Today's Times doesn't seem to have many stories that are must reads. (I may be too tired to properly appreciate it.)
For Krista, I'll highlight an editorial (something we rarely do):
The White House deserves kudos for protesting Russian President Vladimir Putin's sale of the main production unit of the oil giant Yukos to a company that no one had ever heard of before. Sure, the rebuke came a full day after President Bush passed up a chance to publicly criticize his good friend, Mr. Putin, for the Kremlin's clumsy efforts to smother Yukos and other private enterprises in Russia, but at least it happened.
The tale is just about as sorry a story as business enterprise can get in Russia, and it keeps getting weirder. Mr. Putin, bent on destroying Yukos and its jailed founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was preparing for what was to be the final swing of his dull ax, the "auction" of Yukos's most critical asset to Gazprom, the Russian state energy behemoth. But Yukos's remaining managers, now wisely living abroad, hit on the idea of filing for bankruptcy protection in Houston.
. . .
Nobody argues that Yukos, a product of the piratical privatizations of the early 1990's, is an innocent victim. Russia certainly can choose to nationalize the industry. But reversing a piratical privatization through a piratical nationalization only confirms that doing business in Russia remains highly risky.
That's from "The Strange Yukos Sale" (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/25/opinion/25sat2.html). "Piratical" is an adjective. From "pirate." (Yes, I had to look it up.)
"Remembering the Dead and the Horror of Mosul" (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/25/international/middleeast/25mosul.html?hp&ex=1104037200&en=bff96e2496a7b5ca&ei=5094&partner=homepage) by Christine Hauser may be the finest article on the front page:
On Tuesday, Sgt. Michael S. Posner was standing in the middle of a crowded dining hall at Forward Operating Base Marez, holding a cheeseburger and fries on a lunch tray and looking for his friends, when a huge force blew him off his feet.
The rows of tables and chairs shattered into a chaos of debris and blood. Screams tore through the room. The air turned dusky with the gray aftermath of smoke and dust, out of which the faces of the living and the dead slowly emerged.
On Friday, Sergeant Posner, 34, from Farmingville, N.Y., was one of hundreds of service members who went to the base's movie theater to honor two of the 14 American soldiers killed in the attack. In pairs, they filed past a now-familiar battlefield monument: the dead men's helmets and dog tags slung on their M-16's, propped up between their combat boots.
The mourners touched the helmets, sobbed, bowed their heads.
The Year in Review for this site just went up. It's under 10:46 p.m. for Thursday (when I began working on the post). Scroll down past this item or click http://thecommonills.blogspot.com/2004/12/common-ills-year-in-review.html to read it.
That took forever to complete and hopefully will be considered a Friday entry even though this program elects to place it on the day the post was begun. I've been cooking pies and assorted other things all night while I was pulling from the e-mails for that entry. I've got three hours before guest arrive and I'm tired enough that I'm willing to risk not basting the turkey for those hours (plus, I know from past experience, chicken stock can revive an underbasted turkey if used in the last hour and a half of cooking). Kit may post a Kit's Korner today but I'm not sure about that. This may be it for posting on this site from me for at least eight hours.
A number of you wrote that for whatever reasons (religion, such as being Jewish; being alone this holiday, etc.) that you were hoping a post would be up for today. There's the very lengthy year in review to read through. You can also check various links that are noted in it. We did not go on vacation at this site as you worried we might. We're here (and mainly due to the fact that so many of you noted other sites that were not going to be posting today). But I do need to grab three hours sleep and then there will be a steady stream of guests. Though it's listed as a Friday post (at ten something, I'm too tired to flip screens), I hope you will consider it a Friday entry.