As my kitchen fills with more and more family members and "cooks for a day" on this Thanksgiving, I have slunk away to my little home office because I have been promising to write something about Thanksgiving -- and my procrastination time has run out.
Thinking about the several hundred articles I've written so far in 2012, they are 95 per cent critical -- highly critical, mostly of things our government has done (in my view) badly or not at all.
I have railed against Guantanamo, military commissions and indefinite detention. I have condemned our President for the burgeoning surveillance state we have become. Likewise, his drone "kill list." I have charged that our policies and facilities for detaining undocumented workers for deportation are needlessly cruel and ineffective. And I keep thinking of how much money we could have saved or spent elsewhere if we had abolished the clueless Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). I have suggested that it's long past time for Janet Napolitano to leave. I have been embarrassed by Mr. Mitt Romney's flip-flops, his disgraceful disregard for facts, and his patrician conviction that 47 per cent of our country is worthless.
I have also been saddened by some of the major initiatives President Obama has promised to execute during his second four years. We wish him luck with such issues as climate change and comprehensive immigration reform. But he cannot govern the country without laws, and he is unlikely to get the laws he needs from Paleolithic Republicans who can focus only on the next snarky sound bite.
This list could run to many pages and would still be disgracefully incomplete. You'd be totally justified not wanting to read any more of these un-happy columns. But you get the idea.
This, after all, started out as "The Happy Column." And it started with a pretty clear vision in my head of what we could give genuine thanks for on this Thanksgiving Day 2012.
At the top of that list is the fact that I'm writing this blogpost -- and there hasn't yet been a knock on the door from the secret police. They may well be hanging on every word I type, but while we still have a Constitution, I'm not getting arrested.
In something like 50 countries around the world, I would now be in custody. I'd be in prison and likely being tortured.