21 January 2013

Scenes From the National Mall--the 57th Presidential Inauguration

Obama Inauguration pass

It seems that one of the unexpected advantages of needing to be on the National Mall at "O'dark Thirty" for the 57th Presidential Inauguration is witnessing a spectacular sunrise over the Capitol.

w Capitol First Light

w Capitol Sunrise variegated

w Capitol Sunrise rose

w Capitol Sunrise Peach

w Capitol Sunrise yellow

w Star Spangled Sunrise

w Sea of humanity

Even in this sea of humanity, a Culpepper Minuteman (briefly)  exercised his First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech. 

w Minute Man

w Hats and dais

19 January 2013

Book Review: Agenda 21--a Novel by Glenn Beck and Harriet Parke

Inspired by Glenn Beck's exhortation to do one's own homework about progressive policies which threaten American's liberties, registered nurse Harriet Parke researched the United Nation's Agenda 21.  So Parke wrote a manuscript  which was sold to Glenn Beck’s Mercury Ink (part of Simon &   Schuster).  To expand the reach of the Agenda 21 novel, Beck’s name was splashed prominently on the book cove along with the originator.

[L] Harriet Parke, [R] Glenn Beck

  Ideological opponents make great hay that authorship was “stolen”, even though Parke  compensated for her efforts, she was recognized on the cover, as well as expressing pleasure to get the word out and that Parke noted how professional publishers improved the final novel. It is amusing to read how associating Beck’s name with the book provokes bile for speculative future fiction which these progressives would have otherwise enjoyed.

Nevertheless, Agenda 21 is a didactic dystopian novel describing the disastrous results of enacting the ultimate aims of the UN's Agenda 21. Imagine no liberty, technology, religiosity when the polity chooses security over liberty.  This cacotopian tale is told through the eyes of Emmaline, a girl who had been sheltered from the full effect of religio-environmental totalitarianism until she comes of age as a citizen in what could be termed this brave new world (sic).

Personally, I found the novel to be thought provoking yet not great literature.  The point of view storytelling did not allow for vivid characterizations or empathizing with the protagonists, but that may have been intentional to portray the Zeitgeist.  However, it the Agenda 21 novel is a wonderful way for low-information world citizens to consider the consequences of succumbing to greater good arguments for environmentalism, social justice, anti-capitalism and atheism.

Self supposed enlightened intellectuals insist “It can’t happen here.”  But consider how unelected bureaucrats at the EPA have arrogated authority to impose elements of “Cap and Trade” for the greater good, even though Congress never passed the enabling legislation.  Or how LEED suggestions for green buildings, which may or may not achieve its ends, has become de facto regulations which empowers and enriches unelected environmental elites.

Civil collapse combined with progressive educations could easily concoct such schemes for the greater good. The cacotopian suppositions which frame the Agenda 21 fiction are well documented in the afterwards material.

The publication of the Agenda 21 novel dovetails with Glenn Beck’s de-emphasis upon politics per se on the national level to building up individuals and communities to protect liberty.

Price point colors my reaction to Parke/Beck Agenda 21 novel.  The work had the feel of an independent writer, thus I bristled at paying full price for the piece.  However, the publishers temporarily fluctuated the asking price for the novel, which inspired my purchase which made it seem like a good value for money.

As authors find alternate distribution networks which veer away from traditional publishing, they may find ways to increase their profits while spreading the word.  The challenges are polishing their pieces and publicizing them.  Beck’s imprimatur may alienate closed minded progressives, but it offered editorial refinement not readily available to independent authors while significantly broadening the prospective readership.