Sunday, March 22, 2015

Societal Rules in the News

As Americans worry and fear Sharia law, a few things come to mind.  I'm certainly not for the implementation of Sharia law, but I think we may have a slightly skewed perspective on what we call American freedom and democracy.  While we fear and dread the possibility of Sharia law coming to this country, how much invasive control is already here?

Wearing a big cloth sack over my head, that hangs to my toes with eye holes to go in public is not my preference, but having my private property destroyed because the spy in the sky can't tell okra from pot is not my preference either.  The first, they call Sharia law, while the second is still called American freedom and democracy (with the war on drugs.)

Reading about a young woman who dies at the hands of her father or brothers sickens me.  The entire idea of honor killings is beyond what I can understand, but the concept of women being stoned for impurity dates back to Scripture.  Since there are no Torah based governments, there really should be no capital punishment, but that's a topic for another day.  The fact that family members can kill a family member for the sake of "honor" sickens me, but reading about moms killing their young children is becoming much more common here in the states.  Sharia law calls it honor killing, American law calls it mentally deranged, and yet many times, there are religious overtones to the American circumstances, as well.  While we are all shocked and abhorred that any parent would kill their child, I have to wonder if the honor killings are as rare in another culture as these bizarre cases in America are.  What if the honor killings in Islamic countries are as bizarre to them as American mothers killing their children are to us?

If Sharia law comes to the US, I won't be thrilled with the new regulation that I will be required to be accompanied by a male relative or husband when I leave the house.  On the other hand, strip searched on the road or taken to a health care facility for invasive procedures looking for what is not there . . . is not my preference either.  From what I've seen and read, some traffic stop procedures would not be allowed under Sharia Law.

Domestic abuse and wives as property is reported to be acceptable within the societal limits of Sharia Law.  As western culture is abhorred by the lack of rights for women in Islamic culture, we tend to overlook the fact that men and women have equally lost rights to government officials in their own homes, here in the US of A.
Home schooling parents pepper sprayed and tazed while children watch in horror, then were removed from the home.  A family in Arkansas was torn apart over a legal mineral supplement.  I'm not sure Sharia Law is as invasive in the home as Child Protective Services in American freedom and democracy.

While we westerners gasp in horror that news is filtered and internet service controlled in Muslim countries, we should keep in mind, we may have access to information overload, but our internet use is being monitored and tracked for the "safety of democracy."

. . . when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.  a Proverb of Holy Scripture

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The New Progressive Tolerance

Is it just me, or does it seem tolerance has been redefined to be very judgmental of those who are not considered "progressive?"  I've known many church ladies that cannot hold a candle to the judgmental comments coming forth from those who claim to be "tolerant."  "Open-mindedness" seems to be very selective in what is considered open minded, and any disagreement with said "open-mindedness" is labeled some sort of phobia or hate speech.  I saw some meme this week in social media addressing the old adage "you can't judge a book by it's cover" in new terms slamming the religious while applauding the tattooed.  Suffice it to say, we all make decisions that do not always meet with approval, and often many of us actually have regrets about our own decisions, therefore; try to warn others . . .

I can honestly say, the most judgmental person I have ever met has tattoos, smokes, drinks, and even touts a career in the adult entertainment industry.  There's just something mind boggling about listening to a woman with a raspy smoker's voice, beer in one hand and cigarette in the other, sporting visible tattoos; while she analyzes and labels everyone who isn't aligned with her own self-assured standard.  Once, as I listened to her drone on, I formed the mental image of Dana Carvey's "church lady" and this woman discussing world events, sexuality, and religion, head to head or toe to toe, as the case may be.  It's as if she is the antithesis of the church lady, just as devout in her own perspective.  This individual is also filter-free with an abundant vocabulary, so she truly inspired my mental image of a parody.  Although I give this example, there are several individuals who judge by a standard other than Scripture or religious, but the religious seem to frequently be the target of their judgment.

There are of course, others in society who receive judgment, as well.  We've all heard someone who judges a single welfare mom while taking advantage of their employer, or scamming disability . . .  I'm not applauding welfare, since it has become an albatross on this society, as there is now no shame in collecting the benefits for which others have worked.  There used to be a term called situational ethics, that was not perceived to be a good thing.  It's been years since I've heard that term, but it seems to now be the status quo in our society.

When right and wrong is determined simply by which end of the stick one seems to be holding, social mores have already slipped away.   When those who hold themselves up to no accountability, stand in judgment of others, society has given way to what is Scripturally referred to as a seared conscience.  In a world of digital definitions, and Googling experts, the times they are truly changing and there will be no real record of the change . . . as the standard continues to decline in the name of progressive tolerance.  Interestingly it is in the book of Judges we can find the precise definition of what our society calls "progressive."

. . . every man did that which was right in his own eyes.  History of Holy Scripture

Sunday, March 08, 2015

The Hype of Economic Recovery

As we're told the stats of unemployment and we've watched the gasoline prices plummet are we in a genuine economic recovery or have we simply accepted what we're told and learned to live with the new standard of life?  In reading headlines and comments across social media, the opinions vary widely.  Professional reporters and journalists, for the most part seem to write that which promotes the political leaning of their particular publication.  It appears to this writer, the political leanings of the various publications continue to further divide the country not only on solutions, but now, as to even question the reality of the issues.  As to those who comment, there of course, is always the perspective based upon politics, but also the social status of the one making the comment.  We seem to have divided the political parties with a sort of social caste system.  There are poor republicans and some democrats who are quite wealthy.

The people have become so divided by political propaganda, the truth has been rendered nearly irrelevant.  There are a number of impoverished republicans who truly believe the impoverished democrats are the reason they are poor.  There are a great many impoverished democrats who are blind to the fact their elected representatives live just like the rich republicans they hate.  I read and listened to the predictions that food prices would drop when gasoline prices did.  That simply is not the case.  Food prices are based upon so much more than transportation costs and the expense of producing the food was factored in long before gasoline prices fluctuated.  The cost of feed for meat and the cost of herbicides and harvest for grain and produce is what affects the price of food.  Gasoline is just what is obvious to all, on the signs!  Gasoline prices keep the keystone pipeline and fracking debates fueled . . .

I also read that cash saved at the pumps would flow back into the economy.  When people are already over extended living paycheck to paycheck, the extra cash from the pumps may curb business at the Cash Advance places, but that's about it.  When a society lives on debt and borrowed income, reduced costs don't change the perpetual motion or increase the buying power.  We've gone too far beyond that.  Doing more of what caused the problem is not a solution.  Cash Advance places and Appliance Rental businesses are a large part of our economy now.  More expendable cash is only a product of excess printing by the Federal Reserve.

The number of shuttered businesses is increasing.  Unemployment statists are changing, not based upon full time employment, but rather on the fact that unemployment benefits are no longer being collected by a given percentage.  The reasons for that are primarily NOT due to gainful employment, but the time of collecting benefits has run it's course, or the individual has settled for less pay and fewer hours.  The stats are even manipulated by the fact many underemployed individuals actually make up two figures in the employment statistics with two part time jobs.  Then, there is also the fact, many formerly unemployed have now become recipients of early social security benefits or now collect disability.

The number of empty storefronts is expanding.  Recently I've seen something that bears reporting.  Pawn Shops are now closing.  Thrift Stores are going out of business.  New businesses are not replacing these.  The buildings simply stand with a for rent or for sale sign in the window.  Economic recovery?  When independent businesses continue to shutter, and the workforce continues to decline, that's not recovery.  Buying more junk with cash saved at the gas pumps will not bring economic recovery or stability.

. . . that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living G-d . . . Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come . . . Paul's advice to Timothy

Monday, March 02, 2015

Where Do Our Constitutional Rights End?

As the conversation continues that the current administration is anti-Constitutional, we should take a look at a number of "items" that have been in place long before anyone outside of Chicago heard of Barack Obama.  I do not agree with his politics and I do find him to be very arrogantly disrespectful of our American freedoms, but there are so many other "Bills of Rights" that we have "gone along with" already in place.  Wikipedia, in my opinion, is not the final authority on these topics, I simply used the site as a common source to verify the existence of a number of declarations.  Technically, the Constitution doesn't protect the rights of citizens.  The Constitution protects the sovereignty of the United States of America.  The Bill of Rights protects the citizens, and we've allowed many other bills of rights to potentially usurp the authority of the Official Bill of Rights.

Thankfully, most of these declarations are not federal law and are presented to benefit those mentioned in the title, but there is a back door of control in some of these that actually rob an individual of their Constitutional Bill of Rights in lieu of these institutional documents.  For example, the "Patients Bill of Rights" has in reality overridden a patient's own decision regarding their health care and more than once has actually taken the rights of a patient "for their own good," or that of a child's regarding their parents rights.  Many facilities present their incoming patients with a "Bill of Rights" only to later usurp that individual's Constitutional Bill of Rights.  One of the best examples I can offer are the recent headlines involving parents of newborns who do not wish to vaccinate or at least not immediately.  More than one young mother has been sent off of a health care campus without her new baby, after child protection services have received reports from various health professionals.  I have for years, unashamedly referred to hospitals and healthcare facilities as "Sanctuaries of Sorcery."

As I read about the "Student Bill of Rights," it becomes painfully obvious that the decision to make this document powerful lies in the hands of those who draft it, but ultimately, government can enforce the document as the "will of the people" involved.  The legal enforceability of the Student Bill of Rights is quite murky, but in statements regarding parental questions and rights, institutions of education have more than once declared that a child does not have Constitutional rights in that facility.

I stumbled across the "Homeless Bill of Rights" which is genuine legislation in some states, with several more giving it consideration.  It seems in many of these cases, if our own government had not passed legislation to deregulate banking, many American citizens would not be homeless.  Being homeless should not require special regulation in America.  Being homeless should not be a reason to be abused by local authority.  There is no reason losing one's home should cause that same individual to lose the right to be treated as an American citizen with the Bill of Rights intact.

The "Consumer Bill of Rights" is law and has been for over 50 years.  The article in Wikipedia states the Consumer Bill of Rights has since been adopted by the UN in 1985 and expanded, with some rather ominous overtones of a controlling takeover of rights.  I included the following from the article.
In 1985, the concept of consumer rights was endorsed by the United Nations through the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection, which expands them to include eight basic rights.

The right to satisfaction of basic needs[edit]
The right to redress[edit]
The right to consumer education[edit]
The right to a healthy environment[edit]

This right demands that people have access to basic, essential goods and services: adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water, and sanitation
The right to redress provides for consumers to receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods, or unsatisfactory services. For example, a consumer should be able to go to consumer court against mobile phone companies that put hidden charges on the bill that were not previously explained, or activate ringtones without the consumer's permission.
The right to consumer education states that consumers should be able to acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them.
This is the right to live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.
We know that members of the military, while serving, do not have the same rights they are protecting.  Since there is presently no draft, a person has a choice as to whether or not they participate, and since I haven't, I can't really offer a perspective.   
We know when law enforcement reads the Miranda Warning, one's "rights" have become absolutely minimal, as to remaining silent and calling an attorney.   This brings to mind the rights of travelers now with the TSA.  We all have the right to be offended at "virtual strip searches," groping, and the assumption that we guilty until proven innocent.
Prisoners, of course, lose rights when found guilty of a crime, but the fact that America has the largest prison population in the world does have the attention of the UN, which has it's own "Prisoner Bill of Rights."  There is a degree of overlap between the prison system and the mental health system, in that often the prisoner/patient does have issues that must be addressed by both systems.  Those forced into mental health care, frequently have fewer rights than those in the prison system and forced mental health care does not have a date of completion as does the legal sentencing structure of the prison system. 
Throughout this millennium, we have observed a number of ways both administrations of the 21st Century have found around the 2nd Amendment.  There is no need to confiscate guns, when bullets and ammo can simply be made unavailable.  I remember back in 2005, looking at a gun for home meat processing.  The inventory of guns was vast, the availability of bullets was interestingly in short supply for the more popular models of guns . . . Now, the current administration simply chooses to enforce limits on certain ammunition and some ammunition may just become unavailable for purchase.   

Net Neutrality, the latest form of faux protection we've been handed will certainly not ensure this internet journalist to have the same opportunities as Rupert Murdoch.  Historically speaking, there is little evidence that government legislation levels the playing field, except to lower the level of the "playing field" for the majority.  I'm already discerning the loss of free speech over net neutrality, and probably much more than that before it's all said and done.

I'm seeing a distinct correlation to what is happening with all these so called "Bills of Rights" and the following Torah passage.

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, February 22, 2015

GPS- Global Public Square

Recently I had the opportunity to view a Sunday morning talk show.  Without a television, I believe I stay pretty well informed through internet articles.  I prefer to read my information, rather than watch it, and I have no appreciation for pharmaceutical advertisements, but this interview caught my attention.  Bill and Melinda Gates were guests on GPS.

Although the interview was promoted to focus on the rate of advancement of technology, the small portion of the interview I saw leaned more toward their foundation efforts.   Bill and Melinda Gates tie education with income, progress, and advancement.  I think learning is essential to living, but in this country much of our education system amounts to programming and Bill Gates is the perfect example for the success of dropping out before the programming got him . . .

This thought of course, took on a life of it's own in my head, as I contemplated the fact that most of the early successful entrepreneurs that really changed the world were not highly educated, but they were avid readers.  Many of the great composers were not men of higher education, either.  Although Mr. Gates attended Harvard, and I went to community college, I'm guessing we probably have about the same number of credits . . . As I considered my own life's work, I realized most of the knowledge I rely upon was gained by independent study.

In reading about Bill Gates at Wikipedia, something definitely stood out about this genius.  He was born into financial comfort, which may have afforded him the opportunity and luxury to avoid public high school.  At the age of 13 he enrolled and attended an exclusive preparatory school instead.  He was allowed and encouraged to follow his natural curiosity and develop skills based upon the talent given to him by our Creator.  He was even excused from math class and allowed to pursue his interest on the Teletype model 33 with a block of GE time.

Although he and Melinda made their pitch for education, he is "the proof in the pudding" that we should actually learn the basic reading, writing, and 'rithemtic, then move toward perfecting our talents.  Until public education became a controlling business of the last century, students were not mass programmed.  Abraham Lincoln studied law on his own.  In America, even doctors were trained as apprentices, rather than "schooled" until the 19th century.  People pursued knowledge in the areas of their talents and interests, rather than paying for a piece of paper and a license or certification to "make money."

One fact in the article really leapt out at me that I mentioned in a previous paragraph.  He was excused from math class to pursue his interest in technology.  I don't believe money is the sign of success, but I do believe Mr. Gates had gained enough math knowledge by 13 to now be able to count his millions to a billion, plus.  The more I read about him, the more I believe he would not be who he is today, had he followed the crowd in pursuit of a college degree.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says YHWH . . .  Prophet of Holy Scripture

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Vaccinations and LGBT

No, I do not believe one causes the other, but the two subjects seem to be capturing most of the headlines.  It's beginning to feel like those of us who believe Scripture is clear regarding the topics of sexuality and health, could quickly become the "social nemeses" of our day.  The Revelation seems to lump illicit sexuality and pharmaceuticals in the same group.  Some will say, since the government has now ruled that homosexual marriage is Constitutional, it is no longer illicit.  Constitutional or not, that doesn't make it Biblical!  As for pharmaceuticals, that frontline battle has been a lonely one for those of us who believe it violates our faith.  So, let's chat about this, shall we?

How did humanity exist for thousands of years before vaccinations and prior to gender labels moving beyond the binary system?  To avoid confusion, I'll address the gender issues first, then move on to vaccinations.  I'm mathematical, and for the most part gender determination has been a binary recognition at birth, not "assigned."  Since the dawn of creation, there have been two genders, male and female.  Gender or sex was not assigned at birth, and certainly not for later reassignment!  Gender or sex was recognized, identified, and proclaimed at birth, as in "it's a boy" or "it's a girl."  With that proclamation, came blue or pink booties and life moved on from there!

Obviously there has been temptation in regard to same sex relations since before Torah was given at Sinai.  The account of Lot indicates homosexuality was a factor in the night of the heavenly visitors.  I'm not saying that was the only factor in the fire and brimstone falling, but Lot had two sons in law while the daughters were specifically stated to be virgins.  There'd have been no reason to give the commandment, if there were no issue of temptation in that area.  Actually, there are a number of commandments regarding our sexuality, so we humans do appear to have a tendency to want to engage in, and excuse a great deal!  Not only do we humans have an appetite for forbidden fruit, most seem to be be drawn to varying disregard of the Instructions when it comes to sexuality, as well.

When it comes to the rising numbers in the LGBT agenda . . . Is it the programming?  Is it the growth hormones in the meat?  Is it GMO or all the soy in the diet?   Now, it seems in order to understand sexuality in our society, a syllabus and glossary are required.  The only folks who seem to be able to openly refer to just two sexes or genders are the bisexuals!  When heterosexuals refer to just male and female without the ever growing compendium of labels, it's termed hate speech or homophobic.  Now, as for vaccinations . . .

If all these diseases were truly eradicated in this country by the end of last century, the low percentage of non-vaccinating American parents are probably not the problem.  Perhaps we should take a closer look at the health of illegal immigrants and our refugee policies.  As for illegal immigrants, I'm sure many of them can be found in local ERs and county assistance offices.  When we consider that this outbreak of measles seems to have originated in California, it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibilities that lax border policies could be a contributing factor.  We'd not have to worry about refugee policies if we'd quit starting wars.

Statistics indicate most of these diseases were already on the decline before the vaccinations were introduced.  The timing of the vaccination outrage raises a red flag for me, in that mandatory health insurance is now officially in place and the IRS is in charge of the data.  Calling 114 cases of measles an epidemic seems a bit over the top when our society has so many other ills numbering into the thousands and upwards.   It doesn't take much ink to connect the dots between mandated health insurance, the hot button campaign issue of vaccinations, and further invasion into the private home and family.

I don't mean to sound insensitive, but the two issues of anti-vaccination and LGBT, reportedly affect a very small percentage of our population.  There is only one state that reports more than 6% of children are unvaccinated for nonmedical reasons.  Most states report fewer than 3% of the children are unvaccinated.  By that same token regarding the LGBT community, according to NHIS, 96.6% of Americans identify as straight.  Why are so many headlines devoted to issues of such a small percentage of our population? Brian Williams strange version of fabricated journalism has taken third place in headlines, which again raises that old question in my mind.  While the entire nation is cussing and discussing these issues, what's really going on?  It would appear we are open to everything except the Truth of our Creator.

Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of YHWH your G-d, which I command you this day:   And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of YHWH your G-d, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.  Torah of Holy Scripture 

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Are Our Values Reflected in Our Media Interest?

This week in the news are two very unsettling reports, presented in extreme bias that I find accurately portrays the true condition of our society.  Two extreme examples of the LGBT Agenda crossed my newsfeed this week, and I hope there is still enough freedom for this article to adequately express this parallel perspective.

I began following the case of "Sweetcakes by Melissa" back when this family owned bakery was first viciously targeted by the LGBT Community with media hype that fueled the aggression.  Melissa Klein is an artist!  Because she uses buttercream and fondant rather than oils and watercolors, doesn't make her any less of a creative artist who should be able to express her art in the same freedom, any other artist enjoys.  As I listened to how she works to create the perfect wedding cake for each couple, there is no doubt, she's an artist of great talent who has been attacked.  Her website holds the tagline, "It's not just cake, it's dessert!"  As a cake lover visiting her site, I can enthusiastically declare, "It's not just cake, it's edible art!"

An artist like Andres Serrano who also doesn't use traditional mediums of paints or chalks, is defended in the "name of artistic freedom."  Melissa Klein deserves the same recognition and protection under our Bill of Rights.  Andres Serrano is only an example of the way our system works.  He is not the other topic of this article; Bruce Jenner is.

When I first saw the Kardashian-Jenner drama building, I truly thought it might be a publicity stunt to boost ratings.  Until 2012, I hadn't heard the Kardashian name since the O.J. trial.  When my daughter and her husband were supposedly coming on board in this homesteading project, she lamented that she wasn't sure she could give up her television and stop "Keeping up with the Kardashians."  She then proceeded to explain that the 1976 gold medal Olympian was part of that reality show.  Since I don't really keep up on folks who are famous for being famous, I just thought their reality show had probably run it's course, and then some . . . but as the news continues, Bruce, at 65, is ready to share the secret he's carried for so many years . . . while fathering six children.

The fact that he is celebrated and lauded as bold, while a mother of five is persecuted and fined speaks volumes about our nation.  I'm not going to give his decision much time and attention, although I do find his obsession, pitiable; and even sadder, the media's obsession to make this some sort of decision to be celebrated.  Also weighing on this was Zoey Tur, formerly, the ruggedly handsome "Chopper Bob" who reported from the helicopter, the OJ "chase" in 1994.  He's now had his "gender reassignment" surgery.  At 54 or 65 years old, is it really so important to change one's non-functional reproductive anatomy?  As a woman, I can tell you, men generally age better than women.  Truly beautiful women do pass their prime, as a rule.  A man choosing to become a middle aged woman is not going to be pretty.  Bruce Jenner is billed as a motivational speaker.  How does one encourage others when they cannot come to terms with their own form in the mirror?

As I watched the video in which Melissa Klein described the way she created wedding cakes and the passion in which she expresses her art, then compare that to a dissatisfied aging athlete, America truly has developed a strange standard in what is appreciated.  In a Google search, nearly all of the articles about Melissa Klein included the term "anti-gay" portraying this amazingly gifted artist to be the villain rather than the victim of a bullying agenda.  Meanwhile, the articles about Mr. Jenner are very supportive in that everyone is so happy that Bruce can be "true to himself."  Whether this is a Kardashian publicity stunt for a new "reality season," a cry for attention from an aging drama queen, or Mr. Jenner is actually preparing to become a eunuch, the media coverage and public interest has been phenomenal.  I find it sad that America now applauds this drama, while dishonoring someone standing for their values.

Haven't we always been led to believe it is a barbaric society that would exalt genital mutilation over creative expression?

 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  

Sadly, Mr. Jenner has made the headlines once again having been in an auto accident.  Seven people were injured, some taken to a nearby hospital and Kim Howe, 69, lost her life in that horrific accident.

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