We here at the Tribune have observed what has been dubbed "Christmas Spirit Week" this week. There have been days dedicated to wearing Christmas attire, Christmas bling and Christmas colors. Of course, all week, the table in the break room has loaded with Christmas cookies and assorted Christmas snacks.
Here we go again. When the 113th Congress convenes in January, legislators are determined to waste valuable time and energy in yet another futile effort to pass what they refer to as comprehensive immigration reform. Most Americans call it amnesty.
Back in the late 1970s, when the now-legendary Lee Iacocca took the reins at Chrysler, he was reputed to have told the union bosses, "Look, boys, I've got a shotgun to your head. I've got thousands of jobs at seventeen bucks an hour. I've got no jobs at twenty."
As a former Marine Corps combat engineer, I appreciate Army general George S. Patton, Jr. Just before his troops stormed Normandy beaches to help liberate Europe, he gave them a rousing speech. The general reminded them that they had all "admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner . . . and the All-American football players." General Patton's inspirational point? "Americans love a winner."
The saddest Christmas experience I ever had was helping a friend bury her 16-month-old son the day after Christmas. He died on Dec. 22, 1999. I learned about it the next day, late at night, after I finished tucking my youngest daughter, one years old that day, into bed. I went downstairs to check my e-mail, and there it was – he most solemn letter I've ever read, from a distraught friend who knew no other way to get the news out to all of us moms in her stay-at-home mom's group than to send out an e-mail. I ...
When tragic deaths occur under intense media scrutiny, there is often a reflexive grasp at greater meaning. But our pent-up desire to address serious, overarching problems, sometimes leads to a flood of misdirected emotion and protest.
First a disclaimer: The Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2012 should not under any circumstances be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2012. They are as different as red satin cummerbunds and Liar's Dice. Duck liver and Spanish moss. Matched pearl necklaces and motorcycle handlebars.