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Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017

Taking a moment to be thankful..

Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008, at 7:12 PM

Today, as I was making my plans for Thanksgiving, I began to think about my past Thanksgivings and what I had to be thankful for. I must admit, with the economy and financial woes and my busy schedule, I haven't taken the time to think about all the wonderful gifts I have in my life. I am so blessed and too often I let a day go by without showing thanks for all I have. Though my life is not perfect or simple in many ways, it is my life and I have so many wonderful people and things to be thankful for. I often get caught up in my every day routine and forget to be thankful for everything that I hold dear in my life.

I just wanted to share a list of the things I am thankful for this year.

* My family including my husband and my two beautiful, healthy children. They bring such joy to my life and lots of laughter! If I didn't have them, my life would truly be empty.

* My parents, who have always been loving and supporting, no matter what I do and the big part they play in my children's lives. I'm also blessed that I can live so close to them and have such an amazing relationship with them both. They support me, believe in me and have always been there for me.

* My sister and her children, who I love unconditionally.

* We have a home, food, clothing... all the necessities that are often taken for granted.

* Everyone else in my big family: countless aunts, uncles, cousins, my grandmother, in-laws etc., who love me and who have helped my family and I countless times.

* My job: I work with a group of wonderful people, I like my work and it allows me to support my children.

* The Good USA: where I can wear what I want, say what I want and believe in God and attend church freely. So often our basic rights are taken for granted, but with out them our lives would be nothing like they are. If it weren't for our government (which I am not always so happy with -- which I can say without fear) and the precious men and women who are so courageously defending this county, I would have nothing.

On Thanksgiving Day, while I eat and spend time with my family, so many men and women will be away from home and away from their loved ones, protecting us and keeping us safe as we celebrate the holiday.

* & countless other things I haven't already mentioned.

As we draw near another Thanksgiving Day, I hope everyone takes a moment to remember the true purpose of the holiday (besides eating all the wonderful, delicious food!) and be thankful for whatever you hold dear.

P.S. to my cousin Travis, fighting bravely overseas, wherever he may be: I am so proud of you, thank you for defending this amazing country.

~ Happy early Thanksgiving to everyone ~

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Your purblind blog entry perpetuates the specious view that our military is foremost a "protector of our individual freedoms." A sagacious study of our country's history, and current foreign policy, however, evinces the fallacy of such a view. The terms "hegemony" and "jingoism" adequately belie the public rhetoric of our politicians (a complicit effort by Democrats and Republicans). Our military, above all else, is a baneful tool used to secure the interests of our rapacious, overseas capitalism. If you doubt this, simply examine the profits made by private contractors in our current wars, especially, but not exclusively, the military contractors (under a system which President Eisenhower coined as "the military-industrial complex"). We must search outside of our mainstream media for the true focuses of the American empire, for our mainstream media is owned by the same companies which benefit from American warmongering and corporate-friendly domestic policies. And as most of us know, our politicians are heavily-funded by corporations -- as John Dewey said, "Politics is the shadow cast on society by big business." If you read only one book concerning these issues, I would recommend Major General Smedley Butler's succinct "War is a Racket," published 1935 (and/or, for a modern empirical view of war, go to ivaw.org and watch The Winter Soldier Testimonies). Also, one must realize, the middle class are given just enough "freedom" within this country to keep us happily consuming shoddy products (while our government expediently visits its worst horrors upon the "uncivilized" corners of the world, in the form of military bases, bombs, and "free-trade"). Suppression of dissent is of a much different flavor within a "democratic" country, such as ours, but is nonetheless palpable and evident with the slightest amount of discernment. One facet of this is the conscious/unconscious actions of the "Patriot police" (indoctrinated citizens who will not stand for questioning/beliefs which contravene against blind-nationalism). Also, we see in times of war, repeatedly, within this nation, a clamping of control over peaceful or recalcitrant dissent, as represented currently by the Patriot Act, which among other measures allows the government to search our e-mails and tap our telephones without warrant, and to try protestors as "domestic terrorists." Under World War I's The Espionage Act, countless citizens were jailed (and in some cases, deported) for simply speaking out against the war in public gatherings. Remember, also, our "land of freedom," has the developed world's most despicable record on poverty, health care, and incarceration (interpretation -- this is a pernicious place to be living on the margins). With so many different inter-related issues raised by your superficial political comments, my response has ran the risk of being tangential at times (and limited to only a "tip of the iceberg" summary) so I will close my main train-of-thought with stating that our soldiers do not need our misguided admiration of their sacrifice for freedom, but instead our love and support as they find themselves enmeshed in a world-wide power struggle. They are, truly, victims, almost as much as the populace of the lands where our military is instructed to wage war. Our government's stop-loss program is a prime example of their victim hood. American soldiers commit many atrocities in war zones, and though they are ultimately responsible for their actions, they are the products of a military (and societal) training which infuses them with xenophobia (to demean Arabs as "hajjis," or previously, Asians as "Japs" and "gooks"), and then turns them into occupiers amongst civilian populations. We, thus, cannot expect our soldiers not to fall prey to what Philip Zimbardo terms "The Lucifer Effect," and we must strive to hold their leaders accountable for the troops criminal deployment (by international standards -- which we insist other nations obey -- yet we and our allies refuse to adhere). Also, of course, it is worth noting that your comments of thanksgiving are predicated on the approach of a holiday which spuriously portrays long-ranging amity between the indigenous populations of the Americas and European settlers -- instead of an insignificant respite in the systematic, myopic genocide of the human beings who stood in the way of profit and plunder in North, South, and Latin America.

P.S. I realize that our country is not the only one doing harm in the world, but none have the power or ambition (or practice) to reap the level of destruction for which America is increasingly becoming known for at home and abroad.

-- Posted by pumpkindawn on Sat, Nov 22, 2008, at 10:26 PM
Katie Oharah's response:
Thank you for your comments. While I agree that our nation is not perfect, I stand by my comments about the those serving. I do not believe that someone who is sitting, in their own home, enjoying all the freedoms that they have, which include many that are taken for granted, should be pointing fingers at the type of "job" our soldiers are doing. I have many opinions on war and government, however, that was not the purpose of my blog. The purpose of my blog was to thank the countless people who are protecting this great country that I live in, for risking their lives everyday protecting people they do not know, including you and I. I am very thankful and honored to live in a country where you and I can disagree and where I can raise my children how I see fit. Whether or not you support our government, it is our government, in the country we choose to live in. I support our troops (no matter what my opinions on the war are) for they are giving so much of themselves so that we can live freely. Argue all you want that they are not "protecting our individual freedoms" but without so many individuals ---- in the past and now, protecting our freedoms, we would not have them. I stand by my comments praising our military and our country.

The comment for my cousin was one of praise and honor, because I am honored to know that he is fighting overseas, to protect the country that he loves, that he was born and raised in. He choose to defend this country, he was not forced. I am proud of him and our soldiers, who choose to be overseas, facing odds that are terrifying and unknown to most, knowing in my heart that he is, to me, a hero. I am honored to call him family.

As for the rest of the blog, it is a list of why I am thankful, you do not have to agree.

I am still thankful to be living here in the wonderful, beautiful...USA.

~ the land of the free and the home of the brave~

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I am the Editorial Assistant for The Fort Scott Tribune, where I have been employed since March of 2008. I live in the country near Mapleton, Kan., with my husband and our two children. I graduated from Uniontown High School, Uniontown, Kan., but before attending Uniontown, I moved around several times during my childhood. I love to take photos, write, read and spend time with my family. I am also a member of our local fire department and enjoy attending church with my family and appreciate everything a small town has to offer. I look forward to watching my children grow and spending time with my husband and family while living in the country.
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