Shop til you're dropped. Another reason to observe Buy Nothing Day: when the 6 a.m. siren blew at a Florida Wal-Mart on Friday morning, a herd of thrift-crazed shoppers, intent on snatching up $29 DVD players, trampled 41-year old Patricia VanLester. Few shoppers noticed VanLester under foot, and when EMTs finally got to her she was unconscious on the floor, a DVD box under her. Wal-Mart, inspired by the spirit of the holidays, offered to put a DVD on hold for the still-hospitalized woman.

Quote du Jour, starring John McCain: "Congress is now spending money like a drunken sailor, and I've never known a sailor, drunk or sober, with the imagination that this Congress has."

The pain of the peacemaker. Father John Dears, an ardent anti-war activist, has borne the brunt of harassment by both the military and fellow Catholics for his viewpoints--including one episode where 75 soldiers chanted "Kill, kill, kill" in the front yard of his church. Of that confrontation he says: "We must be making a difference if the soldiers have to march at our front doors. That they failed to convert me or intimidate me, that they had to listen to my side of the story, may haunt their consciences as they travel to Iraq. No matter what happens, they have heard loud and clear the good news that God does not want them to kill anyone."

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