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November 26, 2007

“O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Thy Were Harvested Using Advanced Watershed Management Practices…”

How can you be certain that your Christmas tree was produced in an earth-friendly, environmentally sensitive manner? An Oregon group called the “Coalition of Environmentally Conscious Growers” (CECG) is here to help by certifying that the tree that you hauled to your 5000-square-foot home atop your seven-passenger SUV was produced with as little impact on the environment as possible.

This is part of the latest trend in environmentalism: The mitigation of harmful levels of middle-class guilt.  Years of prosperity have brought this serious mental health hazard to the fore and groups like the CECG were created to deal with it by assuaging these feelings in a manner that is carefully crafted so as not to upset the delicate balance between your brand new 53” high-def plasma television and your digital Dolby 5.1 surround sound system.  Unlike carbon credits (one of the earliest attempts at guilt mitigation), this program doesn’t require that you make even a token sacrifice of writing out a check, only that you look for a tree with the CECG tag on it.

Of course, there are hurdles that the CECG has to overcome to convince buyers that a Christmas tree is good for the environment the biggest being that, 

YOU’VE JUST CUT DOWN A TREE.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t offset that little environmental contretemps. How, you ask? What method of Christmas tree production is so obviously pro-green that you can actually feel good about cutting it down?

Did someone say “helicopters?!”

That’s right, as any card-carrying member of the environmental movement will tell you once they unchain themselves from the earthmoving equipment, if you want to establish your environmental bona fides, bring on the helicopters! (And while you’re at it, why not ditch those noisy, greenhouse-gas-emitting chainsaws and go harvest trees with something more Gaia-friendly, like bazookas!) 

But then the real purpose of these kinds of programs is not to actually help the environment, but to help you feel as if you are helping the environment. As Joe Sharp, co-founder of the CECG pointed out, "Now when consumers buy a tree, they can be sure that the tree was grown with the best intentions for the environment in mind." 

In other words, you are free to deforest the countryside so long as your heart is in the right place. 

Of course, the CECG could be more straightforward and point out that Christmas trees are like any other renewable farm crop and you might as well say a prayer of repentance every time you buy a head of cabbage (“Cole Slaw is Murder!”). But there’s no marketing edge in hanging a tag on a tree that says “quit whining, it’s just a salad with lights”

As such, the more cynical among you may be suspicious of the true motivations behind the “Coalition of Environmentally Conscious Growers,” but rest assured that it was founded by two wholly impartial organizations that happened to be Oregon’s largest Christmas tree producers, Holiday Tree Farms, Inc., and Yule Tree Farms both of which, coincidentally, have for years offered trees that meet the new standards easily.

Imagine the odds!

In that spirit, we would like to officially announce the formation of the “Coalition of Environmentally Conscious Bloggers,” which will certify, among other things, that your cat picture postings and reviews of the latest Grey’s Anatomy do not in any way contribute to reductions in biodiversity or worsening soil erosion.

And as luck would have it…

Cecb

J.

November 26, 2007 at 06:43 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 22, 2007

“celebrating” is so last century

Not wanting to miss any opportunity to extract some small measure of misery out of a world overrun with joy and happiness, the Seattle School District this week cautioned its students to be wary of being too happy this Thanksgiving and provided them with a series of “myths and facts” including:

Myth #3: The colonists came seeking freedom of religion in a new land.

Fact: The colonists were not just innocent refugees from religious persecution. By 1620, hundreds of Native people had already been to England and back, most as captives; so the Plimoth colonists knew full well that the land they were settling on was inhabited.

And, 

Myth #11: Thanksgiving is a happy time.

Fact: For many Indian people, “Thanksgiving” is a time of mourning, of remembering how a gift of generosity was rewarded by theft of land and seed corn, extermination of many from disease and gun.

There is no reason why Seattle public school administrators shouldn’t use this same "myth-busting" technique as a template for other American “holidays,” most of which have for far too long been presented to an unwitting populace as unchallenged celebrations.

And we are only too happy to help get them started: 


Independence Day 

Myth #1: The Declaration of Independence received its final signatures and was ratified by colonial representatives on July 4th, 1776.

Fact: While we have traditionally celebrated Independence Day on the fourth of July, many students may be surprised to learn that America is actually a patriarchal society organized to serve the imperialist needs of its capitalist overlords.


Columbus Day
 

Myth #13: Remembering that “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” helps students remember when Christopher Columbus discovered America.

Fact: While a catchy rhyme, students should be reminded that America continues to lack comprehensive nationalized health care and is a major contributor to global warming.


New Years Day

Myth #8: January 1st marks the first day of each new year

Fact: Many parts of the world use a different calendar and so January 1st is merely another day of struggling under the oppression of western cultural hegemony.


Veterans Day
 

Myth #7: Veterans Day is meant to honor and celebrate those who have served their country, ensuring its safety so that we may all benefit from the fruits of liberty and freedom.

Fact: Bush lied, people died.


Christmas

Myth #5: December 25th has long been celebrated by Christians and is intended to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.

Fact:
Oh my God, you just said “Jesus” in a public school! Oh my God, I just said “God” in a public school. Oh my God, I just did it again. And again! Oh my God…


Happy Day of Atonement everyone!

J.

November 22, 2007 at 07:58 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 16, 2007

but for all this annoying democracy...

There’s a new kind of “hatred” in this country, a hatred borne of the worst impulses of humanity, a hatred that represents a giant step backwards in our progress towards a civil, fair, truly inclusive society:

The hatred of rewarding illegal behavior.

So says New York Representative Jose Serrano who described New York Governor Elliot Spitzer’s ill-fated plan to provide illegal aliens with New York driver’s licenses as having fallen “victim to ignorance, indifference, and, yes, hatred.”

What is it that drives normally pleasant, civilized people to such extremes of law abidance? These are after all the very same neighbors who keep their lawns nice, wave to you as you pass by, and volunteer to handle the refreshments for Wednesday’s PTA meeting and yet somehow turn into maniacal supporters of the long since discredited notion that people who don’t obey the law should be treated in a manner not wholly consistent with reward.

Governor Spitzer accused opponents of his plan of engaging in “fear mongering.” Many of these people went so far as to brazenly monger the fear that providing people in this country illegally with legal identification could easily lead to providing people in this country illegally with legal identification.

Sure, that sounds crazy, but it’s exactly that kind of “hysteria” that Representative Jerrold Nadler warned us about.

Perhaps an even more troubling question to emerge from this unfortunate episode is what does it say about our political process that a small but vocal group of 65% of the population can so easily influence the positions of our elected representatives? Are we simply going to allow public policy to be subject to the whims of this far-center wing of the moderate political spectrum? Are we going to allow, for example, 84% of Ohio residents to determine the public policy for all 100%? 

Is that really the lesson of “democracy” we want to send out to the world?

No, says, Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who unequivocally stated that… wait, sorry, what she meant to say was… no, that’s not right either. Wait, yes, she believes that, no, had it wrong again…, okay, got it now, she is strongly in favor of the Governor’s proposal. Um, proposal to not propose it.

And you can count on that.

Whatever it is.

For now.

For their part, proponents of the measure pointed out that while there may be many legitimate concerns surrounding the issue of undocumented workers it is essential that we remember that we are not talking about hardened criminals, we are talking about attractive 20-year-old college students.

And that is something we as Americans can all rally around.

J.

November 16, 2007 at 11:30 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 13, 2007

top 5 reasons rudy giuliani received an endorsement from pat robertson

How did the socially liberal Rudy Giuliani manage to secure the endorsement of Christian conservative Pat Robertson?

  1. He knows that Rudy firmly believes that marriage is a sacred bond between one man and one woman. At a time.
  2. After carefully examining the polling data he realized that after years of war, scandal, and controversy, the American people were demanding, above all else, that their next president wear a dress.
  3. Any Yankees fan who can state publicly that he will be rooting for the Boston Red Sox in the World Series is undoubtedly imbued with the Christian spirit of redemption and forgiveness.
  4. By cleverly leaving his city vulnerable to terrorist attack, Rudy helped further the Lord’s work in wreaking his righteous vengeance upon the baby-killing evolution-teaching separation-between-church-and-state-propounding secular feminist Rosie-O’Donnell-watching gay-sex-having ACLU-belonging Jewish-being residents of New York.
  5. What with his pre-millenarian dispensationalist views and Old Testament beliefs in the Final Battle of Armageddon, the Day of Judgment, and the Apocalypse, he figured he might as well have some fun before it’s all over:

    I was fundraisin' when I wrote this
    Forgive me if it goes astray
    But when I woke up this mornin'
    Could have sworn it was judgment day

    The sky was all purple
    There were pagans runnin' everywhere
    Tryin' to run from the destruction
    You know I didn't even care

    They say one thousand zero, zero, party over,
    Oops, out of time!
    So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1099!

Great, now TAFKATAFKAP (The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince) is probably going to sue us.

J.

November 13, 2007 at 07:21 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 09, 2007

top 10 reasons hillary clinton won’t release her white house papers

Why has Hillary Clinton resisted calls from her opponents to release her White House papers?

  1. Sandy Berger can only stuff so much down his pants at one time.
  2. They might provide additional material to Democratic primary challengers most of whom are big old meanies anyway.
  3. There is potential that her true sexual orientation will be revealed and there is no telling how her core Democratic constituency will react once they discover that she is heterosexual.
  4. It’s mostly a manpower issue particularly since organizing and cataloguing the vast quantity of her husband’s presidential papers is complicated by the fact that about 90% of them consist of phone numbers written on cocktail napkins.
  5. She wants to avoid, at all costs, revealing the truth that she got her famous chocolate chip cookie recipe off the back of the package of chocolate chips like the rest of us.  How important is this? Let’s just say Vince Foster knew the truth.
  6. Three words: Walter. Mondale’s. Endorsement.
  7. The temporary workers she hired to speed up the process can’t seem to get driver’s licenses to get to work.
  8. It’s all part of the campaign’s effort to soften her image. “You big ol’ boys couldn’t possibly have any interest digging through my lil’ ol’ papers now could you? There might be some of my unmentionables in there, oh my gracious!”
  9. Papers include the never-published sequel to the former First Lady’s book, “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ letters to the First Pets,” called, “Dear Hillary, Dear Bill: Socks' Letters to the First Couple,” including such selections as the delightful “Why did you abandon me?” to the equally enchanting, “I heard from Buddy, he thinks Bill is trying to kill him, make it look like an ‘accident,’ just like all the others...”
  10. Once the archivists are done getting everything together you know what they’re going to expect don’t you? They’re going to expect a tip. 

J.

November 9, 2007 at 12:52 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 01, 2007

unidentified falling objects

Probably the most surprising revelation to come out of the Democratic debate Tuesday night was that several of the presidential candidates admit to having once sighted Dennis Kucinich.

“Look, I’m not going to make any more of it than there is,” remarked Senator Barack Obama, responding to a question from NBC moderator Tim Russert (Look for his latest book expected to hit the shelves in time for the holidays, “Wisdom of my Publisher: More Crap People Sent Me About Their Fathers That I Can Recycle Into a $25 Book).   

The Senator continued, “I’m not some kind of nut, but I did catch a glimpse of something I couldn’t explain, smaller than a human, certainly. It may sound crazy to those who haven’t experienced it but I don’t know what else you’d call it other than Dennis Kucinich.”

Also, Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war and I didn’t, neener neener.”

And the Senator was not alone on the stage. Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards, after obligatorily pointing out that Hillary Clinton never apologized for voting for the Iraq war and he did, neener neener, felt emboldened enough to relate his own experience, “It was just before the Democratic debate in April. It was dark, and it moved quickly. Can I be sure it was Dennis Kucinich? I don’t think anyone can ever be sure, but I know what I saw.”

It is also believed that Joe Biden weighed in on the subject but most viewers lapsed into a temporary coma too quickly to have remembered anything he said.

The most notable exception to those claiming to have seen Dennis Kucinich was front runner Hillary Clinton. “Well, I can say with certainty that I don’t ever recall having seen Dennis Kucinich. I also never recall having seen Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky, Sally Purdue… wait, where was I? Oh yes, I’m afraid my colleagues here are simply misinformed if they think they have ever seen Dennis Kucinich or if they think they’re ever going to see my White House papers before the election.”

For his part, Dennis Kucinich noted that, “Hey, I can hear you, you know, I’m standing right here.”

Is it possible that these admissions will hurt the candidates as polls suggest that only about 2% of Americans themselves admit to having heard of Dennis Kucinich never mind seen him? 

Maybe, but perhaps there are some things that no one ever wants to admit, even if only to themselves. 

Take_me_to_your_leader

J.

November 1, 2007 at 11:24 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack