Entries Tagged as 'thanksgiving'

Thankfulness-Even When it’s Hard

David Frum November 24th, 2011 at 11:23 am 17 Comments

In my column for The Week, I discuss President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation, which was issued during the height of the Civil War:

When Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of a popular magazine, Godey’s Lady’s Book, wrote to Lincoln on Sept. 28, 1863, urging the setting aside of a day for national thanks, there seemed no good reason for the president to pay her any heed. Indeed, Lincoln’s four predecessors had all ignored Hale when she had suggested the idea to them.

Hale’s letter arrived at the White House days after the Union defeat at Chickamauga, the deadliest battle of the war relative to the number of troops engaged. The idea took Lincoln’s fancy. He assigned the job of composing the proclamation to Secretary of State William Seward. And here is how Seward opened the proclamation in that year of death and grief:

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Man’s Best Friend is No Dumb Bird

November 22nd, 2011 at 1:00 pm 47 Comments

A new ad by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals features a turkey with the head of a dog. It reads, “Kids: If you wouldn’t eat your dog, why eat a turkey? Go Vegan.”

The immediate goal is to stop shoppers from buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, but PETA admits it is targeting children like other advertisers.

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Why Watch Cable?

David Frum November 28th, 2009 at 9:46 am 12 Comments

As a sometime talking head on CNN, I’m arguing against interest here – but Friday was a day that fully drove home the uselessness of cable news.

All day long, cable breathlessly reported the Tiger Woods story, while managing totally to ignore what had actually occurred. It asked viewers to believe that a non-drunk Tiger Woods had taken his car for a 2 AM drive on the winding streets of a gated community – that he had crashed into a fire hydrant with enough impact not only to injure himself, but to entrap himself in the car – and that his wife, a woman who weighs less than 120 pounds, had used a golf club to smash open the car windshield and drag him to safety. Obviously untrue in every detail, right?

And yet this absurd cover story was repeated over and over again for hours. People who wanted to know what was really going on crashed the servers of the celebrity website TMZ, which had the real story.

But at least that story was unimportant.

Much worse was the coverage of the Dubai default.

Dubai, a hedge fund masquerading as an emirate, owes its creditors $80 billion. Even in these trillion-dollar days, that’s a lot of money. Now it cannot pay.

All day long, the cable networks trotted out “experts” to insist that this default was no big deal, a purely local matter. Not one of them seemed to consider: Hey what happens when Dubai’s creditors begin dumping properties all at the same time, in the midst of the worst commercial real estate slump in a generation or maybe two? What does it mean that the emirate’s landholdings inside Dubai – which helped to secure its huge borrowings – have tumbled to worthlessness? What if Dubai drags its main creditor, HSBC, down to ruin with it?

No, it was all pooh-poohing happy talk.

Only today, with the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, are the major media reporting the anxieties that have gripped market players for the past 72 hours and more.

So much for the 24-hour news cycle.