San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, May 8, 2015

National Park Service vs US Forest Service....This Time Its Personal!

Go here for the story of the current battle between the National Park Service and the US Forest Service over the future of the Big Ditch.  If you click through to the story you will discover that the article is clearly on the side of the National Park Service on this one.  The headline for the story contains a fine mish-mash of emotive terms designed to sway the reader before he even reads the first word of the story.  The story is entitled, "Forest Service Starts to Pave Way for Massive Urban Sprawl Next To Grand Canyon."  In addition to being clearly biased against the use of articles, the story also clearly takes the side of the National Park Service and the wacko anti-business, environmentalists who support it.  Here is some of the argument that is presented:
"The U.S. Forest Service on Friday began paving the way for a sprawling urban development near the southern edge of the Grand Canyon that would include more than 2,100 housing units and 3 million square feet of retail space along with hotels, a spa and conference center.The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has called the project one of the greatest threats to Grand Canyon in the 96-year-history of the park." Note use of the word 'sprawling,' designed to conjure up images of a community the size of Los Angeles being built along the south rim.  Sprawling comes up again in the next sentence but this time it is even worse.  'Sprawling' is used in the context of rich people and we all know how evil they are.
"The proposal, by the Stilo Development Group, would transform the 580-resident community of Tusayan, Ariz.— which sits near the southern entrance to the national park — from a small, quiet tourist town into a sprawling complex of high-end homes, strip malls, and resorts only a mile from the Grand Canyon National Park boundary. Stilo has partnered with the town of Tusayan in order to obtain the federal permit needed to expand road and utility access through public lands within the Kaibab National Forest so development can proceed. The agency today began moving forward with the process to approve that special-use permit."  
If you have ever visited the Grand Canyon, especially via the southern entrance, you might be wondering what all the fussing is above.  Tusayan is so far from the geographic south rim it seems to take forever to get to the first overlook into the canyon after entering the park.  You would also be aware that lodging options in the tiny town are very limited.  As a result those folks who wish to do more than just drive through the park on a day trip are forced to either pay the inflated monopoly prices for government operated accommodations within the park or find a room in Flagstaff, about 1.5 hours away in good weather.  I have done both over the years and neither one is an agreeable option for me.  I would much prefer to have a wide choice of hotels and motels near the park entrance, just like the situation in Rocky Mountain National Park with its associated entrance town of Estes Park.  Nobody has ever accused the presence of Estes Park as being the biggest disaster for Rocky Mountain National Park in its history so why should development at the south rim of the Big Ditch be any different?  The same thing is true for Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park.  The same thing is true for Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons National Park.  I could give more examples but you get the point.
So what are the arguments being advanced against the development?  They consist of the usual assortment of idiotic, envy-filled, anti-business socialistic ideas.  Here are some quotes for your enjoyment:  "The National Park Service considers the mega-development a significant threat to Grand Canyon because it will require vast quantities of water and could lower the aquifer that feeds seeps, springs, and streams that support wildlife and recreation on the park’s South Rim."  Now that is a very interesting argument.  If you have ever had the misfortune of taking one of the guided tours along the south rim of the canyon you are aware that the Rangers go to great lengths to instill all sorts of environmentalist and evolutionary propaganda into your brain.  One of the things that they have always pointed out to me is the difference between the north and south rims.  The north rim is cut through with many canyons whereas the south rim is relatively smooth.  What is their explanation for this?  They have told me that all water in the Grand Canyon area flows from north to south.  In addition to accounting, in their minds, for the differences between the rims it also follows that water that exists on the south rim does not make its way into the canyon.  On the contrary, it percolates into the aquifer that stretches out southward from the south rim.  How using this water is going to impact the water on the south rim of the canyon is not explained.
Without any basis for the claim whatsoever, those who oppose development go on to assert this about the water, "Groundwater pumping accompanying the development could also lower the aquifer that is the exclusive source of all water for Havasu Falls, the cultural foundation of the Havasupai tribe."  This is always a good one.  Figure out some way to get the Senior Amerikans into the picture and you have won the rhetorical war.  Images of poor Indians wandering about in the hot desert sun with no water to drink while greedy developers sip Whiskey Sours along the south rim is sure to stir up opposition to the plan.  
Not surprisingly, "The city of Flagstaff and regional businesses have already passed resolutions opposing this development, saying that it would negatively impact surrounding communities and Grand Canyon National Park."  Now you might be wondering....why would career politicians in Flagstaff oppose development at the south rim.  More development means more tourists and more tourists means more revenue, right?  Wrong.  Those career politicians and the protected monopoly interests they represent see the development as a direct threat to their monopoly on hotels and restaurant services, and they are right.  So they are doing everything in their power, except tell the truth about their motives, to oppose the plan. 
The writer of the article saves his most pathetic argument for last.  He writes, "This latest development project comes amid concerns from conservation groups and tribal communities about proposals for re-starting operations of a nearby uranium mine and another major resort development right outside the park at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers....'Whether it’s uranium-mining companies or greedy developers some will always see the Grand Canyon as a cash register, not one of Earth’s most awe-inspiring and precious places.  This is a place worth fighting for. We plan to fight shoulder to shoulder with millions of other Americans to defeat this latest scheme to commercialize the Grand Canyon. Shopping malls don’t belong here.'"  That last quotation was from a bleeding-heart liberal who's paycheck is financed by the taxpayers and signed off by the federal government.  Remember the Mad Welshman's first rule of human interaction.  Never expect a person to understand your argument against his position when doing so will reduce the size or frequency of his government paycheck.
The proposed development will not place a Wal-Mart at Phantom Ranch.  Neither will it install cable cars to transport guests to and from the Colorado river.  There will be no strip-malls on the Tonto and no strip clubs on Horseshoe Mesa.  There will be no hotels at Hermit's Rest and no French restaurants at the Boucher trail overlook of the Colorado river.  Those allegedly "greedy" developers are willing to use their own money to make the many visits to the Big Ditch by millions of people each year easier, more comfortable and more affordable and they can do so without impacting the actual confines of the Park one iota.  What can possibly be wrong with that?  Furthermore, if someone owns the mineral rights to some land along the east side of the park, where the Little Colorado comes into the park, and he wants to develop a uranium mine, good for him.  He should be able to do what he pleases on his own land.
All in all this fight serves as a perfect example of how socialists lie about their intentions in order to preserve their government jobs.  The developers have been straight forward in their speech and have described precisely what they would like to do with their own money.  Those who oppose the plan have lied about their motives, created pseudo-scientific arguments out of thin air and done everything they can to make life harder for tourists who visit the canyon.  And amazingly, they have done it all in the name of the tourists who visit the canyon.  They are indeed experts at propaganda.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Other Things Jesus Said

I am constantly flying into a rage as I read stupid people who know nothing about the Bible attempt to justify their sinful beliefs based upon select quotations from Jesus.  You know what I mean.  How many times have you heard that Jesus told us to love one another?  Or how many times have you been informed that Jesus told us to love our enemies?  Or that Jesus told us to judge not, lest we be judged?  Or that Jesus told us that He loves everyone unconditionally?  We have all heard those assertions hundreds of times.  The first three are actually true.  Jesus did say those things.  The last one about Jesus loving everyone unconditionally is something Jesus never said but it still gets a lot of positive press because people like to believe it.
E.J. Dionne Jr, of the Washington Post Writers Group, wrote a piece last week that was entitled "A Senator's Faith -- and Humility" that I found in my Denver Post a couple of days agoEJ, if I may call him that, was happy to tell us a tale about a Senator from Delaware whom he really likes.  Why does EJ like this Senator?  Because the good Senator is a Christian who does not judge anyone or anything.  He just wants to get along with everyone.  EJ loves the fact that Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat, believes it is possible to reconcile Christianity and secular statism.  EJ describes Coons as "a devote Christian and practicing Presbyterian."  It is hard to see any evidence of that profession in what he says about him but I will allow you to be the judge of that.  Here is some of what EJ had to write about Coons:
  • Coons told the crowd that he is uneasy with rigid certainty on religious questions.  He understands that many are skeptical of faith, both because religion has come to be so closely associated with right-wing politics and because the Bible has been used as a document to justify discrimination. 
  • The revered text is, to some, the basis of intolerance, based on outdated teachings and moral codes and has been a source of pain and distance and discomfort for many.
  • Early on he quoted the very Bible others find offensive, noting that Jesus' command in Matthew 25 to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the imprisoned had driven him throughout his life.
  • And he offered this:  When I think about this country's founding, the central tenet of secular governance, I also think about the importance of doubt and of humility. 
What is not to like about Senator Coons?  He is just adorable.  I think I will join his fan club.  But first, let's take a look at what he has said.  Coons is "uneasy" with "rigid certainty on religious questions." That reminds me of the person who once told me that he had no problem with me as long as I was seeking the truth but the moment I told him I had found it I became a harsh and intolerant religious bigot.  It seems as if everyone loves those who profess to be seeking truth and universally despise those who claim to have it, especially if it is Christian truth.  Coons believes that the Bible has been used "as a document to justify discrimination."  The rather obvious intimation here is that Christians believe homosexuality is sinful because the Bible says that it is.  That, according to Coons, is discriminatory.  So Coons simply ignores the obvious biblical teaching that homosexuality is sinful.  Ignoring the clear teachings of the Bible is something one must do if one wishes to be popular with EJ and other members of the secular government.
In another veiled reference to homosexuality, and probably abortion as well, Coons declares the Bible to be filled with "outdated teachings and moral codes" that have been a "source of pain and distance and discomfort for many."  Boo Hoo.  Is it not fascinating that when Jesus says to love our enemies everyone believes that is not a part of the biblical text that is "outdated" but when He says that He is the only path to salvation that assertion is a part of that intolerant and outdated moral code?  Just who decides which parts of the Bible apply today?  Even more importantly, what is the rational basis for the decision about what applies to our lives today and what does not?  It sure seems to me that people like Coons and EJ make their decisions about what applies and what does not exclusively upon whether they agree with what Jesus said or not.  That means they place themselves as final arbitrators of truth and proudly stand in judgment of Jesus and what He said.  That is a dangerous place to be.
EJ believes the Bible is offensive and should never be quoted.  Even referring to the Bible is hurtful to so many tender-hearted, God-hating sinners that EJ believes it should be banished from the public square forever.   But EJ loves Coons because he quotes a portion of the Bible EJ likes. What does Coons quote?  Coons quotes Matthew 25 where Jesus ostensibly told His followers to "feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the imprisoned."  This passage is taken out of context and that is not what Jesus was saying but EJ likes it because it turns the Church into a public service organization.  Everyone loves the Church when it is a public service organization, just like how everyone hates the Bible when its outdated moral code is trumpeted as authoritative over the lives of God-hating sinners. As long as Christians are giving their money to bums and providing places for those bums to spend the night when it is cold, people love Christians.  But don't think for one moment that any Christian ever has the right to address matters of public policy and, even more important, remember that the Bible is permanently banned from all such discussions when they do come up. 
EJ concludes by praising Coons for his emphasis upon the importance of "doubt and humility."  I have always loved that argument.  It has been used against me many times.  People who are engaged in debate with me will tell me that I must finish each of my assertions with a phrase that goes something like this, "That is what I believe but it is probably wrong and I really have no idea what I am talking about so please feel free to ignore everything I have said."  I find it wildly ironic that my opponents never make statements like that after they make confident assertions about how the Bible is outdated and contains an immoral moral code.  I guess the sword only cuts one way in the mind of a secularist.
Although Coons and EJ do not like it, Jesus said a lot of things that upset the apple cart.  Besides the things already mentioned, Jesus insulted Nicodemus by mocking him for his lack of knowledge about the Bible.  Jesus rebuked Peter by referring to him as "Satan."  Jesus disrespected Herod by speaking of him as a "fox."  Jesus disrespected the Temple guard by entering the Temple and engaging in a violent act of cleansing during which He overturned the tables of the money changers.  Just a day or two before Jesus told His disciples to "feed the poor" He had also called the Pharisees a "brood of vipers" and declared that they would not escape the sentence of hell.  Seven times He calls them hypocrites.  One of my personal favorites of Jesus' statements was when He affirmed the Law of Moses and declared that parents have the right to execute their incorrigible juvenile delinquents.  So many times I have wished that people today would follow that teaching of Jesus.  Just imagine how the modern problem of gang activity would be ameliorated if the parents of gang members had them all killed.
EJ and Coons are a perfect illustration of what happens when God-hating secularists who also happen to worship at the throne of government attempt to talk about biblical Christianity.  They demand, in the name of secularism, that Christians lay down their spiritual arms and adopt their methodologies and presuppositions prior to entering into discussions in the public square.  They pretend that such behavior is somehow morally neutral and they praise self-professing Christians who agree to do what they demand.  Sadly, many Christians have bought into the myth of neutrality and believe that it is somehow possible to ethically engage non-believers in some sort of ethically neutral universe.  Those who do are praised by the world for their humility and doubt.  Those folks should remember some other words of Jesus when He said, "I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Education Does Not Make You Rich

I am sick and tired of hearing people confidently declare that getting a college degree practically guarantees a person will make more money over his lifetime than those who do not get college degrees.  As a lifelong janitor who does not sport a college degree on my wall, although I did waste some money on a couple of classes before I figured out I could make more money by cleaning those classrooms than by sitting there and listening to the government approved drivel coming out of the mouth of the professor, I resent the allegation that I will never become a millionaire simply because I have not attended a government approved institution of higher learning (ha, ha, ha,....I can't help but laugh when I write is kind of like military intelligence) and received a piece of paper from that institution informing anyone who cares that I attended classes on Mexican American studies and underwater basket weaving. 
I read an article on yesterday that was exactly of this sort.  I quote it entirely here:
"Americans with an advanced degree are 50 times more likely to become millionaires than those without a high school diploma, according to a new study.  In a paper, William Emmons, a senior economic advisor, and Bryan Noeth, a lead policy analyst, both at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' Center for Household Financial Stability, found that wealth and income is 'strongly linked' with education.  The likelihood of a family without a high school diploma having at least $1 million in wealth in 2013 was 1 in 110, compared with 1 in 20 for high school graduates. It was 1 in 4.6 for college graduates and 1 in 2.6 for families with a professional/graduate degree, according to the study."
"The median family without a high school diploma had 81 percent less income and 95 percent less wealth in 2013 than the median family with a graduate/professional degree. The median income for those without a high school diploma in 2013 was $22,320, down 1 percent from 1989; for those with such a diploma, it was $41,190, down 16 percent.  For those with a two- or four-year degree, median income was $76,293, down 5 percent, and for those with an advanced degree median income was $116,265, up 4 percent. (All dollar amounts are adjusted for inflation.)  Between 1989 and 2013, accumulated wealth increased 45 percent for families with a professional/graduate degree, to $689,100. It increased by 3 percent for those with a college degree, while dropping by 36 percent for those with only a high school diploma and 44 percent for those without a high school diploma.  Granted, other factors can play a role in the link between wealth and education, including family wealth and inheritances. And there is no guarantee that more education brings more wealth. But the study said that education and wealth 'are highly correlated' and are likely to become stronger in the coming years."  (Story found here.)
I do not have to own a college degree to know that correlation and causation are two different things.  The fact that the study concludes that a college degree and annual salary are "highly correlated" tells me nothing.  Although I do not know if anyone has done the study I suspect that I could find a high degree of correlation between a college degree and being a statist.  I also suspect there is a high degree of correlation between having a college degree and participating in the state sacrament of voting.  I am thoroughly convinced that there is an extremely high degree of correlation between a college degree and being a college football fan.  Along with that correlation goes another between a college degree and the amount of beer one consumes annually.  All of these are fun things to talk about, or to argue about at the bar while we are slamming beers, but they tell us nothing about the real world in which I live.  In fact, studies such as this do exactly the opposite.  Studies like the one cited above create false hopes and expectations in people who believe that going to a government approved college somehow magically means they will eventually become millionaires.  A lot of people are in for a shock.
I expect to be one of those one in twenty high school graduates who becomes a millionaire.  My janitorial business continues to grow and with discipline and dedication to an investment program there is no reason why I should not attain that goal.  Not having a college degree does not hinder me in my pursuit of millionaire status one iota.  'Iota,' by the way, is a Greek word used by intelligent people to express the idea of smallness or insignificance.  See, I don't even need a college degree to talk like a college educated person.   On the contrary, if I had taken the money I used to capitalize my janitorial business and spent it on a college degree I would have seriously set back the time table for my future millionaire status.  I didn't graduate with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.  Instead, I took that ten thousand dollars and used it to be capital equipment and supplies.  That seems like a far more productive use of those funds than wasting them on a degree I would never have used.
I don't have anything against those people who wish to become indentured servants to the owners of their student loans and go to college.  I am sure they will have a jolly time extending their high school years by four to six more years while they pursue their degree.  They get to party and hang out with members of the opposite sex.  They get to attend football games and drink beer.  They get to engage in all sorts of diversions that keep them away from the real world.  But eventually they will have to grow up and enter the free market, that is, if they do not want to go straight from college to the welfare rolls or their parent's basement.  According to Pew Research, 36% of all adult children aged 18-31 are living with their parents.  A full 50% of those adult children own college degrees.  Go here for the proof.  I wonder how their millionaire plans are working out.  Maybe they are spending all that time in the basement doing something other than playing video games.  Maybe they are concocting a sure-fire way to predict the future direction of the stock market.  Good for them.
There are times when a college degree makes sense.  If you are seeking to be an engineer or a scientist it is very important to obtain a degree in your chosen field of interest.  There is great utility for a Bachelor of Science degree. But what about a Bachelor of Arts?  Who has ever actually used such a degree, other than to qualify yourself to teach the same useless information to others?  If you are a trust-baby and you will never have to work a day in your life I guess it makes sense to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree if you really have an interest in one of the arts.  Although the article I quoted above did not make the distinction, I suspect that those college graduates who went on to become millionaires were holding Bachelor of Science degrees and not Bachelor of Arts degrees.
The bottom line is that a person does not become a millionaire because he has a piece of paper from a government accredited institution.  A person becomes a millionaire because he works hard in a field that has many customers who value and want his work.  It is also a requirement that one have a long term time horizon and a commitment to a disciplined program of regular investment in order to become a millionaire.  These qualities are qualities that allow folks to graduate from college with degrees as well as succeed in serving others in the free market.  There is indeed a correlation between a college degree and the higher income but the cause of the higher income is hard work, discipline, a long term time horizon and the free market.  Make no mistake about it, a person becomes rich in this life because of his efforts,  not because of government programs.  Government approved degrees have nothing to do with future wealth.  Don't believe any government-loving statist who tries to tell you otherwise. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

None Dare Call It Non-Racism

I have not been paying particular attention to what has been happening in Baltimore recently.  It all seemed eerily reminiscent of Ferguson and my weak heart is not up to another barrage of calls for the government to make racism illegal.  Baltimore is a city that is far away from me.  I can't recall  anything good coming out of Baltimore since the collapse of the Baltimore Orioles teams from the 1960s and 1970s.  Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell were impressive ball players.  The starting rotation of Dave McNally, Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar and Pat Dobson was impressive.  Those guys all threw close to 300 innings a year.  Ah yes, I do remember when pitchers were real pitchers and went out and pitched every fourth day without complaint.  A reader of this blog told me recently that the 1971 Baltimore Orioles pitching staff had 71 complete games that year.  He also pointed out that, at the current pace, the sum total of all pitchers for all MLB teams this year will have ~50 complete games by season end.  Sissies, all of them.
So it was with some hesitation that I read an article about the Baltimore riots in my newspaper yesterday morning.  It told me the same old story.  Baltimore is a city in decline because the top 49% of the taxpayers in this country greedily want to keep their money rather than sending it to government agents in Baltimore.  The reason Baltimore has problems is because not enough taxpayer dollars are flowing into the city coffers.  More money for education will solve all problems.  A lady named Caneisha Mills was quoted as saying, "The good feelings (about the indictment of six police officers) won't last unless the criminal charges are followed by much more than guilty verdicts.  We need education centers, social programs and counselors."  All of that got me to thinking.  Just how much of my money has been sent to Baltimore in recent years?
I didn't have to wait long for my answer.  I was watching Bill O'Reily last night and it was the first point he brought up in his show.  Here is what he said, "For the past 48 years, Democrats have controlled the city of Baltimore. During that time, the city's population has fallen 30% and the poverty situation has grown more intense. During the last five years, the federal government has poured billions of dollars into the poor areas of Baltimore. Total taxpayer money given: $1.8 billion. The result: Not much improvement. So either the money is being stolen or the Democratic administration in Baltimore is so incompetent that, despite billions in funding, poverty and hopelessness remain entrenched. It is the behavior of individual people, not big daddy government, that leads to success. And touting that message is free of charge. Poor Americans trapped in ghettos have a right to be furious, but their anger should be directed at the corrupt, dishonest politicians who are lying to them."  So there it is.  $1.8 billion has been poured down the rat hole that is Baltimore and all we have received in return is rioting and charges of racism.
But the problem is that this is not a case of racism.  It is amazing to me but the media seems incapable of overcoming its bias in favor of declaring racism to be the cause of everything that happens in this sinful country.  After reading the story about how many blacks in Baltimore have taken to the streets to demand  more of my money because whitey is keeping them down I scanned down to the bottom of the page.  There, to my shock and amazement, I saw the photographs of the six cops who have been arrested and charged in the death of Freddie Gray.  Guess what?  Three of the six are black.  Indeed, the man actually charged with murder is black.  And not only that, one of the six cops is a woman.  And a black woman to top it all off.  How can the death of Freddie Gray be racially motivated when half of the cops allegedly responsible for his death are the same race as he was?  Even more significant, from my view, is why is this story not being told?  What is the real story here?
The real story, as should be obvious to all, has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with police brutality.  Police brutality is at the core of all of these stories.  Racism has little to do with it.  Baltimore, a city of 623,000 people, is 64% black.  Baltimore has a black mayor who also happens to be a woman.  Baltimore is controlled by the Democratic party.  Baltimore has received billions of dollars in welfare payments and still finds itself in abject poverty.  If there is a city in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika where black people can say they are well funded and control their own destinies it is Baltimore.  Yet all I am hearing is that whitey is responsible for all of the evils that currently exist in Baltimore, including the murder of Mr. Gray.  Hogwash, all of it.
Law and order Republicans do not want to tell the story of police brutality so they readily adopt the racism angle on these stories.  Welfare statist Democrats desperately want more taxpayer dollars so they play up the racism angle in these stories in what are generally successful attempts to get more of my cash.  It seems as if all the media power brokers have an incentive to gloss over the real issue here.  Police brutality is the issue but very few people want to discuss it.  Nobody dares to say that what is taking place around this sad land has little or nothing to do with racism and everything to do with renegade cops who are drunk on power and addicted to the use of their militaristic weapons against a docile citizenry.  But even that observation does not tell the entire story.
The reason cops are rampaging all around this disgusting land, beating up and killing citizens at will, is because they have been given the responsibility of enforcing hundreds of thousands of immoral laws that criminalize practically everything we do.  Why just today I found out that if I hang up my Christmas tree lights this Christmas I will be breaking the law prohibiting the use of that particular type of light.  It seems the federal government has determined that I am stupid and the lights are unsafe so they have been banned.  I suspect that the real reason for the ban is economic.  Some Senator or Representative has a brother in the Christmas light business who could not compete with the high quality Christmas lights being imported from China and sold, quite inexpensively, at Wal-Mart.  A law had to be made and it had to be justified as being in the public interest.
My point, unlike the laws we live under, is simple.  There are too many laws criminalizing too many moral activities.  Many of the laws contradict each other.  Here, however, is where it gets personal.  Do you know why there are too many laws?  You should.  You are the cause.  Every time you clamor for a new law you become a part of the problem.  Every time you complain about a "do nothing" Congress you are a part of the problem.  Every time you elect a career politician because of the laws he promises to create and enforce you are the source of the problem.  Every time you participate in the state sacrament of voting you become a part of the problem.  In the SDA we, the citizens, get exactly what we want and what we all clearly want is more laws and more criminalization of our activities.  Enjoy the country you have created, just don't insult me and call my opposition to it racism.  We both know better than that.

Update:  May 6, 2015

A reader sent me this quote about today's post, "Nor is scarce funding necessarily the issue. According to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Education, Baltimore in Fiscal Year 2012 spent an average of $15,287 on each elementary and secondary school student, an investment that ranked Baltimore third, behind New York and Boston, on the list of top spenders among the country’s 100 largest school systems by enrollment. And yet recent studies have shown only 16 percent of Baltimore’s eighth graders score at or above grade level in reading, only 13 percent for math."

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bitter Ironies

Life in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika is filled with bitter ironies.  It is impossible to live in a land where the citizens worship the career politicians who rule over them while, at the same time, demand those career politicians create an ever increasing body of laws to regulate every aspect of their lives without getting to the point where we are today.  Laws are created to appease special interest groups and buy votes from the members of those groups in exchange for future payments of taxpayer dollars.   Given the fact that there is no rhyme or reason for why laws are made other than the pursuit of other people's money it is inevitable that conflicts will arise.  Today I want to write about just a handful of the bitter ironies that have risen to the top of my closed little mind as I sit here at my keyboard.
  • Have you all seen the video of the mother in Baltimore who went down to the street and gave her teenage son a smack-down because he was participating in the street riots?  If you haven't you might want to Google it and watch the video.  But turn the audio down, in addition to smacking her son repeatedly in the face she is also bombarding him with a series of F-bombs.  I later learned that this lady is a good church-goer.  I wonder what her doctrine of swearing is?  At any rate, the overwhelming response to her actions is positive.  People everywhere are writing about how this mom is a perfect example of what we need in this country today to stop the problem of teenage gangsterism.  Now compare this mom's actions to those of Adrian Peterson.  Peterson was fired from his job with the Minnesota Vikings, where he was making millions of dollars a year, because he struck his disobedient child with a wooden switch, raising a welt on his bottom.  The overwhelming response of the public to Peterson's discipline of his child was negative.  Now, I wonder, why has the public responded so differently to what are essentially the same two actions?  I suggest it is because Peterson's discipline was consistent with biblical teaching, and therefore hated, whereas the Baltimore mom's discipline directly contradicted the biblical injunction forbidding striking another person in the face and therefore is loved.  Whether my theory is correct or not does not really matter.  It is bitterly ironic that Peterson is perceived as a devil while the Baltimore mom is a paragon of virtue.
  • Do you remember the case from a year ago when a father forced his kid to get out of the car and walk the remaining mile to their home?  He did it as an act of discipline.  Every parent I have ever known has threatened to kick the kids out of the car and force them to walk home at one point or another.  Of course under the terms of the SDA Nanny-State, that action is now illegal.  The man was arrested and charged with child abuse.  In a bitterly ironic twist on that case a mom contacted the cops last week and had them arrest and hand-cuff her young son for his disobedient behavior.  The cops were willing to go along with the ploy in an attempt to scare the boy straight.  Photographs have circulated around the internet of the boy crying like a little baby as the cops lead him off to the squad car, his hands smartly cuffed together.  The overwhelming response to that image has been positive and the mom has been lauded for her loving parental discipline.  What is the difference between the two actions?  I believe it is simple.  When the dad in the first case disciplined his children he did not first ask for the permission of the government to do so.  Therefore he was punished for his transgression.  In the most recent case however, the mom obtained permission from her government handlers in advance.  As a result her behavior is highly sanctified and held up as a model for all of us. 
  • I recently learned that the State of Nebraska is suing the State of Colorado because of Colorado's legalization of marijuana.  Apparently Nebraska government regulators are upset that the costs involved in enforcing the laws against marijuana in their state have gone up as a direct result of marijuana legalization in Colorado.  They want the citizens of Colorado to pay for the costs of their laws against marijuana in their state.  Does it get any more ironic than that?  The marijuana laws are filled with irony.  In Colorado there was a person, I do not know who he was, who was arrested for having marijuana just before the day it became legal to have marijuana.  He would have been arrested twice before for possession of marijuana and, as a result of Colorado's "three strikes and your are out" law, he would be serving decades in prison.  He is sitting in some Colorado prison as I write this sentence.  The very next day after he was arrested for possessing marijuana another fellow who had also been arrested two times previously walked into a marijuana store and bought some.  He is a free man today.  See the irony?
  • If I go down to the local marijuana store today and purchase an ounce of marijuana and then drive to the Nebraska border I must be very careful.  If one inch of my body goes over the theoretical line dividing Colorado from Nebraska I become an immoral drug-trafficker.  Once I cross back over that line into Colorado I am a moral citizen of my home state.  I am thinking about driving out to the border this afternoon, bag of marijuana in hand, and skipping for several miles along that line with one foot in Colorado and one foot in Nebraska.  I want to feel what it is like to be highly immoral and highly moral at the same time.
  • Want to know how much of your money has been spent on the SDA's "War on Drugs?"  Go here for the report.  According to this report from Fox News, the SDA has spent over $1 Trillion on the drug war in the past 40 years.  That makes the SDA's war on drugs the longest and most expensive war in the sad history of this militaristic country.  After 40 years of war, what has the SDA government gained for its efforts?  Go here to find out.  Scroll down to item # 107 where you will find a chart showing how the use of government disapproved drugs in this country has changed over the past ten years.  You will notice that despite the efforts associated with the war on drugs the use of "illicit drugs" by the citizens of this country continues to climb.  How ironic is it that despite the fact that all the efforts to prosecute the war on drugs have resulted in an increase in the use of those drugs targeted for elimination, those who are prosecuting the war continue to call for more money and more arms for their efforts?  Wouldn't you think that after spending $1 Trillion someone might say, "I give up?"
  • Peter Rose is banned from baseball for life because he bet on games while A-Rod is being heralded as a great player, despite his repeated use of PEDs and his continual lying denials about his use of PEDs.  How ironic. 
  • The Bronco's first round draft choice is being forced to participate in the NFL's drug scrutiny program because he was in possession of marijuana, an action that is legal in Colorado.  If he is found in possession of marijuana again he can be fired from the Broncos, losing millions of dollars in the process, for possessing a legal commodity like corn or hog jowls.  
Look around.  It is everywhere.  Logical consistency does not exist.  The hodge-podge of laws that make all our lives so miserable also create a wonderful plethora of bitter ironies for us to enjoy as we are being carted off to prison for our particular offenses.  What a joy it is to be a citizen of the SDA.