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Here are three musical challenges for the Christmas season:

  1. It’s regularly sung as a popular Christmas Carol – but actually has little if anything to do with Christmas.  It does not include a single detail from the story of Jesus’ birth: no stable, no shepherds, no wise men; no Mary or Joseph; no little town of Bethlehem or choirs of angels or silent nights.   Can you name the Carol?
  • In Doylestown PA, Victoria is planning to sing with the Unitarian Fellowship choir for the holidays.  Given so many freethinking liberal members, the choir is unable to agree on a Christmas Carol which does not offend the sensibilities of at least one member.   They finally settle on a popular Carol.  Which one is it?
  • Some of the ancient Carols appear to have been generated at the time when Catholic Gregorian chant was being replaced to the 1-2-3-4 musical style of the new Protestant denominations.  How many Christmas or Advent Carols can you think of which reveal this changeover from Gregorian chant to today’s musical fashion?

ETHICS CORNER: You are the judge deciding how to prioritize the new pandemic vaccinations in your state. What is your fairest way of doing so among:

  • Important government officials
  • the elderly
  • those who have already had the virus
  • children
  • frontline medical workers
  • prisoners
  • minorities

VA NEWS: A website on PTSD claims that the average rating is 70%; veterans can be rated from 0 to 100% with breaks at 10 – 30 – 50 – 70.   About 800,000 veterans have a PTSD rating.

OVERSTAYING YOUR WELCOME?   Complaining that certain elected representatives have too much longevity, one website complains of the following: Senators –

  • Leahy – 40 years
  • Hatch– 38 years
  • Mikulski – 38 years
  • Schumer – 34 years
  • McConnell – 30 years
  • Cochran – 42 years
  • Grassley – 34 years

CANADA’S FORGOTTEN CAPITAL    Archaeology Magazine reveals the interesting story of a short-lived Canadian capital in Montréal.

JEWISH SURVIVORS STRANDED IN GERMANY.   The Last Million by David Nasaw tells the story of German Jews who survived the Nazi extermination efforts.  After liberation, many felt they had nowhere to go – “nobody was waiting for us anywhere.  We were alone and abandoned.”


 National Law Journal 

 Commentary: Abbe Lowell Responds to Questions Around Clemency Case, Calls for Defense of Lawyers (“Let’s kill the lawyers,” Lowell writes. His work for the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, along with a clemency request he made for another client, has raised some suspicion. He says people are quicker to assume the worst motives more so now than in any time in the decades he’s worked in Washington.”)

New York Law Journal 

 Jury Trials Halted in NY’s Federal Western District Until February at Earliest (“Both criminal and civil in-person appearances are halted through Feb. 24 as well, except if the appearance ‘is deemed essential by the presiding or referral judge,’ according to the order.”)

Mukasey Joins in Call for Clemency to Undo Convict’s ‘Topsy-Turvy Result’ (“More than 130 former federal judges, former U.S. attorneys and law professors, including Michael Mukasey, former U.S. attorney general and Southern District of New York judge, requested clemency for Daniela Gozes-Wagner.”)

The Legal Intelligencer 

 Pa. Judge Sanctions Lawyer for Coaching Witness During Video Deposition (“Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas Judge James Gibbons referred attorney Patrick Carey to the state disciplinary board and ordered him to reimburse—out of pocket—all counsel in the case for filings related to his motion to dismiss the lawsuit.”)

Daily Report 

 Ga. Chief Justice Warns Judges Who Conduct Jury Trials to ‘Remain Vigilant’ About COVID-19 (“Georgia’s chief justice cautioned judges to be prepared to suspend jury trials and grand juries if COVID-19 rates continue to rise.”)

Federal Judge Eyes Injunction Mandating COVID-19 Measures at Clayton County Jail (“A parade of witnesses, including current and former inmates, recounted tales of being denied face masks, soap or sanitizer as they were crammed together, often three to a two-man cell.”)

Northern District of Georgia Suspends Jury Trials Through February as COVID-19 Spreads (“The order is U.S. District Chief Judge Thomas Thrash’s ninth curtailing court operations because of the pandemic”)

Daily Business Review   

No More Miami-Dade Jury Trials Until Next Year, Thanks to COVID-19 Spike (“‘I think it’s really important to know that, even though it looks like our doors are closed, they’ve been open since April 1,’ Miami-Dade Circuit Chief Judge Bertila Soto said.”)

The Recorder   

California Federal Courthouses Limit Operations Amid COVID-19 Surge (“Federal courts in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego put in place renewed procedures in response to shelter in place orders and record-breaking COVID-19 infections.”)

NY Times

Arizona Man Who Conspired to Threaten Journalists Gets 16 Months in Prison (“Johnny Roman Garza, 21, working with a neo-Nazi group, researched home addresses for potential targets and put up a threatening poster at the home of a journalist, prosecutors said.”)

Los Angeles Times 

Man who was serving 90-year marijuana sentence is released from Florida prison (“While he served a 90-year prison sentence for selling marijuana, Richard DeLisi’s wife died, as did his 23-year-old son and both his parents. His adult daughter was in a horrific car accident and suffered a paralyzing stroke as a result. He never met two granddaughters — a lifetime of missed memories.”)

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