Thinking Outside the (Christmas) Box

You say that Christmas has become too commercialized. In some towns the display of decorated trees is now controversial. Confused about whether to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”. What about Kwanza, Hanukkah, and the Holy Days of Islam? Maybe a simple greeting of “Peace to you brother” would be appropriate. Better be careful though with that one. I have a few friends who have been arrested for saying “Peace” at the wrong time in the wrong place. Ah, the stress of it all could drive a person to over-indulge in the spiked nog.

It is just a matter of priorities. On a scale of one to ten, the importance of the holiday conundrum is less than zero. The debate of clear lights versus colored lights makes as much sense as arguing the virtues of vanilla versus chocolate ice cream.

The Christmas controversy gets even more intense for those who have children. Many parents find themselves in a no-win situation. Should your child be the only one in the class who does not get a pile of gifts. Will the mental health of children be affected if they are on the leading edge of the controversy; on the other hand, it might be an opportunity to teach a child that being part of the group is not always the best thing. Maybe it is better to minimize the influence of the culture on youthful minds. There is no better time of year to expose the negative side of consumerism.

Where do agnostics and atheists fit in — and others whose belief systems do not allow them to partake in the festivities. Often non-Christians feel abused during this season. It would help if everyone showed respect for everyone else’s beliefs and non-beliefs. Kindness and humility require that no one impose his belief system on another.

What about the Christmas story — the virgin birth — the bright star in the East. Some people love it; others are offended by it. No matter what your stand on this controversy, the fact is that the Christmas story has always been a story about a homeless family being bullied by their government. For those who are offended by other details of the events in Bethlehem, there is an updated version of the Holiday story.

Think about the fable of Jose’ and Maria. Forced out of their homeland by the trade policies of the powerful government to the north, Jose’ and Maria left their tiny village in search of a better life. They traveled in their old sputtering Buick, filled with the hope that they would get jobs and send money back to their families at home.

Jose’ and Maria successfully crossed the border but found that there were no jobs for “people like them” — people without the proper documents. Jose’ was an experienced carpenter. He had helped build the big new Wal-mart in his native village. Now, because of the mortgage meltdown, no builders in the United States were hiring.

Maria was a nurse. She had worked in a hospital. Now she hoped for a job — any kind of job. Her heart was set on getting a housekeeping job at a Holiday Inn — back breaking work, but the promise of a paycheck gave the young couple reason to hope.

Jose’ and Maria were running out of money. The transmission in their old car was making strange noises. The weather had turned cold. As they traveled north, they discussed their options. Should they try to make it to the Canadian border where they might be less likely to encounter ICE officials? They could cross into Canada at one of the unmanned border crossings in Vermont; but they would need a miracle to make it that far north.

Maybe they should head for Florida. With a little luck they could pass themselves off as Cubans. Immigrants from Cuba are welcomed in the United States. Jose’ and Maria often talked about how differently they were treated because they were Mexican and not Cuban. It wasn’t their fault that they were born in Nuevo Lorado rather than Havana.

It was getting dark and cold. Now to add to the distress, Maria was feeling the first pangs of labor pains. They knew that they could not go to a hospital. They did not have enough money for a motel. Jose’ made a sharp left hand turn and pulled into a truck stop.

He parked along side of one of the big rigs. A layer of snow now covered the ground. They had never seen snow before. Maria was fascinated by the peaceful beauty of the glittering flakes as they tumbled down in the beam of the large lights in the parking lot.

After a few hours, Maria’s pain was getting unbearable. Tears were streaming down her cheeks as she moaned. Jose’ was trembling with fear. He got out of the car and pounded on the door of the rig. After what seemed to be a long time, the door flung open. The largest man that Jose’ had ever seen stood there. He was dressed in denim jeans and a rumpled plaid flannel shirt. His long gray beard seemed to be collecting snow flakes as he barked something that was unintelligible. Jose’ pointed to his car. Maria was now in the back seat. When the truck driver noticed the woman in the back of Jose’s car, his mood changed. He immediately understood the problem. His stern voice softened. He mumbled something about being a Grandpa.

Maria was helped into the cab of the truck. The bed in the sleeper section behind the driver’s seat was the site of the miracle. It was there that Maria gave birth to a beautiful baby. With the truck driver’s help, Jose’ swaddled the newborn in a blanket.

The young couple thanked their new friend for his help and they were on their way. No one is sure whether Jose’ headed for Florida or drove north to the Canadian border. It is rumored that on cold winter nights when the stars are just right, the shadow of an old Buick is sometimes seen crossing the Vermont border at Derby Line into Quebec.

Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. Read other articles by Rosemarie.

31 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Donald Hawkins said on December 14th, 2007 at 1:56pm #

    Do You Hear What I Hear?
    Said the night wind to the little lamb,
    “Do you see what I see?
    Way up in the sky, little lamb,
    Do you see what I see?
    A star, a star, dancing in the night
    With a tail as big as a kite,
    With a tail as big as a kite.”

    Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
    “Do you hear what I hear?
    Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
    Do you hear what I hear?
    A song, a song high above the trees
    With a voice as big as the the sea,
    With a voice as big as the the sea.”

    Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
    “Do you know what I know?
    In your palace warm, mighty king,
    Do you know what I know?
    A Child, a Child shivers in the cold–
    Let us bring him silver and gold,
    Let us bring him silver and gold.”

    Said the king to the people everywhere,
    “Listen to what I say!
    Pray for peace, people, everywhere,
    Listen to what I say!
    The Child, the Child sleeping in the night
    He will bring us goodness and light,
    He will bring us goodness and light.”

    I like happy endings

  2. rosemarie jackowski said on December 14th, 2007 at 4:14pm #

    Gerald…I was advocating for the fair and respectful treatment of all, especially those who are under attack in the usa now – the new immigrants.

    Don…Thanks. I liked your comment even though I never expect a happy ending these days.

  3. Donald Hawkins said on December 14th, 2007 at 8:04pm #

    I understand that thinking and there are many people working on that happy ending and if we stay strong and with a little luck we just might see it. What you just wrote will help.

  4. Deadbeat said on December 15th, 2007 at 12:41am #

    Gerald…I was advocating for the fair and respectful treatment of all, especially those who are under attack in the usa now – the new immigrants.

    For fairness to happen, solid analysis is required. Unfortunately there has been too little solid analysis coming from the “left”.

  5. gerald spezio said on December 15th, 2007 at 8:25am #

    Rosemarie, who could argue against – ” fair & respectful treatment for all?”

    Yes , we routinely see mad dog Zionist propagandists supporting outright murder in Palestine & Iraq.

    What conditions their vicious murdering behavior?

    When you are pitching , you are undermining the entire basis of human society – including “fair and respectful treatment” of the readers you are trying to bamboozle.

    You mock all the magnificent achievements of our enlightenment heritage.

  6. gerald spezio said on December 15th, 2007 at 8:36am #

    In bright sunlight, on dark nights, and moonlight nights …
    you can see some healthy appearing humans working feverishly to pitch, manipulate, and distort the very lives of their fellow humans – for money, career, status, a terrific cabernet …

  7. Donald Hawkins said on December 15th, 2007 at 8:50am #

    Ok let’s try this,
    Did anybody see the games in Bali or the energy bill the King said he would veto if not watered down? Did anybody see the movie the Matrix and did that movie have anything to do with or about reality. One of the best movies on the subject I have ever seen. Now climate change how serious is this problem to all of us. People we are in big trouble. A very smart man who seems to see the Matrix for what it is said this.
    My concern is with trying to close the gap between what is understood about global warming by the relevant scientific community, and what is known by those who need to know, the public and policy makers. I think that we still have a long way to go in making the danger clear, in part because of the inertia of the climate system and the danger of passing tipping points — points at which little or no additional forcing is needed to cause large, relatively rapid, undesirable effects. Our fellow species feel the danger in climate change. Animals are not on the run for the sake of exercise. But they do not control what is happening. We do. We cannot avert our eyes and pretend that we do not understand the consequences of continued “business as usual.”

    A related alternative metaphor, perhaps less objectionable while still making the most basic point, comes to mind in connection with an image of crashing of massive ice sheets fronts into the sea — an image of relevance to both climate tipping points and consequences (sea level rise). Can these crashing glaciers serve as a Krystal Nacht, and wake us up to the inhumane consequences of averting our eyes?

    Alas, that metaphor probably would be greeted with the same reaction from the people who objected to the first. That reaction may have been spurred by the clever mischaracterization of the CEO, aiming to achieve just such a reaction. So far that seems to have been the story: the special interests have been cleverer than us, preventing the public from seeing the crisis that should be in view. It is hard for me to think of a different equally poignant example of the foreseeable consequence faced by fellow creatures on the planet. Suggestions are welcome. James Hansen NASA

    There is still time to slow this down but the special interests have been cleverer than us, preventing the public from seeing the crisis that should be in view well in the movie the Matrix was that not the job of the Matrix to hide the World the truth. When you watch policy makers or leaders of industry a lot of them pretend to be stupid thinking that is smart wrong that is not how you be smart. Now why are they like that because they have this little addiction called money and power fools with the mind.


  8. gerald spezio said on December 15th, 2007 at 8:56am #

    Society of English majors; news release

    Don’t despair!
    Rosemarie Jacowski has proof that there is paying work for creative fiction writers in Peeyar-Nation.

  9. gerald spezio said on December 15th, 2007 at 9:13am #

    Solidarity and blessings to Jose, Maria, Rosemarie, Don, and DV during this joyous holiday season and winter solstice.

  10. Robert B. Livingston said on December 15th, 2007 at 10:39am #

    I remember crossing the country back in ’81– a surreal 3 day 3 night marathon bus journey.

    Passing through Texas wastelands dimly lit by gas fires on the horizon, our bus was detained and boarded by border guards who cruelly shone flashlights into our weary faces: looking for “wetbacks”. To the relief of the Mexicans who faced the hardest scrutiny, their papers checked out and the border guards left us. I would never forget the startling brutality of it– I suppose that experience was a seed planted which would inform my political education.

    The next morning, a grizzled man with “broken” English pointed through a window to show me “the morning star”– Venus, something I had never seen or noticed before.

  11. gerald spezio said on December 15th, 2007 at 11:19am #

    Ignoring the excruciating pain and oozing blood from a rifle bullet deep in his chest, the handsome gringo cowboy smiles approvingly when found by Paso-Maria, who has sent bad man Jose out for Marlboros.

    Maria’s beautiful Spanish eyes are repulsed by the blood and guts everywhere but she lovingly caresses the gurgling cowboy’s bloody body and says,

    “Adios Gringo, you will be soon be in heaven with Jesus-the-Christ.”

  12. gerald spezio said on December 15th, 2007 at 11:21am #

    Not Marlboros; Salem menthol.

    Posta be Maria-de-Paso, but who cares?

  13. joe said on December 15th, 2007 at 11:54am #

    gerald, gerald, gerald spezio…why have you given your mind so willingly to authorities? At least make them take it from you…they said please you say?…how kind you are to relinquish your humanity…with no objection…did you smile when they said to you…dismissed?

  14. Deadbeat said on December 15th, 2007 at 12:19pm #

    I have to agree with Gerald’s critique of Ms. Jackowski article because the article has a tendency to divert and subvert rather than inform and provide analysis. Ms. Jackowski’s desire for “fair and respectful treatment of all” is inconsistent with her position about Zionism’s influence. She states as the following…

    rosemarie jackowski said on December 10th, 2007 at 1:58 pm
    Congress has outsourced and sub-contracted its Constitutional duty to the Executive Branch. Anyone who expects any difference between the dems and the repubs has not been paying attention. The Congress is responsible for the war and its funding. If they all had only stayed home and did nothing, we would be at peace. Zionism is only a part of the problem. If it wasn’t Zionism, it would be people who wear purple socks or some other such insanity. A country that loves war profiteering as much as the U$A does, will always find a reason to kill. Isn’t that the root of Capitalism – money before people.

    As Jeffrey Blankfort points out …

    The left and the anti-war movement are so focused on blaming everything on US imperialism on one hand, and avoiding the provoking of what they fear will be “anti-Semitism” on the other, that they have gone further from putting any blame on Israel than have elements of the mainstream. And so, having paid no price for pushing the US into the war in Iraq – and not only this war, but the first Gulf war – they are preparing to do the same with Iran.

    Ms. Jackowski’s perspectives mirrors the same “INSIDE THE BOX” reactionary thinking that “the left” hears from Noam Chomsky and Ron Jacobs. This is not to fault Ms. Jackowski and other folks who are introduced to politics via Chomsky adopting a “cult-like” reactionary group-think that prevents them from confronting Zionism and other key issues that the left ignores.

    It is extremely ironic (if not amusing) that Ms Jackowski wrote an article about thinking outside the box when her own perspectives are very much still SINCE the box. It is this “Chomskyistic” thinking that is the cause of much of the duplicity on the left. It is this duplicity that impedes solidarity.

  15. Donald Hawkins said on December 15th, 2007 at 12:22pm #

    I was born in a small town in Nevada one stop light when I was eighteen I left home to see the World. First stop Arizona a labor camp picking lemons. Lemons are hard little stickers and you have to do it with a step ladder at least in 1967 you did. I was the only person there who spoke English except for the bosses. We all stayed in camps one big room with beds and wood stove. Well nobody had a car in those day’s except the bosses so we got all our food cigarettes from them. At the end of 2 weeks I was waiting for my pay. The Boss said to me well son after two weeks of work 10 hours a day you owe me 30 dollars,what. Well it took me about three day’s to talk with the other workers as I had been learning a little Spanish. The next morning about 50 or so workers including myself started to walk off the farm the labor camp the big boss a big ugly white guy was yelling you can’t do this. Well we did I am trying to remember I think I went to San Francisco or was it Oakland.

  16. joe said on December 15th, 2007 at 12:25pm #

    well…gerald…I see you were given some back…?

    “Blessing and solidarity to all, again”

  17. joe said on December 15th, 2007 at 12:42pm #

    DeadBeat…your effort at dissecting thought processes and to be objective is a miserable failure…you revealed your misunderstood anger only…do you know why you’re angry?…you have been carrying this angry baggage for years.

  18. Deadbeat said on December 15th, 2007 at 12:52pm #

    DeadBeat…your effort at dissecting thought processes and to be objective is a miserable failure…you revealed your misunderstood anger only…do you know why you’re angry?…you have been carrying this angry baggage for years.


    your effort at a rejoinder is a miserable failure…you revealed your inability to provide analysis and offer only a personal attack and psychobabble rather than information. You revealed your desire to see the continuation of a racist ideology. Do you know why you’ve been carrying this latent racist baggage for years.

  19. Donald Hawkins said on December 15th, 2007 at 1:29pm #

    A salient feature of terrestrial climate change is its asymmetry. Warmings are
    rapid, usually followed by slower descent into colder climate. Given the
    symmetry of orbital forcings (figures 3 and 10), the cause of rapid warming at
    glacial ‘terminations’ must lie in a climate feedback. Clearly, the asymmetric
    feedback is the albedo flip of ice and snow that occurs when they become warm
    enough to begin melting.
    The albedo-flip feedback helps explain the rapidity of deglaciations and their
    early beginnings relative to Milankovitch’s summer insolation maxima. A
    positive perturbation to insolation is most effective in spring because it
    lengthens the melt season. Once the albedo is flipped to dark, it usually stays
    dark until the cold season returns. Increased absorption of sunlight caused by
    albedo flip provides the energy for rapid ice melt. When the insolation forcing
    reverses, ice sheet regrowth can be slower, as it is limited by the rate of snowfall
    in cold regions.
    Except for snowball Earth conditions, albedo flip is not a runaway feedback.
    However, the magnitude of the potential global climate response increases as ice
    sheet size increases. Thus, as the Earth cooled from the Pliocene through the
    Pleistocene, the amplitude of global temperature fluctuations increased.
    Sea-level increases (figure 2a) associated with insolation anomalies have
    characteristic response time similar to the time-scale of the forcing (minimum
    half-width ca 6 kyr). This is consistent with a persistence time of ca 7 kyr found
    by Mudelsee & Raymo (2005) for ice volume changes reflected in marine oxygen
    isotope records. If these long time-scales are interpreted as an inherent time-scale
    for ice sheet disintegration and built into ice sheet models, then they provide a
    false sense of security about sea level.
    The unusual stability of the Earth’s climate during the Holocene is probably
    due to the fact that the Earth has been warm enough to keep ice sheets off North
    America and Asia, but not warm enough to cause disintegration of the Greenland
    or Antarctic ice sheets.
    1948 J. Hansen et al.
    Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2007)
    An ice sheet in equilibrium may have summer melt on its fringes, balanced by
    interior ice sheet growth. Large climate change will occur only if a forcing is
    sufficient to initiate rapid dynamical feedbacks and disintegration of a substantial
    portion of the ice sheet. Rapidly rising temperatures in the past three decades
    (figure 4), evidence that the Earth is now substantially out of energy balance
    (Hansen et al. 2005b), and indications of accelerating change on West Antarctica
    and Greenland (see below) indicate that the period of stability is over.
    Who wrote this six of the best people in the World on this subject icluding James Hansen.
    What does it mean well if you are in you twenty’s or thirty’s and live on almost any Coast on this Planet and plan on staying there longer than twenty years probably not a good idea. Unfortunately because of the data from Greenland in September 07 this report was written in May 07 is looks to be to late to stop that little sea level thing but not to late to turn this around. Remember what Hansen said the special interests have been cleverer than us, preventing the public from seeing the crisis that should be in view. Well you just viewed some of the best work done so far. Suggestions are welcome.

  20. gerald spezio said on December 15th, 2007 at 1:42pm #

    Yes Joe Baby, I was given some back.
    And now I wants me some front, up front.

    Some prefer front to … back, although it’s all relative septin for the solidarity (we are all one with the Tao yeah but not completely), but I cannot countenance that Huckabee with his Come to Jesus one crumb no way even ifin I done growed up with two stop lights up my kiester.

    So following your bliss, Man; and doing the whole literary approach is so blowed up with metaphor, double entendre, and fookin innuendo that it becomes nonsense, all too often, but Marcelle is keeping that part of the garden secret from Rosemarie just to be mean.

  21. hp said on December 15th, 2007 at 5:26pm #

    Don, if I worked for two weeks, ten hours a day and the “boss” said I owed him 30 dollars, I’d kick him in the balls and along with the other workers, skin him and eat him for lunch. Without speaking a word of Spanish.

    Robert, obviously those rednecks searching your bus didn’t do a very good job because about twenty million “wetbacks” managed to make it here. So much for intimidation.

  22. Donald Hawkins said on December 15th, 2007 at 5:51pm #

    The power outage was the worst ever in Oklahoma, with more than 618,000 homes and businesses without electricity late Tuesday. Officials said it could be a week to 10 days before power is fully restored.
    “We’re relying on people to look after each other,” Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said. “At the end of the day, this comes down to the strength of your people. … People who have electricity ought to be sharing it with people who don’t.”

    Why is this happening well record heat in the Southeast and cold air to the North. Climate change, Oh yes climate change. If no rain in the Southeast we may read…. People who have water ought to be sharing it with people who don’t. So far at least with the States in the Southeast that sharing thing is not exactly the way it is working out.

    Dec. 12, 2007 | How dire is the climate situation? Consider what Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the United Nations’ prestigious Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said last month: “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.” Pachauri has the distinction, or misfortune, of being both an engineer and an economist, two professions not known for overheated rhetoric.

  23. Donald Hawkins said on December 15th, 2007 at 6:47pm #

    Changes in sea ice extent, timing, ice thickness, and seasonal fluctuations are already having an impact on the people, plants, and animals that live in the Arctic. NSIDC Research Scientist and Arctic resident Shari Gearheard said, “Local people who live in the region are noticing the changes in sea ice. The earlier break up and later freeze up affect when and where people can go hunting, as well as safety for travel.”
    NSIDC scientists monitor and study Arctic sea ice year round, analyzing satellite data and seeking to understand the regional changes and complex feedbacks that we are seeing. Serreze said, “The sea ice cover is in a downward spiral and may have passed the point of no return. As the years go by, we are losing more and more ice in summer, and growing back less and less ice in winter. We may well see an ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer within our lifetimes.” The scientists agree that this could occur by 2030. Serreze concluded, “The implications for global climate, as well as Arctic animals and people, are disturbing.” National Snow and Ice Data Center
    I just sent you what Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the United Nations’ prestigious Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said last month. The IPCC is trying and I am sure Pajendra is doing his best. What you just read from National Snow and Ice Data Center was put out in October the IPCC is being nice the problem is much worst than what they report. There are a few reasons for that the IPCC has to deal with policy makers politicians who have different agendas you know what does is mean. As the IPCC was finalizing it’s report Arctic sea ice had already receded so much that the fabled Northwest Passage completely opened for the first time in human memory. They have to go by the numbers proven numbers and all those agendas. The energy bill the one that was watered down so the President wouldn’t veto it was in it’s original form not even close to solving the problem.

  24. Donald Hawkins said on December 16th, 2007 at 5:55am #

    IF I HAD A HAMMER (The Hammer Song)
    words and music by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger

    If I had a hammer
    I’d hammer in the morning
    I’d hammer in the evening
    All over this land
    I’d hammer out danger
    I’d hammer out a warning
    I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
    All over this land

    If I had a bell
    I’d ring it in the morning
    I’d ring it in the evening
    All over this land
    I’d ring out danger
    I’d ring out a warning
    I’d ring out love between my brothers and my sisters
    All over this land

    If I had a song
    I’d sing it in the morning
    I’d sing it in the evening
    All over this land
    I’d sing out danger
    I’d sing out a warning
    I’d sing out love between my brothers and my sisters
    All over this land

    Well I’ve got a hammer
    And I’ve got a bell
    And I’ve got a song to sing
    All over this land
    It’s the hammer of justice
    It’s the bell of freedom
    It’s the song about love between my brothers and my sisters
    All over this land

    I get up early in the morning.

  25. Donald Hawkins said on December 16th, 2007 at 6:18am #

    In the beginning you have a person who needs a home loan the majority of those people don’t even know what an interest rate is or what it means for that loan. Then you have a few people who know what an interest rate is but have know idea what a CDO or SIV is. Then you have even less people who know what a interest rate is and they think they know what a CDO and SIV is. Then you have even less people who know what a interest rate is and know what a CDO and SIV is but that derivative thing is a little unclear. Then you have even less people who know what a interest rate is and a CDO and SIV and have the derivative part all figured out they think. Then you have even less people who know what a interest rate is a CDO and SIV and what a derivative is and how to play it. Now it sure looks to me that that last group of even less people are now saying Ben please the helicopter the helicopter we need it. Ben do you get it do you get it.

    The first and second group stand a good chance of now living under a freeway underpass and the second and third group get to live in a one room place with the kitchen and bathroom and bedroom all in one. That last group who shall we say knows the system were also the ones who financial engineered this mess they invented it. Now what does this have to do with the weather well with this type of thinking it is going to be very hard to slow a fast warming world. It’s snowing and cold what global warming right. That last group of people do they know about climate change and what it means to all of us. I’ll bet if somebody did a little research into how many of these people are buying property in Iceland the answer might surprise you. When the Fed Ben lowers interest rates it puts more money into the system but it also means that stuff will cost more and maybe a lot more no problem if you have a lot of dollars considering the dollar could be worth about 50 cents or less.

  26. Donald Hawkins said on December 16th, 2007 at 7:45am #

    The Associated Press —

    ATLANTA –Although the Atlanta area has been drenched with rain, the National Weather Service says it may not be enough to put a dent in the state’s drought or avoid a record-low year for rainfall.

    Meterologist Robert Beasley of the National Weather Service says four-tenths of an inch of rain has fallen in the Atlanta area.

    Although the area ultimately may get up to three-quarters of an inch of rain, Beasley says that isn’t enough to reverse water shortfalls caused by the drought. That’s because Lake Lanier likely received less rain because the precipitation was stronger south of the lake, Beasley said.

    Beasley says the area has three or four chances of additional rain before the end of the year.

    But he says it will take “substantial long-term rains to get us out of this category of exceptional drought.”

    The low amount of rain this year – about 27.66 inches of rain as of Saturday – puts the area on pace to break a record low of 29.14 inches of rainfall set in 1931, according to the National Weather Service.

    Beasley says the area likely will get up to 2-1/2 inches of rain before the end of the year.
    The six month forecast for the Southeast shows not much rain. I wish I had better news. I used to e-mail George Monboit and a few times he e-mailed me back but after his book Heat I guess he’s to busy. There is a man named Konrad Steffen he has been doing research in Greenland for many years. This last summer in Greenland he had this satellite phone. Well guess who would call him once a week? The President of the United States. Now why did he call him to find out how fast the ice was melting so he would know better how to make policy to slow this little problem down. No probably to know when they could go up there and get at all that oil, gas, gold. I called Konard about a month ago first time. How did I get his number well went to his web site and there it was. I got his secretary and told her I used to teach the weather I live in a small town in Georgia and had a couple of questions for Konrad. Hello Konrad Steffen, I asked him a few questions temperatures and how fast has the glaciers forward speed increased in the last ten years. I did say that I heard the President called a few times. His answer was yes these policy makers call me and I always say the same thing. Climate change is like a cancer you can treat the cancer but can’t cure it at least now. You can slow it down until a cure is found. Think about one thing look how far we have come in just the last 50 years what if we had say 1000 years from now. Yes still injustice the truth more perception than truth but if we don’t stop using fossil fuels 100% and do that soon we may not have the chance to work on that other part. Richard Alley glaciologist one of the best in the World who found that about 10,000 years ago the weather took a turn for the worst and did it rather quickly because of CO2. I e-mailed him a few weeks ago after I saw what happened in the North Atlantic this summer and asked him what do you think. He said things are happening.

  27. gerald spezio said on December 16th, 2007 at 7:49am #

    And it will always be true Rosemarie Jackowski;

    When you are pitching , you are undermining the entire foundation of human society – including “fair and respectful treatment” of the readers you are trying to bamboozle.

  28. Donald Hawkins said on December 16th, 2007 at 9:06am #

    Undermining the entire foundation of human society interesting concept. Let’s see how about a Worldwide strike you know we get this little thing started stop buying gas unless for work and work you take extra days off. Only buy what you need to survive food and just the basics rice, beans. No new clothes, flat screen TV’s, DVD’s stop paying your insurance on you car and you only use your car if nessary bike walk. Turn the thermo stat up in the summer forget about it turn the thing off. No lights unless you want to read a good book like Atlas Shrugged or the Stand. Now could this happen well if nothing is done about climate change the same thing will happen and probably far worst. Suggestions are welcome.

  29. Donald Hawkins said on December 16th, 2007 at 10:21am #

    Gerald I was hoping you would do that. This is my opinion. What a good scientist does is take something complex and make it simple. It took twenty years of research, measurements, thinking on climate change to get us the knowledge we have now. What we now know takes basic thinking to understand thanks to all that work that was done. Now the oil company’s coal people policy makers have tried as hard as they can to make us all think that this problem is complex and the average Joe don’t even try it leave it to the thinkers you know the ones on a higher intellectual level, what. Neecha, Melton, Fyodor Dostoyevsky all good writers but to apply that thinking to the real world somewhat meaningless. Have you ever listened to William F. Buckley talk the man is so smart or thinks he is I am sure he can’t see the forest for the trees. Steven Hawking said about climate change if we use reason and can overcome are instincts we have a chance. Simple in China they just keep building coal fired power plants or in the United States keep doing the same thing and getting 22 MPG that is a joke the technology is already here waiting to be put in place. Yes the changeover will be painful and who is it that is trying to stop that changeover the people with that addiction called money and power believe me they are going to go kicking and crying all the way. You already see it. I must say the last few months there arguments are starting to show up for what they are stupid. They are still saying you just hate rich people and are nothing but a bunch of tree hugging socialists who want to change the entire power structure of the World. Well with me they got the change the entire power structure of the World part right and in this day and age to build a 90,000 square foot house seems a bit obscene. I mean what do you do in a house that big just look at it and say it’s all mine or impress your friends probably.

  30. Donald Hawkins said on December 16th, 2007 at 12:26pm #

    Gerald, Rosemarie I have been reading DV for five years and probably sent two comments in those years. Maybe it was what George Monbiot wrote the other day that got me to try this. The real issues in Bali are not technical or economic. The crisis we face demands a profound philosophical discussion, a reappraisal of who we are and what progress means. Debating these matters makes us neither saints nor communists; it shows only that we have understood the science. George Monbiot
    I thought I would give it a try and I hope it was Thinking Outside The Christmas Box. Have a good Christmas and don’t take any wooden Nickels.

  31. Donald Hawkins said on December 16th, 2007 at 12:57pm #

    I always do this I forgot one thing. This Chritmas hang some stockings and put a piece of coal in each stocking and after the last kid is looking up at you holding a piece of coal in this hand saying what is this. Break out into song:
    Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
    “Do you know what I know?
    In your palace warm, mighty king,
    Do you know what I know?
    A Child, a Child shivers in the cold–
    Let us bring him silver and gold,
    Let us bring him silver and gold.”