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Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Counting simple gifts as tumultuous year ends
Counting simple gifts as tumultuous year ends

For years to come, Christmas 2014 will be associated with the assassination of two police officers in New York City. The act of a vengeful and suicidal man who shot a woman near Baltimore before heading to New York, the deaths of the officers constitute the denouement of a year of heightened racial tensions, doubts about American justice and profound anxiety about who we are and how we treat one another. Sorry, but there's no getting around that. We are stuck with this reality. Of course, you can work yourself into a dark mood any Christmas. You can always ponder all that's wrong with your city or your country or the world. And all that's wrong easily trumps the good...