FROM Willy Raymond
The Commercialization of Christmas With Christmas less than a week away, a lot of people are thinking about the hype, the commercialization and the consequent loss of Christian meaning. There are campaigns afoot to discourage Christmas shopping altogether. In this week's New Yorker magazine, James Surowiecki suggests a kind of compromise: "We might actually be happier--and we'd certainly be wealthier--if we exchanged small, well-considered gifts rather than haunting the malls." Is it more about material expectations and competition than good fellowship or Christian love? If we bought nothing at Christmas would spirituality be restored? Is Christmas too commercial or not commercial enough? We hear several shades of a familiar argument.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.