This is the time of the year where people say what they’re thankful for. I like to be a contrarian, so here’s what I’m not thankful for.
• I’m not thankful that, despite numerous statements that airline travel is safe, we’re being put through body scanners reminiscent of “Total Recall” and pat-down sessions that make me think I owe the government worker a tip.
Extra layers of security are making us less safe.
The reason the underwear bomber got on is because there were more than a million names on the no-fly list that was supposed to keep him off a plane, but airport crews have to make sure your shampoo bottle isn’t too big.
• I’m not thankful that we follow a National Football League where Brett Favre can throw an interception that costs you a Super Bowl trip when you’re already in field goal range, doesn’t decide he’s coming back until his contract gets fatter, waits until a few days before the regular season starts to show up, insists on playing injured to keep a consecutive game streak alive, and coach Brad Childress is the only guy who pays the price when the Vikings lose.
• I’m also not thankful the NFL can’t just put out a simple rule: Lead with your helmet, it’s a 15-yard penalty. That would stop a lot of those things before we even bother with determining intent to injure.
• I’m not thankful we have to keep kicking “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” down the road.
With all we’ll have to pay in stop-loss bonuses and medical benefits for overworked troops with PTSD, it seems inhumane to those currently serving and those who can’t serve that openly gay or bisexual people can’t serve in our military.
Opponents of a DADT repeat wanted to wait until Colin Powell said a repeal was a good idea. When Powell came forward, then they wanted to hear from other military officials. Then those people came forward, and they wanted to see a study. When a study came out that most troops weren’t in favor of keeping DADT, they wanted another study.
When a coffin comes back, draped in an American flag, I don’t know or care which of them were gay.
• I’m not thankful that we’re so schizophrenic as a nation that we can’t decide what we want. We resoundingly threw Republicans out two years ago, then voted them back in this year … even though a poll taken after the election said that most of us expected to be disappointed by the Republicans we just elected. Um, why did you vote for them, then?
We need another political party, but not one that just runs in the GOP or Democratic primary and calls itself free-thinking.
Welcome to Schizomerica, where we have the “drive-thru” diet, where we want tax cuts and more benefits and where we want to change our minds 24 hours after election day.
• I’m not thankful for plenty more, but I don’t want to just be a complete jerk. I’m thankful that these are my biggest issues in life at the moment. I’m thankful most of these things are fixable with a small dose of common sense. And I’m thankful for friends and family who know how to change the subject, and say, “Let’s just go rent ‘Christmas Vacation’ and it will all be better.”