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  • The Stranger in the House

    12/09/2012 2:35:55 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 11 replies
    WSJ ^ | November 16, 2012
    ....it is worth noting that some of the earliest records of the Christmas-tree tradition are to be found among the records of killjoy officialdom. As Bernd Brunner notes in "Inventing the Christmas Tree," the town clerk of Strasbourg, in 1494, put the kibosh on the local "custom of cutting off pine branches at the New Year and bringing them home." By the 16th century the custom was widespread enough to pose some threat of deforestation: In 1554, the city of Freiburg im Breisgau banned the cutting of trees for Christmas. [SNIP] The Tannenbaum (which simply means "fir tree") came to...
  • Senior home Christmas tree ban touches nerve about religious diversity, tolerance

    12/09/2012 2:35:53 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 23 replies
    The Willits News ^ | 12/07/2012 | Mariecar Mendoza
    News of Newhall seniors protesting the removal of a Christmas tree from their community room this week because, they said they were told, it was a religious symbol prompted a national outcry -- a collective bah humbug from Christmas defenders. It was, many said, another example of the so-called "war on Christmas" and political correctness run amok. The issue isn't new, but the debate over appropriate public demonstrations of traditionally religious holidays has now spread beyond blatant symbols like the cross and Nativity scenes to the unassuming Christmas tree. Chalk it up to the melting pot, experts say. "The country...
  • Obama met with Boehner on Sunday over fiscal cliff: aides

    12/09/2012 2:14:48 PM PST · by Sub-Driver · 37 replies
    Obama met with Boehner on Sunday over fiscal cliff: aides By Jeff Mason | Reuters – 28 mins ago WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama met with Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner on Sunday at the White House to negotiate ways to avoid the "fiscal cliff," according to White House officials and a congressional aide. The two sides declined to provide further details about the unannounced meeting. Obama and Boehner aides used the same language to describe it. "This afternoon, the president and Speaker Boehner met at the White House to discuss efforts to resolve the...
  • Music For Christmas From The Vatican (In MP3 format, all free)

    12/09/2012 2:11:40 PM PST · by Stoat · 8 replies
    The Vatican ^ | December 9, 2012
    These links will take you to several selections for Christmas as well as many other Celebrations and events: Hymns for the Celebrations of the Liturgical Year, Pontifical Musical Chorus of the Sistine Chapel  Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra - L'Offerta Musicale in MP3 Please enjoy and share with friends :-)Merry Christmas!
  • Fareed Zakaria wants to end the war on terror and replace it with nothing

    12/09/2012 2:10:07 PM PST · by forty_years · 20 replies
    netwmd.com ^ | December 9, 2012 | Gary Gerofsky
    The CNN-appointed 5th estate "expert" on foreign affairs now wants an end to the war on terrorism. That is what he said in his op-ed piece on CNN today (December 9th, 2012). Fareed dismisses the war as immoral, impractical, and unnecessary without saying what will replace it. Knowing Fareed, he wants to replace counterterrorism with a universal joining of hands in an international love-fest that will erase all hate and anger. Such is the ignorance and naiveté of the mainstream media. Fareed is a unilateralist, believing that the West is in complete control and that every action and reaction regarding...
  • Local companies named on ‘boycott’ list for supporting national monument proposal near Canyonlands

    12/09/2012 2:06:07 PM PST · by george76 · 24 replies
    Moab Times-Independent ^ | Dec. 6, 2012 | Steve Kadel
    Grand County companies whose owners signed a letter to President Obama supporting federal protection for 1.4 million acres surrounding Canyonlands National Park are facing an economic boycott that some say has been spurred by the locally-based Sagebrush Coalition. The coalition’s Facebook page includes a list of local and national companies that signed the Nov. 13 letter from the Outdoor Industry Association urging Obama to create the Greater Canyonlands National Monument. ... Sagebrush Coalition president James Tibbetts ... opposes monument status for land around Canyonlands National Park because it isn’t necessary. “We’ve used it all these years and we haven’t ruined...
  • Did Mary have a bunch of kids? Mary's perpetual virginity before, during and after Jesus' birth

    12/09/2012 2:05:12 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 175 replies
    Catholic Bridge ^ | David MacDonald
  • Ayman Zawahiri and Egypt: A Trip Through Time

    12/09/2012 2:04:12 PM PST · by forty_years
    Investigative Project on Terrorism ^ | November 30, 2012 | Raymond Ibrahim
    Around 1985, current al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri fled his homeland of Egypt, presumably never to return. From his early beginnings as a teenage leader of a small jihadi cell devoted to overthrowing Egyptian regimes (first Nasser's then Sadat's) until he merged forces with Osama bin Laden, expanding his objectives to include targeting the United States of America, Zawahiri never forgot his original objective: transforming Egypt into an Islamist state that upholds and enforces the totality of Sharia law, and that works towards the resurrection of a global caliphate.This vision is on its way to being fulfilled. With Islamist political victories,...
  • French actor Depardieu seeks Belgian residency - mayor

    12/09/2012 2:00:49 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 27 replies
    Yahoo! News ^ | 12/9/12 | Vicky Buffery | Reuters
    PARIS (Reuters) - Actor Gerard Depardieu has become the latest Frenchman to look for shelter outside his native country after a series of tax hikes by Socialist President Francois Hollande on the wealthy. The "Cyrano de Bergerac" star has bought a house in the Belgian village of Nechin near the French border, local mayor Daniel Senesael told French media on Sunday, adding he had also enquired about procedures for acquiring Belgian residency. ... "I think he wanted to enjoy the atmosphere in Belgium, our identity, the rural, bucolic setting," Senesael told RTL radio. For Depardieu, best known for his roles...
  • North Star Closer to Earth Than Thought

    12/09/2012 1:56:24 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    Nat Geo ^ | December 4, 2012 | Andrew Fazekas
    In fact, the North Star—also called Polaris—is 30 percent closer to our solar system than previously thought, at about 323 light-years away, according to an international team who studied the star's light output. Using Russia's 6-Meter Telescope, the researchers were able to calculate the North Star's distance from our solar system by analyzing its spectrum of light and obtaining data on its temperature and changes in intrinsic brightness over time. That significantly revises the previously accepted value of 434 light-years, which was obtained by the European star-mapping satellite Hipparcos in the 1990s. Known to fade and brighten over a four-day...
  • Too Much Of A Good Thing

    12/09/2012 1:47:35 PM PST · by OddLane · 18 replies
    American Rattlesnake ^ | December 9, 2012 | Gerard Perry
    One of the unofficial mottos of the United States, this phrase-which is minted on this country’s coins and emblazoned upon our paper bills-embodies the common heritage of the American nation, which was created from the union of thirteen distinct, unique former British colonies. Over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it came to symbolize the melting pot forged from a collection of people who came to the United States from various European nations in order to reconstitute their lives. It is a concept that, like many of its inhabitants, has become alien to contemporary America. We now...
  • Bizarre creature found in 200-million-year-old cocoon

    12/09/2012 1:46:24 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 22 replies
    nbc ^ | 12/8/2012 10:41:07 AM ET
    "This preservation is quite bizarre, but soft-bodied organisms cannot usually become fossilized unless they are rapidly entombed in a medium that prevents further decay," study researcher and paleobotanist Benjamin Bomfleur, of the Biodiversity Institute at the University of Kansas, told LiveScience.
  • Nothing Else Matters

    12/09/2012 1:44:35 PM PST · by uptoolate · 10 replies
    THE 3 TABOOS ^ | December 8, 2012 | Ed Guzaitis
    Two weeks ago I had finally done the “impossible”. I deactivated. Cut the ties. I was even able to pass the “guilt” message. “Are you sure you want to deactivate? Your friends will no longer be able to blah, blah, blah.” There it was, Facebook Freedom. I had my life back. Over the next few days I would start my daily routine. Checking email. Bank accounts. Investments. Drudge. RSS feeds. But then...nothing. All of a sudden I had all this extra time on my hands. It got me thinking about what I had accomplished in all that time I had...
  • Police: Man Shot Dead By Officers Pulled Air Pistol That Looked Like Gun

    12/09/2012 1:43:21 PM PST · by Free ThinkerNY · 44 replies
    CBS New York ^ | Dec. 9, 2012
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -A man with a record of 39 arrests was shot and killed by police detectives in Queens overnight, after pulling what police thought was a gun, but turned out to be a compressed air pistol. Police on Sunday afternoon continued to investigate the shooting that left the 42-year-old man dead. The suspect killed by police had not been identified as of 3 p.m., pending family notification. Around 10:45 p.m. Saturday at Gates and Seneca avenues in the Ridgewood section of Queens, two male plainclothes NYPD detectives – ages 48 and 42 and both nine-year department veterans –...
  • Obama Administration Pondering How to Overturn Pot Legalization in States

    12/09/2012 1:36:06 PM PST · by John Semmens · 25 replies
    Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 8 Dec 2012 | John Semmens
    On November 6 voters in Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana. Use of marijuana still remains illegal under federal law. A federal task force composed of representatives from the Justice Department, the DEA, the State Department, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy is considering how to respond. Attorney General Eric Holder brushed aside all substantive debate over the merits of legalization saying that “it’s not up to us to prove that marijuana is harmful in order for us to enforce the federal ban on its use. The simple fact that federal law trumps state law is sufficient grounds for...
  • How they light the 2012 Chanukah Menorah at Technion University (Israel's MIT)

    12/09/2012 1:25:05 PM PST · by dennisw · 7 replies
    Technion U ^ | 2012 | Technion U
    Published on Nov 25, 2012 Technion students Eyal Cohen and Tomer Wassermann from the Mechanical Engineering faculty and Matan Orian and Dvir Dukhan of Industrial Engineering and Management take on the challenge to build a Rube Goldberg machine that lights the Chanukah menorah. Hanukkah is the holiday of miracles and here is another one. WATCH BEHIND THE SCENES (the making of the film):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua8Fs9iN0b8&feature=share&list=UU4_i7c... Eyal Cohen and Matan Orian are winners of the annual Technion Dr. Bob's TechnoBrain competition, supported by Dr. Robert Shillman in memory of Technion student Neev-Ya Durban. The film was made in the Computer Integrated Manufacturing...
  • "The Big Broadcast" Live Sunday 12/9 7-11pm est

    12/09/2012 1:19:34 PM PST · by Vision · 37 replies
    WAMU ^ | 12/9/12 | Ed Walker
    Friends, it's Sunday night again. Warm up the tubes for another 4 hours of classic radio programs... Listen Live Info
  • Sen. Tom Coburn: I'm Willing to Accept Tax Increases

    Republican Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) told me Sunday on ABC News' "This Week" that he is willing to accept tax rate increases as a component of a fiscal cliff deal, as long as Democrats put "significant entitlement reform" on the table. "What we ought to be working on is the other 93 percent, because even if you do what [Obama] wants to do on tax rates, you only affect 7 percent of the deficit," Coburn said. "What we have done is spend ourselves into a hole, and we're not going to raise taxes and borrow money and get out of...
  • Doug McIntyre: Not buying L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as anti-debt champion

    12/09/2012 1:16:30 PM PST · by Mark · 5 replies
    Los Angeles Daily News ^ | 12/9/12 | Doug McIntyre
    `The Campaign to Fix the Debt" is a creation of former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and his budget-balancing partner, former Clinton administration department head, Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the much-ballyhooed "National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform." Simpson-Bowles might not have saved the taxpayers so much as one thin dime but they did create a rare moment of Washington bipartisanship when Democrats and Republicans agreed to ignore everything they recommended. But Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles aren't quitters. They continue the noble fight to return fiscal sanity to a federal budget plunging toward the precipice of the dreaded Fiscal Cliff....
  • Police Called When Crowd Signing Up For Housing List Gets 'Out Of Control' [VIDEO]

    12/09/2012 1:11:03 PM PST · by bimboeruption · 75 replies
    10TV.com ^ | 12-8-2012 | Unknown to me
    COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Police sprayed Mace on several people in a crowd that had gathered to sign up for a list to get subsidized housing at a northwest Columbus apartment complex. Police said the crowd started to gather Friday night for the Saturday morning event at The Heritage apartment complex on Gatewood Road near Sunbury Road in northeast Columbus. Authorities said that its highest number, the crowd reached 2,000 people. Residents in the area called police overnight and complained about the noise and number of cars in the neighborhood. According to police, a melee broke out when the manager...