Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanks for so Much

If it seems that all anyone does here is gripe, well that goes with the territory. If we didn't love San Angelo, we wouldn't have taken up the hobby of trying to improve things around the edges of an essentially very nice small city. Indeed, one of the things to celebrate about San Angelo, we have a government so open that from time to time a truck driver and a computer geek can actually get the city's attention and have some measurable effect.

Just a few musings on a day of Thanksgiving. We live in wonderful times. Don't let the media drumbeat of this that or the other crisis get you down. Bad news sells papers. I have lived long enough to get a little perspective on all this.

Chicken Little squawks the price of oil will ruin us all, drive us into bankruptcy, crisis! Right, and we are setting records this year for holiday travel by car, air, whatever moves people. Anybody seen a gas line lately?

Income disparity is growing, there are more poor than ever before, woe is us, Squawk! I seem to recall an itenerent prophet out of the Middle East a couple millenia back said something like "The poor will be with us always". A lot of this is definitional, in that whoever is at the bottom of the heap will be poor by that day's standards. For the first time in human history, a major problem amongst our poor is obesity. For virtually all of history, and in 90% of today's world, making that statement would convince a listener that one was delusional, a crazy man, yet that statement is very much true by American standards of poverty.

As never before, Chicken Little tells us the environment is on the brink of failing, we are raping the planet on an unprecedented scale, Squawk! I remember my first airplane trip, Atlanta to Dallas, north window seat. It was an unending view of visible smokstack plumes, each a hundred miles long and overlapping. Major rivers literally caught fire, they had so much gunk floating on them. Only loons ate fish caught in most Eastern domestic waters. I don't say forget environmentalism the job's all done, but I can tell you, we live in a vastly cleaner America than I was raised in.

Locally the San Angelo Foundation just received a headliner of a donation, and that's great. One of the things I am impressed by is the smaller scale, but still stunning in aggregate generosity of San Angelo's people. People give their volunteer time to a host of causes, from feeding the elderly, to rebuilding and building houses, helping children, name a cause, our citizens open their pocketbooks and give of their time.

Personally, I am thankful for a day of nearly complete sloth. With luck my high point of activity will come when I leap up to celebrate one of many Dallas touchdowns. However you spend yours with whomever, have a good Thanksgiving.

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