Some reading & gift ideas from the boss.12:33 PM, Nov 24, 2015 • By JIM SWIFT
In this week's edition of the Kristol Clear-- which you can sign up for here-- the boss has some reading and gift suggestions for our devoted readers.
Here's an excerpt:
The Spirit of Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving! And in celebrating Thanksgiving, why not pause to reflect on it? Thanksgiving seems to be a distinctively American holiday (with the possible exception of Canada). Other nations have independence days, memorial days, days commemorating the birthdays of their great leaders, etc.--but I'm not sure there's anything elsewhere much like Thanksgiving. And within the American tradition, Thanksgiving has always seemed to me an appropriate bookend to Independence Day. July 4th celebrates patriotic self-assertion, political independence and human self-government, Thanksgiving recognizes the other side of the coin, our dependence on something higher than us and our gratitude towards that higher being's beneficence.
Anyway, if you, like me, are at all intrigued by the meaning of these holidays, and you want to read up on them, there's a terrific resource available--at the American calendar section of the What So Proudly We Hail website created by the late Amy Kass, Leon Kass, and Diana Schaub. Take a look at the materials assembled for Thanksgiving. You'll be instructed, entertained, and might even find something to share around the Thanksgiving table, during halftime of one of the football games.
Independence Day (which you can read about here and Thanksgiving are, as I say, deeply complementary; but of course people do tend to fall into two camps, preferring either the assertive spirit of the one or the grateful spirit of the other. I've got to admit I'm probably in the Declaration camp, finding a special pleasure in honoring "that host of worthies, who joined with us on that day, in the bold and doubtful election we were to make for our country, between submission or the sword" (Jefferson's letter to Roger Weightman, June 24, 1826). But though a Declaration man, I think I still appreciate the spirit of Thanksgiving. And unlike so many others, I actually like turkey.
Holiday Gift Idea
Of course, as soon as Thanksgiving's over, it's on to Christmas. And, if a non-Christian may be permitted to offer a suggestion, I have a great idea for a Christmas present--the new book going on sale this week, edited by our own Jonathan V. Last, The Christmas Virtues. It features twenty sparkling, funny, and occasionally poignant essays by everyone's favorite conservative writers. Laugh and reflect on various aspects of the holiday--Matt Labash discusses dealing with your family, Andrew Ferguson writes on Christmas music, Steve Hayes describes Christmas morning, P. J. O'Rourke praises the joys of a commercialized Christmas, Joseph Epstein reflects on being Jewish at Christmastime, and there are many more of (if you can believe it!) equal quality. It really is the perfect gift for all manner of friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and is suitable for people of all ages, faiths and even political persuasions (though, in truth, it's probably better for conservatives...).
7:31 AM, Nov 27, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator-elect Tom Cotton delivers this week's Republican address. The subject? Thanksgiving.
Here's the full address:
“Hello, I’m Tom Cotton, Senator-elect from Arkansas. I want to wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving holiday. For nearly as long as we’ve been a people, Americans have set aside a day for public thanksgiving for our many blessings.
7:38 PM, Nov 26, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama made an amnesty joke at the annual turkey pardon today at the White House. He also, as a joke, used the same language he used to justify his executive amnesty order talked about the legal authority he had to pardon the turkey, which is traditionally done by presidents the day before Thanksgiving.
7:01 AM, Nov 26, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Americans have many customs as to what they say, or whether they say anything at all, when they assemble for Thanksgiving. But if you're looking for something unfamiliar but traditional, something both American and Biblical in spirit, here's a suggestion, courtesy of "The Book of Doctrine and Opinions," via Mosaic magazine.
3:45 PM, Nov 22, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Some 140 million bargain-hunting customers will descend on retailers on Thanksgiving Day, so-called Black Friday, and throughout next weekend -- or at least those who haven’t shopped already or by early next week will head for the shops. Not so long ago most stores remained closed on Thanksgiving Day, on the assumption that families preferred to spend the holiday enjoying uninterrupted togetherness, downing some 46 million turkeys and watching football. No longer. Walmart, Macy’s, and many others are opening their doors on the holiday.
"The character of the citizenry ultimately is always the judgement of any society."12:30 PM, Nov 28, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on the virtues of Thanksgiving and Hannukah.
11:15 AM, Nov 28, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It is the pièce de résistance in feast that includes, in my family’s case: smoked turkey with oyster stuffing, Smithfield ham, Brussels sprouts, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and various other basics. For desert there will be pies: pecan, apple, pumpkin, shoo fly, and coconut cream. All manner of good things. But the fried turkey is the star of this show.
8:15 AM, Nov 28, 2013 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
On the one hand, this is a pretty dour Thanksgiving. Iran has just won an enormous diplomatic victory, which not only sets them on the road to nuclear weapons but makes the fecklessness of the Western powers clear to the world. Harry Reid's decision to destroy the filibuster signals an escalation in the ugliness of American politics. And let's not forget that we're still mired in a recovery that's looking more like the new normal with each passing week. Humbug.
Hosted by Michael Graham.3:45 PM, Nov 27, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on the President, Obamacare, and his (shocking!) favorite Thanksgiving side dish.
8:03 AM, Nov 27, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Remember the old song, There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays?
10:52 AM, Nov 26, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
CNN reports that practically all Americans went shopping over "Black Friday" weekend.
Dec 3, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 12 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
There are some facts so obvious that only a liberal could deny them. One of them is that, from Benghazi to Be’er Sheva, the West is under attack.