Christmas Eve Open Thread

Merry Christmas Eve to all. Who's cooking tonight? Please share the menus.

Christmas Music? Some Darlene Love.

Here's Bruce (here too.) And of course, Bon Jovi.

You can track Santa here (He's in Europe right now.)

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

Happy Holidays to all.

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    Merry Christmas to sll! (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 07:49:32 PM EST

    Same to you, Tent (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 10:47:59 AM EST
    Come back to the five and dime, Jimmy Dean.

    sll saya Merry Christmas right back at you. : - ) (none / 0) (#3)
    by unitron on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 09:12:28 PM EST
    I'm guessing your keyboard mis-typed "all".

    And what is your music of choice? (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:20:15 PM EST
    I am listening to King's College Cambridge. "A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols."  Marvelous.

    Merry Christmas oculus (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 12:22:07 PM EST
    Thought of you while I was listening to the New World Symphony on Miami Beach last Saturday night. Unlike you though we watched and listened on the SoundScape outside with a bottle of wine.

    At midnight... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by desertswine on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:52:35 PM EST
    on Christmas Eve, the animals can talk, they say.  Sometimes I stay up to listen to them.  My cats usually just complain about the food for a few minutes.  
    Merry Christmas to all.

    My cats were talking to the (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by fishcamp on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 07:25:49 AM EST
    unfortunate endangered Key Largo Wood Rat that came in the cat door for a midnight snack but became the snack.  I awoke thinking it was Santa dropping off the keys to my new BMW but no.  Nobody really likes rats but these tiny little guys are very cute and thereby tasty I guess.  Merry Christmas.

    Our cat was waiting for us ... (none / 0) (#44)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 01:44:05 PM EST
    ... at the door on Christmas Eve when we came home from the airport with my mother and aunt, to tell us that we had left the house earlier without filling her food dish. (She likes to eat at night in total solitude, when nobody else is up or around to bother her. We all have our quirks.) And there it was, empty. My bad.

    So she followed me to the pantry where we keep her food and then back into the kitchen, really ragging at me the whole time. Then when she saw me fill up her dish again, she piped down and started eating, not even bothering to wait until I had left the room as she usually does. Guess she was really hungry. And once again, all was well within Her Majesty's realm.



    A Christmas compromise. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 04:16:38 AM EST
    Although I did not personally see it, I have read that a number of folks on FOX have concluded, after exhaustive research, that Santa is white.

    There are some, I suppose, that would contest this - even going so far as to claim that Santa never really existed in the first place.

    Of course Santa exists. I have personally received a letter from him, and have frequently even spotted him at various shopping malls as he acquires needed information in preparation for his deliveries.

    So, I hope that's settled.

    But still, as I mentioned, there are those who refuse to acknowledge that he is white, and insist on portraying him in a manner that suits their bias rather than adhering to the historical record.

    To those, I offer a compromise.

    I willingly accept that Santa is white, if they will accept that Jesus is not quite as white as he is usually portrayed.

    I have been influenced in this observation by Redd Foxx who put it this way: No way can someone be wandering around Jerusalem for 30 years, don't wear no hat, and stay white.

    So, to all the ladies and gents at FOX I say: Give me a black Jesus, and you can have your white Santa. Seems fair.

    History says (none / 0) (#13)
    by Politalkix on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 07:29:18 AM EST
    Jesus was Middle Eastern and the original Santa (St Nicholas) was Greek (Southern European).

    What do (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 08:43:18 AM EST
    you mean Santa "was" Greek?

    Isn't he still Greek?

    Don't disillusion me.


    It's good that Santa is Greek (none / 0) (#14)
    by fishcamp on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 08:06:01 AM EST
    because I'm making some of Zorba's excellent Tzatziki dip for a Christmas dinner I'm fortunately invited to attend.

    Merry Christmas! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Politalkix on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 08:21:03 AM EST
    The original Santa was Greek but anyone can be a Santa-it is just about having a generous heart.

    A tasty Tzatziki dip will spread a lot of cheer in a Christmas dinner table.

    Wishing all a Merry Christmas!


    Santa is suppose (none / 0) (#23)
    by ragebot on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 12:23:57 PM EST
    to be based on Saint Nicholas who was a Greek canonized by the Catholic Church.  But my understanding is at the time he lived it was in what today we call Turkey.

    Not sure is this means he was white or not.  But of importance to me is that Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors and a whole bunch of other stuff I don't care about.


    According to Jon Stewart (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 12:47:48 PM EST
    St Nick wouldn't have been flying around the world on Christmas Eve as he would have been on the no fly list based on appearance alone.

    No (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by squeaky on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 02:09:12 PM EST
    WASHINGTON: Santa Claus was officially cleared for entry into the United States as federal agriculture officials waived stringent livestock checks on his nine reindeer.

    The US Department of Agriculture announced in a light-hearted statement that a "Mr. S.Claus" of the North Pole was free to enter the United States with his reindeer from December 24 to December 25.

    "During this season of giving, USDA wants to do everything in its power to help Santa," said John R. Clifford, USDA's Chief Veterinary Officer.

    "We agreed to waive the normal application fees and entry inspection/overtime costs, provided he winks his eye and wishes port personnel a Merry Christmas at the time of crossing."



    And (none / 0) (#29)
    by Politalkix on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 01:37:35 PM EST
    St Nick would need to get his Christmas presents spending plan approved by Chancellor Merkel.

    sorry about the typo (none / 0) (#24)
    by ragebot on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 12:26:49 PM EST
    should say St. Nick lived in what today is Turkey.

    The subject, (none / 0) (#35)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 06:58:12 AM EST
    in my post above had to do with my impression that Jesus, who spent most of his time in and around Jerusalem, is most often portrayed as white-skinned. Usually milky white - as are the surrounding angels. Everybody white.

    Santa, is also usually portrayed as white.
    Attempts by others to portray him with a darker skin color have been met with emotional resistance by folks in tune with the likes of the commentators on Fox.

    Jesus' skin color has not been the subject of much discussion of late - but I think it is a subject worthy of some thought since, unlike Santa, his actual existence is not usually questioned.

    And, since it is unlikely that his flesh color was as creamy as it is usually depicted, it is worth considering, imo, that there is an element of racism afoot which implies that white people are more comfortable with a white God and that people of other colors should continue to worship that white God. Obviously, white people are the ones who have been determining the look of His presentation to the masses.

    Representations of Jesus as dark-skinned may yet emerge since not only might it  be meaningful to most of the world - which is not quite as white as white can be - but it also would likely be more accurate. Redd Foxx's logic as reported in my original post - as well as any serious look at the people living in the region of the world in which Jesus spent his life - would seem to hold forth imo.


    No You Fools... (none / 0) (#39)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 10:25:10 AM EST
    ...Jesus is magic, the same magic that allowed him to break the laws of physics, is the very magic that kept him milky white and blue eyed in the land of dirty brown folks.  Same for Santa, he is super magic, the same magic that delivers billions of presents in one night, keeps his happy a$$ white and in the North Pole with elves.

    I think Sarah Silverman has a special called, "Jesus is Magic".  

    Funny story.
    Like 3 weeks ago at was at my Indian friend's house and while I was using the facilities I noticed a poster of the last supper right in front of me.  All the men in the poster were black.

    So I asked my Hindi friend, WTF ?  He just laughed and said someone gave to to him.  Well I ran that through my data base and said, 'Who, you ain't got no black friends ?'  There were several other friends there who didn't know what we were talking about, but are are catholic.  So I told them about the poster.  

    My fiend then said, what the hell am suppose to do with it, to which i said roll it up and put it in Corey's trunk, he's catholic and he will never throw anything jesus away, he will have that poster till the day he dies.  My friend looked at Corey and said, 'well ?'  Corey just shrugged his shoulders and said "yeah".

    I still have no idea where it came from, where it went, and why it was up in my Hindi friends bathroom.  But it was without a doubt the last supper, with jesus and all the other folks, clearly black.


    We have a manger scene (none / 0) (#48)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 07:15:09 PM EST
    that I love putting up.  It does not matter to me whether the story is true or not, it is a nice story.  But Jesus is blond and blue eyed.  It makes me chuckle.  Some day, I will get some model paint and paint his hair and eyes black.

    I love manger scenes too (none / 0) (#50)
    by ZtoA on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 12:42:34 AM EST
    When I was a very young, poor and struggling artist I was offered a 'job' of painting Jesus. They said "it will be sold in 13 countries at KMarts and will be seen by millions (and natch I would get royalties) (OMG I could have been Thomas Kinkade!). I did a really nice painting of what I though Jesus actually looked like. Not blond or particularly white skinned. But I thought it was good. Needless to say, they rejected it and I got nothing for the effort.

    I was out at lunch with my young relatives the other day and recounted Megan Kelly's comments on Santa "just is white" and Jesus too. They (it was NOT me, I swear) got rowdy laughing and they started crossing themselves saying "father son and holy santa". I seriously tried to calm them down since we were probably being obnoxious. Jeez, relatives.  


    But if Jesus wasn't blond and blue-eyed, ... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 01:28:58 AM EST
    ... why would Hollywood have ever cast Jeffrey Hunter in the title role of "King of Kings"?



    David Sedaris reads... (none / 0) (#49)
    by desertswine on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 07:36:19 PM EST
    Merry Christmas (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 10:26:21 AM EST
    to all colleagues at Talk Left, with particular appreciation to Jeralyn and BTD.

    Merry Christmas to all at TL (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 10:48:46 AM EST
    Jeralyn, Big Tent, all the regulars, peace be with everyone. XO, Dadler

    Alternative Christmas Message (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by squeaky on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 11:07:44 AM EST
    From Edward Snowden:  End Mass Surveillance

    With all due respect to Mr. Snowden, ... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 12:36:47 PM EST
    ... he's really not saying anything that hasn't already been said ad nauseum during the last six-plus months. How about an alternative message from him, an inclusive one that appeals to the better angels of everyone's nature, rather than just to those who are already inclined to be on his side anyway?

    That's why, as lefty Christmas messaging goes, I like John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's "Happy Christmas" much better. The song strikes a much more hopeful and universalist tone, in keeping with the general spirit of the season.

    (Okay, their accompanying video is a bit unsettling, given their chosen juxtaposition of images and song, but like Edward Snowden, they meant well. I ignore the video, and just listen to the joyous music.)

    Merry Christmas, squeaky and everyone here. Hope Santa was good to you. Enjoy the day.



    Well (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 01:31:34 PM EST
    Your advice would better spent on a government or MSM blog.

    And surprise surprise not only the left but many in the conservative circles, particularly businesses who cherish their privacy and do not trust the government welcome Snowden's alternative christmas message and work done on their behalf,

    Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith took to his company's blog and called the NSA an "advanced persistent threat" -- the worst of all fighting words in U.S. cybersecurity circles, generally reserved for Chinese state-sponsored hackers and sophisticated criminal enterprises.

    You appear to want to bury NSA spying under the rug by characterizing Snowden's work and continual heads up as analogous to inducing vomit...  

    You are not alone, in having grown tired of Snowden::
    Clapper, Alexander, Feinstein. Obama et al. share your sentiment..  

    Here is a quip from our CIA director:

    Former NSA and CIA director Michael V. Hayden predicted that Snowden will waste away in Moscow as an alcoholic, like other "defectors." To this, Snowden shrugged. He does not drink at all. Never has.

    And the MSM reaction to Barton Gellman's  WaPo's interview with Snowden printed Monday (Digby):

    I watched Gellman on CNN this morning having to fend off some of the snottiest questioning I've ever seen a reporter have to put up with. He did well, but it's clear that much of the establishment media is still simply incapable of seeing this through anything but official lenses.

    As cozy as it is to be listing to nostalgic christmas messages it is a mistake, imo, to jump on the bandwagon of mainstream Media and the most conservative elements of our government when it comes to Snowden and NSA spying.

    I know that you initially were somewhat supportive of Snowden's revelations but appeared to shift the focus on our reining in corporations as they are guilty as sin in not respecting our privacy. Well here is a quote from Snowden regarding the difference between government spying and corporate spying:

    Technology, of course, has enabled a great deal of consumer surveillance by private companies, as well. The difference with the NSA's possession of the data, Snowden said, is that government has the power to take away life or freedom.

    At the NSA, he said, "there are people in the office who joke about, `We put warheads on foreheads.' Twitter doesn't put warheads on foreheads."

    At the risk of ruining your nostalgic christmas by upsetting your tummy you may want to read Monday's most informative WaPo interview by Barton Gellman of Edward Snowden.


    You seem to like to read an awful lot ... (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 01:16:36 AM EST
    ... into other people's posts, since you ascribe to me things I neither thought nor said, certainly nothing about wanting to bury anything under a rug.

    I mean, sheesh! All I said was that Edward Snowdon's Christmas message left me flat, because it's a variation of the same theme that's been harped on now for months. Christmas to me is about hope and the promise of a better tomorrow as we turn the page on another year. All your post did was confirm for me the reason why a number of regulars here decided to take an extended break from TL. Maybe I should, too.

    Yes, I get it that the NSA has behaved disreputably and abominably and yes, I don't like it any more than you do. But apparently unlike you, I've long ago spoken my piece about Mr. Snowden, and I don't need to relentlessly self-validate my own personal views on these matters, as though I've got something to prove.

    I can be just as serious as any one person here, but I also know how to put politics aside and not let it dominate my every waking thought. Personally, I'd much rather focus on positive energy and messaging this holiday season, whereas you seem determined to not let anyone enjoy Christmas until they're as miserably suspicious as you are. And speaking as a three-time cancer survivor who appreciates the opportunity to enjoy another round of holidays with family and friends, that's a helluva way to live, y'know?

    So, whatever. Happy Holidays, if you can ever get past your own doom and gloom. Clearly, I got better things to do.



    Doom And Gloom? (none / 0) (#56)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 12:20:53 PM EST
    All your post did was confirm for me the reason why a number of regulars here decided to take an extended break from TL
    Threatening to leave? hmmmm...  Revisionist history much?  Edge was the most relentless one here regarding what you seem to abhor. He was chastised for a rude comment unfairly criticizing the blog, and left.

    I get it that the Hillary love Obama bashing crowd left because they wanted TL to be a Kaffee Klatch, where they could comment in an environment of like minds. Well that was never TL, and if you imagine it ever was, well maybe you should find that group and follow them to a nicer place where like minds meet.

    And again, being so nauseated by Snowden's Christmas message, you join the ranks of many who are more interested in demonizing Snowden in order to make the NSA spying go away, as opposed to end. If you thought Snowden's Christmas message boring, maybe it would have been best to let if go. You chose to comment on it in a most negative way. A personal attack, no less.

    And as for your plea regarding making Xmas at TL into something universally palatable (about hope etc),  we are not all christian here, so please do not try to marginalize people who do not get tingly feelings about jingle bells, and mangers.  Christmas is not a holiday that my family ever celebrated. I do not get goosebumps when I hear O little town of Bethlehem, (although I have to admit I do get goosebumps when I hear a good performance of Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, or Myra Hess playing Jesu of Man's Desiring...)

    Second of all, calling for John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's "Happy Christmas" is fine, if you like nostalgia, we all do..  but I do not see why you would feel it necessary to use it to put down Snowden's Christmas message, something quite current, and suggest it as a replacement.

    And as for the rest of your personal attacks they are weak, oh well.. guess you felt wounded and needed to hurl insults. I have been there too..


    Give it a rest, already. (none / 0) (#75)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 09:30:59 PM EST
    Once again, you're putting words in my mouth, and then trying to chastise me for something I never said. Where exactly did I say that I was "nauseated" by Snowden's message? Again, all I said is that his message was nothing more than a variation on a theme that's long been expounded upon, and he's not saying anything new.

    I swear, squeaky, sometimes you're like an old man who's not happy unless and until he gets to complain to everyone about his enlarged prostate. Stop creating straw men and ascribing false motives to others, because it tends to piss people off.



    Huh (none / 0) (#76)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 11:53:43 PM EST
    Your words:
    he's really not saying anything that hasn't already been said ad nauseum

    To me your comment is a drive by slam that has been repeated by the MSM and conservative critics ad nauseum.

    i am not ascribing any motives to you. You are clearly tired hearing from Snowden. And as you so clearly put it those who still think he has something to say, namely me, Digby and others who value him and what he has done.

    I find your position offensive. Personally attacking me for calling out your conservative viewpoint on the issue is weak, imo.


    NSA Task Force Member: expand surveillance (none / 0) (#36)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 09:09:09 AM EST
    Former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, one of the majority of hawks with which Obama packed his NSA surveillance task force, in this interview with the National Journal, recommends expanded surveillance to prevent the next 9/11, says that it would have prevented the first 9/11 as well.

    Jonathan Turley shreds the Report's Reported Reforms.


    That Would be More Believable... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 10:36:01 AM EST
    ...if the NSA review panel report didn't conclude:
    The conclusions of the panel's reports were at direct odds with public statements by President Barack Obama and U.S. intelligence officials. "Lives have been saved," Obama told reporters last June, referring to the bulk collection program and another program that intercepts communications overseas. "We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information."

    White House Jay Carney is pressed Thursday over whether President Barack Obama believes that the NSA surveillance program saved lives.

    But in one little-noticed footnote in its report, the White House panel said the telephone records collection program - known as Section 215, based on the provision of the U.S. Patriot Act that provided the legal basis for it - had made "only a modest contribution to the nation's security." The report said that "there has been no instance in which NSA could say with confidence that the outcome [of a terror investigation] would have been any different" without the program.


    Not prevented, but the NSA could not even point to one instance in which that program would have changed the outcome of an investigation.  That is pretty conclusive IMO.


    "The difference... (none / 0) (#45)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 02:01:51 PM EST
    ...is that government has the power to take away life or freedom."

    And if there were a way for "private enterprise" to make money off of it, and they thought that they could get away with it...


    Today, I am the Department Head... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 10:57:52 AM EST
    ...and it's only working employee.  It's a ghost town here and I, unfortunately, burned through my vacation.  It's weird being the only person on the floor.  And it really sucks that I actually have a ton of stuff to do, but with no one else being around, it's hard to hit the grind stone.

    Christmas was good, got lots of things I never expected but needed, the weather has been nice, not too hot and not too cold with mostly sunny days in the 60's.

    I am going to the Alamo Bowl on Monday.  Not really a fan of either team, but most of my friends are Longhorns, so looks like I will be cheering for them.  Been in Houston for 15 years and have only been in San Antonio once, when we got lost coming back from Mexico long ago.  I have never steeped foot in the city, looking forward spending Monday there and watching a bowl game live.

    So, have you seen Pancho Claus? (none / 0) (#43)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    Youtube abounds in videos of the south pole's alt.santa.  One of them wears a red zoot suit.  Very cool.

    That Was Funny (none / 0) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 08:56:03 AM EST
    Have not seen nor heard of this Pancho Clause.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 229 (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 10:06:37 AM EST
    All alien life forms beware: the earthlings are coming for your sh*t. (link)

    TGIF, my friends. This place is just too damn quiet and tame right now. Kind of sucks. But such is life. Peace, y'all.

    I am cooking pulled pork and (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 07:01:16 PM EST
    one brother is cooking rice and black beans.

    Rice and black beans (none / 0) (#7)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 12:12:38 AM EST
    is soul food.

    con puerco es espanol (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 12:46:07 AM EST
    Merry Christmas, everyone! (none / 0) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 09:50:15 PM EST
    We're going out to dinner tonight at one of my favorite haunts, the 12th Ave. Grill. Then it's off to the airport to pick up my mother and aunt, who are arriving from L.A. at 8:30 p.m. Tomorrow afternoon we're going to Waimanalo for our friends' annual Christmas luau, complete with the pig in the imu and everything.

    Went to the Diamond Head Classic basketball tournament Sunday afternoon and saw the First Family, cheering on the Oregon State Beavers, who are coached by the First Lady's brother. President Obama got a warm and sustained applause from the crowd when introduced, not that it was any surprise to anyone that he was there, given that we all had to go through security prior to entering the Sheriff Center.

    Enjoy the day. Aloha.

    Same Sex Marriage Christmas Present (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 12:42:53 AM EST
    continues in Utah. No stay from the original judge. No stay by the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

    Local news organizations say over 700 marriage licenses issued in the last 5 days with several counties still refusing to issue them. Salt Lake County may be the marriage capital of the nation right now.

    The Utah AG's office (none / 0) (#10)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 12:50:07 AM EST
    warned that county clerks could be held in contempt by the District Court if they refuse to issue same sex marriage licenses.

    The irony or even payback here is delicious.  The Mormon Church spearheaded the first efforts to ban same sex marriage in Hawaii, and then was a major backer and supplied most of the ground troops for Prop 8 in California.  

    And, without a stay, Utah will be a same sex marriage destination.  Get married and go skiing in Deer Valley.  


    And something tells me (none / 0) (#30)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 02:05:39 PM EST
    that Justice Sonia Sotomayor (who as "Circuit Justice for the Tenth Circuit" has jurisdictional supervision over the Court of Appeals for incidental stuff like stays) ain't gonna be issuing no stay when the state AG asks her on Thursday. Seems like Utah may be a done deal.

    Utah AG is not going to file today (Thurs) (none / 0) (#42)
    by Peter G on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 12:24:46 PM EST
    at the Supreme Court. Seems they are going "outside" to hire expert appellate counsel. Perhaps one of the more conservative of the Supreme Court specialists, most of whom practice with large firms (and a few small boutiques) in Washington, DC.

    Honestly, I can't see the SCOTUS ... (none / 0) (#46)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 02:37:51 PM EST
    ... revisiting this subject again. After their rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8, what's the upside for them second-guessing their own decision making?

    Conservative Utah may have to eat this one. The Latter Day Saints clearly overplayed their hand in California's Prop. 8 battle, a disastrous Pyrrhic victory which ultimately hurt their cause much more than ever helped it. They punched themselves out politically by taking it to the U.S. Supreme Court, leading to a shocking collapse in public support for their increasingly dubious cause along the way, and they had nothing left to withstand the resultant public backlash once SCOTUS ruled against them.

    And please excuse my Schadenfreude, but what a deliciously and marvelously ironic moment this is, given that five years later, the Homo Huns stole a day's march on their opponents to overrun the morally decayed Mormon Citadel itself, and are now repainting that bastion's pillars of pious rectitude in the gentle watercolor tones of the rainbow itself.

    We are indeed fortunate and privileged to have borne witness to so many profound and positive social changes in our country during our own lifetimes, and the fight for LGBT equality is certainly one of them. Somewhere, I can't help but think that its political forebears Susan B. Anthony, Jane Addams and Harvey Milk are raising a glass in toast to an arduous road less traveled, but one whose destination is nevertheless well worth the journey.



    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 227 (none / 0) (#20)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 10:55:48 AM EST
    In the true spirit of AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, we keep it snarky, even on Christmas day:

    'Twas a good year for Santa's balance sheet. (link)

    vol. 226
    vol. 225

    Here's wishing everyone a very relaxing day.

    Meretricious... (none / 0) (#27)
    by unitron on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 01:16:46 PM EST
    ...and I hope Sanity Clause brought everything on your list!  /chicomarx

    The craziest conspiracy theory (none / 0) (#32)
    by Politalkix on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 07:53:44 PM EST
    of 2013 has been uttered by the "Egyptian Jon Stewart". He thinks that the American Jon Stewart wants to take over his country.

    Meanwhile the Egyptian military is taking his country towards a full blown civil war. They have jailed secular activists (link) who led the Arab Spring uprising in Tahrir Square and have now declared the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. link

    However, someone thinks Jon Stewart is the problem!

    Correction (none / 0) (#33)
    by Politalkix on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 08:31:24 PM EST
    The "Egyptian Jon Stewart" is Bassem Youssef and not Amr Ammar.

    However, the rest of my post still stands. An Egyptian columnist is still blaming Jon Stewart for having plans to take over his country.


    Jon Stewart isn't even a real satirist (none / 0) (#37)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 10:23:06 AM EST
    He's commercially supported, is no threat to anyone.

    He's minor league political thought at the most. But amusing most of the time.

    That won't stop halfwits from seeing him as some edgy provacateur, tho. Pitiful phucks that they are.


    Amr Ammar: the Egyptian Glenn Beck (none / 0) (#55)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 10:08:35 AM EST
    The President and the Pope (none / 0) (#34)
    by Politalkix on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 11:03:39 PM EST
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 228 (none / 0) (#38)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 10:24:14 AM EST
    PeeWee' Playhouse Fans (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 03:34:58 PM EST
    Paul Reubens' holiday greeting: PeeWee's Playhouse Holiday Special...  

    free to view until January 12


    Not so fast (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 12:44:13 PM EST
    N.S.A. Phone Surveillance Is Lawful, Federal Judge Rules

    WASHINGTON -- A federal judge in New York on Friday ruled that the National Security Agency's program that is systematically keeping phone records of all Americans is lawful, creating a conflict among lower courts and increasing the likelihood that the issue will be resolved by the Supreme Court.

    In the ruling, Judge William H. Pauley III, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, granted a motion filed by the federal government to dismiss a challenge to the program brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had tried to halt the program.

    Judge Pauley said that protections under the Fourth Amendment do not apply to records held by third parties, like phone companies.

    "This blunt tool only works because it collects everything," Judge Pauley said in the ruling.

    "While robust discussions are underway across the nation, in Congress and at the White House, the question for this court is whether the government's bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. This court finds it is," he added.

    Not so fast? (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 01:33:12 PM EST
    Not so fast about what?

    The huge cheer (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 02:01:03 PM EST
    in liberal circles for Judge Leon's ruling.

    Not Sure Why... (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 03:09:59 PM EST
    ...it's liberal circles, isn't this one of those rare issues that both side have people for and against ?

    Because (none / 0) (#67)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 03:15:07 PM EST
    Because one of jbindc favorite things here is to taunt those s/he believes are in liberal and left of center circles.

    I don't hang in conservative circles (none / 0) (#68)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 03:15:19 PM EST
    But it was highly cheered in liberal circles, including here.

    Then How Do You Know... (none / 0) (#69)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 03:44:49 PM EST
    ...it was cheered in those circles as well ?

    Oh (none / 0) (#61)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 02:16:48 PM EST
    I am not sure why you would be throwing a wet blanket so reflexively unless, that is your circle is cheering Pauley's decision.

    you forgot this part of the article:

    The main dispute between Judge Pauley and Judge Leon was over how to interpret a 1979 Supreme Court decision, Smith v. Maryland, in which the court said a robbery suspect had no reasonable expectation that his right to privacy extended to the numbers dialed from his phone.

    "Smith's bedrock holding is that an individual has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information provided to third parties," Judge Pauley wrote.

    But Judge Leon said in his ruling that advances in technology and suggestions in concurring opinions in later Supreme Court decisions had undermined Smith....

    .... "five justices appeared to be grappling with how the Fourth Amendment applies to technological advances" in a pair of 2012 concurrences in United States v. Jones. In that decision, the court unanimously rejected the use of a GPS device to track the movements of a drug suspect over a month. The majority in the 2012 case said that attaching the device violated the defendant's property rights.

    In one of the concurrences, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that "it may be necessary to reconsider the premise that an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in information voluntarily disclosed to third parties."

    More dreaming up things (none / 0) (#62)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 02:43:18 PM EST
    Not surprising.

    It's so much fun to make up stuff about people's motives than to actually know, isn't it?  I didn't forget ANY part of the article - I posted the main topic and gave a link - because I figure that anyone who wanted to read further could go to the site and read for themselves.  But again - it certainly is fun to ascribe motives to people when time and time again you talk out of your a$$.

    Actually, I posted it because the previous ruling had been talked about (and cheered) around here, and this story is on the front of the online NYT, as well as many other papers and media outlets right now.

    But please, do continue with fantasy writing....


    Fantasy? (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:20:18 PM EST
    You excluded the most important part of the article, namely the dispute about Smith v. Maryland, and the 5 vote majority in the SC who have considered that it may be obsolete given the vast changes in technology.

    Had you included it your taunt would have had no teeth.


    Toledo (none / 0) (#59)
    by Politalkix on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 01:56:41 PM EST
    The top 0.5% who have the money to invest won't invest in this country but will only take profits. The Republican controlled House of Representatives will also do everything in their power to stop investements in infrastructure in this country. So the inevitable thing happened.....


    Your 1st sentence is incredibly wrong (none / 0) (#63)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 02:45:10 PM EST
    The 2nd is valid though.

    I will hope (none / 0) (#64)
    by Politalkix on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 02:53:58 PM EST
    that I am incredibly wrong in my 1st sentence and you are correct.

    The wealthiest 0.5% of Americans ... (none / 0) (#72)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:43:16 PM EST
    ... are all living in Toledo? Yeah, that doesn't sound right.



    They (none / 0) (#77)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:51:42 AM EST
    do not have to live in Toledo to invest in Toledo.

    Please also read about the sorry state of affairs in South Dakota. link


    To everyone who has a Social Security card: (none / 0) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:39:22 PM EST
    Whatever you do, don't lose it and be careful in what you do with it, e.g., don't leave it in your pocket and send it through a wash cycle.

    Because in case you didn't already know, it'll now cost you $38.95 per card to get a replacement, and an additional $7 if you want the order expedited. I did not know the Feds were now charging us for it. I don't know how I missed that.

    Younger Daughter needs to renew her driver's license in four weeks, and due to the increased official government paranoia one now has to show a Soc. Sec. card, along with a birth certificate or a U.S. passport at the DMV. We've kept her S.S. Card all these years for her, but we couldn't find it. So I went online to order her a new one, and that's when I found out about the replacement fee.

    All our Social Security cards are now going into the safe deposit box, along with our passports.


    Speaking for myself only, I prefer ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:52:15 PM EST
    ... "Bad Santa." His foul-mouthed elf is pretty cool, too.

    RIP, Kelly Clark (1957-2013). (none / 0) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 09:14:54 PM EST
    Mr. Clark was one of the good guys, a prominent attorney and accomplished litigator who fought for childhood victims of sexual abuse, and who sought to call the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America to account for the corporate cover-up of these crimes.

    In 2010, Clark persuaded an Oregon judge to order the Boy Scouts to divulge the information the organization had compiled on pedophiles in their leadership ranks. Thanks to him, the BSA and these other groups are much more responsive to complaints about inappropriate sexual behavior than they were in the past -- and that's a good thing.

    Aloha, friend. Rest in peace.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 230 (none / 0) (#78)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 11:13:57 AM EST