In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Three Web Sites You Shouldn't Miss!

I'd like to start a new feature and regularly (more or less monthly) highlight for my readers a few web sites or blogs that I think are especially useful, informative, uplifting, entertaining, or otherwise worthy of a visit. Usually these will be sites that you probably wouldn't stumble upon all by yourself, and will be collected in the section NEW AND FEATURED LINKS in the right-hand column of this page. So, here goes!


This is a brand new blog (started about a month ago), so there are only about a dozen posts as yet. But they're all very well-written with plenty of video and graphical content, and highlight the endless intersections between historical and current events. Recent posts include reflections on the life and death of Sir Winston Churchill, whose funeral took place 45 years ago this week; the heroism of Miep Gies, who hid and helped sustain Anne Frank and her family, and who passed away earlier this month; and the theft and recovery last month of the infamous "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign that hung over the Auschwitz death camp. Also featured are sharp insights into current events that may well shape future history, such as the hands-on work of Great Britain's Prince William with the homeless in London. The author, who goes by the nickname Pnina--Hebrew for "pearl"--writes in a style that is direct and succinct, yet vividly descriptive and engaging. Visit soon and often, as I think you'll find the site a treasure-trove of interesting and thought-provoking information.


If you love traditional Christian hymns, you'll love this site. It's the only one I've found that tells the whole story behind the hymns and the people who composed their text and music. Often those stories are as moving as the hymns themselves, and provide real insight into the personal turning points that inspire works of such great beauty and power. The content is organized in a unique journal fashion. As explained by the man behind Wordwise Hymns, "[e]ach day’s posting will describe something that happened on that particular day relating to the history of our hymns and their creators. There may also be brief observations or an explanation of the contents of the hymns." That man, by the way, is Robert Cottrill, a Canadian gentleman with degrees in both History and Religious Education and a former pastor, teacher, and music director. His site is indexed and fully searchable, so if you want to learn about a particular hymn or hymnist, just type your key words into the search box that appears on every page. Videos featuring great performances of the hymns reviewed accompany many of the posts. Mr. Cottrill also welcomes comments and queries about the hymns he's documented, as well as about that one you heard way back in your childhood and now can't quite recall the title of. A few minutes a day at this site provides both knowledge and wonderful spiritual refreshment!


Ships are the biggest and most powerful machines built by man. I've never been out in the ocean on one, but just to stand on a wharf and look up at one towering above me, or watch from shore as one passes down a river or lake, takes my breath away. If you love ships as I do, you'll be thrilled with this site. One of its most amazing features is a "Live Ships Map," which locates all of the world's major ports and tells you, in real time, how many ships are in or near that port at the moment. Click on a port and you'll get a closeup map of that area with icons showing the name and exact location of each ship in the vicinity--and when you click on the icon, you'll get a popup window showing its registry, status, dimensions, destination, speed and course, and photographs (if any) of the ship on the site! This includes passenger and cargo vessels, tankers, yachts, tugs, and other craft. You can also access this information by going straight to a list of vessels or ports by name. If you've been on a cruise and have a favorite ocean liner, you can find out where she is now and where she's headed, at any moment (for example, right now I'm tracking the liner Carnival Imagination as she leaves Cozumel, Mexico headed for Miami--and I can see just what she looks like!). Just as amazing is the site's enormous collection of ship photographs, which covers most of the vessels and ports on the Live Map--and most of these are of astounding quality. There are even web cams from some of the ports! So, if you want to feel like an old salt without leaving your computer desk, "sail" over to!

Friday, January 22, 2010

You Think You Have Weather Woes?

This week marks the 147th anniversary of one of the most miserable (for Union soldiers) episodes in the American Civil War: the infamous "Mud March" of the Union's Army of the Potomac up the north bank of Virginia's Rappahannock River, in an ill-fated attempt to outflank Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, which was dug in around Fredericksburg.

On December 13, 1862 the Union Army, after crossing the Rappahannock and taking Fredericksburg in a drive south toward the Confederate capital of Richmond, suffered more than 12,000 casualties (to the Confederates' 5600) in a series of futile frontal assaults against rebel troops entrenched on Marye's Heights behind the city. The next day Union commander Gen. Ambrose Burnside (above left) obtained a truce from Gen. Lee to attend to the thousands of freezing Yankee wounded still littering the ground below Marye's Heights, and on December 15 the Federal forces retreated back to their camps on the north side the river. The Battle of Fredericksburg was one of the worst defeats inflicted on Union troops during the War.

By mid-January 1863 Burnside felt growing pressure to resume the Federal advance on Richmond. He devised a plan to march his army several miles to the northwest of Fredericksburg, cross the Rappahannock, and circle around to hit the left flank of Lee’s army still encamped south of the city. December had been cold, but January's weather was relatively dry and mild up to this point, and the roads were in good shape. Prospects for a winter campaign seemed favorable.

What happened next is aptly described in the book Washington Weather, by Kevin Ambrose, Dan Henry, and Andy Weiss (2002, Historical Enterprises):
On the morning of January 20, 1863, the Army of the Potomac formed columns and began the march up the Rappahannock River. Unknown to the soldiers, a massive storm was developing near the southeast coast and had started to move northward. Rain began falling during the evening of January 20 and continued to fall heavily on January 21. Burnside’s army quickly got bogged down in the mud. Temperatures hovered in the upper 30’s, adding a chill to the drenched soldiers. Wagons sank to their wheel hubs in mud and artillery became hopelessly stuck. A team of 12 horses and 150 men could not pull one cannon out of the mud. Also, the soldiers slipped and fell repeatedly, while others lost their shoes in the thick mud. . . .

By January 22, the rain had ended but the entire Army of the Potomac was still mired in the mud. The weather remained cloudy and damp, with temperatures hovering in the upper 30’s to near 40°F. The damp conditions and above-freezing temperatures kept the roads soft and muddy. Ammunition and supply wagons remained stuck fast, and horses and mules died of exhaustion in the mud. The challenge was no longer to cross the river and attack Lee, but instead to get unstuck from the mud and return to camp.
The soldiers who were there always tell it best. Private John J. Ingraham of the 121st N.Y. Volunteer Infantry wrote home:
We had marched two or three miles and the rain turned to hail & from that to snow and then it commenced blowing and we came near freezing. Everything was frozen stiff. We finally got to the Landing by wading through creeks and mud. We got there about dark and we had to pitch our tents in the mud and water 6 inches deep. . . . [T]here was no wood to be got. . . . Went without supper. Everything was frozen and the next morning it was hard work for some of us to talk. That was what made me sick and it brought many of our soldiers in the grave.
Surgeon Daniel M Holt of the 121st N.Y. (as related in A Surgeon’s Civil War, the Letters & Diary of Daniel M. Holt, M.D., ed. James M. Greiner, et al, 1994 Kent State University Press) wrote:
Such mud, you nor I never saw before. Pontoon boats, batteries, ammunition trains and horses formed an unbroken mass—all stuck in the mud… During the three days of which I write, I had no tent to shield me from the rain incessantly falling so that I was perfectly wet through without the means of drying myself, everything was so soakingly wet that we could not make fires, and here against the roots of a tree I stood for three days and nights, with a soaking wet blanket and an India rubber cap to contend against the watery element.
More interesting details, and the climax of the sorry story, are described in the book Civil War Blunders, by Clint Johnson (1997, John F. Blair):
The frustration sometimes caused men to boil over. On one occasion, two of Burnside's corps found themselves at a crossroads. Instead of halting one corps to let the other pass, both commanders ordered their men to continue marching. It looked like a giant demolition derby, with men crashing into each other as they slogged through the mud.

Burnside sought to raise the spirits of his men with the aid of alcohol, as was commonly done. . . The whiskey flowed, at least until a fight started between a Massachusetts regiment and a Pennsylvania regiment. When a Maine regiment tried to make peace, the Massachusetts and Pennsylvania men turned on the third regiment. Soon, more than twenty-five hundred Yankees were having a fistfight in the Virginia mud as watching Confederates and other Yankee regiments roared with laughter.

. . . To add insult to injury, the whole fiasco took place in view of the Confederate army. . . . As the Union soldiers struggled to extricate one muddy leg after another just to keep from drowning, Confederates called across the Rappahannock. They shouted encouragement, telling the soldiers how many more miles they had to walk. They offered to take the pontoons and have them in place when the Union army arrived . . . They even offered to let the Yankees to borrow boards from the plank road on their side of the river if it would help them get to Banks' Ford any faster. Signs proclaiming "This Way to Richmond!" showed up along the march. The Federals were too tired to shoot at their tormentors.

Officers began to tell Burnside to call off the march before all the horses and mules fell over dead, leaving no way to remove their cannons should the Confederates attack. Finally, he gave the order to return to camp. By January 24, the Mud March was over. A march that should have taken no more than four hours at two miles an hour had become a four-day, out-and-back disaster. Hundreds of men--perhaps more--died of exhaustion by the side of the road. Hundreds more deserted and started the long walk north.
Two days after the campaign's collapse, on January 25, President Lincoln relieved Gen. Burnside and named Gen. Joseph Hooker to command the Army of the Potomac. Never again would a major military campaign be conducted during the winter months in Virginia.

As a Civil War reenactor I have marched and slept out in the rain and mud, without any tent or covering but my wool uniform. But I've never done it in the winter months or for days or weeks on end. What the original soldiers endured is beyond my comprehension. As awful as their burdens were, I sometimes think that our safe, affluent lifestyles deprive us of the chance to be tested and become more resilient and resourceful. On the other hand, I'm sure that the men of January 1863 would have instantly surrendered all their resilience and resourcefulness to be warm and dry again! So the next time you find yourself cursing the dampness and cold, just remember how good you've got it!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

One year ago today President Obama, flush with the success of his Presidential campaign and basking in widespread public admiration, stated the following in his inauguration speech:
. . . We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

. . . [T]hose values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths.
I was impressed with his speech, and said so in these pages:
President Obama deserves our honest support and the benefit of the doubt, at least for now. Let us pray that what he spoke today were not empty words, but wisdom springing from true historical insight and real conviction. Let us hope that in pursuing "change we can believe in," his administration will respect individual freedom, the Constitution, bedrock social institutions, and our free enterprise system. If our new President strays in the future from the lofty vision embodied in his inaugural speech, by trying to exchange our liberties for economic security or our institutions for a "values-free" society pleasing to his far-left supporters, let us be there to remind him of what he said today.
A few people in Massachusetts must have read my post, or my mind, because they delivered a very forceful reminder yesterday in electing Republican Scott Brown to the United States Senate, filling the seat left vacant by the death of Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy. That awful sound you hear from the northeast is Sen. Kennedy's corpse spinning at warp speed in his grave.

It is truly a shame that President Obama has so quickly and dramatically squandered the promise inherent in the election of the first African-American President of the United States. I didn't vote for him because of his patent leftist views and associations, but I shared with many some confidence in his intelligence, presence, apparent thoughtfulness, and reputation for listening to all sides before acting. I thought he might actually help move the country away from partisan rancor and toward a greater civility; that he would act as a bridge between factions and viewpoints and seek the national reconciliation so many discerned in his election; and that he would steer a middle course in order to win the public's trust and the respect he would need to govern effectively.

Boy, was I wrong! And he didn't waste much time dispelling my fantasies. Right from the start of his administration, President Obama and his minions in Congress and the federal bureaucracy made generous use of the arrogant, intimidating, in-your-face tactics characteristic of the Chicago political machine from whence he came. In no respect was this more evident than in the area of "health care" or "health insurance" reform. Instead of commissioning a careful, bipartisan study and discussion of all the options available, the President had his henchmen- and -women in Congress slap together massive, impenetrably complex bills for introduction in the House and Senate--and then pressed for their quick passage without any meaningful analysis, debate, or a chance for lawmakers to even read what they were supposed to approve. When the American public objected to these tactics and confronted their representatives in town hall meetings, questioning the bills' content and cost, they were denounced as racists, Klansmen, Nazis, right-wing extremists, liars, and purveyors of "ignorance and hate." When commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage gave voice to public concerns, they found their names on "enemies lists" and were threatened with muffling through a revival of the "Fairness" Doctrine. When no Republicans in Congress could be made to support the bills and even Democratic members held out against the administration's pressure, the President's gang resorted to bribing the holdouts, cutting deals with special interests, and secret negotiations from which the opposition, the press, and the public were excluded. So much for bipartisanship, civility, and transparency.

But that was just one facet of this off-the-rails administration one year in. Alongside the President's contempt for the will of the majority of the people is his determination to infinitely expand government influence and control over the economy and all aspects of American life. Whining that he inherited from the Bush administration a staggering national debt, budget deficits, and corporate bailouts in the hundreds of billions of dollars, his solution has been to inflate all of these far beyond the obscene levels they had already reached under his predecessor. He now dictates to the biggest corporations, and they all--having taken massive federal bribes--bow to him and his minions. His enourmous "stimulus" packageshave produced no discernible job growth, but have effectively turned the states into federal lickspittles. He has nominated or appointed to powerful government positions people who have expressed deep admiration for communist mass murderers, can't decide what gender they are, or recommend sexually perverted reading materials to children. His idea of protecting national security and enhancing our image abroad is to kowtow--literally--to foreign despots, apologize for our leadership in the world and the way of life our forefathers bought with their blood, and afford admitted terrorists the full panoply of legal rights guaranteed in our court system. He even has the bush-league (no pun intended) arrogance to go to Copenhagen and accept a "peace prize" for which he was nominated less than two weeks after taking office, and to earn which he has done nothing since.

One of President Obama's favorite expressions--repeated ad nauseum in almost every interview and speech he gives--is "make no mistake." He obviously made the mistake of reading the electorate's frustration with the preceding administration as some kind of dramatic leftward shift in American values. Massachusetts voters alerted him to that mistake yesterday. Having had their initial trust in him dashed so quickly and forcefully, I don't think the American people will again make the kind of mistake they did last November.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sculpting Miracles

Last weekend my family and I went to the Visitors' Center near the LDS Palmyra Temple in Palmyra, NY, to view an exhibition of sculptures in bronze by Angela Johnson depicting scenes from the ministry of Jesus Christ. I was stunned by their perfection in capturing the finest details of the subjects' bodily characteristics, such as eyes (even tears!), hair, bone structure, musculature, and the fabric of their clothing, as well as of the stone, trees, and even waters forming the physical settings of the scenes depicted. Also compelling was the sculptor's choice of events to depict, from the touching domestic scene of Christ with Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42), to the majestic Christ walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33), to the heartbreaking moment when the leper begged Christ to heal him (Luke 5:12-14). What most transfixed me, though, was how truly the meaning and emotion of each scene was wrought into the figures. I took some pictures, which didn't turn out very well because my hands were trembling with the excitement and power of what I was viewing. But perhaps they'll give you a hint of what I'm talking about.

The photo above right is of a piece depicting Joseph Smith's First Vision in the Sacred Grove, in which (according to LDS teaching) God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and set him upon his prophetic mission. How the sculptor managed to "suspend" these figures in mid-air is truly ingenious!

The photo above left is of Christ in Gethsemane. The photo at right is a closeup of a piece depicting Christ carrying his cross; one can almost feel the crushing weight of the cross on the Savior's shoulder, and see the exhaustion--and the love--in His face.

The photo above left depicts Christ walking on the storm-tossed sea; the one at right the raising of Lazarus from the dead. I wish I could adequately show that entire piece; it enabled one to view the scene both from Lazarus' position inside the cave looking out (as here), and on the other side from the Lord's position outside it, looking in.

The photos above are of a piece depicting Christ's healing of the leper. I was trying hard to capture the wretchedness of the poor man's condition and the anguish, and hope, in his eyes. It's hard to see this one without one's eyes filling with tears.

Apart from seeing these marvelous works in person, the best way to experience them is at Mrs. Johnson's web site. Browse through all of the four galleries presented. And turn on your speakers, because the tour is accompanied by one of the most moving pieces of music ever composed, Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. This is the most perfect pairing of music with religious subject-matter that I've ever experienced.

The exhibit will be at the Palmyra Temple Visitors' Center through January 31st. If you plan on being anywhere near our nation's capital between July and October 2010, consider viewing the exhibit at the Washington, D.C. Temple Visitors' Center.

But there's more, or soon will be. Once funding can be secured, life-size sculpture garden containing pieces by Mrs. Johnson depicting scenes from the life of Jesus Christ is planned for the beautiful Thanksgiving Point Gardens in Lehi, Utah. For breathtaking views of the Gardens with depictions of what the statuary will look like there (and for guidance on how to donate to the effort), click here.

Incredibly, Angela Johnson (who is also a wife of more than 30years, mother of four, and grandmother of nine) did not begin as a professionally trained sculptor, but as an opera singer. She turned to sculpting only 12 years ago, in a moment of inspiration, when she realized that her musical career had gone as far as it ever would--and that God had other plans for her. Since then, she has branched out into commission work, and taught basic sculpting to lepers in India. Watch the video below for a compelling review of her career and her faith. Mrs. Johnson is a living testament that miracles DO happen!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The New Links Are In! The New Links Are In!

After many months of procrastination and uncertainty how to proceed, I've finally found a better way to display featured links on this page. Formerly, I had them divided into two lists in the right-hand column, one for "blogs" and another for "links." Although Blogger itself suggested something like this, it proved to be a pretty lame distinction, as blogs are, of course, a kind of "link." Moreover, blogs and other kinds of web sites increasingly function in similar ways and cover equally wide subject matters. After some thought it occurred to me that it would be more useful to group blogs and other web sites together by topic, as indexes normally are. You'll now see an alphabetical "list of lists" in the lower right column, defined by subject, with a modest collection of relevant links in each. This should make it easier to find the kind of sites that interest you. I'll add to these regularly--look for a New and Featured Links list at the top of the Links column--and will cull a few occasionally to keep the lists from getting unwieldy. If at some future time you don't find a link you saw here previously, just visit the Links Archive and you'll probably find it there. If you want to recommend a site for inclusion, just send me the URL and it will be up in no time. Have fun!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

An Even More Inconvenient Truth

Last week. astronomers revealed that a star called T Pyxidis, located a relatively short 3,260 light-years away from the Earth, is primed to explode in a "supernova"--having the force of 20 billion billion billion megatons of TNT--the radiation from which would wipe out all life on our planet. Astronomers have observed preliminary eruptions of the star about every 20 years, for more than a century now--but the last one was more than 40 years ago. Scientists acknowledge that the supernova could happen very soon, or be thousands of years away.

Despite the dire images this report conjures up, you may well not have heard anything about this in the mainstream media, and you probably won't from political, academic, or even scientific establishments. Since this danger is not man-made, there is no basis for liberal self-loathing, no one to blame or sue, no one to tax or of whom to demand reparations, apologies, or resignations from office. There will be no opportunity for chest-beating self-righteousness, political advantage-taking, or high-level conferences of world leaders at posh resorts, since all the treaties on Earth wouldn't be able to slow or stop it. There will be no one to whom we could appeal for deliverance but God, and He, of course, doesn't really exist, right? (on the bright side, there are probably any number of cynical opportunists out there who could still find ways to benefit financially from the widespread fear of impending doom, and this should help buoy the economy right up to the "end").

If only such current plagues as "global warming/climate change" and "swine flu" were that simple, final, and beyond human manipulation. Instead, these doomsday scenarios are trotted out and pursued relentlessly around the world by government-paid "scientists," tinhorn political leaders, and their corporate running dogs. They operate as a cabal, self-anointed prophets of doom and saviors of the planet who strike deals with each other, justified by dubious statistics and forecasts generated for the purpose (as revealed by the recent "Climategate" scandal) and financed by faceless hyenas who have billions to invest and pant after the trillions more they expect to reap from people's fear. It's a perfect formula for world government, which all of us "common" people are expected to support with our wealth and especially our freedoms because we'll be responsible for the extinction of mankind if we don't.

A recent commentary in the London Daily Telegraph, in the wake of the recent Copenhagen climate talks, sums up the real crisis we face--not so much from supposed climate change, as from the measures touted to deal with it and the people doing the touting:
The dangerous idea that the democratic accountability of national governments should simply be dispensed with in favour of "global agreements" reached after closed negotiations between world leaders never, so far as I recall, entered into the arena of public discussion. Except in the United States, where it became a very contentious talking point, the US still holding firmly to the 18th-century idea that power should lie with the will of the people.

Nor was much consideration given to the logical conclusion of all this grandiose talk of global consensus as unquestionably desirable: if there was no popular choice about approving supranational "legally binding agreements", what would happen to dissenters who did not accept their premises (on climate change, for example) when there was no possibility of fleeing to another country in protest? Was this to be regarded as the emergence of world government? And would it have powers of policing and enforcement that would supersede the authority of elected national governments? . . . Forget the relatively petty irritations of Euro?bureaucracy: welcome to the era of Earth-bureaucracy, when there will be literally nowhere to run.

The word "global" has taken on sacred connotations. Any action taken in its name must be inherently virtuous, whereas the decisions of individual countries are necessarily "narrow" and self-serving. . . . If the impact of our behaviour on humanity at large is much greater or more rapid than ever before then we shall have to find ways of dealing with that which do not involve sacrificing the most enlightened form of government ever devised. There is a whiff of totalitarianism about this new theology, in which the risks are described in such cosmic terms that everything else must give way.
The world is going to end someday. It could happen tomorrow. When that time comes, and no matter how it happens, there will be nothing we can do, individually or collectively, to stop it. Politicians, scientists, and academics, and everything they do, will become completely irrelevant--a notion they simply can't abide. So, we can expect them to continue with their cooked-up cataclysms until the REAL thing comes along, because that's where the money is to be made. In the meantime, no matter how dire the predictions of doom, ordinary people must be awake and careful not to allow their liberties and well-being to be sacrificed for the "temporary safety" that the self-appointed deliverers promise. Those things were too dearly bought and are too easily sold to the snake-oil salesmen waving miracle cures before us. We must keep a wary and critical eye on the doings of our "leaders" and the academics and businesspeople who serve them, and stay vigilant against any "solutions" to "crises" that would snuff our our freedoms and cripple our livelihoods. That goes not only for Americans and Westerners generally, but for people all over the world. If we fail in this, the day may come when we're all praying for a star somewhere out in the galaxy to explode and put us out of our collective misery.

UPDATE Jan. 12, 2010: It's now been revealed that Rajendra K. Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002, is up to his eyeballs in personal investments and inside connections with corporations and public agencies directly interested in the climate change policies for which the IPCC is responsible.
What has also almost entirely escaped attention, however, is how Dr Pachauri has established an astonishing worldwide portfolio of business interests with bodies which have been investing billions of dollars in organisations dependent on the IPCC’s policy recommendations.

These outfits include banks, oil and energy companies and investment funds heavily involved in ‘carbon trading’ and ‘sustainable technologies’, which together make up the fastest-growing commodity market in the world, estimated soon to be worth trillions of dollars a year.

During his tenure, first as director from 1982, and then as director-general of The Energy Research Institute (TERI) since 2001, Pachauri was a member of the boards of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), three of India’s biggest public sector energy companies, all of whom by the very nature of their business contribute heavily to greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions, according to the IPCC, are adding to the country’s growing carbon footprint and hastening climate change.

TERI, in fact, entered into business dealings with these companies and allegedly benefitted from Pachauri’s association with them.
Clearly, human-generated climate change can no longer be regarded as the basis of a noble cause, but only as an international conspiracy to con, fleece, and shackle the whole human race for the benefit of political, academic, and corporate establishmentarians worldwide. We can't allow this truth to be swept under the rug, which is precisely what the elites and their media allies intend. Be on guard!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Standing Together in 2010

Here's a New Year's treat for everyone: the marvelous old Ben E. King tune Stand by Me as performed by a host of the best artists from around the world--literally--that you never heard of, until now. If only all of humanity could be brought together for good, this simply and joyfully (it will be, in the Lord's good time). For now, let's just revel in the wonderful spirit that this performance inspires! HAPPY NEW YEAR!