Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving rant

November 25, 2010
Colorado, USA

Thanksgiving... there is much for which to be thankful in the United States of America. We gather every last Thursday in November (since 1621) to celebrate our good fortune. In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an official holiday.

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

Well, that's how it started out anyway. Families and friends gathered across this nation to celebrate the bounty of life and liberty and the benevolence of an Almighty hand.

Nowadays... many of us still gather, some putting family first, but increasingly the day has evolved into a celebration of excess, football and shopping - not family, not friends and other than a few words, hastily uttered before a feast (good God - let's eat) certainly no one is paying more than a token homage to that Almighty hand.

At the risk of politicizing this statement (no apologies, this blog is about dissent)... we hear much in these troubled times about other peoples in this land - the hyphenated and often illegal parts of the population... we are advised to treat them as equals. OK - they are equal in that - they are human. They are not equal as regards their citizenship. If they can stand on our soil and demand the same rights as me - what does that say about my birthright? Does that diminish my birthright? I think it does. How about I mosey on up to Canada, or down to Mexico or over to Britain, or France or Germany and proclaim myself a citizen merely by right of my presence and while we're at it how about I demand more rights than the indigenous population - how do you think that will work out for me?

Whatever they are, let's call them illegal-aliens (these people are not Americans, not immigrants -- they have no country and no I don't feel sorry for them - they left the country of their birth and they are trying to hi-jack my country - not only that, they are aided and abetted by those we placed in a position of power and trust). Here's my thinking on the matter: When I see evidence of illegals and hyphenated Americans of all ethnic backgrounds (who demand my respect for their customs but do not respect mine) start marching in the streets carrying the American flag (and only the American flag) high and proud, when they know and understand and say with pride the Pledge of Allegiance, when they speak the language of the land, when they start giving of themselves and their wealth, when they donate food, clothing, toys, when they help build homes for the homeless, when they give up a percentage of their income to taxes, when they give up their personal liberty at the airport, when they take responsibility of their own persons and property, when they exhibit signs of tolerance for American custom, American beliefs, American law, instead of standing with their hands out or looking for political favor and exemptions, when they realize that it is the hard-working legal people of this nation who provide them with the fruit of their unreasonable demands (not some stuffed shirt in DC), when they lay down their life to defend what is right and just and true, when they realize there is more to American "rights" than simply standing on free soil and demanding it... when they realize what an American is and want to become a real American, first and foremost - well then, we'll talk.

Hyphenated-Americanism is a fiction. Sort of like the tooth-fairy. And actually the result is about the same... you get something for nothing or at least nothing of value. Not only that - I consider it an insult to apply your ethnicity before the word American - just like it is an insult to see your flag flying over Ol' Glory... or instead of Ol' Glory... I was born in Texas and you can bet your boots I am proud of it. However, you will not hear me call myself a Tex-American. I am an American who happens to also be a Texan. Get it? I am an American first.

Digression: Yeah, Native-American is another argument - their ancestors were here first -- but, America as we know it today was not that America. Right, wrong, fair, unfair - they were conquered. I am not saying it was right. I am simply stating a fact. The United States of America as we know it today was born later - and they stayed and they continue to stay. Myself, I am glad of it because the heritage and history they bring to the table is phenomenal - but, I still don't buy into hyphenated Americanism - nor selective law enforcement or taxation... not even for Native-Americans.

Here's some good advice for anyone crossing our borders and demanding American rights and justice. If you don't plan on staying in this country and you do not intend to apply for citizenship (meaning, you plan to return to your own country eventually) then plan on respecting real Americans, our country, our symbols and our laws. Here's a thought to ponder... A southern rule of hospitality is: leftovers and company should be thrown out after three days. The immigrants who crossed the oceans and eventually became Americans not some hyphenated blowback - embraced the ideal - they helped make it a reality.

Thanksgiving - after we get through appreciating our good fortune, and we shake the Almighty hand while saying how fortunate we are to have food, clothing, health, a roof over our heads, cars, boats, airplanes and yes - a Harley... after all that... what we really need to be grateful for is each other... in America - other Americans.

The rights in this country are earned and have been purchased at great cost... by the many have fought and died to preserve them... by those who worked to build this country... by those who crafted the language that guarantees freedom.

We, each and every one of us born in the USA should indeed thank Providence who showered us with good fortune the day we arrived, bare-ass and screaming in a land where an individual has rights and liberties. It is our duty to remind those who would usurp those rights and liberties where to get in line.

Being human comes with certain inalienable rights, being American is not an inalienable right - it is a privilege.

May we preserve its principles for posterity.

Be thankful you live in a free land.

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