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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000015.txt from 2004/12

Subj: Re: [kl] Happy Thanksgiving - musings
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 14:17:31 -0500

I have always been thankful that I was born and I live in the United States
of America. I admit to being something of a historian. When I read the life
stories of some of our "founding fathers," including Benjamin Franklin, John
Adams, George Washington just to name a few, I am always amazed at the amount
of principal, zeal, and high minded intention that this generation brought to
their task of nation building.

As one simple example, if you compare four of the great Revolutions of
western history -- the British, French, Russian, and American - you can plainly
see that the American Revolution was the exception in that it did not have the
"off-with-their-heads phase" that virtually every revolution seems to endure.
(I know there were atrocities and abuses on both sides in the American
Revolution, but they were not necessarily state supported or mandated.)

Having said I am proud to be a citizen of the United States, I also
acknowledge that unfairness, bigotry, racism, hatred, and yes, even genocide, has
exhibited itself in all eras of this country's history. Slavery and oppression
of blacks, the treatment of Native Americans, abuse of other classes of
immigrants and the working class, and covert (and not to covert) interventions in
foreign countries have created a legacy that we should never forget, but admit
and strive to mend.

I would be more thankful if the following came to pass:

Equal Rights and opportunity for both sexes
Equal Rights and opportunity regardless of race
Equal Rights and opportunity regardless of religion
Equal Rights and opportunity regardless of age
Equal health care for rich AND poor
A country where a poor man COULD become President
An end to racism and bigotry
And basically a whole lot more tolerance......

The United States does not have a lock on any of these. There are other
societies farther along in many regards. In some ways this country is backsliding
in areas where progress has been made.

We in the US, however, all have the opportunity -- indeed the obligation --
to help create a better society. That is something to be proud of. However,
with the right, comes the duty.

Walter Grabner
World-class clarinet mouthpieces

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