Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

 His name is Eric Schmitt-Matzen and he has played a Santa Claus, 80 venues a year, for a long time. He’s professionally trained, Natural beard, custom suit, lots of experience.

None of it prepared him to be Santa for real.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love
and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and
give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be
the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if
there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no
poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. –From the New York Sun, 1897

All in All

…it’s just another brick in the wall.

If it was my son, I would be willing to give up every swinging dick in Guantanamo to get him back. I get that part. But it’s not. And now the enemy knows what we will pay for a live American soldier. We will pay five for one. And we will negotiate.

1. Mohammad Fazl

One of the first detainees captured in Afghanistan to be transferred to Guantanamo — in January 2002 — Fazl is the Taliban’s former deputy minister of defense. He was one of the Taliban’s founding members, rising through the ranks to become Taliban Chief of Army Staff when it ruled Afghanistan. Human Rights Watch accuses Fazl of presiding over the mass killings of Afghanistan’s Shi’ite Muslims in 2000 and 2001.

2. Mohammad Nabi

The former chief of Taliban security in Qalat, the capital of Afghanistan’s southern Zabul Province.

3. Abdul Haq Wasiq

Also accused by Human Rights Watch of mass killings and torture during the Taliban’s time in power, the Taliban’s former deputy minister of intelligence is considered to have been at one time one of Mullah Omar’s closest confidants.

4. Mullah Norullah Nori

Nori was the senior Taliban commander in the strategic northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. He is considered to be one of the most high-ranking Taliban officials ever to be held in Guantanamo. He is also accused of being involved in the massacre of thousands Shi’ite Muslims in 2000 and 2001.

5. Khairullah Khairkhwa

The former Taliban governor of Heart Province, which borders Iran, Khairkhwa has also served as a military commander and a minister of the interior.