Massive explosions rocked the Syrian capital on Sunday morning as state television reported Israeli rockets struck a military research centre on the outskirts of Damascus. Israel has not commented on this strike but it comes after an official confirmed – under condition of…
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Amazon is used to facing harsh criticism. In fact, for many irate customers who didn’t receive their orders on time — especially around the holidays — going online to vent about the company’s broken delivery promises almost seems like a pastime.Take Connie V., an Amazon customer who claims on consumer complaints forum Planetfeedback that, despite paying extra for expedited delivery to ensure a Dec. 22 arrival date, her purchases did not come until the day after Christmas.”My gifts didn’t arrive until December 26th, which made my child question why Santa didn’t bring them in his sled,” she wrote. “I wrote two complaints to the Amazon site and never even received a reply.”Continue Reading… … Read More
Sandra Zaimovic, a Catholic Bosnian Croat and her husband Rusmir, a Bosnian Muslim, are looking forward to celebrating both Eid and Christmas with their new baby this year. Couples of different ethnicity like the Zaimovics were a rarity in the years following the 1992-1995 war which divided Bosnia…
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Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, was asked at CPAC whether or not he would support a law to implement universal background checks and close the gun show loophole. King replied that he opposes it as long as it would prevent him from giving his grandson a gun at Christmas.”When somebody writes a background check law that doesn’t prohibit me from giving my grandmother’s .410, that she shot [chickens] with, to my grandson at the Christmas tree in my house without” getting the federal government involved, “then I’ll take another look at it and perhaps have another opinion. Meanwhile I don’t want them to interrupt Christmas at the Kings’.”Continue Reading… … Read More
The first law of thermodynamics says that energy can’t be
created and can’t be destroyed — it can only be changed from one
form into another. The same holds true of the puritanical
Puritanism in the historical sense is as dead as the Salem
witches. The religious group that settled in New England outlawed
theater, rejected any form of sex except marital intercourse,
banned celebration of Christmas and spent hours in church listening
to horrifying depictions of Hell.
But the term has come to be a synonym for any disapproval or
discouragement of carnal pleasure. Sexual puritanism has receded
even among devout Christians, who generally see nothing wrong with
husbands and wives gratifying each other however they please.
In society as a whole, things have changed
even more drastically. Virginity is no longer held up as an ideal
for young people; TV has an abundance of flesh and raunch; and the
majority of Americans no longer see homosexual acts as “always
Most people don’t think it’s their place to tell others what
sort of sexual behavior is acceptable. With few exceptions, it has
become a private matter of individual preference. Laws against
sodomy are extinct. Divorce is easy to get. Your sex life is
off-limits to government regulation. Busybodies have little impact
But puritans haven’t vanished. They’ve merely changed the
subject. The expansion of freedom in matters of sex has coincided
with a shrinkage in matters of health. New Yorkers would laugh at
laws policing sex, but they elected a mayor who has no problem
trying to control other physical indulgences.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg brought forth a ban on
large sugar-laden beverages, which this week was struck down by a
state court. But the idea won’t go away that easily: The city will
appeal the ruling, and other cities are considering similar
Nor is this approach out of character for Bloomberg, whose
attitude is: “Let my conscience be your guide.” He prohibited
restaurants from using transfats, banned smoking in bars and
restaurants as well as most outdoor spaces, compelled fast-food
chains to post calorie counts on their menus, proposed limits on
sodium and even stopped hospitals from giving bottles of infant
formula to new mothers. When it comes to what you put in your body,
nothing is off-limits to the city.
The sugary drink measure has been controversial, but if
experience is any guide, it will someday be as common and accepted
as smoke-free taverns. Individuals could be allowed to make their
own choices without coercing others, but that doesn’t satisfy the
public health zealots.
Many of them yearn to limit nicotine in cigarettes, at least
until they can ban them entirely. Many would like to curb fast-food
outlets as well: Los Angeles has blocked new ones from opening in
some neighborhoods. Several local governments, including Boston and
Philadelphia, have pronounced transfats verboten.
The usual rationale is safeguarding health, which Bloomberg said
would save taxpayer dollars that go to treat residents afflicted
with lifestyle-related diseases. His lawyers argued that sugary
drinks promote obesity, which is to blame for many of the 500,000
or more New Yorkers who have diabetes, each of whom average an
extra $6,649 a year in medical costs.
But the underlying motive is to enforce one model of acceptable
behavior on everyone. Obesity is commonly regarded as a grave
personal failing, an abdication of healthy restraint and
abstinence. Some of the virtuous feel entitled to demand virtue of
Sound like anyone who landed at Plymouth Rock? Truth is, sexual
puritans can make equally plausible arguments on the practical need
to regulate the exercise of bedroom behavior, which has major
implications for both health and government budgets.
Non-marital sex, after all, produces unwanted births, including
among teens who will become public burdens. It increases the
incidence of abortion, which some states cover under Medicaid. It
spreads diseases that can have fatal consequences, including AIDS
and human papillomavirus.
But in the realm of these fleshly pleasures, we have learned to
let people make their own decisions, even if they have some impact
on others. We’ve largely liberated ourselves from government
interference into deeply personal choices that are a central part
of what makes us human.
Well, some of them, anyway. Escaping the puritans is a task that
is never finished. … Read More
Having mastered foreign policy, a run for Vice President, the creation of a dependable TLC programming and a shortened term as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin will soon be shifting her energies toward a higher cause — saving Christmas. The confoundedly resilient public figure is set to…
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Just in time for the holidays, Sarah Palin will release a book defending Christmas from the “politically correct Scrooges” who are waging the “War on Christmas.”The book, called ”A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas,” will be released through HarperCollins in November.”Amidst the fragility of this politically correct era, it is imperative that we stand up for our beliefs before the element of faith in a glorious and traditional holiday like Christmas is marginalized and ignored,” Palin said in a statement released through HarperCollins, the Associated Press reports. “This will be a fun, festive, thought provoking book, which will encourage all to see what is possible when we unite in defense of our faith and ignore the politically correct Scrooges who would rather take Christ out of Christmas.”According to the publisher, the book will also push for “preserving Jesus Christ in Christmas – whether in public displays, school concerts (or) pageants.”Continue Reading… … Read More