Thursday, December 24, 2009

Another Christmas in Tulsa!

I'm spending a second Christmas in Tulsa with my niece Cindy and her family. How fortunate I am to have at least the remnants of a family to spend the holidays with! Being old and childless can send me into a deep depression, so Cindy's invitation is wonderful. My brother (Cindy's father) comes here from Utah, and we always have a good, if quiet, time.
There comes a time when the old childhood home is gone, the parents are long gone, and it's time for new traditions. Cindy loves Christmas; she always has a lovely tree surrounded by a lot of presents, and she cooks up a storm. Her food is too tempting for my fat body, but it's certainly enjoyable.
I seldom do any decorating or gift buying on my own, so I really appreciate this new holiday tradition, transported here from Houston, where Cindy used to live. Even as we wait for a predicted snow storm, the fireplaces burn cheerfully and the Christmas carols play. I can feel a bit of Christmas spirit just beginning to affect me. Happy holidays to all, and a great 2010!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Politics? Why me?

As you may have noticed, I usually steer clear of poilitics in my writing. I do not belong to any party; I'm as afraid of the liberal left as of the religious right, and my usual reaction is just to shrug my shoulders at the goings on in government.

Imagine my surprise when I received an official-looking notice, a "2010 Obama Agenda Survey" from the Republican National Committee. It included a survey marked "DO NOT DESTROY" and a letter admonishinbg, "So please, no matter what, do not discard or destroy your survey." It contains an ID number, so there's no chance of remaining unanimous.

The letter begins as follows:

"Please carefully read and complete the enclosed survey which is registered in your name and affixed with a tracking code to ensure tha it is accounted for in the tabulated results. . . . .I am sending out this questionnaire to gauge here you and other grassroots Republicans stand on the critical issues facing our nation.. I need to hear back from you right away."

Grassroots Republican? I am no such thing. Where did they get my name? Is there an assumption that all old people are Republicans, or just old people who live in luxury buildings? The letter is four pages long and rather repetitious; it accuses President Obama of just about every "sin" in the Republican repertoire.

"That's why we are asking where you stand on Barack Obama's promise to raise taxes...on his plans to give amnesty to illegal immigrants, which could lead to billions of dollars in government handouts and possibly bankrupt Social Security. And how do you feel about Obama's efforts to nationalize health care and have it run by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.? These are Obama's top priorities!"

Then we get to the bottom line: fundraising. Several times this sentence appears: "please complete your Registered copy of the 2010 Obama Agenda Survey, then make out your check or provide your credit card information in the space provided for your contribution of $500, $250, $100, $50, or even $30 to the Republican National Committee, place it in the postage-paid envelope provided, and mail it right away." The implication is, "no contribution, no survey."

As you can imagine, they won't hear from me. I may return an empty envelope, although that's probably coded too. I'm not a strong supporter or critic of Barack Obama. I guess my basic attitude is to give him a chance. He couldn't do worse than his predecessor. I like his idealism, although I think he is sometimes unrealistic about what he can accomplish. At any rate, I don't see him as a destroyer of our country or an enemy, as this letter presumes I should.

If I'm on some list of Republicans--or Democrats--please remove my name. I am srtrictly independent, and no appreciator of political rhetoric on either side. Please respect my privacy, and don't insult my intelligence!