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The Opinionated World Views of James West
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Police Priorities
Topic: Politics
I am a foreman for a large landscaping company. A little less than two years ago I was working on the University Village Shopping Center project, which was under construction on North Nevada Ave. in Colorado Springs. Upon arriving at work one morning my crew discovered that our storage container had been broken into and a Jumping Jack compactor had been stolen. This is not a cheap piece of machinery with new ones going easily in the $3,000 range. I called the Colorado Springs Police Department to report the theft. The officer I talked to would not even come out to the site, instead taking a short report over the phone, citing the extreme workload that the Department was under. He did, however have time to spend 30 minutes basically giving me a lecture, (fund raising campaign speech), on why it is so important for citizens to vote for tax increases when they come up on the ballot. Ironically, I live in un-incorporated  El Paso county, so I cannot vote for city issues anyway, I just wanted the Police Department to do their job.

Around the same time my wife and I went to a “community meeting” for the Security/Widefield area which was being conducted by the El Paso county Sheriff’s Department. Much to our dismay this was also nothing but a lecture on how the Sheriff’s Department is grossly under-funded, and therefore understaffed. Again, we were strongly pressured to vote for tax increases.

If memory serves me correctly this was also around the same time frame that “Girls Gone Wild” was in the Springs, and the Police Department felt the need to “investigate”. What they found, (surprise!), was willing women were flashing their breasts to men who eagerly and willingly wanted to see them. Of course the police had to stay and document all of the offenses in a detailed fashion.

Now a story comes out that Springs Police spent $700 recently at P.T’s nightclub trying to get to the bottom of serious offenses there. One officer deliberately got visibly drunk and acted obnoxious to ascertain that he would continue to be served. I must admit, I respect the integrity and dedication of this officer who was willing to subject himself to a night of drinking and watching naked women dance solely for the sake of “protecting and serving” the community. Basically what they found was that people get drunk at a bar, and the dancers are not prostitutes.

Is it just me, or does it seem like there is a severe distortion of priorities evidenced here? 


Posted by thejameswest at 11:27 AM MDT
Updated: Saturday, 30 April 2011 11:28 AM MDT
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Friday, 26 March 2010
This is what's coming!!
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Politics

Posted by thejameswest at 8:03 PM MDT
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Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Arrogance At It's Worst
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Politics
Well the arrogant bastards, (and bitches), did it. They know better than us peasants. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is part of a group of Attorney's General who are planning on filing suit to challenge the constitutionality of the whole premise of the Federal government requiring private citizens to purchase health insurance, but I don't know if I'm holding out much hope. If the Supreme court can deem that taking private property to allow for commercial use falls under eminent domain, and of course the reasoning behind that whole "right to privacy" ruling, (I know that was a different Supreme court, but it was the Supreme court nonetheless), then I don't have a whole lot of hope that they will see their way through to the proper conclusion. The American public had better make good use of the right to vote while that still exists.

Posted by thejameswest at 5:12 PM MDT
Updated: Tuesday, 23 March 2010 5:14 PM MDT
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Friday, 19 February 2010
The Audacity of Arrogance and Corruption
Topic: Politics
Okay, here’s the scene… it’s a little after 3 P.M. on Thursday, February 18th, 2010. I just left the job site, (okay I left a little early, don’t tell my boss), which is in Denver, just a couple blocks south of I-70 and Quebec Street, on the site of the old Stapleton International Airport. As I get on I-70 heading east from Havana Street my crew and I notice a strange phenomenon. The normally packed westbound lanes of I-70 are totally empty. I don’t mean light traffic, I mean 100% empty, like something out of a post apocalyptic Sci-Fi movie. We surmised there must be a serious accident or something further east. As we approach the ramps where I-225 merges with I-70 we notice the northbound lanes of I-225 are in an eerily empty state as well. We drive south on I-225 and see police cruisers blocking the on-ramps onto northbound I-225 at the Colfax Avenue interchange, the 6th Avenue interchange, and at E. Alameda Avenue. Further south, we see that Police have just blocked off northbound I-225 at a seemingly random spot leaving countless motorists stopped in limbo on a major highway with nowhere to go, unable to go forward, turn around or exit the highway.

That is the extent of the traffic disruption that I personally witnessed, but just how far reaching it affected I-70, possibly I-270 and other major arteries I can only guess. What could possibly cause such disruption of major sources of traffic flow in a large city like Denver? Well it just so happens that the anointed one, our President Barrack Obama was in town. Now I understand that the President of the United States needs to have a certain level of security surrounding him, and I do not begrudge this fact. However, the extent that traffic was being stopped was nothing short of ridiculous! A few years back when President George W. Bush was visiting Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs, his route from the airstrip at Peterson A.F.B. to Fort Carson was disrupted in a very minimal manner. Police stopped traffic only in the immediate vicinity of the presidential motorcade and did not affect the surrounding streets. As a matter of fact my wife was on the other side of divided South Academy Boulevard and watched the motorcade go by in very close proximity. Very similar circumstances existed when George H.W. Bush spoke at the graduation ceremonies for the Air Force Academy many years earlier.

Here is the worst part of the entire story. Both of the above mentioned incidents were part of official Presidential duties. Do you know what Barack Obama was in town for? He was to speak in front of approximately 3,000 people at a fund-raiser for the election campaign of Senator Michael Bennet. Now Michael Bennet is a Senator already, so why didn’t I refer to it as a fund-raiser for a re-election campaign? Well Michael Bennet was never elected to his Senate seat. Ken Salazar was elected, but was soon named the 50th Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior by newly elected Barack Obama. So Democratic governor Bill Ritter appointed Bennet to the newly vacated seat.

Now I don’t care if you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent or whatever, this should make you livid. Untold tens of thousand of people inconvenienced at best, but think of the disruption in trade and commerce. Trucks stopped, delayed from delivering their goods to the intended destination. How many service vehicles were held up from getting to their appointed tasks? What about emergency vehicles? All of this paid for at taxpayers’ expense, so Barack Obama could waste untold fuel, (carbon footprint anyone?), misuse Police Department resources etc., to speak at a fund raiser in an attempt to retain control of the Senate. Is this really what the people who fought and sacrificed to form the United States of America had in mind? Does anyone think for a minute that George Washington, (who was known for his humble views of the office of President in particular, and of government in general), would not be mortified at what the office that he premiered, and the country he fought to create have become? We need to send a clear message to the corrupt government in Washington D.C. as well as the various smaller state and municipal governments that this is a country of the people, for the people, and by the people. Vote
.

Posted by thejameswest at 12:47 PM MST
Updated: Friday, 19 February 2010 12:54 PM MST
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Monday, 28 December 2009
It's Not A New Decade!
Topic: Random Thoughts

Okay, maybe this isn’t the most important subject going right now, but it is a pet peeve of mine. The New Year is nigh and we are being bombarded with things like "End Of The Decade Sale", "Top Ten Athletes Of The Decade", even "Top Ten Bikini Moments Of The Decade", (you've gotta love that FOXNews). The only problem with that is that people who are saying things like that are showing that they have no aptitude for mathematical logic whatsoever. Now I guess technically you can take any successive ten years and call it a decade by definition, just as any successive hundred years is a century, any successive thousand years is a millennium, and so on and so forth. But people are using our system of numbering years as the criteria that the decade is changing, because the year is changing from 2009 to 2010. Apparently the changing of the last two numbers from single digit value to double digit value, (the 0 before the nine has no value in this context), means it is a new decade because we are now entering the teens. The same phenomenon occurred when the year changed from 1999 to 2000 in that people declared the beginning of a new millennium. Well allow me to explain why those who believe this are 100% wrong.

 

When counting things, anything, whether it be socks, dollar bills, losses by the Denver Broncos that they should have won, anything at all, what do you number the first item? Do you say this first sock is number 0? No, you assign the number 1 to the first item, correct? (Don’t argue just stick with me). So using this inherently sound logic you haven't accumulated ten items until you have included number ten. The next group of ten items starts with the number 11, (see table below for visual clarification).

 

FIRST
DECADE
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SECOND
DECADE
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
THIRD DECADE 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

 

As you can see the first decade started with year one, and ended after year ten. The second decade started with year 11, etc... and so forth. The same concept applies to centuries and millennia, one century is not over until after year 100, the next century starts with year 101. And a millennium is over after year 1,000 while the new one starts at 1,001.

Ergo, this decade will end after the year 2010, and the new decade will not start until January 1st, 2011.


Posted by thejameswest at 12:11 PM MST
Updated: Monday, 28 December 2009 4:42 PM MST
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Saturday, 28 November 2009
Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays
Topic: Random Thoughts
It’s that time of year again. The holiday season. Thanksgiving just ended, and Christmas is coming. You’ll notice I said “Christmas”. That seems to be a point of controversy every year doesn’t it? One on hand you inevitably have certain municipalities forbidding the placement of religious symbols on public property, (invariably they seem to only fret about Christian symbols, but that is a subject for another time). On the other hand you have the annual boycotts of businesses that don’t openly say “Merry Christmas”. You have the calls of “put Christ back in Christmas” and “it’s the reason for the season”. I’m sure you’ve seen and heard them all before.

First let’s touch on the subject of religious symbols on public property. As a conservative, I guess I am supposed to support anything Christian. However, I believe that there is a reason that the first thing the founding fathers said in The Bill of Rights was “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Now admittedly displaying Christmas decorations or displaying Nativity scenes is not establishing a religion, however it does give the impression of endorsing one. I decorate my house every year, and so do millions of other people. When this is done to portray the religious aspects of the holiday, then this is your Constitutional right expressing “the free exercise thereof”. Does it really make a difference if the county courthouse or the public library don’t have Christmas decorations? Does it stop them from fulfilling the purposes they were created for? Why do some people feel the need to insist on such displays if not to basically force their religion on others?

Next we have the issue of people who insist that stores and places of business expressly promote Christmas. The “Put Christ back in Christmas” crowd.  I’ve seen instances of people demanding boycotts of stores that refuse to do so. They create websites that list which businesses are “Christmas friendly” It’s not as if these businesses are denying the fact that this is the Christmas season. I imagine that they have weighed the pros and cons and have decided that by saying “Happy Holidays” they are acknowledging the fact of the season without alienating those that do not celebrate the Christian Christmas. As far as I know this is still a free market, (for now at least), and these businesses have a right to do business as they see fit. Yes people have a right to call for boycotts if they see fit also, but to me it seems petty and vindictive, and really achieves no purpose.

Finally we have “it’s the reason for the season”. Don’t get me wrong, I say “Merry Christmas”, I give Christmas presents, put up Christmas decorations etc… In other words I celebrate Christmas. Not in an exceptionally religious way, but it’s Christmas to me nonetheless. However putting aside the fact that many people are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, let’s look at a few facts. Most scholars agree that the biblical accounts of the Nativity describe conditions that do not coincide with these events happening in December right around the winter solstice. The holiday was put into place sometime around the year 273, and it was put in December to overshadow the Pagan holiday season. As a matter of fact we still use the term “Yule”, which refers to the Pagan holiday, also known as Winter Solstice, Alban Arthan, Feill Fionnain, Yuletide, Midwinter, Sun Return, and Fionn's Day. The symbols of which were evergreens, wreath, yule log, holly, and spinning Wheel. The traditional colors were red, green, and white. Traditional herbs for this celebration were holly, mistletoe, ivy, cedar, bay, juniper, rosemary, frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, and pine. Offerings can be apples, oranges, nutmegs, lemons, pinecones, oak leaves, and cinnamon. The deities they celebrated were Newborn Gods, Triple Goddess, and Virgin Goddesses. So whether or not you believe in the divine birth and the coming of the savior, it’s pretty clear that the early Christian church placed Christmas at this time of year on purpose.

To me the most important thing is the holiday spirit, and taking this as an oppurtunity to put aside some of the petty quarrelsome things that taint our very existence throughout our lives. Whether you say “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Hanukah”, "Happy Quanza” or simply “Happy Holidays”, hopefully it will bring you peace and goodwill.

Merry Christmas
James West
Widefield CO

Posted by thejameswest at 12:49 PM MST
Updated: Monday, 28 December 2009 2:18 PM MST
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Saturday, 7 November 2009
The Second Amendment, no interpretation required
Topic: Politics

An awful lot of discussion goes on concerning the Constitution for the United States of America. Most notably concerning the first ten amendments, which are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. Now the first thing to keep in mind during any discussion of the Bill of Rights is that these are not rights granted to you by our government, as many people mistakenly think, and as many people in the government would undoubtedly love for you to believe. It was stated in the second paragraph of The Declaration of Independence that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”, and that that “among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. This is key to understanding what the founders intended. Government does not grant you rights, they are inherently yours already.

Now when crafting The Declaration of Independence, the founders did indeed call out three rights, those being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However they said these were among our rights, not our only rights. So shortly after crafting the Constitution for the United States of America, the founders laid out what they believed to be our key rights. I have read the Bill of Rights, and it really is painstakingly clear, i.e. it does not need a lot of blowhards getting together to “interpret” the meaning. However interpret they do, over and over. But when I say interpret I think what is really happening is that they are attempting to justify not following it. The most glaring example is the second amendment.

The second amendment reads, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” That’s it, plain and simple. The fact that it mentions a well regulated militia makes some people insist that it applies only to organized, (and presumably government sanctioned), groups. Well, the founders knew what the folly of putting total trust in the government was. They kept arms not only to protect themselves from every day threats, but also as a form of insurance that government could not exceed it’s proper role. It plainly states “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”. Would anyone honestly think the first amendment only applies to government sanctioned groups when it comes to establishment of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Of course not, these rights are specified to specifically protect us from government usurpation of power.

Another common argument is that guns today are above and beyond anything the founders could have imagined. Well a bullet in the head still kills you no matter what. Besides, does the invention of mass broadcasting and the Internet nullify freedom of speech or of the press? Of course not! The rights remain no matter what the technology implementing them.

Finally the argument is that if the federal government does not have the power to constrict gun rights, surely state governments do have that power. Well let’s take a look at the tenth amendment. It states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Do you see the line that mentions “prohibited by it to the states”? The constitution can and does prohibit individual states from certain things. How about the line in the second amendment “, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” If that is not a clear cut example of the Constitution prohibiting something, then I sure as hell don’t know what is.

The federal and state governments have far exceeded their authority with prohibitive gun laws.

James West
Widefield CO
 


Posted by thejameswest at 8:22 AM MST
Updated: Monday, 28 December 2009 2:19 PM MST
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Saturday, 24 October 2009
Art in a Leftist Society
Topic: Politics
It will never cease to amaze me how “Artists” almost unequivocally fall in line with the liberal agenda. Correct that. It is understandable in the context of our current and past political climate, but not if the logical conclusion to liberalism were to actually be realized. Allow me to elaborate.

In the United States, where freedom has always been valued, “Artists” have the freedom to express themselves pretty much unrestrained. Of course the reality of the situation is that the vast majority of artists are not going to be able to make a sustainable living just on their art. Let’s be honest, art does not contribute one bit to the productivity or the physical well being of a society. Don’t get me wrong, I see great value in what I consider good art and entertainment. It allows us to look at things through different perspectives. It allows us to expand our thought processes beyond the day to day mundane. It soothes and relaxes, as well as stimulates and excites. Art can be virtually anything the artist and/or the beneficiary of said art, want it to be. But since it is not a productively contributing endeavor, it’s value is subjective. What I like, you may hate. There is no concrete value. As a result of this, artists tend to lean left because the left is where Government Funding lives. There are a multitude of artists who do not produce a commercially successful product, so they demand government funding to sustain themselves, even to the point of crying “censorship” when they do not get what they consider enough funding. Being the most generous and giving society that this world has ever known, we generously support the Arts, even to the point of excess. We fund “art” that is undeniably offensive to any rational person, but if we point this out we are “unenlightened” at best, and “censors” at worst. Yes, in our society if you are not a productive individual, it behooves you to lean to the left.

What would happen, however if the left were to get their ultimate wish? What if we did become a society based on “fairness”, as they like to put it. If we lived by the philosophy of “to each according to his needs, from each according to his ability”, would art be a valuable commodity? In a socialized society, you are not working for yourself, you are working for the state. Farmers are necessary because people need to eat. Industry is important because people need cars and washing machines and toasters. You need police to control the masses. Art however quickly loses it’s importance. What’s that you say, you don’t believe me? How about all that great Russian art and Architecture?  Why it’s renowned world-wide! And after the Soviets started running things, it was also non-existent. In China during the “Cultural Revolution” art was done away with as frivolous, even dangerous. Obama Advisor Anita Dunn cited Mao Tse Tung as her favorite political philosopher. Let’s put aside the fact that historians estimate that Mao killed between 50 and 70 million people. Right now we are just talking about the purpose and importance of art. Mao stated that there was no such thing as art for art’s sake. In other words, sure you need someone to draw pretty pictures for your propaganda posters, and background music for “instructional” films produced by the state, but don’t go thinking that you can try to get creative or original!! Cuba used to be an entertainment mecca, before Castro. Hey Sean Penn, how about all that creativity that comes out of your good buddy Hugo Chavez’ country? Oh, wait, there is none.

So you see, it’s easy for the idiots in Arts and Entertainment in this country to demonize Capitalism and espouse Socialist ideas. The mind wracking part is that they seem to think they would somehow still be important in that reality. Hey Oprah, Barbara Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg and all the rest of you, get this through your heads, you have no inherent value! You are rich because our Capitalist society has given people the freedom and luxury to spend money on non-essentials. If you were to get your way, the only value you could possibly have would be that of a lap-dog mouthpiece for the government. Do you honestly think that Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow are going to give up that gig?!

James West
Widefield CO

Posted by thejameswest at 7:27 PM MDT
Updated: Monday, 28 December 2009 2:19 PM MST
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Wednesday, 21 October 2009
They Just Don't Play Like That Anymore
Topic: Music

I really get disillusioned listening to music nowadays. I don't mean to sound like an old fart or anything, ("these kids nowadays..."), but I just don't hear good music. C'mon!

Pop music is created so the featured entertainer can bump and grind in synchronization with background dancers, all the while lip-synching to a song that was overproduced in the studio anyway. Does anyone remember Ashley Simpson? No talent involved in the song writing what-so-ever. No talent in the performers either, just doing what their “handlers” tell them to.

Rap music? What I hear is mostly glorified sex, violence and race baiting. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a little sex and violence to spice things up when used properly, but mindless sex and violence just for it’s own sake is pointless. Why is it that rappers can call each other “Nigga” all day long, but it’s offensive if anyone else says it? Either it’s offensive or it isn’t, you don’t get to make up one set of rules for one group of people and another set for a different group!

Country? I’ll take Hank Williams any day, thank you. Modern Country music is nothing more than pop-music with a cowboy hat. There are a few exceptions, and some good musicians, but there are too many Kenney Chesney’s and Faith Hill’s screwing it all up. You get what I’m saying? It’s all about being posers.

How about modern rock music? Hey, does anyone know how to play a good guitar solo anymore? I’ve seen so many bands that just use an open tuning playing one finger chords I’m about to get sick!! At least that growling bullshit that they tried to pass for singing isn’t as prevalent as it was a few years back. And cool it with posing for pictures as if you’re about to kick someone’s ass. You weigh 130 lbs. and probably sleep once a week. You ain’t gonna kick no-one’s ass.

Remember “Tommy”, by The Who? An album that took some brain power to create, and to appreciate. “Sympathy For The Devil” by The Stones? How about the back and forth between Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar and Jon Lord’s keyboards when Deep Purple was tearing it up? Leslie West could barely reach his guitar over his belly, but man he could damn sure play it!! There are way too many brilliant musicians to list here. Looking back I realize that I don’t agree with a lot of the opinions and viewpoints that they were presenting, but they all had one thing in common. They played with passion and conviction and were more worried about creating lasting quality music than anything else. That’s something that musicians today could stand to emulate.

James West
Widefield CO
 


Posted by thejameswest at 4:03 PM MDT
Updated: Monday, 28 December 2009 2:20 PM MST
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Sunday, 18 October 2009
The left's assault on Conservative voices
Topic: Politics
Lately, even more so than usual, there has been an onslaught of "outrage" and ridicule against Conservative voices that are alarmed at the direction our country is headed. This onslaught comes from the left, and it is obvious that it is coming down from the highest levels.
 
You can try to ridicule FOX news, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh all you want, after all they are only "entertainers" right? You could even place yourself among  the "more dignified conservatives", however  the "dignified" part may be debatable, and you would definitely be no conservative. People with views similar to Rush and Glen Beck, (i.e. the hardworking members of productive segments of society), have been proven right too many times to be dismissed. These opinions are often lost among the more "elite" segments of society. Members of the "media" for example, both news and entertainment, who do nothing to promote productivity and economic well being, yet who still love to tell the rest of us how we need to live. Words like Marxist, and Socialist may just be hot button issues to you, but they are all too real. Many times throughout the history of the world egotistical, dangerous leaders have brought hardship and ruin onto their nations, all while people scoffed and ridiculed with a "don't be ridiculous" and a "can't happen here in this day and age" mentality. It was only 233 years ago that we broke away from British tyranny to form this unique nation. A mere 64 years ago that the Nazi scourge was defeated. Do you think that human nature has changed since then? Look around the world today and there are too many examples of tyranny to count.

Merriam-Webster defines fascism as:

"a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition"

and communism as:

a : a theory advocating elimination of private property
b : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed

Take a mix of these two philosophies, and can you honestly and with a straight face deny that this is how Obama is trying to shape our nation? He has already taken control of a large portion of the American auto industry, and the Financial institutions. He and his allies look to further take control through fabricated environmental issues. As far as suppression of opposition, he has set in place plans to shut down conservative voices. If you look at the ties he has it is not inconceivable that he played a role in the entire Rush Limbaugh NFL flap. He has undeniably expressed his desire for a "single payer system" for health care. Do you think that single payer would be anything other than the federal government?

You can write your condescending columns all you want, for now, because of the freedoms of speech and the press that the Constitution acknowledges you have, (many people mistakenly think the Constitution gives them rights, but in reality it only acknowledges rights that are inherently ours). But those rights are steadily being chipped away due to the complacency of ignorant individuals who prefer to live inside their bubble rather than to see what is happening every day.

James West
Widefield CO

Posted by thejameswest at 2:53 PM MDT
Updated: Monday, 28 December 2009 2:20 PM MST
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