Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thanks and Best Wishes to all our Readers for 2012

In the West, it is December 25, the day on which the Christian faith celebrates the birth of the Christ Child, the humble and humbling baby-in-a-manger, very different from the gold and sumptuously ornate object-d'art that adorn many of the Christian cathedrals around the world, including St. Peter's in Rome.
Today, we also learn that two Christian churches are bombed, with considerable loss of life, in the African country of Nigeria. Radical Islamists are taking responsibility for the carnage, once again.
The Queen, speaking from Buckingham Palace, delivering her traditional Christmas greeting, proudly invoked the Birth of the Christ Child directly, the source of the inspiration, holiness and unity of her family's religious tradition, now deferrning to a more "neutral" and less specific religious symbol to underline her message of forgiveness, through which families are restored and friendships formed and reformed.
For some box stores in Canada, their Boxing Day sales will begin before midnight tonight, grasping and grabbing all the money they can possibly extort from willing accomplices. Laws, apparently, no longer make such greed ilegal; so, merchants take whatever advantage they can find.
Many news organizations are compiling their "best" and  "worst" news stories of 2011, their estimates of the "game changers," the "winners" and "losers" of the past twleve months.
A  short list of obvious losers:
  • Osama bin Laden,
  • Ghadafi,
  • Mubarak,
  • Syrian President Assad,
  • Berlusconi
  • Yemen's president about to depart for the U.S. after continual street protests demanding his ouster,
  • Vladimir Putin, the self-proclaimed life president of Russia is under considerable pressure from his people for fixing his own elections, and those of the Russian parliament
Some of those who have survived the tectonic shifts of political power so far, although their long-term future cannot be guessed because it is too soon would include:
  • David Cameron,
  • President Sarkozy
  • Stephen Harper
  • Dalton McGuinty
And then there are those whose organizations are struggling mightily for relevance and leverage:
  • The United Nations
  • The U.S. Congress
  • NGO's attempting to meet prodigous human suffering...such as the Red Cross, Unicef, World Vision, USC and many others too numerous to mention, whose coffers need our cheques.
Earlier today I had the opportunity to listen to American historian David McCulloch, speaking about President Obama. He likes and respects the current U.S. president, and notes the kind of "hand" he was dealt upon his inauguration. Given that "hand" and the situation around the world, MCculloch gives him a positive review, while noting that only long after any presidency can the judgement of history really be discerned.
Who would have thought, he wondered, that Harry Truman would have become one of the country's best presidents? He certainly did not have the rhetoric of a Lincoln or an F.D.R. He certainly did not have the formal education of an Obama. He did, however, never foget what he came from, who his "poeple" were and where he was going to return to after his stint in the White House. McCulloch comments, "He was a man who knew deeply who he was, and was not about to be swayed by the temptations of Washington and of power!"
For all those pundits, even those inside the Democratic Party who are and have been disappointed by President Obama's first term in the White House, they really do have much for which to be grateful, and much to admire in the first black occupant of the White House in history.
Let's hope that 2012 provides Obama with a second term; given the rantings and ravings by the Republican candidates to oppose his candidacy, the world will be a better place with Obama serving a second term.
To our many readers in so many different countries (some 90 and still counting),we want to thank you for your interest in our pieces, and to wish you and your loved ones all the peace, prosperity and health for 2012. If you have any reflections to share on any of these pieces, please do not hesitate to share them with the rest of the community of readers at

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