Merry December to You

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"I. F. Stone was the modern Tom Paine‹as independent and incorruptible as they come," said Ralph Nader. "Notwithstanding poor eyesight and bad ears, he managed to see more and hear more than other journalists because he was curious and fresh with the capacity for both discovery and outrage every new day."

Without high-placed sources or invitations to the big press conferences, Stone scooped the big name reporters time and time again. He scoured public documents, studied the transcripts of Congressional committee hearings, and searched the large newspapers for inspiration. Stone once told David Halberstam that the Washington Post was an exciting paper to read because "you never know on what page you would find a page-one story."

Speaking of page-one stories, can anyone imagine a Christmas truce in 2006? During the First World War, there was a fine example of what the working class can do to overcome the oppressive influence of the elites. It was Christmas Day, 1914 when soldiers on all sides of the battle initiated an impromptu truce. French, German, and British cannon fodder fraternized among the rotting corpses. It's a wonderful image to ponder these reluctant warriors singing carols, exchanging photos and cigarettes, and playing soccer. In other words, those humans were following instincts instead of orders. Of course, the high command went nuts and before long, the slaughter resumed...and has basically continued unabated ever since.

Whenever we disobey orders, clasp hands across national borders, and become citizens of the world we, like John Lennon sang, have "nothing to kill or die for." So, Merry, Happy Whatever you choose to celebrate. But be sure to celebrate. As Thomas Merton said, "He who celebrates is not powerless."

Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.

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