San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, September 27, 2013

Is God Punishing Homosexuals By Flooding Colorado?

Kevin Swanson is pastor of Reformation Church in Colorado Springs.  Reformation Church is in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) denomination.  The OPC is a denomination with impeccable theological credentials and a flawless historical pedigree.  Some of the greatest theologians in the history of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika (SDA) have been associated with the OPC.  So it comes as a bit of a surprise to discover that one of its pastors is suddenly in the middle of a firestorm over comments he recently uttered.  By any standard of measurement the OPC is a stodgy group of churches.  The pastors who minister within the OPC are rarely known to the media or the general public.  The theological issues they discuss are usually so far from the mainstream that nobody gives a hoot what they have to say.  At least until Kevin came along with his comments.
Pastor Swanson, in addition to being a pastor, hosts a radio show.  During his show he took a moment to retell the story about a picture that had graced the front page of the Denver Post earlier this year.  The picture was of Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino kissing his homosexual partner.  If I recall correctly, the smooch was given as a result of the passage of the law approving homosexual unions in the state of Colorado.  The picture was found offensive by many people, not just Pastor Swanson.  Several letters were written accusing the newspaper of advancing the homosexual agenda.  As expected, those people were deemed to be homophobic, whatever that means.
After describing the photograph Pastor Swanson went on to say, "So we have the worst year possible politically in the state of Colorado and it happens to be the worst year ever in terms of fire and flood damage in Colorado's history.  That is a weird coincidence."  Only the dullest person was unable to pick up on his implied argument.  I believe it is fair to say that Swanson's message is that God is angry with the citizens and politicians of Colorado because they have legalized homosexual unions.  As a sign of His anger, and probably as judgment for our sin,  He has caused several severe fires as well as the most recent flooding.  In other words, Swanson believes God is actively involved in judging people for their behavior and the recent events in Colorado are a perfect example of His wrath.
You will probably not be surprised to discover that the editorial board at the Denver Post took exception to Pastor Swanson's opinions.  In a short editorial written on September 24 and entitled "A reason for those biblical rains", the editors mocked Swanson by referring to Stephen Colbert's public statement that "the heavy rains are caused by the tears of angels appalled by gays."  The editors concluded by saying, "Looks like we're in for nasty weather."
The fact that the editors would simply dismiss outright any argument that invokes the name of God is not surprising.  The fact that the editors would simply dismiss outright any argument that is based upon the presupposition that God is sovereign is not surprising.  The fact that the editors would mock a pastor who believes in the doctrine of the sovereignty of God is not surprising.  What is surprising is that a group of supposedly intellectual editors are apparently quite incapable of recognizing a theological argument that has been around for about two thousand years.  How could such intelligent men be so dumb?
There are two arguments that need to be clarified in this dispute.  I will do my best to clarify them.  The first has to do with the standard evangelical Christian belief that homosexuality is a sin.  That belief is hard to refute by anyone who takes the Bible seriously.  Anyone who adheres to the ancient hermeneutical practice of "the analogy of Scripture" is driven to the conclusion that homosexuality is a sin.   What gets confusing is the relationship of homosexuality to sin.  The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans that all men are guilty of the general sin of refusing to acknowledge and worship God.  In fact, Paul said that all men are worthy of eternal death because, "even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened."  After declaring that all men are guilty before God, Paul goes on to describe one of the consequences of this sinful rebellion against God's authority.  He writes, "Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them....For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire for one another."  It should be fairly obvious, if Paul actually means what he writes here, that homosexuality is one of the punishments for the prior sin of refusing to worship and honor God.  So, yes, homosexuality is a sin.  However it is important to realize that homosexuality is also a punishment for a sin that has already been committed, namely, the sin of stubbornly refusing to honor and worship God.
What I have written, of course, would outrage homosexual advocates, if any of them ever read this blog (highly unlikely).  I do not consider that to be my problem since I did not write the Epistle to the Romans.  Paul wrote the words I quoted above so if you have a problem with them, take it up with him.  Or, even better, if God inspired the words Paul wrote, and I believe that He did, then take up any issues you might have with them with God.  I am only repeating what Paul wrote and God inspired.  Christians also get very angry with me because they like to believe that homosexuality is a "choice".  That belief fits into their various workshop programs and outreach ministries whereby they believe they can "cure" people of various addictions, including homosexuality, and in-graft them into their mega-churches.  Clearly that position cannot be true.  Certainly the homosexuals are correct when they assert that they were born with their sexual orientation and nothing is going to change it.  The problem for homosexuals is that the way they are born is not good.  In fact, it is sinful and the way they are born is punishment for the prior sin of unbelief in the true God.
The second argument that needs to be clarified has to do with the sovereignty of God.  The doctrine of the sovereignty of God has been around for a long time.  Adam, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon, Peter, John and Paul all believed in it.  They wrote of it frequently.  I am not going to quote all of the proof-texts.  If you don't believe me check it out yourself.  From the earliest days of the Christian Church the preeminent theologians in the Church have taught the doctrine of God's absolute sovereignty.  Augustine taught it, Aquinas taught it, Luther taught it, Calvin taught it, indeed, it was one of the bedrock doctrines for all of the Puritan theologians who were primarily responsible for the spiritual instruction of the citizens of this land during the colonial period.  All of the great historic Christian creeds since the Reformation have declared the truth of the doctrine of God's absolute sovereignty.  Here is what the Westminster Confession of Faith has to say about the doctrine, "God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass." 
There isn't a lot of wiggle room in the doctrine of God's sovereignty.  Either He ordained everything that is or He did not.  If He did not, He is not God.   If He did, then everything that happens is a direct result of His decree and the pure expression of His secret will.  Nothing happens that He does not decree and ordain.  So let's go back to the question raised in the Post editorial, is there a reason for those biblical rains?  The answer is most certainly yes.  The citizens of Colorado have experienced horrific fires and flooding because God ordained it to be so.  That we know for an absolute fact.  What we do not know for an absolute fact is why He would chose to burn and flood specific parts of the state.
Here we have to be very careful.  Many people, both believers and unbelievers alike, are very quick to speak for God.  Another historic doctrine that apparently nobody remembers these days is that God only reveals His proscriptive will through His Word, the Bible.  That doctrine is known as sola scriptura and it is routinely ignored by laymen and theologians alike.  So unless the Bible writes that God long ago ordained that He was going to destroy 100 homes in Lyons with flooding because of the sinfulness of the people who lived in those homes, we had better not go around making statements with that sort of precision.  On the other hand, the Bible does tell us something about why God ordains all things that take place.  I will tell you what it says but most of you are not going to like it.  Once again, this is not my responsibility.  You will have to take this up with God if you object, but everything that happens by God's sovereign decree happens for the welfare of those who believe in Him and for the punishment of those who do not.
Is God punishing homosexuals by flooding Colorado?  I have no idea.  God will certainly punish unbelieving homosexuals.  Some unbelieving homosexuals might have been hurt by the flood and the fires.  I don't really know anything more specific than that.  But I do know several things with certainty:  1) Homosexuals are already being punished for their sin, that is why they are homosexuals; 2) God is active in all things that take place, sovereignly decreeing them so that nothing else could come to pass but what did come to pass; and 3) God is active in blessing His people and cursing His enemies, despite the various interpretations of men in regard to the outward circumstances.  In general it would make good sense for all men to repent and believe in Him.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Colorado In The Fall Is A Beautiful Place

My goodness, these posts have been terribly negative recently, haven't they?  I know I am a person who is angry all the time but sometimes I have to suppress my anger and say something positive.  Mind you, I will not suppress my anger for very long.  Doing so can lead to ulcers and, eventually, heart attacks and I don't want either of those.  Still, there is a time and a place for something soothing.  Why just last winter I posted this article about how beautiful I found Hawaii to be.  Today I would like to continue with that tradition and give those of you who do not live in Colorado a bit of a taste of what it is like in the fall.  For those of you who do live here, consider this a gentle reminder to never take the scenic beauty we live in for granted. All of the shots below were taken in the month of September.
I was in the San Juan mountains one fall day and decided to hike to a place called "Denver Pass".  There was an old power line that ran through this pass that used to provide electricity for the miners who worked in the Animas valley far below.  Here is a shot taken looking northeast from the pass, towards Denver.  You can see the remnants of the power line poking out through the fresh snow.  The air that day was crisp and carried the aroma of new fallen snow:

There is nothing more classic Colorado than the combination of yellow aspen, a dusting of new white snow on the top of the high peaks and a cerulean blue sky.  Here is one such picture.  This is the Bandera mine below the northern slopes of Rolling Mountain, also in the San Juan mountains near Silverton.  A jeep road will transport you to this spot if you want to go see it yourself:

One of the most popular vacation spots for summer tourists is Yankee Boy Basin, near Ouray.  The basin is famous for summer wildflowers as well as being the easiest access point to climb the very popular fourteener known as Mt. Sneffles.  Here is a shot of three of the thirteeners along the ridge east from Mt. Sneffles.  You are looking at Teakettle (left), Coffeepot (right-center) and Potosi (exiting the picture on the right) from the southern slopes of Sneffles.  Teakettle is one of Colorado's most difficult to climb high peaks, as is evident from the photo:

Winter can come early to the high country.  This picture is of an unnamed thirteen thousand foot peak at the head of Hurricane Basin, in the San Juan mountains.  I don't know if the valley has ever actually experienced any hurricanes but it has certainly had its share of magnificent snowstorms.  This shot was taken on September 9, 2003.  The higher we went the deeper the snow became:

Perhaps the single most enjoyable part of a Colorado fall is that long walk along a trail lined with colorful aspen trees.  Some of the yellow leaves have fallen to the ground, some are still clinging to the trees and some are falling as the gentle breezes dislodge them.  These two fellows had just come down from a snowy summit and could not contain their rapture at walking through this canopy of yellow delight:

Sadly, the dancing man in the above photograph has become, by his own decision, my greatest personal enemy.  The mountains I understand.  People I don't.
Handies Peak is another well known fourteener in the San Juan range.  There are numerous scenic ridges in the area around Lake City, where Handies is found, that contain a wide variety of interesting thirteen thousand foot peaks.  Here is a picture of two of those thirteeners taken on another wonderful fall day:

At times I think everyone in the world has seen the famous shot of the Maroon Bells taken from Maroon Lake near Aspen.  The intrepid mountaineer Gerry Roach once said he sat down at a remote restaurant in the high mountains of Peru and saw a placemat in front of him with a photograph of the Maroon Bells on it.   Here is a picture of one of the mountains (North Maroon) taken from a different direction.  This shot is of the north face of North Maroon, taken from Buckskin Pass in the Maroon Bells wilderness.  Stunning, isn't it?  The smaller pinnacle in the foreground is called the Sleeping Sexton:

This is one of my all-time favorite photos.  This little sub-alpine tarn is located just a mile or so off heavily traveled Red Mountain Pass, in the San Juan mountains between Ouray and Silverton.  The Red Mountains are visible in the background.  Just prior to taking this picture we had the pleasure of seeing a black bear bounding through the trees in front of us.  Fortunately he was running away from us:

Uncompahgre Peak is another famous fourteener and the highest peak in the San Juan range.  This shot was taken from the basin just south of Wetterhorn Peak (another fourteener that is often climbed in conjunction with Uncompahgre by those in much better physical condition than me), looking at the west facing couloirs of Uncompahgre.  The lighting for photographs on this day was some of the best I have ever experienced:

The summit of Uncompahgre was attained.  Here my wife contemplates whether to stay with me or end it all.  I am thankful that she decided to stick with me, despite my anger issues.  We enjoyed the long descent back to the trailhead.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little slice of Colorado in the fall.  I am going out this week to experience some more.  Maybe we will meet on the trails or the summits.  Ask for the Mad Welshman.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why Are The Rockies So Bad?

Another baseball season is winding to an end and the Colorado Rockies find themselves, once again, in the basement of the National League West division.  The year began, as they all do, full of promise.  Maybe they would not win the division but they were practically guaranteed to be in the post season.  How could they not go to the playoffs?  Consider their many strengths:
  • All Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is a perennial MVP candidate.  He is hitting over .300 with power and many consider him to be the best defensive shortstop in the league.
  • All Star left fielder Carlos Gonzalez was leading the league in home runs at the all star break.  He finishes the season injured but still hitting over .300 and in the top ten in home runs.
  • Rookie third baseman Nolan Arenado has been called the greatest defensive third baseman since Brooks Robinson.  Manager Walt Weiss believes he should be Rookie of the Year.  
  • Catcher Wilin Rosario has dramatically improved defensively while, at the same time, hitting at almost a .300 clip with power.  
  • Right fielder Michael Cuddyer is in the driver's seat to win the National League batting crown.  His defensive play has been outstanding.
  • The Rockies lead the league in team batting average.
  • The Rockies are second in the league in team fielding percentage.
  • 17 year veteran Todd Helton is retiring this year.  His inspirational play certainly had to motivate his younger teammates to want to "win one for the ToddFather".  
  • The Rockie's closer, Rex Brothers, converted 17 out of 19 opportunities and is sitting on an ERA of 1.83.
  • The Rockies top three starting pitchers, Chatwood, Chacin and De La Rosa have respective ERAs of 3.15, 3.21 and 3.49.  Considering the fact that they pitch half of their games at Coors Field, those are outstanding earned run averages.
Still, the final standings do not lie.  The Rockies are a terrible team.  Their .456 winning percentage makes them worse than all the other teams except the woeful Miami Marlins, the annual bottom dwelling Chicago Cubs and the drug ravaged Milwaukee Brewers.  What is wrong?
Perhaps the answer to that question is to be found in the fact that the Rockies team Earned Run Average is the highest in the league.  Aside from their top three starters and their closer they have terrible pitching.  If pitching wins championships, the Rockies are a long way away from winning championships.  I was told by a lady who's son was drafted as a pitcher to play professional baseball that the word among scouts and those in the know about baseball is that "Colorado is where pitchers go to die".  I don't know if that is due to the fact that Coors Field is a mile high or the possibility that the Rockies pitching coaches are inept.
In light of another disappointing season, I have a couple of suggestions for the Rockies management:
  • It appears as if any average hitter can become a league leader in Colorado.  The conclusion is, don't bother chasing after league leading hitters.  Just find average ones and let the elevation work its magic.
  • We need pitchers who can both pitch and be mentally tough.  Anyone who pitches here is going to be beat up on occasion.  Any pitcher who is a sissy needs to stay at sea level.  Any pitcher who is worried about his personal statistics needs to stay at sea level.  We need hard headed pitchers who can stare down the thin air and fight to the end.
  • The Rockies traded away Ubaldo Jimenez  several years ago.  I just checked his stats this morning.  He is pitching for Cleveland.  His ERA is 3.81 and he is an integral part of the Indian's stretch run.  We need to keep the good pitchers that we get.  The two arms we traded him for are both in AAA ball and appear unlikely to ever make it to the big leagues.  The moral of the story:  don't trade away good pitchers.
  • Trade some of our big names for quality pitching.  I would like to see what we can get for Tulowitzki.  A solid starting pitcher and a couple of middle relievers would be nice.  Keep trading away big name hitters until we get a stable of pitchers that can at least have a middlin' team ERA.
But what do I know?  I am just another ignorant fan who is tired of watching bad baseball.

Update:  August 24, 2015

Guess what?  The Rockies are in last place in the National League West and threatening to lose 100 games this year.  As I hoped would happen when I posted the article above, Tulowitzki has been traded.  Unfortunately the Rockies got Jose Reyes and some minor league pitchers in return.  Looks like the Rockies lose again.  Reyes is already demanding to be traded to a winning team and apparently will refuse to play for the Rockies next year.  Smart guy.  Has anything changed in the past two years?  You decide.
The Rockies are last in the league in team pitching with an ERA of 5.15.  The league average is 3.87.  It is hard to win many games giving away 1.5 runs per game.  The Rockies are tied for first, with San Francisco in team batting and second in total runs, behind Arizona.  The Rockies are also 8th in the league in team fielding.  So there you have it.  Another year of good hitting, above average fielding and abysmal pitching.  Everything I wrote above remains true today.  When will it ever change?  Oh, when will it ever change?  (You might want to sing those last two questions to the tune of "when will they ever learn?" if you know the song.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Colorado HOA Rules Become More Oppressive

Back on March 28th of this year I posted an article to this blog showing how the nanny-state known as Colorado was expanding its oppressive body of regulations into the voluntary contracts signed between Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and their members and contractors.  During the course of that rant I made a statement that was not true.  This post is designed to correct my previous mistake.  While recounting how one lady legislator from Colorado had proposed a bill (now a law) that all property management companies that do business with Colorado based homeowners associations must be registered with the State of Colorado I stated that nothing more was required than the completed registration form and the payment of a fee to the state.  That assertion was wrong.  This post is being written to correct that incorrect information and tell you precisely what the new law requires.
House Bill 1277 grossly expanded the intrusion of the state into the voluntary contractual associations of HOAs and property management companies.  But first, a little background.  Colorado HOAs are already regulated by the state.  In 1991 the state legislature passed the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA)   The legislation, as is so often the case in a nanny-state, was a body of law in search of a problem.  There was no reason why the state needed to create a new body of law specifically revolving around the contractual associations of HOAs.  There was no problem within HOAs that could not have been resolved using the existing court system.  There was no need for standardization of HOA procedures around a rigid protocol mandated by the state.  But not having any need for a new body of law is never an acceptable reason to not write new laws.  So the CCIOA was born. 
Since 1991 the CCIOA has been amended 33 times, not including the most recent changes.  That is 33 changes to a body of law created just 22 short years ago.  If our legislators are so bright, why did they not get it right the first time?  Why have they needed to change various parts of the law over thirty times in a little over two decades if they knew what they were doing in the first place?  It seems more likely that they have opened a legal can of worms.  The more laws they write the more laws they need to keep writing to continually pander to some particular bloc of voters.  Once the nanny-state takes over a part of the free market it will not stop until it controls every single thing that takes place within it.  That is the nature of the beast. 
The CCIOA consists of three main parts.  Those three parts are divided into 66 separate sections.   Each of those sections is further sub-divided into additional precise laws that all HOAs are expected to be in compliance with.  I didn't bother counting up the total number of laws/regulations that HOAs are subject to but, after thumbing through the document, I concluded that it must be in the thousands.  To see a copy of all of these laws/rules go to this site:  CCIOA. It was in this context that House Bill 1277 was introduced.
House Bill 1277 was a 28 page bill designed to force people who were not even part of Colorado registered homeowner associations into the state juggernaut.  Effective July 1, 2014, all property management companies that conduct business with Colorado HOAs are required to do the following:
  1. They must be licensed to operate in the State of Colorado.  Here is what the bill says, "Under current law, common interest communities and their unit owners' associations (HOAs) are not subject to regulation by any state agency.  The bill requires any person who manages the affairs of a common interest community on behalf of an HOA for compensation, on or after July 1, 2014, to meet minimum qualifications and obtain a license from the director of the division of real estate in the department of regulatory agencies."  Here is a copy of the bill if you want to read it.  I was unable to find what the license fee would be.  Maybe you can find it.   I was also unable to find any reason why property managers needed to be regulated.  It seems to be the case that career politicians believe any part of the free market that operates outside of their direct supervision should be regulated by them simply because they want to regulate it.  That is a dangerous precedent to establish, as we shall see.
  2. To obtain a state license the property management company must have a credential from one of four different credentialing agencies.  I have no idea who these agencies are since I am not a property manager.  I would assume that most, if not all, reputable property management companies are already members of one or more of these four groups.  In that case this law is redundant and unnecessary and clearly exists for no other reason than to generate revenue for the state and expand the scope of state power.
  3. The new law also says, "In addition to holding one or more of the credentials outlined above, the manager must take a course and pass an examination relating to Colordo law and the governing documents of associations."  In other words, the property management company must have its representatives pass a test in regards to the CCIOA.  This, of course, will be another gross redundancy.  Any property management company that is already doing business with any Colorado HOA is already an expert in the CCIOA.  Assuming that property managers do not have a working knowledge of the CCIOA is like assuming a carpenter would go to work without a hammer.  It simply would never happen.  What I am sure about is that there will be a fee for the test.  I am also sure that somebody who is related to one or more of the original sponsors of the bill is in the business of providing professional testing and will suddenly find that his business is expanding exponentially.  So this new requirement becomes nothing more than an opportunity for enhancing state revenues and engaging in time honored practice of nepotism.
If the state is going to interject itself into the private voluntary contractual agreements that exist between HOAs and their property management companies, why stop there?   Why not interject itself into the private voluntary contractual agreements between car salesman and their customers.  Oops, that has already been done!  OK, why not interject itself into the private voluntary contractual agreements between tenants and their landlords?  Oops, that has already been done!  OK, why not interject itself into the private voluntary contractual agreements between employees and their employers?  Oops, that has already been done in a multitude of different bodies of law!  OK, why not interject itself into the private voluntary contractual agreement between a taxi driver and his fare?  Oops, that has already been done!  OK, why not interject itself into the private voluntary contractual agreement between a person who wants to lose weight and his personal trainer?  Oops, that has already been done.  OK, why not interject itself into the private voluntary contractual agreement between a homeowner who needs a new roof and the roofing company that can provide it?  Oops, that has already been done.  OK, why not interject itself into the private voluntary contractual agreement between a woman and her hair stylist?  Oops, that has already been done.  OK, why not interject itself into the private voluntary agreement between a man and his wife when they decided to have a child?  What is that you say, have I finally found an example that works?  Hardly.  Did you know that parents must allow their newborn feces to be tested for non-government approved substances?  Did you know that the law mandates not only the use of a child seat in the car but actually describes the precise way it must be installed?  Did you know the parents could be arrested and prosecuted for child abuse if they do not make sure their child is wearing a helmet while riding his bicycle?  Wow!  All of this thinking has made me thirsty.  I think I will go across the street and buy a lemonade from my neighbor's daughter's lemonade stand.  Oops, I forgot, the regulators put her out of business.  Oh well, at least I can go down to my neighbor's farm and get a glass of cold milk, straight out of the vat.  Oops, I forgot, the regulators put him out of business.  Alright.....I am at a loss.  I can't think of a single private voluntary contractual agreement I can enter into today that does not have some body of law/regulation associated with it.  Oh well, I am still proud to be an Amerikan, where at least I know I'm free.  Sing along with me, won't you?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Just Wage Proponents Are Miserable Hypocrites

There have always been philosophical and economic fringe groups who have clamored for what they call a "just" wage.  I have posted to this blog about these weirdos twice in the last couple of weeks, here and here.  These pathetic envy filled people are on their own personal crusades to try and get the government to force profit seeking businessmen to pay more for labor than the free market will bear.  They wrongly carry the mantle of "justice" to describe their sinful activities.  They make long speeches about how corporations need to pay their employees more money than the market rate simply because the corporations show a profit.  Wal-Mart is a frequent target for their scorn and derision. They pull no punches as they accuse Wal-Mart executives of the most heinous immoralities.  They clearly believe that all CEOs who make more than a million dollars a year are hell-bound, if they actually believed in hell.  I am here today to declare these self-righteous folks to be what they truly are.  They are hypocrites, pure and simple.  Allow me to explain why.
According to Forbes, the following are the top ten blue collar jobs on an hourly wage basis.  They are listed from # 10 to # 1:
  • Airline Mechanic:   $26.20/hour
  • Boilermaker:  $27.23/hour
  • Oil Rig Operator:  $28.15/hour
  • Commercial Diver:  $28.19/hour
  • Subway Operator:  $28.56/hour (Government Job)
  • Power Line Installer:  $28.58/hour (Government Job)
  • Oil & Gas Refinery Operator:  $28.99/hour
  • Transportation Inspector:  $31.62/hour (Government Job)
  • Electrical Powerhouse Operator:  $31.71/hour (Government Job)
  • Elevator Repairmen:  $35.37/hour (Semi-government Job)
Take a close look at the list above.  It is most revealing.  First notice how five of the top ten highest paying blue collar jobs are government jobs.  In other words, the amount people working in those fields earn is not based upon the free market value of their labor but, instead, is based upon what politicians and bureaucrats believe they should earn.  Not surprisingly, five of the top six high paying jobs are in government positions.  Politicians can purchase a lot of votes by overpaying for the labor services that are used in various jobs.  I don't know what the actual market rate is for those who work at these jobs.  My guess is that it would be less than what is shown in the above list, probably a lot less. 
Of the five careers that do not get taxpayer subsidies, notice how 40% of them (2 out of 5) are in the oil and gas business.  A third, boilermaker, is often closely associated with the oil and gas industry.  Further notice that the highest paying blue collar job that is not a government job is oil and gas refinery worker.  The third highest paying job that is not a government job is an oil rig operator.
Now I find all of this very interesting, don't you?  In fact, I believe most people are aware that some of the best opportunities for people without college degrees who are willing to work long hard hours is in the oil and gas business.  Everyone knows that oil and gas pays well.  It is not just the rig-hands that make the big bucks.  The secretaries and office personnel also make more than their counterparts in other fields.  In fact, everything associated with the oil and gas business pays well. Ancillary businesses such as boilermakers, welders, pipeline constructors and storage tank manufacturers all make much higher than average wages.
Now all of this makes me wonder.....why do those who cry out for a "just wage" not fall all over themselves to extol the virtues of the oil and gas industry?  Why are they not exhorting people to leave their minimum wage jobs at McDonalds and go find a job on an oil rig?  Why are they not singing the praises of this extremely high paying industry?  Why are no rallies held outside the corporate offices of oil companies in which the participants thank the oil companies for their high wages?  After all, if this is really about "justice", does it not make sense to recognize those who are truly paying a "just" wage?  Yet these things do not happen.  Why?  I suspect it has something to do with envy.
What do you think would be the result of a poll in which we asked all "just wage" proponents the following question:  What industry exploits consumers, violates the sacred Mother Earth, causes global warming and just generally is populated with a bunch of evil white males more than any other?  I don't know that that question has ever been asked of a group of self proclaimed "just wage" advocates.   I suspect that if we could get all of them into a room and asked them the question just the way I wrote it above we would discover that the oil and gas industry would be the most common answer to the question.  How about that!
Oil and gas companies are some of the largest and most profitable companies in the world.  It is no coincidence that companies with the largest profit margins also pay the highest wages while companies with tiny profit margins pay the minimum wage.   It should not be a shocking thing to discover that an entry level job with Exxon is going to pay more than an entry level job at Wal-Mart.  And therein lies the rub.  Socialists like the "just wage" people hate profits.  They hate capitalism.  They hate the free market.  Therefore, they also hate oil and gas companies with a passion.  What we learn is that all of the shouting about a "just wage" is really nothing more than a front for their socialism.  They hate profits and the free market.  They don't care in the slightest about higher wages.  They only care about taking money from those who are productive and giving it to those who are on the government dole, in exchange for a vote of course.  They only care about being on the nightly news and on the the front page of the newspapers.  They only care about being portrayed in the press as "compassionate" people who "care about the needs of others".
If "just wage" advocates really cared about higher wages they would love the oil and gas business.  They hate the oil and gas business.  Therefore I conclude that "just wage" advocates are miserable hypocrites.  I have been sending out a lot of poxes recently.  Still, in this case it is necessary once again.  A pox upon all of them.