Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Real Cost of Inflation

We continue to be told that inflation is minimal, but that is not the case.  Inflation still exists, but it affects things most of us aren't purchasing.  This is the first year in five that good crop and grazing land hasn't gone up significantly.  Most of us aren't buying farmland, but all of us are dependent upon what that land produces, and very much counting on someone to work the land.  The harvest is looking shaky this year, not in the amount, but in the price.  In much of the cropland, the weather has been optimal, but a big harvest may actually bring the price down, while farmers and ranchers have not yet recovered from the years of drought.  Shemitah hasn't even been figured into the equation.

The following is a quote from an article written in 2011, entitled, "High Costs Make it Hard to Grow Young Farmers."
"[Some people are] sitting in New York [and] saying, 'Well, I don't know, I've never even been to Nebraska, but by golly, I'm going to buy some Nebraska land,' " Goss says. "And you have these groups coming together ... that are buying farmland [and] driving up farmland prices to prices we've not seen before."

Goss says even though the Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates low for the next few years, banks simply aren't lending to high-risk first-time farmers.  FULL STORY

Young men with degrees in agriculture can't afford machinery and land.  The equipment required to farm is in the hundreds of thousands and good farmland is selling between $5,000 and $10,000 and acre.   Even at the low figure, a small farm, 160 acres is upward toward a million dollars and that's not enough ground to produce crops to pay for the equipment needed, much less turn a profit.  Most farming households in America have one spouse that works away from the farm.  Some farmers, and there really aren't many farmers left; have inherited their land and rent additional land for crops or pasture, while their spouse works in town.  The numbers look big on paper, but the genuine profit is marginal.

The cost of farmland and machinery, of course affects the cost of groceries, but for some reason the economic reports do not consider these most basic variables into the equation regarding inflation.  To be honest, when I began researching this subject, I expected to find some seriously concrete figures and statistics, but there really aren't any.  Basically, the farmer invests hundreds of thousands of dollars on the hope that he'll make enough to meet his operating expenses and stay in business another year.  Most of the young folks interested in agriculture are already eyeing a deal with Monsanto.  The average age of a farmer working the land is 56 years old, and many of their sons do not intend to follow in their father's footsteps.  Much of American farmland that is operated by independents, is mortgaged or leased.

Farming and ranching is now heading into bigger and bigger operations and we already know, only the big corporations can afford that kind of outlay of investment.  When a farmer can't meet operating expenses, the banks foreclose and that independent operation ultimately becomes just another holding of a conglomerate.   Meanwhile, the food supply becomes more centralized and controlled.   The real cost of inflation is slavery!

Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants to Pharaoh. Give us seed, that we may live, and not die, and that the land won`t be desolate."  Torah of Holy Scripture 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pay Attention to School Rules

Who needs "Youth Camps" when we have the public school system that extends on into "higher" education?  In the name of political correctness and tolerance, what is happening?  The program for the future.  The next generation is our future.  Sadly they are being schooled to be ruled!

A soldier was told by security that he couldn't enter his daughter's high school in uniform.  That situation has since been publicly addressed by the principal or superintendent, stating there is no policy against military uniforms.  How nice!  The headlines about Michigan and the images from various cities do indicate big changes are coming.  The headlines indicate the direction is moving away, far away, from "Star Spangled Patriotism!"

The news of the little boy in Florida is not exactly new, but I don't think we should let this decision fade into obscurity, just yet.  The child was publicly shamed before his peers and those in authority sidestepped the actual issue in a response by the principal.  “You child is permitted to read the Bible before school, after school and during lunch, in accordance to the law,” the letter states.

The following statement is quoted from the article, and includes a link for the full article.
He cited U.S. Department of Education guidance that allows for students to read their Bibles during non-instructional time. It reads in part, "...students students may read their Bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, and pray or study religious materials with fellow students during recess, the lunch hour, or other noninstructional time to the same extent that they may engage in nonreligious activities."

Meanwhile on the other side of the country we have two interesting situations taking place.  First, an Arizona High School has made sure to accommodate Muslim students for their prayer time.  Apparently, the separation of church and state does not cover separation of mosque and state.  Arizona is headlined to be a very conservative state.  Do not let this go under the radar . . . Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently stated that it would not be against the Constitution for states to declare a state religion.  Since we are all well aware this is not really a G-dly country, much less a single religious nation, it is theoretically possible for Michigan to declare a state religion of Islam, while Texas declares itself to be Christian, while Colorado could go Wiccan . . .  The potential foundation has been laid, and "politically correct tolerance" appears to be ready to build upon it!

A California State University has ruled that any student groups on campus, in order to be recognized, must not have religious regulation for leadership positions.  So a Christian group, in order to be recognized on campus for discounts, etc. must open the ranks of leadership to those outside of the tenets of the Christian faith.  In essence, this rule means a Christian group must make room for leadership outside of Christianity.  It is considered discrimination for a Christian group to disallow a gay officer, a Muslim officer, or even an atheist officer.  My thought here, is genuine outreach . . . These groups which are no longer allowed to be recognized should meet off campus, then join the more politically protected and correct groups that must also follow those rules, and make their presence known . . . or stop giving your hard earned money to a university that stands against your beliefs!

Yea, and all that will live G-dly in Messiah Y'hshuwah shall suffer persecution.  words of the Apostle Paul to Pastor Timothy

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Really, Now . . .

The baby boomers are apparently the most powerful generation to have ever lived, as we are blamed for all the ills in the world today.  As an aging boomer, my newly discovered perspective is gaining momentum in my life.  Recently there was an article stating that this latest generation of gamers, is the fault of the Boomers!  I wish I could type an apathetic shrug, but, the "eye roll guy" will also work to convey my heartfelt responsibility.  Every generation is a product of their "raising," yet the Boomers have been the catchall blame generation from both ascending and descending generations.  

>>>Some boomers with less cash at their disposal made up for it through helicopter parenting and undeserved flattery that exaggerated their kids’ abilities. A whole generation now bears the hollow self-esteem and inflated expectations that come from weak parenting. <<<

I did that, I admit it.  I didn't do the helicopter parenting, because that's the way I was raised, but I did a great deal of undeserved flattery and the exaggerated self-esteem is evident!  I didn't mean to do it, but as it turns out, I tired to do just the opposite of what my "silent generation" parents did.  I didn't want my daughter to feel as inferior about herself, as I did.  My adopted children who did not have my influence through their formative years don't have the same exaggerated self-esteem, so my "boomer blame" is definitely deserved, in that area!  As for debt and social security, no.  

I was one of the few boomers that never really sold out to the establishment, although I did try to swim in mainstream for a bit, it just didn't work out for me.  I've been living debt free and simply for nearly 20 years and broke and poor before that!  The last of the American inheritances are going to long term care for the Greatest Generation!  In the past twenty years, I've made provisions intending to leave an inheritance, as well as working until I die.  With the economy what it is, we may all be working til we die and who knows if dollars will even be worth the monopoly money it is now.  I don't believe in collecting social security.  According to Torah and confirmed in Paul's writings, the parents are to provide for the children and social security operates in diametrical opposition.

In our family, the generations are so close together, the defining lines truly blur.  My parents were teens when I was born, and I was also a teenaged mother . . .  At 56 years of age, I still have a grandma living, and I am a great grandma, 
so . . . the beat goes on.  My parents arrived right before WWII, so they are among the youngest of the silent generation.  I've never met anyone of the silent generation who isn't quite vocal and opinionated on everything, and especially opinionated on the subject of baby boomers.  The boomers were blamed for everything that went wrong in the sixties . . . and the seventies . . . right on up to the millennials. 

 Actually, we could play this blame game farther back, if you consider, the fact that the Boomers didn't exactly just crawl out from under rocks and ruin the world!   Why we could blame the people who raised us, and they could blame the people who raised them . . . and you know, we could go all the way back and blame Adam and Eve!

The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.  Torah of Holy Scripture

Sunday, August 31, 2014

More on I-49

There's more to report about this very interesting Highway change through most of the state of Missouri and Arkansas.  Job creation and corporate power seem to be working in tandem.  Job creation amounted to temporary government jobs that destroyed independent businesses.  The Big Corporation, however; has all the working poor help it needs . . . with access to every super center between here and Fayetteville.

The Interstate that had to barricade every "at grade intersection" for safety reasons, stops abruptly just north of Jane, Missouri.  Jane, Missouri is home to this country's second largest data warehouse, which just happens to be owned by Wal-Mart.  Some reports indicate it may actually be the largest data warehouse by now.  Traveling continues south on 71 Highway with "at grade intersections" into Bella Vista, Arkansas, Bentonville, Rogers, and Springdale, Arkansas.  Just south of Springdale, the Interstate 49 signs resume.

 I noticed a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Farmington, Arkansas.  It's a relatively small building in comparison to the SuperCenters.  I didn't go in, but it appeared to be a grocery store, or very large convenience store.  There are just three planned in NW Arkansas right now, but then . . . expansion should be easy when access to the other Markets is barricaded!

As I write this, I'm thinking those economic opportunities that were promised by MoDot, that I didn't see a few weeks ago, may prove to be new neighborhood markets at the official exits.  Now that access is denied to the formerly existing businesses and since nothing really exists right now where those overpasses have been built, some sort of neighborhood market or large convenience store may already be in the plans.

As we've gone on busily about our stressful lives, the independent gas stations and Mom and Pop markets have become history.  I've watched railroad crossings designed to be impossible to turn around and the whistles have been silenced.  If one considered these to be pieces of the same puzzle, it would appear that our mobility is about to become limited and our supply reduced from "Name Brands" and "Best Choice" to "One Brand" and  "No Choice."

But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of YHWH thy G-d, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:  Torah of Holy Scripture

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Which Way is This Discrimination Truly Aimed?

Discrimination against religion.  These businesses are not protesting gay weddings!  They are just preferring to not participate, but according to court decisions, that is no longer their right, as Americans!

Cake decorating is now political.  Please allow me to clarify.  It's political if you have strong religious beliefs, live in a state that may or may not recognize same sex marriage, and own a business that becomes the target of the Gay Agenda.

Masterpiece Cakeshop
A decorated cake is just as much a work of art as any painting, sculpture, or tapestry.  Artists, by definition, express themselves, in their work!  

What happened to the right to refuse service?  What happened to a dissatisfied customer just “taking their business elsewhere?”  I have an idea for all of us business folk who do believe our beliefs have a priority in our business dealings.  We must seek our Creator and ask Him for a creative way to deal with this tyrannical agenda.  A person who has started a business, tended to that  business and perfected their art, craft, or skill can still be protected, but it won't be by the government.  The business owners have genuinely invested of themselves in their business and their community, unlike the plaintiffs, who have merely seen an opportunity to raise their bully pulpit once again.

Two of the three cases that have gone to court and the judgment has been rendered against the business owners took place in states that did not even recognize same-sex marriage, at the time the lawsuits!  The state didn't recognize same sex marriage, yet insisted that a business recognize it.   Are judges and officials so blind that they cannot see they are being foolishly used to further an agenda, or are they willing and compliant to favor a specific belief over another?

I have two suggestions for business folk everywhere.  First, present your craft, your business, your service as an “art.”  Art is protected and applauded for it's uniqueness and even offensive statement.  The crucifix in urine comes to mind . . .  Once your business is established as artistic, copyright your particular statement.  For instance, my soap labels all have a Bible verse on them, yet my soap is “crafted.”  I would suggest bakery owners who base their business on their beliefs, do something similar.  The religious discrimination is only going to become stronger and more invasive, and the discrimination is against the religious.  

These business people, unlike the artist in 1987, are not applauded for their religious statements, but actually penalized for their beliefs.  I hadn't realized how long the anti-Bible agenda has been going on, but the momentum it has gained recently is reprehensible.  The first amendment is being destroyed by the very courts that are in place to uphold it.  Fining a small independent business owner on the grounds of their religious beliefs, and I don't care how it's presented in legal jargon; is persecution.  These entrepreneurs are facing the demise of their livelihood for their beliefs . . . in America.  This is going far beyond the loss of the first amendment.  

The condescension with which these business people are being treated is shameful.   Colorado does not license same sex marriage, yet Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop is being court ordered to create art that is against his heart.

Although Oregon did not recognize same sex marriage at the time of this incident, the state has now legalized it, but that still does not change the circumstances of this particular case.  The Kleins who own Sweetcakes by Melissa became the target of a lesbian couple, before Oregon even legalized same sex marriage.  Some of the comments following the article, made by the "i-pad legal experts" are priceless.

Pennsylvania just legalized same sex marriage and the owner of Cake Pros was immediately in the crosshairs of a lesbian couple.  The reporter was more than obvious in his condescending title of the article.  Included is a comment made in an interview given by one of the "brides,"   Petrich told WFMZ she wanted to support her hometown, and that's why she chose the bakery. "We asked her to make us a wedding cake and not marry us. I didn't understand."
Maybe I'm wrong here, but if I wanted to support my hometown, and one bakery didn't want my business, I'd just go to another one.

This final reference is not a bakery, but it sure puts the icing on the cake.  Are Americans with strong religious beliefs about marriage, GMO, health care, etc. going to have to go underground?  A couple rent out their grand farmhouse for special events, so of course a lesbian couple saw their opportunity.  The judge went so far as to order the owners of Liberty Ridge Farms to actually give money to these women.
The quote contains the link to the full story.  “No one should have the happiest time of their life marred by discrimination,” McCarthy, who was represented alongside her wife by the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement, according to the New York Law Journal. “We hope this decision will protect all New Yorkers from having to go through the hurt that we experienced.”  They were only renewing their vows . . .

I do not have a spotless track record when it comes to marriage, but I can saw unequivocally, the last thing I considered when making wedding plans, was to create some political statement or worse, make my "special day" be the cause of other's discomfort or destroy a business!  If a wedding means so much to these couples, why make a point of patronizing a business that would prefer not to have their business?  Perhaps these individuals have felt shunned and discriminated against, not because of their sexual preference, but due to their bullying tendencies.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.  ~ Romans

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Job Creation

While so many Americans are sitting on our tuchus, shouting on social media about employment issues and a poor economy, some think Congress should create jobs.  I'd like to share my observation of government created jobs, in the past few years.  I'd also like to suggest, perhaps they get off their tuchus and try a little job creation or independent entrepreneurialism.

Interstate 71 is now 49, between Kansas City and Joplin . .  signs, overpasses and interchanges in place.  Also is the complete elimination of "at grade crossings."  MoDot claims it will reduce the potential for accidents and increase economic opportunities.  Since this is "my stompin ground,"  I've watched the transition.  Please allow me to share . . .

Just as when the Interstate Highways were first built in the 50s and downtown businesses became a thing of the past, now many small towns and rural businesses are no longer easily accessible.  And forget about truck farmers with delicious produce, along the road, now . . . I'm sure some job creating Congressman received a lovely perk from a Monsanto lobbyist for that.  I'm truly livid, this is not an unbiased report!

 As for job creation, there was overpass construction and ramp construction.  For the most part, they're done now, so I don't know if those crews are working or not, but it appears that many of the blocked businesses did not survive the time of inaccessibility.  The signs are all changed, so that's done.  Even adding 2 tenths markers between mile markers . . . seriously, they did, but that's done.   In coming home yesterday, I saw countless local businesses, just off the highway, now shuttered.  I can't say that I saw any new businesses, not even another convenience store . . . but I saw something that made me so ashamed.  I saw, first hand, the way this country uses politics to mistreat hard working, dedicated people.  I don't have permission to use names, so I won't, but I will share something that causes me to weep in anger as I write it.  I rarely get so angry I cry . . .

I stopped at a place I've been patronizing for years.  In the past decade I've had the privilege to hear about the lovely history of this family business, and of course kept up with current happenings.  It was always enjoyable to see the photos of the new babies, the graduates, the weddings . . . and of course there were sad times, too, but this couple had persevered and built a lasting business.  In 1945, he was a young strapping soldier returning from his service in WWII.  He came home, married his sweetheart, and planted produce.  He didn't wait for Congress to create a job for him, he was busy making a life for his wife and eventually a beautiful family.  He was a blessed to marry a young and vibrant Proverbs 31 woman.  They raised farm fresh veggies and harvested beautiful fruit from trees they planted.

The photos of the business through the decades were curious.  One day she explained that their home had once been in the northbound lane of this 4 lane Interstate Highway.  Back in the first wave of job creation and building of interstates, their farm stood in the way of progress.  Apparently eminent domain is not new! As she gave this account with a smile on her face, I considered the fact we were standing on the west side the Interstate, but she never mentioned the rest of their farm or what amount of their hard work and flourishing land had been destroyed and lay buried under four lanes of concrete.

In the years I knew this family and greatly admired their fortitude, I never heard them complain.  As I watched the once strapping young soldier bravely face the enemy of cancer, still there were no complaints.  Even in his death, that beautiful little lady spoke of how grateful she was for the years they'd shared.  She had a spunky side and made some cute grandma comments on occasion, but never mean and she never even hinted at self pity.  One year I walked in with my broken arm bandaged and she shared the time she'd had a similar injury.  As we joked about the true unspoken inconveniences of a broken arm, we both laughed.

I bought the most beautiful delicious peaches I've ever eaten from their orchard and she always offered a bargain rate for her canning tomatoes.  "Imperfect" produce and ice sold after hours on the honor's system.  They carried my cookbooks and my soaps.  In ten years there was only one time I ever heard that precious soul complain and that was last summer.  The "job created" highway construction came to an end about a year after she'd been widowed and the hideous results were obvious.  There was no longer a direct way to get to the market.  That precious little widow still weighing produce, with grandchildren helping, told me, "They've killed us."  She hung in there for the rest of that season and I was delighted to hear the sign was up this year.

I had an opportunity to be up that way the other day, but all day a horrible heaviness just wouldn't leave.  As I made the trek to the Orchard Market, noticing along the way so many of the family businesses were now shuttered, my heart grew even heavier.  When I got to the Market, using the newly constructed off ramp over a mile before the business even came into view, it was obvious, the life of this market had come to an end.  The business that had been started nearly 70 years ago that provided beautiful produce to countless customers and served as a welcoming little rest stop, was now dark and empty.  I couldn't fight back the tears.  "Job creation" gave a couple 100 people temporary jobs while destroying genuine livelihoods and established businesses.

When I finished chores that night, I tried to convince myself that she was probably just shortening her hours and maybe only open on week-ends.  I wanted to be in denial, but I couldn't.  I dialed the number and heard the recording, "The number you have dialed is no longer in service."

In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.  a Proverb of Holy Scripture

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Health and Welfare

We all seem to have our own personal definition of what is progress, what is faith, what is wisdom, and what is tomfoolery!  The interesting fact of the matter is, however; what some folks consider wisdom, others count as tomfoolery and faith is absolutely off the charts in debated opinions.  Health care in America seems to be in the headlines, continuously.  As a person who is clearly an outside observer, I'd like to share the information, simply as a spectator.  I will qualify this article with the admission, I have not been a recipient of mainstream medical care since 2001.  I tried for several years to use natural and allopathic in a complementary fashion, but mixing the two failed me terribly, so I went purely natural.  Here's what I've seen and read in the past 12 months.

The reports of America offering the most expensive, yet least effective health care system used to only be available through alternative news sites.  The information can actually now be verified in mainstream media.

There have been no significant improvements in the health care cost and effectiveness in a decade.  This article claims Obamacare will bring some improvement.  If the website roll out was indication of the potential capability, I'd say improvement in care is not on the foreseeable horizon.  The IRS is supposed to be the arm of power and  record keeping of this new system.  Lois Lerner's situation I believe offers keen insight regarding that plan.  Moving right along into the actual chronology of health care in the US.

September 2013, Lois Lerner "retires."  October 2013, the website is unveiled.  November 2013, a reduction in benefits for Veteran's health care.  December 2013, the deadline was moved to March 2014.  January 2014, the website is working properly.  February 2014, many complain that premiums have increased while coverage has been reduced.  March 2014, the deadline is announced and through coercion the numbers goal is reportedly reached.  April 2014, US Health Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius resigns after disastrous roll out.   May 2014, nothing specific to report, the American public seems to have accepted our lot.  Some prepare to pay the penalty, next year.  June 2014, Sylvia Mathews Burwell is sworn in as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services.  Her bio is fascinating. She oversees 77,000 employees who touch the lives of every American.  Full Story  Before this appointment, she was Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  Prior to her work in this administration, she was President of the Walmart Foundation . . . and before that President of the Global Development Program for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  no dots to connect here, folks . . . 

July of 2014, the Health Secretary takes a tour of the CDC in Atlanta.  August of 2014, we import a deadly plague.

And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands . . . prophecy of the Revelation 

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