Curtain Raiser

Good Thanksgiving Week, Colltalers

As we prepare for that annual meal of tradition, soup kitchen reunion or simply simmering family tension, and turkeys all over begin their pointless attempt to avoid the butcher’s knife, the world surrounding us is, as customary, particularly belligerent.
North Korea reignited old-fashioned fears by giving a tour of its newly minted nuclear facilities to a U.S. scientist. As customary, science will be replaced by a pistol and a military envoy is stamping his passport to have a closer look.
North Koreans will certainly parade celebrating their supreme leader and his moon-faced son, on their usual diet of a meal a day and a piece of meat a week. But the show will surely be unforgettably colorful and festive.
The pope decided to give a tour of unfounded optimism to its rare, ever shrinking brand of progressive faithful, by declaring support, sort of, to the use of condoms. Immediate hosannas and hallelujahs followed, only to be dismissed by the Vatican, which hasn’t changed a single letter of its doctrine banning contraceptives, including the one that predates the church, the condom.
Back to homeowners’ most recent struggle against banks that do not own their mortgages and insist in getting court-approved papers to repossess their houses, well, nothing has changed either.
No wonder bankers and shareholders are a big part of that minority of wealthy Americans who deserve tax cuts, according to Congress. And while Democrats are all too willing to grant them an extension of such cuts, they may not be on board to extend unemployment benefits, if the issue is ever brought back to the table before the end of the year.
Like wise turkeys, they’re all skipping town for Thanksgiving and will be back to DC only to an abbreviated, final session before the changeover. Few expect they’ll show spine and propose another vote on the matter. Most likely, we’ll be hearing from them only during the next election cycle, which is already in their minds, anyway.
But it could be worse, believe it or not. You or a loved one could be in Afghanistan or Iraq. Or on a vigil for a relative still buried deep underground in an explosive mine, like those New Zealanders. Wish to them the same luck of the Chileans, if at all possible.
Because the Irish, they seem utterly out of luck. After following to the letter the prescriptions from the EU and the IMF and all European and U.S. deficit hawks, they wound up, guess where, in the same hole Greece found itself, when it did the same a few months ago.
Now that Ireland stands to borrow over $100 billion from the same EU and IMF, all bets that the worst is gone should be off, right? Who are you kidding? Expect unemployment to rise, along with banks’ profits, besides a few political shuffles and a lot of grief of common, working folk. Haven’t you seen this all before?
But as we should’ve said, it’s a short week, sort of, in the U.S., and the end of the month is around the corner. Most of us have great hopes for December, bless our souls. While some ponder on what they’re going to tell their children, when the time comes, others wonder whether we’re really doing everything we can to make it all better. Colltales is a card-carrying member of their team and no, we haven’t seen any turkey lately, Mr. Butcher Man. Have a great one. WC

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