Happy New Year!

Sunday is the first day of Advent, the beginning of the new church year.  So happy New Year! I have a question for you, one that I have been unable to answer, but I’m sure you readers can answer it for me:   Last Sunday we celebrated the last Sunday of the church year, in which we contemplate the final victory of Christ the King at His return.  It was a big deal, a fitting climax to the long, long season... Read more

Boycott or Buycott?

The Occupy Wall Street folks are planning to “occupy” publicly traded retailers in their efforts to protest American big business.  They are calling for boycotts to stop corporate profits.  In response, Tea Party folks are calling for everyone to go out on so-called Black Friday to buy lots of stuff, thereby supporting American business and helping the economy. Anti-Occupy Wall Street” groups are taking on the protesters of “Occupy Black Friday” with “BUYcott Black Friday.” Liberate Philadelphia/Liberate America, a Tea... Read more

The invention of the weekend

Monica Hesse on the invention of the weekend: Before weekends could be long, they first had to be weekends. For most of the 19th century and part of the 20th, there were none — there were simply weeks that ended. The working class had Sundays off only. Because of this, many of them would spend the Lord’s day carousing, then call in sick on Mondays. This practice was observed with enough regularity that it was called “Keeping Saint Mondays.” Religious... Read more

Thanksgiving’s poll numbers are up

Another study by social scientists that proves  the perfectly obvious:  people like Thanksgiving: Consensus at last: almost all Americans – from coast to coast and across stiffening party lines – have favorable views of Thanksgiving dinner, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Overall, 93 percent say they have positive views of the traditional meal, including 77 percent who say so “strongly.” Not everyone, however, is equally enthusiastic about Thursday’s main event. Fully 89 percent of Republicans have strongly... Read more

Sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” today

Monica Hesse on why we celebrate Thanksgiving on a Thursday, giving us a really, really long weekend: The first federally endorsed Thanksgiving holiday was the one proclaimed by George Washington in 1789. More than 70 years later, Abraham Lincoln issued his own proclamation. But between those events were decades of relentless lobbying and letter-writing campaigns by Sarah Josepha Hale, a New Hampshirite who made it her life’s mission to formalize the then-ad hoc holiday. (She also wrote “Mary Had a... Read more

The latest GOP debate

You report.  I didn’t watch it.  It does seem like something comes out of each debate, often including another front runner.  So what happened?

The Penny Plan for deficit reduction

Florida Republican congressman Connie Mack has put forward an ingenious approach to deficit reduction:  cut one penny (1%) from every dollar spent for six years.  This modest across the board reduction would be in place of the percentage increases every year that have become the norm (so that even talk of reductions are actually reductions in the rate of growth).   Even some liberals are coming out in favor of this option.   One of them, ex-Clinton official Lanny Davis, explains how... Read more

Legalizing Group Marriage

Elizabeth Marquardt notes that three different strands are coming together to legalize group marriage:  the far left, the far right, and the new reproductive technology: From the fringy left: Polyamory Polyamory describes relationships of three or more people — it literally means “many loves.” Polyamorists say they practice “ethical non-monogamy,” or relationships that emphasize open communication, respect, and fair treatment of one another. The debate about legal recognition of polyamorous relationships is already well underway. A major report issued in... Read more

Baseball’s new labor agreement

Major League baseball, unlike the National Basketball Association, has a new labor agreement, one attained with no strikes, lockouts, or threats to the season.  Here are some highlights: •HGH [human growth hormone]: Baseball will be the first North American team sport with HGH blood testing once it begins next spring. All players will be tested during spring training and will be subject to random offseason tests. The sides agreed to explore in-season tests, which can be conducted on a “reasonable... Read more

Did Gingrich divorce his wife on her deathbed?

One of the most troublesome charges against Newt Gingrich is that he served the divorce papers to his first wife in her hospital room where she was dying of cancer.   The increased scrutiny due to his front-runner status in the Republican presidential  race has at least uncovered the evidence that the story is not true.  From the Washington Post: Although the thrust of the story about his first divorce is not in dispute — Gingrich’s first wife, Jackie Battley, has said previously... Read more
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