San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, May 30, 2014

Can Anyone Make Change Anymore?

I have been thinking about this post for a long time.  Anyone under fifty years of age will not understand what I am about to write here.  In fact, the mere expression "make change" probably is incomprehensible to today's young person.  As such this will just be another irrelevant blog post from an ancient curmudgeon about a topic nobody cares about.  So be it.
"Making change" refers to the archaic process of counting and delivering change back to a person who has purchased a good with cash in excess of the price. For example, I go into a Kwik-E-Mart and purchase some Hostess cupcakes.  They cost $1.79, including tax, and I present $2.00 to the clerk.  A quick application of simple arithmetic shows that the clerk owes me twenty one cents in change.  The process by which that clerk returns my change is what used to be known as "making change."  The art of making change has been lost and replaced with grotesque behaviors that bear no resemblance to the beautiful and gracious art of change making.  Allow me to give you some examples of the modern corruptions of this ancient skill.
One of my favorites is the "I have no idea how much change I owe you" scenario.  This happens with surprising frequency.  In the olden days there were some of us who attempted to make change making easier on the clerk.  We did so by using another ancient practice known as "rounding up."  A person would round up in order to make the amount of change that was to be returned a round number.  For example, back to my cupcake example, I might have decided to pay the clerk $2.09 in order to make the change an even thirty cents.  Or maybe I would have paid the clerk $2.04 in order to make the change a simple quarter.  What happens today when I try to round up?  You will probably not be surprised to discover that the practice of rounding up generally creates a great confusion in the heads of the clerks.
I have found that it is usually teenage employees at fast food restaurants who have the greatest problem with rounding up.  Because they have never actually practiced any simple arithmetic they don't have the intellectual ability to process the transaction properly.  When I give the clerk $2.04 on a $1.79 bill I usually get a confused look followed by having my four cents returned.  I used to try and explain that I had added the four cents in order to allow him to return a simple quarter to me but that would result in further confusion.  I now simply take the four cents back with a smile.  The clerk usually smiles too.  I know what he is thinking...."poor, old fool.  He can't even pay a simple bill for a cupcake.  Getting old must be really hard on the mind."
Another favorite of mine is the "build a mountain of change" game.  You have all experienced this one.  The clerk takes your money, looks at the cash register to see how much change you are due and counts it out to herself.  Now that the money is in her hand she decides to play a game with you.  This game is best played when you are at a drive-up window and it is either raining or snowing.  She will deliver the change to you with a pile of crumpled bills on the bottom, followed by a stack of coins on top.  It is practically impossible to take receipt of the change without having it spill all over the place.  It is actually quite a fun game.  I try to see how much I can capture before it hits the ground.  Sometimes the bills are so crumpled they launch the pennies skyward.  I try to catch them before they hit a snowflake.
I have a little technique I use at times when I want to make a point in the build a mountain of change game. It requires some ambidexterity but fortunately we Welsh are very good with our hands.  While the clerk is returning the change I deftly grab the bills with one part of my hand.  I then thrust the bills toward the clerk to clear a pathway to my palm where the change is deposited.  Inevitably the clerk thinks I am somehow trying to give the bills back to her when in reality all I am doing is putting the coins on the bottom and the bills on top, where each of them belongs.  When executed properly it is quite an impressive maneuver.  Strangely, no clerk has ever understood why I make the move.  Sometimes I don't want to play the build a mountain of change game.
Is it too much to ask that bills be returned uncrumpled, face-up and right side up?  It takes but a second to arrange bills in order prior to returning them to the customer.  I can't think of the last time a clerk actually did that.  These days I get a wad of crumpled bills, some of which are upside down, others of which are backwards and all of which are in terrible disorder.  I then have to take the time to arrange them properly prior to putting them in my wallet.  Sometimes, just to make a statement, I will step to the side, drop my change on the floor, and proceed to arrange the bills properly before I leave the clerk's counter.  To no one's surprise but my own, no clerk has ever taken notice of me when I stage my little protest.
So let me get to the point.  Here is how to make change. It is simple and easy and fun.  If you are a clerk you might want to give it a try.  Let's go back to my cupcake example.  In this case I give you a five dollar bill for a $1.79 cupcake.  You properly make change by waiting for me to hold out my hand and then proceed to deposit a penny, two dimes and three one dollar bills into it.  They must be placed in that order.  The heavier items are on the bottom and the lighter items are on top.  Now here is the hard part.  While you are placing the money into my hand you are counting backwards from the amount of the bill to the amount that I paid.  Before you place the penny in my hand you tell me "a dollar seventy nine."  Then you proceed to say, "one eighty, one ninety, two, three, four, and five" as you place each item of change into my hand.  See what you have done?  You have delivered change in an efficient manner and proven that the change is the correct amount at the same time.  Amazing.
As strange as it may seem, this is the process by which change was made for a good portion of the history of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  It worked well.  But I guess it just does not make sense today.  I see people pay for things just by waving their personal electronic devices (PEDs) in front of some magic detection device and both parties seem to be happy.  No money is exchanged.  Nobody has to greet or talk to each other.  That would not be possible anyway since both the clerk and the customer are inevitably using their PEDs to communicate with some other person or thing.  People call this progress.  Sometimes I wonder.  I have a hard time calling the robotizing of human behavior progress.  But who am I to judge?  Nobody besides me seems to be mourning the loss of the ability to make change.  I think I will go to the Kwik-E-Mart for a cupcake to assuage my sorrow.  I feel like playing the build a mountain of change game today.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jesse Jackson Is A Racist, Socialistic Pig

I was catching up on some business news the other day when an article caught my eye.  I saw a headline informing me that Jesse Jackson was on a rampage against technology companies because they do not hire enough blacks to make him happy.  I was appalled and disgusted enough to look into the story.  Here, in part, is what I found:
"Rev. Jesse Jackson plans to lead a delegation to the Hewlett Packard annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday to bring attention to Silicon Valley's poor record of including blacks and Latinos in hiring, board appointments and startup funding. Jackson's strategy borrows from the traditional civil rights era playbook of shaming companies to prod them into transformation. Now he is bringing it to the age of social media and a booming tech industry known for its disruptive innovation.  'We're talking about a sector that responds to future trends,' says Ronald C. Parker, president and CEO of the Executive Leadership Council, a group of current and former African-American Fortune 500 executives who work to increase diversity at the top levels of American business. 'He's speaking at one organization. I'm sure the people at Hewlett Packard have and will continue to put some focus on it. Whether it will accelerate is to be seen. But it's a start.'  Earl "Butch" Graves Jr., president and CEO of Black Enterprise magazine, says Jackson is shining a light on the fact that technology companies don't come close to hiring or spending what is commensurate with the demographics of their customers.  'Hopefully, what Rev. Jackson is doing will bring attention to the 800-pound gorilla in the room that nobody wants to talk about. It's high time that gets addressed,' Graves says.  It's widely recognized that the tech industry lacks diversity: About one in 14 tech workers is black or Latino both in the Silicon Valley and nationally. Blacks and Hispanics make up 13.1 and 16.9 percent of the U.S. population, respectively, according to the most recent Census data.  'Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day,' wrote Jackson in a letter released Monday to Apple, Twitter, Facebook, HP, Google and others."
Jesse Jackson is a parasitic pig.  He looks over the landscape, searching for someone he can extort money from, and then he swoops down with his legion of race-baiters in what are usually successful attempts to enrich themselves at the expense of truly productive people in the world.  Don't you wish someone had the courage to stand up to him and tell him the truth?  Don't you wish he could be publicly called out for his exploitation of non-existent racism in order to fund his cherished anti-racist organizations?  Don't you wish he would be exposed for the racist that he is?  It will never happen of course.  People are terrified of him.  Or, more precisely, white people are terrified of being labeled racist, even when there is no possible way it can be true.
Butch Graves believes that the fact that blacks do not constitute 13.1% of the workforce at Apple, Twitter, Facebook, HP and Google is the "800 pound gorilla in the room."  He is wrong.  There is no gorilla in the room.  Furthermore, nobody is suppressing any conversation about something that is ostensibly obvious to all.  There is no racism in the technology field.  If there were, Asians would not be disproportionately represented in technology companies and start ups.  The reason blacks are "underrepresented" in technology positions has everything to do with the fact that they are underrepresented in college technology departments.  The reason technology companies don't have 13.1% of their workforce classified as "black" is directly related to the fact that the percentage of blacks who have the skills to work in those positions is less than the percentage of whites, and far less than the percentage of Asians, who work in technology positions.  Now I don't consider that to be a bad thing.  But, apparently, Jesse Jackson does.  So I have just one question for Jesse....who's fault is it?  If blacks want to represent more of the employees at technology companies then blacks should represent more of the students at technology schools.  If blacks being "underrepresented" at technology companies is a bad thing, and it is not, then they have nobody to blame but themselves.  Jesse needs to shut his mouth and mind his own business.
Jesse Jackson should take a lesson from the Welsh.  The Welsh make up 0.6% of the population of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  I don't have any scientific evidence to prove it but I believe it to be the case that the Welsh are dramatically underrepresented in the field of technology.  But, unlike the envy-filled, racist Jesse Jackson, the Welsh don't get all hot and bothered about that fact.  We know the reason we are underrepresented is because we are uninterested.  Who wants to work in technology?  Who wants more gadgets to take up time and space?  Certainly not me.  Certainly not my Welsh brethren.  We have much more important things to ponder like philosophy, sunsets and butterflies. No, racial disproportionality at technology companies has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with aptitude.  Let me give you an example.  I found this quote at a Welsh website.  I believe it describes the situation quite well:
"Once in America, the Welsh tended to keep a lower profile than their Celtic cousins. As a result, though most Americans are familiar with symbols of Scottish and Irish national identity, like the kilt and the shamrock, Welsh icons, like the red dragon and the leek, enjoy little of what market researchers call brand recognition. In keeping with their temperament and religious convictions, Welsh Americans prefer celebrating their ancestry quietly, and in private, rather than noisily, and in public. The rivers of Guinness and Scotch that flow on St. Patrick’s Day or Robbie Burns Night are absent in traditional St. David’s Day celebrations, which take place each year on March 1st. 'We drink tea,' says Dr. Arturo Roberts, editor of Ninnau, a magazine devoted to maintaining and extending ties between Wales and North America. 'And someone might sing a song or two, or a hymn. Then we usually have a dinner.'"
So there you have it.  Why can't blacks like Jesse Jackson be more like the Welsh?  Why can't he and his ilk make it their aim to live quiet lives, drink tea and mind their own business?  Answer:  because they are envy-filled zealots out to destroy capitalism and establish socialism.  The race-card is their tool and they wield it very well. Their goal is to get every white owned business in the country committed to the goal of employing blacks, whether they can do the job or not.  Their goal is to get every white person in Amerika to believe he is a racist, whether he is or not. 
Jesse Jackson, in addition to his many negative qualities, is also a blithering idiot.  Look at what he wrote in the letter quoted above, "Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day."  What?  Let me translate what he just wrote.  "Successful profit seeking technology companies are expected to give jobs to unqualified blacks in order to prove that the white and Asian people who created the companies are not racists but, sadly, they are too busy coming up with new products to sell so they don't have time to get mired in racial politics."  Jesse wants to fix all of that.  He wants to put absurd and racist burdens upon profit seeking companies in order to further his cause of racial politics.  He is going to bring all of the social pressure he can to bear upon technology companies in order to forcibly redistribute their wealth to blacks.  Tell me again why Jesse is such a good man.  Help me to understand.  Why is racist socialism and theft a good thing?
Jesse is apparently totally unaware of the fact that technology is about creating new technological goods and selling them to people who want to buy them for prices they are willing to pay.  It never has been, is not now and never will be about providing jobs for black people.  That is what the government does.  It is incomprehensible that the racist Jackson would have the unmitigated gall to argue that technology companies exist for the purpose of providing jobs for blacks.  What planet does this fool live on? Here is an idea.  If he wants to employ more blacks in technology, then Jesse should start a technology company.  Technology is one of the areas in the SDA that is still relatively free.  Anyone with a computer can start his own company.  What is keeping all of these highly qualified black people from starting their own technology companies?  Then they can hire nothing but highly qualified black employees.  It will be a socialist paradise.  But no, Jesse does not want that to happen.  He just wants to take something from what someone else, always a white someone else,  has already created.  What a good socialist he is.
Sadly, executives at some of the aforementioned technology companies have fallen into Jesse's trap.  They are frantically issuing press releases touting how many minorities work for their firms and how much money they have given to minority causes.  They are doing everything they can to convince Jesse and the racist machine he operates that they are good men who don't have a racist bone in their bodies.  Jesse has already won the war and he didn't have to do anything but use the "race" word.  Why do white business owners continue to fall for his ploy?  I don't know.  I don't understand it.  I just wish one day someone would stand up to Mr. Jackson and call him what he is; a racist, socialist pig.  Now I need to get back to my tea before it gets cold.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Nation Of Drug Addicts

If you read the title to today's post and formed a conclusion in your mind about today's topic you might be in for a surprise.  The two or three of you who read this blog regularly know that when I write about drug addiction I am not writing about what the government of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika considers to be drug addiction.  Drug addiction is not properly defined as the free market providing various drugs to various drug users at a price they are willing to pay.  I have no problem with that, although all of it has been declared illegal by the SDA government.  No, when I address the topic of drug addiction I mean the legalized, government approved form of addiction.  I mean that form of addiction in which the government acts as the supplier of the drugs, as wholesalers licensed by the government (commonly called "doctors") to distribute the drugs and as retailers licensed by the government (commonly called "pharmacists") to sell the drugs. The poor fools who are addicted to the drugs are called "patients" rather than addicts.  Their addiction is called "medical care" and it is a good thing according to the government.
I was sitting in my rocking chair last night when a commercial came on about a drug I was supposed to buy for my dog.  I don't remember what the drug was or what it was supposed to treat.  What caught my attention was the fact that the doggie drug commercial was produced just like the television commercials produced to sell myriad government approved drugs to the populace of the SDA.  You know the type.  Since being legalized a decade or so ago they have come to dominate commercial television.  There are drugs for impotence, drugs for hair loss (a tragedy I am told), drugs to increase my "T" (testosterone) to make me more manly (unnecessary since I am Welsh), drugs for all sorts of female problems I know nothing about, drugs to make me sleep and drugs to keep me awake.  There are drugs to help me with my asthma and drugs to help me with my allergies.  There are drugs to make me happy when I  am sad and drugs to calm me down when I am nervous.  There are drugs for my cholesterol and drugs for my triglycerides.  There are drugs for my blood pressure, whether it be high or low.  There are drugs for when my heart is beating too fast and other drugs for when it is not beating at all.  Quite literally, it seems to me as if there is a drug for every known human condition and all of them are being marketed on commercial television.  Something is drastically wrong with this picture.
When did we become a nation of pill poppers?  When did most of us become dependent upon government approved drugs?  Why are thousands of conditions that our forefathers happily lived with now considered to be medical conditions that require treatment with drugs?  I think most of the citizens of the SDA have gone insane.  They believe anything and everything the government controlled medical system tells them.   They believe every diagnosis, follow every order and take every medication, even if that means taking multiple pills every day.  Apparently every citizen in this sick land has at least several ailments, all of which require treatment by some sort of drug.  I am sure glad I am Welsh.  I don't have any of these modern illnesses (I don't consider my hair loss to be a "disease").  I don't take any pills at all.  And I stay away from doctors/pushers. 
According to this article from the Center for Disease Control, "CDC’s analysis shows that 38,329 people died from a drug overdose in the United States in 2010, up from 37,004 deaths in 2009. This continues the steady rise in overdose deaths seen over the past 11 years, starting with 16,849 deaths in 1999....In 2010, nearly 60 percent of the drug overdose deaths (22,134) involved pharmaceutical drugs."  I highlighted the last sentence above.  You might want to read it again. Our rulers have declared a war on the free market in drugs, which they call illegal and harmful, while 60% of the deaths due to drug usage actually have taken place with people who were using so called legal drugs under the care of a government approved doctor?  If it is morally correct to declare a war on the manufacturers and suppliers of illegal drugs why is it also not morally necessary to declare the same war upon the manufacturers and suppliers of legal drugs?  Besides the accidental fact that the government has declared one drug to be good and another to be bad, there is no difference between the two situations.  If illegal drug use is a national tragedy then legal drug use must be even more of a national tragedy.  Why is no one telling this story?
According to this report from the Center for Disease Control, "Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44% to 48%. The use of two or more drugs increased from 25% to 31%. The use of five or more drugs increased from 6% to 11%."  To make matters even worse, the report went on to state that, "In 2007-2008, 1 out of every 5 children and 9 out of 10 older Americans reported using at least one prescription drug in the past month."  Who is thinking about the children?  Who cares about our seniors?  Half of the citizens of the SDA are addicted to prescription drugs.  Twenty percent of our children are addicted to prescription drugs.  Ninety percent of our seniors are addicted to prescription drugs.  Where will it all end?
Children are being hooked on drugs in the government schools at a very young age.  Pushers, called teachers, use the drugs to control the behavior of their students in order to make their lives easier.  According to this article, "Millions of children are now taking psychotropic drugs. And they're not doing it illegally, but by prescription. In fact, the medical and educational establishments are conducting a skyrocketing campaign to get kids, and their parents, to 'just say yes' to brain-altering pharmaceuticals, with the drug of choice being Ritalin. In 1970, when approximately 150,000 students were on Ritalin, America was alarmed enough to get the Drug Enforcement Agency to classify Ritalin and other amphetamine-type drugs as Class II substances, a category that includes cocaine and one that indicates significant risk of abuse. Despite this apparent safeguard, the number of children taking psychiatric stimulants today has risen over 40-fold; current estimates are that between 6 and 7 million children are taking them. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that as many as 3.8 million school children, mostly boys, are currently diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and that at least a million children take Ritalin, a figure that many regard as a gross underestimate. And it is not just schoolchildren who are being dosed with psychotropics: Even preschoolers—those aged 2 to 4—experienced a tripling of such prescriptions in a recent five-year period."  This is insanity.  Have we all lost our minds?
By comparison, "results from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 19.9 million Americans (or 8% of the population aged 12 or older) used illegal drugs in the month prior to the survey."  So let me get this straight.  Only 8% of the SDA population older than 12 uses illegal drugs while roughly six times that number of people use legal drugs every month.  Yet those who use illegal drugs are persecuted, prosecuted and imprisoned by the federal government whereas those who use legal drugs are called patients and their government approved pushers become millionaires?  What is wrong with this picture?
I can just hear the two of you who will read this blog post screaming at your personal electronic devices as you read the drivel written above.  "The difference, you idiot, is that prescription drugs are good for you and illegal drugs are bad for you.  Why can't you figure that out?"  Admit it, that is something very close to what you just yelled at me isn't it?  I have but one response to your argument.  Have you ever actually watched one of those television commercials that advertise these legal drugs?  Or, more accurately, have you ever listened to the legal disclaimers that are associated with each drug ad?  Dozens of horrible things, including death, can happen to people who take legal drugs.  In fact, most of the air time for the commercial is dedicated to reciting the long list of terrible things that can happen to the human body for anybody who is crazy enough to use that particular drug.  Furthermore, most of these drugs are being prescribed for medical conditions that are little more than minor inconveniences.  Almost none of those conditions are life threatening and very few are actual medical conditions.  I just don't see the value of getting 65 year old males hyped up on testosterone.  So once again I am forced to ask, why do SDA cops and politicians prosecute users of illegal drugs and let the users of legal drugs go free?  If the career politicians who rule us and the jack booted thugs who carry out their will upon us really cared about our health and livelihood, they would make all drugs illegal immediately.  That includes both prescription and non-prescription drugs.  If they really want to deal with the problem of drug addiction in this country they need to abolish the FDA, declare that we are a nation of drug addicts and throw all of us into jail.
Of course, there is an alternative plan.  Government could get out of the drug business altogether.  All drugs could be decriminalized and the free market could determine what people can purchase for their own personal use.  This plan would save billions of dollars of taxpayer funds, save thousands of lives as the failed "war on drugs" would come to an end, and eliminate entire sections of the federal bureaucracy.  That is precisely why it will never happen.  Too many people have a vested interest in the status quo. Therefore nothing will ever change for the better.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Preachers Of L.A. Are All Pagans

I had the misfortune of watching an episode of the reality television show called "Preachers of L.A" yesterday.  It was terrible.  Or maybe I should say that what it portrayed was terrible.  It is hard to believe that men who call themselves preachers could behave as these men behave.  The show follows the soap opera-like lives of a half dozen men and their "first ladies" who have careers as preachers in mega-churches in Los Angeles.  I had tuned into watch a Rockies game only to discover that, due to the fact the Rockies were playing in the eastern time zone, I had tuned in two hours too early.  So I flipped to the channel guide looking for something to watch and kill time when I saw there was a show about preachers just starting.  Intrigued, I tuned in.  What I saw next almost made me ill.
The show follows the daily lives of about a half dozen ego-maniacs who happen to head huge churches in southern California.  If what showed up on the camera is any indication of what the day to day lives of these sick souls are really like, they are all doomed to eternal fire.  It is not that these men and their ladies are necessarily evil.  It is just that there is nothing about their lives, except the occasional god-word, that would indicate that they are Christians at all.  That being said, there are several things that repeatedly show up in their lives that are truly quite evil from my perspective.  Allow me to explain.
All of the men are very concerned about their image.  They appear to be equally unconcerned about their character.  One younger minister had recently divorced his wife, fathered a child with another woman out of wedlock and then tarried prior to marrying her.  His main concern through that entire process of sinful behavior was how his reputation and career might suffer when the members of his church found out about what he had done.  He was/is a professional "gospel singer" and he was terrified that his CD sales might drop and his concert bookings might disappear.  There was no indication that he had the slightest concern about what God might have thought abut the entire escapade. 
Another minister has been living on-again, off-again with a woman for 16 years.  Apparently they are both totally unaware of the biblical doctrine of marriage and fornication.  Nobody, including the members of his church, seems to be the slightest bit interested in the fact that he is a serial fornicator. Nobody seems to care about his moral character at all.
Another minister is covered with tattoos and married to a woman who also sports several fashionable ink-spots.  I guess that is supposed to make them hip.  They look and act like a couple of bikers.  Of all the things in his life he is most proud of, his hairdo rises to the top. The look and act like a couple of gangsters.  In this episode we were supposed to go ga-ga over the preacher man because he took his lady to a dance school for tango lessons.  Apparently his lady had been nagging him incessantly about how he never does anything for her and that was his response to her nagging.
I expected to see these pastors regularly involved in biblical study.  It is not easy to be the pastor of a mega-church.  That is not what I witnessed.  None of the ministers seemed to be even remotely interested in biblical studies.  None of them appeared to have any knowledge of church or theological history.  Even worse, none of them showed any interest in any of the members of their mega-churches.  I doubt that they even know who their members are.  I suspect they could not name even a dozen of them by name.  Were it not for the fact that they call themselves bishops there would be nothing to indicate they are related to the Christian church in any way.
One common ingredient in each of their lives is a crass materialism that is very difficult to stomach.  They all have large houses, multiple fancy cars and sport lots of bling.  Their wives are all nattily attired in the finest designer clothing.  Make no mistake, they are hip. They flash their materialism in a strangely perverted sort of way.  They truly seem to believe that God is blessing them for what they do with material possessions.  They truly seem to believe that the key indicator of God's blessing in their lives is a bigger house, a fancy car or a diamond ring.  They all appear spiritually blind as they can be.
There were occasional short clips of these men on stage doing what they call "preaching."  Any resemblance between what they call preaching and true biblical preaching is purely coincidental.  The preaching they engage in is stereotypically choreographed pietistic posturing.  They know what to say and when to say it.  They know when to breath and when to shout.  They know how to play to their audience to maximize their cash intake when the offering buckets are passed.  In a word, they are the perfect men to "pastor" today's mega-church.  If you want to know what this type of preaching is like, just tune into any Christian television station and you will get a multitude of examples. 
Perhaps most disconcerting to me, besides the fact they are all hell-bound, was the fact that they are all compulsive liars.  They are just like politicians.  You know they are lying anytime you can see their lips moving.  They feed a steady diet of lies, using pious sounding god-words, to detach their listeners from their hard earned money.  They promise the people they are "preaching" to that God will make them all as wealthy as they are if they only give them more of their money.  What a scam.  And people fall for it.  I just don't get it.
I was most surprised by the apparent ignorance of these men.  I would have thought that they were aware of how they were using acting and god-words to rip people off.  Either they are very good actors, and I don't believe they are, or they are truly self-deluded.  They seem to believe that what they are doing is true biblical ministry.  Only God knows what is going on in their twisted little minds but they convinced me that they are so far removed from being Christians they do not even know they are massive hypocrites.  Based upon what I saw each one of those L.A. preachers is destined to hear Jesus tell them to "depart from Me, for I never knew you."  As far as I could tell, the preachers of LA are all pagans.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Musings On Memorial Day

Well, it is that time of the year again.  Summer is here and the time is right for fighting in the street boys.  (My apologies to Mick and Keith.)  Today marks that national holiday in which we celebrate Amerikan imperialism around the world.  Or, to be more precise, we are expected to spend some part of today feeling sad for the soldiers of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika who have been killed while prosecuting the imperial wars of the SDA politicians since this country was founded.  I just can't seem to ever muster up enough strength to do that.  So I will do what I always up the grill and barbecue a couple of burgers while watching a Colorado Rockies game.  To military veterans, SDA politicians and all lovers of the government those are fighting words.  Allow me, if you will, an opportunity to fight back for a moment.
Look at this graphic.

The Socialist Democracy of Amerika has been involved in perpetual war.  No person living in this country has ever known peace for his entire lifetime.   I can hear the protests already.  All of you patriots reading this post (maybe one or two people over the next year) are screaming "freedom comes with a price."  By that you mean the SDA needs to be involved in perpetual wars of defense.  By that you mean that the SDA has been under attack by foreign invaders for 214 of its 235 years of existence.  By that you mean that all SDA wars have been morally justifiable as wars of self defense from foreign aggression.  And by meaning that you are all idiots.
Most, if not all, of the wars prosecuted by the SDA government and military have either been wars of rebellion against legitimate authority, wars of imperial expansion or wars in defense of territory conquered via imperial expansion.  None of those wars are morally or biblically justifiable.   For a timeline of all SDA military operations take a moment and go here.  Look carefully at the list of wars the SDA has fought.  Click through and read up on the history of each war.  I challenge you to find just one war that you can properly and morally justify as a defensive war against foreign aggression.  I used to think that the War of 1812 was a biblically defensible war.  After all, didn't the British attack us first?  Didn't they start it by sacking and burning Washington?  Then I took a couple of minutes to actually read up on what happened.  As it turned out, the SDA declared war on the British.  We started it.  And we got what we deserved.  So much for the moral propriety of the War of 1812. 
Over 1.2 million SDA soldiers have been killed while fighting wars around the world.  For a list of total SDA dead and wounded, go here.  Lists like this are made public all the time.  We are told that over a million of our finest, bravest and most noble citizens have "given the ultimate sacrifice" fighting for "our freedom."  Or we have been told that they are fighting "over there" so we do not have to be fighting "here."  It is all nonsense, of course.  Go back and look at the previous list.  How many of the countries the SDA has invaded over the years came even remotely close to posing a threat to SDA national security?  Answer:  none.  Why, then, were SDA soldiers over there killing them when they posed no threat to SDA citizens or property?  Answer:  SDA career politicians, and most SDA citizens, love wars of imperial expansion.  Try as I might, I just can't conjure up any sad feelings for people who have been killed while fighting wars of imperial expansion.  In fact, I have some real serious problems with people who do have sympathy for those who murder others. 
Yes, I wrote "murder."  That is what it is you know.  If I shoot you when you force your way through my front door I am engaging in a killing that is justified in order to protect my life and property.  If I shoot you when you are walking down the street and take your shoes from your corpse, I am a murderer.  When the SDA military kills people who are attempting to kill SDA citizens or steal SDA property, that is a morally defensible act of war.  When the SDA military kills people to steal their land (Mexico, Philippines) or to maintain cheap supplies of petroleum (Iraq, Kuwait) or to defend previously stolen property (Pearl Harbor), or to simply meddle in affairs that are none of our business and that will have no impact upon our lives whatsoever (WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea, GWOT) it is engaging in immoral actions.  Those acts of killing are properly called murder.  I can't justify murder.  How do you do it?  How do you sleep at night?  How did you manage to sear your conscience?  Sadly, many of those soldiers who are theoretically defending us from foreign aggression end up killing themselves when they return to the SDA.  They can't live with what they have done "over there."  How can you?
Now all patriots reading this post (still just one or two over the next year if I am lucky) are really mad.  If anyone ever actually responded to this blog, which nobody does, I would have a slew of hateful comments posted to this article.  How dare I call brave SDA soldiers murderers?  Answer:  I don't, God does.  Wars of imperial aggression are immoral.  That is a clear biblical principle.  Nowhere does biblical law ever justify the use of deadly force for non-defensive purposes.  Those who kill for the imperial leader and for imperial expansion are murderers.  That is a logically necessary conclusion.  Let me illustrate this point.  We love to drone on and on about how many brave SDA soldiers have been killed by the "enemy."  Have you ever considered how many of those stinking foreigners we have killed?  I know, I know....they all deserved to die because they would not kiss the rings of our leaders and bow down to us when we walked by.  But still, do you have any idea how many we have killed?  For a list of SDA caused deaths since WWII,  go here.  I will wait.  Check out the link.
Shocking isn't it?  Conservative estimates attribute the immoral deaths (aka "murderers") of 10 million people to the actions of SDA imperialist leaders and their soldiers.  And that is just since WWII.  That total does not include all of the wars from WWII back in history.  Are you beginning to see why so many people living in those wretched foreign countries hate the SDA government with a passion?  Probably not.  You are too blinded by "patriotism" to see SDA imperialistic wars from the perspective of anyone other than your political rulers.  So today you will shed a tear for the SDA soldier who died while defending your freedom.  Meanwhile I will be consuming multiple beers in what will no doubt be a vain attempt to forget how many people the government I live under has murdered around the world.  What a sad day it is.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fixing Robbery With More Robbery

I got home from a golf junket to the golfing sanctuary known as Mesquite, Nevada yesterday.  It was a relaxing time with good friends and lots of golf.  Most people consider playing a round of golf per day for three days a bit of a physical stretch.  We are not most people.  We are superheroes of golf.  We played two rounds of golf per day for three days.  You got that right...108 holes in three days.  We were basically playing from dawn to dusk the entire time.  It was great.  But that is not what I am going to write about today.  I want to write about socialism.
I had numerous newspapers piled up on my kitchen table when I got home.  I sat down and, while having some dinner, glanced through them.  A letter to the editor from Matt and Rianna Royer of Breckenridge, Colorado caught my eye.  It was entitled "End offshore tax loopholes."  Knowing that the use of the phrase "tax loophole" is normally accompanied by a litany of socialist propaganda, I decided to leave my happy place and dive back into the cesspool that is intellectual and economic thought in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  I was not disappointed.  Within seconds I had flown into a rage.  Here is some of what Matt and Rianna had to say:
"All businesses, large and small, should be able to compete on a level playing field.  Unfortunately, tax loopholes have allowed many large corporations to avoid billions in taxes, while small businesses pay what they owe.  We should know.   We run Steamboat Hat Shop in Steamboat Springs and Funs vs Awesome, a retail apparel shop in Breckenridge.  We recently joined other small business owners from across the country to tell our elected leaders that letting large multinationals with armies of tax layers book profits to tax havens like the Cayman Islands is wrong, and hurts our communities.  Congress is now considering whether to renew two offshore tax breaks....which would cost taxpayers $80 billion over the next 10 years.  Those tax dollars could be put to better use investing in infrastructure and education."
Well there you have it.  Matt and Rianna are mad that they are not able to compete with "multinational corporations" on a "level playing field", whatever that is.  They don't tell us what they mean by that so I am forced to figure it out for myself.    Let's consider what they wrote in a bit more detail.  First of all, no business competes with another business on a "level playing field" if, by "level playing field", they mean all things are equal.  What if your competitor is smarter than you?  Is that a level playing field?  Should he be lobotomized to equalize the intelligence between the two of you?  What if your competitor has a slightly better physical location for his business? Should he be forced to give it up because it is not equal to yours?  What if your competitor spends more money on advertising, a deductible expense and a "tax loophole" according to Matt and Rianna, and therefore ends up paying less in taxes?  Should he be sent to prison for not paying his fair share?   The notion of a level playing field is nonsense.  Matt and Rianna should stop whining and start living in the real world of inequality. 
Of course their propaganda is just another version of the small businessman vs the heartless multinational corporation tale of woe.  I wonder....when does a small business grow to the point where it is no longer a small business?  What amount of gross revenues must it have?  What amount of net profit must if have?  How many employees must it employ?  Where, exactly, is that line in the sand that determines which companies are heartless corporations and which are kindly and generous family run operations?  I need to know the answer to this question.  Whether I hate or love a business is entirely dependent upon the answer to this question.
I have another question for Matt and Rianna. Why should a corporation that by their own definition is "multinational" not be allowed to book some of its profits outside the SDA?  A multinational corporation is, by definition, a company that makes profits in other countries.  Why should a corporation that makes profits outside the SDA be forced to pay taxes on those profits to the SDA?  Why is it "wrong" for a corporation to pay a tax to the country in which the profit is earned?  Matt and Rianna do not say.  I wish they would.  I would love to hear the answer to that question.
Matt and Rianna believe that XYZ corporation paying taxes to Timbuktu for profits earned selling widgets in Timbuktu somehow "hurts our communities."   How?  Now I understand that talking about "our communities" sounds real nice.  People like the word 'community.'  It sounds pleasant and sweet.  And these communities belong to us, they are "ours", whatever that means.  I know I sure don't own any community.  But apparently Matt and Rianna do.  Regardless, I have a very difficult time understanding how it is that multinational corporations hurt the communities Matt and Rianna own because those corporations pay taxes to other countries where they are earning profits.  I sure wish they would explain that one to me.
Matt and Rianna know how to use the $80 billion over the next ten years in tax revenues they want extracted from the evil multinational corporations.  They want to spend that money on "infrastructure and education."  They are telling their elected leaders that laws should be made to extract that money from those evil corporations and that it should be spent on those items.  I wonder what they mean by "infrastructure?"  Exactly what do they want that $80 billion over the next ten years to be spent on?  How about a bridge to nowhere in Alaska?  How about a public works project in Louisiana to pay off some political debts?  How about a subsidizing "green" energy sources in Minnesota?  Those all sound like worthy boondoggles.  That $80 billion could be much better spent by politicians and bureaucrats than it can by profit-seeking businesses.  Besides, why should those multinational corporations be allowed to use those profits and expand operations in order to give people what they want for a price they are willing to pay?  Outrageous!
Using the $80 billion over ten years on "education" is a brilliant idea.  If there is one thing we have learned about the government schools over the years it is the fact that the way to fix every problem that exists within them is to throw more money their way.  There is no problem that cannot be fixed with more money.  I can't see any downside to sending $80 billion of corporate profits to the government schools.  Can you?
What we have here is a classic case of envy.  It is a sin.  Matt and Rianna are in sin for allowing their envy to consume them.  They are upset at how much they are paying in taxes.  Good for them.  They should be.  The amount they are paying is highway robbery.  But their solution to the problem of their excessive tax burden is not to work to reduce it.  No.  Their solution is to look around for someone making more than they are and then lobbying the deified government to take even more money from those who are making more.  Look at what they want to do.  They want to solve the problem of excessive taxation by enacting more taxes.  Have they gone insane?
Fixing the robbery that is happening to Matt and Rianna does not involve stealing even more money from someone else.  Who in his right mind would ever consider that to be a proper solution to the problem of excessive taxation?  Of course that is the issue here.  Matt and Rianna are not in their right minds.  They are shot through with envy and incapable of thinking clearly.  They are worshipers of the government and incapable of looking elsewhere for a solution to their tax problem.  So having no idea what to do about their tax problem they decide to lobby their gods to enact rules to steal even more money from their neighbors.  Only then would they be able to feel good about themselves.  That, my friends, is what we have become.  We are nothing more than a nation of envy-ridden, government worshiping thieves.  I should have stayed at the golf course.