San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, June 20, 2014

Going Out Of Business

{UPDATE:  August 12, 2014
Since I ceased posting my brilliant witticisms to this blog about a month and a half ago something strange has happened.  I have been attacked by hackers!  I wish I knew enough about computers to wage a counter-attack but I do not.  Some idiot put up a link on a post I did about Tiger Woods.  If you click on the link it will take you to a website where you can buy a book about him.  I couldn't remove it.  Today I discovered that all of my 600 posts are infected with some sort of pop-up window that asks you to book a vacation with their service.  I have no idea what to do with that issue.
So I will do what I did with the Tiger Woods post.  I will curse those who have attacked my blog.  Because I believe in the God of the Bible and because the God of the Bible defends His people from attack, I know that when I properly curse someone it will work.  People today have forgotten what it means to curse.  Cursing today is nothing more than constantly spouting F-bombs, as if anyone cares about that word anymore.  A good biblical curse will bring about God's providential judgement upon the person who is cursed.  Now that is something I can sink my teeth into.
Of course for a curse to be biblical I must be in the right.  In other words, I must be a true victim of another person's sinful behavior.  People curse each other all the time but it is rarely the case that either of the disputants is actually on the moral high ground.  Trespassing on my blog is a sin.  I have not given these people permission to trespass on my blog.  They are sinning against me every time anyone looks at my blog.  The biblical punishment for trespassing can vary depending upon the amount and type of damage done by the trespasser.  In this case the damage is minimal so the curse will be minimal.
To you who are attacking and hacking my blog I say this:  May your blogs be hacked and attacked.  May your computers breakdown and may your revenue streams earned in this immoral fashion dry up.  God will not be mocked.  Expect His providential judgment.}

Today marks the 600th post to my blog.  I started this blog back on January 1st of 2012.  Since then I have enjoyed 30 months of trying to put up five articles per week that readers might enjoy or find disturbing and irritating.  I had no idea what might happen when I started this blog back then.  I hoped that people would find what I wrote to be interesting.  I hoped that people would come back to read more of what I had to say.  Alas, my hopes were not fulfilled.  I am not surprised by my failure.  I fail at most things I attempt.  It is the Welsh way you know.
I had 462 "pageviews" my first month of blogging.  I know that is nothing like what the successful bloggers see but I thought it was pretty good for just sitting down one day and opening a blog.  I resolved to keep putting up posts as long as the number of page views continued to grow.  They did.  By September of 2013 I had risen to where I had 2,577 pageviews that month.  Then something changed.
Maybe I started to repeat myself.  Or maybe I started to repeat myself.  Over and over I might have been writing the same things.  Or maybe I just ended up having nothing of value to say.  Or maybe I do have things of value to say but nobody wants to hear them.  Or maybe none of those things are true and it is just a big strange world where nobody should ever expect to have a blog that continues to grow pageviews over time.  At any rate, and for whatever reason, I have experienced a steady decline in pageviews since September of 2013. I am now getting less than 1,800 pageviews per month and that number continues to decline. 
When I first started I immediately signed up 15 "members".  My member count as of today remains at 15.  In other words, after over 44,000 total pageviews of my blog nobody has considered it worth signing up for.  I find that hard to believe.  Certainly at least one of those folks who visited my blog should have thought it was worth signing up for.  After all, I think I am brilliant.  I think every day's post is worth reading.  I think the 600 posts to this blog contain some of the most brilliant economic, political, social and theological analysis written in recent times.  Quite clearly I am the only person who thinks that way.
I clicked around Blogspot the other day to see how other bloggers were doing.  There are lots of blogs about puppies and kittens.  There are lots of blogs about quilts and baby pictures.  There are some Christian blogs about the Rapture and Israel.  All of the blogs I saw had hundreds of members and thousands of pageviews every single day.  That was a sobering thing to realize.  So I concluded that one of two things  must be true.  Either I am a very poor blogger or what I blog about has a very small audience.  I think the latter is true of course, but who am I to say?  I am as self-aggrandizing as the next bloke.  I will always think that what I have put up here is good and I have enjoyed putting it up.  But now it is time to quit.  Good-bye and thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Why I Am Not A Libertarian

I am sometimes confused for a Libertarian.  I can understand why the handful of people who read this blog make that mistake.  Unlike Democrats and Republicans, and like Libertarians, I believe in freedom.  Unlike Democrats and Republicans, and like Libertarians, I don't believe in either the welfare state or the warfare state.  Unlike Democrats and Republicans, and like Libertarians, I believe the state should be restricted to an extraordinarily small sphere of influence in our lives.  Having so much in common with Libertarians makes it sound as if I am one.  Today's post is dedicated to proving that I am not.
It is not that I have anything against the Libertarians.  Or, at least, I don't have any more against them than I have against Democrats and Republicans.  Some of my friends are Libertarians.  I like to go to their conferences and watch their television shows.  Like most groups of people I have discovered that some of them are arrogant jerks and some of them are very nice.  Okay, maybe more Libertarians are arrogant jerks than other groups of people happen to be.  But it goes with the territory.  We need to forgive the arrogant geniuses.  Of all the political classes in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika the Libertarians are most near the truth.  Being right most of the time breeds arrogance.  It is to be expected although it is never to be condoned.
I like the Libertarian principle of non-aggression.  I agree with them that all violence that is not defensive in nature is necessarily  immoral.  I also agree with them that it is an immoral act of aggression to use the government to steal from my neighbor.  It is never right to rob my neighbor to pay for my bills, even if the majority of those who vote say that it is.  The principle of non-aggression ensures that we leave each other alone and mind our own business.  I like that, a lot.  No, my problem with the Libertarians does not really revolve around what they do believe.  My problem with the Libertarians revolves around what they don't believe.
Libertarians do not believe in God.  That is not to say that some individuals who might classify themselves as Libertarians do not have some sort of belief in some sort of god.  When I assert that Libertarians do not believe in God I mean they do not believe in the God of the Bible.  You know the God I am writing about, He is the one that truly exists.  I suspect some Libertarians would take exception to what I just wrote but they would be wrong.  How can I say that?  Because belief must translate into action.  Maybe some true Libertarian actually believes in the true God but if he does not also believe in the Law of God, and no practicing Libertarian does, he cannot be a true believer.  The Law of God is the issue.  No Libertarian believes in the Law of God.  Democrats and Republicans don't believe in the Law of God.  In fact, most professing Christians do not believe in the Law of God.  And that is the problem.
A person who believes in the Law of God is called a theonomist.  Theonomists believe that the Law of God contained in the Bible should be the law of the SDA.  As you might expect there are very few theonomists in the SDA.  I happen to be one of them.  That puts me in pretty select company that does not include any of the Libertarians.  Why?  Because although we share many doctrines and laws in common, we do not share the belief that God Himself can be personally offended by the behavior of men.  Furthermore, we do not share the belief that it is the duty of the government to punish those who offend God by violating His law.
The principle of non-aggression covers a great deal of God's law.  But it does not cover all of it.  Some parts are left out.  For example, God is personally offended by homosexuality.  He decrees that people who engage in homosexual sex are to be executed by the government.  Libertarians find that reprehensible because they do not believe in a God who is personally offended by any behavior that is consensual and that includes homosexual behavior.  God is also personally offended by adultery.  God's law decrees death as the proper penalty for adulterers.  Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians all agree that people should be free to commit adultery, so long as it is consensual, as much as they want with no involvement by the civil authorities.  That is because all three of those groups agree that God's law is irrelevant.  They believe that God has no opinion about human adultery and that He is not in the slightest bit bothered when government fails to punish it.  All three groups are in for a big surprise.
God also says that He is personally offended when men blaspheme Him.  He calls for their execution when they do.  He expects the government to bear the sword and execute the blasphemer.  Yep, you read that right, God's law is in some respects just like life in a fundamentalist Muslim country.  There is one huge difference however.  Christians worship the true God, Muslims do not.  But we both agree that those who blaspheme God are to be put to death by the civil authorities for doing so. We just disagree about who that God happens to be.  Now you can see why there are so few theonomists in the land.  We had a few back in New England in colonial times but they are only discussed these days when folks are looking for egregious examples of religious intolerance.  They were actually able to pull off a few executions before government decided to abandon the Law of God in favor of the law of man.
The French Reformer named John Calvin was able to execute quite a few blasphemers in his time.  The most famous of those executed in Geneva while Calvin was ministering there was probably Miguel Servetus.  Just Google "Servetus" to see the long list of horror stories describing how Calvin brutally murdered Servetus by having him burned at the stake.  Everybody today agrees that Calvin was a monster for what he did to Servetus.  Well, almost everyone.  I don't.  Back in those days people took blasphemy seriously.  Today they don't.  I can't recall the last time anyone was burned at the stake for blasphemy.  Folks tell me that God has changed and is no longer offended by having His name blasphemed but I am not so sure.  I guess we will all find out in the end.
So there you have it.  Don't ever confuse me for a Libertarian because I am not one.  I believe in God, I believe in all of the Bible and I believe that God has not changed His opinion about what is right and wrong as well as how people who break His law should be punished.  That makes me a hated theonomist.  So be it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Possum Hunting

According to this report out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, "two teens sharing a private moment in a school parking lot were chased away in a hail of gunfire by an armed campus cop. The disturbing incident took place when a boy and girl parked in the darkened lot of Eliot Elementary School at 1:30 a.m. on May 25th. The overnight patrol officer saw the car and initiated a confrontation.  The teens were caught 'doing something that they shouldn’t have been doing' according to Chris Payne, an official from Tulsa Public Schools.  The officer demanded the embarrassed teens produce identification and started asking questions that they reportedly did not want to answer. The young male, 17, evaded the questions when he allegedly tried to drive away.  In response, the TPS officer drew his weapon and opened fire.  The vehicle was struck in the rear left tire but neither of the teens were hit. The officer claimed his life was somehow in danger from the motion of the vehicle.  It is unclear how attempting to kill a driver while a vehicle is moving could have improved his safety. Even if the officer succeeded in killing the driver, the vehicle would have kept moving and the supposed threat would continue to exist.  Shooting at moving vehicles is categorically irresponsible in nearly every circumstance.  Mr. Payne had to sheepishly explain that campus cops 'are real police officers' complete with guns and officer certifications."
What is wrong with this situation?  There are so many things wrong I hardly know where to start. Still, I will try.  Why do the taxpayers in Tulsa believe it is necessary to pay a costumed police officer to patrol elementary schools in the middle of the night?  What could possibly happen at an elementary school at 1:30 in the morning, besides a couple of teenagers making out, that would require the services of a costumed and armed cop?  Indeed, why are the services of a costumed and armed cop, authorized to use deadly force whenever he feels "threatened", required to patrol school grounds looking for sexually active teenagers?  When did the sexual activities of teenagers become the business of the cops or the school district?  Please help me to understand.  Why is the sexual immorality of teenagers anyone's business other than theirs and their parents?   Furthermore, why is fleeing the scene of sexual immorality, or attempted sexual immorality (we don't know if they were successful in committing the crime), an offense that justifies the use of deadly force?
The answer, of course, is that the overpaid, overweight (I am just making that up but what else does a cop do at 1:30 in the morning besides eat donuts?) enforcer of the regime's rules felt "threatened" by the behavior of a couple of amorous teenagers.  This brave man in blue felt threatened when Junior tried to drive away from him.  Note that Junior was driving away from him, not towards him.  How could this brave and heroic public servant, who puts his life on the line every day he puts on the badge, have misinterpreted the attempt of a teenager to drive away from him as the same thing as an assault on his life?
I also want to know why that cop has not been arrested for attempted murder.  It was only his totally predictable inability to fire a gun with accuracy that kept those teenagers from being killed.  If a regular citizen had done what this cop did he would first be arrested, then he would be tried and then he would be sent to prison.  In addition, the parents of the teenagers who were attacked would file civil suits against the man wielding the gun and he, his family, the gun manufacturer, the holster manufacturer, the company that made the shoes he was wearing, the company that made the cartridges and the company that installed the lights in the parking lot where the teenagers were making out.  All of those suits would have been settled out of court and the parents of those two teenagers would have become very rich.  Why is that not happening in this situation?
I have a solution to the problem of teenager promiscuity.  I used to practice it as a teenager myself.  My buddies and I used to go out on Friday nights to go possum hunting.  Or at least that is what we told our parents.  Do you know what possum hunting is?  It is chasing parked cars.  More precisely, it is coming up behind cars parked in obscure places where teenagers go to make out and harassing the occupants of the car.  We would sneak up behind the car, in the dark, and pound on the steamy window of the car.  When one of the occupants rolled down the window we would inform him that we were from the "safety patrol" and wanted to make sure they were not stranded.  That always killed the mood and the two amorous teens would generally leave the premises immediately.  Who knows how many unwanted pregnancies we prevented?  We told ourselves it was in the dozens.
So how about this...rather than sending armed cops to shoot teenagers out parking, how about reviving the ancient tradition of possum hunting?  Nothing harmful ever came from it.  Unwanted pregnancies may have been prevented and the possum hunters always got a nice laugh out of the "kill." 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Living In A Nation Under The Rule Of Tyranny

Tyranny is defined as "a cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control."  The phrase "rule of law" is defined as "the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws."  I have a question for you today.  Do you believe that we live under the rule of law or do you believe that we live under tyranny?  I believe most red-blooded, patriotic, flag saluting, war mongering citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika would assert that we live under the rule of law.  Our rulers tell us that we do all the time.  But I believe that most citizens and our rulers are wrong.  Let me explain why.
I was reading a tax law publication the other day.  It had a facetious and rhetorical question heading up one of its paragraphs.  Here is what the question said, "Do you think you can rely on an IRS publication to beat a penalty?"  I suspect most people would answer that question in the affirmative.  If you use the information contained in an IRS publication to prepare your tax return  you should not be penalized if the information in that publication turns out to be in error.  Once again, most people would be wrong.  Here is what the article said in response to the question which was about how to avoid penalties when rolling over IRA accounts: "The prior Tax Court decision conflicts with an IRS proposed regulation and Publication 590, both of which say the rule applies on an IRA by IRA basis.  Still the Tax Court says that the IRA owner owes a 20% accuracy related penalty.  In its view, IRS publications are not substantial authority for positions taken on returns."
So there you have it.  The IRS prints various Publications which are designed to tell taxpayers how to prepare their returns. When a taxpayer prepares his return in exact compliance with the rules described in that Publication he can still be found liable for an error and forced to pay a 20% penalty for that error.  The IRS assumes no liability for that error whatsoever.  What do you call that if not tyranny?
The government, and its agents, are permitted to lie to you at any time and in any place.  Cops, District Attorneys, Judges, all members of the legislative branch and all members of the executive branch are permitted to lie to us when they believe it is a matter of law enforcement or national security.  We have been lied to constantly.  We are being spied upon daily and every single branch of government responsible for that activity continues down to this very day to deny that they are doing it.  They can lie with impunity.  You, on the other hand, are required to tell the truth at all times and in all places.  Failure to tell the truth to members of the law enforcement cartel or the various branches of the government regime that rules over us can land you in jail for a long period of time. That is tyranny.
Government can change the law at any time.  Indeed, King Obama has gone so far as to assert that the law is whatever he says it is.  He issues Executive Orders which make changes to law all of the time.  We have no idea what the law is going to be from day to day.  Our King tells us that we all live under the rule of law but he lies.  He does not live under the rule of law. Congress does not live under the rule of law.   Congress almost always exempts itself from all of the new laws it creates.  This is standard practice in government.  Government makes laws that the citizens are expected to obey while the members of government who made that law are free to do as they please.  That is tyranny.
Under the rule of law the laws would be predictable and knowable.  They would make common sense.  Citizens would not be surprised to discover how many capricious laws they violate every single day.  You should not have to turn yourself in to the law enforcement cartel every single day for violating some obscure rule.  Did you leave a ladder leaning against the side of your house after your roof was re-shingled?  If you did not you broke the law.  Do you know at what age, or what weight, your child must switch from looking backwards in the car to looking forwards?  If not, you have probably broken the law.  Did your son get a commercial sales license to sell golf balls for fifty cents each prior to hauling his chair and bucket of balls out to the seventh tee box at the golf course near your home?  He was in violation of the law.  When laws are  not knowable and predictable they are tyrannical.
Did you know that the government can make laws and then apply them retroactively?  It is against the Constitution which expressly forbids the retroactive application of any statute.  That, of course, does not matter to those who rule over us in the SDA.  The Constitution was abandoned long ago.  Congress routinely enacts new laws and then states that the application of that law will extend back in time to some previous point.  The IRS does this all the time.  It is wrong, it is immoral and it is tyrannical.
Are things as bad as they could be in this warped and corrupt land?  Of course not.  We could be in Kenya where militant Islamists go from door to door shooting anyone who claims to be a Christian.  But are things bad?  Yes, they are.  Compared to what this country started out being and compared to what this country was supposed to be things are horrific.  We are not the land of the free. We are the land of the bound and we are bound by the tyrannical rules of those who lead us.
What should we do about this?  Should we throw off the shackles in a civil rebellion?  Should we take up arms against the government?  No, I believe there is only one thing we should do.  We should shut up and suffer in silence.  Like lambs lead to slaughter we should keep our eyes down and our mouths closed and allow those who rule over us to whip us into submission.  After all, we are only getting what we deserve. We are in this position because every envy-filled man in this land uses the government to pick the pocket of his neighbor.  We are getting exactly what we deserve for our envious ways so shut your mouth and stop your whining and take your punishment.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Absurdity Of Life In The Socialist Democracy Of Amerika

I sat down and opened the first section of my Sunday Denver Post today.  In just the first three pages of the newspaper I read several articles that overwhelmed me with the sense that life in the SDA is ridiculously absurd.  As a Welshman who appreciates logical consistency it also angered me beyond belief.  But that is my problem, not yours.  Allow me to tell you about the absurdity of modern life in the SDA.
The headline article for the Sunday edition was entitled "Holding The Bags" and was an expose on the amazingly irrational practices associated with dealing with profits from marijuana sales.  As you are aware, marijuana is legal in the state of Colorado.  As you are also aware, marijuana is illegal in most of the rest of the SDA.  This paragraph from the article sums up the situation quite well:  "The surreal scene of law and order guys transporting cash from recreational and medical marijuana sales to a state government office could only happen in Colorado, where the ambitions of a lucrative but risky business run headlong into the realities of trafficking in a product still illegal under federal law."
Most folks outside Colorado do not realize it but marijuana companies are prohibited by law from using banks.  Because banks are subject to federal laws and rules it is illegal to deposit the profits from the sales of marijuana into them.  That means all marijuana companies are being forced, by the law, to operate as all cash businesses.  That means they have tons of cash all over the place in their stores.  It also means they have to pay their tax bills to the state in cash.  And, as you have probably already guessed, it greatly increases the risk of robbery.
Although the power to regulate substances like marijuana is nowhere to be found in the Constitution of the United States (the precursor to the SDA) and despite the fact that all powers not granted to the federal government were retained by the states, the federal government in a gross over-reach of authority and power has made it extremely risky and dangerous for marijuana store owners to do business in Colorado.  The Governor of Colorado should announced that all marijuana store owners are free to use any bank they want and if the federal government does not like it they should meet our militia at the state border.  That, of course, will never happen.  How absurd.
The other "above the crease" headline in the Sunday paper was "Four in Ten higher-risk rigs aren't inspected."  The sub-headline said, "Feds struggle to keep pace with drilling boom."  In case you are not aware of it, Colorado is experiencing a significant boom in oil and gas drilling.  It is not on the same scale as North Dakota but it is big.  As a result lots of new oil and gas well are being drilled.
Here is how the article introduced us to the alleged problem of uninspected well sites:  "Four in 10 new oil and gas wells near national forests and fragile watersheds or rigs otherwise identified as higher pollution risks escape federal inspection, unchecked by any agency struggling to keep pace with America's drilling boom."  Now here is my question....if these well sites have truly not been subject to any federal inspection, how do they know that they are "higher pollution risks", whatever that means?  It seems to me that if one is going to conclude that a well site is a "higher pollution risk" that conclusion must be based upon some prior inspection.  Otherwise how would anyone know?
There are additional problems with the article.  What difference does it make where a drilling rig is located?  What possible difference does it make if it is next to a national forest?  What difference does it make if it is next to a "fragile watershed"?  Furthermore, what is a "fragile watershed"?  How can a watershed be fragile?  I don't understand any of this Orwellian double-speak.  Do you? 
The article was clearly written from an anti-capitalist perspective.  The article was clearly written from a pro-government perspective.  The article was clearly written from a perspective that despises profit seeking corporations.  The article was also clearly written by someone who has no comprehension of how fracking operates.  As I pondered the situation I realized that many citizens in the state of Colorado are calling for the federal government to over-reach its constitutional authority, as well as violate states rights, in order to shut down profit seeking oil and gas companies.  How strange.
The top of page two of the newspaper had a brief article entitled "Iran President Prepared to Aid Iraq in Fight."  I trust the absurdity of this headline is not lost on any reader of this blog.  I trust I do not even need to explain it.  If you do not immediately see the wild absurdity of that story go here.
The third page of the paper was a full page advertisement.  The fourth page had only one article on it.  It was entitled, "President Urges College Grads to Act Against Climate Change."  The article began by telling me that King Obama had addressed a group of graduates at the University of California Irvine.  In his speech he had declared that "denying climate change is like arguing the moon is made of cheese."  Well, I guess I believe the moon is made of cheese.  Our King was further quoted as saying, "They say, 'Hey, look, I'm not a scientist.'  And I'll translate that for you:  What that really means is, 'I  know that man-made climate change really is happening but if I admit it I will be run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot."  The King exhorted the faithful to overcome the recalcitrance of the non-believers and use the power of the federal government to tax the high income minority of the country and force them to pay for enormous government boondoogles in the name of fighting climate change, whatever that is.
My climate has already changed today.  It is warmer now than when I sat down to write today's post to this blog.  Is that climate change?  Is that man-made?  What is it my King wants me to do about it?  The lack of verbal and scientific precision in the words of our King is astounding and absurd.  The propaganda techniques he uses are not worthy of a kindergarten student.  And yet it plays well to a group of college graduates.  Now that is absurd.
I need to stop reading the paper.  Every page I turn has another stupid article written by an idiot describing things that have nothing to do with real life and everything to do with increasing the power of government in our lives. Every page is filled with articles that are filled with logical inconsistencies and absurdities.  It is enough to make a person break down and cry.  But I won't.  The Welsh usually only cry while watching romantic comedies at the theater.  We are a emotionally stout group of people.  And that is a good thing.  It takes a lot of emotional toughness to weather the absurdities of life in the SDA.