RUSH: All right, here’s the Christmas Stack. I told you about this earlier. I’ve got story after story here about how rotten things are at Christmas, how angry people are, and it’s just amazing. It is a great illustration of where the Drive-By Media is and the chaos they are continuing to try to create out there.
The first story is from New London, Connecticut. “The woman at the center of the national battle over property rights has some less-than-joyous tidings for the people involved in using eminent domain to take her house to make way for private development. However, at least one recipient of Susette Kelo?s unmerry greeting has put it on his mantel with his other cards. Kelo?s cards feature a snowy image of her pink house and a message that reads, in part: ‘Your houses, your homes, your family, your friends. May they live in misery that never ends. I curse you all. May you rot in hell. To each of you I send this spell.’ The cards were sent to city officials and members of New London?s development agency. The U.S. Supreme Court,” as you know, “ruled in June 2005 that New London had the right to take homes in her Fort Trumbull neighborhood to make way for a riverfront project that will include condominiums, a hotel and office space. ‘My card was meant as much in humor as it was in frustration,’ she said.
“‘What I wrote shouldn’t be taken as my literal wish for anyone. I’m heartbroken that this will be my last Christmas in Fort Trumbull and what I wrote rose out of that fact, but the bottom line is, it was over the top.’ … ‘It’s amazing anyone could be so vindictive when they’ve made so much money,’ said Gail Schwenker-Mayer, a development supporter who got one of the cards.” In this case, it’s not about the money, Gail Schwenker-Mayer. “New London Development Corp. member Reid Burdick said he put the card on his mantel with his other Christmas greetings. ‘I still feel bad for Susette, he said. ‘The sorry part of this is that the things she’s angry about were not done to be mean-spirited toward her personally.'” Oh, no, of course not! Just taking her home away from her? There’s nothing personal about that. Why would anybody think that that was personal. Well, I certainly wouldn’t. If somebody came and said, “Your home is ours, Limbaugh. We’re making way here for a new casino. Your property taxes are big, but we can get more from bigger people. But don’t take it personally, Limbaugh.” No, of course I wouldn’t! Of course not! Why would anybody take it personally?
Next story: “America, the Angry — ?Tis the season to be … angry? The countdown to Christmas has dwindled to the single digits: As the mall crowds have worsened, so has the stress on shoppers faced with a creeping deadline to buy gifts ? and they?re increasingly taking that stress out on salespeople. Now merchants from toy sellers to electronics chains have buckled down to deal with irate shoppers. Their strategies vary but the goal is generally the same: to keep customers happy (and from wrestling each other in the aisles) and employees safe. ‘We?ve all done it: I know I?ve lost my temper, and everyone else has probably done it,’ said Ernest Speranza, chief marketing officer of KB Toys.” See? Everybody does it, folks! We’ve all gotten mad and rolled around on the floor in a department store and kicked an employee. Everybody does this.
“‘At this time of year, people start out with all the best intentions. They?re busy buying toys for a young child. They?re happy about doing that. Then they get caught up in the frenzy … and a nice experience now starts to spiral out of control.’ … Shoppers have become angrier, suggests a recent study by ComPsych Corp., a provider of employee assistance programs. This year, ComPsych has seen a marked increase in the number of acute-stress counseling sessions it provides to retailers related to customer abuse. The number rose 13 percent in 2006 following a 65 percent jump last year. ‘During the holiday season, (retailers) bring on people who are less familiar with where products are, how stores operate,’ said Richard A. Chaifetz, chairman and chief executive of ComPsych. ‘Shoppers are agitated. Put those together and you create a combustible environment.’ On the corner of 34th Street and 7th Avenue in New York, Melanie Marquez took a deep breath as she set down two handfuls of red and white Macy?s shopping bags.
“She had just been shopping,” there. “Marquez, 47, said she made her way to the front of the Macy?s checkout line only to find that the register didn?t recognize the discounts she expected on a set of towels. After leaving the line to search for the proper sales ticket, Marquez waited another hour to save about $14 on a receipt that totaled $450 ? that, after putting up a fight. ‘Poor Macy?s,’ she said. ‘You have to be mean to them.'” Hey, Melanie? We’re talking $14 here. At some point, what’s the value of your time here, honey? What did it take her to save the $14? I know. “But, Rush! But, Rush! But, Rush! They were fraudulent! They were not giving the discounts at the cash register! She’s a crusader.” I can, I see that, too. I see that, too. I take back what I said about value of people’s time. I realize some people’s time is worth nothing. (interruption)
Now, Mr. Snerdley, let’s not bring sexism into this. He’s asking me if I expect a woman to pass up a discount. Only if she’s spending her own money. At any rate… “To keep customers under control ? lest a stressed-out shopper become a violent shopper ? Boire said the chain beefs up security during the holidays, including hiring plainclothes officers to police its aisles and checkout lines.” We’re not worried here about shoplifting. You people, apparently, are causing riots in the department stores and the malls! You are fit to be tied. You are enraged. You are angry, and if that’s true in your case, it’s probably because you don’t even want to be there in the first place. It’s sort of like Valentine’s Day. You give a card because you have to, not because you want to.
You gotta go out and find a box of candy or whatever, because you have to. Well, many people look at Christmas that way. “Well, I have to. Everybody is expecting me. I don’t want to go there, but I have to,” so you go in with a bad attitude rather than exhibiting the property holiday spirit of giving. Everything becomes an arduous task, then you run into a typical part time employee who doesn’t know where anything is in the store, and you snap. This is apparently happening all over the country. We’re such an enraged nation. We are so partisan that the partisanship has extended itself now into the malls, and the next story (all of these from the AP, by the way), is entitled, “Blue Christmas — “There were no jolly Christmas carols at the Cannon Memorial Chapel. No brilliant poinsettias or festive branches of holly. No smiling faces or hearty wishes of happiness.” Nothing! “Instead, melancholy piano music echoed through the hushed church.
“Dead branches were lain on a table covered in blue cloth, representing the ‘winter of our souls.’ Men and women held each other and cried.” The chaplain, Kate O’Dwyer Randall, who probably watches The View and Oprah, said, “This is not a traditional Christmas service.” This is happening in Richmond, “the opening the University of Richmond’s nondenominational ‘Blue Christmas’ service, which drew around 60 people,” and yet it makes news! Sixty people show up, and it makes news. “Sombre Blue Christmas services are being held at many churches around the country this year, in recognition of what psychologists have long known: that the contrived good cheer of the holiday season can actually make some people who are dealing with heartbreak feel worse,” and so, “The Blue Christmas services confront feelings of grief and loss head-on.” They invite us in.
Are you feeling miserable? Good!
Come in and join fellow citizens who are also feeling miserable. Don’t fake it. Don’t go try to have a good time. This Christmas season is about nothing more than convincing you that this is rosy and everybody is cool, and it’s a land and time of good cheer, and we and you know it’s not! We are all miserable, and we are the ones who are honest enough to admit it, so come join us at the Blue Christmas Festival. “This is the first Christmas in a long time that 77-year-old Charles Minter Jr. will have to celebrate without Barbara, to whom he married 19 days after they met and stayed married to for 57 years. In May, she succumbed to cancer. ‘I hate the holidays. I see the lights and Christmas — I just get the chills,’ he said. ‘I hope [going to the Blue Christmas service] is going to help.’ Sharon Van de Walle’s husband of 40 years died suddenly earlier this month. ‘This is just a preparation for Christmas, which is going to be rather difficult,’ she said tearfully.
“‘And it’s a good place to have a cry and no one will mind,’ …The ‘Blue Christmas’ concept serves an important function for those who have lost loved ones, O’Dwyer Randall said. ‘The biggest sigh of relief for people who are grieving comes when you name it. When you say, ‘Hey, you’re probably having a hard year, when you say the person’s name.'” This sounds suspiciously like a group down in Boca treating Post-election Stress Trauma when Bush won and Kerry lost. Is this the last one? Yes, the last one. So now we’ve got you’re angry; you’re causing chaos and fights in the malls when you go out there. Now you’re so depressed because it’s all artificial good times that you’re seeking out places where you can go be county in the dumps with others who are down in the dumps and feel happy being miserable, and then yeah, you can join the very troubled Miss USA who will be with you probably in spirit, very troubled, and then…
“If you are hoping Santa will send you an iPod or a Nintendo or any of the latest mobile phones this Christmas, be careful what you wish for. Sore thumbs, inflamed elbows and stiff shoulders are among the musculoskeletal injuries linked to excessive use of these high-tech games and gadgets that could be under the tree. William Lenihan from Singapore’s Osteopathic Pain Relief Center, said, ‘This is a pretty big issue, especially as more and more people are using gadgets a lot. Hospitals have reported an increase in RSIs of the thumb from usage of gadgets and mobile phones, primarily from sending text messages. It’s a disease of modern times, and once you suffer from tenosinovitis,’ referring to a type of inflammation of the wrist and hand tendons, ‘we can treat it with shots. There’s also medication to ease the pain and braces to wear on the wrist. Of course, the most obvious way to treat it is to stop playing the game.'” So even those of you who can’t wait to open up your presents on Christmas morning, you are unaware of what utter despair, harm, damage and pain await you. After listening to these stories or reading these stories, some who have weaker constitutions than I, might question why it’s even worth trying to stay alive.
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