?

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Even if you don't see this as a positive change to stop honoring Columbus, I'm confused at the level of rage in some people over this change. It just doesn't seem to me like any oxen are being gored here. Maybe one of the people who's enraged at this could explain, in clear concise language, why it affects you so. Do you honestly believe that Columbus deserves to be honored? Will this name change affect your life adversely? If so, please describe how. Please explain how this is any skin off your nose, or anyone else's. If it isn't, why are you complaining?

It's the latest craze

Revising history to pretend you are removed from it. Columbus? I could be an Italian but I want to show that I had nothing to do with THAT particular asshole, 500 years later. Ben Affleck calling up WGBH and demanding they leave out the 'slave owner' part. Stuff like that.

It's just so...trendy.

and I don't actually care, I live in the real world and I've got my own troubles - and so do other people - that are certainly more important to worry about than what to call Columbus Day

I am making fun of the Cantabrigians

I'm more with the 'as long as I get the day off' guy.

Ben Affleck may have asked

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Ben Affleck may have asked WGBH not to mention his slave-owning ancestors, but Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. agreed to omit it. Regardless, you would be shocked to know that if your ancestors lived in the northeast and were farm owners going back 150+ years ago, they too may have employed slave labor to work the fields. Repugnant, but true. Do your research. Your ancestors may be guilty as well. Are you responsible for your ancestors' shameful deeds? We all have hundreds of fairly recent ancestors... I'm sure there are several you would not approve of, nor would you want to be associated with.

Have done my research, been there, done that

I come from Brits that likely killed colonists and Picts and god knows who else, Pilgrims that breathed on Native Americans and shot turkeys (sorry about that part, TLF). Some of my more recent ancestors were whaling captains that were probably transporting slaves in the off-season.

We also have a witch (found innocent, not hanged or burnt, but still a witch! a witch!).

Am I supposed to change my last name? Does what my ancestors did shock me? No, it was a different time, and I know I wouldn't do that stuff myself.

The point is I don't try to cover the past like a cat in a litter box.

It doesn't change history.

Great! You've done your

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Great! You've done your research and you just proved my point: you, me and everyone else are not responsible for the actions of our ancestors. Looks like we're in agreement.

Are you really this dense?

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The point is I don't try to cover the past like a cat in a litter box.

Are you really so dense that you don't see any daylight between ceasing to honor a genocidaire, and "try[ing] to cover the past"? Calling Columbus what he is is the OPPOSITE of "try[ing] to cover the past", you dope.

"I am making fun of the Cantabrigians"

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I am making fun of the Cantabrigians

Because you've got absolutely nothing useful to do with yourself.

Got it.

It's just so...trendy.

You really think this? You really think putting up with the kind of bullshit that people like you sling is "trendy"? You're such a...dumbass.

hmmm

Speaking of rage - I didn't call anyone dense or a dumbass or dope or someone with nothing useful to do with my life except bullshit-slinging.

Is this anger because I went to BU?

A sense of humor can sometimes be a useful attribute.

Not relevant

The Dante Aligheri Society isn't named for Columbus, and the North End isn't in Cambridge.

This is just ignorant. Truly ignorant.

From the secretary of state's website: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cismaf/mf1a.htm

The STATE SEAL, adopted by Governor John Hancock and the Council on December 13, 1780 and made official by the General Court on June 4, 1885, is circular and bears a representation of the arms of the Commonwealth encircled with the words, "Sigillum Reipublicae Massachusettensis" (Seal of the Republic of Massachusetts). The final form of the seal was determined by a statewide contest.

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seal_of_Massachusetts

The shield depicts an Algonquian Native American with bow and arrow; the arrow is pointed downward, signifying peace. A white star with five points appears next to the figure's head. A blue ribbon (blue, signifying the Blue Hills of Quincy, Canton and Milton) surrounds the shield, bearing the state motto "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" This comes from the Book of Mottoes in the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen, Denmark; written about 1659 by Algernon Sydney, English soldier and politician. It was adopted in 1775 by the Provincial Congress and the literal translation is, "With a sword, she seeks quiet peace under liberty." Although the looser English translation more commonly used is, "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty." Above the shield is the state military crest: a bent arm holding a broadsword aloft. The sword has its blade up, to remind that it was through the American Revolution that independence was won.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this seal. If people did their homework, maybe they would learn something about our Commonwealth.

Agreed

The worst part is, she apparently DID do her homework, but still dismisses the meaning of the flag and seal's symbolism because it's old, or something.

Vexillologists (the fancy word for flag scholars) and heraldry nerds will tell you the sword is related to the motto, not to the man on the shield. But that nuance long ago drained from the image, which also appears on the state seal.

The "nuance...drained away." WTF does that mean, other than that people jump to erroneous conclusions, and they must be right, because they're too lazy to find the readily-available truth.

heraldry nerds

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heraldry nerds

Is that the politically correct term for people who post comments on the Boston Herald website?

Trumpian-Americans

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I think the PC term for Herald readers is Trumpian-Americans.

Fake holidays in general

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I've been saying for years that certain fake holidays need to go.

Columbus Day, a celebration of a questionable navigator who apparently committed atrocities. Italian-Americans celebrate Columbus, either ignoring or simply misinformed that he was an outcast in his own country and sailed under the Spanish flag.

St. Patrick's Day, a solemn religious holiday in Ireland, but used as an excuse in this country for the worst kinds of drunken, loutish behavior.

Cinco de Mayo, all but unheard of in Mexico. Talk about a made up holiday. It is intended to celebrate the victory of the Mexican Army over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. For what reason do we need to celebrate that in this country? Some people also confuse it with Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually in September.

No... I don't think people

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No... I don't think people confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexico's Independence Day. Just you. Sorry if people with Mexican heritage celebrate Cinco de Mayo bother you. Enjoy voting for Trump.

It's not the people of

It's not the people of Mexican heritage who are annoying when they celebrate May 5, any more than it's the Irish people who are annoying when they celebrate March 17th. It's annoying when white Americans take a holiday from another country and use it as an excuse to get shitfaced in public while wearing funny hats.

Huh? Oh, I'm sorry you are

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Huh? Oh, I'm sorry you are confused. My comment was specific to people with Mexican heritage celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Try re-reading my comment and making a coherent reply, Trump voter.

So...

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It's OK to get shitfaced while wearing a sombrero, but not OK to get shitfaced while wearing a funny green hat?

I don't care who gets

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I don't care who gets shiftaced in whatever hat of their choosing on any given day. If your great-grandmother was from Finland and your great-grandfather was from Thailand and you want to wear a green hat on March 17th and a sombrero on Cinco de Mayo and get shitfaced on both days, I really don't care! I wasn't the one casting judgment... that would be Scratchie.

Facts

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It has nothing to do with voting for Trump or with people's opinions .It has to do with facts.

Wikipedia says:

"In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken to be Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16."

They source it with the following:

Lovgren, Stefan (May 5, 2006). "Cinco de Mayo, From Mexican Fiesta to Popular U.S. Holiday". National Geographic News.

Lauren Effron (May 5, 2010). "Cinco de Mayo: NOT Mexico's Independence Day". Discovery Channel.

In addition, Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of the Mexican defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, is not celebrated as a national holiday in Mexico.

This.

All of this. It's not political correctness to alter the names of these holidays or the holidays themselves. It's being technically correct. The internet has taught me that this is the best kind of correct.

Also, given that all the Americas are named after an Italian explorer, I think folks can stand to go without Columbus day, a comparatively very minor thing for guy people should not be so proud of in the first place.

Have you ever been to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day?

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St. Patrick's Day, a solemn religious holiday in Ireland, but used as an excuse in this country for the worst kinds of drunken, loutish behavior.

I have. It's celebrated more like our Independence Day; with parades, fireworks, street parties, and some drunken loutish behavior. While I am sure some people do go to church that day, I saw nothing there that indicated that the majority, or even a large minority of the Irish treat it as a solemn religious holiday.

In recent years, yes

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More recently St Patrick's Day in Ireland has, in fact, emulated the festivities the day sees in the US. Prior to that it was a pretty minor holiday. (Source: Dubliners of multiple generations I have asked) It became big in the US because of boosterism to show the local power of the Irish community in various cities.

I have.. in Dublin, and it

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I have.. in Dublin, and it was nothing like you described. It was a huge celebration and party. People were most certainly imbibing. Actually, on any weekend night Dublin is pretty crazy.

Where were you? Dublin?

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Where were you? Dublin?

The overt celebration is relatively new. When I lived in Ireland, pubs closed for 2 hours on St. Patrick's Day and indeed, Mass was celebrated. The recent celebrations are a tourist attraction, because the Irish understand that they need tourism, and that holiday is their opportunity. They got the idea for the party, and for that matter, Irish Coffee, from the US.

How about..

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How about you grow up, get a job, leave your mommy's basement, and take on all the responsibilities of an adult life? I think you'll find that you have enough real problems without inventing imaginary ones like OMG THE NAME'S TOO LONG.

You are?

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My mother's dead, asshole.

p.s. you snot-gobbling idiot.

*golf clap*

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Is it true that the Washington football team is moving to Indigenous Peoples Ohio?

Well played.

CTRL+F "Amherst"

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CTRL+F "Amherst"

Jeffrey Amherst and his legacy are next?

Columbus' birthday

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Columbus' birthday is October 31. Instead of having Columbus Day on October 12, let's make October 31 an observed holiday instead. Our children can celebrate the day by dressing up and venturing to faraway places, seeking treasure.

one edit

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"Our children can celebrate the day by dressing up and venturing to faraway places where someone already lives, seeking treasure."

Halloween is the next thing that's got to go...

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Grown people wearing silly costumes and acting like idiots. Halloween was fine when it was a children's event, but ever since it got rebranded as an adult "holiday", and in fact became an entire "season", it's a joke. Lame.

Your history is backwards

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Lots of written documentation dating back to around 800ad that many of our current traditions of Halloween(aka Samhain aka Calan Gaeaf etc) had been even back then celebrated by grown-ups for centuries, if not thousands of years. The holiday itself is quite possibly our oldest and most consistently celebrated yearly festival.

The Church did their regular co-option schtick and made it a high holy day sometime before 1000ad, so in many parts of Europe the merry-making calmed down a bit. But most places held onto at least part of the old traditions. In the US, Halloween was mostly a religious holiday through the Civil war era. After that, it became more secular, and predominantly an occasion for adults to party at night.

Trick-or-treating for kids didn't become a big thing here in the US until the 1930s. It's an import of the old Celtic mumming tradition - again, mostly a grownup activity until the modern era.

Why do you need a holiday anyway?

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Why do you need a holiday anyway? Do you really get all those "observed holidays" off from work? Must be nice. Don't ever try and get a job in the private sector, you won't like what happens.

I'm reading everyone's blog

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I'm reading everyone's blog during my lunch hour and I'm laughing my ass off. In fact, we are all laughing. Some of these posts are insanely hilarious!!