Boxing Day Gifts for Decision (and Non-Decision) Makers

Santa's not the only one who should be kicked out on 12/26! 

In many places where Christmas is observed, the day itself is for family and quiet contemplation. (Wow! What a bizarre idea, huh?) Present exchanges, usually modest ones given in small numbers (shocking!), actually take place on December 26, Boxing Day. (In the USA, we return gifts on Boxing Day.) So here’s my Grinch list of Boxing Day gifts for decision- and non-decision-makers (broadly defined).

To Egypt: A military coup. It’s the only thing that has a prayer of saving the nation from civil war, religious jihad, and regional war. The Muslim Brotherhood has railroaded through a new constitution that will, if left unchecked, impose sharia law on the nation and take it back to the 14th century. It will, of course, blame Israel for anything that goes wrong and seek to launch a holy war against it. Ordinary Egyptians would be much better off under a junta.

To all doe-eyed liberals who actually believed in Arab Spring: Huge slices of humble pie and forced feedings of it. Maybe if they get sick enough, reality will dawn. Who knew Arab Spring would not bring democracy to Yemen or Egypt? Lots of us, actually! In fact, anyone who actually knows the difference between fairy tales and social reality anticipated this.

To the NRA:  Copies of Mein Kampf and 10% off coupons for jackboots and brown shirts. This is how fascism begins–a bully group of well-armed thugs decides that their self-interest matters more than the well being of the masses. Fear is used to cow the populace into believing that only the thugs can save them from the savagery that the thugs themselves unleashed. The NRA at least ought to learn their tactics from a master.

To the masses: The secret ballot and instructions on how to use it to vote down thugs, fear-mongers, and assorted bullies. Also an instruction manual on pressure politics within putative democratic societies. Caveat: You actually have to use the vote and citizen lobbying power, not serenely assume that there is magic in the mere possession of them.

To the average taxpayer: A big old increase in federal levies. Go on–blame Obama. You know you want to. But you can really thank the Tea Party, which would rather make you guys pay through the nose than to tell the 1% that they actually have to pay anything substantial for the privilege of living in a capitalist society. (Of course, you might just want to use the ballot and pressure politics to fight this. See above.)

To Obama: A spine. You’ve been reelected Big Guy, so take charge. Call out the fascists and the greedy. Go ahead–impugn their patriotism and call them what they are: disloyal, self-centered, and greedy. And while you’re at it, the word “treason” is defined as “an attempt or conspiracy to overthrow or war against the government,” which is exactly what a lot of the hard right has advocated. They’re not even subtle about it. Check out the statements on violently overthrowing the government by Texan secessionists and Mississippi Tea Party leader Roy Nicholson. Order their arrests, Big Guy. Put aside Mr. Compassionate and find your inner LBJ. Kick some butt, starting with the anti-government crowd. When we go over the Fiscal Cliff, use executive powers to punish the districts of anti-government Congressmen. And remind Americans regularly why they are paying higher taxes.

To the Founding Fathers: A Rest in Peace Bill. The new law asserts that: (a) the founders were mortals, not infallible gods, (b) they were politicians skilled in ambiguous doublespeak long before the term was invented, (c) they were not clairvoyants able to foresee all future implications of the documents they wrote, and (d) they consisted of many non-denominational and non-religious individuals who would be repelled by the very idea of mixing politics and doctrine.

To politicians present and future: A current calendar and the particulars of the subsection of the Founding Fathers Rest in Peace Law. This section requires that “All members of Congress must, upon taking office, sign an affidavit stipulating that they have no idea what the founders really intended. Moreover, members of Congress are charged with making sound policy for the current time period, not 1783. No member of Congress can support measures to restore slavery, property requirements for voting, male supremacy, or repeal of the 16th Amendment.” 

And, just to lighten the mood a bit, some sports gifts:

To the Pittsburgh Pirates: A 21st consecutive year of losing baseball. Any team that would give away a top closer (Joel Hanrahan) to the Red Sox for a bust minor league pitcher (Stolmy Pimentel? Who the hell names a kid Stolmy?) and a minor leaguer (James Sand) who was a trade toss-in from another organization, simply doesn’t deserve to win.

To the Boston Celtics: A GPS pinned with the location of the Fountain of Youth, or a March dump-salaries trading session. Guess which one is more likely for this broken-down plow horse of a team?

To the National Hockey League: The demise of Gary Bettman. But which is more likely, an outbreak of democracy in the Middle East or a contagion of sanity in professional hockey? I wouldn’t bet a bag of pucks on either.    

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