Growing up in Minnesota as the granddaughter of a Swedish immigrant, I got to enjoy all the trappings of Scandinavian picture postcard holidays. Straw ornaments and Swedish flags decorating a tree stacked high with gifts. The Lutheran church’s St. Lucia breakfast, where girls with crowns of candles serve lefse and other pastries.
Even with concerns about childhood obesity and related health conditions reaching new heights, fast food mascot Ronald McDonald remains the most recognizable icon to children around the world—second only to Santa Claus. But the clown is at a crossroads.
hether you listen to NPR or Rush Limbaugh, you’ve probably heard about climate change. And if you’ve heard about climate change, chances are you’ve also heard about “cap and trade.” It’s a scheme that tries to sell business-as-usual as a solution to global warming. Here’s how it works. The government puts a limit on how much greenhouse gas can be released in a year (the cap), and industries covered by the system are issued an equivalent number of emissions permits. As the cap is tightened each year, permits become scarcer and thus more valuable. The increasing value of the permits is supposed to encourage dirty industries to clean up their act fast, and sell their spare permits to the dinosaurs that didn’t innovate. That’s the trade.
Thought the Bush years were over? Not so fast.
This Thanksgiving season, the nation should finally commit itself to bridging the socioeconomic divide between the descendents of those who came together during the first Thanksgiving: the Native Americans and the white newcomers. More than cranberry sauce and turkey, this type of reflection and action is essential to the holiday season.