America's celebration of Thanksgiving arrives Thursday. It is a holiday of many meanings and also marks the "official" start of the Christmas season. Most Americans assumed that the first thanksgiving occurred in 1621. The Pilgrims had much to be thankful for following their arrival in 1620. They had traveled for 66 days on a tough voyage, signed the Mayflower Compact and started a settlement at Plymouth. They survived a long and tough winter and, with the help of American Indians -- the Wampanoags, planted and harvested their first crops the following year.
YMOND -- Kameron Dean Hanson will receive his Eagle Scout award at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bethany Reformed Church in Clara City. The Eagle Scout rank is the highest honor awarded by the Boy Scouts. To earn it, the scout must earn 21 merit badges and plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project that is beneficial to the community, church or school. Hanson, a senior at MACCRAY High School in Clara City, built 60 replacement keyboard covers for the MACCRAY Elementary school computer labs.
WASHINGTON -- Perhaps we should redeploy the democracy experts we have sent to the Middle East and ask them to work on our Congress. The last few days have confirmed that our national government is dysfunctional. It wasn't just the nasty Friday evening "debate" over Iraq policy in the House, set up by Republican leaders to score political points after Rep. John Murtha's call for immediate withdrawal received so much attention. What happened hours earlier, at 1:45 a.m., symbolized all that is wrong with Washington.
WASHINGTON -- In his 40th anniversary toast to his Yale class of 1950, William F. Buckley said, "Some of us who wondered if we would ever be this old now wonder whether we were ever young." Those who were not young 40 years ago, in 1965, can have no inkling of what fun it was to be among Buckley's disciples as he ran for mayor of New York vowing that, were he to win, his first act would be to demand a recount.
Uncle Sam got shot in the foot by one of his kids. It was little George W. Bush that did it. The little stinker got hold of a real gun and was playing war with it. The wound didn't look too bad at first, but then it turned worse. The healing process is slow. The doctor bills are mounting and I don't think Sam is feeling very good. This incident has caused quite a stir in the community. The neighbors are saying it serves Uncle Sam right. His kids are out of hand. He shouldn't let them run loose like he does. They're getting to be regular nuisances around the whole neighborhood. It's too bad.
We don't do torture, according to President George Bush. Then why did his good friend Alberto Gonzales as White House counsel go to the Justice Department in 2002 to get a ruling as to the extent of the president's authority to permit "extreme interrogation practices"?
Along with such creations as American POWs still being held in Vietnam and the Bill Clinton drug-smuggling operation at a remote Arkansas air strip, the unhinged right wing has now invented the myth that Democratic members of Congress have called President Bush "a liar" about Iraq. An insistent computer search by myself and a Washington Post researcher can come up with no such accusation. That's prudent. After all, it's not clear if Bush lied about Iraq or he was merely the "useful idiot" of those who did. The term "useful idiot" is not a reflection of IQ.
BOSTON -- We are taking my grandmother's china out for a spin. The plates, cups and saucers, wrapped carefully like ancient artifacts, will make their annual pilgrimage one doorway and one generation down the street from my aunt's house to my own. On Thanksgiving, four generations will eat off the dishes of a fifth, although this year the people finally outnumber the place settings and the youngest quartet will be safely relegated to plastic plates and sippy cups. I am not a china kind of hostess, but I was awarded temporary custody of these dishes when I inherited Thanksgiving.
You have to wonder -- about a second or two -- what Senate Republicans would be saying if polls showed that most Americans overwhelmingly support the war in Iraq. Would they be scrambling toward the defeatist, anti-war side of the political aisle, as they did Tuesday by passing a resolution that suggests a weakening of resolve? Not likely. Instead, they'd be elbowing each other for talking-head time to reiterate all the reasons they supported the war in the first place.
WASHINGTON -- Let's be good cosmopolitans and offer sociological explanations rather than moral judgments about students, The Washington Post reports, having sex during the day in high schools. Sociology discerns connections, and there may be one between the fact that teenagers are relaxing from academic rigors by enjoying sex in the school auditorium, and the fact that Americans in public soon will be able to watch pornography, and prime-time television programs such as "Desperate Housewives" -- and, for the high-minded, C-SPAN -- on their cell phones and video iPods.