Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...
Peep and Tell
A Canadian professor says if our children are accepting of government surveillance and intrusion into our lives, she knows who to blame...the Elf on the Shelf.
For the un-initiated, the Elf on the Shelf is a toy based on a character from a hugely popular children's book, who keeps an eye on children and reports back to Santa.
University of Ontario professor Laura Pinto argues that telling kids it's OK for this elf to spy for his boss opens up a can of worms.
Quote -- "If you grow up thinking it's cool for the elves to watch me and report back to Santa, well, then it's cool for the NSA to watch me and report back to the government," Pinto tells the Toronto Star.
She warns that pushing the elf story line -- quote -- "sets up children for a dangerous, uncritical acceptance of power struggles."
Lots of parents aren't buying it, saying folks need to lighten up, and enjoy the elf for who he is -- a fun character who gets the family in the Christmas spirit.
And, speaking of quashing the Christmas spirit, Santa has been uninvited from a school Christmas program in Massachusetts.
We've told you in the past about Jesus and the biblical Christmas story disappearing from public life.
But this time, it's the jolly guy in red who has nothing to do with the biblical Christmas story who is now on the chopping block.
The Boston Globe reports that last week the principal informed parents Santa would be absent from the holiday concert this year thanks to just one complaint...just one.
Some parents say they understand the decision, given the culturally diverse makeup of the school.
And finally, a close call for a New Zealand couple in their 60s who assumed they were trapped in their car in their own garage.
A local newspaper reports they got locked in their brand new Mazda3, without their remote keyless entry fob.
They honked the horn. Nobody heard.
They tried to break the window with a car jack. Didn't work.
By the time a neighbor found them the next day, the wife was unconscious and the husband was running out of air.
After their rescue, the couple was shocked to learn they were never trapped at all.
It never occurred to them to unlock the door manually, the old-fashioned way, and simply get out.
The couple blames the car salesman, because he told them the car would not work without that transponder.