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My holiday musical ugly sweaters

By Sgt. Quentin Johnson ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsAt times like these, we need some holiday music to lift our spirits, like the top 10 holiday songs that I posted last year. There are some holiday songs we should avoid. This is a list of what I call “musical ugly sweaters.” These songs are played every holiday season, but they are annoying, unlistenable, or just plain bizarre. These songs can bring the “Bah, humbug” out of anyone. These are listed in no particular order, except they’re all the bottom of my holiday music list.

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No NFL in LA

Reseda High School FootballIt has been an exciting weekend of football in the Los Angeles area. We were treated to a Thanksgiving full of NFL games on TV. We had the USC-UCLA game (which the Bruins lost, unfortunately). High school football playoffs are nearing their championships.

And we may be close to having one or more NFL teams back in Los Angeles. Three teams that used to play here — the Chargers, Raiders, and Rams — have expressed interest and are working on various proposals. The NFL seems determined to make this happen.

And as a long-time Los Angeles-area football fan, I’d like to say, “No, thank you.”

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Why I won’t unfriend you despite your abhorrent posts

Arguing about politics on social media accomplishes nothingIn the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, I read a number of Facebook posts that made me sick to my stomach. Even worse, a number of them were from friends I’ve known for years.

I could have done what some of my other friends have done and blocked and unfriended people who made posts like that. I could have invoked Godwin’s Law and called them a bunch of knuckle-dragging Nazis. Instead, I scrolled past those posts. I didn’t do it because I was afraid of confronting them or to give them my silent consent. I did it because I didn’t want to be part of the problem.

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Be thankful for the bad stuff

Migrant Mother Photo from the Great Depression

An award winner! This essay won in the AuthorsDen Thanksgiving Contest.

It’s November. While some argue whether a coffee cup in Christmas colors is sufficiently Christmassy, we may forget that there is an important holiday this month, Thanksgiving.

Giving thanks isn’t some wimpy rainbows-and-unicorns sentiment. It sometimes forces us to deal with guilt when we fail to do the good we should. Furthermore, gratitude isn’t just for the good stuff that happens in our lives. We should be grateful for the bad stuff too.

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Review: The Word Game by Steena Holmes

The Word Game by Steena HolmesA sex offender is a parent’s worst nightmare. That person’s crimes not only irreparably harm the victims, but they can tear families and communities apart and cause pain that lasts for years.

This is the subject of The Word Game, the latest by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Steena Holmes. She has shown skill and personality in her light-hearted romances, and she shows a deft hand in dealing with this heavier subject.

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