[Update: Now with Amazon Contextual Ads as footnotes!]
Another unexpected gift of online time...as a guest on someone else's computer, not the one with my Blogjob on it...means another chance to catch up on e-mail. And share links.
Fresh, cute cat picture:
Liz Curtis Higgs uses Bible scholarship to explain why everybody should sing along with the joyous carols...
...isn't really all that Christian. I think most adults have read that Jesus was probably born not only months but years before what we're accustomed to calling December 25, 0001 A.D. Decorating a tree at the winter solstice was an old Pagan custom. Christians appropriated the colors and decorations, which grew richer and more sophisticated with technological progress, to help encourage people to support charitable missions whose need really is greatest in midwinter. But, this being the case, why should people be as mealy-mouthed as Lexi Dwyer, when we all know that "the holiday" we're talking about is not the Fourth of July? Reasonable people who don't observe a particular holiday do not begrudge it to those who do. It doesn't bother me when people mention Ramadan or Passover, either. Christian-phobics who scream and carry on about their feelings being hurt by Christmas don't need encouragement; they need more careful observation, and should probably be kept inside during whatever seasons trigger their outbursts.
Anyway, having got that annual rantlet out of my system, I recommend Lexi Dwyer's suggestions for quick, cheap, last-minute exchanges of loving kindness. Especially for those who've just received nice unexpected prezzies from people from whom we weren't expecting anything, when it's too late to buy anything for them and we don't know what they'd like anyway.
This one's not a link; it's something that appeared in the Kingsport Times-News for December 18. John Stossel, career debunker, commented on the hawkish Republican talk about Muslim terrorists that they attack us "not because we let girls go to school, but because our armed forces are occupying their cities." He cited studies and quoted a translation of something the late unlamented Osama Bin Laden actually said on this subject. This is a line of thought on which I'd appreciate any links any correspondents care to share.
I was prompted to mention this by Oliver Darcy's Blaze post, which I'm not trying to read on this computer, but youall can: Not to be outdone by a Democrat who polled a few Republicans and found that many of them wanted to bomb the (fictional) city of Agrabah (found only in the Disney movie Aladdin), a Republican polled Democrats and found that many of them wanted to admit refugees from Agrabah to the U.S...
Not exactly a song, but, for those who are or might become fans, Kendrick Lamar's "Hard Work" video is free:
Not a full-length Phenology Post, but this weird weather deserves some attention. Snow in California, tornadoes in Mississippi...last night I was awakened in the middle of the night, not by a cat bringing in prey for the others to share (which still happens fairly regularly) or Rackety Coon (who used to make a racket around midnight and around 3 a.m., regularly; I've not missed that), but by thunder and lightning. I cut off the electricity and went back to sleep. In the morning, looking out at the road, I could see that the wind and rain had been...oh, about as intense as our usual July thunderstorms. Once again, other places get Extreme Weather; we get rain.
A correspondent promised a video link on The Blaze. Since this is one of (what I'm sure are the many) computers The Blaze fights...I'm sure interested readers will find weather videos on TV.
Bette Midler seemed to some Twits to be trying to blame it on "global warming deniers." The dogpile of snarky retorts starts here...I doubt that Miss M. will read them, but plenty of people will.