San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Saturday, April 29, 2017

King Donnie's EO To The Interior Department

Last Wednesday King Donnie issued an Executive Order to the Interior Department of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika ordering its members to review monument designations and make any "needed" changes to the present list of national parks and monuments.  Predictably, environmental wackos came crawling out from under their rocks issuing pronouncements that the SDA was doomed to be overrun by profit seeking businesses raping and pillaging previously protected lands.  Also quite predictably, the media ran extensive stories on the reasons why "we," whoever that is, need federally protected lands in this country.  I saw no article in support of our King's EO.
Robert Cassady of Louisville (the Denver suburb, not the city in Kentucky) wrote a letter to the editor of the Denver Post that I believe succinctly summarizes the views of the environmental socialists among us.  Allow me to quote sections of it here:
"National parks and monuments are one of this nation's greatest inventions.  That the new president is changing the meaning of a monument from a place that is protected to one subject to the whims of those currently in power sounds more like actions in a Third World dictatorship than in our great nation.  Lands such as the Grand Staircase, Organ Mountains and Bears Ears are among the most spectacular and are cherished by millions.  If you think it is wrong to dismantle protection for such places, contact the president, those in Congress, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to let them know that our lands should not be compromised."
Let's consider Ryan's arguments here today.  He begins by proudly declaring that he is a socialist.  His belief that national parks and monuments are "one of this nation's greatest inventions" is an adoring tribute to the religious doctrine of common ownership of land, an integral part of the socialist religion.  In a truly free nation there would be no land owned by the civil government.  Land that was unused would remain unused until somebody decided to use it.  Then it would become the property of the person using it.  Land that was used would all be privately held and the owners would be free to do with their land whatever they please.  But we do not live in a free country.  We live in a socialist paradise.
Ryan bemoans that King Donnie's EO would make the management of federal lands subject to the "whims" of whoever is currently in power.  Please tell me Ryan, how did former King Obama's late term land grab not also perfectly exemplify a case of the whim of one in power dramatically changing the federal land ownership landscape?  Apparently in Ryan's world the only direction federal ownership of land is permitted to go is towards more of it, not less.  He presents no rational or moral argument why this should be so.  He simply assumes that federal ownership of lands, especially lands that are then removed from productive use, is always good.  That is called worship of the State.
I had go wipe the tears from my eyes after reading that "millions" of people currently recreate in the Grand Staircase NM, I was laughing so hard.  I don't know anything about the Organ Mountains and I have never been to Bears Ears but I have been to the Grand Staircase many times and I can assure you that it does not experience millions of human visitors.  In fact, Grand Staircase is one of those places where you can go for days without seeing anyone.  So I find it very hard to buy Ryan's argument that there is a socialist and populist uprising in favor of the federal takeover of the Grand Staircase.
Ryan believes that it is morally wrong to "dismantle protections for such places."  (Strange....of all of the times I have been to the Grand Staircase I have never sensed that it was under attack or in need of any sort of protection.  I wonder what Ryan has experienced there?)  He does not bother to define what he means by "dismantle protections," I suspect that is the case because all of his fellow socialists and worshipers of environmentalism already know what he means.  I think I know what he means even though I am not an environmental wacko.  In Ryan's world "protection" means that the land can never be used by a profit seeking business.  Any economic development of land is evil in the eyes of Ryan and his ilk.  When Utah legislators were unwilling to create a law forbidding any economic development in the Grand Staircase former King Obama stepped up to the plate, stole their land and pronounced it to forever remain undeveloped.  Ryan believes that is a moral thing to do because "our" lands, whoever "our" represents, should never be "compromised," whatever that means.
The tragedy of the commons is what results when there is public ownership of an asset.  When everyone owns something, as Ryan claims all citizens of the SDA do in regards to the Grand Staircase, then nobody truly owns that property and its management is left to career politicians and bureaucrats who bow to the whims of the most vocal political partisans.  That is precisely what happened when former King Obama conducted a federal land grab that gobbled up millions of acres of state owned land and transferred it to the federal government.
The one argument that I have been unable to find anywhere has nothing to do with whether "we" own public lands.  It also has nothing to do with how those lands are managed.  The key argument in this issue, which also happens to be the motivating factor in King Donnie's EO, is whether or not the federal government has the right to steal lands from the states.  The socialism that we live under tolerates no states rights.  Socialism only operates properly when the federal government is in control of everything.  Socialists are most happy only when federal rules and regulations dominate all of life and the individual states are forbidden from competing with the federal system.  That is what Donnie's EO is all about.  Donnie wants the Interior Department to think about scaling back its activities in stealing land from the states.
When former King Obama created the Grand Staircase National Monument he stole that land from the state of Utah.  Yes, I understand that the state of Utah should not own it either but that is missing the point.  On what moral basis does the federal government have the right to, with the stroke of a pen, declare that millions of acres of state owned land is suddenly removed from future development?  How can the act of signing a piece of paper by a King transfer ownership of millions of acres from a state to the federal government?  Activities such as those conducted by former King Obama would have created armed insurrections in the states not that many years ago.  Not so today.  We live in a socialist paradise and everything the federal government does is sanctified simply because the federal government does it.  Ryan, and most of the other idolatrous citizens of this immoral country, worships at the throne of civil power in the SDA and he is highly agitated when men like King Donnie challenge his presuppositions about how things should be.  I don't think I will be writing my Congressman or giving King Donnie a call (although he has said I can advise him any time I feel the urge).  Returning the lands of the Grand Staircase to the citizens of Utah would be a good idea.  Who knows?  Maybe the enterprising Mormons in that state could convince their legislators to sell the whole place off to the highest bidders.  Now that would be paradise indeed.

Friday, April 28, 2017

King Donnie's Flip-Flops

A lot of journalists and political pundits are complaining that King Donnie is not logically consistent in regards to his policies and procedures.  They are surprisingly surprised by Donnie's utter lack of logical consistency in anything that he does and says.  They profess to be flabbergasted by his contradictory economic policies and they confess a total inability to understand his political philosophy.  Lately many of them have been writing articles about how Donnie is oftentimes doing things that are exactly the opposite of what he promised to do on the campaign trail.  Let's consider this issue for a bit today.
What I fail to understand is how so many people can fail to understand that King Donnie is an opportunist with absolutely no rational bone in his body.  This truth has been obvious from the very beginning of his disjointed and irrational campaign.  He has no political philosophy except to "win," whatever that means to him.  He has no economic philosophy except to "win," whatever that means to him.   He has no consistent policy on trade and he is flying entirely by the seat of his pants with his foreign policy.  But this is not new.  Donnie has always been this way and people should not be surprised by his actions.
Donnie is a businessman with two primary goals:  1) to win any engagement he encounters and 2) to give the customers he courts what they want.  When Donnie decided to run for King of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika he took his honed business skills and applied them to the political arena.  Since career politicians and those who report on them are ignorant of the real world, they claimed that they were incapable of figuring him out.  He is not hard to figure out.  There are only two things that need to be known to understand King Donnie.  Those two things are:  1) how can he win, in his own mind, the encounter he is presently engaged in and 2) how can he give the people he courts what they want? 
The King campaigned on friendly relations with Russia and now seems bent on casting Putin as Satan incarnate.  The King campaigned on getting out of the Middle East and now enjoys dropping bombs on Syria.  The King campaigned on peaceful foreign relations with countries around the world, preferring to do business with them rather than making them vassals of the Amerikan Empire but now that he is the Supreme Commander he is threatening nuclear war with North Korea.  The King pledged to start a trade war with China but is instead working on a minor re-write of NAFTA and hosting Chinese dignitaries at his mansion in Florida.  The King promised to build a wall on the Mexican border but instead has started a trade war with Canada.  The King pledged to "drain the swamp" but he appears to already be totally immersed in its quicksand. 
Even during his campaign he made contradictory promises.  He pledged to build a trillion dollars in infrastructure and balance the federal budget.  He pledged to cut taxes and, at the same time, not engage in deficit spending.  He presents a tax proposal that is long on rhetoric and extraordinarily short on specifics.  And who can ignore the doomed repeal and replace of Obamacare?  Now wonder even his supporters are beginning to question his rationality.  Don't bother.  King Donnie is not a rational creature.
Donnie's absurd and ridiculous promise to build a wall along the Mexican border may have been the single biggest reason he was elected, when coupled with his anti-immigration mentality.  The rank and file citizens of this largely ignorant country were quickly on board with his grandiose proposal.  He immediately sensed that "build the wall" was a plank that could get him elected so he used it incessantly.  Does that mean he really meant what he said?  Of course not!  It was just a way to "win" the election by courting the people who's votes he desperately wanted.  And it worked.  Today talk of the wall is a dim memory, destined to disappear into the dustbin of history, and Donnie has won.  He is the King.
Absolute power absolutely corrupts.  It did not take King Donnie long to be corrupted by the fact that he is the biggest baddest emperor who has ever lived.  His pre-election rhetoric about having friendly relations with nations around the world rapidly evaporated when he recognized he could bomb anyone he wants with impunity.   Once again remember that Donnie does what he does in order to win and court the favor of those he wants to like him.  He changed his foreign policy on Syria and N. Korea specifically to allow him to "win" and gain the approval of the neo-cons.  When John McCain is praising the actions of King Donnie you know all you need to know about Donnie's amazing ability to flip-flop. 
Expect more of the same.  Expect the unexpected.  Donnie will react to every situation into which he is thrust according to his twin principles of winning and currying the favor of people he wants to get something from.  As long as you remember those two principles Donnie will never surprise you.  If you forget them however, he will surprise you every day.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Karen Oliveto....Lesbian Bishop

Have you been following the story of Karen Oliveto?  Karen is the United Methodist Church's first openly homosexual bishop.  I was surprised when I discovered that fact.  I thought the UMC had been championing the cause of lesbianism for decades.  I recently discovered that I have been wrong all along.  According to UMC law, "self-avowed practicing homosexuals are bared from clergy appointments."  Karen, despite the law of the UMC, was appointed Bishop of five mountain states including Colorado.  Another UMC district, called the South Central Jurisdiction, is challenging her appointment in the UMC's equivalent of the Supreme Court.  A decision is expected soon.
The Denver Post has been carrying the story with long front page reports and large photographs of Karen and her many lesbian supporters.  Today's report on the proceedings focused upon several LBGTQXYZ students at Iliff School of Theology, in Denver.  Iliff is a school within the UMC granting theological and ministerial advanced degrees to students that usually go on to become UMC ministers.  I attended two classes at Iliff back in 1981.  I was impressed by two things during those two classes. First, the classes were all filled with militant feminists and lesbians.  Second, there was no real biblical content to anything that was taught.  Everything that was taught was nothing more than baptized feminism with some God-words thrown in for good merit.  I was happy to never go back.
Rahdearra Paris Woods (formerly simply Paris Woods before she "came out") is a lesbian student at Iliff. She is the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher and had planned to get a job preaching in her father's denomination until he found out she was "dating a girl."  Following biblical law in regards to flagrant homosexual behavior, she was excommunicated from her church and shunned by her family.  Paris, as I like to call her, considers the church's actions against her to be hateful so she has turned to the UMC for support.  She has found plenty of it, especially in the example of Bishop Karen.  Paris believes that God has called her to preach and she will soon be doing so in the UMC if Karen's case is decided in her favor.  I can't begin to describe how much is wrong with Paris' theological understanding so I won't even try to do so here today.
The newspaper report states that "at Iliff, where about 20 percent of the 300 member student body identifies as gay, transgender, queer or gender fluid, the next generation of ministers and theology professors is on edge, hopeful but also bracing for the heartbreak that will crash down on them if the judicial council nullifies the bishop's election."  I wondered what a "gender fluid" person might be as I read the story.  It did not take me long to find out.  The next person profiled in the story appears to be an example of what it means to be gender fluid.
H. Byrdie Harris (From the photograph of it I can't tell if it is a man or a woman.  I assume that is what it means to be gender fluid) is a student at Iliff.  According to the story, "Harris, who identifies as queer and uses the pronoun 'they,' recited a poem about looking as a child at 'stained-glass Jesus' in church, feeling silenced as a black, queer person.  As Harris took off a white robe to reveal a black suit jacket and bow tie, the cadence of the poetry grew more fiery and the audience rose to an extended standing ovation."  I sure am glad I missed that spectacle.  An unrepentant gender fluid queer who refers to himself as "they" should "feel silenced" in the presence of Jesus, in my view.  I don't think I would have joined in the standing ovation.
The next person profiled was a homosexual named Ryan Duncan.  Ryan says he "came out" (see this post for my take on the barbaric ritual of "coming out") at age 18 and, at that point in his life, "considered God to be his enemy."  That was the last theologically correct position he held.  Thanks to people like Karen he has found a home in the UMC and Iliff Seminary and he now considers God to be his friend.  Ryan delivered a little speech that I think you should read.  He said, "People typically think of the church as being hypocritical because they don't live their values.  We talk a lot about the love of Jesus and following that example, and then to have this issue with the bishop proves that they don't really believe what they are talking about.  That is what the younger generations are thinking about and that is why it is important to walk the talk.  People nowadays want churches to stand for something."  Let's consider the content of Ryan's rant for a moment.
God says that homosexuality is a sin. God says that unrepentant homosexuals will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.  God says that He has cursed people with the behavior of homosexuality as a punishment for their refusal to worship Him as God.  God says that homosexuals can be saved of their sins and have life eternal in the New Jerusalem if they repent of their sins and mortify their sinful flesh via sanctified obedience to His revealed Word.  Furthermore, the orthodox Christian Church has believed each of the theological propositions I have written above for almost two thousand years. To use Ryan's terminology, these are established Christian "values." 
Ryan is upset that Christians do not walk their talk yet when orthodox Christians walk their talk about the doctrine of homosexuality Ryan labels them as hypocrites, liars and hate-filled monsters who need to repent or leave the church.  Ryan desperately desires that the Church today "stand for something" yet when the Christian Church stands up in opposition to homosexuality he cries foul!  Who is the real hypocrite?
I hope the judicial council finds in favor of Karen and allows her to continue her work as Bishop of the Rocky Mountain district of the United Methodist Church.  I can't think of a better act of providential judgement upon a group of moral reprobates than to install a lesbian Bishop over them.  The members of the UMC and the students at Iliff will be getting exactly what they deserve.  They can huddle together and wipe the tears from each others gender fluid eyes as they all slide inexorably into hell.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trump's Timber Tariff

King Donnie signed an Executive Order yesterday imposing a 20% tax on lumber imported from Canada.  I don't recall King Donnie ever speaking about his now obvious hatred for Canadian lumber producers.  He has been quite adamant about his hatred for the Chinese and the fact that they make billions of dollars worth of goods that Amerikan citizens selfishly and unpatriotically like to purchase.  He has also been quite adamant about how he is going to somehow force the Mexicans to pay for the wall he is going to build by putting a 20% tax on imports from Mexico.  King Donnie, being the economic genius that he is, has not yet explained how it is that forcing Amerikan consumers to pay a 20% tax somehow fulfills his promise to force Mexico to pay for the construction of the border wall.  So it came as quite a surprise to me when our King slapped a 20% tax on Canadian lumber yesterday.
The dispute with Canadian lumber companies goes back to the mid 1980s.  About 75% of the lumber produced in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika (SDA) is grown on private land.  The situation is different in Canada.  The various provinces own 75% of the timber in Canada, with less than 10% of the lumber produced coming from private holdings.  The public ownership of Canadian lumber products is what creates the problem that King Donnie believes he solved yesterday. 
CNBC reported the new tax yesterday as follows, "A new duty imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department on Canadian softwood lumber is designed to level the playing field between Canadian and U.S. lumber producers, and just the anticipation of it has pushed lumber prices higher by about 22 percent since the start of this year.  The Trump administration argues that government subsidies for Canadian lumber are unfair. It's great for U.S. lumber producers, not so great for U.S. homebuilders, who inevitably pay the price. 'NAHB is deeply disappointed in this short-sighted action by the U.S. Department of Commerce that will ultimately do nothing to resolve issues causing the U.S.-Canadian lumber trade dispute but will negatively harm American consumers and housing affordability,' said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a homebuilder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. The cost of this new duty will increase Canadian lumber costs for U.S. customers by 6.4 percent, according to the National Association of Home Builders, and that will be passed on to homebuyers. The NAHB estimates it will increase the price of an average new single-family home by $1,236."
The CNBC report correctly argues that Donnie's new tax will be paid by the consumers in Amerika, not the Canadians as Donnie mistakenly believes.  I have no reason to dispute the estimates made by those in the home building business so I will grant that Donnie's new tax will raise the cost of the average new home by $1,236.  That price will be paid directly by consumers who purchase new homes.  The tax will also be paid by anyone who purchases lumber for any reason.   Given the fact that Amerikan consumers will pay this tax, thus hurting the very Amerikans Donnie believes he is protecting, why was Donnie compelled to create it?
The argument given by our King for creating new taxes out of thin air is that it is necessary to enact tariffs in order to punish foreign governments that are subsidizing their domestic industries.  In this case King Donnie believes that the Canadian government is subsidizing lumber production.  How does he arrive at that conclusion?  Because the Canadian provinces own the land the timber grows on, allegedly reducing the costs associated with growing the lumber by spreading the costs of production among all of the taxpayers in the province.  Donnie does not describe how he arrived at the 20% tax for imported lumber.  He presents no calculations that prove that Canadian lumber subsidies amount to a 20% reduction in overall production costs.  Indeed, he presents no arguments proving that public ownership of timber in any way reduces production costs.  He specifically ignores the possibility that Canadian lumber is cheaper because the Canadians are better at producing it.  I suspect that he just picked a number out of the air, probably motivated by what the powerful SDA lumber lobby suggested.  One thing is for sure.  When the 20% tax is added to the cost of Canadian lumber you can know for a fact that SDA lumber will suddenly be cheaper than Canadian lumber.  That is Donnie's stated goal in all of his tax policies; namely, to create Amerikan jobs.
Forbes weighed in on Donnie's new tax with several poignant comments.  Allow me to quote some of them here:  "Once again we're seeing that Donald Trump's one great blind spot is over trade. He simply doesn't get that the point and purpose of trade is the imports we ourselves buy. And of course we want those imports to be as cheap as possible because that makes us richer. Thus if the Canadian hordes start offering us cheap lumber we should say thank you and buy lots of it. For that's what makes us richer, gaining cheaper inputs into whatever it is we use lumber for....how are we made better off by imposing a 20% tax upon our own purchases?...Think through that allegation there. Canadian people pay taxes, which the Canadian government uses to subsidise lumber, which means that houses in the United States are cheaper. You can see why the Canadian hordes might not be all that keen on this but why on Earth would Americans object?"
Indeed.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"March For Science" Socialism

Let me be upfront about today's post.  I am not sure I am right about what I am writing.  This is probably the first blog post I have ever written about which I am not 100% certain what I am writing is true.  There is a good reason for my ignorance.  I spent all of last week sequestered on desert peaks and desert golf courses, not listening to the news.  Despite my best effort to avoid having to hear any news I did see one report about a nationwide "March for Science" event that apparently took place last week.  After I got home I read several letters to the editor of my local newspaper extolling the virtues of that march.  Based upon the information I gathered from that lone news report and the couple of letters I read this morning I have an opinion I would like to share with you today about last week's March for Science.
Apparently most people have no clue what science is anymore.  Hand in hand with the abject ignorance of science is an equally powerful ignorance about the scientific method.  Science is nothing more than the attempt to figure out how and why things operate the way they do.  The scientific method consists of coming up with theories to explain how and why things operate the  way they do and then working like crazy to prove those theories wrong.  The primary goal of science is to discover the truth about how the world works and the primary method to discover those truths is to prove as many theories about how things work false.
The nature of scientific inquiry is such that proving something true is almost impossible.  On the other hand, it is generally a much simpler process to prove something to be false.  For example, if you posit the theory that the sky is always blue all I have to do to disprove your theory is find a single example where that is not true.  In order for you to prove your theory to be correct, however, you need to show how the sky is always blue, everywhere and all the time.  Since you are not an omniscient nor an omnipresent being you will never be able to prove your theory to be true.  On the other hand, if millions of scientists working hundreds of millions of hours are unable to come up with evidence that proves your theory to be wrong, you are free to say that your theory is well supported and probably true.
The limited reports I received about the nationwide March for Science that took place last week indicated to me that ignorant folks took to the streets in support of two primary goals:  1) support for the religion of anthropocentric global warming and, 2) support for taxpayer funding for the study of anthropocentric global warming.  In other words, the March for Science was nothing more than a public demonstration in favor of a particular example of socialized religion.  I hardly see why that is a worthy cause.
Government and science, just like church and state,  should never be mixed.  There is no place in a civilized society for taxpayer funding for scientific pursuits.  Taxpayer funding of scientific pursuits inevitably leads to faulty scientific practices and scientific "conclusions" that are exclusively politically motivated.  The religion of global warming is a case in point.  The "conclusions" drawn by taxpayer financed "scientists" as they discover man-made global warming all over the world also happen to conveniently provide them with a steady source of income and a government retirement pension in the future.  Incentives such as those should cause any rational scientist to question the conclusions of the taxpayer financed group.
The adherents to the religion of global warming have recently changed the name of their religion.  They now call themselves the church of climate change.  That is like calling oneself the church of blue skies.  Yes, the skies are blue but what are you going to do about it and why does it matter?  Climate changes.  So what?  Anytime a group deliberately obfuscates their intentions by means of an innocuous label you can be sure that the taxpayers are about to be fleeced.
The believers in "climate change" running about talking about the various obscure doctrines of their religion are really believers in the doctrines of man-caused global warming and its associated belief in the ability of government, given enough taxpayer dollars, to change the course of meteorological history.  Those poor worshipers of State power who took to the streets last week clearly declared their allegiance to the wedding of church and State when it comes to the doctrines of global warming.  They believe that I should be forced to pay the bills for them as they practice their decidedly unscientific religion by searching for man made sources of an alleged warming of the temperature of the earth.  If I refuse to do so I am declared to be a heretic, a "denier" in their terminology, and sentenced to excommunication from their church.  Unlike what would happen in a real church when a member is excommunicated, the church of global warming insists that I continue to be forced to pay for their services despite the fact I am no longer a member.  That is the heart of socialism, of course.
Science does not need to be marched for.  Science does not need federal funding.  Science does not need people defending it or accusing others who disagree with some of its propositions.  Science, like just about everything else in this socialized and sinful world, needs to be left to its own devices.  It will do quite well on its own.  So please, stop marching for science and stop seeking to use the coercive power of government to take some of my income and use it to pay government employed "scientists."