Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all OL and Beyond - Dec. 2019


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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all OL and Beyond - Dec. 2019

To all OL posters and readers, and all others within our orbit, Kat and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year going into 2020.

As always, it has been an honor to be at the helm or our little corner of the universe.

Rather than mention plans for the future, I just want to pause, feel the gratitude for the past and enjoy the present reflecting on what we have accomplished here. We are helping spread awareness of Rand, the good things in Rand's writing, and we have helped make the world a better place, not just in words, but in actions.

You know what we have done.

More will come. It will be good.

But it has been good. All of it. It has all been good.

Love you all.

May much happiness grace your life.

Michael

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btw - Has anyone noticed that more people are saying Merry Christmas this year than in the recent past?

They are.

To me, that's a good thing.

The primary emotional load of this phrase has not gone away. In visual terms, I see smiling people gathered with friends and family, abundance all around, bells ringing, children wide-eyed with anticipation and wonder, and even the less fortunate with a moment of joy on their faces.

Talk about a feel good time of the year. It's a massive oxytocin dump in our brains.

This holiday and this phrase are important.

Ayn Rand certainly thought so.

image.png

(Image from here.)

Rand's words when asked about celebrating Christmas, even athiests--and notice she did not try to replace the word "Christmas" by saying "winter solstice" or other mind-pretzels like that:

Quote

Yes, of course. A national holiday, in this country, cannot have an exclusively religious meaning. 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 . . . .

The best aspect of Christmas is the aspect usually decried by the mystics: the fact that Christmas has been commercialized. The gift-buying . . . stimulates an enormous outpouring of ingenuity in the creation of products devoted to a single purpose: to give men pleasure. And the street decorations put up by department stores and other institutions—the Christmas trees, the winking lights, the glittering colors—provide the city with a spectacular display, which only “commercial greed” could afford to give us. One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle.

When traditions feel that good, it's folly to muck around with the words that express them. All that does is dilute the intensity of the emotions.

Think about the nature of those who want to dilute gaiety by injecting confusion and guilt through word games and censorial attitudes. What do they really want?

That's a good question even for the accompanying expressions. For example, and just to be a smart-ass, Rand did not mean sexual orientation with the word "gaiety."

:) 

So let me say it again:

Merry Christmas to you all.

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) 

Michael

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4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Think about the nature of those who want to dilute gaiety by injecting confusion and guilt through word games and censorial attitudes. What do they really want?

The fundamental attribution error, maybe. 

If I were Chief Censor, I'd say "Say what you wish, I don't care, nor does anyone else who counts. On the other hand, beware 'fighting words.'" With a couple of "Joyeuses Fêtes!" tacked to walls, with bitter grievances relegated to the porch or garage or tied fast 'round the Festivus pole. Many atheists I know practice generosity and kindness, celebrate family and food traditions fully.

The greatest yearly exodus from home to home in the USA is I believe Thanksgiving, whereas up here it is the Christmas holidays bar none. Our biggest shopping day of the year is Boxing Day.  Christmas ritual is for most of all but on-duty workers, a gather-round-the-hearth stuff-your-face kind of time.

I love that among (New York) Jewish Christmas traditions, according to lore, is going out for Chinese food. Apparently there are many variations in and among groups and faiths other than Christian. For example, the mostly-Muslim Iranian community in Vancouver does the whole tree-gifts-Santa thing en famille, as do so many others -- including many Santa-hatted Sikhs -- who up their year-round charity game this time of year, targeting the homeless and otherwise suffering for their gifts.

For any OLers who may be spending holiday time alone or shut-in, I sent my best wishes for the season. May your days be merry and bright, even if without a gang of family, parcels of friends or festive boards. Take solace in community traditions if possible, accept jolly  invitations, make the round of sung masses and holy convocations, of Christmas choristers and festival-ettes of light and peace. 

It's kind of cool to look back at almost fifteen years of OL. Festivities of Reason! -- with occasional bumps along the road. 

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.  Beware of communist-influenced "Holiday" movies ...

Edited by william.scherk
Grammar and syntax fixes
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Merry Christmas to all! We went to our daughters house for lunch with all the trimmings and I brought home meat, cheese, fruit salad with sour cream and marsh mellows, and deviled eggs. The fruit salad is sweet even with a base of sour cream. And gift cards, the best present ever, Santa. 

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Happy New Year# Wow, the exclamation point disappeared. It was an awesome year. Oddly for Delmarva, there were plenty of "reports" from firearms before dark but none after . . . that I could hear.      

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On New Year's Eve William posted a blog entry titled (quoting from memory) "No Need to Check Facts when You [sic] Gut Tells You....."

The entry and all comments (about 9) seem to have disappeared.

I'll repeat the second paragraph of a post I made about 2:00 am this morning:

"Larry and I went to dinner at a place we love - an historic inn, currently called 'Abigail's,' which dates back to not long after the Revolutionary War.  We toasted: 'To Donald Trump's re-election.'"

Ellen

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2 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

On New Year's Eve William posted a blog entry titled (quoting from memory) "No Need to Check Facts when You [sic] Gut Tells You....."

The entry and all comments (about 9) seem to have disappeared.

I'll repeat the second paragraph of a post I made about 2:00 am this morning:

"Larry and I went to dinner at a place we love - an historic inn, currently called 'Abigail's,' which dates back to not long after the Revolutionary War.  We toasted: 'To Donald Trump's re-election.'"

Ellen,

People who have blogs and their own threads in the Corners of Insight on OL have the ability to delete posts and threads on them.

I do, too, but I rarely use it (mostly for spammers and such). Regardless, I did not delete that entry, so it could only have been William.

I don't want to second guess him, but I am pleased he removed my own posts (from 2016) that he quoted and altered without telling people he altered them. He had posted me saying "Drumpf" over and over instead of Trump. Probably other things, although I'm not sure since I didn't read this trolling carefully (I only skimmed it). It was not trolling in a joking tone and it was not clever so, to me, it wasn't interesting enough to read.

If I were to second guess why he took that thread down, I would say he realized this backfired as it exposed his motives more than it encouraged people to mock President Trump or mock me for supporting the president during the election and after. It made him look petty, dishonest and, in a sense, even authoritarian in a fake news kind of way. But saying he realized this is just me speculating.

Or he might have realized that when people troll him, calling foul is rich.

Who knows? Maybe he felt shame for doing that kind of crap on purpose and repented. (I'm also selling the Brooklyn Bridge.) :evil:  :) 

At any rate, that's him.

For those who post on the blogs of others on OL, realize that your posts can be deleted by the blog holder. In light of that, I often open a thread on the forum about the same subject William is discussing on a blog. I know I won't delete posts without letting everyone know and giving my damn good reason. (And once again, that almost never happens. Very rare.)

As to your dinner at Abigail's with Larry, let me join in your toast:

To Donald Trump's re-election.

Hear hear.

You picked a perfect spot to make that toast.

Michael

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

If I were to second guess why he took that thread down, I would say he realized this backfired as it exposed his motives more than it encouraged people to mock President Trump or mock me for supporting the president during the election and after. It made him look petty, dishonest and, in a sense, even authoritarian in a fake news kind of way. But saying he realized this is just me speculating.

I removed three blog entries that were 'drafts' ... in that I hadn't finished whatever I had intended to do with them. They had been pushed ahead to a January 1 2020 publishing date, as the blog format doesn't have a drafts capability. It was an error on my part not to have deleted or pushed them ahead to an even later date to publish. For those who had comments also deleted -- I had no way of saving them once the entries were deleted. You may forgive me or not.

Happy New Year to all. May reason be your guide ...

Edited by william.scherk
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1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

They had been pushed ahead to a January 1 2020 publishing date, as the blog format doesn't have a drafts capability. It was an error on my part not to have deleted or pushed them ahead to an even later date to publish. For those who had comments also deleted -- I had no way of saving them once the entries were deleted. You may forgive me or not.

Happy New Year to all.

William,

Rand said, "Judge and be prepared to be judged." I use this often as a guide for my life.

I once produced a protest singer and songwriter in Brazil, Geraldo Vandré. In one of his songs, he said, "Que a Deus cabe castigar, E se não castiga ele, Não quero eu o seu lugar"

Translation: It's up to God to punish. And if He doesn't punish, I don't want to take His place.

I use that at times in life, too. Geraldo's message in the song was shoot to kill, not punish. But I have found these particular words useful for other contexts. They form a phrase that comes unbidden in my mind whenever it wants to, at the most unexpected moments, not when I want to remember it.

I seek wisdom. In part, that to me means knowing which idea to use and when, including all the combinations and variations.

Thank you for the explanation.

Happy New Year to you.

Michael

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