by C. A. Matthews
We've made it through another year. More of our fellow citizens have died due to gunfire, murderous cops and unattended health conditions. More have gone into bankruptcy because of unpaid student loans and medical bills. More of our fellow human beings have been uprooted from their homelands because of war, drug cartels, and climate change. More have been killed by American drone bombers, merciless ICE and Border Patrol agents, and our financial and military support of corrupt regimes intent on genocide.
Ho. Ho. Ho.
It's difficult to feel "merry" when there's more than enough misery to go around, and yet… Yet there is still hope that things will get better. There is hope that we will see that "future to believe in" eventually after a long, hard struggle. We are seeing signs of the people waking up in France and elsewhere as they don their yellow vests and take to the streets to vocalize their dissatisfaction with the status quo. The people aren't taking things lying down. One can only hope that Americans will do the same. Odds are we will see some similar protests and marches soon.
In the meantime, we have to find joy in the journey we've embarked upon when we decided to follow the progressive path. We have to take comfort in the companionship of our fellow activists. We have to stand the distance and take our lumps from time to time, knowing full well that potential glory could be lurking right around the corner.
Putting things into perspective, we know that money is essentially a fiction of the sick capitalist state and the endless pursuit of material wealth leads to the hoarding of resources of the Jeff Bezos variety. (Watch a Richard Wolff video to learn more.) The military-industrial complex and its sycophants doesn't need any more of our tax money, either!
As we gather with friends and family during the holidays, let us return to the basics and acknowledge what we can do without. We can do without hatred, grudges and jealousy. We can do with more charity, cooperation and generosity. We can do without buying things we can't afford, we don't really want and we don't have any use for in the long run. We can do with more understanding, compassion and courage.
To re-phrase the song Judy Garland made famous in the movie Meet Me in St. Louis: Have yourself a non-materialistic little Christmas. And a revolutionary New Year. Maybe Santa will put a yellow vest in your stocking if you're good, eh?
Here's more from a group that hasn't lost hope.
Toledoans for Safe Water are fighting the latest attempt at destroying democracy. Please sign the "I Support the Lake Erie Bill of Rights" letter online and share this link with others. You can sign as both an individual and as a representative of your business or organization or church. Thank you.
And now for more insight on hope from our friend in the North.
We Can And Must Build A More Just World
by Vegematic Deluxe
When one reaches a certain age, our experiences tend to breed a certain cynicism about life. It becomes easy to dismiss all hope for a brighter future. After all, we have repeatedly witnessed our hopes dashed until optimism can seem to be the province of youthful idealism. We consume media that indeed confirms our dark vision of humanity. We isolate ourselves behind screens. We ingest antidepressants, drink, gamble, shop, anything to numb the pain of our existence. We have forgotten how to be human. If we lose our sense of the possible, we not only do ourselves a disservice--we betray those who come after us.
My memory drifts back to my childhood in Montreal. At the age of ten, it was 1967 and Montreal was hosting The World's Fair, Expo67. I wandered enthralled and amazed at the futuristic pavilions from every nation on earth. The glittering spires from Iran, America's geodesic dome--even the Soviets got in on the act. My ten year old brain was infused with boundless joy and optimism. I truly believed that the world of the future would be wonderful. People would be evolved enough to put an end to racism, poverty and war, and of course scientific ingenuity would solve our pollution problems.
Of course, my childhood naivety is humorous to me today, yet I can see something of value in it. Something in the innocent belief in a just universe. It's easy for those of us who believe in progressive causes to become bitter and cynical. Many of us have fought the good fight for years only to witness the forces of oppression grow more powerful.
In 2011, I once again felt that sense of optimism with the Occupy Movement. I felt it again in 2016 when Bernie gave us all hope. Each time our hopes have been dashed on the rocks of corruption and repression, and with it, each time, a little more hope dies. The 61-year-old man in me says that things are hopeless. But every once in a while, the ten-year-old boy reemerges to inspire me to continue. I hope he never goes away.
BIO: Vegematic elaborates on what he calls the "sh*t-o-sphere" of our current society, but deep down he's an optimist. Don't tell him that--or do tell him by leaving a comment on a video at his You Tube channel. He'll return your comment. No kidding. Canadians are nice that way.
Since Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, and we usually post a new blog on Tuesday, we thought we'd take a break this coming week. It'll be the first time we have ever skipped a weekly posting since June of 2015. It's rather amazing considering how hectic life can be. The urgency to keep the progressive dialogue going actually keeps us going through illness and major life upheavals. I hope it does you, too. So, enjoy the week off, but remember--the Revolution will be waiting when you return.
Don't forget you can always click on the archive links on the right sidebar (keep scrolling) and read past posts--Christmas or otherwise--from the past 3 1/2 years. There's a lot of material there you might want to catch up on. (Last year's holiday piece was pretty interesting--A Christmas Story--Republican Style.) Please share it with others on your social media sites. Nothing ticks the establishment off more than progressives sharing information and thought-provoking commentary with each other. Power to the good people--not the naughty corporations!
Protect their future! Give the gift that keeps on giving to the Revolution.
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This is critical --
This is critical --
Late last week, a conservative U.S. District Court judge in Texas ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. The ruling advances Republican efforts to kill the ACA and strip millions of their lifesaving and necessary care.
This ruling also violates the will of millions of health care voters like you, who sent a strong message in the midterm elections that we won’t stand for any more attempts to sabotage the ACA.
We will NOT let the GOP get away with this -- call your member of Congress and urge them to protect the ACA.
If this disastrous ruling is upheld, more than 17 million people could lose access to their health care coverage in a single year. Even worse, 130 million more Americans with pre-existing conditions would be left without protection.
The ruling is expected to be appealed, and Senate Democrats already have a plan to intervene. Now, Congress needs to know that we won’t stay on the sidelines while our care is ripped away.
Thanks for keeping up the fight,
The Health Care Voter Team
"People fleeing violence and poverty in Central America and elsewhere should be treated with humanity and compassion – not face family separation, military troops, or criminalization."
The United States is full of people whose parents were seeking a better life. My great-grandparents were fleeing Ireland after the potato famine. For all of our faults, America was a beacon to many other parts of the world where people were fleeing violence and poverty.
Donald Trump has tried to snuff that beacon, pulling up the ladder of opportunity behind him, and denying the internationally recognized human right of asylum. He deployed troops to the border and imprisoned children. A 7 year old girl recently died in Border Patrol custody this week after her group of migrants turned themselves in.
That’s not how this is supposed to work. By criminalizing the asylum process, Donald Trump is terrorizing families who are just trying to stay safe. It’s unconscionable.
Instead of responding with compassion, President Trump has deployed thousands of troops, shot tear gas at children, and pursued policies to criminalize all who seek refuge. Trump’s cruel strategy is to create as much danger for families seeking asylum here as they faced at home.
People fleeing violence and poverty in Central America and elsewhere should be treated with humanity and compassion – not face family separation, military troops, or criminalization.
It’s time for Congress to stop funding cruelty against immigrants.
Mike Phelan, Progress America
Mike Phelan, Progress America
A little humorous vignette that makes a good point....
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