Salon Chooses Veterans Day To Publish Hit Piece On Culture Of Easy Patriotism

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Grandpa’s funeral isn’t the best time for someone to point out his secret drinking problem to family and friends.

Similarly, Veterans Day isn’t the best time to publish a screed against the sometimes-well-meaning, sometimes-facile culture of loosely-defined patriotism that permeates American media and feeds public opinion about what our enlisted men and women do, without question, on behalf of all Americans.

But Salon’s Justin Doolittle went ahead and did just that today, serving up a rant against corporatist professional sports leagues that recruit high-profile athletes and events for their crowd-pleasing, patriotic agenda.

Some of Doolittle’s arguments make fine points, taken out of context. “Freedom has become one of those politically charged terms that means whatever people need it to mean,” he writes.

Hard to argue with that.

But that’s immediately followed by this:

The “freedoms” most Americans think of when they hear the term are enshrined in constitutional and statutory law. They are in no way dependent on the size, scope or even the existence of the U.S. military.

As a Platonic ideal, sure: freedom exists independently. But for people to live free – that takes fight.

The majority of Americans are privileged to live as civilians, removed from the real implications of what happens when someone wants to take by force that which others possess. That’s a testament to the global appeal of the American dream, and to the efficacy of that dream for those of us fortunate enough to be born in the United States of America.

Statutory law enshrines nothing when the rule of law cannot be secured through the defense of the people who live under the law. The Constitution is itself only as vital as our Nation’s will and ability to preserve its sanctity for the people who’ve inherited its promise of opportunity and freedom. The sad and frightening threats to our Constitution that emanate, increasingly, from the seat of American power demonstrate how insidious a thing it is to confuse the perception of freedom with the real thing.

People who have served their time in the military aren’t perfect; they’re flawed human beings like everyone else. Many of them live with flaws that stem directly from the emotional, intellectual and physical scars they sustained during their time in service.

What powerful men are doing to our Nation – and to our military – is troubling. But today is not the day. Ideology aside, today is not the day to take on companies that send out feel-good signals in support of our fighting forces – even if those companies’ motives have more to do with dollars than with patriotism.

Veterans are not the target today. Veterans Day is a time to say something nice; to do something nice as an honoring acknowledgement of those who’ve fought in the U.S. military.

If you don’t have something nice to say; if, in fact, you have something pretty nasty to say about the military; about patriotism; about the rah-rah culture that stands up for our troops, go ahead and say it.

Just say it tomorrow. The spotlight isn’t yours today. It’s a cheap move to try and steal it on the very day when no one should be looking in your direction.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • hippybiker

    I would expect anything from scum. God bless our Veterans, and please pray for peace. Liberals are true garbage.

    • Chester

      Careful, sir, as you disrespect a LOT of veterans with that remark.

      • hippybiker

        You misunderstood my comment. God bless our Veterans! It is the liberals who are scum. Or, did you forget how to read, sir?

        • rbrooks

          you seem to think that vets are not and can not be liberals.

          a common misconception of many.

          • hippybiker

            I suppose you are right, sir. There may be a lot of liberal Veterans. After all, they signed a blank check, up to, and including their very lives for our country, so it would be their right. God bless our Veterans!!

          • Jacobite2

            Benedict Arnold was a General!

          • rbrooks

            so you claim all liberal vets are benedict arnolds.

          • Vis Fac

            I claim all liberals are morons who think they know what’s real In reality A liberal is a power worshiper without power. So much of your left wing thought is playing with fire by people who don’t know that fire is hot!!

            If you want a vision of a socialistic future, imagine a
            boot stamping on a human face – forever George Orwell

            To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

            You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

            Libertas inaestimabilis res est
            Semper-Fi

          • native blood

            Oh well, a former Vice president global warmer comes to mind.

    • Vis Fac

      I will take to task ANYONE who maligns our veterans and service men and women As a Vietnam vet who was spat upon when returning home I will use any means necessary to “instruct” anyone who prejudges, maligns or otherwise dishonor our brave people who have honorably served our nation. God bless all of our veterans and all you men and women in uniform!!! OOOHHH RAHHHH

      If you want a vision of a socialistic future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever George Orwell

      To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

      You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est
      Semper-Fi

      • rbrooks

        you will need to take your self to task then. you have maligned more than one vet.

        • Vis Fac

          Did you mess your diaper again you FRAUD and COWARD?

          When are you going to answer my questions instead of making yourself appear more stupid than you are? (as if that’s possible)

          A liberal is a power worshiper without power. So much of your left wing thought is playing with fire by people who don’t know that fire is hot!!

          If you want a vision of a socialistic future, imagine a
          boot stamping on a human face – forever George Orwell

          To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

          You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

          Libertas inaestimabilis res est
          Semper-Fi

      • rivahmitch

        Semper Fi, bro! The day will come for PBIMF!

  • disqus_lJapfzCIUh

    Salon is a trash commie tabloid…forget the scum….he’s not worth the air he breates…

  • babsan

    Evil

  • dontGoThere

    Don’t forget it was Bush and gang who trashed and bashed military men and women serving in Iraq who complained about faulty and dangerous equipment they were forced to use. Rumsfeld threatened any military person who complained with a court martial if they dared go to the media and openly complained about faulty equipment and dangerous conditions they were forced to fight under. A well known right wing, conservative talk radio show host stated with sarcasm and disdain, “They volunteered didn’t they?” Because military men and women in Iraq/Afghanistan took a stand and complained about the faulty and dangerous conditions and equipment they were being forced to fight under. So don’t come here now with all this false pretense of right wingers suddenly LUVIN’ THE MILITARY!!

    • Robert Messmer

      What type of body armor did our troops have in WWII? Of course its dangerous conditions–war is hell.

  • Don Berry

    I haven’t heard one liberal disrespect our veterans, and I hear from a lot of liberals. Disrespecting politicians who go to war (sometimes to line their own pockets) and calling for a more moderate military budget is not disrespecting the great men & women who served in our armed forces; it’s people like those who create this blog who see the two as one. They are not.http://www.forwardprogressives.com/on-veterans-day-a-look-at-the-abysmal-voting-record-republicans-have-in-support-of-our-military/

    • rivahmitch

      Some of us remember “liberal” sputum a long time. The time will come when PBIMF.

      • Don Berry

        You just keep hoping and dreaming of that day. In the meantime, 2014 is coming, and if you’re a Teapublican, it ain’t gonna be pretty…

        • native blood

          And RINOS are better? The Tea Party got hijacked by RINOS but I really think the membership know who they are aka Rubio and gawd awful King. If they purge all the lobby puppies and the Israelii zionists they may have a chance. But if neither party gets a candidate with a pair, I’m going 3rd party again and again. People are growing tired of the established politicians who return every election cycle freshly appointed by the RNC/DNC.

          • Don Berry

            There isn’t a Republican worth voting for, and there hasn’t been, since Eisenhower. Career Democratic politicians aren’t much better, but at least they aren’t Republicans. Sometimes it’s not a matter of whom to vote for, it’s who you vote against.

          • native blood

            Same goes for Kennedy (last decent democrat) I will not support another main stream politician until one comes out with a pair and forces tariffs on all imports, Tax the hell out of corporations that have sent all our manufacturing jobs overseas! Cut off all foreign aide period. Stop all this insane freebees going to illegals and they will go home…Our kids and adults both need those jobs.

            Hold the FDA feet to the fire on food safety, stop sucking up any where to the middle east! The Chinese are getting most of the oil from there to meet the manufacturing needs of American owned manufacturing companies. Stop all the middle eastern wars, bring the soldiers home to secure our own borders and ports. Shut down the DHS
            and decide whether to keep the FBI and give them the jobs the DHS commanded. Shut down the NSA/CIA and contract british intelligence. (they may do the jobs that American intelligence won’t do…accurate) Keep Obama care but for those who really need health care…make it gratis for the truly needy and leave free enterprise alone!
            Stop all earned income credits! Use it to finance Obama care. Tax everyone the same tax rate across the board both individual and corporate. This nonsense about corporations are giving jobs is BS! Look at the unemployment! Most lost their jobs working for smaller companies that got bought up by bigger companies. Sorry, but fat cats have been given a free ride for too long. This country was at war in the 40’s and the tax rate on the wealthy was 90+ percent. We are at war now WTF? America needs back pay from tax losses. I know, most of you are offended by higher taxes but the fact is, most of us would pay less at a flat rate and the likes of General electric would balance it all out. We cannot afford to feed, clothe, educate, and medicate 40 % of Mexico’s population any longer. Unless corporations are willing to pay mexicans fair wages with health care (so as not to bankrupt hospitals), use company housing and deduct the usual taxes citizens have to pay, then it is only fair to cut of all benefits to non citizens and allow them to go home with fair lead time. In five years time, a Mexican can work here for five years and go home to buy a house on their economy. Most of us could not even pay the bills and the foreigners are keeping liveable wages down. As far as the military goes, they need to be modern and able to defend our country and not bullying the likes of Iraq, Afghanistan, libya, and Iran. Let’s be reasonable, there are 19 year olds who need a head start education program to catch with their chinese and indian neighbors. A whole generation of youngsters are dumbed down by a failed education system and/or incarcerated. Is this the America our soldiers, sailors. Airmen and Marines fight for and defend? Right now they are participating in nation building and defending Israel. That is just plain wrong! We as a nation are abusing the troops by sending on multiple missions and spreading them out so thin that a National Guradsman and reservist is federalized far too often making that state’s Governor vulnerable to less disaster relief. Bush,
            Clinton and Obama are the abusers by their arcane foreign policy and we the people and veterans are the victims. It is too late to just take America back, we have to rebuild it to manufacture again…my god we would never be ready for an attack without some sort of manufacturing…The Chinese are too deep in our military business and this country is starting to sell out to them piece at a time..That sucks.

            Republican, Democrat…I do not care…so long as they have a pair!
            I have 27 years military service and I know the qualities that a commander-in-chief requires, ain’t seen one in a lonnnnnnnnnnnng time.

          • Don Berry

            Nice rant…can’t see a word I’d disagree with. I’d only add that none of this can happen under current GOP leadership, they are beholden to the wealthy and the corporations. Dem’s may not be much better, but we have to make a choice…and I cannot, will not, vote GOP.

          • REK

            can not and will not ever vote for a corrupt liberal criminal democrat again, I was born and raised a democrat, I grew up.

          • Don Berry

            you grew up stupid.

          • Scott

            Yeah – the Dems are somewhat better – You should be a standup comedian. 600+ million for a failed system built by Michelle’s schoolbuddy – Wonder who lined who’s pockets. I WILL VOTE DEMOCRAT – NO MATTER WHAT

          • Robert Messmer

            Could you please pick one tax policy? You said, “Tax the hell out of corporations”; “Tax everyone the same tax rate across the board both individual and corporate”, and “This country was at war in the 40’s and the tax rate on the wealthy was 90+ percent. We are at war now WTF? ” So which is it–tax the hell (what percentage is that), flat tax with maybe a surtax for anyone with more than you have? You do realize that it is impossible to tax a corporation since they will simply pass the tax on to consumers as higher prices.

            I would suggest contracting it to Mossad, they would do a better job and can also provide muscle when needed to retrieve hostages.

          • native blood

            Oh I am so sorry you misunderstood. I merely cited a time in our history when our national debt wasn’t passed on to me. I did’t say anything different on what was then and what should be. Hey, 11 percent is a tax break for me (don’t know about you) but the same rate would be taxing the hell out of a corporation that has been paying little to nothing. But if we are serious about seeing retiring this debt, tariffs and other corporate penalties need to be enforced. Don’t be offended, fat cats aren’t hiring americans much anymore and they get tax breaks by manufacturing off-shore.
            Sure they pass on the increase to us but the free market can start competion and small businesses would flourish again and knock out the pricing monopoly. Remember, China made products carry a shorter life span and with fairness in competition with local manufacturer, buyers can make the choice in purchases.
            Corporations used the excuse of taxes to move off-shore, that is fine, but that is where import fees should come into play. Fair is fair.
            Try not to confuse individual income tax with other taxes. Mosaad? **LOL** Don’t get me started on that one unless Ziva is in the mix.

          • Robert Messmer

            “Corporations used the excuse of taxes to move off-shore, that is fine, but that is where import fees should come into play.”

            Here is a link for a comparison chart of corporate taxes worldwide. US is 2nd highest that I found, putting us 7 points above the North American average, and almost 16 points above the Global average.

            http://www.kpmg.com/global/en/services/tax/tax-tools-and-resources/pages/corporate-tax-rates-table.aspx

            Having spent several years preparing income tax returns (individual, partnership, small corp) for a living I don’t confuse them.

            Free market can start competition in some fields but we all remember what happened to the DeLorean Motor Company. Some areas are just so capital intensive that start-ups rarely ever survive long enough to be competition to anyone. Of course, based on Solyndra, they could probably get Obama to give them the money they need to get going.

            Unfortunately our government has no thought to paying down the debt.

          • Scott

            Did you vote for Obama ? Going to vote for Billery ?

          • Robert Messmer

            Probably will after all he did say what difference does it make…oh ok not quite just not a matter of whom to vote for.

          • Don Berry

            Yes I voted for Obama. And I will vote for the Democratic candidate in upcoming elections, if for no other reason than he/she is not Republican.

          • Scott

            Enough said. Thats the sad part – you don’t care if there’s someone better – I VOTE DEMOCRAT – If for no other reason than you can’t afford to wait for your welfare check.

          • Don Berry

            There’s no Republican that’s better, hasn’t been one for 30+ years. And I don’t need a welfare check, I’ve been gainfully employed…at the same company…for the last 30 years. You right wing fanboys like to think all progressives are takers. Quite the opposite, our tax $$$ support the Teapublican trailer trash in red states. Your turn for the next unfounded stereotypical comment Einstein…

          • Scott

            You right wing fanboys like to think all progressives are takers. – No just most. Its the only logical explanation for big government – Unless maybe your a philanthropist

          • Scott

            Probably voted for Carter as well – Hummm – Ronald Reagan ring a bell. Arguably the last moral president to sit in office

          • Jeff

            Iran Contra was moral behavior? What he did was far worse, and more clearly illegal, than anything even Nixon did. And it was certainly worse than anything Clinton or Obama did (though maybe not worse than some of the stuff you loons have convinced yourselves they did).

          • Scott

            I think you better do your homework Jr. Yes IC was a fiasco, but it started with the right intension – To free imprisoned Americans. No previous president to date has done more damage to America and what we stand for than your god – Allah Obama.

          • Jeff

            I’d love to chat, but I’m due back on Planet Earth now. You’ll have to discuss Obama’s religion with one of your wingnut pals.

          • Scott

            Oh – I’m sorry – your a liberal. Probably to busy crossing out the term – illegal Immigrant from all the signs at the boarder. Wouldn’t want to offend anyone. When you come back down from la la land and land back here on planet earth – hopefully its Mexico

          • Scott

            Please be specific and tell us, Enlighten us to a single thing Obama has done that he committed to in the last 6 years ?

          • Jeff

            He ended the Iraq War. He got a healthcare bill through Congress. I’d have preferred single payer, but the ACA is somewhat of an improvement over what we had previously. And he’s going to take some executive action on climate change because as long as the House is in Repug hands, nothing can happen legislatively.

          • Scott

            How many boots are still in Iraq ? He didn’t get the ACA through congress – He forced it down everyones throat – I’m guessing you’ll be choking on it in the near future. If its so great – how come congress is exempt ? He’s done nothing – His legacy will be deceit, Period

          • Jeff

            To you and your ilk,yes. But then,your support was never really in play, was it?

          • Scott

            If its so great – how come congress is exempt ?

          • Jeff

            That’s the phoniest issue in the world and you’d know it if you had any functioning brain cells. The ACA’s mandate doesn’t affect anyone already covered by his employer’s policy. Congressmen are already covered. That being said, for purely symbolic reasons, I believe there may be a requirement that Congressmen get their healthcare via the exchanges.

            The real issues are that under the ACA, people can’t be denied insurance because they have pre-existing conditions. And there are subsidies for low-income people.

          • Scott

            The real issues are that under the ACA, people can’t be denied insurance because they have pre-existing conditions. And there are subsidies for low-income people.

            Sorry pardner – The real issue is that the ACA will become just like the DVA. A bureaucratic cesspool of incompetance, managed by people like Kathleen Sebelius. I spent 10 yrs as my fathers fiduciary and delt extensivly with dept veterans affairs – leterally 100’s of hours every year – to keep him eligable and in good care ( I will say the hospitals were very good to him ). 600+ million for a website that still doesn’t work – You’ve got blinders on and your party’s about to stick the tail on YOU.

          • Jeff

            The website will soon work and people who couldn’t previously get insured will be able to. Rome wasn’t built in a day, particularly when the Barbarians were constantly taking potshots at the builders. It takes skill to build something, but any jackass (Ted Cruz?) can kick it down. If the ACA needs fixes as do virtually all major pieces of legislation, it should be fixed. But the Repugs don’t do that. Were fixes not required when Bush enacted Medicare Part D? Did the Democrats act like these Repugs? No, they did what was necessary to make the program work.

            If I live to be 1,000, I’ll never vote for a Repug and I’m hardly alone in that sentiment.

          • Scott

            Ignorance – This isn’t about Rep/Dem’s – this is about whats right for America. I spent 25 years working for co’s that built the hardware which enables our internet today. I’ve been in just about every state in the US, Mexico, SE asia and Europe installing this infrastructure. Its take 5 basic components to build a website capable of supporting Obamacare. 1) – Infrastructure ( Hardware, Locations & Redundancy ), 2) – Bandwidth ( we got more fiber than we know what to do with ) 3) – Database and Frontend GUI, 4) – Security to protect our information and lastly – the know how to put it all together – Simplified yes ! 600 million and counting to complete – NOT. YOU ! – support and voted for these idiots to manage our healthcare ? I hope you don’t live long – It’d be a shame to see you slowly watch your great, great, great > grandchildren rot in the quagmire you’ve created.

          • Jeff

            Thank you for your best wishes for my longevity. The ACA will provide access to healthcare for those who can’t afford it, those with pre-existing conditions,and those who work for employers too cheap to provide it. I know that to you that’s a bad thing. Name one proposal to expand healthcare that the Repugs have supported (except the individual mandate they supported until Obama adopted it).

          • Scott

            Those who can’t afford it – There are exceptions to every rule and those that deserve our compassion & support should get it – Our lords can’t seem to figure out who is who. There lies the problem – I work hard to support my family and don’t feel the need or compassion to support those who are to lazy to figure it out for themselves – Big government is there for only one reason – to support the takers – not the givers. Which one are you ?

          • Scott

            Tit for Tat ! You see Dem, I see different ( not repub
            ) Why do you feel compelled to pay for everyone else at your own expense ? It hasn’t hit you yet – but it will – Guaranteed.

          • Don Berry

            Reagan: moral? or moron? I’d vote the latter. Too bad he wasn’t the last, you have Bush & Bush II following in his footsteps, each worse than the other.

          • Scott

            Did you vote for Obama ? Going to vote for Billery ? – Still waiting!!!!

          • Edward James Almost

            Just voting in that bold faced liar makes you an enemy of America and real Americans. The day will come when you liberals will fall, I think sooner rather than later. Get ready for payback day, you will be one on the receiving end.

          • Don Berry

            “an enemy of America and real Americans.” According to who? You? Pardon me for not ginving a ratz azz what you think. Enemies of real Americans destroyed the working class in this country, to line the pockets of their friends the 1%. Enemies of real Americans invented catchphrases like “trickle down economics” to justify screwing working Americans, outsourcing their jobs, and destroying the American dream in this (formerly) great country. You want to know where to place the blame? Look no further than the GOP, the party you support, and their corporate masters.

          • Edward James Almost

            I don’t give a crap what you think, you and your ilk are ruining this country and you should all be hanging from ropes for treason.

      • Jeff

        It was the liberals who fought for you to come home from that ridiculous, pointless war. Criticizing a war or a politician for sending young men and women to war is not the same as failing to “support the troops.” In fact, the opposite is closer to the truth. In our recent war in Iraq, the republican mantra was “support the troops,” but what did that actually mean? Sending them to a ridiculous war/occupation, too few in number to do the job effectively and without body armor? Refusing to increase soldiers’ GI Bill? Not paying military families enough to allow them to eat and keep their homes?

        Sometimes supporting the troops means keeping them alive. Being anti-war means being pro-soldier.

        • Edward James Almost

          Are you saying draft dodgers and communists like Hanoi Jane, who was responsible for GI deaths are pro soldier? Try again SFB!

          • Jeff

            More pro-soldier than Cheney and Rummy for sure.

    • Frank Kahn

      siting an extreme left wing liberal site, that has many lies in its report does not support your claim that republicans are against vets. Almost all of the items listed are pure left wing BS lies.

      • Don Berry

        Q: Have the politicians on your side of the fence voted to cut veterans benefits? A: Yes they have. Discussion over, GOP guilty as charged. “Patriots” in the GOP? my arse…

        • Frank Kahn

          An unsupported statement is not a discussion.

          • Don Berry

            If I back it up with a link, you’ll just CITE “liberal media” so why bother? Look it up, it’s a matter of public record.

          • Frank Kahn

            Media is a source of a story, not facts. You can research the facts stated in the story but never accept them at face value. The article you first linked to had many twisted opinions, not facts, so I discount it as a source. For instance, the government shutdown was done by the liberal democratic side of the isle, not the conservatives. The conservatives passed legislation to fund all the items the article claimed they refused to fund. It was Reid that blocked the funding of things in congress not the republicans. The only thing they tried to eliminate funding for was the abominable health care act.

    • Robert Messmer

      You are unaware of Bill “I’m So Stupid I Don’t Know What Sex Is” Clinton’s letter expressing his hatred of the military? Hating the military sure seems like disrespect our veterans to me. How about Obama shutting down the WWII Memorial–that’s pretty disrespectful?

    • Edward James Almost

      Don’t waste your breath here trying to pass anything as fact from the above source, lmao at you morons daily!

      • Don Berry

        Yeah better to get your “facts” from Faux Noise, or even better, from this insipid blog. How’s that kool-aid going down today? Try not to choke on it…

        • Edward James Almost

          This insipid blog that you post on all the time? Why are you not on a more liberal progressive blog where all your fellow traitors, liars, coolaide guzzlers, criminals and worthless leeches can be found?

  • rivahmitch

    After 1969, after I returned from my tour in Vietnam, I began the custom of having a celebratory drink whenever I read or heard that some member of the media had been killed. Doolittlesquat and others like it insure that my custom will continue. Semper Fi!

  • Bill

    Leave it to a progressive to spoil a good party

  • KG

    When did telling the truth become ‘unpatriotic’? i guess it depends on whose ox is getting gored.

    • Robert Messmer

      Except, based on the one quote, it isn’t the truth it is only his mis-opinion. Without the military you would have been shot a long time ago by the Gestapo as a subversive.

  • native blood

    OOPS! Just over 30 minutes to say this in my time zone. Happy Veteran’s day to all you former and current service personnel. Your sacrifice is well and duly noted and you have my highest respect regardless of your political persuasion. I don’t about how you were trained, but I was always taught to leave the political badge in your locker and carry out your mission and look out for the welfare of those that serve under your control from fire team to corps level, Have a great holiday.