Monday, December 24, 2012

  Hello and Merry Christmas!

       It is Christmas Eve as I write this and reflect on the year that has been. In so many ways it has been a blessings and in others a challenge.

      I've had my share of health challenges from gallstones to a hiatal hernia. Both are lifestyle issues that tell me I have to change. They can be endured and moderated through natural means and not with western medicine. Such things are a risk and take more time but are better than the alternatives.

      Work at the solar site provided enough income  that for the first time in years I made enough to have to file taxes. I appreciate the income but am not at all please with giving a government that over spends and supports so many things I disagree with my hard earned money. It is the law, whether I like it or not, and so I will obey and pay my share.

     This year was a dismal year for politics and social issues. We saw once again how little actually separates Republicans and Democrats. Both are rife with CFR members whose desire is to end our constitution, sovereignty, and individual rights. Both are spending us into oblivion as both are controlled by the elites and central banks. None of their policies make sense and virtually all of them are harmful to the citizens. We will now have foisted upon us socialized medicine which is an abject failure around the world except for the elite. Notice when the elites in charge pass laws they exempt themselves. It is only a matter of time before society objects to the point of revolt. When and how many do so will depend upon additional measures taken by the elites.  It is certainly not something I wish upon our nation and world. Many in other countries do not understand how different and free we are here and how much we cherish the rights of the individual over the group. Such freedom has risks but is far better than living as a controlled slave of the states.

      Recently, including this very day, we have the issue of violence in the news. The media and the national government insist it is all the fault of guns. That is simplistic and foolish but used to strike at the emotions of those who are stunned by the events. Prohibition does not work. It never has. Millions of people in this nation own weapons and are responsible with them. The bigger question is the high rate of unstable people walking about loose. They're just given a pill if they are treated at all. It is an insane way to handle the mentally ill. It is bad for them and harmful to society. Yet the bleeding hearts insist that putting them in a safe institution is cruel. Really? How cruel is it upon them and society to let them run loose? We also have the incessant violence of Hollywood and the entertainment culture. Violent movies, TV shows, and horrid music especially in rap, smother young minds exposed to it and hard wire things into them as their brains knit together. Such things are no influence? Then how does advertising work? Why did protest songs work? Yeah, and yet the entertainment types go forward with their explicit violence and sex and profit from it. We have pop culture tramps dressings and gyrating like drunken prostitutes on stage and in videos and young girls are supposed to be looking to them as role models. Really? Not in my world.

      Which brings me to my musical and artistic world. Celtic Woman and the artists past and present are such bright lights in a dark world. We fans have had our rough patches over the years but 2012 for the most part was not among them. These artists behave properly on stage and off. They truly are role models any young girl could emulate. The others in the group are fine folks as well. It is a class operation more so now than in the past for a couple of reasons. Staffing changes brought us a very professional yet far more open road staff. Bubba, Dustin, and others were extremely courteous and kind and provided a pleasant atmosphere for the avid fans and the artists. I have never seen the artists more happy and relaxed than I have this year. The artists as well were more open and approachable off stage as well. Kudos go especially to Lisa Lambe. She is a joyful soul on stage and very engaging with her avid audience. She is wonderful at spreading the love among all of her fans as best she can at after show meetings and at times away from it all. She is even handed in her Twitter interactions with fans and not singling out just one or ignoring them altogether. She is to be commended for her talent as well as her attitude. The other three are far less willing in these regards, although Chloe and Mairead are very good at that from the stage. The latter is getting better on Twitter to a degree and I did have very pleasant encounters with her during the year and a surprise one in Pittsburgh that was very kind. Chloe and Susan have almost no interaction directly with fans on Twitter, though they do post a lot of photos and such. Sadly they both tend to speak too quickly on social issues and the latest gun issues are among them. While we are a nation of free speech, I caution them to not alienate the majority of their fans with such posts. Twitter likely does not attract the bulk of their fans and especially older ones. Yet word does get out, and I would encourage the entire organization to NOT post links to controversial and radical people like Michael Moore or even the President. Well over half the audience is conservative and Christian. We sure don't want Celtic Woman to go the way of the Dixie Chicks, and it would be beyond foolish to ever say such things from the stage at a show or in interviews. So far they have been very smart about it all and kept it to Twitter. They put on a great show and are genuinely nice people. I especially want to thank them all for the encounters this month in Pittsburgh.

      Celtic Woman is now without yet another of its former principals, Lisa Kelly. She has moved off to be a full time mom to her four children. Most important job there is and I hope she will be well rewarded by it. at some point she will likely return to the stage and her willingness to stay connected to her fans will help her with that when she does. She has always been good at that sort of caring. I had the great fortune to attend another show last week where another former Celtic Woman artist was performing. Alex Sharpe was in Alpine Utah with a very fine violinist, Jenny Oaks Baker. It was a wonderful show with a full orchestra and girls choir. It was a wonderful meeting afterwards with Alex and Jenny. I highly recommend Jenny's Christmas CD, Noel, if you want a great holiday treat. So, I look forward to 2013 with the usual mix of anxiety and hope. In this world there is no perfection. You take good with bad and hope the good outweighs the bad. May each of you approach this new year with love, peace, and energy to live each day as if it were the last. events this year prove it could be at any time.

                                       Shalom,            Scott

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