Meanwhile, back at the front…-

Meanwhile, back at the front…
- The Times of London reports that the shoe boy, whatever his name turns out to be, “worshipped” in the same mosque with none other than Zacarias Moussaoui, now under indictment in America as the “20th hijacker” who was too stupid to make it on board on Sept. 11. Good enough for me. The Times also quotes the leader of the Brixton mosque as saying that the shoe boy was “incapable of acting alone and was probably on a test mission for a new terrorist technique when he apparently tried to detonate C4 plastic explosive packed into his shoes on American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami last Saturday,”

Douse the yule log and get back to war.

Friggin’ Frogs
- Sorry for the francophotic smear but what bozos they are for letting shoe boy on a flight Saturday after rejecting him Friday. The Times reports they even put him up in a four-star hotel.

A Christmas gift
- I came home tonight, at midnight, from my Christmas Eve services — one for the children, who make this all so worthwhile; the other with candlelight, lessons, and carols that I sing gamely but badly. It is Christmas as last.

It hasn’t felt much like Christmas in New York lately; it has been too warm, too sad, and too strange. I was counting on these services to cure that and they started the treatment. Then I came home to do my elfen duties, delighted to stack up my kids’ presents, all the happiness they’ll be unwrapping in the morning. And that continued the treatment. It is Christmas at last.

But it’s still a different Christmas for so many reasons. Among them: This year, my wife and I decided not to exchange gifts and convinced our parents to refrain as well; we just didn’t feel like malling it. So I wasn’t expecting any gifts.

And then I got a quite unexpected gift, a wonderful one from a fellow blogger, Thomas Nephew, the proprietor of Newsrack. I had made reference in the post-cum-sermon below and in an email exchange to a Christmas Eve message from a concentration camp delivered by Martin Niemˆller [via at Die Zeit] that I had been trying to translate (I speak German about as well as I sing in a choir: not well).

And I came home tonight to find Thomas’ complete and eloquent translation of the Niemˆller sermon awaiting me in my email.

I can’t tell you how much this gift meant to me. That he would go to this effort is emblematic of the community of close strangers I’ve found myself in here in Blogdom. Three months ago, I didn’t know Thomas Nephew or Ken Layne or the vacationing Matt Welch or Reid Stott or Charles Johnson or Glenn Reynolds or Will Vehrs or Tim Blair or Oliver Willis or Andrew Hofer or Rossi. And now I count them as colleagues and friends. Now one of them — one of this true community — went out of his way on what is surely a busy Christmas Eve to translate this long sermon for a stranger. Thank you Thomas.

Merry Christmas

And G’bless us, every one.