Thursday, November 27, 2008


For this year's Thankstaking, I am going to give you words of wisdom by taking them from a wonderful piece on Jon Swift's blog:

This Year Let's Celebrate Thankstaking Instead of Thanksgiving

The United States is the only country in the world that celebrates Thanksgiving (unless you count Canada, which I don't). Since the days of the pilgrims Americans have been giving thanks, but isn't it about time we got some thanks for all that we have done for the world? Just once I would like to celebrate Thankstaking instead of Thanksgiving. Just once I would like the rest of the world to show us a little gratitude.
Traditionally the Pilgrims started Thanksgiving in 1621 to thank the Wampanoag Indians Wampanoag for helping them through a difficult winter. For the last 400 years we've been thanking the Indians for what they did for the colonists, so would it kill them to take one year to thank us for civilizing them and for introducing them to casino gambling, which has proven to be such a boon to their culture? Regrettably, the Wampanoag can't thank us because most of them were killed off by the colonists and those who claim to be their descendents can't prove they who they are so they aren't officially recognized. But there are plenty of other Native-Americans who could certainly take an hour or two off from running the blackjack tables to say, "Miigwetch, kimosabe."

They don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Iraq but maybe they should start. And perhaps we could celebrate Thankstaking this year and ask the Iraqi people to show us some appreciation for liberating them from Saddam Hussein and leaving the majority of their population intact. And perhaps they could thank us for the three hours of electricity they have every day, and the 30% of their citizens who have clean water and the 20% with decent sanitation could thank us for that. And they might want to thank us for the billions of dollars we have pumped into that country, some of which has actually gotten to Iraqi citizens. Things are better now in Iraq than they have been at any time since we invaded. Shouldn't we get a little appreciation for that?

And there are many other countries that should be thanking us this Thankstaking holiday. Iran should thank us for not bombing them yet. Pakistan should thank us for helping to keep them free of an Islamic dictatorship, which would be much worse than the dictatorship they have now. Burma should thank us for asking their government very firmly not to kill all their monks. China should thank us for buying all of their very cheap and usually GHB- and lead-free toys. Mexico should thank us for giving so many of their citizens jobs that sometimes pay as much as minimum wage and for not rounding them all up and deporting them yet. India should thank us for sending so many of our other jobs over to them. You're welcome.

In 1973 Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair made a powerful radio address called "The Americans" in which he praised our incredible generosity and selflessness. "The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany," he began. "It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the world." With the American dollar now at record lows against the Euro, perhaps it's time to heed his words again. The United States is the world's largest giver of foreign aid. We give a whopping 0.13% of our gross domestic product in foreign aid, 81% of which we cleverly tied to the purchase of U.S. goods and services. Of the 21 richest countries in the world only Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Finland, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, France, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Austria, Italy, Germany and Portugal are more generous than the United States when it comes to foreign aid, according to the Center for Global Development. It's about time someone thanked us for being more charitable than Greece and Japan.

President Bush is certainly entitled to ask for a big thank you for keeping this country safe from terrorists despite the efforts of Democrats, who will have only themselves to blame if there is another terrorist attack. And the American people certainly owe him some gratitude for what he's done for the economy, which has begun to falter not so coincidentally only since the election of a Democrat majority in Congress. Thanks to his policies a number of Americans got a chance to see what it would be like to live in homes they could not afford, memories they will always cherish long after the banks foreclose on them. And if it wasn't for President Bush, there might be no New Orleans at all. Thanks to his efforts, New Orleans has the first white majority city council in 22 years, which as James Joyner at Outside the Beltway points out, is a "good thing" because it means the city has shifted "away from race-based voting." This would not have been possible without President Bush's leadership. I hope that on this Thankstaking holiday, the President takes some credit for all that he has done for this country.

And I'm sure there are many of you out there who aren't getting enough appreciation for all of the hard work you do. Isn't it time you got a little recognition for it? This Thankstaking holiday, instead of saying "thank you" why not say "thank me" for a change. You deserve it. And don't forget to thank me while you're at it.

His blog:
Jon's Blog

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