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Opinion

You know about Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when people line up outside the big department stores and discount stores in the middle of the night to buy cheap Christmas presents. Black Friday is a big day for retailers, but I don't think it's nearly as important as Small Business Saturday.

That's because small business is the heart and soul of our economy.

Small Business Saturday is about Main Street, not Wall Street. It’s about the entrepreneurs and families who have put everything into stores that offer what the chains and ecommerce companies don’t – something different, something special, from handcrafted gifts to genuinely friendly service.

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The young boy was having a hard way to go as he played his father in foosball. Finally, the lad exclaimed, "That's not fair!" Apparently, he expected to face an equally skilled opponent and the fact that his father had game experience as well as superior hand and eye coordination, constituted an "unfair" advantage.

The boy's definition of “fair” is not all that uncommon and that's part of the reason I limit my use of the word. Fairness and equality are elusive and elastic concepts, often times meaning quite different things to different people. Our national identity is framed by the words in the Declaration of Independence that states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal ...” It's well and good to claim that equality is “self-evident” because you would be hard pressed to actually prove it. Also, at the time Thomas Jefferson penned those words, I don't think he was thinking about slaves and Native Americans, let alone the other half of the population – women.

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While it may be months before the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy can be fully resolved, Americans cannot afford to lose sight of the very real and pressing issues that threaten to derail the nation.

What follows is an overview of the major issues that both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, despite their respective billion dollar war chests, have failed to mention during their extensive campaign trail stumping and televised debates. These are issues that aren’t going away anytime soon. Indeed, unless we take a proactive approach to the problems that loom large before us, especially as they relate to America’s ongoing transformation into a police state, we may find that they are here to stay.

 

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For those hoping to better understand how and why we arrived at this dismal point in our nation’s history, where individual freedoms, privacy and human dignity have been sacrificed to the gods of security, expediency and corpocracy, look no farther than America’s public schools.

Once looked to as the starting place for imparting principles of freedom and democracy to future generations, America’s classrooms are becoming little more than breeding grounds for compliant citizens. The moment young people walk into school, they increasingly find themselves under constant surveillance: they are photographed, fingerprinted, scanned, x-rayed, sniffed and snooped on.

Add to this the epidemic of arresting schoolchildren and treating them as if they are dangerous criminals, and you have the makings of a perfect citizenry for our emerging police state—one that can be easily cowed, controlled, and directed.

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