Sunday, December 23, 2007

Santa crucified to protest commercialism

BREMERTON, Wash. -- Art Conrad has an issue with the commercialism of Christmas, and his protest has gone way beyond just shunning the malls or turning off his television. The Bremerton resident nailed Santa Claus to a 15-foot crucifix in front of his house. "Santa has been perverted from who he started out to be," Conrad said. "Now he's the person being used by corporations to get us to buy more stuff." A photo of the crucified Santa adorns his Christmas cards, with the message "Santa died for your MasterCard." The display is also Conrad's way of poking fun at political correctness. He believes people don't express their feelings because they're afraid of what other people might think.

Ex-collector accused of being Garbage Grinch

JACKSON, Mich. -- An ex-garbage collector made his way through one of his former routes, stealing holiday cards filled with tip money and even cookies meant for other trash collectors, authorities said. Jackson County sheriff's Sgt. Bryan Huttenlocker said he received reports of stolen tips on Monday and Tuesday. The suspect, whose name wasn't released, was arrested on suspicion of larceny and later released. Officials said he was found with $70, which was submitted as evidence. "He knew what days the people were going to put out their garbage cans and would leave the tips," Huttenlocker said. "The citizens are out there thanking their garbage men while this less than ... outstanding citizen is taking their thanks." A Jackson resident told authorities he placed a tip on the garbage can, then later saw the man take it and drive away. The resident said he followed the man, who then tossed cards and cookies out the window.

-- From wire reports

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