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New Year’s Plans, Comrades?

Posted by V the K at 5:05 pm - December 31, 2016.
Filed under: Holidays

Glad to put this year behind us. I’m not that much for social occasions. I spent last night attending a post-Christmas party with my extended family. It was nice, but I was glad to come home. Not the longest drive I’ve ever made on New Year’s Eve. Back when my middle son was into the electronic music scene, I drove him 11 hours on NYE so he could perform at a Youth Center. Then, after the show, we drove back. I drank like a dozen Red Bulls and was loopy as all-get-out by the time we got home. I was ready to just crash out just then, but that was the exact moment one of our house’s smoke detectors decided its battery was about to die. It was bleating out a loud death-squeal every ten minutes, so there was no sleep to be had until I dug the 20-ft ladder out out the garage (it was at the peak of a cathedral ceiling, the smoke detector was), climbed up and deactivated it. Then, I crashed out, just as the sun was rising on January 1.

So, what’s everybody doing? I think it’s gonna be a quiet night of movies tonight. Tomorrow, lunch at a Brazilian steakhouse with friends. Resolutions? I don’t make them. I’m hoping to spend more time at the range next year. That’s pretty much it. You guys?

 

All Is Safely Gathered In

Posted by V the K at 8:48 pm - December 24, 2016.
Filed under: Holidays

Good night, and have a frank and productive Christmas.

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The Nazis Didn’t Care For Christmas Either

Posted by V the K at 7:54 am - December 23, 2016.
Filed under: Holidays

In Hitler’s Germany, the socialist, intellectual elite sought to take out the Christian aspects of the holiday and instead emphasize its Pagan roots and relationship to the Winter Solstice. Why does that sound so… familiar?

One of the most striking features of private celebration in the Nazi period was the redefinition of Christmas as a neo-pagan, Nordic celebration. Rather on focus on the holiday’s religious origins, the Nazi version celebrated the supposed heritage of the Aryan race, the label Nazis gave to “racially acceptable” members of the German racial state.

According to Nazi intellectuals, cherished holiday traditions drew on winter solstice rituals practiced by “Germanic” tribes before the arrival of Christianity. Lighting candles on the Christmas tree, for example, recalled pagan desires for the “return of light” after the shortest day of the year.

Scholars have called attention to the manipulative function of these and other invented traditions. But that’s no reason to assume they were unpopular. Since the 1860s, German historians, theologians and popular writers had argued that German holiday observances were holdovers from pre-Christian pagan rituals and popular folk superstitions.

The Nazis, y’see, thought religious superstition and belief in an invisible magical sky god were the atavistic traits of people of lower intelligence. They believed the Secular State should replace religion as the central focus of everyone’s life.

An Objectivist Perspective on ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Posted by V the K at 2:31 pm - December 10, 2016.
Filed under: Economy,Holidays

Tom Mullen at the Foundation for Economic Education has an interesting (and quite supportable) perspective on Frank Capra’s enduring holiday public domain classic: George Bailey was a huckster running a socialist Ponzi scheme and playing his customers for chumps. (Bailey Building and Loan being sort of the Bedford Falls version of OneUnited Bank). The real hero of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was Old Man Potter.

The inescapable truth is Potter is wealthy because he provides a product that most satisfies his customers’ preferences for quality and price. If there were an opportunity to provide a higher quality product at a lower price than Potter was charging, a competitor would do so and take market share away from Potter, until Potter either raised his quality, lowered his price, or both.

The Baileys burn with resentment that so many residents of Bedford Falls prudently choose to live in Potter’s less expensive housing than buy a house they can’t afford, financed by the Baileys’ Ponzi scheme. Thus, even after shirking their fiduciary duty to run the business properly, the Baileys spend decades assaulting Potter’s character in a transparent attempt to lure away his customers.

Without Potter, a large portion of Bedford Falls would be unemployed. When the Depression hits and the Bailey Building and Loan is exposed for the fractional reserve fraud it is, Potter offers to come to the rescue with a generous offer to buy out its customers. It is noteworthy there is a run on the Bailey Building and Loan and the local bank, but Potter is financially secure enough to save them both, proving once again he is the only honorable businessman in the film.

Read the whole thing.

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The PC Thanksgiving Sketch

Posted by V the K at 12:35 pm - November 23, 2016.
Filed under: Holidays

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Leftists Want to Ruin Thanksgiving… Again

Posted by V the K at 12:23 pm - November 18, 2016.
Filed under: Holidays

Every year, the left issues instructions to its idiotic, fanatical followers on how to turn Thanksgiving (and the other holidays) into an opportunity to drag your family into an unwanted political “conversation*.”  This year is no different; and idiot leftist Sally Kohn is leading the charge.  She’s using stick-figure cartoons to provide instrunctions because… that’s the intellectual limit of her followers, apparently.

This year, the left is adding some nuance… instructing its followers to pretend to listen to the other side’s concerns before launching into the “conversation.”

* i.e. One-sided lecture in which the leftist tells you you’re wrong and a racist for disagreeing with her.

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Halloween Music

Posted by V the K at 6:08 pm - October 22, 2016.
Filed under: Holidays

We did a Halloween movie thread last week. Why not a Halloween music post? Join us, won’t you? Here’s some musics that I would put on any Halloween playlist.

  • Ministry “Everyday Is Halloween” — Not 100% sure, but almost sure Goth culture traces its origins to this song.
  • Bauhaus, “Bela Legosi’s Dead,” — If a girl with black lipstick has never forced you to sit in her room and listen to it… good for you. Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love bonded over this song. We all know how well that worked out.
  • Book of Love/Mike Oldfield, “Tubular Bells,” — This is the version I know. Your results may vary. They also do a song called “Witchcraft” that incorporates the names of all the witches from Bewitched into the chorus. It’s nothing like the Frank Sinatra version, which I also like.
  • The Damned, “Grimly Fiendish” and The Specials, “Ghost Town,” — Yeah the latter is one of those tedious “We Hate Maggie Thatcher” anthems from early eighties Britain, but it’s just spooky enough to cut it.
  • Nick Cave, “Red Right Hand” — This song just creeps me out.
  • It’s hard to find more recent Halloween worthy music… but this mash-up is perfect.  One song dressing up as another? Totes appropes for Halloween.
  • Also, Blink-182, “Aliens Exist” — Apparently, the singer got so obsessed with aliens he got kicked out of the band.
  • Dead or Alive, “Something in My House” — They used to play this at Detroit Red Wings games. I remember hearing it at Joe Louis Arena.
  • Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party” is a pedestrian choice. I prefer “Just Another Day,” — when you parse the lyrics, its a song from the POV of a paranoid schizophrenic. Also, “Weird Science” and “No One Lives Forever” from the same album.  “Stay” is also a brilliant song and probably the spookiest cut on the album. In college I knew a couple who went to a Halloween party costumed as the ghosts from the video. Going to a party as Danny Elfman would have been creepier.

“Monster Mash” is not on the list. I’ve always hated “Monster Mash.”

OK, What else you got?

Happy Life Day Everybody

Posted by V the K at 10:37 am - December 24, 2014.
Filed under: Holidays

It’s Christmas Eve, and I just don’t want to talk about another innocent black urban youth shot dead while innocently pointing a gun at a cop, so… let’s watch this instead:

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Talk Amongst Yourselves

Posted by V the K at 10:31 am - December 22, 2014.
Filed under: Holidays

Between work and the unwelcome presence of future in-laws, my time is limited and my stress is infinite. So, consider this a thread with some nice transgender Christmas Music for accompaniment. Take it away, Steve…

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Christmas Music for Obama Voters

Posted by V the K at 5:46 pm - December 14, 2014.
Filed under: Holidays

Pretty much sums it up…

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Below the fold, Christmas music for Liz Warren voters…

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Memorial Day

Posted by V the K at 10:46 am - May 26, 2014.
Filed under: Holidays

Memorial-Day

Roger Simon: A non-veteran laments not serving, and allowing better men to die in his place.

LA Times: An idiot leftist wonders why we “celebrate” war on Memorial Day; recommends a day to celebrate Peace.

Google: Still regards Memorial Day as unworthy of commemoration.

Bing: Not afraid to show a little patriotism.

Thankful for friends with whom I disagree

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:36 am - November 28, 2013.
Filed under: Holidays

In the past twenty-four hours, Facebook has become increasingly fun, with friends reducing their political commentary and focusing instead on holiday preparation.  It’s as if people made a pact to avoid contentious issues and focus on family, holiday baking, travel stories and the fact that this year the first day of Chanuka falls on Thanksgiving Day.

Like many Americans, I’ll be hitting the road to spend the day with family, in my case, with a sister who holds political views different from my own.  And that does not prevent me from loving her and looking forward to sharing this day with her, her husband and her sons.  I’m grateful that our relationship remains strong despite our political differences — and am thankful that I have many other such family members and friends.

It’s been nice to turn to Facebook in idle moments these past twenty-four hours — and to see erstwhile ideological adversaries posting on things we both enjoy.  This may not last, so let’s be thankful for it while we can!

Happy Thanksgiving!

God Bless America

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:51 pm - July 4, 2013.
Filed under: Holidays,Patriotism,Ronald Reagan

Watcher of Weasels Nominations — Valetine’s Day 2013

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:44 pm - February 14, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas,Holidays

Council Submissions

Dr. King’s Dream: “deeply rooted in the American dream”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:54 am - January 21, 2013.
Filed under: Freedom,Great Americans,Great Men,Holidays

In making the case for civil rights for black Americans in the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often cited not just the founding (and other defining) documents of our country, but also its patriotic hymns.

In his “I Have a Dream” speech spoken almost fifty years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he referenced the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution as well as the Emancipation Proclamation.  He recited verses from “My country ‘Tis of Thee.”  He did not fault the American ideal, instead wanted to make that ideal real for all citizens of this great republic.

In that great address, he spoke the word, “free” or “freedom” twenty-five times.  He knew the word defined as aspect of the American ideal.  And he was ever the optimist:

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.  It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. (more…)

With Connecticut horror fresh in our minds, ’tis not the season to politicize

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:06 am - December 17, 2012.
Filed under: Family,Holidays

Like many of those who are more supportive than critical of the National Rifle Association, I have struggled mightily this weekend not to respond to friend’s Facebook posts holding the organization responsible for Friday’s shooting in Connecticut.

Horrified, as we all are, by what happened, they want to pin the blame on someone and choose an outfit of which they have long been critical.  Perhaps, it makes them feel better.  Or perhaps, it helps them make sense of actions which transcend the understanding of rational, civilized people.

As the ancient Greeks so well understood, we will never fully understand the irrational.

What makes this one so particularly painful was the murder of twenty children, none older than 7.  And that they were killed in a season where most of us celebrate with our families.  Twenty-seven families will have less to celebrate this year, feeling the loss of a child, a girlfriend, a wife, a sister, an aunt or a mother.

It is those murdered individuals and the families we should be thinking about right now.  As a nation, we are united in grief.  Yes, there is political rhetoric to criticize and media behavior to condemn, but in criticizing it, we lose sight of what really matters.

Some people get it.  I have seen numerous Facebook posts from friends on both sides of the political aisle and those about whose political leanings I know nothing who have offered touching tributes to the fallen as well as gentle reminders to cherish our family and friends. (more…)

Vacant storefronts in Westwood Village (near UCLA)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:33 am - December 12, 2012.
Filed under: California politics,Economy,Holidays,LA Stories

I began my holiday shopping yesterday in Westwood Village, the shopping/dining district immediately adjacent to UCLA; was struck by the amount of vacant retail space.  On Westwood Blvd itself, I counted five empty storefronts on each side of the street just on one block (between Kinross and Weyburn).  And that’s not counting the signs on the second floor.

And I could see signs advertising “Space available” on other buildings beyond this block.

When I mentioned this in one store where I bought some gifts, a clerk commented that someone had just said the same thing about Beverly Hills.  He noted that Westwood Blvd had been particularly hard hit, with a Mexican restaurant that had served the area for twenty-five years, recently vacating its Westwood premises.

I believe this the space that restaurant once occupied:

Restaurant

Note these two storefronts, immediately adjacent to one another: (more…)

Why do more Americans put Mitt Romney on the “nice” list*?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:47 am - December 11, 2012.
Filed under: Holidays,Random Thoughts

Are they having second thoughts about the election? According “to a lighthearted new survey released Monday by Public Policy Polling (PPP)“:

More Americans put Romney than Obama on Kris Kringle’s “nice” list: 63 percent said the former Massachusetts governor would get presents, versus just 51 percent for the president, PPP found.

Mr. Obama won just under 51% of the vote last month.

Assuming all those who voted for Mr. Romney put him on the “nice” list, then over one-quarter of those who voted for Mr. Obama also would put the Republican on the list.

* (more…)

Happy Independence Day!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:28 am - July 4, 2012.
Filed under: American History,Freedom,Holidays,Patriotism

On Flag Day, the Duke Salutes the Flag

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:08 pm - June 14, 2012.
Filed under: Great Men,Holidays,Patriotism