It’s that time of year again (OK, past time) where we are reminded to recount and give thanks for all of those things we should be thankful for throughout the entire year, but usually take for granted. After being too busy with being thankful last week to write it down, here’s this year’s list:

I’m thankful for my church, my God and the religious freedom we enjoy in our country, and mindful of the fact that it was pilgrims of the Christian faith that helped lay the foundation for that freedom. These are the same pilgrims who are today maligned as religious zealots.

I’m thankful for capitalism and the free market of ideas, products and services, and the fact that it offers anybody the possibility to be or do virtually anything.

It’s the reason why people speak of “American ingenuity” as opposed to “French ingenuity”.

I’m thankful for the Internet and the incredible leveling power it provides. We may still be too close to its birth to truly appreciate its significance and its impact on just about every part of our lives. Like Guttenberg’s printing press, it has changed the world, only more so, and has the power to enable the development of still more tremendous changes.

I’m thankful for a system of government where “we the people” are actually the proprietors. I only wish more of our fellow stock-holders had a sense of duty to participate and become educated on how this outfit is supposed to run, rather than outsource the job to politicians that bribe them with their own money.

Then there is our Constitution to be thankful for, and the fact that we have a written one, even though most liberal judges don’t seem to be able to understand what it says. I’m thankful for the rights that it protects, especially those that John McCain doesn’t take seriously, like freedom of speech and freedom to lobby government for a redress of grievances. I’m hopeful that more people will actually take the time to read it occasionally and ponder whether or not out government bears any resemblance to the structure it proscribes.

I’m thankful that, in politics, just like pretty much everything else in life, one can make lemonade from lemons. The recent election results provided the lemons, and the Democrats will no doubt squeeze them and add the sugar that should make holding onto the White House in 2008 a little easier than it otherwise would have been. It also provides a chance for conservatives to reassert themselves and demand more of elected officials who wear Republican labels and spent the past few years doing their best impressions of drunken sailors on payday.

I’m thankful that, when liberals wield power, they cannot help themselves but to show the public what they really are – not what they claimed to be prior to an election.

I’m thankful that conservatism continued to do well at the polls, demonstrated by numerous public referenda and quite a few newly minted Democrat Congressmen and Senators who campaigned as “moderate” conservatives. (Whether they live up to the label remains to be seen) Also, the fact that the American public passed seven out of eight referendums giving constitutional protection to the traditional definition of marriage. That makes a total of twenty seven states that have passed similar measures by an average of seventy percent of the vote. Looks like a trend.

I’m thankful for those who serve in our country’s armed forces, and the fact that they are willing to endure hardships on behalf of their fellow citizens to secure our safety. Also for our country’s veterans and the examples they set for future generations as well as our own.

I’m thankful for my family and for large family get-togethers – and the fact that there are so many good cooks in the midst. Also for fried turkey and pecan pie.

Last, but not least, I’m thankful for Gamecock football, and the Ol’ Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier. Plus the fact that we managed to beat Clemson this year.

Now back to our regularly scheduled ingratitude…

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