Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Greatest Editorial Ever?

Every year about this time, someone reminds us of this editorial. It is lovely, if not a touch too sentimental. But I am always amazed at how well written it is. If only the public were such that newspapers could make money delivering editorial writing of this style to your door step each morning. For information on the article and the parties involved, including Virginia herself, I suggest the background section following the editorial as it appears here. For those geekier types who require more links to other info, here is the Wikipedia posting, which is where this image of Church was obtained.

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897. [See The People’s Almanac, pp. 1358–9.]

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

An E-Mail Funny From My Honey

There was a man who worked for the Post Office whose job it was to process all the mail that had illegible addresses.
One day, a letter came addressed in shaky handwriting to God, with no actual address. He thought he should open it to see what it was about.

The letter read:

Dear God,

I am an 83 year old widow, living on a very small pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension check. Next Sunday is Christmas, and I had invited two of my friends over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with. I have no family to turn to, and you are my only hope. Can you please help me?


The postal worker was touched. He showed the letter to all the other workers. Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few dollars. By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96, which they put into an envelope and sent to the woman. The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Edna and the dinner she would be able to share with her friends.

Christmas came and went. A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady to God. All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened. It read:

Dear God,

How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me? Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends. We had a very nice day and I told my friends of your wonderful gift.

By the way, there was $4 missing. I think it must have been those bastards at the Post Office.

Sincerely yours,

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm Baaaack

Holy moley, I've been gone for quite some time. I have been transitioning to a new job, attending family events, and I've been trying to keep my family from killing each other as we get closer to the winter break. So far, I'm sucking wind on the last one, but everything else is going well.

It seems we have a little catching up to do:

Election Predictions

Let's get the gloating out of the way. My predictions were pretty damn good. (Even a stopped watch is right twice a day, right?) I nailed the Senate races and my predictions for the House were mighty close. I'm still bummed about Tammy Duckworth losing, but hey, you can't win them all.


It's a quagmire. What else is there to say? Good men and women are dying for no good reason and the President and his lackeys have no clear exit strategy. That means those people, Americans and Iraqis, will continue to die. And it is the President's fault. Honestly, I wonder how he can sleep at night.


Wow, I haven't seen this much hype around Christmas time since Cabbage Patch Dolls. But the question I have is this: Is it that people are so enamored of Barrack Obama that they are willing to woo him into running or is it that people are so desperate for change that they just want the anti-Bush. I think it's the second and they seem to have made a good choice. Here is the side by side comparison:

Race : Bush=White; Obama=Man of color

Politics: Bush=Conservative; Obama=Moderate

Iraq: Bush=Started War; Obama=Opposed War from Beginning

Speaking Ability: Bush=Bumbling Butcher of English; Obama=Exceptionally Well-Spoken

Previous Employment: Bush=Oil Executive; Obama=Non-profit Aiding Inner-City Poor

Intelligence: Bush=Barely Survived Yale; Obama=Columbia and Harvard Law

I could go on, but you get the point. Obama is the anti-Bush, but is that enough? Does his lack of experience and his funny name come back to bite him? Can he survive the primary season with enough credibility intact to survive the Republican money machine? I just don't know.


The ethics investigation is over and those involved were found to have ignored their responsibility to protect the Congressional pages from a sexual predator. A Congressional sexual predator. A pederast who they knew to be stalking teenage boys. But apparently, indifference to the well-being of teenagers under their care isn't a punishable offense. I knew that labor laws didn't apply to congressional staff and I knew that smoking bans and the like never applied to Capitol Hill, but I didn't know that promoting the sexual harassment of minors fell in that same bucket.

I guess the Republicans can count on the sexual deviant vote next cycle. I wonder how the religious right feels about that...oh yeah, I keep forgetting, it's often the same lobby.