Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010: "My God...It's Full of Stars..."

2010: The Year We Make Contact? "Something Wonderful?" Promises, Promises...


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010: Hold Your Fire

"In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst... Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours." -Ayn Rand

Quote of the Day: Goodbye, 2009

"You wanted to help me in my most hopeless hour?...If I am brought to where my only defender is a pirate, then I don't care to be defended any longer. You speak some remnant of a human language, so in the name of that, I'll tell you that I have no hope left, but I have the knowledge that when the end comes, I will have lived by my own standards, even while I was the only one to whom they remained valid. I will have lived in a world in which I started and I will go down with the last of it."

Hank Reardon in Atlas Shrugged

Strange Bedfellows and Lamb Chops

The lamb that lies down with the lion is dinner, ya know...

Ayn Rand's...antipathy? vitriol? against Libertarians is well-known, a stance which puts many Objectivish-people in a bind today in the fight against the Obama administration. Lucky for her, she's out of this mess. Most debates have revolved around Leonard Peikoff's infamous "fatwa," or about whether to support the Republicans, Libertarians, Ron Paul-tea parties, etc.. Then there's the matter of Fox News, the Glen Becks, O'Reilly's, and the ilk of Christian Conservatives being just as bad, and false friends of freedom. There's this bit of "hope without reason":
My hope therefore is based on the mere existence and popularity of men such as Glenn Beck and Ron Paul. Men who (excepting Yaron Brooke and a handful of others at the ARI) are a hell of a lot more active in propagating their ideas than objectivists. I've long held that US Objectivists need to get into politics and have been met almost universally with derision. Until they do get some skin in the game - en masse - I'll place whatever hope I have on Glenn Beck and Ron Paul. Why? Because believing and supporting them is a better bet IMHO than praying for armed revolt or a devolution into chaos (aka the final chapters of Atlas Shrugged minus John Galt). I've studied enough history to know how dicey those ploys are.

Then there's this "call to arms":
The political battle for freedom is being waged right now, and Objectivism has fielded no army. Not a squad, not a piece of artillery.
We will not win this way, and losing is just a matter of time.
WE MUST ALL support Ron Paul and LPAC.
I do not guarantee victory or improvement, but maybe we can survive for a bit more and live to formulate new strategies.
And we MIGHT win. But victory is not going to be delivered to your door.
Do you remember the inner-city "community organizers" and ACORN-ites who were bussed in by the Dems to show "popular support" for national suicide?
Get off your dead asses, RIGHT NOW, and make a donation to the Campaing for Liberty and Ron Paul.
Contact LPAC and CFL and fucking volunteer.
Good cannot sit on its ass whilst evil promises its pawns an easy life paid for by YOU and gets THEM to show up and yell.
What kind of goddamned sissies are we, anyway?
There are a lot of people "talking 'bout a revolution." But the problem is they have different ideas of how that revolution should play out. It's ironic, then, in the Objectivish sphere of things, people will ignore Rand's warnings about the Libertarian AND Republican parties in order to "do something," but mindlessly reject anything that smacks of "anarchism," out of some Randian-inspired principle, while urging the "Mussolini Option" for the sitting president. Or, the fight for change is simply sold out, in statements such as this: "...Ironically, they advocated doing what I'm resolved to do - support the current system." Or this:
I'm not after conversion to Atlas Shrugged! I'd be happy enough with an understanding of the first Declaration of Independence. Hell, even Thomas Paine's Common Sense would suffice at a pinch. Would it be too much to ask for US citizens to watch the History Channel?

As for chaos, there is no way in hell I'm going to encourage it when there are still good people out there who get it and may be able to reverse it.
Obviously that will put me at odds with both the minor and major anarchists among us, but I don't give a flying fuck.

Listen, schmuck, I don't give a flying fuck if you give a flying fuck. Your reserve to preserve the status quo makes you nothing but an impediment. If the Declaration, Common Sense, or the Constitution were enough, we wouldn't have needed Atlas Shrugged, now would we?

I don't consider myself an anarchist, in the chaotic sense of the word, but, as That Man has put it, "for all he's really worth to Objectivism today, That Woman might as well never have devoted a single line to Ragnar Danneskjold." (And I'm not satisfied with Rand's own antipathy towards that character, either. "Who Watches the Watcher?")

My personal answer to forging alliances is still based on the idea of "ad-hoc committees," as postulated by Rand:
"Above all, do not join the wrong ideological groups or movements, in order to “do something.” By “ideological” (in this context), I mean groups or movements proclaiming some vaguely generalized, undefined (and, usually, contradictory) political goals...The only groups one may properly join today are ad hoc committees, i.e., groups organized to achieve a single, specific, clearly defined goal, on which men of differing views can agree. In such cases, no one may attempt to ascribe his views to the entire membership, or to use the group to serve some hidden ideological purpose (and this has to be watched very, very vigilantly)."
Personally, I don't hold any regard for Republicans or conservatives (c'mon. Really?? The lamb that lies down with the lion is dinner, ya know...) Though I have sympathy for a Ron Paul, I haven't accepted him as my personal lord and savior; if he's a politician, he's susceptible to the same pressures of power any other would-be-redeemer faces. What's he going to do, reform the system from the inside? If he's truly a freedom-fighter, then he's in the minority, like the rest of us, and has no more ability than we have individually to stop this thing. Besides, my life, my rights, and my freedom are not up for vote. So it's STILL up to the individual to find their own freedom in an unfree world, and any alliance one makes can't be counter-productive.

Here's the deal: I will fight alongside anyone else who values their freedom and respects mine. But when dealing with less-than-desirable "allies," you best be sure that I won't turn my back...To quote an old saying:

Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me, and be my friend.

And if you can't do that, then "get the hell out of my way."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stargazer Series by Spaceplayer

Stargazer series from Spaceplayer. Written and performed by Joe Maurone.

©2009 Joseph Maurone.

Empire of the Sun by Spaceplayer (me)

EMPIRE OF THE SUN, by Spaceplayer. Written and performed by Joe Maurone.


...A musical depiction of the lone cowboy riding off into the sunset, merged with the Plato's allegory of the cave, and the flight of Phaethon.

A brief libretto: The "space cowboy" rejects the darkness and fake shadows on the cave walls, and ventures out, discovering the real sun. He runs back to share his discovery; but an eclipse, at that very moment, blots out the sun. He is shunned because of this, but knowing what he saw, sets out to find it again...alone, in the darkness of space, he begins to go crazy with doubt, the absence of light sending him into hallucinations of star death...only the spark of the memory of the sun offers solace...with that spark, he carries on the to light of Hyperion, and sets the controls the heart of the sunrise...

What does he find? Well, ever wonder why cowboys ride off into the sunset and never come back?

Shine on...


Song Listings (click to play/download):

A Headbanging Tribute to Lindsay Perigo

Once again, Lindsay Perigo, from the safety of his little hidey hole where he must never be challenged by his sniveling sycophants, flexes his liquid keyboard courage and shoots his mouth off about people's musical choices while showing himself to be the drunken buffoon he is thought to be.

But while Perigo berates, I create, and create again.

You'd best sober up before you ever dare to judge me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Real-Life Heroes: Jasper Shuringa, the "Flying Hero Dutchman"

(Originally published at Superhero Babylon)

You've most likely heard, by now, about the Christmas day terror attempt to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253, another demonstration of the truth about Islam. Fortunately, we got a demonstration of true heroism as well. From the Washington Post: "Fear and heroism aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 after attempted bombing." And our hero of the day is Jasper Schuringa, the "Flying Hero Dutchman." He's an American hero, a designation that goes beyond race, creed, color. May more so-callled "Americans" be as brave.
From the Washington Post:
Jasper Schuringa, an Amsterdam resident, lunged toward the fire in Row 19, jumping from one side of the plane to the other and over several other passengers. He burned his fingers as he grabbed a piece of melting plastic held by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused Saturday of trying to bring down the passenger jet with a homemade explosive device.

Schuringa, a video producer, restrained Abdulmutallab as others used blankets and fire extinguishers to douse the flames.

"When I saw the suspect, that he was getting on fire, I freaked, of course, and without any hesitation I just jumped over all the seats," Schuringa told CNN on Saturday. "And I jumped to the suspect. I was thinking like, he's trying to blow up the plane."

Another passenger, Veena Saigal said Schuringa "was holding him from the back, with a strong grip."

"When he went back to his seat, we all clapped," Saigal said of Schuringa.

"I am grateful to the passengers and crew aboard Northwest Flight 253 who reacted quickly and heroically to an incident that could have had tragic results," Napolitano said in a statement Saturday.

This man deserves a hero's welcome, and certainly a few minutes of your time to listen to his story. So here's the story in English AND Dutch.



Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Avatar's Savage Message," and the Prog-Rock Revival

"Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends..." Avatar is not only a hash of new-age ideas in a technicolor dreamcoat, it's a rehash of new-age ideas in said dreamcoat. The progressive rock bands of the seventies beat Cameron to the punch, and it shows; not only are the visual designs digital animations of a Yes album, the philosophical themes are co-opted as well...including the contradictions.

You know, I went in knowing full well that I wouldn't like Avatar, given my Objectivist leanings. Yet I was intrigued by the Yes-like set designs (which are a little too close to Roger Dean's famous artwork to be coincidence.) So, as a fan of the music (not the philosophy) of Yes and their artwork, I went for the visual experience alone, which was well-worth the extra few dollars for the 3-D; I give credit where credit's due. And I wanted to like the story; there is a certain "sense of life" in those old Yes albums and artwork that appeals to me, that suggests a fantastic, imaginative, beautiful vision of the world. And even though I'm a global warming skeptic, I am concerned with the abuses of ecology that result in blight, and promote the idea of ecological harmony with technology as seen in the organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. That said, the story was SO horrid, from a philosophical standpoint. If it had stopped about halfway through (which would have been a regular film length, at that point), I might have been sympathetic to the Na'vi's fight for their home; politically, I am opposed to the government's seizure of land via "eminent domain." But what followed was basically a battle not between freedom and fascism, but a gang war between "Attila's and witchdoctors."

Fortunately, I'm spared the duty of detailing the mess that is this movie, as Ed Hudgins of The Atlas Society has already said what needs to be said in his review,"Avatar's Savage Message." Hudgings hones in on the film's philosophical sources, like the "noble savage" of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the new-age "Gaia Theory, and the irony of using technology to condemn technology. He concludes that "hopefully Cameron has so overplayed his hand with his politically correct plot that audiences will leave the comfort of the theater with an appreciation for technology and no desire to flee to a jungle or support the sort of public policies that would reduce our civilization to savagery."

WELCOME TO THE MACHINE

Hudgins's article frees me up to go off on a tangent on my pet topic, progressive rock. Since the comparison has already been made with the visuals to the album covers of Yes, it's interesting to note that the philosophy behind that band, especially that of lyricist Jon Anderson, is almost identical to the theme of Avatar. It's no coincidence that the "Gaia worship" involves floating islands, living planets, and luminescent creatures combined with the sci-fi trapping of Yes album covers, most notable Fragile, with the world giving off planetary spores and the exiles flying in wooden spaceships. (Jon Anderson took this concept further with his solo concept album, Olias of Sunhillow.)

What's even more interesting is that the paradox of using technology to condemn technology in Cameron's project is a familiar one to fans (and critics) of progressive rock. "Man versus machine" is a common theme of Yes songs such as "Machine Messiah" from Drama, which makes mention of William Blake's description of the "dark satanic mills" of industrial England from the hymn "Jerusalem." And by no means was Yes the only group to address this theme; Pink Floyd had "Welcome to the Machine," Alan Parsons and his Project gave us I Robot, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer took it to its apogee with the album Brain Salad Surgery. That album connects with the Yes theme via the album opener, "Jerusalem," and ends with "Karn Evil 9," a Matrix-like story of man conquered by machine. (Also notable is the H.R. Giger cover, which predated his work on Alien, and also brings us back to Cameron.) These bands employed state-of-the-art hi fi, toured with several tons of electronic equipment, and staged elaborate shows to tell tales of technology gone awry while reminiscing of a Romanticized pastoral England (the home of most prog-rock bands.) They, like Cameron, had no problem capitalizing on damning capitalism...


So, then, what is the common denominator of the paradox of progressive rock ideology and the ideology of Avatar? Even more curious; why are some Objectivists fighting over the message of freedom in this movie? It all goes back to the the sixties, of course. Just ask James Cameron:
"I have an absolute reverence for men who have a sense of duty, courage, but I’m also a child of the ’60s. There’s a part of me who wants to put a daisy in the end of the gun barrel. I believe in peace through superior firepower, but on the other hand I abhor the abuse of power and creeping imperialism disguised as patriotism. Some of these things you can’t raise without being called unpatriotic, but I think it’s very patriotic to question a system that needs to be corralled, or it becomes Rome."
This is the same sentiment behind Yes songs such as "Yours is No Disgrace," a song telling the horrors of Vietnam from the side of the Viet Cong. But it also brings up the paradox inherent in the hippie movement, the paradox of advocating freedom while simultaneously being sympathetic to ideas associated with Socialism or Communism. This is not so surprising, however, if one looks at the history of the Libertarian movement, which started, in part, as a reaction by certain members of the hippie movement who were turned off by the dominance of the New Left in the fight for civil rights, for example. Some were attracted to the freedom promised in the philosophy of Objectivism while simultaneously repulsed by what they considered the uncompromising, anti-hedonistic "fascism" of Ayn Rand. This is all detailed in Jeff Riggenbach's In Praise of Decadence. Without endorsing that book's conclusions (see my review) it does a valuable service in explaining the paradox. Ayn Rand's appreciation for religious themed works, or the works of socialistic Victor Hugo, were based on the work's benevolent "sense-of-life," which often clashed with their explicit philosophy. Hence, it's easy to see why freedom-loving people can be attracted to the "spirit of the sixties," the "rebellion" of rock music against oppression, the idea of "peace and love," or the admittedly lush, beautiful landscape of Avatar's Pandora.

It also explains why the themes don't integrate, why Avatar doesn't truly satisfy as a heroic battle for freedom, and is doomed philosophically by the very means it employs. People like Steve Jobs emerged from the hippie era to create the technology for James Cameron, only to turn that technology back upon itself. Unfortunately, however, if enough people listen, it is mankind that is ultimately doomed, for the world we will gain will not be the luminescent planet of Pandora, but the return to the primitive savagery, the "circle of life" that demands "survival of the fittest" and where man is simply meat.

"Goodbye, Uncle Tom..."

As America veers closer to full-out Fascism, I'll say here what I've had to say elsewhere: It will be a cold day in hell before I take flak for fighting evil, anti-man cultural corruptions from a "Uncle Tom" Objectivist. "Don't upset massa! He mights get mad at us! You best be quiet, so as not to offend or irritate others!" That goes for anyone else claiming to fight for freedom in an unfree world, Objectivist or not. Take a lesson from the slaves who fought for freedom throughout history, black or otherwise. Do what you have to in order to survive, but don't sell out the rest of us, especially those with the courage to stand up and say what needs to be said. Those people already have their necks out, without having to worry about one of "our own" wielding the whip.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ode to Christmas Heroes

To commemorate the Christmas day soldiers of the American Revolution, a sonnet that was written in 1936 by David Shulman.

Dedicated to the brave men and women serving on this day.

A hard, howling, tossing water scene. Strong tide was washing hero clean. "How cold!" Weather stings as in anger. O Silent night shows war ace danger!

The cold waters swashing on in rage. Redcoats warn slow his hint engage. When star general's action wish'd "Go!" He saw his ragged continentals row.

Ah, he stands - sailor crew went going. And so this general watches rowing. He hastens - winter again grows cold. A wet crew gain Hessian stronghold.

George can't lose war with's hand in; He's astern - so go alight, crew, and win!

Quote of the Day

"A confidence man knows he's lying; that limits his scope. But a successful shaman believes what he says — and belief is contagious; there is no limit to his scope. But I lacked the necessary confidence in my own infallibility; I could never become a prophet ... just a critic — a sort of fourth-rate prophet with delusions of gender."
  • -Jubal Harshaw, Stranger in a Strange Land

Paging Dr. Hendricks...

“I quit when medicine was placed under State control, some years ago,” said Dr. Hendricks. “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything – except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, only ‘to serve.’ That a man who’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards – never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind – yet what is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in their operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of a man who resents it – and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t.”

Ayn Rand
“Atlas Shrugged”

T'was the Night Before Christmas...





Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rewriting Bethlehem

"Every December 24, on the anniversary of the passing of the Health Care Reform bill, the people of America were making their annual pilgrimage to Washington, in order to be accounted for and pay their taxes. But one year a child was born in a manger, because there was no room at the hospital, because the wait was so long and care was rationed (as were pregnancies, since babies leave a big carbon footprint.) The stars were visible that night, since lightbulbs were long deemed ecologically illegal. However, there was no shining star to guide the wise men, since there were no wise men remaining."

"But, as the child grows up, he starts to question the world, and the lack of money changers in the temple...he wonders why men scream in the middle of the night. And, upon maturity, on the night of the darkest night of the year, the winter solstice, the man goes into the forbidden forest, to seek his freedom, and discovers a hidden tunnel full of electric wonders from the Unmentionable Times...He takes those twinkling lights and hangs them on a tree...attracting the attention of the Golden One..."

Monster/Suicide/America (Steppenwolf)

"America, where are you now?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
Don't you know we need you now?
We can't fight alone against the monster..."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Whip of the Week: "This Civil War, From Hot to Cold..."

Since Billy Beck seems to be taken a well-deserved vacation from blogging the "endarkenment", I'm taking it upon myself to document "the whip of the week." From Malone Vandam's New Paltz Journal:



It could be a sniveling weasel like E.J. Dionne…

running his rotten mouth like this that is the spark that moves this civil war from cold to hot.

Just the pure goggle-eyed violent stupidity of it could be the tinder of insurrection. The proverbial final straw.


This was in response to Dionne's comment:

In a normal democracy, such majorities would work their will, a law would pass, and champagne corks would pop. But everyone must get it through their heads that thanks to the bizarre habits of the Senate, we are no longer a normal democracy.

"Normal democracy." If you're not historically-aware enough to imagine the likes of a Caeser, Napoleon, or Hitler in response to this quote (and you SHOULD be), maybe a Star Wars comparison will jolt your memory, as Chancellor Palpatine used such an argument to gain control of the Senate and the Empire. If there is any shred of understanding of the loss of freedom in this country, this civil war could and should move from cold to hot. Otherwise, if this health care vote passes, we'll be quoting Queen Amidala: “This is how liberty dies – to thunderous applause.”

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Everything Hitler Did Was Within the Law..."


"So Congress needs to take a step back..."

MLK: We can never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." -Letters from Birmingham Jail

Or, as paraphrased elsewhere, what Hitler did was legal and what the USA Founding Fathers did was illegal.

False Prophets of Hope: John McCain

"We have just begun to fight."

YOU'RE ONE OF THEM, JOHN. Quoting Roosevelt doesn't make you Patrick Henry. Don't pretend to be otherwise.

Countdown...

From CNN: Senate Health Care Bill Clears Key Hurdle

Washington (CNN) -- Democrats won a major victory in their push for health care reform early Monday morning as the Senate voted to end debate on a package of controversial revisions to a sweeping $871 billion bill.

The 60-40 party-line vote, cast shortly after 1 a.m., kept Senate Democrats on track to pass the bill on Christmas Eve. If it passes, the measure will then have to be merged with a roughly $1 trillion plan passed by the House of Representatives in November. Shortly after the vote, the Senate went into recess until noon Monday.


"The die is cast. It's done," New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer proclaimed after the vote."

"Die" is an awfully appropriate word, Chuck. This bill passes, and it will be the death of America.

"Who watches the Watchmen?"


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Taking Christmas Back From Christ

"It's the season for earthly pleasures, and embracing the spectacle is no sin."

US News and World Report recently published ARI's Onkar Ghates' op-ed, "Commercialism Only Adds to Joy of the Holidays". He starts off by stating: "I'm an atheist, and I love Christmas. If you think that's a contradiction, think again." It's not a contradiction to anyone already familiar with Ayn Rand's defense of Christmas:

...The secular meaning of the Christmas holiday is wider than the tenets of any particular religion: it is good will toward men—a frame of mind which is not the exclusive property (though it is supposed to be part, but is a largely unobserved part) of the Christian religion.

The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says: “Merry Christmas”—not “Weep and Repent.” And the good will is expressed in a material, earthly form—by giving presents to one’s friends, or by sending them cards in token of remembrance . . . .

One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle. -The Objectivist Calendar, Dec. 1976.

So, why would one be "terribly depressed" at such a spectacle? Because America's current corruption of capitalism is not Rand's "unknown ideal." I'd like to use Rand's own words to zoom in on WHY Christmas and commercialism have gotten a bad rap. In Atlas Shrugged, Dagny Taggart's comments on the problems at a fancy party mirror those of Christmas commercialism:

…do they think it's in reverse?…The lights and the flowers. Do they expect those things to make them romantic, not the other way around?...There wasn't a person there who enjoyed it…or who thought or felt anything at all. They moved about, and they said the same dull things they say anywhere. I suppose they thought the lights would make it brilliant.

Isn't that what we often see at Christmas? People running around, stressing about the details, the lights, the presents, the shopping, running up credit card bills on presents that they really can't afford, for which they'll pay with sleepless nights and bailouts for bank failures? They get so caught up in the concrete details, expecting those things to make them happy...but as Dagny observed, those things only have meaning if they are an outward manifestation of the joy within. It's no surprise, given the dominant anti-life morality, that people would feel betrayed when the happiness promised isn't delivered, and they blame all the commercial aspects and not their religious values. The depression and suicides associated with the holidays are not the result of Rand's commercial Christmas, but that of Gordon Gekko's consumer capitalism, where value is gained second-hand, or worse, a materialism divorced from values. It's the work of Immanuel Kant, with his sacrificial "call of duty." (Here, I have to add a thought: much criticism is directed towards business in bed with government, but Christmas highlights the problem of business in bed with religion/altruism; here, it's in a corporation's short-range goal to wed the altruistic notion of "giving" with the business acting as an enabler.) With that said, I'm going to conclude with some words from Onkar Ghate's op-ed:

...there is no commandment, "Thou shall buy a present for every one you know." This is the religious mentality of duty rearing its ugly head again. Do and buy only that which you can truly afford and enjoy; there are myriad ways to celebrate with loved ones without spending a cent.

Merry Christmas, Whoville.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Proud Flag-Waving Communists and Socialists March in Copenhagen to Stop Global Warming

Copenhagen might be over, but there's Still a long way to go...Despite a lack of consensus, the Times Online reports that "one positive outcome for developing countries was a commitment by rich countries to provide $30 billion of climate aid over the next three years and $100 billion a year from 2020.

The US announced by far the lowest pledge. It will contribute $3.6 billion between 2010 and 2012, while Japan will give $11 billion and the European Union $10.6 billion."

And then there's this...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Copin' with Copenhagen

Obama realizes the limits of his power? That's a sign of hope...from the Wall Street Journal article, "Copenhagen's Lesson in Limits":

Whatever led President Obama to believe that his personal intercession at the climate-change summit would achieve something major, his very presence in Copenhagen made "a significant breakthrough" a political imperative, no matter how flimsy. And that's exactly what a senior Administration official called a last-ditch deal—details to come—in a media leak as we went to press last evening and the conference headed into overtime.

Mr. Obama's inexplicable injunction yesterday that "the time for talk is over" appears to have produced an agreement to continue talking. The previous 12 days of frantic sound and pointless fury showed that there isn't anything approaching an international consensus on carbon control. What Copenhagen offered instead was a lesson in limits for a White House partial to symbolic gestures and routinely disappointed by reality.