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A time for Reflection
Author: TriSec    Date: 12/27/2008 11:54:30

2008 is drawing to a close.

It's surely been a pivotal year for these United States, but we're not the only place of note on this blue marble. Let's take a look at a couple of places that have reason to look in the rear-view mirror with sorrow. Unlike us, however....these places tend not to have much hope for the future, where we here in the USA are a bit spoiled in that regard.

December 27 marks the one-year anniversary of the assasination of Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan). Our erstwhile ally in the 'warron terra' is going to find things different after January 20th, methinks.

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have gathered at the mausoleum of former PM Benazir Bhutto to mark the first anniversary of her assassination.

Ceremonies in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, southern Pakistan, are expected to include prayers, poetry and speeches.

Mrs Bhutto was killed in a suicide bomb and gun attack in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad, after an election rally.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says he expects an independent inquiry into her death to be set up soon.

The memorial service coincides with a sharp increase in tensions between India and Pakistan, over the alleged role of Pakistani militants in the Mumbai attacks.

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18 comments (Latest Comment: 12/28/2008 06:09:20 by Mondobubba)

Thinking Outside the Box
Author: BobR    Date: 12/26/2008 13:25:55

Happy Boxing Day! Today is the day in the UK, Canada, and other former British colonies when people box up the stuff they no longer need and donate it to the poor. No one is clear on where the name came from, but the intent is clear - it's a time of giving back, for showing appreciation for all that you have.

In the United States, of course, the day after Christmas is like Black Friday - another orgy of buying, this time all of the after-Christmas sales. Some retailers are probably hoping to salvage something from this holiday season since - due to the poor economy - retail sales are way down this year.

It's an interesting juxtaposition, the British tradition of giving away and the American tradition of buying more on this day. Americans buy for others before Christmas and for themselves after Christmas. Perhaps it's all those gift cards people now give as gifts...
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44 comments (Latest Comment: 12/27/2008 03:55:47 by livingonli)

Christmas in the Trenches
Author: Raine    Date: 12/25/2008 14:17:36

There are many stories, and versions.
The "Christmas truce" is a term used to describe several brief unofficial cessations of hostilities that occurred on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day between German and British or French troops in World War I, particularly that between British and German troops stationed along the Western Front during Christmas 1914. In 1915 there was a similar Christmas truce between German and French troops, and during Easter 1916 a truce also existed on the Eastern Front.

The Christmas Truces during World War I are the stuff that go to our highest spirits as human beings. John McCutcheon wrote a lovely song about it.
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26 comments (Latest Comment: 12/26/2008 05:57:44 by Raine)

So This is Christmas
Author: BobR    Date: 12/24/2008 13:15:15

What a strange and wonderful thing Christmas is. It's a veritable pastiche of traditions and myths all thrown together into a big pot and stirred together. Christians are fond of saying "Jesus is the reason for the season", but it usually seems like He's the excuse for the season - and the season is full of some very non-Christian things...

What began as Roman winter festivals and pagan Yule celebrations turned into Christmas when the ancient Catholic church decided to insinuate itself into the party. Attempts have been made to "Christianize" all of the traditions swirling around these holidays, although they are absurdly transparent. Balls on the tree represent God's light?... Giving gifts represents the gifts of the Magi?... please!
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89 comments (Latest Comment: 12/25/2008 06:55:59 by livingonli)

Ask a Vet - Christmas 2008
Author: TriSec    Date: 12/23/2008 11:27:11

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,106th day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualty figures from the warron terra, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

Since war began (3/19/03): 4212
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4073
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3752
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3353
Since Election (1/31/05): 2774

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 316
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 629
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 408
Contractor Deaths - Iraq: 445

We find this morning's Cost of War passing through:

$ 581, 975, 000, 000.00

So this is Christmas. As you'll note from the ticker at the top of the page, "President" Bush will leave office in just 28 days, perhaps the best Christmas present the nation ever got.

But what of the veterans?
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123 comments (Latest Comment: 12/24/2008 05:23:32 by Raine)

If the President does it, it's legal.
Author: Raine    Date: 12/22/2008 13:32:48

Say what?
All of President Bush's actions during his years as a wartime leader were done with full legal authority, Vice President Dick Cheney said on Fox News Sunday.

Asked by Chris Wallace if it's legal when the president makes a decision to help the country when it's fighting a war, Cheney said, "As a general proposition, I'd say yes."

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256 comments (Latest Comment: 12/23/2008 03:30:27 by Random)

Fabulous Gay Holiday Blog!
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 12/21/2008 14:32:05

We would assume that in this country where it’s not illegal to be gay (whoops, how many days left do with have with President Dumbkov? Well, lets just assume that he forgets to do a last minute fix of that “problem”) – in a country where its currently not illegal to be gay, that we would sign a non binding declaration presented by the United Nations calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality without hesitation.

It was just a little ole declaration seeking universal decriminalization of homosexuality.

And many of our friends in Japan, Mexico, Australia and the entire EU all signed it this past Thursday.

But no, we stood with our friends in backwards and/or repressive countries including members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference! Countries like: Iran. Remind me, aren’t we supposed to be better than Iran? Aren’t we the ones that are supposed to the protector of human rights while Iran is a member of the “Axis of Evil” as George W. has labeled them many times? The Organization of the Islamic Conference suggested that protecting sexual orientation could lead to "the social normalization and possibly the legalization of deplorable acts" such as pedophilia and incest.
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36 comments (Latest Comment: 12/22/2008 04:35:07 by livingonli)

Libertarian Saturday Returns!
Author: TriSec    Date: 12/20/2008 12:03:58

Morning, folks. Dusting off an old chestnut for the holidays...

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the nation
Friends of Freedom knew it was a special occasion.
Lady Liberty stood taller just off the shore
Her torch shining brighter than a few weeks before

But it wasn't the flame turning her cheeks all rosy
It was thoughts of Snowe, Feingold and Nancy Pelosi
And leaders from every side of the aisle
Who would soon bring the Bill of Rights back into style.

The Amendments had all hurried out of their beds -
Which was no easy task, they were nearly in shreds -
And they rushed to the window on papery feet
As a jolly old man flew right over their street.

"Could it be!?" they inquired as the roof shook and trembled
And they crept toward the mantle, peaceably assembled,
Just as someone emerged from the chimney with flair
In a shiny red suit, with a shock of white hair

And a top hat, and pants all in red, white and blue -
"Wait a minute," the Amendments exclaimed, "Who are you?"
"Don't be frightened my children," he said, "it's no scam.
"You can't have forgotten your old Uncle Sam!"

"Holy crap!" said Free Speech. "Stop right there!" yelled Bear Arms
And Privacy cried "Who shut off the alarms?!"
The Fifth remained silent, but Uncle Sam said
"We've been having some trouble, but Freedom's not dead."
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45 comments (Latest Comment: 12/21/2008 05:26:47 by clintster)

It's already a big, steaming, dump.
Author: Raine    Date: 12/19/2008 13:31:52

Let's hope the current administration does not make it worse. With a month to go, there are discussions on how to save the faltering US auto industry. After shooting down the first option in congress, the administration is already talking about last option.
The White House has raised for the first time the prospect of pushing General Motors and Chrysler into a managed bankruptcy as a solution to save the companies from financial collapse.
I hope people can maybe work down the line instead of immediately jumping to a 'final' last option of bankruptcy. "Managed Bankruptcy" is just another word for letting it fail. With any other administration I would believe that they were really trying to help our troubled auto industry, but too many times we have been told one thing only to find out, it meant quite the opposite. It's been a week since congress failed to come up with a plan to save the industry. A week. How things can change in a week.
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85 comments (Latest Comment: 12/20/2008 04:57:09 by livingonli)

Drowning in the Shallow End of the Pool
Author: BobR    Date: 12/18/2008 13:34:27

With just over a month left in the Bush Regime, the retrospectives on his Administration will be flying fast and furious over the next few weeks. Once Obama takes over, the last eight years will fade like a nightmare upon wakening, as the country and the pundits continue their tradition of second guessing and arm chair quarterbacking the current resident of the White House.

So how will History treat Bush? Kindly is certainly not likely.... But what will be the overall theme? Arrogance?... Policy over reality?.... Incompetence?...
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101 comments (Latest Comment: 12/19/2008 04:22:25 by Scoopster)

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