Friday, November 23, 2012

“Retailers have basically ruined every holiday”

Martin Lewis suggests we all jump off the obligation-laden, rampant retail-oriented consumerism of giving Christmas gifts.  Give it up altogether he recommends, for all but close family members.  And even then, he asks, do kids really need all that stuff?

I agree. Headlines like this make me sad:
45% Would Rather Skip Christmas
Why? Because it costs too much. The Gift of Jesus Christ our Savior is a free one, but many no longer celebrate his birth, so it has become a secular event for them. It is a shame how our entire lives have become so commercialized.

Halloween, once a night for kids to have innocent fun shaking down strangers for candy and throwing eggs at their houses, has been taken over by adults dressed in ridiculous and slutty costumes and is now "the second-largest commercial holiday, with Christmas being the first."

There is an easy remedy: Don't participate. I put retail madness in the same category as pornography, professional ball sports and Jersey Shore: It may be readily available, but that doesn't mean I have to indulge in it. I can ignore it and enjoy my life in my own way with my family, teaching my kids to tune out the soul-destroying, time-wasting, human interaction-killing distractions as well.

My advice to those feeling financially overwhelmed by Christmas? 

Fight the power! Tell the retailers to stuff it. Ignore them. Bake cookies and wrap them for friends if you must, and explain to you kids that you just can't afford a mountain of presents, but that you love them very much. Trust me, they will appreciate a few well-thought out presents more than a glut of junk. Find fun free things to do, watch the Christmas movies on TV and sing along with the Christmas songs. Gathering with friends and family and counting your blessings doesn't cost anything besides the price of food and drinks.

If your children eventually decide they do want to indulge in pop culture and retail pursuits (and they will), great! Hopefully you will have taught them to distinguish the good from the bad and to keep such things in their proper place, and that is somewhere down the ladder way below God, family and friends.

Hugging the latest gadget from Best Buy just doesn't compare to the warmth of human interaction, although I've seen a few people embrace an Xbox with an ardor that bordered on pornographic...

* - If any of you were as naive as me, believing this is a new phenomenon, I refer you to the timely article, Roosevelt's Movable Feast Sparked Outrage in Year of Franksgiving


Anonymous said...

"Fight the power! Tell the retailers to stuff it"

I wholeheartedly agree and personaly got off that merry-go-round years ago. Mudh of maay family were thrilled by my decission, but tthey got over it. The problem, of course, is that holiday shopping has become an important part of our economy. isn't that sad?

FreeThinke said...

Ha ha! Great minds think alike once again.

I had planned to feature this very article, myself, on Saturday, but you guys beat me to it.

All I'll say right now is that I totally agree with the premise in the headline.

There is so much wrong with the ungodly way we now approach -- not CHRISTMAS -- but "The HOLIDAYS," as Christmas is now wrongly referred to, I could literally fill volumes with tedious condemnatory rhetoric, but what good what that do?

Those of us left who still know what Christmas is supposed to be are still perfectly free to enjoy it independently -- free of all the meretricious merchandising tricks, gimmickry and frantic appeals to "show off," "keep up with the Joneses," stay on top of "the latest trends," and stay "competitive" in the eyes of your children.

I'm aware that what I prefer to regard as "a true Christmas celebration" is rooted more in Victorian England and the rich, poignant, mysterious, enlivening atmosphere Dickens captured and preserved not only in "A Christmas Carol," but also in "Christmas at Dingley Dell" -- a most appealing part of The Pickwick Papers -- his first published work.

However, Christmas divorced from Church and the treasury of magnificent choral music written specifically for The Great Occasion is not Christmas at all, but rather a pathetic attempt at reveling attached to no higher purpose than pointless self-indulgence in a cruelly competitive, irreverent environment calculated to inspire envy and greed in children and sorrow in many parents who cannot afford to indulge their children's ill-conceived, media-generated fantasies.

Don't fall for it.

Just remember Christmas was not established to glorify the pernicious, manipulative theories of Edward Bernays, and you should be all right.


~ FreeThinke

Divine Theatre said...

Another reason we do not watch television. My daughter cannot be led by what she does not see. To her, it is normal to make her gifts,go to church, go caroling, visit the Nursing Home. There is NOTHING telling her that the point of Christmas is to buy sh*t you don't need.
Michael had nine hours of overtime last night, babysitting Walmart shoppers. Sick and sad.


jez said...

FreeThinke: "Christmas divorced from Church and the treasury of magnificent choral music written specifically for The Great Occasion is not Christmas at all..."

Consider this warm-hearted musical rebuttal from the wonderful Tim Minchen:

(although even he "quite like[s] the songs")

Constitutional Insurgent said...

Christmas is not alone. Retail advertising and gimmicks are the same reason that Independence Day has become merely the "4th of July".

I feel revulsion every time I see an ad for a Memorial Day sale. No holiday is safe.

Ducky's here said...

But think of the economy, Silverfiddle.

We've made a deal with the devil.

Divine Theatre said...

Ducky, may I suggest Bastiat? Further, the economy doesn't thrive on credit card bills, does it?

FreeThinke said...

Christmas is the occasion at issue right NOW, Insurgent. We can bitch about Easter and The Fourth of July -- which is what it has ALWAYS been called with no perverse, commercial intent in my long life.

American composer Charles Ives -- a pure product of nineteenth-century New England Protestantism, and a successful businessman possessed of a wicked musical imagination -- wrote a magnificent orchestral piece to commemorate the beginning of our independence from George III, which he ENTITLED "The Fourth of July."

Though others have surely been bitten by the bug as well, CHRISTMAS remains the sacred occasion most hideously defiled by crass commercialism -- and by moronic,sour-mouthed malcontents determined to pour cold pee and stale vomit on everyone else's good time whenever they find an opportunity.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

BINGO, Andie!

Good shot.

~ FT

Always On Watch said...

I am sick and tired of scrambling around and trying to find Christmas presents! What used to be a pleasure is now a pain in the ass.

Nevertheless, once again this year, Mr. AOW and I will go to one of the big malls and take a look around. It is not an enjoyable foray -- except for lunch out at T.G.I. Friday's and exploring the bookstore.

I never know what to get somebody -- with a few exceptions (Warren and his wife, to whom I send a Christmas "meat-o-gram" from Fiji's so that Warren doesn't have to cook for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on top of working three jobs).

The people around me already seem to have everything!

Besides, all the gift wrapping drives me up the wall. Gift bags are a blessing, though.

I'm turning into my grandmother, I guess: giving cash instead of presents. After all, it is cash that I myself most appreciate these days.

Mr. AOW and I gave up years ago on giving each other any Christmas gifts -- other than certain fragrances that come in great-deals packages only around Christmas. Instead, we now treat ourselves to dinner out or a concert during the holidays.

I REFUSE TO GIVE ANY CHRISTMAS PRESENTS AT ALL TO THE CHILDREN IN THE FAMILY! At Christmas time, these kids just dash from present to present -- they have so many -- and seem to appreciate or enjoy none of the gifts. The kids just get crabbier and crabbier as the evening wears on. **sigh**

We are too materialistic. Period.

Ducky's here said...

Someone put this on

Divine Theater's Christmas list.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

"Christmas is the occasion at issue right NOW, Insurgent."

Oh sorry, could I forget. And good on Ives. It doesn't however refute that the day of remembrance has been perverted into another excuse for faux savings at your neighborhood retail giant.

It's the beginning of the 'war on Christmas' season...where moronic, sour-mouthed malcontents who can't drum up enough religious fervor by themselves, look for affirmation from retail outlets.

Silverfiddle said...

Actually FT, this post is titled,

“Retailers have basically ruined every holiday”

I enjoyed your spirited defense of Christmas, so why do you get angry at others for chiming in on their bugaboos?

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky:

Ah yes...

Graeber has written a Das Kapital for our times, a book clutched tightly in the grimy mitts of OWS protesters and marxist college professors.

His supposed refutation of the theory of the origins of money is tedious hair-splitting at best, and we already knew that debt has always been a human phenomenon.

Wars were fought over it, and King Phillip went after the Knights Templar because he was in hock to them.

Debt has destroyed nations. There is always a reckoning.

The book contains some interesting anthropological insights, but nothing in there challenges Bastiat or Adam Smith.

Silverfiddle said...

Here's an interesting take on Graeber's work:

We will all have an opportunity to see the trust model, when we're back to trading pigs and personal trinkets once Obama collapses the economy.

Divine Theatre said...

Thanks, Silver. I tire too quickly of such inane banter. He doesn't listen, anyhow.


KP said...

I like the thoughts attached to this article, SF. Especially teaching our kids tradition, history, spirituality, meaning, etc.

You can tell when kids 'get it'. They stop thinking of themselves for more than a few minutes and realize their reponsibility to think of others. More than that, they enjoy thuinking of others first.

If an adult ever wants to know what kind of a person they are, don't look in the mirror, watch your children. They will define you.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Divine: "He doesn't listen, anyhow."

I'm glad someone else has noticed.

@ KP: If an adult ever wants to know what kind of a person they are, don't look in the mirror, watch your children. They will define you.

Wow. I never thought of it like that, but so very true!

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

People are always nice and polite where I shop for Christmas. But I give guns and ammunition as presents.

Finntann said...

The problem with communism is that as 'primitive economics' it is about as useful as 'primitive medicine' or 'primitive agriculture'. Marx didn't come up with one single new idea, he simply advocated returning to the old and if it worked at a scale larger than a small village we'd still be doing it.

As to holiday marketing, if business thought it could turn a profit off it they would commercialize Obama's birthday.


FreeThinke said...

It's not I who is angry, Silver. If you'd spent much tome at my blog you would see I've been in an exceptionally good mood in honor of Thanksgiving and the coming Christmas season.

I do, however, dislike what-I-am-pleased-to-call "Refutationism," which seems to be the prevailing ethos in the blogosphere.

Why virtually anything and everything anyone says has to be gainsaid or rebuked I can't imagine.

It become infectious, and pretty soon that's all there is to too many comments sections.

Society as a whole is suffering horribly from the lack of affirmation, appreciation and understanding of the tremendous variety and abundance of great good things that are still ours for the taking.

We are all much too busy carping and complaining.

Perhaps I should ask for forgiveness for bothering to notice this, since bitching and "correcting" one another appears to be the favored occupation these days.


Ducky's here said...

Thanks for that link, Silver. Pretty good for a short review.

"Throughout the book, Graeber points out that the common sense view of 'market' and 'state' as diametrically opposing forces is false, and that "historical reality reveals (...) they were born together and have always been intertwined.""

Of course that is the topic of discussion here, isn't it?
You should read it rather than just calling Graeber a Marxist and trying to toss it all off.

Divine Theater might also enjoy a break from her fourth go round with "Atlas Shrugged". Graeber's a tough slog but in a far different sense.

jez said...

Freethinke: If it was my comment that prompted this, good grief! I thought you'd maybe enjoy the song (Minchen, if you haven't encountered him before, might be a worthy inheritor to the Musical Theatre lyricists you admire). If not, at least you'd gain a glimpse what the irreligious find valuable about Christmas.

That seems such a very long way from cold piss and vomit that I still can't believe you mean me, although I can't identify any other comment it might have been. At the worst, I've taken piss and carefully warmed to body temperature so as to minimize discomfort.

It's still a bit early for seasonal greetings just yet imo... that's another retail influence: ever earlier xmas displays!

Always On Watch said...

I just took a look at some recent headlines over at Drudge. All the fights as people scramble to buy today, Black Friday. Nasty!

People really have taken leave of their senses -- some people, anyway.

Finntann said...

How many of us can even remember a non-commercial Christmas? I think the honest answer is none.

As FT alludes to, our concept of Christmas is heavily rooted in Dickens and the Victorian Era, yet that Christmas was also a commercial construct.

According to the Lady’s Pictorial of December 1881, Christmas announced itself through the transformation of shops: “Christmas cards in almost every window, in the companionship of the attractions of the toy-seller, the wares of the draper, the irresistible temptations of the milliner, and of their more legitimate comrades in the show-cases of the stationer – from everywhere have these pretty little tokens of goodwill and kindly thoughts been peering out and seeking the attention of the passer-by.”

"Department stores had created a new Christmas custom, that of obsessive shopping – and sought new attractions to lure consumers in. In 1888 JP Robert of Stratford, West Ham, unveiled the first Santa’s Grotto in his store, and with it he inaugurated a vital Christmas tradition. By the turn of the century all children wanted to sit on Santa’s knee, and all store owners wanted to induce their mammas to bring them in."

You may argue that the commercialization is more intrusive and starts earlier, but our concept of Christmas is and has been a commercial one.

Of course one can return to the glorious religious past such as the Cromwellian Christmas riots, or ban Christmas celebrations like Boston: 1659-1681, or even 1776 where Christmas was not widely celebrated.

But clearly, Christmas as anything more than a somber religious holiday is clearly a modern commercial fabrication.

Are we viewing Christmas past through rose-colored glasses?


Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: It's the odd framing and false dichotomies I have trouble with when reading stuff like that from the left.

jez said...

Silverfiddle: do you honestly not have the same difficulties with stuff written by the right?

I sometimes wonder if it is possible to write well without obtrusive framing -- I fear it isn't.

Silverfiddle said...

Jez: Graeber's work is good so far as it goes as a piece of anthropology (his area of expertise), but he fails badly when he strays into economics.

I agree with the link I posted, which is it appears he's trying to sneak communism in under another name, or whatever. At any rate, I find him tedious. I also find it amusing when people like him build their "free market utopia" strawmen, when the great economic thinkers posited no such animal.

Ducky's here said...

@AOW --- All the fights as people scramble to buy today, Black Friday. Nasty!

I have a little sympathy.
A better flat screen, a cheap phone. People have been convinced this will make their lives complete.
I feel it's the manipulation of a certain desperation and exceedingly sad.

Silverfiddle said...

I knew I had mentioned Graeber in a blog post before...

A Liberal Blind Spot

We're all communists, he says. It's provocative, and in one way he's right, but in a larger way he is so very wrong.

It's that kind of sneaking smuggling that I detest.

Even worse, pinheads on the left read a cartoon version of it and then run rampant all over the internet and go wilding through our society with it, which I suspect is the real purpose of such writing...

Ducky's here said...

Fascinating. Suggest that someone brush up on the nature of debt and it's not even three degrees of separation to "liberal pinheads".

I apologize for being the one who is intolerant.

Hugh Farnham said...

When I hear the media breathlessly report about the crowds outside big-box stores, I think it is a wide-band advertisement to boost the economy.

As if getting more stuff on credit will fix the $16 Trillion deficit.

Folks, it's 1937. Only this time the bread lines have been replaced by the EBT card. Awesome infographic:

The Food Stamp Nation Infographic

Ducky's here said...

Hugh, why do you assume that the deficit is THE critical problem facing the economy?

Is the deficit responible for lousy growth?

Finntann said...

Ducky, you're correct, the debt isn't the critical problem... spending like drunken sailors is.

The debt is a symptom, manageable for now, but unless we fix the critical problem it won't be for long.


Hugh Farnham said...

Ducky: I reference the deficit problem as everything else is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic in comparison.

There's no way for us to pay that deficit off unless they seriously devalue the dollar. Ben Bernanke is trying his best to do that.

Even if the economy suddenly improved this deficit would never get paid. Are you a working stiff? Here's $100,000 in debt for you to pay off.

A consequence: the US Dollar fails to remain the world reserve and then everything gets real expensive for all of us.

My prediction: A deficit of over $20 Trillion by 2016. Inflation that rivals the 1970's. Stagflation, I believe it is called.

Yes, there are a host of other problems but this one has the largest teeth - and mouth.

viburnum said...

@ the debt isn't the critical problem... spending like drunken sailors is.

And borrowing 40 cents of every dollar to do it. Which, by the way, ties up the money supply that could otherwise be used to finance growth and create real wealth rather than just feed the parasite on the Potomac.

Z said...

I agree with you, SF. I did a post a couple of years back, something I got in an email (about 234987 times :-) give coupons for car washes by YOU for Christmas, baby sitting time for young couples, making gifts, going out for dinner instead of a gift...etc.
I'm making chocolate truffles for my nieces and nephews and including a card that says I'm giving money to a charity I support in lieu of their normal 'gift'...
We need to support retailers but not to where THINGS substitute for this beautiful and holy holiday.

KP said...

@Finntann << How many of us can even remember a non-commercial Christmas? >>

True ... true. We watch "It's a Wonderful Life" each Christmas.

Ducky's here said...

Is there a War on Christmas this year?

Finntann said...

@Is there a War on Christmas this year?

No, we've advanced on to St Stephan's Day!

Jersey McJones said...

I say enjoy the American celebration of Christmas. It's fun.

But for those who can't, give a little for Christmas too. It's the kind of thing Christ would do.



Always On Watch said...

Are we viewing Christmas past through rose-colored glasses?

Probably, particularly those who grew up in cities. For those of us who grew up in the country or in the suburbs before edge cities came along, Christmas was never very commercial.

In any case, we have traded convenience and status for the spirit of Christmas giving. In addition, despite all of the modern conveniences that save us time and labor (automatic washers and dryers, for example), we are scheduled and overscheduled. In other words, we're too damn busy!

Craig said...

If the Ancients had left that bit about 3 Wise Men bearing gifts out of the tale, we could have avoided all this. The masters (job creators) of our consumer driven economy make a "sacred" holiday about consumption. Shocking. Some of you sound like those dirty, leftist hippies from the 60's. Conspicuous consumption! You're finally catching on.

It wasn't that long ago, we were told the best response to the attack on our country was to go shopping.

but nothing in there challenges Bastiat or Adam Smith.

I'm sure you're familiar with Smith's views on raising revenues to pay for war, progressive taxation, the accumulation of wealth in fewer hands and his Labor Theory of Value.

Marx didn't come up with one single new idea

Right on. See: Labor Theory of Value.

Silverfiddle said...

Hopefully you're catching on that we're not your garden variety Sean Hannity conservatives (Nothing against him. He seems like a good guy).

There's a strong libertarian streak running through us (Finn more that the rest of us probably).

Also, I like to refer to George Orwell's ability to face facts, even when you don't like them.

I am familiar with Smith's work, and he worried about the marketplace becoming a jungle when economic activity became unmoored from any and all morality.

And his Labor Theory of Value was different than Marx's spin on it. Marx could not get over the fact that the market sets the price.

As Murray Rothbard put it, you could labor for a year producing a steam powered tricycle, but there's no buyer who will pay you what you put in to it.

Silverfiddle said...

The problem, Craig, is that finance and money manipulation have become activities within themselves, with their own selfish ends. That is not a fault of capitalism.

I've blogged extensively on this:

I especially recomment this one:

Monetary Musical Chairs

Jeffrey Snider talks about how we've been living in a false economy where "money cycling" is confused with real economic activity.

The real devils in this tale are the money manipulators, and please don't think I'm speaking in some code about Bilderburger conspiracies or whatever.

Simply put, the big bankers operate with impunity because there is no downside to their activity. Heads they win, tails we the taxpayer lose. Making the top 10% of every bank and corporation liable for losses would go a long way towards stopping the gambling. Just my opinion.

Ducky's here said...

Are you familiar with Joseph Schumpeter or Joan Robinson?

There have been great economists who felt it was important to understand Marx. What the fringe right always fails to do is separate Marx, the political economist from Marx, the bitter failed revolutionary.

To say that Marx came up with no new ideas is simply asinine.

Ducky's here said...

@Silverfiddle --- The problem, Craig, is that finance and money manipulation have become activities within themselves, with their own selfish ends. That is not a fault of capitalism.

Remember that when the insane Randbots drop by.

Silverfiddle said...


I have not denigrated Marx. He was an astute social scientist.

Randbots? The men who wrote the articles I blog about are libertarians.

It's funny Ducky. You work yourself up into a high dudgeon over perceived slights to your gods, and then come here continually slinging around stupid charges about Randbots and Rightwingers, often stupidly conflating the two, with no regard whatsoever for a point someone you disagree with is trying to make.

Hayek, who never quite considered himself a libertarian, and who famously declared he was no conservative, is nonetheless cited by libertarians and conservatives, and Hayek was for a robust role for government in some areas!

Silverfiddle said...

If you come back...

Pleas jump over Ducky's steaming piles, which were meant only to talk over those with something to say, and look at my comment with the links.

Finntann said...

@To say that Marx came up with no new ideas is simply asinine.

Sorry Ducky I mispoke... Marx came up with plenty of new ideas, unfortunately most of them were wrong.

Aside from the internal inconsistencies in his economic theories, the great flaw in Marx's work is his mistaken belief that there is some fundamental motivational difference between the protelariat and bourgeoisie.

There have been roughly 30 Marxist states attempted and all have existed in bloodshed and ended in epic failure... so much for the worker's paradise.

Schumpeter was fairly astute, Robinson not so much, she spent the majority of her academioc career fellating Marx and Mao. Anyone who can embrace the cultural revolution needs to be seriously suspect.


(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Ducky may have a point. The Republican Party did try to foist the founding father of gay marriage upon us at the America-hating communist Ann Coulter's insistence that he's a "conservative."

FreeThinke said...


Silverfiddle said...


Especially when it's stuck on subjects the rest of us have moved on from and forgotten...

Craig said...

The problem, Craig, is that finance and money manipulation have become activities within themselves, with their own selfish ends.

I couldn't agree more.

That is not a fault of capitalism.

It's the fault of Capitalists. I don't think there's a distinction. Is there One True Capitalism. From reading your homework assignment, I'm guessing your economic philosophy is along the lines of the Austrians. The bankers are rational and acting in their own self interest. People like Greenspan told us the financiers would self regulate. Ooops.

Making the top 10% of every bank and corporation liable for losses would go a long way towards stopping the gambling.

Sure, and cool their heels in a federal pen. Why give them the chance to do it in the first place. Remember, lots of people profited off the meltdown. They hedged against the junk they were selling. It's not a coincidence that credit default swaps, cdo's and other synthetic investments took off around the same time Glass Steagall (which you mentioned) was repealed and the Commodities Futures Modernization was passed.

So yeah, make 'em pay but I can't see why they shouldn't be regulated. Break up the big banks, what happened to the Sherman Antitrust Act?

I'm not smart enough to wrap my head around economic theory but I do know the models are built on assumptions. Call it dynamic equilibrium, whatever. The so called non neos assumptions have been dead wrong. Krugman sums it up;

What would truly non-neoclassical economics look like? It would involve rejecting both the simplification of maximizing behavior, going for full behavioral, and rejecting the simplification of equilibrium, going for a dynamic story with no end state.

I'm sure you don't think much of Krugman. Economic theory should have some ability to predict. PK, Stiglitz, Baker, Roubini, et al, have a pretty solid track record. I've been hearing for 4 years how we're headed for runaway inflation and a worthless dollar. Hasn't happened.

As to 'solids' backed currency. There was a really good reason for dumping the gold standard.

Sorry it took so long to respond. Every time I sat down to write something, my life interrupted.

Silverfiddle said...

"People like Greenspan told us the financiers would self regulate."

There's no fool like an old fool.

Glad we agree on something. Yes, if the banksters were personally liable for the wealth they destroyed, they would self-regulate and behave themselves. Removing the taxpayer-funded safety net would also sober them up.

And very few people would argue for no regulation whatsoever, I don't.

What we have now is a bi-partisan corporatist government that draws up laws and regulations that benefit the big banks while choking the little guys.

Craig said...

What we have now is a bi-partisan corporatist government that draws up laws and regulations that benefit the big banks while choking the little guys.

Amen. There are people there fighting the good fight. People like Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Liz Warren.

FreeThinke said...

Psssssst! Silver Fiddle, "Craig" is just "steve" all over again. Don't be taken in by a more toned down approach to giving your beliefs and mine a black eye.

And frankly I am unwilling to credit Karl Marx with enough good sense even to empty his boot after he's pissed in it before putting it back on.

Try, please, to stop trying so hard to give the Devil his due.

In truth we owe The Lord of Deceit and Corruption and his minions nothing but an axe in the neck, a knee in the groin and good swift kick in the ass.

You can sure of only one thing in dealing with the Devil: The harder you try to treat him decently and fairly the more viciously he will screw you.

The only proper way to deal with evil once it becomes know is to do everything possible to exterminate it.

Evil is subject neither to superior reasoning powers nor the gentle art of persuasion.

Disbelieve that at your peril.

~ FT

Silverfiddle said...

FT: You could be right, but I don't think so. Craig has been around awhile and so far he had proved himself to be a polite and intellectually-honest interlocutor. He's not a provocateur.

Craig: I do give Sanders his due. The problem I have with him and others on the left is that their cure is worse than the disease.

Putting all corporations, banks and finance houses on equal footing, not special government favors smuggled in as "legislation," and no taxpayer safety net. They shit the bed they pay the consequences would go a long way towards cleaning things up.

As it stands, big corporations love big government and all the regulations and red tape that go with it, because they can easily buy exemptions and hire permanent staffs of lawyers and accountants to navigate through the byzantine regulatory structure.

The system shuts out small businesses, and the new bank requirements are strangling small banks and feeding the big ones. It's perverse.

FreeThinke said...

Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
Why the PC Police had taken away
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ' Holiday'.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
not Happy Holiday!
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet
Christ is The Reason' for the Christ-mas Season!
If you agree please forward, if not, simply delete.

~ Anonymous Netwitz

FreeThinke said...

"Craig has been around awhile and so far he had proved himself to be a polite and intellectually-honest interlocutor. He's not a provocateur."

Sorry, Silver, anyone who tries to defend the leftist position is extremely provocative to me.

My hatred of his perverted ideology is so string I cherish dreams of seeing it ANNIHILATED.

Notice please I said the IDEOLOGY -- not the people who want to believe in it. A few years in a Re-Christian Education Center run by The Sons of Savonarola should be all they need to set them straight.

If that fails, well -- there's always The Gallows.