San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Saturday, May 10, 2014

HGTV Pulls A Duck Dynasty

According to this Fox News report, HGTV has just followed in the footsteps of the good folks who decided to cancel Duck Dynasty several months ago. Yep, a couple of twin brothers who had the audacity and the gall to take a public position in favor of Christianity and biblical law have had their television show cancelled before it could even air.  The militant homosexual group Right Wing Watch, a group that exists mostly for the purpose of attacking Christian morality and suppressing Christian ethics in the public square,  viciously attacked the brothers and HGTV quickly acquiesced to their demands by cancelling the show.  Here is some of the Fox news report:

"The Home & Garden Television (aka HGTV) network announced Wednesday it  has decided to pull the plug on an upcoming real estate reality show amid a firestorm of controversy from gay rights activists who accused the evangelical Christian hosts of being anti-gay and pro-life.  Twins David and Jason Benham had been in production for “Flip it Forward,” a show that was expected to debut in October on the nation’s seventh most-watched cable channel....After the network announced the show was on the fall lineup, the militant lobbying group Right Wing Watch labeled David Benham, son of well-known evangelical pastor Flip Benham  an 'anti-gay extremist' and reported on comments he made about homosexuality, abortion and divorce.
The Benhams, who are graduates of Liberty University, said they were saddened to hear about HGTV’s decision.  'With all of the grotesque things that can be seen and heard on television, you would think there would be room for two twin brothers who are faithful to our families, committed to biblical principles, and dedicated professionals,' they wrote. They were quoted in a radio interview saying, 'We don’t realize that, okay, if 87 percent of Americans are Christians and yet we have abortion on demand; we have no-fault divorce; we have pornography and perversion; we have a homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation; we have adultery; we have all of the things; we even have allowed demonic ideologies to take our universities and our public school systems while the church sits silent and just builds big churches,' Benham told the host. 
The brothers reject any accusations that they are anti-gay or discriminate. They said anyone who says otherwise is not telling the truth.  'As Christians we are called to love our fellow man,' they wrote. 'Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying.'
'Over the last decade, we’ve sold thousands of homes with the guiding principle of producing value and breathing life into each family that has crossed our path, and we do not, nor will we ever discriminate against people who do not share our views,' they wrote."

I find myself very confused by this entire situation.  The group known as Right Wing Watch has "accused" two men of being "pro-life"?  What is going on here?  What has happened to the use of language?  I am accustomed to being accused of things.  I am often accused of stealing things from family members or conveniently losing my wallet when the time comes to pay the restaurant bill.  Both me and my accuser understand that what I am being accused of is a bad thing.  Both me and my accuser understand that I have actually done a bad thing.  How has it come about that people can now be accused of thinking good thoughts?  How does that constitute a crime?  Why is it a bad thing for two men to think about babies being alive?  I just don't get it.
I also used to think that people were held responsible for their own immoral actions.  Yet here we have a situation that turns that belief upon its head.  These two men are the twin sons of a preacher who has taken a very public stance against homosexuality.  The preacher, exercising his 1st Amendment rights, has publicly declared what that long forgotten and generally ignored book called the Bible says about homosexuals and their sexual behaviors.  In case you are not aware, God does not love homosexuals.  The loving thing to do, therefore, is to inform homosexuals that they need to repent of their behavior.  They are outside the love of God and exposed to His wrath if they do not repent.  Warning them of their dangerous spiritual condition is the most loving thing a preacher could do.  Now this is where it gets really weird.  These two men found the rug pulled out from under them because their father had said loving things to homosexuals in the past.  Can someone please explain this to me?  Why should the sons be punished for the loving behavior of their father?
It is also important to note that the Benham brothers did not single out homosexuals in their conversation about what is sinfully wrong in this country.  They attacked no-fault divorce, adultery, pornography, "demonic ideologies" taught in government schools as well as homosexuality.  In fact, they brought their guns to bear upon the Church, accusing many Christians of "sitting silent" and only being concerned about building bigger and better church buildings.  If your read their statement from the interview it is quite clear they were directing their criticism primarily at the Church.  Their point was that 87% of the citizens in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika profess to be Christians yet the social life of the SDA is decidedly unbiblical.  Somehow all of this has been missed.  So why have the special interest groups in support of no-fault divorce, adultery, pornography and government schools not come forward and demanded these men never be permitted on the public airwaves?  Why is it only the homosexuals who have complained?  Why does it always seem to be only the homosexuals who are complaining?
Right Wing Watch has unilaterally charged, convicted and sentenced the Benham brothers of the thought crime of lovingly informing homosexuals that God does not approve of their behavior.  As a result, HGTV bowed to their threats of organizing boycotts and generally throwing fits in public and cancelled the brother's upcoming television show.  Shame on HGTV.  Will they get it right and do an about-face like A & E?  I don't know and I don't care.  They have already given in to a tiny minority of very vocal heterophobes who have made it their agenda to convict people of thought crimes simply because most people have the good sense to know and believe that homosexual behavior is sinful.  This is typical behavior from the militant heterophobic community.  They require all people to continually reinforce their beliefs and lifestyles.  Anyone who does not center his or her universe around their lives is a target for their attacks.  Those who do not bow down and worship the heterophobes are punished.  Expect more of it.  They are getting more powerful every day.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Colorado Deserves A More Secure Financial Future

The title of today's blog post is taken directly from an article written by State Senator Pat Steadman and State Representative John Buckner.  They are both Democrats in Colorado.  They teamed up to write the aforementioned article in the Denver Post and it was published a couple of weeks ago.  Because it was a great illustration of so much that is wrong with the nanny-state I held on to the article until a slow news day.  Today is that slow news day.  So now, without any more introduction, I bring you my critique of the Steadman/Buckner nanny-state proposal allegedly designed to secure my financial future.
These two politicians (I don't know if they are career politicians or not) begin by telling me that, "...research shows that a majority of Coloradans are not investing enough during their careers, making them entirely unprepared for their retirements."  This immediately causes a question to pop into my mind.  Does one pop into your mind as well?  The question is simple and gets to the point.  So what?  Or another version of it could be, who cares?  Another version of it would be, why are the retirement plan account values of private citizens living in the geo-political zone known as Colorado in any way the business of the politicians who rule over us?  These two fools just assume that my retirement plan is somehow their business.  Sadly, I suspect just about everyone who reads their article makes the same ridiculous and intrusive assumption.  The 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects me from intrusions into my personal affairs.  Steadman and Buckner should leave all of us alone.
Now that Steadman and Buckner have barged into our personal financial lives they proceed to offer a political solution to a problem that does not exist.  Some people may have personal financial problems but those problems belong to them, not to others, and the government should keep its big nose out of the personal financial problems of its citizens.  They say, "As a state, we need a remedy to this retirement security crisis so that all Coloradans can look forward to a retirement free from anxiety or hardship.  We are sponsoring House Bill 1377 which will create a task force to study how we can increase access to retirement plans and promote greater retirement security for all Coloradans." 
Notice how these two politicians immediately resort to the use of the "we".  Who is "we"?  I am certainly not a part of "we", even though I live within the geo-political boundary known as Colorado.  According to these nannies, "we" are now in the midst of a terrible "retirement security crisis" and they are here to fix it.   That is a strange thing to say since I am a part of "we" and I am not in the middle of any retirement security crisis.  Neither is anyone I know who lives in Colorado. So when these two self-proclaimed babysitters tell me that everyone in the state is in the middle of a retirement security crisis I know for a fact they are lying.  Now I don't think they are telling a total lie.  I suspect there are some people who are not financially prepared to retire.  It may be the case that most people are not financially prepared to retire.  But that is none of my business.  It is also not the business of government. I also suspect that the great majority of those people who live in Colorado who are not financially prepared to retire find themselves in that condition because they made the conscious decision to defer future financial security for present material gratification.  In other words, they are a bunch of materialists who have surrounded themselves with material goods while ignoring the need to save for a rainy day or the future.  And to those people I have only one thing to say....tough luck for you buddy, you are getting what you deserve.
Since politicians get elected by pandering to the bad behavior and sinful motivations of the electorate, Steadman and Buckner have proposed a new law to help the people who have foolishly spent away their financial future find a way to continue living in financial profligacy during their retirement years.  They show their hand when they state, "The fact is that many of today's seniors rely on their children during their retirement years or are dependent on social services that are underfunded and place burdens on taxpayers...But studies show that having access to a workplace retirement plan can mean the difference between making ends meet in retirement or living in poverty and depending on public assistance."  Do you see where this is going?  I do and I don't like it.
First of all, who cares if parents move in with their kids?  The Bible has a commandment in it in which God commands His people to provide for the financial futures of their parents.  He says, "Honor your father and mother."  As far as I am concerned, having parents move in with kids is a good thing.  Second, one of the main reasons so many people made the conscious decision to not invest for the future was the knowledge that government wealth transfer programs will be available at the time of retirement to reward them for their financial foolishness by giving them money taken from other, more productive, members of society.  These politicians should be aware that government give-away programs always create negative incentives that harm the citizens of the land.
Don't be surprised when the newly appointed commission, paid for with those scarce taxpayer dollars spoken of by the nannies above, discovers that Colorado needs a new law forcing employers to create old-style pension programs.  That is where all of this is going.  Since many, if not most, people are materialists who steadfastly refuse to suspend their sinful materialistic impulses, the government is going to force profit seeking corporations to foot the bill for their future retirements.  By creating a mandatory pension plan that forces the employer to invest in order to create a future stream of income for retirees, Steadman and Buckner can buy votes, pacify materialists and stick it to profit seeking businesses all in one fell swoop.  Now that is political leadership at its best.
Let's face it.  If more people were permitted to starve on the streets there would be more saving for the future.  If more old folks were freezing under bridges during the winter there would be less spending on luxuries today.  If the government really wants to do something about the problem of materialism there is a clear, simple and easy thing to do.....nothing!  Let people lose their homes.  Let parents move in with their kids.  Let people figure out how to live in the world by facing the consequences of their own foolish decisions made earlier in life.  Maybe they will pass a valuable lesson on to their own kids.  Maybe people will be motivated to be responsible for themselves.  Now that is something I would like to see.
Of course nobody will every be held personally responsible by a politician.  Politicians exist for the purpose of creating dependency upon them.  Steadman and Buckner will come up with a solution to the crisis they have manufactured that will increase the cost of doing business and reduce overall wealth in Colorado.  Because the costs associated with these plans will not be borne by the taxpayers they will claim to be fiscally responsible.  The truth is that any time a politician acts like a babysitter and creates a new rule that everyone is expected to abide by, the wealth of every single person under his authority goes down by a small amount.  The amount is so small nobody ever notices, but it is real.  Add together the cumulative effect of thousands of senseless laws and regulations and pretty soon wealth creation is being stifled on a grand scale.  That is where Colorado citizens are headed if Steadman and Buckner get their way.  Colorado, whatever that is, does not deserve anything, whatever that means.  In life, everyone will get exactly what he deserves and that is often not a pretty picture. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Beware The "Sissy" Police

A report in today's Denver Post caught my eye.  It was entitled "Bolder Boulder called out for slogan."  The Bolder Boulder is a 10k foot race conducted annually over the Memorial Day weekend in Boulder.  Back in the late 80s and early 90s I used to run it myself.  Tens of thousands of your closest friends gather together at the start line to run for ten kilometers to a spectacular finish in the football stadium at the University of Colorado.  There are serious runners in the race, of course, but most of us are there just to set a new personal best or to enjoy the festivities along the way.  I always enjoyed listening to the "Last Mile Band" which was inevitably playing some nice blues tune as I jogged by.
I did not know it but for the past six years the promoters of the race have adopted the slogan "Sea Level is for Sissies" in order to advertise the fact that the Bolder Boulder is a high altitude race.  Now what, you might ask, could possibly be wrong with that slogan?  As it turns out, there is a lot wrong with that slogan.  As the newspaper article reported, "Out Boulder, an LGBTQ advocacy group, launched an online petition seeking to pressure organizers of the Bolder Boulder to drop their slogan 'Sea level is for Sissies' because they say the word 'sissies' is derogatory."  What a bunch of sissies!  Let's think about this for a moment, shall we?
First of all, what is "LGBTQ"?  Some of you might not know so I will enlighten you.  Each letter of this acrostic represents a particular sexual perversion.  L equals lesbians, or women having sex with women.  G equals gay, or men having sex with men.  B equals bi-sexual, or everyone having sex with everyone.  T equals transgendered.  The transgendered don't know who or what to have sex with.  Q equals queer and quite appropriately defines the entire group.  Got it?  OK, let's move on.
This group of sexual perverts, all of whom are sissies by the way, is offended by the use of the word 'sissy'.  Here is what a representative of the group had to say, "The word is used to demean traits that are problematically and stereotypically associated with women.  The slogan is harmful and leads to further misunderstanding about gender.  The word continues the incorrect thinking that emotions or expressing something in a stereotypically female way is somehow wrong in society."  Wow!  I had no idea sissy meant all that.  I thought a sissy was a sissy and nothing more or less.  Now I come to discover that the mere use of the word sissy perpetuates evil stereotypes that cause perverts to feel bad about themselves.  Something must be done about this terrible evil.
I am fascinated by the fact that the LGBTQ spokesperson says that the use of the term sissy "continues the incorrect thinking..." associated with the alleged misuse of the term.  Who decided that the thinking about being a sissy is incorrect?  Even if it is incorrect, whatever that might mean, who decided that it is somebody's business to correct incorrect thinking?  Once again I find myself sitting at the feet of enlightened LGBTQ people who are informing me that my moral duty is to think about them and their perverted behaviors in a favorable fashion.  Why I should do so is never explained.  Why I am incorrect and they are correct is never described.  All that I know is that I am thinking incorrectly and my thoughts must be properly adjusted in order to comply with their agenda.  Does this sound a bit Orwellian to anyone besides me?
Everyone knows what sissy means and it never means what those sissies at the Out Boulder club say that it does.  A sissy is anyone who is not mentally tough.  It almost always applies to heterosexual boys.  Why should a L,G,B, T or Q care what a heterosexual male is called?  We all know the answer to that.  They don't care what a heterosexual male is called.  They are just using this most recent platform as a springboard to launch their attacks upon the use of language in regards to their immoral behaviors.  Their goal is to change the meaning or abolish the use of any word that would cast them in an unfavorable light.  Their goal is to convince all of us that it is our moral duty to be thinking about them every single moment of every single day.  Their goal is to make us into their spiritual, moral and intellectual slaves.  Abolishing the right and proper use of the word sissy is just another prong in the multi-pronged assault they are inflicting upon the SDA.  Don't fall for it.  Beware the sissy police. 

Udall Lies About Oil Industry Subsidies

Mark Udall is running a television commercial designed to smear Republican candidate Cory Gardner.  There is nothing unusual or noteworthy about that fact.  All politicians continually run attack-ads against their opponents in what are usually successful attempts to convince ignorant voters that their guy is great and the other guy is evil.  What got my attention in the Udall ad was the use of the oft quoted "subsidies for big oil" comment.  The gist of Udall's attack-ad is that Gardner has received campaign contributions from "out of state billionaires" like the Koch brothers.  The Koch brother's fortune, as you are probably aware, began with oil and gas.  The ad states that "the Koch brothers can't buy Colorado."  In the course of slandering the Koch brothers and attempting to paint Gardner as a oil and gas company shill the familiar comment about "big oil subsidies" is made.  That got me to thinking.  How are domestic oil and gas companies being subsidized?  The source for the following information can be found here.
According to Wikipedia, domestic oil and gas companies have indeed received federal subsidies over the years.  The following partial quotation makes the case:
"A 2009 study by the Environmental Law Institute assessed the size and structure of U.S. energy subsidies in 2002–08. The study estimated that subsidies to fossil fuel-based sources totaled about $72 billion over this period and subsidies to renewable fuel sources totaled $29 billion. The study did not assess subsidies supporting nuclear energy.
The three largest fossil fuel subsidies were:
  1. Foreign tax credit ($15.3 billion)
  2. Credit for production of non-conventional fuels ($14.1 billion)
  3. Oil and Gas exploration and development expensing ($7.1 billion)
The three largest renewable fuel subsidies were:
  1. Alcohol Credit for Fuel Excise Tax ($11.6 billion)
  2. Renewable Electricity Production Credit ($5.2 billion)
  3. Corn Based Ethanol($5.0 billion)
It has been suggested that a subsidy shift would help to level the playing field and support growing energy sectors, namely solar power, wind power, and bio fuels.  However, many of the 'subsidies' available to the oil and gas industries are general business opportunity credits, available to all US businesses (particularly, the foreign tax credit mentioned above). The value of industry-specific subsidies in 2006 was estimated by the Texas State Comptroller to be just $3 billion, a fraction of the amount claimed by the Environmental Law Institute. The balance of federal subsides, which the comptroller valued at $7.4 billion, came from shared credits and deductions, and oil defense (spending on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, energy infrastructure security, etc.)."
The Environmental Law Institute is not friendly towards oil and gas.  The goal of the study it conducted was to cast oil and gas in a bad light and increase federal subsidies for green energy boondoggles.  Yet, by actually reporting the facts as they are, the report comes off making the oil business look pretty good.  Let's consider what was said.
From 2002 through 2008 oil and gas companies received $72 billion in subsidies.  Last year just the top three domestic oil and gas companies generated gross revenues of $1.25 trillion.  Total subsidies for the eight year period in the illustration would therefore amount to about 5% of last year's total revenues.  In comparison, green energy sources received $29 billion in subsidies.  I was unable to find any reliable number for the gross revenues for green energy producers but I did discover that the greenies now claim to control about 5% of the energy market.  If their revenues are in line with their market share they would have generated about $62 billion in revenues last year.  Total subsidies for the eight year period in the illustration would therefore amount to about 47% of last year's total revenues.  It is quite clear that when subsidies are considered as a percentage of revenues the report is correct, there is no level playing field here.  The green energy industries are being favored and the oil and gas companies are being discriminated against.
The report points out, quite correctly I might add, that the "subsidies" allegedly being received by the oil and gas companies are not really subsidies at all.  They are just write offs for business expenses that are "available to all US businesses."  Two of the top three "subsidies" consist of the foreign tax credit and the write-offs for exploration expenses.  Every business in the universe would follow the tax law and take these deductions.  They cannot even be remotely considered to be "subsidies."  Ironically, the second largest subsidy actually is a subsidy.  However, the subsidy is for producing non-conventional fuels, something no profit seeking oil and gas company would ever do if it were not first forced to do so by government rules and regulations.
Another wildly ironic "subsidy" being received by oil and gas companies are payments for gasoline that is stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  You probably all know that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is just a fancy term for a whole lot of gasoline the federal government has purchased at above market prices (hence, the subsidy) and keeps sitting in tanks around the country to be released at times when it is politically expedient to do so.  Politicians claim the SDA needs to keep this gasoline in reserve in case of an emergency.  Typically, a politician's definition of an emergency is anytime he is up for election and the price of gasoline is rising.  When that happens some gasoline is sent to the market, the price drops and the politician gets elected on the grounds that he supports the little guy and has the ability to control the price of gasoline.  Sadly, many people believe that the career politician really has the power. 
I conclude that the oil and gas industry, as pointed out by the Texas State Comptroller, is receiving just a pittance in true subsidies from the taxpayers.  On the other hand, I also conclude that a huge portion of the gross revenues and all of the profits, if there are any, received by green energy companies are coming straight out of the pockets of the taxpayers.  I am therefore forced to also conclude that the Udall television commercial is nothing but a bunch of lies.  Why am I not surprised?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Too Many Memorials

I can barely stand to watch the local television news anymore.  Something has happened to a great number of the citizens where I live that is not good.  It seems as if every single day is dedicated to memorializing some person or group of people who died in an untimely fashion at some point in the past.  Just within the past couple of weeks I had to suffer through watching another memorial for the Columbine massacre survivors and families.  That took place over 15 years ago.  The front page of Sunday's Denver Post had a story dedicated to the principal who was working at Columbine the day of the massacre.  He is retiring and, of course, he is a hero.  Meanwhile shrines have sprung up all over the metropolitan area to memorialize Columbine.  An ironic story from a couple of weeks ago told the tale of a couple who were going to a local state park to visit a Columbine shrine to do whatever it is people do at shrines when they were given a ticket for trespassing.  Apparently they took the wrong path to the shrine and some diligent government agent apprehended them before they could do any damage. 
A couple of days ago Colorado had a day dedicated to all of the police officers who had been killed in the line of duty last year.  The problem was there were none.  So rather than cancel the memorial they dragged out some guys from the past who had been killed and somehow had not been memorialized.  Hundreds of police officers and sheriff's deputies attended the event.  It went on for hours.  The taxpayers funded the entire spectacle.  Even going back into the past they had a hard time coming up with a decent list of people to memorialize.  One of the guys memorialized was killed in the 19th century!  Something is very wrong with people who insist upon remembering negative events from the past in perpetuity.
I remember seeing roadside memorials to people who had died in car crashes while I was growing up.  I attributed them to the Catholics who seem to need some sort of memorial for everything that happens in life.  Over the years I have seen that old Catholic practice morph into what it is today.  Anyone who dies on the highway gets a government sign commemorating his death as well as a shrine built to his memory alongside the road.  So many shrines have sprung up in recent years in some sections of highway that the highway department has had to start managing the space alongside the road in order to keep the shrines from encroaching on each other.  Something about the practice of roadside shrines strikes me as just not right.
I tuned into the local news last night to see a report on a local teenager who was killed by a hit and run driver over the weekend.  It was a sad story.  Nobody should be killed by a hit and run driver.  The man who killed the boy was driving drunk.  But these things happen in life.  We each have grief to bear.  Of course a shrine has sprung up at the point in the road where the boy was killed.  The news report ended by informing me that taxpayer financed "grief counselors" would be available at the high school where the dead boy attended to aid the students who go there in managing their grief.  Something about that is just not right.
I could go on and on....the Newtown massacre, the Aurora theater massacre....but it seems as if many people are unwilling to let the past go.  Every year we have to hear about each of these events as if they had just taken place that day.  Every year there are newspaper articles and local news segments dedicated to interviewing the weeping survivors.  The stories are all the same.  "The light of my life went out when little Joey was killed," they say, "I cry for him everyday."  Then the video pans to little Joey's room which has also been turned into a shrine dedicated to his memory.  For crying out loud, it happened twenty years ago, get over it.  Get on with life.  Stop languishing in the past.  I wish I knew what was going on but I don't.
I have a couple of theories about what might be taking place but no real solid belief about what might possibly be motivating these merchants of painful memories.  I suspect some of the motivation to continually remember tragedies from the past is to keep the issue of gun control perpetually before the public eye.  Since most of the dead are dead as a result of having been shot, remembering their deaths creates another opportunity for grieving parents, spouses and teachers to tell the media that guns need to be regulated so that what happened to them never happens again.  Indeed, several folks associated with the past shootings have gone on to have nice careers as paid lobbyists for the gun control advocates.  But that is still just a small percentage of those who have had their lives touched by a massacre.
I suspect the media annually interviews these folks and puts it on the airwaves because it is good for ratings.  Of course that would mean that I have to suffer through these annual reports because most of my fellow news watchers get some sort of visceral thrill out of living the event over and over again.  That would not surprise me.  There is a certain status associated with victimhood.  Continually casting myself as the victim of some past event brings with it the benefit of continually casting me as a significant person that others should pay attention to.  I am amazed at how people classify themselves as victims of something that had no material impact upon them whatsoever.  Why should I be a victim of Columbine and the Aurora theater massacre simply because I live in the Denver area?  It makes no sense to me.  But I probably should not be surprised.  Everyone wants to be the center of attention.
Still I just don't get it.  Can anyone help me understand why this is going on?  Why must every death be memorialized?  Is it because most people consider death to be the most tragic event in a human life, especially when that human is not old?  What a silly thought.  There are hundreds of things more tragic than death.  The specter of death pales in comparison to the tragedy of a person stealing from his neighbor, or committing adultery with his neighbor's wife, or living a life filled with lies, or failing to honor his parents or living a life filled with envy or covetousness, or living a life in which his mouth is continually filled with gossip and slander.  Death is not nearly so terrible as using the government to steal my neighbor's property and using those funds to pay my own bills.  It is a far worse thing to be the person who killed another man than to be the man who was killed.  God does not take murder lightly.  When I think about tragedy I think about the sins that are committed around the clock and around the world.  Those who do not repent of their sins prior to their deaths will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.  But even that is not a tragedy because we live with  a just God who has sovereignly decreed that it should be so.  No, death is not the biggest tragedy, sin is, and nobody is building a memorial to sin.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Department Of Injustice Rides Again

I was reading the paper the other day when I came across an article about the latest misadventures being conducted by the Department of Injustice of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Not content with exclusively bullying the profit seeking corporations operating in the SDA, the DOI has decided to branch out and persecute profit seeking banks based in Europe as well.  No legal reason for why the SDA or the DOI has the authority to prosecute banks operating in other countries was explained.  I wonder....how would SDA citizens respond if the DOI equivalent in Germany, England or Switzerland attempted to bring criminal charges against one of our banks?  I think we all know that any attempt to do so would be first criticized and then ignored.  SDA Attorney General Eric Holder made a video, at taxpayer expense, laying out his play to attack two European banks in the coming weeks.  Here, in part, is what he said in the video:
"The  US Justice Department is pursuing criminal investigations of financial institutions that could result in action in the coming weeks and months, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, adding that no company was 'too big to jail'...The comments, made in a video posted on the Justice Department's website on Monday, came as federal prosecutors push two banks, BMP Paribas and Credit Suisse, to plead guilty to criminal charges to resolve investigations into sanctions and tax violations, respectively, according to people familiar with the probes. 'I intend to reaffirm the principle that no individual or entity that does harm to our economy is ever above the law,'' Holder said in the video. 'There is no such thing as too big to jail.'...French bank BNP Paribas was warned last week that it faces fines from U.S. authorities in excess of $1.1 billion over allegations that it violated U.S. sanctions against Iran and other countries....The Justice Department has come under fire for bringing few marquee cases against major financial institutions or their executives in the wake of the 2007-2009 financial crisis. 'Rather than wall off banks from prosecution, the potential for such severe consequences simply means that federal prosecutors conducting these investigations must go the extra mile to coordinate closely with the regulators that oversee these institutions' day-to-day operations,' he said."
So let me get this straight.  According to the video, the DOI believes it has the authority to fine two European banks over a billion dollars because those banks have not perfectly participated in the "sanctions" the SDA has unilaterally imposed on Iran and Russia.  That makes me wonder....why should European countries be required to declare war on Iran and Russia just because the SDA has?  How can King Obama and his DOI bring criminal charges against profit seeking corporations operating in other sovereign nations simply because those nations will not follow the SDA into war with Iran and Russia?
I can already hear your objections.  We are not at war with Iran or Russia, you are screaming at your computer screen.  Of course we are.  What do you think a "sanction" is if it is not an act of war?  In the old days we used to call them "embargoes" and everyone knew that they were acts of war.  In the modern, Orwellian, world in which we live we use terms that seem softer and convey no meaning at all.  Hence an embargo has now become a sanction.  But it is still the same thing.  Let me explain what a sanction is in terms you will understand.
When you were in grade school and the biggest bully in school would steal your lunch money, that was a sanction.  The SDA is doing that right now with Russia and Iran.  Russian citizens with bank accounts in the SDA have found their accounts "frozen", which is nothing more than a fancy term to say we have stolen their lunch money.  When you would try to play with other children on the playground during recess the bully would have already told them to not let you play with them.  You would find yourself socially ostracized until you did exactly what the bully would tell you to do.  It was something generally like getting down on the pavement and pushing a penny around with your nose while other people laughed at you.  If you did not comply with the bully's wishes you could not play in any reindeer games.  The modern day equivalent of playground bully-sanctions is when King Obama says that no profit seeking corporations shall be permitted to engage in business transactions with either Russia or Iran until those two countries agree to do exactly what we tell them to.  Putin needs to push a penny with his nose before he can play with the rest of the business world.  Make sense?  Sanctions, it can be quite clearly seen, are acts of war designed to subjugate another country that has not agreed to submit to every whim of the biggest bully country in the world, the SDA.
Why is the DOI bringing these charges against foreign banks?  Is it because the foreign banks have actually done something criminal?  Of course not.  Neither the DOI nor the SDA have any authority to force sovereign European nations to join us in our undeclared sanction-war against Iran and Russia.  What is the real reason why the DOI is bringing criminal charges against two European banks? Because they have already extorted as much money as they can out of banks operating in the SDA and they need to continue to have "marquee cases" in the public eye to prove that they are defending the SDA public from the predatory actions of profit seeking banks.  It has nothing to do with immoral behavior on the part of the banks.  It has nothing to do with criminal behavior on the part of the banks.  It has everything to do with publicity, feeding the federal coffers and forcing corporations in other countries to bend to our sovereign will.  The DOI is so brazen in its attack upon the foreign banks it does not hesitate to admit that it is bringing these charges for no other reasons than publicity for itself and to obtain money from profit seeking companies via the legalized process of extortion.  Amazingly, all of this is justified on the grounds that the "banks" caused the Great Recession.  When is the DOI going to give that argument up?  Talk about ancient history.
In one of the greatest examples of political hypocrisy in recent days (there are so many examples of political hypocrisy every single day that I have to limit my statement to "recent days" rather than "recent years") the DOI has the gall to declare that "no entity that does harm to our economy is above the law."  What a joke.  It is not described how these two banks, by refusing to participate in sanctions against Iran and Russia have done "harm to our economy."  I guess we just have to submit to their legal decree and confess that it is true.  Meanwhile, the entity that does massive amounts of harm to our economy every single day, the Federal Reserve, is given a free pass.  Why is the DOI not bringing charges against it?  The second biggest source of economic harm in the SDA is the Congress.  Why is the DOI not bringing charges against it?  Meanwhile, profit seeking banks in foreign countries that have provided financial services to millions of satisfied customers are branded as criminals for refusing to join us in an immoral war against a nation that is not their enemy.  Where, oh where, is the justice in that?

Monday, May 5, 2014

People Just Don't Get It When It Comes To Voting

I took my wife to breakfast this morning.  I am a big spender and I like to treat her to breakfast every once in a while.  She is worth it.  As we settled into our booth at McDonalds we noticed a bumper sticker on a car parked outside.  It read, "I am Catholic and I Vote!"  I commented that Catholics would most certainly vote Republican because they naively continue to believe the lies told by the Republicans about their intention to make baby-killing illegal.  Every Republican I have ever looked at told me that he was firmly opposed to abortion yet no Republican has ever introduced legislation to overturn Roe v Wade.  Not even when the Republicans controlled the Congress and the White House did they have the courage to attempt to overturn Roe v Wade.  I conclude, as I always do, that Republicans are liars who will say whatever they need to to get a vote.  In  other words, it is business as usual in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.
My wife thought I was nuts.  She thinks that about me a lot.  To calm her down I offered to buy her another breakfast item as long as it was from the "dollar menu."  She ignored me and proceeded to tell  me that every Catholic she has ever known has been a Democrat.  I countered with the brilliant argument that no self-respecting Catholic would ever be a Democrat because the Democrats are baby-killers and most Catholics oppose killing babies.  She accused me of thinking logically.  She was right on that one.  It also exposed the weakness of my entire position.  When it comes to political action on the part of SDA citizens, thinking logically will inevitably lead a person like me down the wrong path.  If I was going to figure this thing out I would have to give myself over to my emotions and see where they would infallibly lead me.
We agreed to settle the matter with a quick consultation of the all-knowing Wikipedia.  My wife is technologically astute. Using her personal electronic device, which I sometimes believe she is addicted to, she quickly brought up the answer to our question and resolved our debate.  As it turns out, Catholics are almost equally divided between Republicans and Democrats.  When political analysts dig deeper into the data they discover that the fifty/fifty split covers up a meaningful political truth about the voting habits of Catholics.  When Catholics are divided into "Hispanic" and "White" a very different picture emerges.  More than three quarters of all Hispanic Catholics are Democrats whereas less than half of all White Catholics are.  We pondered the racial data for a moment and realized that even that did not tell the truth about what was going on.  Indeed, we realized that to understand what is really going on we needed to follow the money.
The Wikipedia article made the astute observation that Catholics who populate the lower income cohorts in the SDA are overwhelmingly Democrats whereas Catholics who populate the higher income cohorts in the SDA are more often Republicans.  It was not their racial status that linked Catholics to a particular political party.  Catholics connect with a political party based upon how much money they make.  Not surprisingly, the less money they make the more they vote for Democrats.  The more money they make the more they vote for Republicans.  Now, we wondered, why would that be?
Here is a quote from the Wikipedia article, "With the decline of unions and big city machines, and with upward mobility into the middle classes, Catholics have drifted away from liberalism and toward conservatism on economic issues such as taxes."  Who would have thunk it?  When Catholics find themselves in the lower 51% of the income population they vote for Democrats who promise to tax the upper 49% of the income population and give that money to them.  When those same Catholics rise into the upper 49% of the income population they suddenly decide that using the government to steal money from others is no longer a good idea and they vote for Republican candidates that promise to protect them from the stealing hoards below. 
The behavior of the Catholics is irrational of course.  Both Republicans and Democrats steal mounds of money from all SDA citizens to spend on their favorite boondoggles and secure votes for their reelection campaigns.  Democrats still continue to spend a little bit more on the welfare state and Republicans tend to spend a little bit more on the warfare state, although those historic distinctions are rapidly disappearing,  but both of them agree that the populace is to be plundered in support of their pet projects and the perpetuation of political power for their respective parties.  Catholics, like all others who participate in the voting process in the SDA, make the emotional decision to pretend that what the politicians are saying is actually true.  They agree to cover their eyes to the fact that politicians never do what they say they are going to do and believe that this time it will be different.  But that truth is not what the citizens of the SDA just don't get.
What the citizens of the SDA just don't get is that voting is an act of war.  We are told that voting is a privilege and a civic duty.  We are lectured that the process of voting keeps us free from tyranny (I am stifling my laughter as much as I can here) and gives each citizen a voice in the way "we", whoever that is, are governed.  Voting is presented to us as one of the most highly moral activities a human being can engage in.  Advocates for voting accuse those who do not participate in their division of the booty stolen from the unprotected 49% at the top of the income population of many horrific sins.  Indeed, we are often described as being worse than Hitler and deserving of every bad thing that could ever happen to a person.
How ironic that those who strut around arrogantly declaring their moral superiority are nothing more than thieves.  Why is it that people who make less money vote to take the money of those who make more while those who make more money vote to create barriers to hinder the ability of thieves to take their money?  Answer:  class warfare.  Why do the ignorant, arrogant and emotional citizens of this sad land continue to pretend that voting is anything more than class warfare?  Answer:  everyone is riddled with envy and will use the government to plunder his neighbor when he can.  Why do we not all simply admit that voting is the means by which the lower 51% of the income population forces the top 49% of the income population to fund the entire federal budget, which it does?  Answer:  because we all want to pretend we are good people and not thieves.  As the bumper sticker on the car driven by a Catholic clearly illustrates, people vote to either attempt to steal the money of others or they vote in a vain attempt to prevent having their money stolen.  Either way you look at it voting is an act of war against your neighbor. 

Update:  May 8, 2014

I just discovered that the city of Westminster (Denver suburb) is considering enacting a law requiring landlords to inform their tenants at the time a lease is signed that they need to register to vote.  The landlord will be required to provide the paperwork necessary for a new tenant to vote or be subject to fines for noncompliance.  Now why in the world would the city government believe it has the right to interject itself into an entirely private contract?  The city does not force landlords to provide information about local churches.  The city does not force landlords to provide information about local baby-killing factories.  Why voting?  Answer:  Because voting in the SDA is a sacrament.  It is a religious observance.  You must vote.  Voting proves that you worship the state, along with everyone else. Anyone who does not vote is worse than Hitler.  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Everyone Needs Social Media Affirmation...How Sad

I don't Facebook.  I don't Twitter.  It is only by means of a technological miracle that I figured out how to blog.  Otherwise you would never see me in cyberspace.  Still, I hear about the things people post to their various social media accounts.  For the most part I am disgusted by what I hear about Facebook and Twitter posts.  It seems as if social media is basically nothing more than a means by which people solicit and receive affirmation from others.  What a pathetically selfish bunch of people we all are.
The other day I heard about a post to a young child's Facebook account.  As it turns out the child was going to have a birthday on the 24th of this month.  Not being willing to wait until the 24th to extend birthday greetings, some relative of the child posted on the first day of the month.  The message went something like this, "You are so great and so powerful and so cool and so hip I just have to post something to your Facebook page every single day this month.  The world is a superior place because you live in it and I am going to recognize that truth by telling you how great you are every day during your birth month.  Love, Somebody."  What a hideous thing to do to a young child.  That child is doomed to grow up believing he is the center of the universe.  When harsh reality shows him that belief is not true, his life will most likely end up being a disaster.
In the old days people used to send out wedding invitations when they decided to tie the knot.  Of course in those days the happy couple had not been living together for a decade or two prior to sending out the invitations.  They also usually did not have any children unless the female was pregnant and it was a shotgun wedding.  My how I loved shotgun weddings.  At any rate, there would be one wedding and one invitation.  Today things have changed.  Today the happy living-together couple with kids sends out multiple announcements, featuring photographs of their family, telling everyone they know to "save the date."  Then, as the date approaches, there are multiple cutesy announcements about the wedding itself.  They behave as if the entire universe revolves around them and their wedding.  They behave as if everyone in the world should attend the affair that celebrates how great they are.   Why should I go to a wedding for two people who have been biblically married for many years?   I find it all quite repulsive.
In the old days the best friend of a woman who was about to get married (and who was not living with her intended spouse and who had not had two or three children by two or three different men) would throw a thing called a "shower."  How it got that name I will never know.  It just conjures up images of getting all wet in a rain storm to me.  Still, the women seem to enjoy it.  At the shower a group of ladies would get together and purchase things that might help the bride-to-be with setting up her home.  It was a good idea and a nice way to celebrate the coming union.  Today things have changed.  Today the couple to be (yes, both men and women have showers) have multiple showers.  Since they have been living together for years there is no need to purchase any house-warming gifts so they simply ask for cash or gifts appropriate for a Yuppie household.  Yuppie appropriate gifts are anything that are superfluous and that communicate the idea of high social standing.  After three or four showers for each mate plus a co-ed shower or two they have accumulated a significant bundle of cash that they can then spend on their vacation....umm...I mean honeymoon.  All of that cash helps to pay for babysitters for their children while they are on vacation.
I refused to send out a graduation announcement for both my high school and college graduations.  Even at that tender age I knew enough to realize that graduation announcements were nothing more than socially acceptable forms of begging for cash.  I couldn't see the point of hitting up relatives I hardly knew and never visited for cash just because I had lived long enough to attain an educational milestone or two.  Today I get graduation announcements from the parents of people I meet at the grocery story who manage to stop me long enough to tell me about their kid and how great he is.  I want to tell them all to take a flying leap.  What a joke.
Birth announcements are another strange thing.  In the old days the squaw would not even tell the brave she was pregnant until she got so huge he began to wonder if she had swallowed a watermelon.  She would reluctantly fess up that she was with child and never mention it again.  That made the brave very happy.  When it came time to give birth she would wander out into the woods and get the deed done in time to get back to camp to cook dinner.  The brave may or may not have noticed that she was gone.  He would figure it out when a new mouth showed up at dinner.  Now that is the way it should be.  Today couples create elaborate videos announcing the fact that a new member of their most significant family is about to enter the world.  I heard of one in which the woman was holding a package of Eggos while her husband, who was standing beside her was holding a jar of Prego spaghetti sauce.  I think you get the point.  Disgusting.
Add to this the new practice of having a "gender announcement."  Why I should care what the gender of your child is going to be is a mystery to me.  I do not even care that you are having a kid.  Why should I care what sex it turns out to be?  Hey, wake up, the world does not revolve around you.  Equally repulsive is the use of sonogram images (I don't know the real medical term for these things) that show the baby developing in the womb.  Apparently the internet is filled with photographs of gametes, zygotes, egg clusters and fetuses.  Why anyone would want to look at such things is a mystery to me.  One person told me a tale of how she had the same reaction to a friend of her's who had posted one of those pictures.  She posted to her board, or whatever it is called, that she thought she was going a little too far.  The reaction was immediate.  Hundreds of people posted to that same board informing her that she was the jerk for criticizing the posting of an extremely private and personal photograph for all to see.  Apparently she was "unfriended" by many people.  That sounded like a good solution to the problem to me. Who would want friends like that anyhow?
It seems to me that social media pretty much exists for the purpose of giving selfish people an outlet to broadcast their selfishness.  Everything on social media is about me, me and me.  Everything is about how great I am.  Everything is about why you should be thinking and talking about me.  Everything is about how much I can get in cash and prizes out of the people I know by telling them things about me.  Of course all of this is indicative of the greater problem.  It is not just that human beings are sinfully selfish in everything they do and say.  That has been true since the fall of man.  It is about the fact that human beings are overwhelmingly insecure and they need the affirmation of the people around them every day just to go on.  These adults, rather than behaving like adults, behave like spoiled little children who need to be told they are good and need to receive multiple presents every day or they will throw a fit.  How sad it all is.