Tag Archives: Holidays

a poem for the holidays

The Art of Disappearing
 
When they say, “Don’t I know you?”
Say “no”.
When they invite you to the party
Remember what parties are like
Before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
They once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say we should get together
Say “why?”
It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees.
The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.
When someone recognizes you at the grocery store
Nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
Appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

~ Naomi Shahib Nye

Army Career “opportunities”

We’ve seen the ads, “Join the Military and get job training that employers want”.. yeah right. One of my friends in El Paso was at the time a Scout for the Third Herd, 3rd Armored Cavalry. Stationed at Ft Bliss but spent most of his time (between the constant wars in which America has been engaged, unofficially) in this patch of Hell called MacGregor Range sandwiched between the limits of Ft Bliss, Biggs Army Air Field, White Sands Missile Range and Holloman AFB. His take on it was the job opportunities using his training would be either working as a cop or a hitman. (Personal aside, I don’t make any distinction at all between the two jobs.)
A double-digit percentage of the unemployed in Colorado are veterans. That’s about twice the percentage of the population who are veterans. The TeeVee college ads, trade schools actually, because the Wealthiest don’t want to spring for a real academic education, they want to keep us firmly planted in the Servant Class, make promises to recently discharged Veterans that strongly echo the lies of the Military Recruiters. “get training the employers are looking for”.
You know, it would be a Hell of a lot easier for you to Skip The Army Bullshit and just go to college or trade school without their help.
That way you don’t have to Kill and possibly Die for the benefit of the very richest. Let them send their own sons and daughters into the fight. Like Bush, Cheney, Romney, the entire Limbaugh Family, all of them DIDN’T serve “our country” and they don’t send THEIR nasty little piglets into the fray either.

The Bush Twins actually went on a speaking tour Campaigning for their Coward Little Daddy but disguised as Promoting the Military Service as a “career opportunity”. Essentially told high school kids to drop out from education and join the Killing Machine.

Advice neither they nor the scions of their Fathers Accomplices took.

Nor did their father or any of his accomplices. (Pretending to be a Fighter Pilot doesn’t count, everybody ELSE who had the word “combat” in his MOS at the time got sent to VietNam, save for a very few, very privileged scions of the very rich… like GW)

Face it, kids, you really DON’T owe it to America to join the Army. The United States has been in constant wars since the end of World War 2 and has not actually had a congressional declaration of war since December 8, 1941.

Nor have ANY of those wars actually been about American or anybody else’s “freedom”. To the veterans of those wars, there’s two different sides to that. The one told to you by the Government, saying how much they love and respect you.

And those of us who actually respect you, America and ourselves enough to Not Tell You Those Lies.

It’s a hideous thought that your time and the killing in which you participated, and the lives of your comrades, was exactly that meaningless… that the blood shed and destruction wrought was merely to fill the pockets of the Richest Bastards on earth, and who themselves declined to fight for their own wealth.

But that’s how it is, bubba. That’s how it is.
Rather than get all outraged about somebody telling you the Truth, why not focus that rage on the Sons-of-bitches who sent you into that using Lies, and pat you on the head every Veterans Day and any other War-related Holidays?

Which are the majority of state and federal “holidays”.

I should point out that Holiday is an English merger of the two words Holy Day. There’s nothing Holy about War.

The Military is just an extension of the Servant Class who are used by the Wealthiest at their convenience. Like the Rich who say they gained their money without exploiting their workers.
In their eyes we’re all disposable, allowed to live as long as we make them their money.

It’s the very core of Capitalism.

Happy Father’s Day

A father sat with bowed head in his aloneness. About him clung his weeping children. The winds outside threw great scarfs of powdered snow against the window panes, when suddenly the last born tore himself from the group and rushed out into the storm calling for his mother. Yet even his baby voice could not penetrate the great silence that held this mother.
 
Hurriedly, the father gathered him back to his protection and for more than two decades, William Jackson Smart, alone, kept paternal vigilance over his motherless children.

Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of a “father’s day” in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran, who was widowed when his wife died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.

Eric accommodates pigtailsFather’s Day has become a day to not only honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult male friends are honored on Father’s Day.

The Epiphany

Divorce cakeDon’t expect to receive any chatty phone calls from your divorce attorney friends this week. Every year, during the first full week of January, divorce petitions are filed at a level nearly 50% higher than any other week.
 
The week of the Epiphany.
 
It seems that long-held resentment, simmering tensions, and excruciating days of holiday togetherness can unravel the threads holding a shaky marriage together. The sheer exhaustion that comes from seemingly endless holiday tasks, cooking and cleaning and shopping and baking and wrapping, can blunt well-honed coping skills. But the worst must be the grinning and greeting, the extended family and the mounds of baggage they bring, and the expectation that the wife perform for days on end wearing a tight bright holiday smile. It’s enough to make an unhappily married woman resolve to make a change. 2008 is going to be a better year.

I had a blue Christmas without you

Advent wreath
I felt more than a bit empty around Christmas this year. For the first time it seemed completely devoid of meaning. No one believes in God. No one believes in Santa. There’s nothing particularly thrilling to give or get. There’s just an obligation to pour money into the pockets of corporate pricks and fill our houses with crap none of us needs, or even really wants.

I remember Christmas as magical. But, as I reflect on my childhood, the magic of the holiday was closely tied to religious ritual. Coming into church on a Sunday soon after Thanksgiving, back when Christmas lights didn’t begin showing up by Halloween and could still be cause for celebration, we’d find the Advent wreath suspended from the rafters. Oh, yes! Christmas is coming! The three purple candles, a pink one for the third Sunday of Advent, a white candle for Christmas Eve. Each candle with its own story and symbolic meaning.

The beautiful haunting Christmas carols. O Come O Come, Emmanuel was my favorite. It still gives me goosebumps. The nativity display. The Christmas story with its shepherds and wise men and camels and bright stars and inns and stables and mangers and gold, frankincense and myrrh. Oh my! I just loved it all.

My poor darling children have none of this, thanks to me. I, like many of my generation, have largely rejected organized religion. Unfortunately, I now understand hypocrisy and oppression and believe that the church is guilty of all the sins it forbids. But what do we do about our spiritual longings? How do we find meaning and impart that meaning to our children who are daily bombarded with despicable messages from our commercialized world? For meaning surely does exist.

I am at a loss when it comes to recreating Christmas magic without a little baby Jesus to help me. And I can’t just pull him out of a box in the attic and blow the dust off of him so he can lay in his manger Christmas morning. My parents did this, and it was okay, because we knew all about him, every day of every year, so it didn’t smack of phoniness like it does when I try to bring him into the Christmas mix.

I have no answers. My children sense my sadness around Christmas, and they know it has something to do with religion. But it doesn’t really. It has to do with meaning, significance, all things lofty and sublime. It has to do with my remembered feelings of joy and sheer awe at the birth of the Savior. It’s the Christmas spirit that, without a miracle, my children will never know.

Having a hard Christmas season this year?

Christmas is a sad time for many low lifes, atheists, communists, and Satanists. We get depressed and find it hard to make our way into a department store. In fact, this year I bought most of my Christmas gifts in 7-11. Even there, the consumerist mobs depressed me.

But look how bad Mr. Bean’s Christmas went? (in 3 parts). If we are not careful, many of us might not even make it to the festive New Year’s Eve parties. So be careful, and have a Merry Christmas this year.

PS… Santa is having a rough Christmas, too, this year. Bush haTEs Santa!

From Labour to Catholicism in time for Christmas and Santa

For those of us who are easily entertained by the Republican Party candidates’ pre-Christmas expressed opinions in favor of our Lord and Master, it is especially gratifying to know that these expressions of faith are not solely American. The Lord, too, has recently moved Tony Blair to reject godless Labour Party ideology in favor of Papism.

God bless Thee, Tony! You no longer will live in sin. December 23, 2007 Tony Blair finally becomes a Catholic

Jesus vs. Santa rivalry is nothing new

A holiday detente: As Easter sprung from fertility celebrations befitting the rebirth of spring, so Christmas originated from offerings of the season’s greetings to the winter solstice. And while Christians might have taken over the party, they’ve had to retain the yule tree and other pagan party favors to ensure converts would still RSVP to the festivities. The struggle between Jesus and Santa is nothing new.

The First War on Christmas happened in Oliver Cromwell’s England when Christmas idolatry came to be forbidden by law. Popular merriment was deemed to have strayed too far from the Protestant message of the church, the Lord’s Day etc, so Lord Protector Cromwell reined things in, for a time, until the reformer’s dominance over the parliament and the influence of the Puritans waned.

I heard this story on NPR, half of it actually. They described Christmas having been made illegal for a period, but curiously didn’t mention which period, and who in England had done it.

Puritans you say? Might these have been the same Puritans who came to America’s shore? The same. Well, they shared forefathers (Our forefathers, if our WASP history books can be believed, emphasizing as they do our “Christian Nation” while minimizing Jefferson and the other 90% of our settlers). Thus religious intolerance, on the part of the Puritans, drove the rest of England to send them packing, post paid, to take their anti-everybody else’s Christmas to New England, where it was thought there were no revelers to be bothered.

The Puritans fled religious intolerance to THEIR intolerance basically. What BS to assert that English merry folk did not accord them freedom of religion. England wanted freedom FROM the Puritan’s brand of religion. For some reason our historians seem content to leave open the suggestion that the Puritan party-pooper recount being expelled from the party because of his “wild and crazy” ways!

Just as in Old England, the American puritanical pin heads every so often revive to prominence, usually in reaction to economic or social catastrophe, to prescribe austerity across the board, from no drinking to unhappy holidays. In their current incarnation they’re Fundies aghast at what’s become of their Christmas. The “true meaning” having become too commercial, too secular, not enough infant Christ worship, etc.

We’ve got a nation of party-poopers, wanting to repo the universal Xmas holiday and its international message of brotherhood: Peace on Earth, Goodwill To All Mankind. Puritans aren’t about being good, they’re the fine folk who who accepted the turkey, then thanked the Lord, not the heathens. Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!

Christmas ornaments from child labor

Children making ARTIC FUN Christmas ornaments for Walmart
Walmart is in trouble again. It’s selling Christmas ornaments which an investigation by the National Labor Committee has determined are produced in sub-standard conditions. Chiefly, that the young workers who produced the ornaments, in an 8,000 person factory in Canton China, are being paid piecemeal instead of the minimum 55¢/hour, resulting in wages as low as 26¢/hour.

Not to trivialize the monetary difference, but there were other workplace details for which Walmart was not being flagged. Could this imply that these factors might apply to other Chinese or third world products still being made for Walmart, Target and the other big-box retailers?

Ready? The assembly line workers were often children, some as young as 12 years old, loaned to the factory by their schools, who worked 15 hour days, seven days a week. Workers taking a day off were docked two and a half days pay. Also the children were working with paints and chemicals without protective gear such as gloves or masks.

Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past

Devon praying
I was obsessed with Bernadette Soubirous when I was a Catholic schoolgirl. You’ll recall, or perhaps you won’t, that the Mother of God appeared to Bernadette at Lourdes in 1858. Or so Bernadette claimed.

Filled with unbelief and not wishing to delude the gullible faithful, the church hierarchy convened a Council of Enquiry to check out Bern’s story. Oh how the Bishop wrestled with his monumental burden!
“But if Bernadette does not want to deceive, was she not deceived herself? How could she believe to see and hear what she did not see and hear? Was she not the victim of hallucinations? How could we believe her? The wisdom of her answers reveals in this child a spirit of goodness, a quiet imagination, good sense beyond her years. Religious feelings never showed in her a spirit of exhalation; nobody could prove in the young girl neither intellectual disorder, nor change of mind nor unusual personality nor morbid feelings which would allow her to give way to a creative imagination.”

The Bishop of Tarbus, after only four years’ deliberation, decided that Bernadette was worthy and the people were given permission to believe her. The divine presence revealed, because of the moral purity of one young girl. Hmmmmm.

Upon hearing this story as a ten-year-old I determined to be the next Bernadette. I was certain I could be as holy and pious as she was. I secreted myself in my room at night and quietly recited the rosary, lingering over the Hail Marys. Surely the Blessed Virgin would take notice of my glow-in-the-dark rosary beads and appear to me as I lay in my little bed. I worried about my response. Should I feign surprise? Perhaps a sense of peaceful recognition? What if she expected tears of joy? Would I be able to produce them without delay? What if she appeared and my acting was deemed inferior? What would happen to poor Mary?

I enrolled in a Creative Dramatics class to ensure my success.

Despite years of piety, countless novenas (guaranteed to work! follow instructions exactly or no money back!), mental sojourns along the Via Dolorosa, Easter vigils, midnight masses, prayer flags, candles, medals–still no Mary. After learning that Marie was synonymous with Mary in the eyes of linguists everywhere, my final act of radical devotion saw me refuse to take a confirmation name. There could be no saint that I hoped to emulate more than the Mother of God. Mary, are you listening?

I finally gave up hope the summer after my sophomore year. I burned my uniforms and transferred to a public school. I decided that if Mary was too good for me, I’d find another other-worldly persona that liked my obviously flawed self. Who could be bad enough for me? Perhaps Satan?

After a short stint as a bad girl I found Jesus and stopped grieving my fractured relationship with Mary. I was drawn to the fundamental purity and wisdom of that most-revered and infallible document, the Holy Bible. In my youth, the Bible was clad in white leatherette with garish gold writing and a big picture of Jesus. It was placed in a prominent place in every Catholic home. But read? I was sure the Pope would not approve. Popes are popes and have need to pontificate. This requires a certain degree of cooperative ignorance on the part of the pontificatees, does it not? Feeling like a teenage boy with his daddy’s Playboy magazine, I sat in my room and studied the Bible. I could not believe how deceived I had been! Satan himself had been standing between me and the Holy Spirit, the only true path to peace and enlightenment. Jesus had been there all along, quietly knocking on the door to my heart, and I had been so caught up in my works-based salvation, my meager attempts to be holy, that I missed his call. Fuck.

Thus began a twenty-year stint as a religious fundamentalist. I will spare you most of the details of my quest to reconcile my inherently sinful nature with my holy and perfect god. I will say that I had a team of prayer warriors beseeching god to reveal himself to Dave, my militant atheist husband. I begged the Lord to allow the scales to fall from Dave’s eyes so he, too, could see as clearly as I did. It turns out that it wasn’t only Dave who was in grave danger. It was pretty much everyone I knew. And every unreached person in the four corners of the earth. It was up to me personally to pray without ceasing for each and every one of these lost souls. Their eternal destiny depended entirely on me. Holy fuck. I had wasted a lot of time on Mary.

Try as I might I could not suppress my rational nor my spiritual side forever. An academic approach feels safe when treading in parts unknown, so I embarked on a study of comparative religion. Surely most of the world could not be held accountable for truths that God in his infinite wisdom had not chosen to reveal to them. And surely it could not possibly fall on me and a handful of the idiotic chosen to make certain that the world had a chance to hear the good news. While I was sporting my hard-won Mind of Christ, my mind developed a mind of its own. What a crock of shit! was the refrain that replaced the time-honored Praise the Lord!

I’ll cut to the end. I believe that there is something more knowing, more powerful, more permanent, more loving than me. But to attach a personality, a gender, a shape, even a part of speech, to a universal force is not only foolish, it’s often tragic. If you want to see human frailty in action look no further than organized religion.

Spiritual reality has been a part of mankind since the beginning. We do our best to give our ephemeral understanding structure. We fashion an idol that resonates within us. Where food is scarce and money more so, perhaps god resembles a golden calf, the highest and best we know. Where women suffer together and depend upon the earth’s bounty to bear daily burdens, perhaps she is a goddess who permeates the natural world. Men stripped of their voices and forced to serve a capricious master create a suffering servant who will rule heaven and earth one day. When our basic needs are met and we are perched on the top of Maslow’s ladder, we have nowhere to go but inward. Divinity resides within.

At the deepest place we are the same. We are one tribe. We are protected and loved by a universal force that knows no bounds. We are free to define it as we will. Our understanding of it may change over time, a reflection of our growth. We must give others the same freedom to be, to know, to discover, to change. I am thankful that I have had that chance. That I still have that chance.

John Edwards for Santy Claus

Ho ho ho. John Edwards declares himself a candidate for aught eight, counting no doubt on the votes of Virginians who haven’t been told about Santa Claus.
 
John Edwards, half of the Kerry-Edwards day-after concession speech givers will, instead of doing his upmost to get to the bottom of vote tampering, vote fraud, voter intimidation and obstruction in the 2004 election, will instead ask the Barnum and Bailey crowd to throw their votes at him again.

In a carefully stage-managed photo-op in a black-Ammerican’s backyard, in New Orlean’s still neglected Ninth Ward (for whom he did what exactly?), Edward’s voiced the same middle of the road platitudes which -we’re told- endeared him to the American public the first time. “Let me be clear.” “Let there be no misunderstanding.” Ad infinitum, sin explicity. The Republican strategy in Iraq is wrong, no mention of what could be right. But he wants it firmly understood, so there’s no misunderstanding, it’s so clear it doesn’t need saying, know what I mean, nudge, nudge?

This is the straw man technique used by the Republican yellow press. Put a spotlight on the weakest opponent and pretend he’s the best they got.

No John Edwards, if you’re any bit the patriot at all, step aside and let somebody lead the Democrats to reclaim justice for the people. We do not need your poison pill of Benedict Arnoldry. You are a baby-faced son of a bitch God-damned traitor opportunist carpert bagger fraudster’s shill. Confess now or go down with the rest of them. Fall all the harder for the extra effort your treachery presents.

You could have contested the 2004 vote, if nothing else to bring to light the rigging of American elections by the well-placed Republican voting officials and their black-box contractor cohorts. You could have spent some of the Democratic Party funds earmarked for the fight instead of capitulating and forcing appalled Americans throw in even more contributions to aid the likes of Bev Harris and independent party candidates challenge the voting irregularities. Instead you handed George Bush the keys to the hen house, with already thousands burning inside it, and slithered away to surface another day, Christmas 2006, to ask for a chance to do it again. Fat chance Mr. Edwards, no promotion for you, you’ve been very bad elf.

Is the Wii not a technological marvel?

Social gamingI have to admit I love the Nintendo Wii. Christmas chatter around kids this year was all about the Wii. Parents are thrilled that it reintroduces aerobics to the couch potato genre, but I’m not convinced that Nintendo won’t have to develop a Wii game that simulates Wii play reduced again to minute finger motions, the original purpose of remotes. It will remain to be seen how long already fat players will endure having to stand and power through games that used to be [sedentary] child’s play.

Is the Wii innovative or simply primitive technology revisited? It’s got retro-rougher graphics, they say because it was rushed to market, but obviously it also suits the cheaper hardware. The next generation of games promised for this summer (to match the graphics standards of the 360 or PS3) will require a processor/bus/memory retrofit or my name’s not idiot savant. The Wii has got a gyro remote that requires swinging the thing around to get it to work, the way we used to do to aim the early infra-red remotes, usually while cussing and tapping on the buttons angrily.

Paired with the inferior graphic resolution, the gyro motions themselves are primitive. The player’s gyrations have to be stilted to match the limited options of the video motion. Put the kid outside with a real tennis racket and watch if he doesn’t twitch everything into the net. Unless it’s a whiffle ball perhaps.

Really I was thrilled to see the precision required by the Wii of the bowler’s address and delivery. It reminded me of learning to bowl myself. I remember I got the aiming down, I got the geometry, I got the concentration and the follow through, willing the ball away from the gutter. As I struggled with the haphazard quality of my play, I chanced to glance aside at some real grown up bowlers, unlike the hobbyist parents doing the teaching. These people had muscular arms and hurled the heavy black ball toward the poor immobile bowling pins. Bowling became a whole other ball game.

Is the Wii innovation or gimmick? Both I say. And I’ll not even raise the question with the kids because they love it. I love the Wii vs PS3 commercial, a spoof of the Mac vs PC ad. In effect I think the Wii is that all-American commercial innovation, a reinvention of the better mousetrap.

At least the Wii was cheap, if you discount the likelihood that everybody probably already had consoles and games to match. Now they need Wii games too. But what’s the value of getting the kids out of their bean bags?

Have a Holly Jolly Saturnalia

Me Christian, which simply means that I admit that I am not perfect and therefore can’t get holier than thou and (especially) I am not allowed to punish and certainly not kill anybody else for not being perfect.

Christmas being on the exact date of the end of Saturnalia, in the Roman/slash/suddenly/slash/Christian calendar is not a coincidence, Constantine wanted to ease the transition from bloodthirsty pagan to bloodthirsty Christian amongst his friends and countrymen.

By all the text in the Bible about it, Jesus was born when the lambs were being born. That’s the only time of the year that the shepherd’s have their sheep out of the folds, in the field and “watch their flocks by night”.
Which is in March, or February.

Santa Claus wasn’t going to be invented, as the Ultimate American Corporate Marketing Tool, for another 1850 years more or less.

Jesus was anti-capitalist. Capitalism was the system of Rome, and as the Romans pointed out in the fall of their empire, depends on pillage just to sustain it. Jesus said not to lend money for interest. THE basis for capitalism.

Now we are down to imaginary money. Credit being based on a buying and selling of IOUs.

We are told that we must buy the latest and greatest toys, coincidentally released for sale in LIMITED quantities just before Saturnal… oops Christmas. We must do this so Junior and Sissie don’t lose their childish innocent faith in … Santa?
So we have ridiculous scenes like the people fighting over XBox toys while in the background a carol is playing “…peace on earth, and mercy mild”

And the modern kicker to it, the percentage of retail profits from Christmas shopping is in the double digits, relative to the rest of the year.

So we have a pseudo-patriotic guilt trip laid on us, to keep the pseudo-religious guilt trip company.

If we don’t go out and spend more of our borrowed non-money debt than we will ever be able to repay, it would cripple the American economy.

I can’t speak for Him, but I think Jesus is a little ticked off at this mess…

The real war on Christmas

Baby Rudolf, Baby Bratz, no Baby Santa 
A rabbi in Seattle wanted to put a menorah in the municipal train station to accompany a display of Christmas trees. Was he thinking the trees were another faith’s religious symbols? Did he mean to ask to juxtapose a dreidel instead?

The train station administrators backed down and removed the trees altogether, a concession I’d argue they needn’t have made, but certainly one that fueled the Christian backlash. A now knee-jerk indignation about a supposed war on Christmas!

I’ve got news for the Christians, there is a war on Christmas, you’re fighting it, amongst yourselves. You fundamentalists are wanting Christmas to mean something religious again, but the materialists among you, by my count, every last one of you minus Jesus, already ceded the holiday to commerce long ago.

“Happy Holidays” is neither religious nor irreligious. “Merry Christmas” does not belie a believer or non-believer. The international holiday as demarcated by what’s believed to have been Jesus of Nazareth’s birthday and New Year’s (for non-Chinese), is called Christmas. It represents a huge surge in retail sales, for some merchants up to 90% of their yearly gross. Retailers of every denomination celebrate Christmas.

Put a menorah next to a manger if you must, but neither of them belong at the North Pole with Santa, Rudolf and Ol’ Tannenbaum. Joyeux Noel, Gud Yule, and Boldog Karácsony everyone!

Holiday season anti-war TV spot

Names engraved in stone
A proposed 30 second television commercial aimed at counter-recruitment.

Camera opens on a festive living room where a large extended family is posing for a picture beside the Christmas tree.

Camera moves past family, over an incidental table beneath a window on which sits a framed photo of a soldier in uniform.

Camera keeps moving out the window, through a decorated yard, along sidewalk where a mother is pushing a baby carriage, led by three or four exuberant children.

Camera continues across street to car paused at corner streetlight beside a municipal park. Inside a young couple is talking, holding hands.

Camera moves through car, over shoulder of driver, lingering on young woman in the passenger seat smiling [nearly at camera] at the driver, then continues out the window to the park.

Camera floats through snow-covered park in straight line toward a distant monolith, a lone war memorial surrounded by empty park benches.

Camera closes in on list of engraved names, narrowing in on single name.

Bush gives early Christmas gift to racists- turns INS loose on Latino workers

With Bush’s press affairs going so badly for the Iraq Holy Christian Crusade againsts Arabs and Muslims, how to rally the kore Klan klowns around the flag once again? If the Middle East holy war for oil appears to be sputtering along on only one cylinder, why not jumpstart another holy crusade somewhere to distract people with? You know? What about the one that Anglo racists have going against the Spanish speaking? What a thought!

What a nice Christmas gift for the White, English speaking, America First, hate all the rest crowd, too! Turn INS loose in droves around the country at meatpacking plants! Kick America’s most exploited workers in the teeth, too! Fuck the unions! They thought they won a victory in Houston by raising Latino janitors salaries a dime or two in the SEIU Justice for Janitors effort. We’ll teach those mojados a lesson! Si, no se puede, pendejos! That’s the Bush way! He’s such a compassionate conservative.

And for the kids of the parents to be rounded up? Well Uncle Dubya has a nice lump of coal for them for Christmas! He’s a sweetheart, he is. And such great photo ops for the press! Anglo dittoshits just love to see those minorities hauled away in shackles! Their only regret is that more aren’t shot down like dogs.

In Greeley, Colorado alone, the INS goon squads hauled away over 300 from the Swift meatpacking plant there alone. Nationwide the total hauled off to be deported is sure to go over 1,000. See the map locator at the end of the Greeley paper’s article above to see where the other Swift plants are. Apparently Hyrum, Utah needed over 150 stormtroopers on hand to do the dirty work at that plant.

Here is a Denver paper slideshow of the pigshow at Greeley

To add insult to injury, the INS cops decided to loudly and publicly accuse the rounded up with being all involved in Identity Theft crimes. How better to make Spanish speaking people really be labelled hardened criminals amongst Anglos than to throw this stuff into the stew? So our latest messages from the authorities is, Don’t be Muslims and pray in airports and don’t be talking Spanish in public, if you know what’s good for you, that is.

Since Democrats are also on board this Holy Crusade, we can expect much more of this tax paid hatemongering ahead of us. Our political representatives from both parties suck totally on immigration issues. They both entirely support this sort of witchhunt against the working poor, all under the guise of ‘keeping our borders safe’ and ‘protecting the native workforce’.

Resolve for justice and peace in 2007

Peace sign Christmans wreaths prevailI’d like to see 2007 bring renewed optimism for being able to fight injustice around the world. We’re seeing unprecedented rebellions on every continent, citizen’s efforts to reform the traditional mechanisms of inequality and oppression. People are protesting rigged elections, usurious banking systems, phony environmental policies, authoritarianism and outright military aggression. People are laying their lives on the line for what they believe. I’d like the people of Colorado Springs to awaken to such a call.

Colorado Springs sits in the belly of the military industrial beast. While our neighbors may cheer militarism, a rising number have also been coming to see the effects of US corporate policies in a different light. We resist our nation’s bellicosity and refuse to allow its actions being done in our name.

We face an uphill battle against a fascist media and an undereducated populace, but it would be a far cry to conclude that we will not prevail. We will prevail because we must. There is no brotherhood of man without equality and mutual respect. There is no humanity without offering our most to those in need. A life lived upon the backs of others is not worth living. Pursuit of happiness without concern for the suffering of others leads us nowhere.

If we can lead by example our efforts will have already prevailed.

Holy Hell! It’s Holy Huggables!

Blue eyes goatie and braidsI just got off the phone talking to the United States Marine Corp about their ‘Toys for Tots’ program. “How dare you try to shut up Jesus”, I told them. Damn, if they didn’t listen to the peace loving public and have decided to distribute the Talking Jesus dolls to kids this Christmas after all. If you are not sufficiently impoverished from paying war taxes to get one free from the Pentagon, well why not just order one online. I’m getting my daughter a free Takling Esther one myself. And there’s Talking Moses, too.
 
Sorry, Damned Satan dolls not available at this time. Order now! Holy Huggables!

A Christmas message

Christmas Lights over Camp CaseyCAMP CASEY COLORADO SPRINGS
Waiting in line at the Post Office the other day I overheard a local advertisement on the radio encouraging the usual holiday splurge “because you’ve been good this year!”
 
I thought to myself, who among Americans can say they’ve been good this year?

We’ve all of us, by our acquiescence, permitted the prosecution of an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation. We’ve overseen the slaughter of thousands, we’ve accepted large levels of collateral damage, we’ve sanctioned and justified the use of torture, in our name.

Outside of war, we’ve continued to abide the exploitation of child labor, prison labor, slave labor and poverty. We participated in the destruction of the natural world, in sexual exploitation and genocide. We’ve watched the suffering of fellow human beings, and permitted further suffering outside the view of our cameras.

Do we take responsibility for these offenses or not? Let’s at least concede this is not the year to say that we’ve been good.

To my friends who’ve spoken out, we may or may not have done our best, but let’s keep at it. Merry Christmas!

To those who didn’t feel the urge, or thought there was nothing that could be done: may the spirit of Christmas, of peace and goodwill inspire you.

For holiday cheer, I offer these amusements:
Kurt Vonnegut’s dissection of our current leadership
– The War-on-Christmas canard scuttled [warning: profanity]
– The NEOCONS in pictures and song [one profanity, repeated]
– My Best-of-2005 collection.

Cheers,
Eric