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My 2007 Christmas Wish List 

For Bruton, BofA, Baptists, and more

This is my favorite part of the year. Summer's brutal heat is forgotten, the leaves have fallen, and I can dig up my jazz Christmas CD mixes. (You haven't lived till you've heard Charlie Parker play "White Christmas.") Yes, it's time again to re-charge our spiritual batteries and wish the best for those around us. Don't get me wrong; I know the routine. We can't get around to all that feel-good stuff until we've shopped till our bodies and wallets are drained, eaten and drunk ourselves into a stupor, made sure our material wants will be taken care of Christmas morning, and flipped off drivers who took that parking spot we had our eye on. With those fond sentiments in mind, here is my list of holiday wishes for a few deserving folks. Not many of these wishes may come true, but hey, it's also the season for believing in miracles. Right?

• For parents, spouses and friends of United States soldiers in Iraq, we wish a quick, safe return of their kids and loved ones.

• For Massa Bruton Smith, owner of Lowe's Motor Speedway and the plantation formerly known as the city of Concord, whose tantrums and antics this year made Ebenezer Scrooge seem bighearted, we wish a big, fat lump of coal in the shape of a racecar.

• For the N.C. Baptist Convention, we wish a makeover of its leaders and headquarters by the Fab Five from Queer Eye -- God knows those guys need a new job.

• For the Women's Shelter, the Urban Ministry, Loaves & Fishes, A Child's Place, Crisis Assistance Ministry, and all the other groups of people working to help the city's homeless and/or hungry, we wish enough funds to expand their outreach to the community.

• For Bank of America and Duke Energy, which, along with Wachovia, are the city's leading "corporate citizens," we wish a new commitment to public responsibility by backing out of their deep involvement with Big Coal. The coal industry not only contributes mightily to global warming, but is also destroying huge areas in the southern Appalachians -- and ruining the lives of the people who live there -- via the morally obscene practice of "mountaintop removal mining." Shouldn't BofA and Duke's legacy be better than that?

• For the Lynx light rail system, we wish lots of riders, years of success, and the gift of adequate supervision by local government, something that was sorely lacking during the southern route's construction.

• For the loose coalition that initiated the transit tax repeal campaign -- our homegrown alliance of far-right wingnuts, libertarians, self-absorbed suburbanites, anti-taxers, radio demagogues, and sufferers of Resentful Southern Male Syndrome -- we wish the decency to shut up for awhile after their humiliation at the polls.

• For The Carolina Panthers, we wish a change of head coach, and a new, top-notch quarterback.

• For The Charlotte Bobcats, who are struggling to win games and fill the arena, we wish the same thing we wished for them last year: more Charlotteans who actually care whether they're here or not.

• For NoDa, we wish the strength to hang on to the neighborhood's funkiness after the yuppies have finished moving in.

• For Charlotte restaurant and bar patrons, we wish more selections of high-gravity, connoisseur beers rather than traditional mass-produced swill -- and the ability to tell the difference.

• For the U.S. National Whitewater Center, we wish a great increase in "national" business, to offset the mediocre level of local interest in what they offer.

• For the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party, we wish the will and energy to become less dysfunctional, and the courage to back their next mayoral candidate with money, time and effort rather than cowering before McCrory's connections to the city's moneybags.

• For the state of North Carolina, we wish that by this time next year, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth "Senior Barbie" Dole will be readying for retirement after having been defeated by a candidate who will represent the state's citizens rather than corporate lobbyists and Washington insiders' interests.

• For Harry Taylor, the local hero who confronted Dubya over the war, we wish good luck in his run for Sue Myrick's congressional seat.

• And finally, for our good friends Dubya the Decider and Darth Cheney, who have run the country into a ditch in the Middle East and screwed things up in the United States beyond anyone's worst expectations, we wish a full year of frustration, followed by an acquaintance with a war crimes tribunal.

And on that note, happy holidays to all of CL's readers!

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