and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Barbara's Column
December #4

Yearning for peace, freedom and a better world
spans the millennia
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Wednesday, December 23 2009

Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, All is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

Announcer's voiceover, from "7 O'clock News/Silent Night," 1966, by Simon & Garfunkel:

"This is the early evening edition of the news.

The recent fight in the House of Representatives was over the open housing section of the Civil Rights Bill ... A compromise was painfully worked out ...

"Dr. Martin Luther King says he does not intend to cancel plans for an open housing march Sunday into the Chicago suburb of Cicero ... police said they would ask the National Guard to be called out if it is held.

In Chicago, Richard Speck, accused murderer of nine student nurses, was brought before a grand jury today for indictment ...

"In Washington, the atmosphere was tense today as a special subcommittee of the House Committee on Un-American activities continued its probe into anti-Vietnam war protests. Demonstrators were forcibly evicted from the hearings when they began chanting anti-war slogans. Former Vice President Richard Nixon says that unless there is a substantial increase in the present war effort in Vietnam, the U.S. should look forward to five more years of war.

"In a speech before the convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in New York, Nixon also said opposition to the war in this country is the greatest single weapon working against the U.S.

"That's the 7 o'clock edition of the news. Good night."

Silent night, Holy night, all is calm, all is bright.

Imagined announcer's voiceover, December 2009:

"This is the early evening edition of the news.

The present fight in Congress is over the proposed health-insurance bill, which Democrats say will save lives and Republicans argue is a government takeover of American health care. The Senate will be required to work Christmas Eve, away from their families, if Republicans don't give in.

"Pro-life and pro-choice activists are both protesting language relating to taxpayer-funded abortions. The National Guard is busy fighting two wars. Murderers are still being indicted for killing strangers, neighbors, estranged girlfriends and wives, even their own children.

"Around the world, terrorist bombers, dictators, political prisoners, genocide ...

Liberals who voted for President Obama, and some conservatives and libertarians who didn't, are upset over the continuing war in Iraq and his proposed acceleration of the war in Afghanistan.

"That's the 7 o'clock edition of the news. Good night."

Silent night, Holy night

And if there had been broadcast news at the junction of B.C. and A.D.:

"I bring you good news of great joy ... for today a child is born in Bethlehem in Judea ...

"Rome, under Octavian, is making Judea a Roman province. King Herod has murdered members of his own family and many rabbis, and hearing a rumor of another king being born in Bethlehem, has ordered all boys from that town under 2 years of age to be killed.

"The baby Jesus has escaped with his parents to Egypt, also a Roman province since Marc Antony and Cleopatra were defeated by Octavian and committed suicide.

"Three Roman legions under Publius Quinctilius Varus were destroyed in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest by an alliance of Germanic tribes.

"Around the world: terror, war, slavery, famine, disease ..."

Historical perspective, 2009:

The battle of the Teutoburg Forest began a seven-year war, which established the Rhine as the boundary of the Roman Empire for the next 400 years, until the decline of the Roman influence in the West. The Roman Empire made no further concerted attempts to conquer Germania beyond the Rhine.

Unfortunately, the Germans and Italians joined forces in 1940 and started World War II. Jews were again slaughtered, this time by the Germans.

On the "all is bright" side, America prevailed, Israel became an independent Jewish state, and Germany, Italy, and Japan became our allies. A later Cold War with the Soviet Union, which many feared would lead to nuclear annihilation, ended.

Martin Luther King's dream of racial equality came true, even to the election of an American president who is black on his father's side.

Richard Speck died in prison. Many other murderers have been caught and punished by the police and our judicial system. Both here and around the world, human beings strive for justice.

President Nixon and Congress repealed the draft after the Vietnam War. While this repeal has led to overdeployment of the National Guard, it should also limit American involvement in other foreign wars.

Very few people are saying resistance to the present wars is un-American, though most Americans do support the troops and are sending Christmas packages overseas.

Many diseases have been controlled and scientists are working on the others. The average human life span has increased. Many organizations battle terror, slavery, famine; many generous individuals contribute to these efforts.

The dream of peace is still represented, this time of year, by the celebration of Christmas in many countries around the world.

Silent night, Holy night.

Merry Christmas to all men of goodwill who dream of peace, fight for freedom and continue to work for a better world.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in the Lowell Sun, Providence (RI) Journal and other newspapers.