Well hello…and how was your big weekend…?
I call Thanksgiving “Part One” of the holidays (Christmas is Part Two) and I’m rather glad that it’s over!
So what were you thankful for this year…?
It’s been a really tough year. More than a million jobs were lost in the first 10 months of this year: 82-thousand in May, 58-thousand in April. The Labor Department says the number of people who lost their jobs in October and did not expect to be recalled to work rose by 615-thousand, to just over 4 million people!
Millions of homes have been foreclosed; businesses are folding, wealth is evaporating and consumers are hurting. No mood to be thankful, you say. I’ve lost or may lose my job; I’ve lost or could lose my home…what’s there to be thankful for? It could be worse…and in many other countries – IT IS!
• Were you thankful that we had a peaceful election?
There are no republicans massacring democrats in contested states. Armed gangs of McCain supporters are not (I hope) roaming the back roads looking for unsuspecting Obama voters. Violence hasn’t broken out in Georgia, (our Georgia.) Government-backed bands of marauders won’t be driving rural farmers out of their homes in so-called red-states, when Obama takes over, either. Yes, we have much to be thankful for.
• Are we thankful that President Bush is actually looking forward to going back to Texas?
He’s not trying to find ways to hold on to power. He’s not plotting a coup or trying to arm-wrestle lawmakers into extending his term. Nope! Mr. Bush is quietly packing up and welcoming the new administration. That’s something to be thankful for.
• Are we thankful that we’ve not had, so far, another terrorist attack?
Looking at the news coming in from India, I am especially grateful that we’ve not had another terror attack since September Eleven. The graphic images from Mumbai brought it home. We should be very thankful that it hasn’t happened again…yet!
• Are we thankful that America is making progress along racial and gender lines?
Just two years ago, who would have believed that Americans would choose a black man as president? Note how close we came to voting for a woman? See how far we’ve come to ensuring that homosexuals get the full rights and protections enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, whether we believe/agree with their lifestyles/policies…or not? It’s progress to be thankful for.
• Are we thankful that although the economy has tanked, shelters and food pantries may be strained, but there are no soup/bread lines or refugee camps or uncontrollable outbreaks of disease?
• Are we thankful that nobody is throwing acid into the faces of young girls heading off to school here in America?
• Are we thankful that when we flip the light switch, the lights come on? When we turn on the tap, the water is there, clean and drinkable…at any time of the day or night? In some countries people walk miles to get water, and in many instances that water is dirty and unfit for human use.
• Are we thankful that even if health care is expensive, we at least have health care? How about Haiti, just next door, where people don’t see a doctor….unless a U.S team goes over there?
• Are we thankful that U.S kids can be kids…for the most part, instead of cracking open computer monitors with their bare hands? Our kids don’t have to handle dangerous chemicals so they can earn a few cents a day to support their families!
• Are we thankful that the Supreme Court ruled in June that detainees at The Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp have the right to seek release in civilian courts…and the President cannot fire the Justices? We are and should be thankful…that he can’t.
• Thankful that Palin is not the Vice President? Don’t know about you, but I am.
• Are we thankful that Ford, Chrysler and GM were sent packing and told to get their act together before they pass the hat up at the Capitol? Yes indeed!
• And finally, are we thankful that our government can print paper money with impunity? Yep! Indeed…
Especially now that “The Recession” is official — The National Bureau of Economic Research admits today (December 01/2008): The U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007.