‘Nut-free’ Thanksgiving

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 19, 2003

As we prepare for next week’s Thanksgiving celebration, all us &uot;normal&uot; folks need to wipe our brows and let out a hearty &uot;Thank Goodness&uot; that our families and loved ones, while perhaps a bit &uot;touched&uot;, aren’t stark-raving mad. Well, I shouldn’t speak for your families. For all I know, the assembled loved ones at your Thanksgiving dinner begin the meal with a hearty performance of barking, meowing and chasing one another around the dinner table.

I’ve always considered Thanksgiving my favorite holiday because it doesn’t come with a great deal of hype, I get to spend a relaxing day with my loved ones, always get a fantastic meal, and get to see the Dallas Cowboys play football. That’s pretty close to heaven for me even if I do spend half the day moaning and groaning because I ate way too much.

As I prepared to write this week’s column, I went online to see what kind of Thanksgiving themed stories I could find in the news. I wanted something different; something that would be uplifting or, even better, funny. I didn’t want to write about President Bush again because I get incensed about where he’s taken the country and even more incensed by the utter lack of concern most Americans display.

Okay, okay. Just a little digression about our president. Some folks are concerned about the $87.5 billion Congress recently approved for the &uot;War on Terrorism&uot; but at the same time they think Bush did the right thing by going into Iraq. Well, we’re sort of between a rock and a hard place regarding the big bill – our forces are in Afghanistan and Iraq and we have to fulfill our commitments. We have to give our troops what they need and we have to do what we can to bring real peace to the countries we now occupy.

Were I in Congress, I would have voted to appropriate that huge amount of money, but only after I spent as much time as I could on the floor denouncing Bush for putting us in that position. He and senior White House officials either deliberately lied to get support for an invasion of Iraq or were so blinded by ideology that they actually believed – despite strong evidence to the contrary – what they were saying when they misled us. Either way, this is shaky &uot;leadership&uot;.

Enough about that. During my search for appropriate topics, what I found was a world turned upside down.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled this week that there is no legal reason to prevent gay marriages. This on the heels of an impending schism within the Episcopal Church because New Hampshire ordained a gay bishop. I don’t really understand why everyone gets so upset about gay issues. Even if the state recognizes gay unions, churches aren’t bound to recognize everything the state does and can define marriage any way they want. As for the bishop, his flock elevated him to bishop, so who am I to say they’re wrong?

In California, Governor Aahnold finally has what he wants. I find this odd not because he is a celebrity known for mindless and cartoonish action movies, but because the elected Democratic governor was ousted for budget deficits caused by Bush’s economic policies. Rather than seeking a strong political counter to this, Californians elected a Republican who fully supports Bush. Instead of taking action to reduce the deficit, as one would imagine he’d do, Gov. Aahnold repealed a car tax that would have raised $4 billion – nearly half of the $10 billion deficit. So his first act as governor was to increase the deficit to $14 billion with plans to get a 30-year loan to pay it off. The state’s bond status is already at the bottom, so taxpayers are going to be paying high interest on that loan.

Looks like Gov. Aahnold is a chip off the Bush block – make fiscal responsibility the keystone of your policy until elected and then engage in fiscal irresponsibility. Next, he’s going to lower taxes for the wealthy and put the burden on working people. Based upon Bush’s poll numbers, Aahnold’s strategy will earn him a great deal of support from the working folks he’s leading to the poor house.

Jessica Lynch is now reviled by a large portion of the American public because she didn’t go down fighting like Rambo – and like the national press first reported and the Pentagon and Bush officials didn’t dispute. This girl was used by Bush and the Pentagon brass to put a happy face to the invasion of Iraq when it appeared the Iraqis might actually put up a fight. She was proclaimed a hero even though she was never interviewed. When she was interviewed, she revealed that she was seriously injured in the crash of her vehicle and never fired a shot.

There’s no reason to dislike her. She served her country in time of war and did her duty. She has also been open and honest about her experience. She may not be a &uot;hero&uot;, but she deserves admiration for her integrity and honesty. She certainly doesn’t deserve to be treated as if she created the fictitious stories about her ordeal. She is an innocent in all this. If it makes you mad that you were misled, it’s Bush you should be annoyed with.

Oh, well, there’s nothing about Thanksgiving in the news. Michael Jackson has been ordered to turn himself in on possible child molestation charges and Rush Limbaugh is back on the air preaching justice as his illegal drug habit is investigated. Bush is hanging out with the Queen of England, China is threatening Taiwan with invasion, and I saw on &uot;NOVA&uot; Tuesday night that the magnetic field of the Earth will &uot;flip&uot; at any moment, which will allow cosmic and solar radiation to kill hundreds of thousands of humans each year.

I’m looking forward to a peaceful Thanksgiving dinner with my family and a Cowboy victory next Thursday and I’m going to forget all the crazy stuff happening in the world for a day. Hope you have a good Thanksgiving.