Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Address

Happy Thanksgiving

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.


I’m so very offended by this new show

on MTV about life on the Jersey Shore that UNICO says depicts Italians in a poor light. 

Jersey Shore

I mean, not all Italians from New Jersey have dark hair, you know. 

Some of us are redheads.

Pepperoni Bread- Yum!

My dad always makes this at the holidays to feed the lot of us during those pre-big dinner snacks.  Much to the delight of pretty much everyone who knows me, I’ve recently adopted it as my own. 

Dough: Dad uses the frozen white bread dough you get from the grocery store, while I make it with my own pizza dough.  Half of the Cook’s Illustrated basic pizza recipe, when the whole recipe makes 3 medium pizzas, makes one huge loaf, but any decently sized pizza dough recipe should do fine. 

Other ingredients (this really isn’t a measurin’ recipe; I’ve given some ballpark amounts so you know how much to buy, but use your own judgment)

  • Pepperoni, sliced- about 4 oz.
  • Provolone Cheese, sliced- about 4 oz. 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil- 1-2 TBS
  • Oregano- sprinkling
  • Grated Hard Cheese, such as Parmesan or Pecorino Romano- around 1 oz.
  • Coarse or Kosher Salt- sprinkling

Process: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare the dough per recipe or package directions through the first rise.  When the rise is complete, punch the dough down on a floured surface and roll into a large square (approx. 12 x 12 inches).  Try to press out most of the air bubbles. 

Barely drizzle the dough with olive oil, leaving 1/2-1 inch border on all sides.  Spread it evenly with a pastry brush. 

Spread the provolone slices over the dough, avoiding the border.  Leave at least 1 inch of dough uncovered on the side closest to you.  Break up the slices to ensure a thorough covering. 

Top the cheese slices with pepperoni slices, covering the cheese completely.  Sprinkle with oregano. 

Beginning at the side furthest from you, roll the dough tightly in a spiral (like a jelly roll or a cinnamon bun).  Pinch the edges and bottom, and ensure that the seam is on the bottom.  Transfer to a pizza stone. 

Allow to rise until puffy and noticeably larger, approximately 20-30 minutes.  Brush very lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle top with grated hard cheese and a pinch of coarse salt. 

Bake 20-30 minutes.  Bread is complete when lightly browned and poofed. 

The bread is best served sliced and slightly warm, although it is excellent at room temperature or even cold.  You should probably avoid slicing it when it is very hot, as tempting as that will be.

“Liberalism would protect me from the big, bad conservatives who wished me harm.”

Robin of Berkeley discusses her journey of seeing liberalism for what it really is: misogynistic. 

Like for most feminists, it was a no-brainer for me to become a Democrat. Liberal men, not conservatives, were the ones devoted to women’s issues. They marched at my side in support of abortion rights. They were enthusiastic about women succeeding in the workplace.

As time went on, I had many experiences that should have made me rethink my certainty. But I remained nestled in cognitive dissonance — therapy jargon for not wanting to see what I didn’t want to see.

One clue: the miscreants who were brutalizing me didn’t exactly look Reagan-esque. In middle and high schools, they were minority kids enraged about forced busing. On the streets of New York City and Berkeley, they were derelicts and hoodlums

Another red flag: while liberal men did indeed hold up those picket signs, they didn’t do anything else to protect me. In fact, their social programs enabled bad behavior and bred chaos in urban America. And when I was accosted by thugs, those leftist men were missing in action.

What else should have tipped me off? Perhaps the fact that so many men in ultra-left Berkeley are sleazebags. Rarely a week goes by that I don’t hear stories from my young female clients about middle-aged men preying on them. With the rationale of moral relativism, these creeps feel they can do anything they please. 

This is very much in line with my experience.  The most typically conservative (not even necessarily the politically involved, but those that shared the typical cultural signs) men, in fact, in many cases, the most stereotypical southern redneck men, were the most anxious to rush to the aid of a woman.  They thrive on it; they look forward to a chance to show what a gentleman or knight in shining armor they can be. 
I assume that in some cases it could be demeaning, that desire to rush to the aid of a helpless woman, but I’ve never found it to seriously cross over into the same man questioning my intellect or independence.  And anybody who claims that a woman should be able to physically protect herself as well as a man in all or even most situations is a fool; most women simply don’t have the same strength and speed.  I know I don’t, and I’ve been grateful to have good males in my life who walked with me when necessary. 
I think that I am very lucky to live in the South, where this attitude is instilled from a young age in many families.  I often see on the net, particularly on more feminist blogs, women complaining that they are unable to go anywhere or do anything without being leered at or facing obscene comments about their bodies.  Perhaps I’m just less attractive than I think I am (for what it’s worth, my very attractive husband was first interested in my appearance, so I can’t be that bad), but this has only very rarely been my experience.  Nor have I heard many friends express this problem, and I can’t remember ever seeing it happen to a girlfriend.  When it has happened to me, those who have done it did not appear to be conservatives.

Dear God, why do I have to keep paying attention to Joy Behar?

And now, George Lopez, too?

You don’t know me, but I promise you, I do not wish to care about the goings on of Joy Behar.  I have effectively ignored The View almost as long as it’s been on, except to ask why such a foolish sounding show so frequently makes the news.  (Sadly, folks at my workplace do often put it on in the break room, so I’ve caught a little while I wait for leftovers to heat, which has not changed my initial perception of the show one bit.  It’s that, or some fascinatingly bad soap opera, so I’m screwed either way.)

Yet, here we go again:

After introducing Lopez on her CNN Headline News program last night, Behar played a clip of Lopez’s HBO special in which he said, “There are a lot of politicians that would be Latinos and a lot now who are Latino. Sarah Palin, Latina. Believe me. She’s got all the signs. She works and her husband don’t.”  

Later in the segment, after commenting about Palin’s lack of experience, Lopez stated, “I mean, the concept of Todd Palin being a stay-at-home dad-listen Joy, when I was a kid, those guys were called bums.”

“Uh-huh. They’re still called bums,” agreed Behar.

Now, I don’t know for sure, what with the constant attempt to ignore everything that she does, but I’d wager that Ms. Behar considers herself a feminist, or at least something close to it. 

My take on feminism has always been that women should have opportunities to be what they want.  If that involves a high powered career in politics, then that should be an open option (provided that she has the talent and energy).  If that choice involves being a mother, that should be an option, too, or instead, or however she wants to play it. 

But, I do not believe that feminism should mean that kids are left to be raised by strangers, or to effectively raise themselves, or to be raised by grandparents while the parents live a Peter Pan fantasy that they are the kids’ peers and friends.  So, if there are kids in the equation, as there certainly are in the Palin family, one of the parents needs to work to raise them.  If that parent has a penis, I can’t see how that would matter any more than it would matter that the state governor, or company CEO, or president, has a vagina.  That is, it matters not, as long as the person is up to the job. 

But somehow, in 2008, liberals suddenly decided that a woman’s place is in the home.  Women who I knew in law school, who had almost certainly lived their high achieving, type A lives believing that there was no end to their right to have it all, suddenly decided that a baby needs his mother, and dad isn’t good enough.  If dad’s not the breadwinner, he’s just a bum.  If the law market ever picks up, when my husband and I have kids, I’ll be as proud of his “bum”-ness as he will be of my career.  And liberals still will consider people like me in opposition to all things feminist. 

(Also, as the article makes clear, George Lopez is a racist.  Which is not cool.)

I’m rather proud of the people, and the news, in Denver

A Denver car dealer has put up an anti-Obama billboard which is stupid, useless, inflammatory, and completely Constitutionally protected. 

The large sign outside Wolf Automotive, near Interstate 70 and Kipling, shows two caricatures of President Obama, one in which he’s wearing a turban. It reads “President or Jihad?”

The billboard also urges Obama to prove he’s an American with the words “Birth Certificate” and “Prove It.” At the bottom is the message “Wake up America! Remember Ft. Hood!”

The article discusses a lot of complaints, some talk of protests, and some expressions of hope that the business fails.  (There are also some death threats, which, while hardly surprising in this sort of thing, definitely nasty and not what I am praising here.) 

But, throughout the article there is absolutely no assertion that Mr. Wolf’s sign should be removed by the authorities.  There are no assertions that this breaks any mythical laws against “hate speech” or “hate crimes.”  There are no assertions whatsoever that he should be restrained from saying what he wishes to say by the power of the state, or in any way other than the potential damage to the good will towards him or his business. 

Well played (except for the death threats, which are stupid), people of Colorado.

They’re college students; they’re not supposed to be concerned with the effects of their actions

Anthony Dick, at NRO, discusses the University of California tuition hike protests, which is being led by students which he refers to as “Whiney Brats.” 

First and foremost, the protests are about privileged kids demanding subsidies from working people. The UC system will continue to be heavily subsidized by taxpayers, and the students who attend are among the most naturally gifted, with the highest future earning potential, in the country. This is especially true at the system’s flagship schools of Berkeley and UCLA, where the protests have been most intense. Narcissism and self-absorption are the norm on college campuses, but it really is pushing the limits to throw such a tantrum at the idea that you will be getting a smaller amount of free money taken out of the paychecks of strapped taxpayers, most of whom could never dream of the advantages and opportunities you enjoy.

Second, these protesters claim the mantle of the free-speech movement, but it is a betrayal and a subversion of the principles of free speech to forcibly occupy a school building and block out its rightful owners and occupants (including other tuition-paying students). The very idea of free speech is to facilitate the peaceful exchange of ideas, without allowing the use or threat of force to distort the process. The whole enterprise suffers when thugs begin breaking out the chains and barricades and committing property crimes in order to get their way.  

As I recall, virtually everything about college was about not accepting the reality of the effects of actions.  Government money was supposed to be spent without limits; it’s origin was not to be questioned.  Policies should never benefit the rich in any way; never mind that rich people create jobs.  Christianity bad, Muslim good; just disregard the towers that fell so dramatically during my junior year.  And so on, and so on.

Why does Mr. Dick expect these students to think any differently?