Folks, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. I shall not go onto the history of it, since everyone has her or his own interpretation, and the pundits have theirs. The Big Bloviator promised to repeat his distorted idea of it again today on his foul radio program. I made it a point to miss it.
However, it is important to reflect back on the previous year and consider the things for which one gives thanks, and actually to give those thanks. I do not care if your thanks goes to a deity, to other people, or to communities like these. The important is that one thinks about the good things that have happened during the past year and thanks someone other than one’s self for them.
First, with that in mind, I thank the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) for the enhanced “screening” techniques that they now use. Not so much for the techniques themselves (I am of the mind to think that they are at best ineffective and at worst violations of our Forth Amendment rights), but for the “outrage” that they have caused on the far right blogs, talk radio, and the Fox “News” Channel. If George W. Bush had been President when these questionable practices came into use, all of them would have said that they were necessary to provide for public security.
But with a different President, these techniques are “outrageous”, “un-Constitiutional”, and “will not stand”. I posit that if the roles were reversed and if Obama had been President when the un-Constitutional Patriot Act were proposed, the right wing media would have gone NUTS! (Well, more than they already are). Remember, under Bush we got illegal wiretaps, illegal email examination, library book records checks, shoes off at the airports, and a plethora of other Acts of Congress and Executive Orders that are not in keeping with the Forth Amendment. We still have all of these, by the way, and more than I have mentioned.
So, thanks to the TSA for blowing the cover of the hypocrites on the far right. If you remember, I have always been against these un-Constitutional forays that weaken our rights under the Forth Amendment. The far right folks were for all of them, until a Democrat (and a Democrat who does not look like them) orders those things.
That does not mean that I support these new, illegal practices. It only means that I am thankful that the extreme right has been exposed as the hypocrites that they are.
Second, I am thankful for the Palins. More than any other family, they have shone a very bright light into the faces of the Tea Party movement. From an unknown petty political operative to who may become one of the richest women in the United States, Sarah Palin has exploited her (former) position, her fleeting looks and winks, her connexions with the Fox “News” Network, and her amazing ability to identify with the vast uneducated populace to enrich herself and her family. She has no compunction about using her family to enrich herself, and she is not a stupid person. Ignorant, yes, but her agents (remember, they get at least 10%) have written two books for her, got her employed by the Fox “News” Channel, and now a “reality” show (not to mention her daughter on a popular dancing show, getting votes by unethical means, which should send up red flags for everyone for 2012).
I am thankful for this because I know that the more that is exposed about this shill, the less shall be support for her. Sometimes things just are meant to be.
On a less satirical note, I am thankful that the Russian government has not written us off yet. We have a very good START Treaty in the works, and the Russians are still helping us in our attempt to subdue the Taliban. Certainly I do not think of them as best buddies, but they are, if not anything else, pretty practical. Hopefully, the hypocrisy of the Republicans will show up in their all out effort to keep the new treaty from being ratified.
I am also thankful that the government still has both the will and the means to take care of those who are truly in need. I am also thankful that non governmental parties take it on themselves to help out folks who can not do that for themselves. I hope to report here next year that the social rescue network still exists, but I am sort of fearful for that after the Republican takeover of The House of Representatives.
On a more local note, I am thankful that Rand Paul had his goon shown on the TeeVee stomping a young woman’s head. I voted for Conway, but that did not make a difference. The silence of Paul about this goon speaks volumes about him. We will see if he shuts down the government. What a foolish, petty person! And now he is coming out with a book. I wonder if Palin’s folks wrote it for him as well.
On a more personal note, I am very thankful that no one close to me has had horrible illnesses or injuries. The nuclear family have been hale and hearty this past year, and I am extremely thankful for that. Specifically,
Eldest Son was married to a wonderful person in December last, was graduated with a Master’s Degree, and has taken a good job this year. These are all good things, and I am very thankful for all of them.
Middle Son is en route to complete his degree, and has become engaged to whom I am told is a wonderful person. I regret that I have not met her yet, but I shall soon. I am very thankful for those things.
Youngest Son is nearly done with his degree, and will be able to cook almost anything soon. It is funny, but even as a degreed chemist, cooking is sort of one of my avocations. I am thankful that he is doing well in his chosen profession.
The former Mrs. Translator is in good health, after a bad time the year before last. I am thankful that she is doing well, and that we continue to be friends. I am also thankful, in a bittersweet way, that she has found someone to make her happy, as she deserves. I found out about that only a couple of hours ago, from her directly. Please allow me to extend my best wishes to both of them.
Her mum, quite elderly now, is doing well and seems to be happy. I am thankful that she can still live in sort of an independent manner.
I am also extremely thankful that my brother and my nephew, shot by a madman (I have written about it here) are recovering. My brother is doing pretty well, but my nephew could be doing better. However, they both are alive! I spoke with my nephew last night, and his speech is perfect, and he can eat properly now. The only concern is that the gunshot wound weakened one of his carotid arteries, and thus there is an aneurysm now. The medical folks are monitoring it, and will decide later if it needs a polyester sleeve.
On an extremely personal note, I am thankful that I am of good health, have enough money to keep my house and eat (at least for the rest of the year), and have these communities with whom to share my thoughts and feelings. A couple of years ago it was sort of “iffy”, but in large part due to you here, I am in good cheer and ready to contribute more.
More than anything, I am thankful for friends who have been so kind. In no particular order (well, family first). My nuclear family, even after the divorce, have been nothing but wonderful. I love all of them, and wish them only the best for this Thanksgiving.
My aunt and uncle back in Arkansas are wonderful folks. I would use their names, but I have a policy of not identifying anyone personally here except for myself. My aunt, my mum’s only sister, is just finishing up radiation therapy for breast cancer, but she assured me last evening that her prognosis is excellent and that she should have no other sequelae from her bought with it. They both have always been extremely supportive and accepting of me, and regret that I shut them out for a while when I was so depressed by the consequences of my ill advised actions.
Friends here on the blogs, both new and old. One Kossack, JustasaBeverage and his family, have been personal friends for decades, and others, with too many names to enumerate here, just for a short while now.
Tomorrow, as you sit at the table and talk with your loved ones, please let politics, religion, and other touchy topics just go. Cherish the moments that you can spend with them, and love them. Harken back to good times, good memories, and remembering the ones who are not available to sit at the table any more. Everything else is superficial, and matters not a whit in the long run. Love, to borrow from MacLen, is all there is when you really get down to it.
I must mention my delightful neighbors across the street. They have never been anything but kind, accepting, and loving to me. The longer that I know them, the more like a brother and a sister they seem to be. We do things for each other, like repair small engine things like lawnmowers (Elmer loves to cut grass), cooking devices (I helped them repair a broken heater lead in their countertop cooker earlier this year, and Helen cooked her Thanksgiving ham in it tonight). If it had not been for them, and these communities, I might not have made it so cheerfully a couple of years ago.
Finally, I must acknowledge my thanks for The Who. That might sound sort of corny or something, but the wisdom in their music has kept me in a better frame of mind time and time again. It is appropriate that I end this with one of their rather melancholy numbers, but given the news that I learnt a couple of hours ago seems to fit. Here is Sunrise. I could not find a live version, but the studio one is close to perfect.
As an epilogue, I fully realize that many reading have much less to be thankful this day than I. Some of you have lost loved ones, some have lost jobs, and some have situations about which I could only speculate. At the very least, please know that here you have an extremely sympathetic, and likely more often than not, an empathetic, audience. Please be thankful for that little bit of good will towards you. I speak from experience when I say that a few little things to be thankful for can help to blunt the despair of horrible life events.
Best Thanksgiving wishes, and
Featured at Thestarshollowgazette.com. Crossposted at Dailykos.com