It was bitter cold this morning in downtown Northampton.
But the New Year's party never ended for the homeless frog.
Forgive me Haymarket for I have sinned and gone to Starbucks.
Actually I like Starbucks, their dark roast coffee has so much caffeine in it the buzz comes on like an electric jolt. However, I can go to a Starbucks anywhere in America, but the locally owned coffeeshops like the Haymarket are unique to Northampton and you couldn't just go to another store in the chain if it closed. Therefore I try to favor the local cafes over the corporate ones, even if the corporate ones do have good products.
But the Haymarket was packed to the walls, with every table taken and a long line at the counter. That is why I resorted to Starbucks, which wasn't nearly as crowded. Maybe that's because a lot of people made a New Year's resolution to shop locally!
I like the atmosphere of the Northampton Starbucks, although it is pretty corporate with their logos and their name on their napkins and wifi service that plunges you into a world of Starbucks advertising.
It also has less of a view of Northampton's vibrant people watching street scene, with their largest windows looking out on a parking lot and that erzatz tribute to bombastic '80's feminism The History of Women in Northampton.
Oh well, it's cool to have Starbucks as a backup when the hipper local venues are overcrowded. Christopher Criswell got fired for singing this song on YouTube.
Well, the phony fiscal cliff crisis is over, and to no one's surprise it ended badly, with no meaningful spending cuts and lots of tax increases. Money Morning nailed it pretty good in summarizing the deal's dismal conclustions:
1.Once again Washington is kicking the can down the road. While it's already being played up by both parties as an example of bipartisanship, it's really a load of hooey. The bill merely puts off decisions for yet another round of fiscal follies a few months from now.
2.Instead of working diligently for the past year on a meaningful tax bill overhaul and a serious fix to entitlement programs, our leaders dithered, bickered and postured until the last minute. It's an irresponsible and disgusting abuse of the public trust. Anybody trying this kind of nonsense in the private sector would be summarily fired for cause.
3.The deal actually raises taxes on 77% of American households according to the CBO and the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. That's an appalling failure in my book. The top 1%, incidentally, will pay $73,633 more in taxes on average. That's also according to the Tax Policy Center. It will also add another $4 trillion to deficits over the next decade. How is this a win for America?
I have a tendency to be opinionated and sarcastic (no foolin) so I made these three New Year's resolutions in order to be a more effective champion for liberty in 2013:
1. I resolve to sell liberty by appealing to the self-interest of each prospect, rather than preaching to people and expecting them to suddenly adopt my ideas of right and wrong.
2. I resolve to keep from being drawn into arguments or debates. My purpose is to inspire people to want liberty -- not to prove that they're wrong.
3. I resolve to listen when people tell me of their wants and needs, so I can help them see how a free society will satisfy those needs.
At last the holidays are over and we can get back to normal life. Here is a last sampling of the holiday humor people sent me: