Archive for December, 2008

The difference between compromise
December 23, 2008

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LANTANA, FL — The difference between compromise and appeasement is as vast as the difference between politics and policy, the difference between co-optation and cowardice.

When on election night voters in three states chose to preemptively take away the rights of some of their fellow Americans with same-sex marriage-banning amendments the echo of Kristalnacht’s tinkling glass was all bu drowned out by the rapture of Obama’s victory. And in spite of that roar, the sound of broken glass from those three states, including this one, said that although we had reason to celebrate, we were far from showing the potential of our humanity.

And on inauguration day, we will be further than we could have been.

Which is to say that when the Pastor Rick Warren delivers the invocation at our next president’s inauguration, some of us will be feeling the difference between feeling disappointed and feeling betrayed.

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Happy Holidays
December 13, 2008

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MONEY DON’T CARE WHO OWNS IT, FL — So here in one of the top 20 wealthiest towns in America, this is how they celebrate the holidays, which by whatever name, elsewhere are celebrated in the name of hope, faith and love for others.

“The staff and I would like to wish you all happy holidays,” an employee of the governing body said.

“Did you say ‘happy holidays, or merry Christmas?’ one of his bosses, whom we might as well call Scrooge, said threateningly, having enjoyed bullying the employee publicly for the last hour and a half, and showing not the least sign of fatigue.

“Personally, I would say ‘Merry Christmas,'” the employee replied hastily, “but I did say ‘Happy Holidays.'”

That he worked for these people already served as evidence that he was not the sharpest implement in the cutlery drawer, and he was covering as many bases as he could identify as important.

“We don’t accept happy holidays,” his interlocutor rejoined, to the laughter and similarly spirited repartee of his four peers, all of whom chimed in, in this public meeting. “We say Merry Christmas here.”

What class, what wit, what spirit of the season.

The rich, I guess, really are different from you and me.

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I lift my lamp
December 12, 2008

MANALAPAN — I simply cannot capture how odd it is to be walking down this narrow, seawalled, litter-strewn beach in the morning, and be able to turn my head to one side and see this:

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look down, and see the sand-buried remnants of a tattered sail that’s all that remains of an attempted escape from hopelessness, and turn to my right and see boxing promoter and Bush-voter Don King’s monument to his perception of the American dream:

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Aside from everything else
December 7, 2008

lantanaatdawnLANTANA, FL — The sun really does glitter like jewels scattered the inky Intracoastal in the morning, when an angler with four rods propped against the bridge rail sprawls on a stool to the side, his head back.

The bridgetender sprawls too, chair tilted, feet on desk, basking in the warmth of his glass-sided house.

The bright light blue sky makes the stuff of postcards pale in comparison and the strip of teal Atlantic that shows from the top of the bridge, dances just past the fingertips of an outstretched arm.

So aside from a time of woe that has left some people with more houses than they can afford, some with none at all, nowhere to learn local daily news , and people not yet old here wondering if the best days of their lives are all behind them, the world shows itself off in the morning in Lantana, as not a bad place to be.