Nov 302012

I am soooooo pooped!  Yesterday’s meeting in prison was an open meeting with about ninety guys.  They asked me to give a presentation, so I talked for about fifteen minutes about the rewards of what they are doing in terms of their own authenticity as human beings, maintaining their freedom upon their release, and fostering restorative justice for safer communities.  Their commitment and dedication is a credit to who they are.  I could not be more proud or supportive of them.  Critter sends greetings to Critter.  This is today’s only article, and I’m current with replies, albeit briefly.  Tomorrow appears routine.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:46 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: When Morgan Freeman Narrates A 30-second Clip, You Know It’s Going To Be Good


Now if someone would only tell the Republican Party.

From NY Times: More than 130 countries voted on Thursday to upgrade Palestine to a nonmember observer state of the United Nations, a triumph for Palestinian diplomacy and a sharp rebuke to the United States and Israel…

…The new status will give the Palestinians more tools to challenge Israel in international legal forums for its occupation activities in the West Bank, including settlement-building, and it helped bolster the Palestinian Authority, weakened after eight days of battle between its rival Hamas and Israel.

Despite Barack Obama’s opposition to this measure, I think the UN has done the right thing here by ending the unjust practice of denying Palestinians recourse to international justice that could make both sides in that dispute accountable for war crimes. In the same vein, the US should join the ICC, because isolating our nation to protect Republicans from the crimes of the Bush Regime is anti-democratic.

From Media Matters:

Fox News has repeatedly attacked people and organizations who use the term holiday when the network would prefer them to use the term Christmas, claiming that they are engaging in a "war on Christmas."

On Fox & Friends First, co-host Heather Nauert claimed Chafee made the "decision to kill Christmas," alluding to a decision by the governor not to host a tree lighting ceremony at the statehouse this year.


Chafee reportedly made the decision because in 2011, protesters attended the tree lighting ceremony to criticize the governor for using the term "holiday tree." Fox played its part in creating controversy over the tree, enlisting viewers in a feverish and overblown campaign against the governor and the words "holiday tree."

But only minutes after Fox complained of the Governor’s use of the word "holiday" in place of "Christmas," Nauert  announced a new segment called "Fox & Friends First’s Holiday Wish list":


Geez! Merry Christmas, or the appropriate greeting for whatever faith you choose, to you all, unless you are a Faux Noise sheep. In that case, Happy Holidays.



It’s time we remember this lesson from history!


  20 Responses to “Open Thread–11/30/2012”

  1. 3:17 I must admit that all that white was a bit confusing.

  2. MoveOn ~ This was really good. The one I thought was best is a very long one made by a bunch of gay men stating all the that "we are going to marry your girlfriends". I thought it was hilarious and very well done. If I were a straight man I'd really want  same-sex marriage made legal.
    NY Times ~ I also believe the UN did the correct thing. Pres. Obama should support this.
    Media Matters ~ IMHO this is yet another senseless war with innocent victims.
    Cartoon ~ No SCOTUS judge has ever been successfully impeached because of the outcome of Chase's trial.

    • Media Matters ~ In regards to the "senseless war on Christmas" – it is only in the black hearts and empty heads of those employed by FAUX NOISE.
      I would like to share Martin Bashir's Christmas card to a certain network who thinks there is a  " War on Christmas".
      Enjoy! I certainly did.

      • That's a great clip Patty.  I saw a story about the NYPD officer giving boots to the homeless man and was moved to tears.  For me, this is what Christ asks us to do — have compassion and look after eachother.  Thanks

      • Thanks, Patty.  I almost included that clip, but it was already the longest Short Take in PP history.

    • I am a straight man, or at least I was, when I remembered how.  I'm all for it.

  3. Puzzle — 3:23 I found the red more disconcerting.  The white just seemed to fall into place, and of course the green was easy.
    MoveOn — Excellent!  I have liked Morgan Freemen from the first time I saw him.  He, and James Earl Jones, create such presence and authority with their voices.  ALL must be equal, even Republican/Teabaggers.
    NY Times — I was annoyed when I saw that Canada voted against the motion.  Palestine deserves to have some avenue of redress in the ICC and now at least that can happen.  Harper has been cozying up to the US and Israel on this matter which I find offensive.  I'm not sure why, however it would not surprise me to find that Harper is stoking his ego trying to pretend to be an important world leader, when in actual fact he is nothing more than a Baby Bush wannabe.
    Media Matters — Personally, I call it a Christmas tree because it is a symbol of the Christian religion.  But for those who don't know, the Christmas tree stems back to pagan times and was a way to draw people to the Christian religion.  Likewise, there are Jesse trees that come out of the Jewish tradition.  When I am extending a greeting to someone, I will use Merry Christmas, or if I know a person is not Christian, I will say Happy Holidays.  Because the Christian traditions have been used for centuries, it is primarily the Christian holidays that are observed as statutory holidays.  But as societies become more diverse, that could change.  But for Faux Noise to say one thing and then do another, well that is just Faux Noise idiotology!
    Cartoon — Too bad he was found not guilty as now there is no precedence to guide a case against the current injustices of SCOTUS.  Or is there?

    • The toothpicks holding up my eyelids got in the way. 😉


      I imagine Harper would like the US to be ever more aggressive in that area.

      It's that dang Faux Noise war on Faux Noise!

      There is still precedent.  We just need 2/3 of the Senate and a House majority to do it.

  4. I have no frame of reference to comment on the volunteer work you do, Tom, but I can't imagine a better example of being your brother's keeper.  The prisoners you share your experiences and insight with owe you a great debt. The rest of us owe you much more.

    • Thank you John.  Rest assured that I get as much as or more from them.  And here, this is an excellent day-to-day reason to be.

  5. I guess we'll find out Monday morning which, if any, cases SCOTUS decides to hear WRT Same-Sex-Marriage (SSM).
    There are eight petitions related to DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) along with the California's Prop 8 they are considering.
    They could take a pass on all of them (doubtful)
    They could take up both a DOMA case AND Prop 8 (My money isn't on this.  I think they'll take a pass on Prop 8 – which means that the lower court ruling striking it down stands, and so gay marriage in California ONLY is legal.)
    I think they'll take one of the DOMA cases – but no idea which one.
    Very interesting … I'm going to have to do a little research on Justice Chase.

  6. Oddly enough I used to know a lawyer who was an advisor to half a dozen huge companies – and sat on their boards and influenced decisions (and who voted Conservative alas) – and he used to get incredibly annoyed that people said 'Happy Christmas' weeks before Christmas.  He got into such a tiz about it that his wife mentioned it to me – and said that he couldn't work out what to say – as he refused to say 'Happy Christmas' before Christmas Day – yet he wanted to return the sentiment.  Without pausing for a second, I suggested "Why doesn't he say cheerfully 'Have a Happy Christmas!' back – thus returning the sentiment and yet keeping it accurate…..'" Both that lawyer and his wife were highly intelligent people, with degrees from Cambridge – why does the Right get its knickers in a twist over such things that they can't even think straight (if they ever did!)?!
    I used to work in a hospital – where all faiths and none were represented – and universally those of other faiths said (when I courteously enquired) that they LIKED people saying 'Happy Christmas' and so on – what they couldn't stand was people having no faith!

  7. Gosh TomCat – you gave a talk to NINETY prisoners!  I am deeply impressed – and I thank you – if only we had more people like you to advise prisoners everywhere! 
    (If you want a slight smile – I remember Ian Hislop [editor of 'Private Eye'] saying on the BBC's 'Have I Got News For You', that he was doing some prison visiting and an old lag said to him that 'prisons were too soft these days – they weren't a deterrent as they had been in his youth(!)'……  plainly the poor man had no idea how his words sounded.  I know if I had the money I would give some money to things like arts in prisons – so there is some other means of self expression.  [I remain deeply influenced by listening to a number of famous male actors saying in interviews that if they hadn't found acting they know they would have ended up doing more and much worse bad things  than the petty crimes they committed in their youths…].  And I know that if I am depressed or troubled – trying to paint anything, no matter how badly I do it, helps me. ).

    • I just do what I can, thank you.

      My drawing/painting talent is zero, but some of my guys create works of art, using crude materials, that would just blow you away!

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