Thanksgiving is the one day set aside every year to enjoy a guilt-free meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries and all the trimmings.
If you're hosting such a feast this year, consider offering your guests a waiver: the Center for Consumer Freedom's Thanksgiving Guest Liability and Indemnification Agreement. During this season when food cops, public health activists and trial lawyers are promoting hysteria about the nation's expanding waistline, the center believes Thanksgiving should remain a holiday for giving thanks and indulging.
Dinner hosts can download the waiver (www.consumerfreedom.com) and protect themselves from lawsuits filed by guests on the following grounds:
1. Failure to provide detailed nutritional information
2. Failure to warn of the potential for overeating because food tastes too good and is provided at no cost
3. Failure to offer "healthier alternatives" like vegetarian "Tofurkey"
4. Failure to warn that dark meat contains more fat than white meat
5. Failure to warn that eating may lead to obesity
"This waiver will prevent your guest from appearing as a witness on behalf of John 'Sue the Bastards' Banzhaf, who is threatening to sue restaurants, food companies, and school boards for the nation's extra pounds," center director Richard Berman says of George Washington University law professor John F. Banzhaf III, often called a "legal terrorist."
A Federal Marriage Amendment crafted by the Alliance for Marriage has been introduced by Republican Senators Wayne Allard of Colorado, Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Sam Brownback of Kansas.
AFM president Matt Daniels says introduction of the measure confirms that momentum is growing in response to the recent court decision striking down the marriage laws of Massachusetts.
"Americans believe that gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose but they don't have a right to redefine marriage for our entire society," he says. "Americans want our laws to send a positive message to children about marriage, family and their future."
Before he went to his final reward, the late Jeremiah O'Leary, former White House correspondent for The Washington Times and the old Evening Star, presented me with his worn copy of the 1934 book "City Editor," by New York Herald Tribune city editor Stanley Walker.
Before O'Leary took possession of the book, it obviously sat on a shelf of "The Evening Star Library, Washington, D.C.," as is clearly stamped in purple ink - along with the warning "25 cents a week, 5 cents a day over time."
Some things about newspapers, we read from the book, haven't changed.
For instance, Walker writes that "the system of having news stories which start on page one and then jump to page thirty-seven of the second section, causing the reader to maul and tear his paper and lose all interest by the time he finds the continuation, are an affront to the reader."
And he seeks to dispel a popular school of thought that all good newspapermen, like all good prizefighters, "come out of the gutter." This idea, says Walker, is as foolish as the corollary that no rich man's son has any business becoming a newspaperman.
Finally, the author concludes, racial inheritance "probably has little to do with journalistic expertness, and yet most men who have got ahead in American journalism have been of Irish, English or Scottish blood. There have been a few Germans, and fewer from Scandinavian countries. French blood? Sometimes, but not often. And a good Italian newspaperman is so rare that he belongs in the Smithsonian Institution. Jewish reporters are impossible to classify; some are cloddish, some brilliant, some level-headed, some itching with messianic afflictions, some profligate, and some close-fisted and scheming. One thing surely may be said about them: most Jews know enough not to drink too much.
"Of all reporters, the Irish, if they have a poetic streak in them and can stay reasonably sober, probably make the best."