Merry Christmas. That may offend some. So be it; not my problem. Wishing someone a little of the joy you feel in your heart because of any day you deem special should be the norm, encouraged not discouraged. If you wish me the joy of your holiday and you truly mean it as an expression of good faith, good tidings, and best wishes for me and my family, I heartily thank you and hope your holiday is full of the meaning of your faith. Thank you for sharing your gift of hope and happiness. However, if all you have to offer is condescension and grief, take it elsewhere. You are what is troubling this world, no matter how woke you feel you are. Not sure what you would wish someone who follows the church of the perpetually aggrieved anyway. I don’t care, especially not at this time of year.

be a gift to someone else..

For some of us, this time can be quite joyous, as we gather with those we love, friends, family and acquaintances. It can also be hard, a sharp edge to uncover the scars of those who have left our lives, just when we thought we were starting to heal. Empty seats at the table, one less stocking to hang, one less card to send. All reminders of those we’ve lost at a time when our hearts should be bright, bursting with joy and hope. Often, the only solace we can find is to remember those we’ve lost, especially at this time of year; their faces, the joy they brought us, the way they too loved the holiday. To ignore the empty seat at the table, or speak in hushed tones does nothing to truly honor the memories of those we’ve lost; no, giggling over how they spilled their Christmas wine on the dog, now that’s celebrating. Or how they managed to have the worst, or best if that’s the measure, ugly Christmas sweater of all. And they had quite possibly the worst caroling voice in the room; but they sang with abandon and volume anyway, knowing deep in their hearts that the only thing that matters was those who could hear it; for those moments are fleeting, and the echoes of those carols would one day be the only things we’d have to remember them by.

As I look at the rather humorous job of wrapping I’ve done, my mind takes me back over the year, a tough one for the family. But I won’t measure my happiness by the counting of bows, number of lights or the height of our tree. No, those I love the most are here with me; including one who happens to possess a perpetually wet nose and can be counted on to show any human what devotional love really means. These are the precious gifts I receive, not just today, but every dammed day the good lord sees fit to let me breathe. These days are fleeting. My life has progressed from Care Bears and Barbies, dollhouses and sleds to cellphones or video-games. The only constant has always been that it never mattered; we’ve had Christmases of hand-made gifts and cards, tiny trees and no lights. And it never measured the amount of love we have for one another and never could.

Yes, I’m that guy who puts his lights up early and watches every Christmas special I can find. Every act of celebrating brings me one step closer to my own mortality, yes, and often I remember sitting in front of a rolling, grainy black and white television with 5 other footie-pajama-clad siblings, watching Rudolph overcome and Linus clarifying the meaning of Christmas for his friends as well. If this sounds somehow melancholy, my apologies. Not my intentions; no, far from it. I love making the new memories and recalling the poignant ones from times gone by; I still try to call my sisters whenever an old Christmas special repeats on TV; it’s a running joke now with my daughters involved as well. It reminds us of where we were, who we were, and how much we have loved each other over the years. For me the holiday is just another cheap excuse for me to call them and tell them I love them; and to hope they too are smiling at the memories we’ve had, and the new one we are making everyday.

So go ahead and count your precious gifts tonight; count them and then sweep them into your arms and tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you. The gifts you choose to cherish will tell you how rich a life you truly have; if you’re fortunate, you’ll always be that gift to someone else.

And thank you for the gifts you have given me. I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

 

Jp

 

 

 


I’m not sure how many Christmases have passed by where someone wasn’t trying to convince me that there’s “no war on Christmas”; throwing the term “conspiracy nut” out just for good measure and quite possibly as the heckler’s veto the left is always willing to employ when they have no logic for their position. I never did think that past or recent attacks on Rudolph, Santa, Christmas Canes or even Christmas trees were any sort of war specifically on Christmas; no, eliminating Christmas is only a step to finally eradicating any Christian influence in western culture. The greater war here is supplanting western civilizations and culture with the magical, mystical, ever evolving, non-judgmental culture that is Progressivism.

Ah, the memories…

It comes as no surprise then, that the final act is now visible here in the tiny progressive hamlet of Durham New Hampshire. One of my friends said it best when trying to describe where I lived; “north of Boston, right? Somewhere between the coast and Manchester, Right?” Yeah, somewhere in there. I like to describe Durham as it truly is: a suburb of the University of New Hampshire. If you can find UNH on the map, you’ll find Durham.

It’ll be a Christmas miracle if our “Holiday” tree rises next year. See, it apparently disturbs some people greatly that the “holiday” tree is or isn’t secular enough; is or isn’t religious enough. If it sounds like I’m confused, I’m not; one only need consider that those who now wish to argue, even though they spent years telling me that the “Christmas” tree really wasn’t a “Christmas” tree and that us dirty, rotten, horrible Christians misappropriated it from far superior, kindler, gentler more deserving Pagans, well now, even the term Holiday Tree’s not enough. It at the very least, reminds them of Christmas. As is typical with liberalism, having the “Christmas Tree” wasn’t really the issue at all. One doesn’t need to debate the convoluted message of “County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union” here; it’s now any mention of Christianity, any past remembrances or associations with it that need to be eradicated. That’s the real end goal here; everything else is but one footfall in the march towards this end.

Too dire and conspiratorial for you? Well let’s see. The “Holiday Tree” concept doesn’t quite come from the 1971 decision in Lemon vs. Kurtzman as Town Manager Todd Selig mentions; it doesn’t come from any more recent supreme court rulings either, at least in any clarity that speaks directly to “Christmas Tree-bad” versus “Holiday Tree-good.” The 1989 Allegheny decision found that both the Menorah and Christmas Tree passed constitutional muster; the Tree was actually a secular symbol of the “phenomenon” of the Christmas season, not an actual religious symbol of the celebration of the birth of Christ. In that same decision, they held that the Creche was the taboo item because of the banner atop exclaiming “Glory to God in the Highest.” Interesting to note, they found that the Menorah is a religious symbol. However, they relegated the holiday of Chanukah to a lesser Jewish holiday, stating that it was “observed by American Jews to an extent greater than its religious importance would indicate: in the hierarchy of Jewish holidays, Chanukah ranks fairly low in religious significance. This socially heightened status of Chanukah reflects its cultural or secular dimension.” There you have it. The Supreme Court, no less, determined that not only is the Christmas Tree secular, the whole frigging celebration and holiday of Chanukah is as well. The Menorah is cool too, as long as it’s not displayed alone.

I’m down with that. I think the Menorah is a beautiful symbol. I’ve always considered it religious and have never tried to persuade others that it’s secular, as the “Holiday” tree has become. I certainly don’t mind if it stood right next to Durham’s grand “Holiday Tree,” right smack in the middle of tiny little Durham’s downtown, which one could cross in it’s entirety in under two sips of steaming hot chocolate. Ahh, if only it were that simple.

The Menorah is clearly a religious symbol. If you want to get all up in vapors about anything that might relate to Christianity as being publicly toxic, requiring limited, minimal exposure, then have at it. Same logic applies to the Menorah, unless we wish to call it the “holiday candelabra.” But for some, it wasn’t really about the Menorah or Chanukah. Selig offered another park for the evening to Rabbi Berel Slavaticki, of the University of New Hampshire & Seacoast Chabad Jewish Center, for the lighting ceremony, with everything to be removed after the ceremony took place. Why Mr. Selig would offer town property for a religious ceremony is unclear; why the Rabbi would insist on Memorial Park next to the Holiday tree was also unclear. Interesting to note that Chabad was one of the claimants who filed an appeal in the Allegheny case in 1984 and has actively promoted the display of the Menorah in other cities, to the disapproval of other Jewish groups at that time.

Most infuriating of all was Selig’s concern that the Menorah left up would be subjected to vandalism. Nice reflection of the citizens of your town Mr. Selig. “Just can’t wait to go and spray paint me some nasty messages on that Menorah you gots there.” Durham is a town center that is almost completely engulfed by the campus of UNH. You can’t find a lamp pole, a trash bin or side of a building without some graffiti or defacement. It’s fair to say that some young jackass suffering the ill effects of his or her first beer might find a giggle peeing on a downtown display cherished by the full-time residents of the town, but I can tell you Todd, it’s highly unlikely its one of your full-time taxpayers.

Equally as frustrating is the town’s Human Rights Commission. They recommend ending the tradition of the town tree. How enlightened. Why? Because they feel it’s associated with Christmas and may be exclusionary. How so? If the lighting of a Holiday Tree causes you to feel excluded, that’s a “you” problem. It’s not an “every-holiday-except-yours” tree. The commission was not alone; one unnamed woman who spoke at the town meeting on the issue stated, “I totally understand the distinction between religious symbols and non-religious symbols,” she said. “I’m not here to argue that. What I want people to understand is that for me, Christmas trees are not secular. It’s not a religious symbol, but all my life, Christmas trees have been associated with Christmas, and Christmas is what other people celebrate, not what I celebrate, because I’m Jewish. Associations that people have to the Christmas Tree and Santa Claus are lovely. They’re not my associations.” The constitution says nothing about your feelings, let alone things that you are or are not associated with. You made it about you. Heaven forbid your eyes should have to behold, even for a fleeting glimpse, something you don’t associate with. Others love the tradition; you have no association to it and the tax-funded Human Rights Committee feels it’s exclusionary; so, yup, it’s gone. Another tradition destroyed by the left.

Next year we’ll be driving around the town center, dirty slush spraying up on the windshield. The day will be overcast and cold, as it tends to be in December. At least our sight lines for the turn off of main street won’t be distracted by the bright, joyful lights glistening from the “everyone-else’s-holiday” tree. It apparently was too exclusive to the anti-Semitic bigots who roam the streets of little downtown Durham New Hampshire.

Merry Christmas, you know, if you associate with that sort of thing….


It would appear that Mr. Cosby will finally face justice. I say appear, because I’m quite sure that the appeal process will be long, slow and tedious. Given his poor health, it’s also entirely possible that he’ll spend his remaining days either free or at least under house arrest with an ankle monitor. The judge also ordered that Cosby undergo a “sexually violent predators assessment.” Odd; wasn’t he found guilty of sexual assault? What wasn’t violent about drugging his victim to unconsciousness and penetrating her without her consent? No consent and no consciousness for cripes sake. I kind of believe the jury already told you he was violent; what other nuance in the law do you need to qualify the horrific attack on Ms. Constand in any other way? And what the hell difference does it make? He committed an egregious act against another human being and if he had done so gently, however in the hell that would occur, he would have committed the same act that would have impacted her life in the same way. Criminal rights, you see. Maybe, just maybe, he should get some relief because we deemed his act to be non-violent. That’s beyond disgusting.

Come sit on the lap of America’s dad…

I keep hearing the term “America’s dad” thrown around quite a bit. Really? I don’t think I caught his show more than twice. Sorry, wasn’t for me. And I wasn’t quite into his comedy albums, preferring to mortify my parents with Cheech and Chong or Richard Pryor. Maybe he skewed to a different demographic than the one I had occupied; I only recognized him as famous for “I Spy” or “Fat Albert”, two shows I would only watch as background distraction. I was more of a “Looney Tunes” kind of guy.

I’ll never understand how anyone can treat others with such utter disregard; what mental depravity must one have to perpetrate this crime, or any crime for that matter, on any other human being? What was the ultimate motive here? Did a man who had enormous wealth see this as something else he was entitled to do? I’m sure it’s all about conquest in some way; but what are the spoils when your “conquest” is a lifeless, unconscious, defenseless young female? How in the hell could that not make you leap from the balcony after looking at yourself in the mirror?

What I’ve always wondered about these types of crimes is how they could continue to go on for so long quite unimpeded; no, actually progressing and becoming more frequent and daring? Especially around men of such notoriety that they can hardly step outside without people shooting pictures with telephoto lenses while paparazzi scribes hound them for answers about this or that issue of great import. It’s very simple and equally disgusting; they had help.

Whether it’s America’s Dad, Harvey Weinstein or Roman Polanski, there are a great number of hanger-ons and wannabees feeding off of these men like Pilot fish around sharks, hoping to catch any morsel of fame or importance for themselves that might slip from the jagged teeth of the powerful predator. These are people of such limited self-esteem and dignity that they are willing to dive into a crowd of fans to pick out the one attractive young target that their hero had asked them to acquire. From the agent who arranges the “audition” in the hotel suite, the “personal assistant” who arranges the transportation for the target, the drug-dealer physician supplying the “extra” meds or the secret service agent who is willing to sneak her through the back door, it’s quite implausible that not one of these types of people in the orbit of these so called-icons were aware of this in any fashion, large or small.

Okay, hold your fire; I’m not saying that these folks are complicit. Well, hell yeah, I actually am and if that makes you uncomfortable, pound sand. It isn’t intended to lessen the responsibility or guilt of the criminal either. And I’m not saying that we should be responsible or held accountable for the actions of others. But what about our own actions here? You may not have carried the unconscious female up to the hotel suite of your hero, but you were willing to continue to arrange those venues and types of meetings, all the time convincing yourself that the rumors and complaints, however frequent and increasing, were the work of some disgruntled starlet or spurned lover. You never questioned the patterns or the huge number of disgruntled starlets and spurned lovers because you wanted desperately to believe in the greatness of the man or worse, you were willing to give him a pass because that’s what “men of his stature do.”

You may be thinking about how hard it would have been to speak up, put your job, your livelihood and career aspirations on the line. Sorry, my sympathies lie elsewhere; with the young ladies who woke to find their panties at their ankles with no recollection of the evening, fighting for years after that to be heard or suffering in fear from the power of the shark and the parasites that feed from his cast-offs; your desire to suck up quite likely made it all possible.

We’re far too willing to put too many people on pedestals and we’re greatly astonished and disappointed when they fall from grace; not because they disappointed us really, but because we disappointed ourselves. It becomes quite depressing when we claim that we never threw the stones, although we carried them by the bucketful. Until we stop fantasizing about the greatness of others for things like their fame or their wealth, we’ll continue to be plagued by men such as Bill or Harvey, people whose narcissism is nourished by those unwilling or unable to do the right thing always, no matter the cost.

Bear in mind that it will never cost you as much as it has already cost women like Andrea Constand.


At last check, little Alfie Evans was hanging on for dear life at Alder Hey Hospital. His parents have lost their bid to bring him to Italy for treatment, a last ditch effort perhaps but alas, we’ll never know the outcome. The same doctors who said he would quickly stop breathing and quietly slip away when they removed his life support four days ago have decided it would be best to just end the little guy’s suffering by letting him slowly asphyxiate; a fate and an ending I’m quite sure none of the nitwits on the UK’s highest court would wish to endure personally. The European Court of Human Rights also declined to intervene, telling you all you need to know about human rights in the European Union.

who gets to decide?

When does one become so cold and indifferent to the suffering of others that you could literally stand by and watch this child suffer this death? I can’t grasp the concept here; someone needs to help me understand. I’m absolutely serious. We go to great lengths to sustain those who have robbed us, assaulted us, beaten us, raped us, and murdered us; yet we declare that this child needs to die; it is our will. On strictly moral and ethical grounds, of course.

To start with, we have socialized medicine to consider here; is Alfie diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease or not? Should it matter to anyone outside his immediate family? Only in the sense that hey, you’ve got to understand that there are limited resources available and we can’t be wasting time and money on an individual with no hope for survival. That’s the reality of it my friends. This is what the citizens of the UK have chosen; this is what they want. It’s all part of the comfort and trust they place in the hands of those they never meet, never see, never speak to, who ultimately get to decide who is and is not of any value to the citizenry at large. On strictly moral and ethical grounds, of course.

And so we have a political structure that wishes to intrude into the private lives, rights and decisions of its citizens. It’s one thing to decide that you’re not willing to foot the bill; quite another to say, “and because we don’t wish to foot the bill, you’re not allowed to go anywhere else on the planet either. You see, we don’t want you to prolong his suffering and he should pass with dignity.” Again, on strictly moral and ethical grounds, of course.

This has always struck me as odd; I have friends, dear friends, who have repeatedly crossed the border to the very same country that they crap on on a daily basis over how selfish we Americans are, how narrow minded, how this, how that, only because they needed that MRI quicker than 7 months from now, or their government funded knee replacement was denied or their next dental appointment is not approved for another 3 months. (Chew on the other side…) Odd, as I said, because socialized medicine is rationing, pure and simple, and it benefits no one; least of all those who continue to support it all the while endeavoring how to get around it. And in all of these countries, you can hear the same stories of shortages here or there, shortages of beds, shortages of diagnostic tools, of doctors, nurses, drugs, bedpans, and toilet paper for goodness sakes… And you have bureaucrats insisting that you have rights and freedoms, no more or no less than your neighbor but oh, by the way, we decided today that you’re going to have to die laying on a gurney in the hallway, gasping and wheezing because we don’t really think you’re worth the money and we don’t have a room for you to expire in anyway.

So just what is the appeal of socialized medicine and how the heck does it work? If it’s about cost, why can’t the UK just let the parents take their son to Italy; it will cost the UK nothing to not condemn this child to death. A bonus if he passes away out of the country; a sort of morbid “told ya so” from those who erroneously thought he would pass quickly, even after not being able to diagnose him in the first place. So maybe it’s not about money.

Maybe it is about compassion and morality and ethics and all of the other flowery words they use to stir up emotion and belief in the system. Again, is it really moral, ethical, compassionate, whatever buzzword you want to use to persuade the easily persuaded, to allow this child to suffer this slow, agonizing death when another country, another group of doctors elsewhere believe they can offer hope? Isn’t that what real compassion is? Is this about professional, or national pride? If it costs you nothing, if there is a chance that you might be wrong, doesn’t this child, any child, any human deserve that chance?

No, he doesn’t deserve a chance. You see, it doesn’t matter that it will cost them nothing to let his parents try; it is, and always will be about controlling the population; controlling their citizens by restricting their rights to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. And, it’s about the superiority of government power and position over parental rights. Ultimately, governments that should be inferior and responsible to their citizens, get to have the final say over your life, your death, and that of your children. And you willingly gave them that power. Not only are you decent and caring for the common good; you’re quite moral and ethical too. That is until you drive across the border for that crown that’s been bothering you.

I don’t expect this little boy to live much longer. I’m not a doctor and have no idea what his true prognosis is. I don’t quite believe that anyone truly does. We may not fully know what his ailment was until he’s autopsied. But the cause of his death will surely be the heath care system that has more to lose by his recovery than by his passing. No, not a doctor; a father. And like many others, one who would be doing everything I could to save my son or daughter if I were in that position. And I would look for guidance from our doctors and get down on my knees and beg for clarity from above. And at some point, I too would decide that I cannot allow my loved one to suffer any longer.

As a father, that is not only my right; it is my burden. It should not belong to someone who can only value the life of my loved one on the basis of the color in his ledger.


Where does Anti-gun provocateur David Hogg’s future lie? What future can one imagine for a young, passionate, outspoken defender of only the rights he wishes others to have, you know such as opaque backpacks? Where does he go from here? One wonders; does he have another fifteen minutes; will he eventually end up on the ballot somewhere in the country; or will he eventually bore the impatient left in their quest to destroy the constitution and eradicate rights which they are not entitled to give or take? I’d say that history will show us, but I’ m afraid that history isn’t Mr. Hogg’s strong suit anyway.

yes David, to some the guy in the tank is the hero…

David certainly has the “freedom of speech” thingy down, though. For future reference David, that would be the amendment immediately preceding the one you are hell bent on making sure others can’t have. But that’s as it should be. Sorry, everyone in the country has the right to their opinion, and if they think it through, they’re also entitled to the fall out from that opinion, whether ill conceived or wildly popular. Oh, and also for future reference; without the first, the second doesn’t exist and vice-versa. Think it though, if you have the time between exercising your first amendment on CNN.

Funny, that little caveat about fall-out from one’s opinion; it seems that some animals are more immune or at least inoculated from it than other animals. (Sorry for the poetic license, George). If the left doesn’t agree with your disagreement, they’re all about destroying you for it. Just ask Mrs. Ingraham. Maybe she crossed a personal line calling young “David the warrior”, “whiney.” And as the left is always wont to do, they mobilized under the guise of the “egregiously wounded” and decided they must silence the errant right wing miscreant lest she pollute other young minds with an opinion contrary to the ones the left wishes to indoctrinate others with. We can’t have dissenting opinions when a champion of the left is exercising his first amendment principle. That’s not how it was to taught to David anyway. No, he’s from a generation that was taught that they are always right, wise, entitled to be heard, to be followed and any indication of dissent is pure hatred. Last I heard however, Mrs. Ingraham had seemed to weather the fusillade somewhat unscathed.

Does Laura Ingraham have any less right to her personal attack on David Hogg than David Hogg has to personally attack law-abiding members of the NRA? Maybe Ingraham should have called him a “pathetic f***er” and she too would have gotten a free pass. Or just maybe she’s actually too dangerous to take on in the public square. I’ll leave it to you to do the math. But math, like history, is probably not another strong suit of Mr. Hogg.

No, quite the contrary, Mr. Hogg is going to continue to be exploited until the bloom is off his rose, to abuse another phrase. He’s still quite useful to the left because at the same time that he’s a strong voice for the ultimate goal of disarming America, he’s yet still a child and should be protected from those who may seek to call him out on his immaturity. No, you see, when the left doesn’t want to debate you, they avoid it all together by claiming that those strong independent voices who are your betters, are really diminished in some way, in need of protection, able to speak their minds at will with no regret or repercussion, let alone having to defend their positions. It’s the victim class played out ad nauseam and those least aware of it are the David Hoggs of the world who wish to be taken seriously and at face value, all the while being propped up by those who truly believe that they cannot manage on their own.

Of course, David is at that point in his life that most of us pass through; when we’re quite sure that we know more than our parents ever did, those old, gasping geezers.

Of course, history lesson here too David; when you’re busy remarking that When your old-ass parent is like, ‘I don’t know how to send an iMessage,’ and you’re just like, ‘Give me the f*cking phone and let me handle it.’ “Sadly, that’s what we have to do with our government; our parents don’t know how to use a f*cking democracy, so we have to”, it may help you to ponder just who conceived, designed and manufactured that wonderful little gem of capitalism that has you so worked up in the first place. Oh, and for the record, there are an awful lot of people who know much more about democracy than you do; some may be willing to speak with you about why we’re a republic. Sadly, there are also those who will never be able to educate you unless you’re willing to sit at their gravesite and ponder deeply into the headstone of someone who had rather die to secure freedoms than to rant profanities on YouTube in an effort to steal those liberties from others

Holy Crap, did that make your parents proud? For some reason, one would imagine it did. After all, the video was pulled from YouTube (remarkable in itself) because they deemed that it was bullying. How dare they. Didn’t they get the memo that you’re just a kid? Now I’m friggin’ confused; do we boycott YouTube for pulling the video of “David the kid” or do we boycott “David the giant slayer” because he’s a bully?

In the end, Mr. Hogg will continue as long as he has an audience and there’s certainly no shortage of those willing to demand that innocent people relinquish rights that others have willingly died to preserve. But this fight will remain, with or without David Hogg, until citizens of this country take up arms against each other, because there are those willing to die for their rights that are not granted by the government or by David Hogg. And there may very well be those who are willing to die to take those rights from them.

David, you may have to arm yourself first. I hear the NRA has some great gun safety classes, by the way.

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