>Western Tribune Column November 26 2008

>Today is Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy some time with your family, have lots of good desserts with your turkey dinner, and get in a good nap afterwards. Like so many columnists, I wrote a Thanksgiving column for the Western tribune this week. Here it is.

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This week we ponder what we are thankful for and across the country and in our own city people seem to be thankful of the change they see coming. In spite of the crumbling economy, about 70 per cent are optimistic about the future. This includes a number of people who did not vote for Barack Obama, but who see better things ahead knowing that he will be their leader.

We should be thankful that we live in a country where democracy works, and that so many people were engaged in the political process this year. This shows us that a great majority of the people really care about our country.

We should be thankful that we will soon have a president that wants to end the war in Iraq. Americans are war weary, and are tired of seeing their sons and daughters returning from serving their country with physical or mental problems, or worse. We should be thankful that our new president has pledged to improve mental health treatment for our veterans and to rebuild the Veterans Administration’s broken benefits system.

We should also be thankful for the food on our table. Improvements in agriculture, food storage and preservation over the last few decades, along with the giving spirit of our people, should mean that everyone can enjoy a good Thanksgiving meal, and hopefully, continue to have adequate food on a daily basis. The economic crisis could mean that more will be required of some of us to ensure that no one goes hungry during the holidays.

Let’s also be thankful that science and research will regain credibility as the new administration takes over. Although a lot of money will be necessary to solve the energy crisis, good science is the key to progress. It has been clear for years that the green that is pocketed was more important to automakers than the green that represents our planet’s health, but now we see that the future of the economy and the environment are tied to the auto industry and a big, necessary, shift in their operations and policies would help to solve both problems.

There is much more to be thankful for: our families, our faith, our freedom. Take a minute and tell those around you that you are thankful for them. We will all benefit.

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