WikiLeaks Targets Santa

WikiLeaks has struck again!  Somebody has hacked into Santa’s computer, and WD Fyfe has been given exclusive rights to publish some of the e-mails Santa Claus has received this year.  Here is a small sample.

Dear Santa — My name is Sarah, and I can see your house from my window.  I’ve been a good girl all year, not like that busybody, Michelle.  I don’t really want anything for Christmas this year, but in 2012, I’d like a new house in November — preferably in Washington. – Sarah — Sorry about the shooting: I didn’t know it was Blitzen.

Dear Santa — My name is Brian, and I’ll give you all my draft picks for the next 10 years if you give me somebody who can put the damn puck in the net.  I’ve tried to be good all year.  You can’t hold that stupid Kessel trade against me because that was last year. — Brian

Dear Santa — My name is Justin, and I don’t want anything for my birthday, thank you.  I’m perfect. – Justin Trudeau, Dauphin of Canada and MP (Papineau, Quebec)

Dear Santa — My name is Joe.  Please don’t forget me again this year.  I’m the vice-president of the United States.  I’ve been good all year — except for the swearing part but that wasn’t my fault.  I’d like some of the foreigners who come to visit us to remember my name.  It would mean a lot to me. — Joe Biden (b-i-d-e-n) Biden

Dear Santa — My name is Julian.  I’ve been a nasty little boy all year, but I don’t care because if you don’t give me what I want for Christmas, I’m going to leak all those e-mails you sent to the rehab clinic about Rudolph. — I’m watching you! Julian

Dear Santa — My name is Gregor, and I’ve been a sensitive, caring man all year.  I’d like Peace on Earth for people who ride bicycles, and the rest of those “hacks” can go to hell.  Oops, I apologize for my error in judgement: I didn’t know my pen still had ink in it. — Still not Premier of BC, Gregor Robertson

Dear Santa — If you want the World Cup at the North Pole, just put the money in an envelope and leave it under the tree.  We’ll understand. — FIFA

Out of the way, Fat boy!  I’m taking over.  Christmas is mine.  I deserve it.  I work harder than you do –all year – not just during the holidays.  And I get way more mail than you do.  I give people better presents than you do too.   And more people know who I am.  So clear off, or I’ll buy all the toys in the world and put you out of business. — The Mega-Evil-Corporation (formerly known as Oprah)

Dear Santa — My name is Al, and I’ve been a good boy my entire life.  I invented Christmas and the Internet.  And, since I’ve already got an Academy Award and a Nobel Peace Prize, I really don’t need that much for Christmas.  However, if you could make a certain massage therapist take the money and shut up, I’d really appreciate it. – Thanks! Al

Signore Claus — The girls and I are getting together over the holidays for a party, and we think it would be way cool to have some elves join in.  If you could send a dozen or so, that would be meravigliosa.  Never mind the price: we’ll just pay them when they get here. — Silvio Berlusconi

Santa — My name is Barack, but you can call me Obama; everybody else does.  I know the whole Hope and Change thing didn’t work out, but I was a good boy just for trying it.  So don’t listen to those guys at Fox News.  I’ve got a long list of things to do this year, but my #1 Christmas present priority is Sarah Palin.  Could you let her win the Republican Nomination in 2012?   Maybe then I’ll have enough time to get some of this stuff done. — Obama

Dear Santa — This is to inform you that 13 of your elves don’t like the way you’re running Christmas.  If you don’t step down immediately, they’re going to quit and make their own Christmas, and it’s going to be way better than yours. — Jenny Kwan — PS: When is Libby going to retire?

Dear Mr. Claus — My name is Justin, and I think I’m 12 years old.  I’ve been a good boy all year and made a lot of little girls happy.  I don’t really need anything for Christmas, but if you can do it, like my new friend Pinocchio, I’d like to be a real boy.  Thank you very much. — Your friend, Justin Bieber

Fat Capitalist — Do not come near my sovereign airspace.  I will retaliate and shoot you down.  Be very afraid of me I have nuclear weapons. — Glorious Leader, Kim Jung-il

And the rest from a government computer in Ottawa:

Salutations — I’m not really sure what I want for Christmas.  Conceptually, I suppose I’d like something to do with Peace on Earth, maybe.  Theoretically, one could argue that Good Will to Men would be a good thing, as long as it included women.  Of course, Happy Holidays is part of our common tradition, dating back to the 4th century and the inception of Christianity.  Actually, between you and me, I just want outta here.  The people here are so stupid.  I don’t know what ever possessed me to leave Harvard. – Sincerely, Michael Ignatieff

Patriarchal Holiday Being — We don’t believe in you.  Stop oppressing ordinary working Canadians.  We demand a Government Inquiry into the working conditions of the elves.  We oppose your American-style gift giving and your illegal occupation of the North Pole. — National NDP Caucus (Jack Layton, Acting Chair)

Pere Noel — Last year my presents were not bilingual and that made me very angry, but I kept them anyway.  This year, you have to give me twice as many presents or I won’t celebrate Christmas with you anymore. — Gilles Duceppe

And one weird Podcast:

Santa, baby! slip a majority of seats, to me

I’ve been an awful good boy

And hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa, honey! A senate that will do what I say, my way

I’ll wait up for you here, Santa baby.

So hurry down the chimney tonight.

[And it just went on and on]

To leak, or not to leak

I’ve lived long enough to understand that most things in life are black and white.  There is a good; there is an evil.  There is justice; there’s injustice.  There’s pregnant and there’s not.  There’s almost never an “almost” anything.  There are people who do deal in endless shades of grey and so be it.  I find these people are mostly lazy, sometimes stupid and — far too often — both — a deadly combination.  However, every once in a while, a situation will hove up on the horizon that has enough nuances in it to make me stop and consider.  WikiLeaks is that kind of a two-handed problem.  On the one hand, it could be a good thing; on the other, it might prove to be bad.  But, in the end it has to be something because it can’t be both.

The good side of WikiLeaks is pretty obvious.  First of all, it’s nice to have somebody out there watching the workings of government – any government.  We need independent structures and institutions that keep a wary eye on the people who wield enormous power.  When this task falls into the lap of ordinary people, I’m always glad when they step forward, place the whistle to their lips, and blow, long and hard.  Secondly, I’m glad that the Internet is still the big dog on the planet.  Its democracy is going to save us — believe me.  It’s good to see that — despite every attempt to chain it up — the Internet’s numerical superiority seems to be able to carry the day – so far, anyway.  Finally, and way more important than everything else, I’m so relieved to know that the world’s diplomats are not as stupid as they always appear to be.   In one cyber-flash, the folks who are running the world went from bumbling dolts with PhDs in naive to hard-working men and women with a fairly astute grasp of the international situation.  I don’t know about you, but I’m as happy as a puppy with a tail, to find out that the powers that be are as worried about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons as I am.  It’s totally reassuring to me to know that everybody thinks Karzai is a crook.  And as scary as the situation in Iran is, I’m ecstatic that a whole pile of people realize just how godawful scary the situation in Iran is.  It’s great to have a no-holds-barred assessment; a genuine look at the world — unfiltered by Anderson Cooper or anybody else who has better hair than Barbie.  I didn’t know the real story before, but I’m glad I do now.  If nothing else, I sleep better.

 Of course, the first question is do we need to know this stuff?  The answer is no.  In the great scheme of things, regardless of how much superdemocracy we think we need, there is no reason for ordinary people to know any of this.  In a more civilized time, governments carried on their discourse behind closed doors.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  Looking over a mechanic’s shoulder while he fixes your car doesn’t do anybody any good.  Besides, one of the major problems of our democracy is that it’s currently getting micromanaged by lobbyists, activists and special interest groups.  The WikiLeaks are just going to add fuel to their power-grabbing fire.

The next question is why publish this stuff in the first place?  Some are favourably comparing WikiLeaks to the Pentagon Papers.   This is apples and oranges with a banana thrown into the mix.  Folks, the world has changed exponentially since the Sacred 60s.  The Pentagon Papers were an attempt to thwart the US government, who were actively lying to the American people.  The WikiLeaks are exposing nothing more than day-to-day exchanges between government employees.  No, I don’t want my government to lie to me, and if they do, I want to know about it, but in actual fact, I don’t care if they lie to folks like Karzai and Ahmadinejad – or Hilary, Bill and Chelsea, either.  Nor do I have a burning need to know about it.  In the real world, international diplomacy is a serious business, and everybody should know the rules.  There are no rules.  Get used to it.

Finally, does publishing this stuff do any good?  No.  In fact, it does a lot of harm.  Suddenly, private assessment and analysis is available to anybody with a mouse and a modem.  Even Hannah Montana knows that there are certain things the whole world doesn’t need to know.  She also understands that being brutally honest — even selectively — can jeopardize your whole way of life.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that when you do this on a global scale, you’re just asking for trouble.  I don’t want the people I’ve hired to keep my world running smoothly looking over their shoulders and mincing their words.  My personal thought is that Julian Assange is like that smarmy kid in high school who always acted like a jerk, for no reason, just because he could.

So, on balance, WikiLeaks is not that hard a problem.  On the scale of good and evil or right and wrong, it’s wrong – full stop.  Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m going to quit reading them.