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This Old Man’s Wish List

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Christmas is about joy. I like joy.

And presents. By the time you read this, your house and mine will probably be awash in torn wrapping paper and discarded ribbons and bows. Good.


Sure, I think the gift-giving can sometimes be too much, but the joy on a child’s face . . . well, you never get too much of that magical elixir.

As we get older, we tend to buy ourselves the things we need and want, of course, at least those we can afford. Or we use credit cards.

We’re certainly not going to get Santa to spring for the things we can’t afford; Santa’s mighty skeptical of adults.

No, the things I wish for, I know good and well that we muggles will have to accomplish all on our own. Still, just in case Santa would make an exception in my case, here’s what I want for Christmas (in no particular order):

* Ballot measures offering citizens the opportunity to impose term limits on elected officials in each and every state and local political jurisdiction, and a constitutional amendment for term limits on Congress sent to the states for ratification.

* People parking between the lines of their parking space — pretty much 100 percent of the time. As I like to remind myself, “You can always back up and park again.” You know, in case at first you don’t succeed.

* A public admission from both the outgoing and incoming president, as well as our intelligence community, that they do not want and cannot handle and have no right whatsoever to the metadata that came from mass surveillance of innocent Americans. And further, that instead of whining about the strictures of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, our security personnel will focus on keeping tabs on those already on their list of suspected terrorists, who were responsible, according to the Washington Post, for “the majority of lone-wolf terrorism plots over the past several years.” Those include the shooter in the Pulse nightclub massacre and (dear Europeans) the recent Christmas market attack in Berlin.


* No more Mondays. Just two Sundays in a row and then on to Tuesday. If not us, who? If not now, when?

* A complete end to official highway robbery, known as civil asset forfeiture, committed not by crooks but by our police forces — local, state and federal. Police taking cash and property from innocent citizens, not charged nor convicted of any crime, is un-American. Last year, it accounted for more loot lifted from the American public than all the burglars burgled from us.

* Upgraded computer software that actually works better than the software it upgrades.

* A spell cast on the POTUS that makes an ear-piercing alarm go off throughout the land whenever our commander-in-chief says there will be “no U.S. boots on-the-ground” in a given worn-torn country at the same time that president is sending American special forces soldiers wearing boots to stand on the ground in that very country.

* Calmer weather reports. This winter there will be cold and snow and ice. There may be a blizzard or two. Get over it. Stop reporting it like hard news, like it’s Pearl Harbor. Leave the climate change lobbying to others. It makes us seem like a country of scaredy-cats. Where’s a bit of that English penchant for understatement when we need it?


* A responsible entity to start fact-checking the fact-checkers.

Oh, enough. These would be tough hopes to fulfill even for a Santa that actually preferred old folks.

Pass the cocoa. We’ve got a lot of work to do . . . after the holidays.

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