Sunday, December 25, 2011

And So This Is Christmas...

Well, it's Christmas. For those of you who celebrate it, I hope it's a good one. For the rest of us, for whom it's a somewhat normal day, there's not as much to do. Thankfully, some folks have been beavering away on the Internet, providing new content.

First, let's listen to one of my favorite Christmas songs:

Just one year, I'd like to not have to think "Yes, I wish that's the way it was" when I listen to this song. Maybe next year. More likely about when Hell freezes over.

Now, let's start with a comment left yesterday by stanchaz:
You don’t need to be religious to understand -and embrace- the idea that "Whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." But many of the 1%, in blind greed and endless schemes, have forgotten this. They have closed their eyes to what the word "society" should really mean, what it can mean. But due to Occupy Wall Street, we are finally talking less about CUTS and more about BLEEDING.

Quote Of The Day, Dec. 23, 2011 (comment by stanchaz)
Go to the link to read the rest. It's a worthy rant. As I've often explained, to me the major religions are better as Rorschach tests than as inspiration - what people get from them tells you more about them than it does the religions themselves. It does amaze me though, as I've mentioned before, that a religion whose founder was executed for picking a fight with moneychangers in a temple has managed to accumulate so many greedy and feckless adherents.

Image credit: via Art Pronin/

Over at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Oscar, James Ala has some thoughts on the ease with which the American upper class use the term "class warfare" any time we expect them to share more of the burden of running our society:
I have no patience with the meme, as I hope you have gathered. It is an over-the-top bit of hysterical heavy breathing. No one in the US is rallying the lower orders to fetch their weapons and torches to burn down the residences of the new Robber Barons. No one is advocating that the 0.1%, hyper-wealthy billionaires be chopped up into cat kibble. No one is advocating that the women-folk of this subset be raped, or that the even smaller subset of pregnant hyper-wealthy be cut open, or their infants be beaten to death before their mother’s eyes. Wall Street was temporary occupied, it was never burned down to its foundations.

I wonder when or how the super-wealthy became so thin-skinned. When did they come around to the notion that they should never, ever, hear a discouraging word? What weird form of egomania makes them need to hear how marvelous, great, wonderful, munificent, and super sexy they are? When did they become so thin skinned?

On Class Warfare
I think the trivial use of this term happens for a couple of reasons. The first is that this generation of upper-crust types has been so insulated from the world the rest of us live in, and so protected from any real danger, that they have absolutely no idea what a real war is. The other reason is that it's a cheap propaganda phrasing, and there are plenty of folks who think thoughts no longer than what you can print on a bumper sticker. They'll latch onto that phrase and repeat it endlessly.

Of course, the real irony is that it's the rest of us who are dying in this "class war", not they. We die because we can't get medical treatment, because we live in the pollution they cause and successfully lobby the government not to be forced to clean up, and when they cut our safety net programs to pay for their using the financial markets as a slot machine.

So, I guess maybe for us it actually is a war. If that's the case, we're definitely losing.

Finally, in keeping with our theme of (lack of) Christmas generosity among those most able to show some, here's a quote from Art Pronin at
Recently Damon also said this great bit on paying higher taxes. Note the ending line there:
“The wealthy are paying less than they paid at any time else, certainly in my lifetime, and probably in the last century,” Damon told a reporter at the same event. “I don’t know what we were paying in the Roaring ’20s; it’s criminal that so little is asked of people who are getting so much. I don’t mind paying more. I really don’t mind paying more taxes. I’d rather pay for taxes than cut ‘Reading is Fundamental’ or Head Start or some of these programs that are really helping kids. This is the greatest country in the world; is it really that much worse if you pay 6% more in taxes? Give me a break. Look at what you get for it: you get to be American.”
Paying higher taxes to pay for better education, Pell grants and access to the American Dream. What a concept!

Progressive Notes: BREAKING NEWS ON SC VOTER ID LAW/DOJ, A Wyden-Ryan Take Down, Damon Strikes Again, Taibbi on OWS Pushing Pols, and Other Doings
Yes, what an idea. Making our economy more productive by educating people better - that's an idea most of us used to buy into. It's not just about being generous, it's about making your own world better. Which I think is what that Christ guy was talking about...

Merry Christmas, or happy Sunday, whichever it is for you.

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