Every day we are told we must cut government spending, and it’s true. We must. Our nation and our state face massive deficits. Something has to give. But if we cut too deeply, so ghastly afraid to instead increase taxes on the wealthy, we will do deep damage to those most basic ways in which an enlightened society looks after its children. [...] We can give our children the gift of greater safety the NRA way — start packing, everybody — but it won’t work. We need greater gun control, not less.The Washington Post:
Or we can give our children the gift of a society that is fairer and more compassionate, our frankincense and myrrh. We can create a nation that works against violence from the ground up.
The people in Newtown, Conn. , are in one of those times when the true meaning of the Christmas holiday is felt and expressed by all people of the community, regardless of faith, wealth or social standing. It is a time for coming together and for understanding and consideration, for seeking whatever solace can be had. It is a time not only for joy to the world but also for hope that there is truth in the words found further on in the Book of Matthew: “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”The Hartford Courant:
Yet even in the darkness, there is — and always has been — another side to Christmas. It involves something other than decking the halls, wishing everyone good cheer, and happily celebrating with family and friends. It has to do with finding solace in sad times.Adam Clark Estes at The Atlantic brings one glimmer of good news from Newtown:
As the 17th-century Advent hymn, paraphrasing the prophet Isaiah, puts it:
Comfort, comfort ye my people
Speak ye peace, thus says our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness
Mourning 'neath their sorrows' load."
Other popular Christmas carols refer to "the gloomy clouds of night," "death's dark shadows," "the weary world" and "life's crushing load." Do they not reflect how Connecticut feels today? Comforting those who sit in darkness can be as much a part of Christmas as gift-giving and merry-making.
The holidays have been rough for the Newtown Police Department, which is why officers from across Connecticut joining forces, so that not a single Newtown officer has to work on Christmas Day. The plan has been kept on the down low for the past few days, since the various police departments are making the effort not for the press but as a gesture of solidarity with their fellow officers. After whispers of the touching gesture from local law enforcement emerged on Twitter over the weekend, however, the Newtown Police Department confirmed the news in an interview with The Atlantic Wire on Monday. "They've been actually non-stop with their aid. It's pretty amazing," said Newtown police spokesperson Sergeant Steve Santucci said of his fellow Connecticut officers. "And tomorrow, they'll be at our assistance so that Newtown [officers] can be home with their families."
But wait there's more. One of the only perks about working on Christmas Day is overtime and holiday pay. Just as they're not doing it for the press, though, many of the officers filling in at Newtown aren't interested in the money, so they're reportedly donating their paychecks to Newtown and Sandy Hill Elementary School charities. At least, those ones that are even accepting payment are. Santucci said that he knew some of the officers were volunteering their time on Tuesday but wasn't able to say who was making donations or how much money would be raised, since the Christmas Day pay would be coming from officers' hometown departments.