My days are gone and I am no longer President, the man Mr. Bush is now, and I heard his Thanksgiving day address and have put to it much thought. Part of the new politics I find is not merely religion but how religion has almost become a method of puppetry, both to those who favor it and those who do not. The President today officially proclaimed in his short address that it is the Government's way to tell all people to go today to strengthen family ties, and to worship their gods, and I can not help but think - for those who do not favor the President, do they stay at home in spite of his proclamation? And for those who do, do they strengthen their family ties and worship their gods only at his behest? A terribly dependent people I would imagine would rely on such an empty proclamation. When I was President, I left it to men better than the ones in Government to call upon these traditions, to instruct others in their practice, and leave each free man capable of answering for himself how to do so, or leave them to elect men of the State who might also make such necessary proclamations. It seems we are moving away from that ideal, towards a state where the national leadership's authority is more or less vested in telling you how to practice traditions, and answering those questions for you. Truly, a time of despair I believe I was brought here to witness. Perhaps I judge too harshly, perhaps he, like Washington and Adams even before me, would be demeaned as an enemy of religion, had he not made such a proclamation. It truly is difficult to say what the people of today demand, but if that is indeed the case, they are little different from the people of yesterday.
In this day of prayer, that strengthens my belief that if I was brought here not by God. It seems too unfortunately coincidental that I am here to observe some fantastic future after bringing about the birth of this Nation, a coincidence which appears so very fleeting to me. Men of science may have developed the means, but I do not think that such Events may be otherwise explained without the element of divine intervention. Is this the great Revelation or the End of Times? It is hard to say for certain.
Sooner than speculate I should return to recording what I do observe in this letter to you, my record keepers and my new memory, which fairs better in preservation than the old one. My friend, roommate and escort in this new and modern time, Daniel, has not yet been interviewed by the FBI, as Ludwig warned, which is fortunate. Natalie invited me over later for Thanksgiving feasting, so I accepted her invitation and will make that visitation this evening.
I have invested more time into watching the actions of Congress and the President, and indeed, the whole of the Federal government. The new spending bill, a massive $388 billion dollars, is actually very lean my investigations tell me, below the modern rate of inflation, a spending increase behind the curve. The bigger programs are what costs the most, like social security, and keep the budget in the deficit... not to mention the extended war, although no one minces many words about the cost of that. Between those two things you have far more than the cost of the deficiency of the budget... I watch and see no one in Congress cares, as no one who votes understands these concerns and troubles. The $388 billion dollars is far too much, but this scope is meager in comparison to the extensive budget already put forth... and seems almost trivial.
I apologize if this letter is perhaps a bit dreary, I simply find it such that this year, there is little thanks to give, I will to you my high regards and I pray you to accept the assurances of my esteem & respect.
- TH. Jefferson
Well, a very short word from TeeJ on Thanksgiving, and I'm afraid I can't make it jolly this year. I hope you folks enjoy your holiday, and think about the state of things today and make sure you aren't "giving thanks" for the wrong things. I can personally give thanks that this is TeeJ's 50th entry, and now that I've hit what I consider much of the midway point of the series, I hope to start picking up the pace a little.
I also made sure to include TeeJ's comments on the most recent mammoth piece of legislation to get passed through Congress, a new post-election spending spree that is very lean in it's expansion of domestic programs... but that is never saying much when it comes to our Congress. Amongst some of the things Congress elected to buy with this $388 dollars...
- $335,000 for protecting sunflowers in North Dakota from damage by blackbirds
- $225,000 to Alabama's Auburn University for the study of catfish genomes
- $2 million for the government to buy back the presidential yacht Sequoia, sold three decades ago
Congress has plenty to be thankful for, namely, your money. Do you? This bill passed 344 votes to 51... there seemed to be little resistance. There has not yet been a significant change in the Federal budget to reflect the still $400-billion wide deficit gap, and it's sad that this is the state of affairs under a "fiscally conservative" Federal government.
I know I left out a lot of TeeJ's history with the whole situation of Thanksgiving, but I didn't want to repeat what was said last year... so go give last year's a read if you are interested!