Christmas has annoyed me more and more each year and this year I think I’ve hit my limit. It has obviously stopped being a religious holiday (which is fine by me) but instead of becoming a family holiday, it as become a way to put poor people more in debt and help the rich buy more houses. For the sake of the holiday, let’s assume that there was an actual person named Jesus Christ. Didn’t he teach forgiveness, giving, and compassion? That’s not what I see when I’m driving past a mall or especially while walking passed the stores on 5th Ave yesterday evening. Christmas has become some sick day where people turn into animals in order to show how kind they are by buying things (things usually made by some sort of modern day slave, so that the billionaires can make a couple extra bucks on it) for other people. Couldn’t those hours that are spent sitting in traffic, pushing people out of the way, waiting in line, and then sitting in traffic again be better used to sit down with a family member and bond or write them a nice card or make something that’s truly from the heart? If no one believed in god and we called this holiday Consumers Day or something like that then maybe it wouldn’t be as bad, but it’s the fact that all these people are running around pretending to be devout Christians or Catholics and yet turn into tigers and lions as soon as December rolls around. Sorry about that rant; on a pretty much unrelated note, Glenn Greenwald has a short blog about the presidential candidates using crosses in their ads- how some (McCain, Bush) are allowed to, while others (Huckabee) are not.
Speaking of religion, Christians are really fucking scary. There is all this talk from the right about how we’re at war with Islam and then the liberals tone it down a little bit and say that it’s just the Islamic fundamentalists who we have a problem with, but either way these people are being demonized. Chris Hedges talks about some truly frightening ideas that the Christian fundamentalists have. Now, having these ideas is fine in my opinion – we are a free(ish) country and therefore are entitled to have any belief system we want – but the fact that they are actually working to bring them to fruition is what should scare the living shit out of people. The Christians take pity on the poor people who have to live under these oppressive Islamic regimes, but what if the Christians in our country were able to seize total power and rewrite the law books? Do you really think it would look that different here than it does in Saudi Arabia or any of those “crazy” countries?
I remember waking up Christmas morning as a child and seeing all the gifts under the tree. My mind would start thinking of all the great possibilities of what could be in those boxes. I sometimes got what I wanted and sometimes didn’t, but my memories of the looking forward to what could be on Christmas mornings are greater than the memories of what I actually got. This Christmas I have this jolt of excitement at the thought that there is even the slightest possibility that sometime in the next 20 years certain people in charge of us will be tried for war crimes. The CIA tapes getting destroyed, despite most people not paying too much attention, is getting bigger and bigger by the day. The tapes allegedly showed waterboarding, which (despite the fact that Bush claims it not to be so) is torture. There are a bunch of different reasons that have been given as to why the tapes were destroyed, but I don’t think any of them matter. The path from their destruction to the door of the White House is getting clearer with each day that passes. If you don’t get excited at the thought of Bush, Cheney (if he’s still breathing), Rumsfeld, Gonzalez, and the rest getting drilled by some international prosecutor in front of the world, then you’re truly lacking the Christmas spirit.
Since that Christmas wish may be a bit far-fetched, especially if I expect it to happen anytime soon, I have another one. Everyone knows that our tax dollars are going to the war(s), but not many people are willing to take the risks needed in order to stop this from happening. I understand that doing something like refusing to pay your taxes is scary stuff, as my mom said “they could take stuff… my house, my car” but which is more valuable, your stuff or innocent lives? There is an article today by Nina Rothschild informing us about a petition going around saying that we will agree not to pay our taxes- but only if 100,000 people sign and agree with us. The people in power only have power because we give it to them. We complain about all the unfair laws and what’s being done in our name, but when it is suggested to not listen, people gasp. The Iron curtain fell because people refused to follow their leaders, England left India because Indians stopped listening, Black people in the South were given more and more (although still not enough) rights because they refused to believe what their leaders were telling them- that they weren’t as human as people with lighter skin. Anyone who says that not listening doesn’t ever work has obviously gotten too good of an “education”.
Where else are our tax dollars going, you ask? Well, if you’ve read my blog the past few days you know that a lot of it goes into the pockets of random people in Pakistan while their soldiers are fighting in the snow wearing sandals and carry only ten rounds of ammo. Well, on top of that one billion dollars a year, the government has announced a new plan to give them $750 billion over the next five years to build schools and roads in areas where – right now – soldiers can hardly get into. This could be a good thing- get some roads and schools built, put some money into their economy, make the tribes lose some of their hate for the US. However, half the money will go to contractors- US contractors who will be in charge of building the roads and schools. The corruption continues, and every time we pay a tax of any kind, we help it along.
That’s enough for today, as the TV has been turned on and I can’t concentrate anymore. Have a good Christmas.