San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, May 6, 2016

Christians Should Not Seek The Permission Of The State To Be Christians

I opened my Denver Post this morning only to see a disgusting photograph on the front page portraying several people bowing down to pray on the steps of the capitol building in Denver.  They were doing so, as the article informed me, because yesterday was the National Day of Prayer.  According to the caption under the photograph, "The National Day of Prayer, an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, invites people of all faiths to pray for the country."  I am hard pressed to come up with a more stupid waste of time than praying on government property for the government of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Praying for the Beast on the steps of the Beast is not a good idea.
The National Day of Prayer invites Christians to pray for the country.  It does not specify what the content of that prayer is to be.  The fact that people of "all faiths" are invited to pray clearly indicates that the National Day of Prayer is nothing more than a feel good day for people who hate the God of the Bible and believe that being spiritual, whatever that means, is a good thing.  Since all paths lead to God and God loves the SDA, it necessarily follows that bowing down to the Beast on the first Thursday of May each year is a good idea.  What is not described is God's opinion on this nonsense.  Let me tell you what it is.  He hates it.  The Bible says that God hates it when people who do not know Him pretend to pray to Him.  Do so at your peril.
I don't mind praying for the career politicians and bureaucrats that populate the government of the SDA. The content of my prayer never changes. First I pray that they would all repent of their sins and dedicate themselves to upholding the Law of God and defending the Church of Jesus Christ.  Second I pray that if they refuse to do that I implore God to bring His righteous providential judgement upon them for their sinful hatred of Him and His law.  I think those are two pretty good prayers, don't you?
Ranting about the National Day of Prayer, however, is not the main point of today's blog post.  Yesterday I read an even more disturbing article in the paper that described how the President of Colorado Christian University has petitioned the federal government of the SDA (I believe the petition was sent to the Department of Injustice) for an exemption from the provisions of Title IX as they pertain to non-discrimination against transvestites.  President William Armstrong is asking the federal government to give CCU the right to not be forced to provide public bathrooms for men who identify as women so they can get their jollies hanging out in women's bathrooms.  Not only that, he wants the university to be permitted to continue teaching that transvestism is a sin.  Not only that, he wants the university to be permitted to not admit transvestites to the student body.  Not only that, he wants the university to be permitted to not be forced to hire transvestite teachers.  Let's consider this for a moment.
God's opinion about transvestites and their lewd practices is pretty clear......He hates them and will send them to the Lake of Fire for eternity if they do not repent.  Needless to say, the historic Christian Church has believed that the practice of transvestism is a sin that God will punish with eternal death for almost two thousand years now.  During that two thousand year period the vast majority of people living in nations under the educational and cultural sway of Christian teaching have agreed with that position.  Now, in post-Christian Amerika, those doctrinal and practical positions are now illegal.  That creates a serious problem for Christians that they are attempting to solve the wrong way.
The fiction that Christian beliefs are "religious" and the beliefs of state worshiping God haters are not is powerfully involved in this process.  The truth of the matter is that all beliefs are religious in nature and the only question is not whether they are religious in nature but whether they are true.  I posted an article making that important point here.  I would suggest you read it if you have not already done so.  The fact that God hating members of our post-Christian society have granted special civil rights to transvestites does not change the fact that the granting of those rights violates the ethics found in the Bible and goes contrary to what most people have believed for thousands of years.  To dismiss all Christian positions as "religious" in order to justify ramming equally religious and immoral doctrines and beliefs down the throats of Christians, all in the name of religious secular humanism, is disingenuous and a stroke of progressive genius.  Sadly, Christians in this immoral country have adopted the myth of neutrality and allowed God-hating progressives to dictate the terms of the fight.   As a result, we are losing big time.
Let's get a couple of things straight.  When comparing the Church and the State there can be no doubt that the Church is the superior institution.  As a result, the State should be taking its instructions on what is right and wrong from the Church, not the other way around. The Christian Church is the "pillar and bulwark of the truth," as the Bible says.  When it comes to public policy in this wretched land it is the moral responsibility of civil servants to account for the morally perfect Law of God in all of their pronouncements.   Sadly, the Church has either forgotten or decided to ignore this fundamental message about the nature of reality.
Second, the Church is a sovereign and independent institution that does not need to give an accounting for itself to the State.  The fact that the SDA still does not tax Church property is a historic hangover from this truth.  The affairs and activities that go on within the Christian Church are the business of the Church and no one else.  The civil government of the SDA has no moral, political, cultural or biblical right to interject itself into the affairs of the Church.  When it comes to the affairs of the Church the old mantra so loved by God-haters in this disgusting land is true.   There must be a strict separation of Church and State.  Keep the State out of the affairs of the Church.  When the State claims to have the authority to dictate beliefs and practices within the Church it has grossly overstepped its authority and will incur the providential wrath of God for doing so. 
What is taking place in this country today turns the nature of Church/State relations on its head and gets them completely backwards.  Christian churches and institutions are now appealing to the government of the SDA for permission to believe the doctrines they have believed for thousands of years.  Christian institutions and churches are giving the beastly civil government of this country the right to tell them what they can and cannot believe, as well as how they can and cannot behave.   Christian beliefs and practices must now be approved by the SDA's Department of Injustice prior to being acted upon by believers in this land.  Although this all seems right dandy in the spiritually dead minds of the millions of reprobates in this country,  it is actually dreadfully wrong and must stop immediately.
Here is the point I want to make today, as forcefully as I possibly can.  The proper stance for the Church to take in defense of itself against the undeclared war being waged against it by the federal government is that we are going to obey God rather than men and if the men don't like that they are free to arrest, fine, incarcerate and kill us for our beliefs.  Under no circumstances should we ever ask the State for permission to do the things we do, nor should we ever seek permission of civil government to believe the things we believe.  The Church has survived in this immoral land for a long time without being subject to significant persecution from the Beast.  Now is the time for the line to be drawn in the sand.  Christians must force the State to make good on its promises and arrest us for obeying our God.  Maybe then the Christians of this country will wake up to what is actually going on and cease their idolatrous worship of the Beast known as the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Equating The SDA Military And The Lord Jesus

I received a chain email yesterday that enraged me beyond belief.  I share it here, in its complete form and original format:

Now this is my  kind of customer service!

GOOD MORNING,  WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, a Christian nation, land of the  free and home of the brave.

How may I help  you?
Press '1' for  English.
Press '2' to disconnect until you learn to speak  English

And remember  only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus  Christ

And the  American Soldier.
One died for  your soul,

The other for  your freedom.

If you agree.  Keep it going
A Nation of Sheep  - Breeds a Government of Wolves!
I'M 100% for  PASSING THIS ON!!!
Let's Take a  stand!!!
Borders: Closed...
Language: English  only...
Constitution and  the Bill of Rights!!!
Drug  FreeMake a drug  screen mandatory for any one on welfare and/or food  stamps!
NO freebies to  Non-Citizens!
We the People are coming
Only 86%?  will send this on.
Should be a 100%!!! What will you do?

If you find this sort of message inspirational I pity and hate you.  I pity you because you are in service to the Beast.  I hate you because you dare to equate the work of Jesus Christ on the cross to the immoral murdering done by soldiers of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika around the world.  Make no mistake, this message is blasphemous.  God's opinion on this matter is important to understand.  He has made death the punishment for blasphemy.  (Note to the FBI agent following this blog....I am not advocating armed rebellion and death to the infidels.  I don't even know who created this wretched email message.  All I am pointing out is that unless the people who produce and believe this sort of garbage repent, they can expect hell in their futures.)  Even though I am passing this message on via my blog, I most certainly do not agree with its content.  However, unlike the opponents of Donald Trump, I believe in free speech, even when it is blasphemous speech.  Furthermore, blasphemy does not harm me but, rest assured, God will deal with those who blaspheme His name in His good time. Repent! Repent! Repent!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ban Music On The Golf Course

Golf used to be a sport characterized by personal dignity, respect for fellow participants, respect for the rules of golf and a powerful sense of the proper etiquette that was to be followed to ensure an enjoyable experience for all players.  Everyone who grew up in my generation learning how to play the game of golf was instructed on the importance of following golfing etiquette.  Golfing etiquette consists of those unwritten rules that allow each player to show respect for the other players while, at the same time, allowing for a seamless round of golf unmarred by the indignities and profanities of daily life.  My how things have changed.
I have posted to this blog previously about the problem with many golfers today.  I believe that Tiger Woods has had a lot to do with the fact that today's golfers have more of a football mentality than a golf mentality and I wrote an entire blog post arguing that he has been bad for the game of golf.  I have seen a massive degradation in the quality of the golfing experience since Tiger arrived on the scene.  Allow me to give you some examples.
I was playing a Denver municipal golf course a couple of weeks ago.  This particular course has a lot of tree lined fairways that parallel each other.  Since most amateur golfers have a hard time hitting their drives straight it is often the case that one player's ball will end up in the fairway of another hole.  Because of the way most courses are laid out it is also usually the case that when a player drives his ball into another fairway he finds himself confronting oncoming players on that hole.  The proper etiquette in this matter is simple.  If you have driven your ball into another fairway you wait until the players on that hole have finished their shots and moved on prior to entering the fairway and hitting your shot.  Early in my round that day another player launched his ball into the fairway I was playing, as I was on the tee ready to hit my driver. Without even looking to see if anyone was on the tee he drove his cart into my fairway and proceeded to take way too much time lining up and hitting his shot.  Later that day one of the fellows I was playing with did the same thing to another group of players coming the other way.  He sauntered into their fairway and took his time hitting his ball.  They made some snide comments about how rude he was behaving and I thought we might have a fight on our hands but the oblivious player did not notice he was being chastised.
As an interesting side note, a day or two after I played this course there was an altercation on one of the holes.  Apparently some player hit into the group in front of him, thus incurring their wrath for doing so.  The player who hit into the group was walking and one of the players who was hit into had a cart.  An argument ensued and escalated to the point where the man driving the cart chased down and ran over the player who was walking. It is now a matter for the courts.
Each golf course has something called the "pace of play."  The pace of play is how long you are permitted to take to play the course.  It is an important number because it tells each player precisely how fast he has to play to avoid inconveniencing the other players.  If a player falls behind the pace of play a course marshal used to come along and exhort him to play faster.  Sometimes the marshal would require him to pick up his ball or skip a hole to catch up to the group ahead.  Marshals are rarely seen on golf courses today and pace of play has become a very heated matter.  Indeed, the thing I hear the most complaints about when playing a round of golf is how the group ahead of my group is a bunch of idiots because they are no good and play way too slowly. 
It seems to me that many people play golf today simply to see how fast they can get around the course.  I like to play the course from the tips. That means I am playing the course as long and as hard as it can be played.  I do that not because I am any good but because I enjoy the challenge.  The great majority of players play the course as short as they can.  Sometimes that is to allow them to get a lower score but I believe most of the time they do it simply to play fast.  They do other things to play fast like conceding putts to each other, even though the rules of golf do not permit those concessions if match play rules are not in effect (which they never are).  I do not believe I have ever seen another player other than the fellows I routinely play with take a three putt.  That is because all second putts are illegally conceded.  Once again, this is primarily to make things go quickly.
All of this brings me to my problem with the pace of play.  Since I play the course as long as possible I routinely bump up against the time allotted for pace of play.  Since most everyone else plays the course as short as possible I find irritated and sometimes angry people stacked up behind me while I play. Let me be very clear.  I do not go over the pace of play.  I am not a slow player but I do take advantage of the full allotment of time to play my round.  As far as I am concerned every player who pays his green fee for a round of golf should be willing to spend the entire allotted amount of time on the course without whining or complaining.  If a player wants a faster golf experience let him go to an executive course where the pace of play is much faster.  I once had a group complain to the marshal about how slow my group was playing despite the fact we were on pace.  The marshal ordered us to pick up the pace.  After the round I went to the clubhouse and asked to speak to the course pro.  I informed him that we had finished under pace by a minute or two  but were told to play faster while we were out on the course.  I further informed him that I did not appreciate being scolded for doing something that was not wrong.  He apologized and gave me a free round.
Golfing is supposed to be a quiet activity.  An occasional hoot or holler is acceptable if a particularly good shot has been made but, for the most part, golfers should speak quietly to each other.  I was playing a course in New Mexico last week that was populated with loud-mouthed Cretans who knew nothing about golf etiquette.  To make matters worse, they were not simply loud, they were also profane.  If I was the manager of that course I would have asked them to leave.  As it was, I had to suffer the offense of listening to their loud profanity on many of the holes I was playing.
My final complaint also has to do with noise.  I am amazed that golf courses still have a dress code.  You are not permitted to play a round of golf dressed like you are going to the beach or the night club.  Women are to dress modestly and men are to keep their shirts on.  Most courses have a collared shirt requirement and denim is almost always not allowed.  I appreciate the dress code because it adds a level of sophistication to the experience.  You may be wondering what the dress code has to do with noise.  Actually, it has nothing to do with noise.  I only mention the dress code because it is an old rule that is generally enforced.  What amazes me is that golf courses will enforce the dress code rule and then allow golfers to ride around in carts with music blaring from the personal boom-boxes they are carrying about with them as they play the course.  I was shocked the first time I was assaulted by loud and raucous music on the golf course.  Now it happens practically every round.  Why is this tolerated?  Why is this not banned?  I can think of nothing that ruins the golf experience more quickly than walking along a nice course and hearing hip-hop music coming from the cart of some twenty-somethings on the next hole.
I don't expect things to improve as the culture of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika becomes more profane.  There are too many factors weighing in against proper social proprieties to stem the tide of rudeness and selfishness, even on the golf course.  I will still play because I love the game but I will also continue to fuss and fume, hoping that someday some course manager will have the courage to ban boom-boxes and eliminate music from the golf course.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Predictive Value of a Flat Stock Market

Apparently most everyone now believes that the current bull market in stocks is running out of steam and is doomed to fall into a prolonged bear market at any moment.   What is the reasoning behind such a pessimistic position?   One of the primary arguments used in support of this prediction for the future is the fact that the stock market, as measured by the S & P 500, has been basically flat for over a year.  The stock market closed at 2081 yesterday, the same place it closed on December 24, 2014 or almost 500 days ago.  Investment gurus who stupidly believe they have the ability to predict the future are making dire pronouncements about how this flat market is a harbinger of bad things to come.  Let's consider that for a moment today.
Go here, here and here for articles advancing this ridiculous prediction.  The first article pronounces the coming of a bear market because "with US growth slowing, central banks running out of ammunition, and a tumultuous presidential campaign likely, the signs aren't good for stocks."  The article then goes on to show that the stock market has not grown in over a year.  How the central bank managed to fire bullets into the economy, whatever that means, is not explained.  Perhaps, if the Fed is out of bullets, it could purchase some tanks and use them to jump start the economy?  Why central bank military activity would be a positive for the stock market is also not explained.  Of course I jest but we must acknowledge, if we are to have any economic integrity whatsoever, that the Federal Reserve never does anything good for the economy or the stock market.  If it has "run out of bullets" that must quite necessarily be a good thing. 
The second article declared that, "Lance Roberts, portfolio manager at STA Wealth, sees a lot of warning signs for the market, including high valuations, falling earnings and weak economic background, but contends that his technical analysis points to short-term bullishness.  'We have to respect the fact that the markets are breaking out to new highs, but this does not mean we should not pay attention to all the various risks out there,' Roberts said. 'Thinner volumes, tepid advances are historically associated with peaks. Thinner volumes do not mean people are not participating, indeed they are already fully allocated, there is just no new money coming in,' Roberts noted."  The current bull market, which began in March of 2009, has tripled the value of stocks and most of those gains have been realized during periods of thin trading volumes.  Furthermore, P/E ratios are non-predictive.  The current forward P/E on the S & P 500 is a little bit under 17.  The P/E ratio of the S & P 500 was 46 on 1-1-02 and the market continued to rise for the next eight years. The bull market can easily continue with a P/E ratio of 17.
The third article provided three technical indicators allegedly proving the stock market is running out of steam and soon to fall.  Technical indicators always fascinate me.  They are utterly meaningless but thousands of people spend thousands of hours pouring over them in the hope that they will find something magical which will allow them to predict the future.  Shall we all confess to a universal human weakness?  None of us is able to predict the future.  Nobody.  Never.  The ability to predict the future requires omniscience, a characteristic attributed only to the God of the Bible and the career politicians and bureaucrats of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika who rule over us. 
There is something unnerving about a stock market that hovers in the same range for a long period of time.  Investors begin to get a bit twitchy when stocks trade in a narrow range for over a year.  There is something about human nature that would rather have the stock market go either up or down than simply stay flat for a year.  Indeed, a long term flat market seems to work on the psyche of many investors, convincing them that the next move must be down.  If the market has been flat for so long, they reason to themselves, then there must be no reason for it to continue to go up and the next move must be bearish.  Acting on their bearish feelings they sell their stocks and then have the most unpleasant experience of being on the sidelines as the stock market starts another move upward.  It never occurs to them that the exact same reasoning could be applied to a bull market.  Since the market has not gone down for so long the next move must be up.  But that sort of reasoning never takes place in the minds of stock market investors because investors feel stock market loses far more powerfully then they feel the gains.  When a market is flat it must be a sign of some sort of coming weakness.
Fortunately I came across a chart, found here, that actually records the historical facts about prolonged flat stock markets.  I have copied that chart and present it here:

Note that the average rate of total return in stocks for the one year period immediately following all 9 flat stock markets since 1933 is 24%.  A year and a half after an average of a year and a half of no stock market movement sees stocks up an average of 32%.  Two years after the last 9 flat stock markets, defined as a period where the market was stagnant for at least 300 days, we find that the stock market was up an average of 39%.  Only one two year period saw stocks down after a flat market and that was in 1935.  No one year period saw stocks with negative returns after a prolonged period of no returns.  So much for the popular wisdom.  Once again the greatest enemy of stock investors is their own inability to control their emotions and the way their emotions color their expectations for the future.  Don't let that happen to you.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Bill And Warren Are Economic Idiots

According to this website:  "Bill Gates said investment gains should be taxed at the same level as ordinary income — a bold call for one of the world's largest investors.  Speaking Monday on CNBC's 'Squawk box,'  Gates said that he's 'pleased' that there is more discussion around changing the tax code. When asked what he would alter, Gates sided with his pal Warren Buffet and said he supports raising the earned income tax credit.  But Gates also said he would raise the tax rate for capital gains — the largest source of income for the richest Americans. The current top tax rate on capital gains is 20 percent (with the highest earners paying an additional 3.8 percent surtax). The top tax rate on ordinary income is 39.6 percent.  'There's always been the question of whether taxes on capital should be a lot lower than taxes on labor,' Gates said. 'I tend to think they should be pretty much the same, and that that's an opportunity to be a bit more progressive.'  When asked in the interview whether 'the same' translated into lowering ordinary income rates or raising capital gains taxes, Gates said he preferred raising capital gains taxes.  'Well, you have to fund government,' he said. 'And particularly given the promises that the government's made about medical costs and retirement costs, unfortunately the one that makes the numbers add up is to move the lower tax up higher, although people don't like that. Eventually, the math really matters — otherwise you get into a Puerto Rico-type situation.'"
Bill's buddy Warren has gone on record numerous times in support of a confiscatory death tax that would essentially wipe out every rich man's estate and not allow parents to pass anything on to their heirs.  According to this website, "Warren Buffett isn't limiting his call for higher taxes to a minimum rate for very rich Americans who get a large chunk of their income from investments. He's also one of several dozen wealthy people who have signed a statement calling for a 'strong tax on the largest estates.' It's been released by a group called 'United For a Fair Economy.  Among the other signatories: Buffett's friend Bill Gates, former president Jimmy Carter, investor George Soros, and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.  Noting that they have 'benefited significantly' by government investments in schools, infrastructure. and public safety, among other things, the signer say it is 'right morally and economically' to have a 'significant' tax on large estates because it 'promotes democracy by slowing the concentration of wealth and power.'"  With all due respect to two men who have accomplished great things, served millions of satisfied customers and generally made the world a better place to live, it is nevertheless the case that Bill and Warren are economic idiots.   Allow me to explain.
Let us establish one principle at the outset of this discussion.  According to the God of the Bible, any tax on an increase in wealth or income that is in excess of 10% is immoral.  That makes the tax systems of every country in the world immoral.  I realize that nobody gives a hoot about God's opinion on this matter, although they will definitely rue the day of judgment when God upholds His previously revealed standard, but it must still be pointed out that if the combined taxation in any country exceeds 10% of the annual income of the citizens of that land the tax is, by definition, immoral.  Those who promote tax schedules in excess of 10% will be held morally accountable for that sin.
I cannot disagree with Bill when he says that the rate of taxation on capital gains and ordinary income should be the same.  Both are examples of an annual increase in income and should therefore be taxed in the year that they are earned or realized.  Playing around with the capital gains tax rate is always a political game and has little to do with economic reality.  The problem is not that the capital gains tax rate and the ordinary income tax rate differ, the problem is that they are both way too high.
Ultimately Bill advocates for a higher rate of taxation in order to fund the government.  This is where he betrays his statist attitude, despite the fact he continually battled the onerous and regulatory state while he was CEO of Microsoft.  How ironic that the man who once relished defeating career politicians and bureaucrats in the civil courts would now, after he is retired, proclaim his allegiance to the ever growing beast of  civil government.  Oddly, Bill recognizes that the problem of insufficient government revenues stems from the overreaching promises made by the state in regards to health care and cradle to grave transfer payments but when it comes time to deal with that problem he sees raising revenues as the only solution.  Apparently cutting spending is not on the table.  How blind this man has become.
Warren's claim that it is immoral for rich people to pass their wealth on to their heirs is absurd and also clearly illustrates a love for the state that goes far beyond the duty to pay one's taxes.  Warren long ago announced that his kids were going to be cut off from the great majority of his multi-billion dollar estate.  Now, like many tyrants before him, he wishes to use the coercive power of the state to force his fellow billionaires to do the same thing, whether they want to or not.  Warren is free to give his entire estate to the Treasury of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika if he wishes to do so but the moment he calls for laws forcing others to do so he becomes a tyrant, a socialist and a downright evil person.  Warren, despite making millions of dollars for millions of people, now wants the government to steal significant amounts of that money from the people he has personally made rich.  What a bizarre situation it all is.  I wonder how many shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway agree with his position on taxes?
Warren's justification for raising taxes is his belief that all citizens of the SDA have benefited from government schools, public highways and the police departments that tyrannize this land. It has been a long time since Warren went to government school, if he ever did.  Government schools are not a benefit for the citizens of this immoral land.  They are little more than places where parents pay, via taxation, for socialists to babysit and brainwash their children most of the day.  Graduates of the government school system come out committed to socialism and the principle of state worship.  We have to go no further than the fact that so many recent graduates of government schools love Bernie to prove this point.  As far as the provision of highways and "public safety" are concerned, I bet you every last dollar that I have that if Warren was able to quantify the value of government provided highways and police departments and then roll those entities into a public stock offering there is no way in the universe he would ever buy a share of that company.  Government inefficiencies are so endemic in everything government touches, as Warren routinely states, that no person in his right mind would ever invest in a government operated enterprise.  To claim that the citizens of this land need to pay even more in taxes as an act of appreciation to the state for all it has provide for us is disingenuous at best.  Indeed, the claims made by both Bill and Warren indicate a significant disconnect from the real world that borders on economic and political schizophrenia.  I guess when you are worth hundreds of billions of dollars the thought of giving up a couple hundred billion to the government is not nearly so bothersome as when you are worth $100k and the government comes calling for half of that.