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Blues Cruise
New York Magazine, by Joe Hagan    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2012 5:09:00 AM     Post Reply
The whole thing was white, and broken, that much was clear. A week after the presidential election, when the dreams of Republicans were dashed with President Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney, we were snorkeling in the blue waters of the Caribbean. In the distance was a shipwreck. “You could make out the pieces of it,” said Ralph Reed, the right-wing political operator who had bolstered the Evangelical Christian vote for Romney. “It was deep and murky.” Jonah Goldberg, the National Review contributor and author of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left,

Edward M. Kennedy Jr.
will not run for Senate
Boston Globe, by Mark Arsenault    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 12/25/2012 5:00:19 AM     Post Reply
The decision by Edward M. Kennedy Jr. on Monday to pass on a run for US Senate in Massachusetts in 2013 eliminates one of the few Democrats with the star power to ward off serious challengers within his own party, increasing the odds of a tough Democratic primary fight that could damage the eventual nominee. Three Democratic congressmen, Edward Markey of Malden, Michael Capuano of Somerville, and Stephen Lynch of South Boston, have signaled interest in running for the Senate in a special election, for a seat expected to open

We all can be George Bailey
Hot Air, by Ed Morrissey    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2012 4:56:08 AM     Post Reply
Salena Zito reminds us that the true message of Christmas isn’t how many presents we get under the tree – nor how many we give, for that matter. Just as George Bailey lent his neighbors a real helping hand in It’s a Wonderful Life, we all can find ways to do the same — every day: Today is as good a day as any to think about how you conduct your own life. The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, instead of responding with an angry gesture, just smile and wave.

  


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Pakistan´s loneliest church celebrates
Christmas in Taliban country
Reuters, by Mehreen Zahra-Malik    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2012 4:50:50 AM     Post Reply
SOUTH WAZIRISTAN, Pakistan-This Christmas, pastor Nazir Alam will stoke up a fire, lay a fresh cloth on the altar and welcome parishioners as they arrive at his church in Waziristan, a Pakistani tribal area known as an al-Qaeda haven. "The lights are all up, and the choir boys are ready. The church is looking its best," said 60-year-old Alam, a former missionary who has celebrated his last ten Christmases there. "There´s not much left to do but to pray and rejoice." Outsiders might see little cause for joy. Pakistan is the sixth most dangerous country in the world for minorities,

Half the Facts You
Know Are Probably Wrong
Reason Magazine, by Ronald Bailey    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2012 4:47:12 AM     Post Reply
Dinosaurs were cold-blooded. Increased K-12 spending and lower pupil/teacher ratios boost public school student outcomes. Most of the DNA in the human genome is junk. Saccharin causes cancer and a high fiber diet prevents it. Stars cannot be bigger than 150 solar masses. In the past half-century, all of the foregoing facts have turned out to be wrong. In the modern world facts change all of the time, according to Samuel Arbesman, author of the new book The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date (Current). Fact-making is speeding up, writes Arbesman,

Earth First Journal
Assassination Hit List
PJ Media, by J. Christian Adams    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2012 4:41:21 AM     Post Reply
The latest newsletter from the environmentalist group Earth First! Journal contains a curious topic — assassinations. In fact, the newsletter conveniently provides the names, addresses and phone numbers of the assassination targets. Naturally, none of this is to be taken seriously, the environmentalists tell us. From the newsletter: Let us say clearly, this is not a call to undertake assassinations of the elite scum who are pillaging the planet and enslaving the populace — but not because we think that is a bad idea. And it’s also not because we think killing CEOs and lobbyists is negative PR either.

Charles Durning, Oscar-
nominated king of the character
actors, dies at 89 in NYC
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/25/2012 3:05:39 AM     Post Reply
LOS ANGELES — Charles Durning, the two-time Oscar nominee who was dubbed the king of the character actors for his skill in playing everything from a Nazi colonel to the pope, died Monday at his home in New York City. He was 89. Durning’s longtime agent and friend Judith Moss told The Associated Press that he died Monday of natural causes in his home in the borough of Manhattan. Although he portrayed everyone from blustery public officials to comic foils to put-upon everymen, Durning may be best remembered by movie audiences for his Oscar-nominated, over-the-top role

  


  

Christians flock to Bethlehem
to mark Jesus´ birth,
as pope presides over
Vatican Mass
Fox News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/25/2012 2:44:00 AM     Post Reply
VATICAN CITY – Despite the tension and violence that shook the Holy Land this year, Christians from around the world flocked to Manger Square in Bethlehem on Monday to celebrate the birth of Jesus in the ancient West Bank town where he was born. Others traveled to Vatican City, where Pope Benedict XVI had lit a Christmas peace candle set on the windowsill of his private studio. Pilgrims, tourists and Romans gathered below in St. Peter´s Square for the inauguration Monday evening of a Nativity scene and cheered when the flame was lit.

Piers Morgan Deportation
Petition Reaches 49,000
Signatures, White House
Must Respond
Mediaite, by Anjali Sareen    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/25/2012 2:27:17 AM     Post Reply
The petition to deport CNN host Piers Morgan for his recent comments on gun control has reached over 49,000 signatures as of this posting, which will force the White House to respond. The petition, created Friday, needed 25,000 signatures within 30 days for the White House to take action and it’s reached far more than that in a mere three days. In case you missed it, the petition called for Morgan to be deported for his “hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution.” Gun advocates are angry about Morgan’s comments calling for increased gun legislation in America and are accusing him

A ´dad´ is tenth most popular
Christmas list request for children
Telegraph [UK], by Hannah Furness    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/25/2012 2:17:34 AM     Post Reply
When it comes to Christmas, it might be safe to assume children will ask Santa for an extensive list of toys, games and treats. But a survey of their typical lists for Father Christmas has shown many have more serious concerns, requesting "a dad" instead. A study of 2,000 British parents found most children will put a new baby brother or sister at the top of their Christmas list, closely followed by a request for a real-life reindeer. A "pet horse" was the third most popular choice, with a "car" making a bizarre entry at number four.

No Easy Route if Assad Opts
to Go, or to Stay, in Syria
New York Times, by Ann Barnard and Hwaida Saad    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 12/25/2012 12:43:12 AM     Post Reply
BEIRUT, Lebanon — President Bashar al-Assad of Syria sits in his mountaintop palace as the tide of war licks at the cliffs below. Explosions bloom over the Damascus suburbs. His country is plunging deeper into chaos. The United Nations’ top envoy for the Syrian crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, met with Mr. Assad in the palace on Monday in an urgent effort to resolve the nearly two-year-old conflict. (Snip) From his hilltop, Mr. Assad can gaze toward several possible futures.

  


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Remembering what
matters on Christmas Eve
Chicago Tribune, by John Kass    Original Article
Posted By: Piercentire- 12/24/2012 11:38:25 PM     Post Reply
For all the children who should be loved always, but especially on this wondrous night, with our arms around them and a long good-night kiss on the temple, a kiss more precious than anything wrapped in a box. For all the parents who linger in the doorways of the bedrooms, watching the sleeping shapes. For all the babies who aren't loved and have been forgotten, and who may grow up with a hard crust around their hearts because someone didn't plant those kisses and give those hugs. For every couple who adopts a child to save a life. For every young woman who has given up her child for adoption to

Pakistan-Haqqani ties
threaten to thwart U.S.
Washington Times, by Ashish Kumar Sen    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/24/2012 11:15:46 PM     Post Reply
Western officials and analysts say U.S. and U.N. pressure is failing to persuade Pakistan to cut its ties to a terrorist network whose attacks coalition forces fear could complicate the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The Haqqani Network, based in Pakistan’s northwest region, receives financial and logistical support from Pakistan’s military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, Western officials say. (Snip) “Although the relationship with ISI is not always smooth, it is also unlikely the Haqqanis would survive if the Pakistani state turned against them,” the report says.

Pet pantries make sure
furry friends don´t go hungry
Detroit Free Press, by Christina Hall    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 12/24/2012 10:50:54 PM     Post Reply
Elizabeth DeMasellis´ family is like many in metro Detroit -- living paycheck to paycheck. There are bills to pay and diapers to buy. Sometimes, when money gets tight, food for the family´s furry friend Zoe, a boxer-beagle mix, is stretched a little, or she gets a hot dog. That is, until three months ago, when the 30-year-old Milford mother of three learned she could get dog food at Community Sharing Outreach Center in Highland Township, which she has visited for clothing and food for her family. Since then, DeMasellis has gotten free bags of dog food — keeping Zoe´s belly

West Milford mystery: How was
atheist billboard destroyed?
The Record [Hackensack, NJ], by Jeff Green    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 12/24/2012 8:55:19 PM     Post Reply
West Milford ­— An atheist group’s billboard displayed in front of Town Hall was destroyed early Sunday morning, but police said it is impossible to know whether the cause was vandalism or mother nature. A township resident posted the sign last week in protest of the Township Council’s decision allowing all religious symbols to be displayed on public property. The billboard, featuring a Nativity Scene and the Three Wise Men in the background, read: "You KNOW it’s a myth; this season, celebrate REASON!" On Sunday, the resident, Gary Steele, said he found the 2-by-9-foot billboard ripped to

  


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Turkey lifts objection
to Israel-NATO cooperation
Reuters, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/24/2012 8:48:22 PM     Post Reply
Ankara - Turkey has given approval for Israel to participate in non-military NATO activities in 2013, withdrawing an earlier objection driven by an ongoing dispute between the former regional allies, a Turkish official said on Monday. Relations between Israel and what was once its only Muslim ally crumbled after Israeli marines stormed the Mavi Marmara aid ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Palestinian-run Gaza Strip and killed nine Turks in clashes with activists on board. The rift has continued despite US efforts to encourage a rapprochement between the two regional powers

Aides Ready To Postpone
Swearing-In Of Chávez
New York Times, by William Neuman    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/24/2012 8:33:17 PM     Post Reply
Caracas, Venezuela — Aides to President Hugo Chávez, who is recuperating from cancer surgery in Cuba, say they will postpone Mr. Chavez’s inauguration, now set for Jan. 10, if he is too ill to return to Venezuela to begin his new term. Opposition politicians and commentators have said that if Mr. Chávez is not in Venezuela to be sworn in on that date, a constitutional provision would kick in requiring that a new election be held within 30 days. But government officials loyal to Mr. Chávez have forcefully rejected that notion and said the swearing-in could take place

Group Says Gaza Palestinians
Violated Laws of War
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/24/2012 8:24:38 PM     Post Reply
Gaza militants violated laws of war by launching hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians during last month´s fighting, Human Rights Watch said in a release Monday. The Israeli military said 1,500 rockets were fired at Israel during the eight-day offensive against Gaza militants, including the first rockets from the Gaza Strip to strike the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas. (Snip) "Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at the New York-based rights group. "There is simply no legal justification for launching

Stabilization Won’t Save Us
New York Times, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/24/2012 7:26:01 PM     Post Reply
The fiscal cliff is not really a “cliff”; the entire country won’t fall into the ocean if we hit it. Some automatic tax cuts will expire; the government will be forced to cut some expenditures. The cliff is really just a red herring. Likewise, any last-minute deal to avoid the spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1 isn’t likely to save us from economic turmoil. It would merely let us continue the policy mistakes we’ve been making for years, allowing us only to temporarily stabilize the economy rather than address its deep, systemic failures. Stabilization, of course, has long been

With Election Over, Americans
Find They Were Duped By
Democrats And Obama
Investors Business Dail, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/24/2012 7:20:23 PM     Post Reply
Politics 2012: It hasn´t been two months since Barack Obama won re-election, but already we´re finding out things that were kept from us during the campaign. Expect to hear more in the coming months. lElections are clarifying events, we´re told. But sometimes what they clarify is merely the gap between what we were told during the campaign and the reality on the ground. Often, the two don´t match. That´s certainly true with Obama. How often in recent weeks have we learned that what we heard on the campaign trail from the Obama camp, and which were echoed by

  



Bad care is inevitable in the NHS
Telegraph [UK], by Harry Mount    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/24/2012 6:59:43 PM     Post Reply
That´s not to say it´s excusable, just that the appalling neglect of 38 patients at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch is the logical result of the NHS´s untenable management structure. Imagine if everything at Tesco´s was free but rationed, and subject to delivery delays of several months. Then throw in the fact that there are no other free alternatives. You would have a nightmare on your hands--huge queues, attracted by the free goods, then further stretched by the long delays. Imagine how the staff would then behave--harrassed by the limitless demand of customers, but also in a tyrannical position of

California Law Tests Response
of Companies to Carbon Costs
New York Times, by Felicity Barringer    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/24/2012 6:47:53 PM     Post Reply
Los Banos, Calif. - The Morning Star Company’s three plants in California emit roughly 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year — about the same amount as the Pacific Island nation of Palau — as they turn tomatoes into ketchup, spaghetti sauce and juice used by millions of consumers around the world. Beginning Jan. 1, under the terms of a groundbreaking California environmental law known as AB 32, Morning Star and 350 other companies statewide will begin paying for those emissions, which trap heat and contribute to global warming. Companies are trying to

Jack Klugman Dies in Los Angeles
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/24/2012 6:34:52 PM     Post Reply
Los Angeles - Jack Klugman, the prolific, craggy-faced character actor and regular guy who was loved by millions as the messy one in TV´s "The Odd Couple" and the crime-fighting coroner in "Quincy, M.E.," died Monday, a son said. He was 90. Klugman, who lost his voice to throat cancer in the 1980s and trained himself to speak again, died with his wife at his side. "He had a great life and he enjoyed every moment of it and he would encourage others to do the same," son Adam Klugman said. (Snip) "His sons loved him very much," David Klugman said. "We'll carry on in his spirit."

School Obama´s Daughters
Attend Has 11 Armed Guards
Breitbart Big Government, by AWR Hawkins    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/24/2012 6:14:24 PM     Post Reply
Some interesting news has broken in the wake of the latest push for gun control by President Obama and Senate Democrats: Obama sends his kids to a school where armed guards are used as a matter of fact. The school, Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, has 11 security officers and is seeking to hire a new police officer as we speak. If you dismiss this by saying, "Of course they have armed guards -- they get Secret Service protection," then you´ve missed the larger point. The larger point is that this is standard operating procedure

Herbalife stock tumbles for a
4th day on ´pyramid scheme´ claims
Los Angeles Times, by Andrew Tangel    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/24/2012 6:08:56 PM     Post Reply
Shares of Herbalife Ltd. got pounded for a fourth straight trading day on Wall Street, as investors sent the stock diving an additional 5% on Monday. The Los Angeles-based marketer of nutrition powders, bars and vitamins has seen its stock price plummet since New York hedge fund manager Bill Ackman last week called the company´s business a pyramid scheme. Its shares have lost about 40% since Ackman lodged his allegations. (Snip) Ackman has said he will continue shorting, or betting against, Herbalife´s stock until it reaches zero. Ackman´s reputation on Wall Street could lead other investors to

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