Eggs Over Easy: Marijuana and the Teen Brain

April 21, 2014

One neuropsychological effect of regular marijuana use is a significant loss in IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38, whereas non-users have no significant drop in IQ over their lifetime.

2marijuana The abundant evidence showing marijuana causes permanent harm to its users won’t stop Libertarians, hippies, and burnouts from defending the wacky weed with every ounce of passion they can muster. Frankly, I’m bored with people who tout pot as a medicine or a harmless social “lubricant” on a par with alcohol. As far as I’m concerned, such incorrigible fools can defend marijuana use all the way to the dispensary, but the rest of us have a moral obligation to warn our young people about the personal catastrophes that await them if they become users. The following list of facts are derived from several scholarly, peer-reviewed studies on the various ways marijuana will fry your brain.

HOW DOES THC FRY THE BRAIN?

  • Delta-9 tetrahydrocannibanol (THC), the active chemical in marijuana, chemically resembles the endocannabinoids produced naturally in the human brain, especially the chemical, Anandamide. THC “fools” or interrupts the natural process of Anandamide receptors in the brain, causing disturbances to the functions that natural cannabinoids “modulate” such as mood, appetite, sensation, memory, pain and pleasure.
  • Natural endocannabinoids shape brain development by guiding neuron growth where  it is needed, supporting neuron function, and helping the myelination process in the growing brain. Myelination of the brain cells is not complete until the mid to late 20s in humans. THC interferes with all of these critical development processes, and is most damaging to the brains of adolescent marijuana uses because their brains will fail to myelinate properly, causing irreversible structural and psychological changes.

ADDICTION

  • THC mimics Anandimide but has a much STRONGER and LONGER-LASTING effect on neuron activity. The brain will adapt to THC exposure causing the user to become addicted.
  • One way scientists prove the addictive power of substances is through animal research in which rats will ‘self administer’ a substance to which they become addicted. Laboratory experiments with THC revealed that rats continually administered the drug in the same way they would cocaine, heroin and nicotine.
  • THC has been found to increase dopamine release in the reward center of the brain, causing a sense of pleasure or euphoria, much like other addictive drugs.
  • The withdrawal symptoms of THC include; restlessness, anxiety, irritability, anger, aggression, sleep disturbances, decreased appetite, and weight loss.
  • Marijuana addiction accounts for more admissions into teen substance abuse treatment programs than all other intoxicants combined, including alcohol.
  • Marijuana addiction is related to the age at which a user begins using; the younger the individual when he begins to use marijuana, the more likely he will become dependent and suffer long-term negative cognitive and behavioral effects.

NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL CHANGES

  • THC affects areas of the brain which dictate memory, movement, coordination, vision, judgment and pleasure.
  • The hippocampus, which is the center of memory formation and retrieval, sleep regulation, and stress responses, is especially sensitive to THC exposure. Brain imaging studies have proven that regular marijuana users have, on average, smaller hippocampuses and worse memory performance than non-users.
  • One neuropsychological effect of regular marijuana use is a significant loss in IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38, whereas non-users have no significant drop in IQ over their lifetime.  Those users who started before age 18 had greater drops in IQ than those who started using after age 18.

MENTAL ILLNESS

  • Those who use marijuana regularly during adolescence are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop psychosis, schizophrenia, anxiety, and/or depression in adulthood.
  • Brain scans of of adolescent marijuana users (who had little or no alcohol intake) indicated that the corpus callosum–the bundle of nerve fibers connecting the two hemispheres of the brain–were structurally much thinner than those of non-users. Similar structural differences in corpus callosum are found in people with schizophrenia.

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THC

  • THC intoxication impairs memory, motor coordination, reaction time and visual perception.
  • National studies of intoxicant induced fatal car crashes have shown that by 2009 33% of the drivers had THC in the systems. This is a three-fold increase from prior years, and is on the rise in states where medical and recreational marijuana is now legal.
  • Since THC stays in the body for protracted periods of time, an individual does not to be acutely intoxicated to be under the influence while driving.

GROWTH AND FERTILITY

  • THC affects glands, hormones and certain organs. Studies have shown that adolescents who begin to use marijuana regularly before age 16 are shorter in height than their peer controls.
  • Daily use of marijuana may increase the risk of testicular cancer.

NOT YOUR HIPPIE UNCLE’S POT

  • Marijuana is bred and cultivated to increase THC levels in the plant. Marijuana now is 5 to 10 times more powerful than when it first became popular among young people.
  • As the amount of THC in pot increases the adverse effects, such as paranoia, anxiety and panic, hallucinations, erratic mood swings, and aggressive behavior are magnified.
  • There has been a dramatic increase in recent years of emergency room admissions by people who have ingested pot in some form.
  • Synthetic forms of THC, which can be up to 10 times more powerful than even today’s cultivated pot are accountable for all of the typical adverse effects of marijuana, as well as seizure and heart attacks.
  • Poison control centers are reporting a significant increase in calls related to synthetic THC.

MARKETING TO YOUNG PEOPLE

  • After decades of decline, teen use of marijuana is on a dramatic upswing. This is explained by the promotion of marijuana as a “medicine,” legalization in some states, and positive portrayals of its use in popular culture, which all lead to a decreased negative perception of marijuana.
  • Medical marijuana and recreational pot operations market to young people through “sexy” and colorful advertisements.
  • THC in soda pop, candy, lollipops, butter, and other “edible” forms is designed to appeal to adolescents with the use of bright colors, funny brand names, and cartoon-style logos. These products taste like what they look like and it is not readily apparent that they contain natural or synthetic THC.

“MEDICAL” MARIJUANA

  • Adults possessing medical marijuana licenses or cards account for nearly half of the pot obtained by teen users.
  • Most adults using “medical” marijuana do so because they have a vague diagnosis such as “severe pain.”
  • The THC in “medical” marijuana is stronger than street marijuana, often up to 12 times as strong.

IMPACT ON EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

  • When medical marijuana became legal in Colorado, expulsions related to possession of pot or intoxication rose about 75% between 2009 and 2011. The number of marijuana-related expulsions has increased even further since recreational pot was legalized by the voters via Amendment 64 in 2012.

RESPIRATORY HEALTH

  •  Marijuana smoke contains most of the cancer-causing chemicals, including tar, contained in tobacco smoke.
  • Marijuana smoke is usually unfiltered and held in the lungs longer than tobacco smoke.
  • Regular marijuana smokers report bronchitis, wheezing, shortness of breath and more sick days in comparison to non-smokers (regardless of tobacco use).

Most who defend marijuana do so because they have a personal preference for it. There are some Libertarian purists who actually oppose any laws prohibiting  free expressions of human behavior. Our realities, however, are not so simple. Decades of sound research proves that marijuana is a social evil to be socially discouraged and legally prohibited. The emerging generations of young people have a monstrous economic, social, and political obstacles before them. It’s time for adults to clean up their own lives so they may pave a better path for their children’s future.

by Marjorie Haun  4/21/14

Resources: A Comparison of Mainstream and Sidestream Marijuana and Tobacco Cigarette Smoke Produced Under Two Machine Smoking Conditions ~David Moir et al, July, 2007

Persistent Cannabis Users show Neuropsychological  Decline from Childhood to Mid-life                                                                                ~Madeline Meier et al, April, 2012

The Teen Brain on Marijuana [PDF] Sion Kim Harris, PhD, Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research, Boston Childrens Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Ziggy’s Rebuttal of Jack Matlock’s Blame America First lies and those about Reagan

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This article was published by Zbigniew Mazurak  3/25/14 and reposted with permission on Reagangirl.com 4/21/14.

The Washington Compost (not exactly a bastion of conservatism) has just published an utterly ridiculous screed by former State Dept. official and historical revisionist Jack Matlock Jr. Therein, Matlock blames the current crisis in the Crimea, and Russia’s entire hostility towards the United States, solely on America, falsely claiming that Moscow is hostile solely because “the United States has insisted  on treating Russia as the loser” since the Cold War’s end. Matlock falsely claims that since 1991, Russia has time and again tried to be a cooperative partner, only to receive “swift kicks to the groin” from the US.

(Only a congenital liar would make such claims.)

And like other liberals, Matlock also claims the US did not really win the Cold War or cause the USSR’s collapse. Furthermore, he claims in his book that Ronald Reagan’s sole (and secondary) contribution to ending the Cold War was supposedly abandoning the hawkish policies of his first term.

I will refute these other lies later. But first, I will utterly refute Matlock’s lies about the source of Russian hostility and about Moscow supposedly trying to be a cooperative partner.

Matlock: Blame America First

Matlock blames Moscow’s hostility solely on the US, claiming that the US invited it by bombing Serbia without UN Security Council Approval in 1999, invading Iraq without UNSC approval in 2003, withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2001, expanding NATO to include Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Baltic Republics, Romania, and Bulgaria; with supposed “plans” for US bases in the Baltics and the Balkans; by somehow “supporting” the democratic revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia; and by passing the Magnitsky Act, designed to punish Russian officials who violate human rights.

Matlock is essentially saying, “Russia under Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin tried to be a good partner and to follow a pro-Western orientation, but we alienated it with our aggressive actions.”

That is absolutely false, just like the rest of Matlock’s anti-American screed, and it comes straight from Moscow’s and its liberal American sycophants’ propaganda playbook. Matlock is merely repeating the same old anti-American lies for the umpteenth time.

Russia Has No Legitimate Grievances Towards The West

So let’s look at the issues he claims invited Russian hostility:

  • Serbia: in 1999, that country’s then-dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, was murdering thousands and thousands of innocent, defenseless civilians in Kosovo (where over 80% of the population is Kosovan, not Serbian) for nothing but the fact that they were Kosovan – just like the Germans murdered 6 million Jews for the mere fact they were Jews. We were witnessing a repeat of the Holocaust in Europe (albeit on a much smaller scale). The US was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT to act to stop this, and it was supported in this by ALL of NATO and the entire civilized world (to which Russia does not belong). Milosevic was a war criminal wanted by a UN tribunal in the Hague, was eventually handed over to it after losing power, and was tried for war crimes. The fact that Russia supported such a bloody war criminal only shows what an immoral country it is. As for “UN Security Council approval”, apparently Mr Matlock believes that the US should not act anywhere in the world unless it receives permission from that august council… where his beloved Russia, of course, is a veto-wielding member.
  • Iraq: say what you want about the wisdom of invading Iraq, but any claim that that invasion somehow threatened Russia’s interests in the Middle East is utterly preposterous. What Russian interests did it threaten? None. It actually undermined US interests as it replaced a Sunni dictator with a Shia, pro-Iranian government.
  • The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty: I guess Mr Matlock would’ve preferred for the US to forever remain vulnerable to even the smallest ballistic missile attack and for the US never to develop adequate defenses against such an attack… because that’s exactly what the ABM treaty prohibited. A treaty, by the way, signed with the USSR – a country that no longer existed by 2001. Considering how fast (despite all arms reduction treaties signed to date) ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons are proliferating (thus making a total mockery and failure of those treaties), the decision to withdraw from the ABM treaty was absolutely right. And it had no real impact on Washington-Moscow relations, as confirmed by then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Robert G. Joseph. Might I add that Russia – while strongly opposing America’s efforts to build ballistic missile defense systems – is quietly building such systems of its own?
  • NATO expansion: to say that this threatened Russia’s security is also a blatant lie. None of NATO’s new members (except Poland and the Baltics) even have a border with Russia; and all of them had and still have very good reasons to fear Russian subjugation and aggression. They spent half a century under the Soviet yoke; in the 1990s, Russia still tried to meddle in their affairs; and now Moscow is threatening them again. It was morally and strategically right to bring them under NATO’s defense umbrella. Moscow has something to fear from their accession to NATO ONLY if it intends to attack them. Moreover, the post-1991 NATO entrants (especially Poland and the Czech Republic) have proven to be among the staunchest allies America has anywhere in the world, participating heavily in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (Poland sent thousands of troops to both countries). What’s more, Poland is one of the few NATO countries that spend the agreed benchmark of at least 2% of GDP on defense and has more mechanized Army brigades than the UK, France, and Germany combined. Romania and Bulgaria have access to the Black Sea and have recently held exercises with the USN. Such allies are worth having.
  • The early 2000s’ revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia saw utterly corrupt and criminal pro-Russian dictators (and in Ukraine, President Kuchma’s hand-picked successor Viktor Yanukovych) ousted by their people. Contrary to Matlock’s lies, the US did not extend anything but rhetorical support for those revolutions.
  • The Magnitsky Act: contrary to Matlock’s lies, the US did not single out Russia with this Act as the worst human rights abuser in the world. But Moscow is one of the world’s most egregious human rights violators, and this act, named by a whistleblower murdered in prison by Putin’s prison guards, instituted targeted sanctions against Russian officials who violate human rights.

So all of Matlock’s excuses for Russia’s hostility have been utterly refuted, one by one. They’ve collapsed like a deck of cards.

And so will, in a minute, Matlock’s myth that Russia has tried to be a cooperative partner whom the US has needlessly antagonized. In fact, since Vladimir Putin’s ascension to power, Russia has been increasingly arrogant and hostile towards the US and the West as its power has grown since the nadir of the 1990s. It has started a new Cold War against the West and is the biggest threat to US, European, and world security.

Russia Is Behaving Aggressively In Cold-War Style

In recent years, Russia has:

  1. Repeatedly flown nuclear-armed strategic borders into US, allied (Japanese), and even neutral (Swedish) airspace and said the Russian Air Force was “practicing attacking the enemy.” What on Earth have SWEDEN and JAPAN done to Russia? For that matter, what has America done to Russia? Nothing.
  2. Repeatedly (on 15 separate occassions) threatened to aim or even use its nuclear weapons against the US and its allies.
  3. Invaded two sovereign countries that dared to try to break out of Moscow’s sphere of influence and align themselves with the West (Georgia and Ukraine) and continues to occupy both countries.
  4. Repeatedly violated several arms reduction treaties, including the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and the INF Treaty, the latter being violated by Russia by repeatedly testing and deploying nuclear-armed missiles banned by that treaty.
  5. Deployed nuclear-armed ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad District, next to Poland, threatening that loyal ally of the US, while the US has no nuclear weapons anywhere in Eastern Europe.
  6. Backed America’s enemies around the world – North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba – to the hilt, with diplomatic protection at the UN Security Council, weapons (including the advanced S-300VM air defense system), nuclear fuel (Iran), and nuclear reactors (Iran), thus also threatening the existence of Israel.
  7. Stationed a spy ship, the Viktor Leonov, in Cuba (it’s still there).
  8. Conducted, and continues to conduct, a wave of hateful anti-American propaganda in domestic and foreign (e.g. RussiaToday) media.
  9. Sent an Akula-class nuclear-armed submarine close to the US submarine base in King’s Bay, GA.
  10. Domestically, assassinated high-profile dissidents (Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko) and jailed hundreds of others.
  11. Just recently, began negotiations with Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela on opening bases for Russian ships and nuclear-armed bombers there.

Yet the US is somehow to blame for Russia’s actions? For Moscow’s hostility? Who is threatening whom with nuclear weapons, Mr Matlock? Who is flying nuclear-armed bombers close and sometimes into US, Japanese, and Swedish airspace? Who is stationing spy ships close to the other party’s shores? Who is now reopening naval and bomber bases on the other party’s doorstep?

Are you a paid pro-Kremlin propagandist, Mr Matlock? Or are you just on drugs?

Matlock also falsely claims that the current West-Russia spat we’re witnessing now is not a new Cold War but the result of “misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and posturing to domestic political audiences” – as if Russia’s ultra-aggressive behavior against the US, its allies, and even neutral countries like Sweden was the product of mere “misunderstading.”

He’s completely wrong. Russia’s behavior is the result of resurgent, renewed Russian imperialism, of the Kremlin’s imperial ambitions, and of the hatred of the West which Vladimir Putin and his fellow KGB thugs imbued when trained by the KGB.

We didn’t see that behavior in Putin’s first years because at that time Russia was still too weak to try such actions. But as Russia began to rebound militarily and economically under Putin, it also began to be increasingly aggressive towards the West and towards Moscow’s former Warsaw Pact vassals.

Matlock also falsely claims that Russia has cooperated with the US on Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

This is also false. Moscow has backed, and continues to back, Syria, Iran, and North Korea to the hilt, affording them diplomatic protection at the UNSC, weapons (except North Korea, at least so far), and, in Iran’s case, nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel – which Iran will use to produce nuclear weapons.

Moscow has absolutely opposed any but the weakest sanctions against Iran, and continues to back the genocidal, anti-American dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Matlock also falsely claims the New START treaty was a significant achievement, but the converse is true: New START was an utter failure and a treasonous treaty. It requires unilateral disarmament on America’s part: only the US required by the treaty to cut its nuclear arsenal, while Russia is allowed to increase its own. Even worse, the treaty doesn’t count Russia’s 171 Tu-22M strategic bombers as such, contains a pathetically weak Potemkin-like verification regime, and imposes restrictions on US missile defenses.

As Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) has rightly said, the US should immediately withdraw from that treaty.

Yes, Virginia, Reagan Really Did Win The Cold War

Finally, I will refute Matlock’s also utterly false claim that the US didn’t win the Cold War or cause the collapse of the USSR.

The fact is the US did both, no matter how hard Matlock and other revisionists try to deny it.

The Soviet Union lost the Cold War, and collapsed in 1991, because of the fatal blows Ronald Reagan dealt to it. In his eight years, President Reagan:

  • Dramatically increased US defense spending, to levels not seen in real terms before or since, and US defense programs to a pace the Soviet Union could not keep up with.
  • Began the development of a missile defense system the USSR could never match.
  • Convinced Saudi Arabia to increase oil output dramatically, thus cutting oil prices from $30/bbl to $12/bbl in 5 months, and thus dealing a fatal blow to Moscow’s oil-revenue -dependent economy.
  • Instituted a bevy of sanctions on the USSR, including an embargo on drilling, pumping, and construction equipment, and successfully pressured West Germany to reduce the planned Yamal Pipeline from 2 lines to one, and to delay that project by many years (as a result, it wasn’t completed until 1999).
  • Supported anti-Soviet proxies around the world, most notably in Afghanistan, where they defeated the Soviet Army in a war that cost Moscow hundreds of billions of dollars (if only the US had learned from Moscow’s mistakes and had not gotten mired in that country!).
  • Deployed Pershing and GLCM missiles in Europe to counter the USSR’s deployment of SS-20s.
  • Successfully used the tons of secret Warsaw Pact documents stolen by Col. Ryszard Kuklinski as leverage in negotiations with the Soviets.

These are the fatal blows that brought the Soviets back to the bargaining table, forced them to make major concessions, and eventually caused the Soviet Union’s collapse, as the USSR was unable to continue the Afghan War, the arms race, or counter US missile defense development with its sclerotic, stagnant economy, especially not after the Reagan-induced late 1980s oil glut. And not with the Yamal Pipeline delayed.

As Professor Robert G. Kaufman has rightly written, “the Cold War ended on Reagan’s terms, not Gorbachev’s.”

Matlock is wrong on all counts. All of his claims are utterly false. Not one of them is correct – not even one. Russia has NO legitimate grievances towards the West, it has never been a truly cooperative partner in the last 25 years, and its hostility is due to the revival of imperialist ideology and ambitions in Russian political circles (greatly enabled by KGB thug Vladimir Putin’s ascent to power). Russia is now waging a new Cold War on the West. How the West, led by the US, will respond to this challenge, remains to be seen.

The opinions expressed by Ziggy’s Defense Blog do not necessarily reflect those of Reagangirl.com.

Crucifixion Diary

 April 20, 2014

“Why seek ye the living among the dead? 

He is not here, but is risen.”

 

He is not here, for he is rison

Day 1. The day is beautiful, the heavens blue and the clouds move quickly across the sky. The young colt the brethren obtained for me is indeed little, my feet nearly touch the ground as I ride him through the Jerusalem gate.  The crowds are sparse at first, and growing more dense along my path.  The women, radiant and hopeful, are placing their head scarves in the path of the colt, the men place palm fronds to keep the mud and dirt from my raiment.  The children are happy and playful. They run up to me and touch my hand or the hem of my robe. One sunny little girl rode with me for a time on the colt, and then her mother insisted that she come down.  My small band of faithful  disciples–how will they fare when I am gone?  My heart aches for them and I worry that this moment, this triumphal moment, will quickly turn to sadness and weeping, when in a few days I will be gone, and in a matter of years the streets of this city will run with the blood of the vanquished.

Day 2. They have been taught, and still they offend the spirit and purpose of the temple.  My anger was kindled today and I forced the avaricious traders and usurers from that sacred courtyard.  I commanded the money changers that they must leave.  I have grown tired of their advantage-taking of those humble temple-goers, who seek only sanctification while the merchants seek profit.  The temple has been desecrated and I will have no more of it.  I broke up their tables and threw the money to the ground where they, like scavenging  dogs, scrambled after it, every last pittance.  I commanded them to leave but they will be back.  Their habits only strengthen their lust for money.  They no longer seek after the presence of the Lord.  His spirit can be found in the Holy Temple, but they seek only money.  In a few days the veil in the temple will be rent, and the wrath that will come upon these blasphemers will make my indignation this day seem mild.

Day 3. The brethren were astonished to see, when we passed the fig tree which I cursed only yesterday, that is had completely withered. The fig tree was surely beautiful, stately and full of shameless leaves.  But it bore no fruit and was therefore of no worth.  My little band of disciples, and especially these men, my apostles, who will take my place when I am gone from here, must understand that faithful words themselves fall short.  The appearance of religion is not enough.  You must bear the fruit of faith.  I care not for your outward appearance, your sumptuous apparel and beautiful faces.  You must serve me with works of faith.  The fig tree was cursed and withered because it could bear no fruit.  All of its sap, the energy it took from the sun, went to its pretty leaves and thick trunk.  It was of no use to anyone and so it was cursed, as will be my people if they believe that only the outward aspect of faith is sufficient for the needs of my kingdom.

Day 4. All of the brethren have joined me in the upper room.  It is the Feast of the Passover.  The aroma of the lamb, the bitter herbs and flat bread are a delight to my senses.  This is when my people remember their release from the bonds of slavery, my protecting miracles, and the importance of experiencing the bitter along with the sweet.  I don’t think that yet they fully realize the lamb is me.  They kill and let the blood of a little animal, perfect and pure, and then take into themselves its nourishing flesh.  After this day the flesh and blood of the animal are never again to be taken.  The Lamb of God will die for their sakes.  They will now remember me with the bread and wine that will impart the higher law with which they will be nourished.  No more will sacrificial blood be shed, for mine will flow in a little while, and will fill the earth with its cleansing power. Moses led them out of bondage, and I will break the bonds of death.  They will come to know me as they take the bread and wine.  Judas, my poor friend, never really knew me.  He left us before he could partake of the Sacrament.  He became like the money changers in the temple, blinded by the purse and the pieces of silver inside, blinded to the balm of my love and the glory of my salvation.  We sang an hymn of praise to Father before we left the upper room then I bid the brethren to come with me to the Mount of Olives, to a garden called Gethsemane.  I lingered for a moment, feeling the cool of the evening breeze upon my face.  My hands did not tremble when earlier I broke the bread, but they tremble now.

They would not stay awake! My friends could not even watch and pray with me.  I am alone in this intercessory prayer, save for the momentary comfort of an Angel, which strengthened me only enough to bear up under this weight.  For the load of my suffering is not lighter but has increased beyond understanding.  My fingers claw the dirt of this garden.  My body is curled upon itself, writhing. I seek one spot of relief, one moment of rest, but there is no escaping this bitter cup.  There is an inexorable squeezing within my chest.  My lungs are pressed in a vise.  My bowels turn on themselves in an anguished dance.  Each muscle and sinew is drawn to the extremity.  My bones throb as excruciating pressure threatens to burst them apart, joint and limb.  I call out to Father to let this task pass from me.  But I bow, and succumb to His will.  My heart is then shattered with the  inexpressible horror of  irrevocable isolation and despair. Fugues of agony wash over me.  My mind is stabbed with  hot, sharp daggers of regret.  Each sin, error, and sorrow, screams into my brain in flashes of tearful faces, blistering torments, mouths pleading for release, eyes clenched and fists beating the ground in piteous groveling, frenzied violence, and epochs of war. Ululations from the throats of the wasted Damned. Every son and daughter through all time, of my Father, their depravity and cruelty, filth and sin, diseases and afflictions and infirmities, born into the dispassionate conditions of inescapable mortality, engulfing me, blinding me.  My world has become dark and terrible, the old olive trees are skeletons, their bony fingers reaching for me as I am swallowed into the blackest black of creation. My robes are soaked red as the screw on the press is turned, crushing me the Greatest of All, causing me to tremble, the blood hemorrhaging from my skin, seeping into the cloth of my garments.  I am seared with a heat, scorching and fierce, as if I will be immolated, and the garden, the trees, my friends, the city below, and the whole world with me.  Then I am left cold, the blood has grown sticky.  I shiver, my muscles seizing, and it is awhile before my body ceases to shudder and my sensibility is restored.

I rise, my robes sodden with blood, and squalid, mud, leaves and sticks clinging to them.  A little ways off a torch lights the faces of a mob. Judas points his finger my direction.  I call to the brethren and Peter jumps to his feet.  He acts rashly and smites one of the men on the ear with his sword.  My strength ebbing, I slowly pick up the piece of the man’s ear, hold it to his head, and restore him.  Peter is at once furious and ashamed.  Judas embraces me and then I am bound, and taken, pushed out of the garden and down the hill, back to Jerusalem.

Day5. Trials given by men, such men as Annas and then Caiaphas, and then by the Sanhedrin hypocrites.  They know nothing of trials.  They sit in their comfortable spaces, idle, corpulent, fattened on the labors of others.  They spit, they accuse, and they twist the law to fit their ends.  They will kill me and believe that they have won the prize.  And they have, but the prize is mine to give.  These politicians, snakes, liars, and mockers will win eternal life as I become subject to their punishments.  They do not know that I die for them.  My enemies kill me, and my death brings them life…if they will repent and forsake their lusts and lies and gluttony.  But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I. Which suffering caused myself, God, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit–and would that I might not drink the bitter cup and shrink. I have suffered all things, so that even the most depraved of sinners may repent and not have to suffer what I endured in that garden. I die for all, my enemies and my beloved friends.

They are powerless, Pilate, my disciples, Peter, James, John, and the brethren, to turn the tide of  hate and anger. Some of those hopeful faces who smiled on me as I rode through Jerusalem as The King of Kings, are now creased with doubt and fear.  They join in the chorus to crucify me.  They would choose a murderer over The Lamb.  The Romans prefer the execution upon a tree.  They will hang me on a cross.  A cross that I now carry through the streets and up to Golgotha. My back is scored with a thousand lashes, the skin planed, one pass at a time, from my flesh. Some  pieces of bone and rock from the scourging whips embedded in my back.  The cross grinds heavily upon my shoulders, my muscles ache, and I drip blood along the way, leaving a gory trail out of the city.  A man, his eyes shiny with tears and bright with love, sidles next to me and bears up one side of the cross.  He would bear my burden as I have borne the burden of the sins of the world.  Blessed is he.

I know those nails.  They are jagged stakes, not the nails of a carpenter made to join two boards, but rather to secure ship’s beams. Now they splay and wedge, as they break and tear into my wrists, hands and feet. The screeching burn of rasps against raw nerve.  Blood oozes thick, my thirst is great, my pain is exquisite, and though my body droops on this cross, my mind is clear.  There is one hurt, one sound I cannot, I will not, bear.  Of all that I have borne to this moment, the most heartbreaking of things are the cries of my mother.  I cannot bear this and I order John to take her to his home, to become her son, she his mother.  She grabs at the cross, trying to touch my feet.  I cannot look at her face.  I turn away and she wails and screams as John pulls her down the path toward Jerusalem.  Mother…Mother.

The sun moves over my head.  It warms me, and in my agony I begin to feel a replenishing peace.  It is power and peace.  A reconciliation of all things; life and death, evil and virtue, spirit and flesh.  I feel the presence of Father.  But He turns from me, suddenly, inexplicably. Why, why now?  I call out.  And for a brief time the torture of Gethsemane returns, the ignominy of false accusations, trials by charlatans, the loneliness of rejection, the fires of atoning, and the cruelty of the cross.  And then it is done.  My work is done. The misery seeps from me as the blood and water dripping from my skin. My head bows, my body is still.

Day 6. The labor of atonement is done.  The work of my flesh is complete.  But my ministry, like my atoning sacrifice, is infinite and eternal. I will return to my Father’s home and prepare my gospel there, for its spirit inhabitants.  This little book does not have the space to hold the things that I will do before I return to my body of flesh.  I will tell you this; there is no child of God, no soul born upon the earth who has lived, lives now, or who will live, who will not learn my gospel, and then choose for him or herself whom they will follow.  Come follow me, I say to all.  I am your Savior, I have ransomed you with My blood.  My way is the only way to happiness and eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Day 7.  I am waiting when the Seraphim move the rock.  It squeals against the limestone of the tomb.  The splinter of light becomes a resplendent ray, and I am bathed in the warmth of the sun.  Each cell of my body made new, pure, glorious.  My senses are sublimely keen. The song birds sing a symphony of life, complex and perfectly congruous.  The scents of lilies and dewy grass skim the gentle wind currents.  The light from the sun is robed with spectral colors, iridescent and supernal.  I breathe in the air of the tomb, it is stale and heavy with the spices and oils of embalming.  I step out, bid the Angels adieu, and walk to a secret place.  I watch from afar as my dear Mary treads the path toward  Joseph’s sepulcher.  She is downcast, her eyes swollen and her footfalls quiet.  She sees the rock.  I can feel the panic in her heart.  She looks about, seeking my form, the shrouds, some sign of where I have been taken.  She runs to me.  “Sir,” she starts, “my Lord, where have they taken Him? Where is His body?” She believes me to be the gardener.  I smile, but wait a moment for her gaze. “Mary,” I speak, “it is I. I live.”  She narrows her eyes and sees my face, then with a gasp falls to my feet and calls out, “My Lord, my Lord!”  My precious Mary has done on this Spring morning what I desire all of my children to do.  To seek me,  and when they find me, know that I am their Lord.  I died for them.  And I live.

St. Luke 24:6

For God so loved the world…

Are you a Defender of God and Truth?

April 19, 2014

As anti-Christ Atheism spreads in the West, the time has come to push back boldly as witnesses of the power and divinity of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

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I could wrap myself within the walls of my happy Christian life.  I could read the scriptures, and pray and, and give money to charity.  I could live a sheltered life where I was doing little wrong because I never exposed myself to risk or conflict or the ugly and dangerous world outside my home.  But in doing nothing wrong, could I possibly be doing anything of value?

Message to modern Christians: 

You can’t become clean and worthy to inherit God’s kingdom without first getting a little dirty.

Christians in America have enjoyed riches and comfort among the greatest the world has to offer.  High moral standards, the active exercise of Faith, self-discipline, and the value of hard work has produced a generation with access to all of the desirable things in life.  Though these blessings are largely earned, for some they have fostered complacency.  Christians sometimes have an aversion to risk, because in sticking out or necks, we might err or sin. But now is no time for complacency or coyness because it’s going to require getting into the messy arena where good and evil vie if we’re to retain our freedom to worship at all.

Authentic faith in the God of Creation requires bold action.  It is not an unseemly or immoral thing to stand fast and hard against the evils of our time-the closing hours of the latter-days.  It is God who spurs the principled impulse to withstand the lies that threaten our families, our freedom, and faith itself.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a former member of the Utah State Supreme Court, President of Brigham Young University, and current member of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a recent devotional address, unequivocally rebuffs the spreading influence of “anti-Christ Atheism” and invited all Mormons and others in the Christian world to boldly ” stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in.” 

  • Pray to God, speak of God publicly and within your homes, share your faith, and do not omit references to God in your public communications for fear of criticism. Cite references to God, the influence of Christian religion and the Bible in our history and Founding Documents.
  • Obey the “unenforcable” law of God. Be moral. Be good citizens. Set a good example. Be a leader in righteousness. Fearlessly live by true and eternal principles.
  • Contend for the free exercise of religion. Unite with believers of other faiths to defend and honor the Constitutional guarantee of free religion. Become a Christian soldier to work in politics, schools, homes, churches and other institutions, to preserve the right to worship according to the dictates of one’s conscience, and to defend traditional values as decreed by God.
  • Stand now as a witness of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places as a leader among Christians.

“There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

*John F. Kennedy*

Posted by Marjorie Haun  4/19/14



Medicare fraud: $97 Million for Mentally Ill Patients to Watch Movies, Play Games

April 18, 2014

This article by Eric Boehm was originally published by Watchdog.org on March 14, 2014, and reposted with permission on Reagangirl.com.

Medicare fraud: $97 million for mentally ill patients to watch movies, play games

By   Watchdog.org

While taxpayers were picking up the tab for intensive, outpatient care for mentally ill patients, those patients were playing games and watching movies.

EXPENSIVE GAMES: Patients were supposed to be getting intensive treatments covered by Medicaid at a Houston facility. Instead, they were playing games and watching movies on the taxpayers’ dime.

It was part of a Medicare scam run by two Houston doctors who defrauded the system out of $97 million over five years.

A federal jury Thursday convicted physicians Mansour Sanjar, 81, and Cyrus Sajadi, 66, the owners of Spectrum Care P.A., along with several of their employees, for their roles in the Medicare scam. From 2006 through 2011, the doctors had been orchestrating a scheme in which they overbilled Medicaid for services that were not performed and, in many cases, which their patients were not eligible to receive.

Spectrum ran a partial hospitalization program for people with severe mental illnesses in need of intensive therapy and ongoing care.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, Sanjar and Sajadi billed Medicare for services when the beneficiaries were actually watching movies, coloring and playing games — activities not covered by Medicare.

An investigation by the FBI and the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that many others patients at the facility were not covered under Medicare for any services.

Sanjar and Sajadi paid kickbacks to employees at other facilities and sometimes directly to patients.

The two physicians and five others convicted will be sentenced in September.

~Eric Boehm

This article by Eric Boehm was originally published by Watchdog.org on March 14, 2014, reposted with permission on Reagangirl.com.

Boots in the Dust: Eyewitness Account of Bundy Ranch Standoff

April 17, 2014

The following is an eye-witness account from last weekend of the evolving standoff at the Bundy Rancy in Southern Nevada, between Federal Bureau Land Management (BLM) agents and the ranch family who have run and raised cattle on the property for generations. J.J. Fletcher is a businessman, civic leader, father and husband from the Western Colorado town of Palisade. This excerpt was originally published by “Overdog.”

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THE REAL BUNDY RANCH STORY FROM COLORADO EYE WITNESS, J.J. FLETCHER This an eye witness report from a grand Junction Tea Party member and friend, JJ who went to the Bundy Ranch and spent the night. Quite different from the TV report…Overdog 8:15 PM: Pass through Mesquite, Nevada. It’s another 9 miles or so to Bundy’s Ranch turn off at Exit 112. As it’s almost dark, we mistake Exit 114 for 112, and turn off, and right into the Feds’ Camp! We are immediately lit up, by millions of candlepower lights on multiple armored vehicles, etc. No, you just THINK you’ve been jacklighted before. I couldn’t see the end of the hood on my truck. “Turn off your lights and put your hands out your windows where we can see them,” a Fed bellowed through his loudspeaker. Of course, we did. A Fed dressed in khaki trousers and a black vest came up, asked me what we were doing here, and I said,” I just turned in off the interstate to make a cell call.” I was just wearing “civies”, and I guess I looked harmless enough, so the Fed just told me to “Get out of here.” We drove on down two miles and took the correct 112 Exit to Bundy’s Ranch. 8:45 PM Friday Evening: Arrived at flagpole area and was directed to camp anywhere you like. We parked in an area just north of the Virgin River, and S.W. of the flagpole, about an eighth of a mile away. The Bundy Ranch was visible about a mile away, across the river and to the Southwest from our position. I was told the next morning that the “hard core militia” were over there protecting the Bundy Family. 8:45 PM thru 6:00 AM Sat. Morning: All night long, vehicles are coming in, setting up campsites, shining lights around, etc. and in general it could be described as a “carnival” atmosphere! 9:45 PM: A helicopter is heard coming upriver towards us. It is very low, moving slowly, and is totally blacked out, except for running lights… it is very obviously an intimidation flight, but no one seems to be very intimidated by it….just the Feds flexing their “muscle.” We try to sleep, but it’s real warm, and the vehicles just keep on coming, and coming. About 2:00AM it cools off a little, and I doze off a little, but the vehicle noise is always present in my subconscious. 6:00 AM: Get up. Change clean socks, and put on my Tea Party Yellow Rattlesnake T Shirt. WE eat a quick ham sandwich for breakfast, and get up to go see what’s going on up at the flagpole area, since that seems to be the center of whatever is going on. I’m amazed at what was there. A huge cache of personal water bottles is stacked 4 feet high, 15 feet long, and three or four cases out from the side of a trailer there. Pickups are bring more water and ice. There is canned pop for free, cold water, coffee, and donuts of all types. It’s always been hard for me to pass up a free donut, so I indulged myself. 6:00 AM–10 AM: We continue to watch vehicles arriving by the minute. Sometimes, they are caravaning several vehicles together in a convoy. Many horn honks, waves, and cheers accompany the new arrivals. Groups are from all over the U S. The Southern New Mexico Militia has been here for two weeks, guarding the Bundy House. They are “hard core militia”. I know their Commander from the original Minuteman Operations back in 2005. I won’t mention his real name here, but his nickname is chrome dome, as he is pretty much bald…..sorry, Bob… he trains his men regularly with live fire and maneuvers, and they are always ready to go. They also excel in marksmanship. Regular practice keeps them that way. The media: They are everywhere. Two major Channels out of Las Vegas are doing live updates periodically from on site. Many newspapers have reporters there. Alternative media such as Pete Santilly and Lucca Zanna have their cameras rolling, and giving all broadcasts live from the standoff. I talk to both of them, and Lucca remembers me from when we were both Minutemen at Campo, Ca. in 2005. Pete seems surprised that Lucca was a Minuteman.The guy that ran with Allen Keys for President was there. His name was Wiley ….something, but he was telling everyone about how Obama is illegal, and it’s been proven by Joe Arpaio’s cold case posse. One of the Bundy Boys starts off the official speeches around 9:00AM. He tells how his brother was tased three times, and others were knocked around and down the previous couple of days, including a 57 yr. old woman with cancer. Next up, was the worthless non-constitutional sheriff of Clark County, Nevada. You know, the one who got the “Sheriff of the Year” award from HARRY REID! Yeah, that one. The one who had told the Bundys that they would just have to “work it out with the BLM”! Yeah, THAT one! The sheriff was accompanied by a couple of deputies, each of who looked as nervous as two whores in church. He started off by telling the crowd of patriots that HE had just brokered a DEAL with the BLM to end the standoff. Huge cheers went up from everyone. Someone in the crowd yelled out, “what about the cows?” The crowd started a chant,” What about the cows? What about the cows.” The sheriff seemed nervous when he said that the cows that were auctioned off would have the proceeds of the sales divided between the Bundys and BLM. This did not set well with the crowd, and some cussing of BLM was heard in the crowd. The sheriff also said that the BLM was lifting the “no fly zone” over the ranch, and was removing the no trespassing restriction on the whole area in question . Clive Bundy then took the mike over, and thanked God for what had been done so far, but then…..obviously “feeling his oats” from his recent victory over the Feds, he said,” I will wait right here until my cows are released. Furthermore, I want the sheriff to tell this County to get out their bulldozers and remove every park entrance that has been set up to charge people for coming in to see their own parks!” I believe that he said “and we’ll wait right here, until you do it”, but I’m not sure on that. The old man was definitely feeling his new found sense of power, from all the support he had just been handed, and was rubbing salt directly into the wounds of the corrupt sheriff, who was shifting his weight from one foot to the other, like a little kid who needed to take a leak. The crowd was ecstatic, and kept chanting what about the cows?, over and over periodically. Then, it was announced that about 60 mounted and armed cowboys would be clearing the hill from which the cowardly Fed snipers had been located. To everyone’s amazement, here comes about 60 horsemen riding down from on top of the hill towards the crowd, amid cheers from the patriots. About ten of them then swept up over the south side of the hill and ended up on top looking down from above. Well, with that Grand Finale, we decided we needed to pack up and get a little jump on the crowd that would most likely be soon leaving. Even though Sean Hannity was scheduled to appear, and the Governor of Nevada, we decided to leave as my truck was limping along on a spare tire on the road, and a severely damaged main wiring harness. I got to Cedar City, about a hundred miles towards home, and I received a call that I-15 has been closed, there is a conflict ongoing with armed militia and police. WHAAAAT? There is another person on their way to the Bundy ranch from Grand Junction, and I have been in contact with her, so I tell her I am going to kill some time in Cedar City until she can confirm or deny that this crap is going on, or not. She’s just about to enter the Virgin River Gorge, and I know she’ll be incommunicado until she pops out at the bottom near Mesquite, so I tell her to call me, and I’ll turn around and go back, if our guys are under fire, but if not I have a crippled truck and need to get it home ASAP. About an hour later she calls, and the story is all bullshit. True, there are a lot of patriots coming out of Bundy’s place, then stopping on I-15 to watch the cows getting turned loose by the Feds. The cows are running under I-15 to get back over to the Bundy Ranch property. This is creating havoc on I-15 as the cops don’t really want to get surly with the armed patriots who are coming up to make sure the BLM delivers on their promises to return the cows. Got home without further incident around dark. J.J. Fletcher

Reposted by Reagangirl.com  4/17/14 J.J. Fletcher is currently running as an Independent for the Colorado House of Representatives Seat in State District 54. 

#Obamacare State Exchanges Infected by Criminals


April 16. 2014

Government tyranny cannot be imposed on a population without help from some of its citizens. Those whose consciences have been dimmed by corruption, criminality, personal immorality, and the form of government worship that comes from generations of people voting themselves raises by robbing honest wage earners to support non-earners, are now in charge of one of the most massive pieces of legislation in our history, and as a result, a significant aspect of our lives.

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In the latest of a series of stories exposing infestation of the Obamacare state exchanges by criminals and Democrat operatives, it was reported in the Denver Post last week that a director of Connect for Health Colorado was placed on administrative leave after being indicted for stealing from a former employer in Montana. Other officials at the state health exchange claim to have vetted Christa Ann McClure prior to placing her in the position at Connect for Health Colorado, but, not unlike the disastrous implementation of the Affordable Care Act, their vetting process appears to be slip-shod at best. McClure’s position as the director of Housing Montana’s Billings office placed her in a position of authority and sensitivity as well, but her embezzlement and mismanagement cost them tens of thousands of dollars. The charges against her are “very serious” and are related to significant and ongoing criminal activity on her part during her tenure in the Housing Montana job.

The Oregon Obamacare exchange, Cover Oregon, was given over $160 million by American taxpayers for its implementation, but reportedly has not successfully enabled even one person to gain insurance coverage through its website. There appears to be no accounting for the 160M and no explanation for the cause of the exchange’s repeated failures. U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R) of Oregon is pushing for a Congressional probe into the failed Oregon Obamacare exchange, and the mysterious use and/or disappearance of millions of taxpayer dollars.

Earlier this month the California Obamacare Exchange, Covered California, was exposed as having hired a platoon of criminals–31 and possibly more–with prior convictions from crimes ranging from “harm to a child” to theft and embezzlement. The attitude of the directors at Covered California was blase’, with spokesman Dana Howard saying, “We don’t believe there is any heightened reason for consumers to be alarmed.” California requires no criminal background check for the Covered California hires, including the thousands of “navigators” whose primary role is to gain access to the personal data of “customers” as they help enroll them into the system.

Shortly following the disastrous Obamacare roll  out–which is still a colossal mess–the intrepid James O’ Keefe conducted a journalistic sting exposing systemic corruption in the Texas Obamacare exchange network.  Using legal but secret investigative techniques and video recordings, he found numerous instances of fraud, and illegal political operations. Brian Pendleton, a Democrat operative, hired to direct “Enroll America” in Texas, was eventually fired when O’Keefe exposed the Texas “navigators” as little more than liberal get-out-the-vote campaigners. Pendleton himself, was caught on video encouraging an undercover reporter to break election law by giving “navigators” access to state voter records. Several other Texas Obamacare navigators were fired in the wake of O’ Keefe’s expose’.

From the outset of Obamacare’s implementation, it’s been reported that firms and individuals with dubious records, have been hired by state exchanges as well as the federal offices (HHS) to recruit people into the massive ACA system.  Dishonest procedural tactics were used by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in 2009 to pass Obamacare against the will of a majority of Americans, and corrupt people and practices are now being used to force it into our doctors’ offices and lives for the foreseeable future.

Barack Obama has broken his oath of office countless times, and relative to Obamacare, has unilaterally committed the impeachable offense of changing an existing law without the permission of Congress some 27 time–and counting. Ted Cruz describes the President’s actions as “lawless.” It is clear that the ACA is, by nature, extra-constitutional, unconstitutional, and so corrupt as having to depend on those who have no compunction about breaking the law, to implement it throughout the country. Government tyranny cannot be imposed on a population without help from some of its citizens. Those whose consciences have been dimmed by corruption, criminality, personal immorality, and the form of government worship that comes from generations of people voting themselves raises by robbing honest wage earners to support non-earners, are now in charge of one of the most massive pieces of legislation in our history, and as a result, a significant aspect of our lives.

On a personal note, I warned all of my friends and acquaintances who were considering signing up for Obamacare in their state exchanges, that the reality of exposing their personal data to Democrat operatives and “navigators” was not worth the temporary relief they would feel being “covered” by government-run insurance outfits. I hate to say I told you so, but as the Obamacare system groans and wavers under the weight of corruption and failed socialist ideas, I have to repeat…I TOLD YOU SO.

by Marjorie Haun  4/16/14



Beware: Federal Government Uses “National Park” Status to Control State Lands

April 15, 2014

The following is a July 3, 2013 High Country News op-ed written by  the highly-respected and widely-read author, Charles Quimby. Quimby was correct when he penned this piece in the summer of 2013, and as legislators are pressured by  the Left to use “National Park” designation to assert ever greater control over a large swath of Western Colorado in and near the Colorado National Monument, his op-ed is more relevant than ever.

Quimby: Colorado National Monument Should Not Become a National Park

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As a close neighbor and regular user of Colorado National Monument in western Colorado close to Grand Junction, I suffered a sharp attack of NIMBYism when I heard of a 2011 proposal to turn one of the nation’s oldest national monuments into one of its smallest, newest national parks.

I blanched at the prospects of tour-company motor coaches imperiling cyclists on the winding, narrow route through the park. I dreaded a cluster of water slides and curio shops draped like tasteless bling around a natural jewel.

According to surveys by a study panel appointed to gauge community support, I wasn’t alone. Only about 40 percent favored a change to park status. Another 40 percent howled in outrage against, while 20 percent just shrugged. Given the lack of enthusiasm, last year the group told its sponsors, Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and Republican Rep. Scott Tipton, that it would not forward a recommendation.

Apparently, that was the wrong answer.

Early in 2013, supporters began a new campaign based on local pride and tourism to counter the area’s energy-related boom-and-bust cycles. But while I’m OK with pride, the economic claims struck me as overblown.

According to Park Service reports, the three national parks created in the region since 1994 have not brought marked visitor growth after being upgraded from national monuments. Furthermore, national parks attendance is flattening overall, with declines at many parks masked by modest increases at a few mega-parks. The reasons: Cheap fuel for extended automobile vacations is history, the age of the average visitor is rising, and today’s youth have different ideas about vacation.

In short, the national park label cannot transform a small monument from a drive-through tourist experience into an overnight-stay sensation. Even granting a 10 percent visitation lift — a rate not exhibited by other monument-to-park transitions — the new revenue produced would be the equivalent of one McDonald’s store’s annual sales. That’s hardly “critical to stabilizing the local economy,” as claimed by one park advocacy group.

In Arizona’s Saguaro National Park, according to a case study published in Park Science,“The vast majority of current visitors are local recreationists, with the number of bicycles now approaching the number of cars” on one popular route. A study of Rocky Mountain National Park, situated close to the urbanized Front Range, found much the same thing: 46 percent of its non-local visitors came from within Colorado.

Looking at all of the nation’s national parks, 29 percent of visits were day trips by local residents, with another 40 percent consisting of day trips from residents at least 60 miles away.

The evidence suggests that the modest attendance bump from park status and limited overnight stays just wouldn’t have much impact, economically or otherwise. Nonetheless, two years after naming the first committee, Udall and Tipton introduced a new “community-driven” process to draft legislation creating the park. Now, supporters of the change have vaulted into the driver’s seat.

Speaking for those of us riding in the back of this vehicle, I hope the new group will think critically about what the Grand Junction area already has going for it and separate that from wishful thinking about a beloved landmark.

May they accurately weigh the stimulus value of a few seasonal, low-wage, tourism jobs. May they accept that air quality isn’t just an issue for the energy and agriculture industries; it also affects outdoor recreation, temperatures, scenic views, and ultimately, real estate values. And rather than focus purely on how park status might affect residents, they might consider the reality that houses continue to sprout up right next to a wonderful place of natural beauty that needs more protection, not more development.

Clearly, there’s a risk of a dissonant outcome. Consider Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the heart of Utah’s popular canyon country, where it’s a challenge for a visitor to find a place to stay or a friendly set of directions. Or think of the tacky Dollywood-outlet-mall entrance at the heavily visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Grand Valley is already the region’s educational and health-care center, and it’s developing a reputation as a cycling and wine-tasting mecca. Its scenic views and recreational opportunities attract lifestyle retirees, business owners and professionals who build houses, buy cars, seek medical care and support local institutions. These new residents reflect the changing economy in the West, where non-labor income constitutes more than one-third of all personal income.

Tourism’s fine, if that’s all you have to sell. But boosters here should build on the proposition that accessible public lands by any name are a year-round amenity in an already vital community. They don’t have be called “national parks” to be protected as national – and local – treasures.

 * * * * * * * * * * *

Charlie Quimby is a contributor to Writers on the Range, a service of High Country News (hcn.org). He is a writer and retired marketing agency owner who lives in Grand Junction. “Monument Road,” his novel set in the Grand Valley, is set for release in November of 2013.

Reposted with permission on ReaganGirl.com  7/5/13 and again on 4/15/14

Good Values are Better for Women than Feminism, Here’s Why


April 14, 2014

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other early feminists embraced the natural roles of women; not those imposed unjustly by society or abusive individuals, but the roles for which women are spiritually and biologically equipped. Feminism, in its unadulterated form, is the philosophy of social and market fairness: Women are equal to men under Natural Law and in the eyes of its Divine Creator, therefore, women should enjoy equal protection under the law–having the right to vote–and afforded remuneration equal to what men receive for employment. Being firmly anti-abortion, and very interested in strong families, early Feminists understood that female progress, safety, and happiness are intimately connected to a solid system of moral values.

Modesty

These are 3 BIG reasons Good Values are Better for Women than (modern, militant) Feminism:

Sexually Transmitted Disease:

Let’s be honest. Modern feminists decry “sexist stereotypes” while promoting social and political polices that encourage women to be sluts. Women in 2014, despite tons of contraceptive options, are still contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at unprecedented rates. One in every three Americans has been infected with an STD. Every year 10 million American women become infected with a new STD. The medical implications, from lesions to persistent pelvic inflammation to infertility, are greater for women than for men due to a variety of reasons. It’s well established that the Human Papillomavirus has a direct causal relationship to cervical cancer. Chlamydia has numerous long-term side effects for women, including sterility. Viral STDs can be treated but are incurable, and new strains of bacterial STDs such as Syphilis and Gonorrhea are more drug-resistant than ever, and often cause  irreversible damage to the female reproductive system. Are you thinking “ewwww” yet, or do I need to show you the pictures?

Practicing traditional values regarding dating, courtship, marriage, and fidelity are the best cure for what ails your private parts. Just saying “no” to promiscuity and “yes” to sexual purity before marriage, and fidelity and monogamy in marriage, virtually nullifies all these personal horrors. You’re humans with large brains. You can do this, it’s not that hard.

Freedom to Choose

Women with good value systems, more often religiously observant and politically conservative, appear to be happier, more optimistic, and more fulfilled than women who identify themselves as liberals or feminists. In his op-ed, “The Secret to Happiness, ” Arthur Brooks cites “earned success” as one of the key reasons traditional conservative women tend to be happier than lib gals. But happiness, to a woman, goes far beyond material success or notoriety, it goes to her very identity. This is where modern Feminism has failed women terribly. Instead of trusting women of any age to be able to sort through all the evidence, wade through all the learning, and cut through all the crap, to be able to make up their own minds about what is best for them as individuals, militant Feminism imposes an ersatz identity on anyone gullible enough to get sucked into its tenets. Modern Feminists have little or no tolerance for individuality. The constant drum beats of abortion, homosexual rights, social injustice, and those oppressive patriarchal males, have the effect of forcing women–especially teens and young twenty-something student types–into a monochromatic identity with no room for free thought or the innate biological signals which drive women to form families and bear children. Abortion and single motherhood are acceptable feminist choices, but marriage and traditional family are taboo. Big government, environmentalism, Socialism, and homosexual marriage are acceptable feminist choices, but self-reliance, Capitalism, and God-defined marriage are openly mocked.

How on earth can any woman inculcated in the limited, angry, bizarre world of modern Feminism find lasting happiness? Now, perhaps, you can see why independent, politically conservative, religious women–supported by a foundation of old-fashioned values–have a much better shot at personal fulfillment than the bitter lib gals.

Mental Health

Many studies correlating religious practice and traditional values with increased physical and mental health have been published in recent years. It’s always nice when data supports the obvious–at least that which is obvious to women who chose to exercise high standards in their lives. This is true for several reasons, not the least of which are:

  • Traditional values, the structure of organized religion, and an extended family support system all lend to economic and emotional stability. Faith lends to a sense of optimism, even when present circumstances are challenging. Faith in God, and knowing that there exists a network of loving and invested people to catch you if you fall, affords a great sense of peace and well-being to a woman.
  • Hard work, the “earned success” spoken of by Arthur Brookes, enhances a woman’s sense of self-worth and eliminates many of the “uncontrollable” factors in life; those things or people who can determine our outcomes because we have ceded independence for a false sense of security. Whether a woman is a stay-at-home mom, a teacher, or a doctor, the stability afforded by a sure identity and immovable high standards, lends to feelings of success and empowerment, regardless of the relative financial rewards accompanying work. The value of self-sufficiency cannot be overstated. Women who are dependent on government because they have failed to unite in marriage and form traditional families for their children, have lost control of their present circumstances as well as their future possibilities. The only way to regain control, and the sense of worth and satisfaction that comes from making your own way and doing for yourself, is to shake off government dependence, and put your trust in God and family. Feminism encourages women to make government a big part of their lives, while deriding the importance of fathers and sound family units.
  • Identity, again, is central to a woman’s well-being and success. Intimacy is essential to mental health, and the intimate knowledge of oneself can provide comfort and security even in the absence of other important relationships. A traditional woman, like myself, is not necessarily a married woman, but rather one who understands and values marriage and its role in human happiness. Identity is not gained from association, it’s realized by an understanding of who we are as Children of God. For a woman to identify with her godly qualities, her power as a pro-creator with God, and her potential for a limitless loving influence on many generations, IS the definition of empowerment. Godly knowledge and identity are the opposite of despair. Knowing oneself and maintaining control over one’s actions and destiny are the opposite of hopelessness. This is why traditional values and true religion promote mental health and are good for women.

Good values, taught within the moral framework of Judeo-Christian philosophy, inform humans of their own best natures. Those who live lives based on such values don’t see themselves as victims, or others as monsters and users. They perceive the world as a place created by God for the good of humankind, full of beauty, promise, and challenges that foster personal growth and resilience. Modern Feminism does the opposite, indoctrinating its adherents that women and other “minorities” are put-upon victims of everyone and every natural condition of the world.

Progressive Feminism is a cauldron of contradictions, with absurd goals and bizarre objectives, and I have never felt at all compelled to join its ranks. That being said, I am probably one of the most single-minded, independent, and tough women you will ever meet. But those qualities come from my values, my connection to God, my love for family, and my deep sense of self-worth. Like my life, liberty, and property, my happiness is neither doled out nor up for grabs.

by Marjorie Haun  4/14/14



Obama Exerts More Control Over Energy-rich Private and State Lands


April 14, 2014

From the Editor of Reagangirl.com: The Bureau of Land Management clashes with the the owners and supporters of the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, using weapons and intimidation and confiscating cattle. An out-of-control EPA punishes private land owners for using and managing their own property by shutting down property and bankrupting them with outrageous fines. Western states fight federal agencies to retain their rights to develop their own lands, manage their own air quality and use their natural watersheds, rivers, and lakes in the interests of their residents. These are just a few examples of the increasingly militant and punitive tactics federal agents, under the direction of the Obama Administration, are using to exert unprecedented control over America’s private and state lands. As Bailey Bundy Logue, daughter of Cliven Bundy of the Bundy Ranch, said earlier this week:

“Wake up America, Look what our ancestors fought for and we need to stand up for that. We need to realize what’s happening. They are taking everything away from us. This isn’t only about one family. This is about everyone’s family. This is martial law and it’s in America and so what are you going to do to have it stay out of America?”

The following article by the President of the Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint, was posted in The Washington Times, March 2, 2014

DeMint: White House land grab

You’d think the Obama administration is busy enough controlling the banks, insurance companies and automakers, but thanks to whistleblowers at the Department of the Interior, we now learn they’re planning to increase their control over energy-rich land in the West.

A secret administration memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico, halting job- creating activities like ranching, forestry, mining and energy development. Worse, this land grab would dry up tax revenue that’s essential for funding schools, firehouses and community centers.

President Obama could enact the plans in this memo with just the stroke of a pen, without any input from the communities affected by it.

At a time when our national unemployment rate is 9.7 percent, it is unbelievable anyone would be looking to stop job-creating energy enterprises, yet that’s exactly what’s happening.

The document lists 14 properties that, according to the document, “might be good candidates” for Mr. Obama to nab through presidential proclamation. Apparently, Washington bureaucrats believe it’s more important to preserve grass and rocks for birdwatchers and backpackers than to keep these local economies thriving.

Administration officials claim the document is merely the product of a brainstorming session, but anyone who reads this memo can see that it is a wish list for the environmentalist left. It discusses, in detail, what kinds of animal populations would benefit from limiting human activity in those areas.

The 21-page document, marked “Internal Draft-NOT FOR RELEASE,” names 14 different lands Mr. Obama could completely close for development by unilaterally designating them as “monuments” under the 1906 Antiquities Act.

It says all kinds of animals would be better off by doing so, like the coyotes, badgers, grouse, chickens and lizards. But giving the chickens more room to roost is no reason for the government to override states’ rights.Rep. Robert Bishop, Utah Republican, made the memo public because he didn’t want another unilateral land grab by the White House, like what happened under former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Using the Antiquities Act, President Carter locked up more land than any other president had before him, taking more than 50 million acres in Alaska despite strong opposition from the state.

To read the remainder of the article please follow this link: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/02/white-house-land-grab/#ixzz2ynxXyFgD

Posted by Reagangirl.com on April 14, 2014.



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