Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Updating a story we told you about Monday: Thousands of Iraqi Christians celebrated their first Christmas in two years after being assured by their Muslim countrymen that their festivities would not come under attack.
An estimated 4,000 Iraqi Christians have been driven out of Baghdad alone since the start of the war — most under threat from Al Qaeda. But many are now returning and, in what was the largest gathering on Tuesday, more than 2,000 Chaldean Catholic Christians celebrated mass in the Mar Elia Church in Eastern Baghdad. Also in attendance: several Muslim Clerics — both Sunni and Shiite. The Muslim leaders attended the Christian service in a sign of national unity and one Shiite cleric was quoted outside the church as saying, "We've come to plant the seed of love again in the new Iraq."
Here at home, the leader of the Idaho State Police Academy has disavowed the slogan adopted by his most recent graduating class. What was the slogan? Well, the class of 43 graduates came up with quote: "Don't suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder — go out and cause it."
Each class at the Idaho police officer training academy is allowed to choose its own slogan, which is eventually printed on its graduation programs.
A county sheriff who attended the graduation earlier this month pointed out the slogan to the academy's director — Jeff Black — just minutes before the ceremony began. Black was shocked and called the class motto "inappropriate." Black said that all future slogans will be vetted.
Hospitals in the United Kingdom are now being urged to avoid decorating children's wards with pictures of clowns. Why? Well, state-funded research there found that in a survey of more than 250 children — all disliked the use of clown decor and some teenagers even called them "scary."
The fear of clowns is known as coulrophobia and researchers say it usually develops after a traumatic childhood incident associated with a clown. Another factor is the representation of evil clowns in movies such as Stephen King's "It."
But Tony Eldridge, the secretary of Clowns International (a real organization), says both the make-up and the acts of clowns have purposely been toned down in recent years adding, "We live in a world where everything is banned and it has gotten rather silly."
Bullying the Blameless
A British burglary victim in the town of Rugby was told by police that she could not install tighter security measures at her home because they might injure returning thieves.
The woman had antiques — her deceased parents' wedding rings — and personal items stolen from her home last month. The thieves raided the woman's house after smashing through a security gate and breaking through windows. When police investigated the incident, they gave the victim a crime-fighting manual that advised her to upgrade her security.
When the woman asked if she could install a new gate complete with barbed-wire, she was told that occupier liability rules meant she risked investigation herself if future trespassers hurt themselves. The woman — who has asked to remain anonymous — responded by saying, "You couldn't make this up. These laws show we've gone soft in the head."
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.