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Alex Baer: A Little Something Under the Ol' Electron Tree

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holdaysAll I want for Christmas -- now that I have a range of functional teeth up front -- is a memory that's not a sieve.  There's always some body part deserving of its own song as one ages, I suppose, and as the meaty vehicle we all find ourselves traveling in as humans starts to slowly unwind, hiccup, and fade.

However, this year, and every year, there are many other things I'd like to see slipped under the tree -- and under the radar of watchful and disapproving conservative forces.  Contrary to wistful bumper stickers and erstwhile, old-fashioned sentiments, I'd like more than a helping of whirled peas, please.

A little basic economic fairness, say, from the money-go-rounders would be a nice holiday touch.  A giant scoop would be even better, but I dare not wish for such miracles -- not even from the Christianity-espousing moneylenders long since seeped into the temples of our democratic discourse.

I suspect there are more members of American religions enlisted for the pre-Facebook social-and-business-networking opportunities than for worship.  You can give this hypothesis a whirl, if you like, by measuring what these same people say they believe in, and what they actually do.

My hat, meanwhile, is continually off, and eagerly doffed, to all those whose actions are seamless with the words and directions they believe have been spoken by their deity or deities not merely as suggestions but as commandments on how life is to be lived.  It is with great sadness I must humbly report that my hat spends a great deal of time on my head, however eagerly it looks forward to getting a breath of fresh air and being tipped.

Yes, of course -- as people, we are all imperfect.  (My own awareness on this one point is extensive beyond all bounds, and continually carries with it a pack-along sting of salted iodine into which it is routine dumped into the wounds of my failures.)  However, there is a wide gap between trial-and-error, or trial-and-failure, and just showing up to the latest meeting of the sleepwalkers club.

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And, no -- I do not begrudge people the freedom to believe as they wish, to seek balms of all kinds for the wide assortment of wounds we all suffer in this world, nor do I look down upon those who need the comfort that only blind-clinging and autopilot-following can provide.  For some people, superstition, tradition, and rote, lock-stepped belief steeped in ritual folderol works best.  For others, it is that belief that facts, logic, science, and a fair application of these strengths, can make a positive difference for humanity.


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