Report from the Badlands

Xmas Under Siege! Happy Birth!

I’m still waiting for my Christmas card from Art Cantu. Apparently, half of Hollister got one, and in it Art carefully says, “Feliz Navidad!”

Happy Birth! Merry Happy Birth! That’s the literal translation for the Spanish-language greeting, though it’s usually taken to mean “Merry Christmas.” Well done, Art, but more on that later.

You all may have noticed that the nation’s neocon contingent is up in arms over – 10,000 American soldiers dead from the Iraq war – for lack of proper armament and a Dog-knows-what noble cause? The nation’s lack of preparedness for a homespun, foreign-made or natural disaster?

Maybe the $50 billion in cuts to vital programs to keep the poor from starving to death at the same time BushCo. is raiding the national treasury to keep his war afloat? How about half of Congress indicted for taking bribes?

Hell NO! They have their undies in a wad over progressives uttering the phrase “Happy Holidays” this season, instead of “Merry Christmas.” Keep in mind, liberals don’t seem to care what anyone else uses for a holiday greeting, but if they themselves don’t use the word “Christmas,” the likes of talk show egomaniacs Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh scream their heads off. “They’re killing Christmas, they’re killing Christmas!”

Bill, I hate to tell you this, but have you seen the official White House Christmas card from Bush? It says, “With Best wishes for a Holiday Season of Hope and Happiness.” I’m not making this up.

Yes, Christmas is under siege, but not by freethinking people. It’s being bastardized by the right.

So Hollister D.A. wannabe Cantu was quite politically astute to transcend all the rhetoric and say Happy Birth. A stroke of brilliance. And, by saying Happy Birth, you please Christians and pagan tree worshipers alike.

But now, let’s take a look at what we have to be merry about this HOLIDAY SEASON. Let’s see … On Tuesday morning we killed a guy who writes children’s books in San Quentin. Yes, he was a founding father of the dumb-cluck Crips gang, and accused of killing four people, but during his 25-year incarceration he had denounced the underground tribe and turned many a teen’s head around. Stanley “Tookie” Williams’ supporters have said the man was innocent. He was convicted based on the testimony of a snitch and an eyewitness.

By the way, three out of four “hearsay” snitch cases have turned out to be based on false testimony. Still, men have been put to death by our government for such lies. Gov. Schwarzenegger said he would not grant clemency because Williams “did not show remorse.” How could he if he didn’t do it? But I digress.

The real Merry Christmas in this story was watching the valiant mainstream press corps give their testimony on the San Quentin stage about the experience of watching Tookie die from lethal injection. At 2 a.m. I watched CNN in horror as three groups of pool reporters marched in front of the microphones and waxed poetic about the gruesome details. The worst part, they said, were the 15 minutes it took for them to find the man’s vein. They kept missing, it got bloody, a reporter almost barfed. Tookie asked the nurse how he could help. He got exasperated. Wouldn’t you if that’s how you had to spend the last 15 minutes of your life?

Naturally, it was a subjective ordeal. But how subjective?

Most of the print media hacks were methodical and aligned in their reports. But then came the glamorous MSNBC spin mistress Rita Cosby, who grabbed the mic as if it were a ham hock and the first pearls out of her mouth were, “Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams was as belligerent in death as he was in life.” Wow, good, unbiased reporting. A PBS reporter standing next to her looked like she thought Cosby had just landed from another planet, and she was sandwiched between Cosby and …Ta da! The Fox news guy. The Fox(hole) guy grabbed the mic from PBS and aped Cosby: “He was defiant! He was menacing when he looked at reporters!”

The PBS reporter tried to set the record straight but it was the warden who ultimately did so. He took to the podium to say Williams died calmly, quietly, with dignity – and, to paraphrase the warden, the neocon talking heads were about as forthcoming as Bush press secretary Scott McClellan.

Sheeeeesh. And let’s look at other reasons to be merry this Christmas. Notorious Hollister child molester Lance Purcell is suing San Benito for his jail treatment when he has to come to our courts every two years. This guy, like so many of his ilk, won’t win freedom, I can assure you, but that didn’t stop one newspaper from gushing bubbly about what a nice guy he is. The paper gave no details of this creep’s crime, but they did quote his local attorney George Barton as saying, “I’d invite Lance to my house for dinner.”

Barton told me in an interview that he would not leave his Godchildren alone in a room with Lance. But then he qualified it by saying he wouldn’t leave his Godchildren alone with me, either.

I wonder if Lance’s Xmas cards say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or Feliz Navidad?

Here’s a merry note: San Martin is going to get incorporated next year. Neighborhood activists had a big Christmas party celebrating the victory this week. Be careful what you wish for, San Martin. Now you have to deal with elected buffoons and other such trappings.

San Carlos Creek Update: So why does San Martin get incorporated and New Idria doesn’t? Don’t they trust us to elect the right leaders in the Acid Mine Drainage Capital of the World?

Mayor Orange, who is bucking to be elected Emperor of all of San Benito (and Morgan Hill, for some reason) has sent holiday cards to everyone and anyone that might be able to help him win the new hot seat. I inadvertently got one when I found that my sister Mel had tossed hers into the goopy, poisonous orange creek.

I wiped off the radioactive sludge, and when I opened it, an orange baby tabby popped out, replete with halo and swaddling blanket.

“Happy Birth!” it said, while playing one of those activated computer card jingles. The tune was “Oh Come Now All Ye Faithful.”

Leave your comments