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 

Monday, August 04, 2014

Boundaries on the World Wide Web?

It's becoming easier and easier to see why the rest of the world refers to us as rude Americans.  Most Americans are rude . . . if not abroad, certainly then, to each other.  I came to a strange determination the other day that was truly difficult.  I am horrible at establishing boundaries.  I prefer to regard other's fence lines and just remain in my own space, but that isn't how life in America really works.

Back when I first became a part of the world wide web, there of course were religious and political debates, but they were done through groups and for the most part very impersonal.  As a matter of fact, back in the days of groups, the only personal information that was exchanged was done in support and fellowship, rathern than argument.  I've been emissaryscribe@yahoo for a number of years, but only those reaching out in fellowship knew my actual name, until the Goshen Gazette.  As fascinating as my personal computer history is (haha) it's not the actual point of this article.  I'm going somewhere.

Once groups turned into forums, many folks seemed to become more aggressive in their disagreement, while still hiding behind their ID.  It's as if we actually developed and cultivated rudeness while calling it honesty or passion.  The lack of tone to typed words became the excuse to offend.  Keep in mind, even before the internet, we already had a global reputation of being rude Americans.  Now that we've progressed to our real names on social media, privacy issues are a concern, but often manners are not.  The political hacks and religious zealots fascinate me.  I want to ask if this is how they speak with their family and neighbors, but then I realize, most of us are on social media because our social calendar is apparently not filled with attendance obligations and gala events.

This week, I realized I actually need to set boundaries, and maintain them, even if that means censorship.  I am an advocate of free speech and I hate to see it going away, but, we all have our own space and our own social media platform to speak.  Lively debates can be found on forums.  Personal walls and blogs are just that.  A person cares enough about something to make their statement.  I admit in the early days, I made comments like I was participating in a forum.  I learned early, even with Scripture and truth, folks walls are their territory.  Some are gracious, others not so much, but as I've learned the protocol, I've come to understand the formerly social taboos are the primary subjects on the world wide web.

Some folks are going to offer a negative comment or be offended at everything.  There are becoming more and more people who seem to look for something to be offended about.  I find them highly offensive!  Their final scathing private message and block is an answer to prayer.

A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.  a Proverb of Holy Scripture

Blog Archive