December 14, 2008

Navy Carrier Squadron

Some of our Servicemen having a great time, it is great to see.


November 30, 2008

Perspectives: Snowmobiling in Yellowstone

 Comment about video = Jackie and Craig Mathews owners of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone being the tree huggers they are ought to quit adding to the drift boat traffic on the Madison River. This poor river is overfished because of the popularity of drift boats. I am a wade fisherman and I don't believe that drift boats should be used because I no longer can afford one therefor they create unfair access and put to much pressure on the fishery. Then Jackie and Craig can be out of business like their neighbors.


Economy vs. environment: Town reacts to snowmobile controversy
By JESSICA MAYRER

Chronicle staff writer

As an the argument plays out in the courts about how many snowmobiles should be allowed in Yellowstone National Park, many West Yellowstone business leaders say their town is taking the brunt.

"Our whole livelihoods are at stake," said local businessman Clyde Seely.

Snowmobile technology is getting cleaner and businesses have adjusted to accommodate environmental concerns, yet many who make a living off of tourism here say conservation groups won't give up until snowmobile operations go out of business all together.

U.S. District Court judges have weighed in on the issue twice this past year, prompting the park service to announce a 318 cap on snowmobiles allowed in the park each day and then to abruptly revert to an existing cap of 720. Most agree that the issue is far from over.

"The GYC is killing us with death by a thousand cuts," said Pat Povah from the Deep Well Ranch.-----------------> more

November 26, 2008

Media Fail to Connect Dots on Bailouts

By Dan Kennedy

Journalists blind to how government is chief cause of many industry problems.

Have you noticed that the media largely fail to connect the dots between related events?

In all the reporting on the auto industry’s ills, little is said about the government as the chief cause. Politicians holler at auto executives in hearings and beat their chests in interviews, but never mention Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mileage standards. Just like unaffordable union contracts, incredibly mentioned often by the same politicians who now wish to give the unions expanded, unchecked power to wreak the same destruction in other industries via the Employee Free Choice Act (which steals away free choice).

In all their reporting of how the sub-prime mortgage meltdown purportedly triggered the financial industry collapse (as a child’s sneeze might topple a meticulously constructed, floor to ceiling house of cards), they uttered hardly a word uttered about Barney Frank and Gang’s push for financial institutions to provide mortgages to the woefully unqualified. Nobody mentioned the he Clinton administration’s pushing for home ownership as a God-given right to be facilitated at any cost, let alone the years of criminal conspiracy and obscene executive compensation at Fannie and Freddie.

The next big mess in the making, where the dots are not being connected,-----------------------> More

Snowmobiling Jackson Hole Wyoming

snowmobiler full moonJackson Hole Wyoming is in the heart to some of the best snowmobiling in the world. Yellowstone National Park to the north provides incredible access to the wonders of nature. For the powder hound Togwotee Pass provides hundreds of miles of trails through picturesque mountains, forests and abundant open bowls. Gros Ventre River area provides a great wildlife viewing trip. Granite Creek has a gorgeous hot spring pool fed by from the towering Gros Venture peaks. The Grey's River provides abundant snow and miles of trail much like Togwotee Pass.

There are many opportunities around Jackson Hole and a wide selection of guides, tours and rental shops to accommodate you.---------------------------------> More

November 23, 2008

The Founding Fathers on Jesus, Christianity and the Bible

by David Barton

John Adams: The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God...................................................John Hancock: Sensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order and happiness of a state, I cannot but earnestly commend to you every measure for their support and encouragement..................................................... Patrick Henry: Being a Christian… is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast.49 The Bible… is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed............................................... Thomas Jefferson: The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.64 The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain....................................George Washington: You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.-----------------------------> More from our founding fathers about God and Government!

Celebrating Thanksgiving in America

The tradition introduced by European Americans of Thanksgiving as a time to focus on God and His blessings dates back well over four centuries in America. For example, such thanksgivings occurred in 1541 at Palo Duro Canyon, Texas with Coronado and 1,500 of his men; 1 in 1564 at St. Augustine, Florida with French Huguenot (Protestant) colonists; 2 in 1598 at El Paso, Texas with Juan de OƱate and his expedition; 3 in 1607 at Cape Henry, Virginia with the landing of the Jamestown settlers; 4 in 1619 at Berkeley Plantation, Virginia; 5 (and many other such celebrations). But it is primarily from the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving celebration of 1621 that we derive the current tradition of Thanksgiving Day.

The Pilgrims set sail for America on September 6, 1620, and for two months braved the harsh elements of a storm-tossed sea. Upon disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they held a prayer service and then hastily began building shelters; however, unprepared for such a harsh New England winter, nearly half of them died before spring. 6 Emerging from that grueling winter, the Pilgrims were surprised when an Indian named Samoset approached them and greeted them in their own language, explaining to them that he had learned English from fishermen and traders. A week later, Samoset returned with a friend named Squanto, who lived with the Pilgrims and accepted their Christian faith. Squanto taught the Pilgrims much about how to live in the New World, and he and Samoset helped forge a long-lasting peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. Pilgrim Governor William Bradford described Squanto as “a special instrument sent of God for [our] good . . . and never left [us] till he died.” 7

---------------------------> More

November 13, 2008

The Credit-Default Swap: What is this thing, anyway?

by Christian Bowne

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox recently acknowledged that the $33 trillion market in credit-default swaps is regulated by no one. Billionaire Warren Buffet, in a 2003 prediction worthy in its prescience of Nostradamus, warned, "The rapidly growing trade in derivatives poses a mega-catastrophic risk for the economy, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction that could harm not only their buyers and sellers, but the whole economic system." Finally, President George W. Bush calls for "extraordinary measures under extraordinary circumstances" in deference to his ordinary gravitation toward unfettered capitalism.

A credit-default swap is a contract in which a buyer makes a series of payments to a seller to receive a right to payoff if the credit instrument defaults or another specified credit event such as restructuring or bankruptcy occurs. A credit-default swap is a credit "derivative," gaining its value from the underlying credit risk of a given financial instrument. These underlying financial instruments include commodities like oil, loans, bonds and indeed residential subprime mortgages, to name only a few.

The so called "swap" is a derivative in which two parties agree to exchange the risk of one stream of cash flow against another.-------------------------------------> More

November 12, 2008

Ski Resorts Around Teton Valley Idaho

skier Grand Targhee, Grand Tetons, Alta WyomingTeton Valley is world famous for its crown jewel, Grand Targhee, that towers over the eastern horizon of the valley. But Grand Targhee isn’t the only option for skiing in the immediate area. Just over the Teton Pass is the Valley of Jackson Hole, home to Snow King resort which is in the town hill of Jackson and is smaller but is affordable and convenient and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the destination resort of the three.


Grand Targhee Resort


There’s only one word for skiing at Grand Targhee: extraordinary.  Though other words such as effortless, knee-deep, and uncrowded all apply.  The key is the more than 500 inches a year that fall on the backside of the Tetons – the snowier Western side – each year.  Add to that a skiable terrain of nearly 2000 acres, with more than 1,000 reserved for Sno-Cat Adventures, and you have an experience beyond compare.  In addition to Grand Targhee’s legendary powder, families love our corduroy grooming with cruising runs that are a signature of Grand Targhee Resort.

boy skiing Grand TargheeIt's not only about legendary powder; those who love to carve will begin to salivate just thinking about shredding the pristine corduroy.  And if awesome freestyle terrain is on your agenda, look no further.  We’ve got two parks plus natural freestyle terrain to get you stoked.  North Pole Terrain Park gives everyone a chance to ease their way into the world of freestyle riding.  Trick Town takes the action up a notch, with numerous features, including table top, rainbow, flat down flat and flat down rails and more. Center Earth freestyle area is a dynamic playground based on natural features and enhanced with expert grooming.


Jackson Hole Mountain Resort


Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers visitors one of the best ski and snowboard experiences in the world. It is world renowned for its steep and deep terrain, consistent fall line, deep, light powder and endless backcountry, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort also allows beginners and intermediates to excel at their own pace on a variety of groomed runs and open bowls.


corbuts, jackson HoleJackson Hole Mountain Resort has been rated as the third best ski resort country and who could argue with that. Jackson Hole has 4,200 vertical drop and that drop comes right out of the Grand Teton Mountain Range. These spectacular mountains crown jewel the Grand Teton Towers over the Valley and resort at a majestic 13,770 above sea level. When they say ski the big one they mean it!


With 2,500 acres of inbounds terrain, a 4,139' vertical rise, 459" of average snowfall each winter, and unparalleled backcountry access, Jackson Hole offers a truly unique winter experience. Two distinct mountains in the heart of the Tetons - Rendezvous and Apres Vous - make up Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and have been home to incredible skiing and snowboarding for the past 40 years. Whether you're here to experience "The Big One's" wild, untamed terrain, rolling, wide-open groomers, or you're just getting out on the snow for the first time, it's bound to be an experience you'll never forget.


Snow King Resort


Since Snow King’s founding in 1939 as the first ski area in Wyoming, Snow King has served as Jackson Hole’s ‘Town Hill.’ Generations of residents have grown up learning to ski there. It’s a real part of the community, where parents can drop off their kids for after-school turns and adults can do some bump skiing during their lunch hour. But it’s not just a place for townies, its steep terrain will challenge the best of skiers yet has great terrain for the beginner.With Jackson Hole Mountain Resort only a short drive away, Snow King doesn’t bother trying to compete with its high-octane neighbor. Instead, it positions itself as the little guy who just tries harder. With its short-but-steep ski area, ski-in/ski-out accommodations, and ultra-convenient location, I felt right at home at Snow King. It is what it is an unassuming and fun mountain where people come to ski, and not to be seen.-------------------------------------------------> More

November 11, 2008

Skiing Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole SkierJackson Hole is world famous for one of its ski resorts but Jackson Hole is lucky enough to have three of them. All have differing attributes, Snow King is In the town of Jackson and is smaller but is affordable and convenient Grand Targhee is plumb over on the far side of the Grand Tetons but for that reason it gets much more snow so is Jackson hole’s powder cache, and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the destination resort of the three and certainly is the gem.


Jackson Hole Mountain Resort


Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers visitors one of the best ski and snowboard experiences in the world. It is world renowned for its steep and deep terrain, consistent fall line, deep, light powder and endless backcountry, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort also allows beginners and intermediates to excel at their own pace on a variety of groomed runs and open bowls.


Corbut'sJackson Hole Mountain Resort has been rated as the third best ski resort country and who could argue with that. Jackson Hole has 4,200 vertical drop and that drop comes right out of the Grand Teton Mountain Range. These spectacular mountains crown jewel the Grand Teton Towers over the Valley and resort at a majestic 13,770 above sea level. When they say ski the big one they mean it!


With 2,500 acres of inbounds terrain, a 4,139' vertical rise, 459" of average snowfall each winter, and unparalleled backcountry access, Jackson Hole offers a truly unique winter experience. Two distinct mountains in the heart of the Tetons - Rendezvous and Apres Vous - make up Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and have been home to incredible skiing and snowboarding for the past 40 years. Whether you're here to experience "The Big One's" wild, untamed terrain, rolling, wide-open groomers, or you're just getting out on the snow for the first time, it's bound to be an experience you'll never forget.


downhill ski racer, Snow King MountainSnow King Mountain


Since Snow King’s founding in 1939 as the first ski area in Wyoming, Snow King has served as Jackson Hole’s ‘Town Hill.’ Generations of residents have grown up learning to ski there. It’s a real part of the community, where parents can drop off their kids for after-school turns and adults can do some bump skiing during their lunch hour. But it’s not just a place for townies, its steep terrain will challenge the best of skiers yet has great terrain for the beginner.


With Jackson Hole Mountain Resort only a short drive away, Snow King doesn’t bother trying to compete with its high-octane neighbor. Instead, it positions itself as the little guy who just tries harder. With its short-but-steep ski area, ski-in/ski-out accommodations, and ultra-convenient location, I felt right at home at Snow King. It is what it is an unassuming and fun mountain where people come to ski, and not to be seen.

Grand Targhee


Grand Targhee Skier, Grand Teton There’s only one word for skiing at Grand Targhee: extraordinary.  Though other words such as effortless, knee-deep, and uncrowded all apply.  The key is the more than 500 inches a year that fall on the backside of the Tetons – the snowier Western side – each year.  Add to that a skiable terrain of nearly 2000 acres, with more than 1,000 reserved for Sno-Cat Adventures, and you have an experience beyond compare.  In addition to Grand Targhee’s legendary powder, families love our corduroy grooming with cruising runs that are a signature of Grand Targhee Resort.


It's not only about legendary powder; those who love to carve will begin to salivate just thinking about shredding the pristine corduroy.  And if awesome freestyle terrain is on your agenda, look no further.  We’ve got two parks plus natural freestyle terrain to get you stoked.  North Pole Terrain Park gives everyone a chance to ease their way into the world of freestyle riding.  Trick Town takes the action up a notch, with numerous features, including table top, rainbow, flat down flat and flat down rails and more. Center Earth freestyle area is a dynamic playground based on natural features and enhanced with expert grooming.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------> More Info

November 08, 2008

Lone Mountain's Big Sky Ski Resort and Moonlight Basin

Jackson Hole PowderRarely has so much bounty gone so unplundered as at Big Sky's Lone Peak the biggest place you’ve never skied. There’s rarely a lift line at this sprawling side by side Montana resorts, except when waiting for the marquee 15-person tram that takes skiers to the top of 11,166-foot Lone Peak. A big reason for Big Sky’s quiet is the perceived remoteness of the resort: although it sits only about one hour south of the Bozeman airport.

Big Sky is a destination ski resort if there ever was one, which means midweek skiers share the place with almost no one. The other reason is its sheer size: Those who do make the journey soon disperse over three mountains and nearly 4,000 skiable acres, with a correspondingly huge menu of terrain. From the resort’s tip-top, a snowboarder can drop into the black-diamond slopes of Liberty Bowl and ride all the way down to this winter’s new Dakota triple chair, which opens access to 200-plus acres of expert-level open bowl skiing. Less adventuresome skiers gravitate to Andesite and Flatiron Mountains, where large groomed boulevards like Big Horn and Madison Avenue are served by several high-speed quads.

Corbut'sBut one of the most intriguing developments at Big Sky has been the linking with an adjacent resort, Moonlight Basin which shares Lone Peak; the joint Lone Peak Pass creates a 5,512-acre playground that gets 400 inches of snow a year with access to the gun-sight gullies that spill off of Lone Peak — and may leave skiers who’d been happily humming “Don’t Fence Me In” suddenly wishing someone would have.------------------> More

November 01, 2008

Hunting in Montana, elk, moose, mule deer, bear

Serendipity and the Bull elk, black wolf in Yellowstone Park

The Greater Yellowstone/Jackson Hole region offers some of the best big game hunting anywhere. Outside of Jackson Hole Wyoming is the National Elk Refuge where 6 to 10 thousand Elk spend their winters, south of Dubois WY is the largest herd of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Moose can be found in most in most river bottom and a few mountain tops and everywhere in between, and there are tens of thousands of Mule Deer throughout the region.

October 28, 2008

Foster Friess on Economic Crisis: Who's to Blame?



In these critical times it amazes me that so few actually look for the real cause for something so important as the unraveling of our financial system. I have and have posted much of what I have found previously on this blog, Foster Friess on this video wraps it all up and puts a bow on if for those that aren't inclined to investigate - Watch and Learn.

Obama will not acknowledge the true nature of the economic meltdown, if you don't get to the bottom of the problem, you can't fix the problem.

Caveat emptor "Let the buyer beware" on November Fourth we will find out if a gifted salesman sells socialism to America, socialism creates more financial problems it fixes.

Lets not buy this bill of goods!

A little about Foster Friess

Awards and Achievements

▪ Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award

▪ Humanitarian of the Year presented at the National Charity Awards Dinner.

▪ Canterbury Medal from the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty

▪ Adam Smith Award from Hillsdale College

▪ Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award from Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation

▪ David R. Jones Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

▪ Thomas J. Reese Award from Catholic Charities tribute in 2001

▪ Medal of Distinction from the University of Delaware

▪ Maryvale, AZ 'Man of the Year' Award

▪ Citizen of the Month Jackson Hole, WY Rotary Club

▪ Delaware Business Leaders Hall of Fame

 Honorary Degrees from Pepperdine University, Regent University, and Goldey Beacom College

Political Activism

• Foster, a Republican donor and supporter of George W. Bush's administration has been an active patron of a number of religious and conservative causes including:

▪ Private Sector Solutions, a network of leaders developing private sector solutions to augment, preempt or replace government services

▪ LibForAll and other groups building a global counter-extremism network

▪ Patient-driven health care through Free Market Cure and other groups

▪ Choice in Education through Alliance for School Choice, All Children Matter and others

Philanthropy

▪ Lynn and Foster Friess Family Foundation

▪ Contributors to the National Wildlife Art Museum in Jackson Hole, WY

▪ Founding grant for Good Samaritan Health Services - Mobile Medical Care in Tulsa, OK.

▪ $100,000 challenge grants for communities who want to start Mobile Medical Care programs

▪ Matching challenge grant helped raise over $2 million in relief money for Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. Foster personally traveled to the hardest-hit areas to speak with local church and organization leaders to identify the best efforts.

▪ Another matching grant administered through the NCF Giving Fund sent more than $4 million to provide hot meals and other relief support to Katrina Victims.[11]

▪ Supported a new YMCA development in Maryvale, AZ along with several local mentoring and ministry programs

October 25, 2008

Paradise Valley Montana - fly-fishing - hunting - guest ranches - yellowstone gateway

Paradise Valley Montana

This gem on the northern border of Yellowstone received It's named “Paradise Valley” for good reason, this premier Montana vacation spot has perfect summers and mild winters with spectacular views of the Absaroka and Gallatin mountain ranges under the famed Montana "big sky." The close proximity to Yellowstone Park; the Beartooth Highway and many other natural wonders make Paradise Valley the perfect place to vacation. Besides having the Legendary fly-fishing River “The Yellowstone” flowing through its center, world class Spring Creeks; private lakes and other fishing streams draw anglers from around the world. World class big game hunting, whitewater rafting, kayaking, wildlife viewing and photography, hiking, camping and horseback riding are just a few of the unlimited recreational opportunities available here in Paradise Valley. Many fine Bed and Breakfasts, cabins and guest ranches provide lots of options for fine lodging.

Paradise Valley is situated in southwestern Montana. It is located just north of Yellowstone National Park in Park County, Montana, which lends its name to the county. Mule deer enjoy the open range and grasslands available to them in Paradise Valley. Paradise Valley extends from the Yellowstone gateway community of Gardiner at the south end, to historic Livingston on the north. Appropriately named, this region is a "paradise" to Montana and to the Rocky Mountains. Providing a unique backdrop of snowcapped peaks, the valley features beautiful ranchlands, flowing rivers, spring creeks and abundant wildlife.

October 18, 2008

Cicero , 55 BC - United States 2008

The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. --

Cicero,55 BC

October 15, 2008

Criminals For Gun Control part 1 Home Invasion

Why do people need handguns?

Though this is a commonly asked question, a more appropriate question would be: “Why should handguns be banned?” In a free society, the burden of proof is not upon those who would exercise a right but on those who would infringe that right. Private citizens benefit from handguns for the same reason that the police do: handguns are easy to carry, and they are effective defensive tools. Handguns are used for protection more often than they are used to commit violent crimes, and two of every three defensive uses of firearms are carried out with handguns. Survey research shows that people who use firearms for protection are less likely to be injured during a criminal attack than people who use other means of protection or no protection. Handguns are also very widely used for target shooting and they’ve become more commonly used for hunting.



Related Info

October 10, 2008

October 08, 2008

Financial Affirmative Action - financial meltdown

When the history of the Great Economic Meltdown of 2008 is written, in-your-face shakedown groups like the Greenlining Institute will be held to account...................................Activist groups were encouraged to agitate by the Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act, which enshrined in law a kind of lending protection racket. Banking regulators were given the power to make trouble for banks that failed to lend enough money to so-called underserved communities. Banks that paid enough -- whatever that means -- got left alone, but banks that didn't, got their legs broken........................................The group targeted Rabobank, demanding that it shell out $7.5 billion for loan programs to help farmworkers buy their own farms. When the bank balked, Greenlining launched a campaign last year against its proposed acquisition of another bank. ---------------> More

October 07, 2008

Union First, Country Second - My visit with a union leader

Labor Union’s Institutional Narcissism - My visit with a big city union local president
By Daryl L. Hunter

In August (2008) by chance, I met the president of a large labor union of a major city who was on vacation where I live. After finding out he was the president of a union I steered the conversation to politics and the upcoming election, the conversation was alarming yet enlightening.


I will not mention the union, the city, nor the union presidents name because I did not tell him I was a blogger and he would not have been forthcoming had I told him. He was a nice man and I wouldn’t want to get him into hot water for a casual conversation. It would be my assumption that to become president of a union local you have to be smart and analytical, using that as a baseline I questioned:


Me: Considering these times of jobs moving overseas aren’t you concerned every new wage and benefit demand might be the straw that breaks the camels back forcing your industry to ship production overseas.


Union President: Yes but it is my job to get all I can for my members.


Me: We are in a world economy and the demands unions in America are making on U.S. corporations make them uncompetitive. Does that concern you?


Union President: Yes but it is still my job to get all I can for my members.


Me: Democrats don’t want to drill for oil yet industry is reliant upon it, doesn’t this worry you since union jobs depend upon industry being healthy.


Union President: Yes, this is troubling.


Me: I realize that Democrats are friendlier to the unions than Republicans but Republican tax policies are better for commerce and industry, if industry is crippled unemployment is sure to follow, so isn’t it risky for unions to back Barack Obama considering his proposed punitive taxes on Industry in this shaky economy?


Union President: Obama says many things but I hope that he can’t achieve them.


Me; So, as union president you put union first and the America’s economy second.


Union President: Yes.


This conversation although alarming reinforced something I have suspected for a long time; labor union’s institutional narcissism puts union self-interest ahead of country. A lifelong friend of mine is in a law enforcement union, and he votes union before country also. The same blue collar union members who proudly will send their sons into battle to protect our freedoms will go into a voting booth and vote their self-interest over that of their country’s and this confounded conundrum confuses me.


I was in the Alaska Teamsters during the construction of the Alaska Pipeline, and I had never seen so much money wasted in my life. When I was a cross-country trucker, I always knew when I was in a union warehouse because fifteen-minute card game at break time always lasted forty-five minutes. When the longshoremen went on strike in 2002, I thought it was terribly unpatriotic and hurtful to America during a time of our national economic crisis right after 911, but it was very important to the longshormen to preserve archaic shipping methods that saved jobs at the cost of efficiency.


I hope that for the sake of the country that rank and file union members can take a look around them, take a look at the economy and dig deep for the real reasons for our economic meltdown and vote for the candidate that will preserve Industry by keeping industry profitable at home.


I am a 200+ pound expendable mass of protoplasm that realizes that I don’t want to bankrupt the treasury of this land of exceptionalism for some pompous presumption that I am important in the scheme of things. I believe in the ownership society and reject the Nanny State Democrats are trying to foist upon our treasury. Our founding fathers created a near perfect model of government, but it isn’t beyond our ability to bankrupt it because we want stuff!


It is dangerous to vote for change especially when influential union leaders are advocating for institutional narcissism while they hope the candidate they are promoting, Barack Obama, can't deliver on his promises.


-------------------------------
Addendum 9/2012
-------------------------------
It would be interesting to have an honest talk with this Union President today.  Obama has enacted much of what this man feared yet hoped wouldn't happen. Four years later the economy is still in the tank and this has hurt his union members.

A good economy is the best thing for the workers of the United States of America not the overreaching arm of todays unions. Unions were once an important asset for workers but today working conditions aren't like they were back when unions were needed for workers rights.

Today unions overreach sends manufactures to places where they aren't considered the enemy of the worker. My grandfather was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the same as the union president above, and sometimes for fun I will phone up the IBEW and try to get my grandfather posthumously removed from the union rolls, I know they can't do it but it is fun to explain why I want him removed. My grandfather would be appalled at what unions have become. 

October 06, 2008

Subprime Mortgage Suspects - In 2005, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress

By Donald Lambro, chief political correspondent of The Washington Times

There is no more insidious myth than the notion that the subprime-mortgage debacle began on Wall Street and that predatory capitalism was responsible for the whole blooming mess.

Economist Milton Friedman used to say just about every economic and social ill that confronts our country could be traced to misguided federal policies and their "unintended consequences." And that is certainly true of the subprime crisis seeds planted by two federally created, government-assisted lending agencies: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

To be sure, there's lots of blame to go around, but these two mortgage giants were at the root of this scandal. "Fannie and Freddie did this by becoming a key enabler of the mortgage crisis," wrote economist Kevin Hassett in a revealing article for Bloomberg financial news. "They fueled Wall Street's efforts to securitize subprime loans by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools. In addition, they held an enormous portfolio themselves."

To a large degree, Fannie and Freddie became the mortgage market, as Democratic leaders in Congress pressured, pushed and ordered the agencies to make housing loans to lower-income borrowers who could not meet credit standards elsewhere in the mortgage industry.

As of last year, Fannie Mae alone owned or guaranteed more than $388 billion of these high-risk loans. "Their large presence created an environment within which even mortgage-backed securities assembled by others could find a ready home," the American Enterprise Institute economist says.

There were those who saw disaster early in the making, and that's what happened from 2004 to 2005 when both agencies were caught in the undertow of an accounting scandal that swept Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines from office in disgrace.

One of those who tried to rein in the two agencies was President Bush, who recommended in 2003 that an agency be created to regulate the housing-finance industry,----------------> More

October 05, 2008

AIG And The Trouble With 'Credit Default Swaps'

Morning Edition, September 18, 2008 · With the government's $85 billion loan to American International Group — and its controlling stake in the company — the United States is now in the insurance business.

AIG is the largest commercial and industrial insurer in the nation, NPR business correspondent Adam Davidson told Steve Inskeep. The company also offers lines for individual customers in the U.S. and around the globe. The more traditional aspects of AIG's business continue to perform fairly well.

But a few years ago, AIG got involved in a new aspect of the financial system: It joined in the selling of so-called credit default swaps. A credit default swap, or CDS, is essentially insurance on debt.

Gambling On The Future

Imagine a bank that has bought bonds from, say, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. That means -------------------------->More

IT’S THE DERIVATIVES, STUPID! WHY FANNIE, FREDDIE AND AIG ALL HAD TO BE BAILED OUT

by Ellen Brown

Something extraordinary is going on with these government bailouts. In March 2008, the Federal Reserve extended a $55 billion loan to JPMorgan to “rescue” investment bank Bear Stearns from bankruptcy, a highly controversial move that tested the limits of the Federal Reserve Act. On September 7, 2008, the U.S. government seized private mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and imposed a conservatorship, a form of bankruptcy; but rather than let the bankruptcy court sort out the assets among the claimants, the Treasury extended an unlimited credit line to the insolvent corporations and said it would exercise its authority to buy their stock, effectively nationalizing them. Now the Federal Reserve has announced that it is giving an $85 billion loan to American International Group (AIG), the world’s largest insurance company, in exchange for a nearly 80% stake in the insurer . . . .

The Fed is buying an insurance company? Where exactly is that covered in the Federal Reserve Act? The Associated Press calls it a “government takeover,” but this is not your ordinary “nationalization” like the purchase of Fannie/Freddie stock by the U.S. Treasury. The Federal Reserve has the power to print the national money supply, but it is not actually a part of the U.S. government. It is a private banking corporation owned by a consortium of private banks. The banking industry just bought the world’s largest insurance company, and they used federal money to do it. Yahoo Finance reported on September 17:

“The Treasury is setting up a temporary financing program at the Fed’s request. The program will auction Treasury bills to raise cash for the Fed’s use. The initiative aims to help the Fed manage its balance sheet following its efforts to enhance its liquidity facilities over the previous few quarters.”---------------> More

The Week America's Economy Almost Died

by Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg

The potential for disaster was horrifying. For people on Wall Street and in the inner circles of government, last Wednesday and Thursday will long be remembered as the time when the American economy survived a brush with death.

The nation's entire financial system slid toward a terrifying abyss, they say — a landscape where no one would lend and no one could borrow, where no one could buy anything and no one could get paid. As Congress and the Bush administration continue debating a proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, those with intimate knowledge of the crisis say that whatever solution emerges must avert future brushes with very real disaster.

The nightmare scenario rattled Mark Peterson, far from the halls of finance, in Memphis, Tenn. "For those of you who've experienced an earthquake, some say it's a soul-wrenching experience, and it's massively moving everything," Peterson says. "And that's last week. There was a monster unleashed. The commercial paper market, which is the most liquid market, probably in the world, basically froze up."--------------------> More

(what are) Mortgage-Backed Securities and how they brought down the economy

Mortgage-Backed Securitieare a type of asset-backed security that is secured by a mortgage, or a collection of mortgages. These securities must also be grouped in one of the top two ratings as determined by a accredited credit rating agency, and usually pay periodic payments that are similar to coupon payments. Furthermore, the mortgage must have originated from a regulated and authorized financial institution.

Also known as a mortgage related security, or a mortgage pass-through.

Investopedia Says:
When you invest in a mortgage-backed security you are in lending money to a home-buyer or business. An MBS is a way for a smaller regional bank to lend mortgages to its customers without having to worry if the customers have the assets to cover the loan. Instead, the bank acts as a middleman between the home-buyer and the investment markets. --------------> More

How the Mortgage-Backed Security Brought Down the Economy

When the foreclosure rate began to increase late in 2006, it also released more new homes on the market. New home construction had already outpaced demand, and when large numbers of foreclosures became available at deeply discounted prices, builders found that they couldn't sell the homes they'd built. Richard Dugas, CEO of Pulte Homes, a building company, said in September 2008, "We can't afford to compete with foreclosures at 40 percent to 50 percent off" [source: Builder].

The presence of more homes on the market brought down housing prices. Some homeowners found themselves in the precarious state of being upside-down in their payments; they owed more than their homes were worth. Simply walking away from the houses they couldn't afford became an increasingly attractive option, and foreclosures increased even more.

Had a situation like this taken place before the advent of mortgage-backed securities, it still would have created a ripple effect on the national economy. Home builders and lenders going belly-up still would have increased unemployment. Foreclosures still would have deflated housing prices. And with less cash flowing in, surviving banks still would have tightened credit. But the presence of MBSs created an even more pronounced effect on the U.S. economy.----------------> More

October 04, 2008

Credit Default Swaps (CDS) Evolving Financial Meltdown and Derivative Disaster Du Jour

By Ellen Brown

When the smartest guys in the room designed their credit default swaps, they forgot to ask one thing - what if the parties on the other side of the bet don't have the money to pay up? Credit default swaps (CDS) are insurance-like contracts that are sold as protection against default on loans, but CDS are not ordinary insurance.

Insurance companies are regulated by the government, with reserve requirements, statutory limits, and examiners routinely showing up to check the books to make sure the money is there to cover potential claims. CDS are private bets, and the Federal Reserve from the time of Alan Greenspan has insisted that regulators keep hands off.

The sacrosanct free market would supposedly regulate itself. The problem with that approach is that regulations are just rules. If there are no rules, the players can cheat; and cheat they have, with a gambler's addiction. In December 2007, the Bank for International Settlements reported derivative trades tallying in at $681 trillion - ten times the gross domestic product of all the countries in the world combined. Somebody is obviously bluffing about the money being brought to the game, and that realization has made for some very jittery markets.---------------- More

October 01, 2008

The Campfire - A blog from Foster Friess: Sarah Palin verses the Mainstream Media

The Campfire - A blog from Foster Friess: Sarah Palin verses the Mainstream Media

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist by training, was the first to give the recent phenomena in American politics a name; he called it the “Bush Derangement Syndrome.” Krauthammer describes this affliction as “the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush.”

This disorder is not limited to President Bush, an earlier equally virulent strain affected many Republicans during the Clinton administration. The virus appears to be spreading beyond the White House and now you can see outbreaks in the media as well as politics. If you are at a cocktail party where the attendees have mixed political views, the mere mention of Dan Rather or Rush Limbaugh can send the host scrambling to pack away the breakables.

September 30, 2008

Rep. Mike Simpson, sleeping with Pelosi on the first date

e-mail I sent to Mike Simpson ~

Good job, sleeping with Nancy Pelosi on the first date.

You guys will have more leverage for a better bill on the next go around. Maybe if you didn't quit so easy you could get a capitol gains cut and stop Mark to Market.

Thank god there were some democrats to vote conservative or we wouldn’t have another shot at making this travesty easier to swallow.

Maybe you ought to listen to Newt Gingrich or Steve Forbes or maybe your constituents before you spend $700 billion dollars. Darrel Issa has a good plan why don’t you start pushing his bill while there is still time. A California representative more conservative that an Idaho one – wow.

Crapo stabbed me in the back last spring also, that is why I phoned your office, Crapo’s and Craig’s Friday, I never used to do that before a vote until Crapo stabbed me.

The two of you used to be pretty good but I have voted for you for the last time.

Daryl L. Hunter
---------------

Hey Mr. Simpson here is a plan by the Republican Study Committee, an entity that evidently you are not a part of.



ECONOMIC RESCUE ALTERNATIVE PLAN
September 29, 2008

We believe that policymakers must act decisively and correctly.
We believe that we can help Wall Street “workout” of this crisis, not force the taxpayers into a “bailout.”
We believe that voluntary private capital, not involuntary taxpayer capital, will help the system recover.
A Work-Out—Not a Bail-Out

• Stabilizing Financial Markets:

Require the Treasury Department to guarantee losses up to 100%, resulting from the failure of timely payment and interest from mortgage-backed securities (MBS) originated prior to the date of enactment. Such insurance would provide immediate value to the MBS and a foundation for which they could then be sold.

• Risk-Based Premiums:

Direct the Treasury Department to assess a premium on outstanding MBS to finance this insurance. Participation in the program would be mandatory for all holders of such MBS in order to guard against adverse selection where only the holders of troubled assets participate. A risk-based premium would be assessed on those with troubled MBS. The premium would expire when the Treasury Secretary determines the fund has sufficient resources to meet any projected losses.

• Private-Capital Off the Sidelines by Empowering Private Investors Net Operating Losses:

Allow companies to carry-back losses arising in tax years ending in 2007, 2008, or 2009 back 5 years, generating a tax refund and immediate capital. Despite the presence of willing buyers, many firms with MBS are not willing to sell at such a huge loss. Such a carry-back provides a cushion for any such loss, making firms more willing sellers.

• Repatriation Infusion:

Allow a repatriation window for profits earned by U.S. firms overseas. Such repatriation amounts would be taxed at 0% if invested in distressed debt (as defined by Treasury) for at least one year.

• Bank Losses on GSE Stock:

Allow banks to treat losses on shares of preferred stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as ordinary losses, not as capital losses.

• Two-Year Suspension of the Capital Gains:

Immediately suspend the capital gains rate from 15% for individuals and 35% for corporations. By encouraging corporations to sell unwanted assets, this provision would unleash funds and materials with which to create jobs and grow the economy. After the two-year suspension, capital gains rates would return to present levels but assets would be indexed permanently for any inflationary gains.

• Reforming a Failure in Government Institutions Limit Federal Backing for High Risk Loans:

Mandate that GSEs no longer securitize any unsound mortgage that is: (1) not fully documented to meet minimum requirements for work, assets, and income; (2) written to comply with any law or regulation that would otherwise violate a firm’s lending rules.

• Schedule the GSEs for Privatization:

Transition Fannie and Freddie over a reasonable time period to truly private companies without special government privileges and open them up to real market competition. This reform would 1) establish commonsense limits for their capital requirements and portfolio holdings relative their size, 2) focus their mission on affordable housing only, not profit making, 3) require them to pay an appropriate risk-based amount for the government guarantee they enjoy, 4) subject them to state and local taxes and accurate SEC filings like every other private for-profit corporation, and 5) ultimately provide for the phase out their GSE charters once their conservatorship has ended.

• Suspend “Mark to Market” Accounting:

Direct the SEC to suspend the mark-to-market regulatory rules until the agency can issue new guidelines that will allow firms to mark these assets to their true economic value. The current rules contribute to a downward spiral as firms have to evaluate their assets not on the basis of their long-term investment but rather on a short-term mania.

• Stabilize the Dollar:

Repeal the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act which diverts the Federal Reserve’s attention from long-term price stability to short-term economic growth. In an effort to fuel the economy, this additional mandate has encouraged the Fed to keep rates artificially low, fueling economic boom and busts, and now a strong up-tick in inflation and the decline of the dollar (as investors free dollars for hard assets). This reform would require the Fed to establish a numerical definition for price stability and maintain a policy that promotes it over the long-term.

• Oversight and Corporate Accountability Executive Compensation Limits:

Require the Treasury to write rules prohibiting excessive compensation or golden parachutes to executives of failed companies at the expense of taxpayers.

• Strict Enforcement of Laws Designed to Protect Investors:

Task the SEC with reviewing the annual audit reports of entities the federal government has brought under conservatorship or now owns, and determine if those annual audit reports from years 2005 to present accurately reflected the financial health of those businesses.

Staff Contact: Russ Vought, 202-226-8581, russ.vought@mail.house

September 21, 2008

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending to minorities and uncreditworthy

By STEVEN A. HOLMES

New York Times ~ 1999: In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans. -------------------> More

August 23, 2008

USS New York - made from steel of the World Trade Center

The USS New York was built with 24 tons of scrap steel salvaged from the World Trade Center.

The USS New York is the fifth in a new class of US Navy warships designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. (What goes around comes around) It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Governor George Pataki said of the ship: "This new class of ships will project American power to the far corners of the Earth and support the cause of freedom well into the 21st century. From the war for independence through the war on terrorism, which we wage today, the courage and heroism of the people of New York has been an inspiration. USS New York will play an important role in our Navy's future and will be a fitting tribute to the people of the Empire State." Pataki went on: "The USS New York will ensure that all New Yorkers and the world will never forget the evil attacks of September 11, and the courage and compassion New Yorkers showed in response to terror," said Governor Pataki. "I want to thank Secretary England for taking this extraordinary step and agreeing to pay special tribute to all New Yorkers by giving our name to a ship that will play an important role in the war on terror," the Governor said.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept 9, 2003, 'those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence,' recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. 'It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.'

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the 'hair on my neck stood up.' 'It had a big meaning to it for all of us,' he said. 'They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back.'

The ship's motto? 'Never Forget'

August 18, 2008

Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

On January 14, 1969, Red Skelton touched the hearts of millions of Americans with his "Pledge Of Allegiance", in which he explained the meaning of each and every word. Red Skelton's recitation of the "Pledge of Allegiance" was twice read into the Congressional Record of the United States and received numerous awards.

As a schoolboy, one of Red Skelton’s teachers explained the words and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to his class. Skelton later wrote down, and eventually recorded, his recollection of this lecture. It is followed by an observation of his own.

RED SKELTON: "I remember this one teacher. To me, he was the greatest teacher, a real sage of my time. He had such wisdom. We were all reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance and he walked over. Mr. Lasswell was his name... He said": "I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge Of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word:

Mr. Lasswell went on “I
Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Pledge

Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
Allegiance

My love and my devotion.
To the Flag

Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody's job.
of the United

That means that we have all come together.
States

Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.
And to the Republic

Republic -- a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people; and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which it stands
Pledge of Allegiance - buy this art print at AllPosters.com
Pledge of Allegiance
Buy This Art Print At AllPosters.com
One Nation

One Nation -- meaning, so blessed by God.
Indivisible

Incapable of being divided.
With Liberty

Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one's own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.
And Justice

The principle, or quality, of dealing fairly with others.
For All

For All -- which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine. And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:”

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools, too?"

Editor's note: sadly, Red Skelton was prescient - the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (the most overturned court in the United States of America) has done exactly that.

May 09, 2008

Inside Jihad by Dr. Tawfik Hamid

Dr. Tawfik Hamid succinctly, categorically and comprehensively explains in his "must read book" what we are too lazy or ignorant to analyze for ourselves.I had the opportunity to see him speak, in Jackson Hole, and I am dang glad I did.

Dr. Tawfik Hamid, Speaker, Author, Muslim Reformer explains from his insider understanding of the terrorist mentality, Dr. Tawfik Hamid predicted the destruction of the Twin Towers (9-11), Madrid bombings, and London attacks. Now his mission has become "to speak out against radical Islam, a cancer that is spreading with frightening rapidity across the globe today."

A courageous as well as scholarly initiator of Islamic reformation, Dr. Tawfik Hamid seeks to build new thinking within Islam to overcome the hatred and violent extremism that have metastasized within his religious tradition as he states: "in order to make Love prevail you should defeat Hatred"!

Understanding the Islamic Jihadist's Mind

Dr. Hamid is able to explain why extremist Islam is far more prevalent and poses a far more serious threat than most Americans and the West in general appreciate; to our economy, ecology, and national security.

Who better to speak of the mindset of a radical Islamic jihadist than one who has been there. Dr. Tawfik Hamid can speak with authority on this topic from personal experience.

"What occupies the mind of a jihad-driven Muslim? How is such fervor planted in young and impressionable believers? Where does it originate? How did Hamid a once innocent child who grew up in a liberal, moderate and educated household-find himself a member of a radical Islamic group?

"These questions go to the root of Islamic violence and must be addressed if free societies are to combat radical Islam. To further this aim, He explores the psychological development of a jihadi's mind through my own first-hand experience as a former member of a Muslim terrorist organization.


Every American needs to read this book

http://www.insidejihad.com

April 25, 2008

Holland Taylor - LibForAll.org

I had the pleasure of hearing a talk sponsored by Foster Freiss, by founder of,  LibForAll.org;  C. Holland Taylor speak in person and had the opportunity to be heartened. I came away from this talk inspired and uplifted when I realized someone has finally found a way to directly challenge Radical Islam. With our help, his message of Love and Hope will reach the places where it will do the most good; every town, village and Mosque in the Muslim world.

How is it possible that a small, under-funded Foundation has Radical Islamists on the run in the World's largest Muslim country? Throughout the world, Radical Muslims will infiltrate Mosques. They twist the sacred teachings into a call for a politically motivated Jihad that preaches violence against anyone who stands in their way. In Indonesia, LibForAll.org countered this assault by seeking out distinguished Muslim Scholars, well-known and well-respected Mullahs, celebrities and political leaders and presenting a message of peaceful Islam to the people.

Despite the grave personal danger, top LibForAll.org associates including the former President of Indonesia, the country's top recording star and a host of Muslim religious leaders have made strong public statements showing the distortions of Radical Islam.

The Video on this link is a must see for everyone!

Holland Taylor Video

April 23, 2008

Ice skating comedy

My son Cody's first time on ice skates.

March 31, 2008

Jackson Hole's Willow Creek Trail


Willow Creek is a major drainage system for the Wyoming Range, the scenery is fantastic and provides prodigious, geographic, flora and fauna viewing and there are many trails you could get lost on. Take a map. The trail is popular with horseback riders, mountain bikers, hikers hunters, and fisherman.

Willow Creek's headwaters begin high in the Wyoming Range on the south end of Jackson Hole. Fisherman may with to trying to outwit the feisty native Cutthroat that make Willow Creek their home. These fish are native, not stocked, so they offer a challenge for the most experienced fly fisherman and an opportunity to advance the skills of the novice. Catch and release only, please. The Jackson Hole One Fly Foundation - National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Conservation Partnership Program is funded a project to improve a degraded area along Willow Creek.

From the trailhead at Bryan Flats sixteen miles south of the town of Jackson, Wyoming, the trail heads west out of the parking lot and starts a steady climb for one mile to a ridge top high above Willow Creek here, there is a fork in the trail where you can turn down to Alder Creek or continue down the ridge line, the junction is signed.-----------------------> More

January 29, 2008

The Bison of the Greater Yellowstone Region

By Daryl L. Hunter

bison tetons.jpgThe Greater Yellowstone ecosystem is the only place in the lower 48 states where an endemic population of wild bison has survived since prehistoric times. Perhaps no other animal symbolizes the American West like the American bison. In prehistoric times millions of these quintessential creatures of the plains roamed the North America from northern Canada, south into Mexico and from Atlantic to the pacific. No one knows how many bison were in America before Columbus arrived but the guesstimate is about sixty million. They were the largest community of wild animals that the world has ever known. For a good part of the 1800s bison were considered to be in limitless supply.

After the Civil War the push to settle the west was on, new army posts were established, coinciding with the westward push of the railroads. The army and railroads contracted with local men to supply buffalo meat to feed the troops and construction laborers.

Bison were hunted nearly to extinction in the late 1800’s ---------------------------> More

January 28, 2008

A Deist Among The Mormons

I live in a beautiful rural valley of 700 people in eastern Idaho and after I came to live here I found out that Utah isn’t the only place that is fifty percent Mormon.


As a compulsively inquisitive geo-political junkie I decided to look through the Book of Mormon so I could learn a little about the belief of my neighbors. As with any outsider looking into another’s faith, I found many outlandish passages that would require faith to swallow, however, this is a characteristic that all religions share. What I have learned of my Mormon neighbors in the years since my voyeuristic venture into the sacred book of the LDS Church is more telling. My anecdotal experiences have revealed to me that I couldn’t have better neighbors or live in a finer community.

Although I can’t achieve faith, I admire, and may be envious of those who do. One of the problems I find in my on going analysis of life and faith is the paradoxical dichotomy of religion that fosters the Achilles Heel of human nature, “tribalism.” The tribalism of religion pits one religion against another, hence 99% of the worlds problems. The tribalism of Evangelicals is undermining the ability of their conservative brethren, the Mormons, to carry forward the flag of conservatism and I find this as an affront to common sense-----------------------> More

January 07, 2008

North Yellowstone’s Winter Road

howling-wolf, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National ParkWinter in Yellowstone is truly a wonderful thing to experience, its deep snows, bitter cold, abundant wildlife and stark beauty can imprint memories that can last a lifetime.

Access to Yellowstone in winter is the problem, it has become illegal to take a private snowmobile into Yellowstone and very few of us have snow coaches of our own or are capable of marathon ski expeditions too access Yellowstone’s winter wonders, but it is not as inaccessible as many think.

The snowmobiling destination resort of Cooke City and Silver Gate Montana need groceries regularly to keep its citizens alive so Yellowstone Park maintains winter access to these communities. US-212 can be accessed through Yellowstone’s north entrance in Gardner Montana, so Yellowstone visitors can access a smidgen of Yellowstone’s treasures in winter by car.-----------------------> More