Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day: Attempted Terrorist Attack

While most of us were enjoying the holiday with our families and friends yesterday, some Christmas day travelers were having the living bejeesus scared out of them.

A Nigerian man apparently attempted to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight on its way from Amsterdam to Detroit, and triggered his bomb as the plane was on final approach into Detroit Metro Airport.

The explosive device he touched off didn't detonate as planned, and instead, the suspect, 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, wound up with the burning device in his... well, his crotch.

Passengers helped subdue the man, and held him for authorities.  More details are forthcoming, I'm sure, but Mr. Abdulmutallab is currently in custody, being treated for second and third degree burns, and is "talking a lot" to the FBI right now.

(Photo stolen from AP/J.P. Karas)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmas Eve. Here's A Bit Of Music From Two Of My Favorite Artists... Jackson Browne and The Chieftans. Enjoy!

I only wish there were a decent video available.

I wish you all a joyous holiday.

h/t to aixelsydyslexia.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yes, Virginia.

At this time of year I try very hard to not get all maudlin, but I've always thoroughly enjoyed the following piece.

So sue me.

I've found that it's a great precursor to sitting down and watching Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," which tends to make real men like me mist up a little.

I hope you enjoy it, too.

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897.
We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
Dear Editor—
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Restraint Be Damned, I Must Comment. Sarah Palin Is The Biggest Dumbass On The National Stage. Ever.

This is Sarah Palin's latest Tweet.

Not being content to win Politifact's Lie Of The Year Award, Sarah Palin decides to resurrect her lie so that she can generate even more headlines.

I'm sorry, America, that Alaska and John McCain ever granted her celebrity status.

h/t to Broadway Carl.

Monday, December 21, 2009

There Were Many Candidates Vying, But The "Misinformer of the Year" Title Goes To... (drumroll)... Glenn Beck!

Congratulations, Glenn. Unfortunately, no hankies will be provided.

h/t to Media Matters.

HERE'S Why Sheldon Whitehouse Has Had Enough... Asshat Of The Week: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)

Yesterday, prior to today's 1:00 am crucial procedural vote on the health care reform bill, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) made a statement that should make any person of conscience cringe.

In essence, Coburn asked the American people to pray for the death (or at least the medical incapacitation) of 92 year-old Senator Robert Byrd. What a sweetheart of a guy Coburn is.

From today's Washington Post:

At 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon -- nine hours before the 1 a.m. vote that would effectively clinch the legislation's passage -- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) went to the Senate floor to propose a prayer. "What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can't make the vote tonight," he said. "That's what they ought to pray."

It was difficult to escape the conclusion that Coburn was referring to the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) who has been in and out of hospitals and lay at home ailing. It would not be easy for Byrd to get out of bed in the wee hours with deep snow on the ground and ice on the roads -- but without his vote, Democrats wouldn't have the 60 they needed. (emphasis mine)

So, Senator Coburn, just when I thought the level of debate couldn't sink any lower, you manage to not only descend to the muck in the bottom of the barrel, you wallow in it.

Congratulations. You win the Asshat of the Week Award!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Calls Out "The Party Of No."

This is the kind of Senator EVERY state needs.

Thanks, Rhode Island, for electing a senator with a genuine pair of cojones.