12/21/2014 archive

Rant of the Week: Stephen Colbert – The First and Last Word – Truthiness

Stephen Colbert hosted his last “The Colbert Report” on December 18. His first “The Word” was “Truthiness” which in 2006 became Merriam Webster’s “Word of the Year.”

As expected, there were a few surprises in store for us as we pored through your submissions for our first Word of the Year online survey. Either the vast majority of you out there in the Merriam-Webster online community are big fans of The Colbert Report, or Time Magazine was right on target when it honored the show’s host Stephen Colbert earlier this year as one of the most influential people of 2006. By an overwhelming 5 to 1 majority vote, our visitors have awarded top honors to a word Colbert first introduced on “The Word” segment of his debut broadcast on Comedy Central back in October 2005. Soon after, this word was chosen as the 16th annual Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society, and defined by them as “the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.”

Beauty Is Truthiness, Truthiness Beauty …

… that is all ye know on earth, and if ye need to know anything else, Stephen Colbert, 42, will tell ye what to think. On Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report (silent t, both words), he plays a vain, blustery political pundit, and neither politics nor punditry emerges unscathed. In the first episode, he coined the term truthiness to embody his belief that facts are far less important than what you want to be true. “You don’t look up truthiness in a book,” he declared. “You look it up in your gut.”

Truthiness resonated beyond Colbert’s satire in an era of phony memoirs and reality TV. And to people who feel the Administration chooses gut (and spin) over facts, his acerbic speech “praising” the President at the White House correspondents’ dinner became pop legend. Citing Bush’s cratering job-approval rating, the in-character Colbert argued, “Does that not also logically mean that 68% of Americans approve of the job he’s not doing?” Whatever you’re doing, or not doing, Mr. Colbert, keep it up.

So to honor Stephen’s departure from Comedy Central and the end of “The Colbert Report”, our “Rant of the Week” presents his first and last words.

The Word – Truthiness

The Word – Same to You, Pal

Because We Need A Little Christmas

Too much bad news, so here are some of the best Christmas Light Shows brought to you by some ambitious folks with huge electric bills and lots of time on their hands. With a h/t to Suzie Madrak who posted the the Star Wars light show at Crooks and Liars that led me to the others. And in case you can afford the electric bill and have the ambition and too much time on your hands, here is the link the video, How to Make Christmas Lights Flash to Music.

Post your favorite holiday music. Merry Yule, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus and Merry Christmas, too all.

Best of Star Wars Music Christmas Lights Show 2014 – Featured on Great Christmas Light Fight!

Amazing and Hiliarious Best Christmas Light Show 2014 – Can Can (Straight No Chaser)

Carol of the Bells – Best Christmas Light Show! WATCH END! Sarajevo – Trans-Siberian Orchestra)

On This Day In History December 21

December 21 is the 355th day of the year (356th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 10 days remaining until the end of the year. This is a frequent day for the winter solstice to occur in the northern hemisphere and summer solstice to occur in the southern hemisphere.

On this day in 1968, Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders aboard.

Apollo 8 was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to planet Earth from another celestial body-Earth’s Moon. The three-man American crew of mission Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders became the first humans to directly see the far side of the Moon, as well as the first humans to see planet Earth from beyond low Earth orbit. The 1968 mission was accomplished with the first manned launch of a Saturn V rocket. Apollo 8 was the second manned mission of the Apollo program and the first manned launch from the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

Originally planned as a second Lunar Module/Command Module test in an elliptical medium Earth orbit in early 1969, the mission profile was changed in August 1968 to a more ambitious Command Module-only lunar orbital flight to be flown in December, because the Lunar Module was not ready to make its first flight then. This meant Borman’s crew was scheduled to fly two to three months sooner than originally planned, leaving them a shorter time for training and preparation, thus placing more demands than usual on their time and discipline.

After launching on December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 took three days to travel to the Moon. It orbited ten times over the course of 20 hours, during which the crew made a Christmas Eve television broadcast in which they read the first 10 verses from the Book of Genesis. At the time, the broadcast was the most watched TV program ever. Apollo 8’s successful mission paved the way for Apollo 11 to fulfill U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The only announced guest on Sunday’s “This Week” is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

The roundtable guests are: former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D): Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol; Republican strategist Ana Navarro; and ABC News’ Cokie Roberts.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D- MD); and Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg.

His panel guests are all CBS correspondents: Nancy Cordes; David Martin; John Dickerson;, Margaret Brennan; Major Garrett; and Jan Crawford.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd:Sunday’s “MTP” guests are: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Bush administration Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff; former National Counterterrorism Center director Michael Leiter; and former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ambassador Christopher Hill.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: After 27 years, veteran political correspondent Candy Crowley is leaving the network, the guest for her final show are: Pres. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

For her last panel, the guests are  Newt Gingrich, Donna Brazile, LZ Granderson and Amy Walter.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Gunman kills two New York police officers

21 December 2014 Last updated at 06:33


A gunman has shot dead two police officers sitting inside a patrol car in New York before killing himself.

The head of the New York police said the men had been “targeted for their uniform”. The gunman then ran into a subway station where he shot himself.

Earlier he had shot and injured his ex-girlfriend and had posted anti-police messages on social media.

President Barack Obama – who is on holiday in Hawaii – said he condemned the killings unconditionally.

“Officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day,” he said in a statement.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Pakistan dares to ask: will school attack finally end myth of the ‘good Taliban’?

Banda Aceh ten years on: A decade after the tsunami, the province is slowly rebuilding itself

West’s sanctions on Russia bite, but backlash could hurt

Cuba harbours one of US’s most wanted fugitives, Assata Shakur

Tunisians set to vote in landmark elections

The Breakfast Club (Memphis Moon)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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Breakfast Tune: Mean Mary “Memphis Moon” (live session)

Today in History

Pilgrims land in Plymouth Massachuesttes; Pan Am flight 747 explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland; Apollo 8 lifts off on first manned mission to the Moon; Actress Jane Fonda is born. (Dec. 21)

Breakfast News & Blogs Below

Winter Solstice 2014: Here Comes the Sun

Winter Solstice Stonehenge photo imagesqtbnANd9GcTLcoK78AK7wXNH8GyBo_zpsbd4b1e0a.jpg The shortest day, the longest night, for those of us who reside in the Northern climes Winter Solstice is here. The sun reaches is most Southern destiny and touches for but a moment, the Tropic of Capricorn and immediately reverses her course. That moment will occur on Dec. 21 at 6:03 p.m. EST.

The Winter Solstice is a special night for those who practice the craft and has a rich history from many cultures. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel. It is one of the eight holidays, or Sabbats, that are held sacred by Wiccans and Pagans around the world. In Celtic traditions it is the battle between the young Oak King and the Holly King:

the Oak King and the Holly King are seen as dual aspects of the Horned God. Each of these twin aspects rules for half the year, battles for the favor of the Goddess, and then retires to nurse his wounds for the next six months, until it is time for him to reign once more.

Often, these two entities are portrayed in familiar ways – the Holly King frequently appears as a woodsy version of Santa Claus. He dresses in red, wears a sprig of holly in his tangled hair, and is sometimes depicted driving a team of eight stags. The Oak King is portrayed as a fertility god, and occasionally appears as the Green Man or other lord of the forest.

The re-enactment of the battle is popular in some Wiccan rituals.

As we prepare for the longest night, we decorate our homes with red, green and white, holly, ivy, evergreen and pine cones. We honor the solar year with light. We place candles in the windows facing the North, South, East and West to ward off the darkness and celebrate the return of the sun/ With the setting sun, fires are lit in hearths and fire pits and kept burning to keep us warm until Sol returns at dawn.

There is food a plenty, roasts and stews and winter vegetables and sweets, chocolate and peppermint candy, apples and oranges and sweet breads. All these reminding us of the last harvest, the gifts of Gaia, Mother Earth and the hunts by Hern of the Wild Hunt. Of course there will be honeyed and spiced wine and hearty, dark beers, some made by friends who will join the festivities.

What ever your beliefs, or none, may the traditions and celebrations bring you peace and joy. Blessed Be. The Wheel Turns.