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Posts posted by GernBlansten

  1. Perhaps those who think LNT is just political correctness, start their own outdoor youth program. BSA has adopted LNT as its outdoor ethics. If it doesn't dovetail with your ethics, then perhaps the best step forward is to start your own program. You could call it "Trailblazer Scouts" or "Wilderness Dominator Scouts" or "Wild Warrior Scouts" or "Don't Give a Damn Scouts".

  2. This whole aversion to the tent color guidelines to LNT just astounds me.


    Lets look at from the extremes, you come over a rise to your favorite remote campsite, nestled in a small valley under majestic snow capped peaks. A stream meanders down the middle of the sub-alpine meadow where trees barely are able to grow but the tundra grass waves with the ebb and flow of the afternoon breeze. Smack in the middle of that meadow is a 20 ft circus tent, festooned with red and white stripes and a flag on top indicating the groups affiliation to a national movement. Would that degrade your wilderness experience?


    Contrast that with coming over the rise and seeing a few small tents, muted to the natural colors of their surroundings.


    LNT doesn't BAN circus tents, it simply recommends when making a tent purchase to consider muted, natural colors. Its about ethics and education and understanding your responsibilities not only to the environment, but to others who share that environment with you. How could anybody disagree with that?

  3. The problem with urinating on trees is the salt attracts animals who eat/lick the bark for the salt and hurt the tree. The problem with concentrating the urine on a small patch of grass is the acidic content can burn the plants (check out what my dogs do to my grass). So fanning is preferred. There's no need to pack it out, just don't concentrate it. Better yet, pee on boulders. Lichen free of course!


    It really isn't that difficult to always follow the most "extreme" LNT principles. Just requires planning, diligence and decision making.

  4. "And when bears start policing up their poo, and caribou herds refrain from trodding upon delicate flora, perhaps that will be the day I'll give some credence to some of the more extreme tenets of LNT. "


    How many bears poo and caribou trod in your delicate backyard flowerbed? How about a deal? You keep your poo in check in their backyard, they will return the favor. I think I can broker that deal.


    The biggest misconception of LNT, and Beavah has it right, is it isn't about leaving the place cleaner than you found it, although that is admirable. Its about outdoor ethics so you don't even have to clean it up in the first place.


    Oh, and visual and noise pollution count too.

  5. A third party run from the left might undermine Obama in 2012. But frankly, the left has enough trouble rallying behind their own candidate and I doubt they could even field a 3rd party candidate.

    Any third party challenge will come from the right, way right and siphon off votes from any candidate who has enough appeal to cross the divide to independants. That alone assures Obama another term.

  6. If the state legislators selected senators, sure, special interests could lobby each state representative and buy votes. But the senator would have no direct tie to the lobbyists. At least one degree of separation more than we have now. For example, take Sen. Lieberman, the good senator from Aetna. He makes sure he votes in their interest because they are a major contributor to his campaign. If the Connecticut state house selected him, Aetna and the other insurance lobby's power would be diminished because they directly would not be funding him. He would have far more cover to vote without the direct influence of his campaign donors.


    On the filibuster, it was designed to extend debate. Period. It was not intended to obstruct. However, recently it has not been used to extend debate, its been used to stop it. This has required a super majority for passing any legislation, something I don't think the founding fathers had in mind. I hope the new congress reforms the rule next week and at least requires the filibustering senator to hold the floor for the entire period. And I also hope they put an end to anonymous holds on appointments.

  7. I'm with Gary on this. The senate as it is today, is controlled not by the people, but by special interests. Senators are only interested in getting reelected and are owned by their biggest contributors. If we reverted to a state legislature appointing senators, there would be no campaigning at the degree we have now and the true purpose of the senate would be regained. Campaign finance reform might help, but I'm not holding my breath that the senate would pass anything that changes their gravy train.


    Barring that, I think the purpose of the Senate has run its course and should be disbanded. Their rules allow a single senator to stop the will of the people and disrupt progress. The filibuster has been abused to the point that it is a joke. It is a place where special interests override the interests of the people.

  8. I would guess that some training of the commanders would be necessary to educate them that being gay doesn't mean engaging in sex with the troops anymore than being hetero means engaging in sex with the troops.

    I can see that training requiring a long time for some.

  9. After you pay your taxes, yes, you can do with it what you will.

    If you inherit money, win the lottery, find gold in your backyard, get a job, you pay taxes on that because its income to you, then you can do with the remainder as you see fit.

    Why should some income be exempt?

    Pretty simple, eh?

  10. Actually, since our tax system is based on income, not consumption, because of that, all income should be taxed equally. Whether you get that income from a game show, hard labor, the lottery, or a relative leaving you money. Its all income. Do you have a problem with equality?

  11. When grandma goes toes up and leaves something of sentimental value, it usually is not of siginifcant monitary value. Tax it as such. If its a $3Mil diamond necklace, you better be able to afford keeping it. If you can't afford the taxes on that, you'd be better off selling it anyways. Chances are, its only worth $500 at the pawn shop and I bet most could afford the income taxes on that.


    Why have a lower threshold? Its income, plain and simple. Ain't about rich or poor. At least it shouldn't be.


    How may of Oprah's audience had to sell the cars she gave them to pay the taxes? Do you feel sorry for them too?


  12. "Beavah: "Concentration of capital means an end of meritocracy."

    Nope. The opposite is true. Stealing half what a man owns when he dies robs him off any motivation to accumulate capital. "


    Can't say as that makes any sense. My motivation to accumulate capital is to better my life while I'm alive, what happens to my stuff after I die really doesn't effect my motivation now.


    Why is it that if you give your kids money before you die, its taxed. But if you die and they inherit it, it shouldn't be taxed? Same transaction in my mind, passing income from one party to another.

  13. Vol, ever tried to console families, care for, and watch die innocent people at the hands of people who were drunk and caused a serious automobile accident? People drink alcohol to get drunk.

    Are you for the repeal of the 21st Amendment?


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