Thanks for a once-happy turkey, and more
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, November 26, 2015


Thanksgiving Day, 2015: I am grateful that our Plainville free-range turkey is the only creature in our household that lost its head.

Thanks to Charlie Baker, our calm, rational governor, and other governors across the country, President Obama has not yet been able to bring thousands of refugees into our country from countries populated by Islamic terrorists who have been beheading Christians and others who don’t share their narrow, appalling religious beliefs.

Some governors want a hold on immigration from these countries for the duration of the War on Terror. Gov. Baker is simply demanding assurances from the federal government that there is a proper vetting process in place before Massachusetts is required to take “a share” determined by a president who, despite this month’s Paris attacks, is still clueless about the Islamic threat and thinks that “climate change” is humanity’s biggest problem.

The U.S. House, including experienced Democratic Congressmen Lynch and Keating, has passed a bill placing a “pause” on accepting “Syrian refugees” until it can assure the American people these new residents are not a threat to them. The U.S. Senate has not yet taken up the bill, and the President, apparently horrified by the radical concept of “Pause”, has threatened a veto.

Our own congressman, Seth Moulton, has the same dislike of the concept “pause,” assurances of proper vetting, and concern for public safety in a commonwealth whose citizens have died and lost limbs to localized terrorist attacks. He thinks that because he had a well-vetted Iraqi friend from his time in Iraq who came here to live, every male rushing across borders cannot possibly be a threat to anyone.

This would presumably include the Tsarnaev brothers, refugees who killed and maimed right here at the Boston Marathon. Their “success” occurred because the federal government didn’t do its job. Homeland Security and the FBI have just testified before Congress that thorough vetting is not possible from failed nations which don’t have adequate record-keeping.

Wonder if the congressman noticed the news about the robbery this month at the Worcester Armory, which was completely unprotected with no guards or alarms: one man spent a few hours loading 16 military weapons into his SUV. When he was caught in New York, we learned he had a dishonorable discharge from the Army and was supposed to be wearing an ankle bracelet. The entire system failed. Nine of the guns have been recovered; who knows where the others are.

Listen to Seth Moulton's interview on WRKO's "Morning Show" with Kim Carrigan here
especially at 12:50 minutes.

Despite being a Marine, Congressman Moulton has apparently never heard the military phrase, “SNAFU” (Situation Normal, All Fouled Up), which applies directly to military life but equally well to government in general. Remember the word “Normal” and feel free to use the better F-word that we can’t print in a family newspaper. I heard the acronym often in my marriages and relationship with military men/veterans, one of whom is the turkey-cooking Chip Ford.

Chip is really good about my insistence to choose a “happy turkey” that had a good life, outside a cage, despite the additional cost. As he makes his mother’s stuffing, I follow my family tradition of carving slices of cranberry sauce into little red turkeys with a cookie cutter.

But we are having one Thanksgiving argument. Chip says I should write that as Americans, we have less to be thankful for than we did last year because of America’s failure to deal with Obama’s domestic and international policies.

Chip is right, that the political and economic systems are deteriorating, but I can’t help remaining optimistic, for at least one more election.

I am reading a book by science writer Matt Ridley, who writes to explain us humans as creatures of evolution, putting it all in perspective. Ridley’s latest, “The Rational Optimist – How Prosperity Evolves” argues that despite all the horrors of human history, we eventually have worked through its various manifestations and still have the potential to create a better world.

The paperback version was published in 2011; if I didn’t intersperse my reading of it with reading the newspapers and watching the news, I could be on board with his optimism. In the past few years, the evil in the Middle East, now evolved into Daesch (ISIS), has once again raised the ongoing historic battle between civilization and religious insanity.

But Ridley argues that our job is to remain optimistic and continuing to fight. Today is a good day to agree with him; to be grateful for having lived during the best of times in America, for the many advances in medicine and science, and get ready for more positive change.

Chip and others of my friends say it’s over, that Europe, because of its demographics as well as its broken borders, will fall first and we will follow. When I think about my grandchildren, I share his anger at the possibility; but I’m not ready to give in.

I’m watching “Saints & Strangers,” the National Geographic movie about the First Thanksgiving, which is more accurate than the sweet tale we learned as children. One fascinating plot line is the argument between two Indian tribes about whether to welcome the English or fight them to what we all know would be an inevitable finish.

I’m grateful for realistic television movies, books about evolution (and evolution itself), once-happy turkeys and Chip’s stuffing. Hope there were no explosions at the Macy’s Parade today. My plan is to spend a peaceful day reading my book, watching the AKC dog show, and listening to the new Adele “25” CD.

My son visited this month to help me organize my house, a longtime dream that is slowly being realized. My arm, injured by the flu shot, is almost better, and I no longer take any pain medication. And for my partner Chip, who helped me get through it, I’ve found a favorite quote, from somebody I didn’t record:

“Without real, genuine, malevolent evil to fight against, we’d all be mindless nincompoops.” So since last Thanksgiving, we the good guys are getting smarter. Include the foolish politicians and other mindless nincompoops we have to deal with, and we are on our way to what Ridley might call “highly evolved.” Happy Thanksgiving!

Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is a weekly columnist for the Salem News and Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

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