Friday, December 5, 2008

What I'm Wishing For

It's the holiday season again, though with retail creep, the rush toward Christmas is taking on the stature of the latest Presidential campaign, starting way too early and wearing everyone down. Combine this with the recession (which authorities just got around to realizing, started last December), and the job cuts going on, and this promises to be a difficult month to get through for many. For some of us though, we can't help but take the essence of the holiday and make use of it to place some well-intentioned wishes:

1] Here's wishing President-Elect Obama smooth sailing in the first months of his administration. He's going to need help, because the economy is dying a lingering death, the world is still a pretty dangerous place, and there are plenty of people who, unable to deny him his place in history, are rooting for him to fail.

2] Here's wishing the Detroit auto industry does not get its bailout. Oh, I know, there will be economic devastation, even longer unemployment lines, and a general failure of Western civilization. But the hand-writing was on the wall in the mid-1970s, when OPEC made it quite clear that they ran our country, and since then, the Big Three and the UAW have done very little to create cheap, economical transportation, even as the Japanese continue their excellence in that arena. It's time for the old to be swept away.

3] Here's wishing the government would pull the plug on this $700 billion bailout of the financial industry. See 2] for the same basic destruction of our way of life, but do the phrases "Savings and Loan Crisis," "Tech Bubble," and "Enron" ring a bell? If we're not going to bail out Detroit, then Wall Street doesn't deserve it either. Let those firms fail, as any business that is mis-managed should. I don't think my pocket, or the pockets of my children and grandchildren, need to be picked so some CEO can continue to get rich running his corporation into the ground. Take the money and fund everyone's unemployment benefits for a year, spend money on retraining workers, rebuilding our infrastructure, and invest in industries that will take us into the future (renewable energy, fusion research, clean transportation, recycling).

4] A wish for peace in Iraq. May it come in the form of a cloud of dust being raised as columns of Humvees and M-1A1s head for the ports and the airports, carrying our weary soldiers home for the rest and the accolades they so richly deserve.

5] A wish for Osama Bin-Laden to wake up one morning to find a gun muzzle pressed against the side of his head by a United States Marine.

6] Here's wishing an end to intolerance, in all its forms (racism, sexism, religious zealotry, etc.). We are all humans; we are all together in this, like it or not. We need not like each other, but we must learn to tolerate each other and to work together to ensure that our world is safe from destruction at our own hands.

7] A special wish: that in this season of caring and giving, that each of us digs a little deeper into our pockets, our closets, our pantries, to ensure that no one has to be cold and hungry. It should not take the devastation of a hurricane or an earthquake or a tsunami for us to do what we can to eliminate want from this world.

8] A wish that everyone, no matter their circumstance, no matter what hard times they face, no matter what pains they have endured, have some peace as this year comes to a close.

These are just some of the things I am wishing for.

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