Saturday, December 24, 2011


The potential positive and peaceful influence of Christmas was always apparent to me even when I was a wee, optimistic and naïve lad. Even now in my optimistic and naïve maturity that potential is more obvious. Potential by its very definition is always there though now seems to be ever fleeting in a world engrossed with selfish, disposable, obstructionist even suicidal agenda (my way or the highway). The great irony is that the Middle East - fountainhead of that peace is now more than ever the venue for those who would perpetrate violence against the world to include even their own people.

That potential peace does not now appear to extend to Washington, DC either where civility and common sense have all gone up in smoke. We may not be setting IEDs or literally blowing each other up, though some folks claim that’s already happening metaphorically. Surely, our critics here and abroad are correct in their assertions that we have seen better days and are starting a steep decline to mediocrity and ultimate obscurity.

Not even the prospects of Christmas could initially convince House Republicans to timely cooperate with their compromising Senate like signs. Only when the realization that their latest obstructionist strategy would result in game-ending political disaster did House Republicans capitulate by passing a last-minute tax cut extension for an estimated 160 million American workers along with further unemployment benefits for millions more laid off workers. The Republican epiphany was prompted by their constituents, The Press, The White House and their own party. Methinks that we are finally seeing what Speaker Boehner and his fellow House Republicans are all about. We need remember this submission was their white flag – a surrender - and not of their own doing. It was a deliberate strategy backfired. Bottom line: there has been no peace (or progress) on Capitol Hill this year. The prospects for 2012 look even bleaker. No doubt the Republicans will try and spin this one – big time.
So much for peace and goodwill towards Men…

Back in the Middle East we usually by this time of the year see declarations of cease-fire – a brief truce - in war torn areas, a respite from hostilities and optimistically a platform by which a long lasting peace can be negotiated. It’s happened before, but we haven’t seen that this year… Everybody’s hunkered down in their corners looking for weaknesses in their adversaries to exploit.

We understand that since, “the world will never move to the rhythm of a choir singing Silent Night”, we will need another miracle to match that singular one over 2000 years ago. Christmas – the winter solstice – should be a time of reflection, contemplation and understanding just as it was for the ancient Celts and most everyone else thousands of years ago. The miracle we need is absolutely huge - one where everyone will see the potential good in collaboration - a mutual respect and trust where we can all start working together for the common good.

If not, that miracle might be the “modest proposal” offered by a frustrated, confounded and always objective Bob Schieffer, native Texan and CBS’s Chief Washington Correspondent who while also serving as anchor and moderator of Face The Nation has witnessed first-hand the ongoing Capitol Hill Drivel. Schieffer recommends (with tongue firmly in cheek) that a separate though empowered Congress whose members will only serve for one year before returning home (our original concept), come up with the solutions to our current policy deadlock. The existing Congress will be allowed to continue to assemble and deliberate any issue they so desire, without pay or the ability to create any legislation. Toothless, then as now, we can see that their only value (then as now) would be entertainment. The Greeks called it tragedy

Merry Christmas and a Happy Hogmanay! Please pray and work for the Communion of Man and remember that Christmas is 365 days a year. Your donation to your local food bank and the Children’s Miracle Network will allow you a very earthly state of grace and help a lot of folks.


Ned Buxton

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