Frequent contributor Jim Peters offers another of his essays:
There is not a great deal to write about on Christmas Day. If I say that there is too much emphasis on commercialism and profitability, I attack the capitalistic experience that makes the holidays such an important part of rebuilding the economy. If I say that we should dedicate the day to Jesus as the “Reason for the Season,” I sound like I am a preacher. So let me just say that I spent one of the most pleasant Christmases in a long time today. I do not know if I got exactly what I wanted, but it was pretty darned close. And, that is not bad.
There are many things to look back to this year. Certainly, in terms of the terrorist threat we all have to live with now, the death of Gadahfi, and the death of Osama Bin Laden stand out as two things that will make the world a safer place. Should they have been given a trial? Maybe, but it is a moot point. A few days after our combat troops left Iraq, I heard that yesterday the new president of Iraq sent out a squad to find his Vice President. I can only wonder if they were sent out to kill him, or just determine his whereabouts. I believe, based on the TV announcement, it to be the former. We may have differences, but we can usually clear them up with a good argument, not with guns and squads.
If I read it in the “Globe,” the Democrats won the extension battle. If I read it in the “Herald” or the “Sun,” the Republicans won the extension battle. One thing is for certain, the people did not win the extension battle. Whether benefits are to be extended for two months or a year, some of the little people are going to have to pay, … and pay…and pay.
It amazes me how like the “Know Nothing” Party of the 1800’s the radical Republicans have become. I will grant that there is an amazing amount of space between a liberal Democrat and a conservative Republican, and I am not so sure that divide can be crossed. Liberal Democrats seem, in my view, to be as intransigent as Radical Tea Party Republicans. There is a simple truth here that no one seems to care to broach, and that is that anyone who thinks they have all of the answers probably do not realize that they do not know what the questions are yet. They just keep growing more and more polarized.
So this Christmas, I am glad I had enough to spend on a few presents. Not expensive presents, but things that meant a great deal to the receiver. How is it that we can spend one day a year in relative peace and tranquility but tomorrow we might stumble again? It has often been asked, how can we carry the Christmas spirit with us everyday? To my way of thinking, admitting that we do not understand some of the questions, let alone the answers, might be a way to start. This is our union, it is one and inseperable. Let us all come to the conclusion that we have to work on our problems by asking questions, joining in the debate, and compromising. This is the lowest ranking Congress in decades. It used to be cool to be a Congressman. Let us make it cool once again by letting the Congress, House and Senate, know what is important. Forget the grandstanding. Forget the illegal campouts in public parks. Write frequently to your Congressman or Congresswoman and see if you cannot break the ice dams we build up around ourselves.