San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, June 2, 2017

LeBron's Lament

Did you hear the story about King James' receipt of a racial slur?  Whether you did or not, that is what I want to write about today.  Super-stardom is always acknowledged in people who are known by a single moniker.  Cher, Bono, Clint, Tiger, Lance (a sullied star), Llewellyn (an infamous Welsh comedian and potato farmer) and LeBron all immediately conjure up images of very popular public figures.  LeBron is also known as King James, according to his last name.  For the two or three of you who might not be aware, LeBron James is the best active player of basketball in this sports-crazy country.  Bron, as his friends call him, plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  He has won three NBA championships and four NBA Most Valuable Player awards during his career.  He also has been selected to thirteen NBA All-Star teams and he holds two Olympic Gold medals.  Bron helped his team defeat the Golden State Warriors to win last year's NBA championship and the two teams are scheduled to meet each other again in the NBA finals starting tonight.
Being the mega-star that he is, Bron maintains a home in Los Angeles so he can be near to his work with his production company and its partnership with Warner Brothers.  Something terrible happened at his LA home last night that has the world abuzz.  Let me tell you all about it.
According to the Associated Press, "LeBron James wanted to be with his family, to hug his wife and three kids back in Ohio.  Visibly shaken by an event he couldn't control, Cleveland's star struggled Wednesday to focus on his seventh straight NBA Finals or the Golden State Warriors.  For the game's best player, basketball was overshadowed by racism."  That ominous introduction to the racist attack suffered by Bron had me worried.  Had somebody physically attacked him?  Had someone broken some of his bones?  Did some racist pig take a pot-shot at him?  Had someone broken into his home with a gun or a bomb?  Just what horrible thing had happened to Bron to account for such a fear-filled response on his part?
The story went on to say precisely what happened.  "On the eve of the Cavaliers and Warriors meeting for the third straight year, police said James' mansion in Los Angeles was vandalized in the morning with a racial slur spray painted on the front gate....According to police, an unidentified person spay painted the N-word on the front gate of James' $20 million home in the Brentwood neighborhood Wednesday morning....neither James nor his family was in their secondary home at the time."  That's it?  You have got to be kidding!  Some drunk teenager gets a can of spray paint and splashes "Nigger" on the front gate of James' home and we all act as if he has been tortured and killed by some deranged racist.  What is wrong with this picture?
Bron's reaction to the non-event is absurdly and ridiculously over-hyped.  He said, "No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough.  We have a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African-Americans until we feel equal in America."  What!?  Did I miss something here?  Bron has hundreds of millions of dollars.  If he invests his money well he can easily become a billionaire.  Bron has tens of millions of fans.  He is adored all around the country and he will likely be canonized in both Cleveland and Akron (that is where he played high school ball) when he retires.  He has been slated for super-stardom from the moment he first took the court at his private high school gym.  Excepting the usual problems associated with being a human being (sickness, sinfulness, death of loved ones), Bron's life has been anything but "tough."
Bron is also anything but equal to the vast majority of the citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  He is in the top 1% in income, net worth, physical skills and popularity.  Despite all of that he claims that he feels like an oppressed slave because some drunken teenager spray-painted the word 'Nigger' on his front gate.  Give me a break.  This sort of overreaction, by both Bron and the press, truly denigrates the real racism many black folks have experienced in their lives.  Indeed, it denigrates the racism experienced by all sorts of people in this country over the years.  Ask the Chinese working on the transcontinental railroad about tough conditions.  Ask the Japanese citizens imprisoned during WWII about tough conditions.  Ask the Irish who emigrated to this immoral country and faced extreme racism while just trying to make a living about tough living conditions.  Ask the Welsh who worked in the coal mines of West Virginia and Maryland about tough living conditions.  I know, my grandfather and father were two of them.  The hardship faced by my forefathers is infinitely more palpable than the allegedly tough living conditions associated with living in a future billionaire's mansion that has a spray-painted bad word on the front gate.  From what little I have seen I think Bron is a great guy.  I wish him the best.  But he needs to get a little perspective on life.  His suffering is no suffering at all.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Too Many Drug Commercials

Have you noticed how drug commercials have come to dominate the television airwaves?  Maybe it is only true for the Denver metro area but I suspect it is true nationwide since many of the stations I watch in Denver are cable channels available worldwide.  Drug companies have decided that it is in their best interest to by-pass the standard channel of doctors and pharmacists and advertise directly to the consumers.  I guess their expectation is that consumers will diagnose themselves of a particular illness and then go to their doctors and demand that particular drug as a treatment for that illness.  Or maybe they just want to inform the consumers that the drug is available and when their doctors diagnose them as having a particular disease they will be better informed as to the drug treatments that are available.  Either way, I have had enough of the nonstop barrage of drug commercials on television.
Now I am the first to believe in the free market and I am not going to call for any government legislation that would change the current state of affairs in this sick and over drugged land.  If drug companies want to spend their money on commercials that target the general population, good for them.  If those commercial dollars help keep the television shows I like to watch on the air then I am glad they are there.  But it seems to me that there is something wrong with a society that has so many prescription drugs available to treat so many alleged illnesses.  Is anybody not ill anymore?  Does everyone have some sort of illness?
According to National Public Radio, "Nearly half of all Americans over the age of 12 take prescription pain relievers, tranquilizers, sedatives or stimulants, according to a federal survey. And 16 percent of the time those drugs are misused by nearly 19 million Americans."  According to the Washington Post, "Nearly 3 in 5 American adults take a prescription drug, up markedly since 2000 because of much higher use of almost every type of medication, including antidepressants and treatments for high cholesterol and diabetes....researchers found that the prevalence of prescription drug use among people 20 and older had risen to 59 percent in 2012 from 51 percent just a dozen years earlier. During the same period, the percentage of people taking five or more prescription drugs nearly doubled, to 15 percent from 8 percent....Researchers noted that eight of the 10 most commonly used drugs in the United States are for hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and other elements of the 'cardiometabolic syndrome.'”  And according to the good people at the Mayo Clinic, "Prescription drug use has increased steadily in the U.S. for the past decade. The percentage of people who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44 percent in 1999-2000 to 48 percent in 2007-08. Spending on prescription drugs reached $250 billion in 2009, the year studied, and accounted for 12 percent of total personal health care expenditures. Drug-related spending is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, the researchers say."  I guess with all that money at stake the drug companies think it is a good risk to advertise to drug consumers directly.  Good for them.
Last Friday I decided to conduct a little survey of my own.  I watched a total of five hours of television on Friday.  Those five hours were broken down into 1 hour of CNBC, thirty minutes of Jeopardy on a local network and 3.5 hours of a Colorado Rockies game.  I kept a pad next to me while I watched these three shows and I recorded all of the drug commercials I witnessed in a scant five hours.  Here is a list of the drugs the pharmaceutical companies want me to purchase, in the order I saw them on the television:
  1. Cosentyx
  2. Repatha
  3. Tylenol
  4. Clear Eyes
  5. Chantix
  6. Cologuard
  7. Qunol
  8. Allegra-D
  9. Phillips Colon Health
  10. Cialis
  11. Eliquis
  12. Aleve
  13. Xyzal
  14. Viagra
  15. Dulcolax
  16. Kylenna
  17. Entresto
I don't even remember what half of these drugs are supposed to treat.  I do remember that several of them were to be taken to treat conditions created by taking some of the other drugs on the list.  I guess that is how so many people end up taking multiple pills every day.  It all seems crazy to me but it is true.
Complaining about something that bothers me isn't of any value, and I am not about to criticize the free market, but it seems to me that something decidedly unfree is taking place here.   I think it is quite possible that the government cartel known as the pharmaceutical/medical complex is playing us all for a bunch of fools.  It has always disturbed me that my broker gives me advice but my doctor issues me orders.  Why is it that doctors have authority to issue orders to their patients whereas brokers can only render advice to their clients?  Where does that authority come from?
I read an internet article written by another doctor a month or so ago in which he described how doctors and drug companies collude to sell billions of dollars in cholesterol drugs every year.  I don't know if what he wrote is true, anymore than I don't know if what my doctor tells me is true, but this was his argument.  According to this doctor cholesterol lowering drugs (which require the taking of Qunol to reverse the adverse effects of the anti-cholesterol drugs) are being falsely advertised as far as their effectiveness is concerned.  Apparently studies of large groups of people using cholesterol medication has discovered that those who take the drug over many years find that their risk of having a heart attack is reduced by one third.  Or that is what the drug companies claim.  According to this other doctor the fact is that out of a group of 100 people, three people will die of a heart attack if none of them take the cholesterol drug whereas in a group of 100 people who take the drug only two people will die of a heart attack.  The drug companies are technically correct when they say that the risk of suffering a heart attack is reduced by one third when taking the drug but seriously overstate the effectiveness of the drug when it is acknowledged that only 1% of the people taking it will avoid a heart attack.
I don't know who is correct in all of these arguments.  I haven't read all of the studies and even if I did I would likely not understand them.  All I know is that there are way too many drug commercials on the television and I would like to see them go away.  In their place I would love to see commercials for package travel deals to Wales.  The commercials could include lots of shots of Mt. Snowdon and the general Snowdonia area.  Now that would be nice.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Are Politics Polarizing Us?

An amazing thing happened last week, if you are a worshiper of civil government and the immoral men and women who populate it.  The current governor and four prior governors of Colorado met together to discuss the alleged problem of political polarization in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  I would not have crossed the street to listen to those immoral and God-hating men, although I would have gladly crossed the street to avoid listening to them.  Nevertheless, I read a story in the newspaper that cited several of their comments on the topic of political polarization.
Former Governor Romer stated that he is "concerned about whether democracy is going to work.  We've got to find ways to bring people to the middle."  Former Governor Owens said, "I think the problem is us."  He then went on to explain how the voters have become extreme and unwilling to compromise in the political arena.  All five of these luminaries took essentially the same position. They blamed the voters for being too stupid to realize that they are the source of whatever perceived problems currently exist within the Amerikan political system.  I got the distinct impression that all five of these career politicians believe that we would all be better off if they were simply allowed to rule over us as they see fit, without regard to the wishes of the electorate.
There is a small amount of truth in what the governors said.  The voters in this country are amazingly stupid.  They also seek to use the political system to deprive their neighbors of their property, making all who do so nothing but thieves.  I don't believe anyone can disagree with the assertion that the political process in the SDA has become nothing but a war in which the majority is given the right to exploit the minority until the next election cycle rolls around.  What nobody is willing to admit however, is that the problem with the Amerikan political system is not the people who participate in it.  It is democracy itself.  We are not polarized because we are sinful human beings who use the political system to our advantage.  That is to be expected.  We are polarized because the political system permits, nay, encourages political warfare.  Let's think about this for a while today.
Democracy, as it is defined and practiced in the Amerikan Empire, consists of the rule of the majority of those who make the irrational and immoral decision to vote.  Anyone or any idea that attains majority status becomes sacrosanct and must be obeyed.   Under the terms of practical democracy there is no such thing as objective morality.  There is no standard of right or wrong and everything becomes a matter of personal utility and nothing more.  Quite obviously the opinion of the God of the Bible is rejected outright, as well as the opinions of those who follow and believe in the God of the Bible.  The most holy and sacred word in the land is derived strictly and exclusively from the will of the majority on any issue.  I believe the old expression went something like this.....vox populi, vox dei.
The opinion of the God of the Bible is a simple one when it comes to democracy.  He declares that it is immoral.  No country that wants the blessing of God upon it should ever adopt democracy as a form of government.  How ironic it is that so many stood at various functions around the country over the past weekend and invoked the blessings of God upon themselves by singing "God Bless Amerika" while, at the same time, they believe it is their inalienable right to ignore everything God says to them about how they should live.  How many thieves, adulterers and murderers (abortion is murder in case you have forgotten) asked the God of the Bible to bless them this past weekend?  Their judgment will be severe as God will not be mocked.
Others have observed the immoral nature of democracy.  Alexis de Toqueville is famous for his work on democracy in Amerika.   Here are a couple of quotes from that work you might find interesting:
  • “Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” 
  • “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”
  • “Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannise but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
  • “It is indeed difficult to imagine how men who have entirely renounced the habit of managing their own affairs could be successful in choosing those who ought to lead them. It is impossible to believe that a liberal, energetic, and wise government can ever emerge from the ballots of a nation of servants.”
  • “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”  
Alexis' comments are so archaic they bring a smile to our faces, don't they?  How could anyone be so naive as to believe that the God of the Bible exists and has an impact upon our lives?  How can anyone be so simple minded as to not understand that government is always good, and does what is best for us all the time?  How can anyone be so regressive as to state that Congress would dare to bribe the electorate with the public's money?  No, we have all moved far past the days of Alexis and embraced the god that has utterly failed.  What is its name?  It is called Democracy.  To make matters worse, Amerikans are now an evil people.  Since we have ceased to be good we shall also cease to be great.  That is our future.  Personally, I can't wait until the Empire comes to an end.  That will be a great day.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Soldier Worship Is Idolatry

Yesterday I held my nose and hoped to get through another Memorial Day unscathed.  I should have plugged my ears as well.  While watching the Rockies begin their inevitable and inexorable slide to the basement of the NL West with a loss to the lowly Mariners (I hate it when any NL team loses to the Sissy League of MLB), a commercial came on featuring Rockies pitcher Tyler Anderson.  He was there to promote the worship of the military of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  In the course of making his prepared comments he stated that "the Amerikan soldier is the most unappreciated person in the world."  I almost fell out of my chair.  What universe is Anderson living in?
A website known as Operation We Are Here is dedicated to "providing resources for the military community and military supporters."  Is there anyone who does not staunchly believe in supporting the military of the Amerikan Empire these days?  If there is anyone out there who thinks the same way I do then please leave a comment on this blog post just to prove me wrong.  As far as I am aware I am the only person in the universe who believes that the citizens of this immoral country idolize the military to the point of sinfulness.  My reasoning for rejecting soldier worship is simple.  No Amerikan war has ever been a just war.  I am willing to debate the premise that no war that the SDA military has participated in was just at any time.  Just let me know why you think any of the dozens of wars we have fought throughout the years were moral and the debate will be on.  Since no SDA war has ever been moral it necessarily follows that all foreigners killed by SDA soldiers have been murdered and all SDA soldiers are murderers.  To honor and defend the actions of murderers is crazy and sinful.  It is also what every "patriotic" citizen in this idolatrous land does every day.
Anderson's comment got me to thinking and the Operation We Are Here website provided the fodder for today's post.  I am not making this stuff up.  Just go to the website if you do not believe me.  Are Amerikan soldiers the most unappreciated people in the world as Anderson believes?  Or are they honored (worshiped) to the point of idolatry?  To help you decide I would ask you to consider the following national holidays found on the above website and currently observed in their honor:
  • March is the "Month of the Military Caregiver."  Writing about the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, "The Foundation’s programs provide military and veteran caregivers the support they need at the local, state, and national levels."  So now we need to not just support, whatever that means, soldiers but we have a moral obligation to support those who support soldiers.  I guess their glory is somehow passed down to those who support them and we are now required to recognize that fact. I wonder how many of my dollars are going to be extracted from me by various government entities to give them the support they desire?
  • March 13th is K-9 Veterans Day.  You got that right.  According to the website, "A national effort to make March 13 K9 Veterans Day. March 13, 1942 is the official birthday of the United States K9 Corps, and so it seems only right to annually honor their service on that date. They served to save, and they deserve to be remembered."  I remember a cat I once owned but I don't see why I should be required to remember military dogs in order to be a good citizen. 
  • March 29th is Vietnam Veterans Day.  Apparently every conflict requires a memorial day these days.  This is especially true for the Vietnam War because it was the one war which most of the citizens of this country (at the time) rejected as immoral.  History needs to be rewritten to make the Vietnam War a just war and this day aids in that cause. 
  • April is the "Month of the Military Child."  Greatness is inheritable and any children born to soldiers of the Amerikan Empire's military forces are to be venerated as well.
  • April 5th is Gold Star Wives Day.  According to another website, "Today, the nation recognizes the sacrifice that all Gold Star Family members make when a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, or other loved one dies in service to the nation."
  • April 30th is proposed to become "National Military Brats Day."  The proposal before Congress states, "That Congress set aside a day each year as National Military Brats Day so Americans can say thank you to these patriots, young and grown, for their dedication and sacrifice in the service of their country."  I suspect everyone has heard the term "military brat."  Now we are expected to believe that all military brats are national heroes simply because of their genetic connection to an SDA soldier.
  • May is "National Military Appreciation Month."  What more do I need to say?
  • May 1st is "Loyalty Day."  Can you guess how "loyalty" is defined?  You got it right!  Loyalty is defined as support for the military of the Amerikan Empire.  I'm shocked.  On the first day of May all loyal citizens are expected to verbally confess their belief in the moral goodness of the Amerikan Empire and the soldiers who expand it.
  • May 1st is also "Silver Star Service Banner Day."  That is "a day set aside to honor our wounded, ill and dying military personnel by participating in flying a Silver Star Banner."  I didn't bother to find out what the Silver Star represents. You can check it out of you want to.
  • May 12th is "Military Spouse Appreciation Day."  I wonder if the husbands of women who are going to be drafted into military service in the future are included as objects of adoration and veneration on this day?
  • May 13th is "Children of Fallen Patriots Day."  This day is described as a "day to honor the families our Fallen Heroes have left behind – especially their children. It’s a reminder to the community that we have an obligation to support the families of our Fallen Patriots."  We have already established that military honor is inheritable so why not?  Now I have a moral obligation to give money to children of soldiers who died expanding the Empire.  How quaint.
  • May 20th is "Armed Forces Day."  It is described as "a day set aside to pay tribute to men and women who serve in the United States."  It is a good thing we have this day or most of the citizens of this country would probably forget that we even have a military, don't you think?
  • May 29th, of course, was "Memorial Day," the day we are all expected to visit a military graveyard and shed tears for those who have "defended our freedom" fighting in foreign wars.  How they actually defended our freedom is never explained.  Why any of us can actually be considered to be free in this land today was not described. 
  • June 14th is "Flag Day."  Do I need any other argument in support of my assertion that the SDA flag represents the SDA military than this?  I don't think so.
  • June 27th is "National PTSD Awareness Day."  Here is a question no red-blooded patriot has ever answered for me.  If military service is such a glorious and honorable profession, why are so many ex-soldiers crazy?  Here is a follow up question.  Is it possible these crazy ex-soldiers know that what they did was wrong and that is why they feel so bad and want to kill themselves?  Just asking.  I don't know of any janitors, dentists or brokers who want to kill themselves because of their work.  Why should soldiers be so suicidal?
  • September 11th is "Patriots Day."  Anyone who does not believe that radical Muslims attacked the SDA because they hate our freedom have no right to speak on that day.  Furthermore, anyone who believes the Empire had it coming on 9/11 is told to leave the country and never come back.
  • September 24th is "Gold Star Mothers and Families Day."  This day is set aside to honor the families and mothers of Gold Star recipients.  Didn't we already have one of these days back on April 5th?  Oh well, there are not enough days in the year to honor the Amerikan soldier and his progeny.
  • October 8th is the day of the Ms. Veterans America Pageant.  I think this is my favorite day of all.  Taking a clue from the Miss Amerika Pageant the lovers of the military in this land have created a clone contest just for military wives.  Good for them.
  • October 26th is the "National Day of the Deployed."  It is set aside to, "honor all of the brave men and woman who have been deployed and are sacrificing, or have sacrificed, their lives to fight for our country and acknowledges their families that they are separated from."
  • November is "Military Family Month."  I guess military families have been ignored so far during the year.  I sure am glad someone finally thought about them.
  • November 11th is "Veterans Day."  I think we all know what this day is set aside for.  We are all expected to go find an ex-soldier and thank him/her for his/her service, whatever that means. 
  • December 16th is "National Wreaths Across America Day."  Didn't we already do this ritual on Memorial Day?  I guess we need two days each year when patriotic Amerikans are expected to visit a military graveyard and honor the dead.
After considering the official list of government holidays related to the military I conclude that the Amerikan soldier is the single most honored person in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika and the Amerikan Empire.  I also conclude that the "honor' bestowed upon soldiers rises to the level of worship and actually constitutes idolatry.  In case you don't know, God does not appreciate idolatry or idolaters.