San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Saturday, August 6, 2016

I Love Amerikans

Last year about this time I climbed my 60th 14,000 foot peak.  I wrote a blog post about that experience entitled "Confessions of a Peak Bagger, Part 1."  In that blog post I wrote about my time climbing Culebra Peak in southern Colorado with my wife and a dear friend.  A couple of days ago an Anonymous person posted a comment on that post.  He was not pleased with the things I had written there and had some opinions about me he believed were important to share.  If you want to read the post and his comments, go here.
In the course of telling me what a generally rotten person I am (which, by the way,  I cannot disagree with) Mr. Anonymous also made the comment that he believes I "hate Americans."  I found that comment to be most puzzling since I have not consciously attempted to drive home any point about my feelings towards my fellow Amerikans in this blog.  I wondered where Mr. Anonymous got the information that drove him to that conclusion when I realized he came to that deduction after reading what was then one of my end quotes on the blog.  This is what the end quote said, "I believe it is fair to say that Amerikans are some of the most insular, most uncompassionate, most hateful, most selfish and most barbaric people to have ever populated the face of the earth. Amerikans routinely turn a blind eye and a cold shoulder to the enormous amount of human suffering that they have created in the world. Then, when a tiny little event takes place on Amerikan soil, they cry out for vengeance and demand retribution. That is the way it is when people are citizens of an empire. They come to expect special treatment. They come to believe, as our King informed us last Sunday night, that they are 'exceptional.' They come to believe that everyone outside the empire is inferior. And they come to believe that only Amerikan lives matter."  That quote was from a writer I respect very much called the Mad Welshman.  He was writing in a post entitled "Only Amerikan Lives Matter."  You can read that post here
Now I found it most interesting that after reading the above comment Mr. Anonymous accused me of hating Amerikans when he had this to say about some of his fellow Amerikan citizens, "Your ability and lifetime’s accomplishment are trivialized by the like-kind accomplishments of so many countless fat, uneducated, ill-bred, impatient, unappreciative American barbarians in their running shoes, ball caps, and Gortex gear."  I guess it is possible to love people and, at the same time, consider them to be fat, uneducated, ill-bred, impatient, unappreciative and barbaric.  I don't know how that can be done but Mr. Anonymous apparently does it all the time.  Oh, and lest I forget, Mr. Anonymous also called me a hypocrite.  I am not an expert on the matter but I believe a hypocrite is someone who accuses another person of doing something that he believes is immoral that is also precisely what he is doing at the same time.  Is that right?
I am thankful for Mr. Anonymous' comments because they got me to thinking....do I really hate Amerikans?  Make no mistake, I hate Amerika.  Go here for the post in which I give you ten reasons why I hate Amerika.   I would be happy to debate any of those points in great detail.  But do I really hate Amerikans in general?  That answer to that question is also yes, I certainly do.  I can come up with a list of categories of Amerikans that I hate in general.  I hate Amerikan homosexuals.  I hate Amerikan transvestites.  I hate God-hating Amerikan career politicians.  I hate all of those who hate the God of the Bible.  I hate those who hate Christians.  I hate perverts, sadists, jerks, bozos, murderers, liars, thieves, socialists and some Yuppies.  There are many groups of people that I hate that I believe the Bible requires me to hate.
But do I hate Amerikans in particular?  That to me is the far more important question.  Do I hate the individuals with whom I brush elbows every day?  People always talk about how much they love their fellow man but then turn around and talk about how much they despise their neighbors.  It is easy to claim to love people in general.  The difficult thing to do is to love people in particular.  The answer to the question  as to whether I hate Amerikans in particular is a definitive "No!" I love lots of Amerikans.  In real life, and not as my alter-ego known as the Mad Welshman, I am often known as the "Doctor of Love."  People often spontaneously come up to me and tell he what a loving fellow I am.  So in the spirit of love that I exude so powerfully, let me tell you about some of the specific people I love so energetically.  All of the people I am going to tell you about today are Amerikans so if you want to attempt to make the case that I hate Amerikans you are going to have a tough case to make.  I am a lover, not a fighter.  I would rather sit down and have a drink with you than have an argument.  I would rather hike to the top of an alpine peak with you than throw rocks at you by the stream below.  I love a lot of Amerikans and hope to love a lot more before I die.  So without further ado, here is a short list of some of the Amerikans I love so much:
  • My wife is an Amerikan and I love her.  My wife is the sweetest, kindest, smartest, most sanctified and most loving woman I have ever known.  I am thankful for her every single day of my life.  She brings me great joy and happiness every day of my life.  So take it to the bank that there is at least one Amerikan that I love.
  • My kids managed to get all of the genes that came from their mama's side, except for one.  My kids were able to get the "love gene" from me.  As a result they are the sweetest, kindest, smartest, most sanctified and most loving kids I have ever known.  I am thankful for them every day of my life.  
  • My brothers are Amerikans and I love them as well.  Do you remember the character from the old Get Smart television show known as "Simon the Likeable?"  Well that character was based upon my brothers.  I enjoy their company immensely and it is an honor to call them my brothers.
  • My in-laws are Amerikans and I love them.  You got that right.  I don't have the typical bad relationship with my in-laws that characterizes so many marriages in this God-hating country.  My in-laws are some of the most kind and generous people I have ever known and I love them for who they are.
  • I have over 350 customers.  As many of you know I operate a janitorial business.  I have been in business for decades and many of those 350 customers are long term friends.  With only a couple of exceptions it is fair to say that I love my customers.  I love working for them.  I love seeing them on the job.  I love talking with them while I work.  Many of them have gone beyond being customers and are now friends.  I have been to their homes.  I have celebrated births, graduations and weddings with them and, recently, I have had the privilege of attending more and more of their memorial services.  I love my customers.
  • I know hundreds of Christians, both inside and outside of my own church.  I love them all.  Many of them are dear friends.  We have shared experiences from both of life's extremes.  We have suffered together though enormous difficulties and we have rejoiced together in the abundance of life's pleasures and joys.  I love them all.
  • I love my neighbors.  Even though I live in a Yuppie neighborhood I have managed, through God's providence, to be surrounded by non-Yuppie neighbors.  My neighbors are fantastic.  We talk when we see each other.  We help each other out.  I have to get up early on snowy days to keep one of my neighbor's from plowing my sidewalk for me.  I have great neighbors and I love them.
  • I love the small number of people who take time out of their busy and hectic lives to write a comment and post it to my blog.  What good is a blog that nobody reads?  Although I never get to meet the people who write and tell me what I jerk I am, I love all of them and appreciate their efforts and participation in this little forum.
I could go on and on but I think you get the point.  I have not even started to tell you about that select group of people I consider to be my best friends.  They are amazing and I love them all.  If I had to I could probably sit down and write a list of names at least 1000 long of the people that I love, and all of them are Amerikans.  Well, almost all of them are Amerikans.  One of them is a crazy Russian but I love him despite that fact.  If you claim to love Amerika, as I don't, do you also claim to love the people who populate this land?  How long is your list?

Friday, August 5, 2016

My Advice For Donald Trump

It seems as if everyone in the universe is crawling out of the woodwork and offering his advice to Donald Trump these days.  I read one story about how Newt Gingrich was going to gather Trump's adult children together and hold an old fashioned intervention, just like they used to do in the old days when your Pa was a drunken slob.  Bill O'Reily seems to spend most of his nightly show giving Trump advice on how he needs to tone things down if he wants to win the next Kingship of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Everyone seemingly has an opinion about what Trump should do and say next.
It seems as if the general opinion on the matter falls into one of two categories.  Republicans are begging him to act more "presidential," whatever that means.  I suspect it means they want him to act like career politicians.  Career politicians are famous for posturing and posing and filling the air with words but never actually saying anything.  That is the exact antithesis of Trump.  Democrats, on the other hand, are advising him to keep speaking his mind, believing in their soft heads that his doing so will subterfuge his ability to win the next election for King of the SDA.  They believe that his honest behavior in a politically correct world, where every truth statement is deemed offensive, guarantees his demise.  I have my opinion about what Donald Trump should do and I am going to share it with you and him in today's blog post.
In my most humble opinion, Donald Trump should..................and that is all I have to say on the matter.
Did you notice anything about my opinion about what Donald Trump should do?  It was pretty short, wasn't it?  In fact, you probably can't detect any real advice in what I wrote, can you?  There is a reason for that.  I was just joshing when I wrote that I wanted to give my opinion on what Donald Trump should do.  What I really want to write about today is my opinion about the doctrine of giving opinions.  I realize that is a contradiction but, hey, this is my blog and I can do what I want to.  You certainly don't have to read  my opinion about opinions and I would not be in the least bit offended if you stopped reading right now.
An opinion, in my opinion, is different than a statement of fact.  I can tell you that the sky is blue and that the sky is beautiful.  The first statement is a statement of fact.  The second statement is my opinion about that fact.  Facts can be debated, opinions by their very nature cannot.  As one vulgar person once said, opinions are like noses, everyone has one (I cleaned that up a bit).  Facts are objective, opinions are subjective.  Facts can be proven to be right or wrong.  Opinions are not usually about moral absolutes. Opinions are discussed in terms of how I feel about something rather than what I think about that thing.   
Opinions are non-factual statements made by a person with a particular point of view that are delivered to other people for one of two purposes. The first reason a person would offer up his opinion to another person about something in that second person's life is because the first person, the opinion giver, believes he knows what is best for the other person, the opinion receiver.  The opinion giver believes that if the person to whom he is giving his opinion would only conform to his opinion on the matter he would be able to live a much happier and healthier life.  The rather obvious presupposition behind the offering of an opinion to another person is the belief that I am a better judge of what you should do than you are.  That is where things get interesting.
As a giver of opinions, how did I qualify to be better at ascertaining what is best for you than you are?  How can I know your life circumstances better than you?  How can I know your life motivations better than you?  How can I know your life goals better than you?  And even if I could do all three of those things, who gave me the right to tell you, by giving you my opinion on the matter, that your opinion is inferior to mine?  The astounding level of arrogance that is involved whenever I offer up my opinion on what you should do next is beyond comprehension.  I quite literally have no right to ever give you my opinion on any matter in your life unless you have first requested it.  Since most people do not desire the opinions of others, I should always keep my mouth shut.
If you think I am overstating the case, let me ask you this.....how do you take it when other people offer you their unsolicited opinion about how you are living your life?  Is not your first response that they should mind their own business?  Is not your second response the strong desire to offer your opinion about what they are doing when they offer their opinion to you?  That process is, of course, just about how all family fights initiate.  Aunt Sally tells you she thinks you should cut your hair and you tell her, in anger at her intrusion into your life (and in self-loving adoration of your hair), that she needs to switch from Camels to marijuana cigarettes.  She reacts in outrage to you for refusing to honor her and thank her for her kind-hearted advice which was only offered, she tells everyone, to help you in your life.  You respond by informing her that you believe her advice was not motivated by altruism but by a desire to control your behavior because of her own latent insecurities and we are now off to the argumentative races!  Have fun with that. The best way to eliminate almost all arguments in human interactions is for each person to make a concerted effort to never offer an unsolicited opinion again.
When a person offers up an opinion to someone else it inevitably revolves around the desire to control the behavior of that other person.  Oh yes, it is couched in terms of the other person's best interest and "I am only saying this to help you," but the bottom line is always the same.  A person offers his opinion to another person in an attempt to control the other person.  And why does one person want to control another person?  There are only two reasons for that.
The first reason I want to control your behavior is because I want you to acknowledge, by your obedience to my advice, that I am a superior human being.  Everyone wants to be acknowledged as a superior human being, although there are precious few of those folks walking around in the real world.  Nevertheless, I believe I am a superior human being and imposing my will on you is proof of that fact.
The second reason I want to control your behavior is because your freedom exposes my insecurities.  Equally rare as the superior human being mentioned above is the human being who is not riddled with personal insecurities.  When I say "the sky is blue" to a member of the mass of humanity she hears "you think I am too stupid to know what color the sky is."  It is strange to the handful of those who are not insecure but it is true.  Typically the more insecure a person is the more that person will offer his unsolicited opinion to others.  The goal is to get others to reinforce his view of himself as a secure human being by cherishing the offered advice.  When that does not happen, as it almost never does, we are off on another great period of interpersonal conflict.
Earlier I mentioned that opinions will be offered up for one of two reasons.  Up to this point I have been discussing the first reason; to prove that I am better than you and reinforce the view of myself as a superior human being.  The second reason people offer up their opinions is quite different.  In this second scenario, which is much more common in the real world than the first scenario, the person offering the opinion about how Joe should behave does not offer it to Joe.  Rather, she offers it to Sally.  Ms. Opinionated goes up to Sally and says, "This is only my opinion but I believe Joe would be much better off if he would stop shooting heroin."  There is a word for this type of opinion giving.  It is called gossip and it, in the eyes of the God of the Bible, is a sin.  In my opinion all offerings of opinions to a third party constitute the sin of gossip.  There are no exceptions to this rule.
So here is what I am forced to conclude about offering unsolicited opinions in this life.  I am not qualified to offer you an opinion about what is best for you because I am not you.  Furthermore, even if I did give you my opinion you are not going to listen to it.  And if I ever give an opinion about someone to a third party I am engaging in the sin of gossip.  In light of these truths, why would anyone ever offer up an unsolicited opinion to anyone else?  Answer:  nobody ever would.  And that is my cherished opinion on the matter.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

What Is Mine Is Mine, Not Yours

The debate over the moral propriety of Lakewood baker Jack Phillips refusal to bake a cake glorifying homosexual behavior for a militant heterophobic couple continues on the editorial page of the Denver Post.  The story has been rekindled by Phillips who continues to push the issue in the courts.  He has adopted a rather strange defense, in my view, for his refusal to bake a cake.  His argument now goes something along this line:  He is an artist.  He bakes works of art.  As an artist he should not be required or forced by the State to create pieces of art he does not want to create.  Baking a cake glorifying homosexual behavior is inconsistent with his artistic values.  Therefore he should be free to refuse to create a work of art if he wants to.  Of more interest to me than Phillips' defense of his position is the response of various heterophobic people who have been writing letters to the editor of the newspaper.  I would like to consider two of those responses today.
My good friend Paul Brown of Denver writes, "Pray as you wish, believe as you must, but if you want to do business with the public you are required to serve the entire public."  Paul is not known for his powerful logical skills.  Paul's argument against Jack is that the law declares Jack must bake cakes for homosexuals so he must bake cakes for homosexuals whether he likes it or not.  Paul seems to miss the singular point that Jack is challenging the moral propriety of the law.  Everyone agrees about what the laws says.  What people disagree about is whether the law is moral or not.  Paul believes that it is a moral principle that any person who "does business" with a member of the "public" is morally required to do business with all members of the public regardless of who they are or what they demand.  Let's think about that position for a moment.
As a businessman I bring a particular product to the market place in search of buyers who are willing to pay my price for my product.  The product that I am selling is my own creation.  I used my brain and my hands to fashion something that I hope other people will want to purchase from me.  I bought the raw materials used to produce the finished good.  I rented the building where I produced the finished good.  Throughout the entire process I used my money, and my money alone, to create the finished product. It is fair to say that the product I am attempting to sell belongs to me and no one else.  I am the sole and exclusive owner of what I have created.
As the sole and exclusive owner of what I have created I have all of the rights of ownership over that finished product.  My rights of ownership include the right to do whatever I want with it.  I can burn it in a gigantic bond fire.  I can give it away to my neighbor.  I can keep it for my own personal use.  I can store it in my garage until the mice destroy it.  And I can also sell it to someone who is willing to pay the price I am asking.  At all points during the process of deciding what to do with the finished good it belongs to me and no one else.  At all points during the process of creating my product I have complete and total control over what I can do with it.  Then, at the precise moment I make the decision to sell my finished good to another person, Paul believes everything about the nature of my ownership of my product dramatically changes.
According to Paul, and the militant homosexuals who endorse his position, the moment I make the decision to sell something that is mine to another person I become morally and legally required to produce and sell a similar product to any member of the public who comes to me and commands me to do so.  The moment I ring up my first sale I become a slave to every consumer in the country.  The moment my first dollar is earned I am now at the beck and call of every single member of the public and if I refuse to perform my slave-like duty I can be arrested, fined and thrown into prison.  Paul calls this freedom.  Paul believes forcing producers of finished goods into slavery at the hands of their consumer masters is a good and moral principle.  I have a word for Paul.  In fact I have a couple of words for Paul.  Paul, now hear this, what is mine is mine and not yours.  You have no moral claim over anything I produce.  I can sell, or refuse to sell, anything and everything I make to everyone in the universe for whatever reason I wish and there is nothing, morally, you can say about it.  That is what it means to be a free man and not a slave to the State.  Conversely, your principle of "enslavement by virtue of a prior sale" is immoral, disgusting and, in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika, perfectly legal.
Douglas Willey of Thornton writes, "I sympathize with Phillip's position, but I hope that he can open his heart enough to consider the possibility that an all-loving God approves of love and marriage for all His children."  Well Dougie-boy, I don't know if Jack can "open his heart" as you wish for him to but I certainly can.  In fact, I am doing it right now.  I have posited the idea of an "all loving god," as you describe it, and I can easily see how that all loving god is just head over heels with acts of homosexual sex.  The problem for you, and what Jack is attempting to tell you, is that your all loving god is not the God of the Bible.  Both Jack and I know the God of the Bible exists (if you are honest with yourself, which you are not, you would also admit that you know the God of the Bible exists and has a moral claim upon your life).  Furthermore, your all loving god does not exist.  So if you want to live your life in service to a god that does not exist you are certainly free to do so but it is the height of theological hubris to ask a Christian to suspend his belief in the God of the Bible and endorse your imaginary god of free homosexual sex.
I have a word for Dougie-boy as well.  My beliefs are my beliefs and not yours.  Leave me alone and I will leave you alone.  If  you don't like my beliefs go somewhere else but most certainly do not attempt to change me into a creature made after your own ignorant and immoral image.  That is an amazingly arrogant thing to do for such a self-perceived humble man, don't you think?
One additional point to be made about the "enslavement by virtue of a prior sale" doctrine advanced by militant homosexuals and other worshipers of civil government is the fact that it only goes one way.  A Christian entered a bakery owned and operated by a homosexual and demanded that he bake a cake for him with a verse from the Bible inscribed on top declaring how homosexuality is a sin.  The baker refused to do so, despite the fact that he had previously sold cakes to the public and this Christian was a member of the public commanding him to make him a cake.  The case went to court and to the surprise of nobody the court ruled that the Christian was out of line.  According to the court the Christian did not have a moral claim on the cake he ordered the baker to make for him because Christians are not recognized by the State as a protected victim class.  In addition the court rejected the legal doctrine of "enslavement by virtue of a prior sale" and informed the Christian that he had no right to tell a homosexual baker what to make simply because that immoral baker had previously baked and sold a cake to a member of the public.  In other words, the doctrine is only in effect when it supports perverts and other government created and endorsed victim groups.  It never applies when Christians are involved.  In the Socialist Democracy of Amerika a Christian will always lose.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

SDA Citizens Stupidly Believe Government Creates Money

The Princeton Survey Research Associates International group conducted a survey of 1000 stupid citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika last month and, surprise, they discovered that SDA citizens are shockingly ignorant of basic economics.  Let's talk about the results of that survey for a while today.  But first, let me give you some basic economic principles that everyone should, but most likely doesn't, understand.
  • Money is not wealth.  Money is a means of exchange that is important in the creation of wealth.  Anything, like salt, cigarettes, gold and paper dollars, can serve as a means of exchange and, thus, be considered to be money.
  • Although profit seeking businessmen and entrepreneurs, intent upon producing goods and services that the consuming public wants for a price they are willing to pay, can create wealth in any environment, the best conditions for wealth creation are those in which there is a stable money supply and the government remains uninvolved in the process of monetary creation. That is why a gold standard is considered to be the ideal monetary standard.
  • When government declares a fiat (unbacked) paper currency to be legal tender and embarks upon a concerted program of continuous inflation the inevitable result is lower or negative economic growth and the perverted cycle of expansion and contraction stupidly called the "business cycle."  The process of boom, followed by bust, should actually be called the "government money cycle" since it is the federal government that creates it.
  • The federal government of the SDA created the Federal Reserve to allow it to borrow unlimited amounts of money.  The federal government, and the career politicians who infest it, want to be able to borrow unlimited amounts of money for two reasons:  1) citizens get tired of taxes and are likely to not vote for a candidate that is always raising them and, 2) unlimited access to dollars allows career politicians to pay for all of the social spending programs they create and use to buy votes in order to remain career politicians.  
  • When the Fed loans money to the federal government, its only customer, it is not lending out dollars that it has taken in from depositors.  If you do not count the counterfeit dollars left on deposit with the Fed by its member banks, the fed has no deposits.  All money that comes from the Fed is counterfeit money, created out of thin air and utterly worthless for economic growth.
  • Creating more money does not create more wealth.  When the federal government spends the counterfeit money that it has borrowed from the Fed in  order to pay for its social spending programs the net result is a decrease in the value of all existing dollars and no real wealth is added to the economy.  In other words, the only money government has to spend is money that was first either taken from the taxpayers or created out of thin air via a legal process of counterfeiting.
With these principles in mind, consider one of the results of the poll mentioned in the first paragraph.  According to the pollsters, 62% of SDA citizens say "they support debt-free university tuition."  In other words, a significant majority of the citizens of the SDA believe that college education should be free, just like Bernie has been saying the past year.  The survey went on to be a bit more specific and, to the surprise of nobody, those who make more money, always called "the rich," would be expected to pay for some or all of their children's college education.  At some point along the scale, however, 62% of SDA citizens believe the children of people below a certain income level should all have free college educations.
Should such a program be enacted it would create an immediate and perverse incentive for many families in the SDA.  Those families with incomes that are just over the high side of the margin would be induced to earn less in order to get free tuition.  At the same time those families on the low side of the margin would be incentivized to make sure they do not make more money and thereby lose their tuition free ride.  Incentives of that sort are always harmful to wealth creation and the economy as a whole.  Everyone in the country suffers when socialism reigns supreme.
The article did not say how the money needed to pay for the free college tuition would be extracted from the citizens of the land.  It did, however, go on to ask all of the people who wanted free tuition if they would be willing to pay their fair share for it.  According to the article, "among those surveyed, 48% said they would not be willing to pay more in federal taxes to fund free college."  So there you have it!  62% want free college tuition but 48% are unwilling to pay for it.  Just where do they expect the money to come from?
The answer to that question is simple.  The citizens of the SDA are amazingly stupid.  They believe that the federal government can pay for things from revenues that it somehow has created for itself without either raising taxes or issuing counterfeit money via the process of inflation.  Although I have never seen this question asked on a poll, I suspect the majority of the unwashed masses in this envy-filled land actually believe that the federal government somehow earns money from whatever it is that it does and that it can then use that money to do good things for the citizenry.  Let's get one thing straight.  Free college tuition would be paid for by raising taxes, thus hurting only the top 49% of the citizens who pay all of the federal government's tax bill, or by inflating the supply of dollars, thus hurting all holders of dollars.  One thing that is certain, however, is that the federal government cannot provide a free college education without forcing some of us to pay for it.  Money, contrary to the popular and majority opinion, does not grow on trees. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Greetings From Crested Butte

Last week I wrote that I was heading out to Crested Butte for a couple of days of climbing and wildflower viewing.  Here are the results of that trip.

The most interesting day was a loop drive and hike to the top of a 12,000+ foot summit named Cinnamon Mountain.  We departed Crested Butte and headed north along Slate Creek, in search of Paradise Divide and the place we would start our hike.  After about 16 miles of easy dirt road we came to the pass and parked the car.  Looking west we were treated to this view of Purple Mountain (there are two Purple Mountains in the same range, named the Ruby Range, in this part of Colorado).  I don't know if the lady who penned the line about "purple mountain majesty" had this view in mind (she was on the summit of Pikes Peak at the time) but I think it is a pretty good example of what she was describing.


We began our direct assault upon Cinnamon Mountain from this alpine tarn.  It was a short, steep and beautiful climb.  As we ascended the mountain we were treated to more views to the north.  The Maroon Bells wilderness is directly north of the area we were in and the view of the Maroon Bells from the south is not one most people are familiar with.   I have been told that the standard photograph of the Maroon Bells, take from Maroon Lake on the east side of the peaks, is the single most popular mountain photograph known to man.  I don't know how that could be determined but I am sure that there are many examples of that particular photo floating around.  Here is a shot of the Bells, with North Maroon the lower point on the left and South Maroon (the high point in this photo) and its long south ridge descending to the right, as taken from the slopes of Cinnamon Mountain.  By the way, I have had the pleasure of climbing the south ridge of Maroon Peak two different times in my career.  It is as challenging as it looks.  The flowers in the foreground give you a good sample of what we enjoyed that day.


We arrived at the summit in short order and were treated to this view of Paradise Divide, now about 1000 feet below us.  The tarn in this photo is the same tarn as in the first photo above.  The peak in the background left/center of the photo is Crested Butte.  There is a ski resort there and we had a hotel room at the ski village that we shared with hoards of insufferable Yuppies.  They were all driving expensive Jeeps and walking around wearing climbing attire.  Strangely, we didn't see any of them on this trip once we got out of town.  When I got back to the parking lot of the hotel, which one Yuppie SUV had blocked by parking directly in the exit pathway, I noticed that none of the Jeeps had dust on them.  Our truck was covered with dust.  Go figure.


I promised I would give you a taste of the wildflowers.  We were a week or two too late to enjoy the high season for wildflowers.  Some cold weather had already started to reduce the display and it was not nearly as profuse as I had hoped it would be.  Nevertheless, I managed to get this shot of some flowering tundra right near the summit of the peak.


As we approached the summit it was not only the Maroon Bells and Pyramid peak that came into view.  The other half of the Elk mountains is made up of a very different geological formation.  Sweeping granite ridges replace the red sedimentary rock of the Bells as one goes north in the range.  The twin summits of Capitol and Snowmass, as well as the 13er Hagerman, are seen in the photo below.  If you look carefully you can see K-2 and the infamous "knife edge" of Capitol.  Capitol is the peak in the back left and the flat ridge going to the right leads to K-2.  I have had the pleasure of being on the knife edge three times in my climbing career.  It is as exciting as it looks.


As we were preparing to begin the steep descent back to the truck my wife told me to hush as she pointed out one of the many joys of the high peaks.  A mother ptarmigan and her chicks were just to our right.  I quickly snapped a photograph of them.  Can you see the mother?  How many chicks can you see?  Hint:  They are centered in the photo.



Thus was one of our three days in Crested Butte.  It was an enjoyable three days and the mountains were in fine form.  I do have one piece of advice for you however.  If you go there try to avoid the Yuppies.  That is easy to do if you leave the resort and head to the high mountains.  Despite all their talk about being "extreme," Yuppies don't do much more than pose in places where they can be seen by others. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Biblical Message For The DNC & RNC

The conventions are over and each religious party has selected its candidate for next King of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika. All that is left to be done is for the sovereign will of the majority to be declared in November of this year, thus infallibly chosing who shall ruler over us the next four years.  Then we will all have the wretched experience of witnessing the coronation of a new King to rule over us with an iron fist and a God-hating system of law.
I took some time to download the documents that make up the platform for each political party in our de facto one-party system.  They both believe that government is imbued with the attributes of deity, fully capable of creating jobs, creating wealth, making people healthy and removing all of the risks associated with life in today's world.  In other words, they both claim to be gods.
Not only do the Democrats and the Republicans believe they are capable of doing things that only God can do, they are also ardent proponents of various laws that are all diametrically opposed to the law of God found in the Bible.  Even Evangelicals, who claim to believe that the Bible is the only guide for their lives, quickly abandon their belief in the sufficiency of Scripture in order to embrace the various pagan law systems proposed in the platforms of each political party.
In future blog posts I am going to critique several of the planks in each party's platform.  I think you will find my analysis of their most genuinely stupid and incomprehensibly obtuse planks informative and entertaining.  Today I have a simple word for both the Democrats and the Republicans.  I also have a simple word for the great majority of you who worship at the throne of civil government.  When you spend all of your time thinking about your choice for the next  King of the SDA, when you castigate those who refuse to validate your religion by their refusal to participate in the sacrament of voting that you hold so dear and when you find that you have truly come to believe that career politicians are capable of the good deeds they profess to be able to perform once you elect them, I know for a fact you are a worshiper of civil government.  So for all you career politicians, career bureaucrats and lovers of civil government, hear the Word of the Lord:
"Why are the nations in an uproar, and the peoples devising a vain thing?  The kings of the earth take their stand, against the Lord and His Anointed: 'Let us tear their fetters apart, and cast away their cords from us.'  He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.  Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury....Worship the Lord with reverence, and rejoice with trembling.  Do homage to the Son, lest He become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled."
The above quote is extracted from Psalm 2.  It is most appropriate when considering what has happened at the RNC and DNC in the last two weeks.  Both conventions were in an uproar.  They were outraged with each other and they were also outraged against the other party.  The Republican establishment hates Trump and attempted a coup to put one of their own in the driver's seat.  The Democrats rigged their procedures to ensure that Bernie the Outsider would not unseat Hillary the Great.  Division among the ranks was the name of the game for both parties.  The only thing the RNC and the DNC agreed upon was that the candidate from the other party is a satanically inspired type of Hitler that will destroy the Amerikan Empire if elected in November.
As you will read in future blog posts, the kings of the earth have taken their stand against the Lord, strongly desiring to distance themselves from Christian morality, truth and law.  The platforms crafted by both parties clearly repudiate most everything that comes from the Bible about how a civil government should operate.  Both the Democrats and the Republicans have done a fine job of casting away their perceived cords of oppression found in the law of God in the Bible.  Certain truths follow from what the two conventions have accomplished.  They are found in the portion of Psalm 2 quoted above
The folks who crafted the platforms for each party, and all of the registered party members who support those two parties, find themselves in the unenviable position of being laughed at by the omnipotent God of the universe.  As God haters they refuse to acknowledge the fact that He is mocking them but that does not change the fact that He is.  It is not a wise thing to be in a position where the God who rules the world laughs at and scoffs at you.  When you find yourself in that position the only rational thing to do is to repent of your sin.  That, of course, will not happen.  You love your god of civil government far too much to repent of your idolatry.  That brings about the second consequential truth.
Those who refuse to do homage to the Son of God find themselves in a position of judgment.  Those who refuse to worship the true and living God will be subject to His wrath.  Contrary to what your Evangelical friends have told you, God is not in love with you.  He does not weep crocodile tears when you devise vain laws to oppose His most holy and perfect law for the organization of human societies.  On the contrary, He becomes enraged at you and your God-hating platform. If you do not repent your future is the Lake of Fire.  That includes you Evangelicals who believe the Republican party represents the will of God on earth.  Enough said.
For those who are interested you can find the Democratic platform here and the Republican platform here.