Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Open Thread

Still dizzy with Eid and Uhuru Day? Please post anything and everything. More stuff to come later tonight. 


Rash said...

January wengine hatuna uhuru day, lol.
I need to request something January, can you craft the argument about "When Will Tanzania going to balance its budget without donors"? I asked this question because it seems that we're spending money left and right sababu it's not our money so who cares.

Anonymous said...

Sikukuu njema Watanzania wote, Kuna hii habari ya watuhumiwa watano wa September 11 kule Guantanamo kukubali makosa kabla ya Preliminary Hearing? Hii imekaaje? Na inasemekana waliingia hio Guilty plea Dec 4? siku ambayo Obama alichaguliwa! Kuna kitu hapa kinaendelea ama kuna mambo utawala wa Bush unahofia kuwekwa wazi? ukichukulia ahadi ya Obama ya kuifunga kambi ya Guantanamo, naona Bush tumbo joto, jee hii kesi itahukumiwa kwa sheria za kimahakama za US?

Anonymous said...

Idd + Uhuru + Weekend = 5days off kwa wafanyakazi Bongo? (WOW!)

@ Kweli, not to be cynical but, is it a coincidence or what? for Gitmo detainees to want to confess and made that statement on nov 4??
And looks like their lawyers ain't in the same page with them? cause the lawyer for one of the detainees said he'll still fight the charges despite his client's confession. something doesn't sound right here.
Really, It seems like a political stunt from the Bush admin.

Guys, I just can't get over the Illinois Gov. who wanted to put Obama's vacated senate seat on SALE!, while he knew that he was under investigation already!, the naivete` is just beyond explaination. Some already saying that he must've a psychological inbalance.

I like the way he was caught, they didn't wait till it's already too late. I wish Bongo yetu ingekuwa hivo.

Anonymous said...

Does the Santa Claus story need a makeover?
By Lisa Fernandez

Mercury News

Posted: 12/12/2008 06:05:02 PM PST

Mason Phoenix, 7, Bailey Phoenix, 7, and Riley Phoenix, 7, read their letters to... ( Maria Avila )«12345»
Holiday Guide
Celebrate the season with gift, food, travel, decoration ideas and more

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Dec 12:
Readers recall fond Santa memories Lissa Phoenix of San Jose hopes to get as much mileage out of the Santa-is-real story as possible.

The 45-year-old mother of four grew up believing Santa Claus was real, sliding down her chimney every Christmas Eve with a bag full of gifts. And so that's what she's telling her 7-year-old triplets, Bailey, Riley and Mason, along with 3-year-old Zoë — for as long as they'll buy the tale.

"Why? — just because," Phoenix says. "Childhood doesn't have to be logical — it's heartfelt. For God's sake, what's wrong with a little fantasy?"

For as long as the myth of Santa Claus has been around, parents have grappled with whether to spill the beans about the jolly man in the red suit, or to

What to tell kids about Santa
shield their children from playground candor in an effort to keep the magic of Christmas alive.

Yet, the swirling controversy persists. Is Santa an elaborate lie that is the ultimate symbol of the holiday's commercialization? Or does he represent the imagination and innocence of childhood that should be preserved until puberty?

It seems as though everyone, from parents to psychologists, has an opinion about Santa. And an abundance of books, blogs and informal chatter about kids, gifts and the guy in the red suit offer passionate arguments both for and against sticking with the traditional Santa story this year.

The backdrop for the current "Great Santa Debate" is especially intense. Macy's launched a multimedia campaign


playing off the famous 1897 newspaper editorial known as "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," which tells an 8-year-old girl that disbelieving in Santa would be as dreary as not believing in fairies.

Then there's the demographic diversity of Silicon Valley, home for people of all sorts of religious beliefs, many of whom don't celebrate Christmas.

And further confounding the matter this season is the economy, which may prevent "Santa" from being able to afford the usual bounty of toys. Do you tell your children that Santa's been laid off, too?

Phoenix and her partner, Skyler Phoenix, 45, have the tight pocketbook part all worked out.

The couple — who celebrate a quiet, family Christmas in front of the tree with their kids in their jammies — concocted a story about a letter from Santa. In it, he warns the kids that he may have to cut back on gifts because so many babies were born this year.

"Of course, my kids bought it hook, line and sinker," Lissa Phoenix says. "They've even taken a socialist approach. They know they'll have to share toys with other kids around the world."

Another mother heard about the idea for this "letter" and wanted a copy of it to show her children as "proof." Though Phoenix never actually wrote out the letter, she's heard this mother is typing up one herself.

That's exactly the kind of fibbing Alameda author Dawn Fry urges parents to avoid.

A former child care director, Fry wrote the piece "Old Saint Nick Needs a Modern Makeover: You Better Not Lie, I'm Telling You Why." There, she explains that she's witnessed firsthand the "pain and suffering" experienced by some non-Christian kids when they hear about Santa visiting the homes of "good" children, but not theirs.

And in the multicultural, multiracial, multi-faith Bay Area, Fry says an increasing number of children end up feeling excluded.

"The Santa myth," Fry says, "sets children up for disappointment and self-doubt."

So Fry — who does celebrate Christmas — came up with the "Santa Game," which she says the preschool parents also have embraced. She talked to the kids about the differences between pretend and real, and then told them "different families play different games." Some families believe Santa is real and others don't, she teaches, adding that she told the children it wouldn't be nice to ruin anyone's family game.

Fry's intention isn't to take away the fun of Santa. Go ahead, she urges, sit on his lap at the mall — just realize he's make-believe.

"Disneyland is still fun for kids, even though they know Mickey Mouse isn't real,'' she says. "I don't want to cheat them of pleasure."

A parenting group called Family Education conducted a poll indicating that 96 percent of children younger than 5 believe in Santa — a Western-conceived character based on Saint Nicholas, who is thought to have lived in the 11th century and had a reputation for secret gift-giving. That number drops to 42 percent by the time children are 8, 9 or 10 years old, the poll suggested.

Los Gatos family counselor Angie Birch found out the truth about Santa when she was about 8 or 9. She wasn't mad at her parents. And now, she gives this psychological advice:

"You know, Santa folklore and myth can bring out a lot of cheer this season for children," Birch says. "But be honest when your kids confront you with the truth. Don't push the lie. And give your children love and empathy."

Birch suggests some responses parents might offer their truth-seeking children include: "This must be tough to find out this way," or, "You sound disappointed." Maybe, Birch says, parents could even say, "I might have made a mistake in not telling the truth, but I thought you'd be excited about the Santa story."

If parents display "trust and honesty" in all other aspects of their lives, Birch says their children are not likely to be angry with them for too long.

Devout Christians sometimes prefer that their kids know the truth about Santa for other reasons.

The four Reyes children of San Jose, all practicing Pentecostal Christians, were told at an early age that Santa is a fairy-tale character. Believing anything else, says their mother, Vanessa Reyes, would detract from what should be the true holiday focus — the birth of Jesus.

The Reyes children — Jacob, 11; Julia, 9; Joey, 9; and Jillian, 7 — have been educated to see Santa as just for imaginary fun, though other children may believe otherwise. The devout Reyes children experience their Christmas "magic," or rather, a deeper spirituality, their mother says, while attending church and praying.

"So many people equate nonsense with innocence," she says. "You can still enjoy Santa as a good story. But it's just that — a story."