San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, April 12, 2013

I Hate Walks

I was looking forward to watching the Rockies play the Giants earlier this week.  I was particularly interested in watching the pitching match up between Tim Lincecum and Juan Nicasio.   Was I ever disappointed.  I was not disappointed because the Rockies lost.  I am accustomed to that.  I was disappointed at the lack of quality pitching I witnessed during the game.  In particular, I was disturbed by how many walks were issued.  All of the pitchers for both sides combined to give up eleven walks during the nine inning game.  That is a travesty.
I don't know where it started.  At some point in my past I developed a powerful animosity towards walks.  Maybe it was when I was playing Babe Ruth baseball as a teenager.  I had a manager who believed that the best way to win games was to allow the opposing pitcher to walk as many people as possible.  Since so few pitchers at that level had the ability to consistently throw strikes, he reasoned that always waiting until we had two strikes before taking an actual swing at the ball would be a good idea.  So it was that the entire team spent the entire season taking pitches until two strikes were called.  He was right.  We received hundreds of walks. We also won most of our games and managed to advance to the championship game at the end of the summer.  I don't think any of us had much fun but who can argue with the success of his strategy?
The championship game was one of the most anti-climactic games I have ever had the misfortune of being a part of.  I remember the two starting pitchers were fast but lacked control.  I was playing left field.  I think I walked every time I came up during that game.  I don't remember the exact count but I believe somewhere around twenty walks were issued during the game.  I don't even remember who won.  All I remember is it was so boring I could barely keep my eyes open as I stood in the outfield hoping somebody might swing a bat and hit something my way.  That was my introduction to walks and it left a very bad taste in my mouth.
Home plate is a little over sixty feet from the pitcher's mound.  What is so hard about throwing a baseball over the plate from that distance?  Home plate is 17 inches wide.  All a person has to do is throw the ball into a zone that is 17 inches wide and that stretches from the batter's knees to his chest.  That is a huge area in which to throw the ball.  I could pitch the ball 100 times and throw a strike at least 95% of the time.  In fact, I could still do that today if I wanted to.  It is just not that hard to throw a strike.  Why do professional baseball players have such a difficult time throwing strikes?
It seems to me that no person should ever be allowed to pitch at the major league level unless he is capable of consistently throwing strikes.  I cannot fathom how a person can make millions of dollars a year to throw a ball sixty feet into a massive strike zone and not be able to throw a strike whenever he wants to.  In fact, I don't understand how a pitcher can ever walk an opposing batter.  I know sometimes strategy requires that a pitcher walk a batter.  But pitchers should have to work at throwing balls.  It should not be a natural thing to do.  The strike zone is so large I do not think it is possible to throw a ball without trying to do so.  So I am back to my original question, why is throwing a strike such a difficult ordeal for so many major league pitchers?
One thing I have observed about the Rockie's pitchers over the years is that they have a tendency to throw a strike early in the count.  Then, when they get ahead of the batter, they start to nibble.  It is as if they are afraid the batter is going to hit the ball and make them look bad so they stop throwing strikes.  They are clearly capable of throwing strikes because they did so to get ahead in the count.  Then, something snaps in their brains and they start throwing balls.  I think it has a lot to do with that psychological malady that consumes so many professional athletes.  I suspect you know what it is.  Most athletes play "not to lose" rather than playing to win.  You see this psychosis in football all the time.  Some team will get way ahead of the other team and then go into the "prevent" defense.  Of course, the only thing the "prevent" defense does is prevent them from winning as the opposing team then marches up and down the field, scoring at will and eventually winning the game.  Throwing a strike is a similar thing in baseball.  When the pitcher gets ahead in the count he begins to "pitch not to lose".  By doing so he is practically guaranteed to issue a walk.
Greg Maddux is the greatest pitcher to have ever worn a baseball uniform.  In 1995 he pitched 51 consecutive innings without issuing a walk.  In 2001 he went 72 innings without a walk.  In 1997 he only allowed 20 walks in 232 innings pitched.  If I remember my stats correctly, a dubious proposition, 12 of those walks were "intentional".  That means he only issued 8 unintentional walks the entire season.  I would be willing to wager that most of those walks were due to poor calls by the plate umpire.  He finished his career with 355 wins and a 3.16 earned run average.  Despite those impressive accomplishments he never threw a no-hitter.  In fact, he only threw one one-hitter.  He also did not strike very many people out.  Why?  Because he was not a power pitcher and he would pitch to contact.  He was not afraid of throwing strikes.  He had such great control he would throw the ball where he knew the hitter would not make solid contact and then let the fielders behind him record the outs.  Anyone who wishes to be a good pitcher today could learn a lot from Mr. Maddux about the importance of throwing strikes.
If I were a manager I would spend all of spring training working with my pitchers so that they do not issue walks.  I would have a very simple rule.  If you are a starting pitcher you have a one walk quota.  The moment you issue a second walk you are pulled from the game, regardless of the game circumstances.  For relief pitchers the quota is zero.  Any relief pitcher that issues a walk would be immediately pulled from the game.  I bet my incentives would result in a whole let less walks.
I go a little bit insane when I am watching a game and the pitcher starts to nibble and ends up issuing a walk.  I tend to yell at the television.  I say things like "Just throw a strike you idiot" and "Attack the hitter you bum."  I am right you know.  The odds are on my side.  The best hitters in professional baseball only get a hit about one third of the time. The other two thirds of the time they make an out.  Why would a pitcher who understands the odds refuse to throw a strike?  If he throws a strike and the hitter hits the ball the odds are overwhelmingly in his favor that the hitter will make an out. On the other hand, if he walks the batter the odds are 100% the batter will reach base.  Once that batter is on base it is likely he will end up scoring a run.  Given those odds why would any pitcher in his right mind not throw strikes all the time?  I just don't get it.  All I know is I hate walks and I see way too many of them.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Three Keys To Financial Security

Financial security is a lot like the weather.  Everybody talks about it but almost nobody ever does anything about it.  The advice which I freely give in this blog posting today could make you a wealthy person for the rest of your life.  It is simple, common sense advice.  It is something everyone should know and apply on a daily basis.  Yet, every week the pollsters tell me that people are not planning for their financial futures.  Every week I read some article about how people are going to have to work longer and get by with less when they retire because they have not properly planned for the future.  So here is some free advice that will, if followed, guarantee your financial success.  (The following statements do not "guarantee" anything.  That last sentence was an example of gross hyperbole.)
The first key to financial security is this:  get a job you bum.  It is amazing how many people think they can get wealthy while skipping this step.  Thousands of young men all around this country think they can get wealthy by living in their parent's basement and watching afternoon re-runs of "The Brady Bunch".  Millions more think they can get wealthy by playing their lucky number in the state lottery.  Even millions more believe they can obtain enormous wealth by going to the casino down on the nearest Indian reservation and playing the slot machines.  All of these things have one thing in common....they don't work because they don't involve work.  In order to obtain wealth you must work.  It is as simple as that.
Of course saying that one must work is not the entire story.  The work must be productive.  I had a job once as a commission salesman.  It was a fun job.  I would go in early and hang out with the other commission salesmen.  We would talk about the Broncos and the Rockies.  We would talk about what we needed to do to ring up some sales.  Then we would talk about the Broncos and the Rockies some more.  One thing we never did was actually contact any potential customers.  We kept at our jobs until our wives threatened to move out of our homes.  Then we all had to go and find a real job that involved bringing home a paycheck.  I learned my lesson.  There is a difference between a job and a job that allows me to bring home a paycheck.  The first key to financial success is find a job that will allow you to bring home a paycheck.
The second key to success is to purpose to live on less money than you bring home.  Sometimes people call this principle "living beneath your means".  It is a very good principle and it is absolutely essential if you are going to experience financial success.  A lot of folks believe that it is crucial to find a job that pays a salary that will put them in the top ten or twenty percent of the income population.  That is simply not true.  It really does not matter how much money you make.  I have seen people who make top ten percent incomes go broke and I have seen people in the lower middle class obtain financial security.  It was not how much they brought home that made the difference.  It was how much they spent of what they brought home that made the difference.  Nobody who lives beneath his means ever suffers financial hardship.  In fact, I believe it is fair to say that every person who lives beneath his means is rich already, and he will only get richer with the passing of time.
The problem with living beneath your means, of course, is that most people will not do it because they are committed to the principles of materialism.  They want stuff.  They believe stuff makes them happy.  They believe the accumulation of stuff makes them successful. They believe that others think they are cool and powerful when they have lots of stuff.  All of these beliefs are wrong, as we all know, but they believe them anyway.  As long as the goal in life is to accumulate stuff a person will never become financially successful.  I consider most people in the Socialist Democracy of America to be financial lost causes.  They are lost causes because they will never overcome their materialism.  They will always live beyond their means.  I do not feel sorry for them since they are making their own choices and it is none of my business what they do with their money.  But the fact remains that the majority of the folks in this land will be financial failures because they are unwilling to restrain their spending and set some money aside.  That brings me to the third key to financial success.
Merely setting money aside is not sufficient to attain financial success.  Once that money is set aside you must do something with it.  Here is where most people think the goal becomes much more difficult.  Those folks are wrong.  Knowing what to do with that extra money is not difficult at all.  Actually doing what they should do with that extra money is what is difficult.  Allow me to explain.
The third key to financial success is you must invest all of your extra income into the stock market and you must keep it there forever.  There is no investment anywhere else in the world that will deliver the long term returns found in the stock market.  Since you are in this deal for the long term, there is no other place you should put your money.  This belief does not make me unique.  Lots of people share this belief.  However, most of those people attach a horrible addendum to the principle telling people to invest in the stock market.  They say that in addition to investing all of your extra income in the stock market you must also attempt to time the market and switch in and out of it in order to avoid the down markets.  This is where the problems start.
Everyone in the known universe (the Vogons being the only possible exception to this rule) is aware of the principle that one must "buy low and sell high".  Despite this rather obvious truism, there is not one in a hundred people who can actually do what they say they know they should do.  How do I know this?  How many people were investing in the stock market on March 9, 2009?  If fund flow data is accurate, almost nobody.  On the other hand, how many people were selling on that date?  Many.  In fact, if fund flow data is accurate, record outflows from the stock market were realized during that month.  Now, maybe you are not aware, but March 9, 2009 was the low point in the stock market during the Great Recession.  It was the absolute best day to invest in stocks in my lifetime and nobody was doing it.
Fast forward to today.  The stock market is up about 125% from that low point four years ago.  I was watching television the other night and a John Hancock commercial came on.  It was a series of scenes featuring people who were supposed to be investors who were sitting down with their John Hancock adviser.  The first couple told the adviser that "we need to invest again."  The second couple said, "we need to get back into the stock market."  The third couple said, "we need a different approach to investing."  Well, at least the third couple got it right....they desperately need a new approach to investing.  How about trying this, invest in stocks and stay with them forever.
Now that the stock market has risen by 125% people suddenly want back in.  All of those poor fools who sold out several years ago suddenly want back in.  They have realized guaranteed losses due to their timing of the market.  That is why the third key to financial success must be strictly followed.  Invest all of your extra money in the stock market and do not take it out.  Ever.  Well, at least not until you need it in order to pay your bills during retirement.  But never take out more than you need for that month's expenses.  If you follow the three keys listed above I guarantee you will be wealthy beyond your wildest dreams!*

*Not Guaranteed

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Fossil Record Does Not Prove Evolution

I was driving down the road the other day when I was passed by a car with a bumper sticker I had never seen before.  It had the usual symbol of a fish with legs coming out underneath it that I know is associated with proponents of Darwinism.  For those of you who might not have seen one of these before, you are probably aware of the "fish" symbol used by evangelical Christians to declare who they are to the watching world.  Imagine that fish symbol with four feet coming out the bottom of the fish.  The clear intimation is that the fish is evolving into something else and the doctrine of evolution is true.
This bumper sticker had the walking fish symbol along with a catchy phrase that was new to me. It said, "We have the fossils, so we win!"  That got my mind working.  I wondered to myself, does the fossil record really support the doctrine of evolution?  The more I thought about it the more I realized the idea was utterly preposterous.  Allow me to explain why.
The doctrine of evolution teaches that all forms of life have evolved from other simpler forms of life through a process that involves natural selection of living things that experience tiny mutations which make them slightly more fit to survive in the environment in which they find themselves.  If a mutation occurs that makes a creature more viable in its environment, it will be selected for by that environment and when it reproduces that characteristic will be passed on to succeeding generations.  Add time periods of billions and billions of years to allow for the fact that these mutations are individually insignificant, infinitesimally small and rarely take place and you now have the process by which human beings evolved from a one celled organism to our present state.
Rarely stated by those who believe in the doctrine of evolution is the fact that they do not believe that an organ such as the eye evolved in one simple step.  In other words, there was no blind creature that was sliding on its legless belly down a muddy valley one day which woke up the next day with an eye where skin used to be.   The doctrine of evolution requires that one cell of skin near the place where an eye is eventually going to be experienced a mutation that caused it to convert from a skin cell to a retinal cell.  Then, that organism reproduced and its offspring had that one retinal cell where a skin cell used to be.  Then, several millions of years later, one of these one-retinal-celled creatures mutated and a second retinal cell just happened to mutate right next to the existing retinal cell.  Multiply this process over millions of times and over billions of years and you end up with a creature that has an eye.  To get a second eye, of course, requires the process to happen to another creature on both sides of its head.  Replicate this process for every organ and organ system that exists today and you have the doctrine of evolution.
If the fossil record proves the doctrine of evolution then it must contain literally millions of transitional species.  There should be millions of examples of fish with wings.  There should be millions of examples of one-eyed creatures that later become two-eyed creatures.  There should be millions of fossils of one-winged birds.  There should be millions of creatures with both lungs and gills.  There should be millions of creatures with both scales and feathers.  There should be millions of creatures with both beaks and lips.  Some would have a lip on top and a beak on the bottom.  Others would have a beak on top and a lip on the bottom.  But, these creatures should all be there in the fossil record for us to see today.  There should be creatures with one lung and creatures with two lungs.  Some creatures might have three lungs.  They would have ceased to exist when natural selection went in another direction away from excessive oxygen consumption.  There would be fossils of creatures with short tongues and long tongues.  There should be a complete progression of fossils that shows how the tongue cells mutated over billions of years, thus resulting in the lengthening of the tongue.  So, does the fossil record contain all of these amazing creatures?  Hardly.
There are no transitional species in the fossil record.  None.  Zero.  Nada.  Those few examples that paleontologists like to trot out as examples of transitional species are woefully inadequate to prove their doctrine.  Archeopteryx is the favored example for believers in the doctrine of evolution.  Archeopteryx is a bird that just happens to have a claws on its fore-wings.  This bird that just happens to have a claw on its fore-wings is allegedly the "missing link" between the reptiles and the birds.  Talk about requiring a gigantic leap of faith!  If archeopteryx is the missing link between birds and reptiles, where are the examples of archeopteryx with just one claw on one wing?  Where is the example with two smaller claws on two smaller wings?  Where is the example of the species that produced the first claw cell on a wing?  Since it must have taken billions of years for the archeopteryx to evolve, there must be literally trillions of dead transitional birds sitting around in the mud just waiting to be discovered by paleontologists.  Where are they?  Where is the transitional species that had a bird beak on top and a fish lip on the bottom?  There should be billions of their fossils lying around.  Where is the transitional species that had skin that consisted of one feather and one scale, then another feather and another scale, then another feather and another scale?  There should be millions of those in the fossil record. After all, it took billions of years for this bird to evolve via the slow process of mutation and natural selection, once cell at a time. Where are any of these transitional species?  There are none.  Nada.  Zip.
Honest paleontologists will admit that there are no transitional species in the fossil record, despite the fact that their doctrine of evolution requires millions of them.  Rather than modify their doctrine of evolution to adapt to the fossil record, they set out to try and explain why the fossil record does not support the doctrine of evolution they know to be true.  We hear wild, hair-brained theories about periods of extremely fast paced micro-evolution on the one hand, or environmental disasters that wiped out selected parts of the fossil record on the other.  I guess that is to be expected.  The doctrine of evolution is a religious doctrine and we all know how religious fanatics behave.  They go on believing what they want to believe despite the facts.  In fact, the more preposterous their doctrine, the more tenaciously they cling to it.  It requires a gigantic amount of faith to believe in the doctrine of evolution based upon the fossil record because the fossil record simply does not support the doctrine of evolution.  Don't try telling that to the true believers.  They don't want to hear it.  Still, to be intellectually honest they should remove the bumper stickers that declare them victorious in the debate, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

All Wrong About Forgiveness

Two articles that I read in the Denver Post last week caused me to take a moment to ponder the doctrine of forgiveness.  It has occurred to me that forgiveness is one thing most people know very little about.  Sadly, what most people believe they know about forgiveness is wrong.  Allow me to explain.
Vandals broke into the St. Martin-In-The-Fields Episcopal Church the Saturday night before Easter Sunday.  They did the sorts of things vandals usually do. They broke things. They covered things with spray paint.  The went around the church building spraying fire extinguishers.  I hope the vandals all had a tremendous feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction after their vandalous efforts were completed. 
Jim Gilchrist is pastor of the congregation.  After surveying the damage he announced that Easter services were cancelled.  Despite his announcement the members of the congregation decided to show up anyway.  As a result, the Easter services went off without a hitch. The Post reported that "after the service Gilchrist changed the church's sign by the road to read, 'Whoever you are, you are forgiven.'"  Therein lies the problem.
Tom Clements was murdered at his home a week or so ago (see March 27, 2013 post to this blog for more information).  A memorial service was held for him on March 25th.  The Post was present at that service and reported that Lisa Clements, Tom's wife, had made the following statement during her time on the podium:  "We pray for forgiveness and peace for the family of the man suspected of taking Tom's life, and we pray every day for forgiveness and peace in our own hearts."  It is not my intention to pour salt into the wounds of a grieving widow but there is a lot wrong about what she said.
I will begin with the sign in front of the Episcopalian church.  How is it possible to forgive someone that you do not know?  Forgiveness is directly related to personal interactions between two or more people.  When the person who committed the offense is unknown, how is it possible for the act of forgiveness to take place?  In fact, it can't.  Nevertheless, the sign in front of the church is a perfect example of what passes for forgiveness these days.  Forgiveness is more about making the person who is granting it feel better about himself than it is about restoring a broken relationship with another person.  We have taken an action that is intended to bring about reconciliation and turned it into a statement of personal power and superiority.  By announcing to the world that I forgive someone that I do not even know for doing something truly damaging to me, I am announcing to the world that I am a great man deserving respect and admiration.  Whether the relationship with the perpetrator is ever fixed is irrelevant.  My pronouncement of forgiveness is entirely about me, and no one else.
Contrary to the modern view, forgiveness is not about the person who grants it.  Forgiveness is supposed to be focused upon the person who has harmed another person.  The purpose of forgiveness is to restore the person who has sinned, not make the person sinned against feel good about himself.  Furthermore, forgiveness always comes with conditions.  Blanket forgiveness is an utterly foreign concept in the historic doctrine of forgiveness.  Unilateral forgiveness is a creation of the modern mind that wants to aggrandize itself and ignore the real issue at hand.
Forgiveness is never to be granted to anyone in the absence of two mandatory conditions.  First, it must be requested.  If a person does not ask for forgiveness, it cannot and should not be granted.  Second, the request for forgiveness must be accompanied by proof of its authenticity.  Generally that proof revolves around some form of restitution.  In the case of the vandalized church, the perpetrators must go to Gilchrist and ask his forgiveness for their actions.  They must prove the genuineness of their request by agreeing to clean up the church and restoring all of the damaged property.  This series of actions that we previously described as the process of forgiveness is nothing but common sense.  This series of actions was understood as the proper thing to do by everyone in this land until the modern doctrine of forgiveness took its place.  This doctrine of forgiveness is what everyone practiced until the selfish doctrine of forgiveness practiced today took over.
In the other example cited above, Lisa Clements says that she is praying for the forgiveness of "the family of the man suspected of taking Tom's life".  The problem with her prayer is that the family of the man who killed Tom Clements is in no way responsible for the murder and in no need of her forgiveness.  Lisa's comments sound good and make her look very magnanimous at the memorial service but they are utterly meaningless.  Granting forgiveness to people who have not done you any harm is another selfish aspect in the modern doctrine of forgiveness. 
Lisa's final statement that she "prays every day for forgiveness and peace in our own hearts" also sounds good but tells us nothing.  For whom is her prayer of forgiveness directed?  Certainly she can't be praying for forgiveness for herself.  Just as certainly she can't be praying for forgiveness for the man who murdered her husband as he is now dead.  The man who murdered her husband never asked for forgiveness so how can she properly grant it?  Even if he had, he is now dead and beyond the reach of her grant of forgiveness.  I think we all realize that what is being said here is that Lisa realizes that anger and bitterness towards the man who murdered her husband has the potential to make her future life miserable.  She chooses to not go in that direction, and that is good.  However, she should simply say that she is going to make the choice to not live a life filled with anger and bitterness towards the murdered of her husband.  She should not say she forgives a man she cannot possibly forgive.  Doing so once again makes the entire event about her feelings about herself and thereby misses the single most important point about forgiveness which is that it must always be about the restoration of relationships. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Birth Control For All Children Without Parental Consent

I was shocked and appalled to learn that a federal judge has ruled that girls as young as 11 years of age should be permitted to purchase over-the-counter birth control drugs without parental consent.  I was reading the Denver Post on Saturday when I came across the article that filled me with rage against the judicial system of the Socialist Democracy of America.
According to the article, "Judge Edward Korman of New York...ruled Friday that there should be no age restrictions on the sale of emergency contraception without a doctor's prescription....Today, buyers must prove at the pharmacy that they're 17 or older; everyone else must see a doctor first."  Am I the only person in this disgusting country that sees the bitter irony in the judge's ruling?
The article went on to say, "If the court order stands, Plan B One-Step and its generic versions could move from behind pharmacy counters out to drug store shelves --ending a decade-plus struggle by women's groups for easier access to these pills....allowing freer access for adolescents...the drug was safe for girls as young as 11, about 10 percent of whom are physically able to bear children."
The manufacturer of the drugs makes the claim they are non-abortive in their function.  In theory they prevent ovulation and have no impact upon a previously fertilized egg.  I will not dispute the claim.  We already know that adolescent girls are able to obtain taxpayer financed abortions without parental awareness or consent in this depraved land.  That is a different issue than the one illustrated by the judge's ruling in this case.  This case specifically deals with access to prescription drugs.
If I came down with a head cold that progressed into a bacterial infection that required the use of antibiotics, I could not simply walk into a drug store and buy the required antibiotics.  It does not matter that I know precisely what is wrong with me.  It does not matter that I know precisely which drug will solve the problem.  It does not matter that I need no professional medical advice to resolve my health issue.  Nothing matters except the law which states that I cannot purchase that antibiotic without a prescription from a doctor.  Although it makes no sense at all to me, it is the law of the land and I submit myself to it.  I make an appointment with a doctor, get a prescription, go the the pharmacy and buy the drug that I need to resolve my infection.  Everything is supervised by government licensed agents who make sure the law against free access to antibiotics is enforced.
Now just change the situation every so slightly.  I am an 11 year old girl who has just had sex.  I walk into a drug store and pick up an over-the-counter birth control pill and walk to the check out stand.  Nobody says a thing.  I pay cash and walk out of the store with the drug.  Nobody does a thing.  I pop the pill in my mouth, hoping I do not get pregnant.  Nobody cares about what I have done.  Nobody, especially my parents, knows what I have done.  Does this make sense to anybody?
I was in Wal-Mart last week buying some seed for my parakeet.  While shopping I also picked up some glue that I thought I could use to repair a broken beam in my backyard deck.  Also while shopping I picked up some over-the-counter decongestant that I knew I would need to use to reduce the impact of my allergies that would flare up after working on the repairs to my backyard deck.  When I went to the self check out stand I was stopped two separate times by the cash register/computer device.  In each case a representative of Wal-Mart had to come over and verify my age and identification before the computer would allow me to continue checking out.  I discovered that both glue and over-the-counter decongestants are controlled substances.  A child under the age of 18 could not make the purchases I was making.  I talked to the Wal-Mart employee and discovered that my two items were not the only things that are controlled by federal and state law.  They have a long list of things that cannot be purchased by children.  Most of the items were things that I could not conceive how they could be classified as dangerous for use by children.  Still, the law was the law and I went home with a warm feeling in my heart because I knew that legions of selfless bureaucrats were working around the clock to create laws to prevent me and my children from doing a long list of amazingly stupid things.  Praise the State and praise the bureaucrats who know so much better than I do what is good and bad for me.
Then, on Saturday, everything changed.  After learning about how the state is protecting me from my own stupidity by controlling dozens of innocuous products, I  learned that the state is specifically authorizing the sale of a potentially dangerous product to young girls without any controls whatsoever.  What is wrong with this picture?
The federal government has just informed every 11 year old girl in the SDA that she is free to go out this Friday night and have sex with her boyfriend.  After what will undoubtedly be an amazingly romantic and mutually satisfying sexual encounter, this 11 year old girl can then go to the local grocery story and purchase the magic pill that will keep her from becoming pregnant.  No doubt the pill will be available on a pop-up stand near the check out line.  It will probably have a picture of other girls just like her who have just taken the pill and now have big smiles on their faces.  The message will be clear, using this pill will eliminate all of the consequences of what you have just done.  The all-powerful state has stepped in to not only prevent pregnancy, but also to absolve these pitiable young creatures of their moral guilt.  And, to top it all off, the parents of this 11 year old girl will never know what has happened.
Does it strike anyone as odd that a 50+ year old geezer like me is being carded for trying to purchase products that will have no harmful impact upon anyone in the universe while, at the same time, an 11 year old girl can walk into that same store and buy over-the-counter birth control pills without her parents having a clue about what she is doing?  I am disgusted with the lawyers, judges, and politicians in this land every day.  Today, however, I am just a little bit more disgusted.  May God give them what they justly deserve.