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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Quotation #3

Scrooge was better than his word.  He did it all and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father.  He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough in the good old world.  Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this  globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter at the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins as have the malady in less attractive form.  His own heart laughed, and that was quite enough for him.

He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards, and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.  May that be truly said of us, and all of us!  And so as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!  
~Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol, Stave 6, final lines)

Christmas Quotation #2

Again the Ghost sped on, above the black and heaving sea -- on, on -- until being far away, as he told Scrooge, from any shore, they lighted on a ship.  They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel, the look-out in the bow, the officers who had the watch, dark ghostly figures in their several stations, but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune, or had a Christmas thought, or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day, with homeward hopes belonging to it.  And every man on board, waking or sleeping, good or bad, had had a kinder word for another on that day than on any day in the year; and had shared to some extent in its festivities; and had remembered those he cared for at a distance, and had known that they delighted to remember him. 

~Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol, Stave 3)

Christmas quotation #1

Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks, some leagues or so from shore, on which the waters chafed and dashed the wild year through, there stood a solitary lighthouse.  Great heaps of sea-weed clung to its base, and storm-birds -- born of the wind one might suppose, as sea-weed from the water -- rose and fell about it, like the waves they skimmed. 

But even here, two men who watched the light had made a fire, that through the loophole in the thick stone wall shed out a ray of brightness over the awful sea.  Joining their horny hands over the rough table at which they sat, they wished each other Merry Christmas in their can of grog; and one of them -- the elder, too, with his face all damaged and scarred with hard weather, as the figure-head of an old ship might be -- struck up a sturdy song that was like a gale in itself. 

~Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol, Stave 3)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Toy Gun Buyback

"In exchange for their toy guns, all the children received wrapped presents that were indisputably not violent — dolls, stuffed animals, and board games like checkers.
Some children were not thrilled with the trade.
Malik Hall, a round-eyed second-grader, looked apprehensive as he stood in line with his favorite toy, a thick, blue gun with plastic sword underneath the muzzle. The 8-year-old was furious when his mother, Amanda, told him he would have to give it up. Yesterday morning, he tried to hide it under his pillow, she said...

Hall said she had no regrets. The 26-year-old mother of six said she has been trying to wean her only son off toy guns for years.

Via Instapundit, who says, "if you had put this scene into a dystopian novel about lefty silliness, it would have seemed too heavy-handed."

Two embassy bombs explode in Rome

Chilean and Swiss embassies.  Links and comments at Hot Air.

Muslim Student Files Complaint Against Teacher … for Talking About Ham

PJM: When parody becomes reality in Spain.

ObamaCare Rationing Begins

"The reason given by the FDA was that the drug does not provide "a sufficient benefit in slowing disease progression to outweigh the significant risk to patients." What risk? These women are dying.

The drug buys them precious time, and the only risk they face is from an FDA saying "pull the plug."

On the same day the FDA channeled Dr. Kevorkian, its European counterpart, the European Medicines Agency, issued a statement approving Avastin for metastatic breast cancer."

How Government Failure Caused the Great Recession

At The interaction of six government policies explains the timing, severity, and global impact of the financial crisis.

This may be the manliest thing I've ever seen

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nefarious goings-on at Gitmo

Former Inmate: Jews Used Witchcraft on Guantanamo Prisoners, Made Me Feel a Cat Was Trying to Penetrate Me.

The Net Neutrality Coup

WSJ: The campaign to regulate the Internet was funded by a who's who of left-liberal foundations.

"The Federal Communications Commission's new "net neutrality" rules, passed on a partisan 3-2 vote yesterday, represent a huge win for a slick lobbying campaign run by liberal activist groups and foundations. The losers are likely to be consumers who will see innovation and investment chilled by regulations that treat the Internet like a public utility."

The FCC Should Not Regulate the Internet

CATO: "A premise of net neutrality regulation—and much other regulation—is that consumers can’t be relied on to defend their own interests. Taking that premise, which I don’t, it follows that regulators must step in. But that syllogism skips over an additional premise: that regulators can do a better job."

Wednesday stuff

Monday, December 20, 2010

Your Apps Are Watching You

WSJ: iPhone and Android apps are breaching the privacy of smartphone users.

"An examination of 101 popular smartphone "apps"—games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones—showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone's location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders."