1) Well, tonight thank God it's them, instead of you. What a year New Zealand has had.
2) Weaker Boener couldn't keep it up. I wonder how this will play out next year, ahead of an election and an uprising from the Cantor chorale?
3) My Christmas gift to you, courtesy Vanity Fair. Now you know what it's like to go blind.
4) As we here in America say, Vladi, "It ain't over 'til it's over."
5) I've done the "Christmas shopping at 3AM" thing. It's an intriguing experience. Read more about it.
6) OK, Apple has all kinds of rumours surrounding it, from the obvious (Apple is making forays into televisions, which makes sense) to the unusual (Apple is allegedly working with either Mercedes or Volkswagen to produce a car). This one sounds preposterous.
7) Another page turns in the Bernhard Goetz saga. This is sad and tragic, and that's not to condone a criminal like James Ramseur. For those who don't remember (it was national news back in 1984,) Goetz shot four teens on a subway train late one night, purportedly because they were trying to mug him for $5, a dubious claim considering muggers don't usually ask for a set sum. The teens claim they were panhandling. One teen, Darryl Cabey, was paralyzed and left permanently brain damaged. He won a $43 million civil suit against Goetz, who weaseled out and filed bankruptcy. Ramseur was shot in the arm and suffered no permanent damage, as evidence by the fact he was convicted of raping a woman on a Bronx rooftop. The other two teens have also served time for other crimes.
No party comes off smelling like roses here, altho Goetz was lauded as the "Subway Vigilante," despite the fact that not only did he not have a carry permit, he had an unlicensed gun.
For five dollars, five lives were ruined, and there's the tragedy.
8) I wonder if the Arab Spring will just bring a bunch of military juntas to the Middle East, like similar uprisings in South America did decades ago?
9) In the United States, 37 million people rely on food banks and charities to supplement what food budget they can scrape together. Nearly half of those, 15 million, are children. An additional 6 million people get some form of food assistance from the government. I want to take this opportunity, the day before the day before Christmas, to remind you that you can work a miracle, if only for a day, for a hungry family. It feels good. And if you like the way it feels, then you can keep on doing it.
10) And with that, to my readers who celebrate, have a marvelous and wondrous Christmas. To my readers who do not, it's hard not to get swept up in the holiday, I know, so I wish you a merry happy Christmas, too, even if you don't consider it yours. I have much to be grateful for, but it is you readers who keep me honest and keep me motivated, and so I am especially grateful to you.