San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bill O'Reilly Hates Ron Paul

I was watching the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News a couple of weeks ago when he asked a question of his guests.  I forget who was sitting at the desk with him but there were two people there.  He wanted to know if they would be willing to have dinner with Ron Paul.  I think we can see where his question was leading. Ron Paul, as everyone no doubt is aware, was a libertarian-leaning Republican congressman who recently retired.  He was the fellow that, when the House votes were counted, was the "1" who voted against what the other 400+ congressmen were in favor of.  Ron Paul operated under the principle that if the proposed bill could not be squared with the role of the federal government as defined by the Constitution of the United States, he would not vote for it.  As a direct result of his commitment to the Constitution of the United States he rarely voted for any of the bills that were proposed as new laws for the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.
Now at first blush you might be prone to believe that O'Reilly would like Ron Paul.  Both are considered to be staunch conservatives on many issues.  Both are anti-abortion.  Both believe in a strong defense.  Both believe in a balanced budget.  Both want to see a smaller federal government that burdens its citizens with less rules and regulations, thus promoting economic growth.  Although they might have some differences on minor matters it is not hard to believe that O'Reilly would be honored to have dinner with the retired congressman.  But such is not the case.  Although both of Bill's guests said that they would be honored to dine with Paul, Bill made it very clear as he adamantly asserted that he wanted no part of a dinner with Ron Paul.  Do you know why?  Let me tell you.
Despite his assertions to the contrary, Bill O'Reilly is a practitioner of the religion of Statism. But don't take my word for it.  Here is what Bill himself said, in a loose paraphrase as best as I can remember it three weeks later, "I would never sit down to eat with Ron Paul because he was a do-nothing congressman.  In over twenty years in the House of Representatives Ron Paul never sponsored a bill except one to name a library in his district.  He opposed every bill that was put before him, even those bills put before him by Republicans.  I want nothing to do with Ron Paul."  Ah yes...now we have arrived at the heart of the matter.
Bill is no more of a conservative than King Obama is.  The only difference between King Obama and Bill O'Reilly is that they have joined different political parties.  Other than that they are identical.  Both want to keep their parties in power forever.  Both want to control both the Congress and the White House.  Both will do whatever it takes to obtain and maintain political power in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika. Both will pander to the voters to get what they want. Both will say whatever they need to say to get their guy elected.  Both believe that the federal government is all powerful, all knowing and all good.  In a word, both are committed to the religion of Statism.  The only difference is that one is a Pharisee and the other is a Sadducee. Bill's animosity towards Ron stems directly from the fact that Bill believes that Ron was not a "team player."  He would not do the things that needed to be done to support the Republican party in its efforts to control all federal political power.  Bill hates the fact that Ron operated on the principle of constitutionalism rather than Republican party cronyism. 
Bill, and other "conservatives" like him, talk all the time about the importance of reducing the regulatory burden that has been placed upon citizens of the SDA by an overreaching federal government.  Immediately after making that pronouncement they then go on to lambast the most recent congressional session as a do-nothing session because an insufficient number of new laws were created and signed into law.  Apparently the conservatives like Bill O'Reilly are just too stupid to see that they are contradicting themselves.  At least the "liberal" party in the Statist religion is willing to admit that they believe people can be saved by creating more laws.  It makes sense for them to celebrate when a congressional session creates more laws that the previous one.  But the conservative members of the priesthood should be smart enough to realize that new laws makes new regulations which makes for bad business and a growing leviathan government.  They can't have it both ways and yet they try to.  Why?
The answer to the "why" question is simple.  Politics is about power and power alone.  It is not about statesmanship.  It is not about adherence to the Constitution, as Ron Paul's career so clearly proved. It is not about protecting the rights of the minority or doing what is good for the country.  It is not about engaging in limited wars for defensive purposes only and, at the same time, reducing political barriers to engaging in wealth creating trade with citizens around the world.  No, politics is about power.  Bill O'Reilly knows that.  He also knows that Ron Paul is all about anti-power.  That is why he will never invite him to dinner.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I Feel Unsafe....Quick, Call The Government!

On March 27th I posted an article to this blog about how safety is overrated.  An overarching emphasis upon safety is always a sign of a society that is in decline.  Risk taking is crucial for growth of all types including personal growth, economic growth and cultural growth. As government grows however, a powerful tendency towards stagnation always emerges.  The impetus for that stagnation comes from those who are in power who want to ensure that they will always stay in power.  Under the influence of that desire for continuity of the present power structure a strong fear of change inevitably emerges.  One of the best weapons to use against change is the concept of safety.  With the right propaganda campaign it is possible to convince most of the sheeple living under a government power that change is dangerous and unsafe.  Safety programs will then abound, each designed to keep things exactly as they are.
A reader of this blog sent me a piece of paper produced by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  Apparently she had paid a visit to someone who is a member of that society and they were talking about how to best care for her children.  There were two "handouts", one for the parent of the child and one for the child.  They were basically the same, with a couple of interesting differences that I will mention later.  For now let me consider the advice given by the quasi-government organization to parents in this fearful land.
The AAP describes itself, in part, in this way, "The AAP advocates for access to health care for all children, adolescents and young adults. The AAP believes that each child should have a 'medical home' --a model of health care where care is accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate and culturally effective. The AAP works with government, communities and other national organizations to shape many child health and safety issues."  In other words, the AAP is a lobby group dedicated to taking my money and using it for its own purposes. What are its purposes?  Consider this, "AAP recommendations form the basis of pediatric preventive health care. The AAP issues policy statements, clinical reports, technical reports and practice guidelines on a broad range of topics. The AAP collaborates with two other organizations to produce the annual recommended immunization schedules for children and adolescents used by schools, public health agencies and pediatricians."  
If this were strictly a voluntary organization I would have no problem with it, regardless of the content of its recommendations for child care.  The fact that my tax dollars are used to fund some of its activities is nothing more than legalized theft.  Last year the AAP operated on a budget of $106 million.  Roughly half of that budget was spent on salaries for employees, leaving about $56 million to do whatever it is they do.  Government grants made up $16 million of the operating budget for the year.  That is $16 million too much.  Nevertheless, this blog post is not about wasteful government spending.  It is about the obsession for safety in our society, some of which can be found within the AAP.
The parental handout included many innocuous exhortations for parents including, "Spend time with your child" and "Know your child's friends and their parents."  The only thing that concerns me with advice of this sort is what it reveals about the enormous superiority complex to be found among those who write such things.  Do they really believe we are so stupid we do not know that it is a good idea to spend time with our children?  
Leaving that aside the worksheet also enforces all of the government approved bans upon what should be legal and moral behaviors.  The "Make sure your child knows how you feel about alcohol and drug use" exhortation would blow up in their faces in the homes of Welshmen.  There are two reasons for that.  First, we don't really care how we "feel" about drug and alcohol (as if it is not a drug) use.  What we think about alcohol and drug use is much more important.  Second, the Welsh train their children from a very early age to use drugs responsibly.  Young children are introduced to alcoholic beverages at a tender age and shown how to enjoy them responsibly.  In that sense we are continuing the historical practice of the American Puritans who would not send their children off to school each morning without a fortifying glass of mead.
The section entitled "Violence and Injuries" is the one that angered me the most.  Here were the rules to be found there:
  • "Make sure everyone always wears a seat belt in the car."  The choice to wear a seat belt is a personal choice and should not be mandated by government.  I always wear mine and would require my children to do so as well but the current state of government rules and regulations related to child safety seats are agonizingly overreaching and burdensome.  They should all be abolished.
  • "Do not allow your children to ride ATVs."  I wonder if this was written after Amy Van Dyken's accident?  Of all the potentially dangerous physical activities a child could engage in why should this one be singled out?  The list did not say to not allow your children to jump out of airplanes or put on a wingsuit and jump off a cliff.  I wonder why?  Personally I despise ATVs.  I would much prefer that everyone in the universe be required to hike when they are in the backcountry rather than allowing them to ride around on noisy machines.  But my preferences do not matter.  I am not the center of the universe and everyone is free to do whatever they want to do, regardless of what I might think about it.  My kids would never ride an ATV, at least not while they are under my authority, but if you want to allow your children to do so, go for it dude!
  • "Make sure your child knows how to get help if he is feeling unsafe."  A child will naturally go to his parents when he feels unsafe.  All but the most criminally abusive parents are aware of this fact.  That is not good enough for the AAP. Although they do not come right out and say it, what they mean here, I believe, is if a child "feels unsafe," whatever that means, they should go to a government employee (teacher, guidance counselor, or, worst of all, a cop) for help.  My advice to my child is to avoid all government employees like the plague.  They are the danger.
  • "Remove guns from your home."  My personal favorite.  Guns are patently unsafe and they all must be banished forever.  A child is far more likely to be injured by hundreds of household items before he will ever be injured by a gun, as it sits passively in a corner of the bedroom closet.  Does anybody detect a bit of anti-gun bias in this exhortation?
The handout for the child contained two additional items under the "Violence and Injuries" category. They were:
  • "Wear protective gear including helmets for playing sports, biking, skating, and skateboarding."  How did I survive my childhood without a helmet?  How did you?  
  • "Healthy dating relationships are built on respect, concern, and doing things both of you like to do."  My first thought about this exhortation is why is it listed under the category entitled "Violence and Injuries?"  Are most "dating relationships" associated with violence and injury?  I don't know since I didn't "date."  Furthermore, my children will never "date."  But thanks for the advice.  I know I feel a lot safer now than I did before.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cycling Wars

It is springtime and the roads and bike paths are choked with cyclists training for all of the various tours and races that are coming up this summer.  I am a cyclist.  I come from a family of cyclists.  I have three brothers, all of whom raced as amateur cyclists at some point in their lives.  Although I have never raced a bike I have been riding the roads on my bike for 42 years and I have logged tens of thousands of miles over that time.  I have ridden the majority of the total miles of mountain highways in the state of Colorado.  All this is to say that what comes next is not coming from the mouth of a rank amateur who has no experience with the confrontations that take place between cyclists and drivers.
Jon Weimer wrote a letter to the Denver Post today in which he took up the common complaint about rude cyclists and the need to give them traffic tickets for their violations of the law.  He wrote, "I am all for establishing better protected bikeways in the Denver area.  However, along with the privilege of obtaining more access for bicyclists should come responsibility on the part of bicyclists, an attribute of which I see precious little.  Coasting through stop signs and stop lights, going the wrong way on a one-way street, riding three or four abreast on a narrow road or street, and riding down a sidewalk at breakneck speed are all too common...there isn't a day that goes by that I don't see at least one motorist being pulled over by the police,while I've yet to see a bicyclist stopped by the police." 
I understand Jon's frustration.  Cyclists are jerks.  All cyclists are totally depraved individuals who are incapable of doing anything but sinning and who believe the entire world revolves around themselves.  Add to that the pride that comes along with the sense of being the next Lance Armstrong and we have a perfect prescription for confrontations between arrogant jerk cyclists and motorists.  I see cyclists behaving with great disrespect and rudeness for motorists all the time.  Cyclists will purposely delay cars by the way they ride and then engage in the practice of obscene gestures when the motorist finally manages to fly past them on the road.  Cyclists swear at motorists, and other cyclists, all the time.  They are an arrogant, selfish, hate-filled group of idiots for the most part. 
That having been said I must hasten to point out that people who drive cars are not immune from the impact of the doctrine of total depravity.  Drivers are equally capable of arrogance, anger, hatred and contempt for those they see riding bicycles on the roadways.  Given the fact that most drivers fly into an immediate rage when the car in front of them is one nano-second late in accelerating after a red light changes to green it is not a surprise to discover that they also are quick to fly into a rage when they have to slow down and lose precious seconds while attempting to pass a cyclist riding along the side of the road. I have been sworn at, cursed, called unimaginable names about my alleged sexual practices, hit, had things thrown at me and forced off the road by one fellow in a large truck who came completely off the roadway in his attempt to hit me while I stood beside my bike taking a photograph.  So when it comes to sinfulness both cyclists and drivers are guilty.
There is one difference between the two groups however.  Of the two groups I believe cyclists are the dumbest.  If a confrontation takes place between a cyclist and a motorist we all know well in advance who is going to win.  It is not physically possible for a car and a bike to tangle and for the cyclist to come out on top, unless you mean unconsciously sprawled out on top of the hood of the car.  Despite this rather obvious truth cyclists continue to confront and, in many cases, provoke drivers.  I just don't get it.  So let me tell you a little bit about my approach to cycling and my relationship with those who are sitting behind the wheel of an SUV weighing thousands of pounds and coming at me at 70 miles per hour.
My goal, whether I am driving my tiny little car at a speed equal to or less than the posted speed limit or riding my bike on the roadway is to get and stay out of your way.  I am never in a hurry.  You are always in a hurry.  I am not an important person.  You are a very important person.  I get it.  The world really does revolve around you and I am satisfied with that truth.  That is why I have made it my goal to never, ever delay you, if it is within my power to do that.
When I am on my bike and I have an interaction with a motorist I seek to do everything I can to make it so that the motorist does not have to do anything to react or compensate for my presence.  I often ride a bike path near my home that intersects various roadways as it meanders along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  When I approach those intersections I scan the roads looking for cars and, if I find one, I adjust my speed so that I will arrive at the intersection either before or after the motorist arrives.  My goal is to make it so that the motorist does not even know I am there.  My goal is to do nothing to hinder the progress of the motorist in any fashion.  Even if I am out doing a hard ride and close to setting a personal best for that day I will often stop completely, at least a hundred yards away from the intersection, and allow the car to pass before I enter the intersection.  My goal is to be invisible to motorists and I can usually accomplish that goal.
There are times however where I become visible to cars.  One day a couple of years ago I had a most interesting ride.  I was riding the aforementioned bike path as I approached an intersection.  I noticed that there was a cop sitting in his car on the other side of the intersection.  The legal thing for me to do at that point, since I was riding on a path and not the road, would have been to stop at the intersection, push the button on the traffic light and wait for it to turn before proceeding.  I could see cars coming which would be required to stop for me while I crossed the road but if I sped up just a little bit I could cross the road without having to hinder traffic at all.  I sped up.  As I crossed the intersection the cop turned on his bull-horn and rather nastily yelled at me for not stopping.  He did not issue me a ticket but the fact that I had managed to not impede the flow of traffic was lost on him.
Later that day I was almost back home when I came to a four-way stop sign.  The cops words were still ringing in my ears.  There was another car approaching the four-way stop.  Under normal conditions I would have blown through the stop sign so the car would not have to waste even a second waiting for me to come to a complete stop.  Okay, I will admit it.  I was mad that the cop had yelled at me so I followed the law and came to a complete stop.  That forced the car to have to lose a second or two as he waited for me to stop and start up again.  As he came by me he rolled down his window and gave me a fine cursing out for the fact that I stopped and delayed his progress.  As usual, I kept my eyes forward and ignored him.  After venting his anger upon me he accelerated away.
I have an open comment for Jon.  Jon, when I hop on a sidewalk or go through a stop sign or go the wrong way down a one-way street I do it to avoid coming into contact with people just like you. My goal is to avoid you at all costs.  So please don't call me a criminal for the fact that I consider you to be more important than myself and the fact that I modify my behavior, to my loss, to make your life easier.  Oh, and by the way, I know lots of cyclists who have received tickets for running stop signs or red lights.  I have also been the subject of radar while riding my bike and, although not given a ticket, I was pulled over and warned for doing 25 mph in a 20 mph zone.  The fact that I was going 5 mph over the speed limit in order to make myself invisible to the cars in the area was lost upon the cop who pulled me over. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter Sermons Filled With Lies

The Easter weekend was very busy and I did not get a chance to sit down with my Sunday edition of the Denver Post until last night.  What I read propelled me into an immediate rage.  I was barely able to sleep last night as I contemplated the many nasty things I wanted to write about the article that graced the front page of the newspaper on Sunday morning.  Let me tell you about it.
The article was entitled "Messages of Hope" and it went on to describe what all the Christian preachers in the Denver metropolitan area were going to preach about on Easter Sunday.  Now I don't have anything against hope.  After all, it is one of the three cardinal virtues.  In fact I have often argued that hope is the forgotten step-sister in the triad of faith, hope and love.  I don't think hope gets enough press so I would be happy if preachers around the Denver metro area decided to commit a Sunday to preaching about the doctrine of hope.  But that is not what happened, as you will soon see.
The first paragraph of the article informed me that, "After a year of turmoil overseas and at home, Denver area preachers, pastors and priests plan to present a message of rejuvenation and renewal at services on Easter Sunday."  At this point I was beginning to feel the bile rising up in the back of my throat.  The focus of Easter is the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the reason His resurrection is so vitally important is because it provides those who believe in Him a ransom from their own sin.  The Bible mentions nothing about the difficulties associated with imperial wars of aggression overseas or race riots in midwestern cities in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Indeed, the Bible is utterly unconcerned with the impact of trivial matters such as those upon people who live within the land.  I did not like the way this article was going.  As expected, it got worse.
"Some Christian leaders," I read, "will invoke events that made headlines during the past 12 months, most notably the racial strife ignited in Ferguson, Mo, in August, in their words to the faithful.  Others plan to stay with a more universal Easter message, celebrating the resurrection of Christ while urging congregants to see the good in the world and in each other."  I exploded.  My mac and cheese went flying across the kitchen table and onto the floor where the dog quickly lapped up the chunky pieces. 
The "universal message of Easter" is indeed that Jesus is alive but where in the world does it follow that because Jesus is alive we should all go forth and "see the good in the world and in each other?"  There is none who is good, not even one.  There is none who does right, not even one.  All men are utterly and totally depraved and incapable of a single good deed.  The endeavor of seeking the good in self or others will always end in complete frustration because there is not one inkling of good to be found in anyone.  The message of Easter is indeed that Jesus is alive and because He is alive He is able to save some men from their sin.  But to immediately jump to the doctrine of men's original innocence and natural goodness positively guarantees that no person will ever come to repentance and faith in Him. It eviscerates the entire message of Easter.  But it got worse.
Thomas Wolfe was a featured preacher at the annual Easter Sunrise service at the Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver.  I have thought about going to that service for all of the 36 years I have lived in the Denver metro area.  To date I have not gone.  The primary reason I have not attended, in addition to it being just too early to get up in the morning, is my expectation that biblical truth would not be preached and a man-centered service of man worship would take place.  What did Mr. Wolfe have to say to "the faithful?"  He said, "The power of the Easter message is in its ability to awaken in people the realization that the capacity for change rests within them.  The hope is that people discover that capacity for hope within themselves."  My dog and wife had left the dining room.  I was  now sitting by myself, fuming in a rage that was approaching uncontrollable.  I sought to calm myself with thoughts of the Rockie's opening day victory over the Brewers.  That helped a little.  I reached for a serving of Welsh rarebit and chomped on it for a while.  That brought my pulse down below 100 bpm.
Can a leopard change its spots, asks the prophet Jeremiah?  The anticipated answer to his rhetorical question is NO!  Can a man change his sinful nature?  NO!  Can a man discover a capacity for hope within himself?  NO!  As I considered the absurd heresies that were being spouted by allegedly Christian preachers on Easter Sunday it occurred to me that they were all perfect examples of the ministry of the False Prophet.  If you do not know who the False Prophet is you will have to look it up as I don't have time to explain it here today.  Nevertheless, all of these men who were standing and publicly speaking on behalf of the God of the Bible were in fact hardening men in their sins and supporting and enabling them in the worship of their real god....civil government and the men who operate it, praised be its name.  I concluded that most Easter sermons in Denver were filled with lies and those who make the spiritually suicidal decision to believe those lies are now bound for hell, unless God gives them the gift of repentance prior to their exit from this sin-filled life.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Government Employee's Lives Matter, Ordinary Citizen's Lives Do Not

I was reading my Denver Post last week when I came across an interesting article.  It was entitled, "CDOT's annual Remembrance Day pays tribute to those struck down while working."  The story went on to describe several pitiful human beings whose relative's lives had been cut short by working for the Colorado Department of Transportation. These pitiful folks told the sad stories of how their now deceased kin-folk had worked as highway repair people up until the moment they were struck by a vehicle and killed on the job.  Inevitably the murderous villains behind the wheel of the death cars were either drunk, elderly or an air-headed teenager sending a text to her friend saying, "Where are you now?"  The entire article sent me spiraling into depression.
I learned that "in 2013, there were 11 crashes, resulting in 14 work-zone fatalities in Colorado....There were nine crashes last year, resulting in 10 fatalities."  I also learned that, "Nationally, more than 600 people are killed and 37,000 injured in work-zone crashes each year."  I also learned that, "CDOT's annual Remembrance Day ceremony was held in conjunction with National Work Zone Awareness Week.  The names of the dead are highlighted this time every year because road work is beginning in earnest and crews are especially vulnerable."  At this point I was on the verge of becoming ill.  Let me tell you why.
As I pondered all of the public mourning that was taking place it occurred to me that I was being robbed.  That's right.  I was being robbed.  Why should I be forced to pay, as a taxpayer, for the statist religious ceremony celebrating the lives of those government employees who were cut down while working along the side of the road?  Why is any of this my business?  Why should there even be a newspaper article about it?  Why should the survivors of those government employees not be afforded the honor of grieving in private, like the rest of us do when we lose a loved one?  Why are the lives of those who work for the government more worthy than those of us who do not?  Why should the mere fact that a person worked for the government bring about a state of affairs in which the government creates an annual, taxpayer funded, memorial service that is observed throughout the entire Socialist Democracy of Amerika?  As I pondered these questions I stopped being depressed and started to become angry.  Here is why.
10 government employees were killed while working along the side of the road last year in Colorado.  600 government employees were killed while working along the side of the road last year in the SDA.  While those lives were being snuffed out 726 cyclists were run over and killed by errant motorists.  I checked back over several years, to 2001, and discovered that that number of deaths was amazingly uniform.  For the past fifteen years about 60 cyclists per month have lost their lives while pedaling along the side of the roadways of this sad land.  Now here is the rather obvious question....why are we not celebrating the lives of those cyclists?  Why are the taxpayers not funding an annual service to remember the brave fallen cyclists?  If anything the loss of life while cycling is more tragic than the loss of life while working along the side of the road.  The workers had to be there, the cyclists volunteered to ride along the road.  Why should someone who volunteered to ride his bike down the road not be honored for his courage and sacrifice after his life is taken away by a drunk driver or an air-headed teenage driver? 
Even worse, as I probed the data, last year 4,743 pedestrians were struck and killed by motorists.  Where is the celebration of their lives? Where is the national day of remembrance for them?  It was then that it hit me.  There is only one difference between the people who were killed while working along the side of the road and the people who were killed while cycling or walking along the side of the road.  Have you figured it out?  Right!  One class works for the most high and holy government of the SDA and the other two classes belong to the lowly hoards of peons.  I can only come to one conclusion as I survey the statistical truths I have related to you above.  Government employees lives matter but the lives of ordinary citizens do not.