Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day, 2011

And now it's time for some gratitude...

Since today is Thanksgiving Day, I thought it would be a good exercise to list some of the things I'm thankful for this year. Without further ado, then, here we go.

I'm thankful for our Congress. In all the years I've lived, I have never seen a more dysfunctional group of men and women. Wed irrevocably to philosophical positions and pledges that make them little more than automatons spouting pre-scripted strings of words, those on the left and those on the right posture while the rest of the country goes to hell. Anyone who has the absolute brass to want to meet somewhere in between the poles of political thought - anyone who actually wants to legislate, in other words - is shut out, minimalized, marginalized, and ignored by those clustered at the polar extremes. It's this exemplary group of useless elected representatives who make me realize the old Biblical truth, that you can not trust in the will of men (and women) to benefit you in the long term; that blessings only come from g-d.

For the same reason I'm grateful for our Congress, I'm thankful for the current crop of high finance wizards, those greedy masters of the universe on Wall Street and elsewhere who think nothing of bankrupting the nation while lining their own pockets. Once again, Biblical wisdom is validated and verified. Truly, the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.

I'm grateful for the Occupy Wall Street (and elsewhere) movement. As disorganized and unfocused as it is, the people staging these protests point out very clearly just how out of whack things are in today's world. The percentages may be a bit off, but it's undeniable that the 1% (+/-) have done pretty well at the expense of the 99% (+/-). Greed is good. Yeah, I think g-d through his Holy Scriptures has some thoughts on that.

I'm thankful for televangelists, TV preachers of all sorts, and for Health 'n Wealth pulpit pounders, those who preach the gospel of prosperity. They shine a harsh light on the message of the carpenter from Nazareth, who again and again, said that you must die to yourself to truly live. The outrageousness of their message throws into sharp contrast what Jesus actually said, versus what they would have their followers believe. The reason they're so popular, is because they speak to a very popular idea, that the best life is the life we live here, where we can actually see and hear and touch the good things that are promised to us. Salvation is great, but I want some of my reward NOW. When you actually read what Jesus said, you see these frauds for the liars they are.

I'm grateful for the United States of America, for the nation where I live. For all the faults of her politicians, financial whizbos, and so many others, she is the nation that has offered the best hope for mankind, of balancing the competing desires of men and women into something that may actually benefit them in the long and the short run. Our culture is messy, our politics is messy, hell, we're messy. But we keep slogging on, trying to create a more perfect union. We've got miles to go before we're there, maybe hundreds, maybe thousands. But because of some well-thought-out ideas from a group of extremely talented men and women two hundred and some years ago, we have a country that I believe continues to be the best place to live on this planet.

Finally, I'm grateful for the gift of life from my g-d, for the gift of family from my parents and predecessors, and for the gift of children for my legacy. Today is a day to acknowledge all the gifts we're given. So, snarky comments and all, I am blessed. I am so thankful for all this.

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