Culture

The Federal Government made $41.3 billion on its subsidized student-loan program in fiscal 2013. Or did it? It has been argued that if more realistic accounting methods were applied to the student loan situation, the government would post significant losses over the long term instead of the claimed profits.

Conservative Christians are up in arms over a recent USPS ad for holiday-themed stamps that featured Hanukkah and Kwanzaa — but significantly omitted Christmas.

On the first Thanksgiving Day, the Pilgrims began a custom of placing five grains of corn at the table so that the reason for their rejoicing might not be forgotten. Five grains of corn was the daily ration during those desperate days before the harvest when food was scarcely to be had.

Although many holidays have broad international appeal, Thanksgiving — arguably America’s second-favorite holiday after Christmas — is celebrated only in the United States and Canada. What originated as a sort of harvest festival among British colonists in the New World has taken on a life of its own. No longer is Thanksgiving a mere celebration of the harvest (a ritual found in many cultures); it has become a symbol of the oft-neglected virtue of gratitude.

President Obama has awarded this year's Presidential Medals of Freedom, and among the honorees were aggressive abortion advocate Gloria Steinem.

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