Snort Bites – December 2012
WORLD WILL END ON DECEMBER 21ST ACCORDING TO THE MAYAN CALENDAR
Didn’t we already go through this recently? We geared ourselves up for an apocalypse based on the idea that the calendars of an ancient civilization only went so far. Many people interpreted this to mean that measured time — at that point — would cease to exist, and therefore humanity would be no more. At this point, I am starting to get a little ticked off at the Mayans. Consider this: if the previous predictions had come true — and the world would have ended — we would have been spared the experience of the Republican Primary Debates (The Series). Even better, we would not have endured the gut-wrenching trauma of the Superpac candidate ads during the 2012 election.
So, what happened? No end of the world and no sparing of smears in the political mud bath season just past. Nothing happened, except for the rise of the political apocalyptic monster known as the Superpacs! Make no mistake: they will rise up again!
I will be truly pissed off if the world does end on the 21st, particularly since I’ve got a thousand or so copies of the Mayan Babes in Lingerie 2013 wall calendar. How will I unload these if the market disappears? I just hope the Mayan predictors are wrong…again!
NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE BETWEEN CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE AS THE ECONOMIC CRISIS KNOWN AS THE FISCAL CLIFF LOOMS
Okay, so maybe there is an upside to the world ending on the 21st after all. With the election over, most people thought that the boys and girls playing in the vast capital playground known as Washington, DC would finally get serious about resolving this crisis which they created in 2011. If you believe that, Goldilocks, then you probably also believe that the three bears living in the house which you burglarized will satisfy their hunger with porridge even though there’s fresh meat in the house! Know what I mean? I think you do!
The score so far: zero for the President and zero for Congress. Obama made an initial offer; rejected Congress’ counter offer, then amended his revenue projection and spending cuts in the spirit of negotiation. Republicans have not changed their original offer, or maybe they have and the media aren’t reporting any changes from their original offer. In any event, both sides are being portrayed as digging in their heels and showing no signs of listening to the other side.
Congressional leaders are telling their members not to make travel plans for the holidays. In other words, they’re staying until a deal is reached. If it’s any consolation, Christmas in DC is not as bad as people might think. Of course it will be cold, and there is always the chance of snow. This is not unusual given that it is the dead of winter, but hey, at least it isn’t August. The heat and humidity from that summer month is the historical (traditional) time when Congress flees for the presumably cooler climes of their home districts.
Of course, if Congress does allow the country to fall over the fiscal cliff, then we the voters should start thinking about their future job prospects. I can’t stand the thought that we have to wait until 2014 to show our approval/disapproval of their accomplishments while in office. Perhaps the voters should have a contingency plan in place, like perhaps petitions to recall these stubborn legislators. Just a thought for the New Year…
FOX NEWS LAUNCHES ITS ANNUAL WAR ON “WAR ON CHRISTMAS”
Fox News probably owes its existence to the oft told incident when William Randolph Hearst dispatched artist Frederic Remington to record graphic depictions of Cuban atrocities in the 1890s. When Remington reported back that the rumors of atrocities were exaggerated, Hearst is suppose to have replied, “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” True to his word, Hearst’s journalistic rhetoric fueled the anti-Spanish sentiment among Americans, and voila, America was at war faster than you can say “yellow journalism”.
It’s in this dubiously proud tradition that Fox takes one instance of a community’s attempts to make holiday festivities inclusive for all cultures, and blows it up to fuel the American Christian’s defensiveness about their holiday. The stories don’t hurt Fox’s ratings either, particularly those of Fox show host Bill O’Reilly, who boasts that he has defended Christmas from the “secular progressives” for 15 years. O’Reilly’s show highlighted a lawsuit brought by a group of atheists in Hawaii, who convinced a local board of education to cancel its district annual Christmas concert because of its link to a local church. The district bowed to the argument of separation of church and state, and O’Reilly had a ratings winning bonanza.
So once again, Fox viewing Christians are outraged at the concept of separating church from state. The outrage blinds them to the fact that the concept protects them as much as it protects the other cultures which they swear is encroaching on their beliefs. Witness the theocracies that have long thrived in the Arab world, where Islam is intertwined with the workings of everyday government. Global civil rights groups regularly report abuses of other cultures — particularly Christians - existing within these theocracies. The abuses show the disadvantage of not separating religious beliefs from the affairs of state.
Of course, Christians believe that such abuses would never occur in a sovereignty totally ruled by the teachings of Christ. Sorry, I can’t help but be skeptical of such ideas.
All cultures should be allowed to publicly display their beliefs, but in such a way that it is clearly separate from the trappings of local authorities. There should also be no effort by anyone to divide cultures with fake battles solely for fun and profit, but mostly profit. Unfortunately, this mock battle declared by Christians on themselves is rooted in Charles Dickens’ boy, Ignorance. The boy will always survive, and Fox News will depend on him to resurrect the “battle” as its ratings see fit.
In short, “Bah humbug” to all of us!