Last Week, In Case You Missed It: December 2, 2013

tagxedo-120113We hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, and has finally finished off the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers. We hope you were able some quality time with family and friends, reflecting on all the things you are really thankful for. We take so much for granted in our world, like having clean water available in our homes at the touch of a finger. Thanksgiving provides us that opportunity to slow down, to look around, and to realize how truly blessed we all are.

Thanksgiving becomes even more fun with new grandchildren.

Thanksgiving becomes even more fun with new grandchildren.

And then there was Black Thursday and Black Friday, and the tree to light up, the decorations to take out of the garage/attic (because there’s only four weeks left), and the obligatory Hallmark Hall of Fame movie to let us not forget that Thanksgiving is over now and Christmas season has arrived. [Editor’s note: It actually arrived at Kroger and CVS about four weeks ago.] While all this was happening, we actually published a few stories on Oak Ridge Now.

We had two articles this week on Texas politicians, noting that the Democrats will be running two women at the top of it’s statewide ticket, Wendy Davis for governor and Leticia Van De Putte for lieutenant governor, in the 2014 election.

Our two Texas Senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, were compared and contrasted. Both are extremely conservative, but one is formal and reserved, and the other wields a flamethrower.

Twins, Nitza Alvarado Espinoza (black shirt) and Mitzi Alvarado Espinoza, with their sister Deisy, at a rally in Austin on November 9. The sisters started “Hijos de Desaparecidos” after their mom was kidnapped by the Mexican military in Chihuahua. They are currently in deportation proceedings but their attorney has filed a petition seeking a special-immigrant status since they were abandoned or orphaned. Photo courtesy of Marjorie Kamys Cotera.

 Photo courtesy of Marjorie Kamys Cotera.

Also this was came the heart-wrenching story of three sisters who sought asylum in the U.S. after their mother was forcibly taken by the Mexican military four years ago. They have not heard from her and do not know her fate.

Keeping you up-to-date on our health insurance fiasco, we posed six questions about the future of healthcare.gov. The answers out still months away. In the meantime, let’s hope the government IT folks can get their act together.

Dave Ramsey urged someone to not pay extra for the privilege of paying extra on your mortgage each year. Well, duh.

In our Unknown Soldiers feature we profile Shawn Hefner, from the little town of Hico, Texas, outside of Stephenville. Lt. Cpl. Hefner was killed in 2009 when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan.

We published two opinion pieces this week. Bill O’Reilly lamented over the increasing number of folks texting and checking e-mail on the beach, and we weighed in on our circuitous routes to promoting peace around the world.

Photo courtesy of Chayim B. Alevsky

Photo courtesy of Chayim B. Alevsky

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, began on Thanksgiving Day this year. We recounted the Hanukkah story and noted that the significance of the holiday is applicable to all:

Religious freedom and the hope that light will always triumph over darkness are significant for people of any religion and no religion, and, in this world, freedom and hope are not always common. Nes Gadol Hayah Sham.

We ran a few good Thanksgiving articles, beginning with Robin O’Bryant outlining the top 10 list of things she is thankful for, including:

2. I can’t remember the last time we took a family road trip where I actually contemplated walking the last 100 miles home because it would have been more pleasant than being in the car.

John Stossel pointed out that our nice Pilgrim Thanksgiving story really only happened after our forefathers abandoned their communal culture and instituted a more capitalistic environment that ended up producing a bountiful harvest.

Finally, Tom Purcell reflects on the very nature of Thanksgiving, a holiday where we simply give thanks for all we have, and concludes it with my favorite sentence of the week:

We are thankful because we are together — because we know that everything we really need in life can be found sitting next to us at our Thanksgiving table.

All that and our terrific editorial cartoons, last week on Oak Ridge Now.

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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