Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa Undercover, Russia Will Also Approve SALT Treaty, Merry Christmas

Paul Krugman
Lloyd Grove

"We should never assume malice when ignorance remains a possibility." - Paul Krugman

Even though NORAD keeps a Santa watch every year, in some places Santa has been striking early. He sees you when you are sleeping. He knows if you are awake. He knows if you are a member of the Sicilian Mafia, and he will bust you, for heaven's sake!!! From Spiegal comes this modern Christmas tale: "Santa Claus can do it all: deliver presents, climb down chimneys, fly through the Christmas sky in his sleigh. And, as it happens, he can also make arrests. On Thursday, he busted a suspected member of the Sicilian mafia.

Santa Claus, as every child is aware, knows if you've been naughty or nice. In Italy, apparently, Santa also knows if you are a member of the mafia. And he might arrest you if you're not careful.

That, at least, would appear to be the lesson of a rather unusual arrest in the Sicilian town of Catania. A policeman dressed in a Santa Claus outfit was part of a Thursday sting operation to apprehend a suspected member of the appropriately named Santapaola mafia clan. The 37-year-old suspect was nabbed as he came out of a store where he was thought to have collected monthly protection money. The store's owner had allegedly been forced to pay €260 per month for the past 10 years.
The suspected mafioso had been under observation for several weeks. The undercover Santa was waiting in the parking lot carrying a basket full of sweets -- which he carefully placed on the roof of the suspect's car as he made the arrest.

According to media accounts of the arrest, the shopkeeper gave Santa a big hug following the arrest."

The latest notification from Homeland Security to our airport screeners, is to be alert and check out coffee thermoses, especially ones that are empty... If you'll recall that last year's would-be bomber had the home-brew taped to his genitals, and only succeeded in giving himself some very bad burns. The explosive came from the same batch used by the shoe-bomber from several years earlier, which told us that, despite they hysteria surrounding the incident, that the Yemen cell of al-Qaeda was using old explosives and primitive technology. Now that we have every body orifice covered, so to speak, our Christmas should be quiet and uneventful, full of bad football games, and the station that carries nothing but the Yule log burning... just in case, if you are traveling, leave the thermos of hot, buttered rum back at the house...

Russia is rushing to do their part in ratifying the START treaty, it has just passed in the lower House, and has only Parliament's approval. which should come early next week. Dmitry Medvedev applauded the US's approving the treaty. For any Republicans reading, the nuclear non-proliferation treaty was considered on of Ronald Reagan's crowning achievements and one that he was most proud of. It's one of a few tangible things that keeps us from sliding back into a Cold War up, a test ban treaty...

John McCain and John Kyl were the two most vocal opponents to the treaty, with McCain's objection being: "The New START Treaty was supposed to deal solely with strategic offensive weapons. It does not. It re-establishes an old and outdated linkage between nuclear arms and missile defense, which is no longer suited to the threats of today's world. I remain concerned that the Treaty in its final form could still be used by Russia to limit the development, deployment, and improvement of U.S. missile defense. I will work tirelessly in the years ahead to ensure that this never happens."

We are having a quiet Christmas here in Colorado. It maybe freezing everywhere else, but the weather is surprisingly mild here in the shadow of Pike's Peak. Books, music, and some fresh baked cookies are on tonight's agenda. We usually dread the holidays, fearing that our younger brother has figured out where we live and will try to contact us. He is a sociopath, who lived over 20 years in my parent's garage with two large dogs. We think he had something to do with the death of our youngest brother. My father refused to have an autopsy performed because he didn't want to know the exact cause, either. 

After my mother came down with diabetes, she feared that he was putting sugar in her dinner, and was just about to move out of the house when she passed away. What actually killed her was lung cancer from chain smoking for too many years. My brother was supposed to take care of my father after he had surgery, and his condition stabilized afterwards. I wanted my dad put into a nursing home because I didn't trust my brother, but my dad preferred to be in familiar surroundings. He died less than 10 hours after being discharged from the hospital, while my brother claims that he was asleep. It could be all a coincidence, if my brother hadn't threatened to kill me, too. So, I hope that his bad health will take its toll and he will be the next one in our family to pass away and taken by the dark angel, because I'm not sure how I would react if he suddenly appeared at our door. I believe in forgiveness, I don't know if I can practice it...

And I've never told any of my friends the extent of our family's dysfunction, only my sister, her husband, and myself have shared all of the stories surrounding our psychokiller brother. We'd like to see him behind bars, but we have even less respect for the police, especially those in the city of Torrance, who are both incompetent and corrupt. Merry Christmas...

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