Saturday, December 31, 2016

NEW YEAR'S EVE 2016

The following is an editorial.

As 2016 draws to a close and a new year looms on the horizon, we hope everyone out celebrating tonight does so safely and responsibly, for we would like to see you again in 2017.

Sincerely,
The Free Choice E-zine Staff and Management.


The above was an editorial.

IN MEMORIUM 2016

While best and worst of everything lists are compiled by others as another year draws to a close, The Free Choice E-zine continues it annual tradition of pausing to briefly look back and remember those that are sadly no longer with us.
Unfortunately we cannot post the whole list; but amongst the innocents who died needlessly at the hands of others; our family, friends, and loved ones; as well as those within law enforcement, medical/emergency services, and the military personnel who lost their lives helping and/or protecting others during 2016, we have also lost...

ACTORS
Anthony Addabbo (Guiding Light, Generations, The Bold & the Beautiful)
Max Alexander (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
Eddie Applegate (The Patty Duke Show)
Kenny Baker (Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Time Bandits)
Richard Brandford (The original Untouchables, Man in a Suitcase, Cagney & Lacey)
Peter Brown (Lawman, Laredo, Foxy Brown)
Tony Burton (the Rocky movies, The Shining)
Don Calfa (The Return of the Living Dead, Weekend at Bernie's)
William Christopher (M*A*S*H, After MASH)
Jerry Doyle (Babylon 5, The Bold and The Beautiful)
Larry Drake (L.A. Law, Darkman)
Johnny Duncan (1949's Batman and Robin, The Caine Mutiny, Spartacus)
Abel Fernandez (Original The Untouchables, Pork Chop Hill)
Fyvush Finkel (Picket Fences, Boston Public)
Frank Finlay (The Pianist, The Three Musketeers)
Thomas Mikal Ford (Martin, Harlem Nights)
Bernard Fox (Bewitched, Hogan’s Heroes, Titanic, The Mummy)
George Gaynes (The Police Academy franchise, Punky Brewster, Tootsie)
Riccardo Garrone (The Yellow Rolls-Royce, La Dolce Vita)
Ron Glass (Barney Miller, Firefly/Serenity)
Dan Haggerty (The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams)
Ricky Harris (Everybody Hates Chris)
Steven Hill (the original Mission: Impossible, Law and Order)
Mikijirō Hira (13 Assassins)
John Hostetter (Murphy Brown regular and numerous guest starring roles)
Ken Howard (1776, The White Shadow)
David Huddleston (The Big Lebowski, Blazing Saddles, Santa Claus: The Movie)
George S. Irving (Underdog, The Year Without A Santa Claus, Irene)
Barry Jenner (Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Dallas)
George Kennedy
Marvin Kaplan (Alice, Top Cat; It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World)
Buck Kartalian (the original Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston, Cool Hand Luke, The Rock)
George Kennedy (Best Supporting Actor: 1968 for Cool Hand Luke, The Naked Gun and Airport
movie franchises)
Burt Kwouk (the original Pink Panther with Peter Sellers, Last of the Summer Wine, JamesBond: Goldfinger)
Dick Latessa (Hairspray, Promises Promises)
Michael Leader (East Enders, Star Wars)
Georg Lhotsky (Moss on the Stones)
Larkin Malloy (Edge of Night, Guiding Light, All My Children)
David Margulies (Ghostbusters 1, The Sopranos)
Don Marshall (Land of the Giants)
John McMartin (a long career between television, movies, and Broadway)
Kevin Meaney (Big, Uncle Buck)
James Noble (Benson, 10, Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again)
Bill Nunn (Spider-man movie franchise, Do the Right Thing, He Got Game, Mo’ Better Blues)
Hugh O'Brian (The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, S.E.A.R.C.H.)
Jimmy Perry (Dad's Army, It Ain't Half Hot Mum)
Jon Polito (The Rocketeer, Homicide: Life on the Street)
Lee Reherman (American Gladiators, Star Trek Into Darkness, Last Action Hero)
Alan Rickman (the Harry Potter series, Die Hard 1, Love Actually)
Jack Riley (the original Bob Newhart Show, High Anxiety)
Michael Roberds (Elf, Hot Tub Time Machine)
Wayne Rogers (M*A*S*H*, City of Angels, House Calls)
Schallert in Star Trek: TOS
Andrew Sachs (Fawlty Towers, Coronation Street)
Joe Santos (The Rockford Files, The Last Boy Scout)
William Schallert (TOO NUMEROUS TO MENTION)
David Smyrl (Mr. Handford on Sesame Street)
Peter Sumner (Ned Kelly, Star Wars: A New Hope)
Alan Thicke (Growing Pains)
Gareth Thomas (Blake's 7, Children of the Stones, Star Maidens)
Child Actor Jerry Tucker (Our Gang comedies)
Peter Vaughan (Game of Thrones, Brazil)
Robert Vaughn (the original Man From U.N.C.L.E., the original Magnificent 7)
Abe Vigoda (The Godfather, Barney Miller, Fish)
Gene Wilder (the original Willy Wonka movie, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and a host of others)
Douglas Wilmer (James Bond: Octopussy, Jason and the Argonauts, Cleopatra)
Keo Woolford (current version of Hawaii 5-0)
Anton Yelchin (the J. J. Abrams version of Star Trek, Alpha Dogs, Fright Night)
Alan Young (Mr. Ed, George Pal's version of The Time Machine, the voice of Scrooge McDuck for decades)


ACTRESSES
Jean Alexander (Coronation Street, Last of the Summer Wine)
Alexis Arquette (The Wedding Singer, Pulp Fiction)
Coral Atkins (A Family At War, Emmerdale)
Margit Bara (Jakob the Liar)
Patricia Barry (All My Children, The Guiding Light, Days of Our Lives)
Silver Screen legend Gloria DeHaven (credits too numerous to mention)
Patty Duke (The Miracle Worker, The Patty Duke Show, Valley of the Dolls)
Ronnie Claire Edwards (The Waltons, Designing Women)
Carrie Fisher (best known as Princess Leia of Star Wars)
Zsa Zsa Gabor (the original versions of Moulin Rouge and Touch of Evil)
Valerie Gaunt (The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula–1958 version)
Actress/dancer Lisa Gaye (Shake, Rattle, and Roll; Rock Around the Clock)
Vivean Gray (The Sullivans, Neighbours)
Tammy Grimes (The Unsinkable Molly Brown)
Ann Marie Guilbert (The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Nanny, Grumpier Old Men)
Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch, Fanny)
Anne Jackson (The Shining, Folks!, Dirty Dingus Magee)
Brenda Dale Knox, better known as The Lady Chablis (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil)
Madeleine Lebeau (Casablanca, Hold Back The Dawn)
Noel Neill
Sagan Lewis (Saint Elsewhere, Homicide: Life on the Streets)
Kim McGuire (Cry Baby)
Julia Meade (The Ed Sullivan Show, Pillow Talk)
Noel Neill (various versions of Superman, An American in Paris)
Jacqueline Pagnol (Topaz, Carnaval)
Angela Patton (Groundhog Day, American Wedding)
Louise Plowright (Mamma Mia!, EastEnders, Families)
Angela Raiola, aka "Big Ang" (Mob Wives)
Debbie Reynolds (Singin’ In The Rain, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, numerous others)
Theresa Saldana (Raging Bull, The Commish, I Wanna Hold Your Hand)
Madeleine Sherwood (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Flying Nun)
Yumi Shirakawa (Rodan, The Mysterians, H-Man)
Barbara Tarbuck (General Hospital, Short Circuit)
Janet Waldo (The Jetsons, Wacky Races, Flintstones, etc.)
Betty Jane Watson (Oklahoma!, Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town, The Morey Amsterdam Show)
Victoria Wood (Dinner Ladies)
Janet Wright (The Perfect Storm, McCabe and Mrs. Miller)


ATHLETES/SPORTS FIGURES
Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
Former Major League Baseball player Ralph Branca (Brooklyn Dodgers, Detroit Tigers)
Ralph “Putsy” Caballero, who played 8 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies starting at age 16 because of World War 2.
Former equestrian Olympic Silver Medalist (1960, 1972) Frank Chapot.
Major League Baseball pitcher José Fernández.
Former Major League Baseball player Dave Ferriss (Boston Red Sox)
Harry Fujiwara, known professionally to wrestling fans as "Mr. Fuji".
Famous professional baseball player and TV personality Joe Garagiola, Senior.
Legendary professional hockey player Gordie Howe.
Tommy Kono, former Olympic weight lifting champion.
Former professional football Dick Logan of the Green Bay Packers.
Former Major League Baseball player and manager Russ Nixon.
Famous professional golfer Arnold Palmer.
Mike Sandlock of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Professional Mixed Martial Artist and actor Kimbo Slice (born Kevin Ferguson)
Pat(ricia Sue) Summitt, the winningest coach in college basketball history (1,098 victories)
British explorer Henry Worsley, died attempting to be the first person to cross Antarctica unaided.


CREATIVE PERSONNEL
Playwright Edward Albee (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)
Television producer and voice actress Sylvia Anderson (Thunderbirds)
René Angélil, husband/manager of Celine Dion.
Screenwriter Alice Arlen, (Silkwood, The Weight of Water)
Author/illustrator Natalie Babbitt (Tuck Everlasting)
Robert Balser, animator on Yellow Submarine and Heavy Metal.
Voice actor Erik Bauersfeld (Star Wars, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence)
International writer/artist Thierry "Ted" Benoit (Heavy Metal)
Writer Howard Berk (Columbo, Mission: Impossible, The Rockford Files)
Novelist E. R. Braithwaite (To Sir, With Love)
Screenwriter/director Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Heaven's Gate)
Cartoonist John Caldwell (Mad!, National Lampoon)
Prima Ballerina Yvette Chauviré.
Folk singer-songwriter Guy Clark ("Desperados Waiting for a Train", "Workbench Songs", "My Favorite Picture of You")
Television music composer Ray Colcord (The Facts of Life, Boy Meets World, Big Brother)
Author Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline)
Comic book writer/artist Darwyn Cooke (Catwoman, DC: The New Frontier, Jonah Hex)
Noted voice artist C. Martin Croker (Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show)
Television writer Kevin Curran (The Simpsons, Married... with children)
Legendary artist Jack Davis (Mad magazine, various EC Comics)
Director Masanobu Deme (Station to Heaven, Baruto no Gakuen)
Comic book artist Steve Dillion (Preacher, The Punisher)
Author Lois Duncan (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Hotel for Dogs)
Prop designer Tony Dyson (R2-D2 of Star Wars)
Author Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum)
Artist Wayne England (Magic: The Gathering)
Author Solange Fasquelle.
Novelist Margaret Forster (Georgy Girl, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, etc)
Actress/film maker Rita Gam (Klute, No Exit, The Thief)
TV writer/producer Gary Glasberg (NCIS, Crossing Jordan, Bones)
Author Barbara Goldsmith (The Straw Man, Little Gloria–Happy At Last)
Film producer Gene Gutowski (The Pianist, Cul-de-sac)
Director Guy Hamilton (4 James Bond films, Force 10 From Navarone, Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd)
Famous TV writer/producer Earl Hamner, Junior (The Waltons, Falcon Crest, The Twilight Zone)
Film director/screen writer Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, 8 Mile, Wonder Boys)
Author/screenwriter Michael Herr (Dispatches, Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now)
Movie director Arthur Hiller (Love Story, The In-Laws)
Animation director Gordon Hunt (Super Friends, The Jetsons, etc)
Emmy winning (1992, 1993) visual effects designer Gary Hutzel (Star Trek: Next Generation/Deep Space 9/Voyager, Battlestar Galactica 2004, Spy Kids)
Sir Anthony Jay, co-author of Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister.
Television writer Austin Kalish (All in the Family, I Dream of Jeannie, Maude)
Bob Krasnow, a co-founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Writer/producer Claire Labine (Ryan’s Hope, General Hospital)
Famous sitcom writer Carla Lane (The Liver Birds, Butterflies, Bread)
Cartoonist Mell Lazarus (Miss Peach, Momma)
Author Harper Lee (To Kill A Mockingbird and Go Set A Watchman, which was actually Mockingbird's FIRST draft)
Film art director John B. Mansbridge (Tron, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Bedknobs and Broomsticks)
Director, writer, producer, actor Garry Marshall (Happy Days, Pretty Woman, Murphy Brown, etc)
Eric Medalle, noted graphic artist (Pokemon)
Marvin Minsky, famous scientist in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
Voice actress Yūko Mizutani (Minnie Mouse, Black Jack, Tenchi Muyo!)
Writer/producer Scott Nimerfro (Hannibal, Once Upon A Time, X-men)
Famed soap opera creator/writer Agnes Nixon.
Japanese voice actor Tōru Ōhira (Super Sentai, One Piece)
Art director and production designer Gil Parrondo (Patton, Nicholas and Alexandra, Travels with My Aunt)
Taiwanese chef Peng Chang-kuei, accredited with inventing General Tso’s chicken.
Songwriter Curly Putman ("The Green, Green Grass of Home", "He Stopped Loving Her Today")
Composer (Reilly: Ace of Spies) and conductor (Cats, Chariots of Fire) Harry Rabinowitz.
Author Curtis Roosevelt (Too Close to the Sun, Eyewitness in Israel: 1948)
Artist Christopher Rush (Magic: The Gathering)
Legendary comic book letterer Gaspar Saladino (credits too numerous to mention)
Producer/director Ian Sander (Ghost Whisperer, Profiler, I'll Fly Away)
Author Carolyn See (Golden Days, Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America)
Playwright/screenwriter Sir Peter Shaffer (Amadeus, Equus)
Cinematographer Douglas Slocombe (Indiana Jones, The Lion In Winter)
Jeopardy! champion Cindy Stowell.
Voice artist Kazunari Tanaka (Gundam, InuYasha)
Cartoonist Richard Thompson (Cul de Sac)
Visual effects technician Ron Thornton (Babylon 5, Star Trek Voyager, Spaceballs)
Author Alvin Toffler (Future Shock, The Third Wave)
Fred Tomlinson (Monty Python's Flying Circus extra and composer of "The Lumberjack Song")
Author William Trevor (A Standard of Behavior, Love and Summer)
Famed ballerina Violette Verdy.
Special effects technician/make up artist John Vulich (Babylon 5, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Film director Andrzej Wajda (Ashes and Diamonds, Man of Iron, Katyń)
Songwriter/producer Mentor Williams (“Drift Away”)
Folk singer Glenn Yarbrough ("Baby the Rain Must Fall").


ENTERTAINERS
Famous animation voice actor Joe Alaskey (too many credits to mention all)
Singer/actor David Bowie (too much to mention)
Singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen (“Suzanne”, “Bird on a Wire”)
Singer Natalie Cole, famous daughter of the late Nat King Cole.
Television magician Paul Daniels.
Country singer/songwriter Holly Dunn (“Daddy’s Hands”)
Singer/songwriter Lucille Dumont.
Comedian Bob Elliot of the famous Bob & Ray comedy duo.
Jazz singer and actor Don Francks (Le Femme Nikita, Inspector Gadget)
Singer Christina Grimmie.
Actor (One Day At A Time), comedian (The Jack Paar Show) and voice actor (Inspector Clouseau of animated shorts) Pat Harrington, Junior.
Youree Dell Harris, also known as "Miss Cleo" and other aliases with "psychic powers".
Legendary folk singer Fred Hellerman (The Weavers)
Jazz singer and actor Bill Henderson (Clue, City Slickers, White Men Can't Jump)
Noted Jazz musician Bobby Hutcherson.
Country singer/songwriter Sonny James ("Young Love")
Singer/song writer John D. Loudermilk ("Tobacco Road", "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye", "Indian Reservation")
Singer/song writer George Michael, formerly of Wham!
Singer/actress Marni Nixon (The King and I, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, My Fair Lady)
R&B singer Billy Paul ("Me and Mrs. Jones")
Record Producer ("Monster Mash") and singer/songwriter Gary S. Praxton (The Hollywood Argyles)
Songwriter Bonny Mack Rice ("Mustang Sally", "Respect Yourself")
Comedian Garry Shandling.
Country music legend Jean Shepard.
Noted singer/actor Frank Sinatra, Junior.
Rapper Big Skye.
Singer Kay Starr ("Wheel of Fortune", "Rock and Roll Waltz")
Country music performer and Hee Haw regular Gordie Tapp.
Screenwriter (Georgia, Pollock) and actress (Soldier Blue) Barbara Turner.
Singer/actress Vanity ("Nasty Girl", The Last Dragon)
Singer Bobby Vee ("Rubber Ball", "Take Good Care of My Baby", "The Night Has a 1000 Eyes")
Noted Blues, Soul, and Gospel singer Ruby Wilson.


HISTORIC
Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Noted Chess Grandmaster Ashot Anastasian.
Former United Nations' Secretary General Boutros-Boutros-Ghali.
The 80+ victims of the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France.
Those killed during the terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany.
André Brahic, the French astrophysicist who discovered the planet Neptune has rings.
Former President of Cuba Fidel Castro.
Delligatti's creation
Yolande Fox (Miss America 1951)
British Parliament member Jo Cox.
Jim Delligatti, creator of the “Big Mac”.
Former Astronaut and Ohioan Senator John Glenn.
Valerie Hunter Gordon, the inventor of the disposable diaper.
Tom Hayden, a major opponent to the Vietnam War.
Doctor Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich maneuver.
Northern Mariana Islands Governor Eloy Inos.
Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov.
Former Rwandan King Kigeli V.
Former Prime Minister of Nepal Sushil Koirala.
Chess Grandmaster Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi.
1996 Nobel Chemistry Prize co-winner (for discovering fullerenes) Harry Kroto.
Melvin Laird, Secretary of Defense under President Richard Nixon.
The victims of LaMia Airlines Flight 2933.
Former attorney/author Mark Lane (The Warren Commission: Rush to Judgment)
The victims of the Munich, Germany shopping mall massacre.
Former Singapore President S. R. Nathan.
Noted Humanitarian Rupert Neudeck.
Ecologist/zoologist Robert T. Paine, who coined the phrase "keynote species".
Former Israel statesman, President, and Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
The 49 victims of the tragic massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Florida.
Michael Ratner, lawyer who won Guantanamo Bay detainees the right of habeas corpus. Former United States Attorney General Janet Reno.
Journalist Morley Safer (60 Minutes)
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Journalist Sydney Schanberg (portrayed by Sam Waterston in The Killing Fields)
Concert pianist and Chess Grandmaster Mark Taimanov.
Vietnamese radio personality Trịnh Thị Ngọ, better known as Hanoi Hannah (the Vietnam War's version of Tokyo Rose)
The 92 victims of the Tupolev Tu-154 crash.
Elie Wiesel, World War 2 Holocaust survivor, author, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Edgar Whitcomb, astronaut aboard Apollo 14.
Former South Korean Prime Minister Kang Young-hoon.


MUSICIANS
Lee Andrews, lead singer of The Hearts do-wop group.
Lenny Baker of the 1950's homage group Sha Na Na
Victor Bailey, guitarist for both Madonna and Lady Gaga.
Ray Columbus of the Invaders.
Rapper Phife Dawg (aka Malik Izaak Taylor) from A Tribe Called Quest.
Band leader Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Junior (Buckwheat Zydeco)
Legendary clarinetist Pete Fountain (credits too numerous to mention)
Jazz musician Shirley Bunnie Foy.
Glenn Frey, founding member of The Eagles.
Country singer/songwriter Merle Haggard ("Okie from Muskogee", "The Fighting Side of Me")
Noted San Franciscan musician Dan Hicks.
Paul Kantner, co-founder of Jefferson Airplane.
Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.
Guitarist Henry McCullough (Wings, Joe Cocker)
Scotty Moore, long time guitarist for Elvis Presley.
Jazz guitarist Doug Raney.
3 Doors Down guitarist Matt Roberts.
Leon Russell of The Wrecking Crew.
Lewie Steinberg, bassist for Booker T. and the Mgs.
Dallas Taylor, drummer for Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.
Preeminent jazz harmonica player Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron "Toots" Thielemans.
Maurice White of Earth, Wind, and Fire.
Keyboardist James Woolley (Nine Inch Nails)
Country singer/songwriter Steve Young ("Seven Bridges Road")

DISHONORABLE MENTION
Suicide bombers, terrorists, and anyone else who would take another’s life without moral and/or legal justification.

NOTE: All categories and the names within them are alphabetical to the best of our human ability, except the last one.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: DECEMBER 25-31, 2016


TODAY IS NEW YEAR'S EVE!
JANUARY 1 MARKS THE BEGINNING OF 2017!
JANUARY 1 MARKS THE 125TH ANNIVERSARY OF ELLIS ISLAND OPENING.
JANUARY 4 IS THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SALLY FORTH COMIC STRIP.
JANUARY 5 IS BIRD DAY, CELEBRATING OUR FINE FEATHERED FRIENDS.
JANUARY 6 MARKS THE 105TH ANNIVERSARY OF NEW MEXICO JOINING THE UNITED STATES.

AMONGST EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK…
*A plea for peace was the main theme of Pope Francis’ 2016 Christmas Mass.
*Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and offered “sincere and ever lasting condolences” on behalf of his country for the events of December 7, 1941.
*Scientists fear the cheetah is now on the verge of extinction with a current population of less than 7200 in the wild.



THE TERRORIST REPORT…
*Even as we approach the final hours of the calendar year, bombs are still the terrorist weapon of choice to kill innocent civilians and government targets.

PASSING PARADE…
*Actress/writer Carrie Fisher (best known as Princess Leia of Star Wars) has taken her last bow on life’s stage.
*Actress Debbie Reynolds (credits too numerous to mention) took her last bow on life’s stage after suffering a stroke upon being told her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away.
*Singer/songwriter George Michael, formerly of Wham!
*The 92 victims of the Tupolev Tu-154 crash.
*Actor George S. Irving (Underdog, The Year Without A Santa Claus, Irene) has taken his last bow on life’s stage.
Noted Chess Grandmaster Ashot Anastasian has passed away.
*Actor Ricky Harris (Everybody Hates Chris) has taken his last bow on life’s stage.
*Actress Barbara Tarbuck (General Hospital, Short Circuit) has taken her last bow on life’s stage.
*Actor William Christopher (M*A*S*H, After MASH) has taken his last bow on life's stage.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA…
POLITICALLY…
*The United States has expelled 35 Russian diplomats over the alleged Russian interference during the U.S.'s 2016 Presidential Election. Although President-elect Donald Trump says we should "move on", not many people are believing the hacking didn't happen. (There are 2 separate links in this item.)
*Everyone suspects one of the first acts of the 2017 Republican Congress once President Trump is in office will be to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obama Care", yet they have no alternative to offer yet!
*Donald Trump's opinion on the recent United Nations resolution concerning Israeli settlements.
MEANWHILE…
*Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and offered “sincere and ever lasting condolences” on behalf of his country for the events of December 7, 1941.
*Niloofar Rahmani, Afghanistan’s first female air force pilot, has applied for asylum in the United States.
*As the end of his second term in office draws near, President Barack Obama has declared Bears Ears, Utah and the Gold Butte area of Nevada as National Monuments. Yet Utah's State Attorney General is contemplating a lawsuit against Obama for his action.
*What else might Barack Obama do before he leaves office???
ELSEWHERE…
*Jeopardy! champion Cindy Stowell had terminal cancer, a fact not made public before she passed away before her first episode even aired! Her story is being called inspirational. (There are 2 separate links in this item.)

For more news at any time, either scroll down to our ELSEWHERE feature at the bottom of your screen or visit any other reputable news source.

THE PUZZLE CORNER: DECEMBER 31, 2016

FUN FACT
The average person takes 23,000 breaths a day.

WHAT’S THAT SONG?
A line from a famous tune is below. Do you know what song it’s from?

♫A Picasso or a Garfunkel♫

THE LETTER SHUFFLE
How many new words can you form out of the letters in the phrase NEW YEAR?

We’ll reveal all next weekend, but for now, let’s open up THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from the December 24, 2016 Puzzle Corner.

THE LETTER SHUFFLE
How many new words can you make out of the letters in the word CHRISTMAS?
A, act(s), ah(s), aim(s), air(s), am, arc(s), arch, arm(s), art(s), as, ash, ass, at
Cam(s), car(s), cart(s), cash, cast(s) cat(s), char(s), chair(s), charm(s), chart(s), chasm(s), chat(s), cram(s)
Ha, hair, ham(s), harm(s), has, hat(s), hi, him, his, hiss, hit(s)
I, I’m, is, it, its, itch
Ma, mach, march, mart(s), mash, mass, mast(s), mat(s), match, math, mint(s),mirth, miss, mist(s)
Racism, racist(s), ram(s), rash, rat(s), rich, rim(s)
Sash, sat, scam(s), scar(s), scat, sham(s), shirt(s), Sir, sis, sit(s), smash, smart(s), stair(s), star(s), starch, stash, stir(s)
Tar(s), this, trash, tram(s), trim(s), Tsar

Besides the 132 words listed above, Chris, Christ, and Sam might be eligible, depending upon your position of counting names in a game like this. Other words might also be possible.


REBUS
Something familiar is represented in the image on the right.
Do you know what it is?
A (Keith) Partridge in a pear tree.

Monday, December 26, 2016

DECEMBER 26, 2016




Sunday, December 25, 2016

SUNDAY FUNNIES: HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Normally on a holiday weekend, The Free Choice E-zine gives the Sunday Funnies hostesses Autumn the Puppy and Waxy Dragon the weekend off as our esteemed Editor-In-Chief tries to entertain you.
However, since the holiday this weekend actually falls upon a Sunday, we shall simply say...

HAPPY HANUKKAH!






CAN IT BE? YEARS FROM NOW, PERHAPS WE'LL SEE...


BOOK REVIEW: A CHRISTMAS CAROL By Charles Dickens

Cloth cover of very first edition!
There is a lot to be said for the final holidays of December. They are a time to bring family and friends together, celebrating life and goodwill while looking forward to the days to come, despite the commercialism that has developed over the years.

Out of all the tales told at this time, one of the best known is the story of a miserable old man who finally remembers what the holiday season and life itself is all about. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was first published in 1843. It has often been adapted, homaged, and outright parodied over the decades since, but its story is as timeless as it is timely.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a well known but miserly business man in Victorian London. Upon the seventh anniversary of his death, which just also happens to be Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of former business partner Jacob Marley. The ghost brings dire warning for Scrooge to change his ways while he still can or wind up with a worse fate than what Marley suffers when Scrooge passes away.

Over the course of the next three chapters (called Staves, in keeping with the title theme) Scrooge is visited by three additional spirits. The Ghost of Christmas Past, who shows Ebenezer how his life was and could have been if he had listened to people back then. The Ghost of Christmas Present, who shows Scrooge how others celebrate the holiday despite their wealth or lack thereof; with the worst of all being the Ghost of Christmas Future, who shows Scrooge what awaits him if he doesn’t heed the warnings.

Those who have either already read the book or seen any of the adaptations know the outcome in the final Stave, but Dickens prose still holds up to this day and is well worth rereading again.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: DECEMBER 18-24, 2016

DECEMBER 24TH IS CHRISTMAS EVE & THE START OF HANUKKAH AT SUNDOWN.
DECEMBER 24TH MARKS THE 240TH ANNIVERSARY OF GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE RIVER.
DECEMBER 25TH IS CHRISTMAS DAY.
DECEMBER 25TH MARKS THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF MIKHAIL GORBACHEV OFFICIALLY RESIGNING AS RUSSIA’S PRESIDENT.
DECEMBER 26TH IS BOXING DAY & THE START OF KWANZAA.

AMONGST EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK…
*United Nations Security Council Resolution #2334 asks for an end to Israeli settlements along the West Bank.
*Much of Northern China was under a smog alert for the early part of this past week.
*Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and American President Barack Obama jointly banned offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and parts of the Atlantic coast.
*There might be a possible vaccine to combat the Ebola Virus on the horizon.
*Stephanie Del Valle of Puerto Rico has won the 2016 Miss World title.
*SNOW FELL IN THE SAHARA DESERT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 37 YEARS!




THE TERRORIST REPORT…
*Even as we approach the more religious holidays of the calendar year, bombs are still the terrorist weapon of choice to kill innocent civilians and government targets.
PASSING PARADE…
*Those killed during the terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany.
*Country music performer and Hee Haw regular Gordie Tapp has passed away.
*Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor (the original versions of Moulin Rouge and Touch of Evil) has taken her last bow on life’s stage.
*Animation director Gordon Hunt (Super Friends, The Jetsons, etc) is no longer with us.
*Actor Dick Latessa (Hairspray, Promises Promises) has taken his last bow on life’s stage.
*Art director and production designer Gil Parrondo (Patton, Nicholas and Alexandra, Travels with My Aunt) has passed away.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA…
POLITICALLY…
*Although many were hoping otherwise, the Electoral College has officially confirmed Donald J. Trump as the next President of the United States.
*Trump's latest administration personnel announcements include Carl Icahn as Special Advisor to the President on Regulatory Reform, Republican National Committee Communications director Sean Spicer as White House Press Secretary, his former presidential campaign manager Kellyanne Conway as Counselor to the President, and Jason Miller as the White House Communications Director.
*After wondering who worked on climate change and environmental policies, the impending Trump administration now wants information concerning gender-related staffing, programming, and funding.
*Donald Trump comments on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
*Just what is on the Republican agenda once Donald Trump is in office??? And how will it affect the civil rights of LGBTQ beings??? (There are two links in that item.)
*Some of Trump's thoughts on nuclear weapons.
*Since he isn't officially his Commander in Chief yet, an Air Force General questions Trump's opinions about the F-35 fighter jet.
*One Trump supporter won't deny he wishes to see Barack Obama dead and his widow "returned" to Africa!!!
MEANWHILE…
*The People’s Republic of China has officially returned an American underwater research
drone they captured in the South China Sea last week, despite President-elect Trump Tweeting that “they should keep it.”
*President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jointly banned offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and parts of the Atlantic coast.
*Just what is going on in North Carolina???
*The History Channel's facts versus Donald Trump supporters.
*Did the FBI handle their investigation(s) into Hillary Clinton properly?
*Just how "politically correct" should you be about Christmas???
ELSEWHERE…
*The 2017 inductees into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame will be The Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez, Journey, Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, and Yes.
*Is former professional baseball player Manny Ramirez considering a possible comeback???

For more news at any time, either scroll down to our ELSEWHERE feature at the bottom of your screen or visit any other reputable news source.

THE PUZZLE CORNER: DECEMBER 24, 2016

FUN FACT
It is reported that during a World War 1 Christmas truce, Allied and German soldiers joined voices across the battle lines to sing Silent Night/Stille Nacht together!

THE LETTER SHUFFLE
How many new words can you make out of the letters in the word CHRISTMAS?

REBUS
Something familiar is represented in the image on the right.
Do you know what it is?

We’ll reveal all next weekend, but for now, let’s open up THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from the December 17, 2016 Puzzle Corner.

TRIVIA TIME
Who are the two main UNCREDITED voices in the Chuck Jones’ produced animated adaptation of How The Grinch Stole Christmas?
June Foray as Cindy Lou Who and Thurl Ravenscroft singing “You’re A Mean One, Mister Grinch”.

FAMOUS FIRSTS
The Grinch was NOT Doctor Seuss’ first work in animation. What was?
Private Snafu military training shorts during World War 2 made by Warner Brothers, which is where Dr. Seuss first met Chuck Jones. The animated shorts based on Seuss’ Gerald McBoing-Boing came inbetween Snafu and the Grinch.