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Jewish World Review
Nov. 21, 2005
/ 19 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766
Thank Heaven for America
There's been a lot of complaining lately, some of it warranted, but for the most part too many of us forget how blessed we are to be Americans. So let me take a stab at remembering some of the things we have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.
Thank you, G-d, that I am able to say "thank you, G-d." I'm able to go to any church I want to or none at all. I'm able to stand on street corners and preach the word or file suit to have your name taken off the dollar bill. And no matter what I say or do nobody shoots me or throws me in jail or worse.
Thank you that Michael Jackson isn't in the news any more.
Thank you that terrorists have not struck on American soil since 911. I'm as amazed as anyone. So blessed have we been in this regard that some of us forget that terrorists felled two sky liners and killed thousands here well before President Bush began his war on terror. So safe have we been that opportunists have turned our enemies into martyrs and our president into "lair."
Thank you that the leader of the most powerful country on the face of the earth is not so powerful that he can do as he pleases. As unpleasant as it sometimes is for him and for us, he must answer for his decisions and he must defend his actions, unlike in countries run by dictators where absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Thank you that our wealth and resources are so vast that when things go horribly wrong, as they did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we are outraged and demand answers from our government. Thank you, too, for our generosity. We contributed millions of dollars and many took time off work to help people victimized by the storms firsthand.
Thank you that Michael Moore isn't in the news any more, too.
Thank you for the technological innovation that has led to dramatic improvements in American life. I am able to sit in a coffee shop or pub and draft an article on a laptop computer - a computer that 15 years ago was as big as a train car. Thanks to a cellular broadband modem, I have Internet access anywhere. I am able to make a good living in blue jeans providing services to a corporation that is 300 miles away.
Thank you for the freedom of thought that is getting better as our great republic gets older. Technology has enabled millions to voice their opinions, debate government policies and spotlight truth. Though hacks and charlatans have the same ability to voice their opinions as more thoughtful folks, debate is healthier than it's ever been, to the benefit of any democratic system.
Thank you for an economy that is so energetic even large natural disasters are unable to quell it. The American economy continues to generate wealth and prosperity that are the marvels of the world - it continues to encourage other countries to follow our basic principles, which celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Thank you that Barbara Streisand, Al Franken and Cindy Sheehan ARE in the news to remind us how loony America's left really is.
Thank you that my parents, and millions of others just like them, are able to enjoy retirement in such comfort. They have a beautiful home, a new car, a healthy family, and they are enjoying the fruits of their labor in a way that was unimaginable even 50 years ago.
Thank you for competition and free markets, two simple concepts we often take for granted. Competition drives efficiency, which drives down costs, which means the American consumer is able to buy more goods with the same dollar. So accustomed have we become to inexpensive goods, we are free to complain that some companies, such as Walmart, aren't charging enough.
Most of all, thank you for letting me be born in America, where I and millions of others, with a little hard work and sacrifice, can become whatever we wish to be.
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© 2005, Tom Purcell