San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, May 15, 2015

Is Vegetarianism Our Future?

Charles Krauthammer penned an article this past week that was a profound departure from his usual warfare statist drivel.  Instead of calling upon the Republican career politicians of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika to declare war upon some hapless third world country he chose to write about a prediction he is making about the future of this country.  In particular, Chuck, if I may call him that, predicted that the future eating habits of SDA citizens will tend toward vegetarianism.
Chuck wrote that despite the fact he is a meat eater, he can conceive of the possibility that at some point in our near future the great majority of the citizens of this hungry land will come to the conclusion that eating meat is the moral equivalent of slavery.  You read that right.  Chuck argued that future generations will see our current practice of meat eating as equally morally objectionable as looking back upon slavery has been to our generation.  Now I am not dismissing his argument off-hand.  Indeed, I think he could very well be on to something.  Wild-eyed animal rights activists set aside, it seems to me as if more and more people are coming to the conclusion that we should not be slaughtering animals merely to pursue our own culinary delights. 
Bruce Friedrich, policy director for the animal protection organization known as Farm Sanctuary, responded to Chuck's column by writing, "Remember, other animals are made of flesh, blood and bone, just like human beings are.  They have the same five physiological senses that we do, and they feel pain in the same way, and to the same degree."  Bruce's argument is most interesting.  It seems as if he draws the conclusion that an animal's sensation of pain is directly equivalent to our sensation of pain simply because we both share the "five physiological senses."  I don't see how that necessarily follows.  It seems to me as if Bruce is ignoring the huge influence of consciousness in the perception of pain.  The conception of pain  is not merely a matter of being aware of it by means of our senses.  I know in my case the anticipation of pain, the initiation of pain, the meditation upon the actual pain, the hope for the cessation of pain and the ability to recall the sensation of pain from the past all play a part in my current perception of pain.  Animals are incapable of each of those items because animals are not capable of self-consciousness.
I do not deny that many animals have conscious thought.  That truth seems evident to all who study animal behavior.  What I deny is that animals have the ability to engage in self conscious thought.  Animals can think but, unlike humans, they are incapable of thinking about the fact that they are thinking.  The inability to think about the fact that they are thinking would, I believe, decrease the overall perception of pain in their lives.  I therefore conclude that animals do not experience pain in the exact same way we do. 
Bruce goes on to argue that, "Most of us would agree that eating a dog or a cat is morally unconscionable, but there is no rational difference between eating a dog or a pig, a cat or a chicken.  And yet the average American consumes about 30 of these animals every single year -- most of them after a horrible life and violent death.  The choice for anyone who opposes cruelty could not be more clear -- a vegetarian diet."  I believe anyone not blinded by the propaganda of the animal rights activists can see through this bogus argument rather easily.  Eating a dog or a cat is not an immoral act.  Bruce is correct that there is no rational difference between eating a pig or a cat.  He is wrong when he declares that eating a cat is immoral (simply because we keep them as pets) whereas eating a pig is not (simply because we do not generally keep them as pets).
Bruce's assertion that eating animals is immoral seems to go beyond the argument first made by Chuck.  Chuck never came out and said that eating animals is immoral.  He could not do so without declaring his own meat eating an immoral practice.  On the other hand, he did draw the direct equation between eating animals and the practice of human slavery.  Both Chuck and I agree that slavery was immoral.  Slavery is a sinful action that is forbidden by the Law of God as found in the prohibitions against kidnapping and theft.  Although there were some Christians who attempted to defend slavery as a moral institution, any examination of God's law forces us to conclude that it is, and was, indefensible.  But such is not the case with the eating of meat.
I am one of those who believes that prior to the historical event known as the Flood, human beings did not eat meat.  God created the earth and gave its inhabitants food to eat that was all purely vegetarian in nature.  Then Genesis 9:3 records, "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant."  This passage records a part of the instructions given to Noah by God immediately after the flood.  It seems fairly obvious that a change in eating habits is being described.  Prior to the flood men were vegetarians.  After the flood men could eat meat.  Indeed, the dietary laws given to Moses all proscribe the eating of particular meats.  It is therefore impossible to argue that eating meat is immoral since God does not command men to engage in immoral activities. 
Nevertheless, I am sympathetic to Chuck's argument.  I enjoy meat as much or more than most folks.  But I also have found a distinct change in my perception and feelings about the death of animals over the years.   As a young man I enjoyed hunting and I enjoyed the thrill of the kill.  Not being a very good hunter I was never able to kill anything larger than a bread basket but I shot and killed many baskets full of squirrels, rabbits, dove, quail and grouse.  Then one day, when I was around 30 years of age, I had an opportunity to kill a beautiful bobcat.  I had a clear shot, at close range, to a standing target.  As I drew down on that magnificent looking beast I suddenly was overwhelmed by the desire to do nothing.  I dropped my gun and he wandered off into the woods.  I never regretted that decision to let him live. 
I live among hunters and I admire the skill they display in their craft.  I also enjoy eating the foods they prepare from their kills.  I do not shed a tear when an animal is killed.  But I am finding, more and more as the years go by, an increasing anger at the reality of death in this world.  We were not made to die.  The animals were not made to die.  Nothing was made for the purpose of death.  But because of the sin of my ancestors (original sin), passed on to me and the world in which we live, the reality of death surrounds us.  God has made provision to redeem us from the curse of this death, both physical and spiritual, in the death of His own Son, so that none of us need experience eternal death.  But that does not mitigate the fact that physical death still exists.  It surrounds us and it is an enemy, or at least that is how the Bible describes it.  I Corinthians 15 says, in part, "For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be abolished is death....O Death, where is your victory?  O Death, where is your sting?"
I hate death and yet I live in a world encompassed by it.  But I don't hate death enough to give up eating meat.  On the other hand, like Chuck, I can envision a day when  most people will hate death to the point that they make the voluntary decision to stop killing animals for food.  It is not a moral decision but it is a rational one. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Atheists Want State Protection From Christians

I was reading an article in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago that I had forgotten about until today.  At the time I made a mental note to write a blog post about it but, my puny little mind being like a sieve these days, the mental note quickly flittered away and I moved on to other ideas.  While sitting here today, wondering what to rant about, I remembered the article.  It was in my Denver Post and it told the sad tale of how many atheists in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika feel picked upon by those of us who are not foolish enough to declare that God does not exist.  I made a half-hearted effort to find the article so I could place a link to it in this post but I was unable to find it.  If you are interested I am sure you can find it with a diligent search.  The particular leader of the group of atheists who was being interviewed was telling the reporter how he had observed the startling success of the homosexual media campaign in recent years.  He noticed how homosexuality has gone from being seen as a sin against God to a morally acceptable practice in just a few short years.  He described how it is that the homosexuals in the SDA have managed to obtain special status from the government that allows them to persecute and prosecute anyone who does not support their lifestyle.  And he wanted that same sort of social status for himself and his fellow atheists.  Just as homosexuality is now a government protected lifestyle, the atheist wants atheism to be a government protected lifestyle.  Just like it is a hate crime to say anything negative about homosexuality, the atheist wants to criminalize all criticism of atheism.  As I read the story it struck me that there was an amazing similarity between the two groups.  Both are thin skinned.  Both suffer from enormous amounts of personal insecurity. Both want government endorsement of their views.  Both worship at the throne of the State.
The primary reason the atheist wanted to mobilize a propaganda campaign to normalize atheistic thought and behavior in the SDA was due to the allegation that atheists are suffering horrific psychological abuse at the hands of believers in general and Christians in particular.  This claim is similar to the claim made by homosexuals when they cry out that those who oppose them are driving them to commit suicide simply because the opposition will not endorse their sinful lifestyle.  What is the nature of the abuse allegedly being perpetrated against atheists, you might ask?  It was very specific, according to the atheist's spokesman.  According to the article atheists are being immorally, unfairly and possibly illegally branded as hypocrites because Christians say they have no basis for an ethical system of behavior.
The philosophical and theological argument coming from the evangelical Christian camp that atheists are not logically permitted to make any ethical assertions has apparently hurt the feelings of so many atheists they are now calling upon the federal government to protect them from the assault.  If you want to see how hot this argument has become, Google "atheists have no basis for morals" and just look at what comes up.  Poor little atheists all over the country are crying foul and accusing Christians of unfair tactics because we believe they have no rational basis for making moral assertions.  Being labeled hypocrites has really hurt their feelings. I suspect the argument is also driving many to suicide and drink, so they are now demanding that government action be taken against their Christian oppressors.
The argument that atheists are hypocrites when they use moral terminology is simple enough to make.  It is also quite compelling.  If you have never read it I will briefly explain it here.  Atheists must necessarily believe one of two things about the origin of the universe.  Either the universe came into existence on its own, and out of nothing, or matter/energy must be eternal.  Being the logicians that they are, atheists realize what Aristotle reasoned so many years ago...from nothing comes nothing.  If there is something here today and there is no outside entity such as God to explain it, then what is has always been.  Matter/energy is therefore eternal. 
Not only is matter/energy eternal, there is also no personality to or in the universe whatsoever. All atheists believe this tenet.  Personality does not exist in matter/energy and matter/energy is all that exists.  The existence of personality opens the door to the possibility of the person of God and that is not possible in the atheistic universe.  So atheistic explanations of the origin of the universe are forced to conclude that impersonal matter/energy has always existed and impersonal matter/energy is all that exists.  Several interesting things follow from this necessary conclusion.  One of them is that what we see today has always been and will always be.  Due to the machinations of the evolutionary processes the things that are today may have changed from the past and may change in the future but the basic constituent elements of a fixed amount of matter/energy never changes.
When this doctrine is applied to the origin of man it necessarily becomes the case that man is simply another entity that has come into existence as eternally existent matter/energy morphs from one stage to another.  The existence of man is neither good nor bad, significant nor insignificant, relevant nor irrelevant.  The evolutionary process has no consciousness and no purpose.  There is no teleological goal in the process of evolution.  What is, simply is.  Given the fact that man exists merely as a by-product of a process of impersonal material evolution it is impossible to conceive how the concept of right and wrong could ever come into existence.  Indeed, given those conditions the concept of morality cannot exist and yet it does.  Those who are familiar with the writings of C.S. Lewis will recognize this argument as the great conundrum he described which was instrumental in bringing him to belief in the God of the Bible.  Atheists have no basis for making any moral assertions whatsoever but, at the same time, all men, including atheists, are constantly running around making moral assertions.  Where does this impetus come from?
My point today is not to argue for theism.  My point is that atheists, being the tender-hearted souls that they are, are highly offended by the argument I have presented above.  They reckon it to be the immoral equivalent of the Christian argument against homosexuality and they are increasingly asking the government to protect them from it.  Their reaction to the argument is a prime example of the principle known as "Certainly you do not expect an answer to the question that exposes the weakness of my entire position, do you?" So rather than confess that they are fools by claiming that God does not exist, they clamor for the government to protect them from the question.  Only in a post-Christian, first-world society like that found in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika could this sort of thing come about.
Atheists need to fess up and act like men.  Physical/chemical reductionism does not allow for the concept of morality.  A hydrogen atom does not produce the notion of right and wrong.  A water molecule will not evolve to the point where it becomes a conscious thought asserting that stealing is immoral.  A piece of tree bark cannot produce the idea that it is wrong to murder.  Even an organism as sophisticated as the human brain is really nothing more than a collection of organic materials that have somehow mysteriously evolved to the point where the person it inhabits is capable of having conscious thought.  But even conscious thought, however it evolved, does not authoritatively declare that adultery is immoral.  Even if the evolutionary process can account for the origin of consciousness, and I believe that it cannot, it still does not solve the problem of a moral consciousness.  The conscience, just like everything else in the universe, would be amoral.
Atheists believe they are good people.  That is an irrational belief. Atheists believe that Christians, especially those who oppose them, are bad people.  That is an irrational belief.  Atheists believe they can experience love.  That is an irrational belief.  Atheists believe they can experience sadness.  That is an irrational belief.  If atheists were to actually live consistently with what they profess to believe they would be forced to deny everything they say about a moral universe.  But they can't live in that universe primarily because that universe does not exist.  So rather than admit that they are wrong they have made the conscious and immoral decision to enlist the services of the coercive state to keep Christians from challenging their views.  Now why didn't the Christians think of that first?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rickie Fowler Is Underrated

Maybe you read the story about the anonymous survey given by Sports Illustrated to the PGA touring pros in this country.  Then again, if you are not a follower of golf you probably know nothing about it.  If you are interested, here is the story.  There were many questions asked of what one person working a PGA tournament once described within my earshot as "millionaire Prima Donnas."  The question that received the most notoriety was in regards to who the players believe to be the most overrated within their ranks.  Rising to the top of the list of most overrated players were Ian Poulter and Rickie Fowler.
No doubt contributing to Poulter's ranking as the most overrated player in golf were his own comments about his level of play, made in 2008.  Here is what he said, "Don't get me wrong, I really respect every professional golfer, but I know I haven't played to my full potential and when that happens, it will be just me and Tiger."  Ian Poulter has a grand total of 2 PGA wins and 12 wins on the European tour.  Tiger, in comparison, has 79 PGA wins and 40 on the European tour.  I suspect that Poulter's grandiose view of himself is what contributed to his number one ranking as the most overrated player on the tour.  But what of Rickie Fowler? Why is he the number two most overrated player on the tour?
Have you ever heard of Rickie Fowler?  If you are not a golfer you probably do not know his name.  Everyone, including non-golfers, knows the names of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.  For a player to truly be overrated it seems to me it should be the case that he has become a household name without any palmares to back it up.   Rickie Fowler, unless I am way off on this, has most certainly not become a household name.  That makes it hard for me to understand how he can be considered overrated.  But what of his record?  Has he made a name for himself as a golfer?
Fowler, age 27, was the number one ranked amateur golfer for 36 weeks in 2007 and 2008.  Like his buddy Bubba Watson, Fowler is almost exclusively self taught.  Despite the lack of professional instruction Fowler was 7-1 in Walker Cup play.  After his final Walker Cup tournament he turned professional, winning PGA Rookie of the Year in 2010.  Since turning pro he has won two tournaments, most recently last week's Player's Championship.  He has steadily improved his World Ranking over the years, despite the dearth of victories.  In 2014 he became only the third player, along with Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, to finish in the top 5 in all four of golf's major championships in one year.  That steady play propelled him to the number 10 spot in the World Rankings by the end of last year. 
Prior to last week Fowler had gone three years without a victory.  His level of play has been of the highest caliber otherwise he would not have risen to number ten in the world but he was without the victories coveted by those at the top.  Then,  just prior to the Player's Championship, the story about his being the second most overrated player were released. Fair or unfair?
Despite the fact that his peers consider him to be highly overrated, Rickie is not an unpopular player within the tour.  His name will occasionally show up  on lists of the nicest or most likeable players on the tour, even when the people being polled are fellow PGA members.  As far as I am aware his name has never shown up on a "most hated player" list.  He has a good reputation with the public and one of the largest followings on the PGA tour today.  And that, I believe, is where the reputation for being overrated originates.
I have had the pleasure of attending a fair number of PGA tournaments over the years.  I enjoy milling about the crowds and following as many players as I can over the course of the day.  I like watching the players as they perform under pressure.  I read of a man once who said that he could learn everything he wanted to know about the character of a man simply by playing one round of golf with him.  I think there is some truth to that statement.  I can see a lot about the character of the men who play on the tour just by watching how they respond to the highs and lows which come up during the match. I don't know how much the players hear the crowds.  Some of them seen so intent upon the goal at hand it appears as if they do not realize anyone is standing around them.  Others are much more interactive with the crowds, speaking with the gallery and hand-slapping between the green and next tee box.  But I can't imagine that any player is immune from the impact of the crowd during the course of a round. 
When  Fowler emerged upon the scene he came in as a young man willing to push some of the limits of golfing propriety.  Don't misunderstand, he was not intent upon setting a record for the use of F-bombs, as Tiger loves to do, or intent upon throwing his clubs into the lake, as Tiger likes to do.  His primary initial impact upon the tour was his style of dress.  He wore bold colors, sported long hair and covered his mop-top with a flat billed cap reminiscent of some sort of street thug more so than a golfer.  He had the reputation of being a moto-cross rider who taught himself how to play golf and who, one day, simply showed up at the tour.  The response of the public to this new face was strong.  Young people in particular began to attend PGA events, following Fowler around like a little Arnie's Army and wearing the same bold clothing in which their hero was attired.  I personally saw the impact of Rickie Fowler on my own local golf courses as younger players began wearing the same style of clothing as Fowler and attempting to imitate his style of play.  Unlike the wretchedly negative impact I perceived as a result of the Tiger Woods phenomena, the impact of Fowler upon his youthful following was positive.  I have witnessed many young Tiger wannabes throw clubs, tear divots and curse over the years but I have never seen a Fowler wannabe behave in that fashion.
Fowler is an accomplished golfer.  One does not rise to the number ten world ranking without being good.  I believe the primary reason his peers deemed him to be overrated stems directly from his popularity with the galleries and the fact that he has not been a big winner on the tour, a tour which emphasizes winning, rather than steady play, above everything else.  I also believe a fair bit of envy could be showing itself in the anonymous survey.  Other players have been paying their dues on the tour for years, perhaps also with a victory or two under their belts, and they have little to no following.  When they see this young upstart with an enormous following it is inevitable that the concept of being overrated will come up.
After last Sunday I doubt anyone will be able to declare that Rickie Fowler is overrated and retain any credibility as a golf analyst.  What he accomplished in the final ten holes of the tournament was nothing short of spectacular.  Here is the way the final holes were dispassionately described in an article about the last round, "Trailing Sergio Garcia midway through the final round by five shots, Fowler played the final six holes in 6-under par, including an eagle at the par-5 16th. After a birdie at the famous 17th hole, Fowler's final birdie of the round on 18 left him at 12-under par. Both García and Kevin Kisner had birdie attempts to win at the 18th in regulation, but both missed and the three men went to a three-hole aggregate playoff to decide a winner on holes 16–18. Fowler and Kisner went par-birdie-par to tie at −1 while García's three pars left him at even and he was eliminated. Thus Fowler and Kisner went to sudden death starting at the 17th, where Kisner's tee shot landed within about 12 feet (3.7 m) of the cup. Fowler answered with a shot inside of five feet, and when Kisner's birdie attempt slid by, Fowler responded by making his short birdie to claim the championship. Fowler played his final 10 holes in 8-under par."
Like I said, that was a dispassionate description of what took place.  Golf commentator Johnny Miller, not known for his effusive praise of golfers and on record criticizing Fowler for his golfing attire, was almost overwhelmed by emotion as he described the final holes.  He confessed that what he was witnessing was choking him up and nearly moving him to tears due to the sheer beauty of what Fowler was accomplishing during that amazing run of holes.  Fowler himself was locked into a picture of concentration during that series of golf shots.  No doubt he wanted to send a message to those who considered him to be overrated.  If you are not a golf fan it might be hard to conceive precisely what it was that Fowler accomplished by going eight under par on his final ten holes at the Players.  Needless to say it was a powerful display of masterful golf that will be remembered by golf fans for years to come.  So, no, I don't think Rickie Fowler is overrated.  If anything he is underrated.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Phoenix Area Beauties

Every once in a while I have to take a break from the constant stream of vitriol and sarcasm that comes forth from my fingertips as I sit before my keyboard composing posts for this blog.  Even a Mad Welshman occasionally finds himself in a state of contentment.  In my case, those brief periods of contentment are often the by-product of some outdoor excursion to a beautiful place accompanied by close friends and the always cherished companionship of my wonderful and long-suffering spouse.  This past March I was able to spend a week in the Phoenix area.  While I was there I took advantage of the opportunity to do some hiking and climbing.  In particular I wanted to explore some of the very easy summits that are in the Valley of the Sun and the small mountain ranges immediately surrounding the valley.  Most of these summits have trails to the top and it is difficult to find solitude on them.  Nevertheless, at the right time of the year they are resplendent with flowers and a joy to experience on a warm spring day.  Today I would like to share some of those moments with you.
A long time friend and climbing partner came up from Tucson to join me for the longest hike of the week.  We ventured up Barry Goldwater Peak, in the White Tank Mountains on the extreme western border of Phoenix.  We had a warm day for the first week of March, in the low 90s,  but the brittle bush was out in full force as we worked our way up the Mesquite Canyon trail on our way to the summit, which we eventually managed to get to despite confusing the real summit for three other false summits along the way.  While hiking up the canyon I kept hearing a peculiar sounding bird, singing a song as if mocking me as I walked by, and I asked my friend about it.  To my surprise he informed me that it was not a bird at all.  He claimed it was a squirrel making the noise.  Since he is a pathological liar I did not believe him and made it a special point to spot the bird and show it to him before the end of the day.  I never did see the bird but here is a shot of the aforementioned brittle bush while looking down the trail we are working our way up:

Lookout Mountain is one of the infamous "Seven Summits" of the Phoenix valley.  Patterned after the Seven Summits of international mountaineering fame, hearty local mountaineers attempt to attain the summit of each during one long, all-day push.  Successful summiteers can claim the Seven Summits, although only those in the know are aware they never ventured outside the Valley of the Sun. This shot of Lookout Mountain was taken while heading up Shaw Butte, another of the seven, in the North Mountain Preserve.  After completing Shaw and North, I drove over to Lookout and made the short scamper to its summit.  I proudly claimed a Three Summit day: 

Before heading out into the North Mountain Preserve I visited the local visitor center, staffed by volunteers who are experts on the area.  Not knowing anything about the trail system I inquired about obtaining a map of the area.  The elderly man behind the counter produced a map, opened it up for me and strongly suggested a route that I could take that would be, "short, flat and easy."   Because I am gray, frail looking and extremely Welsh people constantly assume that I am incapable of doing anything that requires a high level of physical effort.  The route he suggested followed the valley floor for a mile or two and then came straight back.  I was interested in climbing to the summits of both Shaw Butte and North Peak before returning.  I thanked him for his advice and headed out.  After summiting and descending Shaw Butte via a looping route,  I arrived at the saddle between it and North Peak.  Just before starting up the trail to North Peak I saw a small memorial which I stopped to read.  I don't know why but this short memorial brought a tear to my eye as I read it.  In fact, it still does.  Maybe it will for you as well:

I dedicated one day to going north of Phoenix to the Cave Creek area.  There are several off-trail mountains in the area I was interested in either climbing or scouting out routes for.  Upon my arrival at the entrance to the Spur Cross Ranch I discovered I had to pay a trespass fee to gain entrance to the ranch where the peaks were located.  I was happy to do so.  While paying my fee I inquired about several of the mountains.  The couple manning the booth took one look at my frail, scrawny, excessively gray and ill-prepared appearance and strongly suggested I stick to the marked trails in the valley and assiduously avoid any of the "non-maintained" trails in the area.  They assured me that if I were to venture off trail I would be bitten by a rattlesnake and die.  I decided to ignore their advice and, as it turned out, I had an enjoyable scouting trip.  The photo below shows a veritable forest of saguaro cacti on the south slope of Elephant Mountain, a peak I plan on returning to climb in the future:

On the slopes of Elephant Mountain  I came across this superb example of teddy-bear cholla, perfectly illuminated by the morning sun.  Teddy-bear cholla are believed by some to be able to "jump" from their stalks and attack unknowing passers-by.  I have known golfers who would not go near their ball when it lodged near one of these out of fear of being attacked by the jumping cactus spines.  Needless to say I survived without any attacks being launched upon me:

One day I set out to explore the southern end of the McDowell range.  The McDowell range is a short, but majestic, range on the northeast boundary of Phoenix.  I find it disturbing that the McDowell range is so hard to access, despite its close proximity to Phoenix and the fact that it is also a mountain preserve.  For some reason that I do not understand the folks who have preserved the area do not allow off-trail hiking and there are only two trails which go to two of the dozen or so summits that are within the range.  Thompson Peak, which I had climbed years before, and Sunrise Peak are the only two legal peaks in the area.  How frustrating it all is.  Why folks would construct trails and not allow access to the summits is a mystery to me.  Regardless, the photo below shows the first part of the trail to Sunrise Peak.  Shortly before taking this photograph we came across a native lady who was hiking down the trail.  She took one look at my gray beard and overall frail appearance and warned us that there were "high winds at the saddle" ahead.  She suggested we might want to consider turning around.  We thanked her for her advice and went on.  We encountered moderate winds, which felt nice as they cooled the skin, at the saddle,  just as she promised.  We continued on to a picturesque summit with nice views of southern Phoenix:

Remember the mocking bird call I mentioned earlier?  Well I found the source.  The photo below was taken shortly after I heard the sound and immediately saw the culprit from which it came.  This was taken on the paved road that leads to the summit of North Peak.  Despite the fact that my buddy is still a pathological liar, he was telling the truth about this strange creature.  This rock squirrel emits a mocking, bird-like sound that you would never guess would be produced by a member of the Genus squirridae:

I leave you with another shot of Elephant Mountain.  I look forward to going back to climb it. It is the highpoint in the back left of this photo.  There is no trail to the top so, according to the locals, I might not make it back from the climb.  I managed to get up to the flat butte in the center of this picture on my scouting trip.  I include this photograph because it shows the eternal diligence of my government protectors.  They warned me about how where I was going was a "primitive route" and that I needed to "stay on designated trails" in order to avoid an almost certain death.  And given my frail condition it is likely I will not even reach the summit before expiring.  Nevertheless,  when I return to make a run at the peak I will thank them for the warning and proceed off-trail to the summit.  I will let you know if I make it:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Anti-Discrimination Laws Unequally Enforced Against The Welsh

I just found out that the God-hating members of the heterophobic community, whoever they are, have declared this upcoming Sunday to be "World Make Fun of a Homophobic Person Day," or something like that.  I believe homosexuality is a sin and that all who practice it are bound for the Lake of Fire.  Because I hold to this ancient and orthodox doctrine of the Christian faith I am described as having the mental illness of homophobia.  The definition of homophobia, as it is commonly used, is that I do not continually both verbally and behaviorally reinforce the tender psyches and beliefs of homosexual people about themselves.   I am labeled as one who discriminates against others.  Christians, which I profess to be, who discriminate against homosexuals are engaging in what the government of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika calls a hate crime.  It will not be long before we will find ourselves imprisoned for holding to a Christian belief that has been around for thousands of years.  But this is not the point of today's blog post.  All this talk about discrimination has got me to thinking.  With the crusade that the SDA government has taken up against evil discrimination, certainly all discrimination based upon race, age, gender, religion and sexual orientation has been eliminated from this immoral land, right?   To answer that question I went in search of modern examples of discrimination.  Expecting to find none in this land that reveres law and order, here is what I found instead:
  • According to this website, a group of God-hating sexual perverts regularly discriminates against men by allowing women into their orgies for free. I guess they have to provide some incentive to the women to get enough of them to show up for their swinging parties.
  • On a somewhat less immoral level, according to this website, ladies are admitted free to particular dog races that are held.  I do not know if that is because the owners of the establishment do not believe enough dogs are present without the presence of the women.  I make no judgment about the potential misogyny in this promotion and merely present it as a case of discrimination based upon gender.
  • Seniors, variously defined, receive huge subsidies around the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  This website lists over 100 companies that list some sort of senior discount.  That is discrimination against anyone who is not a senior and is expressly forbidden by the laws of the SDA.  Why is this practice permitted to continue? Why are the proponents not being thrown into jail for their horrendously evil activities?
  • I was looking into playing some golf in the Phoenix area a month ago.  Guess what I discovered about green fees in the Phoenix area?  Owners of Phoenix area golf courses discriminate based upon where a person lives.  As a non-resident of Arizona I had to pay the highest daily green fee just to play a round of golf.  Arizona residents, holders of club memberships and seniors all received discounts that were not available to me. That is discrimination and it is illegal.  I demand that it stop now.
  • This website presents a list of 34 discounts that are available only to college students.  Why should I have to pay more for a hamburger than a college student does?  Why should I be discriminated against because I am no longer in college?  All I want is my fair share.  All I want is what is coming to me.  These people should be arrested for their discrimination against me but still it is allowed to continue openly, in a gross violation of the anti-discrimination laws.
  • Here you can find a list of 80 discounts that are available only to government school teachers. Why should a person get a discount just because he is a government school teacher?  Do I not support them enough with the thousands of dollars per year I pay in real estate tax? Why should they be the beneficiaries of discrimination against me?  I demand equal rights.  I demand the same benefits as government school teachers.  I demand the government prosecute the evildoers who are perpetuating this immoral discrimination.
  • I had better be careful about my demands.  Here I am demanding government do something about the rampant discrimination in this immoral land when government is actually subsidizing discrimination. AMTRAK, the government owned and operated railroad service, discriminates against me.  Ten different groups of people, none of which include me, are given subsidized rates to travel with the company.  Go here for the specifics.  This blatant discrimination is unfair, unjust, illegal, immoral and, most of all, being done by the very government that is here to protect me from such things.
  • How silly of me to not realize that the SDA government is the mother of discrimination.  I need go no further than the IRS code to see that truth dramatically illustrated.  There I find that single moms, low income groups, families with children, government school teachers, performance artists, participants in Obamacare, students, people who invest for retirement, people who invest overseas, people who use daycare, people who invest in oil and gas wells and people who buy and install certain government approved home improvements all receive preferential treatment from the government.  They are all subsidized, with lower taxes, for their behavior.  Since I belong to none of those preferred groups I am being discriminated against on a grand scale by my own government.
  • In a rather bizarre turn of events, the NRA discriminates against me by offering reduced membership rates to young black males.  Go here for the story.  Why should a 20 year old black male be permitted to pay less for his NRA membership than I do?  This is an outrage!
  • Speaking of minority groups, single moms get all sorts of discounts.  Go here to see a list of them.
  • Here is a list of 80 discounts that are available to veterans.  We all know that veterans are heroes and that it is impossible to give them too much free stuff but we can't ignore the fact that doing so is clearly against all of the anti-discrimination laws in this land.  When is this going to stop?  Hundreds of thousands of businesses around this country offer military discounts.  Active military personnel get discounts on hundreds of things that I am forced to pay full cost for.  I am discriminated against hundreds of times everyday and nobody gives a hoot.
  • Go here and here to see how Alaska Airlines and American Airlines discriminate against me by giving homosexuals discount air fares when they travel to gay destinations for gay events.  In a clear case of discrimination I am not given a discount when I travel to Christian destinations for Christian events. Why should the gays be given preferential treatment and, even more important than that, why is the fact that they are given preferential treatment not a clear example of illegal discrimination?
  • In a strange reversal of fortune and a good example of the government enforcing the rules against discrimination, an auto shop owner made the decision to give discounts to people who are gun owners but not to extend that discount to homosexuals.  As you would expect, the homosexuals complained to the government and the long arm of the law is now reaching out to grab the hapless auto shop owner.  Who knows what the government will eventually do to him?  I guess the government has to initiate its anti-discrimination program somewhere.  Go here for the story. 
According to the Denver Post last week, when two Mexican business owners in a northern Colorado town offered a one day 10% discount to whites at their restaurant they were threatened with fines and closure by the government.  I have only scratched the surface of the total amount of discrimination that takes place every day in this sad land.  Tens of thousands, and probably even more,  of discriminatory events take place every day and nobody bats an eyelash, at least until the discrimination is in the favor of middle aged white males and Welshmen.  Here is some of what the newspaper article had to say:
"Rubbin Buttz BBQ in Millikin is offering a 10 percent discount to white people on what they are calling 'White appreciation Day.'  The barbecue business designated June 11 as white appreciation day, a sign in the window shows.  According to its two Latino owners, the discount offered to whites only is not being made with the intent to discriminate but to bring people together....But Jennifer McPherson, interim director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division, said public businesses can't treat someone differently based on race, color, creed, disability, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry....Anyone found guilty of discrimination could be issued a cease-and-desist order and the division also could assess a fine of $50 to $500, she said." Well there you have it.  The anti-discrimination laws have finally been broken and, by doggies, somebody is gonna pay.  All it took was for a couple of Mexicans to do something nice for Welshmen like me.  This will not do.  I suspect that Jennifer McPherson is Irish and that goes a long way to describing why she has initiated this program of terror against the restaurant owners.  Ultimately though, she is correct.  Mexican restaurant owners cannot discriminate in favor of the Welsh and against the Irish without running afoul of the wonderful anti-discrimination laws that guide this beautiful country.