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Christmas Eve Morning Open Thread

One the things I associate with Christmas is the feeling of joy. Watching Bruce and Jon Bon Jovi sing this song together is double joy -- their joy in singing with each other, and our joy at watching them. A great way to start the day.

If you have any suggestions for more joyous or fun Christmas songs for me to showcase in open threads through Christmas, please let me know. You can never have too much joy in your life.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Sunday Night Open Thread | A Merry Christmas To All >
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  • Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 09:13:24 AM EST
    I wish you all the best!

    And, a Merry Christmas (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:59:47 PM EST
    and Happy New Year to you and all.

    Parent
    Seems like Connecticut teachers, mayors (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:38:01 AM EST
    and police chiefs are not embracing Wayne LaPierre's idea to place armed guards in their schools.

    Teachers, school superintendents, mayors and police chiefs in Connecticut are rejecting the National Rifle Association's (NRA) response to the shooting in Newtown, describing the gun lobby's proposal to equip schools with armed guards and more guns as too simplistic, shameful, and opportunistic.

    One Connecticut school superintendent dismissed the NRA's suggestion as "an ill-conceived reaction from an organization that does not have any credibility or expertise with respect to addressing school violence" and said that the idea "is an excuse for not addressing the need to enact meaningful safe gun legislation in conjunction with an investment in mental health services." Putnam Police Chief Rick Hayes called the proposal "scary," noting that teachers can't possibly have the kind of training necessary to safely handle large weapons.
    ....
    The growing outrage against the organization extends beyond school officials -- even state Republican politicians are weary of eliminating school gun-free zones. Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R), whose district includes Sandy Hook Elementary School, called the proposal "ill-timed."..... link



    I like the 'teacher in every gun shop' (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:31:03 PM EST
    idea better.

    Parent
    What could happen if you arm teachers (none / 0) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:48:41 AM EST
    More armed civilians won't stop mass shooters. If anything, they'll make things worse.

    Brad Friedman reminds us of a 2009 ABC segment showing how dramatically more armed civilians would fail at stopping armed shooters in a realistic situation: Watch both videos



    Parent
    I watched both videos (none / 0) (#76)
    by Slayersrezo on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 04:58:44 PM EST
    And found them pretty stupid.
    What they got right:
    A. Tunnel vision
    B. Adrenalin
    C. Most shots, esp. by untrained panicked people miss.

    What people HERE will miss:
    Even though they weren't very effective (to say the least) at stopping the gunman, THEY DID DRAW his fire, in several cases they drew the fire away from the others who were fleeing, thus saving lives.
    Also none of them HIT ANOTHER STUDENT. After all one of the big fears by the antigunners here is that all those bullets will cause so much extra fatalities - but apparently not as many as giving someone with a gun free range to shoot unopposed.

    What was unrealistic:
    A. Note they had everyone wearing a vision constricting facial mask. Clearly , even given tunnel vision these people's vision was constricted more than it normally would be, thus rendering this cute little "experiment" rather moot.
    B. None of our recent spree killers has had an accomplice. That looked like it was put in there farther to "tilt the field" against those with firearms.

    In short it wasn't a single shooter situation which the vast majority of these crimes are.

    So really, nothing proven either way.

    Parent

    The first 2 - 4 instances were (none / 0) (#79)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:35:32 PM EST
    single shooter instances. Only the last couple of situations had 2 shooters like in Columbine.

    One or two of the participants were skilled in the use of guns prior to the training. The people given guns went through a training program and as stated the training program was more intensive than what people normally take to obtain guns. The teachers that people want to arm would  be trained accordingly. I sure in a real situation the fact that they died drawing fire away from others in the area without incapacitating the shooter who would continue to fire on others must have some relevance to you but others might just think that they died because some a$$hole decided that their lives needed to be sacrificed on the alter of the NRA.

    Try looking at the first video again which gave all the details of the test. If you still believe what you wrote, maybe you need your eyesight and your hearing checked.

    Parent

    MO Blue (1.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Slayersrezo on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:41:21 PM EST
    I can't make heads or tails of your final paragraph. I do find your comment lacking information, and to be long on invective.
    I don't find this an adult level of argumentation, and so I won't be responding to you until you knock it off.

    Parent
    Your first comment was totally inaccurate (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:55:48 PM EST
    You went out of your way to distort what was in the videos. I don't find misstating facts is anything other than totally dishonest. I would be more than happy for you to cease responding to me completely in this thread and in all others.

    OTOH if you do respond to any of my comments by distorting the facts, I will take the time to point out all the areas where you have mangled the truth.

    Parent

    The videos were informative (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:23:28 PM EST
    You can try to slice and dice them, just as the Republicans "unskewed the polls....

    Parent
    An "adult level of argumentation" ... (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 08:24:48 PM EST
    From the "Boom-booms be scary" guy.

    Heh.

    Parent

    Silly videos (none / 0) (#99)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 12:58:26 AM EST
    The videos were silly.  I saw them in 2009 too... I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I see this stuff put forth as "evidence".

    First of all, I have been in cancer hospitals with as large of a population of Bethlehem PA. They are not exactly renown in law enforcement circles as a Mecca of tactical training.  Just some po-dunk small town PD.

     The entire scenario was rigged.  Laughably so.  Examine those THICK GLOVES that we're NOT what the shooter was trained with.  It even looks as though they are intentionally oversized to make them even more clumsy. They appeared to be using a "high ride" level 2 retention duty holster on a flimsy belt...the cops would have struggled to pull that gun.    A tight fitting extra long T Shirt?   The weapon printed the shirt was so tight....And sitting at a desk with the holster at the 3 oclock position... All the training in the film was from the standing position....   Please....  

    ABC went to great lengths to make it very difficult for the student.

    Number 3 would have done okay if he could have gotten his weapon but the he couldn't draw.  

    And isn't it funny that even though only one of them could actually produce a weapon, the cops went for them every time as soon as they shot the teacher....   Placement front row and center... Seriously, you think this is realistic?  Like they said, all the others were actors and in on the charade.   Not exactly what you would call the scientific method, now was it?

    And wow, I am shocked Diane Sawyer  Couldn't react to the training video.  Besides having no background, she was drawing from a holster when the scenario called for her to be at the ready position.

    Tthe Bethlehem PD seems to have been one sided in their analysis. Either they are incompetent, or they had the balance cut out of their statements...it wouldn't be the first time Sawyer left footage that didn't fit her predetermined narrative on the cutting room floor.  

    If you would like to have a serious debate, don't bring up an unrealistic, non scientific piece of play acting and pass it off as "evidence".

    If they wanted to prove the contrary, they could easily manipulate little things to drastically change the results.  Example, place the "student" near the entrance so that the shooter has his back to him at close range. Make the shooter shoot at those fleeing to the exits as is the norm.  Give the student normal shooting gloves and a proper holster that he feels comfortable with and has some training.   You will see very different results.  


    Parent

    Having a serious debate with you (none / 0) (#104)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 04:00:48 AM EST
    would be impossible.

    Parent
    On second thought if you want (none / 0) (#108)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:10:30 AM EST
    a serious discussion bring proof to substantiate your allegations.

    Please provide a link that substantiates your insinuation that the Bethlehem police department provides poor quality tactical training.

    Please provide a link that substantiates your claim that the holsters were a "high ride" level 2 retention duty holster on a flimsy belt. The second participant (blond girl) did not appear to have difficulty in retreiving her gun from the holster.

    The shirts were long to provide the "conceal" part of conceal and carry and more bloused than skin tight. They were the the same shirts the participants wore during the training segments on the video.

    Participant #3 froze completely - clothing or equipment irrelevant. Most other participants either stayed in place trying to access their gun or ducked down in place making them the most obvious target.

    The situation that the video was trying to duplicate was a mass shooting with the average conceal and carry person in the audience (school or movie theater) where people would normally be sitting down. Weapon proficiency tests for conceal and carry permit in MO.

    A live firing exercise of sufficient duration for each applicant to fire both a revolver and semi automatic pistol, from a standing position or its equivalent, a minimum of fifty rounds from each handgun at a distance of seven yards from a B-27 silhouette target or an equivalent target;

    A live fire test administered to the applicant while the instructor was present of twenty rounds from each handgun from a standing position or its equivalent at a distance from a B-27 silhouette target, or an equivalent target, of seven yards.

    You may note that proficiency in shooting from a sitting position is not required.

    I seriously doubt that most people in a classroom or a theater position themselves so that they can be behind a shooter. Depending on the circumstances, that seating choice might not be available to them even if they wanted it.

    The participants trained with the gun and the holster that they used in the simulation.

    My initial comment had to do with arming and training teachers (ordinary citizens) to protect the school from a mass shooting. It did not cover using military or police personnel.  

    Parent

    Let's deconstruct the video (none / 0) (#113)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:33:16 PM EST
    MO,

    Your ad hominiem aside happy to oblige.  

    Let's deconstruct the video.  

    See video 1.  

    Time hack 0:55 through 1:08.   Practice by students is done without gloves, and with the shirt tucked away where it does not cover the holster.  That is a set up.  The first time they try to use gloves and the shirt is in the surprise situation of the class room.  

    Time hack 2:05 freeze shot.  Look how poor fitting (oversized) Joey's glove is.  That makes anything he does with his fingers more clumsy.  While the helmet is necessary, it was correctly pointed out that the helmet and neck protection restrict vision which means he cannot index visually to compensate for the gloves and shirt which are not natural clothing in that situation.

    Time hack 2:45 freeze shot.  Examine the police officers' gloves.   Tight fitting patrol gloves sized correctly to the officer.  Not the hardware store variety provided to the students. Unfair advantage given to the officer. 

    Time hack 3:14, is clear shot of the high ride holster.  High ride is a style used by patrol officers and not particularly common for concealed carry.  You want a link?  Look it up yourself.  The vernacular is as basic as me looking at Crown Victoria and identifying it as. 4 door sedan.  If you don't know what a high ride holster is then you are identifying yourself as a complete novice on the subject being discussed and perhaps yours should not engage in debates and prove it to the few here that do know weapons and tactics.

    Also note the belt.  It is too thin to provide the stiffness to bear a handgun with that type of holster.  The holster loops are much larger than the belt which means it will not hold firmly to the side when drawn. Additionally, the belt is loose as demonstrated by the angle the belt droops down in only a few inches of waistline 

    Back to time hack 1:08.... Hear the click?  That is indicative of a kydex or composite holster with handgun retention.  That is meant to minimize the possibility of a grab by a felon at any but the correct drawing angle.... But when you hang that on a flimsy belt, it makes a clean draw more difficult and momentary binding a very strong probability.  

    Lastly at 1:08, see the holster is at Joeys 2 o'clock position with a forward cant?  That is a very difficult position to draw a forward can't from because it requires to draw in an unnatural direction in line with the holster's cant.

    Summary on 1:08, binding during the draw is almost guaranteed and exacerbated by the oversized gloves, the extra long shirt and the reduced vision.  

    Not rigged?  Lets do a little math...  I count about 17 possible victims in the class.  (composite of a still of 4:52 with other shots).  They place the student front row and center and always IGNORE the other students during the melee.  He should statistically only be the second student engaged about 6% of the time, not 100% of the time.  

    The most glaring  2 examples:

    Time hack 3:10 to 3:15.  "Shooter" ceases fire and lowers muzzle slightly to the "ready position" when another "victim" runs mid way between the shooter and the student.  No weapon is visible, but the the shooter continues to engage the more distant threat and ignores the person rushing in his general direction that get within about 4 feet of him to keep engaging the student.  Again, he actually lowers his weapon to avoid shooting a much closer threat that continues coming to within just a few feet of the shooter, channelized by the desks and close enough to engage him hand to hand. 

    You think it was because of the furtive actions of the student that the shooter perceived as a threat? Nope...

    Time hack 4:55.  the student freezes in his seat, never produces a weapon and is shot 6 times despite others running for the doors, even closer to the "shooter".  

    It didn't matter if the student tried to draw, if the moved towards the exit, if they froze, or if they ducked behind cover... Because those were the 4 the examples in video # 1.  They were always the second person engaged during the chaos of 17 targets to choose from.  

    I can do this all day.  

    So don't call this rigged video "evidence".   Again, I could make slight changes to the scenario to make it a lot more realistic.  Why should the "shooter" know who the "student" is?  Make him figure it out.  Give them the same clothes.  Give the student a CCW holster rather than a level 2 retention holster.  You will see some very different results.  

    Parent

    Let's deconstruct the video (none / 0) (#114)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:35:29 PM EST
    MO,

    Your ad hominiem aside happy to oblige.  

    Let's deconstruct the video.  

    See video 1.  

    Time hack 0:55 through 1:08.   Practice by students is done without gloves, and with the shirt tucked away where it does not cover the holster.  That is a set up.  The first time they try to use gloves and the shirt is in the surprise situation of the class room.  

    Time hack 2:05 freeze shot.  Look how poor fitting (oversized) Joey's glove is.  That makes anything he does with his fingers more clumsy.  While the helmet is necessary, it was correctly pointed out that the helmet and neck protection restrict vision which means he cannot index visually to compensate for the gloves and shirt which are not natural clothing in that situation.

    Time hack 2:45 freeze shot.  Examine the police officers' gloves.   Tight fitting patrol gloves sized correctly to the officer.  Not the hardware store variety provided to the students. Unfair advantage given to the officer. 

    Time hack 3:14, is clear shot of the high ride holster.  High ride is a style used by patrol officers and not particularly common for concealed carry.  You want a link?  Look it up yourself.  The vernacular is as basic as me looking at Crown Victoria and identifying it as. 4 door sedan.  If you don't know what a high ride holster is then you are identifying yourself as a complete novice on the subject being discussed and perhaps yours should not engage in debates and prove it to the few here that do know weapons and tactics.

    Also note the belt.  It is too thin to provide the stiffness to bear a handgun with that type of holster.  The holster loops are much larger than the belt which means it will not hold firmly to the side when drawn. Additionally, the belt is loose as demonstrated by the angle the belt droops down in only a few inches of waistline 

    Back to time hack 1:08.... Hear the click?  That is indicative of a kydex or composite holster with handgun retention.  That is meant to minimize the possibility of a grab by a felon at any but the correct drawing angle.... But when you hang that on a flimsy belt, it makes a clean draw more difficult and momentary binding a very strong probability.  

    Lastly at 1:08, see the holster is at Joeys 2 o'clock position with a forward cant?  That is a very difficult position to draw a forward can't from because it requires to draw in an unnatural direction in line with the holster's cant.

    Summary on 1:08, binding during the draw is almost guaranteed and exacerbated by the oversized gloves, the extra long shirt and the reduced vision.  

    Not rigged?  Lets do a little math...  I count about 17 possible victims in the class.  (composite of a still of 4:52 with other shots).  They place the student front row and center and always IGNORE the other students during the melee.  He should statistically only be the second student engaged about 6% of the time, not 100% of the time.  

    The most glaring  2 examples:

    Time hack 3:10 to 3:15.  "Shooter" ceases fire and lowers muzzle slightly to the "ready position" when another "victim" runs mid way between the shooter and the student.  No weapon is visible, but the the shooter continues to engage the more distant threat and ignores the person rushing in his general direction that get within about 4 feet of him to keep engaging the student.  Again, he actually lowers his weapon to avoid shooting a much closer threat that continues coming to within just a few feet of the shooter, channelized by the desks and close enough to engage him hand to hand. 

    You think it was because of the furtive actions of the student that the shooter perceived as a threat? Nope...

    Time hack 4:55.  the student freezes in his seat, never produces a weapon and is shot 6 times despite others running for the doors, even closer to the "shooter".  

    It didn't matter if the student tried to draw, if the moved towards the exit, if they froze, or if they ducked behind cover... Because those were the 4 the examples in video # 1.  They were always the second person engaged during the chaos of 17 targets to choose from.  

    I can do this all day.  

    So don't call this rigged video "evidence".   Again, I could make slight changes to the scenario to make it a lot more realistic.  Why should the "shooter" know who the "student" is?  Make him figure it out.  Give them the same clothes.  Give the student a CCW holster rather than a level 2 retention holster.  You will see some very different results.  

    Parent

    Sorry (none / 0) (#115)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:38:08 PM EST
    Jeralyn,

    I apologize for the double post.  Please delete one of them.  :-)

    Thank you

    Parent

    MO (none / 0) (#116)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:43:25 PM EST
    Mo, the short version of the above is that if I dressed you like than and sat you down and buttoned your rear pocket button on your trousers it would take you 30 seconds to get your wallet out of your pocket and pull a $10 bill out to pay for a handburger at McDonalds....Does it normally take you 30 seconds to get your wallet out of your pocket?

    Parent
    CCW (none / 0) (#117)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:26:06 PM EST
    MO,

    The purpose of the CCW class in most states is a class on the laws and restrictions.  It is typically a LIABILITY class.

     The firearms portion is only to guarantee that the student can mechanically manipulate the weapon and understands the rudimentary basics of aming and firing.  

    I don't know how many CCWs you know and I will go out on a limb and say you probably don't have one, but the purpose is not to have someone put on their cape and be crime fighters.  It is self defense in an extremis situation.  

    However, I know quite a few CCWs, the majority of them female, and they all have gone well beyond the course "minimums" both before and after completion.  Frankly, where I am from, that is driven in part by the liability aspects of the law.  They are legally accountable for their actions so they do not rely on serendipity.  

    I could be wrong, but with the information you have provided to me, I believe that your view may be based on preconceived notions that you have zero experiance in...i

    Most people who apply for the liscense don't wake up one day and decide to run down and do it.  It comes after a protracted thought process. And the application process is still about 2 months and has several wickets.   I say "most" give it great thought" because there are always exceptions.  I just don't know of any personally.

    CCWs are among the most law abiding population in the US, especially in my state.  They are well above average in education background and tend to be middle class and upper middle class.  

    The distain I see here and a characterizations of them as toothless uneducated rednecks with ego issues does not hold up under scrutiny.  

    In general, where I live, they tend to be both blue and red politically.  They believe in personal responsibility and have probably grown up with some familiarity with firearms in their family somewhere....hunting, military, law enforcement, etc...

    While it may make you feel better to think they are stupid, that really is not helpful if you want to find some consensus for some meaningful reform.  

    It would be helpful if both sides went beyond their home team's taking points and looked at each side with equal cynicism.  

    Neither side has a monopoly on the truth.  They both stretch their stats.  

    Parent

    CCW classes do NOT train in marksmanship (none / 0) (#121)
    by Eddpsair on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 10:26:49 AM EST
    And there is a great misconception about the "lack of hands on training required" to get a CCW.   You are incorrect when you say it is an hour.   It is actually NONE.

    CCW, in my state, is a course in the law and liability.  It is merely a certification course on shooting. They are very clear when they say "You must know how to shoot when you show up.  We are not here to teach you.....just to certify a minimum of mechanical manipulation of your weapon and basic shooting proficiency."

    The states do not TRAIN novice people to shoot in CCW classes.  They merely confirm that the person can execute the basics to a safe level.

    What they do is make the students understand their liability, advise them to use their weapon reluctantly and inform them they would be well advised to strive for addtional proficiency since a mistake could cost them everything.

    So Sawyer is wrong...  There is ZERO MARKSMANSHIP TRAINING done in my state. (and most others) .  We don't take novices and teach them how to shoot in an hour as she contends in the video.  You must already know how to use a gun and demonstrate it.   That really doesn't take very long.  About an hour.... Roughly the same time it takes to run a police qualification course anywhere in the USA.... Because similarly, they are not teaching the police to shoot in those ranges (they were previously trained), they are certifying that they can.  

    Hope that clears up the misconception.  


    Parent

    Bethlehem PD (none / 0) (#122)
    by Eddpsair on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:19:40 AM EST
    MO,

    Okay, you asked for it.   I went their Web Site....

    150 officers, 40 civilians.   14 SWAT members, (part time)  (all their specialized units are part time... it is their collateral duty, not their primary)

    2 horses

    2 motorcycles

    2 K9.....

    Pretty much what I expected.  I'll stand by my earlier statement: NOT a Mecca of tactical training.

    Just to compare, our specialized units are larger than their entire Department by  almost x 2 and our specialized personnel are all full timers.  

    We cross train with all the big boys out there because we are one of them.   Bethlehem is not.  They don't even list a full time "training department" on their web site.  

    Parent

    When you support throwing seniors under (5.00 / 5) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:58:32 AM EST
    the chained CPI bus, you also support throwing millions of other Americans under there with them.

    Of the over 9 Million Veterans who rely upon Social Security for benefits, 3.2 Million of them rely on benefits due to service-related disabilities. link

    This is an issue that deserves vastly more attention than it has received to date, including from anti-poverty advocates and researchers like me. The shift to the Chained CPI would harm low-income children and non-elderly adults because a long list of means-tested benefits currently use a non-chained CPI, typically the CPI-U, to adjust eligibility standards and/or benefits amounts. For example, as the Congressional Research Service (CRS) detailed in a report last year, in addition to Social Security, the following major federal benefit benefit programs include inflation-indexing elements that rely on the non-chained CPI-U or CPI-W:

    --Medicaid;

    --Supplemental Security Income (providing supplemental income for severely disabled children and adults);

    --the Earned Income Tax Credit;

    --the Child Tax Credit (refundable portion for low-income workers with children);

    --the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps);

    --Child Nutrition Programs, including school meals.

    Moreover, a much longer list of programs big and small for low-income kids, working-age adults, and people with disabilities--more than 50 programs according to CRS--have income eligibility standards, benefits, or other elements that are tied to the federal poverty income guidelines published by HHS each year. As you may have guessed by now, these guidelines are currently indexed annual based on the non-chained CPI-U. link

    For those who are advocating that seniors need to just suck-it-up for the glory of Obama, remember granny will have a lot of company under the bus.

    And, the underside (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:00:34 PM EST
    of the bus will be peopled with a higher proportion of elderly women, Blacks and Hispanics.  And, keeping in mind that the average social security benefit (2012) is $14,800, Social Security as a percentage of income is as follows: for over 65 percent of beneficiaries, social security provides a majority of the income; for about 36 percent, social security provides 90 percent of income; and for about 24 percent, social security is the sole source of income.

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
    presents ten useful facts about social security, but it should also be noted that cutting social security benefits is more than about budgets--it is about a country that sees "balance" as cutting social security benefits as among ways to maintain tax cuts for the richest Americans.  

    Parent
    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:08:41 PM EST
    it is about a country that sees "balance" as cutting social security benefits as among ways to maintain tax cuts for the richest Americans.

    It is also about a country that see "giving them something" means taking away benefits from those who are unable to pay to play, the the poorest both adult and children, the sick and the elderly.

    Parent

    Straw man (1.33 / 3) (#100)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 01:06:18 AM EST
    MO,

    You make the call... Where would you cut?

    If you completely terminated all US Government functions except for SS and entitlemts...  Disband the military, shut down the FBI the EPA the DOT and the DOE... All of it, we are still in the red 20 cents on the dollar.

    And the new taxes proposed will fund our government for a couple of weeks...  

    Even if you confiscate all wealth over 1 million like France at 75%, the numbers don't work.

    So entitlements will be cut.   Which ones do you want to cut if you were in charge.  

    Parent

    Well, since Social Security (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 03:53:39 AM EST
    isn't part of the budget, it's not contributing to the budget deficit. (Did you know that?) Therefore, it doesn't need to be cut.

    Your premise is a false premise.

    Try again.

    Parent

    Budget (none / 0) (#118)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:39:57 PM EST
    Shoe,

    "Part of the budget" is a misnomer since we haven't had one in years.  If you want to play technicalities, NOTHING is part of the budget since we don't have one.

    So let's call it what it is.... government spending.   Now can you answer the WHOLE question without acting like SS is the only factor I was talking about?

    Just curious, do you want to keep the payroll tax down?  I don't.  That is how we fund SS.  

    Parent

    Your first statement is not accurate (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 04:51:06 AM EST
    Of course we've had seen budget deals, but the Republicans have fought everything tooth and nail. They want to increase military spending and phony security spending (DHS) and cut anything that smacks of "social" spending--the things that actually help people. I'm not going to get into complex discussions about social spending, because I work with very vulnerable populations (namely, homeless, or recently homeless children), and frankly, I don't have the patience for trying to convince people who have probably never dealt  firsthand with homeless kids or their mothers, 99% of whom are escaping domestic violence and just trying to stay alive.

    The Republican whining and moaning about raising the debt ceiling is nothing but political theater. The bottom line is they just don't give a flying fig about anyone but themselves. "I got mine, now screw you" is the conservative's motto. They like their tax breaks just fine, but god forbid anyone truly in need should receive a dime. Even those who have been paying into SS -- an insurance program -- for decades of their working lives.

    So let's deal with facts. You rightly ask if we should continue the payroll tax deduction, since that is exactly how SS is funded. My answer is no. I think the 2% deduction was a mistake on Obama's part in in the Dec 2010 deal. I know some may howl that it will "raise" taxes on the middle class, but because it is the funding mechanism, I believe it needs to be restarted at the previous rate.

    And the day millionaires and billionaires start paying their fair share of the taxes in this country, instead of optimizing loopholes and hiding assets in foreign countries, is the day I'll break out the champagne. Until then, I'm not holding my breath.

    And I repeat: Social Security is not part of the budget. It should not be part of the phony "fiscal cliff" discussion, or any budget deficit discussion.
     

    Parent

    shoephone (none / 0) (#120)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 08:12:41 AM EST
    Given that about 5% of the population is paying 90% of the tax....

    What is your definition of "fair share?"

    And the Repubs, who I have no special love for, have sent Budgets to the Senate. Harry hasn't put them up for a vote.

    One side has done their job. The other has not.

    Parent

    If "the other side" is not (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:24:18 AM EST
    passing sh*tty budgets, I would say they are the ones doing their job . . . .

    Parent
    No shooter (none / 0) (#131)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:22:04 PM EST
    The Demos could have voted'em down.

    That's their job. Debate. Vote.

    Parent

    They send ridiculous budgets (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:03:50 PM EST
    that have no basis in reality, that they know will never pass, for political effect.

    The only thing Republicans will be remembered for throwing at Reid are 300+ filibusters. The GOP is the party of nonsense.

    Parent

    shoephone (none / 0) (#134)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:48:12 PM EST
    I apologize for my typo and bad math...

    50% pay 97.7%

    Link

    Parent

    That's not a "typo" (none / 0) (#135)
    by Yman on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:53:57 PM EST
    You were just caught making $hit up ...

    ... again.

    BTW - Aren't you one of the 47% who pays no federal income tax?  The vast majority of the 47% you're complaining about are the working poor and elderly SS recipients whose primary income is social security.  Heeyyyyyyyy, ....

    ... maybe you're right!

    Maybe we should tax those poor/retired leeches more!

    Parent

    Taxes-reply to jimakaPPJ (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by Politalkix on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:37:33 PM EST
    Please see the link about taxes as a percentage of GDP.
    In 1970 (middle of the Nixon administraion, a Republican administration), individual income tax + corporate income tax was 8.9 + 3.2 = 12.1% of GDP.

    In 1985 (middle of the Reagan administraion, a Republican administration), individual income tax + corporate income tax was 8.1 + 1.5 = 9.6% of GDP.

    Compare that with what we have had during the Obama years

    1. (6.6 + 1.0) = 7.6%
    2. (6.3 + 1.3) = 7.6%
    3. (7.3 + 1.2) = 8.5%

    Our GDP has continued to grow. However or tax revenues are not keeping pace with this growth. We therefore have a revenue problem, my friend, that will prevent us from sustaining this growth.

    The income inequality between the top 1% and the rest of the population also keeps increasing year after year. This income inequality has now reached third world country proportions.

    To address the question of what is a "fair share" of taxes that the rich have to pay we will have to address 2 issues
    (1) total revenue collected
    (2) % of revenue collected from the top 1%.

    I would not mind using the Nixon years for reference to estimate what a "fair share" means.

    Parent

    No, what we have to do is decide what the meaning (none / 0) (#132)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:28:43 PM EST
    of fair is.

    And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'

    `I don't know what you mean by "glory,"' Alice said.

    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

    `But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument,"' Alice objected.

    `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

    `The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

    `The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master - - that's all.'

    "Through the Looking Glass," Lewis Carroll


    Parent

    How do you talk about ... (none / 0) (#133)
    by Yman on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:47:50 PM EST
    ... what's "fair" with someone who simply makes up lies when they're discussing taxes?

    Given that about 5% of the population is paying 90% of the tax....

    What is your definition of "fair share?"



    Parent
    "90%" - more lies (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:01:03 PM EST
    Nice Fox News talking point, Jim.  Of course, your 90% figure is a complete lie, which is why you can't provide a link to back it up.  Almost as importantly, since we base our federal income taxes on the amount of income earned, it makes absolutely no sense to talk about what percentage of the population (5%) pays what percentage of the income tax.

    1.  The top 1% of all households earned more than 50% of the income in 2007.  How much did your 5% earn, Jim?

    2.  The top 5% actually pays less than 60% of federal income taxes, not "90% of the tax" (Google it).  You're completely omitting all the other taxes which lower income earners pay at much higher percentages of their incomes compared to the wealthy - SS, medicare, sales, property, state, local, etc.  but if we talked about all taxes, that wouldn't fit the Faux News Tea Party fantasy, now, would it?

    But the part about you having "no special love for the Repubs" was funny.

    How many Republicans have you voted for in the last 25 years?  

    Heh.

    Parent

    Teddy Jr Opts Out (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 12:07:02 PM EST
    Ted Kennedy, Jr., son of the late senator, says he will not run for John Kerry's seat in the Senate.

    I must say that I still have a bad feeling about how this is going to work out.
    Josh Marshall



    One of the sweetest Christmas traditions, IMO, (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by caseyOR on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:18:21 PM EST
    is the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus by various and sundry church and community groups around the U.S., and I've come to learn, the entire English-speaking world.

    Here are the people of  the small Alaska village of Quinhagak doing their rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus.

    When I was in junior high - back before (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:39:22 PM EST
    we had "middle" school - we put on a production of the Messiah, with guest soloists and musicians, but with students as the chorus.

    I can still, some 40-plus years later, remember the soprano part of the Hallelujah Chorus (along with many of the other parts of the Messiah)- even if I can't sing it as well as I could when my vocal chords were younger!

    I can also remember my parents taking us to the Naval Academy to hear the combined Academy/Hood College choirs put on The Messiah - and my dad with a transistor radio and and ear bud listening to the Colts game he'd rather have been home watching on the TV!

    Parent

    Daughter Zorba (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:28:52 PM EST
    just now emailed me her Christmas list.  LOL!
    Well, she's been pretty busy.  She just moved and started a new job.  And as she said, she's a "big girl" anyway.
    Plus I did already send her a Christmas card, with a check.  The "kids" always get money, but they also get a few gifts to open up, as well.
    Meanwhile, the baklava is done, the butternut squash pie is in the oven, and as soon as the pie comes out, the venison roast goes in, to cook a long time until tender.  Tomorrow, I slice it, sautée some onions and mushrooms to add to the sauce, and reheat everything.
    (Yes, we're having Bambi for Christmas dinner.  Also some smoked chickens.)
    Have a Merry Christmas, all!


    A very Merry Christmas to the entire Zorba (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by caseyOR on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:43:46 PM EST
    family.

    I see that, as usual, you will all be enjoying some delicious holiday food.

    I'll be having Christmas Eve dinner with friends. I am not cooking, but I understand the menu includes roast beef with yorkshire pudding. While I have heard of yorkshire pudding, from reading the great British novelists, I've never had it myself. So, for Christmas this year I am getting a new food experience. Oh, and also, I am getting the company of some very dear friends.

    Parent

    Casey, dear friends are wonderful to have (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:16:54 PM EST
    We are sharing Christmas with Son Zorba (daughter Zorba and her spouse will travel up here after Christmas), and very dear friends, plus their grown kids and spouses (I always want to say "spice" instead of "spouses"!).  We have been sharing holidays with them for over thirty years- we were all living far away from our respective families.   Our kids grew up together.  So it will be a very nice Christmas.


    Parent
    Merry Christmas, Mme. Zorba. (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:00:59 PM EST
    I can practically smell the goodies from your kitchen from here. Aloha.

    P.S.: We made your butternut squash pie last night, after we went to Costco to finsh grocery shopping and I ran across a big 3-lb. tub of butternut squash cut up into cubes, and it had your name on it. The pie is superb, by the way. Thank you.

    Parent

    And Mele Kalikimaka (none / 0) (#49)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:24:11 PM EST
    to you, too, Donald.

    Parent
    Sure sound like the (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:04:47 PM EST
    Zorbas are in for a wonderful holiday.  My best to all.

    Parent
    And my best (none / 0) (#60)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:09:45 PM EST
    to you, as well, KeysDan!

    Parent
    Bambi is pretty tasty (none / 0) (#66)
    by Dadler on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:40:54 PM EST
    As a city boy, one of my old roommates, who was from Minnesota, once brought home a bunch of homemade venison sausage after Xmas break and, lemme tell you, I think he may have eaten two bites, I scarfed the rest.

    Happy holidays to you, yours, and everyone else's.

    Peace.

    Parent

    And to you (none / 0) (#78)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:28:30 PM EST
    as well, Dadler.
    (Yes, we have some very tasty venison sausage, too.  Some spicy, some sweeter.  All good!)

    Parent
    I'm one of those people who get cheered up (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:45:43 PM EST
    by blues music...so I count these as joyous songs:

    On Grafton Street - Nanci Grffith

    The Rebel Jesus - Jackson Browne

    IMO you don't have to be churchy (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:43:18 PM EST
    to enjoy the power of a beautiful voice.

    Go Tell It On The Mountain - Mahalia Jackson

    Parent

    My favorite! Because it was my parents' (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:21:11 PM EST
    favorite, when I was a kid (in the '50s).  They played this record every Christmas season.  Thanks so much!

    Parent
    My brother-in-law got me hooked (none / 0) (#69)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:52:41 PM EST
    on Mahalia decades ago. Remains one of my very favorites to this day.

    Happy Holidays to you.

    Parent

    These lyrics are certainly descriptive of (none / 0) (#37)
    by caseyOR on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:55:11 PM EST
    current times. From The Rebel Jesus:

    We guard our world with locks and guns
    And we guard our fine possessions
    And once a year when Christmas comes
    We give to our relations
    And perhaps we give a little to the poor
    If the generosity should seize us
    But if any one of us should interfere
    In the business of why they are poor
    They get the same as the rebel Jesus


    Parent
    Same theme and concept as Woody Guthrie's (none / 0) (#62)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:19:51 PM EST
    Ballad of Jesus Christ (lyrics).  Hear it here.  And while we're at it, how about Phil Ochs singing Ewan MacColl's "Ballad of the Carpenter"?  And here, Tuli Kupferberg, an original Beat, and late co-founder of The Fugs, explains it all clearly.

    Parent
    Nothing like a little light snow falling on (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:10:48 PM EST
    Christmas Eve to really make the mood complete...this was supposed to be rain, and it may well change over later, but for now, it's just sweet to look out the windows as I wrap presents and see a fine coating of Christmas on the grass and tree branches.

    Our tradition undergoes a change this year - with our grandson just 18 days old, we'll go to their house in the morning, our other daughter and her fiance will join us, and we'll open presents and nosh on a couple of breakfast casseroles (an apple/cinnamon/pecan bread pudding, and an egg/sausage/bacon/cheese/hash brown).  We'll have dinner at my brother's later in the day - all I have to bring are the mashed potatoes and the wine!  

    My family has been so blessed this year; I am truly grateful.  I hope the collective TL family has a wonderful and safe holiday - however and wherever you celebrate - full to the brim with the love of family and friends, good food, great humor, grace and joy.

    Give the little guy an extra hug from me (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:23:09 PM EST
    It is so great to have babies and small children around at Christmas.

    Our baby (grandson) just turned 18 and I miss the little ones.

    Parent

    Enjoy that little bundle of love, Anne! (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:37:43 PM EST
    And have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    It's quite lovely up here.  Not only is the grass covered, though, our road is also getting covered.  But then, we do live up on the mountain!


    Parent
    Merry Christmas, Anne. (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:54:38 PM EST
    It's a very comfortable 75 degrees over here with exceptional horizontal visibility today. You could actually see all the way to Haleakala over on Maui this morning from Halona Point, which is about four miles east from our house. (Haleakala is a rather massive 10,000 ft. tall mountain, and it's 100 miles away.) But we're actually expecting a lot of rain from a stormfront that's supposed to first arrive from the west at about 7:00 p.m. tonight. But it's also a fast-moving front, so the weather should be clearing by the time everyone's up in the morning.

    Enjoy the grandson this holiday, even if he does sleep a lot. I bet that next year, when he's discovering the joys of mobility, will be the really fun one. Aloha.

    Parent

    A baby is such a gift, Anne. (5.00 / 4) (#73)
    by caseyOR on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 04:26:42 PM EST
    Merry Christmas to you and your entire family. And enjoy this, the one and only Christmas where you can put your grandson down, and he will remain in that one place until someone moves him. :-)

    Parent
    O Holy Night (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:52:37 PM EST
    Jesse Norman

    this is just part of the piece....but wow.

    http://youtu.be/N-zYi82AiFk

    Yes, Jessye Norman (none / 0) (#72)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 04:25:44 PM EST
    is quite extraordinary.

    Parent
    A Merry Christmas to all! (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by Politalkix on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:47:47 PM EST


    Wow.. (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:38:23 PM EST
    It's really come to that?

    Don't say anything mean about Wayne Lapierre?

    I repeat: those firemen, Ten Miles From Here, were Ambushed by a violently deranged person in a sniper pit with a Bushmaster.

    And no private gun owner was able to do a damn thing about it.

    Of course the police (1.50 / 2) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:52:57 AM EST
    won't embrace it... or the schools....that is the management side. Both have been anti private gun ownership since day one...

    In the meantime will someone tell me how gun laws helped in CT or VA or OR or CO?? CT has some of the toughest laws in the nation.

    And while we debate this, let's make sure that we have gun free zones.... We wouldn't want to give the the killers any pause would we?

    How much more in state and federal taxes are you (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:15:02 AM EST
    willing to pay to to provide guards to every school in the country? Do you plan to pay for it by eliminating schools, eliminating teachers, eliminating school maintenance and repairs or most if not all other social services and all social insurance programs? Hey kiddies no need for food, have a guard instead.

    Also, when they eliminate the gun free zones in all local, state and federal buildings where inside guards abound, your point about gun free zones may have more validity.

    Parent

    I heard a suggestion of a $100 per bullet tax (none / 0) (#44)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:16:35 PM EST
    too pay for it. Needless to say, that suggestion did not come from an NRA member.

    Parent
    Should be fairly cheap if we train the (none / 0) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:22:28 PM EST
    staff.....

    If not, maybe we can take the money we're giving to Egypt and Pakistan and use if for our own benefit.

    Parent

    $5 billion a year just for salaries (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:46:27 PM EST
    and benefits for public schools. I don't think that training is included in that estimate.

    Good luck with that idea. Bribing so called allies and nation building is a D.C. bipartisan sanctioned expense.

    Parent

    5billion (none / 0) (#101)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 01:11:39 AM EST
    5billion a year is chump change in our budget.  I can do the math but i am pretty sure we spend that in about one afternoon.  

    Many schools already have police or guards.  All of them in my region do.

    Parent

    Uh-huh...chump change when it comes to (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:16:40 AM EST
    that armed guards in schools, but lord-have-mercy if we'd like to preserve the safety net for the old, the poor and the sick, right?  Or fund teachers.

    You're giving your conservative self away.

    Parent

    Utah (none / 0) (#112)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:30:55 PM EST
    Anne

    I am not from Utah, but they have armed teachers in schools now and no incidents of any type either from teachers or active shooters.  

    That is really the only large scale test case out there that goes beyond people's opinions.  

    Why do you have to try do put me in a box and assign me your preconceptions of who you think I am?  I assumed you had legal training and would recognize that as a classic fallacy of logic, ad hominiem.

    So, If I have solid evidence or a good idea, you will automatically dismiss it due to what your stereotype of me is?

    Kind of makes it difficult to seek consensus in a country that is prettmud lose to 50/50 on many issues...wouldn't you say?

    Parent

    So, Dr Einstein.. (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:32:28 PM EST
    A deranged person, who's determined to take a few out before he takes out himself, is going to be given "pause" by armed guards and teachers and ice cream vendors and girl scouts?

    Not likely.

    Parent

    There was a Christmas show at my hotel (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:08:09 AM EST
    in Dubai last night. The first act was a choir that was probably all Filipino, singing some carols. Then there was fire swallowing, and some opera arias sung by a maitre'd from another hotel (isn't that another cliche?).


    Reminds me of a routine from ... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:41:50 PM EST
    ... a local comedian named Frank DeLima, who's built a career out of gently ribbing all the various ethnic groups in Hawaii about the various quirks and behaviors of their respective heritages, which he manages to do without being at all offensive about it. He had a little Christmas ditty in his Waikiki show a couple years ago about Filipinos -- sung by a chorus of Filipino busboys and waiters no less -- to the tune of Winter Wonderland:

    "Hear the pigs in the valley
    And the chickens in Kalihi.
    Little do they know,
    They're soon to be adobo
    And dinner for a Filipino clan."

    Aloha.

    Parent

    I don't recall swallowing in our (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:29:33 AM EST
    Midwestern Protestant church Christmas pageant, although that would have madeit a lot more interesting.

    Parent
    Perhaps the NRA (none / 0) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 09:46:12 AM EST
    will now suggest having armed guards ride shotgun on fire trucks as a solution.

    Some of the cost relating to NRA's (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:29:14 AM EST
    proposal.

    There were 98,706 public schools in 2008-9 (plus 33,740 private schools, which I'll leave aside).

    Even assuming you underpay these armed security guards until such time as school unions represent them, you would pay at least $50,000 in wages and benefits for these armed guards.

    That works out to roughly $5 billion, for just one guard in every public school.
    ...
    In short, Wayne LaPierre just demanded a $5 billion subsidy for his NGO......link

    There are 763 public schools in the Sacramento, CA region.  If "armed police officers" were put in every school, as National Rifle Association Vice President Wayne LaPierre has recommended, the cost would be over $80 million a year. link

    Not sure how many more billions it would take to send an armed guard out with every fire truck or how effective they would be in a sniper like situation.

    Parent

    A cheaper option that I have seen (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Towanda on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:41:42 AM EST
    suggested widely, in my circles, is to put a teacher in every gun store.

    Parent
    How about... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by unitron on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:51:47 PM EST
    ...we take away all guns from everybody, and then return them as they prove their sanity.

    Except for the ones that weren't legal to begin with.

    Parent

    guilty until proven (none / 0) (#40)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:06:01 PM EST
    innocent.  Sounds very American.  To hell with the constitution.  I only imagined I was worried about the first and the forth amendments these last few years.

    Parent
    Oh, you needn't worry about the 2nd amendment (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:28:44 PM EST
    Its zealous proponents own the entire Republican party, and some of the Dems too. Your stockade of arms is safe.

    Parent
    Hey, I said... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by unitron on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:06:21 PM EST
    ...the sane people could get their legal ones back.

    Parent
    Here is a link to this awful story (none / 0) (#18)
    by Politalkix on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 12:50:16 PM EST
    It won't be a favorite of many (none / 0) (#13)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:45:36 AM EST
    but this has been my favorite Christmas song since its release in 1996. Sung by my favorite Caribbean rock and roll philosopher who recorded it for his 50th birthday, and reaches full retirement age at midnight tonight.

    Merry Christmas, Alabama (Never Far From Home)

    My favorite Christmas song is from the (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by caseyOR on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:02:54 PM EST
    movie Meet Me in St. Louis.Here is a clip of the incomparable Judy Garland singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. LINK.

    Parent
    Me too! (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:34:39 PM EST
    Stayed up late to watch it on TCM last week.

    Here is my 2nd favorite...not really a Christmas song, but since it is in 'White Christmas' I count it as one..Counting Your Blessings

    It really does work!

    Parent

    We'll have to muddle through somehow. (none / 0) (#29)
    by desertswine on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:40:57 PM EST
    I'll never understand why Sinatra thought (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by caseyOR on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:46:16 PM EST
    those lyrics needed to be changed. And I've noticed that current singers stick with the Sinatra rewrite of "hang a shining star . . . " instead of going back to the original.

    The original "muddle through" lyrics make for the sweeter song I think.

    Parent

    I like the original lyrics better too (none / 0) (#34)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:50:25 PM EST
    But I have to admit that when singing it out loud I like the changed lyrics better with the music...so I can't blame singers for choosing them.  I don't feel like they are a total abomination.

    Parent
    Muddlers, the whole lot of us. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by caseyOR on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:50:00 PM EST
    This year is certainly a time for us to recognize and accept that we are all muddlers, doing the bets we can to get through it all.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my fellow muddlers here at TalkLeft.

    Parent

    From one muddler to another (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:56:03 PM EST
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and everyone at TL.

    Parent
    Happy Holidays to you and yours and to (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by desertswine on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:12:34 PM EST
    everyone here. I try to listen to the SantaLand Diaries every year, but it doesn't always happen.

    Crumpet, the Elf.

    Parent

    I really, really like elfves (none / 0) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:16:36 PM EST
    Thank you.

    Parent
    BTW I'm not really sure that I like (none / 0) (#83)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:14:39 PM EST
    elfves but I sure do like elves.

    Parent
    I love Judy (none / 0) (#41)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:07:50 PM EST
    I used to listen to her obsessively when I was a teenager in the 70s.  Thanks for that clip.


    Parent
    It's unfair (none / 0) (#111)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 12:05:55 PM EST
    to throw Judy at me. She's nearly unbeatable with vocals. I'll still take Jimmy though since he wrote his.

    Parent
    Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful (none / 0) (#16)
    by Angel on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 12:14:08 PM EST
    song!  It's now on my favorites playlist.  Have never heard this one even though I love and am a fan of Jimmy Buffett.

    Parent
    Glad you enjoyed (none / 0) (#110)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 12:03:41 PM EST
    Just as on the CD, if you let the track stay active for a couple minutes, "Twas The Night Before Christmas" pops up. It's not listed on the CD. I've always wondered how many take the CD out thinking it's done since there is no mention of it.

    Parent
    I think my favorite Christmas tune ... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:21:28 PM EST
    ... is, and always will be, the very sobering Happy Christmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

    (Warning: While I've always felt the song itself to be infectious in its expression of hope, I find Yoko's accompanying "official video" to be -- to put it mildly -- relentlessly jarring to one's senses and ultimately quite bleak in its general outlook for the future. View at your own risk this holiday season, IMHO. I turn on the tune as background, and ignore the video.)

    Parent

    Love that video of Bruce and Bon Jovi (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:37:50 PM EST
    2/3 of the way through I realized I had a huge grin on my face. Did the trick!

    Have yourselves an Annie Oakley Christmas. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:54:31 PM EST
    Missouri State Sen. Dan Brown (R-Winter's Bone) has introduced SB 75, which would require all Missouri first graders to take an NRA gun safety course, which would basically teach our little guys -- among other things -- how to try not to get shot should they ever find themselves in someone else's crosshairs.

    So, let the debate begin -- not about gun control but rather, about these people's general competence if not their actual sanity.

    I've got to go to the airport shortly and pick up Younger Daughter, who's arriving later this morning from her first semester at UH-Hilo. She finished her finals last Thursday morning, and then spent the weekend with friends up at Kilauea Military Camp exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, before heading down the mountain to fly out this morning.

    The Spouse is still a bit miffed that La Belle Diva is blowing into town on Christmas Eve and not last Thursday. But like I told her, she's eighteen years old and having fun, so please cut her some slack and stop sweating the small stuff. They're only eighteen once, and the real world will engulf them soon enough as it is.

    I mean, I spent the first few days of Christmas break during my freshman year at UW roaming the streets of Vancouver, B.C. with some dorm buddies and then caught the ferry to Victoria, where we spent two days before we all went our separate ways for the holiday itself, and I headed down to Pasadena -- also on Christmas Eve, as I recall. My mother was happy to see me, all the same.

    That's what you get to do when you're eighteen -- explore the world and discover new things on your own for the first time. And speaking for myself and my old dorm buddies, we discovered that: (1) you could score some really great reefer in British Columbia; (2) the legal age to buy beer and alcohol there was 18, and not 21 as it was in neighboring Washington state; and (3) you didn't get hassled by the cops as long as you were cool and didn't make a spectacle of yourself. Just don't tell my Mom that, though.

    Mele Kalikimaka, e me ke aloha pumehana a hui hou. (Merry Christmas, and my best wishes until we talk again.) Aloha.

    I had both my kids go (none / 0) (#51)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:28:10 PM EST
    through a gun safety course.  

    Parent
    But that was your choice. (none / 0) (#61)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:17:20 PM EST
    And if you had guns in the home, or if you're a hunter and were introducing your two children to the sport, that was probably an excellent idea on your part.

    Speaking for myself only, I don't have guns in my home, never had them when the girls were growing up, and I see no need to mandate children's indoctrination into the wonderful world of firearms as a general rule, rather than as a parental prerogative.

    Further, I don't see why I should have to subsidize your own kids' firearms education with my tax dollars, any more than you should have been required to subsidize my own children's swimming lessons with yours.

    Honolulu is a highly urbanized environment with relatively strict gun laws by U.S. standards, and we taught our girls about firearms on our own. We made it clear very early on that guns were not toys and if they ever saw a gun in an easily accessible place, they were to leave at once and then tell one of us, and let us deal with it.

    But if you live in a rural area where firearms tend to be more prevalent, it makes perfect sense for you to teach your children to respect guns and not necessarily fear them on sight.

    There's simply no one-size-fits-all solution here, because a policy that might make sense in Missouri's Ozark region isn't necessarily appropriate for urban residents in St. Louis and Kansas City. That's all.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Donald... (1.33 / 3) (#65)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:27:43 PM EST
    It is a state law... You pay MO taxes?

    Parent
    Re-read my post again, Jim, ... (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 04:02:23 PM EST
    ... and please pay particular attention to the following passage:

    "There's simply no one-size-fits-all solution here, because a policy that might make sense in Missouri's Ozark region isn't necessarily appropriate for urban residents in St. Louis and Kansas City."

    Firearms education for children should remain a parental prerogative, and not become a statewide mandate. For someone who loves to talk about common sense, I would have thought that such common sense reasoning would be readily understood by you.

    And further, what in the world does my being a Hawaii resident have to do with the sort of nonsense that's now being offered in Missouri? Mandatory firearms education for all first graders is a genuinely stupid policy proposal if ever there was one, Jim.

    And stupid policy proposals deserve to be roundly ridiculed, I don't care where they come from. In this particular instance, it's coming from a political party which otherwise professes ostensibly to be about keeping government off the people's backs and out of their private lives. As such, SB 75 is both ludicrous and entirely hypocritical, which for the GOP nowadays seems to be entirely par for the course.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    I read it (1.50 / 2) (#75)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 04:37:20 PM EST
    Further, I don't see why I should have to subsidize your own kids' firearms education with my tax dollars,

    Again.

    Do you pay MO taxes?

    Parent

    I pay MO taxes and (5.00 / 4) (#84)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:19:41 PM EST
    we are eliminating teachers, teacher's aides, counselors and essential school activities.

    I don't see why I should have to subsidize kids' firearms education with my tax dollars.

    Parent

    Okay, let's try to explain it again. (5.00 / 4) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:40:05 PM EST
    Your question couldn't possibly be any more irrelevant.

    Further, because you apparently can't defend the indefensible and wish to keep people here from reaching a similar conclusion to my own, your question -- actually, it's more of a rhetorical demand, since you quite obviously know the answer -- represents yet another pathetic effort on your part to change a discussion's focus by going personal. You refuse to address the substance of MO State Sen. Dan Brown's incredibly dumbassed proposal, and instead transparently attempt to make it all about me.

    You want to be disingenuously obtuse, do it on your own time and don't waste mine.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Missouri is a "taker" state (5.00 / 4) (#129)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:40:43 PM EST
    Like many red/Southern states, Missouri receives more in federal tax monies than they pay.  Consequently, we're all paying for their state programs, regardless of whether we're Missouri taxpayers.

    Try again, Jim.

    Parent

    Oh, and BTW, Jim, it's NOT a law. (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:46:37 PM EST
    SB 75 is a legislative bill that was just introduced in the Missouri State Senate. It has yet to pass First Reading and be referred to the appropriate Senate committee for consideration and possibly a scheduled public hearing.

    Parent
    Donald, good luck (none / 0) (#87)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:21:53 PM EST
    Trying to change Jim's mind.  Not gonna happen.   ;-)

    Parent
    I wonder if Jim signed the petition (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:34:16 PM EST
    from the gun zealots who are demanding CNN host Piers Morgan's deportation.

    "We demand that Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens," the petition said.

    The petition, started on December 21 by a man identified as Kurt N. from Austin, Texas, accuses Morgan of subverting the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to bear arms.

    Yes, yes. Subverting the constitution: he called a guest "stupid." Piers Morgan is subverting the 2nd amendment. All by himself. He could overthrow the U.S. Constitution at a moment's notice, if he wanted to. Don't mess with Morgan! He's a very, very powerful man. Who knew? I wonder what attacks on the Constitution are being secretly planned by Anderson Cooper. Because you have to figure he's in on the conspiracy.

    It just doesn't get any more idiotic than this.

    Parent

    Every time I think that... (none / 0) (#107)
    by unitron on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 08:31:05 AM EST
    ..."It just doesn't get any more idiotic than this.", they always manage to surpass their previous efforts.

    Parent
    You're right, of course -- ... (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 09:19:44 PM EST
    ... -- no more than he'll ever change mine. But I have to admit, the repartee with him can be fast, furious, infuriating and fun.

    Honestly, Jim reminds me of my uncle, an irascible old GOP tea partier with a strong sense of family who often drives me nuts politically and vice versa. These are the family members with whom you'll constantly fight but nevertheless love anyway, because they've proven time and again that when the crisis occurs and / or the chips are down, you can somehow always count on them to be there for you.

    Merry Christmas again, my dear. Have a wonderful day tomorrow.

    Parent

    John Denver (none / 0) (#50)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:26:06 PM EST
    Joy comes in many shapes and sizes.. (none / 0) (#53)
    by EL seattle on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:29:48 PM EST
    For Christmas Eve, I've always liked this particular secular tune, especially when it's used to showcase the hard work of those folks who have to be extra busy today.  Sam the Snowman knows what matters, and that seems pretty joyful to me.

    Of course, Live Music can always be a joyful noise, even when it's defiant. This may be a little bittersweet now, because from what I hear, Chumbawamba broke up earlier this year.

    What can be more joyful than someone who seems to be almost channeling the spirit of a young Kate Bush... even if it's not a Kate Bush song. Yuki, in a live performance of a song called "Joy", ca. 2005.

    Finally, for me this entire Fall season of "The Voice" seemed to be less of a reaity show competition event and more of a celebration of music and performace. I thought that there was plenty of joy to go around on that show, but maybe my facorite moment was Amanda Brown belting out a classic tune while bopping and stalking the stage in killer heels. Dream on, indeed.


    Kate Bush (none / 0) (#91)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:50:07 PM EST
    What a brilliant artist. Thanks for mentioning her and bringing back some gret memories.

    Parent
    The Ronettes (none / 0) (#71)
    by indy in sc on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 04:04:29 PM EST
    version of Frosty the Snowman has always been a favorite of mine.  The link feature doesn't seem to be working for me or I would link it here.

    Is this what you wanted? (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 04:33:49 PM EST
    Exactly! (none / 0) (#97)
    by indy in sc on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:27:35 PM EST
    Thank you!!

    Parent
    66 degrees @ 6:17 pm on the (none / 0) (#82)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:21:12 PM EST
    Deck at the house we rented for this week west (way west) of Galveston. Water across the road and in back. Very serene. No snow. Christmas dinner arriving soon via Whole Foods take out. Purportedly frozen solid. I am sipping single malt scotch while some are grocery shopping and others due to arrive soon.

    Merry Christmas to all.

    Half an inch of snow fell at about 6 pm (none / 0) (#95)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:00:14 PM EST
    outside of Philadelphia.  Just enough to be pretty for Christmas eve.  Changing to rain and soon to be gone, though.

    Parent
    RIP, Jack Klugman (1922-2012). (none / 0) (#92)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 09:10:56 PM EST
    Jack Klugman, one of the great character actors of stage, film and television, died Monday in Los Angeles at age 90, according to his son Adam. His was a formidable presence that would simply command your attention, regardless of whether he was playing comedy or drama.

    While he was best known for his starring roles in "Quicy, M.E." and "The Odd Couple," Klugman also had very deep roots on Broadway, having taking over the role of Oscar Madison from Walter Matthau in the stage version of Neil Simon's comnedy (a decade or so before he would reprise it for television), and also originating the role of Herbie, the likable candy salesman-turned-agent who got involved both professionally and personally with Ethel Merman's Mama Rose in the classic musical "Gypsy."

    Back in high school and college, I wouldn't have missed "Quincy, M.E." for all the world, but in retrospect, I think that I'd probably like to remember Jack Klugman as Oscar Madison, the good-natured but consummate slob of "The Odd Couple."

    Aloha, Mr. Klugman, and thank you.

    He also did... (none / 0) (#106)
    by unitron on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 08:29:12 AM EST
    ...at least one good Twilight Zone episode, and I think more than one.

    Parent
    He played the very strong-willed (none / 0) (#109)
    by brodie on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:09:58 AM EST
    captain of a space ship in the TZ episode Death Ship, a creepy hour about three astronauts landing on a distant planet, thinking they might have discovered the first sign of advanced life outside Earth.  Co-starring the excellent Ross Martin.

    Another great Krugman performance was in the 50s message movie about prejudice and our judicial system, Twelve Angry Men.

    Wasn't aware he resided in Northridge -- not normally the L.A. locale most stars call home.

    Parent

    "Little Jack Frost, Get Lost..." (none / 0) (#94)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 09:21:32 PM EST
    - Marjorie Hughes with the Frankie Carle Orchestra

    This goes out to everyone who's cold, an alternative to the usual ain't snow wonderful nonsense.

    (from snowy lower michigan)

    Too much food, wine, and song (none / 0) (#96)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:06:11 PM EST
    I just wanna go to sleep but playing Santa must still take place :).  

    Peace (none / 0) (#102)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 01:21:02 AM EST
    Peace on earth