By Bette McDevitt
If you’re as old as some of us are…. you may remember the veiled threat of coal in your Christmas stocking if you didn’t behave well before the holidays. We’d like to deliver on that threat to some of our politicians and institutions, and then, we’d like to give a sweet to those who do well by their constituency. You may have ideas of your own. If so let us know, and we’ll carry it in the next issue.
So here we go, bad guys first….
Our State Legislature deserves coal in their stockings, for their sloth-like behavior in preparing a budget four months late, that depends on borrowing from the future and further proliferation of gambling, rather than fair taxes levied on those who can afford to pay them.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette deserves coal for their decades-long recurring editorial obsession with privatizing liquor stores in Pennsylvania. The “State Stores” represent one of the few government programs that work and painlessly generate real millions for the state coffers, support thousands of good paying union jobs, and are efficiently run.
Duquesne University, for continuing to refuse to recognize and bargain with Duquesne’s NLRB-recognized adjunct faculty union, and thus dismissing Catholic social justice teaching as irrelevant to their religious freedom.
All the guys who can’t keep their paws, and other appendages, off women, and, yes, other men, who don’t welcome their advances, public shaming, coal, and worse.
And Donald Trump, a truckload of coal, to be delivered to the basement of his Mar-a-Lago mansion, so he can run the air-conditioning in a way that will possibly provide a half-day’s more pay to some deserving coal miner.
A mighty lump of coal to Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, the Secretary of the Department of Justice who cannot distinguish lies from truth.
Plenty of coal for Senator Pat Toomey, the sycophantic follower of the Twit-in-Chief, who knows not what principles mean.
Coal galore for Neil Gorsuch, the new member of the Supreme Court who lied his way all the way to the bench. Contradictions supreme indeed.
Here are those who will get some sweets in their stocking…..
Pope Francis — for his strong support of the notion of citizen “stewardship” regarding the environment and positive views of addressing climate change. Also, his comments on the building of walls couldn’t be more anti-Trumpian.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for their strong statement on the immigration issue , support of sanctuary cities, health care, environmental issues and gun control. Bishop Zubik deserves local recognition and gratitude for his stance..
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for publishing a local newspaper, under stressful monetary conditions, providing us with investigative reporting and an open forum on local issues.
Mayor Bill Peduto, for public statements regarding sanctuary cities and climate change. Also for his declaration in Bonn that Pittsburgh would abide by the commitments of the Paris Accord to limit the human effects on the climate crisis.
Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, police, firefighters and citizen groups in the Mount Oliver/Carrick area for their valiant efforts to confront the opioid crisis in their area.
Patty DiMarco, for her book Pathways to our Sustainable Future; A Global Perspective from Pittsburgh, and for being the driving force in making the new Forest Hills Township Boro Building a green building aiming to qualify for LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — Gold designation, the second-highest certification of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49’ers, who began kneeling instead of standing during the national anthem last season to protest racial inequality and police brutality. He began a national discussion.
Amy Goodman, who resolutely tells truth to power daily in Democracy Now. Truth will prevail.
Elizabeth Warren, in her defense of consumer rights and for standing up for economic justice and fairness to those most deprived in society.
And our amazing members, who deliver The NewPeople, come to events, march in the streets, serve on the board, volunteer on committees and in the office, and whose support keeps our lights on and doors open – Cornerstone Sustainers, Monthly Peacemakers, organizational, family and individual members…Thank you!
Bette McDevitt is a member of the NewPeople Editorial Collective.