In this issue:
1. “The Traverse” Registration opened last Saturday, November 1st
2. Forest to reopen on November 10th
3. The Essence of Liberty – a commentary by Chris Vargas
1. “THE TRAVERSE” REGISTRATION OPENED LAST SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST
Registration for the 2009 “Traverse” opened last Saturday, November 1st at 12:00 a.m. We expect this event to sell out so if you are serious about participating register quickly. We will have no mail in registration and the links to registering on active.com will be activated at 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 1st on the event web page at:
Event Date: May 9th, 2009
Event Start: 7:00 AM
40+/- miles, 8,000+/- feet elevation gain
Starting Location: Black Star Canyon Road Finish Location: Trabuco Creek Road and Trabuco Canyon Road Post-event staging area: O’Neill Regional Park
There will be no same day registration.
The race will have Intermediate, Expert and Pro classes with the Pro class men and women racing for finishing cash. There must be a minimum of 5 participants in each age group or the age group will be combined with another age group.
PARTICIPATION IS LIMITED TO 175
PRO OPEN ($95)
18 to 30
31 to 45
46 to 59
18 to 30
31 to 45
46 to 59
The event fee includes awards for top finishers, finishing ribbon for all participants, t-shirt and food catered by El Pollo Loco.
Registration for the Toad Festival will open on December 1st.
2. THE FOREST TO REOPEN ON NOVEMBER 10TH
The roads and trails will reopen but any cross country off-trail travel through the burn area could be cause to close until the burn area recovers. We are asking all trail and trail patrol volunteers to please be especially watchful and help us educate the public of the need to stay on the trails.
THE BURN AREA ITSELF AND THE HARDING TRUCK TRAIL WILL REMAIN CLOSED.
3. THE ESSENCE OF LIBERTY - A COMMENTARY BY CHRIS VARGAS
“The ultimate determinant in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas – a trial of spiritual resolve: the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideas to which we are dedicated.”
We are about to decide a very important election. Four years ago in the fall of 2004 when I first wrote this commentary the threat of terrorism was our primary concern. Due to the world wide financial crises, terrorism – though still a threat, seems to pale in comparison. In the aftermath of this financial crisis, I find it important to update this commentary and again clarify what makes liberty and freedom possible.
As is evident by the pandering of most politicians (both Republican and Democrat), it seems liberty and freedom are defined by the benefits they can bestow upon the citizenry; healthcare, free college, day care, social security etc. It is not freedom and liberty they represent, but a paternalistic environment in which government will rescue us from the reality of life, from any mistakes in planning and responsibility that as a self-imposed “child of government” we have neglected to address in a free society.
And now both candidates offer promises of government health care. What is the government’s track record when it comes to providing for our retirement needs via the Social Security Program?
Robert J. Samuelson, Newsweek and Washington Post Economic Columnist, wrote in his October 7, 2007 Commentary “Holding their feet to the fire – wrestling with the immense costs of retiring baby boomers:”
“Let’s review (again) the problem. From 2000-30, the 65-and-over population will roughly double, from 35 million to 72 million, or from about 12 percent of the population to nearly 20 percent. Spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – three big programs that serve the elderly – already represents more than 40 percent of the federal budget. In 2006, these three programs cost $1.1 trillion, more than twice defense spending. Left on automatic pilot, these programs are plausibly projected to grow to about 75 percent of the present budget by 2030.
...Stalemate (in finding a solution) results because all the ways of dealing with these pressures are controversial. There are only four:
(a) Massive tax increases – on the order of 30 percent to 50 percent by 2030
(b) Draconian cuts in other government programs (note that the projected increases in Social Security and Medicare, as a share of national income, are more than all of today’s domestic discretionary programs)
(c) Cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – higher eligibility ages or lower benefits for wealthier retirees
(d) Undesirably large budget deficits.”
Mr. Samuelson goes on to state in another October 22, 2008 article on Social Security titled “Young Voters, Get Mad:”
“You’re being played for chumps. Barack Obama and John McCain want your votes, but they’re ignoring your interests. You face a heavily mortgaged future. You’ll pay Social Security and Medicare for aging baby boomers. The needed federal tax increase might total 50 percent over the next 25 years. Pension and health costs for state and local workers have doubtlessly been underestimated. There’s the expense of decaying infrastructure—roads, bridges, water pipes. All this will squeeze other crucial government services: education, defense, police.
You’re not hearing much of this in the campaign. One reason, frankly, is that you don’t seem to care. Obama’s your favorite candidate (by 64 percent to 33 percent among 18- to 29-year-olds, according to the latest Post-ABC News poll). But he’s outsourced his position on these issues to AARP, the 40 million-member group for Americans 50 and over.
Don’t believe me? Go to the Web site, www.aarp.org. On Sept. 6, both Obama and McCain addressed an AARP convention celebrating the group’s 50th birthday.”
The full articles are available upon request. For the background on Robert J. Samuelson go to:
Can we expect the same results with government in control of our healthcare? The current Medi-cal program administered by the government, according to the Government Accounting Office, is rife with billions of dollars worth of fraud.
Not only has the government lost billions to fraud, they have put our personal information at risk:
“HHS has not done enough to protect electronic medical data, a failure that has undermined consumer confidence in EMRs and possibly undercut vendors as well, according to the Government Accountability Office. The GAO would like to see HHS adopt a “defined approach” for prioritizing privacy-related initiatives, and suggests that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) is a good choice for setting a prioritization process in motion.”
In Britain, due to the rising costs in their state provided heath care, one leading moral philosopher stated it is the duty of those with dementia to die due to the cost of their care to the National Health System:
“Lady Warnock, a former headmistress who went on to become Britain’s leading moral philosopher, chaired a landmark Government committee in the 1980s that established the law on fertility treatment and embryo research.
A prominent supporter of euthanasia, she has previously suggested that pensioners who do not want to become a burden on their carriers should be helped to die.
Last year the Mental Capacity Act came into effect that gives legal force to “living wills”, so patients can appoint an “attorney” to tell doctors when their hospital food and water should be removed.
But in her latest interview, given to the Church of Scotland’s magazine Life and Work, Lady Warnock goes further by claiming that dementia sufferers should consider ending their lives through euthanasia because of the strain they put on their families and public services.
Recent figures show there are 700,000 people with degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s in Britain. By 2026 experts predict there will be one million dementia sufferers in the country, costing the NHS an estimated £35billion a year.
Lady Warnock said: “If you’re demented, you’re wasting people’s lives – your family’s lives – and you’re wasting the resources of the National Health Service.”
Who next will have a duty to die; children born with Down’s Syndrome, Autistic children, those with congenital mental and physical diseases that will need a life time of medical care? What about those with hard to treat forms of cancer?
Would it not be wiser for both Barack Obama and John McCain to pledge to fix Social Security before offering even more benefits from the government such as health care?
Where some may see a benefit of being a “child of government” I instead see only a benefit to the politicians for turning us into “slaves of government.” Their policies encourage the idea that without government to provide for our every need freedom is not possible; in this argument I beg to differ and offer instead that it is the opposite, it is slavery. How can such an existence of reliance on the government define freedom?
My beloved America – my heart breaks at the thought.
“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
George Bernard Shaw
But a government that is powerful enough to reduce us to this dependency and that neglects the resulting impact of providing for our needs without thought to the ultimate cost – does us no favors. Like spoiled children we expect not less from the tit of government, but more. We are slaves to a false security that in the end will prove to be a dreadful mistake.
Nothing that comes from the government is “free,” it comes from the pockets of the citizens and the pockets of their children; a legacy that economically will be a weight upon their necks and the downfall of America. That is not to say government should not address the needs of the less fortunate, but policies that discourage self-sufficiency and encourage government dependency are no panacea.
“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.”
“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.”
“You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.”
“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.”
“You cannot lift the wage earning by pulling down the wage payer.”
“You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.”
“You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.”
“You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.”
“You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”
Some in the political spectrum point out Germany and France’s socialist governments as an example to follow. But these countries in the European Union have been suffering from an 8.1 to 7.1 percent unemployment rate from 2005 to 2008 and GDP that is predicted to be 1.4 percent in 2008. Attempts by their governments to address the economic stagnation caused by their cradle to grave social benefits have been met by its citizens much the way a spoiled child reacts when denied candy.
“Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.”
Will America’s sunset coincide with our inability to accept the responsibility for our own lives? Will these social benefits and the taxes necessary to support them encourage or discourage incentives to produce knowing that you are guaranteed that “father” government will provide for your every need?
“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.”
One candidate states that he wants to “level the playing field” by redistributing income from the rich to the poor in an attempt to achieve equality and fairness, to take the fruits of ones labor and give it to those he views as unfortunate.
“I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Liberty is not defined by protection from failure – it is defined by self-determination and the freedom to succeed or to fail- as well as the freedom to pick your self up and try again.
I find it interesting that those at one end of the political spectrum see the United States as the source of all evil in the world and hope for its defeat (such as Micheal Moore who proclaimed America to be a “terrorist state”), much the same way as some in the religious and environmental community see America or the human race as the root of all evil in the world – and hope America or the human race’s “Chickens come home to roost.”
“No, No, No, not God bless America, God damn America, God damn America…”
Reverend Wright, the spiritual advisor and the former pastor of the church Barack Obama attended for 20 years
“Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental”
Dave Forman, Founder of Earth First!
The environmental movement’s ideology that views mankind as preventing their ‘static’ state of preservation discounts the historical record showing that nature has done what no man has ever done; destroyed whole ecosystems of species many times over since the beginning of time.
“Climate Modeling is not ‘science’, it is computerized Tinker Toys with which one can construct any outcome he chooses.”
James Peden, atmospheric physicist.
(To date, not one climate model program has successfully predicted any future climate element with anything remotely resembling a degree of accuracy. No hits, no runs, all errors.)
Environmentalists and those on the left demonize our use of fossil fuels. Have there been any benefits to using fossil fuels?
Jack Hollander, Professor Emeritus of Energy and Resources at the University of California at Berkeley, stated in his book “The Real Environmental Crisis – Why poverty, Not Affluence, is the Environments Number One Enemy”:
“Technological advances also contributed to saving the American Forests. As new fossil fuel powered agricultural machines were introduced early in the twentieth century, farmers were able to produce crops more efficiently, so they needed less land for a given output. The case of Vermont is a good example. In the 1700’s Vermont was almost totally covered with forest, yet by 1850 so much clearing had taken place for agricultural use that the forest cover had dropped to 35 percent. People feared that Vermont would become a wasteland. Today, however, Vermont’s forest cover has been restored so the state now contains 77 percent forest.
In the United States as a whole, over 300 million acres of forest were lost between 1600 and 1920 (caused by farming and the need for fuel). The forest began to stabilize around the turn of the 20th century and since 1920 has actually been expanding. At present, the total acreage of U.S. Forests is 737 million acres, almost ¾ as large as it was in 1600. Many of the forests that had been totally destroyed have been restored and added to the U.S. National Forest.
Roughly two-thirds of U.S. Forest area is classified as timberland – forest capable of and not excluded from commercial timber production. Since the 1950’s, timber growth has consistently exceeded harvest. At the same time, the commercial supply of softwood and hardwood is increasing, and the United States remains a major industrial wood producer, supplying 25 percent of the world’s total. The wood supply in the United States will be available indefinitely because industry and government continue to invest in efficient forest management techniques and technologies. Forest expert Douglas W. MacCleery concludes that American Forests today are in “significantly” better condition than they were a century ago. This trend is the same for Europe. In the developed world, wood sources have reached a healthy and sustainable state.”
Is technology all good; no. Is it all bad; no. But since the onset of mankind we have increased our life spans, diminished the infant and childhood mortality rate and improved our environment. We have more forested area than we did 100 years ago due to advances in farming aided by fossil fuel use, pesticides, fertilizers and alternative energy to cook and heat our homes (wood provided 90 percent of our energy up until the beginning of the 20th Century), and our air quality has greatly improved despite a substantial increase in fossil fuel use. 150 years ago in New York City, as with most industrial cities at the time, had thousands of pounds of manure and urine was deposited in city streets every month affecting water quality and health. Smoke from the burning of high sulfur coal blackened the skies and caused lung problems, which were made worse by tuberculosis (consumption) that was much more common at the time.
We have gotten to the point where depopulation (due to improving economies in 3rd World counties, efficient farming that has decreased the need for children as cheap labor, i.e. in an urban society children are a financial drain, and the expanding of women’s rights and control over pregnancy), will be occurring by the end of this century and is becoming an increasing threat in many western countries. All because of technology: the use of fossil fuels, chemicals and science.
There is no denying we must be cautious with using technology – but do you realize we are reaching the nirvana of population control desired by the environmental movement without repressive controls because of technology?
But despite the emotional folly of these individuals who rail against America they cannot deny the only rule that for eon’s nature has operated under – only the strong survive; there is no guarantee of survival save the strength and foresight to repel or escape predators – thus insuring your continued existence.
Does this sound harsh? In the history of mankind, what countries have survived; those that go against the rule of nature – or those that understand it and reacted accordingly? Likewise in nature, is it the trust of the deer and consensus of the herd that protects it from the jaws of the cougar, or is it the deer’s ability to anticipate the attack and foil it? They criticize America for decisions based on its self-interest; what country would survive if it did not consider its self-interest its primary concern?
“Strength comes from struggle, Weakness from ease”
B. C. Forbes
There is no “free” money. For every bond the government takes on or social program that government proposes the net result will be another yoke upon our children’s and grandchildren’s necks. There is no spontaneous generation of money to pay for these programs, just as there is no spontaneous generation of natural resources to fuel our economy, as the environmental movement seems to think, as they stop us from any resource recovery from our public lands. Both these agendas will doom our economy, freedom and the future of our children.
“Economy is among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt is the greatest of the dangers to be feared.”
Much the same way the environmental movement has fought to deny us the freedom to access our public lands to “protect the environment”, we will soon find a government that seeks to “protect the citizens” by providing for our every need will be the same government that will determine what freedoms we will enjoy.
As a final thought; I love America; as a person of color it has given me all I have needed to succeed – freedom – and I ask for nothing more. I beg you to understand the ramifications if we continue along the path the following “Cycle of Liberty” describes.
Chris Vargas – Warrior’s Society Executive Director
THE CYCLE OF LIBERTY
At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, In the year 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinburgh) had this to say about “The Fall of The Athenian Republic” some 2,000 years prior:
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”
The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, believes the U.S. is now somewhere between the “apathy” and complacency” phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy; with some 40 percent of the nation’s population already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase.
“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.”
Shimano is the Major Component Sponsor of the Warrior’s Society
Rock N Road Bike Shops, Sho-Air Racing, El Pollo Loco and Switchback Cyclery are Major Sponsors of the Warrior’s Society
Clif Bar is the Official Energy Bar and Gel of the Warrior’s Society
The Warrior’s Society is a Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) affiliated organization
The Warrior’s Society is a Tax Exempt Organization under 501© 4 of the IRS Code
“Far better it is to dare mighty dreams, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take the ranks with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat!”