What Not to Be Thankful For

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Another Thanksgiving is here, which means too many lists of things for which to be thankful. Certainly, there is much to appreciate, but we’ll leave that commentary to the flowery romantics, for whom I am thankful, so that I can be the flame-throwing Grinch.

Now, the list of things for which we should not be thankful:

1) Million-Dollar Clock Boy: Actually, make that $15 million, because that’s how much 14-year old Ahmed Mohamed is demanding from the city of Irving, Texas, and the Irving School District (along with a written apology), because he was "publicly mistreated" and, of course, remains scarred. And what caused him to suffer so much "trauma" that he had to move to Qatar to continue his education? Americans doing their jobs. Imagine that.

You might remember Ahmed. He’s the one who brought a "homemade clock" to school – in blatant violation of school policy, a fact still being ignored by his ill-informed defenders, including President Obama, who invited him to the White House. The device, built inside a briefcase, had a timer, protruding wires, electronic circuitry – and was beeping during class.

Upon discovering the device, the teacher did what anyone with an iota of common sense would do: Notify school officials, who in turn contacted law enforcement. Was it a clock – or a hoax bomb? No one knew, and in these times, you can’t take any chances, which is precisely why the authorities were called to investigate. It made no difference that Ahmed was Muslim, as it would have been handled the exact same way no matter the ethnicity or gender of the student. Timothy McVeigh and American-born mass shooters have proven that homegrown terrorists are just as dangerous as foreign ones.

So what’s the legal standing to sue? There is none. Instead, it’s a perfect example of malicious abuse of process. The fact that this case is even seeing the inside of a courtroom is an indictment of a judicial system continually overstepping its bounds and encouraging the next travesty of justice. Ahmed’s case is a frivolous lawsuit on steroids, and it’s only going to get worse until someone has the backbone to take on unethical trial lawyers (sorry, that’s redundant) – political correctness be damned.

Here’s hoping we can be thankful to Irving for fighting to the end by not settling for a single penny, refusing to admit wrongdoing, and standing up for true justice.

2) Not Being Charlie Sheen: When Sheen actually acted, as in the hit movies "Wall Street" and "Platoon," his charisma made him an A-lister in a sea of Hollywood mediocrity. But when he got fired from the TV show "Two and A Half Men," and subsequently had a public meltdown – by endlessly tweeting indecipherable messages about "winning" and showcasing his high-risk lifestyle – he showed his true colors.

Now he’s being made out as "brave," and "courageous," a "hero" with the guts to tell the world he has HIV.

Are these people serious?

No one "deserves" to contract a disease like HIV, but outside of a blood transfusion gone terribly wrong, you don’t get that virus by accident. Translation: Sheen’s extremely risky behavior – especially his drug use and significant sexual promiscuity, choices entirely of his own making – vastly increased his chances of meeting an unfortunate fate. Sheen’s past finally caught up with him, and, while tragic, was entirely predictable.

Yet Sheen’s sycophants want us to believe his disclosure was a selfless act of courage, and we should look to him as a role model. Wrong. Let’s be honest: He’s had HIV for over four years, and the only reason he went on TV now was to jump in front of the story, since someone was apparently going to tell the world of his condition. And Sheen now faces multiple lawsuits from ex-partners who claim he never told them of his HIV status.

Either way, Americans should be thankful that they’re not Charlie Sheen, as he has proven that money can’t buy everything – most of all, class. Sheen could have been one of the great ones, but instead, has relegated himself to the bin of Hollywood has-beens who have become cocktail party jokes.

3) Playing for an NBA Team that isn’t the 76ers: There have been lots of good teams in NBA history, and a few great ones. But since it’s impossible to compare legendary teams from different eras, it’s also impossible to pick the greatest one.

But there can only be one "worst" team in history – baddest of the bad, lower than the bottom of the barrel. So if you play for the Philadelphia 76ers – off to an astounding 0-15 start – you should most definitely be thankful that you’re not on any other team, since there is the distinct possibility that you will be part of the worst team ever, surpassing the record of another – you guessed it – Philadelphia 76ers team. As you may recall, that was the only team in the history of professional sports to have a single-digit win column, with a 9-73 record. As the bad guy Belloq says in "Raiders Of The Lost Ark:" "We are simply passing through history. This, this IS history." So true. The rest of the NBA is passing through yet another forgettable season, but this 76ers team continues to make history. Hey, if you’re going to be bad, you might as well go all the way. 0-and-82, here we come!

4) An ISIS parent: Give ISIS fighters credit – they believe in something. Warped and demented, but nonetheless, something real.

Great. So do a lot of people.

The biggest difference between us and them is how we view not just life, but family. Sacrificing for a cause is one thing, but when it involves watching your own kin blow themselves to smithereens – while the ringleaders, ever so conveniently, never strap on the suicide vest – it becomes crystal clear why ISIS can never win. Successful civilizations are built upon the principle of protecting their people. When the value of those lives becomes meaningless, those societies eventually collapse.

Bombs and bullets aside, be thankful that we celebrate our children by showering them with love, enjoying them at their recitals and T-ball games, instilling in them the wondrous sense of discovery that awaits them, and relishing the sparkle in their eyes as boundless curiosity takes hold and grows to new heights. Their light fuels America’s torch of tomorrow, keeping the beacon lit, which shows the world that the United States will always – always – be the home of the brave and land of the free.

Despite our differences in America, and there are many, we must never forget what we are capable of accomplishing. We live in the most generous nation the world has ever known, made possible by the most compassionate people who have ever lived. On this Thanksgiving, especially in the wake of tragedies hoisted on the world by godless heathens who survive solely on hate, let’s be thankful for who we aren’t, and infinitely more important, who we are.

Happy Turkey Day!

Chris Freind is an independent columnist and commentator. His column appears every Wednesday. He can be reached at [email protected].