San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, October 18, 2013

Debt Limit Deal Celebrated With Pork Feast

Brianna Ehley of The Fiscal Times is an occasional contributor to the MSN money website.  She wrote a fascinating piece for MSN  yesterday that I just happen to stumble across.  It was so disturbing that I am compelled to share it with you today.  I wrote a post for this blog earlier in the year about the amount of pork Congressmen like to attach to the various bills they pass.  It was called "Carnitas Are Too Expensive" and you can find it here.  Pork, as most of you are aware, is a political payoff in exchange for various things granted earlier in the political process.  Perhaps the best way to think of pork is as a delayed bribe.  Rather than being paid in advance of the thing desired, they are paid after the desired item has been procured.  They are completely legal as well as being a reprehensible part of the political process in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.
Every politician who has ever participated in a pork deal should be imprisoned.  They destroy any conception of integrity in the political process.  They make a mockery of the taxpayers as the career politicians flaunt their power over us by granting each other favors that are paid for with our money.  In this particular case the career politicians in Congress manufactured an artificial crisis (the "debt ceiling crisis" that wasn't) that created just the right combination of circumstances to allow them to dole out some more pork to each other.  While we were told they were working diligently to save the economy of the world and prevent the next Great Depression they were really in smoke filled back rooms pounding out deals where they were most concerned about what they were going to give to each other in exchange for a favorable vote on the debt limit deal.  Brianna's article is so good I quote it in its entirety below.  I have added my thoughts about some of the items in the red text.  Her article is available here

"Whenever Congress takes up major legislation, lawmakers just can’t resist tossing in scores of extra 'sweeteners' to help their states or allies. That was certainly the case Wednesday night, when the Senate and House finally passed a measure to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling through early next year.  Some of the amendments were run-of-the-mill spending projects. Others provided an element of surprise. Here are eight of the many provisions that gave the legislation an extra push through Congress, culled by The Fiscal Times and The Washington Post:

$2.9 billion for Kentucky dams and locks on the Lower Ohio River
Section 123 of the bill increases the amount of funding for two locks and dams on the river that flows through Illinois and Kentucky -- two states which happen to be the home to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, co-author of the deal to end the shutdown. Congress originally appropriated just $775 million for the project in 1986.
McConnell is a Republican senator from Kentucky.  This is quite a windfall for those parasites who are politically connected to him.  I wonder how many friends and relatives will be involved in the construction projects?

$174,000 for Frank Lautenberg's widow
Section 146 appropriates that sum -- the equivalent of a year's salary for a rank-and-file senator -- to Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, widow of the late New Jersey Democrat who passed away earlier this year.
Why should my tax dollars be given to the surviving widow of a career politician?  Did the career politicians not have enough of their own money to support this woman who is, undoubtedly, on the verge of extreme poverty?  Why was her share of his pension insufficient to meet her needs? 

$636 million for fire suppression
After a worse-than-expected fire season throughout the western United States, the Forest Service's wildfire-fighting budget has dwindled perilously close to zero, and the service has had to transfer money from other accounts to pay for firefighting activities.
Why does the federal government own this land in the first place?  Why do they not admit that their failed management policies (no logging) are what are responsible for the fires in the first place?

$36 million for wildland fire management
That's for the 2014 fiscal year, and another $600 million that would go into a fire-fighting account, to be available until it's spent. The Forest Service spent more than $900 million fighting fires this year.
I wonder how that money was spent?  How much of it went to bureaucrats and supervisors who did little to no work?  How much was skimmed off along the way?  Furthermore, has anyone ever done a cost/benefits study about this activity?  How much do the efforts of firefighters actually mitigate the propagation of fires?  Are their efforts preventing the fires from spreading  by100%, 50%,  or 1%? 

Back pay for federally funded state workers
Tens of thousands of state employees around the country are paid through federal grants. Any states that used their own money to keep those employees on the job after the Oct. 1 shutdown, rather than sending them home on furlough, will be paid back.
So, after all the hand-wringing and media reports about how government employees were going into bankruptcy as a result of the shutdown, we discover that nobody actually lost a dime.  In fact, the entire government shutdown becomes nothing more than a nice little vacation for them.  Liars, all of them.

$450 million for emergency highway repairs in Colorado
Highways in the state were damaged by the floods that devastated towns in the Rocky Mountain foothills last month. The bill lifts a $100 million cap on emergency highway funds for Colorado to repair more than 200 miles of highway and about 50 bridges damaged or destroyed by the flooding.
Since I live in Colorado I am a beneficiary of this carnita.  I don't want it.  Take it back.

Mine safety revenue
The bill allows the Mine Safety and Health Administration to collect $2.5 million in user fees, instead of the previous cap of $1.5 million.
This sounds like nothing more than another government extortion program.  Some federal bureaucrat shows up at a mining operation and discovers dozens of safety "violations".  The profit seeking mining company then has to cough up millions of dollars in fines to make sure it never happens again.  What a joke.

Marine transportation security
The Maritime Administration Security Program gets $186 million next year, up from $174 million that it received last year."
According to the Department of Transportation, "The MSA requires the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, to establish a fleet of active, commercially viable, militarily useful, privately-owned vessels to meet national defense and other security requirements."  Humm...so Congress and the Department of Defense believe they are seriously under supplied with war ships?  I find that hard to believe given the fact that SDA war ships patrol the oceans of the world.  Something else must be going on here.  I suspect that what is really happening is that Congress is giving away my money to yacht owners who vote for them.  No doubt much of that money comes back as campaign contributions.  What a lovely program.

So there  you have it.  Government at its finest.
I've had enough.  I need some time off.  My blood pressure is through the roof.  The veins in my head are starting to pop out.  I need to take a vacation.  My wife and I had such a great time traveling to Montana earlier this year we have decided to take a trip the other direction.   So we are heading south, into the Big Bend country of Texas, for a week of new scenery and new peaks to climb.  I will be back on October 28th.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Envy Filled Mob Of Shoppers Rob Wal-Mart

Maybe you heard about the problem in a Louisiana food stamp program that caused people holding government approved food stamp cards to be able to purchase unlimited amounts of goods.  It happened earlier this week.  I have never used food stamps so I am not exactly sure how they work.  I have written two posts for this blog in the past that address the issue of food stamps and government corruption.  They can be found here and here.  Apparently people who are pre-approved by the government are issued what are essentially credit cards that track their purchases for a specific period of time. The cards are pre-loaded with a specific amount of money.  When the money is used up the owner of the card has to wait until the next issuance of government credit to obtain more taxpayer funds for his food purchases.  In this case the system that monitored the amount of money that was being spent broke down and the cards, for a brief period of time, had unlimited funds.  That is when things became interesting.
According to an internet report entitled "Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede, Shoppers swarm stores after a computer hiccup gives benefit cards unlimited purchasing power", the following took place, "Wal-Mart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, La., saw a stampede and a shelf-clearing rush Saturday after a computer glitch for food stamp recipients led to benefit cards allowing unlimited purchases. Police were called as entire shelves were being cleared out, until the glitch was fixed and low-income residents using the cards were no longer allowed to make purchases."
A local radio station was able to interview the Springhill Chief of Police immediately after the snafu.  Here is what the radio report said:
"Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd confirms they were called in to help the employees at Wal-Mart because there were so many people clearing off the shelves. He says Wal-Mart was so packed, 'it was worse than any black Friday' that he's ever seen.  Lynd explained the cards weren't showing limits and they called corporate Wal-Mart, whose spokesman said to let the people use the cards anyway. From 7 to 9 p.m., people were loading up their carts, but when the cards began showing limits again around 9, one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700 and only had .49 on her card. She was held by police until corporate Wal-Mart said they wouldn't press charges if she left the food.  Lynd says at 9 p.m., when the cards came back online and it was announced over the loud speaker, people just left their carts full of food in the aisles and left. No arrests were made.  'Just about everything is gone. I've never seen it in that condition,' Mansfield Wal-Mart customer Anthony Fuller told KSLA."
Those of you who cling to the ridiculous belief that people are basically good have some explaining to do.  If people are basically good why did so many of them immediately turn into thieves and robbers the moment they thought they could get away with it?  Furthermore, I am sure you are asking yourself what you would have done in that situation.  What would you do if your government credit card, for a period of a couple of hours, suddenly permitted you to purchase anything you wanted?  You know that it is not real.  You know that it is illegal.  You know that it is immoral.  You know that you have no right to the goods that you purchase as a result of the glitch.  You know all of these things.  But, would you go ahead and purchase the goods anyway?  I would wager that most people would.
I have to question the wisdom of the supervisors at Wal-Mart who told the clerks in the store to allow people to continue making purchases despite the fact it had to be rather obvious they were exceeding their credit limits.  I am sure many people who hate folks who are associated with profit seeking businesses and who believe that all people who use food stamps constitute the "noble poor" would say that it was Wal-Mart's fault any of this happened.  That just shows how far people will go to justify their sinful behavior.  The Wal-Mart supervisors made a business decision to not anger and alienate any of their customers by questioning the validity of their food stamp cards.  They did this even though they were aware of the potential for the fraudulent use of those cards.  They had no way of knowing how much credit was on each individual card so, to keep their customers happy, they looked the other way.  As a result they lost thousands of dollars in stolen goods.
The envy filled thieves who presented their cards in fraudulent payment for their stolen goods knew exactly what they were doing.  I do not believe for one second that any person using a card was not fully aware of exactly how much credit remained on his card.  I do not doubt for a minute that each person who exceeded his limit knew exactly what he was doing.  I also believe that each and every one of those miserable robbers had somehow justified his actions in his own mind to make himself innocent of the crime and the sin he was committing.  That is the nature of sinful man and it was on full display in Wal-Mart last week.
I also wonder how the word spread that the food stamp cards were granting unlimited credit?  Certainly the shelves of the store would not have been emptied and the scene would not have been worse than any "black Friday" if those who were initially involved did not immediately notify everyone they knew who also had food stamp cards about the glitch.  It is not hard to figure out what happened.  As soon as Cletus the slack-jawed yokel figured out what was happening, he called all of his siblings and informed them that everything in Wal-Mart was available for free, but only if they would make haste to get there and take the goods before the computers reset.  No doubt Cletus used his government granted and taxpayer funded cell phone to make the phone calls.  Those louses who came to the store with the intention of exploiting the computer error are nothing more than thieves and robbers who practiced premeditation in their behavior.  Wal-Mart should use every means at its disposal to track down, arrest and prosecute the mob of immoral monsters who invaded the store and removed its goods.  An example should be made of anyone that can be caught.  We must make sure that this never happens again.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Government Schools Overrule Parental Food Choices

I heard something last weekend that made me really mad.  I was listening in on a conversation (it was a public forum, I was not eavesdropping) when one man said that government schools in Chicago are now requiring that children bring a note from their doctor to permit them to eat a lunch prepared by their own mothers rather than being required to eat the government provided meal.  I was aghast.  Certainly, I thought, this person must be mistaken.  So, next opportunity I had, I conducted an internet search on the topic.  I was shocked, angered and dismayed by what I discovered.  The man was right.  Government schools are overruling parental food decisions for their children when they are on government school property. 
You might want to do such a search yourself.  Most of the examples I found were for government schools in Chicago. That did not surprise me.  Our King and Queen hail from Chicago.  Our Queen has proclaimed herself to be the "food czar"  of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  As czar she is on a crusade to force others to eat the foods she believes they should be eating.  With the power of the government schools behind her she is succeeding in her quixotic quest to regulate what goes into the mouths of children who attend government schools.  What a disaster.
There are several obvious presuppositions that support this obnoxious policy of food regulation and control.  The first is that parents are too stupid to know what their kids should eat.  The government regulators know best.  All of that brings to mind what I was taught when I went to government schools about the food pyramid.  Do you remember it?  I tried to find a copy of one on the internet and was told by four separate websites that I could not access it.  I don't know if people have removed it because it was so embarrassingly wrong or if it was just a computer issue.  Regardless, what the government agents told me and my mom about what I should eat in the 1970s has changed dramatically today.  Things that were considered necessities are now considered harmful.  Conversely, things that were considered harmful are now considered to be necessities.  To top it all off, significant groups of minority dieticians (I don't mean that dieticians are racial minorities, I mean that they are in the minority of all dieticians), argue that parts of the modern food pyramid are completely wrong. Some declare carbohydrates to be the enemy and primal foods like meat, cheese and eggs to be best.  Others continue to believe that eggs consumption is the prescription for an early death.  What is the point?  Food consumption strategies designed to maximize present and future health objectives are subject to constant change and revision.  To allow the government to declare one strategy to be the correct one and enforce it in the government schools is tyranny of the worst possible sort.
Another presupposition that just oozes out of this abhorrent school lunch program is the unsupported belief that this is somehow the business of government.  No argument is ever made or advanced in support of the belief that it is the business of government to determine what your child may eat while attending government school.  It is simply assumed that since the child is on government school property the school has the right to control everything the child does while on that property, regardless of the wishes and desires of his parents.  That, of course, is another example of tyranny and slavery of the worst possible sort.  But it is also par for the course in the SDA and in the government indoctrination system.  I know that sort of thing has been going on for years with regards to the content of the "eduction" the children receive.  It shocked me to discover that it also goes on in regards to the content of their lunches. 
Doctors are agents of the federal government.  They are not permitted to practice their craft unless they are members of a government cartel known as the American Medical Association.    The AMA works to limit the supply of doctors.  This drives up the fees they can charge for their services and makes them, even the bad ones, much richer than they would normally be in a free market.  As the beneficiaries of a government created monopoly they are required to submit to the whims of their federal taskmasters.  As they practice their craft they are required to obey a legion of rules and regulations that put them in cahoots with the various branches of government.  The fact that a doctor will ask you if you have any guns in your home as a part of a routine physical exam is an example of the sort of governmental intrusion into your privacy you can expect when dealing with an agent of the government's medical branch.  In order to avoid having your child  forced to consume the lunch prepared by the government school cafeteria, you must first obtain, at your expense, a permission slip from another government agent, the doctor, granting you the right to escape the noose of the government school meal program.  Does it strike anyone, besides me, as being very odd that the word of the parent is not sufficiently powerful to get a child out of the meal program but the word of another government agent is?  Why is it that everything revolves around government agents and their alleged right to control the minutia of our lives?
I know.  I know.  Most people would say that I am making a mountain out of a molehill.  It is just a little program of minor significance.  Why make a big deal about it?  Besides, they tell me, you are getting a free or subsidized lunch from the government for your kids.  Why would you complain about that?
I will tell you why.  I don't want a free or subsidized lunch for my kids.  I don't want any government gifts or subsidies at all.  Furthermore, I have seen so many molehills in the last couple of years they are starting to combine and they are growing  into one gigantic mountain.  If I don't make a mountain out of this molehill it will eventually join thousands of other molehills and the mountain will create itself.  By then it will be too large to scale and it will rule all of us.  Ultimately it is a matter of freedom.  The government schools should not be permitted to overrule parental authority in general.  They should most certainly not be able to overrule parental authority when it comes down to what my kids will eat.  It is none of their business. If I send my kid to school with a suitcase of Twinkies and a 2-liter bottle of Coke, that is my business.  If my kid is morbidly obese, that is my business.  Government (and all of your dietary do-gooders out there), mind your own business!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hyper-Inflation Of the Dollar? Not Likely

You don't have to look very far or listen very hard before you will see and hear some one proclaiming that the Socialist Democracy of Amerika is doomed to self destruct in a horrific hyper-inflation within the next ten years.  The combination of two dramatic bear markets in stocks along with the significant rise in the price of gold over the past fifteen years has helped stir the cauldron of financial and monetary ideas that has brought about this proclamation of impending doom.  Don't believe it.
There is no doubt that national banks that continually inflate their currency flirt with the potential for creating hyper-inflation.  I would define hyper-inflation as that rate of inflation that creates panic among the citizenry and that shortly thereafter results in the collapse of the currency.  There have been many hyper-inflations in recent times.  Go here to see a list.  We have even experienced hyper-inflation in the SDA.  The Continental during the Revolutionary War and the Confederate Dollar during the Civil War both experienced hyper-inflationary destruction.  But the question is this, are we on the verge of a hyper-inflation of the dollar due to recent activities by the Federal Reserve Bank and the SDA Treasury? 
Most of those who argue that the SDA is on the verge of a hyper-inflationary collapse do so based upon their view of the monetary base of the country.  With the expansion of power and authority over the money supply given to the Fed and Treasury during the Great Recession, the SDA experienced an expansion of the monetary base unlike anything ever seen in this country.  The monetary base is the sum total of all purchasing media, both in and out of circulation, in the country.  This graph dramatically illustrates the problem:

Graph of St. Louis Adjusted Monetary Base

The monetary base has more than quadrupled since the onset of the Great Recession.  To those who do not understand how the economy functions, this indicates we are doomed to experience hyper-inflation.  Yet, three years have transpired since the majority of this increase was created and nothing like hyper-inflation has taken place.  How can this be the case?
One thing that most people do not understand about our economic system is how it actually comes about that money is created.  Under the normal "open market" operations of the Federal Reserve, the Fed will purchase bonds from the US Treasury with money that it creates out of thin air.  This money is then "loaned" to the Treasury which uses the money to fund approximately 1/3 of the federal budget.  As the Treasury pays out this money to the various branches of government inflation is created.  The legally counterfeited money spreads throughout the economy, devaluing the dollars that already exist.  Under normal operations the Fed, Treasury and the federal government are all complicit in creating inflation.
Under quantitative easing something different takes place.  Quantitative easing was cooked up by the Fed during the Great Recession.  When the Fed buys $85 billion of  bonds each month, as it is presently doing, that is not the same thing as injecting $85 billion directly into the economy.   Just like open market operations, the Fed buys the bonds with money that it creates out of thin air but those bonds are purchased from banks and financial institutions other than the Treasury.   That makes a huge difference.  When the Treasury obtains freshly counterfeited money it is immediately spent by the government.  When banks receive freshly counterfeited money they have several options for what they can do with it.  The mere creation of bank credit within the Fed does not a hyper-inflation make, nor does it necessarily bring about an increase in the money supply.
When the Fed buys bonds under quantitative easing the rate of interest on those bonds is 0%.  In other words, the banks have sold a bond to the Fed that requires them to pay nothing in interest.  It is free money.  To make things even more interesting, the Fed will allow the banks to take that newly created money and give it back to them.  When that new money is redeposited with the Fed the banks earn .25% on those deposits, known as "excess reserves".   Not surprisingly the great majority of the monetary base that was created under quantitative easing has found its way back into the Federal Reserve.
If banks did not redeposit their new money with the Fed they would have to do something else with it.  Banks make money by making loans.  It is the intention of the Fed, when engaging in quantitative easing, to stimulate growth in the commercial and industrial loan market by making reserves available to banks at no cost.  But in this case the banks have made the rational decision to forgo expanding their loan portfolios and have redeposited their excess reserves with the Fed.  As a result the effects of quantitative easing have been minimal.
The two graphs below go a long way towards explaining what has happened to the SDA money supply in the last couple of years.  The first graph shows the rate of increase in M2, the most popular measure of the money supply in the economy.  There is a line shown for each of the last four recessions.  In each case the line starts at an index of 100 for the money supply, beginning at the start of the recession.  How much the money supply increased throughout the first 4 1/4 years of post recessionary expansion is shown by the line that slopes upward to the right.  Notice that M2 increased much faster during the 1982-1990 recession/expansion than it has during the present one.  Also notice how the 1991-2001 recession/expansion witnessed very little monetary expansion.  The present rate of M2 expansion is almost identical to the rate we experienced during the 2001-2007 recession/expansion period.  It is interesting to me that nobody was proclaiming imminent hyper-inflation during that period.  I wonder why things have changed in this period even though the data are essentially the same for the two time periods?


The next graph indicates the total loan growth for the same periods shown above.  Once again loan growth is indexed to 100 at the start of the period.  Most important for our current discussion is the dark yellow line that represents the present recession/expansion cycle.  Note that despite the fact that the monetary base has quadrupled, the rate of growth in loans is miniscule.  In fact, the rate of loan growth is much slower during the present expansion than any of the other three previous expansions.  Since it is the case that credit is introduced into the money supply by means of the loan market, we can clearly see and understand why the present expansion of credit has not brought about an hyper-inflation of the money supply.  The money is not getting into the system.  It is sitting on deposit with the Fed as an excess reserve balance.


Source: Federal Reserve, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

What should we conclude?  Is the potential for hyper-inflation with us?  Yes, it is.  Is it likely that we will experience a hyper-inflation in the next decade?  No, it is not. The Fed can take back the excess reserves it has on deposit for the member banks just as quickly as it issued them.  There is no reason to believe that the present amount of excess reserves will ever find their way into the loan market.  As long as interest rates remain artificially low, as the Fed has depressed them, banks have no incentive whatsoever to loan out their reserves.  The growth rate for commercial and industrial loans is anemic.  Furthermore, strong rates of increase in commercial and industrial loans are typically indicative of real economic expansion as businesses need money to expand their operations.  We have a long way to go before hyper-inflation becomes a legitimate concern.  I do not fear near term hyper-inflation and neither should you. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Political Schizophrenia Over Marijuana Rules

Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved the legalization of marijuana last year. You would think that if a substance is legal it would be fairly simple to procure it and use it as you see fit.  You would think that if something is legal you would be free to buy that thing and use that thing as you want.  That is not the case in Colorado where regulators, apparently beholding to their federal government handlers, have done everything they can to essentially re-criminalize marijuana use.
I understand that the legalization of marijuana in Colorado has created a problem for the federales.  The fact that it is legal to smoke marijuana on one side of an arbitrary geo-political boundary and illegal to do the exact same action on the other side of that boundary creates a real problem for the federal government.  The federal government, in defiance of the clear assertion of state authority and rights in the Constitution, wants to have total compliance among all states with its laws prohibiting the use of marijuana.  Colorado, in an apparent attempt to please the federal taskmasters and keep federal money flowing into the state, has agreed to create a labyrinth of regulations that make the legal use of marijuana almost impossible.
The businesses that sell marijuana are subject to several onerous regulations.  First, they are required to report to the state every penny that is spent in obtaining and selling the plant.  Second, for reasons that I do not understand but reported in the Denver Post today as the truth, businesses that sell marijuana are forbidden to accept credit card payments.  All payments must be in cash.  How, pray tell, is a business expected to keep minute records of its every transaction while, at the same time, be required to operate exclusively in cash?  It sure seems as if those two contradictory regulations were established for no other reason than to discourage businessmen from entering the marijuana business.
In addition, store owners who sell marijuana to the public are required to inventory their marijuana on a regular basis and report the total inventory to the state down to the very last gram.  The problem, as I am told, is that marijuana is a plant that changes weight depending upon the ambient humidity.  When businesses report the total number of grams of marijuana they have in stock it is highly likely that that number will change daily whether they actually sell any marijuana or not.  It does not take a psychic to foresee the problems that regulation is going to create.  "What do you mean you didn't sell any marijuana yesterday?", the jack-booted government inspector rants, "your inventory is clearly lower than it was last week." 
The regulations in regard to marijuana go much further than to those who simply sell it.  They extend to the buyers as well.  As the regulations are presently written, the state of Colorado has legalized the use and possession of marijuana in public.  However, not all spaces are deemed to be public.  In an amazing jungle of contradictory new rules it has been determined that some public spaces, such as the 16th street mall in downtown Denver, are not public spaces from the perspective of the marijuana rules.  As the rules are presently written I could legally smoke some marijuana while standing on the curb beside the 16th street mall but if I smoke the same marijuana while standing on the street of the 16th street mall I am in violation of the law and could be sent to prison.  How can I be sent to prison for the public use of a substance that is legal?  What is the moral justification for my prison sentence? 
Other laws are written in such a way that it is legal for me to possess marijuana in a particular public location but illegal for me to actually use that marijuana in that particular public location.  Who is able to figure out this maze of rules and regulations?  Who is able to comply, even if he wanted to, with the tangled mess of rules that say that sometimes smoking marijuana is illegal and other times it is not, and all of this despite the fact that the voters legalized marijuana last year.
One of the most egregious new rules associated with marijuana use is a clear tipping of the cap to the anti-smoking zealots among us.  Apparently some people do not like the smell of anything burning.  Cigarette smokers are well aware of this truth.  That is why they are banished from civilized society and required to keep heir distance from the morally pure non-smokers in this land.  The same sort of immoral persecution applies to marijuana smokers.  As the law is presently written, if I light up some marijuana in my back yard and my neighbor objects to the aroma that wafts his way, he can have me arrested for violating the rules and I can spend up to one year in prison!  All he has to do is detect the aroma of marijuana being burned on my private property and if he takes offense to that aroma I have now committed a terrible crime and must be incarcerated.  Does this make sense to anyone other than those poor souls who have been blinded by anti-smoking zealotry? 
The Denver Post has rightly condemned the proposed rules for regulating marijuana in Colorado.  An editorial in Saturday's edition concluded with this statement, "Such harsh laws would undermine the will of voters and invite confrontations with law enforcement officers charged with enforcing unreasonable laws."  How true.  Now if only the Post (and everyone else for that matter) would realize that "law enforcement officers" are constantly in "confrontations" with law abiding citizens because they are routinely "enforcing unreasonable laws" upon us, we might actually make some social progress in this land.  But that would require a reduction in the total number of rules/laws/regulations we are all required to live in subjection to and that, of course, will never happen.  It would put too many bureaucrats and lawyers out of business.

Update:  October 16, 2013

The Denver Post had an article on the marijuana smell test in which Denver City Attorney David Broadwell commented upon the proposed law yesterday.  Here is what he said in regards to the proposed new law that would allow a home owner to have his neighbor arrested and incarcerated for up to one year if he smelled marijuana smoke coming from his neighbor's property and he took offense at the aroma, "We wanted to go ahead and seize our own destiny...state and local laws routinely regulate behaviors on private property that affect people in neighboring properties when it relates to sight, sound and smell....This is the bread and butter of what government does."  Can you believe it?
So let me get this straight, the Denver City Attorney justifies this horrifically oppressive and tyrannical law on the basis that making horrifically tyrannical laws is the "bread and butter" of what government does?  Where did the state get the right to make laws that pertain to the disputes between neighbors about what they see, hear and smell?  Why is any of this the state's business?  Broadwell does not say.  He simply assumes that the omnipresent, omniscient and beneficent state has the right to do all these things.  My how things have changed.
OK David.  If it is the bread and butter for the state to make laws that I can use to control the behavior of my neighbor, here are a few I want you to "seize" the moment about and make on my behalf:
1.  Make it illegal for my neighbor to wear cologne that I find offensive.
2.  Make it illegal for my neighbor's wife to wear perfume that I find offensive.
3.  Make it illegal for my neighbor to play country music.  I find it offensive.
4.  Make it illegal for my neighbor's kids to play rap music.  I find it offensive.
5.  Make it illegal for my neighbor's friends to come over to his house and parade around in skimpy outfits near the hot tub, I find it offensive.
I find a lot of things very offensive about my neighbor's behavior.  If I can get these laws passed I can have him sent to prison for a long time.  I love this country!