San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, September 16, 2016

Colorado In The Fall

I suppose it is basic human nature to become infatuated with the place in which we live.  Senior Amerikans, known as Native Amerikans to the politically correct, constantly talk about how every place they have ever built a campfire is sacred to them.  Although I reject the religious claims of animism, there is something to be said about how spending a lot of time in a particular geographic area brings about a sense of ownership and appreciation for that area.  How else can I explain the fact that Cajuns really seem to appreciate the bayou?  Why anyone would want to spend more than a minute or two in a snake and mosquito infested swamp is a mystery to me.  Yet those folks seem to truly love where they live.  Good for them.
I live in Colorado.  Colorado is famous for its mountains.  Most people visit Colorado in the summertime while on family vacations.  Most people visit the government controlled parks found within the state and then pronounce themselves properly impressed by the natural beauty that can be found here.  The second most popular time for people to visit the state in which I reside is the winter.  Then people come in droves to enjoy the opportunities to fly rapidly downhill on a pair of skis or a snowboard.  I gave up downhill skiing years ago as I grew increasingly tired of constantly having to watch out for other skiers on the crowded slopes.  I also grew tired of waiting in long lines of traffic just to get to the local ski areas.  I guess that is what happens as one ages.  Things that seemed like minor inconveniences become major obstacles.
Fall is one of the best times to visit the Colorado mountains, although it seems like only the local residents appreciate that fact.  I suspect it is difficult for all but a handful of hunters to pack up the family car and make the trip to Colorado just to drive around for a day or two enjoying the fall colors.  I also suspect that most folks who live in other parts of the country consider their fall display of colors to be at least equal to that found in Colorado.  Indeed, I can see how the argument can be made that the mixed forests of the eastern part of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika present a far more varied and beautiful fall display than the monochrome aspen displays found in my state.  To each his own, I guess.
Today I am going to share some of my favorite fall photographs with you.  I may have put some of these up on the blog previously so bear with me if I am repeating myself here.  I took each of these photos.  All of these photographs were taken in the month of September, usually during the third or fourth week of the month. They have been assembled over the decades as I have had opportunity to get out into the mountains during the fall.  I hope you enjoy seeing them at least partially as much as I enjoyed being there to take them.
One of the greatest pleasures to be found in the fall is simply walking through an aspen forest in the midst of high mountains covered in new fallen snow.   This shot was taken near Lake City, on a climb of several unnamed high 13,000 foot peaks.  It is looking up towards a ridge leading to one of the peaks I had been on top of a few hours earlier. 

 

Also near Lake City is Handies Peak.  While climbing it one fall day I snapped this shot of a couple of unnamed 13,000 foot peaks across the valley to the NE.  I had the pleasure of running the ridge seen below on an early summer climb a couple of years earlier. 


No photo essay of Colorado is complete without a shot of the iconic Maroon Bells.  I have been on and around them many times in the fall.  Here is a shot of the Bells taken from a 13,000 peak on the ridge north of them.  The mountain in the middle foreground is called Sleeping Sexton.  The two high points in the back, on the right and left of the Sexton, are the Maroon Bells as seen from the north.  As you can see, snow comes early to the high country.


Here is the more typical photo of the Bells, taken on that same trip.  The fellow in the photo was my climbing partner that day and, yes, that is infamous Aspen socialite Barbie Benton with him.  We ran into her at the trail head and she kindly agreed to pose with him for a picture with the classic view of the Bells in the background.  By the way, the ridge going right from North Maroon is the Sleeping Sexton of the previous photo.  I have examined the profile of the Sexton many times over the years and still don't see him in repose.  The peak we climbed that day is just out of view to the right in the photo.


The next day we climbed another peak in the Aspen area and were treated to this trail on the descent.  On this day we ran into another famous group from Aspen.  Several members of the Aspen Gay Men's Chorus were out on a hike.  They praised me profusely for the shirt I was wearing, which was pink.  I was glad to get past them as quickly as possible.  You never know who you are going to run into when hiking in the Aspen area.


Occasionally we run into some wild critters on our adventures.  This irascible moose, with her young ones out of the picture, was foraging up in the high country near the tiny town of Creede.  We didn't stick around long to introduce ourselves after this shot was taken as she did not seem very pleased about our being there.


This shot is one of my all time favorites.  It is of Rolling Mountain, near Silverton, with the Bandera mine in the foreground.  We were attempting to climb a peak on the ridge to the right of Rolling Mountain.  We failed in our attempt that day due to icy conditions on steep rock.  After dislodging a bowling ball sized rock that whizzed past my jumping wife we decided to call it a day. 


Another all time favorite photo was taken a year later, also near Silverton.  This shot was taken above Red Mountain pass, looking east over an alpine tarn towards the mountains that give the pass its name.  My wife and I were descending from a peak back to the pass and had just seen a black bear running through the forest minutes before I took this photo. 


My wife and I climbed Uncompahgre Peak a couple of years ago in September.  The conditions were perfect for some monochromatic photographs of the area, with low hanging clouds and fresh snow on the ground.  Here is a shot looking north to El Punto, the thumb on the left side of the shot, from the trail to Uncompahgre.


We made the summit of Uncompahgre that day, and had it all to ourselves the entire way up and down.  Here is my wife on the summit.


I will leave you with another classic moment in the Colorado mountains in the fall.  Maybe we will meet on the trail some day and share one of these moments together.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

NPR Endorses And Promotes Fornication

Fornication is not a topic that is commonly discussed these days but, make no mistake, the topic is on the minds of tens of millions of citizens within the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Fornication is defined as having a sexual relationship with someone outside the bounds of a marriage covenant.  Fornicators are people who have sex with other people to whom they are not married.  If the fornicator is married the sexual act is called adultery.  I am not writing about adultery today.  I am writing about fornication and the simple truth is that what was once considered to be a serious sin is now a commonly accepted practice and generally considered to be morally good.
God has an opinion about fornicators.  He says, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."  In another part of the Bible God says, "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge."  Is there anything in those two statements that is hard to understand?  I don't think so.  God makes it pretty clear that people who practice fornication are eternally damned to the Lake of Fire if they do not repent of their sin.  You might want to think about that before you go out on your next hook up.
Back in 2003 a young Evangelical by the name of Joshua Harris wrote a book entitled "I Kissed Dating Goodbye."  In that book he took a biblical stance on what is generally called "dating."  Dating today essentially means having sex with multiple partners, usually not at the same time but not necessarily so, and Harris' book took the hard line that a Christian should not even touch a woman in an erotic fashion.  Although Harris did not build his principle about non-contact during dating from specific biblical passages, he nevertheless told the biblical truth about the practice of erotic touch.  I Corinthians 7 contains the biblical teaching about erotic touch and it is pretty clear.  "It is good for a man not to touch a woman..." is the basic principle.  All erotic touch prior to marriage is sin and Harris taught that principle.  You can imagine the firestorm that created both inside and outside of Evangelicalism.
According to this website, "As many as 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults have had sex, according to an analysis of a study on sexual activity in the upcoming October issue of Relevant, a Christian magazine. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 who identify themselves as evangelicals are almost as sexually active as their non-Christian peers..."  If that assertion is correct, and I see no reason to challenge its truthfulness, then roughly 80 to 90 percent of all non-married people are serial fornicators. (As a side note....once again I wonder how anyone, especially Evangelicals, can invoke God to bless Amerika given the fact that half of the citizens are adulterers, the other half are fornicators and over a million of our citizens are murdered each year in abortion mills.) This is true for both Evangelicals and people who despise the God of the Bible.  With such a strong degree of support for the practice of fornication it is to be expected that those who practice it will seek to find moral justification for their behavior.  Since fornicators are generally not overly concerned with making an argument for why fornication is just dandy in the eyes of God they instead seek to discredit those Christians who continue to persist in the archaic belief that fornication is a sin.  This is where National Public Radio (NPR) gets involved.
NPR is partially funded by taxpayer dollars.  Anytime taxpayer dollars are involved we know two things for certain.  First, whatever is being funded would not exist in a free market.  In other words, the citizens of this country would not be willing to pay for the service being offered and the company offering the service would go bankrupt without taxpayer support.  Without taxpayer dollars NPR would not exist.  Second, NPR will spout a liberal, pro-government stream of propaganda.  He who pays the piper calls the tune.  What comes from NPR will be designed to solidify the post-Christian ethical standards of the SDA and NPR reporters will glory in stories that prove how the SDA is no longer a society based upon some form of Christian ethics but, instead, is now based upon the immoral beliefs of the majority.  Since the vast majority of the people in this country are serial fornicators and adulterers we should expect reports designed to cast fornication in a favorable light while, at the same time, showing Evangelicals to be grossly out of touch with modern times.
NPR recently featured a story about Joshua Harris.  That story can be found here.  The story is entitled "Evangelical Pastor Rethinks His Approach to Courtship."  The reporter tells the story of the moral outrage and emotional backlash Harris has received as the years have gone by since he wrote his book about dating.  Enough time has gone by for Evangelicals to have practiced the principle of no erotic touch and man are they angry.  According to the article, "He's heard from people who felt his writing taught them to be ashamed of their bodies and to feel guilty for having any sexual desires. The criticism came out recently on Twitter. One woman reached out and said the book was used against her like a weapon.... 'And so I'm hearing these different voices saying, here's how your book was used against me, here's how it was forced on me, or here's how I tried to - no one forced it on me, but I tried to apply it and it had this negative consequence in different ways.'"
So let me get this straight.  Harris teaches the biblical principle that unmarried people should abstain from fornication and people who practiced that principle are now angry with him because "it taught them to be ashamed of their bodies" and "to feel guilty for having sexual desires?"  Ahemmm......whose fault is that?  Did Harris teach those things?  (Answer:  No)  So why are you holding Harris accountable for something he did not teach?  (Answer:  Because that is the Evangelical and post-Christian way)  I am especially amused by the poor victims who claim that Harris' book was "used against them like a weapon."  Isn't that interesting?  A book telling people to not follow their sinful feelings and to not practice fornication is a "weapon" because it is demanding they suppress their sinful desires.  Then, rather than blaming their own sinful nature for how bad they feel, they shoot the messenger and blame Harris for teaching the truth.
I am also fascinated by those who are now telling Harris that applying the principle of non-fornication ended up having "negative consequences in different ways."  I wonder what those negative consequences are?  None were described in the story.  I also wonder how they can justify their personal moral system when they believe that following the biblical principle to abstain from fornication results in negative consequences in their lives?  How does the practice of fornication usually work out for them?  The story did not say.  The idea that practicing God's law brings about negative consequences is certainly contrary to God's view on the matter.  God says that following His law brings life and peace.  Little do they realize that the truth is a weapon.  It is designed to guide Christians to moral behavior and it is also designed to judge those who reject the biblical standard of moral propriety.  They also seem to be oblivious to the fact that obedience to the law of God never has negative consequences.  Only the God-hating law of man continually and perpetually delivers negative consequences in our lives as each citizen of this envy filled land seeks to use the power of government to pick the pocket of his neighbor.
The main emphasis of the article is not the fact that people are angry with Harris because he believes fornication is a sin.  The main emphasis of the article is the fact that Harris has apparently rethought his position on the matter and is now apologizing to those people who claim to be victims of biblical truth.  This gets to the heart of the matter and it explains why NPR wanted to tell the story.  The headline of the story could have been more accurate if it had said, "Evangelical Pastor Recants Inconvenient Biblical Truth So We All Can Continue To Fornicate Without Guilt."  Good for them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Colorado's Proposed Minimum Wage Law

In the never ending advance of democracy and majority rule in our land, enough people from Colorado signed their names to a petition to put a minimum wage law proposal on the November ballot.  Whether the proposed new law passes depends upon how many people end up being winners under the terms of the new law.  If there are more winners (those who make more for their labor services than they are worth) than losers (those who are forced to pay money to the winners) the proposal will pass and business owners will be saddled with another business stifling law.
Currently the minimum wage in Colorado is somewhere around $8/hr and change.  The proposal would increase it to $12/hr, with the eventual goal being $15/hour shortly thereafter.  As is always the case in politically charged proposals like this one, economic ignorance abounds.  A front page story in my Denver Post this morning declared that raising the minimum wage by almost 50% will create thousands of new jobs and "pump $400 million into Colorado's economy."  How a minimum wage increase could be responsible for such positive economic outcomes was not described.  Neither was it described why, if a 50% increase in the wage is so beneficial, we should not vote to have a 500% increase in the wage.  After all, if a little is good more must be better.
Tim Gaudette of Denver is in favor of the proposal.  He offers up two primary arguments in support of his position.  His first argument goes like this:  "A new report showing an increase in Colorado's minimum wage won't in fact be a job killer came as no surprise.  This research reinforces what many small business owners are saying -- that an increase will stimulate our economy by putting more money in the pockets of consumers who will spend at local businesses."
Timmy's first argument is classic Keynesian economics.  Keynes taught that it is possible to create wealth by spending money.  Despite the fact that every person who is a member of a family, and that would be everyone I believe, knows that you do not increase your wealth by spending money, Keynes held that when government spends money everyone grows rich beyond their wildest dreams.  As an offshoot of his argument Tim believes that when government rules force business owners to spend more on labor than the free market would bear everyone becomes rich beyond their wildest dreams.
Timmy is dead wrong about the minimum wage and jobs.  Raising the minimum wage will both destroy existing jobs that are on the margin and prevent the formation of future jobs that were also on the margin.  That is economic reality and economic truth, despite what some government financed "study" might determine.  Just where does Timmy think the money being paid in excess of the market rate for labor comes from?  Money does not grow on trees.  Money is not free.  Businesses do not have stacks of money lying around to give away for free.  His argument that government laws forcing business owners to pay more than the market rate for labor will "stimulate our economy" and create wealth is ridiculous.  It is based upon the fallacious notion that spending money creates wealth, something every home budget planner knows is patently false.
Economic wealth is created when people invest money in capital and capital productive industries.  Those industries produce goods and services that they hope people will be willing to purchase.  When people purchase those goods for a price that allows the business to make a profit the business is able to continue operating.  When the business is unable to realize a profit it goes bankrupt.  The costs associated with the production of goods, including the cost of labor, determine if the business will succeed or fail.  Government laws forcing the business owners to pay more for labor than the market will bear harm the businesses.  The belief that putting more money into the hands of the laborers will cause then to spend more money on goods produced by businesses, thus increasing economic growth for all, is exactly backwards.  Without prior investment there will be no goods to purchase.
Timmy's second argument is incredibly naive.  He writes, "I talk to small business owners all over the state, and many say they support a higher minimum wage because it reduces turnover and increases productivity, which is good for their bottom line.  What's more, Small Business Majority's opinion polling found 60 percent of small businesses nationwide support gradually raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020."  So let me get this straight.  Timmy says that a strong majority of business owners already believe that paying more than the market will bear for the labor they employ is good for their businesses because it retains employees and "increases productivity," whatever that means.  If that is true, Timmy, why don't these business owners just raise their wage rates from $8/hour to $12/hour or $14/hour or $2000/hour on their own?  Why do they need a state law to force them to do something they believe is good and beneficial for their businesses?  They are free to pay whatever they want right now. Why do they want a law forcing other business owners to pay more to their employees when they are free to pay their employees more voluntarily?
The last question above gets to the heart of the matter.  Even if it is true that a strong majority of business owners want to pay their labor service providers more than they are currently paying them and even if it is true they believe paying their labor service providers more for their services than they are currently paying them is good for their bottom line, the only reason to demand a law enshrining a higher wage permanently is to do harm to their competitors.  These businesses compete with other similar businesses for the consumer's dollar.  If they have somewhat higher profit margins they are able to pay a higher wage to their laborers.  On the other hand, if their competitors have a lower profit margin they will be driven out of business by the new minimum wage law.  The reason these altruistic business owners favor a higher wage has nothing to do with economic growth, productivity, or helping the economy grow.  It has everything to do with using government hegemony to force their competitors to the sidelines, thus increasing their own profits.  As I said initially, government intervention into the marketplace always creates winners and losers.  Business owners who support the new minimum wage law expect to be the winners.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fighting For Me In Washington

Recently I noticed a television commercial produced by the folks who support Hillary Clinton as the next, and first, Queen of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  One statement really jumped out at me.  The clip showed Hillary delivering a speech in which she proudly and confidently asserted that if I would vote for her she would "fight for you in Washington."  It struck me as a somewhat odd thing to say but I didn't give it much thought after that.
Yesterday I saw a commercial in support of a woman running for Congress, the Senate I believe, from Colorado.  She walked about quite confidently as she proclaimed her allegiance to a higher minimum wage and government wealth transfer payments for disabled people, whoever they are.  At the end of the commercial she informed me that if I would vote for her she would "fight for you in Washington."  Recalling the same refrain from Hillary a few days earlier I decided to contemplate just exactly what it means to vote for someone so they can go to Washington and do some fighting on my behalf.
Most of the time the folks who want to go to Washington to fight are running for a legislative branch office.  That means they see the process of making new laws as a win/lose situation in which one group of people will come out on the winning side and the other group of people will end up losing.  I find that very interesting in light of the fact that the Constitution of the United States, a defunct document that is still used for symbolic purposes only, recognized that the laws crafted by politicians were never to be designed to create a win-lose situation.  They understood that the goal of legislation was to address some pertinent issue in such a way that all parties to the issue ended up winning.  They sought to protect the rights of all parties and would never have described the process of enacting legislation as a process in which Congress exists for the purpose of creating losers and doing real harm to the poor souls who find themselves in that category.  My how things have changed.
As long as the list of civil rights Congress was making laws about consisted of the right to life, freedom and property there were no scenarios in which some group of citizens could be exploited by another group of citizens.  As soon as that political belief was abandoned and civil rights were expanded to include the right to plunder my neighbor's property and enslave him to work for me the doors were opened for unending fighting in Washington.  No longer were Congressmen seeking to protect the rights of all citizens.  Now they were representing the people who vote for them because they have promised to give them something in exchange for that vote.  It did not take long, given the naturally envious nature of sinful human beings, for the entire process to devolve to the point where we see it today.  It is quite accurate to describe what goes on in Washington as fighting because that is really what it is.  The goal is no longer to enact laws that are palatable for all.  Now the goal is to use the power of congressional lawmaking to enslave and plunder my neighbor for my own benefit.
People today wonder why politics is such a dirty business.  The answer to that question is simple.  Politics today means fighting, pure and simple.  Politics today is nothing but fighting, pure and simple.  All political action that takes place in this country today is divisive and designed to enrich one group at the expense of another.  Every new law that is enacted creates a winning class and a losing class.  Given those truths, why should the process not be filled with animosity, hatred and anger?  My neighbor is using the political process to steal my money and enslave me to work for him.  My neighbor is using the political process to force me to pay for his daughter's abortions.  My neighbor is using the political process to keep me from doing what I want to do business-wise.  My neighbor is using the political process to force me to pay him more than the free market would bear and more than what he is worth.   I end up hating my neighbor and all of the politicians he employs to do his dirty work.
If I try to keep my hands clean and stay out of the process I find that I become an easy target for those who wish to exploit me.  The only way to protect myself is to hire lobbyists and vote for politicians who will fight for my interests in Washington.  In the end we have a true civil war between those who believe they are entitled to the money of others because of some special need or government granted privilege and those who try to protect themselves from the stealing thieves who want their money.   The entire process is rotten to the core and utterly irredeemable.  No new law can be made to fix what the political process has become.  All new laws only make it worse by creating even more special interests and categories of government protected victims.  The only thing that will stop the cycle of lying, theft and enslavement is the total collapse of the Empire.  I can only hope. 
I will not be voting for anyone to go to Washington and fight for me this year.  I do not believe it is morally proper to hire a thug to go to Washington to make laws that allow me to steal from my neighbor.  I believe it is immoral to do something by majority vote that I cannot morally do by myself.  You should believe these things to and that is another very powerful reason why you should not vote.  When you engage in the process of voting you are quite likely engaging in the act of theft.  Do you really want to do that?
Despite my non-support of the political system I know it will go on and roughly half the citizens of this country will vote this year.  The majority of the voters will be voting to elect some career politician who will use the power of civil government to steal for him.  The minority of the voters will be voting to elect some career politician who promises, but never delivers, to keep people from stealing from him.  If you really want to do something productive this year, don't bother voting and pray that God will cause the entire system to collapse. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Remembering 9/11

Today's post is improperly titled.  I am not going to remember 9/11.  Indeed, as a Welshman I find the fascination with recalling horrific events from the past to be a distinctly Amerikan phenomenon.  What is it about the citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika that its citizens seem to glory in bringing up all of the allegedly bad things that have happened to them over the years?  Most of the rest of the citizens of the world do their best to repress or forget the negative experiences from their past.  Most of the rest of us, who are not citizens of the Empire, do our level best to focus upon the positive past experiences in our lives.  But that is not the case for citizens of the SDA.
Maybe it is their sense of privilege.  Maybe it is their sense of moral superiority.  Maybe it is nothing more than the fact that they are citizens of the most powerful, murderous and evil empire the world has ever seen.  As they perceive life, nothing bad should ever happen to them because they are citizens of the Empire and, by definition, whatever happens to them is more significant than what happens to the rest of the citizens of the world.   As the most powerful Empire in the history of the world it is incomprehensible to the average Amerikan citizen that his god (civil government and the military in combination.....it is a two person deity) did not protect him from what happened on 9/11.  Rather than blaming his god however, the citizen of the Empire makes the religious and irrational decision to cast himself as a perpetual victim of his god's impotent failings.   Hence we have an endless streams of memorials, each one dedicated to something that should not have happened to exceptional Amerikans but did anyway.  No matter what the reason, the Amerikan obsession with 9/11 is downright crazy.
The Denver Post reported on the local memorial held yesterday.  It was entitled "Colorado Remembers 9/11."  How a geopolitical entity known as "Colorado" has the personal attributes necessary to remember something was  not described.  How this thing or person known as "Colorado" had managed to forget something that took place a scant 15 years ago was also not explained.  I could not find anything in the article to explain who paid for the festivities that took place at Civic Center Park yesterday, although I suspect that as a taxpayer I was responsible for paying the bill.  The memorial was highlighted by a concert by John Fogerty and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.  That probably would have been a fun concert to attend but I didn't have the will to sit with tens of thousands of  government worshiping "patriots" while the concert was taking place.
Melanie Pearlman, identified as the Executive Director of the Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab, or CELL, was quoted explaining the purpose of the memorial.  (CELL is partially funded by the taxpayers and mostly funded by private donations.)  She said, "When we come together as a community, we triumph in the face of tragedy.  This commemoration will help us not only remember, but also demonstrate our country's spirit of resilience."  Melanie is the perfect post-modern woman.  She fills the air with words that make State worshipers feel good about themselves but she says absolutely nothing of substance or value.  I am a member of the geopolitical zone known as Colorado so I am technically a member of the community.  I didn't "come together" with anyone yesterday.  I also fail to see how it is that the mere gathering of a couple thousand people in a government owned park in central Denver causes the citizens of Colorado to "triumph in the face of tragedy."  Indeed, I can't even figure out what that means.  The people who died in 9/11 certainly didn't triumph in anything.  They are all dead.  Those who did not die in the 9/11 attacks are not heroes, nor did they triumph over anything.  We are all simply witnesses to what took place that day.  I sure wish people would learn to talk about substantial things when they gather for momentous occasions but I know enough to know that will never happen when the god of civil government is involved.
As a part of the ceremony the folks who organized the event brought in a holy icon, to which the worshipers showed their adoration by genuflecting.  The story informed me that "steel wreckage from the World Trade Center, flanked by more than 30 honor guards from across Colorado, will be on exhibit."  I wonder who paid for the presentation of the holy icon and the guards who accompanied it?  I couldn't find an answer to that question in the story but I would be willing to bet that some of my taxpayer dollars were used to foot the bill.  I wasn't there but I read some reports about what went on at similar ceremonies around the country.  At those similar events the attendees were in rapt worship of the various icons that were paraded before them.  I don't see the value of getting all teary eyed and praising my god for a piece of metal but, then again, I do not idolize civil government.
The story also told me that "an imam, priest, rabbi and shaman will share in an interfaith invocation and benediction."   Now that would have been something to see.  Religious leaders from Islam, Catholicism, Judaism and Paganism all get together and invoke the name of the god of civil government, asking that it would bless their memorial service and give them the military might necessary to continue to expand and defend the Empire.  I wonder why there was no Protestant minister there?  Certainly it would not have been difficult to find a Republican minister who adores the Empire as much the other fellows who called upon their god to round out the "interfaith" group.  I suspect the Protestants were left out of the festivities to emphasize the fact that Amerika is a post-Christian society.  Let's simply set aside and ignore the fact that there is no such thing as an "interfaith" group.  Each of those religions is different and each is diametrically opposed to the others.  But, when in the presence of the real god of this land (civil government in case you have not already guessed it), those disparate groups are able to join hands in unity.  Like I wrote, what a sight that would have been.
I will conclude with the statement made by the rabbi.  He said, "Fifteen years ago, terrorists sought to murder our people and break our country's spirit, but they did not and will not succeed, for when light and goodness encounter darkness and hatred, without fail light and goodness will always prevail."   Let us all forget that the reason the "terrorists" attacked the twin towers was entirely about seeking revenge for the millions of citizens in their countries who had been killed by Amerikan military action as the SDA has expanded its Empire throughout the Middle East.  Let us forget that apart from the SDA's support for Israel none of this would have ever happened.  Let us forget that Amerikan forces have destroyed large portions Iraq and Afghanistan and that the leaders of those countries have been begging us to leave.  Let us forget that the SDA's King and his Court have established hegemonic control over a good part of the homelands of the people responsible for the attack.  Let us forget that Palestinians were forcibly removed from their homes to make room for returning Jews, by order of the United Nations, in 1948.  Let us forget the pain, suffering and misery the SDA military forces have brought upon tens of millions of innocent citizens of foreign lands who were doing nothing more than trying to live their lives when the bombs began falling from the sky.  Indeed, as we remember 9/11, let us make a concerted effort to forget all of the real reasons it took place.  I have closed my eyes and shut my ears and now I can say with the others.....Praise the Empire!