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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Time for a Christmas/Other Holidays break - the same as last year - except that last year I "broke" on December 19. Looking back at what I was writing about in the last couple of months of 2004, one thing stood out - perhaps if not above all others, at least prominently.

"Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose." The more things change, the more they stay the same.

This year, a "war on Christmas" became a subject of discussion - even though there is no such thing except in the twisted minds of people like Bill O’Reilly. This caricature of a newsman whose continued presence on the air remains a mystery to all except mindless right wingers, didn’t take up this battle cry last year. He could have of course. He could have latched on to the usual outburst of "Christmas Complainers" - people who believe that Christmas has lost its meaning - because they appear regularly at this time of the year and this year is no exception.

The nature of those complaints never seem to change - except for the crazies who point to them as evidence that a war is being waged against Christmas.

So instead of writing about this year’s complaints and this year’s crazies, I’ll just provide the link to what I wrote as I broke for a Christmas season hiatus last December. You will see. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

And while I’m about it, here’s a link to what I posted here in November of 2004 - three days after last year’s "Black Friday" - the Friday after Thanksgiving when the Christmas shopping season began with a vengeance. It included an ancient piece of fiction about "Christmas" which might be considered prophetic if there really is a war and the "let’s stamp out Christmas": crowd wins.

But even though there wasn’t any "war" against Christmas last year and there isn’t one in progress this year except in the minds of a few nuts, there has been and always will be Scrooges among us. Yesterday, the Scrooge of 2005 reared his ugly head and identified himself. The Senate passed a so called budget bill only because Dick Cheney was called back from his overseas travels to cast a tie breaking vote. The Senate was locked 50/50. Even some Republicans couldn’t stomach what the administration wanted to do to reduce the deficit that it has been building since it came to power. On the backs of the least among us. Cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and student loans.

But it wasn’t Cheney who earned the title of Scrooge of 2005. It was the leader of the Senate - long distance medical diagnostician via videotape images Dr. Bill Frist. Multi- millionaire Bill Frist. Dr. Frist announced the passage of the budget bill with a triumphant flourish. And as to those whose lives will be affected by the cuts? "People will have to learn to make do with less" said Dr. Scrooge. Or words to that effect.

Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

And a merry Christmas to all.