What Ever Happened to Honesty?

Webster's defines honesty as: Fairness and uprightness; truthfulness; freedom from deceity or fraud.

What about the command, "Thou Shalt Not Lie"? I know many think it 'dated,' but it sounds like a concept worth hanging onto to me.

After all, how do you feel when someone lies to you? Frustrated? Angry? Disappointed? Hurt? Maybe even crushed?

And yet, day after day, we are spoon-fed lies masquerading as truth. The news media. Advertising propaganda. Our co-workers or employer or employees. Politicians.

However, many of us still operate under these two assumptions?

  • The news media is reporting 'news' - i.e. 'truth'.

  • Science exists to discover 'facts' thus scientists report what is 'true' and 'real'.

  • It ain't true, folks. Not anymore. We've been led around far too long. We're much too much like the frog in the pan of water. The water is hot! We still believe it when we're told there is ice on the edges!

    Here is just a taste.

    • Not long ago I wrote an article about "Global Warming" the biggest scam (okay, that's my opinion, but give me a chance to explain) since Chicken Little. I don't spend much time listening to the news. After all, I have this aversion to lies. However, I have noticed that you can hardly pick up a major newspaper or magazine, or turn on the TV, without hearing something about the end of the world - (oh, I mean global warming). In my article I contrasted two different opinions. I mean DIFFERENT. Both based on science? I think not! However, regardless of who is right and who is wrong, you and I and our children and our grandchildren are going to pay BIG TIME!

    • What about the house burning on Woodinville, Washington's 'Street of Dreams'? An environmental group is taking credit for destroying five new homes. Why? They weren't 'environmentally friendly' enough. (laugh) All the smoke and pollutants from the fire were? Who made them judge, jury, and executor? What is worse, they are being called 'eco-activitists'. Excuse me! They just committed an act of terror. Is that the new politically correct name for terrorists? Let's get real!

    • Then there is the not-so-explosive, but just as inappropriate act, committed by a scientist last month. (I say, 'committed,' because a 'real' scientist knows this wasn't science.) Joel Berger, who works for the Wildlife Conservation Society, claimed White-Tailed Jack Rabbits were now extinct in Yellowstone National Park. Predictably lots of people jumped on the bandwagon. "Oh, another animal extinct. Hurry. Let's save the rest of the planet before 'they' destroy it." (Okay, overstatement, but still, what was Joel's point?) Fortunately, not everyone believes everything they hear. In fact, it seems Joel was inundated with photos of the 'now extinct' Jackrabbit. All taken recently. Imagine that!

    • Adding insult to injury, Joel is also the one who recently said wolves were helping the environment by killing coyotes who prey on antelope fawns. In fact, he went so far as to say the numbers in the Yellowstone Herd were up 50% since the wolve's re-introduction. Excuse me? What about the Yellowstone Park Foundation's 2004 claim the herd numbers were down 50% due to development which was closing off their migration route? You can't have it both ways!

    All that said, let me clarify something. I do NOT paint all environmentalists or scientists or reporters by the same brush. I still believe there are real warriors out there - people fighting not just for a cause, but for a true cause! I applaud their efforts!

    I believer, my friends, the problem is us! We, the American people, are the problem. We've settled into our complacency for TOO long. How long do you think lying reporters, over-zealous environmentalists, hot-air spouting politicians, or scientists who practice false science, would last if we the people of the United State of America got off our duffs and demanded truth, honesty, and fairness? From our politicians! Our news media! Our scientists! Our neighbors! Ourselves!

    We are too lazy. To willing to let others do our thinking. To willing to swallow the bitter bill even though we know deep down inside it is poison.

    Let's wake up. Demand truth! And, call a spade a spade!

    Lady of the Lake


    The Power of Imagination

    Those of you who follow my blog, know I am very thankful my youngest is growing up at Elk Lake Resort. However, I'm also very thankful to report there are other children who are using their imagination for something more than Game Boys and video games.

    We got an email this week from a friend (who, for you western coast and valley dwellers, lives in western Oregon) recounting the 'adventures' of her husband and boys. This is the friend whose son nearly blew up the house making bomb with his chemistry set. So, when she recounted the latest saga in the life of. . . I just had to chuckle.

    Seems the boys and their Dad got the bright idea to float the nearby creek. They donned their wet suits, grabbed the canoe (oh, and the cell phone which they had the foresight to put into a ziploc bag), and headed for the creek.

    "Pick us up. . ." (at their planned destination), were their parting words.

    Not nearly enough time had passed when the phone rang. Guess what, they hadn't made it.

    Really, that didn't come as a surprise. However, I still got a good laugh as my friend described the adventure's end.

    Seems the water was rougher than they'd anticipated. There were rapids beyond their ability levels. In the end, the passengers were clinging to trees while their canoe careened downstream before wrapping itself around a partially submerged log.

    Fortunately the cell phone had survived, and they were able to call for pickup. After all, as my friend noted, "No one in the right mind would have opened the door to a bunch of guys in wetsuits!"

    Does that sound a bit like an excerpt from Tom Sawyer to you? It sure did to me. And, sadly enough, these boys are some of the few who still have an intact imagination.

    Granted, I'm not so hep on my son blowing the roof off the house, but, by golly, I sure enjoy watching his imagination at work. Instead of living his life vicariously - through TV or a Game Boy - he fights imaginary (but real to him) battles with pirates and rogues. Flinging his sword (a 3 foot piece of PVC pipe he has claimed as his own) with gusto, he destroys all the dragons and villains who cross his path!

    I'm so glad there are still a few around who share his passion for 'real' adventures. As I mentioned in previous posts, nature deficit syndrome is robbing our children of their childhood. Even more, I wonder sometimes if it isn't robbing them of their humanity.

    After all, how many of us know (or have met) teenagers who cannot carry one an intelligent conversation, believe work is for those who aren't smart enough to. . .? (I'm not sure what they think the 'smart' ones do to make a living), and getting dirty is reserved for those without the brains to stay clean.

    What a sad commentary on life. Sometimes it seems hopeless. I wonder what the future will look like as these 'children' become the movers and shakers in our world. Will they? Will they move? Shake? Care?

    Then along comes stories like my friend told. Or the one my hubby pointed out in World Magazine today.

    It seems a young man in West Linn (again in the western valley) got a hankering for some snow. I can't say I blame him. I like to play in the stuff, myself. Anyway, nature wasn't providing the desired 'want', so he went after it himself.

    Apparently he begged the use of a power washer and a compressor. Viola! Overnight he produced over three feet of snow in his back yard.

    I wonder how many of the neighborhood kids found their way into his back yard the following day? Hopefully many. That means they, too, were enjoying the great outdoors!

    Most amazing, however, was the boy's age. With an imagination that developed and the knowlege to make his dream a reality, I expected the young man to be at least in his teens. Wrong! Our imaginative inventor was all of 10 years old! Keep up the good work, young man! You may find yourself president someday.

    Lady of the Lake


    Rex Lex

    (Photo is looking down Elk Lake Resort's driveway in the fall.)

    Even in the middle of nowhere, the news finally reaches us. I'm not talking about the politically correct drivel the news media tends to serve up in nice bite-sized chunks. I'm talking about what most environmentalists don't want us know. Namely, how their game plan to tie up our public lands is moving forward.

    The funny thing is, I do not consider myself 'un-environmentally friendly.' In fact, I consider myself quite the opposite. I haven't studied the issues surrounding several local animals or issues because I'm bored. I do it because I care! In fact, I live closer to this land than most people who consider themselves 'environmentalists'. Actually, based on what I read, that may put me on some group's 'hit' list.

    Just like many of the ranchers who have cared for the land for generations because their livelihoods depended on it. It's just a case in point of how far we've come from Lex Rex, Samuel Rutherford's fine work on the law - for those of you who aren't familiar with the work, Lex Rex is Latin for "The Law is King".

    As Rutherford said, "That power which is obliged to command and rule justly and religiously for the good of the subjects, and is only set over the people on these conditions, and not absolutely, cannot tie the people to subjection without resistance, when the power is abused to the destruction of laws, religion, and the subjects."

    However, today we seem content to be more aligned with Rex Lex, "The King is Law". What, you say? We have no king!

    I'm not that far out of touch. However, I beg to differ. Our 'king' doesn't sit on a throne but behind a bench. He doesn't weald a sceptor but a gavel. Because, the 'kings' in the US these days are Federal Judges who see their life-time appointment as equivalent to a royal appointment

    Thank God, not all Federal judges work from this perspective. However, it appears to be a growing malaise which threatens to destroy our people and take the country with it.

    Take a recent story in Range Magazine. For those of you who are not aware of this publication, it is all about protecting the ranching / farming way of life. I will admit, it is a bit 'bitter' at times, but then, with stories like the one that follows, I can understand why. And, having worked with several ranchers, up-close and personal, I can appreciate much of the truth which underlies the stories therein.

    In the article by Judy Boyle entitled, The Great Oz and The Judge, I learned about Judge Lynn Winmill, an Idaho Federal judge whose record shows a distinct inclination to twist 'facts' to make them say what his apparent supporters want them to say. (I had 'heard' of Judge Winmill just the other day - in the Idaho Farm Bureau Magazine. However, Judy's story added some sad facts.)

    It appears Judge Winmill is in the pocket of Western Watersheds Project. Their name sounds innocent enough (I'm not surprised - who wouldn't be on guard if they were called Land Grab Coalition or something else along that line?). However, despite their innocent-sounding name, they are throwing their weight around with the help of Judge Winmill.

    Take the case of Verl Jones, an 85 year-old rancher born on his family homestead just outside Challis, Idaho in 1916. Due to space limitations, I won't repeat the entire story.

    However, the jist is, Verl's ranch (and family - remember, there is always a family involved) was attacked by WWP (via Judge Winmill). Using faulty information (the case was later overturned by the 9th Circuit Corut because the judge's injunction was not legal) they managed to basically shut down his ranch. However, not only was Jones required to pay WWP's lawyer fees ($36,000), but his ranch nearly went under - and he DIED!

    It makes my blood boil when I read of a family being attacked using what basically equates to illegal means using as their vehicle our own court system. And, to read Verl died - even though he was an old man, he had a right to live - there are no words to convey my frustration!

    As Rutherford said in Lex Rex, "If the estates of a kingdom give the power to a king, it is their own power in the fountain ; and if they give it for their own good, they have power to judge when it is used against themselves, and for their evil, and so power to limit and resist the power that they gave." In other words, we (the people) gave the power. We have the right to take it away. When a judge works outside the law, he obviously considers himself above the law. However, he is not. And, it is up to US to do something about it! When will we?

    Maybe not soon enough. Judge Winmill is at it again. This time he's taking the US Fish and Wildlife Service to task. In effect, Judge Winmill has decided the USFWS isn't as smart as he is. Judge Winmill ordered the USFWS to start over - redo their study on Sage Grouse. It comes as no surprise the plantiff is WWP. And, guess what folks? Not only do we (the taxpayers who Judge Winmill is supposed to be working for!) get to pay the USFWS wages to start over from scratch and redo their studies, but we get to pay WWP's attorney fees if they win this case.

    Worse yet, this case has the potential to ruin some ranchers who graze on public lands - which, if you haven't noticed it's okay to burn up - just not to graze or log. Furthermore, it has the potential to shut down private landowners from using their land as well.

    Okay, so I'll get off my podium. However, I'm not doing so happy! Although we live in a wonderful land and enjoy freedoms no other country has ever known, we are acting like frogs in a pan of hot water. The heat is turned up, folks, and were slowly stewing to death in our own bath!

    For those of you who worry about these things - I haven't fallen off the deep end. I haven't even turned into a gun-toting radical. However, I, for one, wish our news media would give us a little more rounded presentation of the issues. More Americans need to get involved in fighting unjust laws (and lawgivers) if we're going to keep the freedoms which we enjoy. After all, you could be next!

    Lady of the Lake

    PS Just a reminder to my faithful readers - you will always find the newest blog post at our website. Although every post will eventually be added to my blog page, the blog page on our website has the newest post. So, if you want to the latest and greatest (okay, not quite that good but. . .), use this link.