Are the ‘supporters’ really supporting?

February 27, 2017

 

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

I have held back writing about the following topic for some time now. I was hoping to be successful in separating the fact from the fiction and in this case it has been difficult.

First, let me be clear that I personally think that oil and gas pipelines make perfect sense. I know first hand where several pipelines cross Colorado and I can see that the overall impact is negligible. In most cases, where the pipelines have been in place for a few years, there is little, in any, sign that a pipeline exists, save the yellow markers that warn future excavations.

So, when I learned of the problems being encountered to finish the Dakota Access Pipeline, my first thoughts were in complete support of the project, but it did not surprise me in the least that there were organized protests.

I also happen to believe that protests are appropriate when a person or group of people desire to make a point. The problem is that today’s protests are much more than that. They become an excuse for untold numbers of “followers” and “supporters” that largely have no idea who they are following or what they are really supporting to show up hoping to get their mugs on television or in the newspapers

had no problem with President Trump taking steps to make it possible to complete this pipeline.

As I said before, I had a hard time determining what the facts really are in this case. The confrontations with law enforcement and government officials were largely over-reported, while the underlying facts were brushed over.

Last November a Denver woman, Red Fawn Fallis, was arrested at one of the protest sites for allegedly trying to kill a Pennington County, South Dakota deputy. The news about the protests continually bring that arrest back up, often without noting the date or the exact nature of the arrest and sometimes even making it sound like a new case, but always proclaiming the woman’s innocence. This is just one example of one-sided news coverage.

There are estimates that claim that about 10,000 people joined the campsites that were established near the Standing Rock Sioux property. I say “near” because the pipeline did not actually cross the Standing Rock Reservation. It did cross 1,094 feet of land owned by the federal government. That’s right; of the 1,200 miles of pipeline, we are talking about 1,094 feet. And few news reports mention the fact that the area already contains eight other pipelines and one high-voltage electric transmission line. One of those pipelines is a dual 42-inch line put into service in 1982.

I could go on and on about the logic of completing the pipeline, but that is not really my point. I think the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been dealt a raw deal; not by the government or the Energy Transfer Partners, but by those thousands of people who showed up and then left all their garbage behind. They claimed to be all so worried about the environmental impact of a thousand feet of pipeline and then left enough garbage, human waste and even abandoned dogs behind without considering in the least what would happen when the ground thawed, the rains came and the entire mess could be washed into the surrounding ground and even into the Missouri river.

For about one year these outsiders flocked into the “spiritual camps” to create huge mounds of trash and when they were told to leave, they left. The news often said that the “protesters were cleaning up the area in preparation of being forced to leave.” That statement is not true and I have to empathize with people like Dotty Agard of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe as she stood in front of cameras and explained that it was her tribe and the state that would be cleaning up the mess.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum said the state would be seeking contractors and who would pay the contractors for the cleanup would be determined later. He said he did not want to stand around and argue while the waste and debris floated down the Missouri River. That all boils down to the fact that those so-called supporters are nothing but phonies and have done a great disservice to the people of the Standing Sioux Tribe, the people of North Dakota and the people of the United States in general. I will believe they are serious when they show up with the estimated 2,500 pickup trucks needed to clean up their crap.

Back to the logic of the pipeline for a few thoughts: According to what I have weeded through and believe to be factual, the entire length of the DAP is going to be underground. It does not cross reservation land and will replace between 500 and 700 railcars and another 250 trucks that would be needed to transport the oil. Logic tells me that it is much more likely that there will be an oil spill as a result of a rail or truck accident than it is likely that the pipeline will burst, but I will leave my opinion there and let you arrive at your own.

Remember, I only send out these missives by email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

 

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Why are atheists afraid of God?

January 23, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

Recently, while attempting to compile a comprehensive overview of my family history, I came across a document that confirmed the application my grandmother made to have a veteran’s headstone shipped to Cripple Creek to mark the grave of her husband, William R. Cox. The discovery of the document caused me to further research the process of obtaining such a headstone and what can be included such a marker.

On the top center of the headstone is a simple cross. The cross is known as a Latin cross and shows that the deceased veteran was a Christian. I wrongly assumed that the Latin cross and the Star of David were probably the only choices for markings on the headstones. In fact, there are several other crosses, among which are Presbyterian, Russian Orthodox, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Greek. There are several other versions.

Even the Star of David is not the only star available. The Bahai Star and the Muslim crescent and star are also choices, and while it certainly was not available when my grandfather died in 1954, one can even choose the Mjölnir (Thor’s hammer) to grace the top of a veteran’s headstone.

What brought all this to mind recently was a news story about a group of atheists in Belle Plaine, Minnesota who demanded that a large cross be removed from a local memorial. The memorial depicted a soldier kneeling at the grave of a fallen comrade, whose grave was marked with a cross.

The local veteran’s groups and the city gave in, and removed the large cross, replacing it with several smaller crosses that everyone agreed were “more appropriate.” That evidently did not satisfy some of the atheists who chose to rip the small crosses from the ground. Not only was that act a desecration of a venerated object it also defies logic.

That cross, like the cross on my grandfather’s grave, is just a symbol of what a person believes in, or believed in during his or her life. The memorial simply depicted a soldier recognizing his dead brother in arms. It was not an attempt by any government to “establish” a religion, which brings me to another point:

A surprising number of Americans believe that the words, “separation of church and state” are part of the First Amendment; they are not. In fact, if those people would take the time to read a little American History (a subject once taught in all schools) they would find out that the origin of that phrase is likely attributed to Thomas Jefferson, when he answered a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut; a letter that he wrote to bolster the First Amendment, not modify it.

Another symbol that certainly was not available fore etching on the headstone of an American hero at the time of my grandfather’s death is that the atomic symbol adopted by atheists. It is number 16 on the list of about 60 symbols on today’s application.

I have to wonder if a group of Christians would be all that upset if the Minnesota atheists were to have some sort of memorial built that showed a man standing at the grave of a friend, that grave being marked with the atomic symbol of atheism. I also have to wonder why these people that do not believe in God are so afraid of seeing any reference to him. After all, if I am wrong in my belief and God does not exist, I suffer no consequence. On the other hand, if they are wrong…

Remember, I only send out these missives as emails to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

 

The ‘Change’ I ‘Hoped’ For

January 16, 2017

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

When Barack Obama first ran for president in 2008, he adopted a slogan of “hope and change.

Frankly, I think President Obama won that election for exactly the same reason that Donald Trump won the 2016 version, and that is because Hillary Clinton was a very bad candidate.

At any rate, within the first 100 days of the Obama administration, I began to believe in this “hope and change” concept. I was “hoping” we could get through his term(s) without irreparable damage to our basic representative republic and I started looking forward to a “change” when he would eventually leave office.

One of the most important changes that could have taken place during the Obama time was the change of the Supreme Court. We came very close to that happening. When Justice Antonin Scalia died last February, I could literally hear the anticipation in the voices and see the anxiety in the actions of many on the left and in the biased news media. They were almost giddy with the possibility that Barack Obama could replace Scalia, and do it in an election year. Thankfully, that did not happen.

I do not have any idea whether Donald Trump will be a good president. That remains to be seen, but I do know that any of the people on the supposed short list of those who might be nominated are far better than the activist judges we would have undoubtedly seen had the Progressive Liberals had their way.

I, like many of you, am limited to how much I can find out about any given judge, but based on what I see so far, I am impressed with several of them. I must admit that I have always thought that, given a person who has seen time on a federal bench as opposed to someone that has only state experience, I likely would select the person with the federal experience. That said I am drawn to one possible nominee that has only state experience, but has other attributes that leads me to believe she would make a great Supreme Court Judge.

Joan Larsen is a Michigan Supreme Court Justice. She is obviously bent toward the conservative line, but more than that, she appears to understand the purpose of the Supreme Court, and she clerked for the above-mentioned Antonin Scalia.

I know it sounds bad to some, but I also think that she has some attributes that could help in the confirmation process, and like it or not, those attributes will be considered.

First, she is a woman. There is no doubt that this country has come a long way since we tolerated the stereotyping and goofball ideas put forth by Jackie Gleason on The Honeymooners. Women long since stopped being just supporters of men and we need to recognize that, rather than listen to people like Hillary Clinton who demand to be looked at as inferior and as constant victims.

Secondly, Judge Larsen is, in the scheme of things, a young woman. At 48, she has the potential of sitting on the court through seven or eight more presidential elections.

There are 20 or so others on various lists and I keep looking up their names, but Larsen seems to come to the top each time.

Of course, I predict that, regardless who the nominee is, Colorado will have one senator who will vote against confirmation, not because of qualification, but because he is strictly partisan and is still trying to figure out why Donald Trump ended up with over 300 electoral votes. Senator Bennet’s seat is another place I am “hoping” for a “change” next time around.

Remember, I only send out these missives as emails to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

 

 

Still optimistic, but realistic

January 2, 2017

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

Welcome to a new year. I seriously thought about giving up on this effort to express my opinions and try to keep in touch with what is going on in the world around me. I want to thank those of you who encouraged me to continue.

Sometimes, when I sit down to compose a paragraph or two about what I think about this or that, the topic literally changes as I write. Sometimes a thought will provoke absolute disdain for what some people are trying to do to a great nation. Other times I realize that deep down I am an optimist. I know this country will survive.

I am still somewhat stunned with the fact that this last election cycle turned out the way it did. I am also encouraged that the Electoral College system put into place so many years ago actually works. This past year demonstrated dramatically just what could happen if a few states with large populations could gain control of our national government.

For those of us who reside on the Western Slope of Colorado, we understand well how population centers get more of what they want, rather than what they are actually entitled to. We must remain vigilant in our selection of representatives and maintain the representative republic that has worked so well.

I remain a little concerned over some of the new laws we will have to live under as of yesterday. The one that concerns me most is the increase in minimum wage. The voters approved a constitutional hike to gradually raise the wage to $12 an hour in increments from now until 2020. For this year the wage goes from $8.31 to $9.30. I cannot help but think this has to hurt small businesses, at least in the short term, but it does something else. It gives unions and non-minimum wage earners an excuse to demand higher wages, and believe me that will happen.

Now, I am not against every new law. I think some of them are practical, although I understand why there are some people, even some of my friends, who disagree.

The new law that allows grocery stores to sell full strength beer and liquor is complicated to say the least, but I think it will work out okay. I remember the days in Colorado when someone 18 years old could buy beer that had “not more than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight.” When Colorado decided to repeal that law, they left the archaic idea of 3.2 beer hanging, allowing grocery stores to sell only 3.2 beer. Breweries were caught in the middle, having to continue to produce the product.

I could go on forever commenting on why the repeal of the law allowing 18-year-olds to purchase beer never accomplished the stated goals, but for now I will say that I will probably continue to go to my favorite liquor stores and now and then I will probably pick up a six-pack with my groceries, so personally, I am not upset about that new law.

Another law that goes into effect is the law concerning personnel files. The law makes it easier for employees to view their personnel files. It is sad, in my opinion, that this law is even needed. I have always thought that we all have the right to be told and shown what are in those files. It should be no different than a credit report. If there are things in there that are not accurate, we should have the opportunity to correct or dispute those things.

All in all, I am still the optimist. I look forward to this next year with a renewed sense of that optimism. I hope all of you share that with me.

Remember, I only send out these missives by email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

 

We owe it to our forefathers

December 26, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado

The time leading up to this Christmas and the family event we had on Christmas Eve left me with a deep sense of satisfaction and I wanted to share a few thoughts with each of you as we say so long to 2016.

For several years now I have, off and on, been working on putting together my family history. It has been fun and at times very frustrating. This past year I finally developed a plan that was much more focused.

The other thing was that Diane got involved and became almost as fanatical as I am.

Our two families are so different, yet so alike in many ways. I can trace my family history, especially on the maternal side, back to the mid 1600s in America. By contrast, Diane’s family first came to this country in the late 1800s.

We decided having a written account of the histories would make a good Christmas gift for our three sons and their families. We decided that, rather than doing a typical family tree, we would turn it into a narrative, with side stories based on where people came from and memories from our parents, grandparents, and in some cases, great grandparents. Over the years we managed to garner several photographs and the Ancestry web site made things workable.

But that is just the surface of what we developed. The end result was a simple book, printed and bound with plastic spiral binding right here in the Cox house. There are histories, notes and photos representing more than one hundred of our predecessors, and we purposely limited our results to those in our direct linage – no cousins or cousins once removed – just parents, grandparents and on down the line.

What is not contained in those pages is the newfound respect we have for the life our families had here in America and the enhanced understanding of what they dealt with prior to coming to this great land. By understanding our history, we are able to better understand the history of the United States, and even more important, the histories of the countries that were left behind by our forefathers.

Diane and I, as with most Americans, cannot fully appreciate the lack of freedom because we have never really experienced it. We cannot relate to a government that has literal control over every aspect of our lives. While we see some of our freedoms slip away and see government control and regulation become more and more apparent, we still do not have the fight that was in the hearts of those who came here to actually be free.

Many of my ancestors came to America for religious purposes and to be able to make decisions based on their beliefs rather than based on the whims of a monarchy.

Several of Diane’s family were lured from Germany to Russia when Catherine the Great was in charge. They were promised land and freedom that far exceeded what they had in Germany. They went voluntarily and were devastated when Russia decided that all the males could be forced into military service for Russia. They fled to America where they could farm the land and establish a strong religious base. They left fertile farms in Russia to come to the High Plains to fight drought, dust and amazing hardships, all of which they considered worth the price.

Many of my ancestors left lands controlled by England, where they were told which religions would be tolerated and which ones would not. Many ended up in places in North America where the ugly head of religious intolerance reared up again, sending them deeper into the unknown areas of the west.

Diane’s family for the most part became farmers, while mine chose to be pathfinders and miners. As our families came together, we were aware of our heritage, but I don’t think we really appreciated it to the extent that we do now.

It truly think this country is at a turning point. We are going to have to make some difficult decisions. Frankly, I think we have already started, but we must not give up now. We have an obligation to justify the hardships and dedication that our forefathers experienced. We do not have a perfect nation, but it is the best thing going now. We cannot let the naysayer win. We cannot let them push us backwards. We have to pick the right path, and we have to stick with it.

We have to admit that this last election cycle took us closer to socialism and government over-reach than we have been since my family first stepped ashore four hundred years ago. We have to admit that the Constitution and the representative republic we live under is not just another democratic form of government. It is a unique concept, well thought out by people like Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. It is truly a government limited by the people, and it must stay that way. It has some scratches and wounds, but they will heal if we don’t allow an infection to set in.

God bless all of you and may each of you have a Happy New Year.

Remember, I only send out these missives as emails to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

Bob

© Robert R. Cox 2016

Justice (?) Department

November 28, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

I will be damned if I can figure out where our top-heavy, regulation oriented, United States Government is headed. It seems that, more and more, the bureaucrats are making worse and worse decisions.

It also seems to me that Colorado is all to often on the top of the headlines for some stupid reason.

The latest goofball turn of events is that the Denver Sheriff’s Office was fined by the U.S. Department of Justice for making U.S. citizenship a qualification for being hired as a deputy sheriff.

Let me clarify one thing before I go on: The Denver Sheriff’s Office is not typical of the rest of the state. Denver is both a city and a county and does not elect a sheriff as their chief law enforcement officer. Sheriff’s deputies in Denver County are responsible for maintaining the jail, transporting prisoners and serving civil process. Sheriff Patrick Firman is an appointee of the City and County of Denver. That being said, the deputies are Colorado law enforcement officers.

So, some guy goes to the Sheriff’s Office (probably through the Denver City and County Human Services) and applies for a job. He is turned down because he is not a citizen and evidently is not fluent in English. The Justice Department, through the Civil Rights Division gets involved. Ultimately, Sheriff Firman enters into an agreement with Alberto Ruisanchez, the deputy special counsel in the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices. The Sheriff’s Office agrees to pay a $10,000 fine, but they agreed to a whole lot more.

Under the agreement, the S.O. will go through all job applications received from non-citizens and offer them another opportunity for employment “with no consideration of their citizenship status.” They are also agreeing to provide certain printed material in “applicant’s preferred language.”

This all means that a person whose English is so deficient that he (or she) has to have printed material in another language is expected to communicate efficiently with a population of inmates, the majority of whom speak English. He (or she) will be expected to transport prisoner to and from jail and to and from the courts and I suppose have a laptop with a version of Rosetta Stone in seven languages on the dash of the transport vehicle, for which they will probably be criticized for using because it distracts them from their driving, which they may not be able to do legally because they didn’t get a driver’s test in Archi.

Another twist on this whole thing is that a provision of Section 8 of the United States Code, which is the one supposedly violated by DSO, provides that it is not a violation to “hire, recruit, or refer an individual who is citizen or nation of the United Stated over another individual who is an alien if the two individuals are equally qualified.” In my evidently screwed up mind it would seem that the applicant who speaks English has an edge here. But that is just my opinion.

By the way, Archi is considered by many scholars to be the least known language in the world and is spoken only in a small village of just over 1,000 people who live in Southern Russia on the Caspian Sea. Putting up a “Right To Work Poster” in Archi could be difficult because one verb could have more than 1.5 million conjugations.

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016

 

 

 

It is the ‘what’ not just the ‘who’

November 7, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

Well friends, it is almost over. In fact, it will be over by the time many of you take time to read this.

I am both elated and apprehensive about what is going to be revealed to us on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. I happen to think that the results are going to be much more about what we get, rather than whom we get. The ‘what’ is the all-important ingredient in this recipe. We could get something that has a disagreeable taste, but can be swallowed. We could get something that tastes better than many other choices on the table, or we could get something that tastes so bad that it will keep our insides hurting for years and years. I doubt that we are going to get something that satisfies every aspect of our hunger for keeping what America is all about.

I try to tune in to several different news programs and I try to read several on-line versions of various newspapers on an almost daily basis. The news commentators are doing their jobs; the news reporters are not. I am so disappointed in what the so-called news reports have become. The overall news media have morphed into nothing more that political action committees. The saddest thing about that is that they actually believe that they are doing right. Frankly, even Fox News has leaned too far to the right, though I understand why and welcome a certain amount of it because we need something, somewhere, to balance a badly tipped scale.

I am truly concerned about what happens next. Hillary Clinton, should she be the choice, will enter the Oval Office under a cloud of mistrust and criminal behavior that is almost unbelievable even to me. She will be given the opportunity to nominate people to the Supreme Court who think ideology is more important that constitutional adherence. Should the worst case evolve and Clinton lovers also take over the Senate, we will lose all the ‘advice’ and be left with only the ‘consent.’ That will put this country on a path with a course that will be very difficult to change in upcoming election years.

I know most of my Colorado readers have probably already made up their minds. I know that I am preaching to the choir. I know that there is nothing I can say right now to change anything. I know that the die is likely already cast. So, now I sit and wait for my gut reaction. I just hope what we get is something we can survive.

Incidentally, I am taking on a new project; one I will tell you all about later, but I have decided to publish Coxnotes on a random basis, rather than every Monday. I am not quitting, but I am changing.

Remember, I only email these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016