According to Webster: Hal·low·een, October 31, celebrated in the United States, Canada, and the British Isles by children going door to door while wearing costumes and begging treats and playing pranks.


Greetings from the Netherworld

Halloween (or Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, which commonly includes activities such as trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.


Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)”. The name of the festival historically kept by the Gaels and Celts in the British Isles is derived from Old Irish and means roughly “summer’s end.”

According to the Oxford Dictionary of English folk lore: “Certainly Samhain was a time for festive gatherings, and medieval Irish texts and later Irish, Welsh, and Scottish folklore use it as a setting for supernatural encounters, but there is no evidence that it was connected with the dead in pre-Christian times, or that pagan religious ceremonies were held.”

The Irish myths which mention Samhain were written in the 10th and 11th centuries by Christian monks. This is around 200 years after the Catholic Church inaugurated All Saints Day and at least 400 years after Ireland became Christian.

Origin of name

The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.



 Traditional Jack-o’-lanterns

Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. For instance, the carving of jack-o’-lanterns springs from the souling custom of carving turnips into lanterns as a way of remembering the souls held in purgatory. The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween, but immigrants toNorth America used the native pumpkin, which are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips. The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.

The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula), and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy). Among the earliest works on the subject of Halloween is from Scottish poet John Mayne in 1780, who made note of pranks at Halloween; “What fearfu’ pranks ensue!”, as well as the supernatural associated with the night, “Bogies” (ghosts), influencing Robert Burns’

Halloween 1785. Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.

Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, or mythical monsters. Black and orange are the holiday’s traditional colors.

Trick-or-treating and guising


 Traditional trick-or-treating

Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, “Trick or treat?” The word “trick” refers to a (mostly idle) “threat” to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. In some parts of Scotland children still go guising. In this custom the child performs some sort of trick, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, to earn their treats.

The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays dates back to the Middle Ages and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls’ Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south asItaly. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of “puling [whimpering or whining] like a beggar at Hallowmas.”

In Scotland and Ireland, Guising — children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins — is a traditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money. The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontarioreported children going “guising” around the neighborhood.

American historian and author Ruth Edna Kelley of Massachusetts wrote the first book length history of the holiday in the U. S.; The Book of Hallowe’en (1919), and references souling in the chapter “Hallowe’en in America”;

The taste in Hallowe’en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Burn’s poem Hallowe’en as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe’en is out of fashion now.


 Traditional Halloween haunted house

In her book, Kelley touches on customs that arrived from across the Atlantic; “Americans have fostered them, and are making this an occasion something like what it must have been in its best days overseas. All Hallowe’en customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries”.

While the first reference to “guising” in North America occurs in 1911, another reference to ritual begging on Halloween appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920.

 The earliest known use in print of the term “trick or treat” appears in 1927, from Blackie, Alberta, Canada:

Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.

The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but do not depict trick-or-treating. The editor of a collection of over 3,000 vintage Halloween postcards writes, “There are cards which mention the custom [of trick-or-treating] or show children in costumes at the doors, but as far as we can tell they were printed later than the 1920s and more than likely even the 1930s. Tricksters of various sorts are shown on the early postcards, but not the means of appeasing them”. Trick-or-treating does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the first U. S. appearances of the term in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939.



 Traditional Halloween costumes

Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.

Dressing up in costumes and going “guising” was prevalent in Scotland at Halloween by the late 19th century. Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in the U. S.  in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s when trick-or-treating was becoming popular in the United States.

Halloween costume parties generally fall on, or around, 31 October, often falling on the Friday or Saturday prior to Halloween. (Source Wikipedia)

As for my two cents, Halloween has always been as enjoyable for me, if not more so, than Christmas.


 Enjoy the festivities, I’ll be back tomorrow

Crusader Rabbit…

Grammar Lesson..

According to Webster: gram·mar, The study of how words and their component parts combine to form sentences.

Barack Obama, at least by a segment of our society, is looked upon as being an eloquent speaker.

Editorial: I am not one of those people, as the word eloquent, (an adjective) …

According to Webster: el·o·quent, 1. Characterized by persuasive, powerful discourse: an eloquent speaker; 2. Vividly or movingly expressive:

..is a descriptive word, means very little or nothing until it is joined (conjuctive) with a noun or pronoun. Which in this particular case, would be; “speaker.” Which…

According to Webster: speak·er, One who speaks; a spokesperson.

..without his Teleprompter, Barack Obama has proven himself time and time again to be at a loss for words. Accordingly, “at least in my opinion,” that places Barack Obama in the category of a reader, (or teleprompterologist).

According to Webster: read·er, 1. One that reads. 2. One who publicly recites literary works.


Parts of speech..

According to Webster: part of speech, One of a group of traditional classifications of words according to their functions in context, including the noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection, and sometimes the article.


According to Webster: noun, A word that is used to name a person, place, thing, quality, or action and can function as the subject or object of a verb, the object of a preposition, or an appositive.


According to Webster: pro·noun, One of a class of words that function as substitutes for nouns or noun phrases and designate persons or things asked for, previously specified, or understood from the context.


According to Webster: verb, The part of speech that expresses existence, action, or occurrence in most languages.


According to Webster: ad·jec·tive, Any of a class of words used to modify a noun or other substantive by limiting, qualifying, or specifying and distinguished in English morphologically by one of several suffixes, such as -able, -ous, -er, and -est, or syntactically by position directly preceding a noun or nominal phrase, such as white in a white house.


According to Webster: ad·verb, A part of speech comprising a class of words that modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.


According to Webster: prep·o·si·tion, In some languages, a word placed before a substantive and indicating the relation of that substantive to a verb, an adjective, or another substantive, as English at, by, in, to, from, and with.


According to Webster: con·junc·tion, The act of joining.


According to Webster: in·ter·jec·tion, 1. A sudden, short utterance; an ejaculation. 2. A part of speech usually expressing emotion and capable of standing alone, such as Ugh! or Wow!


According to Webster: ap·pos·i·tive,  Of, relating to, or being in apposition. —  Grammar. A word or phrase that is in apposition. 


According to Webster: ar·ti·cle, 1. An individual thing or element of a class; a particular object or item: 2. A particular section or item of a series in a written document, as in a contract, constitution, or treaty.

Which almost concludes today’s lesson, ..albeit not quite as I would be remiss if I failed to point out that nowhere in “grammar” or in “the parts of speech” ..is there a provision for lying.

Clarification: When using ( I ) to describe your subject, ( I ) is a conjunction.

Clarification: The word ( if ) is also a conjunction.

Not that the information that I have provided to you today will be important or of use to most, ..however, “at least in my humble opinion,” ..what is important for those of you reading this to remember is…

“There is no ( I ) in team, ..and there is no ( if ) in reality.”

If you remember nothing else from reading my blather today, ..remember that, ..and take it to the voting booth with you in 2012.

Thank you, I’ll be back tomorrow

Crusader Rabbit…

Public service..

Question: What exactly does that mean?

According to Webster: public service, 1. Employment within a governmental system, especially within the civil service. 2. A service performed for the benefit of the public, especially by a nonprofit organization. 3. The business of supplying an essential commodity, such as water or electricity, or a service, such as communications or transportation, to the public.

Question: How does someone in a public service job, differ from someone in a job that serves the public?

First, let’s look at someone in a “Public Service” job to get a perspective. The President of United States is employed within a “Governmental System,” ..so let’s take a look at our current president.


Our current President – Barack Obama

Genus Homo sapiens, i.e., ..human being, ..political affiliation, ..Democrat, ..personal philosophy, “in my considered opinion,” to “win at all cost.” Prominent characteristics, ..arrogance, ..pride, ..and deceit.

According to Webster: ar·ro·gance, The state or quality of being arrogant; overbearing pride.

According to Webster: pride, A sense of one’s own proper dignity or value.

According to Webster: de·ceit, The act or practice of deceiving; ..deception.

Question: So how “great” is that?

Being fair and honest, I suppose your answer would depend a lot upon whether or not you are a liberal or a conservative?

According to Webster: lib·er·al, (in context) Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism.

According to Webster: con·ser·va·tive (in context) Favoring traditional views and values.

According to Webster: so·cial·ism, 1.a. A social system in which the means of producing and distributing goods are owned collectively and political power is exercised by the whole community. b. The theory or practice of those who support such a social system. 2. The building of the material base for communism under the dictatorship of the proletariat in Marxist-Leninist theory.

According to Webster: cap·i·tal·ism, An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.

I suppose what amazes me most about idealists that propose and market socialism, ..is the fact, ..that in reality, “they,” ..are the least and last to share.

Barack Obama, regardless of how many eloquent speeches he delivers advocating equality, justice and the redistribution of wealth in America, ..he, ..Barack Obama,  ..is in fact, ..living high on the American dime and enjoying the American dream, infinitely beyond the “rank and file” who pay his way, ..while 28 million, “rank-and-file,” Americans are either unemployed or underemployed.

Question: Again, ..how great is that?

My personal opinion, for what it’s worth? I have no problem with liberals or socialists, however I do believe that if you are going to talk the talk, ..you should walk the walk.

There are many Socialistic and Communistic Nations on the planet Earth, ..accordingly, ..I believe that if folks like Barack Obama and those who believe as he does wish to live within the parameters set forth by socialism and communism, ..they should simply board their favorite mode of transportation and migrate to one of these many nations.

Question: What could be simpler?

Editorial: It is my considered opinion that if all of the world’s liberals, socialists, and Communists were living in countries where liberalism, progressivism, socialism, and communism are the accepted practice, “they” would be much happier people, ..and the “United States of America” could return to being the United States of America. A free Capitalist Nation, ..where a man, ..or a woman, ..can “profit” from ..his or ..her labor, ..instead of from their ideology!


An American Capitalist serving the Public…



 An idealistic progressive Liberal, ..displaying his concern for the public.

 Think about it, I’ll be back tomorrow

Crusader Rabbit…

A question of loyalty..

According to Webster: loy·al·ty, The state or quality of being loyal. 2. Feelings of devoted attachment and affection.

In the past few days, I’ve received several e-mails from friends challenging my loyalty to Sarah Palin. Accordingly, for any of my readers who may be concerned with the fact that with Sarah Palin’s announcement that she would not be seeking the GOP nomination, I’d like to clarify the fact that one does not bet on a horse that is not in the race. ..as that would be idiocy, ..and I am not an idiot. 

Sarah Palin’s decision not to run for President in 2012 is her decision and her prerogative, I respect that.

With that said, considering the fact that I still have every intention in the world to vote for a candidate in 2012, like any other citizen in the country, I need to choose a candidate to support and vote for. With Sarah out of the race, although I do not consider Newt Gingrich the next best thing, with Sarah out of the race, I now believe that my quest to see a woman in the White House while I’m still above ground is now, ..but a fantasy. Accordingly, even with my best imagination turned up on high, I do not honestly believe that Michelle Bachmann has the legs to finish in front of the “pack” she is running against. Consequently, I have chosen to go with who I believe will be the best “man.” ..and that man, “in my considered opinion,” ..is Newt Gingrich.

Why? Simple, ..because I believe that we, “We the People” the rank and file citizens of these United States, ..have endured stupidity well beyond any application of stupidity that any rank-and-file citizens of any Nation, anywhere, has endured in the history of mankind. Newt Gingrich is not wanting for intellect, civility or patriotism, accordingly it is “my considered opinion,” that within the current field of choices, ..concerned, “common sense Americans,” ..can do no better.

According to Webster: in·tel·lect, 1. The ability to learn and reason; the capacity for knowledge and understanding. 2. The ability to think abstractly or profoundly. 3. A person of great intellectual ability.

According to Webster: ci·vil·i·ty, 1. Courteous behavior; politeness. 2. A courteous act or utterance.

According to Webster: pa·tri·ot·ism, Love of and devotion to one’s country.

According to Webster: po·lite, Marked by or showing consideration for others; — polished.

According to Webster: pol·ished, (in context) Elegance of style or manner.

Think about it, I’ll be back tomorrow

Crusader Rabbit…

Value, i.e., worthwhile..

According to Webster: val·ue, An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price or return.

Value, (in context) A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable:

With all due respect to the field of GOP candidates presently competing in the Republican primary, it is my personal judgment, “for what ever that’s worth?” After watching the debates to date, ..which, “again in my opinion,” ..have pretty much been a waste of time and an embarrassment to the participants, especially the bias minded buffoons asking the asinine questions they seem to believe the American public is interested in? Albeit most of all, the debates have been an embarrassment to America.

Imagine for a moment that you’re an ordinary individual that lives in England, France, Spain, Germany, Russia or China and you’re watching Mitt Romney and Rick Perry behaving like to six-year-olds squabbling over a shiny marble, ..a marble, ..that in fact has nothing whatsoever to do with the game of chess that they are engaged in. What message do you think is gleaned by an ordinary individual from another country when they witness such totally childish behavior by an individual (theoretically an adult American citizen) that is vying for the most powerful and most responsible job on the planet?

America, at least the America that I put my life on the line for in Vietnam, is better than that. America is not a grade school playground, America is a proud Nation, ..a Nation to be respected, ..a Nation that deserves better than self debasing buffoons, i.e., clowns, bickering in full view in front of the entire world.

Wake up people, ..open your eyes, ..connect the dots, ..although not a good idea in general practice, in this particular case, with America’s reputation on the line, believe what you see and hear.

What I have seen and heard to date is a group of individuals, presently six men and one woman, all competent and all capable to a certain level, and all “in my considered opinion” could perform the task of leading America better than Barack Obama.

Albeit a sad state of affairs, ..if the “bar” ..is set no higher than simply being better than Barack Obama. As, “in my opinion,” a “parrot” could out-perform Barack Obama as President of the United States. Think about it, ..a “parrot” can talk, ..which of course is Barack Obama’s claim to fame, ..and a “parrot” can fly, ..which “at least in my opinion,” ..has been Barack Obama’s primary passion since his inauguration, ..albeit a “parrot” won’t cost us, ..the American taxpayers, ..a $181,757 per hour when he’s in the air.

Again, I have made it no secret that I was a staunch and vocal supporter of Sarah Palin throwing her hat in the ring, ..however, ..as Sarah has chosen not to enter the fray, ..I now, ..using my God-given common sense, ..throw my voice and my support behind the only individual, “in my thoroughly researched and considered opinion,” who can not only defeat Barack Obama in 2012, ..this gentleman will serve America better than any of his colleagues. Accordingly, from this time forward I will be crusading for Newt Gingrich.

Newt Gingrich to date, ..if you’ve been watching? ..is the only individual on the dais that has “not” spoken ill of one of his colleagues, ..nor has he entered into any childish exchanges with any of his colleagues, ..nor has he allowed any of the many commentators who have tried to bait him or one of his colleagues on the dais, to get away with it. Newt Gingrich presents himself as a gentleman and an adult, America needs a gentleman and an adult in the White House.


 Newt Gingrich

Think about it, I’ll be back tomorrow

 Crusader Rabbit…

Free will..

According to Webster: free will, The ability or discretion to choose; free choice.

According to Webster: free, 1. Not imprisoned or enslaved; being at liberty. 2. Not controlled by obligation or the will of another: 3. Having political independence: “America . . . is the freest and wealthiest nation in the world” (Rudolph W. Giuliani).


 Rudolph William Louis “Rudy” Giuliani, born May 28, 1944) is an American lawyer, businessman, and politician from New York. He served as Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001. A Democrat and Independent in the 1970s, and a Republican since the 1980s, Giuliani served in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, eventually becoming U.S. Attorney. He prosecuted a number of high-profile cases, including ones against organized crime and Wall Street financiers. Giuliani served two terms as Mayor of New York City, having run on the Republican and Liberal lines. He was credited with initiating improvements and with a reduction in crime pressing the city’s quality of life initiatives. He ran for the United States Senate in 2000 but withdrew due to being diagnosed with prostate cancer and revelations about his personal life. Giuliani gained international attention for his leadership, during and after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. For those actions, he received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2002. After leaving office as mayor, Giuliani founded Giuliani Partners, a security consulting business; acquired Giuliani Capital Advisors (later sold), an investment banking firm; and joined the Bracewell & Giuliani law firm, which changed its name when he became a partner. Giuliani ran for the Republican Party nomination in the 2008 United States Presidential election. After leading in national polls for much of 2007, his candidacy faltered late in that year; he rated poorly in the caucuses and primaries of January 2008 and withdrew from the race. Giuliani considered running for both Governor and Senator in 2010, but decided not to run and remain active in his business career. Giuliani was considering a run in the 2012 presidential election, but decided not to run. (Source Wikipedia)

(A Twix moment,) With respect to everyone else’s opinion, ..I personally find it quite impressive to be quoted in Webster’s.  ..go Rudy.

Now, returning to the subject of the day, “free will,” ..lets explore.

When we, “the collective we,” at least for the purposes of today’s offering, ..exert our will, ..i.e., free choice…

According to Webster: ex·ert, To put to use or effect; put forth.

..or exercise our capacity to choose…

According to Webster: choose, To select from a number of possible alternatives.

..when we, “the collective we,” ..more often than not, ..do something to effect something in “our” lives, ..we also effect the lives of others, ..well beyond the immediate “choice” we made.

Even something as elementary, or as simple as purchasing a tube of toothpaste at Walmart, ..or adding a certain brand of crackers to our cart at Safeway.

Accordingly, ..companies that manufacture toothpaste and crackers spend millions of dollars annually to entice us, ..we, “..the collective we,” ..to pick their brand.

Question: So what does politics have to do with toothpaste and crackers?

According to Webster: ad·ver·tis·ing, (in context) The activity of attracting public attention to a product. 

According to Webster: cam·paign·ing, (in context) To engage in an operation planned to achieve a certain goal.

Consequently, whether you’re a bakery trying to sell your crackers, ..or a political campaign manager trying to sell your candidate, ..”albeit a sad commentary on our society,” 98% of attracting the public is getting people to favorably know your name, ..and that takes money, ..lots of money.

Furthermore, because it is easier and more convenient to accept the rhetoric we’re bombarded with via our treasured flat screens, ..not nearly enough of us read the labels on the products we buy at our local grocery, ..nor do enough of us truly research the individuals that we allow “carte blanche” in Washington.

Think about it, I’ll be back tomorrow

Crusader Rabbit…


According to Webster: com·pe·ti·tion, 1. The act of competing, as for profit or a prize; rivalry. 2. A test of skill or ability; a contest:

Without competition, nothing would have value. Without ignorance, there would be no quest for knowledge. Without Barack Obama there would be no competition between ignorance and common sense, or at least that’s my opinion.

Getting started this morning with plenty of time to ponder, I’ve come up with a theory. Whether delivered by God or Mother Nature, ..the deliverance of Barack Obama, at least to those of us that ponder, could be the sign from beyond that is required periodically to keep the world and its minions on the right path?

According to Webster: min·ion, An obsequious follower or dependent; a sycophant.

According to Webster: ob·se·qui·ous, Full of or exhibiting servile compliance.

According to Webster: syc·o·phant, A servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.

To borrow a catchphrase from the United Negro College fund; “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

America’s Declaration of Independence begins with these words; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, “that all men are created equal,” that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

So let’s break it down…

Self evident?

According to Webster: self-ev·i·dent, Requiring no proof or explanation.

Taking it a step further…

According to Webster: self, The total, essential, or particular being of a person; the individual.

According to Webster: ev·i·dent, Easily seen or understood; obvious.

Although I do not believe myself to be a complicated person, by Webster’s definition, ..I am not simple..

According to Webster: sim·ple, Having or composed of only one thing, element, or part.

..and the proof I offer, ..is the fact that I did not vote for Barack Obama.

If necessity is truly the mother of invention, then, “at least in my opinion,” common sense has to be the bread-and-butter of humanity.

According to Webster: common sense n. Native good judgment. [Translation of Latin s¶nsus comm¿nis, common feelings of humanity.]

According to Webster: feel·ing, (in context) An affective state of consciousness.

According to Webster: hu·man·i·ty, (in context) The quality of being humane; benevolence.

Accordingly, if “men,” Homo sapiens, i.e., human beings are as the Declaration of Independence claims, “endowed,” by their creator, with certain unalienable rights…

According to Webster: en·dowed, 1. To provide with property, income, or a source of income. 2. To equip or supply with a talent or quality.

..then why do “men,” i.e., people, spend so much of their lives exploring and being influenced by ignorance?

According to Webster: ig·no·rance, The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.

Think about it, I’ll be back tomorrow

Crusader Rabbit…

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