Sunday, January 31, 2010
I had never done manual focus with this camera, and I was just happy to get it to work while fumbling in the cold semi-darkness! I had to take a break to do a web search on my iPhone, to find instructions on how to do it. Since it was dark, I had not seen the letters "MF" (manual focus) on the control ring. This photo was taken with a 15-second exposure; the maximum.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
- Wants to penalize businesses who hire globally.
- Incorrectly takes credit for the recovery.
- Proposed a "fee" on banks, i.e. after stealing from us for the banks, he's going to steal back from banks.
- Incorrectly takes credit for job creation (and of course does not mention the economic activity that won't occur due to the money transferred from other parts of the economy).
- He wants to redistribute money from taxpayers to small business.
- Still wants climate legislation.
- Will push nuclear energy.
- Still stubbornly refuses to see the writing on the wall regarding health care.
- Wants to freeze government spending for three years -- the only thing that sounds good, we'll see.
- Reiterates his commitment against deregulation and tax cuts.
- Mentions the Doha trade talks (not sure about this one).
- Afghanistan troop increase.
- Wants to step up prosecution of civil rights violations (I am not aware of any real rights violations that are occurring, since our governments are almost universally prevented from such committing such violations, and private businesses are outside the proper scope of civil rights laws. Laws against gay marriage might qualify as an area for improvement, depending on the details).
Most important, he refuses to see that we don't want government health care (and shouldn't have it, even if we did), and still does not "get" what happened with the economy.
Obama is an utter disaster. At least unlike with Bush, he doesn't pretend to be a friend of freedom.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
These have salmon-colored "petals" (left center) and white cups and horns (top and right), as well as some nice color variety:
This lichen spreads unimpeded in circular waves:
And this patch is a relative riot of different colors, sizes and shapes:
The type of lichen varies with altitude and location as well. I'm sure you will be eagerly awaiting my lichen photos from next season's high peaks trips ;) It is possible I am becoming lichen-obsessed.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Customers of AT&T Mobility LLC have sued that company alleging that the AT&T Mobility flat-rate ETF in its wireless telephone service contracts is unlawful. The Settlement Class includes all current or former customers of AT&T Mobility or its predecessors in the U.S. who paid or were charged a flat-rate ETF at some time during the period January 1, 1998 through November 4, 2009, and/or who have or had a contract for service with AT&T Mobility that included a flat-rate ETF at some time during the period January 1, 1998 through November 4, 2009, and who have not paid or been billed a flat-rate ETF.
Note a couple of things:
- There is no mention of what would constitute a real crime in a capitalist economy. i.e. breach of contract or fraud; they simply charged a flat rate ETF, which violated some law.
- The lawsuit applies to those who were wronged as well as those were never charged a fee, so it's not even really compensating those who are wronged, it's just grabbing money from a large company because it's possible!
On the other hand, if AT&T had claimed in their user agreement that they would never charge such a rate, but broke the contract and charged it, that would be wrong and grounds for a legitimate lawsuit. It's also possible that the legal notification omitted details that I consider crucial, such as that AT&T violated its customer agreement by charging the fees. In the absence of real wrongdoing however, jumping on to this suit would simply be legalized plunder.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The round trip from Chautauqua Park is about 5.6 miles, and goes from 5,650 feet elevation to 8,100 feet at the summit. I started at the northeast corner of the park near the street and ran the Baseline, Amphitheater, Saddle Rock and E.M. Greenman trails to the top.
Since it hadn't snowed much here lately, the lower trails were icy, and I was glad I had my spikes. It's actually kind of fun to run up icy slopes, just because you can! Here's a shot looking down the Amphitheater trail:
The grey area down the middle is snow packed into a layer of ice. This section of trail is at about a 35 degree angle. Even with the spikes, I ran this part slowly, stepping down carefully as necessary. No sense bouncing down this gulley on my backside. Even in chilly weather, I worked up a sweat here, and was down to shorts and a short sleeved shirt by the time I got to the ridge line.
Higher up, the air is colder and the crowds thinner, and the snow looked more like the next photo. Such trails are very runnable in any type of shoe. I even saw a guy up here in Vibram Five Fingers. Brrr! And don't ask me how he got up/down the previous section!
A bit farther up, the trail crosses over onto the western, sunny side. The only problem was the strong wind coming over the ridge. I quickly zipped the legs back on my convertible pants, and donned a WINDSTOPPER® jacket with a hood, which I zipped up. I was glad I had it along; it was perfectly comfortable even while running. It's amazing what a difference it makes just to keep the wind from whistling around your ears.
Here is the view north from the junction with the E.M. Greenman trail, the final section before the top:
And below is a view looking north from the summit. Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park is obscured by clouds near the center of the picture:
The descent was quick and fun, since the spikes afforded great traction on snow. I was still careful on the icy bottom sections and slowed to a walk to step down certain parts (which is why this is not an injury report). What an awesome run!
Monday, January 25, 2010
A film with heavy-handed multiculturalist and environmentalist themes is an unlikely candidate for positive reviews with Objectivists, but with a few caveats, I found it to be an entertaining and enjoyable science fiction/fantasy movie.
I've seen it twice, once in 3D and once in IMAX 3D. I thought the IMAX version was clearer and the 3D was a bit easier on the eyes. However, in both versions, bright reflections, fast motion, and extreme foreground objects were the most difficult to see properly, and were occasionally jarring especially in fast motion. Calmer scenes with objects behind the picture plane (the plane of the movie screen) were astonishing in their reality. I think next time I'd pick a seat closer to the middle of the theatre (both left/right and front to back) because the 3D effect seemed to be geared to the center.
My primary positive reaction was that this movie contained a lot of joy: joy of discovery, of the feeling of expert motion, of flying, of holding on to something of importance to you, of discovering love. Since I enjoy running in the mountains, the scenes in the forest, and running between the floating mountains, were especially effective for me; on a great day on the trails, that's totally how I feel!
The world itself was an astonishing feat of imagination. Don't ask me how mountains and rocks fly, but it sure looked like they could. It's science fiction/fantasy, and within the context of its assumptions, it's believable. The nighttime scenes with phosphorescent plants: wow! I could probably just watch scenes of the forest for hours.
Both the 3D effect and the overall CGI quality were outstanding. The creativity displayed in the details of this world was amazing and a pleasure to watch. The world, the forest and sky and their respective creatures, the machinery, the action itself were all incredible.
As usual I have to nitpick and say that the human bodily movements still lacked an edge of grace and natural randomness, and therefore believability. An animal's body, no matter how taut and conditioned, shakes with random motion and has inertia, and does not follow a mathematical path in a linear manner. For example, jumping up onto something requires a more explosive release of energy than jumping down, to overcome the mass involved. Sometimes the CGI work did not reflect this. However, as I said this is a nitpick, and only constitutes a very small fraction of the overall effect. We are so intimately familiar with the human body's movements that it sets the bar for imitation extremely high.
I enjoyed the relationship of Jake Sully and Neyteri quite a bit. There's not a great deal of detail and depth to their interaction, since larger events tend to move the plot, but there's the suggestion of development under the surface, and it works. Neyteri is a terrific and effective character: passionate and attractive, athletic and competent, her emotional responses are full-force and right on the surface, she's stubborn for the right reasons, and is very single-minded in the good sense of sticking to her beliefs, yet changes them when reason requires -- such as her bad opinion of all outsiders when she learns to appreciate Jake. I like her teeth-baring hiss too, which says in effect: I'm a force to be reckoned with, and I am not afraid of anything. Jake is gung-ho and elated to have his legs back when he's inhabiting his Avatar. His character is the equal of Neyteri, as he discovers the truth about what's going on, changes his mind about his mission based on what he thinks is right, and defends those who are wronged. Good stuff! But then again, the whole cast, both real and computer-generated, is very good. It was nice to see Ripley again too :) and Stephen Lang made a great cold-blooded villain that you loved to hate. And I was glad to see Michelle Rodriguez on the big screen again as Trudy, a mercenary with a conscience.
Philosophically, of course I don't go for the noble savage thing, and in my opinion this supplied the most cringe-worthy moments of the movie. However, the occasional flat-footed tribal moment was fairly benign and did not interfere with the overall plot and effect enough to ruin it. In this regard the writers added a notable underpinning to the Na'vi's animism: the movie suggests that there is a real biological basis for it, and therefore gives it a (very) tenuous plausibility. This does help to temper the mysticism somewhat and suggests that their religion is similar to early religion on Earth: it was an early attempt at a philosophical and scientific understanding of the world.
It's also dreary and unoriginal to see yet another corporate villain, especially post-Atlas Shrugged. Give me a break already! The moral status of the human miners seems to be intentionally ambiguous; all prior history and legal details are omitted for the sake of placing the two cultures into irreconcilable conflict. This is both good and bad. The bad is that it allows a relativist, pro-environmentalist message to be projected upon that ambiguity. The good is that it also accommodates the view I adopted while watching the movie, which is the simple premise of an admittedly primitive people defending their home against someone who would destroy it.
From an objective standpoint, there's nothing admirable (or corporate) about the mining company's violent strategy. It is theft, plunder and mass murder, pure and simple. Of course historically, similar attitudes have always been enabled by government intervention, not commerce, and it's doubtful that a society that has so little regard for property rights would have developed sufficient wealth to allow private companies to travel into space for commercial purposes. In any case, the rational course of action would have been that if there were no way to rationally convince the Na'vi to allow mining, the company would have had to drop its plans. The Na'vi were primitive, but they debated over possible courses of action, and were therefore obviously capable of considering rational arguments. The humans were thus truly the villains and the Na'vi were truly the heroes for defending their home.
That's about it. I look forward to getting a DVD copy of this so I can watch it at my leisure, although I may need a better TV, so I can fully enjoy the artistry at home. I may see it again in 3D before it leaves theatres, which may be a while longer, judging from the full theater when I saw it.
Update - added the paragraph about Jake and Neyteri.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
However, today was different. I got up this morning slightly before 5:30 A.M. to check the snow reports, to see what I was going to do. Since it was snowing yesterday, and was supposed to snow last night, I knew there would be some snow in the mountains; the only question was where, and how much. As I had hoped, there was 9" of fresh snow at Vail, which is normally cause to hit the road for a fun ski day.
Not so fast, I thought (cue screeching record sound). There was cause for concern here, since this is not Salt Lake City, and the snow is not just 20 minutes up the canyon. There are 90 miles of potentially nasty driving betwixt me and lift-served Nirvana. In the "negatives" column, I reckoned there was the following:
- Today's high at Vail was forecast to be 13 degrees.
- Wind forecast at Vail Mountain: 20-25 mph + 40 mph gusts.
- It's a powder day at Vail, so everyone will be going to... Vail.
- More snow in the forecast for today.
- Sometimes when it's windy, chair lifts are closed due to safety concerns, and I can't ski the areas of the resort that I'd like to. This happened to me recently at the notoriously breezy Panoramic Express at Mary Jane.
- Snow-covered, slippery roads and mountain passes.
- The speeding, tailgating, no-snow-tire-wearing, potentially après-ski-inebriated drivers on I-70.
In spite of the potential for a fun ski day, I foresaw discomfort and an accident-prone nightmare drive on the way home. I turned around and headed back, watching a growing steam of cars heading into the maw.
As it was, I had a breakfast burrito at Little Anita's, went home for another cup of great Starbuck's Sumatra, saw Avatar IMAX 3D (another post), did some shopping, and went for a walk at Boulder's Pearl Street Mall before heading home for dinner. It was breezy but sunny. Much better than frostbite and staring at taillights for hours.
I checked the mountain situation around 3 P.M., and traffic was already backed up coming back home. I checked again at 6:30, and vehicles were crawling along through the Johnson Tunnel (the black line below is 6 mph traffic):
Imagine crawling along in bumper-to-bumper traffic, in blowing snow, 70 miles from your home in Denver. Been there. Done that. Not fun.
As for Vail, there will be many more days of powder Nirvana in the future. And some of those days might even be sunny.
UPDATE: Monday 1/25/10 - D'oh! With 10" additional snow, higher temps, less wind and sunshine, today would have been the day, but I don't have the day off.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Dean, like Pelosi, thinks voters decided current proposals aren't real reform, were disappointed with compromise, and really want massive socialist health care plans forced on them after all. Does anyone remember Charlie Brown trying again and again to kick the football while Lucy pulled it out from under him? Policy FAIL!
As for "tougher", what the heck does that mean? I think scheming to force a bill through the legislatures that many people don't want, and which will forcibly violate the rights of most Americans, is pretty "tough". Mussolini was tough. Stalin was tough. We don't need tough; we need government to get the heck out of the way.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Pelosi argued "the message from Massachusetts" was that voters are angry about special state-specific provisions added to the Senate bill in order to win over wavering Democrats. She specifically cited a provision exempting Nebraska from the costs of expanded Medicaid coverage, a provision critics have labeled "the Cornhusker kickback."
Yeah. That's right. Voters are mad about pork-barrel additions to their cherished health care bill... in other words, the same type of concessions the Democrats have been handing out to get the measure rammed down our throats at any cost.
Senator Reid calmly calls for non-partisan politics to help Americans, thus totally missing the message of the election. I submit that such a statement has no meaning whatsoever. A part of politics is sticking together with people who are like-minded, to obtain common goals that you value. Is that inherently bad? What if those partisan views are correct, and the "non-partisan" views are morally wrong, as is the case with health care? Such pragmatic views are utterly worthless, and can only result in a long slide into dictatorship, since not standing for principles (admittedly a very small part of bipartisan politics these days) will certainly result in loss of freedom.
Although President Obama seems to be adjusting to the political reality of the defeat, he will not relinquish his goal of rectifying imaginary injustices by creating massive real ones:
"We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people," Mr. Obama said. "We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t, then our budgets are going to blow up, and we know that small businesses are going to need help so that they can provide health insurance to their families. Those are the core, some of the core elements to this bill."
Clueless as always. The obvious answer to the budget problem is to get government out of health care entirely, which would solve the budget problem, would stop government from needing to control markets, and would grant the moral right to free choice that consumers, health professionals, and industry executives should have had all along.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I am normally very skeptical of speculation regarding what large groups of people want (for example: "the American people want...", "the stock market decided...", etc.), because such interpretations are often unwarranted projections of baseless bias upon situations that have little to do with the claimed causes.
However... the upset in Massachusetts can only be interpreted as a resounding "NO!" against socialized medicine and against the abusive Democratic plans for our society. The Dems and their plans got stomped -- as they should have, for attempting such an incredibly stupid and immoral health care plan in that state, and for trying to railroad through a similar plan at the national level.
It is truly heartening to see that a thoroughly liberal-voting state can nonetheless see the light when confronted with the abject failure of a liberal policy. Public health care is wrong in principle, wrong in practice, morally wrong, and cannot possibly succeed at attaining its claimed goals (better health care). I am very glad the citizens of Massachusetts realized this, and voted the rascals out of power. Bravo!
According to Adam Green of The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), Emanuel sold out the liberal cause when he supposedly helped to develop a compromise that removed the "public option" from the health care bill (my emphasis):
We're making clear to Rahm that when he undermines progressives and the overwhelming will of the American people on issues like the public option, he will pay a political price back home.
What!? All I can say to the PCCC is, the will of the American people is the last thing you can claim is on your side. This is not because of a public poll, or some political vote, but by its very essence: because your plans can only be forced upon us by law.
It is precisely the will of the people -- individual people making personal health care decisions -- that is denied by any form of market intervention such as government-run health care. The will of Americans would be denied by not being able to buy any type of insurance, by not being able to offer insurance plans of any type, by not being able to practice medicine according to our own best judgment, by being forced to fund other people's care, by being subject to the arbitrary whims of a health czar, etc. If it weren't against the will of the people, why would we need the federal government to enforce it? Such statements are utterly despicable.
The summit of this peak is more fun than most local small mountains, because the top is wide open and rocky, so the views are great. It's also steep near the top, which is fun when you're standing on top looking down, and the rocks on the summit are different shades of yellow, orange and red. It's an interesting summit. Here's a view from the top, with Green Mountain in the background, and part of the city of Boulder on the right:
This is the view to the west, towards the Indian Peaks, with snow clouds rolling in. You can just barely see the Eldora ski area in the back, to the right:
And the view south, towards Denver. That's South Boulder Peak on the right:
If you hike this in the winter, I recommend spikes, since the steeper sections of snow can get polished smooth by people who don't wear spikes and slip. There were hikers with just tennis shoes, but I regard them as ill-prepared. I can tell you from personal experience that slipping on snow onto rock is not fun! Get the tools for the job and you'll have a better, safer time.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
''And the next day we took their bags of candy and gave them to the homeless.''
That's revolting. Not because of giving candy away to someone, but because children of that age are in no position to conceptually understand how that act of charity relates to their values, and it therefore simply teaches them to mindlessly give things up and accept personal loss on principle, which is a terrible thing. It teaches them sacrifice as a moral value, which is morally wrong and inappropriate to human life. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/sacrifice.html
Life is a process of maximizing your values, not losing them. Whether they are* friendships, love relationships, career, or more tangible things, life requires that we gain values, not give them up for things of lesser value. If adults give to charity, it should be because we consciously deem the charity worthy, and the donation is consistent with our other values and preserves them or increases them (including intangibles such as love, moral values and integrity, etc.). http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/selfishness.html
The morality of sacrifice produces the world of loss we now see developing around us: loss of reason (religion), loss of freedom, wealth and good jobs (socialism) and overall loss of quality of life. You are to be condemned for contributing to the next generation of sacrificers, rather than happy, productive, successful creators.
* Note: corrected "be" to "are" in this version.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
- Sports Authority - I routinely get coupons for $10 off $50+ purchase and $20 off $100+ purchase, as well as occasional 20% off coupons. Some of them do exclude certain "premium" brands, however.
- Bed Bath and Beyond - Nobody could possibly buy enough towels and soap dishes to use all the 20% off coupons mailed by them, but who cares?
- Goodyear Auto Service Centers - I get tire and maintenance discounts. It helps when buying my usual Ultra Grip Ice and Assurance TripleTreds, so I don't miss a tire sale.
- Red Robin - Free burger on your birthday, plus other coupons.
- Colorado Ski and Golf/Boulder Ski Deals - This Colorado-only company provides an array of coupons through the season.
- REI - My favorite outdoor gear company provides its emails to members and non-members. By the way, the $20 one-time REI membership is an absolute no-brainer; don't hesitate for a second if you shop at REI. Although the main benefit is that you get a portion of your money back in the form of a coupon (the annual dividend, based on up to 10% of purchases!), you also get several percentage-off coupons throughout the year, access to "garage sales" of returned items, etc.
- Barnes and Noble - Although I just signed up, I've already gotten a few good coupons.
Let me know if you know of any other good ones!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
You can see the redness of the dead pines that have been attacked by the pine beetle. The trees turn rust red and their branches become distorted and curled as they die. Eventually, they will have to be cut down, which will greatly change the landscape here and elsewhere in the Colorado mountains.
I've never hiked this mountain from the others side, but I'd like to, since I enjoy looking at it so much. Another goal for the summer months.
Monday, January 11, 2010
I haven't been to Great Sand Dunes National Park yet, but I plan to soon. The photo opportunities regarding wind action will be plentiful!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
This is a view looking west from the high point on the track, called The Hogback:
Durango is a biking town (road and mountain), and I have seen people riding both up and down those steep dirt hills, on inclines approaching 45 degrees (downhill). Imagine riding down a twisting playground slide and you get the picture. The upside is that the hills are formed largely of Mancos Shale, which degrades into a chunky grey dirt that provides pretty good grip. When it's dry, you can walk up and down very steep grades without fear of slipping. If it's really wet, however, it turns to slippery mud -- beware!
The eroded dirt hills make for very interesting terrain. On top of the ridges, it can be relatively level, gently rolling terrain. However, some of the hills erode into thin ridges only a few feet across at the top, with steep sides. I don't recommend bringing young children on the high parts of these trails.
Here is a view of the descent off the back of the Hogback, which is about a 35 degree slope at the top:
If you trip and fall here, you will have a bad day. Incidentally, I recommend using something like Kahtoola Microspikes. With the spikes, I have hiked ice on an incline with no problem. They even help on dirt; in fact, next summer I'm going to bring them on my run/hike of Mount Columbia, which I heard from other hikers is a lot of steep dirt and scree, as I passed on my way to Mount Harvard.
These trails are nice in the summer too, because the trees provide welcome shade on hot afternoons. I've run some of it, but you really test your Achilles tendon trying to run up the ridges! You'd better be well-stretched first. I usually hike the upper parts.
Friday, January 8, 2010
As much as I like Stossel, and as glad as I am to hear Mackey in support of free market solutions, unfortunately this video is a perfect illustration of why our country has tumbled away from freedom on the slippery slope towards socialized medicine.
Note the manner in which Mokhiber, who can only be described as a loudmouth jerk, monopolizes the conversation and assumes a mistaken sense of moral superiority. By all rights, Stossel should have told him to shut it, and allow Mackey equal time.
Stossel and Mackey should never allow someone like Mokhiber to act like they have the moral high ground, because they don't. Mokhiber's cherished single-payer ideal amounts to slavery of health care providers, insurers and consumers; it consists of forcing altruism on everyone at the point of a gun. There is nothing the least bit admirable or compassionate about it. It is the politics of brute force, of dictatorship. Single-payer is a moral abomination, and his opponents should have said so.
The lesson of this video is: defending the morality of capitalism is an absolutely essential part of the fight for freedom. Without morality on your side, you have lost before you have begun to fight.
Witness the continuing political success of The Left, in spite of the staggeringly dismal failure of their principles throughout the 20th century. The practical case has been made. It's time to make the moral case.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Being an Objectivist, I cannot very well support denying reality, if indeed reality indicates that AGW is occurring. Yet it is enormously ironic that environmentalism itself is in utter denial about the very nature of human existence and what it requires for its preservation. Even scarier is the probability that they don't care.
Environmentalism claims to be concerned about the future of the Earth, yet what good is life on Earth for humans, if we are enslaved and crippled by environmentalist policy?
Even the impending catastrophic loss of our home planet would not justify the violations of individual rights proposed by environmentalists.
It is not merely a matter of finding a more pragmatic solution along a continuum of possible solutions to a crisis. It is a matter of an absolute difference in kind between approaches to human existence and interacting with other people. It is between an immoral collectivist solution that punishes humanity in advance for things it may not have done, vs. the morally correct individualist solution of leaving us free and punishing us when we do actual harm, and otherwise leaving us free to improve our lot in life.
Just as Pascal's Wager is wrong with regard to theology, Al Gore's Wager would be wrong with regard to environmental policy; we should not mortgage our future for the possibility of a mystical planetary well-being. I say it is "mystical" because its goals are disembodied, irrational abstractions rather than real goals for real individual people who have chosen the goals. Environmentalism does not seek rational assent; its ideals are to be forced upon us by government power. It thereby bypasses the mind and goes straight for religious-style chants backed by a bludgeon.
If environmentalism were truly concerned with humanity's actual quality of life, it would adopt a politics that leaves humanity free to make its own choices and with sufficient financial resources to solve its putative large-scale problems. Instead, it advocates knee-capping world economies and industrial civilization, and dragging us back to the Bronze Age.
The Real Denial
Again, this is not merely a subtle or subjective policy choice. Environmentalism and the political component of the AGW movement (as opposed to any genuine and non-partisan science that may exist) have chosen to deny fundamental facts of human nature and ethics. Environmentalism is in denial in the following ways:
- It denies reason when it advocates forcing its policies on us, rather than relying on persuasion.
- It denies reason when it implies that rationally-derived improvements to our lives should be outlawed for the sake of animals and plants.
- It denies reason when it says the debate is over, and shouts down any dissent as irrational.
- Based on the methodical suppression and distortion of facts that was revealed recently, some scientists are also in denial about the science itself.
Science alone could not drive such a large-scale movement. The important issue of whether the Earth is warming, and why, is a separate issue from how humanity should face its most difficult problems, and on the latter, environmentalism has only one answer: we will force you. Ultimately, the movement is driven by opportunism and the politics of brute force, i.e., the fact that some humans have power over others, and see a chance to force their agenda upon the rest of us, who are helpless to resist because governments lack proper restrictions on power.
As has been argued decisively more than once, humanity cannot flourish or maintain a properly human existence by means of brute force. We require the ability to think on our own, and to act peacefully on those thoughts. Any progress or improvement in the human condition that has, or ever will, occur has been due to that. Environmentalism does not seek to improve the human condition, because it cannot; only reason can improve it, and environmentalism does not respect reason. Just think about that: a movement that claims to defend nature and life does not even understand or respect the most fundamental facts about this planet's most intelligent and successful species: us. Talk about denial.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
I have to admit it took me a couple of runs to get my "powder legs" back; I felt awful at first! Powder skiing is significantly different from hard snow skiing because you're turning in three dimensions, and there's always some degree of resistance due to snow against your legs.
UPDATE: Just for fun, below is the same scene shot with my Canon G9:
Since the view was rather grey, with clouds over much of the valley, the G9 version seems closer to the actual color. However, the iPhone image is still pretty good for a phone.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone. Re-saved later with Adobe Lightroom at a larger size and re-uploaded.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
- Taken inside the Lunch Rock building at Mary Jane. Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone. Edited later with Adobe Lightroom and re-uploaded.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone. Re-uploaded later for picture quality (for some reason the BlogPress image previews are blocky. Maybe because I specify a resolution other than the default).