Sunday, September 28, 2014

Labels Shmabels

I've had the dubious honor of being labeled my entire life, but not for inclusion into any special clubs or groups, it's always been for exclusionary purposes.  The interesting fact is, the labels have varied through the years, but the purpose has seemed consistent.  The reason I mention this at all is to address the two videos I ran last week in the Goshen Gazette.  One, by a pretty famous gentleman who claims to be both liberal and an atheist and the other video by a self-proclaimed Tea Party spokesman . . ."G-d and Country" kind of guy.  I don't agree with either of these men's politics or religion, but we all three, agree on Israel, and so I ran their videos on that specific subject.  It did something for me that I can't really articulate, but it was quite illuminating.  How much do we miss by our preconceived notions due to labels?

My labeled life began early, by my mom, but I won't go into those.  I'd like to address and debunk a few of the social stigmas, political preconceptions, and religious ruckuses that keep us from hearing others who just might agree on some issues, but take their stand in a "different camp."  Due to Bill Maher's outspoken disrespect and professed disbelief of a Creator, I wouldn't have guessed him to be such a well researched proponent of Israel!  I'm so glad I looked past his own self-professed claims.  As for Wild Bill for America, I don't think our political, religious, or racial thinking aligns much, but in a circle graph, there would be areas of overlap.  He's one of those guys whom I'd love to hear share how he comes to express the perspective he does.

These men, tout their labels and belong to their various groups of shared perspective.  I'm going to mention the other end of that continuum, because I know I'm not the only one . . . When I began school, I remember myself and one boy being called to the teacher's desk.  We had to turn in our silver, pointed scissors, for green handled rounded tip scissors.  We were the "lefties." I was also ahead of the desegregation of civil rights, so I was the darkest child at school.  Back then non-whites were referred to as "colored."  Ah the labels begin so early, and truly they serve more to divide than bring acceptance.

Democrats or progressives tend to refer to me as a conservative, because I oppose big government on religious grounds.  Republicans refer to me as liberal, because I believe one must be Torah observant to enforce Torah laws, in the areas of punishment and war.  Most Christians refer to me as legalistic or a Judaizer.  Just last week, I was even called a pretender by a good Christian man and openly lied to, in an attempt for an individual to use a thread as a platform or soapbox against my beliefs.  The Jewish folk aren't usually name callers, but oy vey, the Torah proselytes from Christianity have labels for everyone who disagrees.

In my years of social media, I've been outspoken enough in my beliefs to be slammed, unfriended, and shunned by the religious, but never by unbelievers, except family . . . All of my "friends" or associates have access to the same posts, I presume . . .  Although I refer to myself as a Follower of Messiah, I've had a great many more labels by the folks claiming the same.  We're not all going to agree on everything.  Nobody has everything right.  Torah tells us, and Messiah reiterated; there are four kinds of folk in the world.

Atheists may have never tasted the goodness of our Creator.  Those who put G-d and country on the same level, may not realize this tradition is idolatry.  I'm so glad I looked beyond both of these men's "labels" and heard their message.  It's not up to me to label and discard human beings!  My job is to speak the truth and pray.  I'm so thankful the Creator of the universe looked beyond all my labels, both deserved and undeserved . . . and labeled me "Forgiven and Chosen."

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light:  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of YHWH: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. ~ the Apostle Peter

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

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