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... is my Birthday. Today I will reach fifty five, which sounds a great deal older than I feel.

I actually feel this old:

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Although it is first my birthday, I have been conscious, since I was a child, that it is America's Birthday too. So from me ... Happy Birthday America!

Thank you for giving me nine of the best years of my life. Thank you for giving one of your precious daughters to be my wife, and blessing me with her children. Along with my own boys, they are five of the most rewarding kids I have ever had the pleasure to know.

Thank you for your hospitality. I live here because you are generous enough to allow me to stay. I do hope that in the months to come you will extend that generosity of spirit to the millions of others seeking to legalize their positions and contribute to society even more positively than they currently do.

Thank you to the minority groups, whatever shade, colour or rainbow you live under. Your struggles highlight the need we have to respect each other, and work cooperatively to bring social justice, and civil rights to all. You remind us that all men were not born equal, and we strive to correct that.

To the protesters in Wisconsin, those in the Moral Monday demonstrations, to the liberals in Texas, Utah, Wyoming and all those suffering under the yoke of Republican rule throughout the South ... May your struggle be won, as won it will be, before I am too old to celebrate it with you.

Finally to my friends here, and there are so many. Thank you for keeping me sane. I am not a natural recruit for the citizenry of Oklahoma. It's a very odd feeling to be raised a socialist in England, then be transplanted and set down in Tulsa! My Diaries here reached sympathetic ears, and the positive reception continues to give me strength; continues to help me keep my head when it sometimes appears that all around me are losing theirs.

Now then ... Keep your fireworks quiet and get off my lawn! I'm a grumpy old man, and it's my birthday, dammit!

A song that seemed appropriate:

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