tv PBS News Hour PBS November 28, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> sreenivasan: egypt's government escalates its crackdown on dissident voices. good evening and happy thanksgiving. i'm hari sreenivasan. gwen and judy are off. also ahead three holiday themed stories, chef alice waters explains why she has spent decades advocating for quality ingredients when she cooks. >> we pay either up front or we pay out back and we are really careful with our health. >> sreenivasan: paul solman looks back to the founding holiday feast at plymouth and the economic differences between native americans and the pilgrims.
>> it took more than every ounce of people in the community wouldn't have liked it to us. >> and they gave it to us. they were wearing our clothes. so it's not just work to them but to us. it's how we make our money. >> sreenivasan: and, how norman rockwell mirrored america's ambitions and common values in his art. >> and a barber in montana suddenly had normal knockwell in common. >> sreenivasan: those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's "pbs newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: americans at home and abroad celebrated the thanksgiving holiday today. the annual macy's thanksgiving day parade passed through the streets of manhattan. it defied strong winds that threatened to ground its 16
giant balloons. elsewhere, shoppers got an early start hunting down bargains typically reserved for black friday. more than a dozen major retailers kept their doors open for the holiday. meanwhile, u.s. forces in afghanistan enjoyed a thanksgiving feast with turkey and all the trimmings. combat troops are preparing to leave the country by the end of next year. iran extended an invitation to the u.n. nuclear agency today to visit a facility that houses an unfinished nuclear reactor. the u.n. team will visit the heavy water plant in the central city of arak on december 8. this invitation is not part of the nuclear deal iran made last week to freeze its nuclear program for six months in return for a limited reprieve in economic sanctions. chinese warplanes are now patrolling the country's new air defense zone in the east china sea. china's state news agency announced the move, hours after south korea and japan flew planes through the disputed airspace. a spokesman for china's defense ministry in beijing defended the country's new flight
restrictions. >> ( translated ): according to international law and practices, a country's aircraft are allowed to enter the air defense identification zone of another country. but in the meantime, the country that sets up the defense identification zone has the right to identify the >> sreenivasan: two american b- 52 bombers passed through the zone tuesday, without any response from china's military. thailand's embattled prime minister appealed today for an end to five days of anti- government protests across bangkok. yingluck shinawatra called for negotiations with the opposition. but the demonstrators rejected the idea of talks. they surrounded several ministry buildings in the capital, waving flags and blocking traffic. they also cut off electricity to the national police headquarters. there was word in brazil today that the stadium slated to host the first match in next year's world cup could delay its opening until february. a crane collapsed there yesterday, killing two workers and damaging the concourse area
of the stadium. nick ravenscroft of "independent television news" is in sao paulo. >> cracked in half, it collapsed sideways and still lies where it fell across a stand being built for the world cup finals. construction is halted until next week, says the company, for up to a month say the unions. nobody knows but everybody is worried because this is the venue for the first world cup match and it's meant to be finished by the end of next month. this builder was on site yesterday when the accident happened. he knew from the deafening crash it was the crane. where they rushing, i asked him? >> ( translated ): the timing was very tight but we'd never crossed the safety limit.
>> reporter: do you feel safe? >> ( translated ): yes. but thank god we've finished working on the building that was crushed. >> reporter: but a local m.p. who leads the construction workers' union says concerns were raised about the sfablt of the crane just hours before the accident. the workers were told to keep going. though the developers reject this. today investigators are trying to figure out exactly what brought this huge crane crashing to the ground. but looming above the scene are wider questions: brazil has known it's hosting the world cup for years. why is everything so last minute? and before the first ball is even kicked off here in june. for the two workers who died here yesterday and their families the accident was a personal tragedy. for brazil's world cup dreams, it's a warning. >> sreenivasan: soccer's governing body fifa has said it wants all 12 world cup stadiums ready by the end of december. but today it released a statement saying workers' safety is the top priority. a comet barreling toward mars had a close encounter with the
sun today, passing just 730,000 miles from its surface. as comet ison approached, the sun's radiation and gravitational pull melted the comet's ice and broke its body apart. scientists watched the break-up closely, to try and learn more about the origins of the solar system. still ahead on the "newshour": egypt's crackdown on dissident voices; the big questions the affordable care act has raised about the role of government in our lives; increased suffering in syria's civil war. plus, chef, author and activist alice waters; paul solman on the economics of the first thanksgiving and norman rockwell's image of america. the prohibition on protests did little to silence egyptians calling for the release of demonstrators held by the military-appointed government. they enacted a law this past sunday that forbids protests at places of worship, and
gatherings of more than ten people without a permit. it was immediately controversial and defied in a country that has seen mass protest play a major part in the removal of two presidents in three years. 24 activist were arrested tuesday after protesting a new, controversial law limiting demonstrations. enacted sunday-- it forbids protests at places of worship, and bans gatherings of more than ten people without a permit. authorities say the measure was needed to fight terrorism and foster stability in the country. egypt is in a state of upheaveal once again, it has been nearly three years since the revolution which swept president hosni mubarak from power, and nearly five months since the military's removed the muslim brotherhood's mohammed morsi, the first elected president in the country's history, but this most clampdown on protests has sparked outrage among islamist and secular egyptians alike. >> ( translated ): is freedom of expression, that has been reserved by international decrees and human rights, a crime? >> ( translated ): what do you mean that i have to get permission to go out and demonstrate against a law that i
am opposed to? this is ridiculous; it's a joke. >> sreenivasan: security forces used water canons and tear gas to break up tuesday's protests by secular activists in front of parliament. 14 women involved in the demonstrations were beaten and dragged off by police before being released on a deserted desert highway in the middle of the night. and yesterday, arrest warrants stemming from the protests were issued for two prominent liberal activists: alla abdel fattah and ahmed maher. their supporters decried the order. >> sreenivasan: maher spoke with abdel fattah or ahmed maher are terrorists, they are peaceful protesters, they are peaceful fighters for the freedom. >> sreenivasan: maher spoke with
the "newshour's" margaret warner in september and was, at that time, under extreme pressure from the military, its supporters and even some of his liberal allies for having denounced morsi's removal as undemocratic. >> ( translated ): there are many people like me. we will continue to say that the military establishment must stay away from political work. this is better for the army and better for politics. the military council is not convinced by our demands, and does not understand the word democracy to begin with. >> sreenivasan: the government crackdown on dissent extended yesterday, as nearly two dozen women and girls in alexandria were handed lengthy prison sentences, some as long as 11 years. they were charged with inciting violence and damaging public property, by holding up four they were convicted for participating in an october 31st demonstration against morsi's ouster. the verdict spawned more protests today and clashes with military forces outside cairo university.
at least one student was killed in the violence. earlier today i spoke with npr international correspondent leila fadel in cairo about how egyptians are responding to these arrests. what's the latest on the crackdown that's happen happening over the last few sfwhex. >> well, the thing that's different this week after months of crackdown on supporters of ousted president smors is under this new protest law they crack down on secular and leftisting a victims. they've arrested dozens of them now release on bail. and we've also seen escalation with the conditions of xiii young islamist women in alexandria of 11 years just for protesting in support of the ousted president. >> sreenivasan: how's that playing out? obviously the news of those 14 arrests is now out there. is there there a public outcry about how those protesters were treated? >> i don't know if it's a public outcry but we're seeing human rights organizations saying this
is unacceptable, saying this is worse treatment than they saw under ousted president hosni mubarak. you're seeing some leading secular politicians calling the authorities saying this might be a little too much and the families themselves saying they will appeal and this is evident that this is clearly not a democratic country, this is clearly military-led authoritarian nation and that it was a coup against the former president. >> sreenivasan: so you seem to be saying the military is turning away its spotlight from the muslim brotherhood-- which they might have successfully cracked down on-- and is focusing it back on these secular activists, the ones who helped get them into power in the first place. >> yes, the spotlight very much has been almost solely on the islamists, the supporters of the muslim brotherhood and some people say they made a calculated mistake on tuesday by going after these young secular leftist activists. but these are a couple hundred people at this point. we're not seeing a huge tide turn against the army as of now,
but for the first time a much wider outcry from the political elite when they see non-islamists getting the treatment that we've seen islamists getting in the last few months. >> sreenivasan: we'll we're hearing about them overseas, is there some censorship going on in the media? are they covered? >> we are seeing some stories but overall the private television stations here have been cheerleaders for the army so far. we have been seeing reports more and more-- especially with the recent crackdowns in the alexandria girls-- coming it in the local newspapers but not a widespread criticism of the army here or is interim leaders. >> sreenivasan: you mentioned the human right groups. are the people on the street looking back at this experiment and saying perhaps we were better off under mubarak? has it gotten that bad? >> well, i think that's a sentiment people have been feeling for a while now. not necessarily because they loved mubarak but because they expected certain things to come out of the revolution in 2007--
economic prosperity, social justice, all these things that they haven't seen. so many people are saying at least we had stability. and so that's why you're seeing many people who supported the overthrow of smors and ultimately a the path to stability rather than democracy necessarily. over the last two years it's been such a difficult roller coaster. a difficult transition as people try to elect leaders, try to create what they think the future of their country should be and that huge amount of inn fighting is creating instability creating governments that aren't functioning, that are in deadlock. so a lot of people are starting to -- i don't want to say regret what happened but at least, you know, wondering whether it was in a mistake because life isn't better in the general household in egypt. things aren't better. there isn't social justice. they're not feeding the families. there isn't better employment. those types are of things are not better so far.
>> sreenivasan: is there any interest in a dialogue? has the military made any overtures to groups? whether the brotherhood or the secularists? or does the leadership just feel so emboldened and empowered that they feel like they don't have to listen to anybody, it's either our way or the highway. >> we haven't seen real effort to from the army towards the brotherhood for a dialogue, for reconciliation. it's almost a dirt yet word these days. you know, they're calling them terrorists. we're saying it's a brandt group. people are being arrested just for having symbols of the muslim brotherhood or of their protests. just for maybe a ruler, balloon, or t-shirt. but when it comes to the secular activists, we did see very different reaction. we saw members of the 50-member assembly that's tasked with amending the constitution suspending their membership briefly saying this was unacceptable. calling for the release of those activists. so in that sense i think there was a real awakening among secular activists and amongst some of the political elite
saying, well, this used to say that no protests are acceptable. no descent, not just islamist descent, no dissent is acceptable now. if. >> sreenivasan: leila fadel, thank you so much for joining us. >> that you can. >> sreenivasan: now a look at some of the larger issues raised in the ongoing debate over the affordable care act. questions of how deeply a government should involve itself in the personal welfare of its citizens of individual rights and collective responsibilities even whether the law's troubled roll-out might be seen as a challenge to the viability of the liberal philosophy at its core. the latest major setback came yesterday, when the obama administration announced a one- year delay in launching the federal website for small businesses to enroll their employees with insurers. jeffrey brown gets two views on these bigger issues at stake. >> brown: for that we're joined by jacob hacker, the institute
for social and policy studies at yale university, he worked on the broad blueprint of the health care law and has written a number of books about social policy? the u.s. and avik roy is a senior fellow at the manhattan institute rand author of the new book "how medicaid fails the poor." he served as mitt romney's health care advisor during the 2012 presidential campaign. jacob hacker, let me start with you. with before we get to if problems of the rollout, how do you see the affordable health care act fitting into a larger debate in the u.s. over many decades over the role of government in the lives of its citizens? >> well, we've been debating the place of health care in the american social contract since the early part of the 20th century and that debate for 75 years or so has resulted in legislative failure. and the affordable care act was a landmark step forward. americans for a long time have believed that health care is an essential public responsibility. what changed in the last 20 years or so is that the sector
of the economy that was providing health benefits, employers, increasingly started to off load them and the medicaid program start to pick up a lot of that flak. so from the bill clinton's health effort in 1993 through the successful passage of the affordable care act we saw more and more pressure being put on this issue by those whoa are concerned about the increasing gaps in american health insurance. so i think it clearly is designed to become an integral part of the american social fabric like medicare or social security is. is. >> brown: avik roy, is it an essential part of the fabric -- how do americans see it? is it a responsibility of government? is it a right of citizens? >> well, i don't think the american public-- and the polls echo this-- the american public doesn't necessarily believe the government should have complete responsibility for the health care system or even a broad responsibility for the health care system. however, i do share the goal-- and i think a lot of conservatives do share the goal-- that a basic safety net
that does provide basic health care for everyone is an attractive and worthy goal. the problem with our system today is the enormous waste and the unaffordability of the system today and the federal spending which is increasingly a burden on middle-class taxpayers. and the thing with the affordable care acting is while it does expand coverage it makes health care less affordable for a lot of people. >> brown: so is it a question of where to draw the line with how much government action in this? >> yeah, i mean, if we -- unfortunately because of the way our system evolved, it evolveed in a very idiosyncratic way. we had medicare for the elderly and medicaid for the very poor and filled in the blanks with a lot of different patches. as a result, the system we have today is very inefficient. if we had started with a system that really focused on providing adequate and basic health care to the poor we'd have a much more efficient and cost effective system today. unfortunately we don't and that's why we're snuck what paul
sar would call a policy trap where we allocating health care resources from the elderly, from other people who benefit from the status quo is very difficult. >> brown: jacob hacker, can you agree with part of that? that we're sort of stuck in a kind of trip that -- of effectiveness, of efficiency? >> absolutely. i actually think that paul star's formulation of this in his work as a basically a path-dependent story where we never would have chosen the system we have today but it came out about through a series of missteps and policy defeats is very much true. and it's absolutely true, too, that the system is quite inefficient. but the important thing to keep in mind is that the affordable care act was designed really to work with the existing system. and i think some of its difficulties reflect the huge fragmentation of that system. the fact that it's relying so heavily on private insurance plans, that it's not trying to displace the existing employment-based system which i
think avik and i would agree wouldn't in an ideal world be the best way to provide coverage. after all, if you lose your job you lose your health insurance and tying health care so closely to employment reduces job mobility, is not a great idea for employers in a global economy and so on. so we have to deal with the reality of the system as it is today and i think the real question before us is how do we move forward given the fact that we do have an inefficient system that simultaneously fails to cover everyone and costs for marathon the systems in other advanced industrial democracies. the affordable care act was an important step forward. i still think it's going to make an enormous positive difference but in has been a very difficult period because the implementation of it has been so poorly handled and because it's such a fragmented system. >> brown: what about, avik roy, the question of american individualism versus communitarianism. we've had -- our regular viewers know we've been highlighting, profiling a lot of individual
cases, their experience of the new health care act and some people say "i see i have to sacrifice so that others can get it. the" they're willing to take that approach. other people say "why should i pay more so others can be covered? " >> well, i think what this comes down-to-is the fact that, again, if somebody is born with down syndrome i think most americans would say a child born with down syndrome, let's try to provide that child with adequate health care. the question becomes when you create a system that disincentivizes people from being economically productive. that incentivizes people to drop out of the work force. that incentivizes them to rearrange their income to gain higher amounts of government benefits, that's a system where the average taxpayer works hard and plays by the rules feels like he's not being treated fairly. and then a large part of the problem, again, is the existing system of subsidy which is overwhelmingly benefits the elderly who end up receiving a lot more in benefits than they
put into the system in terms of payroll taxes and premiums. so the system in general is largely redistributed but in the wrong direction and in an unfair direction. unfortunately, again, the affordable care act makes these problems worse. it takes the individual insurance market where people shop for coverage on their own-- which is already a disadvantaged market, where people pay higher prices net than other people do-- and it makes that market more expensive. so, again, people are healthy, who work out, try to eat right, who stay healthy but shop for coverage on their own are now having to pay more for coverage to subsidize other people. and, again, we may say that we want to subsidize other people to a degree but we're doing that on the backs of people who probably are not exactly most advantaged people in the system today. >> brown: let me let jacob hacker respond to that. >> well, i think we should recognize there are a lot of cross subsidies in the present system in redistribution. in fact, because of the way the tax breaks for health insurance are structured, the current
system is actually very favorable to people who have insurance into higher-fiscal cliff people. so part of the goal of the affordable care act was to make help for health insurance available to those with lower incomes. and so if you look at the law, it's actually very much supporting the idea that people should be in the work force and receiving their health benefits through their hard work. for example, it is trying to encourage employers to continue to provide health insurance, which i think over the slorpl going to be difficult to maintain. but it's certainly an approach that's consistent with the work-oriented system we have today. and the only thing it's really doing on the side of bringing up benefits is to really try to make sure that it fills those gaps that exist now between the medicaid program for the very poor and those who have good health insurance through their employment. often people who have higher wages and who are receiving larger tax breaks. one thing i would say-- and i think i need push back against the point that avik made-- is
that there are some people who are losing out because they were low-risk people who who had very inexpensive individual policies. but those policies were in no way guaranteed in the individual market. insurers are changing their policies every year. moreover, they were advantaged in part because they were in the years that they were healthy able to get these low-cost policies. a system that's going to make sure that people have coverage over their lifetimes and make sure those who are healthy are paying in as well as those who are sick is going to have to make sure that policies are available, are continuous and sometimes that will be more costly. but for most people we've seen the costs are going to be lower than they have -- than the policies they had today. especially when you take into account the large subsidies people will receive if they have lower incomes. >> brown: avik roy, you get the last word on that. >> it really comes down to the question of individual liberty versus a design of the insurance market. and i think what we've seen that when you give people more control over their health
dollars through health savings accounts, choices of their own insurance plans, the cost is much lower and the quality of plans is much higher. it's when the government starts to determine what the plans must contain that you have problems with access to care. many medicaid it's very for patients to getting access to physicians. the health outcomes are worse than they are for people with private insurance. these the concerns that americans have. >> brown: jacob hacker and avik roy, thanks so much. >> sreenivasan: this month we've brought you personal stories on how the affordable care act is affecting individual lives. you can watch those on our website newshour.pbs.org. >> sreenivasan: as the bloody civil war in syria rages on, the head of the united nations refugee agency today called on european and gulf states to take in the growing number of refugees. he said some three million syrians have fled to neighboring countries and 6.5 million more have been displaced inside the country. as a result, the daily lives of
regular citizens has drastically deteriorated. lindsay hilsum of "independent television news" has this report on the increased suffering. >> reporter: they look like such normal kids, but their families have fled to central damascus from the suburbs where they saw things no child should see. "there was no life, everything was dead" he says. "everyone was mourning their children who'd been killed." "there was nothing but fighting and shelling," she says. "and i didn't have any friends to play with." at least they're safe here. everyday they go to classes at the center where displaced people learn multiple skills. men's grooming is popular. the project was originally from refugees from iraq but the cycle of ms. fully the middle east has moved around.
now most of the iraqis have gone home. one has stayed on to teach english to his former hosts. syrians didn't need food aid before the war. they do now. the women tell me everyday items such as sugar and chicken have increased six fold or more. getting supplies to damascus is easy, but nearly half the places u.n. agencies are trying to reach are contested or in rebel hands. >> we're moving thousands of truckloads of food every single month with thousands drivers. you have families at home who worry about them as well and it's frequently just a simple case that they are too frightened to go into particular areas until the fighting calms down. >> reporter: fighting and a government blockade are preventing food from reaching tens of thousands of civilians in the suburbs around the capital that are under rebel control. many of these people have fled
the damascus suburbs which is still besieged. very little is getting in or out. over the summer, people there have been able to survive because they grow vegetables. but the winter is coming and the fear is that the government will use food as a weapon of war and try and starve out both the rebel fighters and the residents. these pictures of empty shelves are in a suburb controlled by the rebels and besieged by government forces for more than a year. even vegetables seem to be running low now. people use firewood to cook because gas is in short supply. and sometimes even that's too expensive. this person has been reduced to cooking on animal dung. heifer husband hadn't worked since he was wound sod she uses her meager earnings as a seamstress to feed three boys. >> we eat only one meal a day
and if we have some food they can have soup in the market. some days they do not eat. only one kneel the afternoon, that's all. that's what we can manage. >> reporter: the country is crisscrossed with front lines. more than 2,000 rebel groups are fighting each other and the regime. local red crescent volunteers are often the only one who can persuade an angry man with a gun to let surprise in. >> it comes to the guy on the checkpoint. sometime he is says okay. but those people inside, they killed my brother, they killed my mother, they killed my father i'll never let you deliver food for the people who are shooting at me. it comes to that. >> reporter: routine vaccination 17 cases of polio-- eradicated in syria a decade and a half ago-- have now brn concerned. the crippling disease was apparently brought in by jihadi
fighters from pakistan where it's endemic. >> this was positive on our side because it help had had us to make the community realize that it is important to bring their children for vaccinations and also for the community to accept those vaccinations who are coming house to house. >> reporter: government and rebels are now allowing vaccines across the line bus more food and other medicines are urgently needed. war has brought in its wake an era of hunger and disease that no syrian could have imagined in this century. >> sreenivasan: this thanksgiving we have three holiday-themed stories. first up: judy woodruff visits with trendsetting restaurateur alice waters. >> woodruff: in a day when nearly all farmers' markets and grocery stores carry organic produce, it's hard to imagine the idea as novel.
but when chef alice waters opened her restaurant chez panisse in a berkeley neighborhood over 40 years ago. her concept of cooking with seasonal, organic ingredients bought fresh from local farms, was new. >> so you're looking for if it's just picked it has a kind of life about it and it's evident to the people who are coming into the restaurant. >> woodruff: the style became known as california cuisine, and waters one of its pioneers. >> look, it's a chicken. >> woodruff: waters has become a leader outside the kitchen, too. educating students about food and where it comes from. in 1995, she founded the edible schoolyard project. students learn to plant and harvest a garden, then prepare the produce in the kitchen. it now has a network of some 3,000 schools around the world. >> well, it's helped me realize how much stuff actually grows in the ground and how much stuff.
i have found that they plant all kinds of food am looking for fruits and vegetables when i go to italy >> that's what if farmers do. >> woodruff: you get asked this question all the time. but what about the people who say it all sounds great, i wish i could afford it but i can't afford to buy organic food. i can't afford to buy locally grown food? >> well, i think there's the issue of knowing how to cook and making a dinner in an affordable way. py think we've lost all of our cooking knowledge and
understanding about seasons because of the fast food industry. they would like us to believe that even cooking is drudgery and sitting down at the table is unimportant. and, you know, it's just better and cheaper to buy something that's prepared for us. but, you know, when you think about it, when something is very cheap it means that somebody is losing out and i think that person is the farmer. >> woodruff: but is that kind of food that you believe we should all eat more of, is it available? is it available to most people? >> well, it could be. and it should be. and i'm -- i just am focused completely on public education because that's the place where we can learn about food and
what's good for us and reconnect to nature. so important to that we go into the public schools and we feed all of the kids something that is really good for them. >> woodruff: is this part of the same conversation the country has been starting to have about obesity >>? >> absolutely. >> woodruff: we've heard some of it from the white house but there's a whole movement around that right now. >> well, you know, we pay either up front or we pay out back and we are really paying out back with our health and the our lack of health, good health. and i think there's a way that you can -- children particularly just fall in love with food that's good for them. and that's been my experience. you know, i've been working in the schools, in the public schools, for 19 years and we've been doing the edible schoolyard project and we are bringing
children into a relationship-- a new relationship-- to food and to growing food. and it's not a gardening class or a cooking class, they do their math in the garden. it's like a living lab and it's just -- it's captivating. >> here's a question i'm dying to ask you: what about cooking on the part of people who think they're too busy. who just don't time to cook. what do you say? >> well, that's a beautiful question and i would say that if you go to the farmers' market on a weekend and you buy really delicious-tasting fruits and vegetables, all other things as well, a nice organic chicken, you can very easily cook during the week because you have ingredients that have taste and in the summer you're just slicing that tomato and it's so
effortless. you're cooking a little piece of fish. it's difficult to cook when you don't those ingredients. and it's beautiful to take a whole chicken and roast it in the even and maybe keep those bones, make a soup at the end of a meal and then have another dinner the next night that incorporates that stock that you've made. in when you're just everyday trying to start from scratch and it's overwhelming and you're working but i feel like i could cook a kneel in ten minutes if i have the ingredients there. >> woodruff: so this is thanksgiving week when we're talking. are there particular traditions in alice waters' family that you
believe is important to remember around that time? >> well, certainly there are traditions in my family since i've been about 20. someplace around there after i'd gone to france. but i always cook with my friends. they all come over and we do it together. >> woodruff: alice waters, it's a delight to talk with you. thank you very much. and i know you have answered some questions from our viewers and we'll be posting those online thank you. >> thank you very much. >> sreenivasan: you can find those answers from alice waters to viewers' questions on our homepage. we look back now at a time when organic food was the only option. paul solman explores the different economic attitudes held by native americans and the first pilgrims. it's part of his ongoing reporting "making sense of financial news" or in this case history.
>> reporter: thanksgiving time at the wampanoag homesite, a 17th century living history exhibit at plimoth plantation. but what's cooking came as a surprise. >> its called iompweawasapwigik. it's venison stew. like to try? >> reporter: well sure, but i was going to ask you about turkey. no feathered friends sacrificed for the traditional dish mashpee wampanoag kerri helme was sharing, however. that's venison? >> it is and you'd probably see more of this you know at the first thanksgiving than turkey. >> reporter: in fact, while the 1621 celebration in plymouth, massachusetts, is sparsely documented, it probably didn't much resemble today's thanksgiving in a lot of ways, including what you might call its economics. the pilgrims, who had already moved toward a cash exchange economy in europe, encountered native people with very different attitudes. toward real estate, for instance.
>> the land that was here was for everybody to use. we didn't believe in possessing or owning land. >> reporter: tim turner manages the wampanoag indigenous program at plimoth. >> you might see somebody use a piece of land, but there was never a fence. you were crossing people's property all the time. people were cutting through your homesite all the time. so, our concept of land ownership versus the concept uh that the english had was totally different. >> reporter: also totally different it appears: the wampanoag, though they did trade with each other, weren't profit maximizers. >> you weren't trying to make a profit or look better than anybody else. you took more than everybody else people in the community wouldn't have liked that. >> reporter: in the 17th century english community, however, colonists were moving toward economic growth, through trade with the natives for land, to take one example. with plantation deputy director richard pickering as our guide: >> i want you to meet two of the residents who were here for the harvest feast in 1621.
>> reporter: we stepped back in time to get the colonist perspective from so-called interpreters playing edward winslow and stephen hopkins. >> how do you do? >> reporter: a merchant who explained his motive is to earn as much as he can from trade. >> we are a trading company. >> reporter: including trade with the natives. >> there's fellows who come in here and they're wanting, oh i don't know, a little three penny knife like that or something for which they're willing to trade a pelt that might fetch 14, 15, 16 shillings back in london. >> reporter: do you feel that you are taking advantage of the people you trade with if you give them less than you could. >> the furs they're giving to us they already got them on their backs, they wear em like clothes, so it's not as worth to them, but to us, it's how we make our money. >> reporter: you could say there were two contrasting economic models at work: the settlers trading to profit and thereby pay back their investors and
hopefully reinvest to grow the plimoth economy. but to the native people, the exchange of goods was more akin to gift-giving, says writer lewis hyde. >> in the european sense something that's given to me becomes mine and it's as if it's contained in my ego i have complete control over it. in the gift exchange sense, it's not yours; you are the steward of something which is just passing through you. >> reporter: 30 years ago, hyde began a book that's become something of a classic: the gift, with the origin of a pejorative he'd learned as a kid: indian giver. >> it meant that you have given the gift to somebody and then you wanted to get it back so you're not really generous, but it seemed to me that this was probably not the original meaning of the word. so i found the first use of it, which turns out to be in thomas hutchinson's book about the early colonies in the united states. so actually what's being described is gifts which are given have to be returned in
some way. so the first winter in plymouth was horrific. half of the company dies in two and a half months. >> reporter: the remaining 53 celebrated a good harvest with a feast. they were joined by wampanoag leader massasoit and his men. elizabeth hopkins, wife of merchant stephen, remembered that the wampanoag offered gifts. >> when they arrived, their king, massassoit, sent several of his men out and they came back with five deer which they presented to some of the chiefer men in the town and this was a marvel to me, for if you look at them, you think they are wild men who live in the woods and yet you could find good order amongst them for they honored their king, but they also honored the chiefer men of our town as well. >> reporter: to lewis hyde, this was the gift economy at work, much as it functions in all cultures, at least some of the time.
we give a bottle of wine when we come to dinner, for example, not the cash equivalent. >> the key difference between gift exchange and commercial exchange is the gift exchange sets up a connection, particularly if i feel grateful for the gift you have given me, i may want to do something in return and this begins to uh set up a relationship between you and me. >> reporter: it's been said that the pilgrims invited the wampanoag to their feast as thanks for helping them survive their first year. richard pickering isn't so sure. >> whether the original participants saw it that way is not clear. all that we know is governor bradford set aside days for a special manner of rejoicing. >> reporter: but regardless, the very idea that two cultures rejoiced together matters today because the downside of a gift economy is its dividing line between those in the group and those outside it, says lewis hyde.
>> one critique of gift exchange is that it excludes some people. >> what's of interest in the first thanksgiving is that it breaks this boundary. so it's not just pilgrims giving thanks to god in their community, it's two communities coming together . one thing to think about in any thanksgiving celebration is have you invited the stranger into your circle and could you do that? >> reporter: thanksgiving in the very broadest sense, that is. gifts creating community. >> sreenivasan: and we close with the life and art of norman rockwell. jeffrey brown recently sat down in our new york studio with the author of a new biography that sheds light on how the painter shaped america's image of itself. welcome.
>> >> hello. >> brown: i want to start where you yourself start which is that writing a biography of norman rockwell you say when you were starting out as an art critic would have seemed impossible. >> well, i come from an art historical background and art historians, of course, always treated rockwell as a lone calendar artist or as a kind of toxic culture polluter. he was certainly not part of the canon of art history and in that sense when i took him on i went over the the other side. >> brown: in fact, you said he was viewed as a corn ball and a square. >> correct. correct. and that's partly because he was working for magazines. most of his career he was working for the "saturday evening post" which was based in philadelphia, making magazine covers. that, of course, was his specialty, he never tried to be a fine artist. he didn't exhibit in galleries or try to have a career apart from his magazine career. >> brown: one of the things you
do is set the context. when we say magazines now it's different from what he was doing. that was the mass culture of the time. this was an -- everybody saw his work. >> exact live! when he began his career in 1916 there was no t.v., obviously, there was no radio. and the "saturday evening post" almost created mass culture in america. it was one magazine that everyone could read all across the country. people had nothing in common. people -- an immigrant on the lower east side working in a shoe factory, a farmer in montana suddenly had norman rockwell in common. it was just baseball, norman rockwell and thanksgiving. >> brown: that's how america came to believe seen somewhat. >> exactly! we needed common culture and he provided it. >> brown: the work is famously optimistic, humorous, positive. the man that you present is not. >> no, no, if artists were
judged by the amount they suffered he would certainly be up there with the best of them. he led pretty much classic tortured artist life in the sense that i think he was driven in large part by dissatisfaction and the desire to always get it right and feeling that he hadn't gotten it right. in other words, he was a perfectionist and was very critical of himself. >> brown: that led to depression or to therapy, you write about his work with the famous therapist erickson. >> right. rockwell moved to stockbridge in 1953 in fact to begin therapy with eric erickson. stockbridge, massachusetts, is seen as the quintessential new england town of little shops and grazing cows. >> brown: and norman rockwell. >> and norman rockwell. but when he moved there it was a psychoanalytic center of the united states because he the --
there was a center there and it drew a lot of prominent doctors. >> brown: you said he was a perfectionist and you say many people in the art world didn't take him seriously, was that part of it? how did he see himself? did he see himself as an artist? as a fine artist? as a great artist? >> he saw himself as an illustrator and he worshipped the illustrateors who came before him, most of whom we don't know today such as howard pyle, painter of pirates who's been largely forgotten. but he wanted to bill himself into what he saw as the great tradition of drawn illustrations does he trance send that category? i think he throws a monkey wrench into the whole process of classification because he was an illustrator but his work has held up over the years and for me has the mystery and staying power of true art. >> brown: let me ask you about one specific work of art, one
famous one. "freedom from want" a thanksgiving painting. >> that is absolutely my favorite rockwell. >> brown: your favorite? >> absolutely my favorite. one is that traditional portrayals of thanksgiving tend to have people giving thanks at a table and at rockwell's table no one is giving thanks and not looking at the old couple carrying the turkey to the table and he's capturing american tradition and that americans can laugh at their own tradition. >> brown: so there's more two it than just saying here's the american table. >> it's not a pious image. it captured some of the laughter that does take place in the midst of our most sacred. >> brown: that what you mean by "american mirror"? i'm curious about your title. is it a mirror of america or is it reflecting it in different -- now i'm curious because of what
you said about the painting? >> i don't think he drew a literal portrait of america. he was not a reporter or a journalist. i think he very much created a free standing parallel universe that expresses what america desired to be after the depression and during world war and at a time when we really did share common values and did not have government shutdowns it was a time of enormous solidarity of this country and people liked to believe that americans were better than everyone else. not because they had more but because they were just better people. they were moral, they were nicer more considerate. so he created, basically, a portrait of america and mirrored what we wanted it to be, not what we were, that's how i would answer that. >> brown: all right. "american mirror: the life and art of norman rockwell." deborah solomon, thanks so much.
>> thank you, thanks so much. >> sreenivasan: again, the major developments of the day: chinese warplanes began patrolling a new air defense zone in the east china sea, hours after south korea and japan flew planes through the disputed airspace. iran extended an invitation to the u.n. nuclear agency to visit a facility that houses an unfinished nuclear reactor. and americans at home and abroad celebrated the thanksgiving holiday with parades, family meals and football games. online at the "newshour" right now: it's not too late to bring civility to your thanksgiving. mark shields and david brooks have advice on how to avoid conflict at the holiday dinner table. david's advice: if you harbor resentment over how you were treated on your 13th birthday, deal with it honestly. most family political debates are fought because of deeper family issues. mark's best tip? don't talk politics, talk football. to help you out: our online team built a bingo board that you can use to follow all the games this long weekend. find it on the rundown.
all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. i'm hari sreenivasan. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow with mark shields and david brooks. plus, new images from the furthest reaches of the solar system. we talk with the nasa scientist in charge of the cassini spacecraft imaging team, which recently released a picture of earth taken from the backside of saturn. that's friday on the "newshour." thank you. happy chanukah and happy thanksgiving. good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and...
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