I wrote some time back about the insanity going on in Washington, D.C. At the time I thought perhaps it could not get any worse. Boy, was I wrong.
Since then we have seen the Congress and the president continue to push a health care package down our throats that clearly over 60 percent of the folks do not want. All at a cost that will equal 1/6th of the GDP and swell the national debt to unheard of numbers. Add in behind-closed-door negotiations, lies about who will pay for it and who will benefit from it, and it is not difficult to see why it is so unpopular. This after bank bailouts, auto manufacturer bailouts, big financial breaks for unions, etc.
Then a few days ago San-Fran Nancy Pelosi said about the health care bill, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it!” Does that bother you as much as it bothers me? Does that sound like something the Constitution would support? Hardly. In fact the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to force us to buy anything, including health care insurance. The whole damn thing is unconstitutional.
But wait until you hear this; The president is considering an executive order that will limit how much American citizens will be allowed to fish and where and when they can do so. It is a federal takeover of all bodies of water including the Great Lakes, coastal areas and even inland waters. And as of March 9, he is accepting no more public comment on the matter. This is all to appease the enviromaniacs who would prefer we all live like cave dwellers and eat grass and/or each other.
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And the last bit of insanity for the week: Since TSA has decided to use full body scanners to eliminate underwear bombers on airplanes, the Islamic lobbying groups are protesting that it violates their religious fundamentals to be seen nekkid. So TSA is considering an exception for muslims. Think about that one for a while.
Practically every day for 31⁄2 years, as my wife and I have driven to and from work or a weekend outing, we have shared a brief but happy experience gazing at and commenting on a lovely pinyon pine on the edge of a sagebrush meadow near Castle Valley Boulevard, just before the road drops down toward the four-way traffic light. It was much rounder than most pinyons – the result of standing alone and probably historic pruning by cattle or elk – and beautifully silhouetted against the Grand Hogback. Recently, when signs were posted about the area being the site of a new fire station, it seemed that the tree was far from harm’s way.
When earthwork began unexpectedly recently, we were thrilled that they had stopped a few feet short of the tree. We thought, “How nice; they have gone to the trouble of preserving that tree!” Tonight, we were surprised, and very disappointed, to see that the tree is now gone, the result of expanding the grading work by a few feet – less distance than could possibly matter to the fire station builders.
How depressing to live in a place that puts so little value on the natural beauty of the town and its surroundings. How depressing that no one involved in the project said, “Let’s be sure to preserve that beautiful tree.” How depressing that this was done for a public facility.
I had intended to photograph the tree against the backdrop of the snow-covered hogback, perhaps this weekend if weather cooperated. Now, that opportunity, and our twice-daily appreciation for the happiness that nature can bring amid suburban sterility, is gone forever – all the result of a mindless little act.
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