Richard Day's picture


    Miracle on 34th Street

    Tis the season, aint it?

    And I feel some of that Xmas spirit just boiling over; giving us warmth we need during these cold days as the Sun abandons us all—except in Cal or Fla or one of those OTHER heathen environs!

    Rush Limbaugh accused President Obama of thinking that Hanukkah was Kwanzaa on his Friday radio show...

    He also mocked the origins of Kwanzaa, which he said was founded to end "the Christmas season exploitation of African-Americans." Limbaugh asked, "Was it all the black Santa Clauses that were out there in the department stores.

    Rush is one of those gift givers who just keeps on giving.

    Who else could slam the Jews, the Muslims, the Black Santas and our President all at the same time?


    But I am struck by the real Christians who understand a deeper meaning of Christmas and of Christ and well...Christ Almighty:

    Bachmann doesn't appear concerned that families are being torn apart with devastating consequences to U.S.-citizen children...

    O'Reilly told the GOP presidential hopeful: "Look, if you pick up some guy in a car, and he's an illegal alien -- he's got three kids at home -- what are you gonna do, throw him and his kids on a bus the next day? Is that what you're gonna do? Can you imagine that?"

    Bachmann, reinforcing her hard-line stance on the issue, replied: "Well Bill, what we have to do is end the practice of anchor babies in the United States" because that's when "illegal aliens come in."

    And as I point out, every single time I blog (or almost) 95% or more of all of these 'illegal aliens' are CHRISTIANS!

    I mean if they were Jews, I could understand!

    This, to me anyway, reflects the true sentiments associated with the Birth of the Christ Child.



    The low up in these here parts was 6 below zero last night.

    Considering the wind, our wind chill was -15.

    How can anything or anyone survive at 0 let alone -15.

    There was this urban myth when I was a kid that Fahrenheit went out to the outhouse one day and it was so very cold that he decided that it could never be colder than that!

    And that is how he decided upon 0 degrees Fahrenheit. ha

    The sun is abandoning us; as I attempted to point out before.

    I know this because the sunrise today was at 7:43 AM and the sunset was destined to be 4:17 PM. That is only 8 hours and 34 minutes.

    Just yesterday we had 3 more minutes of sunlight than we will have all day today.

    In only 12 days, we will come to the point that we shall only have sunlight for 8 hours a day.

    Simple arithmetic deduction tells me that in only 160 days, we shall have no sunlight at all.

    Forget global warming. I mean baby it's cold outside!

    And I am thinking from a place that is many hundreds of miles from the North Pole.

    There is trouble, I mean trouble right here in River City and MSM just simply ignores this trend!

    Thank God for history.

    As I noted in some prior post, the gods invented time so that everything would not happen all at once!

    Normally, it has been documented that Winter begins on the shortest day of the year.

    Normally that date falls between the 21st and the 22nd of December.

    The actual length in which the sun maintains its arc is somewhere between 8 and 16 hours up in these parts.

    But the actual diarists note that although the term of the solar arc will expand in time following the 22rd of December; it will only expand if the added minutes go to the AM side of the equation. The sun will not set later in time until the 25th.

    That is, two or three days following the first day of winter, one will be able to document that the sun sets a little later on the 25th of December than it did on the 21st or the 22nd or the 23rd...

    Now there are hundreds of different calendars from ancient times that are or were guided by the length of the arc of the Sun in measures of time. And each of these cultural calendars were primarily focused upon the Solstice beginning winter and the Solstice beginning summer.

    Everyone on this planet does not celebrate the Winter Solstice in the same manner!

    A Georgia man preparing for the Christmas season spent a night in jail after he was arrested for shooting at mistletoe outside a Decatur shopping mall...

    William E. Robinson, 66, was charged with reckless conduct and discharging a firearm on someone else's property after he opened fire on a tree that held a sprig of the plant, which is commonly used as a Christmas decoration.

    Robinson told CBS Atlanta that he was merely following a holiday tradition when he used his double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun to knock the plant out of a tree outside the North DeKalb Mall.

    Southerners preparing for Christmas have long used shotguns loaded with birdshot to knock mistletoe from trees, National Geographic wrote in 2001.

    This last link only underlines my feelings with regard to Christmas and the war upon


    Each individual Christian chooses to celebrate the bring-back of the sun to our world! That is why Jesus really represents the Sun of God!

    And this feller decided that the best way to welcome in the New Renewal of the Sun was to shoot at a mistletoe.

    I mean, what could be more logical than that?

    Well I have always desired an opportunity to shoot down a Mistletoe.

    What the hell is the problem here?

    I could just descend to some snark about shooting oneself in the foot or parts thereof!

    But I am much more a part of the intelligentsia than that!

    Okay, so why do we celebrate the birth of our Savior (Savior from what? I mean savior from our mortality or our hunger or our thirst or our pain derived from cable news?)

    There is evidence that Jesus was born sometime in March. I mean, He was supposed to be a Springy kind of guy?

    We may even come to some conclusion that Autumn had something to do with all of this:

    There is additional proof that Jesus was born in the fall of the year. The census of Quirinius that required Joseph to travel from Galilee to Bethlehem would most probably have taken place after the fall harvest when people were more able to return to their ancestral homes (Luke 2:1-5). Besides, it was customary in Judea to do their tax collecting during this period, as the bulk of a farmer's income came at this time.

    The fall is the time I get to gather the best corn cobs and tomatoes and apples and such at my local grocery for chrissakes!

    But we celebrate the Winter Solstice as the birth day of Jesus—within a few days or so anyway!

    How Christmas Day Was Decided: In 360 A.D. Emperor Constantine, follower of Mithras, converted to Christianity after seeing a vision of a cross of light against the sun with a sign that said By this sign shall you conquer. He conquered Rome, established Christianity as the state religion, and declared December 25th the birthday of Christ.

    Ah Mithras, who could forget Mithras?

    Well, I was just sitting in my PJ's and thinking:

    Hell, MYTHRAS!

    We all live with some consolation from the messages rendered upon us through our MYTHS. Bill Clinton was the first Black President and W. Bush was the first compassionate conservative!

    But this silliness has nothing to do with love and renewal and brotherhood and sisterhood and wonder and humanity.

    Myths should represent hope, and faith and charity and longings long lost and fairy tales and legends and symbols.

    And there is nothing wrong, at least to me, in celebrating the date of Mythra's birth.

    Nothing at all.

    So I shall never make a war upon Xmas.

    What the hell would Macy's or Gimbels ever do without Xmas?

    Hey, the Dow is up like 500 points since Black Friday. I have a bank to protect my $674 a month. I have a warm place to live; protecting me from the outside wind-chill of -15 Fahrenheit. I receive at least two comments on every blog I publish. I have come to believe that the sun will remain in the sky three extra minutes every single day following the Solstice.

    We have a Black President for the first time in history; and he is no appeaser! (If you do not believe me just read some blogs written by Greenwald!)

    I have $17 in food stamps that I can use tomorrow to purchase coffee and cream and some sausage (which I should not eat).

    And although it appears that the Sun shall forever abandon our planet on account of its Sodom and Gomorrah like tinges; I have good evidence that soon, the Sun shall maintain its arc longer and longer from a temporal point of view.

    This is a time for renewal and hope regardless of the Gingrinches who may appear upon the national stage!

    What wonderful times we are about to experience!



    Previous attempt at this essay can be found @


    May you always receive.....

    at least two comments.  And an early Merry damned Christmas. 

    I was going to write a bog,

    Put Christ back into (fill in the blank). But now I don't have to do so. 


    Your driving.

    Your Mother-in-Law

    Your neighbor's dog. 


    Your neighbor's dog.

    Is this what you had in mind?


    Now that reminds me of one mother in law anyway!

    I had three mothers in law.

    Catastrophic to say the least!

    I forgot, you asked me for something:

    Thank you kind sir. The reason I can relate to you so well is that we are tied in the mother-in-law department. 

    Joy to the world, Richard, my friend.  You've given me great gifts over the years I've known you, and now you've given me Enya.  (And is there anyone more adorable on the planet than Zooey?  I love that New Girl!) 

    I hate that you have to use your food stamps to buy overpriced coffee.  There is no reason for it to cost so much.  Remember when we could buy Eight O'Clock three pounds for a dollar?  I blame it on Starbucks.  They came up with the idea of charging more than $2 for a lousy cup of what is nothing more than coffee-flavored mud, thereby putting wicked, copy-cat notions in those useless heads over at Folgers and Maxwell House, and now look where we are. 

    But a word of warning:  It is not kosher to use Xmas for Christmas.  The Christian word-police will be all over you.  I know from experience.  I used it in a Merry Xmas column once and got the most hate mail I ever got.  So much for Season's Greetings.

    Oh Merry Christmas to you!

    It is funny how an x can really piss some people off even when used stylistically but some of your critics, I would bet, love to sit by the fireplace listening to Barack the Magic Negro. hahaa

    I forget about Enya and then hear her as some movie background and I am back in the groove! She is on my play list for the rest of this month.

    Those Christians don't know what they're talking about. X (or Chi) has been used as an abbreviation for Christ for a thousand years - Snopes. A priest told me that he and his scholastic classmates always used X in their notes: X, Xian, Xianity, etc. Similarly, I used FLLW or Corb in my notes.

    I'm a Solstice kind of girl myself, but I do enjoy watching Christmas being celebrated by the many. Love all the twinkly lights and seeing kid's faces light up when Santa (who is real, by the way) goes "Ho, ho, ho!"  Plus, I know the words to all the songs!

    Merry Solstice to you, Mr. Day!



    Same to you Flower and thanks for a little of Jethro!

    This time of year always reminds us of the power of myth to sooth this mortal coil   Every day, and especially on Sunday, the television explains to me in great detail that Jesus and his Father want me to be happy, which is to say financially secure and free to shop as is my wont.  When I was writing another check for a $1000 seed to a very nice man I saw last Sunday on channel 3 ( he reminds me of the salesman who sold me a used Chevy Nova back  in 1978 - great car) I was reminded of how a friend likes to put this whole business: "Reality is for people who can not afford drugs."  Thank you Jesus.

    My new wife and I settle on a VW bug.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Solstice to you Larry!

    Been awhile!

    I have absolutely no reason to append this Public Service Notice here, other than the fact that it is a Larry H comment upon a Dick D blog, and thus, seems entirely fitting.

    Merry Christmas, Boys!

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah seamen. hahahahaha

    You snuck this in and I missed it. hahahaahha

    Ah you see? I've stayed away for several months in the hope that upon my return I would no longer be dragged into exchanges like this one.  I feel like St. Joseph, my patron saint, feels at Christmastime.  He was the husband of the mother but not the father of the child.  St. Joseph is the one man in history for whom Christmas is not an unalloyed cause for celebration.  And so it is with me and the internets.  And another thing.  I don't know who this unverified contributor is but he/she/it reminds me of someone who once upon a time during internet exchanges convinced me to make a big investment in celery production and many other useless notions. 

    Gentleman buys a Chevy Nova off some tinman - and blames ME for selling him perfectly good celery! 

    WITH detailed instructions on how to use, I might add. 

    Which he might do well to RE-read, in order to give hisself a Christmas full of good cheer, turkey, and quality bowel movements.

    Your friend,

    - Q-uality.

    Because of the axial tilt of the Earth, the amount of sunlight reaching any given point on the surface varies over the course of the year. This results in seasonal change in climate, with summer in the northern hemisphere occurring when the North Pole is pointing toward the Sun, and winter taking place when the pole is pointed away. During the summer, the day lasts longer and the Sun climbs higher in the sky. In winter, the climate becomes generally cooler and the days shorter.

    The angle of the Earth's tilt is relatively stable over long periods of time. The tilt does undergo nutation; a slight, irregular motion with a main period of 18.6 years. The orientation (rather than the angle) of the Earth's axis also changes over time, precessing around in a complete circle over each 25,800 year cycle; this precession is the reason for the difference between a sidereal year and a tropical year. Both of these motions are caused by the varying attraction of the Sun and Moon on the Earth's equatorial bulge. From the perspective of the Earth, the poles also migrate a few meters across the surface. This polar motion has multiple, cyclical components, which collectively are termed quasiperiodic motion. In addition to an annual component to this motion, there is a 14-month cycle called the Chandler wobble. The rotational velocity of the Earth also varies in a phenomenon known as length of day variation.

    Of course, eventually the Sun, as part of its evolution, will become a red giant in about 5 Gyr. Models predict that the Sun will expand out to about 250 times its present radius, roughly 1 AU (150,000,000 km). As a red giant, the Sun will lose roughly 30% of its mass, so, without tidal effects, the Earth will move to an orbit 1.7 AU (250,000,000 km) from the Sun when the star reaches it maximum radius. The planet was therefore initially expected to escape envelopment by the expanded Sun's sparse outer atmosphere, though most, if not all, remaining life would have been destroyed by the Sun's increased luminosity (peaking at about 5000 times its present level).A 2008 simulation indicates that Earth's orbit will decay due to tidal effects and drag, causing it to enter the red giant Sun's atmosphere and be vaporized.

    Merry Christmas - a time to celebrate the Chandler Wobble.

    Even with periodic battery exchanges, even Dick Cheney will not last long enough to witness the Red Giant!

    Happy Solstice Trope!

    Merry Christmas to you as well. The temporal displacement of the actual birthdate of Christ and the current celebration date is well known. In fact publications like Biblical Archeological Review present such data on the regular basis.

    Christian churches are adopting families to provide food, clothing and other gifts this season. They know that there is psychological benefit to insuring that children do not feel neglected as their peers celebrate X-mas  with toys, so they provide them. They o not force the poor to listen to sermons to receive the gifts.

    Many churches take to heart the message that "Christmas Is Not Your Birthday", and try to comfort their neighbors. Families will be given gifts and fed to celebrate the holiday. The church kitchens will be open to feed the poor on the day after Christmas as the church work goes on.

    Rush Limbaugh is a showman catering to an audience that hates Obama. There is nothing Christian in his message or that of Bachmann. They are both playing a very divisive game of politics, not practicing Christianity. They both ignore the teachings about how the poor are to be treated. Limbaugh bears false witness repeatedly.

    Some Christian must have done something horrible to you in the past. I apologize for what was done.

    The temporal displacement of the actual birthdate of Christ and the current celebration date is well known. In fact publications like Biblical Archeological Review present such data on the regular basis.

    You know, your mention of this in the context of the rest of your point in your comment inspired me to think about this: the attempt by the church to change northern humankind's Solstice celebrations into a Christian holyday has been a pretty big failure. It's been many many centuries now and people still seem to want to make it into a holiday with which to cheer themselves up with light, warmth, merriment and Bacchic excess during the the darkest and coldest time of the year. Overall, seems only a small minority wholeheartedly make it a day/time of Christian charity; if they do add some of that to their celebration, they do it because they have been "guilted" into it. One thing that does seem to happen with a majority is that people are more polite and cheery in their social interactions, which makes me think that feature was part of many of the original Solstice celebrations, rather than a feature added by the attempt to pre-empt the day as Christ's.

    As I noted, "Christmas spirit" is seen in many churches during the regular week as the poor are fed, drug counseling offered, housing provided, etc. I just happen to see a more active church than you. During Katrina, church groups responded faster than the US Government.

    I think many Christians who celebrate X-mas also participate in the Christmas spirit by sponsoring families, making monetary donations, or donations of food and clothing, etc.

    I didn't say no one celebrated it according to the Christian pre-emption of the day, I said it didn't appear to be successful in obliterating the pagan tradition with the majority. After all. many of the merrymakers still sing of Good King Wenceslas while making merry. Still, some charitable giving traditions of the season often seem to have some ulterior, non-Christian motive in their background tradition, like Boxing Day originating as sort of tip or bribe regarding good service from the working classes, undermining the "selfless charity" concept of the St. Stephen's day precursor.

    I certainly agree that the "pagan" message of Coca-Cola's Santa Claus rules the day. Pagan messages supporting slavery, suppressing women and homophobia also were part of "Christian" tradition, if you didn't pay attention to the Biblical fine print. Societal pressures lead to political expediency and perversion of Biblical text. What would Jesus buy?

    The bulk of the work of a church gets done by a relatively small group of people. The bulk of the Civil Rights movement was accomplished by a small number of people. The pushback against viewing corporations as people is being done by a small group of people. Welcome to the human condition a.k.a. inertia.


    I really did not write this as a slam against Christianity or Christmas.

    I certainly meant it as a slam against pretended Christians like Bachmann and rush...

    But I love Christmas.


    People seem to smile more, the violence on tV seems to abate a little bit anyway...

    No I like Christmas fine!

    Sorry, it seemed to be carrying a different message. Note the tone of the post below yours. Bachmann and Limbaugh are no more representative of Christians then Herman Cain is of African-American voters. Yes, Bachmann and Cain get to voice their opinions, but they are not the gold stand for Christians or African-Americans, respectively.

    Christians on the Left are used to getting bashed by Christians on the Right and non-Christians on the Left, so there is some hyper-sensitivity.

    Oh rmrd, I expect no response, I just do not know where to put this thought.

    I did a blog on this Irvine guy from the Food Channel.

    Well he shows up on some episode of refitting restaurants or some such at a 'soup kitchen'. And here is this 80 year old Christian lady and her assistant who appears to be in her forties.

    And Irvine shows up and just revolutionizes this nothing kitchen.

    I mean he goes to a restaurant supplier and gets about $15,000 worth of kitchen appliances for six grand. Then he redoes the entire dining area so that the poor folks who attended the feast felt like they were in a real restaurant.

    Then the Mayor shows up and lauds him and begs for some help in feeding another 150 poor folks down the road.

    Irvine calls a couple friends and sends them down to the butchers and they bring back ten turkeys and ten hams. The team hits the local food shelves. I know from my own experience that the receivers of this new fortune had not tasted of such a joyous dish as they did following the re-equipped restaurant with added goodies.

    It is just the type of demonstration that brings tears to my eyes--of joy.

    These two Black ladies, were overwhelmed by the fact that they had a four sink corner instead of one sink with a leaky faucet. The duo were overwhelmed with two modern fridges-the fridge is of so much importance in a soup kitchen. They were given a great stretch of stoves and a new counter and a new floor and.....

    This duo had dedicated their lives to a Christian tradition and all they ever wished to do was to provide meals to the really really poor....

    And Irvine with some cajoling and ten grand just changed people's lives.

    That is Christianity as I was taught when I was a kid.

    No I love the true Messages of The Christ and I especially love the work that real Christians perform.

    And all I could think of during this only partially dramatized episode, was wow!

    This is the true Christmas experience!

    Those two women represent the Christian tradition that is familiar to me. It is likely that the percentage of people who identify as Christians will diminish over time in the United States. It will be interesting to see if non-Christian organizations rise up and fill the gap that will be left in some communities as churches close their doors and are no longer performing their unheralded tasks.



    Fastest-growing religious preference in U.S.: unaffiliated.

    May the grace, mercy and peace of our Lord abide with you, now and forever.

    I am not sure what your point might be.Will the unaffiliated step into the void? Will the non-Christians step up?

    It might take a miracle. 

    Still not certain if your statements are in jest or not, but I do believe the service void will go unfilled in the event churches fade away.

    FWIW, I share your concern. For example, I do not know of any soup kitchens that are not affiliated with churches. We atheists really need to step up. (To be clear, I am being 100% sincere, and almost equally hypocritical.)

    A lot of Unitarian Universalist churches have soup kitchens. The UU church I attend with my daughter (she refuses to go to Catholic mass) is about as close to an atheist church as you can find.

    BTW, I worked at a soup kitchen back in the 80s, and some of us were PO'd at this one guy who was trying to shove religion on people that were simply hungry.

    Yes, UU does seem to be an answer, since even my kind are welcome there. (We have one in Charlottesville.)

    One problem is that many atheists and other non-affiliated people choose to eschew churches altogether, and we typically don't replace it with other avenues of social service.

    What goes on at an atheist church? Thought that UU draws from many sources including religious sources like Jewish and Christian faith.

    The one guy that you mention may have been an outlier, Most of the church kitchens I know don't require listening to Scripture or prayer while people eat on church premises.

    UU looks much like any Christian service, except for the blood frenzy. Vegans can choose a soy frenzy.

    In the spirit of the season, I think what we need here is a compromise between the two sides - the Christians and the Haters Atheists. Here's my proposal, and Dick, I'd like to ask for your feedback, if I may.

    Step 1. All atheists and other anti-Christmas-types should step the heck back, and allow Christ to be put back into Christmas. From now on, the holiday is to be known as Christmas, Christmas decorations are to be allowed in the public square, Christmas carols are to be sung in school as well as church, and there'll be no more hog-wash about "Seasons Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" or any of that bullshit.

    After all, it's CHRIST'S BIRTHDAY - get used to it you pathetically envious little pagan pricks.

    Step 2. We all agree on one thing we'll do together this Christmas. Namely, FEED THE POOR. Therefore, every December 24th, we take a census of the poor people in our cities and towns. Then, we slaughter, stuff, baste and bake enough Christians to feed the poor, and their children. Even the obese ones.

    I think it's fair to measure poverty at 150% of the formal poverty line, after receipt of public welfare, food stamps, cash and in-kind transfers. Seems to me this will create one hell of an incentive for Christians not to be such total fuckwads about government anti-poverty programs. 

    And may God bless us * munch munch * every one.

    * Hey Mom! Pass the white meat! *

    * Hey Mom! Pass the white people meat! *


    Yeah, we get two Thanksgivings within a month of each other.

    Christians like to flaunt it I will admit by purchasing a ham in place of a turkey to be sure.

    But I like Christmas. i always liked Christmas. I like the songs and the festivities and the presents. I think food shelves fill up over these holidays. I think people are more giving and forgiving--except when stuck on highways during rush hour of course!

    There are wonderful Christians in this country to be sure and I have personally met agnostics who are horses' asses. And vice-versa.

    I have not completely lost my soul.

    I do refuse to ever view It's a Wonderful Life again, (although it kind of hits repubs hard on the mortgage issues) but I will cry at some santa movies.

    At any rate:




    Merry Christmas!  




    And may God bless us

    alternately:"Fuck'em all, every last one", cackled the befuddled Tiny Tim, meanwhile laying his crutch  about his sister's head and shoulders   with commendable vigor.

    Well this is almost enough to make me Jolly!


    The visual puts me unavoidably in mind of the adage " Every time a bell rings, a cuckold gets his horns..."  I think that's how it goes....

    The joy of celebrating a godless Christmas by Torie Bosch,

    just published Dec. 12, 2011 at 7:30am ET, yet currently it has reached #2 on the list of the most read articles on Slate since at least 2003.

    Well thanks for another fine link.

    Viewing a classical High Mass on Christmas Eve or catching Jethro Tull at some gig...

    wonderful experiences!

    Families getting together to exchange presents and pleasantries and memories is a beautiful thing to behold.

    Christmas is a good thing; a wonderful thing.

    It seems that the goal of the Godless Christmas in the article is consumer consumption. The guilt-filled Christian Christmas message does suggest service to the poor. I think I'll go with the guilt :)

    Latest Comments