Merry Christmas open thread

It's the 25th on the East Coast so it's officially Christmas morning.  Merry Christmas whatever your beliefs.

Update:  I know it's an open thread but let's do the polling.  Who got a 'WTF were you thinking' gift?  Who gave a 'WTF were you thinking gift?  And who got my favorite; the after 4 months of questions 'What do you want?' 'What size?' 'What color?' 'What should she be wearing?' just to get something else entirely?

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Memo To Rob Parker: Suck On This, Bigot

M Scott Eiland's picture

Washington 28, Dallas 18. Enjoy watching RGIII being celebrated as the leader of the NFC East division winners, while you rot on suspension and face a well deserved descent into professional oblivion when it ends.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

The official DC conceal carry permit

Bird Dog's picture

h/t bour3

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

"Our Prophet had come to rectify the faith of Abraham,

Bird Dog's picture

and now is a time when we need someone to rectify the faith of Muhammad.”

That sort of Twitter comment is enough to get you thrown in the slammer if you're in Wahabi-dominated Saudi Arabia.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The US Army Corps of Engineers

mmghosh's picture

is pretty amazing.

Contractors from Iowa and Ohio could begin drilling holes into the troublesome Mississippi River bedrock south of St. Louis and detonating explosives inserted inside as early as Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers said. They expect to remove enough rock to fill about 50 dump trucks, possibly more.


The demolition of the massive formations near Thebes, Ill., coincides with an unusual move by the agency to release water from a southern Illinois lake, adding a few inches of depth to a river that is getting lower by the day — largely because of the lingering effects of the nation's worst drought in decades.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

The drought they're talking about is pretty severe

HankP's picture

I think it would be a good idea for the US to start building a giant fresh water pipeline down the west coast, while we up in the NW let tons of fresh water simply run off there's a growing need for it in the southwest.


I blame it all on the Internet



Really tremendous DR WHO Xmas special.  Moffatt at the top of his game.

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

Bedtime reading


From my kids: Goodnight Keith Moon.


They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...
-- General John B. Sedgwick, 1864

Funny in a Terrible Sort of



Kind of a Nice Christmas, Some Person Put a Huge 4 Ft Pointsetta


...on my front porch. I have no idea who put it there, but it was kind of a delightful surprise when I opened my front door this morning.


Maybe I'll post a picture. It is weirdly


It is so big I have had to leave it outside.


Best Wishes, Traveller

More from the 21st century religion of violence

Bird Dog's picture

Islamists in Mali are seeking to destroy all the mausoleums in Timbuktu.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

BD, agreed on this one

mmghosh's picture

aggressive iconoclasm to the extent of destroying historical monuments is one of today's Really Bad Things.


freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

... Because it's not Chistmas

HankP's picture

without denigrating other religions.


I blame it all on the Internet


Bird Dog's picture

An atheist telling me the proper Christmas spirit.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

It's a Pagan Holiday Anyway


It just went through a little rebranding when Constantine thought it expedient.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Apparently so

HankP's picture

and a Merry Christmas to you, Mrs. BD and the kids. I hope you had a good holiday and got to spend some time with your son.


I blame it all on the Internet

And back at you

Bird Dog's picture

The kids are at home, and we ate a Virginia ham that literally came from Virginia, thanks to Mrs. BD's sister.  Tonite, we're going to check out the Hobbit.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Are both your kids at college now?

HankP's picture

Our daughter is back for Christmas, it's been quite a change having her gone for 3 months. I guess it's better than having her move out of town permanently, but I can see it coming. I want her to be happy and successful, but I'll miss her. It's a pretty big change and I'm not entirely happy about it.


I blame it all on the Internet

Bird Dog's avatar is a firebird?

brutusettu's picture


It's a flaming f(* you. middle finger raised nt

HankP's picture


I blame it all on the Internet


Bird Dog's picture

They're Christmas lights. Just spreading a little Christmas cheer and whatnot.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Please Change It


I consider it a posting rules violation.


As usual, any mods who disagree can chime in.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

So it is a fire bird

brutusettu's picture


Yes, This Upsets Me Quite a Bit, More, Mannish Tells Me to Chill



...that this is common human behavior.


I am still very unhappy and wonder if we just couldn't drop in UN forces with Liberal Shoot to Kill ROE's and protect the damned things!


I know this is not possible...but it leaves me very unhappy as are you.


Best Wishes, Merry Christmas,'m cooking.

Number 10 on kids' wish list for Christmas

Bird Dog's picture

A dad.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Ohhh That Stings a Little...!....nt



What happened to Eeyn's diary?


I didn't do anything to it. Anyone else?

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Antispam flagged it

HankP's picture

it's back now.


I blame it all on the Internet

At the height of a hot war

mmghosh's picture

it took courage to be different. RIP Mr Lennon.




The release of the song was, as everyone knows, followed by Linebacker II.  This week, coincidentally for all Christmas songs, is also the anniversary of Linebacker II.  Only 33 people were killed.  (My emphases).

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFNS) — The annual Linebacker II Remembrance Ceremony was held at the Arc Light Memorial Park here Dec. 14 to honor the heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice in support of Operation Linebacker II.

Operation Linebacker II, also referred to as the “11-Day War,” was conducted from Dec. 18, 1972 to Dec. 29, 1972. After peace talks between the U.S. and North Vietnam failed, U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered the bombing of North Vietnam to bring the North Vietnamese government back to the negotiating table.

“During Operation Linebacker II, more than 700 sorties were flown and 15,000 tons of ordnances were dropped on targets in North Vietnam,” said Col. Randy Kaufman, 36th Operations Group commander. “For 11 days, Andersen became a very busy base.”

Throughout the operation, Andersen was the staging area for the B-52 Stratofortress bombers, he said. With an increase of Airmen and B-52s taking up nearly five miles of ramp space, Andersen was the site of the largest rapid buildup of airpower in history.


“Operation Linebacker II was a success, but it was not without loss,” said Kaufman.


Thirty-three men and 15 aircrafts were lost during the operation,” he said.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Per Wiki via NV

brutusettu's picture

1,624 Vietnamese civilians killed 

LOL...Yes, I Thought of Noting the VN Losses...Merry Christmas





It was not happy on the ground.




Merry Christmas



And not just the deaths.

mmghosh's picture

Following on in brutus' link

The Air Force estimated 500 rail interdictions had taken place, 372 pieces of rolling stock and three million gallons of petroleum products were destroyed, and 80 percent of North Vietnam's electrical power production capability had been eliminated.

Electrical power "eliminated" in NV in the height of winter (it can get pretty cold in the highlands), loss of livelihoods, disruption of work - not a happy time; note this had been going on in Vietnam from the time of the Japanese invasion in 1940.  That reminds me about the somewhat ironic history about the whole Vietnam imbroglio was started off by the remarkable General Sir Douglas Gracey and his beloved 20th Infantry Division (who surely did not know what they were setting off) when he re-armed the French internees in the Vietnam reconquista, thus denying the then poorly equipped and inexperienced Ho Chi Minh's victory in 1945.  At that point Ho Chi Minh was, if anything, allegedly leaning American, because of US opposition to the French reconquest.  How differently matters might have turned out!


Even before the Japanese surrender, Communist led Vietminh forces had been taking control of the northern provinces of Vietnam. When the war finally ended after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Vietminh marched into Hanoi. The forces entered the city on 19 August to a tumultuous reception. Soon afterwards, on 2 September, the Communist leader, Ho Chi Minh, proclaimed Vietnamese independence from French rule in front of a crowd of half a million people. Ho's expectation was that the victorious Allies would accept this fait accompli and that the French would have to negotiate on Vietminh terms.




South Vietnam had been placed under British control at the Potsdam, conference of July 1945. The British commander, Lord Mountbatten, sent over 20,000 troops of the 20th Indian division under General Douglas Gracey to occupy Saigon. The first soldiers arrived on 6 September and increased to full strength over the following weeks. The Committee of the South attempted to open negotiations, but was ignored. As Gracey later boasted, 'I was welcomed on arrival by the Vietminh. I promptly kicked them out.' Instead he set about driving the nationalists off the streets, banning meetings and demonstrations, closing down the Vietnamese press, prohibiting Vietnamese from carrying weapons and restoring Japanese curfew regulations. On 23 September, with his connivance and under his protection, French troops staged a coup. They seized public buildings, including the town hall, and made widespread arrests. This provoked fierce resistance.


Saigon was paralysed by a general strike and fighting broke out in many parts of the city. Barricades were erected and poorly armed rebels attempted to fight it out with heavily armed British troops. For a while it looked as if the British were in danger of being cut off from reinforcements when Vietnamese forces nearly succeeded in overrunning Tan Son Nhut airfield. They were driven off. While this fighting continued the Vietminh took the opportunity to destroy the Vietnamese Trotskyist movement, executing its leaders.



At last the British secured control of the city but only after the liberal use of artillery, the deliberate burning of areas held by the rebels and the rearming and use of surrendered Japanese troops. According to Edmund Taylor, an American officer in Saigon at the time, the city reminded him 'of a town newly occupied by Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War'.


After the city was cleared fighting continued on the outskirts and into the surrounding countryside. Here once again use was made of Japanese troops in an effort to keep down British casualties. The orders issued by Gracey instructed his troops to 'always use the maximum force available to ensure wiping out any hostiles... If one uses too much no harm is done'.



What is really interesting (to me, anyway) is that the recolonialisation of French IndoChina and Dutch Indonesia was primarily stewarded by Attlee's 1st Labour Government (with our people providing the grunts for British officers).

While both the French and the Dutch were eventually driven out of their colonies, it was British troops who had enabled them to return in the first place. These two episodes are usually removed from the Labour government's record, but they deserve to be remembered as a time when British and Indian soldiers were sent in to kill in order to restore European imperialism in the face of popular revolution.



freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Even more striking the lost opportunity.


Here is how Ho Chi opende that declaration of independance:



“ The compatriots of the entire country,

All men are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights; among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
This immortal statement was made in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776.

A historically big missed opportunity...

Jay C's picture

(IMHO, anyway): ever since reading the Pentagon Papers, I've thought that the US (and, I see, other countries) bungled a huge opportunity in 1945 by shoving Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Minh government (and yes, it was a real "government"!) aside in favor of a reinstatement of French colonialism: mainly, AFAICT, to mollify Charles De Gaulle, who was principally pissed off at the Vichy-allied colonial Establishment in VN, and wanted to show them who was boss...

All I want for

brutusettu's picture

Merry Christmas to all

HankP's picture

I hope all you guys have at least a nice relaxing day off.


I blame it all on the Internet