July 4, 2013
Independence - The Universal Good
Mike Rosen did a very good job deconstructing the "America sucks" diatribe of a Denver Post columnist on his radio show Tuesday, but for those who don't have time or inclination to listen I'll do it again here, hitting just the high points.
First the title: "Beware of zealots this Independence Day." That's right, flag-waving Americans should remind "thoughtful" people of bomb-throwing Islamists. But perhaps I'm just too sensitive.
In recent times, we've seen an uptick in gratuitous, obsequious, false patriotism, rooted in empty slogans and reflexive - not thoughtful - displays of bravado rather than heartfelt allegiance and love of country.
Recent times? I believe this began in earnest on a particular date: September 11, 2001. Didn't something memorable happen that day, Steve?
They proclaim love of country is exhibited in the absolute defense and embrace of the Second Amendment, typically above all other constitutional provisions, as a critical defense against a paranoia-imagined government takeover.
And here the - thoughtful - Mr. Lipsher either denies or ignores history. Take your pick. Why can boy scouts take "Be Prepared" as their motto but the rest of us should, instead, place complete faith in a government that says, "trust us, we'll take care of you?" A government operated by other men, no better nor worse than those whom it serves, but entrusted with the authority to use force. Like all other powers in government, that force must be checked.
They throw around terms such as "liberty" and "tyranny" without any apparent appreciation for their meaning: They are mere buzzwords, dog-whistles to help them identify "us" and "them" in their quixotic quest to "take America back" from implied - but rarely explicitly stated - minorities, liberals, Muslims, Hollywood, welfare recipients and the Kenyan/socialist/America-hating President Obama.
This is mere rant, intended to detract from concrete ideas of liberty and tyranny. While it is true that some Americans are xenophobic this by no means describes the majority of American patriots, much less their motives. They merely seek to maintain what is great about America - individual freedom and the right to create one's own prosperity - without having it "spread around a little" against his will.
Like most Americans, I truly love my country and the unparalleled opportunities it affords me, and I'm proud of our achievements as a nation. But I also see its flaws - often cloaked in our incredible wealth and national arrogance - and I want it to be better.
But are you proud of your achievements as an individual? Or, more importantly, do you believe others have the right to be proud of their own achievements? Achievements like incredible wealth and, not arrogance, but pride in their "heartfelt allegiance and love" of a nation conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal?
I believe you when you say you want America to be better. So do I. But there may be a great divide between what each of us would prescribe as "better." For my part that would be more freedom not less, less regulation and compulsion not more, more charity and volunteerism not more taxation and redistribution. These principles should extend beyond our shores as well: Free trade with other nations not free aid, defense cooperation not replacement of their armed forces with ours. Every nation, like every person, is free to work and achieve and own the fruits of those labors without threat of being pillaged by others, like redistributive governments that employ a Viking morality under the guise of democratic "majority rule." These principles would make not just America better, but the world.
On this day, July 4, 2013, Happy Independence Day people of the earth.
June 11, 2013
Oh No NoCo, Don't Go!
On the heels of it's dismissive editorial, which I linked in the comments on yesterday's post about an 8-county split from "Old Colorado" to form a new state, comes this spin-heavy "news" piece that clearly shows a nerve has been struck in D-town.
Mazurana said the process of breaking way from the state and starting a new one, is long and difficult. Both the state legislature and the U.S. Congress would have to approve.
I'm thinking of a new 501c3 application: "Colorado Wingnuts for Liberty and Property Rights"
February 25, 2013
Salazar vs. Akin
One of the many advantages of my participation in Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons [sorry, I'm snowed in tonight!] was to meet former Colorado House Rep. Shawn Mitchell. He matches intelligence, insight, and humor. My conservative buddies who favor term limits need to explain why we are better without this man in the House.
But I digress, twice. Mitchell has a superb guest editorial in Complete Colorado. I've ridiculed the Famous Facebook Friends. It seems 100 jokes about Richard Murdock or Cloddd Akin were too few, but one mention of Rep. Joe Salazar is too many. They can find a transgression from the most remote Republican: "The Deputy Assistant Dog Catcher of Dalhart Texas said..." Yet, there is little interest in a current legislator in their home (most of them) state.
Rep. Mitchell details how this includes Colorado media and how it is actually worse than the lameness of Akin or Murdock:
So there. Akin misstated a biological consequence of rape, and unforgivably disrespected a right the Supreme Court discovered in 1973 by a 5-4 vote. It had been a moot, contrived question in any event, since Akin's particular view is in the distinct minority in the Senate and was a nonstarter as long as the court upholds Roe v. Wade.
August 22, 2012
The Denver Post is distraught over poor Governor Romney.
TAMPA, Fla.-- This is the convention prelude of the Republicans' dreams--their nightmares, that is. Mitt Romney wanted to preside over a made-for-TV gathering showcasing his economic credentials and GOP unity. Instead, he's heading to Tampa with the national debate focused on rape and abortion and with the divisions within his party--and with running mate Paul Ryan--on full display.
Did I hear high fives between those two paragraphs? Just me?
July 25, 2012
Quote of the Day
But I will happily don the term "gun lobbyist" if the Denver Post editorial board will concede to being part of "the gun-restriction lobby"--or to state it more negatively, "the victim disarmament lobby." -- Ari ArmstrongI pulled the snarkiest quote from a serious and balanced piece on DP reporting.
June 10, 2012
Denver Post Scolds Sierra Club
Last week I noted that Sierra Club is preparing a "Beyond Natural Gas" advocacy effort as part of its "none of the above" energy strategy. Today the reactionary big-oil shills at the Denver Post editorial board joined my disapprobation.
The executive director of the influential environmental group recently wrote: "It's time to stop thinking of natural gas as a 'kinder, gentler' energy source."
Disapprobation of environmental extremism deserves approbation. I don't say this every day but ... bravo, Denver Post, bravo.
May 31, 2012
Move along, nothing to see here
Mitt Romney made a whistlestop visit to Craig, Colorado on Tuesday after seeing this video, which was sent to him by Frank and Kerrie Moe, the hotel-owning couple who star in it. The event was covered by the Denver Post and Steamboat Today, and one is left wondering if the Post's Sara Burnett was at the same rally as was Steamboat Today's Scott Franz.
In 'Routt County Republicans meet Mitt Romney' Franz opens, "Nancy Buchner said the sour economy motivated her to drive to Craig on Tuesday morning to see Mitt Romney." But in 'Mitt Romney in Colorado calls for government as "ally of business" Ms. Burnett implies that everything's just peachy.
Unemployment in Moffat County was about 8.3 percent in April — higher than the state average, which increased slightly to 7.8 percent last month. But local miners and the mayor of Craig said the local coal industry has been stable, with no layoffs or reduced hours at the local mines or the power plant.
According to Franz, however, local resident Buchner sees life differently in the remote coal-mining and power generating town:
"We really believe Romney has the tools and the knowledge to get the economy going," Buchner said, adding that she only recently became politically active because of the economy. "When I talked to different people (at the rally), they were worried about money. People cannot get jobs. This is not an election to sit out." She said she doesn’t think President Barack Obama can turn the economy around.
Not to worry though, Burnett says:
The Obama campaign counters that the president's "all of the above" energy approach includes clean coal, as well as wind, solar, natural gas and other sources renewable energy sources. They also note the president made one of the most significant investments in development of clean coal technologies with $3.4 billion in stimulus funding.
Now, one has to wonder if Burnett and "the Obama campaign" agree with Al Gore who says "clean" coal "doesn't exist." Clearly this administration will spend billions of taxpayer dollars on something while at the very same time regulating it out of legal existence.
February 23, 2012
Among the "gifts" afforded us by the advent of the Obama Administration has been talk of state nullification of federal authority over American citizens. Now there are similar musings at the next closer level of government to the individual - counties.
I could highlight some between-the-lines disdain in author Nancy Lofholm's write up but instead I choose to commend the Denver Post for running the story at all, much less on its February 12, 2012 front page under the headline: Emerging movement encourages sheriffs to act as shield against federal tyranny
The headline tells enough of the story for my purposes here so I won't excerpt. Please click through if you want the details. Unsurprisingly, news of the Arizona Convention that prompted the story has generated controversy. A Denver blogger wrote about it as "Sheriffs for Treason." But is it? Does our nation not operate under the "consent of the governed?"
I wanted to post this as a companion to JK's Craig Colorado vs. Renewable Energy Mandates post last week. The mental image of Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz and his deputies meeting briefcase-wielding EPA bureaucrats at the front gate of the Craig power plant is a reassuring prospect. And today's story about the Gibson guitar raid is another case where one starts to wonder, Who is the sheriff in that county and what was he doing that day?
February 11, 2012
Country Mouse, City Mouse
On July 21, 2011 Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies joined county animal control personnel in a warrantless raid on a private farm in Arvada, Colorado. Goverment agents were acting on an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers.
The owner, Debe Bell, 59, was charged with 55 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty after Jefferson County investigators found "deplorable conditions" at the Arvada farm. Nearly 200 animals were seized from her property at 12820 W. 75th Ave. in Arvada. The "deplorable conditions" included: Cages the animals were kept in were urine-soaked, caked in feces and had little or no food; with few exceptions they had no water; animal's fur was matted and caked in feces; 20 dead animals were found in a freezer.
After seizure the 200 animals were moved to a private animal shelter where they were cleaned, fed and watered then, adopted out to other owners. The original owner filed a legal motion to halt the adoption, which included sterilization of the confiscated breeding stock. "The court denied the motion," Mollie Thompson with the Foothill Animal Shelter said.
On January 27, 2012 a jury found Debe Bell guilty of 35 counts of animal cruelty. Sentencing is scheduled for March 20. Each misdemeanor count carries a potential sentence of up to 18 months in jail, according to the Denver Post.
According to Bell's attorney a potential fine of $1000 per count may also be assessed. The private shelter may also seek reparation for costs it incurred.
You've noticed by now I intentionally omitted the animals' breed. I did so to prevent your prejudice in this case from being affected by cute cuddly bunny rabbits. The County Court judge in Ms. Bell's case, however, had less concern over prejudice - she granted a motion by the state to prohibit defendant's council from referring to the rabbits as "livestock."
Ms. Bell and her attorney, having lost the legal battle under terms imposed by the court, appealed their case to the court of public opinion in an interview with Jon Caldera on the Mike Rosen Show Friday morning.
Among her comments:
"Rabbits are food." "Yes, I put the rabbits in my freezer. I also put in some chickens and some pork chops." "I sold rabbits to the Denver Zoo. Now they buy them from China." "Rabbit is the number one meat sold in California." "I thought I lived in America."
Also discussed (11:30) is the Crime Stoppers program and its well publicized $2000 reward for animal abuse tips.
No word yet from Colorado 4H.
I'm also including a link to the first account that I read of this story. It is on Huffington Post. The comments are, I believe, indicative of the mindset that enables our legal system to apply anthropomorphic attitudes to livestock and their producers.
UPDATE: More attentive blogs were on the case six months ago.
January 18, 2012
Orwellian is overused, trite, and a lazy substitute for thought. But --
Normally, I criticize FOX31 Good Day Colorado's anchors for being blandly apolitical. Less that they're biased as they don't connect politics or government to any of the stories they cover. This morning I got my wish and Ms. Melody Mendez displayed actual bias.
One good feature is a daily segment with FOX Business Channel to discuss markets and Wall Street. It functions as "adult supervision" and the most frequent of the network talent is the lovely and intelligent Lauren Simonetti. Ms. Simonetti had the throttle today. Mendez brought up the SC GOP debate, specifically Speaker Gingrich's "Food Stamp President" remark. Mendez said "It sounds like Gingrich should have done a little research" -- and closed with a smug smile I've never seen from her before.
Simonetti played it casually -- I could not see if she agreed or not -- and started reciting figures. As she spoke, they put the figures up on the Krylon (clearly it was not a total surprise). The figures distinctly show that Food Stamps have doubled under the Obama administration. This viewer was thinking that this particular "fact check" was running off the rails. How can they call him the Food Stamp President when he has only doubled it in three years?
Simonetti then said "but the increase started when George Bush was President." And they went on to the next story. Oh. Well, then. Glad we cleared that up.
John Hinderacker at PowerLine actually does clear it up. Apparently, Mendez's line was the current White House spin
The White House apparently doesn't like the association between Obama and food stamps; Jay Carney said that the claim that President Obama's policies have added to the food stamp rolls is "crazy."
PowerLine is never afraid to use strong words, but if you click through and see the graphs, I don't see how anybody can quibble.
December 29, 2011
No factual basis for that claim
Brother jg's beloved Denver Post was caught publishing phony numbers on children's firearm accidents. Centennial State freedom lover Ari Armstrong is on the case:
In their article for today's Denver Post, Joey Bunch and Kieran Nicholson claim, "More than 500 children in the United States die in gun accidents each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a 2007 report, which estimated 1.7 million children live in homes where guns are kept." However, there seems to be no factual basis for that claim.
The email exchange between Armstrong and the Post's Joey Bunch is a good read.
In related news, my equally beloved FOX31 Good Day Colorado peeps actually let a bit of free market capitalism spill out in today's show. The new guy (possible holiday substitute) on traffic reports suggested that on snowy days, drivers might consider using E-470 (toll road) as "they have more plows because they need to take care of their 'customers.'" MURRAY ROTHBARD, CALL YOUR OFFICE!!!
December 22, 2011
Colorado's First 'Lectricar!
Oh joy, the future has come to the Centennial State:
Passarelli said the sticker price on his [Nissan Leaf] was about $38,000 -- OK, so it isn't exactly a gift -- but with federal and local tax credits and rebates, the final price was about $26,000.
The other $12,000 will be provided my magic wands and faerie dust...
December 5, 2011
Addicted to Oil?
Take this shiny new "The World According to DP" category out for a spin...
Amy Oliver responds to a guest editorial:
The Denver Post gave Greg Wockner of Clean Water Action prime newspaper real estate in Sunday's perspective section. Wockner's guest editorial "Is Colorado Addicted to Oil?" was nothing more than a list of typical anti-fossil fuel questions that he tried to associate to Colorado's and Weld County's economic struggles as a result of the Great Recession.
Oliver's response is the jewel. Are you "addicted" to civilization?
Are we addicted oil? Only if you enjoy and are "addicted" to a modern lifestyle made possible by the discovery of fossil fuels. I'll revisit this question at the end of this series of blog posts.
November 29, 2011
Front page photo banner in today's DP - Photogenic Farmers A new calendar features photos of people you may have met who produce vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese or honey, along with recipes.
"We love the farming community and Colorado, and we want to get more people connected to it," said Nagy. Bad news about industrial food [sic] such as the "Food, Inc." documentary, makes people feel powerless, she added. "So supporting these local, living economies are one way we can take back control."
So Fort Collins collaborators Kelsi Nagy and Liz Gaylor invested their time and borrowed capital to create a new Farmers of the Front Range calendar. OK, pretty cool. But I have to say it doesn't seem to portray a broad spectrum of the thousands of farmers who work and live along Colorado's front range. While they spotlight folks who "farm on a few leased acres close to Fort Collins, close enough that shareholders in their community supported agriculture program can bicycle out to help work the vegetable plots in the summer," they don't seem to notice the farmers I'm most familiar with in the third leading agricultural area in the United States, Weld County. Those folks are better portrayed by Hank Williams Jr.
But I suppose they'd just dismiss these hard workin' folk as "industrial food" producers.
November 23, 2011
Things are Rough All Over
Denver Post, front page: U.S. Postal Service parceling its work to fewer carriers
Since 2008, the corps of letter carriers in Denver has shrunk 22 percent, to 1,050.
Is that last line really in a straight-news story? "This town seems to be going to pot these days."
Let's see, 489,000 homes and businesses served by 1050 letter carriers averages to 466 addresses per carrier. In 1979 my brother and I delivered over 500 newspapers each morning in about 2 hours. Okay, that's 4 man-hours and we delivered the same thing to each address, launched from a moving vehicle on the street. Even so, we were kids! This doesn't seem so much greater a burden. And we certainly didn't get paid as much, nor were we awarded a defined benefit pension plan.
The World According to DP
As I guided my family through the concourse at Coors Field last fall for our final ballgame of the season I was offered a discounted trial delivery of the Denver Post. I gave it serious thought, dismissed the vendor with "I'll think it over and come back later," then decided $10 a month was too steep. Weeks later a different vendor made a different offer at the door to our local King Soopers: "Two months free! After that you can cancel or go to Sunday only or ..."
I've enjoyed the sports coverage but I take the front page with equal measures of amusement and disgust as the lead story is clearly selected to shape the opinions of the least informed. The general theme is to give sympathetic treatment of a generic societal "failing" with a hint or two of how government might "fix" it. I've decided the ploy is so predictable it could become a regular feature and thus, a new category.