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Are crass Christmas lights worth soldiers' lives?

Original post made by stella, Portola Valley, on Nov 30, 2008

I'm sickened by the gross display of brightly lit Christmas decorations. How does an ostentatious display of 8 huge, inflated snowmen, 6 large "trees" of gaudy red lights, lit-up moving reindeer, sleighs, and eaves dripping with row upon row of icicle lights celebrate Christmas --or the Holiday Season?

I look at this extravagant waste of energy and wonder if this is what our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan are dying for. Oh dear, I forgot--we're in Iraq to fight terrorism; it's got nothing to do with oil supplies. Nor is there any good reason to be conservative in our use of oil-fueled energy. In fact, the more conspicuous our energy consumption, the more we can show off to our neighbors that we don't give a darn for our country's economic crisis or the dire situation our fellow Americans are in. As long as WE are okay, let’s forget about the folks who are struggling to pay their skyrocketing PG&E bills and grocery bills.

How about turning off those costly lights and donating the money you save on PG&E to help those in need during this holiday? Now, that would be in the true spirit of this holiday season.

Comments (18)

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Posted by Chris Jones
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 30, 2008 at 9:35 pm

I agree with your sentiments. There is nothing in these gaudy displays about the faith, hope and charity that should mark this time of year. Turn off the lights folks. Switch on the charity.

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 30, 2008 at 9:47 pm

Personally I like the light displays and hope people keep them up. They are cheery and kids in particular love them. I think the soldiers overseas will be ok with it, especially since the total energy used is really very small in the scheme of things.

But if some people want to turn off their lights, that is ok too.

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Posted by Curly Sue
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 30, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Me too. I don't think the cheery little displays you like are the ones that are a problem. It's huge, Disney-like displays that are guzzling energy. Remember too, that while each display on its own might be "small in the scheme of things," it's the grand total that adds up. Multiply these showy displays by every neighborhood across the country and it becomes a significan amount of oil. We just do not need to use any more oil than we have to. Look at what happened when everybody cut back a little on their gas use. The country has saved billions of gallons of oil, and the price is down thanks to the supply/demand changing.

Keep your lights on; it's your all-American right, and when you see the food-lines, look the other way. These individuals may seem "small in the scheme of things," but their hungry kids are not small in their parents' eyes.

By the way, what do blown up Santa's have to do with Xmas?

We need to sustain those savings. As we've seen, every little bit helps our country and makes it less and less necessary for us to have troops risking their lives for our selfish way of life.

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 30, 2008 at 11:44 pm

I think if you do the math, you'll find that the large Christmas displays are still a very small part of our energy usage. Also, a small part of our electric supply comes from oil - most is coal, hydropower (dams), natural gas, and nuclear. So turning off Christmas lights will have a negligible impact on US demand for oil.

I like Christmas and Christmas decorations, even the blown-up Santas. No need to feel guilty in my opinion.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 1, 2008 at 2:25 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

This kind of presumptuous condemnation of the actions of others is the precursor of the Red Guard and the Saudi Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice the Saudi Arabian government bureaucracy employing "religious police" or mutaween to punish improper behavior.
My grandson, back from two combat tours in Fallujah as a Mud Marine, enjoys the displays.
Can you say "Grinch"?

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Posted by kRIS kRINGLE
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 1, 2008 at 7:04 am

The lights are part of the celebration we are fortunate to participate in for our quality of life. It's this quality of life our troops fight for. You want to take away our freedom, choice, diversity?

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 1, 2008 at 9:20 am

Careful, we already have neighbors reporting us for fireplace usage ... next will be Santa Screamers!

If you are sickened by someone's Christams display, are you sickened by your use of anything but your legs or self-powered wheels to get anywhere?

Try to remember in your liberal rage that the ROOT of liberalism is the freedom to live, and let live.

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Posted by Eyes Rolling
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 1, 2008 at 9:30 am

Wow, what sentiments. The decorations and lights are cheerful and uplifting at this stressful time of year.

There will never be a time to celebrate according to Stella, the original poster. If the war ended, we'd still be left with poor in America, deaths of loved ones, and a host of other reasons to not be happy. Should we all curl up in a ball and give in to depression, huh?

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Posted by R Wray
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 1, 2008 at 9:36 am

Get rid of that junk in front of City Hall and put up a brightly lit Christmas tree.

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 1, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Why do you target a segment of our population? You sound very intolerant.
I could object to those who drive massive SUVs wasting gas that put my life at risk on the roads while I drive a fuel-efficient compact car.

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Posted by Eyes Rolling
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 1, 2008 at 1:44 pm


Thank you for offsetting the massive SUV I drive by driving your hybrid. We are waiting for the hybrid Suburban to complete production. I have three children and if they bring friends with them, we need the seating for 8 and cannot use a compact car. And yes, we are in the safest car available. Agree that your car would lose in a crash. Many cars have lost when they have run into us.

I do use reusable grocery bags and recycle everything possible for my part. I wish others would use reusable bags. It did take about a dozen times before I was trained to remember to bring them in with me though.

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Posted by Ebenezer Scrooge
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Bah Humbug

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Posted by Just bad taste
a resident of Los Altos
on Dec 1, 2008 at 2:27 pm

The big displays are an expression of bad taste and a lot of money to burn, regardless of the energy usage.
Too bad the acquisition of money doesn't bring good taste with it.

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 1, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Bad taste is very much in the eye of the beholder. You may see a McMansion with a tasteless display - another sees a spacious modern home with cool Christmas lights. And you may think yours is a tasteful smaller house; another might think "what a dump." I try not to judge other people's houses, cars, dress, etc., lest I be judged.

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Posted by excess
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 1, 2008 at 4:40 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

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Posted by R Wray
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 1, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Get into the Christmas spirit by reading Dr. Peikoff's essay
Web Link

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Dec 1, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Are crass Christmas lights worth soldiers' lives?

A better question to ask would be:

Are crass Liberals worth soldiers' lives?

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 2, 2008 at 7:28 am


oh gosh, that was funny outside observer!

I have often despaired of my family members in the military actually risking their lives for some of the people and their kids in this area. They always tell me "every American is an American, even the idiots". How is THAT for tolerance! How many tolerant liberals would risk their lives for a conservative?

Oh gosh, still laughing.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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