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December 1, 2019

Black Friday Is Dying

This Day in History | 1955

Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger in Montgomery Alabama. 

Good Morning Middle Americans, 

Now that the leftovers have been consumed and we are all starting to shake off the tryptophan, it looks like you weren’t the only one feeling sluggish this Thanksgiving holiday. Here in the U.S. black Friday failed to live up to the hype. It’s not that people are buying, they are, but more and more of those purchases are happing on line. Also there’s now a “black Friday Season” – retailers have decided to drag out the savings and offers.  Why is this important? It helps us understand a dramatic shift taking place in the way Americans do commerce.  One has to wonder if brick and mortar retail will even be a thing at some point in the distant future. 

Also today, we have a story about an Oklahoma Starbucks employee labeling a cop’s coffee cup with the word “Pig”. The employee has been suspended, and said it was a “joke”.   What do you think? 

Back to the Black Friday, if you bought a super cheap tv, the FBI has a warning for your. 

And finally, we usually leave the foreign stories to other outlets but we thought a story out of New Zealand was important for you to see.  It’s about New Zealand’s Prime Minister’s efforts to confiscate guns.  And guess what, lawful gun owners are not happy.  Many politicians say New Zealand is a model for American lawmakers when it comes to gun control.  Maybe they should ask these New Zealanders about it. 

Read all about it!

– Fraser Dixon 

Black Friday: ‘A Shadow of Its Former Self’

(AFP) – The US holiday shopping season officially opened with a deluge of “Black Friday” promotions but the frenzied crowds of the past have thinned out with the rise of e-commerce.

Companies in the retail, entertainment and tourism industries once again tried to entice shoppers after Thanksgiving with a bevy of offers on a day synonymous with American consumer culture and notorious “doorbuster” sales that start at the crack of dawn.

But US consumers aren’t buying Black Friday the way they once did.

Starbucks Employee Labels Cop’s Cup “Pig”

(CNN) – A police chief in Oklahoma said one of his officers picked up a coffee order from a local Starbucks on Thanksgiving with the word “PIG” printed on the label.

The Police Chief of the Kiefer, Oklahoma police department said in a Facebook post that one of his officers was picking up an order at a local Starbucks and there was a derogatory term printed on the label.

The Kiefer police officer went to the Starbucks to get coffee for dispatchers who were working on Thanksgiving with him when he encountered the label, Chief Johnny O’Mara said Thursday in a Facebook post. Starbucks has apologized to the officer and suspended a barista pending an investigation, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

O’Mara posted a picture of a cup with the “PIG” label on Facebook.

Read more here

FBI Issues Smart TV Warning to Black Friday Shoppers

(Fox Business) – Savvy shoppers know that Black Friday presents some of the best deals of the year on pricy electronics like TVs. Overall, the National Retail Federation expects Americans will spend about $730 billion this holiday season.

But new owners of internet-connected smart TVs might not be as good at spotting hackers as they are at spotting deals. The FBI’s Portland, Oregon, field office shared some tips this week for anyone who needs to secure a smart TV.

Some models of smart TVs include built-in cameras. They can be used for video chatting with friends and family, and some can let the TV recognize who is watching and suggest programming based on their past preferences.

Read more about the smart TV threat here

Gun Control: New Zealanders Protest Tighter Restrictions

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s efforts on gun control have gained global praise, but at home – with a general election next scheduled for year – she has faced resistance from the federal opposition National Party, gun lobby groups and ordinary citizens over planned legislation introduced in September.

On Saturday, the group of firearms owners staged a protest at a gun buy-back event in Auckland, according to media reports, carrying placards bearing slogans including “This bill hurts ordinary Kiwis!” and “Be safe: reject arms bill”.

Read more about the effort to resist gun control in New Zealand here


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