by Henry Briggs

Things I am thankful for . . .

. . . being taught proper English so I can see the error in the above headline, which should have been “…things for which I am thankful.” My defense all through school was Winston Churchill’s “this is the kind of errant pedantry up with which I will not put.” I stand by him today.

I’m thankful for Churchill.

And the mid-term elections being over or, as Republican leaders have proclaimed ad nauseam, “The American people have spoken.” Actually, according to the Washington Post, only 36.4% of eligible voters have spoken. That’s approximately 77 million people out of a population of over 300 million. It’s a trend; voter turnout has been dropping since 1964.

I’m thankful because the other 63.6% will now have to stop complaining about their elected leaders. If you don’t vote; you can’t complain. That’s the rule.

And there are other reasons to be thankful the mid-terms are over. Now we are free of attack ads for a good year or so (I hope). Then, in January, annoying Christmas sale ads will disappear in favor of PSA’s (Public Service Announcements) touting things like . . . the importance of voting.

I’m thankful for irony.

I want to personally thank Al Sharpton for reminding the world that in the midst of a tragedy like what happened in Ferguson last summer and New York more recently, a clever me-firster can grab the spotlight and turn it away from grieving families. He is this year’s winner of the Marion Barry Sleaze Award. Rumor is he’ll receive it — LIVE — on his MSNBC-TV show.

Also the NFL for reminding us that thugs and rapists are thugs and rapists, no matter how much they’re paid and no matter how much sanctimony they throw at us in TV ads and talk shows.

And the FOP-leaning arbitration process in Philadelphia for letting cops rob and assault people, including knocking down small women and then going back out on the streets again to . . . protect and serve.

OK, those last three were a bit snarky, I admit. But snark can be mentally healthy in the face of bad guys.

I’m thankful for snark.

A few months ago, I became a cable cutter. I went to Best Buy and bought a digital TV antenna and said goodbye to cable and those huge and confusing bills from Verizon and Comcast. Now I no longer spend hours clicking through 3rd rate movies and old re-runs. Instead I watch Netflix and Hulu and use the money I’ve saved to pay for my gym membership.

For that, my doctor is thankful.

I’m thankful for all the cold weather over the last few weeks. It proves what conservatives have been saying all along: there is no such thing as global warming; it’s global freezing.

Now when people say, “’How about that weather?” I can answer truthfully. “It s-s-stinks-s-s-s!”

What a relief that Vladimir Putin is turning Russia back into the Soviet Union. Ever since December 26, 1991, when the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist, we’ve had a lot of trouble keeping track of bad guys. First Iraq, then Iran, then . . . well, just about everyone in the Middle East.

It’s wrought havoc  on our military and intelligence services, not to mention TV show writers. Now Putin has brought simplicity back to our lives. The Russians are bad guys again; everybody else has to get back in line.

I’m thankful for the good old days. Happy New Year!

Henry Briggs is a columnist for Main Line Media News, from which this is reprinted, with permission. He can be reached at