If only I had some more of it. If only someone would wrap it up with a pretty bow and put it in my stocking.
“Mom, what are you getting Daddy for Christmas?”
“An extra two hours every Wednesday.”
“He’s gonna love that!”
If only. Were I flush with it this week, I would’ve wanted to talk about:
· Vaclav Havel. When he became president of the Czech Republic, I remember thinking how great it was that he was a former playwright and that his life as a poet and essayist contributed as much to his dissidence as the Prague Spring. Surely a man of letters would, at the very least, be an articulate, thoughtful leader, and he was – of the Velvet Revolution that saw communist Czechoslovakia become the democratic Czech Republic. He died last Sunday at the age of 75.
· Kim Jong Il. The poofy-haired wackadoo that led North Korea into starvation and non-existent human rights succumbed to all kinds of illness last Saturday. He was a bad, bad man, so I was confused to see on the front page of the Los Angeles Times this week a photo of two women bereft and physically unable to stand upon learning of his death. The picture was either staged (entirely likely) or too many North Koreans have been brainwashed into believing they could not exist without their Dear Leader. His puffy look-a-like son is poised to take over, although I’m not sure ‘poise’ will factor into his leadership at all. In different and similar ways, Kim Jong Il was as horrible to his people as Saddam Hussein, though we haven’t recently threatened Pyongyang with war as we did with Iraq. Speaking of…
· The war in Iraq – we charged into Baghdad under the guise of stopping Hussein from using his weapons of mass destruction. Problem was, he didn’t have any to find and/or destroy, so we put ourselves in hostile territory we knew little to nothing about, without our original justification. Almost nine years and thousands of deaths later, we finally ‘ended’ our war with Iraq last Saturday with nary a word or thought from the average American. President Obama knew to recognize the milestone but avoid fanfare. Now it’s time we did everything possible to take care of our veterans, whether that entails employment, health care, continued education, and/or just plain gratitude – whether you supported the war or not.
· Congress. The Democrats in the Senate fashioned another idiotic kick-the-can-down-the-road solution to our nearly expiring payroll-tax cuts and managed enough Republican votes for passage of the two-month extension. Then John Boehner lost his proverbial mind and rejected it – I get it, it’s stupid – even though in doing so he was essentially turning his back on the Republican tax-cut mantra and committing his party to political suicide. After a come-to-Jesus meeting, Boehner changed his mind and the House will, in fact, move the bill forward so they can all participate in further congressional charades come February. I can’t wait. Even more, I’m looking forward to next November when we can all show our gratitude for Congress’s fine work – at the voting booth.
· Christmas/Holiday cards. Did you send them this year? Do you send them to people you see every day, who see your children every day, to whom you’ve said ‘Happy Hanukkah’ or ‘Merry Christmas’ several times already? What about Christmas letters? Do you write them? Do you read them? Isn’t it all ‘soccer this’ and ‘hockey that’, ‘we took a trip’ and ‘the grandkids continue to delight us’? Maybe I’m bitter that I’m friendly with people old enough to have grandchildren. And how long do you continue to mail cards? I’m nearly done but Christmas is only two days away. Will I ever get to the people I skipped over because I have to do some work (get off the couch) to find their address? Do you stop and pause for a moment for those you randomly take off your Christmas card list every year? And why? You’re not friends with them anymore? They haven’t sent you a card in years? You never liked them but you sent them a card because they sent you a card, and now you don’t care because you’re pushing fifty and the older you get, the less worried you are about people’s opinion of you? Do you rush to the mailbox every day during December to see how popular you are? Did you send out cyber cards this year, thereby saving a tree? I got a very funny one via JibJab.
· Eggnog. Do you drink it? Do you put it in your coffee? I don’t – too sweet. Do you buy full-fat or low? The lowfat tastes just as good. I drink a little cup every night while writing those damn cards.
I could go on and on, if I had the TIME. It’s been too long since my last cookie and I always take time out for those, so if you’ll excuse me. It’s also TIME for another cup of joe. Tomorrow, I’ll take TIME to watch my Jets beat the Giants and make their way into the playoffs, albeit by the skin of their teeth.
Interesting opinion piece about the end of the Iraq war and how it relates to our current state of affairs – from Joseph A. Palermo at HuffPo.
Take a comprehensive look, from the Center for Strategic & International Studies, at the details of just how extensive and intensive our involvement was in Iraq from 2003 through 2011.
Holidays, Life, Politics